Sunday, June 14, 2009

Meal planning and other rambling

Oh, my heart. Almost daily, Bird does something that astounds me. Simple things that are so normal, but that to a first-time waited-so-long mama, are amazing.

I don't think this is necessarily fascinating reading material, but it's about all I think about some days. Between that and the overcoming nausea, I've been a little silent lately.

I do think that this pregnancy is going to end up with a healthy baby come the end of January, 2010. Today marks 8 weeks, and I am quite certain that things are progressing.

We've been spending our days biding time the past couple of weeks. There is lots of mommy-on-the-couch time with Bird climbing over me to reach the books that have been placed carefully within his reach. We read a lot. We watch too much TV. We try our very best to make it to the pool or the park after nap time when I feel better. We also infringe upon our neighbor probably way too much, but she is the type of person who meets you where you are, feeling good, bad, or ugly, so it's nice. I can be talkative or silently fighting off feeling like crap.

Summer is moving slowing, I'm afraid.

Meal plans have gone out the window. I've got to get back on that. At the beginning of the year, I took my dayplanner, which I always insist on having even though I have used it less and less since I left the non-profit world, and turned it into a meal planner. (Leave now if you are already bored, because it's about to get a lot more boring)

Each page has a week's calendar on the right and the left page is half blank and half full of lines. It's a planner that came in the infamous SVMoms swag bags last year at BlogHer, a BusyBody Book. At the beginning of the month, I go to Costco and buy meat for the month. I divide it up into portions of 2 or 3 and then freeze it. After listing what all in is the freezer on the blank section next to the first week of the month, I start filling in the days with meals, checking off the contents of the freezer as I go.

There are some constants. Tuesdays are swap meal days with Cyndi. Friday nights are breakfast for dinner nights. I also always buy 2 whole chickens every month so one night we have roast chicken, then the following night we'll have chicken enchiladas or some chicken casserole. Also, buying the whole chicken ensures that we always have chicken stock in the freezer.

Using the planner means that I can also incorporate Lovely's schedule into the planning, making sure I have lunch fixings on hand for her time with us as well. Or, if Kevin has a meeting or whatever, I can put it right in the same calendar where our meals are. The blank sections give me room to jot down a new recipe to try, and the lines for each week give me a place to make my grocery list right next to what meals we are going to have.

This was a fantastic system until I started getting really woozy when thinking about food. Planning meals is very difficult when just considering food makes you want to yak.

I have got to get back to it though, because I completely scored at the North Hills Farmer's Market yesterday. Thanks to Ilina, I was able to scoop up the full share of someone who wanted out of their committment to the very booked up Double-T Farm CSA for the rest of the season. Farmer Tom was looking for a "friend of a friend" to take it over, and Ilina was just that friend I needed to convince him to sell the share to me.

This means that every Saturday, we will have a whole mess of beautiful, tasty, organic, local produce to work into our meals for the week. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. This week we have lettuce, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, leeks, vidalia onions, zucchini, and zepher squash. The carrots taste exactly like I was standing with my grandfather in his garden. We would wash off the vegetables before we even got back in the house and munch on them in the backyard. I haven't had a carrot that tasted like that in years, until yesterday.

If I don't plan ahead, I'll be sure to forget what is in the fridge and let it go to waste. That would be awful, so I'm going to get back on it for sure this week.

It looks like I've written myself into a goal. I had better quit before I make any more promises to myself in public. Wish me luck.

Be sure to go over and enter the giveaway at Triangle Mamas. As of right now, it's been up for almost 48 hours and no one has entered. That is both embarrassing for me and great for you at the same time. It's for Animal Planet's Emergency Vets for the Nintendo DS. I don't even care if you have a DS. Just enter. It will make me feel better. Mercy buckets.