Category Archives: Be

Be- Sooo… where you at?

Ok,I have a confession.
I haven’t been forthcoming about what is coming out of my kitchen on months, because it’s been straight up boring less than exciting.
Both The Hub and myself were experiencing serious T.P.D. (Tight Pants Denial- as in “did we shrink every pair of pants we own? The dryer is CLEARLY on the fritz!)
Um no.  Too much snacky, not enough runny, yo.
So there’s been a lot of this type of situation:

chicken and zoodles

Oh hayyyy, grilled chicken with zoodles and spinach… aren’t you, um, practical.

 

Annnnd some of this:

eggs

Hmmm. More eggs and radishes for breakfast? Um. Ok.

And cocktail hour has looked mostly like this:

sipping on a vodka soda

Vodka soda with a twist- you actually are quite refreshing on a summer day.

So, not-so-much to report that might be you know, actually interesting, I guess.

BUT two things:
Number A: I miss sharing my kitchen creations. I miss it enough to risk being boring, even!  (Dr Sissy and I think it is funny as hell when people say “Number A,” and I am missing her, so there you have that.)

Andplusalso, Letter 2: (lolz,) I realized I actually DO have some pretty delicious things that have come out of the kitch, and I always photograph everything like I am going to post it, so why not!?

So stay tuned…
Keri’s back baby- and it’s about to get Tasty up in here.
(Plus seriously,  it’s not ALL vodka sodas and zoodles all the time,  I mean come on!  It’s still KERI we are talking about here!!)

me and my cookie

Is that a GIANT cookie, late night snacking Keri? (Yes. Yes it is. Hashtag no regrets.)

 

Tomorrow = A boozy perfect way to use to use Peaches in season right now.

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Be – So fickle

Yeah…  Being Keri lately has left me extra-fickle about blog stuff.

Like I have been doing this lately, because I just don’t feel like it fits in here, but maybe writing it down helps or something.

And I have been crabby. And snarky.  And sick, it feels like forever, too.

 

Man, I am such a frickin’ ray of sunshine.

 

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Be – toddler Punny –

Somebaby’s daddy can’t stop buying up all the Sesame Street characters for their latest number one fan.

sesame st

It is like Sir-Mix-a-TOT up in here…  “His posse’s gettin’ big and his posse’s gettin’ bigger!”

 

*Back dated to date I *thought* I published from my phone.  You’re welcome.

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Be – a family junkie

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how silent things are here on ED&BK of late.  I truly enjoy posting – all of the cooking and musing and unabashed mixology that comes along with it – I love it all.

And I know countless moms who have kiddos and jobs and bustling social lives and STILL bust out some fabulous blog entries on a very regular basis.

I know my cooking entries will pick up as the weather turns colder, and some upcoming DIY home improvement projects will probably make for hilarious stories to share (if I am shameless enough to admit what will probably be my many mishaps.  Who am I kidding, I have no shame!)

But of late I find myself with an insatiable desire to soak up time with my family, like a sponge soaking up every last drop of liquid possible, until it is dripping from my edges even as I try to expand to fit in a few more drops.

Play time and car rides and sharing a cookie at the grocery store with Jr; quiet evenings after he is asleep on the sofa watching the fall premiers of our favorite shows with The Hub; lingering over Jr drop-offs and pick-ups at my parents’ house to catch up with them and watch them revel in their roles as Nana and Pop; and dozing off at night feeling my Binky dog smushed against my feet, snoring softly.

I can’t get enough of them all, suddenly.  Maybe it is being back in the old hometown, or seeing the amazing changes that happen each day in Jr – the wonder and excitement that makes him run from thing to thing, taking every last bit in and running to the next, not a moment to spare in his journey to discover it all.

Of course there is work, and I have settled in to the new job and what it will mean for me now and in the future.  I even made my first trip to the home office in Boston this week.  Staying right next to Harvard, I did go out and explore and see what there was to see in such a beautiful and historic city. But I was always happy to get back to the hotel, grab a glass of wine from the bar to take with me upstairs, and call home. To hear the sweet sounds of my family telling me about their days, to hear my son’s voice saying “Mama!  Mama!!” in the background as he ran around using up the last of his amazing toddler energy for the day, and then to tuck myself into bed and listen to the city outside the window and fall asleep to wake up one day closer to home.

