Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meal Plan 10/23-10/29

I have a hard time striking a balance between trying a bunch of new recipes, doing a bunch of old standbys, and returning back to newer recipes again.  This week isn't a bad mix, but I had to work hard at finding a balance :)

Pepperoni Spaghetti Bake: This is a recipe that uses some Chef Boyardee products that I'm testing for a market research company.  I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share the recipe, so I won't, but it sounds good :)

Swiss Casserole Chicken: This is for cooking club this week, but is something that I'd wanted to make before. 

Enchilada Casserole: This recipe is from one of my coworkers.  I'd had it before and had some leftover corn tortillas, so I asked her for it again.  It's pretty good, but sort of time-consuming.

Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage, and Peppers: I saw this come up on my Google Reader this week and knew it sounded like something simple that we'd love.  I had half a bag of red potatoes that was waiting to be used and saw that red bell peppers were on sale at our grocery this week, so it sounded like a good fit for this week.

Sloppy Joes and Tater Tots: I asked The Hubby what old standby he'd like and he said it sounded good.  I can never say no to meals like this since they're easy and definitely remind me of home.

One night this week we are going to go out to Montgomery Inn.  I bought a Groupon a few months ago, thinking we'd use it either for our anniversary or for my birthday.  We didn't ever celebrate our anniversary and went somewhere else for my birthday, leaving the Groupon unused and expiring on Friday.  Just hoping Baby Girl will cooperate there--I hesitate to take a kid, but hope it will be better on a weeknight.

Oh, and tonight we had Raising Cane's.  After dealing with a non-napping toddler for almost 2 hours in the car today, neither The Hubby nor I were in the mood to cook dinner.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Pray?

I've been doing some spiritual reflection recently, which I think is important for spiritual growth.  It really started when I was asking some friends how you're supposed to "let go, let God".  In other words, how do you get it into your head that you're not actually in control of things, no matter how much you want to control (AND I DO).  For instance, now that we're entering cold and flu season, I find I have a major rise in my anxiety because I'm always worried about one or all of us getting sick.  I know, realistically, that we'll get through it, but it still stresses me out in a major way.  I also know that there are steps we can take to reduce the possibility of getting sick, but ultimately we can't absolutely prevent it, short of taking drastic measures like not ever having contact with another human.

Soon after having this discussion, I began reading a blog about a woman who lost twin boys at 18 weeks pregnant, then got pregnant with sextuplets that she delivered at 22w6d.  Four of the six died and she blogs about the surviving two.  She's actually now pregnant again with a singleton.  She and her husband have a tremendous faith in God and it's really made me think a lot about God's will.  For some reason, it was His will that they would lose six children and they're accepting of that.

There's this odd distinction between God's will, though, and free will.  In the past, I've always believed that we have free will, but God just knows what choice we're going to make.  I still think that's true to an extent.  But I've also been thinking about the point of this blog post.  If God's will is going to happen, then why pray?  Why express our desires to God if He's going to make the decision anyway?  Can a human actually influence God's will?  Or is prayer just a comfort to the person who is praying, feeling like they have some power in this world?

In this case, when I'm talking about prayer, I mean prayer asking for something.  Asking for someone to get healthy.  Asking for our safety.  Asking for something specific to happen.

I don't think there's a definite answer to any of these questions, at least not for me, not yet.  But they are thoughts that I've been grappling with and I wanted to write about, hoping to gain clarity.  I haven't yet, but I'm working on it :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Meal Plan 10/16-10/22

This week's meal plan was incredibly uninspired, which is a little ridiculous.  I read quite a few cooking blogs and have a TON of food-related pins on Pinterest.  Unfortunately, when I started checking out my starred items in my Google Reader and my pins...a whole lot of them were desserts.  Not helpful when trying to decide on dinner foods!

I wrote up my grocery list and, after looking at the grocery ads, decided that I wanted to go to Kroger, Meijer, and Aldi.  I thought I would buy the least at Aldi, so I headed there before lunch.  I'm glad I took the whole list because I bought everything for all of our meals, plus some snacks, and supplies for salads for myself this week.  I've not bought much from Aldi before, so this is an experiment of sorts of quality and taste.  I'll still run to Kroger for Goldfish and Meijer for apples ($0.49/lb), but both are on sale throughout the week, so it doesn't have to be today.

Johnny Marzetti (for my cooking club)
Hot dogs and Mac & Cheese
Baked Chicken Nuggets and Baked Red Potato Fries
Roasted Veggie Pizza
Smoked Sausage, Cabbage, and Red Potatoes (and old family favorite)

(I have no idea which nights we'll eat which meals, but these are our choices)

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Typical Weekday

Someone was asking about a typical weekday on a message board I'm a part of.  Because I'd already typed it all up, I thought it would be interesting to copy and paste it here, just to remember what the routine was at this point in our life.

