Friday, January 31, 2014

Tantrum Days

Oh. Mah. GAW. Yesterday was a 10 on the Epic Tantrum Scale you guys. Since turning 4, Lily Ruth has done some experimentation with temper tantrums, begging and whining. This is not necessarily news-worthy - she's 4. If she wasn't testing boundaries and pushing limits, I'd be worried. We even had a few weeks of full-blown screaming tantrums that lasted for a minimum of 30 minutes each.

This blew all of those out of the water. I am still reeling. When I texted my husband at 3:37 with "possibly the worst day ever. Do not come home without vodka", I was only kidding a little bit. Luckily, he gets me. He came home with hugs and pomegranate vodka.

It started over candy (or rather, the lack thereof in Lily Ruth's hot little hand). It continued as a refusal to calm down. It escalated as she battled to stay angry.

"I am going to THROW this!" "Lily Ruth, you know that if you throw something, the consequence is that it will be taken away."

"NO, Mama! I am GOING to throw this, and don't you DARE take it away from me! Don't you DARE!"

"I am GOING to get out of my room. I am GOING to get my things back!"

"NOOOOOOOOO! Don't you DARE throw the candy away! I AM GOING TO BITE YOU!"

This is where she went into pure Berserker mode. A tiny hurricane of angry fists, furious kicks, gnashing teeth and top-volume shrieking. I held her at arm's length as she raged at me. At one point, she actually managed to grab a handful of my hair and pull. I slapped her hand before I even realized it.

"I HATE YOU! I am NEVER going to love you. Never. Ever. AGAIN."

"I am going to call Daddy and tell him that you are acting like a JERK, Mama. I am going to write him that you are throwing my things and acting AWFUL."

It went on. And on. And on. By the time she wound down enough to stop screaming, there were three large containers of things from her room in the garage, and the contents of the candy bowl were in the garbage.

When she came to me white faced and red eyed to ask for water, I was shaking with the effort of holding her back physically and the mental effort of not losing control myself. I made her a large glass of ice water, and led her to the couch. I folded her grasshopper-long legs into my lap and wrapped her in a hug. I leaned my head against hers and whispered "I ALWAYS love you. Always. Even when there is screaming, I love you." She started sobbing again. We hugged for a while. Then I unfolded myself and went in to comfort poor Alec who had been awakened from his nap by all of the screaming. He had himself had been crying for quite some time, but I had been unwilling to let Lily Ruth out of my sight until she calmed down. *sigh*

Don made it home not too long after it was all over. It felt like an eternity. I was completely wiped out. We made (giant) cocktails in to-go cups and bundled everybody up for a walk. After a few minutes of banal pleasantries, I told Lily Ruth that we needed to talk about what happened.

I started with why and how it began. I walked her through the series of events and reminded her of each opportunity that I had given her to calm down and change her behavior. Don and I both talked about how opinions and emotions are both allowed, but temper tantrums are not appropriate ways to express either. We talked about the fact that a temper tantrum will NEVER (not even ONE time) cause Mama or Daddy to give in to a demand. I finished up by reminding her that the loss of candy and toys were a direct consequence of her actions, and asked her if she understood that...

"Yeah, but I get all my stuff back later." She skipped off to pick a weed.

Crap. All for naught?

"Actually, Boo, you will get three things back tomorrow, and we will talk about the rest of it later."


Ya'll, I don't think I am cut out for this. Is it too late to pack her off to boarding school or even sell her on etsy? That's right - etsy. I made her. She's handmade. Therefore, etsy instead of e-bay. I'll bet if I don't mention her propensity for tantrums, I could get a FORTUNE for her.

We made it home, and Lily Ruth retired to the back yard with Dottie Dog to play with the ridiculously over-sized stick that she had picked up on the walk. Soon, she had broken it into two, and was racing around the yard using them as comically large drumsticks.

"Mama! Come out here and listen to the noises that I am making! Do you like my sounds?"

Oh Baby Girl. I love them.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Still A Mess

After yesterday's tirade, I still feel unsettled. Today has been at best, a difficult day and at worst a terrible day. Currently, it is fair to middling, but it ain't over yet.

