Sunday, July 22, 2012


I don’t like to cook.  I wish I did.  It seems like something I should enjoy.  It’s all about caring for yourself and other people, and I like that.  It’s something I could do with the boys.  I like that.  Moms that cook often have elaborate systems for getting their weekly meals planned, ingredients purchased, and food on the table, and I LOVE elaborate systems.  And yet, cooking just doesn’t give me that warm fuzzy feeling.  

I like to bake occasionally.  I can follow a recipe.  Sometimes I get excited about a super-simple-yet-delicious crock pot recipe.  This year we hosted Thanksgiving, and I really enjoyed pulling together one showstopper of a holiday meal.  But we had quesadillas for dinner last night.  Tonight we’ll probably have dinosaur nuggets.  Tomorrow might be cereal.  

I grew up eating cereal for dinner.  My mom didn’t cook much, and we would eat out a lot.  Dad, on the other hand, is a great cook, and he does love it.  He likes to hunt down great recipes, store his favorites, experiment with whatever ingredients he has on hand.  He has a favorite fish market, and has picked his own mushrooms.  He’s the parent that made sure I ate a vegetable every so often.  I have plenty of great memories of hanging out with him in the kitchen.  And yet, in the mish mash of genetic hand-me-downs, I did not get the love-to-cook genes.  Left to my own devices I could happily eat a rotating diet of PBJ, pasta with butter, and oatmeal-- for months on end.  

Which is totally fine with me, except that I do want to be sure the boys are getting what they need.  Both nutritionally and as “food experience.”  I want them to grow up enjoying a lot of different kinds of food, and I want them to have a touch of adventurousness about what they eat.  Right now, they get most of their meals at school.  We’re talking beautifully prepared, organic, culturally varied, allergy sensitive non-stop deliciousness.  And of course, they’ll both eat all kinds of things at school they’d never dream of eating at home.  Miles will tell you his favorite food at school are bananas and tofu.  Offer him a banana at home and he’ll regularly say “No Thank You. I don’t like bananas at home.”  When they outgrow their culinary paradise, though, I’m going to have to find it in me to do more regular cooking.  I want them to be healthy and I want them to enjoy trying new things.  I want them to love to cook when they grow up.

Monday, July 2, 2012



Daycare pickup is the start of the evening routine, usually around 5:30.  Nathan picks the boys up on the days that I work, collecting them both from their classrooms and checking in with their teachers.  They walk home and Nathan feeds them as soon as they get in the door.  They are hungry and get cranky easily.  I usually get home about a half hour later.  We snuggle, watch some TV, and eat dinner.  On my work days, we usually start our walk about 7:30 or 8:00 pm.  Noah usually falls asleep in the first ten minutes of the walk, and may wake up again once we get home.  Miles usually falls asleep about half way through the walk, though lately, he’s made it all the way through more and more.  The days I’m off, Nathan and I meet around 4:30 to get our walk in, and then we pick up the boys together.  Baths happen on Wednesdays and on the weekends.  If the boys aren’t asleep when they get out of the stroller, or if we’ve done our walk earlier in the day, the bedtime ritual looks like this:

Miles has almost always been very easy at bed time.  He loves his bed.  Bedtime is the only time he still wears his diaper, so after he brushes his teeth, he puts his undies away and gets into his diaper.  Then he gets two or three chewies and climbs into bed.  His bed is FULL of stuff.  Probably ten animals, six to eight blankets, the books he’s chosen, his glowy guy, and sometimes the toy he couldn’t bear to part with.  It used to be that Nathan would read to him every night, but lately, I get a turn after I put Noah in his crib.  My favorite book to read with him right now is “Goodnight Gorilla.”  We’ve been reading it each night for a few weeks now, and we still keep finding new things in the illustrations.  It’s amazing to see how Miles’ response to the book has changed over the last year.  He used to just like the page with the zookeeper’s wife’s surprised he wants to find the “teeny tiny balloon” on each and every page.  He wants to know “Why did the mouse let the balloon go, Mommy?”   After reading, I remind him that I love him, and tell him something he did that day that made me proud.  I might ask him to tell me what his favorite part of the day was. I’ll check that his Glowy Guy night light is red, that his turtle night light is blue, and that his Roar night light is on.  If he wants his overhead light on, he’ll tell me that too.  Then it’s big hugs and some kisses and out the door.  Often I’ll hear him singing himself a little song before he falls asleep.

Noah is just starting to settle into a bedtime routine.  For so long, I would help him all the way to sleep before I put him in his crib, because I didn’t want him to disrupt Miles’ sleep patterns.  Lately, though, we’ve focused on building a routine for him, hoping he’ll become a great bedtimer like his brother.  Noah uses a sound machine, set to the ocean waves setting.  I’ll turn that on for him as I check his diaper one last time.  Then we’ll look at two or three books.  He loves “Beep Beep Peek a Boo,” just like Miles did at this age.  I like “I Love You Through and Through,” which is a fairly new book in our house.  After books, I’ll dim the lights and snuggle him for about five minutes.  I love these last quiet moments of Noah’s day.  I’ll give him kisses, tell him I love him, and that I’m looking forward to seeing him in the morning.  He has a turtle in his crib, just like his brothers.  Noah likes a pacifier at night...I’m not sure what would happen if he didn’t have one.  I also give him a taggie-blankie-animal friend.  He likes them pretty well, but he could sleep without one.  It’s my attempt to give him a chewie, which has helped Miles sleep beautifully for ages.  I’ll give Noah one last pat, and walk out.  Mostly, he’ll just snuggle right in and sleep.  He might sit up to play with turtle.

Then, it’s grown up time.  This is when Nathan and I watch something from the Tivo.  Usually we’ll both have our laptops out as well.  I might send an email, or work on Project Life stuff.  He’ll surf and do work stuff.  We usually turn the television off about 10:30, and head upstairs.  I will write in my journal for a few minutes and then turn the computer off.  Hopefully.  Brushing and flossing, and then I fall into bed.  I’ll check on the boys one last time, using the video monitor on the iPad, and then I’ll close my eyes.  These days, it never takes me more than about three minutes to fall into a deep sleep.