Let’s check out Martha’s calendar for the month, shall we?
Did I say great? I meant a disaster. It’s going to be a disaster.
Let’s check out Martha’s calendar for the month, shall we?
Did I say great? I meant a disaster. It’s going to be a disaster.
(Note: I am not saying I am actual single parent. I am not saying I work as hard as a single parent. Or as hard as people whose spouses travel all the time. Nobody get mad at me!)
Feeling good. Showered. Wearing real clothes. Everybody is fed and happy and doing school.
Realize husband is still home. You’re still essentially having a Saturday morning.
Take husband to airport. Hugs, kisses, goodbyes, etc. Children commence wailing.
Children keep wailing.
For twenty miles. “We want Daddy!!!!” they scream. No kidding, I say, gripping the wheel with white hands.
Say rosary quietly to self to keep the voice telling you that if you just drive off the Marquette interchange all the screaming will stop from getting too loud.
Still. Manage to have lunch, dinner, and everybody remains mostly clothed for most of the day.
Bedtime is completed with a minimum of yelling (not no yelling, but just not as much as it could be.
Sit quietly by yourself, enjoying a glass of wine and six episodes of Criminal Minds. This isn’t bad.
Realize you’ve watched six episodes of Criminal Minds and you’re alone in a house. LIKE IN CRIMINAL MINDS.
Prepare for imminent doom.
Realize you really don’t like sleeping alone. Aww. Marriage is so wonderful.
Wake disoriented. These children, they are mine? And mine alone? Ugghhh.
Everybody is dressed. Mostly. Buddy is in pajamas but at least they’re not like footy pajamas. He looks mostly dressed.
Breakfast is two dozen pumpkin muffins that you baked for prayer group. Meh, don’t care. House is destroyed. Fine. Whatever. Don’t care.
Still! Manage to get the house put back together and a dress on and to a meeting. Order pizza for dinner for the kids. It’s okay. It’s like we’re having a fun camping experience.
Come home to children blessedly asleep (yay for my awesome sister) and enjoy another few episodes of Criminal minds before collapsing into bed. Funny, it doesn’t seem so big and lonely tonight. Rather, you have loads of room to move around. Hmm.
Breakfast is…I’m not sure. Frozen something I think. No need to shower since you did that yesterday. Probably no need to brush teeth either.
Kids are still bathed, though. I mean, we’re not animals.
Breakfast is…not sure. Something frozen probably. Lunch, drive through. Dinner? Unbuttered toast eaten in diapers.
Supposed to go to confession with other moms, but that would require brushing your teeth and leaving the house and WE ARE IN SURVIVAL MODE.
Fall asleep in the blessedly large bed, wondering why a queen size has always felt so small before.
Meh, don’t need to shower today either. Who is going to smell me? Nobody, that’s who. Teeth are feeling a little fuzzy. Oh well.
Clothes: None that are appropriate.
School gets done, lessons are learned, prayers recited though. Mostly through clenched teeth.
Anarchy. The natives have taken over. Popcorn litters the house. I don’t know when we last ate popcorn. Can’t remember the last time I saw my son in real clothes. Cancelled school for a mental health day. Mine. And theirs. Starting to shy away from the sun as though it was bad for you. Referring to Penelope Garcia and Aaron Hotchner like they’re here in the room with me. Pretty sure the family down the road are serial killer gypsies and wonder if I should alert the police. They might be in on it though. Can’t be too careful.
Brush teeth. Don’t need to shower as am still (not yet?) fertile so nobody is getting close to me. NFP. Way fewer showers. No one puts that on the brochures. Pick up husband from airport and remember how much you love him.
But find that that bed is super uncomfy again now that there’s a large dude in it with you. Oh well. Marriage is still awesome.
And frankly it’s probably a good thing I have to cool it with the Criminal Minds for a little bit. I almost bought statement glasses.
So week two with my pressure cooker is almost wrapped up, and I have written this article like six times, all either I LOVE THIS AND IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE or I HATE THIS AND PEOPLE ARE STUPID.
Because I actually am not getting behind it for actual recipes and cooking actual dinners. It does cut down on cooking time. But cooking time is not that difficult. I can go do something else while it’s cooking. I need someone to keep all the prep and getting ready and all the…well, cooking part of cooking away from me.
