Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What We're Eating 6/20-6/26

It's not Monday, but this is the first moment this week that I've had a chance to sit down at the computer to write! We had some great meals last week, but we did miss out on the dinner I had planned for Friday night. I haven't rescheduled it yet, but really want to try the Macaroon Crusted Tilapia, so it will appear again sometime soon!

We've been enjoying as many meals as possible out on our deck. The weather has been beautiful lately! I've been trying to plan lots of grilling recipes to take full advantage of the weather and I've been looking for recipes that allow me to use the herbs from my garden. We haven't used anything from our veggie garden yet although the spinach, Romaine and kale are looking pretty good!

Tonight's dinner is a crock pot meal we've had before and loved. I have to be at a real estate class from 6-9 tonight (so I can renew my license) so I wanted to make a meal that would be warm at the different times we'll be eating tonight. I'm not looking forward to eating my dinner around 4:30, but at least I'll get one that I enjoy!

L: Leftover Grilled Pizza (boys); Turkey Sandwiches, Fruit Salad, Cucumber Slices
D: Hawaiian Beef Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries

L: Picnic lunch after hiking - PB&J, Fruit, Cheese Sticks
D: Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables

L: Leftover Gnocchi
D: Shredded Beef Tacos

L: Leftover Tacos
D: Honey Lime Chicken, Coconut Rice, Orange & Mint Snap Peas

L: Baked Potatoes
D: Scallop, Orange & Cucumber Kabobs, Brown Rice, Sesame Broccoli

L: Snacky Lunch
D: Pork Chops with Parmesan Sauce, Parmesan Couscous, Kale Chips

L: Free For All
D: Spice-Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Roasted Carrots, Minted Couscous

For menu-planning inspiration, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Monday, June 13, 2011

What We're Eating 6/13-6/19

I am so not in the mood to make dinner tonight. We had a great play date this morning with a former co-worker and her little girl who is 2 weeks older than Isaac, but this afternoon, I should have taken a nap when Isaac did. I'm wiped! My first instinct was to call Chris and tell him I wanted to go out to dinner.

But, I actually planned our meals out this week and I spend a bunch of money grocery shopping yesterday so that I could make those meals. We're trying some new stuff and I'm excited to do that. For the most part, our meals are healthy. Ordering out would have fed into this afternoon's blah mood so I'm making an attempt to fight that even though I would much rather curl up on the couch and cry because I'm so tired!

I've got caramelized onion mashed potatoes staying warm on the stove (I wish I were a better food photographer because those onions were gorgeous!), washed broccolini (new food for us!) and waiting to be sauteed and rubbed pork chops sitting on the counter waiting for Chris to grill. Yum, yum!

Tomorrow, I'll get a crock pot going before we head to the zoo so dinner will be ready for Chris when he gets home from work. The rest of us will be fine dining at McDonald's! ;)

L: Feta Shrimp SkilletD: Double Sesame Chicken Stir Fry

L: English Muffin Pizzas
D: Smoky Pan-Grilled Pork Chops with Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes and Lemon Broccolini

Wednesday - Trip to the Roger Williams Park Zoo
L: PB&J, Chips, Fruit
D: All American Chili (crock pot), Corn Bread

Thursday - Chris' 31st Birthday, so his choice of meals!
L: Grilled Cheese, Fruit
D: Rib Eyes, Homemade French Fries, Salad, Boston Cream Pie

L: Lunch at Pickity Place
D: Macaroon Crusted Tilapia with Quinoa Salad with Grapes & Almonds, Kale Chips

L: Lemony Penne & Broccoli
D: Hot Dogs/Burgers, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Fruit Salad

Sunday - Father's Day, Chris' choice of meals
L: Brunch - Pancakes, Bacon, Fruit Salad
D: Homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza

For more menu-planning ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I'm worked up tonight, but in a good way. I have a ball of energy in my belly, and for once, it's not a ball of anxiety. I need to write so that I can actually get some sleep!

As it was raining on Saturday, we had to make a last minute change to our plans to hike Rhododendron State Forest with my sister. Instead, we took a trip down to Mass to visit The Butterfly Place. We let Charlie choose where to have lunch and, of course, ended up at McDonald's. Then, since we were right there, we decided to head to the mall to do a little walking/window shopping. When we walked into Target and I discovered that they had rearranged the store so that the books are now right next to the entrance, Chris and Andrea were on their own with the boys for a bit. I was happy browsing until I saw Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project and had to have it. This book has been been written up in several of my magazines and it was actually on my list of books to request from the library. Now, it's mine!

In The Happiness Project, Rubin chronicles her decision to dedicate a year of her life to what she calls her "Happiness Project." She had come to the conclusion that she wasn't unhappy, but she wasn't as happy as she felt she could be with her life. She felt like she was taking her life for granted and decided it was time to change that. She selected 12 areas of her life that she wanted to improve and dedicated one month to each area (i.e. January - energy, February - marriage, March - work).

