Most people who know me know that I have a hard time sitting still. At all. Pre-kids when Alex and I would vacation, he would want to sit on the beach. That’s it. Just sit on the beach. What? How BORING! Run on the beach, sure. Walk on the beach hand in hand, great. Swim in the ocean, awesome. But to just sit on it? I don’t get it. Plus if we’re away from our hometown I want to explore! Go see new faces, places, seek out an adventure!! Alex soon learned that vacationing with me was anything but relaxing, but we definitely have fun, see a lot and come home with lots of stories!
I now enforce that, “there’s always something to do” attitude with my kids. We try and get out of the house everyday. We usually do, actually. If I have no particular plans for that day to get out of the house, I seriously have a minor panic attack!! I’m not necessarily proud of this, or condoning that everyone should program their kids to exhaustion each day, but at this stage in my parenting life, it works for us to stay active and busy. However, we live in Buffalo. And, it gets cold. And snowy. It’s that time of year where it’s growing increasingly difficult to get out of the house with any regularity or in a timely fashion. The flip flops at the door have been replaced with pink fuzzy snow boots, and now there’s a bin at the door containing mittens, hats, scarves, etc. for 2 little girls. I seriously break a sweat just getting them both bundled and to the car between the screaming, the “hat on hat off hat on hat off” war, the “I don’t want to wear my mittens! Well you don’t have a choice” battle, the “No Josie that’s my glove!” battle cry, it’s a small miracle we arrive anywhere on time or fully dressed for that matter.
Yesterday was our first official snow day of the season. It was more like a wind day. Yes, there was snow, but there was furious and angry wind that made things a lot worse and treacherous, I guess. We were scheduled to have our Christmas party at the zoo’s preschool program in the morning. Alex gave me a brief, “be smart” before he left for work in the morning which was his subtle way of encouraging me to not go to the zoo on a day like that. I didn’t have a choice because I received a phone call shortly after he left to tell me that the zoo was closed, therefore, no Cub Club. OK, kids, what are we gonna do today? I was determined to have fun, not stress and enjoy time spent just at home. I had dinner made, handmade ornaments in the oven, and a batch of cookies baked all before 9:30. I probably should have spread it out a little better, but we had fun and enjoyed our cozy warm home in the midst of the wintry storm! The rest of the day consisted of constructing choo choo trains tracks in all various directions, Strawberry Shortcake board games, dance parties, coloring books and more!
We finally did venture out after dinner to go caroling at a local nursing home. Amelia did great and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and sung whatever words she knew!
Here was our dinner:
2 cups broth, 1/2 cup lentils, 1/2 barley, 2 chopped carrots, 1/2 chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic (minced), 2 chopped celery stalks. Combine, cook in crockpot on low for 2 hours. (side note – it was a perfect hearty winter meal. And there is nothing cuter than a 2 year old with lentil breath.)
Here’s the ornaments:
1/2 cup salt, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup water. Knead the dough, roll it out with a rolling pin, cut with cookie cutters. Put a hole near the top with a wooden skewer. Bake at 215 for about 4-5 hours. Paint the finished product.
Here’s the cookies:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
2-3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup tahini
1 3/4 cup oats
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Combine dry ingredients. Mix together softened butter, egg, bananas, peanut butter and tahini. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet. Stir in the oats and the chocolate chips. Bake at 375 for 13-15 minutes.