Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Dinner

As I have mentioned, my father used to be a blogger, long before it was the "in" thing to do. I remember him blogging something about "Growing Up Italian." To be honest, I don't really remember much about the content other than it sounded a lot like growing up in my house. My father, being the oldest son of Italian parents had some very specific rules about living under his roof, and not just the 10:30 means 10:29, not 10:31 and if you are going to stay out past 10:31 you might as well stay out all night because the punishment will be the same, but most importantly was Sunday Dinners. We could have plans on Sunday with whomever, but we had to be home for dinner. He didn't care if we came alone or brought an entourage of people, in fact, I think he preferred the latter, but we had to be home.

My mother, who is not at all Italian but as long as I have known her quickly assimilated and cooks like one, would spend hours in our tiny kitchen making full course Sunday meals. Pasta, meat, salad, wine... my mother is a lot things, but other than a semi recent fish debacle a poor cook is not one of them. The woman can cook.

Dan, marrying into this family of Sunday tradition, has been waiting for ten years for me to carry on this tradition. I talked about it a lot-- promising each fall that this was going to be the year...well, here we are 2010, with two kids who need to learn that Sunday is for family, tradition, and Italian dinners.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Dan and I have recently revisted the idea of me going back to work next year. I feel like we have this conversation every six months or so. But the truth is, Natalie will be in first grade next year (crazy), which means that she will be in a school for a full day whether it be private or public. And the bro, well, he needs to go somewhere other than my hip for a few hours every day. At the very least, a couple days a week for socialization so he stops yelling "Baby!" in every body's face when they want to play with him or near him. When he isn't yelling, he is trying to be a five year old girl. Dan says that this is just the beginning of these conversations, but really, it is one very long one that we can resolve. "Just to start thinking about our options," he says.

However, I can't stop obsessing. Truly it is all I can think about...hiking in the woods, running on the treadmill, doing laundry, making dinner, driving Natalie to school, as I lay in bed re-reading the same sentence of my current book...I wrote this entry in the car (as a passenger) because I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Most of the time I am making mental pro and con lists, and honestly the pros are outweighing the cons in quantity but as for quality they just don't meet up. The only true con I have is that my kids will no longer be my first priority. I mean of course they will, they always will, but for eight hours in this middle of the day I will be with other people's children, focusing on their educations. And when we do all get to be home we will have a couple of short hours before everyone needs to go to bed so I can continue to work, grading and planning. And our weekends will be shortened because I will need to grade and plan, and they will take a backseat to 70 other kid's projects because I am obligated to them, and their parents, and my principal, and school district, and board of education. Whether I like it or not, that is just the plain old truth.

I have been a working mother and I know working mothers, and we delegate because we have to. We delegate the care of the kids to a day care or nanny, the "home cooked" meals to Trader Joe's and WholeFoods, the cleaning to a team of professionals (ok, I have already delegated that one) but you get the point.

Being a SAHM is a full time job, for serious. It is thankless, and long, and doesn't pay the bills, but it is a twelve hour day minimum. And for anyone who has every worked two jobs, you have to know that you just can't really do them both as well as you intend to or want to. One of them must suffer.

It is a pickle that Dan and I keep getting into. We want to have it all and we just can't. I can't make a pound cake and homemade whipped cream for dessert and work a "real" job. I just can't do it. Super Mom, perhaps...but Super Woman, definitely not.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tower Hill

Saturday we were all supposed to head to Carver, MA for King Richard's Faire. But due to some poor listening, those plans were cancelled on Friday evening, at which point Dan very quickly made new plans that did not include us. I was kind of pissed. Ok, I was totally pissed and the fact that I have been coffee and food free for the previous five days didn't really help. He left early Saturday morning to head out on a hike, and I had no intentions of just staying home waiting for his return. So I thought of things I could do on an amazingly beautiful Saturday with one parent and two children. Truthfully, I can do just about anything, except, I decided, apple picking. Although thinking about it now, if I just put the bro in the back pack then I would probably be able to carry an insane amount of fresh picked apples and managed him and his sister. However, that is not what we did, because clearly that revelation just happened now.

I thought, and thought, and thought some more. I wanted to make sure that what we did was fun and was something that Dan would feel he missed out on. Yes, I am full of spite. Did I mention that I have recently given up both caffeine and food? But that is for another day. My thoughts led me to Tower Hill Botanical Gardens, literally up the road from me. Just the thought of going there made me giddy with excitement. Natalie will be quick to tell you that she was not as excited as me.

We lucked out when we arrived, because although we are not members, the gate attendant let us in for free because there was a plant show. From the moment we got out of the car, I knew I was going to like this place. This is the view from the outdoor cafe, where I could not eat this time (sniffle), but have a plan to go back just so I can eat a fancy sandwich and look at this. I'm thinking when the leaves start to change.

The kids and I had our own little hike through a sculpture trail, ending at a wood gazebo over looking a pond full of bull frogs and cat tails. There was an awesome tree swing, which I think made the whole trip worth it for Natalie.

A systematic garden which a whole lot of different colored, deliciously smelling basils, beautiful peppers, and the largest lime I have ever seen.

As it turned out, Dan wasn't nearly has disappointed as I had imagined in my head, but the beauty of the gardens almost made me forget that I was mad at him in the first place.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Second Coming

I was all set to come back to this blog and put summer to sleep with a collage of pictures from our last and most recent trip to the shore. But that will have to wait, as will the blog entry that I wrote while we were on the way to the shore. In preparation for our week away, I packed, bought new sunblock, made lists, and filled the newly revived hermit crab's dish with water and food. And then I took it one step further to make sure that he stayed alive while we were gone, I placed the other food dish, that which belonged tot he long dead "Crawlie" and put it on the "Hermie" side. This thing was NOT going to die again, not on my watch anyway.

We returned from our final vacation on Sunday afternoon. We unpacked the car, turned the A/C back down, and I checked to see if in fact Hermie had survived. HE DID! The food dishes still had a little food in them, but were shifted around the tank. I daringly reached my hand in there to clean them out in order to refill them, and WHAT? what is that, Crawlie had resurrected from his sandy grave! This thing buried itself udder the sand three days after we brought him to our house, that would be June 13th! I was astounded to say the least. I couldn't stop talking about to the point that Dan was like, "Enough already, I get it"

The bro was super excited to have not one but two to point at. With his half gum half tooth smile, he points, "ISH!" I told Dan that the bro was going to be the only one sad to see them leave. Dan suggested we buy him one. I suggested we don't.

And now they have been safely delivered back to Natalie's classroom. And when I shared the story with her teacher.. "Oh Kristen, I'm so sorry...I should have told you that they like to bury themselves."

Yeah, thanks for that!