Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday...and a vent...

It's been a little while since I've participated in this weekly event. I just haven't been organized enough to pull it off, I guess. Also, I am in the process of re-vamping my menu planning process, so that's been my focus.

This week, it's nothing exciting. At all. But, more about that in my vent :)

Monday: Grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken noodle soup

Tuesday: Chicken patties

Wednesday: Hot dogs

Thursday: Creamy Crock Pot Chicken with noodles

Friday: Sloppy Joes

Saturday: Pizza night

Sunday: Lasagna Cups's my vent. I am hoping that by blowing off some steam here, I will be able to make dinner tonight without being bitter about it.

I spend what I think is a fair amount of time planning, shopping for and cooking dinner. I am starting to get very angry about the whole process. I start in the kitchen around 5pm cleaning up and clearing some work space. Our kitchen counter and tablee are hot spots and tons of stuff seem to end up on them. One of my 4 year olds is very into "craft projects" right now and she uses our table as her work space. So I get those cleaned off but will spend the next hour defending that space from more "projects", toys, mail, etc. Usually about this time, someone starts crying and two others start fighting. It's unfortunate that dinner comes at such a tough time of the day.

Once dinner is ready, it's like pulling teeth to get anyone to even come in and eat. With a family of 6, it's almost impossible to fine something that everyone loves, for every meal. But I do try and respect some of the pickiness (no chunky tomatoes, no rice, etc) and I try to have at least one thing that I know each person will like and eat. However...lately I've been met with comments like, "Can I have a peanut butter sandwich?" or "Wow! If I hold my nose while I eat this, I can't taste it."

So...I finally get the kids in and they are done eating usually before my husband is ready to eat because he has a knack for making himself unavailable right at crunch time. This seems too work for him, though, because he will just grab a book and eat in peace.

Then everyone is done, but they'll be back soon asking about dessert or for a snack, even though I remind them during dinner, that they have to eat dinner if they want something later. There appears to be a short-term memory problem here :(

Then it's over. Everyone has quickly left the kitchen and I am left to clean up and put away leftovers of stuff that no one ate in the first place. It's now about 7pm and I am usually pretty irritated. That's two hours of my life, every day.

I am making things that I know most people will eat this week and that are low stress for me. We can only eat these so much which is why I try and plan a menu that is a little more varied. However, that doesn't seem to be working either. I am very close to just pointing out the cereal and cold cuts. We'll see how this week goes.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fridays Fave 5


It's been way too long since I have participated in this. I've missed it.

This week has gone by so fast, but for some reason, I'm having trouble remembering details from the beginning of the week. Ugh! are my 5:

1. My husband is back tonight from being out of town. I never like it when he's gone, but this time was especially tough, even though he was just gone for a couple days. I think that it's because we've spent more time together over the past few weeks and (I think) we've had a lot of fun.

2. Dark Chocolate Chex Mix - this is soooo yummy. I think that I've had my fill of it though, at least for right now. I won't mention exactly how much of it I've eaten, but I will say that I had it for lunch one day this week :)

3. My watch - last year, right before Christmas, my beautiful analog watch that I had for years, died. I decided that I wanted a watch with some other features so I went with digital Timex watch. I had asked my husband for this watch for that Christmas, but after a couple days, I could not stand being watchless any longer and bought it myself (he's a last minute shopper so he hadn't gotten yet, I checked). For a long time after I bought the watch, I gushed about how much I loved it. He was a little bummed that he wasn't the one to get it for me. This watch really isn't anything special as far as watches go, but it's so different from my old watch and really helps me out at this point in my life. My favorite features are the alarm clock (how handy!!) and the timer. When my kids are fighting over a toy, they now ask me to set my timer so that they can take turns. Again, very handy!

4. Wordscraper on Facebook - this is Facebook's version of Scrabble (have I mentioned that I love, love, love Facebook?). I gave up on playing Scrabble with my husband, many years ago, because really, he's just too good at it. But this...this is fun and I love playing it with him.

