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Not everything, not even most things are under control right now, honestly. But I have been doing one thing that somehow just makes the chaos all *feel* more controlled. I’ve been using thefresh20.com to help with meal planning and shopping and it has been so great! We used it quite a bit in the spring, took a break over the summer because we needed to use what was in the garden (and somehow not every recipe was just eggplant, cherry tomatoes, summer squash and kale, which were our most abundant crops). We started it up again this week, since the garden is thankfully winding down, and I am just SO happy!

The meals mostly all have meat in them, which Peter loves, since he loves meat and I don’t naturally gravitate to it. What I love is that they all still have a LOT of fruits and veggies in them and everything is either homemade or minimally processed (I think corn tortillas were the most processed ingredient I’ve had to buy, and that was only in one recipe so far).

I also love that the recipes are relatively simple, but generally super tasty, and they really push my boundaries beyond the same 5-10 meals I usually make (only a few of which are genuine hits, until everyone gets sick of them). I am so, so, so bad at meal planning it’s not even funny. Like, really. This takes all the guesswork out of it for me, plus it gives me a shopping list for the week, so I don’t even have to add up exactly how many lemons I need over the week. I also love how it uses the same ingredients but in different ways so I don’t end up with a moldy half bunch of cilantro in my veggie drawer, since I never know what to do with the rest after using it in my one recipe.

Anyway, this wasn’t intended to read like a sponsored post, since it totally isn’t, but I just love it so. I have felt so calm each evening this week because I knew exactly what I was making, knew how long it would take and knew I already had all the ingredients. Monday and Tuesday nights, when we both work late, I even already had all the prep work done, so it was SO easy. I seriously felt like a wizard.


I am hoping I can get my asthma under control soon, too. We have all recovered from our colds two weeks ago, but my cold set off my asthma something fierce. I’ve been using my rescue inhaler many, many times a day. For reference, I have literally gone year, YEARS without using it. I usually lose it, then it expires before I even find it, so I just would get a new one (for those rare times I decided I wanted to pet a cat, or wanted to go for a run. HA!). My lungs just have not been the same since I had something similar happen this spring when Emmie and I and my mom all got so sick with possible-RSV or whatever, so when I had a night when it was so hard to breathe that I honestly was a little afraid I wouldn’t make it through the night (spoiler: I totally survived)… well, I decided I should probably actually go see a doctor to try to get this a little better managed.

I now have my first steroid inhaler since, I don’t know, high school? At most? Since we moved away from SoCal, the festering root of my asthma? These take much longer to see the effects than the instantaneous rescue inhaler, but I’m hoping that I can start to see some effect relatively soon.


Emmie. She is really, really trying to get us under control. I always chuckle ruefully to myself when I think about how I worried about her language, or how I wondered how I could ever get sick of that sweet little voice saying “Mama.” That day, my friends, is well nigh upon us. Nay, ’tis here.

I have no idea where children learn to use a whiny voice. I also have no idea how many years it will take us to break her of it.

Thankfully, she is adorable and not whiny ALL the time (yet), and says very funny things. Today in the car, she started telling me a story. I have to paraphrase, because I was driving and couldn’t remember it all verbatim, but here it is to the best of my memory:

E: Emmie mama ‘mingo (flamingo). ‘Mingo have egg in tummy. Baby ‘mingo come eat egg, nom nom nom.

Me: Emmie, the babies don’t eat the eggs, they hatch out of them.

E: Mama ‘mingo have egg in tummy. Waiting for baby ‘mingo. C’mon baby ‘mingo! Mama waiting fo-uh you! Baby ‘mingo hatch! Baby ‘mingo come see mama!

What is so crazy to me is that this was literally out of nowhere. I can’t think of a time when we saw a flamingo, talked about a flamingo, or even referenced one in the past few days, let alone talked about eggs hatching and all that. And then she was done and the baby ‘mingo was never mentioned again.

She’s gotten more into taking on different characters. In this story, it might have been hard to tell in reading, but in person, it was very clear that she was the mama flamingo, and then when the baby hatched, she was the baby.  She still loves to play Tiny Baby, but has started to pretend to be other creatures too, which is so fun.

It’s so fascinating to me to visit our different friends who are all around Emmie’s age and see how very different they all are. Some are total motor kids, all about running and jumping and physical play. Others are into building or driving cars and trains, and others are about role play (cooking food, etc.). Emmie’s big passions are puzzles, books and pretend. I literally can leave her with puzzles for at least 30 minutes at a time (keeping an ear out) and she will very happily work away on her stacks of puzzles. Honestly, most of the time I have to drag her away from them to go to the bathroom or to head to an appointment or something.

Given Peter and my personalities, her choice of activities is not at all surprising. Neither of us are or were ever athletes (mathletes, yes.), and I still would much, much rather curl up with a good book than go play outside. I have a feeling there will be many quiet evenings of reading together in our future. I can’t wait!