I was prepared with some pretty great books for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, What to Expect the First Year, What to Expect the Second Year and even What to Expect Before You’re Expecting.
But what do you expect after you’ve expected, survived the first year and the second year, not to mention the toddler years, the pre-teens, the teenaged years, the build up to college and more?
What do you expect when the school year starts and your kids are off at college? What do you expect when you’re expecting . . . well . . . nothing.
I’ll tell you what I'm expecting:
* Silence. And it’s not golden. I’m rethinking that whole “don’t talk back to me, young man” thing. I think I’ll take the back-talk. I’ll start to talk to myself. Out loud. It'll become a habit and people will steer clear of me in department stores.
* Chores will take less time. There’ll be no picking up to do. There will be so much less laundry, not only because there are less people, but because no one throws clean clothes down the laundry chute because they’re too lazy to put them away.
* Dinner will be peaceful. No one complaining about what I'm serving. Even if it’s fish. Even if it’s fish twice a week. And no one is running off in the middle of the meal. Not to mention that every dinner will have leftovers so now I can cook once and eat twice.
* I may get to eat my own meal. I’ve suddenly realized that I’ve never been able to eat a whole burger before. Someone (well, two someones) always finished theirs and grabbed a quarter of mine.
* There’s no one to blame when the toilet paper roll runs out. There’s also no one there when I yell for someone to bring me another one. This one could be a bit of a problem.
* There’s a car in the garage when I want to leave. In fact, there’s two. And they have just as much gas in them as they did the last time I parked them in the garage.
* I plan to sleep through the night. The garage door won't be go up at 1:00 am, no one’s forgetting their key at 2:00 am, the toilet doesn’t flush at 3:00 am (well, unless it’s me), and no one remembers at 4:00 am whatever it is they need for the next day.
* I will actually get to taste me own baking. There’s no longer a group of teens standing by the oven waiting to grab the goodies between there and the counter. And oh, how I'll wish there was.
Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding
* I can no longer ignore my cell when it dings. It may ding every 2 seconds with social media updates and conversations but I'll now check it every single time. Just in case there’s a text.
* The in-house techie has left the building. And this is a very, very big problem for this blogger.
* The grocery store is already a difficult place to be. I have to keep taking out of the cart all of my kids’ favorite foods that I no longer need to buy.
* I'll need to find a new route home. For three years I’ve driven by the high school and smiled when I spot my child’s car. Now I already can’t bear to drive home that way.
* And the countdown, it's changed completely. I used to count down the days until they went off to school. Now I'm already counting the days until I see them again. 46 days as of today, in case you’re interested.
Hope I make it.
Dark Chocolate Chip Berry Bread Pudding©www.BakingInATornado.com
1 (16 oz) loaf of Italian bread, coarsely chopped into cubes
4 ounces whipped cream cheese
3/4 cup hazelnut creamer
3/4 cup milk
¼ cup brown sugar
2 TBSP white sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 # berries, cleaned and larger ones sliced
5 oz dark chocolate chips
OPT: powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for topping
*Grease a 9 X 13 glass baking dish.
*In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese, eggs, creamer, milk, sugars, salt and cinnamon.
*Add the bread and mix until all of the bread is wet.
*Gently mix in the berries and dark chocolate chips.
*Spread into the prepared dish and cover with tin foil. Refrigerate for 4 hours or up to a day.
*One hour before cooking, remove dish from refrigerator and place on counter.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Remove tin foil and cook for one hour.
*Remove from oven. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.