Sunday, November 18, 2007

In the WORLD???

I've had many heart-warming moments as a mother. Among them, Bryn's first smile at me, her first "I love you, Mommy," and the first time she picked up after herself without my having to ask.

Yesterday topped it all. My first "heart-in-the-throat-mouth-open-cannot-believe-you-said-that" moment.

We had our big day yesterday. First, the friend's birthday party at the jumping place. Bryn was having a blast as expected, but at one point she just gave me the sweetest, not-at-all-hurried hug (which was delightful, in itself). About halfway through the hug, she said, "You're the best mommy in the whole world."

I told her that I was so happy that I thought I might cry--a reaction that delighted her so much, she elected to say it a couple more times that day (just to get the big payoff, I'm sure.)

Not usually one to toot my own horn (and I'm technically thankful that Bryn's experience with mommies worldwide is somewhat limited--as it makes my chances a little better), but since I think she's the coolest kid in the universe, I appreciate the title while it lasts.

**Note: it was just last week that she announced that I wasn't her friend anymore (repeated about six times in rapid succession so I REALLY got that I wasn't her friend). So I do understand that all is vanity, as Ecclesiastes suggests.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I may have mentioned that I like to make lists. In particular, I like to make lists of things that I can actually accomplish. There are a few things that I get around to that aren't on a list, but those few things won't win a person any medals (i.e., shower daily, wash clothes, go to work). Generally, I have to plan things or life just happens to day at a time...and then I look back and think, "geez, where does the time go?" I've had to get a lot more organized about running the household so that I can enjoy life more or else all of my time is taken up just getting the bare minimum done. SO... I've started really planning meals.
I love to cook, but have a really difficult time planning to do it. In the past month, I've started planning meals for the week, going grocery shopping either Saturday or Sunday, and basking in the mindlessness of coming home and starting to cook without fretting about what or where.
Laura at hosts Menu Plan Monday and if you head over to her blog, you'll see jillions upon jillions of plans. She (and probably all others participating) plans from Monday to Sunday. Since my deal is Sunday to Saturday, I'm a little out of step, but I'll see how it goes.
Sunday 11/11: Tuscan Tilapia, angel hair, and salad. I am in love with this dish. Have to put Bryn to bed but I'll type up the recipe next time. MMMMM. and EASY... my favorite combination.
Monday: Baked Spaghetti, salad, corn, rolls
Tuesday: Pork Chops, peas, parmesan noodles (noticing a "P" theme tonight--and also that I've fed my folks noodles for three days)
Wednesday: Hamburgers, beans, oven fries
Thursday: out--I'll be out of town for most of the day, then need to bake some pies for an office potluck and school bake sale.
Friday: sandwiches, but haven't thought beyond that (Technically, Beau will be working cattle some evening this week, so I'll have a left over meal that will likely substitute.)
Saturday: piece something together because we have a big day with a friend's birthday party, fall festival, craft fair, and some other stuff that will surely NOT be making a grocery list for next week or planning for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Trick or Flashlight

Halloween has never been a big deal to me. Now that we have a child, however, I feel considerable pressure to "do" all the holidays. There's only one problem (okay, there may be more problems, but one really big one.).

We have a little policy at our house. Perhaps I've mentioned it. Limited to no unnecessary sugar consumed by people for whom the grown-ups of the family have assumed responsibility for their dietary and dental health.

It's fairly easy policy to abide by in normal life, and the rule has relaxed somewhat in the past few months--for those of you who are close to calling us un-American or cruel. But Halloween is one of those days (are there more?) that exist for nearly the express purpose of encouraging people to beg for and consume large amounts of unnecessary sugar. That's the whole entire point. Nothing more to it to come close to redeeming the holiday.
So this is Bryn's third Halloween (fourth if you count being three weeks old). Each of the three years, she has dressed up even though we didn't go trick-or-treating, usually for a party at school.

At one, she was a duck, thanks to a homemade, puffy costume that my mom made that has passed down through all the grandkids. She happened to be taller than the earlier guys, so the pants rode up a little bit. But, c'mon, can you get cuter than that?

At two years old, she was a giraffe (again, a hand-me-down, that was a "smidge" too small, although you would never know by the sheer delight that the costume brought the sweet thing.)

She is definitely learning the holiday customs and norms, so I was starting to wonder how long we could get away with not trick-or-treating. So we decided on a compromise. She could get dressed up, and we would take a walk around the block. The kicker--which nearly trumped it all--was that we were going to carry flashlights. Mom, Dad, and Bryn all had mini-flashlights of their own. She thought that was the coolest.

So, at three, Bryn was a princess. I'd have to say, the most beautiful princess ever there was to be. Some of the neighbors were sitting in their driveways handing out candy and would offer it as we walked by. Beau would simply say, "no thanks, we're just walking." I felt compelled each time (again with my issues) to explain: "See, we're just taking a walk around the block in her costume with a flashlight because we don't really let her eat candy. No, no, it's okay. It's just our thing. You know. Might not last, but she's fine with it one more year. ... She's really enjoying her flashlight." Then I'd run to catch up with the family.
The one drawback I see to not associating more closely the dress-up walk with Halloween in particular, is that Bryn asks to do that nearly every day now as we drive up to the house. So far, we've managed to talk her down each time to just carrying the flashlight.