Has it really been seven weeks? It's almost hard to believe. I have felt so much more relaxed and patient since starting this project on me, it's hard to believe I wasn't taking time for myself before.
I had a bit of an "off" weekend this weekend, not taking my usual me time the way I have been. I've only had one other Sunday when I didn't do my Panera morning, and if I weren't keeping track of my me time, I'd be at risk now of falling out of practice and not returning to taking time for myself. Fortunately, between writing about it and reporting back to my new friend about it, I am accountable and responsible for taking time for myself. Good thing.
I am a bit late in writing since my me time is on the weekend, but I figure better late than never. I'm ADD like that, that's how I roll.
I will start with our Saturday. I needed to grocery shop in a bad way and Saturday we had nothing on the calendar. I love days like that when I can do what I need to do without running against the clock. I tried to write out my weekly menus for four weeks this time, rather than my normal two, but, with the need for things like toilet paper and some other non-food staples, I succeeded in getting a two week menu planned, and could get another week out of what I have on hand, just didn't write it out. This was going to be a five store trip. Five stores, really? Yes. I am not a coupon girl, nor do I watch sales ads like a hawk, but, I do know where certain things are cheapest, most plentiful, best quality, and when I get the ads I do scan them for good deals. Regardless, I did have to hit Target for this trip, and as it turned out they were having a special event in celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday. Come on kids, we're going to Target!
At the store, there were a handful of employees and two tables set up in what used to be a self-checkout lane. Apparently Target shoppers aren't too keen on self-checkout, at least not at the few stores I've been to around here. I digress... On the tables were Seuss books scattered about, inviting kids to come on over to listen to the stories being read by the employees. Long story short, you get what you're paying for. It was a free event, and the employees are probably better at stocking shelves and scanning purchases then reading these books, which can be challenging to the most adept reader. Either way, it was a nice event and the kids each got their own mini reusable Target bag, which had a sheet of stickers and a pencil inside. The kids got to enjoy some animal crackers and juice boxes as they listened to the stories, which was a nice little perk. Overall, I think it was a neat idea.
After Target, I deposited the kids back home with Daddy and continued on my way. After completing several stores, I returned home to feed everyone at lunch (including myself), and after the kids were down for nap and quiet time, I headed back out to the last two stores. It honestly felt so good to do this massive trip and get the things I needed. I know most people can't imagine going to that many stores for groceries, but it works for me.
Once I got home and unloaded all my purchases, I got out the items I would need for our dinner. I clipped a recipe from the newspaper a year or so ago, and this dish has become one of my favourite dishes to make. It's "baked pasta alla pizzaiola" and it's yummilicious. I enjoy making it as much as I enjoy eating it, so I always make sure I have this dish on the menu on the weekend, and on a day when we don't have other plans. The dish is basically a red sauce served over your choice of hearty pasta, with grilled veggies and meats of your choice added in, sprinkled with a fresh or shredded cheese of your liking. Oooohh, it's so good (let me know if you want the recipe!).
On this particular Saturday, my husband wanted to get in touch with one of his friends and see if our families could get together in the afternoon. For us, this means after nap time, and by that point, we might as well include dinner in those plans, otherwise our plans would end up being about an hour, then we'd have to head out and go eat. Luckily, when those plans involve another family with young kids, it usually works out well for both of us. After a little coordination, I made my yummy pasta dish and we took it to our friends' place and enjoyed a two family dinner of baked pasta, fresh fruit, and garlic bread, served with a nice red wine. It was really nice to see these friends, we haven't seen them in quite a long time. All in all, it was a great night sharing good food with good friends, we couldn't have asked for more.
My Sunday didn't go quite like my Sundays have been going for the last several weeks. I had agreed, earlier in the week, to watch a neighbor's little girl, whom Ethel loves playing with. I'd agreed that we'd watch her at 8AM, until her mom got home sometime late in the afternoon, just before dinner time. No biggie. The kids play well, and with the kids occupied it often makes the day easier for Mommy and Daddy. For some reason, I told Daddy that I'd stay home and not do my Panera morning, since I was the one who'd agreed to watch R for the day. This is where things took a turn. I think in my mind I was really itching for that time out of the house, but was trying to live up to my responsibility having agreed that R could spend the day with us. I knew that Daddy could handle it all, but, chose to stay in.
With plans to go to a friend's house in the afternoon for a home jewelry show, I called her to find out if there was anything I could bring. While we talked, I asked if she minded me stopping over for a bit, so I did. I accompanied her on a short shopping trip for some last minute goods for her afternoon show. I was gone for two hours, and made it home just in time to get lunch served to the crowd. I apologized to Daddy when I got home, because I knew when I left that he wasn't happy that I'd suddenly changed my mind. Was it the end of the world? No. Were the kids just fine? Yes.
After lunching, I got the kids settled into their quiet times, got the girls set up with Ethel's Lite Brite, and got myself ready. I made the dip I promised to take to my friend's place and headed out. I had very little time to do lunch, get ready, and make my dip, but, I sped through it all and had enough time to get to my friend's place a little bit early. Unfortunately, I had a really nice time at her house and didn't watch the clock. I finally checked the time and it was 5:30PM, that's when I'm normally calling everyone for dinner. Ack!!
I rushed home, and somehow got salmon, rice, and green beans on the table by 6:30PM. Sunday nights are bath night for the kids, so I had to get them a quick bath after dinner, too! Ack, what have I done?! I hate being rushed, I hate being late, and I generally don't handle that type of situation well. The kids really like playing in the bath, too, but I had to make this one a fast bath, which they didn't appreciate very much. I realize now how nice our Sunday nights are when we have a nice dinner together, and it's not all rushed. Note to self, for sure.
Luckily, the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games were on, so once we got everyone dried and into their PJ's, we all nestled onto Mommy and Daddy's bed to watch them. We really enjoyed the Games, and I'm always sad to see them end. As it turned out, it was a fitting end to a busy weekend. All four of us cuddled up on the bed watching the closing ceremonies. As I got Ethel all tucked into bed and kissed her little forehead, I realized just how lucky I am. I have a wonderful family. My husband loves me despite my impulsive actions, selfish moments, and disorganized days. In the end, we are a family and we have each other, and that's the most important thing of all.