Saturday, August 31, 2013

(Home) School Lunches

Why do these children I’ve produced think they need to eat every three to four hours? I simply do not understand it.  It wears me out, having to come up with meals for these people. I share the opinion of my friend, Camille McClelland, in regards to feeding children:

“Lungfish. Did you know a lungfish can survive up to 4 years without eating? That's what I want for children. I'll trade them for humans when they grow up, because lungfish are really ugly.”


I love homeschooling my kids.  I LIKE having them around. I’m glad they don’t look like lungfish. I am committed to their getting all the nutrition they need or whatever, but I do not love feeding them. You know what I really miss about public school? Lunch ladies.

Oh, Adam Sandler. Sing it, bro.

They cook, plate the food, and clean up. And THEY do the nagging to get the little cherubs to eat the mystery meat. (Sloppy Joe, Sloppy, Sloppy Joe!)

We are gearing up for our fall schedule and I realized we will be eating a minimum of five meals a week on the go (two lunches, three dinners.)  I know many public school goers brown bag it every day and it’s no biggie, but that is a LOT of PBJs in a week. And it makes me want to crawl into a dark room and curl up into a fetal position.

However, never one to shrink from a challenge, I went to Pinterest for inspiration and ideas for a variety of healthy “on the go” meals. I found this:

lunch box 1 

And this:

phineas and ferb lunch

And this:

butterfly lunch

Is any of this even for real? I mean, I love Phineas and Ferb as much as the next person, but after a morning of travel and activity, our lunches tend to wind up looking more like this:

APTOPIX Spain Tomatina Food Fight

Cute little bento sandwiches? Color coded, patterned fruit and veggie kebabs? Yeah….no.

I need a lunch lady.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Day in the Life

