The Clock

Our oldest is sick.  Last night, I promised him he could sleep with me.  We agreed he would start the night in the top bunk as usual, so that little brother Liam wouldn’t be jealous.  Once Liam was snoring in the bottom bunk, Jack could sneak down.  “What if I fall asleep?” he whispered to me, worriedly.  “I’ll come back up to check on you in ten minutes,” I whispered back.  “What’s ten minutes?” he asked, pointing to the analog clock that he keeps several feet away on the dresser, and I told him “when the big hand is on the eleven.”

In ten minutes, I could hear that they were both asleep, and so I just stayed downstairs.  Two hours later, on my way to bed, I tiptoed upstairs to check on him.  He was sound asleep, head on the pillow, one arm curled around his raggedy old beloved teddy bear, and the other arm curled around the clock.


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Saturday Morning Meal Planning

We kicked around the idea of doing something today, but then decided to commit to a lazy Saturday at home.  The Professor has  built a fire, using pinon wood that smells amazing. *Side note – how often should a homeowner have her chimney cleaned?

Of course, no day with three kids is “lazy” per se, and sometimes it is easier to manage them when they are out and about as opposed to knocking around the house, shredding it bit by bit.  But we somehow got the boys occupied with Legos and board games at the kitchen table and playing together like gangbusters, and we’ve (cruelly) deposited the busybody one year old in his Pack and Play and are ignoring his protestations to be removed from the prison and allowed to continue his very important work of ransacking of the lower kitchen cabinets.  In this brief respite from constant monitoring and refereeing of the children, I am sipping my coffee and doing my weekly meal planning.  I billed 64 hours last week, even with the no-nanny situation, and the main consequence of that madness was we had some crap meals – McDonald’s after baseball practice, frozen fish sticks and fries, frozen pizza, frozen PF Chang’s  . . .  I have no guilt about this but I def. feel the need to be nourished by real food this week.

Although the idea of putting raw chicken in a pot with all my vegetables kind of skeeves me out, I’m giving this One Pot Wonder Chicken Lo Mein a try.   I haven’t heard of anyone dying of this one-pot-meat-and-veg-boiled-together pinterest phase, so I feel brave enough to give it a go.

I have some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in my fridge, so I’m going to make PW’s corn chowder and shredded beef enchiladas.  A tiny pinch of this pepper goes a long way in a dish, but you can only buy them four or five to a can, so I always end up throwing half of them away.  *We are still no-beef-no-pig in this house, but I’ve negotiated a little reprieve for the husband to make these enchiladas.  A once or twice a year “cheat” isn’t so bad.  I’ve also got my eye on a standing rib roast or pork tenderloin for Easter dinner, but shhhhhh – don’t tell.  I’ll negotiate that at a later time.  ;)

I’m going crock pot chicken gyros again this week because LOOOOOOOOOORD you gotta get you some gyro once in a while.  And last, a quick and easy cheese tortelloni and squash pesto (no link for that, just get store-bought tortelloni and boil it, sauté big chunks of squash in olive oil and Italian spices, then toss it all together with pesto).

We’ll keep a big bowl of salad base in the fridge as usual, and I have lots of plain Greek yogurt that I like to take to work and eat with granola.  Yum.  This week promises to be somewhat less hectic and pressed, so this meal plan is doable, and I am excited about having home-cooked meals.  And about getting the chance to cook them!

I spent about 64 hours staring at a computer over the past week (well, slightly fewer since some hours were billed at court, but still . . . a lot).  So I’m closing this laptop now and taking a break from screens for a bit.   I might even take a run!

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It’s been one of those weeks, oh dear Lord has it.  This is the first week sans nanny – we were unable to locate a suitable replacement, so we’re cobbling together something workable for the last two months of this school year, which this week involved me going to pick up the oldest child at 2:45 and then bringing him back to work with me for a couple of hours.  Unfortunately I have a ton of deadlines this week (five answers, two hearings, one pretrial conference and one dispositive motion all this week, plus prepping for mediation on Monday), so this wasn’t the best time for taking an hour break in the middle of each day to go get him, but so it goes.  Plus I have to leave on the early side to get the other two in time.  What this means is that I worked til midnight on Monday night, midnight on Tuesday night, 2:30 am last night . . . getting up at 5 every day.  I’ve got to keep pushing through but every week is like this through April, and I’m running down like a clock that needs winding.  I’ve been in front of the computer so much, my eyes can barely focus and I’m getting that “trial hunch,” where your shoulders hunch over and your hands become claws and you stomach loses all its tone.  I am, in short, a mess.

