Snow Day Every Day

As the sun began to set, and the cooler weather blew in bringing forth the end of another day, I had a pain in my heart.   One could suppose, in light of all of this winter weather (we measured just over 8 inches at our house), my pain could be the sign of a heart attack.   Fortunately, we don’t own a snow shovel, nor do we bother with shoveling snow.   We just stay home and take full advantage of our once a year snow heaven from God.

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Last night; however, for the first time ever, I was actually saddened by the thought of warmer weather.   I had an ache for a continuation of our weekend, easily one of the best we’ve had as a family in a while.   It’s not that we aren’t family focused.    The majority of what we do, my husband and I, revolves our family and what we can do together.   We hike, we bike, we do puzzles, watch movies, and read.

This past weekend, though, was a whole different scene.

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When I was a child, we were given one chance per day to play in the snow.   My mother was of the cleanliness variety and preferred to NOT clean up after her kids all the time.   I can recall begging to go out, and while she would let us, we knew that it was a one shot deal.   I had a wonderful childhood, so please don’t read into this as me complaining, but like every parent, I want my children to have more.

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Friday, my husband worked from home, which meant I needed to keep our boys away from him.   I did so by taking them out in the two inches of snow we had at that point.   Snow down South is a novelty.   It’s a once a year phenomenon that’s usually here today and gone tomorrow, so you have to take advantage of it when it’s here.   Even if that means, playing in the two inches while it is also sleeting.   Yep.   Did that.   Did my boys have fun?  You betcha they did.

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Saturday morning found us back outside after a night of over six inches of heavy snowfall.   It was a winter wonderland to say the least.    Two years ago, we received a few inches of snow.   Henry was a mere 2 months old, unable to really understand what was going on.   Davey was three and loved it.   Last year we had another snowfall with a few inches.   Once again Davey was in heaven.   Henry?  Not so much.   This year was a whole different story.

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My boys ran, they made snow angels, built a snowman, went sledding (even with mom here, who had never been sledding a day), made snow balls, and crawled around.   Speaking of crawling around, my dear sweet Henry seemed to fashion himself as a WWII Allied soldier, as he belly crawled through the snow covered Ardennes.   Seriously, he belly crawled a LOT.

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My husband came out with us, so daddy joined in on the fun.   We would spend a couple of hours outside, come in for hot chocolate and a snack, then go back out for another round.   Nothing much we could do other than sit inside and watch tv, and we could do that any old day of the week.   We can’t always enjoy this stuff and I guess that’s what makes me a bit sad.

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I’m sad that this little piece of paradise will be gone soon.   I’m sad that the boys won’t have it anymore.   I want them to soak it all in (and they’ve done that both literally and figuratively).   I loved seeing their faces, eyes wide with shock at the sight of all this white stuff.   I laughed along with them as they belly laughed while sledding down the hill.   I didn’t think about the next day or the day after (which I do a LOT since I’m a planner).   I didn’t think about what we were going to eat or how much longer we were going to be outside.   I couldn’t think about anything except that moment, each moment, when we were making memories.

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For me, there never seems to be enough hours in the day.   There is laundry to be done, a house to be cleaned, exercises, a dog, dishes, dinners to prepare, school work, you name it.   There is always something in a day that doesn’t get done because there’s not enough time, and a lot of times I let those trivial things interfere with our moments, but not this weekend.

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We’ll head back into reality tomorrow, as the boys must go back to school, but for right now I want them to relish this time.   I want to hear their laughs, watch their adventures (they are snow warriors), and I want to time stamp and remember these very moments.   I suppose that’s my pain I’m feeling.   I suppose it’s the realization that another day, or days in this case, is in the history books, that my boys are days older, that one day this snow won’t hold the same level of excitement for them as it did this weekend.  I’m hoping I still have a couple of years, but one never knows.

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As I write this blog, I’ve decided to take a break and let them play by themselves in the backyard.   They’ve piled up snow two feet high at the foot of their slide and are now sliding into it.   They laugh and I can’t help but laugh and literally there is nothing else more important for me than this moment.

So, yeah, I’ll take a snow day every day.   I’m probably one of the few stay at home moms who feels this way.

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I am a Cooker Man

 

For some reason when my son refers to himself by using this sentence, I can’t help but think of the Beatles, “I am the Walrus”.

It has taken me becoming a mom to actually become a somewhat decent cook.   The kitchen was never my favorite place to be, the work was just too overwhelming, one slight screw up with a recipe and the meal was a loss, the pressure was just too much.   My husband; however, loves the kitchen.  He’s a mechanical engineer, but would love to be a chef in his own restaurant.

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On our second date, he cooked for me.   It was wonderful and he’d used no recipe.   He’s the type to open a fridge, throw a bunch of stuff together and then make the most magnificent meal you’ve ever tasted.   A few weeks later, with my room mate out of town, I decided to make a romantic dinner at home for my boyfriend (soon to be husband).  I went easy…spaghetti, but decided to make my mother’s homemade sauce which required an all day cooking.

