The Sweet Stuff

Bittersweet. That’s the only word to describe this Monday morning. My little J leapt into his daddy’s SUV with a big smile and a small wave and off they went to the first day of preschool. I stood in the driveway and waved back but I knew he wasn’t even looking. That was the bitter part: My little guy is growing up.

The sweet part, other than how adorable growing up can be (check out that preppy little collared shirt and cargo-style shorts!), is this bit of time to myself every morning. I’m slurping coffee and the only thing I hear (other than the slurps) is the tip tap of my keyboard. Even though it’s only for 3 hours every morning and even though I know it’ll come to a wailing halt when the babe arrives in 3 months, it still feels great to just be me again.

It’s especially heavenly to sit here in peace after the past couple of weeks. You probably don’t know that our house is on the market. Yes, we’re moving. No, not back to Canada (sorry), nor to that “proper” (though riotous, lately) land of my hubs. We’re moving 8 miles North West of here to a sunny house on a little lake. It’s my dream to live by the water and I haven’t quite gotten myself to believe that it’s actually going to happen, that one day soon I might be slurping my coffee while looking at this:

That is, assuming we can get this darned house sold first! Thus the chaos lately.

Getting ready for house-showings with a toddler and all of his toys underfoot is hard. Even harder is trying to find somewhere to take the little tyke when the showing is happening. Last Tuesday, just as the prospective buyers were entering through the front door, I realized that I could not find J’s shoes. I picked him up, carried him out the back and plopped him shoeless on the sidewalk. “Well, I guess we can’t go far. Can you walk barefoot to Miss Wiz’s? We’ll go see if the boys want to play.” I ushered him along quickly afraid that the prospective buyers would see us out the window and think the house was owned by a bunch of hillbillies.

We went two doors down and crossed our fingers as we knocked on the neighbours’ door. Yay! They were home. A hectic day was clearly underway there too (but then, when is it not hectic in a house with three sons and two dogs?). We went into the kitchen and Miss Wiz promptly began tidying up.

I said, “Please, don’t worry about this tiny bit of mess. At my house right now there’s a sinkful of dirty dishes under the bed and a bunch of cups in the dryer. Who am I to judge?” No, I don’t normally store plates under the bed. I ran out of time getting ready for the showing and found myself running around with an armful of dirty dishes looking for a hiding place. Oh gosh! Maybe I am a hillbilly.

That’s been life lately.

But now I get to sit here and write about it, and that feels pretty darned good. It also feels pretty darned good to finally see my little guy at the end of his preschool mornings. When I get to his school he’s playing and clearly having a blast. But not such a blast that he doesn’t run at me like a maniac. Very sweet. So sweet that I keep wanting to spoil him with sweet stuff in return. And so spoil him I have.

The Sweet Stuff: Strawberries, White Chocolate and J

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing two sweet simple recipes that I’ve developed for just that purpose.

First up will be Strawberry White Chocolate Pancakes (with whole wheat flour and wheat germ, but J doesn’t know about that).

Then some Shortbread and Pecan Crusted Ice Cream Balls with Maple Drizzle

I’m tempted to throw in a recipe with olives since my kid loves them in a ridiculous way. But they’re not sweet so they don’t quite fit in with this theme. We’ll see.

Thanks for reading and for sharing this peaceful morning with me.

I’ve really enjoyed it.

19 Responses to “The Sweet Stuff”

  1. Christine — August 19, 2011 @ 11:48 am (#)

    Christine – Glad you sent me the link to this blog post. I have been meaning to jump on and check out your blog since I first saw it at the bottom of an e-mail a couple of weeks ago. Can’t wait so see the pancake recipe too! The funny thing is that I have been toying with the idea of starting my own food blog too… it’s something I’ve been contemplating for almost a year now. Looks like you’ve done an amazing job.

    • Christine — August 19, 2011 @ 1:02 pm (#)

      Christine! Thank you for visiting. We should get together and talk food blogs some time soon! It has been an amazing experience for me and I’d enjoy telling you about it and hearing your thoughts. I just keep getting happier about joining our board!

