Title: (insert name of blog here)

Title: (insert name of blog here)

Today has been a day that reminded me, more than once, why I chose the name  “My Household DISorder.” Note the emphasis on the “dis.” Scratch that. This week has reminded me why.

I don’t know if my kids have become messier or if I’ve been lazier, but for whatever reason, I just can’t keep up this week. My house is a disaster. For every one thing I pick up, three more materialize on the floor. I know what you’re thinking parents. “That’s just having kids. Nothing special.” My response? I know it always seems that way, but I swear to god it’s ACTUALLY happening in my house this week.

I’ve also been experiencing a little “case of the melancholies” as I like to call it. This means that instead of the mess spurring me into a cleaning frenzy, it has beaten me down. I’ve been stomped into a catatonic state of “I don’t give a damn.” This week has stolen all my mom magic that allows me to be a human punching bag. I am defeated. Knocked out. Life is the champion this round.

Given this information you have probably figured out that there hasn’t been a lot of kitchen action this week. I’ll spare you the details, but just know this: Ham sandwiches and bananas. For dinner. Last night. Yeah… Because of this new low, I decided I should get back in the ring tonight and actually feed my family. I should have just stayed down for the count.

Since it’s Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make quesadillas. (The fact that they require almost no work and are done in like, 2 seconds, had nothing to do with it. Promise.) I was about to get started in the kitchen when I got a phone call. Since the kids were happily playing in J’s bedroom, I switched the burner right back off and stepped into the living room to take the call. Having lulled me into a false sense of security, my darling children chose this moment to act.

I came back into the kitchen to discover the loaf of bread COVERED in mustard. My kids somehow (don’t you wish we could ever know how?!) managed to silently sneak into the kitchen, silently open the child locked refrigerator, silently retrieve the bread from the counter, and silently squeeze half the bottle of yellow mustard onto it. My hearing is admittedly pretty terrible, but this seems impossible. I mean, I live in a double wide for crying out loud! My living room is literally right next to the kitchen! And yet, they made it happen.

My small silver lining was that at least the bread wasn’t ruined. The mustard was only covering the plastic. Except that it wasn’t. My brilliant (read:devious)  little angels had poked little angel finger sized holes in the plastic first. And then had squeezed the not so little amount of mustard onto the bag. Where it proceeded to seep perfectly into the entire loaf of bread.

I surprisingly still made the quesadillas. Which promptly turned into quesadilla soup all over the dining room table when he poured out his cup. Apparently, my small Cinco de Mayo celebration of quesadillas for dinner wasn’t enough for my kids. They have decided to throw their own party. One in which they release all their inner demons. Is it Cinco de Seis yet?????

P.S.

Did I mention I started this day by accidently calling my boss? At 2:32 this morning? Oh yeah, it happened. It’s a good thing that I’ve known him practically forever. And that we are good friends. And that my whole store team is like one big family. I mean, could you imagine if it wasn’t??? But still, what a way to kick off my day.

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One should not take rice for granted

One should not take rice for granted

Well, it finally happened. I have suffered a defeat in the kitchen. Although if I’m honest, it took much longer than expected. I fully believed I would fail from day one, so to have made it this far before this happened is a victory in itself. And thank God for that! I know myself, and if I hadn’t bolstered my confidence with all my previous success, I would be an angry hot mess right now. I would send the family away to find dinner, slam around cleaning while shouting some explicit phrases at EVERY SINGLE (insert choice word) PAN, and go to bed seething and starving. Luckily, that didn’t have to happen this time. I mean, I have spent years learning not to be a sore loser, but when it comes to the kitchen, all bets are off.

So let me break it down for you. I decided to attempt sweet potato and black bean taquitos with a side of mexican seasoned rice.  The recipe in itself didn’t seem too complicated, and I thought I could just cook up some rice and season it myself to pair with the taquitos. That should have been my first indication that things were amiss, me thinking I could fly solo on something. I missed the sign though, and so started in on prepping the taquitos. It was a battle from the get go. You see, sweet potatoes are kind of hard to peel and dice. At least, the two monster size ones I had picked out were. I wasn’t prepared for it, and it set the tone for the rest of the evening.

I finally got them all cubed up and the beans rinsed and drained, only to realize that I didn’t have the corn the recipe called for. “Small hiccup,” I thought. “I’m sure they will be fine without it.” I continued on with the cheese and seasonings, got the filling all mixed, and lay out my pan to start rolling. By this point, the prep has taken me twice as long as expected (why can’t I learn that those little numbers on recipes lie?!), the kids are screaming, and I don’t even want to eat dinner. But I soldiered on, hastily rolling the taquitos and popping them in the oven. I then got to work on the rice.

