Back On Track

Like many parents I saw my kids off to school today for their first day of grades five and ten. I’m now reaching up to kiss one child and trying to keep up with another who’s a whirlwind.

Like many parents there’s a part of me that is a bit melancholic about the end of summer and what it entails: the knowledge that our time together grows shorter or is changing, fewer days of sleeping in and eating late, cooler nights that herald colder days. I relish a return to more structure for my work because pulling all-nighters to write and edit so that I can spend the day at the beach with my kids takes days to recover from, but the last few days of August and the early days of September are my time to wallow in a bit of sadness. After several days the wallowing will get boring and I’ll return to normal, but for now….wallow wallow.

I’m not fond of strict schedules and haven’t raised my kids that way, but structuring my days while they’re at school flying solo is good. More daylight hours in which to write + time away from my desk to get outside = a more reasonable bedtime and fewer bags under the eyes. Guys, my under eye bags aren’t delicate or cute, they’re the size of hockey bags.

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We start every school year with a bit of beachcombing before school drop-off, but just so you don’t sit there thinking, “How does she have time to get ready AND go to the beach and mygawd she’s one of those moms who creates fruit and hummus art for her kids’ lunches,” our morning went something like this:

Me: Wake up, kids.

Them: …………..

Me: C’mon, time to get up.

Them: ……….glurghbrrhumpph

Repeat steps three and four another few (countless) times.

Me: WAKE UP!

Them: Yawn. OKAY, we heard you.

Me: Seriously?

They stumbled to the shower, back to their rooms, downstairs, upstairs, outside — it’s a wonder nobody tripped during all that stumbling — and then they were so rushed that we had to leave for school without breakfast, so this morning the kids ate scrambled eggs, raspberries, and drank juice out of plastic containers in the back of the Jeep while D and I drove them to their first day of school. And so it begins.

We dropped off Bou at his high school and I hopped out to say hi and bye to my niece who was also being dropped off, and because my primary role as the mother of a teenager is to embarrass him whenever I can, I offered to give him a big smooch as his friends were arriving. Sadly he doesn’t embarrass enough — or at all — and he leaned down instead to hug me before going off to find his friends. I’ll hang on to this victory for the days when our primary form of communication consists of him eye-rolling and shrugging and me huffing.

We have almost one hour between the two school start times, so we’ve made it a tradition to head down to the beach for some play time; it’s the calm before the excitement.

The summer sped by; we had family from France for a visit in August, went camping a few times, one of my closest friends came for a sleepover with her family (More of that please!), I took 5 trillions photos, we spent countless hours at the barn, and I spent zero hours working out — Oh, hello, tight pants. — and generally kept a very poor, but full schedule. Sandwiched between all that I still wrote, just not here.

You can make my chocolate, coconut zucchini bread and bacon and cheese jalapeños recipes, which could explain the tight pants, and read about conquering the meeting new people jitters at Yummy Mummy Club.

Over at Life In Pleasantville I wrote host and houseguest posts that will guarantee you less pre-visit preparation angst and score you repeat invites.

So…the moral is, I’m back on track. Are you getting there? Or were you always there, in which case I don’t want to hear about it and we likely can’t be friends.

Gone Camping

Who here loves camping? Who here loves camping in the rain? We’re packing the vehicle and I’m doing the anti-rain dance because I woke up this morning to a backyard swamp instead of a garden. The anti-rain dance is a bit like the moves Elaine showed the world on Seinfeld. I’ve heard it works.

Hope your summer is going well. See you in August.

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A Lot Has Happened In Three Weeks, Except Bootcamp.

I missed three weeks of bootcamp.

In the blink of an eye a twisted ankle became 21 days of not moving my ass further than the distance between the fridge and the garden with a few side trips to the barn. I also spent three weeks confused about how I’d twisted my ankle until the oxygen hit my brain — thanks to bootcamp — and I realized that throwing bales of hay while wearing running shoes probably had something to do with it. The ankle is better, even if the rest of me is more wiggly than it was before.

Bootcamp was the same as it always is…exactly what I need when I need it. A mental break, a physical boost, and a lot of sore muscles the next morning. There have been major improvements since last summer: I can skip without peeing or wanting to throw up, squats are my favourite (don’t tell B), I know what a russian twist is and I can do it while holding a kettle bell, I still hate burpees.

During those three weeks our children finished grades four and nine, I (willingly) rolled down a hill in a giant plastic ball called an Ogo, we’ve had perfect beach days, and I’ve spent more time covered in horse hair than not. Also, I’ve written in a few other places.

DSC 2167 1024x680 A Lot Has Happened In Three Weeks, Except Bootcamp.

There’s my regular gig over at Yummy Mummy Club where I write Around The Table, a food blog about, well, food, and what my family likes to eat. Or rather, how I like to prepare food and then make them eat the results.

What’s also cool about Yummy Mummy Club is the range of opinions and backgrounds the contributors all have and the opportunity to occasionally face off against one another. I did that recently with a post about a Verizon telephone ad that draws a link between girls being told they’re cute and lower numbers of science and math university grads.

And then Life In Pleasantville happened. I’m happy to be a regular contributor over there. I’ll be writing about travel, ticks (yay, me), entertaining, and maybe even debate vodka versus beer. Although why choose, really?

As usual, I’ve also spent way too much time on Instagram because I’m a sucker for a pretty picture, and travel and photos go together like Cheech and Chong, or Virtue and Moir, or cottages and s’mores, or … you get it.

10507811 498485153615249 757904143 a A Lot Has Happened In Three Weeks, Except Bootcamp.

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