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My husband ate the entire dinner.  It wasn’t until after, as I was cleaning the kitchen, when he asked me about the sauce.   I walked him through the entire recipe, and then he asked about the grease from the meat.   What did I do with it?   I stared at him a bit dumbfounded.   Grease?  The recipe never mentioned grease.   What was he talking about?   Basically those are the exact words I used with him.  It was then that he grabbed the pot of sauce and showed me the film over the top of it.   Oops.   From that point forward in our relationship, I stayed out of the kitchen.

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Flash forward a few years.  I’ve left my corporate America job to stay home with our son, Davey.   Whether it be out of necessity, guilt, or a desire to be better mom and wife, I learned how to cook.   I’m no Rachel Ray or Bobby Flay.   I can’t just whip things up.  I do have to follow a recipe, but I’ve actually become somewhat decent at cooking, actually I’m probably a step above decent.

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The great thing about me learning to cook is that Davey has always been very hands on with me in the kitchen.   This year for Christmas, he received his own personal set of cooking utensils, and he knew exactly what each was to be used for.  He doesn’t like the term chef, but instead prefers to call himself Cooker Man.

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Over our past couple of years in the kitchen, I’ve observed a few things with Davey.   This is probably the one activity he focuses on the most.   It’s the one activity where he awaits instructions, doesn’t trudge ahead.   It’s the one activity where he’s very intent on the task at hand.   He follows the rules and order of the ingredients.   He’s cautious, walking through his checklist when operating the stove.   He doesn’t try to touch a knife, instead just leaving it alone.  And he has such pride in his work.   At 4 years old, he’s attempting to beautifully plate the food.   “It’s in the presentation, mom,” he once said to me.   I didn’t know that he knew what the sentence meant.

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He questions different ingredients, asking about their tastes and then determining if they would go well together.   I literally watch as he looks off into space and contemplates the combinations of different ingredients.  I can see the wheels turning inside his brain.   Days when he becomes so inquisitive and contemplative, I find myself forgetting that he’s only 4 years old.

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A few days ago, I commented to him that I didn’t know how to make my own eggs until I was in college.   He’s already learning how to properly make an omelet, which is good because it means I’m also learning how to properly make one as well.   Our time in the kitchen has been invaluable.   We learn together, we encourage each other, and at times he manages to show me a thing or two.   I learn more about him when we’re in the kitchen.   He loves to tell stories of the day, what he did at school, who is friends are, and so forth.

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My little Cooker Man is becoming quite the pro and I’m proud of him.   Who knows?   He may be the Doser to open his own restaurant and be the head chef.

Happy 2016

2015 is in the history books, roaring it’s way out of the Doser household, quite more vehemently than that of a lion.   It’s the dawn of a new day, a new year, and a whole new world of possibilities.

I’m like everyone else, well most everyone else, in that I do create some sort of resolution.   And why not?   It’s a new year, time for a fresh new start, and perhaps the opportunity to not just become a better person, but also to live my life as a better person.   I tried to be a bit more realistic this year.   I’m not setting some lofty weight loss goal or quitting some vice (I don’t really have any unless you consider eating peanut butter straight out of the jar a vice).  No, instead I’m taking the opportunity to use the new year as a sort of strategizing session.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve sat back and pondered what was wrong with my life.   Why did it seem that I was constantly spinning my wheels daily and not feeling any sense of accomplishment.   I have a self worth, after all, and in order to feed that dreaded devil, I have to feel as if I’ve been productive.   The Christmas holidays nearly wiped me out, but I continued to trudge forward, and in doing so I decided that once and for all I needed to treat my stay at home lifestyle as a “job”, a career per se.

When I worked in the corporate world, I maintained a daily list of items that needed to be accomplished in order for me to move on to the next day with a clean slate.   Lately, I’ve felt as if I haven’t had any sort of clean slate with my life and that not only have I been spinning my wheels, but also sinking into mud.

Last week, I decided to go back to 4 years ago, when I was still a working mom, and do what I did then.   I’ve made a schedule beginning at 5a with the boys (don’t worry, they get to sleep until 6:30).   It allows for everything from personal writing time, which I’m doing now, to 2 hour work outs at the Y, lessons with the boys (reading, writing, arithmetic, science, history and Bible verses), lunch, nap time for Henry, my personal time with God, and even chores before collapsing at the end of the day with a good book or movie with my husband.

I’ve written out my schedule, what it will be daily, and have even allowed for Friday to be a free day for all of us!   I hope this has become a more realistic resolution and that it is something from which we’ll all benefit.  I hope this allows for me to start breathing again, to not feel so overwhelmed and to feel beneficial.   And of course, I hope this also allows for me to maintain this blog a bit better as I continue to share with you our daily adventures.

I hope you all rang in the New Year in the happiest and best ways possible, and that the Lord will continue to guide you, be merciful, and most of all that you will find Him this year, if you haven’t.   Happy 2016!