6:00: DH gets up and in the shower
6:20: I get up and in the shower while DH packs lunches and gets DD's toast ready
6:35: DH gets DD up and fed while I'm getting ready
6:55: We tag-team getting her dressed while scarfing our own toast
7:10: Out the door to head to the sitter's
7:40: Arrive at sitter and drop DD off.  Leave for work.
8:00: Arrive at work (DH and I carpool)
4:30: Leave work.
4:50: Arrive at sitter.  Drive home.
5:30: Arrive home.  Begin cooking dinner immediately while DH plays with DD.  If dinner is something that I put together and then it cooks on its own for awhile, I'll either clean up the kitchen or we might all take a quick walk.
6:15: Eat dinner
6:45: Clean up from dinner and maybe play with DD
7:00: Start DD's bedtime--she watches Special Agent Oso every night to wind down
7:30: DH takes DD upstairs to brush teeth.  I get 3 minutes alone.
7:33: "Mommy, I'm ready for you!!"  I wait a couple more minutes.
7:45: "Mommmmmmyyyyyyy....."  I head upstairs.  I read DD a few books, we pray, we sing songs, I put her to bed.
8:15: I head downstairs.  Clean up from dinner, load lunch dishes into dishwasher.
8:45: Sit down and catch up on DVRed shows, email, etc.
10:00: Bedtime

Potty Training Update

If you would've asked me prior to potty training, I would have said that I'd be sure we'd still have accidents at 26.5 months.  If you would've asked me the same question around the time she turned two, I would've said that she would be fairly accident-free by now, based on the trend she was showing at that point.

Unfortunately, I was right when I said she'd still be having accidents.  It's not horrible, but I think the root of it is that we're giving her a bit more independence with determining when to use the potty.  We aren't asking her every 15 minutes if she needs to go to the potty anymore and I think that's leading her to have more accidents.

When she first potty trained, she was immediately dry during naps.  I was so proud and impressed.  And then, for some reason, about a week ago she started having accidents during naps. She may be sleeping more soundly.  She had naptime accidents last Wednesday through Friday at the sitter, but stayed dry during her naps at home.  The sitter put her in a Pull-Up every day this week and she's stayed dry all week during naps.  We don't know if it was a fluke or what, exactly, it means.  We're still taking the laid-back approach with her since she's still only 26.5 months old.

She's still peeing in her diaper/Pull-Up (just depends on what we feel like putting on her) overnight.  She hasn't shown any inclination to wake up in the middle of the night and she rarely staying dry overnight.  We have a suspicion that she does the majority of her overnight peeing while she's waking up in the morning, as it's usually warm when we go to her in the morning.  I've always heard that night training is purely physical and not mental like daytime training, so I'm not surprised that she's not ready for it yet.

Generally, though, things are going really well.  We've gotten her transitioned away from the convenience of her little potty in the living room and she's only using the big potties.  She doesn't even use her potty ring most of the time--she's comfortable holding herself up.  I guess the next task is teaching her how to wipe?!?!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Prior to turning two, Baby Girl hadn't really noticed shadows much.  She'd noticed them when we were walking before, but didn't think much of them.  One night, The Hubby, Baby Girl and I were all hanging out in her room and The Hubby decided it would be fun to turn out the light and show her a shadow puppet with his hand.

But it backfired.  She was SCARED.  She cried and clung to me like it was a monster that would get her.  The Hubby and I felt AWFUL.  We turned the lights back on, but she was still shaken up.

From that moment, she started noticing shadows everywhere.  When we'd taken our walks around our neighborhood, she'd see them following us or in front of us.  We tried to turn it into a game, rather than something to be afraid of.  She'd jump on mine and tell me that she was walking on my shadow (Mommy, I walking on you shadow!).  When I was putting her to bed, she'd notice the shadow that we created on her wall from the nightlight on her monitor.

After awhile, she got used to seeing shadows and that they weren't scary.  We showed her how when she moved her arm, it moved her shadow.  We played with the shadows in her room and she started having fun with them.  I'm glad she got over it fairly quickly and it didn't turn into a full-fledged fear of the dark or anything.  It was her second fear, besides fears of loud noises (which reared its ugly head the other day when The Hubby fired up the saw to make a rake Baby Girl-sized...).  I think we can say, though, that it's been conquered.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meal Plan 10/9-10/15

It sure seems like we keep making new dishes, but never keep track of which ones we really liked and want to make again.  Anyone have a good remedy for that?  I think I try at least two new recipes that pop up in either Pinterest or my Google Reader every single week!  We already cooked our dinner for tonight and it's definitely a keeper.  Now if I can just remember it in a few weeks...

Sunday: Easy Skillet Pork Chops (new recipe)
Monday: Ranchero Chicken Crostada (new recipe)
Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup (new recipe)
Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Braid
Thursday: Tequila Lime Chicken (a cooking club recipe)
Friday: Smoked Sausage Pizza
Saturday: either order out or eat a meal we don't cook during the week