Like a slow cooker.
But I digress.
So this week I decided to try two dump recipes (a spaghetti with meat sauce and king ranch chicken), and some basics- baked chicken, hard boiled eggs, and baked potatoes.
The basics were awesome. I dumped a bag of frozen chicken in there with some broth and salt and pepper and 15 minutes of cooking later (so like half an hour total) they were done. That was awesome. Baked potatoes were about 45 minutes total, which is also pretty cool. I personally can’t stand hard boiled eggs but Squeaks loves them. They were done in five minutes in a steamer basket, and the shells came right off every time. That was amazing.
Lessons from the First Two Weeks of Second Grade
1.) Second graders are just as whiny as first graders.
2.) They’re also just as adorable and lovely.
4.) It’s not helpful to yell “I GAVE UP EVERYTHING TO TEACH YOU AND NOW YOU DON’T REMEMBER I BEFORE E EXCEPT AFTER C?????”
5.) So much crying.
6.) Sacramental prep is awesome and terrifying because you know, it’s just like her immortal soul.
7.) There’s like a ton more work in second grade.
8.) This isn’t just like, well, i before e except after c. It’s like hey, lets memorize all the sense organs and the central nervous system and do long division.
9.) It’s still the best decision we’ve ever made though.
10.) I’m gonna need a lot more wine.
So guys, I broke in the pressure cooker.
First of all, I had a bunch of (sassy) comments about how omg it’s not an Instant Pot and so therefore you may as well use it to be a doorstop. I can’t really tell the difference except the Instant Pot does more things like slow cooking, rice cooking, etc. But in terms of an actual pressure cooker, the Cuisinart one I have has literally all the same buttons.
So there, haters.
Anyway, I was super impressed with it. The basin goes in the dishwasher, which I love. It came with recipes, which I love. It looks cute on my counter, which I love.
Love, love, love.
So last night I made my first meal. It was just for me and the kids (so just for me, because they ate pretzels all evening because they know I don’t like to parent after 4pm.) and I had plenty of time to figure it out. Which was good because I picked like the most complicated recipe ever and avoided my general slow- or pressure-cooking rule of DUMP FROZEN STUFF INTO THE PAN AND TURN ON.
Salisbury steak meatballs. I know. What the heck was I thinking?
It actually turned out okay, except that I tried to double the recipe and then there wasn’t enough space to brown the balls so they turned into…well, a salisbury steak meat sauce instead.
I had some trouble figuring out how to make it actually cook. One thing that the stupid Instant Pot does is apparently not flip out if it gets overheated like my little cheapo version did, so I had to try twice to get it going. But once I figured out what to do, it was awesome. Cooked in 10 minutes, really tasty, and super easy cleanup. (Basin in the dishwasher, and I wiped out the lid with soapy water.)
The only problem was with the “difficulty” of the recipe- it wasn’t even that difficult, just a lot to do while you’re trying to learn something new. But it ended up being suuuuper tasty, yo. I ofollowed it exactly, so I’m just going to link it here.
Come back next week for more dump-and-cook recipes and me testing out making broth and boiled eggs and such. I know. Get excited.
30 Things I Did On my 30th Birthday:
1.) Got up at 12 am to check on Buddy’s breathing.
2.) Got up at 1 am to check on Buddy’s breathing.
3.) Got up at 2 am to check on Buddy’s breathing.
4.) Slept through 3 am check.
5.) Woke at 3:15, ran crazily into Buddy’s room, expecting to find him dead.
6.) Found him perfectly happy and breathing normally.
7.) Figured it had been eight hours since he’d had a breathing treatment, and I could go to bed.
8.) Mumbled something about watching your tablet to Squeaks when she came in at 7:30.
9.) Slept a merciful four hours or so until Buddy got up for good at 8:30. (Which, by the way, is super late for him. I mean, I sleep trained, but even I can’t manage that.
10.) Kissed my husband good morning over two children and thanked him for his birthday wishes and his assurances that he will always find me attractive no matter what age I am.
11.) Fell back asleep.
12.) Got up, and drank coffee by myself.
13.) Read a lovely note from my husband and got a beautiful gift from Colonial Williamsburg.
14.) Read a book. ALL BY MYSELF.
15.) Went out to lunch with my family.
16.) Discovered the Silver Spring House had seriously gone downhill.