Poor Don has a massive sinus infection and didn't sleep AT ALL last night, but he still left early to see the doctor and worked most of the day. Poor Alec is either teething or going through separation anxiety or both - whatever the cause, he is either ON me or crying. Actually, he is so miserable that sometimes he is crying even if I am holding him :-/ Poor Me is emotionally exhausted and physically a wreck - my arms and back ache from holding Alec so much, and my temper is on a hair trigger. Poor Lily Ruth is convinced that I am trying to pawn her off out of spite and that she is going to miss out on something. *sigh*

After Alec's morning nap, I attempted to corral the troops and get ready for a run to the grocery store. That weekly menu plan isn't going to shop for itself, people! I managed to dress Alec, style my hair and apply the only 2 cosmetics I have time for these days - concealer and mascara. I was attempting to dress myself when Alec crawled over to the dog water dish and soaked himself head to toe in less than 3 seconds. I shrieked at him which caused him to begin screaming in a truly epic fashion. I picked him up and apologized. He continued screaming. I stripped off his sopping wet clothing while crooning sweet things in his ear. He kept up the crying, and began rubbing impressive amounts of snot into the shirt that I had just barely managed to put on. I gave up and sat down to nurse him for the umpteenth time.

Since today was going so poorly, I called my (step)Dad and asked if he could take Lily Ruth to lunch. It was my intention to get her out of the House of Misery and give her some quality fun time with someone who loves her very much. Instead of seeing it that way, her first response was " 'out you, right?" (I love that despite her daily vocabulary and word usage growth, she still has a few Little Girl foibles in her speech! 'Out for without. Comote for remote...) When I confirmed that Alec and I would be staying home, she immediately balked and announced "that's not what I want to do." I dismissed her refusal, got her dressed and zipped her into her coat, but before we could get out to the car, she announced that she wasn't going to eat. She just wasn't hungry. I buckled her in to the carseat anyway, and waved as they drove away.

While I bounced and walked with Alec, I composed a scolding speech to Lily Ruth in my head. One that I knew that I wouldn't ever give, but I organized my thoughts nonetheless. I was inwardly ranting on and on about how important it is to spend time with family. How important it is to get to know them and to just be with them... then I stopped... because I felt like a total hypocrite. I spent yesterday convincing myself that I didn't need part of my family. That it wasn't important. That they weren't worth the emotional risk. So where do I really stand? Do I care or not? Will I risk or not?

Oh, Lawdy! I wish I had answers. I wish I felt stronger. I wish that I felt like a better version of myself. One who could push past years of little girl wishes and big girl disappointments and just be the bigger person who always does the right thing. That's who I want my babies to see me as.

Monday, January 27, 2014

In Which I Am A Mess

My brains are mush, ya'll. I am a mass of wildly swinging emotions, and all I want to do is sleep. No, I am most definitely NOT pregnant, so there's only one other thing that makes people act like this, right? Family.

My hope is that in writing and editing this, I can make some sort of sense out of the information I have, and how I feel about it.

My mom dropped an emotional bombshell on me last night. I love that woman. I love her deeply, madly, truly, fully... but DAMMIT! I have no idea if she is aware of this, but she drops bombs about my biological father and his family when I can't do anything about them. Like the time we went for pedicures. Two and a half hours side by side. Not a peep about anything 'heavy'. On the way home, she starts talking about how crazy busy the rest of her day is going to be. Two blocks from my house, she blurts out that my paternal grandmother has colo-rectal cancer, and it's always best to be aware that these things are lurking in our family trees. Then she basically shoves me out of the car at my door and races off down the street...

A bit of background: my parents married when my mother was 17, and my father was not much older. He was, however, being shipped off to Vietnam. While I was that age, I was working in restaurants, drinking too much, meeting my husband and making bad decisions that only impacted me. My dad was fighting a nasty, horrible war and jumping out of aircraft. My beautiful, feisty mother was alone on army bases far from everything she knew and trying to make a home out of everything she found. When he came back, things fell apart. They were divorced before I was born. My mom never said anything bad about my dad when I was growing up. He just wasn't around.

I met him for the first time when I was in high school. We ran into each other a few times in the next few years. He made it to my high school graduation, but not to my wedding. We never had direct contact, and eventually, my mother grew tired of playing go-between. She announced that if we wanted to communicate, we could buck up and do it ourselves. Neither of us seemed capable of figuring it out, so we let it drop.

Last May, just after Alec's birth, mama mentioned a call from him, but never said anything about it's content. Last night, as we stood in her kitchen making birthday dinner for the incredible man that I now call Dad, she leaned in and confided that she (the inveterate worrier) had "found something new to worry about." "Lay it on me" I belted out; confident that it had to do with Alec and something that we had failed to baby proof or are completely unprepared for - the field is vast as we are genuinely completely unprepared for a LOT of things. Instead, she told me that my paternal grandfather was diagnosed with congestive heart failure last May, and she hates to think that I might never meet him. "Do you think you might need to meet him?"