I'm now on Chapter 3 (work) and I feel like the author is speaking to me! This book is so what I need to be reading right now. I feel like her personality is similar to mine (she's a list-maker and writes about her need to collect "gold stars") and her thoughts and fears are those that run through my head all the time (Is it selfish to spend so much time and energy on one's own happiness? - Rubin decided that it's not because by making herself happy, it was easier for her to make others happy as well.)

Rubin writes that she had recently made a career shift from law to writing so choosing a profession was not the center of her project. However, because happiness is so directly connected to work, choosing the right career might be the focus of someone's else project.

Now, I, too, have recently made a huge career change, and as much as I love being a mother and relish the fact that I am able to stay home with my children, I know that being a mother is not my sole purpose in life. It is not my passion. Growing up, I wasn't a little girl that played "house." I played "teacher" or "doctor" or "lawyer" and my husband stayed home with the kids. I had huge dreams for myself in which I was the main or sole breadwinner of the family. I know I shocked some friends as well as myself when I made the decision to stay at home with my children.

What I'm feeling about my life right now is very hard to articulate. I don't want to belittle motherhood. It's got to be the hardest and most rewarding position I've had. By no means do I want to give this job up. But at the same time, I'm not growing in this position. There is no room for promotion, there are no "gold stars." There is no reward for "Best Mom." And most days, I would reward myself "Worst Mom"! What I need is something to supplement motherhood. I need to discover what my passion in life is.

Passion has been a recurring theme in my life lately. I first started thinking about it while watching Oprah's finale. She said, "We are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. Every time we have seen a person on this stage who is a success in their life, they spoke of the job, and they spoke of the juice that they receive from doing what they knew they were meant to be doing." Oprah

So I suppose that for now my passion in life is to discover what exactly my passion is. I know something is missing. I'm bored, I'm depressed, I'm not as happy in my life as I want to be. I feel like I don't appreciate my family, my house, my opportunities, my life the way I should.

I'm ready to make a change.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

I can't sleep.

Insomnia is a new experience for me. I've never had an issue falling asleep before and it's not something I'm dealing with every night, but I'm not liking it. But really, who does?

I think part of it is that I'm not looking forward to the waking up and facing a day just like every other.

Another part is that we've done nothing this week.

I've sat on my butt way too much in this damn heat.

I'm bored.

And summer's just begun.

On a normal week, we have activities planned to occupy our time. This week, not so much. It was our first week without story time as a normal activity. We didn't schedule anything else and I didn't make much of an effort to. I didn't want to bring Isaac out among other kids; not only is he teething - molars on top and at least 2 other teeth coming on the bottom - but he's got a nasty cold with a drippy nose and raspy cough. He's been a clingy mess.

Clingy baby + hot weather = miserable mom! I know I'll get flack for it, but I'm not a huge fan of summer. Give me a crisp fall day any day and I'm happy as can be. Give me a hot summer day and cover me in sweat and I'm not too fun to be around. To add insult to injury, we've got a gorgeous blue pool that I see every time I look in the backyard, but I had to go and get a garden tool stuck in my leg and can't swim until it's healed. Seriously, who but me?

So, I'm bored. I'm bitchy. I'm lonely. I feel sorry for Chris.

I have a few ideas to overcome the boredom, but with the boredom has come a lack of motivation. I could just care less about fixing the problem right now.

I'm not liking my attitude too much tonight. *sigh*

In reality, I've been thinking about a few things. I just haven't done anything about them.

I really miss the gym and we have one right up the road. It's less than 5 minutes away. My hangup is that my workout time is limited to before Chris leaves for work at 6:45am or after we eat dinner and put the kids to bed around 7:00pm. I could obviously make it work, but it just seems like too much work right now. And, I'm not sure on the price. It's easy enough to call, but I haven't. Excuses, excuses.

I NEED to sign up for a real estate class ASAP to renew my license (expires in, oh, about 4 weeks). It's a 3-hour class, easy to fit in.... I've just procrastinated on signing up because it'd be nice to go with someone else. (Any takers? Wednesday nights in Nashua......)

Thinking about taking that class has made me think about signing up for a "real" class at NH Tech (or whatever it's called now). There are a few classes that will come in handy in the next 18 months.... accounting or something of that sort. It'd be nice to have homework again. I know, I know, who wants homework? But if it means time spent answering intellectual questions instead of "Why?" a bazillion times a day ("Can I play outside, Mimi?" "Sure." "Why?" - Seriously, HOW do you answer that?! WHY would you even ask it?!?!), I'd be in Heaven.

Interacting with people, especially people I don't know, has been what I've missed most now that I stay at home with the boys. Being a stay-at-home mom is a lonely job! I never thought I'd miss talking to some of the crazy people I had to talk to when answering phones!

I've known that I need something more in my days. I had hoped book club, the Board of Trustees and my girlfriends would fill that void, but apparently, I'm needing something more and it frustrates me and makes me feel guilty that I can't be satisfied with everything I already have. I feel like guilt has become one of the major themes of my life. Is this just part of being a mother? A woman?

I've ranted, it's now 1am and I'm still not too sleepy. At least I don't have everything rattling around in my head.... maybe it'll be easier once I put my head on the pillow.