Last night, I attended a board meeting for the Deseret Home School Association, our local LDS homeschool support group.  We were tossing around ideas for themes to anchor our monthly Mothers’ Meetings and one of the ideas that came up was to give homeschool moms a chance to share about a “typical” day in their lives.  I liked this idea so much, I decided to share my day with you:
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
First things first.  This was what I posted on Facebook this morning:
To moms of little children and to women who will someday have children: If you promise yourself that you will never let the kids eat sugar cereal and will only fix them nutritious, hearty REAL FOOD are deluding yourselves. ‪#‎ihatecookingbreakfast‬ ‪#‎donutshavetohavesomenutritionalvalue‬‪ #‎eatthedamnchocolatecheeriosalready‬
I really do hate making breakfast and my kids are not cereal people.  This was my first mistake.  Once upon a time, I thought in order to be a good mom, I had to provide hearty, homemade REAL food breakfasts—and so I did---until I realized how much I hate oatmeal and scrambled eggs and pancakes and waffles in the morning. They are much better later in the day—like when I’m awake enough to care. Breakfast for DINNER? No prob, let’s do it! But cooking this up in the morning, before trying to do school or run errands? That’s crazy talk.
This morning, I was willing to drive 13 miles out of my way to take the kids for donuts, JUST SO I DON”T HAVE TO COOK BREAKFAST.  The kids were thrilled. And yes, the baby is eating a bag of Fritos. On the way to get donuts.  Just. Whatever.
This past weekend, I shipped my oldest daughter, Ellen, off to Virginia to visit the cousins.  We all miss her terribly, and we’re drowning our sorrows in custard filled Krispy Kreme.
Another fun thing: Calvin is obsessed with coins—this has actually been a great hobby for him to take up, because it’s gotten him all interested in U.S. history—he now knows more about the government and the U.S. presidents than anyone else I know.  He’ll grow up to be a lawyer or a politician.  I don’t know whether to be proud or scared by that prospect…
This morning, he laid out all his coins in preparation for showing his collection at the Western Idaho Fair.
When we got back from getting donuts, the baby had tanked. Sugar coma started early for her.
Of course, she had a busy morning licking the walls prior to diving into her Breakfast of Champions.  There’s the homeschool stereotype in action.  What a weirdo.
The rest of our morning consisted of me catching up on e-mail and Facebook (don’t judge me, you do it, too.), doing laundry, playing a crappy game of The New Super Mario Brothers with the kids (because it’s summertime and why not be glued to a screen when there’s a gorgeous day outside?), and reminding them that because I bought them donuts this morning, they should at least not whine while I make them do their chores.
As an aside, when I said “typical” you must realize there is no such thing in a homeschool mother’s world.  Just thought I’d clarify that for you.
Lunch was leftover donuts. (Hey, I bought a dozen, after all.)  While I was debating whether to eat the maple glazed or the caramel chocolate pretzel concoction, the baby found a pair of scissors and customized her clothes while watching My Little Pony. I think her shirt is mocking me and my negligent parenting skills.
I decided that the scissors would be put to better use cutting coupons. Yes, I’m one of those crazy coupon ladies.  Well, actually, I’m not. In fact, I kind of suck at couponing, but I keep trying because I’m a masochist.
I had just finished organizing all the newspaper inserts when I realized we were going to be late to two things that started at the same time, but were in different places.  Calvin had a well child check up at the pediatrician in Boise and the kids all had swimming lessons in Meridian.  Since the pediatrician’s office charges 20 bucks for no-shows, I figured that’s where we ought to be.  Of course, the daily charge for swimming lessons is about four bucks a kid. So, not considering the gas I used to drive to Boise, I saved four bucks by going to the doctor’s appointment.  See how good I am at this money-saving crap?
On the way, we sneaked in some schooling.  We alternated having Calvin read us a chapter of a novel (The 39 Clues, in case you were wondering….and Calvin does the voices!) and rocking out to our favorite tunes.  On the playlist today: Jump In the Line by Harry Belafonte, Le Freak by Chic, Down Under by Men at Work, and Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics. (Classics. All of them.)
Anyway—You put four sugared up kids in an 8 by 8 exam room and hilarity ensues.  Or at least noise ensues.  I had given the kids the manners and public behavior lecture as we were walking in, but it was a case of too little, too late.  And all I did was laugh at them. Oh—and the baby was naked.  She had squirted the entire contents of a Capri Sun all over herself seconds before I got to the parking lot, so I had to strip her down.  Funnily enough, this didn’t faze the nurses or the doctor.  In fact, the nurse looked at the baby, sighed and said, “Clothing is SO overrated.” (This is why I’m willing to drive 40 minutes to go to this pediatrician.)
And Blythe loudly informed me that he forgot to put on underwear.  And he didn’t bring shoes.  He’s crunchy like that.  But, true to form, he remembered to bring an entire pirate ship with a crew of superheroes and Lego men.  At least he can entertain himself.
The doctor told me that Calvin would benefit from more fruits and veggies in his diet and fewer sweets and treats—(Calvin has an insatiable sweet tooth—I have no idea where this comes from.) So, of course, what’s the first thing we do after he gets two immunizations?
We get milkshakes.
Chocolate comes from a plant—that counts as a fruit—or is it a vegetable? And there were maraschino cherries…BAM. Doctor’s orders.  To. The. Letter.
Back home, I turned the kids loose in the back yard while I made a taco salad for dinner. It was delicious. I’d make THAT for breakfast.  (No I wouldn’t.)
To cap off my day, I left the kids with my husband and headed out to my favorite activity outside of sleep and not cooking.  I went to my Krav Maga class.  If you don’t know what it is and want a really good story about why I love it so much, click here.  If you just want to see some craptastic photos I took, stay with me.
I had just done 75 push ups and had noodle arms—but you can kind of get the idea.  My instructor and one of my classmates (in the center of the photo) are demonstrating how to get out of a headlock. We all got to practice this on each other. It was fun, despite getting smacked in the face a couple times.
Here’s a shot of the guys as they do the headlock thing. They almost look like they are buddies. I’m bugged that the picture turned out blurry, but my phone doesn’t have an “action shot” setting and they were moving pretty fast. (And I was supposed to be paying attention, not acting like the paparazzi.)  Next time, I’ll just have them pose all fakey for me after class or something.
After my class, I could NOT find my car keys. I had brought a new purse that has more pockets in it than a kindergarten teacher’s sweater vest.  I unloaded my purse, as well as my gym bag, TWICE. We checked all over at the studio and even went to peek in the truck to see if I’d locked the keys in there.  Nada.  I had to call my husband to come get me.  Of course, a few minutes after I called him, I found the stupid keys—in my purse-- and was able to call off the rescue. I am such a dork sometimes.
It’s been an eventful day…or maybe it just seems that way because I was documenting it. I dunno.  As I said before, there’s no such thing as a “typical” day in the life of a homeschooling mom…at least, not this one. 
Can’t wait for tomorrow!