Wednesday, August 28, 2013

To the rude lady at the hospital.

I got your letter on my car. Yeah, the one where you explained I parked too close to your car, making it hard for you to get out. I especially noticed at the end the big sentence underlined three times and written with obvious anger: "you are an idiot". I am sorry I parked too close to your car.

However, I think if you understood the situation, instead of writing a note to break me down, you would have tried to help. You see, my daughter was bleeding all over herself, crying in the backseat because she had split open her gums. I was a little very overwhelmed with trying to find a place to take her along with my 2 other little kids, having been turned away from 3 different doctors offices for insignificant reasons. The parking lot at the ER was completely packed and I saw that smaller-than-my-car space and took it. There were a million other things running through my head like: "I hope my husband isn't worried when he comes home for lunch and sees the sign I left on the door  because I couldn't get a hold of him in class, saying we were at the hospital," and "I really hope she doesn't need stitches" and "I hope my newborn doesn't catch something scary here at the ER" and "I feel bad for losing my temper at my toddler because I am so stressed trying to find a place to take my bleeding daughter" and "I wish her mouth would stop hurting her" and "its breaking my heart to see her in pain" and "I can't believe we are going to the hospital"... O and I was kind of in a rush considering the fact my little precious daughter was losing blood by the second.

I was fighting a hard battle. You could not have known, all you saw was how annoying it was I parked too close to your car. Yeah that is frustrating and inconvenient. I get it. But that little note you decided to write made my day just that much worse. That much more hard. It was hard to get your words out of my head. I wish I could sit down with you and replay my morning. I hope you could have seen my intentions and understood the situation.

I wonder if your mom taught you to hold your tongue if you don't have anything nice to say. If she didn't I am sure my face when I read your note would have been a good lesson. If she did, shame on you. And because my mom did teach me that lesson, I will hold my tongue and refrain from saying or thinking certain things about you. Because I am sure, considering the fact we were both parked in the ER parking lot, you were fighting a hard battle too.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Freezer Meal Journey: Month 2

So earlier last year, I decided that I wanted to seriously tackle freezer meals as our main way of doing dinner. I knew hubby being in medical school full-time and me home with 3 kids 3 and younger would require a lot of planning for life to go smooth. Anyways, last month was my first month, which you can read about here. It was a great success and we have liked all the meals I prepared. In fact some of them are new family favorites we will eat a lot more! The only thing I wish I had done was blanch some of the vegetables before I froze them.

This month I did another big batch of cooking and finished 6 meals doubled. I planned for 8, but once I got everything out, I remembered that I hadn't bought 2 important things that would mean the prep for the last 2 meals would have to wait for another day. With some leftover meals from last month, that is all I needed to last the rest of the month.

The meals I prepared were:
Beef Faijitas
Sweet and Tangy Meatballs
Beef Roast
Spaghetti (my moms recipe, so I will put it on the blog soon, but any recipe would work)
Cilantro Lime Chicken with Black Beans and Corn
Taco Soup (my recipe, that I will also put on soon, but again any recipe would work)
Coconut Curry Tofu
Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Some things I did differently or learned this time:
--I labeled each bag and kept them in the same spot close to where I was prepping so they were together, out of the way and easy to grab.
--Instead of chopping all the vegetables and putting them in different bowls, I cut down on steps and mess and put all the chopped food into the labeled bags right away. I think I used 1 bowl the whole time, only because I had to mix some things in it. This made the whole process SO much faster! This time I made more meals, but it only took 2 hours, compared to the many more hours it took last time. So basically cut out the middle man and just put things straight into the bag!
--Instead of working on several meals at once, I actually did one at a time. This only worked this time because there was no cooking I had to do. Once I finished each meal, I put them in a place away from all the chopping and cooking so it didn't take up space.
--I did this last time, but forgot to mention it, but I kept the trash can right next to me so every time there was something to throw away, I put it in the garbage right away to cut down on mess. Doing this and not using extra bowls etc. my kitchen wasn't that messy! It was so nice for cleaning up afterwards!
--If there are meals that have more than 1 bag, tape them together so you dont forget on baking day. I almost forgot to take out a second bag to un-thaw one night which could have been disastrous.
--Take your meals out to freeze in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours, best 36 or 48 hours.
--Put meat into it's own bag. There probably is anything more nasty than having meat juice mixed in with your vegetables in your refrigerator!
--Like I said above, blanch potatoes, carrots or other vegetables before freezing them if you don't want them to be soggy.
--Keep a list of the meals you have in the freezer, when you made them, where they are (I have a normal freezer and a chest freezer in the garage), way to cook them (if it's a crock pot meal, that is important to note), and any thing you need with the meal like noodles for spaghetti. I have this one on our refrigerator all filled out.

Best part?!
All the groceries for the 16 meals cost a whooping $170! There were a few things I had already that I didn't need to buy like onions, canned tomatoes etc. But it wasn't enough to make a huge difference! Thats pretty good for 16 meals!

Next month I am going to look for more meatless/vegetarian and whole food meals. Not that these aren't but that is going to be my goal because that is the way we want to start eating. Hope I can find some good ones!  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

And it's over.

I love Brielle's face! She is in a diaper because I was getting her ready to put her swimming suit on.

Just like that, without much warning, our time of "play" is over.
One day I woke up and realized, that phase of our life is entirely over.

And surprisingly, my emotions are different than I thought they would be.
An aching excitement.
Aching: I am so sad to have that time over, at times it can hurt. My heart aches to think about how my kids will miss their daddy, and I ache when I think about doing this alone, almost entirely without my best friend.
Excitement: Because it's finally here. The day we have been preparing, hoping for and dreaming of for years. Because I am ready to do this thing.
The surprising part, is this is the greater emotion of the 2.

Yesterday, Richard started medical school.

For pretend, because this week is orientation, but it is all day and the same hours as his classes (8am-5pm). So we are starting "the" schedule and he is preemptively studying the massive amounts of books that he has during the hours he plans to do homework. 80 hours a week of class and studying. Boom baby.
So I am on my own. A thing I haven't had to do since he finished his under-graduate degree last year. It's hard to get used to, but I did it for so long, I have fallen right back in place. The adjustment has come pretty natural, which is a huge tender mercy. 

Classes start on Monday, and the real journey begins.
I feel like I am standing in line for one of the really scary rides at a carnival. It looks exciting, and by the faces of those getting off the ride, it looks totally worth it. In fact, they all come over and tell you it is so worth it. However, it also looks scary, just not scary enough to get out of line. You remind yourself, it will be worth it, and you can do it. 

That's exactly how I feel.

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.
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