Wait, WHAT!?

She stirred the mushroom sauce and talked sotto-voice about how wonderful he is and where he is from. She mentioned that my dad has a half brother from his dad's second marriage who is also pretty great. I clutched my son and inwardly swooned.

"There might not be too much more time. Or maybe there is. What do you think?"

What do I think? I lost it a little bit. "What about the part where I'm FORTY YEARS OLD and none of these people have said a word to me!?" Why is this MY responsibility? Do they even want to talk to me? If so, why have they waited so long? It's not like I'm hard to find. "Shame," she said. "I think it's shame."

Some other portion of our family and our evening intervened, and we both let it drop.

I found a wine glass, and made it mine.

When we got back to our house, I started my rant. My poor husband. He of the toothache and case of exhaustion. He finally stopped me and said "I think that you have all of the dads and grandpas that you need." He hugged me and kissed the top of my head. Then he led me down the hall so we could put our children to bed.

I slept like a baby - up every hour, and restless in between.

As a child and a teen who had an occasionally adversarial relationship with her step-dad and two younger brothers that felt like two too many, I just knew that my dad would treat me differently. I had overblown fantasies of him coming to take me away and make me feel special. As a twenty-year-old, I decided that I had no need for this mysterious figure that I knew only through a handful of old photos and meetings that I could count on one hand. In my thirties, I found that I was no longer angry, but I wasn't interested in being the one to pursue a relationship, either.

So. Here I am. A forty-year-old, long-time married, mother of two. A planner and organizer. An avid reader. A novice writer. A teller of tales. A lover of ridiculous adventures. An excellent friend. A massage therapist. Pretty good at making things. Even better at cooking. Surrounded by those who love me.

And ya know what? This is where I choose to stand. I am not going to put myself out there and risk. Not this time. In this relationship, I am the child. I am the one they chose to walk away from. If they're so great, and I'm missing out, they can take the risk. If they choose to make the first move, I'm right here. In my nest of crazy love.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Week, New Plan

Menu plan, that is. I have more to say, but right now, it's Sunday night and I am too tired to post anything else...

Monday:  homemade pizzas

Tuesday:  Pork chops and Cauliflower Gratin

Wednesday:  Roasted chicken, quinoa and broccoli

Thursday:  Carnitas tacos and such

Friday:  family steak night

Saturday:  rigatoni with tiny meatballs

Sunday:  crapshoot...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fish Soup

I have no idea what brought this story to the front of my exhausted brain, but here it is...

When my younger brother Lucas was much younger than he is now, we lived in an "established" (read: not new or fancy or suburban) neighborhood. A nice little house with a backyard just right for make believe adventures and plastic splash pools.

Being an older house, it was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. One winter, we had goldfish. Well, we probably had goldfish over more than just one winter, but this is a story about a particular instance of having goldfish in winter, not a log of goldfish-having experiences. This particular winter, Lucas was old enough to be really mobile, and to really think about things. One of the things he spent a good deal of time pondering was the goldfish bowl and it's occupants. To be fair, we all spent at least part of the day thinking about the fish as their bowl resided on the kitchen counter.

Our regular babysitter had also given some thought to our fish. She gave us a small heater for them. It perched on the lip of the bowl, and dangled into the water. We kept it's dial set between one and three, and it kept the fish water at a nice lukewarm temperature. One night, it got really cold. The kind of cold that we just don't get down here very often. The kind of cold that grown ups talk about all day. The cold became something that a small boy was giving a lot of thought to. Something that worried him mightily. By the time night rolled around, he was worried how the cold would affect the fish. He made a plan.

He crept out of his warm, snuggly bed and padded his little footed sleeper clad way into the kitchen. He carefully pushed a chair up to the counter, and contemplated the fish. He decided that yes, indeed, they were cold. He decided that this observation required action. He reached his tiny fingers up and turned the dial of the fishbowl heater up and up and up again. He may or may not have turned it all of the way to eleven. Then he maybe (just maybe) gave the bowl a satisfied pat or two and (definitely) climbed carefully down. Then that sweet, thoughtful, sleepy boy made his way back to his bed.

