Just a quick Monday-afternoon (hah! That's when I started writing this. But it's Wednesday now and the following still applies:) check-in before I have to go tackle some laundry and dishes and prep for my dance class...
The Kalahari waterpark was SUPER FUN, as long as you remembered to bring all your own food and snacks, as prices at the resort are insaaaaane. We arrived around 2pm Saturday, checked in and swam until 5pm when the kids totally melted from all the excitement. (We did not actually remember to bring our own snacks, but Joel's parents brought some stuff and now we know the story for next time.)
Part of said excitement came as we started to explore the waterslides. There are, bafflingly, very few height/weight restrictions for waterslides, so when I saw that one was OK for people above 42" tall, I thought, heck, Lucy can go on that! So she and I walked up to the top, and I told her how to lay (legs crossed, hands behind head) and I told her I would meet her at the bottom. I went first, knowing she'd need help getting herself out of the pool at the end.
I then spent MY whole ride (maybe 20 seconds?) and HER whole ride (another 20?) completely convinced that I had killed her. The slide was SCARY. It's pitch-black, it's FAST, it's SPLASHY, and it's super twisty-turny. It way surpassed my appetite for thrilling, and when I got to the bottom I realized the guy at the top would send Lucy right away, and there was nothing I could do to stop her from having the same terrifying experience. When I saw her little body coming out the chute, laying back (as I told her to do) but looking limp and lifeless, I thought for sure she had perished from shock. I pulled her from the water and she opened those big blues and to my total amazement, she didn't cough or spit water or even cry. She mentioned it was scary and didn't want to go again. Her heart wasn't even really pounding. She was happy to go back in the water but we didn't do any more slides that day. The next day, however, to my total shock and amazement, she went back on a whole bunch of (other, brighter, slower, MUCH less-scary) waterslides all by herself, or with Joel or Donna or me on a tube. What a trouper. On the other hand, it took three or four whole days for me to completely recover. It was an awful feeling.
In other learning-to-let-go news, yesterday we visited a preschool for Lucy for next year. It's the Community of Peace Academy charter school, so it's free, and it would be 3 or 5 full days a week next year. We liked it, and Lucy and Ed LOVED it, but we have several other visits yet to make. It's so weird to think that in 8 short months, we'll be kissing her goodbye several days a week. And Ed will follow the next year. Sob!
OK so just a couple around-the-house sort of things. We've been composting since the summer. We take all our fruit and vegetable peels/seeds/leftovers, bread crusts/crumbs, small bits of paper, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, and basically anything that's not plastic, meat, or dairy, and we toss it in a big pile in the yard. I *think* the plan is to use some of the year-old compost in the garden, as mulch or fertilizer or whatever. Composting is important because it keeps food items out of landfills. Organic material, when crammed into a landfill and left unexposed to air, contributes to toxic gas output. It also decreases the amount of garbage our household produces. Now that we're composting, I swear ALL we throw out are plastic bags. Literally -- our trash is FULL of the plastic bags that come with lunch meats, cheeses, bread, produce, etc. Plus the yogurt/cottage cheese tubs that we, inexplicably, can't recycle here. It is so gross.
I'm also particularly proud of some of the food choices we're making around here, so I'm sharing just in case anybody else cares to talk about healthy eating for families. I just made a $69 shopping trip where, as I looked over my receipt, I found I'd bought almost exclusively whole foods -- fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, no-sugar peanut butter, plus cheeses, eggs, milk and butter. Stuff that "remembers where it came from" and still shares characteristics of its original food or animal source. I did get some jarred preserves, but even those were reduced-sugar kind.
The menu that spurred that trip looks like this:
1. Lucy likes "egg in a hole" where I cut out the center of a piece of whole-wheat bread, then fry the bread in a skillet and break an egg into the center. She'll sometimes eat 2 of these if she's hungry.
2. Ed eats oatmeal -- I buy the quick-cook kind, and toss it in a bowl with raisins, cut-up dates (NOT the pre-cut sugared kind, but the date-shaped, unsweetened whole dates. They're not super-easy to find, but worth it!) and very-finely-chopped walnuts (I make it almost like walnut-dust, and he doesn't even notice it, but it adds good fat to the bowl). It took a while, but I weaned him off any sort of added sugar.
Listen, my kids LOVE PBJ. I don't fight it; I buy no-sugar peanut butter and low-sugar preserves, and whole-wheat bread. I serve it with milk and some kind of fruit on the side.
This week I made my mom's spaghetti sauce with tons of extra veggies, because I only had half a pound of italian sausage. I used carrots, green peppers, mushrooms, onion, spinach, and some frozen tomatoes from my garden last summer. I served it with whole-wheat spaghetti noodles and some super-treaty french bread (white! argh!) with real garlic and butter and some mozzarella cheese on top. I also made a spinach-zucchini-mushroom-green pepper salad for the side.
Tomorrow I think we're doing some pork stir-fry with more veggies and some fried rice on the side. Friday night is my mom's Nothing-For-Dinner recipe, which is just brown rice under a heated can of black-bean soup under some veggies (green peppers and mushrooms, probably) under some melted cheese.
2 funny kid phrases I need to write down: Lucy comes at me with an inside-out shirt and says "Mom, can you unside this out for me?" And she also pronounces upside-down "up-spy-down". And Ed says "airplane" like "urplane". And about a million others.