This week was one of the busiest work weeks I've ever had. Monday was just a start. It seemed like non-stop calls and meetings right up through Friday which started with a 9 a.m. meeting with a partner and associate from a large NY firm and 3 VP's from a Fortune 50 company and... me. Just me. I can't think of anything that illustrates the responsibility and autonomy in this job more. It was regarding an investigation of mine on a subject matter in which I have particular expertise, so I was perfectly able to handle it (my boss is still out on jury duty; we scheduled all these meetings for this week and then he had jury duty on Tuesday and got selected for a capital murder trial NONE of us saw coming so we hope to see him again by fall), it was just a rather striking visual and a nice I-love-this-job moment. If you must have a 9 a.m. Friday morning meeting, that's a nice feeling to have walking out of it.
But backing up. Last weekend we had a pool party for Cora's school at another Fort Worth city pool we'd never been to before.
The big kids did the big slide 100x each and after Cora and I modeled our UPF gear, she insisted on swimming, "ONLY SWEEMING," for the next 90 minutes. No silly slides, no frivolous water guns, just face in the water SWEEMING MAMA, over and over and over again.
She takes her training very seriously.
On Saturday I had the amazingly awful idea for the kids to clean their rooms from top to bottom and organize all their closets. By 11 a.m. Landon had lost his mind multiple times while accomplishing nothing and Claire had triumphantly announced her room's completion multiple times only to unveil it to me, walking me into the room with my eyes closed and all, with stuff still mostly everywhere. She was surprised each time I gently pointed out the things still not put away, but got cheerfully back to work.
Landon just kept wailing and draping his body across his bed. Eventually my high tech and complicated technique of "just pick up the thing closest to you and put it away, and then do that again and again until there are no more things" worked out for him and he announced, surprised, later that afternoon, "Mom it's so cool to know where my things are!"
In the vein of cleaning and organizing, we've finished prepping for school. All our uniforms are bought and hung up, school supplies are carefully packed in shiny new backpacks hanging on the hook. We go on vacation the last week of summer each year so I've learned to get all the prep work done ahead of time. We know the dress code and the supply list so why wait? Plus, there's nothing like having first pick on the school supplies! I have really loved this summer, but we're all getting pretty excited about school again.
On Thursday night I went to see Bad Moms with some PTA mom friends. The movie was funny when watched in a group while drinking champagne and eating french fries- moments of genuine hilarity and lots of lots of trite "perfect mom" v. "terrible mom" stereotypes as if there's nothing in between (or that a perfect mom means what they say it means, mostly doing everything for your spoiled entitled children while looking perfect) and the husbands are completely worthless extra children. But I also yell-laughed out loud at certain scenes and greatly enjoyed my champagne, fries, and PTA camaraderie.
After we had our string of restaurant meals over Landon's birthday weekend and when our friends visited we decided we wouldn't eat out again for the month of July. This started out easy, I make all our meals Mon-Fri anyway and stopping for takeout or fast food has never been part of our life, but summer is long and hot and it has been surprisingly tough on the weekends to not go out for burgers or pizza or anything not made in my kitchen. We're almost there, but last night was an exercise in strength when I made myself use random things in our fridge for dinner instead of going out for margaritas and food stuffs. And then it ended up being one of my favorite meals of the week!
So last week's menu:
Saturday: Quartino night- James and I do this as a faux date night sometimes after the kids go to bed, but on Saturday we did it as a regular dinner and the kids LOVED it. I made up meat and cheese platters with summer sausage, prosciutto, deli turkey, gouda, manchego, and havarti, with assorted olives, crackers, sliced french bread, and grapes and apple slices. "Favorite dinner EVER" said Claire.
Sunday: grilled tuna, black bean quinoa salad (recipe below because it was awesome)
Monday: pesto gnocchi with mozzarella and tomatoes
Tuesday: pulled bbq chicken on mini pretzel buns (Costco sells the BEST ones) with tomato and avocado, chips, fruit
Wednesday: red beans and rice with sausage (total disaster of a recipe, though a deconstructed version by the end turned out okay)
Thursday: ravioli with marinara sauce, garlic bread
Friday: leftover bbq chicken on Trader Joe's pretzel rolls, melted shredded gouda on top, with avocado and tomato, plus other random things from the fridge.
Glenda's Black Bean Salsa/Quinoa
This started out as a delicious salsa recipe, but now I make it tossed with 2 cups of quinoa
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed & drained
1 17-oz can whole kernel , drained (I use frozen, thawed)
2 large tomatoes, seeded & chopped
2 large avocados, chopped
1 purple onion
(optional 2 cups cooked quinoa)
1/8 – 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
3-4 T lime juice
1 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar
½ tsp pepper
1. Combine canned beans, corn, tomatoes, chopped avocados, and purple onion in bow (+ 2 cups cooled quiona)
2. Mix together cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper and pour over
3. Toss to coat, serve chilled with tortilla chips or Fritos
The week ahead:
Saturday: date night (I know I just said we aren't eating out for the month of July, but we're rounding up and the kids are still eating in and whatever, we need this)
Sunday: Asian quinoa salad (with a bunch of additions like edamame, mandarin oranges, cilantro, green onion, snow peas, etc.), grilled teriyaki chicken
Monday: alfredo fettucine with prosciutto and peas
Tuesday: tamales, refried black beans, avocado, tomato
Wednesday: chicken, pineapple, and soyaki broil; fried rice
Thursday: leftover chicken taco stew from two weeks ago (this recipe was SO GOOD), over rice
Friday: meaty creamy spaghetti
And now Landon is making an obstacle course in the playroom and I need to head off to barre. Friends are coming over to swim this afternoon and then I get to eat a grown-up meal with my favorite person later tonight. Happy weekend to all!