We woke up the next morning to a fishbowl of roiling, boiling water, and two very warm fish.


On a completely unrelated fish note, we went to the zoo yesterday. Alec D is as much in love with petting goldfish as his big sister is. He holds as much of his arms as he can reach into the pond and waits for the fish to come up and lip his fingers gently. When they do, he hoots excitedly, bounces like crazy and splashes like mad.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Refresh, Renew, Reboot

SO, this time of year is alternately wonderful and hard for me. I love the renewal of the new year and warming weather, but I often (read: pretty much always) freak out around my birthday. I take stock, and find myself and / or my situation to be lacking in one or more areas. Then I fall into a pity party quagmire. It makes for a fun February. :-/

This time, I would like to preempt all of the whining and poor me-ing and just get started on the improvements and the moving forward. In order to make that happen, I am starting spring-type growth projects now.

This weekend, we broke in to the garden - the gate was sealed shut by climbing vine weeds - and started to clear out weeds, leaves and acorns. Don even started weed whacking the stepping stone path so that we can navigate safely ;-) I sorted out the seeds, drew up my new plan, and updated my spreadsheet... yes, I have a garden spreadsheet. I am a nerd who's brain reacts better if I enter information onto a spreadsheet then print it out and stare at it. I am who I am. As soon as I sort out the desktop and the printer, I will scan in this season's garden plan and share it with you. I know that you're waiting with baited breath. We still need to till, add soil revitalizers, cover the beds with hay for a few weeks to kill off weeds, and add new soil. THEN we can plant. *whew*

I have also decided on a few new projects to keep my brain occupied. I am going to make a new messenger bag for Lily Ruth - a slightly larger one that can hold her lunchbox or her ballet kit. Enlarging the awesome pattern from Craftbuds should be a good challenge for my nerd brain. I am also going to make a messenger bag (using the regular pattern) for Alec D. Yes, I know he can't carry it himself, but I need a bag of that size for his Parent's Day Out supplies, and I love to make stuff!!! Oh, sorry. I got a bit defensive :-P

Oh, and I am continuing to do good(ish) work with the meal planning. Last week, I didn't quite stick to the plan, and I didn't manage to do one big shop, but it was still very helpful. Here is this week's plan:

Monday:  Gnocchi with Sausage and Kale (didn't make it last week :-/)

Tuesday:  Pork Chops with Cheesy Skillet Rice and Green Beans (from Mel's 30 minute meals)

Wednesday:  Curried Lentils with Chicken and Potatoes

Thursday:  Jayden's Beef with Broccoli

Friday:  Family dinner night - I think that Grandmother is making chili!!

Saturday:  Post-Gardening PIZZAS!

Sunday: Let's just call Sundays "Crap Shoot Sundays" and admit that I cannot plan out that far, shall we?

I will leave you with a few images from our lives this week. They pretty much speak for themselves :-)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Snark Day

I have been perusing Pinterest for Valentine ideas. If you weren't already aware, I adore Valentine's Day. Not so much the actual day, but rather the emphasis on love, acknowledgement of love and the color red. Those things all excite me very much.

Lily Ruth has decided to make Minion cookies and heart-shaped crayons for her classmates. I am working on a pink wreath. I wrapped the Styrofoam form in vividly pink yarn, and have begun cutting hearts out of felt.

I have been debating embroidering Sweetheart-type messages onto said hearts. My dilemma is this: do I 1) stick with traditional stuff like "love you", "you're sweet" and crap like that, 2) go slightly more modern with "you rock", "shine on", "beseme", etc. OR 3) go completely nuts and mimic my favorite Valentine pin with "it's not u, it's me", "bite me", "not bad 4 ur age", "lookin'... o.k."? :-P

I know what Kittyn would pick. That cat is sassy. I know that not everybody would get the joke, and I don't want to offend anyone just to tickle my own funny bone... perhaps I'll go slightly modern for the wreath, and make the snarky hearts as gifts for those who will appreciate them. That sounds like the right thing to do.

Maybe while I'm at it, I can hand emboss business cards with bitchy sayings that I can hand out when strangers piss me off. No one would expect that. I could be out of there before their brain deciphers the fancy font and registers the insult. I think that I might really be on to something here. "Your attitude stinks, and your shoes offend me." "That was uncalled for - you should suck it." "Life's too short to waste any more of it near you."

