I started writing this post while sitting at our local karate studio on Saturday as two of my kids took classes. I had a book I was reading on my Kindle app, but shockingly neither child remembered to bring something to do to occupy him/herself during the other child’s lesson, so both of them watched videos on my phone. Fortunately, I remembered to bring my laptop so I could do something. In general, I have been trying to get blog posts for the week written ahead of time so I don’t start the workday writing a blog post and then think “hey, I wrote something! I’ve already been productive so I don’t need to write any more!” My 500-words-a-day fiction goal is helping with this too. When I’ve written that, then I am allowed to feel productive.
I took my big three kids to Outback steakhouse on Friday night. It was…OK. As I knew it would be. But the kids liked the bread and mac-and-cheese, and my husband and I had a dinner planned at a no-crayons restaurant Saturday night, so I’ve been making my peace with the whole chain restaurant thing. And the three big kids are pretty civilized about it. We had a short wait, but they did not make a scene, which is progress.
On Saturday morning (after crashing at 10 p.m. Friday night) I got up and met Jane to run along the Schuylkill River Trail. In my mind, it was going to be a warm day, and it did warm up later in the day, but at 7 a.m. it was still 30 degrees. Which is fine, perfectly comfortable for running, except there turns out to be no winter trail maintenance, so we did a lot of running on ice and snow. I was somewhat worried I was going to slip and Jane was going to have to carry me out of there, but we made it. I definitely feel it — running gingerly uses different muscles than normal running.
Since I was on wrestling meet duty last weekend, my husband took this weekend. I had booked a sitter to come in the afternoon (and the evening) so the non-wrestling party would not be on 3-year-old duty all day. I would up using the time to clean out the pantry, the desk in the kitchen, and some of the kids’ artwork in the basement. Good times. I carted out 3 bags of trash and I’m not exactly being tough in terms of what I’m getting rid of. The kids had a lot of cute art work — I enjoyed seeing various portraits of me with them.
After the long, long wrestling meet — in which my son had a “1-60” match, meaning the 60th on his mat, ugh! — my husband and I went to Ambra downtown. They had a tasting menu and wine accompaniment. There were some intriguing wines on there: a sparking red, and some Slovenian offerings. It was good to have a date night dinner, though we did spend a lot of the time discussing the schedule and logistics for upcoming weeks.
Sunday, I took the two younger kids to church while my husband took the older two boys skiing. I packed the cooler, and then after the service drove down to Longwood Gardens. The orchid show started this weekend, so we walked around the greenhouse and saw the flowers. The kids played in the children’s garden, which has been keeping my children occupied for years. Note the photo of them painting the dragon with water from the fountain. Endlessly entertaining. Being a veteran mother, I forced them to take off their coats before doing it, so when they got wet, I had a dry layer to put back on for the walk to the car.
We got back home around 2:30, with the others home around 3. One of the 8-year-old’s friends came over for a playdate, and my husband semi-watched the 3-year-old, and I started reading Moby Dick. I’m about 10 percent of the way through, and I’m kind of liking it. As with War and Peace, I had in my mind that it might be long and boring, but while “long” is appropriate in both cases, you don’t generally get to be a classic by being horrible. I have also been fascinated to learn that whaling ships were diverse workplaces before people were generally into that concept.
My husband took off for something work-related in the evening, so I was home with the kids, mostly just watching football. The Patriots-Jacksonville game was…well…not really the way we were hoping that would go. But the Eagles! Wow. The Vikings scored quickly, and I expected that was how the game would continue, but no! We kept waiting for things to fall apart. Things never fell apart. Well, for the Eagles that is. On to the Super Bowl!