Sunday, August 17, 2008

This won't win me Mother of the Year, but it works . . .

I work full time (actually, now at work with all that we've got going on, it's overly-full time).
I have a 16-year-old daughter who, thankfully, drives now and has her own car. She goes to school, has extra-curricular activities, works out at the gym, takes voice lessons, babysits . . . she's all over the place.
I have a big dog who, rightly so, needs lots of attention.
I have a home, yard, and my own fun projects and interests that keep me busy when I'm not working.

Weekends are our true commitment to mother/daughter time, when we enjoy eating meals together, shopping, going to the movies, lying in bed just talking and laughing. Harleigh is just plain ol' fun to be with and I wouldn't want any remnants of our chaotic and stressful week to creep into OUR weekend time.

One thing that has gotten totally out of whack has been our weekday dinner time. As a meal shared together, it is close to non existent. Which I can deal with. But I really started feeling guilty about us not eating a balanced dinner. Left to her own devices, Harleigh's dinner would consist of a handful of doritos washed down with an energy drink. Mine would be eating corn out a can while standing at the kitchen counter going through the day's mail.

So I went out and bought divided plastic containers. And for the past two weeks have taken an hour on Sunday to make up meals. Neither one of us cares about eating the same thing every night, so I stick to two menus, which makes it really easy. Last week it was black beans/rice/chicken and meatloaf/rice/squash. This week it is salmon/mashed potatoes/cauliflower and broccoli and chicken/mashed potatoes and gravy/green beans. I change the combos around, stick to steaming the veggies, using fat-free gravy, buying fresh fish and chicken . . . the dinners are good for us and taste good too.


a day in the life of bella said...

That's really good thinking! I am trying out a new recipe this week, boneless chicken with maple syrup and then those Bob Evans ready-made sweet potatoes as the side, it's in one of my current mags...if you want the recipe, let me know.

Another one that might work are the Rachael Ray Turkey burgers with horseradish. I make them for dinner one night and the next day we eat them for lunch, by just warming them up in the microwave, in a bowl, with a little water on the sort of steam cooks them this way.

Slow cookers are great too.

Your dinners sound very yummy and nutrisious, too :)


Gretchen said...

We (meaning Mr. Bird Nest) always cooks something on Sunday night that will allow us left-overs for Monday night. The rest of the time we keep it pretty simple.

The meals you prepared look great! My oldest son was a wrestler all through high school and ate mostly Lean Cuisines. Now his brother was another story. He and a friend once ate an entire pan of lasagna and another time a 12# turkey.

Harleigh sounds like a great kid who would rather spend time with her Mom than eat an eight course meal everynight.


K_Streams_Her_C said...

mmmm! Can I have one? :) They sound great!

a day in the life of bella said...

I posted the sweet potato recipe today :) I am probably making it tonight, if not then tomorrow :)

I will dig out those napkin rings to get the brand and let you know when I do.


Callie said...

Hi Dawn!
Long time! I was talking to jenn on sunday and she was telling me about all the great things you are doing. I thought I would send you this site, i found about a year ago. I am just now setting up my shop to do some selling of my own online. but thought it may be something you would be interested in. this particular address is my friends shop of note cards. she is doing pretty well, made 800 dollars last month.
anyway, take care!

Freckled Hen said...

One of the biggest stresses in my life is cooking. I love to cook but I don't love to have to cook...every night! You are smart to prepare for a week at a time. What a relief it must be to drive home from work and know what's for dinner.
Thanks for your welcome back comment. Yours was the first blog I a good book! Post everyday, just for me!

cammy @ freckledfarm said...

What a great idea. With my kiddos' schedules, I also struggle with dinner thing. I am a big fan of the crockpot!!

I will send you the email again. For some reason it is just not recognizing you email.

Have a great week. :)

julie said...

I absolutely vote you mother of the year! will you come to my house???

abeachcottage said...

ahh i just left you a long post and it got eaten by blogger, anyway, love what you did and yes think you do get mother of the year for taking the time to do that on a Sunday

Empty Nest Full Life said...

That's a Mom who cares. Have a great week! Jackie

Elizabeth said...

That is a great idea! I hope it works out long term. I read on another post that Harleigh plays the oboe. That is such a beautiful instrument. My husband played the oboe in high school and college. I also have a friend that teaches oboe. Good for her. Caitlin plays the violin,but she has taken a break from it. She even took lessons in Paris when we lived there.
Anyway, I think that is great that she plays, it isn't an easy instrument to play.

Sarah said...

Good idea! Sounds like a good plan Mom! My husband would like it if I would love for me to do something like that for him for work!HA!
Happy Thursday!
Vintage Lily

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