We’ve all been “stuck” home now for 3 days. I have to confess, I like it. We stocked up on all the food items we need before the storm hit. I have a large cake I can prep for which is fun in the early mornings. I really need to get my house organized and my husband is much better spatially so he can help because he's here. I love knowing my kids are close by and I have several projects we can work on together. Quality time with our family of four...priceless! For me anyway...my husband has been worried about power, the fish in our pond (which is no longer even visible) and how we’ll plow the driveway.
As I sit here Monday morning after 3 days home, here is what I’ve accomplished: I started organizing in the basement, making piles…for my niece, for the cleaning lady who is pregnant, for my new friend who wants toys for her little boy, to keep for kids who come over to play, those I want to keep for my kids, to sell, Goodwill…so many piles. My husband has a different system, put everything in a trash bag and take it to Goodwill. I hate that system knowing that so many people I know can benefit from the toys, so many of which were passed down to me. When Asha told me her classmate Illy shops at “Goodwills” I wondered how to just give Illy some toys…another pile maybe? I got tired after an hour and moved upstairs to organize the pantry. In the midst of those two areas, I searched on Pinterest for the best way to organize Legos and wine bottles…two areas, which are taking up too much space in their respective areas. Currently my entire pantry is sitting on the counter top waiting to be reorganized.
Playing in the snow became the priority yesterday and it was a rare opportunity to get out and really try to build a snowman. Asha and I got to the middle of the snowman and then she wanted to come in for hot chocolate. I needed no convincing! The “satellite” part of my cake is drying along with some decorations Asha made for her birthday cake later in the month. The fact that I stocked up on Valentine’s cards last year is a plus, because I’m frugal and everything is so inexpensive after the holiday that you can buy a bunch of designs and give away what they don’t use. As I suspected, Rohan picked the dragon cards and Asha picked the cupcakes. Perfect…done!
My husband…and kids always request some baked good or the other when we are home together for an extended period. I made him a chocolate cake with butter cream, I made Rohan apple turnovers with the apple pie filling I froze when my friend Eva went to an orchard in the fall and gave us a huge bucket of apples. It’s my last bag is the freezer and I’m happy to see it go! We baked fresh chocolate chip cookies to share with the kids sledding up and down the street. But my foodie husband and I took it further: spaghetti squash with onion and mushrooms made with a touch of balsamic, cauliflower soup with a recipe I love from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, warm macaroni and cheese with béchamel sauce (with tomatoes for us and without for the kids), fresh baked pizzas with dough my mom made right before the storm, frittatas, rice with home-made yoghurt and dal (a traditional Indian soup). Oh it was such fun to experiment in the kitchen on Saturday as the snow fell. My husband and I remembered the five years we were married before the kids were born when we would try cooking all kinds of different foods. He said he had forgotten how much he enjoyed cooking. I do have to confess…I kind of dislike making cakes “for fun” anymore. I’d rather make something else…savory dishes, custards, soufflés, cookies, macaroons, brownies, pies…anything really. But I relished watching my family eat the warm chocolate cake out of the oven, barely patient enough to wait for the icing to be made.
However, there were plenty of moments I chose not to share on Facebook. The kids arguing incessantly. Whose turn is it on the iPad? Who gets to pick a TV show? I almost lost it when I realized how little they would “choose” to play with their toys given the option with screens. I threatened to get rid of all the toys in the house; they responded by carefully making piles to give away and keep. Asha was so upset about me yelling, she wrote me notes to let me know… They wanted constant interaction and attention…Asha with the book she was writing, a pretty impressive feat for a 5-year old so I was happy to help with that….even if she did need help spelling every single word for a story she came up with on her own. She wanted to ‘bind’ the book in blue covers. Rohan spent time reading his Pokémon book as though he was studying for a test and playing with his light sabers, trying to engage all of us in battles. He also watched the Star Wars movies with his dad while Asha and I worked on crafts. After watching ‘Return of the Jedi,’ he’ll be going to see ‘The Force Awakens’ with Ashoka. I looked at the two books I had kept for the blizzard, longing to start at least one...but that is not going to happen anytime soon…The Orphan Train and The Book Thief will have to wait until the kids are back in school.
When we could finally leave the house on Sunday, we spent time down the street at our ‘bus stop’ where there is a house is on a huge hill. The couple that recently moved are wonderfully generous when it comes to having kids around. There were so many kids sledding, snowboarding and tubing down the hill. The fire pit came out later in the day as did the wine and beer. Neighbors were out in full force, glad to breathe the fresh air and socialize after being cooped up for a couple of days. We had a neighbor snow blow our entire driveway,and myparents had someone do the same. How fortunate to live in such kind-spirited neighborhood. My mom has trouble staying home so I’m glad she has been forced to do it for a few days. When she calls daily, she talks about making samosas, parathas and organizing her house. We are far more alike then I care to admit. She face-timed us so they could talk with the kids, they want to hear about their reaction to the snow. I would think they would be glad to have a break from the kids (and us) but not so. Oh the adoration of grandparents!
When the kids were in bed, we binge-watched Narcos, a show my husband just found out about, chronicling the life of Pablo Escobar. It's not for the faint of heart but a real life soap opera which rings true to home since we have many friends who are affiliated with the DEA. I more enjoyed other favorite shows: Homeland, The Good Wife and Blacklist. But to give my hubby company, I can watch almost anything with my computer on my lap (thank you Facebook and Pinterest)!
I love snow days…to which my husband added, They're fun once a winter but that’s enough. I disagree…I can’t wait for the next one!