Monday, January 3, 2011

Menu Planning

I've been searching google for menu planning ideas for REAL families and I can't find what I'm looking for...Any suggestions?

We are trying to eat at home more often. We both enjoy cooking but having three kids takes much of the fun out of dinner time. There is always a complainer in the bunch and it is sometimes one of the parents :) Most of the time it is just easier to eat out. Everyone gets what they want and there is no prep or clean up. But there are multiple trips to the bathroom, bedtime routines in disarray and blown budgets to deal with instead. A simple trip to our favorite fast-food hamburger place is at least $25. This just adds up to too much money spent on junk food.

So this week I jotted down a menu on my grocery list, went to the store and bought groceries for at least 5 days and then lost my list. We've worked our way through most of the groceries and I can't think of what we want to eat next. I know I planned another trip to the store tonight but what was I supposed to buy?

Here is what my menu looked like for this week: Saturday - ribs, homemade cole slaw, corn on the cob

Sunday: fajitas, chips and homemade salsa, guacamole, pineapple

Monday: maple glazed chicken, sides to be decided

Tuesday: Pork Chops, homemade macaroni and cheese, green beans

What next?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's a New Year!

One of my New Year's resolutions is to start blogging again. So, here we go!

My other resolutions are to take the time for gratitude and let my children have friends over more often. What I mean by taking the time for gratitude is that after the past difficult months, I have found myself focusing on the negative. When something positive happens I just take it in stride and go on, but let anything negative happen and I am going to dwell on it. For a long, long time. So I am attempting to focus on the positive and be grateful for all my abundant blessings.

As for letting the kids have friends over...I really don't enjoy that at all. It doesn't matter who it is, I like my privacy. I do NOT have the gift of hospitality. When I am home, I like to be in jammies, no make-up, dirty hair, dishes in the sink, toys on the floor and laundry sorted in the hall. That is the real, relaxed me. But, it recently occurred to me that I am hindering my kids' ability to make really good friends. And my oldest is getting to the age where a best friend would be a wonderful thing. I have contact with most of my girlhood best friends through facebook and I am reminded that it is something I really want for my children. Hopefully, we'll invite a sweet girl from church and school over this week.

And, blogging...I just want a record of what our life is like. Life with three kids changes rapidly and I spend a lot of time "in the trenches" by the time I look up, I probably missed something.

What are your resolutions and the reasoning behind them?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Monster Within is an Only Child

My birthday was Monday and it was not a good day. My grandma was sick and had to be taken to the ER, interrupting plans my mom and I had for the day. I was stuck at home with two small children who had been dressed and geared up to go out for "Mommy's Party Day". They were disappointed and the youngest couldn't understand where Mommy's Party went. We ended up at the grocery store and picking up a nasty drive-through lunch. Their behavior was almost as bad as mine. I was worried and disappointed and at a loss as to how to save the day. I did a lot of thinking and inner dialogue.

Which got me wondering, does everyone talk to themselves in their heads or is that an only child thing? I've always done it. I have really interesting conversations with myself, all in my head. I find myself shushing the kids because I can't hear myself think sometimes. My attention will wander in conversation because I will be discussing the topic with my HEAD. No, I don't think I'm crazy. I just grew up with a lot of alone time, as an only child with two working parents. And don't think this is one of those things where the kids blame the parents for everything...I LOVED being an only child.

I should explain that technically I had a sister. My dad had a daughter from his first marriage but she was rarely present in our home. I'm not sure what the custody agreement was but I remember her there for a couple of Christmases and a couple of summers, maybe a couple of Spring Breaks and once she lived with us for an entire school year. But, mostly, I was the only child in the home and I was always my mom's only child and to top it off, the only grandchild of my maternal grandparents. Can you say spoiled?

I still battle this everyday. In fact, I would say that being an only child is at the root of a lot of my parenting challenges. I don't like noise. Three young children in one small house make a lot of noise. I don't ever know how to be fair or whose side to take. My side was the only side. Usually, I just stay out of it. I do a lot of saying, "Work it out." Even shopping is hard. Who needs what, when, and the most right now?

So, the point is that I am spoiled. I should not have been disappointed that my birthday didn't go as planned. Who cares that I missed lunch and didn't get my presents? I'm grown up now. I know my grandma didn't get sick on purpose. But, maybe I won't make SUCH a big deal out of my kids' birthdays from now on...Oh, we'll still celebrate them but I don't want them to expect perfection like I do. Perfect rarely happens.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Turn

This may not seem like a big deal to some but to me it is a sign of things to come. I am about to load up my two smallest kids and one of their friends and go pick up lunch. Why is this such a big deal? Not too long ago, I found it daunting to load up even my kids to pick up lunch and would probably never have agreed to watch anyone else's kid. I remember turning down friends when they wanted me to meet them with my kids. Three was just too overwhelming. Now, I can do it all! That's a great feeling!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Totally Frivolous Post

This post is about nothing. Okay, well something but nothing important. My birthday is coming and DH wanted to know what I would like. He knows I don't like surprises...finally. That only took 15 years to get through his head! So I said I would like a new purse, maybe a Coach purse. I have always liked a good purse but haven't really had a great one since I had kids. Before that though...anyway, I started looking at Coach purses with the idea that if we were going to spend THAT much on a purse, it would have to be the perfect purse. Guess what? I can't find one I like well enough to warrant the $300 they cost. Yes Daddy, that does say three hundred dollars. Stop laughing. You're the man that bought Mom and I each a Dooney & Burke on the SAME day. In a way, it's your fault. Ha. Ha.