17.) Meh, it’s still a burger.
18.) Came home and TOOK A NAP WITHOUT HAVING TO PUT BUDDY TO BED. BUZZ DID THAT. HE DID. IT WAS AMAZING.
19.) Napped. Hard. All afternoon.
20.) Woke up in a puddle of my own spit.
21.) Went to my parents’ house for pizza and lemon box cake.
22.) Got even more presents. I know. I’m pretty lucky.
23.) Drank old fashioneds all night and it was similarly amazing.
24.) Came home and put the kids to bed and they were nice to me kind of for a change.
25.) Watched a Downton Abbey episode.
26.) Waxed nostalgic about the Anna/Bates drama.
27.) Used like eight different kinds of moisturizer because I’m thirty, yo.
28.) Checked Buddy again. Still breathing. Whew.
29.) Checked Squeaks, because then I worried that my obsessive asthma monitoring of Buddy was somehow going to lead to her getting something deadly and then tragedy ensues. She was fine. Whew.
30.) Passed out next to my super sweet husband in my dream house with only a minimum of gray hair that I can’t even really tell because I have pretty light hair anyway.
A pretty good day.
Guys, I’ve been cheating.
Not on my spouse. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
(And I love him and that whole sacramental covenant stuff.)
No, I’ve been cheating…on my crock pot.
(That, by the way, is the most middle-aged soccer mom sentence I’ve ever written. I’m going to start addressing other women as Mamas! soon. Good Lord.)
I love my crock pot. I got one when I got married and have used it pretty much constantly since then- at least once a week. I love the crock pot because it allows me to make dinner without having to think about it. I refuse to use any recipe that involves anything more than dumping frozen and or boxed ingredients into the (lined- I’m not cleaning that up) pot and starting it. Sometimes I’ll chop a vegetable.
But lately I’ve heard tell of a new siren, something called an Instant Pot. Which I can’t afford.
BUT! I did get a cheap new in box pressure cooker on a facebook buy, sell, trade site for TWENTY DOLLARS HOLLA ATCHA GIRL.
So I’m psyched. The crock pot is amazing for me, but there are days when I forget or don’t feel like chopping and preparing at crack thirty when I get up before the kids. And some days I haven’t grocery shopped yet so I don’t even physically have the stuff here to dump into the crock pot. The pressure cooker should fix days like that. Since apparently you can cook pheasant under glass in like twenty minutes. (Never mind that I couldn’t find a pheasant at a butchers in under twenty minutes.)
I’m also reaching the end of a menu planning cycle and I’ve decided to go all in, y’all. I am going to be all pressure cooker, all the time. A marathon if you will.
But with less running and more pasta cooked in it’s own juices.
That’s my kind of marathon.
So hit me up- what are your best Instant Pot or pressure cooker recipes?
Today you start second grade. SECOND GRADE. I say this about every development you make but I’ll say it again, I can’t believe it. Second grade wasn’t…um…great for me, so there are no fuzzy memories like I usually have of you doing things that I did. But I know you’re going to have a great year.
You are so bright and questioning and you’ll get to learn so much this year. By the end of the year you’ll be doing division. I know. I can’t believe it either.
You get to do the most important thing in the world this year- receive your First Communion and receive God’s forgiving grace in the Sacrament of Reconciliarion. I am so excited and so blessed to be able to teach you all of the things you need to learn and watch you experience everything you get to experience.
Things are better than last year, emotionally. At least I think they are. I think we’re both figuring out how to react better to each other and that’s helping.
More than any of this though, you’re here. You’re here and you’re healthy and that’s all Daddy and I care about.
I love you so much, sweetheart. Thanks for letting me be your mommy.
I write my name like this:
My best friend is: Joey and Mommy and Daddy of course.
I like to play: Solitaire by myself and tag with friends.
My favorite color is: purple.
My favorite book is: the Puppy Place series.
My favorite TV show is: I have two- Rescue Bots and My Little Pony.
My favorite food is: pizza.
When I grow up I want to be: a mommy and an art teacher! But I think I’m just going to teach my kids.
Something I don’t like: When Joey tricks me.
Something I like about myself: I have the longest hair!
Something I want to do this year: have a pool party!
Scene: Midday, suburban library. Kathleen and Squeaks and Buddy enter, and go to the front desk.
