October 24, 2010

Traditions: Sundays for Stella

Traditions are so hard to do when you're busy and working.
But with Stella, my first baby, coming I wanted to start some traditions. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. In fact, the only thing I do consistently is take a shower, go to work, go grocery shopping, walk my Blue dog:( and of course update my blog (my me time.)

My first idea was church. Then there was my alarm going off at 8:30 this morning. Every day of the week I have to iron clothes and be somewhere. Our clothes were still wet in the wash and before church started it became an obligation. Even my alarm clock needs a break once in a while! Church - out.  What about a sit down dinner? Last week I cooked a couple of dinners, chicken, roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower, organic chocolate cake for dessert. . . and I found myself sitting and eating by myself in front of the T.V. My chef hubby was still busy working in his own kitchen. Hmmm dinner-out. Yoga, you can probably guess how that went.  This tradition thing was starting to make me feel like a failure. Then the argument in my head started. "How am I going to take care of a kid without even being able to commit to one new thing?" Thank god my voice of reason is pretty reasonable and very good at sticking up for me.  "I do a lot and now on top of everything and you want to make a New Year's Resolution in the middle of October?"

This morning, I realized there is something we do every week anyways that I don't have to add to my schedule. Something I enjoy doing and haven't missed one week! Sunday brunch. I get to do all my favorite things, sleep in (which will change with Stella), eat, talk, and somewhere in there all the forgotten dishes get done and put away pretty painlessly. So here it is. . . our Stella's Sunday Brunch. 
On the menu today: organic pancakes with organic raspberries and strawberries and real maple syrup yum. 
from my iPhone. . . Maybe Stella can help dad cook one day!

from my iPhone. . .  Nothing says Sunday like a beautiful brunch!

As I start my family are there any easy traditions that you share with your family that you could share with me? We bloggers are overachievers by nature! What's a tradition that helps you relax with the fam?


xinme said...

What a beautiful brunch table -- and what a great tradition :) It reminds me of the tradition we started after our first daughter was born -- Saturday morning breakfast at the local "greasy spoon" restaurant. While that tradition has long since ceased, especially since we moved, 13 years later we still go back to that restaurant on occasion and give hugs to our favourite waitress, Anna -- who still has all the family Christmas photos we gave her over the years.

That's one thing about traditions -- they don't have to be etched in stone. They can come and go and evolve over time.

I posted about our family's Easter traditions -- and will soon enough post about our Christmas traditions. But in terms of regular ones throughout the year. . .

* I'm pretty big on the Sunday morning church service -- but it's not until 10:30 (therefore no alarms) and we wear our comfy jeans:)
* Every couple of weeks (used to be weekly) we have what we call a "Blessing Meal" -- a candle-lit roast beef dinner with gravy and mashed potatoes, after which Daddy blesses the children. (Also posted about on my blog.)
* As a family, we watch Survivor and Amazing Race every week.
* We read books together every day.
* With the littles, we sing together every night.
* We pray together every day.
* For each girl's birthday, Daddy gives a bunch of a particular kind of flowers.
* We have family movie nights with popcorn.
* We listen to audio books together on long road trips.
* We decorate in some simple way for every season.

Ya -- that's what springs to mind. I think you'll be surprised at how traditions will evolve NATURALLY as you function as a family. It won't take long for you to get into a groove ;-)

Congratulations again, Erica!

Unknown said...

Me and my husband read your comment together (we only have one computer so I sort of force him to read the blog) he said "that is so nice!" Your family is so wonderful! I love reading blog. I will check out your blog for the Easter and Christmas traditions. . . . . . he (my husband) just yelled from the living room "Matt Damon had a baby named Stella!" Anyways, I love all of those ideas and they will totally be things I will want to do natural. Especially books on tape in the car! I forgot how much I like that! See you for Monday Musing!

Phyl said...

Yum. Your brunch looks luscious, and you've really got me thinking.

Yes, I agree, the traditions evolve. Sometimes it's sad when you realize a favorite tradition has left, but something else will usually replace it. For years, we took turns reading w/my son at bedtime. That tradition disappeared somewhere mid - Harry Potter series, when a 700+ page book seemed too cumbersome to read out loud.

We have a "Friday night bite" tradition forever - no cooking allowed - dinner in a restaurant, but never expensive, nothing fancy, and never a chain restaurant. Otherwise anything goes.. when son was small he brought a bag of stuff to do with him, and we'd play dots or other games on placemats. We' draw pictures together, too.

We've always tried to play games as a family, whether it was Trivial Pursuit, or Cranium (lots of fun) or Pictionary, or Monopoly. When my son got older, he and I began to play Scrabble and we still do when he's home from college. He's killer competition and I love it..

During the summer, at our camp, we all do puzzles together in front of the fire in the evenings.

We have Thanksgiving dinner at the camp, and son's friend spends the night so they can hike an Adirondack peak the next day. At night the two "boys" (both now 21) build with Legos until the wee hours. So cute.

We have a mixed religion household, so we have lots of traditions together, from lighting Chanukah candles, to decorating the Christmas tree

We used to pick apples together every fall, but this year hubby and I had to go without the son, since he's at school. He came home the next weekend though, and all three of us baked pies together. We also had a blueberry tradition with friends, but now it's just a mom tradition, since the kids are always somewhere else.

Lots of traditions involved school-related stuff as son grew older - school concerts, scouting events, swim meets, after-prom party decorating, etc. Those traditions also involve other parents, and that's one of the things I miss most since son has been in college.

My son was sadly shortchanged on grandparents, but if they are nearby and willing, include them in traditions, you'll be glad you did.

Sorry to take up so much blog-space. Spoke on phone to son earlier and it's weird having your kid turn into a grownup (though a grownup who still needs parental advice from time to time). Made me nostalgic for some traditions that have faded away with his absence from our home.

xinme said...

Thanks for your kind words, Erica ;)

Phyl -- I forgot about school-related traditions! As homeschoolers, we've always made a tradition of doing something special on the first day of school when everyone is heading back to the classroom --like going on a field trip (this year it was the zoo). Today my son also reminded me that most afternoons we used to do something called D.E.A.R. Time -- "Drop Everything And Read" (or Rest for the really little ones) when they were younger. I think we need to get back to that one! :)We also usually go out for dinner on the last day of the school year.

xinme said...

Hey, Erica -- I just received a newsletter that has a bunch of family tradition ideas in it! Is there an email address to which I could forward it in case there's an idea on there you like? There were some neat ones -- including to commemorate the births of children :)

xinme said...

Never mind the email addy -- one of my facebook friends posted a link to the newsletter:


Yikes!Didn't know it would be that long! Anyway, hope it works. You can IGNORE all the product info and advertising -- I just thought you'd be interested in the two sections about family traditions.

Unknown said...

Great article! We will have to plant something when Stella is born to grow with her. I love that one! Thanks for the ideas. Hiking to the peak reminds me of a mother's day tradition we once had with my mom. We would hike to the peak of a mountain and pack a snack every mother's day. That was always what she wanted to do! That might be a fun one to bring back. Reading is so important I can only hope that Stella is a better reader than me and my husband are!!! We will pretend to be avid readers until she gets old enough to realize she is out reading us. We are good up until the Berenstein Bears he he he:) Great ideas I will be referring to this post later I know!