Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12/19/07 Cookies from afar

Tonight we opened a very special package that arrived from the East Coast tonight. I was on the lookout for the imminent arrival of homemade cookies, so wasted no time opening a big box that hailed from New York!

The boys did an outstanding job, even for them, on their dinners tonight (grilled steak, roasted fingerling potatoes, and green beans), so I let them go to town with the cookies. Mm-mm. And even more special, 'cause their grandmother baked them!

I have to chuckle at the image of a sweet chubby old lady with a white bun, bifocals and an apron that "grandma's homemade cookies" evokes. Anyone who knows my mother will guffaw out loud at the contrast, because that is so not my mother.

The boys got a big kick out of picking shapes out of the tin, many of which didn't survive their daunting journey, but they had fun trying to guess what shape a piece of a cookie belonged to. Merci, Bonne Maman!

Neither Dave's nor my family had a rich tradition of holiday baking, something I'm on track to change with this generation. I love how cookies bring people together!

I made sure to leave work today at 4pm, instead of squeezing in an extra half-hour of work as I often do on lunchtime-run days. Even with extra time getting gas, I got everyone home before 5:30, and it made all the difference today.

Another minor improvement was inspired by my friend Betsy, a veteran of this runaround: Katrina mostly fed herself tonight. Betsy does this with Dylan, giving him things for dinner that he can mostly pick up and eat himself. Katrina still kept me running with picking up things she threw, and nervously checking to make sure she doesn't run out of food, to avoid a piercing demanding shriek for more. Still, I didn't have to sit down with her during the prime-time that I needed to be cooking, and this helped tremendously. Already-cooked broccoli helped my cause, as did yet another fabulous freezer discovery: turkey meatballs. Trader Joe, will you marry me?

So everyone except Dave was done with dinner, and I'd mostly cleaned up everything, and gotten everything ready for tomorrow by 7:30. (I shift much of the morning burden to night by getting lunches and clothes ready -- everyone's except Dave's -- the night before.) Baby in bed before 8, boys by 8:30. A new record for us.

Gabriel has a new habit of calling everyone "Dude!" usually when he's admonishing them. Jury's still out on if it's cute or annoying.


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