Friday, August 27, 2010

Off to Grandma and Grandpa's House They Go

There was peace and quiet at my house for several days this past week. That is a very rare occurrence around these parts. 

The big kids enjoyed a childhood rite of passage: the summertime visit to their grandparents' house.

I was a little sad when I hugged and kissed them good bye,  left alone in my quiet house with only my 5 month-old, then I had a reality check and jumped for joy! I love my kids to pieces but sometimes mama just needs a break (and most mothers of a four-year-old and six-year-old will agree what a break it is to just have one little baby).

The fond memories of the days when my first child Emily was a baby came flashing back. She and I would spend leisurely days together, following her schedule and caring to her every whim without any disruptions. Ryan got to have a little taste of that undivided attention for a few days and I do believe he loved it.

My dear hubby and I even got to enjoy each others' company in the evening without having to rush to follow the usual hectic dinner/bedtime routine.

Emily and Mason loved their special big kid time away too. They love having the extra attention (aka spoiling) that grandparents lavish on them. It's a win-win situation for all of us. The kids get to be independent and feel special, the mom gets a break, the baby gets undivided attention, the grandparents get to spoil their grandkids. Yippee for everyone!

I was so excited for the big kids to come home, looking like they had grown two inches in five days. Mason told me that he wanted to give me the biggest hug ever and made my heart melt. Ryan was all smiles to hear his big brother and sister's voices and I was one happy (refreshed, relaxed, revitalized) mama to have my family back together again.

I have to give a big thank you shout out to the grandparents for taking great care of my little rug-rats.

Now, I am sad to say that the euphoria of our family reunion did not last forever. That happy, refreshed mama of the first night the kids arrived home vanished in a flash when I was woken up by a demanding four-year-old at 6:30 the next morning, but hey, I did enjoy it while it lasted. Let's just hope it won't be next summer before I feel that way again.

For some tips on helping your kids with overnight visits see: Tips for overnight visits for young kids.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tortellini Salad

One of my favorite summer dishes is this delicious pasta salad. It is made with tortellini, a small ring shaped pasta stuffed with cheese, which adds a unique twist and makes it a hearty salad. This is a great side dish for a barbecue or a main dish for a light summer dinner.

Tortellini Salad

12 oz. cheese tortellini
6 green onions, chopped
3/4 c. diced red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1 c. Italian salad dressing
8 oz. feta cheese
1 tbs. olive oil
3/4 c. sliced kalamata olives

Cook tortellini in boiling water for 4 - 5 minutes, until tortellini floats. Drain and set aside to cool, lightly coating with olive oil. Saute green onions, bell pepper and garlic in olive oil until just tender. Mix sauteed vegetables with tortellini, vinegar, dressing, olives, and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill prior to serving.

For more great recipes check out Pennywise Platter.

This post is part of Alphabe-Thursday's Rainbow Summer School.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love the movie

I watched the movie adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love with my best friend last night. We had been looking forward to seeing the movie since we heard about it a few months ago. We were even more excited after seeing Julia Roberts on Oprah, but I had to wonder: would the movie live up to the hype?

We were not disappointed. The movie was wonderful, although as usual not quite as good as the book. But really, has there ever been a movie that meets up to the book it is based on? This one gets close.

After watching Eat, Pray, Love I feel compelled to smile from my liver, as Ketut tells Liz to do, and live a more balanced life.

I can't travel around the world for the next year, like Elizabeth Gilbert, but I can take my own spiritual journey to find myself right here at home. I'm going to start with enjoying the happy moments with my kids more and staying calm during the not-so-happy moments. Living in the present and finding joy in the small, everyday things is my goal.

What a pleasure it was to read an inspiring book and then see it played out so well on the screen. Bravo to Eat, Pray, Love!