Gah, a whole week since my last post? I'm not sure what it says that my long holiday weekend was so busy that I barely had time to check my mail a few times, but that seems to be how things are lately.
On Saturday, for instance, we took advantage of the flagrantly gorgeous weather and took a picnic lunch to Green Hill Park, on the other side of town. Aside from the congregation of bulldog owners (seriously), it was quite nearly deserted. We found a table, admired the foliage, and watched flocks of geese take off in frantic pursuit of or flight from whatever it was they thought was important, while L poked around on the shore and soaked her shoes. Afterward we walked up to the little farm/petting zoo, and then over to the playground. JJ played with sticks, I lay in the grass clippings and watched some fantastic high clouds, we all got a bit too much sun, and it was one of the most perfect days imaginable.
On Sunday, D had to go up to NH to help close up the cottage. I was still recovering from the hideous cough that had been plaguing me for nearly a week, and we didn't really want to get the kids up and ready for a 7 a.m. departure, so it had been agreed that the rest of us would stay home. I always feel a bit nervous about having them to myself for a long stretch, but as it turned out, the day went very well. I made bread and these brownies, which along with Ina Garten's "outrageous" ones are the best ones I've had:
Our friend B came up from Connecticut for a visit with his daughter. She and L ran around the driveway for a while, watched Toy Story, and we got a pizza for lunch. After our visitors had gone and JJ was napping, L got a bath. I didn't aim high for dinner--Chicken & Stars soup for her, leftovers for me--but I did get them both fed and in bed by the time D had battled his way through the fair-going traffic. And no one melted down all day, not even me!
Monday I had off, and since it was still unseasonably nice, we went over to Hadwen Park, near our apartment, for the morning. We walked up the hill and along the trails through dried leaves and pine needles, and talked glancingly about the fact that it might well be our last visit to the place, if we find a house and move this winter. In the afternoon, I bathed the other kid and spent some quality time with my stack of old November issues of Bon Appetit, thinking idle thoughts about holiday menus. I sliced up a pork tenderloin, found a recipe for an easy pan sauce of red wine, orange juice, and broth, added some roasted carrots, squash, and turnips from the farmer's market, and called it dinner.
General update notes: JJ is standing by himself more often, starting to get the hang of this balancing thing. He goes in today to see how his head is coming along. And L, having put up a fight about it that has long baffled her parents, has finally been using the potty. Work has been crazy, but we have our big deadline for this release a week from today, and after that things should get a bit quieter there. I have a ton of vacation time to use up before the end of the year, so I'm thinking about how to best use that (a few days spent baking cookies, perhaps?).