Our little family has entered into a challenge, because do you know what we all love?
We’ve decided that we eat out entirely too much, because HELLO, SOMEONE ELSE DOING THE COOKING. And Jimmy John’s is just down the hill, and it’s healthy, in a THIS IS A LOT OF WHITE BREAD CARBS sort of way. And all the roasted veggies at Qdoba are fresh, because I saw the hill of avocados being pitted with my own two eyes one time. They don’t use the TASTES LIKE GUACAMOLE BUT INVOLVES ARTIFICIAL AVOCADO FLAVORING AND GREEN DYE kind of spread.
And isn’t that what being a mother is all about? Keeping your children safe from faux guacamole?
In an effort to save some American dollars in our wallets, our friends, Paul and Katie, came on board with us in a friendly challenge. (Although Hubs will tell you that there’s no such thing as a friendly challenge, because someone is going to win, and win ruthlessly, and losers will cry, while winners dance and throw their trophies high into the air, and that’s okay.)
The winning family between us is the family who spends the least amount of cash in restaurants this month.
Starbucks was listed as a restaurant.
Hi. My name is Mama, and it has been seven days since I’ve had a chai tea from The Bucks. I’ve been using Jedi mind tricks all week to convince myself that I’m going to survive and be just fine.
In trying to get clever with meals, I just found an online website that has DINNERS FOR BUSY MOTHERS written right into their name. Naturally, that’s me.
Because being the mother of Thing 2 means BUSY UNTIL YOU MIGHT NEED A NERVE PILL. This morning, he found a ball of yarn while I was putting on my mascara. I heard him throwing A BALL in the hallway and laughing hysterically, and I sighed in relief. When he’s throwing a ball, he’s not standing in a toilet, splashing. I could tell by the sound alone, that he wasn’t throwing a golf ball, so my windows were safe. When my eyes no longer looked like a zombie possession and had reached a state where they could be seen in polite society, I put my makeup bag away and walked out of our master bathroom.
There was four hundred and nineteen yards of orange yarn strung from the boy’s room to the boy’s bathroom to Thing 2’s bedroom to our bedroom, and all through the hallway. The cats were hot on the heels of the toddler, who would throw the yarn ball, laugh uncontrollably, pick it up, and throw it again.
I had some words with Thing 2. I picked up the yarn. I spent forty-nine hours today rewinding it. And then Cat 1 glared at me and whispered, “Let the man child throw the string, you evil woman.”
I’m not afraid of Cat 1.
So this website for busy mothers? Yes. It plans your meals out for you. You buy the lists of ingredients and make them yourself, unless you can convince your neighbor to come over to your kitchen every night and make the meals for you, which I’ve never been able to do.
But maybe you have nicer neighbors than we have. I don’t know.
The first recipe for this month was BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP.
What? Do you think my Pop-Tart-Loving sons are going to eat that? No. No, they will not, and neither will Hubs. The male tribe members in this house fear a squash like they fear being hauled along in a mall to go shopping with Mama.
The next recipe was ROASTED PHEASANT.
Seriously? Pheasant? For busy mothers? Because hold on boys, while Mama just goes out into the field across from our house, shoots a ring neck pheasant through his little heart, and dresses him out on the back deck.
I wanted to leave a comment on this website and say, “I think the busy mothers that you’re referring to are the mothers whose children are all in college, and she still stays home all day with a housekeeper and a redneck neighbor who doesn’t mind poaching a bird out of the lilac bushes for her on Pheasant Night.” I half expected the next post I read to be entitled, THANKSGIVING DINNER. IT’S NOT JUST FOR THANKSGIVING DAY ANY MORE. HOW YOU, TOO, CAN PREPARE A ROASTED TURKEY, MASHED POTATOES, HOMEMADE DINNER ROLLS, A GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE AND A MADE-FROM-SCRATCH PUMPKIN PIE BETWEEN SOCCER PRACTICE, YOUTH GROUP AND 6 PM.
Yeah. We’ll probably be serving a lot of fish sticks and Hamburger Helper around here, and that’s okay. Our sodium levels have been low lately, but we do intend to WIN THIS THING.
And that’s roughly 750 words of an introduction that has absolutely nothing to do with tonight’s blog post. You’re welcome for the opening tangent.
So yesterday, Thing 2 turned twenty months old. TWENTY! MONTHS!! I tried to take his pictures at home, but he turned his nose up at me and refused to look at the camera. Naturally, being the one who wanted to win the camera stand-off, I hauled Thing 2 out to see Sister and little Cousin H. Sister sang and danced behind me, so that Thing 2 would remain still for the time it takes my shutter button to open and close the aperture.
Yes, he’s cute. He’s downright adorable, and he moves at the speed of light. He scales walls, he leaps from tall buildings, and he squirts his squeezable pouches of applesauce all over my kitchen floors.
And his mama could not possibly love him any more than she does, because MY WORD! The boy and that crazy little Thing 2 make my heart split wide open with gooey-like-the-oatmeal kind of love. Our two boys are keepers.
Yesterday was also Hubs’ birthday. I did not haul him out to Sister’s house, so that she could play peek-a-boo behind me, so that he’d smile nicely for the camera. In fact, I didn’t even take a picture of Hubs yesterday, which is a shame.
Like a rock star.
Even at his recently-advanced age.
And I couldn’t possibly love him any more than I do, either, because… well… sometimes God picks the least likely of girls to just bless with a fantastic husband.
We had a little dinner party at our house for Hubs last night. Taking Thing 2 into the real world of NICE RESTAURANTS involves adding a 77% gratuity to our bill for the steam cleaning they will have to do beneath the spot where he sat, as well as to cover mental health trips for the patrons who ate at the table next to us.
Hubs’ parents brought over fillets, which Hubs grilled. And really? There isn’t a nice restaurant in town who can cook a steak better than Hubs can on his Traeger. It’s a solid fact that we have no where but home to go for a perfect steak.
Hubs’ mom also brought all the fixings for garlic mashed potatoes. My contribution was a bag of microwaved Brussels sprouts, because why would I make them from scratch, when the employees of Jolly Green Giant need to sell their products in order to feed their own families?
I’m just doing my part to help out the economy.
I’m pretty sure that both Hubs and Thing 2 had a pretty swell day yesterday. Twenty months and… considerably MORE THAN twenty months.
If I’d found that website sooner, I could have roasted up a nice, fresh pheasant for their birthday dinner, so that Hubs’ wouldn’t have had to do his own grilling on his special day.