Ahhhhhhhhhh, Wednesday. How I have missed the freedom of being childless for just long enough to get a few chores done then start some trouble!

p.s. I tried to embed my pins here for your enjoyment, but they've changed stuff since the last time I did that, and I can't figure it out :-/

p.p.s. I decided to leave the hearts unadorned. I like it :-)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sleepovers Vs Sleep

Oh Myyyyyyyyyyyyy. Lily Ruth had her first successful sleepover last night!

We attempted a sleepover with the same friend a few weeks ago, but we did it wrong, and it ended in a full-on screaming temper tantrum from Lily Ruth. Her friend Lola went home disappointed and confused. In case you were wondering, it is totally easy to get it wrong - especially the first time, and especially if the participants are 4 years old. We invited Lola to sleep over, then extended an invitation to Lola's 6 year old brother and wonderful mama to join us for dinner. We ended up keeping the kids up too late, and they were exhausted by the time they crawled up into the loft bed. We thought things were going well until there was crying. Lily Ruth was inconsolable, and kept insisting that she needed to sleep alone and she didn't know how to act at a sleepover. She was unable to articulate what (if anything) had happened to bring this on, and she REFUSED to calm down. Oi. Within minutes, she was shrieking at top volume. Lola's mom came to pick Lola up, and it took an additional 40 minutes for poor Lily Ruth to calm down.

This time, when the girls cooked up their sleepover plan, we decided to do it differently. Lily Ruth and I discussed in advance what we needed to do differently (just Lola, go to bed earlier). Then we went for it.

The girls were both happy when the climbed the ladder last night. We got them situated, and kissed them goodnight. The giggling started almost immediately. We decided not to intervene unless it got loud enough to possibly wake up Baby Brother... which happened twice... all of a sudden, it was 11 o'clock and they actually DID wake up Alec. I stormed in and demanded that they KNOCK IT OFF IMMEDIATELY AND GO TO SLEEP. I didn't hear another peep... until 5:30 am. Lily Ruth maintains that they did not sleep at all. I told her that I did not care, because they didn't wake me up :-P

Oh, and yes, you read that correctly. They woke up at 5:30!! They played fairly quietly in Lily Ruth's room until about 7:30. Then they flung themselves loudly into the living room and started watching movies on Netflix. *sigh*

They both had a marvelous time, and even after breakfast and Sunday School, they still wanted to play together. The mamas put the kibosh on that. They parted as happy, loving friends.

Six and a half hours is not enough sleep for 4 year olds. It might possibly be enough for a 40 year old, but this particular old lady was awakened multiple times by a teething baby :-( so nobody got enough sleep last night. Lily Ruth held it together until just after 2 pm. Now she's snoring on the couch. Alec and I napped in the rocking chair for a bit. Don is playing football on the playstation with glassy eyes. I'm sure we'll recover. Someday.

The only thing I have had the energy to do is stare at Pinterest for a while and come up with a menu plan for the week. Here it is! 3 of the 5 days planned are on my Pinterest board. The shrimp pasta is going to be a totally-winging-it-thing, and the risotto is already on this blog :-)

Sunday:  Sauteed Shrimp and Spinach in Creamy Sauce over pasta

Monday:  Crockpot Gyros (with salad)

Tuesday:  Tortellini and Sausage in a Cheesey Tomato and Cream Sauce (with broccoli and cauliflower)

Wednesday: Gnocchi with Sausage and Kale

Thursday:  Risotto with Mushroom and Peas (and grilled chicken)

Friday:  Family Steak Night (including Dragon's Breath sauce over something)

Saturday:  crapshoot - I'm outta ideas.

Happy eating, blog friends. Remember, Food is Love! I will leave you with this image of Alec D and Dottie Dog wrestling WWE-style:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

To Sleep, Or Not To Sleep...

These are from October of 2012. I had obviously intended to add more of them, and had perhaps intended to flesh them out a bit, but never got around to it. Any further details are lost to the mists of sleep deprivation and time, but I cannot bear to delete them!

Vignettes through exhausted eyes:

I should have turned out the light ages ago, but I didn't. I'm awake and reading waaaay past my bedtime again. A subtle movement in the doorway catches my eye. Lily Ruth stands quietly. Eyes mostly closed, brow furled against the light, sippy cup and blanket clutched tightly. "Come on in, Baby Love" I say softly. She nods in agreement and skirts her sleeping dog. "I just needed you" she states as she climbs over me and settles in.