So now, I am on the lookout for a purse I like well enough to spend ANY money on it and I can't find anything but now that I've decided I need a new purse...well, I NEED a new purse.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Just a Few Things

Oh my goodness! I haven't blogged in so long! Basically, if it can't be done on my iphone, I don't do it anymore. I guess technically I could blog from my phone but I just don't have that kind of patience. I also have a huge outlet on facebook but there comes a time when you need to get some words down in a bigger way than your status bar can hold. So, although I know I have 0 readers left, I am putting this down FOR ME.

I love to snuggle my big girl. Lately, I have been climbing in bed with her in the mornings and snuggling her awake. She is 8 now and is getting oh. so. big! But, in her bed, asleep, she still looks so much like my little miracle baby. I almost want to cry, but instead I cherish those moments and wonder how much longer she will let me hold her this way. I remember curling around her little baby body and now our feet can touch in the bed but I'll take what I can get!

I am having the worst time with my monkey girl right now. We are in a horrible spiral. She is having a lot of anxiety and night time fears...not night terrors, just fears. She hardly lets us sleep and she is not sleeping which leads to much grumpiness for her and for me. She is also throwing lots of fits about clothing, food, toys, rules. It seems we both live on the verge of tears at ALL times. I just don't know what to do for her. The princess did this too at this age but it wasn't as traumatic because we didn't have to wake up at any particular time so we were better rested. We also had more room in the house and could play musical beds in order to get some sleep. Right now, my focus with her is just to REALLY look for and find times to cherish. Her smile, her laugh, her helpful, nurturing nature, are all things I seek and sometimes find.

As for the Little Man, I still am amazed by him. I just never knew. If you are a mom of a boy, I don't even have to explain that and if you have all girls, well, you'll never know but you'll never miss it either. I try not to show favoritism and I will admit that my favorite changes so often that it is only fair to say they are all my favorite but for different reasons. He is just so cuddly and easy, simple. There is none of the drama that comes with little girls. At least not at this age. I'm just along for the ride and with his physical energy, it IS a ride!

Well, I had more to say but I hear cries of MOMMY!!!! So I guess this is it for now.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It's Been So Long

Oh my goodness! I can't believe I've been away so long! I Facebook everyday, all day long but never seem to have the time or patience to sit down and think up a blog post. Putting pictures on is especially daunting. I don't know why, but it is.

The past couple of months have seemed busier than ever and yet "things" are suddenly getting easier. Mr. P is now two. It feels like I've made it, so to speak. I know we have a lot ahead of us with an active two year old boy and that dreaded three year old phase but we made it through babyhood and oh, what a relief! He is so fun right now. Of course, as I say this he is chasing his oldest sister to give her a "pankin'' Why this kid is so obsessed with spankings, I have no idea. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I want to know. Could the G-monkey have anything to do with it? Let's hope not.

Speaking of the G-monkey...What a joy she has turned into! Everyday I am amazed at how sweet she is when about 6 months ago, I would gladly have lent her out to anyone who would take her! I'm not sure if it is because she is 4 1/2 now or if it is because she started "school". In any case, I'll take it! She is still stubborn and adventurous but it is now channeled into more acceptable doses. I like her! I really like her! And, I am so relieved to be able to say that!

The Princess is more princess-y than ever. By the end of the school year, she had developed a little bit of an attitude, especially with me. I really felt it had something to do with my not spending much time with her lately. Because she is the oldest and is very capable of caring for herself and because she is busy with school and always rushing somewhere, she tends to be left alone to fend for herself. She reacted to this mistake on my part by becoming almost helpless and very rude to me. Thankfully, school is now out. She has had lots of attention from me and has magically improved. I must remember this for next year.

She brought home her journal from school. What I noticed the most was how important we as her parents are to her. Anything we did for her, no matter how small to us, was monumental to her. I hope I've learned my lesson! I've resolved to do more for her at school next year. She is absolutely worth a little more effort on my part! It also helps to know that as all three of them get older, the basic care of them gets easier and I can focus more on the actual parenting of them.

As for DH and I, we hope to spend the summer improving our home. We seriously considered moving but were unable to find something that felt "worth it" as far as money and time and work goes. It will be such a major undertaking should we ever decide to move. We have been in our home for over 10 years now. There are so many memories here and so much junk! We realized that over the past 10 years we have added to our family and did all the mechanical necessities to our house but we have never focused on the things that make a house a home. So that is our focus this summer. To that end, I am sitting here looking at den walls with only wallpaper scraps hanging from them. I have to get all the wallpaper from the '90's and the layer from the '50's off and then texture the walls and paint. I can't wait to see it when it is finished but the "during" is pretty bad.

I guess I should get back to it. Hopefully, this is the first of many more posts. It's good to be back!