Friday, November 19, 2010

Saying Goodbye

There are moments when I consider whether or not I really want to be a parent. Does this make me a bad mom? Like this morning... I don't know why Jake was having a hard time getting ready for school. I just know that everything turned into an argument, no matter what I said. Maybe he was still tired. Maybe he's coming down with whatever caused me to lose my voice last week. Or maybe he's just not a morning person. All I know is that it was a struggle for him to get dressed, eat breakfast, put on shoes and get out the door. And don't even get me started on finishing up the last of his homework from this week- that's a whole other post for me to write. I think I even breathed a sigh of relief as I drove off this morning and Chris took Jake to school.

And then I got some news on my way to work. Earlier, I received an email from a teacher at one of the schools where I provide physical therapy services. Call me ASAP was all it said. Curious, I called her on my way in to the clinic.

"I have to give you some bad news," she said. It was about one of the children that I treat at school twice a week. He passed away on Wednesday. It was a complete shock to everyone, including his family. He had had health issues in the past related to his metabolic disorder. And he was in the hospital now due to some difficulties with his medications. But earlier this week, we still thought he was being released and would be back at school before the end of the week. His teacher didn't know the details- his mom was of course pretty shaken up when she talked to her yesterday. The teacher promised to forward me the details about the funeral arrangements when she knew more.

I hung up in shock, and I think I'm still there. My heart is breaking for his family and everyone who knew and loved him. He was only four years old.

Please hold your children tight and tell them that you love them today. Everything else seems trivial.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Menu Planning... Trying to get back into the routine

Last week was pretty good in that I managed to make dinner at home 5 out of 7 nights. Which was exactly what I planned for, so I'd call that a success! Especially since before that, I've been averaging only one to two meals a month cooked at home.

I learned from my friends on Facebook that maybe everyone else doesn't do as great of a job of cooking at home every night that I think they do. After my post about struggling to make dinner one night, some wrote that they were having pizza delivered, eating Chinese food, or having hot dogs at Target. And others had good suggestions to make it a little easier- crockpot cooking, making breakfast for dinner, having frozen pizza on hand, making soup/chili ahead of time, or using a meal planning website. Great suggestions! My go-to easy meal is usually something from the frozen section at Trader Joe's. They have yummy orange chicken, frozen meatballs (for sandwiches or to throw in pasta sauce), and lots of great frozen veggie combos. I recently sampled their frozen turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes and ended up bringing those home, too (they're on the menu plan this week!). But for me, the biggest help is just planning ahead and then having the motivation to stick with it instead of having Chris pick something up on his way home from work.

The part that I really didn't do well last week was the exercise plan. I didn't make it to the gym at all. There's so much going on during the week that it's too hard to fit in exercise in the mornings. And then on the weekends, there's always something else with the family that takes priority. For now, I'm going to take that off my list, and just focus on getting back into the cooking routine. Here's the dinner plan for this week:

Sunday: Stuffed peppers (since I didn't find time to make them last week)
Monday: Meatloaf "muffins" with mashed potatoes
Tuesday: Spiral pasta with vodka sauce
Wednesday: Chicken burritos
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Italian pasta soup and grilled cheese
Saturday: We're going to be busy all day, so we'll go out or pick something up for dinner

As long as I can make it to the grocery store by Tuesday, I think I can make it happen!