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Bringing Back the Homemade Meals

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Bringing Back the Homemade Meals

I had my last meal made by my neighbors (Thanks N.P. It was so, so good) and came to the realization that family dinners is what is missing in this house. Granted it is a lot easier to do when someone shows up with it already done but on the nights that we sat down as a family to eat, the atmosphere here was, to use a highly overused word, awesome. The kids were happier and actually talked to each other instead of screaming at each other and it did warm my heart to see them eating so well. I've decided that I am going to challenge myself and go back to cooking every night. A real meal with a main course, a side dish, some bread and a dessert. Not the 4 minute microwave Hormel Roast (that is, by the way, some of my kids favorite meal) which is a real meal but feels like cheating and I think the only vegetable my kids have eaten in a long time is corn. Our lives do not lend themselves to sitting down all together to eat. On any given night, someone needs to be somewhere. To give you an idea of what I am up against with this challenge this is a typical week during football season:

Mondays: Belle has cheer from 6:30-8:30, Nico and Tommy both have football from 5:45-8:00. After practice Leo has a coaches' meeting to watch game tape.
Tuesdays: Belle will have a drawing class (her other passion) after school (which I will have to get her from at 4:30), Nico and Tommy have football at 5:45-8:00.
Wednesdays: Belle has cheer from 5:30-7:30 and if I am lucky, the boys won't have practice and I'll get a night to myself.
Thursdays: Belle is supposed to have tumbling from 4-5:30 but we aren't sure if her wrist can handle it or that I can get her back in the class. The boys have football.
Fridays are usually pizza nights.
Saturday night we usually have something going on.
Sundays are at my mom's.

That means I have to have dinner on the table either at 4:45 (which won't even work on Thursdays if Belle does tumbling) or 8:00. Either way, they'll either have to eat pb&j before their practices or after because they are starving after practice. The earlier time works better because I don't want to eat a big meal at 8:00 but then Leo will never eat with us because he races in the house at 5:30 to change and go to practice. There's no way he can be home at 4:45. So dinner together means dinner with me at 4:45 and then dinner with Leo at 8:00. A funny story about our two dinner nights. The kids once asked Leo why we have two dinners and Leo told them that dinner is what we have first and then supper is what we have later. So the kids took to asking me, "What's for dinner?" and then later, "What's for supper?" You can imagine how much I disliked having to make two things everyday. Sometimes I wanted to just yell, "Kitchen's closed!" If you've read the rest of my blog, you know that with the boys, I can't. Anyway, once at a baseball game, Tommy asked me, "Mom, what's for supper today?" I was irritated with the twins and their constant asking me for money for concessions and I said, probably harsher than I should have, "Nothing. You're getting nothing for supper." Every single head in the stands turned and looked at me with open mouths. I realized it looked like I just told my child he wasn't getting anything to eat for dinner and had to explain Leo's messed up explanation of why we have two meals for dinner.

There are many things that will come up to ruin this. Time is a big one. Gia is another one. I'll have to push through the night that comes when I work hard on a meal and my kids look at it and say, "Ick! I'm not eating that." That's usually when I throw in the towel. I am excited for this challenge and to see how long I can pull it off. Knowing my history, I give it a week but maybe I'll surprise myself.


At September 10, 2011 at 7:16 AM , Blogger Kendra Mareva said...

Good lord, I'm exhausted just from reading over your schedules! Two dinner/suppers?! Soldier on, Ann. Soldier on. ;)

At September 11, 2011 at 6:28 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

It is flipping exhausting! I start tomorrow. If you have any good recipes, send them my way.


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