Where oh where have I been this past month? I wish I could say I was jet-setting somewhere beautiful and exotic. Sadly, no. I haven't even been transporting myself virtually to another world through reading. No time, no time. I have been out living life. Not an exotic one. Just hanging out in and around our town. Watching Sammy grow bigger and stronger, learning new skills that he is proud to show off over and over to anyone who will look his way, even if that is just Tedy the cat. Working my tail off when he sleeps. In the office. At home from my laptop and smartphone. Doing chores, yardwork, running errands. Trying to figure out how to earn more income without sacrificing more time. Making time for just Andy and I to get out together and catch a Sox game, a concert, have dinner - things we can't afford anymore but that we need to do for ourselves to stay tethered to each other - the selves we were before Sammy took over our hearts.
Just as we ask our little boy to give up things he doesn't really need anymore, like his pacifier, we give up a lot of things we enjoy but don't really need in order to be content. We take cues from Sam, who prefers boxes to the pricey things packaged inside of them. A good, healthy meal made from home is not as much of an event as heading out for some fancy dining out on the town, with a beautiful view, outdoor dining and tantalizing tastes served by someone else at a relaxing pace.
We dine in much of the time now. But it is still quite an event. Sam's exploration of food - the faces, the actions, the sounds - provide lots of entertainment. And frustration of course. Mess, fits and waste can be disappointing. Such glee though, when a new food is consumed without a fight! Reason for a toast indeed. Dinner of our own is usually reserved for after Sam's bedtime. A dessert of sorts.
Andy creates his own cookbook by filling a plain binder with printouts of recipes he's come across online, copied from magazines or from other cookbooks. Sometimes I forward blog posts of recipes to him too (hint hint). On the nights when he isn't rushing off to play for the Longshots, he swings by the grocery store to gather ingredients for that evening's dinner. After playing with Sammy and watching his dinner performance, Andy whips up our meal while I tuck our little one into bed. And when he's finished with his culinary efforts, we enjoy a meal together. Discuss our day, take in the Sox game on TV, or perhaps enjoy our meal outside on the patio gazing out onto our lovely yard with some tunes playing in the background.
We aren't dressed up and we have to do our own clean-up, but it is just as nice as going out to eat. Better, actually. The nutritional value is better under Andy's cooking control and the taste is exactly what we want, when we want it. And we don't need a babysitter to have it.
No. I haven't been off leading an exotic life. But it's a life I treasure with quite possibly one of the world's best dads and husbands. So don't worry about me when I am on a blog hiatus. I'm spending my free moments from working and mothering sitting outside watching the world unfold in our backyard over a tasty meal with a sweet guy.