Monday, March 14, 2011

January's Facebook Status Updates

At the end of 2010 I used an app on facebook that took a random sample of my status' throughout the year and put them into a collage. I thought it was really neat to be able to look back at the day to day and so I've decided to record my status updates here. These are from January of this year. I guess for those of you who use twitter, this would be the same idea.

January 1
Cant keep doing this alone. What happens when I mess up? Who's there to take up the slack? Im just not strong enough to carry this whole load on my own.

January 3
Wants to Scream!

January 3
Is it bedtime yet?

January 4
The boys aren't allowed to play video games until after lunch so they're going around with a playstation controller pretending to control each other's movements.

January 5
I know I should be doing something...

January 6
What's with everyone having had a crappy sleep last night? At least Im not the only one

January 7
TGIF, have some sick little boys today...everyone of them is either throwing up or sneezing on everything. Somehow I dont think Im going to get through this without getting something myself.

January 8
It finally looks like winter in NL

I feel like I should be doing something just because the boys are gone for the night, but it's so cold outside that I just want to wrap myself in a blanket and read a book. I think Im a 27 year old spinster.

January 9
Now we're all sick :( Always happens when I haven't gone shopping in awhile and the house is already messy. Just gotta survive today...

January 10
Thankfully I was able to sleep last night but Im still feeling gross while all the boys are better and hyper. This is horrible.

this is worse than labour

What a day, even when Im sick! Old drama from years ago brought back again and an offer to go to Portugal for work.

January 11
Me: "Jamie, why are you in your brother's bed?" Jamie: "Because my brother's squishy."

January 12
Wishing this flu would go away....I was almost better yesterday and here it is back again

January 14
Woke up at 6:45 to my neighbour snowblowing my driveway...he didn't even have his done yet. And thanks to my daddy and brother, I now have snow tires on the van...just in time! It's amazing how many people have helped me out in the last couple of days.

is heading to Portugal in a month....craaaaaazy

January 15
wishing my body would get the memo...its been a week, get over this flu already!

not a fan of this whole being single thing

January 16
sitting here waiting for my belly to settle so we can get ready for church.

early bedtime tonight....these kids have been fighting me and each other all day!

January 17
After 8 days, Im finally feeling almost normal today! Yay!

Back from a movie date with my Micah...he's so grown up!

January 19
Looking at flights for Portugal...this is gonna wear me out! Its like 36 hours of travelling, there and back.

Mmm hot chocolate with rainbow marshmallows

January 20
Needs 50 word bio by! Im terrible at writing about myself.

haha you can tell that my kids go to a middle class school...the principle sent home a pamphlet asking for donations to a silent auction. Suggestions? Flat screen tvs, a week at a vacation home in Florida or other destination, IPADS, netbooks...

January 21
Jeez only on a Friday! The doors were frozen on the van this morning and instead of waiting for me, the kids thought yanking on the handle would help...nope, it snapped off instead. We musta looked funny at that "middle class" school when the kids had to climb through to the front door :P

having doubts that I can learn enough Portuguese in 4 words so far? 3

Mothering and Motherhood in the 21st century: Research and Activism, February 18-19 Lisbon, freaking excited!

January 22
Cant wait for girls night tonight! Great friends, great food and....glow golf? hehe...gonna be fun!

January 23
Putting the kids to bed and having a quiet night at home...feels like this weekend flew by!

January 24
Oh what a Monday! Toilet training 2 little boys, driving people around 4 separate times, baking 5 dozen cinnamon buns and trying to learn Portuguese...eek!

January 25
Freezing! Wish I wasn't scared to light a fire, that was always Jason's department.

I hope Jamie is feeling better for mom n me tomorrow...poor little guy had a fever tonight and went to bed at 6

January 27
The boys school is closing in 20 minutes because of impending weather and now I have to get all four little ones into the van and hope that Micah's class is back from his field trip...yuck

has no desire to get involved in church politics. It's sad but I feel like Im either being asked to pick sides, being very obviously ignored/looked down upon or getting asked personal questions that have nothing to do with those asking them. I go to church to worship, learn and spend time with other Christians, that's it. A very kind thank you to those few who have worked to make my family feel welcome.

January 29
trying to put together a menu plan for the kids while Im in Portugal is insanely hard...there's very few meals that they will all eat. Suggestions appreciated!

Ive done it! Roasted chicken with homemade fries two separate nights, cheese eggs, pancakes with bacon, frozen homemade soup (for 2 kids and frozen pizza for the others), chicken burgers or hot dogs and one night of take out....not too bad :) and wont cost me a fortune!


Saturday night seems like a crappy time to be writing about research activities facilitating community engagement and activism...

January 31
home with some sick little boys today :(

"I have never loved so fiercely something that was capable of being this annoying" -Sundry

Eu sou perdido. Onde está o banheiro? Translation= Im lost. Where's the bathroom? hehe, should probably memorize this one

*I never want to forget the conversation from January 11, it still makes me laugh!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Keeping meal times interesting

Mommy Daisy wrote yesterday about being in a food rut and I totally know where she's coming from. I've had trouble adjusting to cooking for just the kids and I, now that Jason has moved out and am often faced with hungry kids and no plan.

I joined the discussion in her comments but that got me to thinking about what strategies I use to keep things interesting.

1. Plan
There really is no substitute for planning your meals and snacks when you have a family. Simply put, it's cost effective and efficient and can save your sanity too. That being said, I don't subscribe to the notion that in planning your meals you can't be flexible. For me, that really IS key.

2. Keep it simple
I plan for easy, simple meals whenever our schedule requires it. I really don't want to spend the little money we do have on take out or dining out so having go-to meals helps with that. You can use freezer cooking to have handy meals in your freezer, keep a stocked pantry with your family's favorites or think outside of the box a little.

A couple of months ago my kids were asking for McDonalds after church. Instead, I brought them to the grocery store and we picked out some fruits, yogurt and a treat. We talked about the price difference, health difference and even taste difference. My kids all agreed that the grocery store lunch was the much better option.

Another strategy I've been using lately is creating a snack tray that we can nibble at our leisure, instead of a formal lunch. This is really only for Sunday afternoons and since my boys are with their dad every other Sunday, they only get this twice each month, making it a treat. The picture below is from the first time I created such a tray and I can tell you that it was waaaay too much food! There's cheese, apples, carrots, grapes, crackers, tortilla chips/salsa and some rather boring sandwiches. If I were to do this one again, Id cut out the crackers and make the sandwiches a little more interesting.

3. Have fun with it
If you find yourself making the same old things then try to add a little fun to your routine. Create themed meals around certain days, countries or even colors. Try eating breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast. Serve dessert WITH dinner, just because.
And if you're really out of ideas, ask your kids. They're always full of creative suggestions that Im sure you never would have considered otherwise.