I decided to start making a meal plan for the boys. There are times when babysitters are here, Jeff is home by himself and sometimes I don't even know what to make them. I didn't want to do just dinner though, I'm usually home for dinner, I wanted to make the plan for breakfast and lunch too, so that I know what they are eating most of the time and everyone else knows what to make them!
I started out just compiling a huge list of kid food that came to mind on scrap paper. Grilled cheese, quesadillas, pizza, lunchables, turkey sandwich, chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, fish sticks, etc... Keep in mind I have a 1 and a 3 year old so I tried to make meals that both of them could eat easily. Braxton, 1, loves to feed himself, he wants to do himself all the time. So I also tried to find a lot of food that they could pick up or eat and not make a huge mess by themselves.
Then I made a separate list of breakfast food that came to mind and side items that my kids like: hard boiled eggs, rice, sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, etc...
Then I took to the internet to see if I could find other good ideas and posted a status on Facebook asking all of you for ideas, which is really where I got the best ones! Then I made my list. I listed out each day of the week and under each day "B" "L" and "D" for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Next to each meal time I started making my menu for the week. Then from there I went to the grocery store. It made my grocery shopping pretty simple as well!
It's been about 2 or 3 weeks now and it's been going great. I've also noticed that my kids are eating a lot less snack food. If we happen to go out to eat or don't use something on the menu I just circle it so I know to re-use it another day. I have a door in my kitchen that goes into a side room that I'm going to paint with chalkboard paint and put the menu up there so it's easy to see, erase, and check off. Here are some of my favorites from the menu so far:
This was so easy, just used a cookie cutter and cracked an egg into it, and let it cook!
Spaghetti Hot Dogs
Colton LOVED these and ate every single one! He loves spaghetti but it's hard for him to eat so this way he held the hotdog and found it was much simpler to eat :)
Pigs in a Blanket
All I did for these was roll a hotdog in a Pillsbury crescent roll and bake for 8-10 minutes!
I struggle to get my kids to eat enough meat/protein so I tried to find ways to incorporate it. This you can use a hotdog or sausage for.
I definitely didn't tell my kids these were bananas! I just called them popsicles and they loved them. It's just a banana covered in vanilla yogurt with toppings and then freeze till ready!
That's all I got for now, hope you enjoyed it and maybe you will try some of them yourself! Also, if you have any other great, simple ideas (I don't have time for anything too elaborate) I would love to hear it!!
Dear 16 Year Old Brandi:
I have so many things to say. So many things you must know. Things that if you just listen. If you let me enlighten you. If you put your sassy think you know-it-all attitude aside your life will be easier. Much easier.
Where to start? Boys. Why not? This topic seems to be the cusp of your very existence right now
He Is NOT The One
The boy you are dating - you know the “relationship” you are in that resembles the worse roller coaster ride created by mankind. Yes that one. It does not work out. He’s not the one. Not even close to the one. Save your tears, heartache and dignity and move the heck on.
My Advice: Read the book He’s Just Not Into You. Reread it. You know what? Memorize it. You know you can stop wasting money on waterproof mascara if you just picked boys that don’t make you cry. Believe you have a lot to offer someone because you do. Maybe think about holding off on dating because you don’t enter a healthy functional relationship until much (much) later in life. Relax and enjoy your friends and family- they are the best.
Fortune Cookie: You will meet Mr. Right at the Right Time. At 29 years old you will marry your partner in life, your best friend, the man of your dreams in the Bahamas just the two of you.
Be Nice to Your Mother
There is no one else in this world who wants the best for you more than your own mother. Screaming hateful things at her and about her is something you will forever regret. Right now you think you have nothing in common with her, she doesn’t get you at all, and she’s your worst enemy. Wrong, wrong and wrong.
My Advice: Get your crazy teenage girl emotions in check. Don’t blame your mom for everything. In fact don’t blame her for anything. Seek out her wisdom, utilize her as a role model, or at the very least just be nice.
Fortune Cookie: Your mom (you know the lady in which you say you hope you are nothing like) becomes your best friend and you strive every day to be more like her. You call her by choice daily. She is your sounding board. She is your cheerleader.
Savor the Days
I know I know you can’t wait to be done with high school. Move on with your life. Move out of your parents’ house. Be a college campus girl. Live on your own. Be independent. Do your own thing. And, yes college life treated you amazingly well but you don’t have to be in such a hurry.
Advice: These are the days. Cheer a little bit harder at those high school basketball games, laugh a little bit longer with your girlfriends, have more sleepovers, act silly, relish in the fact that you have minimal responsibilities, rejoice in the fact that you have your entire life ahead of you, and rest assure that the things you worry about today either work themselves out or no longer matter. So relax about the future and enjoy your high school days.
Now that all the serious stuff is out of the way a few other random things you should know:
Brandi (the older and wiser one)
This morning the husband and I were lying in bed. Him on his phone reading USA Today. Me reading a book. Every once in a while mentioning something we read that we thought the other would be interested in. I mentioned something I read that made me think of something I wanted. That warranted a cautious reply from the husband...
“Sometimes you can be very confusing missy.”
He usually throws in a missy to soften the blow when he’s saying something he’s not sure how I’ll receive it. “Hey missy care if I go watch UFC?” “Think you’ll have time to pick up my dry cleaning missy.” “I don’t know missy. I think I would have handled that differently.” It’s a cute and usually effective strategy.
I smile and innocently say, “Who me... confusing?” “What do you mean?”
Before he can reply my five year old runs in our room ninja moves a blazin. It’s the husband’s turn to combat the ninja today. As he executes equally impressive fighting moves I sneak downstairs to make my very necessary daily cup of coffee.
Sipping and thinking about the agenda for the day my thoughts wandered over to my husband’s earlier comment.
Am I confusing? Am I really that hard of a person to figure out?
I want to be a homebody. I want to travel the world.
I love getting cocktail ready, ordering wine, rubbing elbows, and admiring the elegant centerpieces at some fancy benefit. I love throwing on a University of Tennessee sweatshirt comfy jeans, tennis shoes and a ponytail, drink up on some lemonade and vodka, and cheer touchdowns at my brother’s regular Game Day Saturday parties.
I wish I had more time to clean and organize. More importantly, I wish I had more time to play with my children.
I love brainstorming profit maximization ideas with business owners. My heart bleeds nonprofit.
I look forward to girls night out. I look forward staying in and snuggling with the boys.
I love filet and lobster. I equally love grilled cheese sandwiches.
I need to stay busy. I need a day of nothing.
I want to know what my day looks like. I want some spontaneity.
I want to move on from my past. I want to relive the memories.
I want to live in the moment. I want to know what the future holds.
I think time goes by so slow and I hate it. I think time goes by so fast and I hate it.
Sometimes I think I’m a very simple person. Sometimes I feel like my life is so complicated.
So I ask... really what’s so confusing about all of that?