5. Oxi Clean Spray - I don't have much patience for dealing with stains on clothes, which is unfortunate because we see a lot of them here. This spray has been a huge help to me. And...the other day I ran out of my kitchen cleaner so I decided to try this. It did a wonderful job!

(Not So) RAOK Thursday

(ROAK = Random Act of Kindness)

First, let me start by saying that I do know that it's Friday. I am still trying to catch up from the craziness that was December.

Second, this cold weather is really messing with my hands and it has caused some of my finger tips to crack (Yuck, I know) and the one that's the worst is my right index finger. That finger happens to be pretty important to me when I type, I've found out. However, I am trying not to use it because typing is just making it worse. That is making for some interesting spelling of words. That, coupled with my poor attention for editing, may make this a post filled with typos, Just FYI.

On with the point of the post...

I feel like I am a very lucky person and I am extremely grateful for all of the wonderful things that I have in my life. I also love the idea of paying it forward and try and do nice things for people whenever I have the chance. Unfortunately though, the extent of my kindness is usually (with a couple exceptions) limited to pretty basic things like holding the door or picking something up for someone or small things like that. It's not because I don't want to do more; I just haven't seen opportunities.

This year, I decided that I want to focus on doing more so I came up with the idea of trying to do one RAOK per week. This way I am hoping to be able to do things that are a little more significant and will hopefully make someone smile. I decided to post about it here because I am really hoping to get some ideas about things that I can do. I love hearing about things that people have done to make someone smile or to make their life a little bit easier in some way.

Yesterday, I was lucky and an opportunity landed in my lap. One of my friends on Facebook, who is also our neighbor, mentioned that both she and her daughter were pretty sick. Since I am right down the street, I thought that it would be fun to drop off a little pick-me-up for them. After I dropped off my daughters at preschool, I stopped by the store to get some chicken soup and a few goodies, including a smiley face balloon. I stopped by their house and left it by their door. I knew her son would be coming home from school soon and that someone would notice the bag. I was then eager to see if she was going to post something on Facebook wondering who did this. That was going to be fun for me :) didn't go exactly as planned because I guess that her daughter did see me walking up the driveway to drop it off, but it sounds like it may have put a smile on my friend's face and that was the goal.

I'll have to see what I can come up with for next week.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Rough Morning

Ugh! We had a pretty hectic morning here today and it was made worse by yucky weathers. make things worse (and to make certain that I will feel pretty yucky later), I just ate TWO Pop-Tarts for breakfast. I can't stand Po-Tarts. Normally, that is. These are the new Vanilla Milkshake ones, and I am sad to admit that they are pretty good.


Here's to a better rest of the day :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back in the saddle...

As I am writing this, I am thinking about how I am sore from exercising yesterday. For the first time in weeks! Boy, oh boy, did I get comfortable over the past several weeks. I started slacking off a little bit before Thanksgiving and then if just snowballed (ha ha - a little seasonal humor - get it?).

Between the holidays and going on vacation, I have been living in something outside of reality for awhile. In a way it was nice because I didn't worry about things like meals and schedules as much. also meant that I didn't do things like exercise and eat like I should or drink as much water as I should, and so on and so on...

My husband and I stayed up too late playing games on the Wii but it was ok because he doesn't need as much sleep as I do and I didn't have to worry about getting up early.

I really enjoyed the time off with the girls. I am really loving the ages that they are right now. It is so wonderful having the youngest be 4 years old. I feel like they are finally old enough that we can do things without it causing major stress and anxiety for me. Or without it taking me hours to prep and pack for an outing. The other day I took my three youngest (6,4 and 4) to a children's museum (on what was probably one of their busiest days) without blinking an eye. It wasn't that long ago that I wouldn't take the three of them there on a slow day. But, I took them and it was great. The place is huge with a lot of different places to go, but they are old enough now to (generally) not have to worry about them running off. They actually follow directions (some of the time)!! It's such a great feeling!

Now, here I am back to reality. I guess that I should just try and embrace it.