Tuesday Evening Retroactive Meal Planning

It is a Tuesday evening. Every work-night last week – including Friday – I worked until midnight-ish, after giving the children my dinner hour. It’s been a lot of nights on the couch, dialed into the network and typing while the children snore upstairs. I’m a little tired but now that I’ve sort of accepted this as status quo for the time being, I’m just pleased that I’ve quickly become quite popular with the partners and am essentially drowning in work, all because they keep picking me for assignments.

I did a handful of hours on Saturday morning as well, while the children watched Saturday morning cartoons and fetched their own breakfast, and then we all proceeded to have an overbooked, super fun, kind of exhausting weekend. Saturday (after I billed some time), we did house projects all day. The children lingered in their pajamas and cleaned their room and spent almost zero time on screens – choosing instead to play cards, board games, and have “drawing competitions,” while I tidied and laundried and swept the floor and the Prof did various outdoor house projects. Saturday evening, a babysitter came and we spent the evening with friends in the French Quarter. It was a stormy evening and we dashed from bar to restaurant to bar, cringing at the lightning and swapping wedding stories. We had a delicious authentic African meal, then had a few drinks at a bar, and then the Prof and I dragged one of the couples to our house to have one last drink on the back porch. It was a great night.

The next morning I woke up after about 4.5 hours of sleep, and dragged everyone else up to go have brunch with friends in town from Mobile. We ended up getting burgers at a bar, since brunch on Sunday is a 2 hour wait in New Orleans and the boys certainly didn’t have that amount of patience in them. They shared news that they were expecting a girl – a very special surprise! – and we enjoyed each others’ company for a couple of hours. We went home for about half an hour before meeting another set of friends for a tour through the WWII museum.  I admit, I ended up overbooking the weekend, as I was thrashed by the end of Sunday night and facing a long week of work with no rest – but boy, was it great times. The WWII museum was with a single friend and her 7 yo son, and the friend knows a LOT about WWII. She gave the boys a lot of context that I would not have known, and Jack in particular really absorbed a great deal of what he saw. It was disturbing – we did the European theater (skipped Pacific theater for now due to time constraints), and of course the Nazi lessons were timely. Jack saw pictures of the Holocaust – bodies piled on top of bodies – and the ruined cities of Europe. He had some really pretty beautiful responses. Liam and Liam’s little 7 yo friend were less attentive, but that’s to be expected. After going through the March on Berlin exhibit, we took them to see the planes for a little break, and they had a great time checking out all the mannequins staged inside as pilots. Afterwards, we took them to the soda shop for slushies, and then we all went home and I flopped on the couch. Before making dinner because after a weekend like that, we need to put the wallets AWAY.

I haven’t written in a while, and I want to record (for my own remembrance) my good times from a couple of weeks ago as well. The Prof took the boys out of town and it was just me for a week. I billed about 60 hours, but also managed to squeeze in a happy hour with one friend Toni, three lunches with other friends (Ellen a rushed sandwich, MaryJo and Tootsie a long leisurely buffet and chat), met other Mobile friends with their toddler for a morning at the park and some coffee/egg sandwiches at a local coffee shop, and a night out dancing with other friends. I spent the boy-free Sunday binge-watching (literally for HOURS) old episodes of Sex and the City, and folding laundry. It was lovely. The Prof brought just Craig home that Sunday night, and then left himself a couple of nights later to join the big boys on another adventure, leaving me and Craig alone again for a couple of days. It reminded me of our Ireland month together – just him and me, hanging out, barely eating since he barely eats and I don’t bother cooking when nobody’s going to eat it. On the weekend we had a frustrating morning trying to fix our jogging stroller (managed to fix it), did a gym visit including an hour workout for me and then a half hour playing shuffleboard together, and when the boys returned the following Sunday, ended up going to a neighbor’s for swimming and hanging out.

I billed 60 hours last week too and I’m sort of tired already of billing 60 hours, but a lot of what’s driving this level of work is an upcoming hearing and once I’m past it, hopefully it will slow down to a more manageable 50 or so.  Still, it’s nice to so quickly be needed, valued, consulted, even in a new place. It’s been going well, aside from the lack of sleep.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks I have not planned meals because the boys were out of town. This week, however, we’re back to meal planning. And we’ve already eaten some of this and it’s delicious so I want to preserve it here for future use!

Squash Casserole, plus jalapeno sausages: I made this tonight and it was GREAT. These jalapeno sausages have been in the freezer forever, part of a variety pack that I saved til last because I wasn’t sure the boys would dig the jalapenos. They were spicy, but went perfectly with the fluffy, divine squash casserole. Really good. Rich – I won’t make it often – but soooo tasty.

Chicken pasta bake. Nothing fancy – I seared chicken pieces in some butter and oil (the butter for flavor, the oil keeps the butter from burning so you can get it nice and hot and sear the chicken without overcooking). I threw the cooked chicken with some cooked penne and sliced tomatoes, and cooked down some cream cheese (ancient, been in my fridge forever) with some red sauce, mixed it all up in a casserole dish and heated for twenty minutes.

Chicken strips, boxed mac and cheese, frozen veg. I made this on the weekend, homemade chicken strips. Slice raw chicken, dredge it in flour mixed with pepper and cayenne, then fry it in oil in a heavy duty skillet. Not very healthy but oh so delicious. Kind of the theme of this week’s meals.

Slow cooker Corn chowder. I haven’t made this one yet. We’ll probably skip the bacon. I have a go to corn chowder recipe but I thought maybe we could branch out with this one.

Hamburgers and hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. Liam is in charge of making one meal a week, and I let him pick. This is what he picked, so this is what we’ll make.

Sausage, green peppers and onions, and rolls. We’ve got a sausage/hot dog heavy week but I’m cleaning out the freezer.

So that’s the week. This week promises to be as busy as the last few – at least I’m billing ahead, so around Christmas I can take time off without guilt/worry!

 

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