Wednesday, June 12, 2013

First Day of Summer Break - 2013

Technically, it's not M's first day of break - last Thursday was her last day - but today was J's first day of break.  To me, it's the first day of summer because the lunch-packing and taxiing about is over for just a little while. 

Today has been such a fun, cool, special day that I wanted to post a quick rundown. 

Here's my Facebook status from mid-afternoon:

Today's Top 5 (and it's not even 5pm):
1) Getting my run in first thing this morning
2) Getting the boy off to camp (big smile from him and no tears from me!)
3) Making orange-mango creamsicles with the girl
4) Chocolate cayenne protein bites in the fridge (recipe from A Foodie Stays Fit)
5) Fun things in the mail from new friends
That's a pretty good start to summer vacation, I think!

I met my best running friend at 6:15am.  It was already warm then, and I've had a short break from running, so today seemed especially hard.  But I was out there and I got the miles in.  And going for a run just makes me feel good!

(I didn't even include the yummy breakfast I made in the top 5.  I did that as soon as I got home - I was hungry!  Bacon, roasted lemon thyme asparagus, and baked eggs.  A one dish meal, and I put some sliced tomatoes on the side.  My husband ate it, but I don't think he's convinced that meal is really 'breakfast.')

(Nor did I mention the three paintings M worked on this morning.  She was so happy to get paints and canvases out!) 

The end of the school year for J meant saying goodbye to J's teacher of the past two years.  I thought I would be a wreck - she is such a treasure, and she loves not just J, but all of us!  I made it through yesterday okay, but figured sending him off to camp this morning would really be hard on my mama heart.  After breakfast and a shower, I dropped him off for his ride to camp (he rode with a couple other boys and their dads/leaders).

M and I spent some time in the kitchen today.  I haven't been in the kitchen for anything besides just regular meals lately, so making some special treats was wonderful!  We took a basic recipe and made our own variation with what we had on hand - that became the creamsicles.  We had fun tasting as we went, deciding how much vanilla we needed and realizing we didn't need all the honey the recipe called for (glad we only added a little at a time!).

A friend of mine from college organizes a fun little "swap" between her Instagram friends called #flappymail.  I'm trying it for the first time, and my goodies came today.  They are just perfect!  I will send my package off pretty soon, and I'm excited for my 'person' to get her package.

And the rest of the day kept on in the same vein.  M and I went to the local running store.  I picked up my new running shoes, a belated Mother's Day gift, and also found a new pair of shoes for M, too (on sale!).
Mizuno Wave Inspire 9

Maggie had a little bummer of a situation to deal with, the result of a misunderstanding, and she was very calm and mature in working through her disappointment and finding the silver lining.  I was so proud of her, and I'm not sure that I can even express to her just how proud.  But I did take my big girl - whose love language is gifts - out for a sweet treat at her favorite local ice cream shop.  As we were headed in for ice cream, we happened to see J's teacher coming out of another store in the shopping center.  We had a brief visit (Maggie had actually called out to her to day hello) before heading into the ice cream shop.  

After that, we headed home to try out our new shoes with a quick dash up the street and back.  Of course, with those speedy new shoes on, M was the fastest!  Our plan is to really break them in at the Popsicle Fun Run tomorrow evening.  

Shortly afterwards, M's fourth tooth fell out!  We knew it wouldn't make it to the weekend :)

And then - then! - we worked together on dinner.  Spaghetti and meatballs (M helped mix and shape the meatballs), a salad (M helped prepare nearly every item), and popsicles for dessert (ones we made earlier in the day; and yes, she had dessert before and after dinner!).  I adjusted the meatball recipe a bit, but started with the basic recipe from The Mom 100 Cookbook.  This cookbook is fantastic!  It was a gift last Christmas, and it's the one I pull out most often right now. The vinaigrette recipes - yum!  The marinated flank steak - tasty!  The chicken tenders - oh, my!  I have even given this one as a gift - I love it that much!

Big J and I enjoyed every bit of dinnertime conversation with our girl this evening.  She is just a riot - and she really has some time to shine while her brother's at camp.  

Then she watched a bit of a hockey game - to the extent of cheering for a particular team - before declaring hockey "violent"!  So then we switched to a show about building tree houses and snuggled a bit on the sofa.  Love her....

Switching gears to the boy at camp - wow, it's different with him gone.  I had the opportunity to go with him, but I am so glad we decided that he should attend solo if possible (we had to find another parent going who would be J's "adult" for the week, which we were able to do).  But this is a time for him to shine, too.  He really needs this chance to just be himself, be responsible, and make his own choices.  Of course, I spent time with him packing, talking about some of the non-negotiable things (like brushing teeth, sunscreen, etc.), and telling him that I know he can do it.  And I tucked a note into his bag when we wasn't looking.  He should find it tomorrow night :)  And we have seen a picture of him with a smile on his face waiting in line for dinner - so that did a mama heart good.

This is an all-over-the-place post, so here's the summary:

What an awesome first day of summer break - for all of us!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shopping without a meal plan

The list:
Peanut butter
Green apples

The reality:

Not too bad, considering that I can use items I already have to go alongside an entree I purchased for later in the week. Also, I purchased some items to keep in the freezer for quick meals. Still, funny that one short list (and notice I only too one bag in with me...) can blossom once I walk into the store.