Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Resolution #2

In all fairness, life doesn't totally suck. No, there are many things I have to be grateful for. My health, my family, my internet access, that I'll never again be pregnant, the fact that the kids didn't go back to school until today. Why not Monday? Who knows, but I'm happy that I didn't have to go out yesterday in this
That's what they call "freezing rain." Beautiful? Yes. Children-that-walk-to-school-friendly? Not so much.

But I was one perky mama this morning, happily making breakfast and stuffing backpacks so that I could enjoy the serenity that can only come when all of the kiddos are gone (for at least 3 hours). Not to mention that the house wouldn't look like this by 10am.(On a side note, what's the deal with "hot lava?" I mean, we've never visited Hawaii. We haven't watched any documentaries that I can remember on the subject. But Hayden and Camden constructed this-over and over and over- so that they could run from room to room without getting "burned." I remember doing the same thing with our cushions from the couch growing up. And in that case there was also a "hot lava monster" if I remember correctly. Is it programmed into kids DNA while forming in the womb? What gives with the lava?)

Anywhoo, on to New Year's Resolution #2 : PLAN OUT DINNERS

I have serious food issues, mixed with a personality that hates for anything to be set in stone, mixed with a lack of ability to cook more than five things....which basically translates into mealtime mayhem. I'll plan to have something and either 1. be in the mood for something else or 2. not be hungry at all, which makes me not even want to be in the kitchen or 3. something will happen that leaves me 5 minutes to get dinner cooked and on the table.

But not this year.....

The menu for the week, written down. Planned ahead. For all to see. No more, "What's for dinner?" Check the board.

Not in the most handy place, but since it won't stay on the door in the kitchen, the wall in the "office" off the kitchen is the next safest place. (project foreshadowing)

The kids-and let's face it, my husband- were so excited. WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE HAVING BEFORE DINNER TIME? Mind boggling. This should create order and stability and an environment where the children feel secure.

Is it really that simple?

Maybe for everyone else.

But instead of bliss, I feel

because I get a counter full of "I don't like it"

pans half full of "they taste funny to me." (FRENCH FRIES! Are you kidding me? And I even fried them since last time they were "too mushy." It's not like I'm trying to shove brussel sprouts down their throats.)

And after a few days of this ridiculous behavior, a fridge full of leftovers that nobody is going to eat. Ever. If there is one thing I can't stand, it is wasting food.

Take that back, wasting food AND whining. What am I supposed to do? They don't get to eat anything else if they don't finish, but, unfortunately, they'd rather go hungry.

So day after day, the leftover stash gets bigger and bigger (where's Efren when I need him?). So much for "eating in and saving money". What a joke.

I told Roger tonight that I should just give up. Let them eat cereal. Or toast. Or popcorn. I'm done with the dinner thing only to have only two out of five children actually enjoy mealtime (if they can, with me losing my patience and Roger doing the "you're gonna eat what your mother's prepared for you" script, bless his heart).

Mothers of impossible children, any suggestions?

And if you tell me to get some cooking lessons, so help me, I will hunt you down.


  1. I was thinking [in my head] the same thing as I'm reading this post. That's what you get for living closer! I think I may have had to throw one thing out, in our entire marriage, because it was questionable about whether it was good or not. E is dwindling away but his appetite is still going strong. :)

    We have pulled a Goodlad and started putting the pantry and fridge on lock down in the afternoon so they won't eat anything until dinner time. Come dinner time, we've got some hungry boys. (Correction: they are boys so they're always hungry, but are hungry enough to eat whatever we are having for dinner.... and ALL of it!)

  2. i like that lock down theory. i think i'll try that...

    i got some good advice about meal planning on a budget. here it is: make breakfast for dinner once a week. it's cheap and everybody likes it. so here's what we do:
    1. pancakes and eggs,
    2. german pancakes,
    3. waffles,
    4. eggs, toast, bacon or sausage,
    5. breakfast burritos (tator tots, mixed with scrambled eggs, cheese and bacon).
    just the normal easy stuff. and it ALWAYS gets wolfed.

    and the "build your own" meals are also always a hit because they can pick and choose what they like.
    1. baked potato bar (chili, cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, broccoli, salsa...)
    2. taco salad,
    3. make your own english muffin pizzas,
    4. plain buttered pasta with 3 different sauces to choose from

    ok. i'm done. that was a lot of ideas. hopefully you can glean a few good ones!

