Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cooking Group

Me, Jen, Stacy, Lisa, Jessica, and Tonya

This is my wonderful, sanity-saving cooking group. I can't believe it's been so long, but these dear friends and I have been meeting once a month for the past two years to put together freezer meals for our families. Think Dream Dinners at home -- half the price, twice the fun (wokka wokka). We choose recipes in advance, do a big shopping trip for ingredients, and assemble the recipes together in Jen's kitchen. In 2 or 3 hours, we create 10 to 12 meals to take home to last through the month. This has virtually eradicated the horror of The Witching Hours (4 to 6 pm) from my life. Making dinner has been the bane of my existence ever since...well, ever since I've been responsible for making dinner. No more wondering what to make. No more snapping at my children as they cling to my legs and whine, "What's for dinner?" and I stress over the same thing. No more getting halfway into a recipe and realizing (at 5:30) that I am missing a key ingredient and throwing waffles, cream of chicken soup, and fruit snacks down in front of the kids in desperation.

I marvel again and again that our group has worked so well together for so long! And that they've put up with me, the picky member. (Thank goodness for Tonya's husband, who is similarly picky...many a time I've been able to object to a recipe because "Donnie probably wouldn't like it" heh heh heh.) Who knew so many people actually wanted to eat things like broccoli and mushrooms? Ugh.

Cooking girls, you are a blessing!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What a Zoo!

Today we packed up the kids and headed to Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. What a fabulous day! Everything just fell into place. The weather was perfect (74 and sunny), and the kids were so excited to go. To add to the fun, Aunt Lindsay and soon-to-be "Uncle" Kyle were able to join us! There was some brief confusion with Adam when we told him Uncle Kyle would be there. "What's Uncle Kyle?" was the question. Hmmm...we have some work to do since the boys seem to know him better as "Mr. Murray." (Murray is the name of Kyle's golden retriever.) But the kids were thrilled to see Lindsay and Kyle once we arrived. Maybe after today Adam will remember your real name, Kyle!

Those of you who know Andrew know his love of animals. Ever since he was tiny and would only speak in animal sounds, not words, we have known he was obsessed. I am certain that one day he will have a career that involves animals. He may be a veterinarian or a zoologist on the African plains or a tankwipe at Sea World; but one way or another, the boy will find a way to work with animals. He had a list of animals he especially wanted to see today: hyenas (number one priority), crowned cranes, secretary birds, vultures, and zorillas (yes, zorillas, not gorillas). Unfortunately there were no secretary birds or zorillas to be found, but the zoo delivered on the others and so many more.

Adam was happy enough to see the animals and happier still splashing in some puddles that remained from last night's storm and running free in a new place. Libby was glad to ride in her stroller and spent much of the day contentedly munching cheerios out of the pocket of her bib.

Right now we have some very tired kids sleeping upstairs...well, two tired kids sleeping upstairs and one who just pounded loudly on his door (this particular kid being the one who is locked in nightly to prevent another stair incident) to present Steve with another flimsy excuse to stay awake longer. Guess someone needs to be told there are no nighttime hours at this zoo.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Libby's Ladies' Luncheon

Today while the boys were at preschool, Libby and I had Molly and her mom Melissa over for lunch. Libby and Molly had fun eating yogurt, trying to play in the dog's water, and emptying the cabinet of DVD's. All in all quite a satisfactory baby playdate! (We moms had fun, too!)