When in Doubt, Buy Staples

I like going to the grocery store, but I hate planning my meals prior to shopping. So when I’m not inspired by the aisles of pretty packaging I know that I can feed my family with these three staples:

Fage Yogurt. This thick creamy Greek yogurt is my favorite. Turns out it’s Baby A’s too. And, finally I convinced M to ditch the sweet crap for it. Now, the problem is I can’t seem to buy enough of it.

Egg whites. I can create any kind of omelet with whatever is in the refrigerator with a carton of egg whites. It creates the perfect dish—protein and vegetable in one.

Frozen vegetables. I especially keep chopped onions on hand because you never know when you may need them and it saves so much time. But otherwise, frozen vegetables can be cooked with pasta for an easy and quick pasta primavera or sauteed and served over rice.

Time to share! What are some of your food staples?

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When in Doubt, Buy Staples

Kiss, Kiss

Around my birthday, Baby A. greeted his Ya-Ya with kisses—wet, open-mouthed smacks to her cheek. He did this to her for nearly five minutes. It was cute and I was a bit jealous. I’m the mommy; I’ve never received kisses. Well, now I do and M gets kissed too.

I could be playing with A. and all of the sudden he’ll look at me and lean in to give me a peek on the lips. Sometimes I get the smacks Ya-Ya got, but the former is more common. His timing is always perfect since he bestows this gift usually after he’s been crazy-active. It’s my reward for keeping up with him. And every time, it melts my heart.

But M and I are not the only receiptents of his affections. He’s taken to trying to give the kitties kisses. They’ll have none of it, so he kisses the air in their direction. Today he gave Cy’s mom kisses after she played with him and we were leaving. I’m thankful that Baby A is so affectionate, as he enters his second year I wonder how long this stage will last.

Kiss, Kiss

The Wanderer

As an only child, there are things about me that I know are not necessarily well suited  for mommyhood. For instance, I need to have complete alone time at least once a day or else I get grumpy. It doesn’t have to be long; however, 30 minutes would happen in a perfect world. But when you’re a mom of a pre-toddler, you can’t even go to the bathroom without a little someone crawling in. Normally, I do get some time. However this past week hasn’t really been conducive for that to happen so when the chance to take a walk all by my lonesome presented itself I jumped at it.

What was supposed to be a quick jaunt to the grocery store turn into an hour long meander through Westwood Village. No stroller in tow. No husband to share it with. No email or phone calls that needed to be sent, answered or made. First, I got a coffee then I went to the grocery store. From there I took the long way around and ended up at a boutique I used to shop at frequently, Monica’s on Broxton. There I browsed for a while. (There are two things that I’m thinking about.) Basically, I just wandered. I didn’t think about anything of importance but just walked where my feet took me.

Eventually, I made my way home and now that I’m here I miss the wanderer.

The Wanderer

It’s Peanut Butter Pajama Time

[Title Note: These are the words to  the song I sing to Baby A as we go to change into is PJs. It’s a take on a Family Guy skit.]

There are days when I love spending the entire day in my pajamas. A post at Confessions of a Mean Mommy made me realize that now that Baby A is around I may enjoy those days more. Denise Schipani talks about having extra pajama time with her sons during summer mornings. In my world, any time is pajama time. If we aren’t going somewhere, Baby A and I may never change out of our night clothes. (He’s usually happier on these days because he hates getting dressed and undressed.)

But before him, my pajama days were spent in bed reading and watching crappy television. Granted, there are times when I miss this alone time, but with Baby A in the picture pj day is different. Better.

With him I play games all day, watch PBS Kids (Sid the Science Kid, Curious George and Sesame Street are some of our favorites) and nap. It’s wonderful when the whole day is a pajama party. I think we need to have another one soon.

It’s Peanut Butter Pajama Time

Use, Recycle and Repeat

When we moved to Los Angeles, we moved into a building that doesn’t offer recycling. No big deal, we thought. Boy were we wrong.

M. and I have been rabid recyclers for six years especially because we have had the luxury of living in areas that have pretty good programs. So when we tried to throw out paper, a plastic bottle, a glass baby food jar or even an aluminum cat food can, each one of us felt guilty.

Luckily there was an easy solution. Each day I channel Christine Campbell in the television show, “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” In particular, the episode where the mean mommies tease her that her car is full of garbage and she keep trying to explain that it’s stuff to take to the recycling center. Well, instead of my car (even though that does sometimes occur) I fill a canvas tote bag with our recycables from the previous day and walk to my local Whole Foods where they have bins. Sometimes I think I must look like a newly homeless person carrying my full satchel of “trash” into Westwood, but I don’t care. At least I’m doing a small part for the environment. Now, if I could only get the reuse part down.

Use, Recycle and Repeat

If Pale is the New Tan…

then I prefer to be tan.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that pale skin is healthier but unless it’s Cate Blanchett flawless it isn’t necessarily prettier. (I would kill to have her skin.) And when your pale is more like a milked-down pea green, having a bit of color is more flattering. At least you can where green and not be mistaken for an Orion.) I say this because I realized that I’m tan; something that I haven’t been for years.

Growing up in Palm Springs, I used to ditch school to lay out in the sun. Unlike many of the girls I knew I always wore sunscreen (nothing higher than a 6 but I reapplied it often). Before that in my tween years, I shunned the sun. I wanted to be a ballerina and ballerinas are pale. So while my mom was out in 120-degree heat worshiping the sun, I was running around in sweatshirts and pants and hiding inside. I can see both sides of the skin-loving spectrum.

Now that I’m older and my sun-loving days are tattoo’d on my face, I’m sun smart—sunscreen and shade and ditching the rays between 12 and 4. Since I’ve been back in LA, I’m outside more than I have been in years, whether I’m exercising, runnning errands or playing in the park. I take precautions—sunscreen and repeat, wearing a hat and long-sleeves—but I have still managed to turn a golden hue. This makes me think that being pale may been a bit boring. My tan is the product of a life spent enjoying everything around me. If I live my life shunnng the sun, I’m afraid I won’t enjoy it as much.

If Pale is the New Tan…

The Mundane

Looking at my house, you can tell that cleaning isn’t high on my must-do list. There are too many other things on my need-to-do list. Luckily, there are a couple of things  I enjoy: balancing my checkbook and laundry.

When my checkbook is balanced, I feel like my life is in order. Today I spent the better part of my free time —about three hours—doing it. I was astonished to see that I haven’t for three months. No wonder I felt so frazzled, so stressed. Not anymore. Just going through everything and making some credit card payments has made me feel lighter. A huge burden has been lifted. WHEW.

As for laundry, it calms me. There is something about the sorting, the timing and the folding that I find relaxing. I can’t put my finger on it, but I really enjoy doing this chore—always have. [Sorry, I won’t do yours.]

Is there a household chore you like to do? Maybe even savor? If so, share.

The Mundane