Lessons

March 23, 2010

These are a few of the lessons I’ve learned.

1. A tired mommy makes for a crabby, emotional mommy.

2. Tired kids make for crabby, emotional kids.

3. I cannot do two big “cook nights” in a row. Last night I was so productive, even after a full day of work and making supper for the kids. But tonight I’m exhausted and I was so thankful to have the meal done and ready to nuke! Tomorrow was supposed to be pizza night, but I think it will be taco night, because I’ve gotten nowhere with looking for a gluten-free pizza crust recipe and I have no energy to do so tonight, let alone making it.

4. I cannot practice this “new” parenting approach – The Nurtured Heart Approach – when I am this tired and I and my kids are this crabby. I just want them to sleep. I want to sleep. We did good…….pj’s by 6:30, ready to get in bed at 7:30. And yet it’s now 8:15 and there’s still several out of bed….getting a drink of “water with ice.”

5. Sometimes I really hate being a single mom. OK, most of the time. And then I think about it and I’m so glad I’m not still married. For so many reasons. That I won’t go into now. But life is better. Life is good. I just have to remember that.

Thus ends my random thoughts for the night. All I want to do is climb into bed (even though my children are not sleeping), but I’m trying to be a “good girl” and wait until my kids are sleeping so I can get on my treadmill for 30 minutes (two days in a row!). I’m not sure how much longer I can wait, though.

It’s been a while since I actually wrote out a menu for Menu Plan Monday. But after some near-disasters last week – and by near-disasters, I mean fast food and/or processed food – I’ve decided to plan it out in writing this week. I’ve discovered that the key to my sticking to my plan is not only planning out my menu, but actually making the meal the night before I need it. You see, we don’t get home until at least 5:30 and then figure in time to prepare, eat, and clean up the meal. Ideally, I get the kids started for bed at 6:30 so they can be in bed and sleeping by 8:00, if not earlier (trying to get to 7:30, but that’s been a bit of a struggle so far). Thankfully, my kids don’t seem to mind that the meal was prepared the night before and we just warm it up. Actually, I think they would prefer that over the wait time needed for a “fresh” meal! With that in mind, I baked chicken tonight, made mashed potatoes, and browned ground turkey and made it into taco meat. I was hoping to get farther, but I’ve also decided I’ve GOT to get exercise into my daily schedule! (The possibility of *two* high school reunions is the most motivating factor, at this point!) I’m very proud to report that I did the treadmill for 30 minutes today. Now, just gotta stick to it.

Back to the menu:

Monday: Noodles, leftover ham, peas
(We’re once again embarking on the gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free diet, but this is what happens when I don’t plan far enough ahead of time. We’re just getting started again, and I know it takes a little bit to get back into the whole gluten-free thing, but tonight was definitely not a good start!)

Tuesday: Faux Fried Chicken (chicken coated with dry, crushed cereal and baked), mashed potatoes

Wednesday: pizza
This should be interesting. I need to do the crust and prep work tomorrow night so I don’t end up buying one, because goodness knows, there’s no such thing as a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free pizza in the store! I have a recipe or a mix (depending on my mood, I guess, and time) for the crust, and I got some soy “cheese” to try. I’m quite interested to see how close this gets to “regular” pizza.

Thursday: Pork chops and potatoes (I bought a 15 lb bag of potatoes on sale last weekend, so we’ve gotta use ’em up!) Might be leftover mashed potatoes, or I might do rice – I’m on the lookout for a crockpot recipe, so depends on what I can find. Again, I need to know what this is by Wednesday night, though, so I can just turn it on Thursday morning.

Friday: Leftovers. I’m thinking there should be a good bunch of leftovers by Friday night!

In other news, my son who is actually on the “special” diet is also (surprise) asthmatic, like his mother. He just graduated from the nebulizer to the inhaler while at school this fall. But he’s still learning to identify when he needs it. Actually, I think he may know when he needs to use it, but he’s not quite ready to single himself out to actually go to the nurse’s office and use it. Anyway, last year when we tried this diet and throughout some of the “stuff” he’s had to go through, he’s wondered why he always has to take medicine and why he has to eat different food. Poor kid. Seems he’s always on antibiotics. And he’s such a sensitive soul. This past weekend I found a brochure I had from last year for an asthma camp. Last year I kind of shrugged it off (he wasn’t old enough, anyway), thinking it was kind of a dumb thing to have a separate camp just because you have asthma. So I found the brochure and I mentioned it to him – his face lit up like it was Christmas! It was almost heartbreaking, realizing how “different” he must feel and how excited he got at the idea of this camp. Last year he went to Bible camp for the first time, which he absolutely loved. We talked about how he could go to one or the other, but we just couldn’t afford both. He wants to go to the asthma camp – absolutely no hesitation! He almost can’t stop talking about it now. It’s just so sweet. So I’m thinking it will be a good thing (even though it’s over 3 hours away!!) for him to go and learn how to deal with his asthma and food sensitivities and meet other kids like himself. It’s also something that’s all his – he’s the only kid (out of four) diagnosed with asthma at this point, so this is pretty special for him. Poor kid has middle child syndrome, I think (he’s the second oldest), so I think I’m getting almost as excited as he is for this!

So that’s my post for now. Now I need to get to bed so I can get up in the morning for work. Just made it under the wire for Menu Plan Monday. 🙂 At least for my time zone. I’ll try to be more regular about posting.

P.S. If you’ve got a recipe you love for pork chops and rice or potatoes that can be adapted for the special diet, will you share it? I’d prefer not to do the cream soups (especially since they contain gluten). Something simple that I would have most of the ingredients in my pantry.