Buddy: Excuse me. I am sorry for dis book.
Buddy: Dis book. I ripped it. I am sorry.
Kathleen: We need to pay for a replacement for this book.
Librarian: Ah, I see. Well, we accept your apology. Sometimes things happen. (struggles to hold back a smile.)
Buddy: I very sorry. Thank you.
Librarian: Okay, let’s see here. I’m not sure how to…*asks other librarian* Do I mark it as lost?”
Other Librarian: Well, were they just damaged or were they ripped out?
Buddy: *pipes up* Dey were ripped out. I’m sorry.
Other Librarian: (also trying not to smile) OKay then, thank you for apologizing. Yeah, just mark it as lost and they can keep the item after paying.
Kathleen: Oh. Good. A $22 board book. At least we’ve all learned something here.
Buddy: I sorry.
I have trouble sleeping. It hasn’t always been this way, before Buddy came I could pass out with the best of them. After Buddy, well, let’s just say I discovered the joys of Unisom. And now that I’ve weaned myself off of that (not for any reason like it was good for my body, but rather because it was making NyQuil less effective and I really need to keep a NyQuil shot in my back pocket in case of colds, you guys. BECAUSE CHILDREN.) it’s back to insomnia.
“I need to go to the store tomorrow. Ugh. I hate going to the store with the kids. I hate going to the store period. I want to buy stuff. I want to buy waay more stuff than we can afford. I wonder how much money I spent on Gwynnie Bee this month.
Hmm. I could check.
Nope, you’re not supposed to use your phone before bed. Blue light or something.
Need to go to the library too. Don’t have time to do a real library trip with the kids, so they’ll be super cranky. Yay.
I wonder if I read to them enough. I know Squeaks reads all the time, but does Buddy get shortchanged? I mean, he does speak in a British accent from all of his Netflix shows.
Does he watch too much Sarah and Duck?
He pronounces “shallots” “shal-LOTS” now. Ugh, I’m a horrible mother.
What about their other subjects. I’m probably not doing enough. I mean, how am I going to teach her division this year? I hated division.
We’re going to fight so much. I hate fighting with her. I expected fighting when she was a teeanger and realized how quickly I married her dad, but not now.
Ugh, did I marry her dad too quickly? Did I completely mess her up?
What about religion. I mean, that’s the most important thing. Division won’t matter if we’re all rotting in hell because I’m a horrible mother.
I should say the rosary with them more often. That’s like the thing that people say kept their kids Catholic. But SO MUCH FIGHTING.
And I mean what does this matter if there’s a schism and then I have to probably buy new materials anyway so whatever, not worth worrying.
Oh God. What if there’s a schism?
No, no, not my problem. Not my monkeys. The gates of hell shall not prevail and all that.
I feel like I’m forgetting something. I wrote down Irish dancing on the calendar. I can’t believe we’re an Irish dancing family now. Ugh. I hate having obligations. I just want to have them be little and nap and cuddle.
Maybe you should have another baby then.
NO NO BABY RIGHT NOW.
NO YOU ARE STILL CRAZY. YOU ARE STILL LYING AWAKE AT NIGHT WORRYING ABOUT HOW BUDDY PRONOUNCES VEGETABLE NAMES.
Well yeah okay. But then I’d have someone that wasn’t taking lessons and shit.
Yes, but you’d have to bring them to the lessons. Squeaks isn’t going to get younger because you have another kid.
I forgot to sign Buddy up for gymnastics. I’ll bet they’re full. I promised him. I know he doesn’t remember but I feel badly. He’s being raised by a cartoon duck.
Meh, I didn’t really want to take him anyway. And I’ll bet he’d have to be potty-trained for the next level.
Seriously. He needs to be potty trained.
But he’s not ready. I know but he should be. That’s stupid, kids should not do anything they’re not ready for. I KNOW BUT SOCIETY.
Honestly, schism is less concerning than my kid’s diapers. Those are HORRIFYING.
Maybe I should just say the rosary and that will help me fall asleep.
But I should say it tomorrow with the kids too. So they don’t leave the Church.
Okay. Good plan. Grocery, library, rosary. Then nap.
Oh goodness, then a nap.
Wait. Do I have dinner planned?
The struggle. It is real. And insane. And kind of funny.