It’s well known that rice can be finicky. I have cooked real rice, meaning not pre-seasoned instant rice, only one time before today. For this reason I should not have been as confident as I was. Instead, I chose to make not one but two cups of rice, thinking it would be so good we would all want seconds. I was wrong. I messed up the cooking, did not add anywhere near enough seasoning, and then tried to fix the disaster by adding cheese to make it “cheesy mexican rice.” I didn’t even want to try a bite, but I forced myself to. It wasn’t edible. AT ALL. It was a mushy disgusting mess. The two toddlers would not even touch this stuff.

So our dinner consisted of slightly bland taquitos and nothing else. I managed to mess those up too by not following the recipe closely enough. I thought I could just season them myself instead of taking the time to measure everything out. Again, I was wrong. They were at least edible though, and I think the recipe is a keeper if I were to follow it to the letter. Although after my defeat today, I’m sure it will be a while before I can bring myself to try them again.

P.S.

Today marked the official end of my winning-at-life streak. I’m hoping things simply go back to normal. That I just return to being unlucky and carry on my merry way. That the universe does not exact karmic revenge for my winning times to balance things out. I’ll keep you posted.

I put it off as long as I could…

I put it off as long as I could…

but today was the day. I absolutely HAD to go to the grocery store. I knew it when I went to bed last night, and it was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning. I thought that was only supposed to happen with things you love, but I guess any strong emotion (hate, loathing, despair) can do it. I know I should stop complaining about how much I hate grocery shopping, especially since it isn’t something I can stop doing, but it seems to help me get through it. I’m hoping that one outcome of this journey I’m on will be a lessening of my hatred for anything grocery related, but until then you’ll just have to bear with me.

So the morning started off tainted, and only got worse from there. I managed to find two packets of oatmeal in my bare cupboards, so the kids did at least get breakfast. Unfortunately, they both decided the floor was hungry and needed half of each of their bowls. And apparently getting mopped can really wear a floor out, so J helped quench its thirst with his entire cup of milk. Yep, we really got off to a roaring start this morning.

While all this floor feeding was going on, I was struggling through my menu and list. I have to admit, it actually wasn’t too bad this time. Since I’ve kind of been slacking the last few weeks, I decided to make this a week full of new recipes. This makes my planning easier, as I just go through Pinterest and pick out things that look good and that I think I can execute. Everything’s a trade off though, because an easier menu planning/list writing week usually means a harder week in the kitchen. I’m sure I’ll have lots to talk about.

Between the cleaning and the list making, I was done before I’d even left for the store, but as I’ve already pointed out, I could avoid this no longer. So I packed up the kids and headed out. I managed to get a good 10 minutes away from my house when it hit me. I had spent over an hour forcing myself to create a list and then promptly left said list at home. At this point I was too pissed off about the whole situation to shop without it, so I turned around and headed back home. There’s nothing like a little anger to really get me motivated, so I snatched up the list and booked it to the store. I shopped with a fury raging inside and finished in record time.

After the day I’ve had, I opted for an easy dinner tonight. I’ve made it one other time, and it is delicious and quick. You just throw chicken, red potatoes, green beans, and butter in a baking dish, sprinkle with italian dressing seasoning packet, and bake. It is so good! This is actually the first recipe I ever made from Pinterest, back before the days of me really cooking. I remember how nervous I was making it then, even though it is ridiculously easy. It’s so easy that I’m almost embarrassed about ever being scared to make it. Almost. Instead, I’m just going to count how easy it was to make this time as progress! I’ve come a long way in just a few short weeks. #winning

P. S. 

It’s really sweet when your 3 year old tries to clean up the mess for you. It’s not so sweet when what she picks up off the dirty clothes hamper to clean with is a white t-shirt. Your favorite white t-shirt. Your only white t-shirt that you’ve been able to keep white. Until now that is.

She lives!

She lives!

Guys. Let me start by saying SORRY! I know that I have been a pretty shitty blogger the last few weeks. First it was work, then it was life, and this last week it was the internet, or lack there of. But I am pleased to announce that I am back up and running, with real internet! At my house!! Wi-fi even!!! As you can tell, I am just a little excited about this. Previously, my only option for writing this was to use my Ipad on cellular data. Which was totally fine for the first few (although typing on any kind of tablet, no matter how good you are, just SUCKS after the first couple paragraphs.) But then… I hit 90% of my data plan… and I wasn’t even half way through the cycle… and I have to share with my husband. Needless to say, I had to go MIA for a bit, but now I’m back and better than ever!

