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Broken Chains

5.16.2006

Works-for-Me Wednesday: Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping



It's Works-for-Me-Wednesday over at Rocks In My Dryer. I've enjoyed Shannon's blog for a few weeks now, and thought I'd add my two cents to her weekly column. Not sure if I'll have anything for next Wednesday... Be sure to click on over to her blog to see the other participants and their helpful hints.

I'm not the most organized person in the world--my husband will be the first to agree. Before the birth of our daughter, we discussed how things would have to change around here to keep the household running smoothly while we adjusted to being parents and the demands of a newborn. He volunteered to take on some of "my" duties, such as laundry and grocery shopping. Well, the laundry never got done quickly enough when it was "his" job, so I've taken that over again, but we've gotten into a routine with the grocery shopping that has really made my life easier.

Neil didn't want to be running to the store three or four times a week like I typically would, so we sat down on a Saturday morning (after we'd received the grocery fliers) and planned our menu for the following week. We write a simple list consisting of day of the week, what's for dinner, time we'll eat, and if we have any post-dinner meetings planned. Because Neil is home at varying times every week, and because he often goes away in the evenings, this is a great way for me to glance at the list on the fridge and be able to have dinner ready on time. It also cuts down tremendously on the whole "it's five o'clock and I have no idea what we're having for dinner" stress. We tend to eat better, and we resort to junk food for dinner much less often.

The other side of it is the grocery list. Once we have the menu planned, I make the grocery list, checking my cupboards and fridge for ingredients. I'm much more aware now of what we actually have in the kitchen, since I check things at least once a week. This has led to more creative and interesting meals that use ingredients we already have...therefore, we spend less money on groceries, as well! We've been doing the groceries together lately, and we can whip through the stores pretty quickly with the list.

I rarely have to hit the grocery store during the week (do you know how hard it is to lug a 17lb 4-month-old around in her not-so-light car seat, especially when you're only 5' tall and not much over 100lbs? yeah. not so easy. my biceps are awesome.). I look at my menu in the morning to see if I have to take meat out to thaw, and then pretty much can forget about dinner until it's time to prepare it.

All around, this works really well for our family. Now, if anyone has a helpful hint about getting a 4-month-old to play happily by herself while I'm actually preparing dinner...or perhaps how to remind her that she indeed does like to take naps...

5.15.2006

First Mother's Day

No breakfast in bed, no brunch, no flowers. Just a cooing, hungry baby to snuggle with in bed, and cards from her and her daddy. And a couple of flower urns to come.

I was tempted to feel sorry for myself yesterday--in fact, I did feel sorry for myself--because my husband is not one to pamper or make a big deal of holidays or special days. I appreciate those kinds of things quite a bit, and the lack leads me to feel unappreciated. I know I'm not, because Neil tells me almost every day what a good mom I am and how much he appreciates what I do for our family. But a little extra now and then doesn't hurt...

But as I sit here with my baby on the bed next to me happily batting at toys, blowing raspberries and kicking her feet, I have so much to be thankful for. My little girl is in perfect health, and although this year she can't tell me how much she loves me, I can see it in her morning smiles, the way her face lights up when she sees me, and in her arms that reach for me when she cries.

So my first mother's day passed without much fanfare, but I had the opportunity to reflect and remember to be thankful that I am a mother...and to ask for the grace to be a good mom one more day.

5.11.2006

I AM: A Meme

I've never done a meme on my blog before because...I usually think they're kind of boring...and I'm lazy. But this one looks interesting. Participate if you want to!

I AM: a new mom who's enjoying this thing called motherhood.

I WANT: my baby to stop this screaming for an hour every evening and to take predictable naps during the day.

I WISH: that I could get started on our landscaping.

I HATE: spending an hour reading blogs and then realizing how much time I've wasted!

I MISS: WTS and my WTS friends...and studying and reading and learning. Still learning, just not in the academic environment.

I HEAR: the refrigerator's gentle hum.

I WONDER: when I'll see my family again.

I REGRET: not studying abroad in college. I may never get overseas, and that bums me out.

I AM NOT: very diligent.

I DANCE: with my sweet baby, and only when no one is watching.

I SING: when I'm happy, but especially in the car. And only when no one is listening.

I CRY: when I think about my baby being hurt or in pain. Or when I'm extremely frustrated. Thankfully, that's not too often.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: very kind, even though that's the one thing that people most often comment that I am.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: dinner, just about every night. And a mess, at the same time.

I WRITE: infrequently. Not as much as I'd like to. And not as well as I wish I did.

I CONFUSE: my husband when I try to explain abstract concepts or what's swirling around in my brain at any given moment.

I NEED: God's sustaining grace every single day. And thankfully, I get it, too.

I SHOULD: be doing the dishes. Again.

I START: too many things...

I FINISH: very few of those things.

I TAG: anyone who would hasn’t already done this and wants to.