Thursday, August 30, 2007

Free time

So what do I do all day? All less than 3 hours of my no kid time? After the dishes are done and the house picked up- I am really strong... I have been baking. I love to cook. I love to create healthy whole food meals. I also like it to be quick and not have it be too complicated, not that I don’t like a challenge, but no extra steps! One of my favorites is chicken enchiladas, but I don’t like frying the tortillas and rolling them and burning my fingers and making a big mess so I have moved on to the chicken enchilada casserole. It is just as good- maybe better and so fast and easy. Layer the tortillas on the bottom of an oiled casserole dish, layer cooked chicken then shredded cheese. Then do it all again. Top with tortillas, cheese and lots of enchilada sauce. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes at 375. Voila! Yummy dinner. I serve it with a green salad, Mexican rice and beans.

So all of my kids are different. Really different. Paris finishes her salad first, then Atlas, a bit later is Leif and when I am ready to cry, Emilia finishes her salad and is the last to be done with dinner. Rich and I take deep breaths and count to ten and wait with her.
It sort of feels like fall- at least the end of summer. I bought a box of apple, a box of peaches and a box of nectarines. Martha Stewart has an amazing recipe for apple cake but it it a bit labor intensive. I tried Williams-Sonoma apple spice cake recipe and it was just as good. Really they tasted the same and I was so glad. It is dessert and then breakfast. The kids dig it, especially when they get cake for breakfast. They don’t realize that it has whole wheat flour and apples and is much more nutritious then some other more traditional breakfast fare. Cake for breakfast.
I am still on a cooking high from making my first souffle. It always seemed daunting but I had all the ingredients on hand and gave it my best shot. It didn’t fall and there were no leftovers. Each kid ate a portion and 2 even asked for seconds. It was Williams-Sonoma spinach souffle. So good. But that was before I started photographing my cooking feats...
I have made bread pudding before but it had been a while. I had a loaf of good artisan bread that was a bit stale.... It was calling to me to make it edible. Bread pudding really is a lot like french toast. I am pretty sure that is how French toast got started- a lazy version of the pudding. But bread pudding is so easy to make. I served it with whipped cream, fresh sliced strawberries and drizzled it with maple syrup. After we ate it for dessert one night, the kids had bread pudding for breakfast. Two days in a row.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

To Preschool

Paris is going to school and the house is truely quiet this morning. She was a bit nervous and I tried to tone down my excitement. There are some really cute kids in the class and it is small- 10 kids to 2 teachers. It would have been a perfect morning but Atlas forgot his homework at home and I brought him the wrong book. Oh well- I tried.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Schedule

August 27, 2007

O.k. so it has been a week. Hallelujah! Now I just can’t wait until it is all day- they have had early out last week and this week. Labor day marks the real schedule. So now that school has started I am the taxi mom. There is ballet, ballroom, guitar, tap, swimming, and hip-hop. I am tired already! Really, I am excited and it won’t be too crazy as I have doubled up the kids and times. I would rather have them busy then bored and I really want them to have lots of options for college and scholarships and careers and hobbies. And yes I am an over achiever.

The attic is almost done. Though it has been almost done for a year now or more, it is getting close to being finished. We purchased attic windows and most likely will not do a dormer- at least not now. The trim is just about finished and the all we need to do is paint. And paint everything, even the floors and it will be all white. I can’t wait. So tomorrow I will be painting the main floor bathroom and maybe the stairwell. We have a new toilet and sink to install. It will be so nice.

The weather is cooler and bearable. Today it only reached the mid 80’s. Last night it sprinkled and it is supposed to rain tomorrow, but it never rains here! My garden is looking over grown and crazy, but that is the way I like it. The sunflowers are seeding and the birds are having a feast. We have seen finches, hummingbirds, warblers, a quail family and a few I don’t know. It is so cool doing the dishes and seeing them eat the seeds while perched on the leaves. I am glad that we don’t have a cat.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Back to School

August 20, 2007

To day is the first day of school. The three big kids are in school for a full day. Paris is still asleep and the house is quiet. I took the kids to school and as I was dropping them off the national anthem was playing- meaning we were a bit late! Leif and Emilia jumped out of the car with nervous excitement and took off as their classrooms are near to each other. Atlas stayed in the car as I drove closer to his room. The sweet music teacher was holding up a sign that said “289 days until summer” and beneath that “163 days until baby Chantry”. She miscarried during her first pregnancy last year in the 8th month. I don’t know if it was her sign, the national anthem or what, but just then I got all choked up. I have been excited for the past two weeks for school to start. The house has felt crowded, messy, hot and my head felt ready to explode. Now it is quiet, clean and all but one of my kids are gone for the day and the one home is still sleeping!

Last night I put the kids to bed around 8pm. Emilia got right in bed with Leif, their heads at opposite ends. Atlas on the top bunk. Paris got in Emilia’s bed and promptly fell asleep. I checked on the kids around midnight- Emilia was laying next to Leif and Atlas had gotten in bed with Paris and they were holding hands. It was too dark to take a picture.