  3. No, but I would totally eat those fries and sandwiches. We just have a family that does not eat. Period. Good food bad food- they want none of it, which is why my husband keeps getting skinnier every year and I keep getting fatter. Hey someone has to eat what's in the fridge.
    Actually, here is the deal- WHEN they eat. No one likes mixed food. So NO casseroles/pasta dishes (maybe a few) or weird squishy blob food -Gavin, at our house. Ever. Such a shame. I love cream of mushroom in everything. When I just serve chicken breasts, or roast the whole chicken (so easy, so cheap, so good you will eat it once a week) fish, once in while red meat (go cheap like london broil or tri-tip one big cut and slice up), starch, salad and veggie, they will actually eat. Plus it's healthier. And no one likes left over casserole or pastas. They never heat back up good. The dogs love them though.
    Good crock pot pot roast.
    Pot roast
    One can of cream of mushroom soup (no one knows)
    I packet of dry lipton onion soup
    I cup of water ( I think)
    6-7 hours low.
    Self made gravy.
    GO to "all recipes" on line for exact
    So tender it will almost shred into nice big chunks.
    Even Christian will eat it.
    Another good crock pot easy recipe
    3-4 chicken breasts (more if you have more eaters),
    I medium size jar of salsa. I use Pace (add more for more eaters)
    I can of black beans drained (add more for more eaters)
    1 cup of corn (give or take) use frozen, much much healthier (add more for more eaters)
    Let it simmer on low for the day
    Shred the chicken in the pot
    Serve over brown rice
    Add a little cheese on top with tortilla chips and hot sauce
    FYI If you do weight watches, the other plan (can't remember the name) not the points, you can have as much as you like (with out the cheese and chips). Even with the brown rice I believe.
    Good luck

  4. I have been reading for a while but I am just now commenting because this is what happens when I try this kind of thing, too. I get all excited trying to fix a "real" meal every night and my two little guys won't eat it because it is gross. One will try it because he wants some kind of snack and the other won't eat, and doesn't care if he goes to bed hungry. Like you, I end up with all kinds of leftovers and end up hating that I wasted food (money).

    I look forward to seeing what everyone elses suggestions are. I really like the idea of kitchen lockdown and I will be trying that for sure. I have to say...the way you write is so funny! I enjoy your thoughts!

  5. Let me give you my address & you can ship those left overs to me :) I almost feel your pain. I don't get home until after 5pm & I don't even think Mario's found the kitchen in condo yet, and we've been living there for almost 2 years now. I am fully relied on to do EVERYthing cooking/kitchen related & he may be small, but he eats like a horse! In other words, I have no advice :(

  6. Hahaha! I laugh so as not to cry in sympathy. Justin finally got some tupperware to start taking those left overs to work. I don't care if he doesn't eat them I just want them out of the fridge.

    On the other hand I was just commenting on how people say, "I'm not a short order cook". I think to myself, "man almost every thing I know how to make only takes 5 minutes". :)

  7. I finally just gave up. I make "kid food". Once a week I make something Adam or i wail like because one night of starving won;t kill 'em, and the rest of the week its tacos, spaghetti, Cambell's soup, grilled cheeses etc. The up side: kids food is cheap. the down side: I have to eat like a kid 6 freakin days of the week!

  8. OH MY GOSH!!!!!!! HAAAAAA!!!!

    I totally forgot all about the Hot Lava Monster! Oh my gosh, I can't stop laughing! Hot Lava Monster . . . . ahhhh, good times! I've forgotten how one becomes the hot lava monster or if it was a good thing to start or if it was one of those "not it" things. When Brian comes home, I'm gonna have to get a 2nd couch and way more cooshins!

  9. We have the same rule in our house-eat your dinner or no snacks and go to bed hungry... my son would rather go to bed hungry UGH.. what to do? This week since I've been sick though all my kids have had is pb&j and top ramen.. easy enough for mom and they'll actually eat it.. so it's not the most nutritionally balanced dinner but they're not gonna wither away because of it lol

  10. I have to say that the crock pot is one of my best friends these days. Used at least once a week. It does take a little planning ahead of time. But it looks like you are already doing that with the board. My sis gave me the Busy Woman's slow Cooker Cookbook a couple years ago. LOVE.IT. The best part to me is that I get it going in the morning when I actually do have good intentions of being productive for the day. And by the time it gets to that dreaded time of the day to start thinking about dinner, it's done. And the 2nd best part is that you can buy these crock pot liners so you don't even have to wash the thing when your done with it! Casseroles, chili, soup, pasta, rice, meat loaf, beef, chicken, seafood, even brownies....seriously, where can you go wrong??? By the way, Love the mantle. Chow....

  11. sorry for you. my girls are pretty good in that dept. mainly b/c sarah "the only picky eater in the house" has decided it is better to eat than starve. her words, not mine. i don't know what i would do if EVERYONE was like that. i would give up and leave money on the counter for take-out probably. good luck with that! and thanks for the comic relief!


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