1. The news is nauseating and terrifying, every single day. I'm even more exhausted than usual. But at least the world being on fire gives me extra motivation to fix my Twitter habits. (I haven't quite figured out how, yet, but it clearly needs to happen.)
2. The #52recipes challenge has had me thinking about how I'd probably be a better mother with just one kid. (No, I'm not beating myself up, and I certainly don't regret my delicious Maxiboy; just reflecting.) I started collecting – and using - cookbooks when C was a toddler. After the astonishingly hard baby phase, she was pretty easy, and enthusiastic about getting involved with my kitchen adventures, so it was probably the first time in my life I'd had motive and opportunity for culinary experiments. Nowadays, though, it's just stress. Yes, M is also keen to get stuck in, but it's just not fun. Between limited kitchen workspace and two children constantly yelling about how "unfair" it is that it's the other one's turn to stir, or demanding that I drop everything to help them with something completely different... getting the kids involved is about the last thing I want. And when they're otherwise occupied, there are a million things I need to spend time on other than baking.
Which is just one example of how parenting two small kids feels a lot harder. Even though, yes, sometimes they keep each other happily occupied without me. I did a lot more with Claudia, pre-kindergarten, than I have with Max: more reading, more drawing, more outings, more everything. Now I'm just so tired. Poor shortchanged little dude.
3. After a solid week or so with temperatures well below zero, it's suddenly warming up. Blue sky is nice and all but I fear the ice on Katzensee isn't going to get thick enough to walk or skate on. I am SEVERELY disappointed.
4. Spent 10 minutes or so with an iron yesterday and suddenly Max has a drawerful of trousers. (He'd worn through all the knees in the summer, usually within half an hour of wear, through playing cars on the path outside.) Ironing patches on such a simple job yet I let it slide so long, at least one of those pairs is now way too short. Total mommy fail.
5. Last week marked our 20th anniversary. (Coupledom, not marriage.) Although we'll be celebrating properly next weekend, we did spend the evening taking stock and looking forward, because what are milestones for? Thing is, Armin has a tendency to beat himself up (and by extension, us as a couple) over his perceived failure to Do Stuff, without properly acknowledging how much he actually does do or the very real constraints on his time, etc. Then there's me: always whining about how frustrated I am about all the stuff I'm not doing – not able to do, in current circumstances – but anxious about whether I'm just making excuses. Putting the two of us together, it's pretty hard not to feel terrible about all our failures. But I'm trying to maintain perspective, and as I wrote last week, just keep swimming. Sometimes progress is hard. It just is. I just have to keep my head above water and trust that eventually, I'll be swimming with the current instead of against it.
Recipe 5 of #52recipes: Norwegian cinnamon buns from Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess. Love that book, but not this recipe. My main mistake was putting them too high in my small, hot oven, so they came out slightly burnt on top and just slightly doughy underneath; not sure if that's to blame for the way the cinnamon sugar filling slid down to the bottom, though. Overall they were bland, and unpleasantly soggy at the base. But fun to make – even with kids – so I'd like to try a different recipe some time, for comparison. And maybe revisit this one after that.