Wednesday, July 20, 2011

dinner success

I did it.  Two days in a row I delivered good, nutritious meals to my kids...on my own...AND was nice.  My win may not seem like much...but it feels pretty impressive to me.

See, for the past...I don't know...three years...Gavin has been playing the part of chef in our home.  And he does it so well that why mess with a good thing?

We have an unspoken deal.  There are things that he doesn't love- yard work...that I enjoy and do.  And he takes things that I am currently not fond of- cooking...and knocks it out of the park every time he turns on the oven or grill.

We have ourselves a pretty good arrangement.  If I were to go out of town though...the world would not end because the plants weren't watered and the grass wasn't mowed.  However, when Gavin goes out of town there are going to be some problems if someone doesn't fill his shoes with the dinner bit.  

He does his best to help me out.  Before he goes he grills meat or puts some in the crock pot.  He goes to the grocery store and stocks up on all the stuff we need.  Still, it's pressure....and I hate it.  I think that I mostly hate it because by that time of the day my patience is usually just about used up.  And I still have tub time, and homework, and bedtime routine ahead of me...not to mention prime teasing time for the kids since they are all together and in a confined space.  

My Grandma and Mom have always said something along the lines of, "It's not how you start the race, it's how you finish it."  And I hate that.  I hate it cause it's true.  We can have the best amazing things...see and learn all sorts of stuff.  Have bonding experiences...and then a lack of patience on my part can ruin the whole thing right at the finish line.  I don't want that.  I want us to have a peaceful end to the day...sit around the table and talk about what was good and not-so-good.  I want harmony, music in the background, laughter, banter, that too much to ask?

It's especially hard when one of my three kids is guaranteed not to like what is being offered.  That is almost too much for me to handle.  I keep bringing up the "Kids in Africa would love this."  Or "It's better than dirt which is what you are going to be given if you don't eat this."  Or "It's this or bed and no dinner."  I hate saying crap like that.  

But even more I hate cooking three different meals consisting of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tuna and chips and black beans and salsa.  Those are the go-to meals that my three kids each prefer.  Problem is, that's what they usually get for lunch.  And since I don't want Shelby to get mercury poisoning, and I am certainly not wanting to eat pb&j's for every dinner, they have to eat other stuff.  

But this week has been great.  Yesterday I had left over enchilada filling that I had taken out of the freezer.  I cooked some tortillas and stuffed them with the filling.  We had a salad that the kids chopped.  It worked.  Granted, Garrett would not touch the enchiladas because he spotted meat, so he had an avocado instead.  And I had to help Shelby with a couple of her bites that didn't have chicken in them because any thing without meat in her eyes is not worth eating.  But they all ate their salads.  And they loved the home made peach and strawberry shakes I made for desert.  We went on a walk around the block.  Everyone had a happy and peaceful night.  Yay for me.

Tonight I went to Mazza.  Spent $20 on an order of chicken mutabuk that fed the whole family.  OMG I love this dish.  Tons of herbs, garlic, sauteed onions, savory potatoes and chicken with flavorful rice.  I sauteed brussel sprouts in olive oil and put some rolls in the oven.  They all ate the dish.  Garrett didn't touch the chicken part of it, and Shelby wouldn't go near the onions...but the middle eastern meal was pretty much a hit.  Everyone ate the brussel sprouts...even Garrett.  

For desert Dalton made us an Oreo shake.  He lovingly saved all the cream fillings for Shelby...gross.  Then we went for a small walk, that turned in to a big walk.  We went down to the glen, a few blocks away, then decided to walk through the glen, which takes a bit for a just turned three year old.  Dumb Mom didn't bring water, so I was bribing them with it for the whole second half of the walk.

Luckily the second half of the walk was all downhill, which they raced.  The evening was pleasant...lots of people out.  We stopped by our neighbors to pet their new kitten.  We met a new friend for Garrett who we invited over to play on the swing set and tramp.  We turned on Team Umi Zumi for Garrett while the big kids and I climbed in to my bed and read the second chapter of the first Harry Potter book.

I want to get Shelby hooked on this series and I want to read out loud to them something they'll both like.  Dalton read most of these books a few years back, but I thought it would be fun to read them together, with the idea that Dalton and I could switch off on the reading, and then watch each video after we finish each book, ending with the final Harry Potter movie.  

They weren't in bed by eight...or even nine.  It was 9:30 by the time they were asleep.  And there are tennis lessons and Little Gym and LEGO robotics camp in the morning.  But, I served a good dinner, and we finished the day the same way we started it- happy...YAY.

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