U-Turn Ahead

U-Turn Ahead

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So it has been almost 2 months since I last posted anything. Let me catch you up on what’s been happening…just give me a second…I’m sure there’s been something…Nope I got nothing. Not one thing. Two months have passed, and I can’t really remember much about them. I have been utterly lost in life. Does that ever happen to you?

This is not the good kind of “lost.” The kind where you just get so caught up in the moment, caught up in living that things like blogs and email and social media fall by the wayside. That kind of lost (which I don’t even think of as lost, so much as I do just truly living) is ok. More than ok. That kind of lost is simply perfection. What more could anyone ask than to be so entirely immersed in your own life that you forget to play commentator?

What I have been doing? It has not been that. That kind of living involves conscious appreciation for each moment that you’re experiencing. It involves being in the moment and knowing that you’re in the moment and loving the fact that you’re in the moment. I’m grateful to have had many times like that (I even blogged about my last one) in the past, and I’m sure I’ll have many more in the future. But that is not what has been going on the last two months.

As I said before, I have been lost. I know that I’ve worked. I’ve played. I’ve cleaned. I’ve loved. I’m sure I even enjoyed a large part of May and June. But I don’t really feel it. You know? It’s just one of those times when you look up and go, “it’s almost July? When did that happen?” I have just been caught up in the daily grind.

And it fucking sucks.

There. I said it. I started to edit myself, but then I thought “why?” What better way to describe the feeling that your life is a chore? There isn’t one. I typed and retyped and nothing. else. worked. So there it is. You can love it or hate it, but you can’t deny the truth that sometimes only an f-bomb will do. And this is definitely one of those times. At least for me it is. You see, I live my life fairly loosey-goosey. I’m not big on structures and schedules. I like to take what life throws at me and run with it.

Dinner at 8 instead of 6 so we can capture the fading sunlight? Yes!

Cancelled date with dirty clothes and dirty floors so we can have a bonfire with the family? Absolutely!

Bedtime moved back to 11 because the lightning bugs were begging to be chased? Fantastic!

These are the things that make me happy. These are what make me really feel my life down in my bones. And sometimes a schedule just gets in the way of all that. Call me a hippy, but I just love LIFE. I love my family, my friends, my job. I love doing everything and doing nothing. I enjoy it all. So you can see why it feeling like a chore pisses me off so much.

But I’m happy to say that I’ve snapped myself out it. I found unlikely inspiration in what has got to be the worst road construction ever in the history of this planet. I won’t go in to the details, but it is a hot mess. It caused me to make a U-turn on my way to work (and by U-turn, I mean that at 3am, still drowsy from cold medicine, I couldn’t tell if the road was open or closed and I found myself on the interstate, headed away from work, and had to use the “authorized vehicles only” pull off) and then make another  U-Turn on my way home from work (and by U-turn I mean, “there’s no way in hell I’m sitting in this traffic. Let me just turn around and take the back way home.)

That second one got me thinking about life and how I’ve been in a rut. I missed my blog. I missed reading. I missed all the things that made my life, a life. So here I am. Back and ready to enjoy every minute of everything. I hope you are too! 🙂

P.S.

I know I said I snapped myself out of it, but I have to give a shout out to my friend at work. He just would NOT STOP asking me about my blog. He kept it front and center in my mind, which lead to the whole U-Turn epiphany and to this blog, which has now turned into the longest “Hello!” in the world. Thanks for not letting me give it up!

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.

Sunshine is my weakness

Sunshine is my weakness

So, I didn’t attempt the orzo past yesterday. The sky was just too blue and the sun just too bright. I HAD to be outside! So after picking my kids up, we played and played outside. By the time we came in, it was after 6:00, and the thought of starting in on a dish was depressing. I didn’t want to spoil the warm, cozy mood the sunshine had lent us, so frozen pizzas were popped in the oven. And I don’t even feel bad about it.

This will be an ongoing problem as we get deeper into warm weather. You see, I thrive on sunshine. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you. Too many days of rain in a row, and I turn into a depressed, cynical Wednesday Adams caricature. I’m practically unbearable towards the end of winter. January and February really should not exist on my calendar. So when the sun finally comes to save me, I soak it up like a dried up flower after a drought.

In fact, we are headed out to picnic at the park right now. It’s another gorgeous day just begging for attention. I’ve spent the morning cleaning, and responsibility can hold me no more. My floors are vacuumed and mopped, and the laundry is moving right along. The kids were little angels and helped me pick up, so we’ve all earned a break. Also, the thought of letting and “feed” the sparkling clean kitchen floor gets my blood boiling. So out for a picnic lunch we go! *It may be a slightly selfish reason for taking them out, but  a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do. And hey, everyone wins here!

Hopefully I’ll feel up to attempting the pasta when we get home. If not it’s going to be PB & J and grapes for dinner. We will just have to see where the sunshine takes me today.

P. S.

Once again, it’s time for lists and grocery stores. What I really should be doing is planning that out. Instead,  I’m going to choose to ignore the dwindling supply of food in my house. At least we will be fully stocked up on vitamin D!!

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!

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.

I have tasted sweet, spicy victory!!

I have tasted sweet, spicy victory!!

And it tasted just like the homemade black bean burgers I made last night. Yep, you read that right. Homemade black bean burgers. Made. By. Me. I certainly chose a doozy for my first recipe on this journey.

It all looked so simple on the glowing computer screen. Pour everything in a food processor. Form burgers. Cook! I raced home from work, eager to check off the first meal on my first ever menu plan. Well maybe eager is a stretch, but I wouldn’t say I was dreading it either. Or maybe my memory of it has gone all rosy after the success of it all. But that came later. First, I actually had to execute this not-as-easy-as-it-looked monster of a first recipe.

Prep time was listed as 10 minutes. I didn’t time myself, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that mine took at least 3x that. Of course, if I knew how to chop cilantro (thanks Google!) or how to convert measurements (and again!) or had a functioning can opener (this shoutout goes to the lovely S and J), 10 minutes seems quite doable. By the time I was done, I had:

1 destroyed kitchen

1 black bean purée covered mom

2 screaming toddlers

and 9 beautiful, almost-like-the-picture burger patties.

I put them in the fridge to harden up, and spent the next 2 hours bargaining with every higher power to MAKE THESE TASTE GOOD. I am not kidding when I say that if these things had not been edible, bad things were going to happen. Very bad things.

I was delighted when I pulled them out 2 hours later and discovered something must have gone right. They were beautiful and firm and could be moved about just like beef burgers. I cooked them up, along with the potato and zucchini fries I also found on Pinterest, and then came the test. Would they taste as good as they smelled? Would their cilantro heavy flavor overpower the sour taste left by the previous chaos in the kitchen? Would this be my first victory??

The answer is… YES! YES! A thousand times YES!!!!!

I loved the burgers. My friend (read: guinea pig) loved the burgers. AND they passed the kid test with flying colors! Even my husband, who does not like black bean burgers, reluctantly admitted that “they were good, I guess, if you like things like that.” That’s right guys. I aced the first test!!! And after this undeniable success on Day 3, I am almost excited about my dinner for tonight: Italian sausage stuffed peppers. Let’s see if I can go 2 for 2! Wish me luck!

Pro Tip:

If one splurges on the good, expensive sweet chili sauce that pairs perfectly with black bean burgers, one should probably keep it under lock and key. One should probably not leave it out on the table where J can get to it. And one should definitely not leave one’s phone dangerously close to it.