Saturday, July 25, 2009

Let Me Fix You a Little Something...Peach Sangria

This is one of my summer favorites. What's not to love about peaches and cold white wine in the summer? I found this recipe in the paper six years ago and have made it many times since then. The wild couple that we are, we've even made it in the middle of winter. If you're making this for friends buy two bottles of wine because the first batch will go in a flash. If you're alone only buy one bottle because I don't want to be blamed for your problems.

Peach Sangria

1 bottle riesling
1 cup peach nectar (in the juice aisle)
1/2 cup peach schnapps
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
3 fresh peaches, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced

Combine all ingredients. The recipe says to refrigerate for four hours. I never do and it's great anyway. Lately, I've been using Relax riesling. It tastes good, is pretty inexpensive and the name makes me laugh. The first time I drank Relax riesling was on vacation last year. I sent Mike to the corner store for a bottle of wine. He saw it and thought, "Steph needs to relax so this must be a good wine." Indeed. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Boys that Go Bump in the Night

We all know that my days are full of excitement. I yearn for dull nights. Some nights are quiet but with four kids odds are that someone will need something. My bedtime routine always, always starts with me going into Spring7 and Summer10's room. Summer10 is just like me and will stay up reading much later than he should. What I am I supposed to do? Say "It's summer, you have no reason to get up early tomorrow! Stop reading!" No! But when it's very late, I do tell him enough is enough (or at least get to the end of the chapter).

The second thing I do is check on Winter3 and Fall22months. This chore used to be an adventure. After the crib, we moved Winter3 to a toddler bed. He loved the idea of the bed (What's not to love about Wiggles sheets?) but didn't love sleeping in the bed. Every night, I played a Where's Waldo game when entering his room. I'd find him sleeping next to, in front of, behind and under the bed but never, ever IN the bed. Sometimes he was in more unusual spots like on the changing table curled up like a cat, snuggled with Fall22months in the crib or slumped in the rocking chair. Finally, we bought a twin mattress, stuck it on the floor and he's been sleeping in it ever since.

I bought Winter3 a cheap shovel and pail set a couple of days ago. We didn't get to play in the sandbox and he desperately wanted to take the shovel and pail to bed with him. Fine. How many kids choose to snuggle with a hard plastic shovel and pail? Whatever. Fast forward to 3 a.m. I hear a LOUD bang, bang, bang coming from the monitor. What on earth was it, you ask? I think you can see this was Winter3 practicing his drum solo with the shovel and pail.

Now, my dear husband is a huge Rush fan. Not that baby monitor sounds wake him up but if they did, I'm sure he'd go right into a dream that Winter3 is the next Neil Peart. I imagine him as a frail old man in a rocking chair, sucking on his gums talking about when his World's Best Drummer, Ever! son started playing the drums.

I convince Winter3 to drum in the daylight and head back to bed (after settling an angry Fall22months who was all "hello, I'm trying to sleep here!"). A short time and one dream later, I feel the unmistakable poke of Spring7's finger in my back. He is convinced that a fly is in his ear. Truthfully, I did notice a fly upstairs when I went to bed and apparently he heard it fly through his room. Logic does not rule at 4 a.m. and once I convince him that there is no fly in his ear he is convinced it's because the fly has tunneled through his ear and into his brain. Surprisingly, he accepts the fact that the ear canal is not a hole leading to gray matter and goes back to bed.

As I try to fall back asleep (which takes zero effort) I hope the pesky fly doesn't come into my room. I pull the covers over my head, just in case because there's no way I'm going to have some nasty house fly tunneling in my brain.

Monday, July 20, 2009

When the Rubber Hits the Road

Whether it's the grocery store, a walk or a bike ride my life can seem like one circus parade after another. Having recently repaired my bike tire, (er, or having it repaired by a handy dandy bike shop, I should say) we decided to take the boys for a bike ride this weekend. The weather was perfect and the boys had plenty of energy to spare.

First, Mike had to get the bike trailer up and running. Flat tires were the least of it's problems. Believe it or not, he had to clear a wasp nest out of it. Can you tell it hadn't been used in a while? Finally, we got the little boys settled in the trailer and the ten wheels of our four bikes and one bike trailer hit the road.

We looked like a family of ducks on wheels. Daddy duck leading the pack, Mama duck at the end with little ducks in between. Everyone who passed by us looked. Some with a look of Oh how sweet and some with a look of THANK GOD THAT'S NOT ME!

It was fun to watch the two big boys on their bikes. They're such different people. Summer10 is the straight arrow first child. Spring7 is no straight arrow and has the energy to power 100 suns. Summer10 just rode his bike (and talked, of course because that's what he does). Spring7 weaved, stood up on his bike, rode side saddle, stuck out his hands and feet to brush tall weeds and flowers and aimed for rocks and puddles.

The fussing and complaining didn't start until we were on our way home. No one complained that they were tired. Brothers complained because one brother rode ahead of or next to him. One brother "got to talk to the babies" and he didn't. "HE blah, blah, blah" is what it sounded like after a while. As we neared home, Summer10 rode up next to me and said, "Mom, this was so much fun. We need to do it again soon!" I guess all the fussing and complaining that brothers do is just part of the day. They surely don't notice it as much as Mike and I do.

Monday before dinner, Mike suggested another bike ride. This time, I got to stay home. I'm always up for a little exercise but I'm also happy to have a few minutes to myself in a quiet house. I sent the boys off, closed the door (should have locked would have bought me a few more minutes), opened a bottle of wine, cracked a book and read in the silence for about 8 minutes before I heard a distant rumble of thunder. Sigh.

Before too long, the herd returned to the ranch. Winter3 ran in declaring, "I skeered of funder!" All in all, I think bike riding (more like bike adventuring) is something we'll keep up. It's something we can do as a family and throws a little activity our way. Can you imagine what we're going to look like when all six of us are on bikes? We're going to look like a mini version of the Tour de France minus the spectators waving flags and support staff following in vans! Now that I think about it, I am the family support staff. Maybe I'll follow in the van, wave a flag and hand out food and water. It would be quieter, at least.