In addition to work obligations, the domestic/child obligations have been somewhat heavy this week.  Monday night we also had a little family Boy Scout awards dinner after school, and Tuesday I took all three kids to baseball practice.  I am going to have to learn to keep a set of casual clothes in my office, because both days I totally trashed my professional, expensive outfit (Monday I had to feed the baby dinner in my lap . . . you can imagine how I looked after that.  Tuesday I had to toddle through the dust of the baseball fields in my heels, and then pace in said dust while holding said baby who was being kind of a dickhead about the whole evening, to be honest.  There is so much snot on the shoulders of my suit jacket, I just can’t even.)  Last night was mercifully unscheduled.  Tonight is baseball again, but this time the Professor is home and we can split duties, so Littlest Man doesn’t have to suffer the indignity of sitting and eating snacks and playing with toys for an hour and a half outside, and instead can sit and eat snacks and play with toys inside the house.  A vital distinction to a thirteen month old.

Yesterday’s poem was in response to the line, “Anne Frank’s Neighbor,” which occurred to me while brushing my teeth the other day for no real reason at all.  I thought about how spiteful you’d have to be to turn them in – and then I thought maybe the person who turned them in was forced to – or maybe an anti-Semite – or maybe hated the family specifically due to a social clash and not anti-Semitism – or maybe was being tortured or threatened and broke under pressure - or maybe young and excited and naively ideologically intertwined with the Nazi politics and aiming to please a superior officer – or maybe was trying to buy freedom for someone else with the information – who knows.  I didn’t google it until after, and they apparently have some idea of who did the turning in, but the truth is less interesting to me than the myriad possibilities, and also the Lady Macbeth Out Damn Spot-ness of the palm print image.

Staying afloat.  Cannot wait til this trial  is over.  Good friends are coming for Easter . . . that’s about the time this will all ramp down, and I am looking forward to it for about a million and one reasons.  Jack turns seven that month – hold me.

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Anne Frank’s Neighbor

She almost made it out
into the day light again
after years – years – without.  Fingers
pressed against the pane of glass,
behind a blackout curtain.  Sometimes in
front of it,
when she was feeling brave.
She thought it was safe, up so high,
the starlight on fingertips, no one would see.
But I saw. And I
They marched out, in front
of soldiers’ guns, her face was
pale and eyes on fire with fear that
I caused. 
A cloudy day, still I saw it all. 
Sometimes after,
walking on the street below, I would
look up at the window, and
even decades later, I would see
with my two [very good] eyes
her palm print on the glass.
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Sporty sporty sports

Jack’s in baseball again.  We’ve decided to go ahead and enroll him for the spring, even though I can’t imagine how I’m going to handle getting him there.  I’ll work it out.

We had a TWO HOUR PRACTICE TODAY OH MY GOD.  Two hours is a long time.  The Professor is out of town (we got Mardi Gras “off” but karma couldn’t let us have a break so he had to be out this Saturday).  So I had to schlepp all three kids to a practice that I thought would be fifty minutes, tops.  Soooooo not prepared for a two hour entertain-the-littles session.

I bought some time with cell phone games and hikes around the track pushing Craig in the stroller.  He took a ten minute nap and is currently upstairs holding his ground on making any addition to that time (i.e. screaming in his crib, but ten minutes is not enough minutes, especially for a monkey who got his little self up at 5 am, and go ahead and scream, buddy, I got time).  Liam got antsy, then about three minutes before practice was over he suddenly absolutely had to go potty right that minute.  I picked up the stroller with sleeping Craig in it and carried it in my arms over a gravel road towards the closer bathrooms – which were locked OF COURSE THEY WERE LOCKED.  So I hauled baby a little further to the far away bathrooms, which were not locked – and prayed that everybody didn’t just leave Jack behind in the chaos of one team leaving the field and the next one coming.

We all survived.  It ran too long, for all of us (Jack was seriously falling apart and losing focus by the end).  Also none of the other parents (who already knew each other) let me hop in the conversation, but whatevs.  I’ll crowbar in there eventually.  Maybe.  However, all these complaints aside it was kind of cool.  I like the sport thing.  They ran a lot of good drills, really working on the kids’ form, and heck of those kids didn’t really improve in the course of two hours.  They’re learning skills, discipline, teamwork, and making friends, and the coaches are really pretty perfect – just the right amount of “pushing the kids hard” vs. “they’re just kids, give ‘em a break.”  Jack is literally 5 days older than the cut-off for age, so he’s the youngest kid out there – some kids are 2 years older than him.

I like getting out of the house.  I like watching Jack be awesome.  I slightly less like watching Jack fall apart in the last half hour and collapse in tears once or twice, and then pretend his bat is a machine gun and “shoot” everybody else when he’s supposed to be practicing his swing.  I liked that I gave my phone up to Liam to play on this coloring app I have – I couldn’t surf the internet or facebook.  it was enforced boredom, which I never get anymore and is good for the soul and mind and spirit.

This is a boring entry.  Basically, as much trouble as it can be, I like taking the kids to sports, though I will be happier when Liam is in baseball next year, too.  The End.

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