There’s been cooking, and cocktails, and plenty of little happenings, it is true – of late I have just had trouble prying myself away from one moment of the day spent with any of them to say anything about it here.

It isn’t JUST the blogging – it’s the boxes still in the basement that could do with unpacking, and Frederico Escape (pronounced “Es-cop-ay”) – my poor car that is in shameful need of cleaning in and out, the garden that could use some pruning and maybe some bulb-planting, and all the other little things I should do that would require putting them aside for a bit- and I just can’t stand the thought of it right now.  It can all just wait, while I am present as a wife, a mom, a daughter – while I make sure that all of them know that they matter most and that I treasure the inconsequential moments with each of them like jewels, hording them up in my heart and stringing them together into the most wonderful lifetime that could ever be hoped for.

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Be- biting off what we can chew

image

The Hub is out of town, and last night was just one of those nights where I was VERY thankful Nana and Pop are close by. They did daycare pickup, and took us to din, and Jr was in a mood, and I was feeling icky and, Nana ended up doing bedtime while I was busy feeling crappy …. I was very thankful to have the help.
That being said, I was feeling like maybe I had lost my mommy mojo a little bit. Jr and I used to do dinner out alone together a lot when we were living downtown and I was starting to think I just didn’t have it in me anymore.
So we pulled out of daycare today, ignored the Adobo Grapefruit chicken in the crockpot, turned down the invite for Spaghetti at Nana and Pop’s, and headed out to find a place for Cooper/Mommy date night. (Incidentally, remind me sometime that I have a “Red Robin is so popular out here WHY!?” rant to vent out some other time. But I digress. ) We settled on Rock Bottom and packed ourselves in to see what happened.
When he squealed loudly as I settled him into his highchair, I felt a bit of panic rising up from deep inside. We got a few side eyes and I started whipping everything I had out of my purse.
But we both settled down, him with his sippy of moo juice, me with a vat o something grape. And it was wonderful. We giggled and high fived and ate and talked about the Muffin Man (Do you know the muffin man? He lives in Drury lane.) An hour or so later we departed, leaving a clean table and a good tip and taking with us the memory of a new chapter in a tradition I treasure very much. There were a couple of extra big bites of grilled cheese that left me coaching him to “just keep chewing, buddy,” but he got them down just fine. Turns out neither one of us bit off more than we could chew at that restaurant tonight.

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Be -the mom of Urban Dog

Potter won’t make.
Well, Potter won’t poo… in his backyard that is…
And for goodness sake tonight I don’t blame him. It is buggy as sin back here. I don’t think we considered that the proximity of the beautiful reservoir we live close to would mean that we would be under seige from biting bugs all the live long day all summer long!
That isn’t really Binky’s issue though… it is mine as I fire up the sterno firepit I didn’t even want to bring with us from the Treehouse, but which now seems to be our salvation from mosquito bites at the lake house… (did you know that they lit sterno cans in their tents in Vietnam to keep the bugs away? Me either, until my daddy informed me last weekend.)
FFS, it is a swarm out here!
Like I said, that isn’t really Potter’s issue. Potter’s prob is that he is as urban as his mom is. He wants to be walked, all over God’s green earth, while someone at the end of a tether waits, 5 feet away, with a baggie in hand, for him to pick a spot.
And people, The Hub keeps doing it. 3 times a day he is walking our dog all over the ‘hood, while our perfectly good backyard awaits the poo.
Which is fine….. until The Hub leaves town on business.
Then I am left to convince the pooch that his pooing in the yard is why we are here.
I wanted a house so I didn’t have to drag Jr up and down the block while my dog found a spot to do his thing, as much as any other reason.
Instead I am walking around my buggy backyard, trying to convice my dog to poop while the neoghbors watch.
And he will not.
And we should buy stock in whoever makes Off! Products.

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Be: THAT mom.

I have a confession to make.

It stems from the fact that my son, at this point in his little life (16 months old today, TYVM,) is not exactly graceful.  Actually, you can’t really soften up the cold hard facts on this one – my kid falls on his big old baby head.  All. The. Time.