So let me catch you up on the week. I did attempt the one pot chicken lo mien I mentioned last post, and it came out pretty good. I was impressed. Not blown away, talk about it for a week, best-effing-chicken-ever impressed like I was with my last chicken recipe, but it was definitely tasty. Speaking of that AMAZING chicken, has anyone else tried it yet? I commanded you all to make it immediately,and I need to hear about some life changing chicken people! But getting back to the lo mien, it was easy to make and something completely different than what we normally eat around here, so I think I will keep it in the repertoire.

As far as adventurous went, the lo mien was it for this week. After learning my lesson in week 1, I made sure to include some meals I had made before when planning out the menu for this week. And by that I mean, since I completely bombed at the whole meal planning/grocery list writing thing, I had to go back to my comfort zone in order to feed my family for the week. So we may have eaten my world famous Barilla and Ragu delight. And we may have eaten hamburgers and french fries (both of the frozen variety.) And we may have had breakfast for dinner one night. But in the end we all got fed, and I even scored a victory with one of my old staples.

I made what I am calling “Fiesta Eggs!”. (note the exclamation point. It is part of the name, not the sentence. Because a name like Fiesta Eggs! needs to be said with feeling.) All I did was add a little bit of cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, salsa, and cheddar cheese to scrambled eggs. They were sooo good! I mean, I don’t even like breakfast for dinner. I only make it (a lot) because everyone else in my family loves it, and it is cheap and simple. But even I absolutely loved these eggs. Maybe they tasted better than they really were because I was so proud of myself, but I doubt it. They were that damn good.

So now we are all caught up! I’m not sure what next week holds for cooking yet because I haven’t been able to convince myself to attempt week 3 of meal planning yet. I’m actively trying not to think about the lack of food in my kitchen right now. I just want to delay the weekly visit to my personal hell for as long as possible, and since tomorrow is Sunday, I get at least one more day. 3 cheers for family dinner!

P.S.

I feel guilty for being sketchy the last few weeks, so I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret. Big changes are coming for myhouseholddisorder. I hope to be launching a newly designed page in the next week! It should have more info, more features, and just be altogether better. I didn’t want to say anything about it on off (read: highly likely, almost definite) chance that I procrastinate and don’t get it done anytime soon. But it’s out there now, so I guess I have to get it done. Fingers crossed!

Practice does not always make perfect

Practice does not always make perfect

A few days ago I sat down for my second meal planning/grocery list writing session. I thought “this will be easy. I’ve done this before. 30 minutes of focused attention and I’ll be done.” I was wrong. Very, very wrong. For starters finding 30 minutes of focused attention for anything is hard around here, let alone for something like this. You see, I still hate this part of my journey. Even my successes in the kitchen cannot make me a list person or a grocery store person. I’ve just come to accept these two things as fact about myself. They are not changing anytime soon.

So my quick thirty minutes turned into something more like 3 hours, spread over the course of an afternoon. My list was written in fits and bursts. My menu contained days that said simply “fish” and “pasta.” This was a sad, sad attempt at meal planning, and much worse than my first go at it.  Have I already lost all the motivation of 2 weeks ago? I am not able to manage even one month of consistent grocery shopping and cooking? It appears not.

I leave the house a few hours later, loser of a grocery list in hand, and I. AM. DREADING. THIS.  I don’t know what it is, but I just cannot handle grocery shopping. There is nothing that I like about it. Not one single thing. I’m even out at 9:00pm to do this, hoping that a less crowded store will lead to a more enjoyable experience. And it does help a little. While I still don’t enjoy myself, I also don’t have a nervous breakdown in the cereal aisle as I try to follow proper grocery store etiquette in getting around all the other people. You see, I turn into Mario Andretti when I’m shopping, and the other shoppers never seem to understand that we are in a race.

I did manage to get my shopping done though, and I even made it home with the proper ingredients to make a few dinners. First up was chicken enchiladas, which sounds much more complicated than it really is. I am proud to say that I turned them into this chicken-enchilada-casserole-thing, and it was delicious. AND I did all this without a recipe! Granted, it involved a taco spice packet and enchilada sauce from a can, but I still count this a victory. I mean it wasn’t frozen, fast food, or anything resembling the shape of an animal and that adds up to a real food win in my book.

Tomorrow things get a little more complicated with one pot chicken lo mein. I have never in my life attempted to cook anything even remotely close to Asian food, so I’m a little concerned about how this will turn out. Lets just say that I am definitely using a recipe for this one. Wish me luck!