  2. Liz — August 19, 2011 @ 8:57 am (#)

    Oh, I can’t wait to see your strawberry and white chocolate recipe. Two favorites around here! And boy, that Mrs. Wiz’s house, sounds like total chaos. I think I’d lose my mind. ;-)

    • Christine — August 19, 2011 @ 10:14 am (#)

      I totally just snorted coffee out my nose. Chaos aside, Miss Wiz’s house is our favourite place to go. It was even selected above going to “Old MacDonald’s” for ice cream and to the park for some splash pad fun. I like it there too :).

  3. Vinobaby — August 19, 2011 @ 8:46 am (#)

    That lake view is absolutely lovely. Good luck with getting you house sold–and staying sane in the meantime. I can’t wait to see the pancake recipe. They are my son’s favorite morning treat.


    • Christine — August 19, 2011 @ 10:12 am (#)

      Thank you! I hope you like pancakes too because this is one of those recipes that kids love but, unbeknownst to them, parents are feeling a tad sophisticated digging in.

  4. adventuresindinner — August 18, 2011 @ 9:18 pm (#)

    Dying to see how you spoil him. Everything crossed hoping that you get your house sold. You know, if you want water, we have the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal in Ottawa :) you can even skate on the canal in the winter, hint, hint…

    Enjoy your VERY well-deserved alone time.

    I too have embraced my inner hillbilly lately. We’ve had no table to eat at and 20 boxes of books in the kitchen. Grrrr….

    • Christine — August 19, 2011 @ 6:33 am (#)

      lol. I would love to live in Ottawa again. It’s such a wonderful city. To be honest though, as much as I complain about the heat here I have become spoiled. When we went to Manitoba for Christmas last year I barely could handle going from house to car. I did love being cozy inside though.

      Your kitchen sounds interesting at the moment. Do you still have plates at least?

    • adventuresindinner — August 19, 2011 @ 8:22 am (#)

      We’ve got plates and I hope to have a front door today. Hope springs eternal.

  5. Audrey Russell — August 18, 2011 @ 8:52 pm (#)

    Congrats on J starting preschool! Oh boy, I wish we had car seats in both cars so Daddy could take Than to school in the mornings! Hope you enjoy the time and call me if you want to hook up for brunch. :)

    • Christine — August 19, 2011 @ 6:34 am (#)

      Audrey, yes! We should totally go for brunch. Haven’t seen you in ages!!! I’ll get in touch.

  6. Paula — August 18, 2011 @ 4:08 pm (#)

    Congratulations on this big and momentous step for your son and on the purchase of your new home. Best wishes with the sale of your home and the upcoming move.

    • Christine — August 18, 2011 @ 5:59 pm (#)

      Thank you Paula! Lots of changes and uncertainty but we’re very happy with how things are going.

  7. Nitza — August 18, 2011 @ 1:13 pm (#)

    You’ve turned another page. I remember those days too. It doesn’t get easier when you have other children either. That first weeks is quiet. But then suddenly, very soon….you’ll enjoy the quiet.

    • Christine — August 18, 2011 @ 6:00 pm (#)

      It does seem very quiet around here in the mornings but I am already really liking it a lot.

  8. phyllis — August 18, 2011 @ 9:24 am (#)

    Nice story. As I was reading, it brought back memories. After the school bus left, our home was so quiet. Instead of the clicking of computer keys, (we didn’t have one then), I could hear the 2nd hand move around the face of the clock. A few tears later, I quickly got changed, put my hair in a ponytail, got on my bike and had a leisurely ride through Kildonan Park. With a Winnipeg Sun in hand, I had a peaceful cup of coffee at McDonalds (no play structure in that one). Well, back to the present, another couple of tears, and looking forward to the recipes.

    • Christine — August 18, 2011 @ 10:56 am (#)

      Awwww…Mom. I bet it was super-quiet when both Mike and I were in school for the first time. I can totally picture your riding through Kildonan Park. I miss that place!

  9. The Mrs — August 18, 2011 @ 9:01 am (#)

    Awesome, sweet post. I’m living vicariously (and calmly) through you, and am so excited that you have this you-time for the next few months. I know you’ll enjoy every minute of it!

    • Christine — August 18, 2011 @ 10:55 am (#)

      Thanks Sandi!

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