Babysitting and Birthday Lunches

I watched Wyatt and Phoenix last week, as their parents were out of town.

Wyatt arrived dressed in his school uniform, but had been sick all night, so stayed home from school with me. I ran between my bedroom, where I gave him Gatorade while he watched T.V. and my den, where I was writing some of the house descriptions for The Villager’s Home Tour this Saturday. The deadline was the next day and I thought I’d have all day to write it, but…

Phoenix got delivered by the Nanny later on. Luckily, I’d made Turkey Tetrazzini ahead, so I just heated it up for dinner. Wyatt couldn’t eat, but finally had some broth that night and went to school the next day. I asked him about getting Phoenix to bed- did I just put him in his Pack ‘N Play?

Oh no! You have to walk him up and down, up and down, up and down until he falls asleep.

Wyatt said.

Funny, his Mom didn’t mention this fact to me. It was his first time sleeping over at my house and, luckily, he just fell asleep on his own. Until about 1 a.m., when he woke up crying for his “Mama”.

This is when I did walk him up and down, up and down, up and down the hall, before bringing him upstairs to my rocking chair to rock him back to sleep. It took a couple tries until I was able to lay him back down and it didn’t last long. He ended up in bed with us, kicking and squirming all night. We got an awful night’s sleep.

As I was rocking him to sleep, tired as I was, I thought about how it was nice to be spending this time with him, with his little blonde head smelling sweet, rocking him in the same chair I rocked my own children (including his Mom) to sleep when they were babies. Those days went by so slowly and yet so fast. As a mother to young children, the moments drag on interminably, but the days fly by and you wonder what you did all day.

At any rate, I was tired, to say the least, by the time they left. As my sister Kelley said:

There’s a reason 60 year olds don’t have babies.


In the meantime, I also had Birthday Lunches.

The first was at Sadelle’s in Coconut Grove at the old Tigertail and Mary location. It’s a Brunch spot, but they also have Sandwiches, Salads. and Caviar. I felt like breakfast, so got coffee and the Salmon Benedict. It was delicious, the eggs cooked perfectly. I also tasted Leonor’s french fries, which were skinny, crunchy and really good.

Service was excellent, the food came out quickly and everyone enjoyed their meals. They also presented a Donut Extravaganza (complimentary) for the Birthday Girls that was quite impressive. The Birthday Cake Donut was my favorite and the donuts tasted very fresh. The only caveat was the parking was a little troublesome, but they do have Valet.

My other lunch was at North Italia in Dadeland. I’d dreamed of their Burrata and Tomato Salad I’d had a Book Club at Guta’s, but they didn’t have it on the menu. They had instead Burrata di Stagione ($15), which came with Butternut Squash, Fuji Apples and Hazelnuts, which is what I got. It was good, but needed more arugula, a dressing and toasted bread to scoop the burrata onto. If I got it again, I would order the Grilled Bread ($6) on the side.

My friends both got salads that they enjoyed. The dessert the server recommended was delicious; it was especially nice to spend time with old friends I haven’t seen in a while. But parking in Dadeland was almost as difficult as the Grove. The Holidays, I guess.

Down in the Keys, we had a major dilemma. Home Depot had delivered our new Washer/Dryer but refused to carry it up the spiral staircase to install. I called a mover I’d used in the past, who had brought up a bedroom set to the second floor, but he said the liability wasn’t worth it to him. We were getting desperate as we have renters coming in January.

Saturday, our friend Jim Armstrong helped Zeke carry down the old dryer from upstairs. I didn’t think the idea of two sixty-year-olds carrying appliances down a spiral staircase was a good idea, but luckily, they were able to do it. The washer, which is heavier and bulkier, was a different story.

Zeke was on the bottom, Jim was on top, holding a moving blanket to slide it and he couldn’t get a good grip on the washer. I smelled imminent disaster in the air, and begged them to leave it to the professionals, so they moved it back upstairs. Disaster averted, dilemma still intact.

We got our tree and the lights are on it, but I just can’t get motivated to decorate it. I posted this on Facebook and, so many people agreed with me, it must be a common Christmas ailment. I even watched Elf to put me in the mood.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Buddy, in Elf.

But I feel more like Charlie Brown in a Charlie Brown Christmas (my favorite animated Christmas movie, by the way).

I think there must be something wrong with me Linus. Christmas is coming but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.

Charlie Brown

I’m hoping Holiday inspiration will strike soon.

I was going to recommend The Villager’s Home Tour today (10 to 4) if you’re not doing anything, but it Sold Out! But if you’re going, I will see you and if you stop by the Boutique at St. Phillips School, I baked the Zucchini Bread and the Applesauce Date Cake. They are available for purchase, as are many other items. The Villagers is a great cause, helping with Historic Restoration in Miami.

And the songbirds are singing, Like they know the score. And I love you I love you I love you, Like never before.

Christine McVie

Up Next: Best Holiday Movies

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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