Another late night. Pregnancy hormones wreck havoc on a mama's routines. At the thump of tiny feet hitting the floor I pause my reading and wait. Nothing for a few moments, then a tousled head appears. "I need to go POTTY" she states brightly. I leap up and herd her into the bathroom. I seat her sleepy self on the small seat, and she drapes her arms around my neck. As her weight melts into mine, I realize that she's telling me a story. "My body just said 'Wih-we Wuf, you need to go tinkle' and I said 'oh, o.k.' so I got up and told you and you put me on the potty and then I tinkled and I really did have to go..." Her voice trails off and her eyes slide shut as I lift her up and carry her into our bed. "You forgot my agua." *sigh*


Alec the Titan

My son is a Titan. Not necessarily a Titan as in the Titans who fathered the gods of Olympus, but a flame-haired master of his universe. But if we're being honest, and not just exaggerating in order to make a point, his hair is blonde-ish / brown-ish with a beautiful copper corona (psst: in this case, a corona is a glow visible in moderate to great sunlight).

The red hair began to show very early on, and came as a surprise to me... and my husband. When initially questioned about it, I replied that the color obviously came from the devil himself. Then we laughed hysterically.

When I repeated that anecdote to my mother, she "reminded" me that we were Scottish, so the red hair was not a surprise. I expressed surprise at the news that we were Scottish. She continued to act like this was information that I already had, and "repeated" a story about a great (great-great?) -grandfather, a long-distance bride, and a case of mistaken identity based on a beard that grew in red. It's a great story. If I loved you more, I would type it out here. But I love ME and SLEEP more than I love YOU, and also, it's not the point. The point is that my mother, The Keeper of the Family Lore is an inadvertent story hoarder. She has listened to and stored family stories for her entire life. She loves stories. She will practically mug people for biographical stories. She especially loves to share stories. The problem is not one of intentional hoarding. The problem is that she is so used to having all of this knowledge in her head, that she feels like we ALL have the same amount of family lore rolling around in our brains. I personally haven't heard a story older than my own great-grandparents in at least ten years - thus, my claim of hoarding.

To be fair, my mama and I have been through our share of wild, busy, stressful, amazing, exhausting changes in recent history. There hasn't been a lot of time for sharing of anything other than love. But if we don't tell more stories more often, the stories die. We can forget who we came from and how blessed we truly are. We forget that we are Scottish Titans Who Braved Untamed America.

Maybe it's time to listen more. You know. So we won't forget...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Where Have You BEEN!?

WOW! I haven't published since July!? My poor, lonely blog. Just as I felt like I was really finding my voice, too! Well, I meant to publish all kinds of things. I even composed numerous posts in my head as I fell asleep at night... but, um, stuff got in the way. Stuff like THIS:

I absolutely cannot believe that 8 whole months have passed since the birth of Alec D. The time has simultaneously flown and dragged by. As a family, we have weathered extreme stress and experienced great joy. The act of getting us all through each day clothed, fed and relatively unscathed has left me a bit depleted. I was also sans laptop, and our desktop is ancient, unwieldy and in a terrible location, so I was unmotivated to sit and compose posts even though I have plenty to say.

I fully intend to tell you all about Lily Ruth and ballet class. I have so much to say about Alec the Titan. I opened an Etsy store. We even have a new dog!

But in the way of most new years, I am starting this one with a bit of resolution. I want to feed my family in a more organized manner. No more running to the store every day or freaking out after 5 o'clock when the store run hasn't been done and both kids are so tired that they are losing their minds. Plenty of people in this great wide world manage to keep this stuff organized. This is not beyond my grasp.

So here is my menu plan for this week. The main dish recipes (aside from the stuffed shells - which I make up as I go) are on my Pinterest boards :-)

Monday:  Spicy turkey burgers with oven fries and broccoli & cauliflower
Tuesday:  Stuffed Shells
Wednesday:  Chicken and mushroom farro risotto and asparagus
Thursday:  Philly cheesesteak green peppers and quinoa
Friday:  Family steak night
Saturday:  - I dunno. What are YOU having? -
Sunday:  - crapshoot. possibly nothing -

And I will leave you with this tidbit: Lily Ruth was sitting at the table with her great-grandparents and a veterinarian kit. Writing furiously and talking on her "phone", she wrapped up her business then turned to Grandmother. "When do you want to bring your dog in for his appointment?" Ruth replies "how about tomorrow at 3." Lily Ruth consults her paperwork and states firmly "it will have to be today. Tomorrow is my day off."