Sunday, March 17, 2013


Let me just tell you about what makes me one of those (not so) fabulous atomic mothers. 

I don't like to air dirty laundry out in public but this is my outlet, my journal of sorts. 

I started a new job not so long ago.  Two weeks to be exact.  I have some good things that I most definitely love about the change and I have some things that I don't care for at all.  Let me start with the good.  Good is always a good place to start.

I'm home every weekend with the kids.  I get to see sporting events and play games and watch movies.  When the weather warms up I will get to go for walks and go to the beach and be a real mom again.  I get to be home in the evenings and make dinner and talk about school and all the guts of being a mom.  I get to be here.  Really here.  I like that.

Now the bad.  And it's pretty bad, to me anyway.  I know that my troubles are trivial to most but to me they are Mt. Everest right now.  They're a conundrum.  They have no solution right now.  Right now.  It will come.  I'm sure I won't like it, but the solution will come.

I am anchored to a desk.  I despise desks.  I am alone and basically quarantined to a small room in the middle of a warehouse.  My actual job, albeit new and different, is not going to be challenging.  I'm going to be bored and when I get bored...bad things happen.  I don't make a very good bored person. 

I get paid once a month.  This is where most of my stress and troubles are stemming.  I tried to do the responsible thing.  I tried to hang on at the hospital until the very last moment, trying to be a good adult and make sure there were no lapses in health and dental insurance.  I held on and then started right away at the new place.  I find out there's still going to be a one month lapse in insurance.  My last paycheck was nothing because of the insurance premiums and union dues.  Before all of this I had worked a lot of overtime.  A LOT of overtime.  In December my job changed, I was replaced by a computer program.  Now, I knew that the loss of my overtime would pinch a bit.  What I failed to realize was how much I actually made with that overtime.  Pinch is the least of my worries.

I feel that I am currently failing my family.  Due to the last four months of no overtime I fell behind on almost every single bill we have.  On top of it I had to buy a new wardrobe for this new job.  My husband told me to take our tax return to get what I needed.  I didn't even use a quarter of it.  I didn't buy anything over $15 and most things weren't even new.  Now on top of the loss of my overtime, I have to go an entire month without a paycheck.  I have to tell you...there is no stress like jumping every time you hear a noise outside...not that you think it's a burglar, but that you think they've come to repossess your car. I have never had my phone ring so much as it does now.  I stress over every penny spent on milk or gas or bread. 

I am not myself lately.  I think stress does that to people.  Actually I know that stress does that to people.  I don't think we are in over our heads with debt.  We don't have credit cards, our mortgage isn't high at all (we are not living in the lap of luxury, that's for sure), we don't drive extravagant cars.  I honestly don't get why we're so far in the hole right now.  We don't go blow money all willy, nilly. 

I know we'll get out of this, it's an adjustment getting used to no overtime AND getting paid every four weeks but I just hope we can do it with both cars still parked in the driveway, our lights still on, and food in the fridge.  Until then I'm just going to stress and worry that somehow I'm failing my family.  I'm hoping that during the interim of all this chaos will also come an opportunity to really get to know my family and learn how to do more things together around the house. 

Ugh.  Being this atomic mom right now kind of sucks. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013


So my first foray into meal planning was, over all, a success.  We had dinner on the table by 6 pm every night.  All of the meals I made tasted good.  Some will be put into rotation.  The Black Bean Taco Soup?  Was yummy...but tasted more like chili than taco soup. 

We haven't gotten through all of the meals but so far I'm pretty impressed with how easy it was for me.

As far as my first week at my new job, I think it went well.  I'm definitely more busy than I was at the hospital which is good.  I don't have time to dwell on the possibility of being laid off.  The people I'm working with are really nice so far so that's also good.  I think once I get the hang of a new field of work and all the lingo that go with one.  I'll be golden. 

Nothing else to report really.  We're still working on our downstairs bathroom and the kitchen.

I'm going to try my hand at meal planning again only putting a different spin on it.  I'm going to plan out our meals based on what's on sale this week and see if we can do it a little cheaper than last week.

I didn't think $200 was a budget friendly way of meal planning but maybe I'm just being unrealistic about the whole thing.  It came out to just over $18 a meal for a family of 4 but we only had leftovers half the time for lunch the following day.  I just want to see if I can get the cost down a little bit without giving up real home cooked dinners for my family.

The saga continues. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013


That's what I am.  A newb.  At least at meal planning and preparation.  I can see it becoming a certified Olympic sport.  That shizz is draining but I can already see where it's going to be worth it.

I start a new job tomorrow.  A real one.  Not that the one I had before wasn't real but this one will actually take up a lot of daytime hours.  Hours I used to use for shopping and cooking and cleaning.


I've stopped laughing now.  The shopping part is true but the rest of the time was spent on my ass either in bed sleeping for days or on the couch watching...whatever is on in the middle of the day.

Anywhoo.  I wanted a daytime job so I could be home and spending quality time with my family and if I'm spending an hour plus a day cooking alone in the kitchen, it defeats the purpose of being home for quality time. 

I, as usual, was scouring Pinterest for easy recipes.  I came across a pin that linked to this blog post.  It gives the recipes for 8 dinners for a family of four with two leftover lunches.  The food all looked good and fairly affordable so I decided to give it a try.  I have to start somewhere, right?

Right away I can see how this is going to save time daily.  Not only in the prepping and cooking department, but in clean up as well.  You won't have all these pots and pans sitting in the sink every day.  I don't plan on making all of these in the crock pot.  I have a few in mind to bake in the oven, not that I'm anti crock pot, I just don't want that big ass thing claiming a permanent spot on my counter top.  Until they make some affordable ones that are cute and coordinate with the rest of my permanent the toaster. 