Just when the last round of bruises starts to fade and I think he really is getting a handle on this “walking” thing, a clunk and a cry crushes my lofty dreams once more.

Sigh.

After the fall that led to actual STITCHES  (BTW, when your toddler gets stitches, moms come OUT OF THE WOODWORK with their own stories and you find out fast, that Jr is far from the only early walker to have had something sewn back together,) I went as crazy as I thought I could, padded out the corners and pointy parts of everything, put up an elaborate series of gates, and erected a “safety zone” – an 8′ by 8′ penned off area on the carpet in the living room where he can play safely when I can’t be right next to him. (He had 3 stitches – one had come out on its own by the time I could bring myself to take the picture above – we all felt so bad!!  Below – the Safety Zone!)

But no baby wants to be in “the safety zone” all the time – a baby needs to live on the edge and explore!  To feel the wind of the dog’s wagging tale on his face, and the thrill of unloading the Tupperware drawer while mom cooks dinner!  To be free – FREE, to chase the big blue ball back and forth and Swiffer imaginary dust bunnies for 30 or 40 minutes at a time on the hard wood floor. (Swiffers are the best toy EVER to toddlers – who knew?)

But inevitably, time out of the carpet-padded pen resulted, no matter how short and no matter how close a watchful adult was, in a clunk/cry/new-bruise-on-head situation.

I had no choice.  That is my story and I am sticking to it.

I confess – my son now walks around the house looking as though he has joined the teddy bear pillow army:

Yep.

At school he sports a cushy “beanie” (as the cool kids call them these days,) because I can’t be the mom who puts a quilted, teddy bear patterned helmet on her kid at school, but at home and at Nana and Pop’s, he rocks this puppy any time he leaves the safety zone.

Know what?  Goose egg free.  Should’ve been THAT mom sooner, I guess.

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Be – 36

Today  I am 36.

This is fairly impossible for me to comprehend, since I am certain it was yesterday that Maude and Daddy were teaching me to walk/ride a bike/drive a car (one of those…  I know it was.)

This feeling may be accentuated by the fact that I am currently nestled back under my parents’ roof awaiting the closing on our new casa next week.

Yet when I think of the new house – and the new job and the new (old) town and all the logistics that are coming with those things I suddenly feel VERY old.   When I feel the growing weight of my now  not-so-tiny smushy baby boy, I can’t help but feel the weight of time passing – rushing by, it seems.

When did so much time pass?

I guess all of the day-to-day “stuff” really does distract from the life going by.  Or rather, I guess at some point you realize that IS life…   The nightly dinners and daily work and TV and bath time and night-night bottles and doggie cuddles and grocery trips and all the other little details – that all adds up to a life.

Maybe it is the transfer to the ‘burbs, or watching how fast my “newborn” is becoming a “toddler,” or watching my mom struggling to find the best ways to assist aging relatives, but I am suddenly very acutely aware that life really is what happens while you are waiting for something to happen.

So I am not waiting – I am savoring.  The time with my parents, the cuddles with my son, the meaning in the work I do each day and the conversation with my husband each night. 

All the little stuff IS my life.  And it is full and loving and wonderful in the imperfections.

Happy birthday, indeed.

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Be – Practicing Change Management

So in the new version of life I work in an office where they have lots of office jargon for different day-to-day things.  I am sure I am not alone there. 

One of my favorites is the concept of “Change Management.”

When someone is very used to doing things one way and then they are brought into a new situation (like when we start with a new client,) there are bound to be some differences. 
Change Management is all about helping make that transition a smooth one.

The need for this translates heavily to life OUTSIDE of the office for Keri and family right now.

About 80% of the time I feel like Moses in Exodus 2 – a Stranger in a strange land indeed.   I hope I hide the confusion I walk around in better than it feels like I do.

Every time I pull up to a business and park, sometimes DIRECTLY in front of it, and leave my car, I  am overcome with the concept that there is so much parking, and that I don’t even have to pay – not even a tiny bit – for it.

Random people I don’t know keep saying hi or waiving to me when I pass during dog walks and as I come and go from the neighborhood in my car.  Change Management = me not giving them the side eye and crossing the street, but instead waiving back. Even super early in the morning before coffee. Seriously. 

