28 August 2014

The excitement never ends

There doesn't seem to be a Theme Thursday post up yet at Clan Donaldson, so maybe I'll be posting again later, but I've been putting off posting all week so I had better write something today! Bear with me; it's going to be a jumble, because my mind's going in a million different directions this morning.

Little Bear's recent "thing" has been answering his own questions when he knows he isn't going to like our answer: "Light on? Fan on? Okay, okay!" Or this morning, making breakfast:

Mama: Do you want oatmeal or yogurt?
Little Bear: Ice cream? Okay!

He's (slowly!) learning to at least acknowledge when he's done something wrong; it's pretty much impossible to make him say "sorry," but this morning after he pulled the oatmeal box out of the trash can, making a mess of cucumber seeds and peels all over the floor, after I had scolded him and was cleaning up the floor he came up behind me and gave me a tight hug. "Hug! Love you," he whispered.

Today is laundry day, and he was in his last clean pair of jeans when he decided to pour the (cold) tea kettle into his lap while sitting on the counter watching me make quinoa. What is it about little boys and messes?

We only have one vehicle and live out in the woods, six and a half miles from Matt's work, maybe another mile or two farther to the grocery store, etc. Too far to walk with Little Bear, and there's no public transportation this far out of town, so whenever I need to go to town I drop Matt off in the morning and pick him up in the evening. It's not a long drive, and traffic is never bad, so it shouldn't be a big deal. It isn't. But it's enough of a drive that in order to save gas, I really try to do errands right after dropping him off instead of going back home for a while. 

The problem? Other than the grocery stores and some hardward stores, none of the places I ever want/need to go open before 9 or 10 am.  I've had the jeep three days this week, and both Tuesday and Wednesday I had to try to invent errands to keep me in town long enough to stop at places that didn't open until 9. Yesterday I gave up after stopping at both of the craft stores in town for a zipper pull and finding neither open; Little Bear and I just spent a half hour at a park.

I'm conflicted: I like being able to get out of the house and not go crazy, but having the car means disruptions to our daily structure, often long ones if I have to wait around for something to open. Parks won't be an option in another month and a half: there'll be snow on the ground. Doing errands in the afternoon before picking Matt up isn't optimal either; traffic is worse then, winter roads can be slicker in the afternoons, and I'd lose my supper prep time. I don't think there's really any perfect solution.

At least for now, all of the parks are empty in the mornings because most kids are in school! 

This week I tried to correlate meals with feast days, but things haven't worked out the way I planned. We were supposed to have smoked Polish sausage with sauerkraut on Tuesday for Our Lady of Czestochowa, but we wound up getting home late and just had quick hamburgers. Now that the sausage is thawed, we're cooking it tonight instead of the Mediterranean food I'd planned—happy feast of Saint Augustine! I still made the quinoa-cucumber-feta salad that was on today's menu this morning, though, so Matt can have something meatless to take for lunch tomorrow.

Quinoa-eaters, I need help: what is the trick to getting rid of the aftertaste? This morning I rinsed a half cup of quinoa in cold running water for four minutes, stirring it constantly; it's better than it has been in the past, but it's definitely still there! I've had quinoa cooked by other people that didn't even have a trace of the acrid residual taste, so there has to be something I'm doing wrong.

Enough random for one day? Yes, I think so too. (I guess I know which parent Little Bear gets the "answering his own questions" from!)

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