P. S. 

If I can perfect how exactly I made the enchilada-casserole-thing, I will post the recipe on here for you guys to try. It may take a while though, so don’t hold your breath. Or you can probably just go to Pinterest and find one right this second. And it will probably be better than mine anyways. And I will probably Repin it from you so I’ll have something to use next time.

Unplugged and Unapologetic

Unplugged and Unapologetic

Guys, the last week has been busy! Work has been crazy, the Easter holiday was crazy, and my kids are always crazy, so it’s been nothing but chaos and craziness for 7 days straight. And before anyone gets the idea that the storm has passed and life is slowing down, let me present you with this:

image

That’s me as I try to write this post with 2 little helpers and one very large, very orange stuffed cat. What you can’t see is the iPad on the floor and my fingers desperately trying to type coherent sentences while keeping both children perched safely on my lap. (I swear, we parents should start a traveling circus to showcase our amazing feats of multitaksing!!) And this picture pretty much sums up how I’ve felt the last few days: overwhelmed and overburdened.

Well that’s not exactly true. Overwhelmed? For sure! I’m always overwhelmed, but I like my life full and busy and exhausting. I mean, who really wants to lead an underwhelming life??? But overburdened? That was probably the wrong word. I’m exactly as burdened as I would like to be at this point in my life. And the burdens I am currently carrying are all very good ones! Two beautiful, silly toddlers that require tons of work but keep me young at heart. Fantastic family and friends that love me and want to spend time with me. A job that is demanding and time consuming, but one that provides for us and I can honestly say I LOVE going to everyday. I’ll take those burdens time and time again!!

And so, when life turns into a whirlwind, I simply buckle up and enjoy the ride. I’m too busy enjoying all the things my real life has to offer to even thing about anything here in Internet world. So I don’t blog. I don’t facebook. I don’t even check my email. It’s not a deliberate decision. It’s just something that happens. I’m glad that I can just allow myself to be, to hold on and survive, to thrive. I make no apologies for it. And I highly recommend trying it for yourself sometime.

NOTE:

As you all can imagine, I did not get much cooking done in the last little while. I’m still too new at this to throw that into the mix of pandemonium and madness. So there may have been a frozen pizza night and a sauce-from-the-jar spaghetti night. Plus, there were 3 nights in a row of impromptu family dinner over at the parents (score!). But I did manage to produce my BEST DINNER TO DATE. Seriously y’all, this chicken was so good, I talked about it. And talked about. And talked about it. For days. It’s posted under the recipe tab. Do yourself a favor and go make this chicken. Like now!!

Mel 2, Universe 1

Mel 2, Universe 1

That’s right everyone! Log another W in the win column because last night’s dinner was an absolute smash! It was Italian sausage stuffed peppers, and even miss I-exist-on-nothing-but-smiles-and-hyperactivity S went back for seconds. I think I just might be getting the hang of the cooking thing!! Unfortunately, this unlikely development seems to have caused a cosmic shift in the universe. Let me explain.

I was on the back porch soaking up the last few rays of sunshine and basking in the glow of a successful first dinner. All was right with the world…and then silence descended upon the kitchen. This (can I get an “amen?!”) is NEVER a good thing. You see, before you have kids, you imagine weary parents welcoming a few precious moments of silence with open arms. Then you actually have the kids, and you learn (painfully in most cases) that SILENCE. IS. BAD.

In this particular learning experience, decided that tables and cell phones taste better with a few thousand pours of mommy’s expensive sweet chili sauce. I got to him just in time to watch the last drop fall out of the bottle and right onto his head. Apparently, babies need a little extra spice and clean babies need even more. So as I scrubbed the child, the floors, the table, and the cell phone, I couldn’t help but wonder what I did to deserve this.

And then it hit me. cooked something. I cooked something that didn’t come from a freezer or a box. I cooked something real, something that required a recipe instead of directions. There has always been an understanding between the universe and myself, and I had gone and upset the delicate balance of things. This? This was my punishment. And my punishment was the straw the broke the camels back for my sad, abused little phone.

So as I write this, one new phone later (what a way to start month 1 of budgeting, right?), I can’t help but hope that the universe requires merely one ultimate sacrifice in exchange for learning a new skill. I can deal with that. The alternative is keeping score, and I’m not quite sure I can keep up. Although if that is the case, I am currently in the lead! And I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon!

Note: All of the recipes I have tried came straight from other people’s blogs via Pinterest. I know no one out there seriously thinks I was able to achieve these things on my own, right??? Because if that’s the case, you may need to back up to post número uno and read my core principle. Ha! Right after you do that, click on Recipes at the top of my page to try these out for yourself. Seriously guys, if I can pull them off, ANYONE can pull them off.