Monthly Archives: June 2012

My boys and I are currently heading into our 3rd week of summer vacation and we’ve been loving every minute of it so far! We sleep in, we swim, we eat popsicles, we fight over the computer and the boys are now starting to complain about what I’m serving them for lunch.

Ok, so maybe I haven’t been loving every minute of this vacation, but I don’t blame them for being grumpy about their humdrum home lunches. During the school year I send them off  with simple, healthy things to eat. What they actually eat while they are there is an entirely different story! I’ve been told that sometimes they trade their yogurts for chips and their string cheeses for candy! Their apples slices have been known to become lunch time gernades and their edamame beans become perfect little bullets to throw at opposing lunch tables. Much to their dismay none of these shenanigans happen under the watchful eye of mom and lunch time has now become a quiet time to enjoy a peanut butter sandwich on 100% whole grain bread. Boooooring!

Instead of torturing them (and myself) with the run of the mill chicken nuggets and carrot sticks every other day, I decided to add personal pizzas to their lunch rotation a couple times a week. Sounds messy and time consuming, but this pizza dough only takes a half hour to rise! Also I give them just a few options for topping that include both fresh veggies and fun stuff like pepperoni or sliced olives. These quick little pizzas have helped with the grumbling and lunch time has once again become something they look forward to!

Only 8 weeks and 160 lunches to go.  That reminds me, which one of my girlfriends would like to meet up and enjoy a summer cocktail with me soon?!

I love it when someone confesses a dislike of a particular food item to me. For some weird reason I take it on as a personal challenge, and I’ll try my hardest to get that person to some how enjoy whatever it is they claim not to like. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. For example my friend Shanon does not like raw tomatoes. For almost a decade I’ve been secretly trying to get her to eat them, and for almost a decade she’s been politely eating around the tomatoes I’ve tried to put in her salad. Then there’s my sister-in-law Tammi who will not touch fish with a ten foot pole. It could be beer battered, and perfectly deep fried, she still wouldn’t even consider it! The only way I could get her to try fish would be if she was heavily medicated or hypnotized! Hmmmm, that hypnotizing thing might be the way to go….

Thankfully my husband isn’t a very picky eater and out of my love for him I’ve respected the few things he doesn’t like to eat (kalamata olives, fishy fish, cous cous). But when he told me he didn’t care for polenta I was a little irked, but still allowed it to slide. Being a huge fan of polenta myself I’ve suffered with this year after year serving our pork chops and ragues over rice or potatoes. Recently I decided it was time to change his mind! His reservation with polenta was that it can be too grainy if not cooked properly, so instead of cooking it on the stovetop I decide to bake my polenta. The heat of the oven helped to soften the sometimes harsh cornmeal grains and I was able to keep the polenta super creamy.

So did I eventually win him over with my no fail baking method? Yes! I’m sure the slow cooked rosemary chicken on top and tons of parmesan cheese grated into the polenta didn’t hurt either.

I am very well aware of the fact that I am a 33 year old woman with four children, and that my oldest is almost as tall as me. I’ve also noticed that I no longer get carded when buying a bottle of wine at the grocery store, cannot fit one leg into a pair of pants that have the word “junior” on the tag, or have the slightest idea as to what songs are popular on the radio right now. Despite all of these glaring facts that I am getting older, I still can’t help but feel like a teenager sometimes. Not that I would ever want to relive those awkward, self loathing years! But there are a few qualities that teenagers posses that I never want to grow out of.

I love the resilience teenagers have when they mess up. I’ve noticed that adults can be really hard on themselves when things don’t work out the way there’re suppose to. Instead of learning from that mistake and moving on as an easy going teenager would, an adult might linger in that failure and allow it to become a part of who they are. I never want my past mistakes to impede on my possible future success.

I love that younger people dance when ever their favorite song comes on. Adults dance too, but sometimes it takes a lot of coaxing (and maybe a little liquid courage) to get them out there without any embarrassment or shame. I never want to be too old or too mature to dance until my feet hurt. If an opportunity to jump on stage with the band and dance presents it’s self, I hope to always take it. I also hope my best friend will be there to Instagram it.

I am totally envious of the way teenagers can eat! A double cheese burger and a side of fries for a snack? Sure! A large chocolate milkshake to wash it all down with? Why not? Those were the days and I wish I would have enjoyed it all while I still had that crazy metabolism! What I do not miss is the sluggishness or bad skin that came from eating all of that stuff. As an adult I love knowing how to eat heathy. I also love figuring out how to make junk food slightly less junky for me!  A few nights ago a craving for nachos hit me hard! I didn’t want just regular ol’ cheddar cheese melted on a pile of tortilla chips, I wanted that bright-yellow-is-this-stuff- even-cheese nacho cheese! Did I make Ryan drive to the store and buy us (me) a jar of that tasty stuff? No, I decided to be a grown up about things and make my own! It was amazing and in true teenage form I ate as much as I wanted at 10:00 at night. A decision I payed for with a slightly sour adult stomach ache in the morning.

Don’t get me wrong I  absolutely love getting older, but I’m not quite sure I’ll ever truly grow up.

My baby’s first year of preschool is quickly wrapping up, and I can’t believe such a big step in his little life has been taken and completed. He dresses himself everyday, and is constantly asking me if he’s one of the big boys now. Ewen, my almost 8 year old has been losing his baby teeth left and right. He’s also moved on from reading simple readers to reading full on chapter books, and just like his big brothers he loves to read those books to himself before he drifts off to sleep at night. My oldest son went to his first girl/boy party a few weeks ago, and I noticed that he spent a good amount of time figuring out what he was going to wear and how he was going to style his hair. I love that he is developing his own sense of style and not surprisingly it’s pretty good one at that!  Honestly, I didn’t expect anything less coming from a boy whose mother is an ex-hairdresser and whose father is quite dashing himself. Jude, (our 10 year old) and Gaven have both finally gotten their very own e-mail address’s, which quickly prompted them to get their own Instagram accounts. I was a little worried about saying yes to Instagram, but I have really enjoyed seeing the world through their photos and laughing at all of their their silly comments.

My house is growing up quickly and there is not a darn thing I can do to stop it! I’ve never been in a hurry for our boys to grow up, but every once in a while I’ll catch a glimpse of the kind of young men they’ll be and I can’t help but be excited for the next decade of their lives to unfold. Thankfully, for the moment Ryan and I have a whole summer ahead of us to enjoy with them. True to their ages I know there will be lots of jumping in the pool before lunch and riding bikes around our court until sunset. We’ll take a few road trips, some day trips and I’m sure we’ll spend a handful of weekends just relaxing at home. The amount of snacks that will be consumed in this house of four growing boys will be at an all time high, and I’m sure I’ll whip up these ice cream sandwiches for them more than once this summer vacation.

Yup, things are moving pretty fast around here but I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy these fast approaching big boys years just as much as I’ve enjoyed their fleeting little boy years.