I actually ended up with 11 dinners.  Well..technically ten and a half.  I followed all the recipes with only a couple of minor modifications.  I followed the shopping list exactly, all modifications were made at the last minute because of my own weirdness and forgetfulness. 

We have two dinners of ribs.  My grocer only had a 6 pound pack of ribs so I went with it.  This is where I have to make a decision.  Is my family made up of a bunch of pigs or is my interpretation of a serving size a bit skewed?  This was the one and a half meals.  We have one full dinner and then a few extra ribs that we'll have for dinner tonight since all of the kids are off with friends.  Perfect!  Also, I swore we had liquid smoke when I was at the store.  I was so sure of it that I didn't even think twice about it.  Until I went to grab it.  I had to wing it.  I added a bit of Worcestershire sauce and a teeny bit of vinegar.  Not smokey tasting so I went with tangy instead.   For the hashbrown sides I forgot the sour cream so I couldn't get those prepped ahead of time like I wanted. 

Most of these meals have, what I consider to be, very small portion sizes of meat.  We love our meat here.  I went with it in most cases.  I don't think we're going to starve to death once we add in sides and maybe even a dessert or two. 

I also expanded the chicken alfredo to two meals as well.  I ended up using fresh broccoli because I could only find frozen cuts and I'm a snob.  I only want the crowns.  The stems are gross.  We had some leftover frozen turkey from a week ago so I have one chicken alfredo and one turkey alfredo.  Also, instead of dumping both jars of sauce into one bag like the recipe states, I used one jar and added a cup of milk to it instead.  That's how I got two meals out of that one.

The french dip sandwiches was also converted into two meals.  I think three pounds of roast is too much for a sandwich.  Maybe my kids just don't really like sandwiches or they don't like really stuffed ones, I don't know.  I had a roast that was 3.25 lbs.  I cut it into two roasts, one at 2 lbs and the other the remaining 1.25.  The two pound roast is for the french dip sandwiches, the remainder was tossed into another bag with some leftover carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, and chicken broth and is just a basic roast dish.  Not fancy but it'll work in a pinch. 

I also went ahead and prepped some snacks for the kids and for me.  I'm a snacker.  I freaking love snacks.  I will take 10 snacks over a meal any day of the week.  The kids like stuff that's easy to grab and is at least a little sweet. 

I have the usual bananas and clementine oranges on hand.  We always have those.  I also was able to get three tubs of strawberries thanks to the grocer having them on sale for a buck a piece.  I washed and halved them, put them into individual serving tupperware bowls and sprinkled them with a teeny bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, and granola.  I also got two cucumbers and using another Pinterest recipe, mixed them up with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chili powder.  I am planning on making some crispy edamame too, the kids will devour that.

I can't vouch for the taste of any of it.  That will come next week. 

Here's to hoping it works and it all tastes good!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dear Universe,

Holy crap has it been awhile.  I really have no excuse other than, as usual, I have so much to say but it's all over.  I'm positive I've developed ADD or something similar.  I can't seem to focus on life much.  I'm really hoping that's going to change soon. 

We have been doing so much work on the house lately because we wanted to try and put it up for sale but we found out today that's not happening.  We can't even get a third of what we need to break out of here and get a leg up so we're going to stick it out for a few more years.  Big A still has a couple years of high school left so that gives us a bit more time.  On the plus side, my house is freaking spotless right this second and it gives me the time to finish out the basement like I wanted AND get my super sized bedroom back.  And...I don't have any dishes or laundry to do...for five minutes anyway. 

I have Middle A on my mind constantly.  I'm pretty sure he's the reason I can't seem to keep focus on anything else.  At least I seem to be getting to talk to him more.  I'm sure that's his dad's way of gloating over the court ruling.  Either way, I don't care as long as I can talk to him.

Today was a big day for Little A but I'm sure she'll never remember.  We went to Lowes to pick up the remaining tile for the kitchen, then out to a quick dinner since I had been up for about 38 hours straight and was NOT cooking, then we made a pit stop in Kohl's.  Little A needed her first bras.  Oh Lordy.  I am pretty sure I'm not ready for the baby to be getting all grown up.  Changes in girls are scary and gross.  She's already an attitude terror, I'm not medicated enough to deal with puberty right now. 


In other news, I start my new job on Monday.  I'm still not exactly sure how I'm feeling about it.  I know I'm excited because I get to work real people hours and I'm positive I won't miss my three day work weeks terribly until summer sets in and I just want to go to the lake.  I'm going to miss the people I've come to know and love over the last six years at the hospital.  I really hope we're able to stay in touch.  It's hard when you are on what feels like an alternate universe that's laid over the top of the real one but flipped backwards.  You get used to doing grocery shopping at midnight and paying bills at 4 am.  Life is easier that way.  It's harder when you try to have friends outside of that universe, no one understands why you get pissed when the UPS man drops packages off at 11am and rings the bell or why you come unhinged when your husband comes home for lunch at 1 pm and just slams things around in the kitchen thinking he's being oh so quiet. 

I already feel as if this year is flying by at warp speed. 

It's March 1st already.  Where the hell did February go?  Wasn't it just New Years?

I am trying my best to keep a positive outlook on things.  I am going to make an effort to keep up on here.  It's therapeutic to try to force myself to focus long enough to get some jumbled thoughts out.  I'm holding tight to my resolution to not have any resolutions this year and it's going to be the year of whatever will be, will be.  I think I'm doing pretty good just rolling with it.

 Today I'm going to enjoy my last day to myself off.  I'm not sure how but I'm sure it involves a mixed drink (maybe a couple) possibly a book and definitely a trip to the goodwill to see if I can find a solution to my growing nail polish obsession.  I have everything in my underwear drawer right now except underwear.  Next up on my list after I get that cleaned out, go buy some underwear.