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Friday, January 30, 2009


A few years ago, we were headed north to the now defunct Kaywood Cottage for a long weekend of partying, hanging out in Traverse City, and some much needed R & R with our best buds Chuck and Dale. I stopped for some provisions on my way home from work the day we left. My hastily scribbled grocery list had the following:

Beer
Wine
Tequila
Cat food.

Apparently, I had somehow managed to pick up Amy Winehouse’s grocery list by mistake. The only thing missing was heroin. Those halcyon weekends of idle chit chat, reading magazines, and staring at the lake are gone, mostly in part to the fact that the cottage is no longer available to us.

But also, life with a kid is much different.

We had talked about this prior to the adoption, and we were okay with the stuff we might be giving up to start our family. I must say that my days of thumbing magazines are pretty much gone for now. I used to subscribe to the likes of Gourmet, Food and Wine, Spin, Utne Reader, and a whole host of other “lifestyle” magazines. This was way before reality hit and made me realize that Rachael Ray may indeed be the Messiah.

I recently went through my recipe collection, a somewhat organized collection of clippings and whatnot from the many years of pre-Anna epicurean journals. I tossed most of the recipes for kindling in the fireplace and stuck with what worked. I kept the dinners that got me out of the kitchen in less than 30 minutes and didn’t require a trip to Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or sneaking on to the set of Iron Chef to steal that week’s secret ingredient. Anna is getting interested in cooking, and will help with MUCH supervision, but that’s okay. Everything starts small, and if it takes me 20 minutes to make “instant” pudding, so be it.

Our diets have suffered because of this, but I am not complaining. The first year of Anna’s life, we lived off of Dream Dinners. Tod stoically prepared the meals for us with his coworkers each month up in Lansing, and it did indeed make life easier. It didn’t help matters that we are also a block away from a Little Caesar’s Drive Thru and have easy access to their delish hot n’ readies.

My thumbing material is now Family Fun, Parents, and Adoptive Families. My only hold out from my pre-Anna days is Entertainment Weekly. You can have that subscription when you pry it out of my cold, dead, hands beyotch! Thankfully, the aforementioned journals are easily read during my morning constitutional and don’t require much thought or time commitment.


Am I bitching at this point?


No, the time spent with Anna is a gift. Sometimes it’s a gift you want to return, as she is firmly in the Miss Independence State right now, and every little thing is a challenge. But mostly it’s a great time full of laughs and exploration. We’re headed to Chicago next week for a belated Christmas celebration with Tod’s side of the family. It will be Anna’s first time in the Windy City, and I can’t wait to share with her all the sights and sounds of this amazing place. The world is a big place, and there is much to see and take in, but when you look at things through the eyes of a child, the world seems much smaller and tangible. I am very eager to view Chicago with my Anna eyes on.