Sidebar – The one thing I actually refuse to work towards changing is my expectation of behavior from Cooper surrounding adults.  Suburban children seem pretty oblivious to the concept of “Stranger Danger,” and I am totally dismayed by this.  Kids whose parents/caregivers are nowhere in sight frequently approach me and ask to pet my dog.  THEY say hi as they pass me.  Um, no.  You don’t know me.  I really want to believe that I can have faith that it will take more than a cute puppy to get Jr. to throw caution to the wind.   Scary.

Back to the lighter side of things, though.  Because I feel compelled to express the shock and confusion I felt when, while visiting the neighborhood grocery store, I spied a sign conveying the store’s opening and closing hours.

WHAT?  Grocery Stores don’t close.  EVER.

Granted, the joint is open until like midnight or something, and goodness knows I haven’t gone to the grocery past like 9pm in years, but the point is that I knew I could.  Now I can’t –and I feel lost in the knowledge of that.

Speaking of timing – I tootled off to my first suburban girls’ happy hour last night, arriving at 5:00 (and parking for free right in front,) at the local wine bar.   I was one of two tables in that place until around 6:00. No wonder no one else in my potential group of HH cohorts seemed concerned about it.  Gone are the days of racing like a freak job from the office just after 4:00 to secure a table at the local watering hole before it fills up completely by 5:00.  I bet on nicer days I will actually be able to wander in at like 5:30 and have my pick of tables on the patio – restaurant real estate that got eaten up in the city by the token “work from home” folks who secured space around 3:00 in the afternoon and camped in their sunny spots, place holding for friends who trickle in later to join. 

Clearly being able to actually sit down at Happy Hour without sending an advance team in 2 hours early is a good thing – but it still presents a change in expectation, for sure.

One thing I think I do have figured out is dealing with the creepy quiet at night.   When you are used to living on a street frequented by departing patrons from the various bars in the ‘hood, ambulances with screaming sirens, and the large group of Harley riders who lived in the building diagonally from ours; the night-time quiet of the suburbs can be maddening. I swear the first night out here I was laying in bed and it was so quiet I heard the neighbor’s dog fart half a block away.

 I have solved this issue (and also the issue of The Hub’s occasional snoring, as a bonus,) by connecting earbuds to Jr’s video monitor and cranking up the volume so I can share his super loud white noise machine. 

Ahhhh, sweet, noisy slumber, just like Junior likes.   Like mother, like son.

Change Management, people – I am all about it now.

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Be – more sweet than bitter.

Today we close on the sale of The Tree House.

It has been such a difficult roller coaster the past few weeks that I have barely had time to think about the actual leaving.

It was such a complicated situation and we were so unsure of the outcome, that we were fully unpacked and 100% living there until exactly a week ago.  That is when the first box got packed.

Then Tuesday was here and the movers came and took all the furniture down the elevator and off down the road to a storage unit in the burbs to wait out the month until closing on the new casa.

And then it was Wednesday and my car was as tightly packed as it could be with all of the last little things that end up left when a house is “empty,” and I was suddenly standing in the center of the now echo-y main room, staring into my sweet little kitchen and sobbing and trying to figure out how to hug a whole house.

It was a love affair, me and my Tree House.  Right from the very start, I knew it was home.

We hosted big parties and small dinners and last-minute drunkouts.

There were times we flung open the doors to friends of friends’ friends and celebrated little and big moments in lives – and times we pulled up the drawbridge and hunkered down to protect from pain and fear and loss.

We sat out on the patio – the Hub and I, on comfortable nights, staring out over the tree tops and to the flat, wide open of the eastern Colorado prairie in the growing darkness and talked about everything – made decisions big and small. We planned plans – as little as where to go for dinner and as big as the sweet toddler currently napping in the next room.

We went from being “newlyweds” to being a family in that little house, and it was very, very good to us.

The next occupant of the Tree House is an early 20-something investment banker and first time home owner who fought so hard to buy the place – and he too is in love with it.  Our family’s first little home is in good hands and ready to be a part of all of his memories to come.

And though a part of me is sad to say goodbye – I am so excited to get into our new house and start making memories (and Eats and Drinks, ) as our family’s stories unfold there.

 

 

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