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make it day

Remember when Sundays meant nothing to do except maybe church or your soccer game or finishing up some homework? Relaxing with toys or a good book or playing outside at a park or community event was the extent of the ‘to-do’ list.

Oh Sunday.  How you’ve changed.

We usually start Sundays now with Matt (4) asking – “there’s still one day left right? you don’t have to work today right? no school?”  “yep.”  one us replies – still half asleep – sigh. “good… lets go watch cartoons.”  We love weekends (who doesn’t?) – love the lack of structure, the possibilities, the time with family and friends, and most of all the little moments we get to enjoy between the big moments.

Sunday to us, is now also our “make it” day. I bet you have some version of this – right? Whether you’re both working parents, one of you stays at home with the kids,  your kids are all grown or there are no kids at all – Sunday is the last day of the weekend where there are extra hands to help and a little extra time to think and plan for the busy week ahead.  In our house a Sunday without this time likely means McD’s by Wednesday … lets face it: sometimes even with a good plan the mid-week take out is an inevitable luxury.

My hubby is the produce guy.  He cuts, washes and preps all the melons and berries and packages them in zip lock containers for easy grabbing all week long.  I’m the baker.  This weekend the kids and I made an adapted version of these banana muffins (super easy and awesome tasting) and chocolate chip oatmeal muffins. banana muffins choc chip oatmeal muffins Matt and I whipped up some no bake chocolate oatmeal/coconut macaroons while the girls were napping (this recipe is a favorite of Cam’s and was from back in the grade 8 home-ec days).drop cookies Then tonight I separated meat into packages for each day according to the meal plan and popped into fridge/freezer -because I’m crazy about meat and expiration dates, and I made pizza dough for tomorrow night’s dinner…making pizza pizza dough

This all looks so well planned … but the reality is that when we get home 15 minutes before the munchkins want to eat it’s a chaotic mad rush to change, hug, play, prep and cook … and even with all this pre-planning my bet is that by mid-week we have a KD or McD breakdown.  Ah well … at least we know they’re eating fruit!

 

I’m going to leave you with my pizza dough recipe cause I actually really like it – I’ve tried about 30 of them over the last couple of years (because I’m terrible at following directions or printing recipes) and this is my adaptation – borrowing from all the best:

  •  1 pkg (1 tsp) of quick rise yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 3.5-4 cups bread flour (bread flour makes the crust crispier than reg flour)

mix the first 4 ingredients and wait 10 minutes for the yeast to rise and foam.  Add the warm water and flour and mix (by machine or hand) until fully combined (about 5 min). clean out the bowel and put one tsp of olive oil in it – place dough in. Put plastic wrap over the bowel and leave in a cool place for at least 3 hours to rise.  Separate into 3 balls and knead each one.  Spread onto pizza pan and drizzle a little olive oil, your favorite toppings and bake at 485 degrees for 15 mins.  In my house you need to fan the smoke detectors during that 15 mins because our oven isn’t a fan of high temps.  fun times. I’ll post the “result” photos after pizza day tomorrow…

 

 

 

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It’s not all fabulous

 

We all have them.  Those days that make you wonder why you bothered to get out of bed.  You can tell the day is going to go a certain way pretty much from the start when you forget your alarm or the toothpaste squishes out wrong or you realize you’re out of coffee.  That was my yesterday.  Epically. One thing after another crumbled in my fingers at work – helpless and on a tonne of tight timelines I scrambled to pick up pieces only to read emails and get calls that were equally troubling about other corners of life.  The worst part is that I miss my family so much during these crazy busy times.  I love that kids have that knack to know when you are the most stressed – and those are the moments when they all decide to be incredible little humans… playing and laughing together, running over just to offer a kiss. Such a good reminder of what is always fabulous.  Giving love.

In my lack of time to cook, clean or craft these past few days I found myself wistfully looking back through past projects and photos quickly tonight as my procrastination tool…

I love fancy straws – you know the really pretty ones that you buy at a craft or specialty paper store?  They are pricey, but I love them.  Last weekend the kids got into a package I’d bought.  So I thought – huh – maybe we could make some all together – it would be a great craft project to get them invovled in, and would provide good little lessons in concentration and patience. 

straw making

So we did it.  With some wooden dowels paper and a fine tip glue pen.  Little fingers practiced tuck, roll, glue, tuck roll glue… It was fun and the end product was pretty great!straw rolling

Then I put them in apple juice for the kids to try out.  They disintegrated.  And they tasted like glue.  So.  Lesson learned – plastic bendy straws are where it’s at – try not to feed your children glue next time – and off I went with another badge for the wise mom sash… no so fabulous.  But at least we had a fun 30 minutes making them.  For the real how-to check this out … too time consuming to justify for me but they are pretty!

strawsHave a fabulous day.

whatsimportant

I started this blog when we had three kids under 2 years old  – mostly to remind myself of the pleasures that I knew would one day return with ease, and of the simple things I could still create and enjoy with our little family every day – despite the crazy hours and random demands of my target audience.  I called it whatsentertaining – because nothing makes me happier than making things/food/events/games that make the people I love smile.  I thought it was a great play on the dialogue that is our life, the creativity that excites many of us, and the simple things that we all do every day to bring smiles to the faces of those we love.

A couple of years later I find myself asking a new question – one I see posted on facebook and linked in and all over social media chanels dominated by moms… what’s important? followed by in mice type …  ‘and how can i possibly do more because right now I kida feel like i’m failing in every bucket in life – just a little’

There was an awesome special recently related to this on cbc

How do you gauge success? Is it the title you hold? The money you make? The projects you manage? Is it the house you have or car you drive or clothes you wear? Is it based on how you measure up to friends, colleagues and lovers? Is it the chocolate kisses, finger paintings, goals scored, wild happy laughter of your kiddos? Or is it a mix?  A delicate balance…

This is such a tough one for me. I think being honest with yourself – really honest – about this question is so hard.  I want to be an idealist, but my ego seems a little too big… or something… Of course I compare myself to other people – to say I don’t would not be true.  I love the feeling when a project comes together, or a member of my team sees their value and I’ve been a good leader.  I am proud of our home and what we have worked very hard to create for our family.  But I was asked recently – if you were to leave the planet tomorrow – what would your greatest success have been? What made you the most happy and what would you wish you had done differently?

Such a good question.  Of course my answer to happiness is my kids, and my husband.  Which obviously makes  other commitments seem … wasted.  But are they?  In today’s world of two-income demands and high priced everything – how do you put your family first? Is it by providing for them so that you can enjoy the life you’ve always dreamed of for your family at the expense of being there to be present in the mundane moments that actually shape that journey?  Or is it by being there, and foregoing the luxuries others can enjoy so that you can take walks in the random sunshine on a rainy day, break up mini-fights with a lesson on values, and teach them about imagination and patience and kindness?  Is there really a balance?  If you’ve got an answer I’d love to hear it because I’m yet to figure it out.

It’s a busy world – and a fast pace.  Our girls turned 2 and a half today… and as I log on to work another night after a wonderful weekend enjoying food and fun with family and friends – I find myself asking – what’s important?

Today it was pancakes and hallway hockey, peter pan and painting. 

Back to fun recipes and crafts later this week…