Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Still with child, still eating home-cooked meals

I'm still here. Still pregnant. I'm not worried, though, as Elsie came only 6 days early. That gives me two days to be on par, blow for blow. I guess Elsie would have been a week early had I not fought it so much and delayed the outcome. The plan this time is to make it to forty weeks, and if BB2.0 isn't here, then schedule a c-section since I can't be induced (pitocin compromises the cesarean scar and can lead to rupture). Anyway, everyone at work is getting nervous.

That's right. Work. I went back to work this week, and I'm glad for it. I love being in the routine of school, and the challenge of thinking about lesson plans ahead of time is good for me. I also desperately needed to get some professional development hours in, so I'm doing well; so far I have 8.5, and if I make it through tomorrow morning, then I will have 2.5 more. We are required to get 24 per year, so I will be almost halfway there and won't have missed any of the available hours. That's a relief, indeed. M, who did in fact have her baby Saturday morning (at about the same time I posted about not having heard anything), will have to find some way to get those 11 hours--I do not envy her that.

Now, I posted before about how my goal right now, and perhaps forevermore, is to maintain, maintain, maintain, when it comes to domestic duties--at least until the kids are old enough to help out, haha. I know this is a small victory, but every night for a WHOLE WEEK (yes, I know, I'm some sort of super woman), the living room has been picked up with toys put away, the table cleared, the sink empty, the dishes done. I've been fighting through the fatigue to make this a priority. I don't think it's the nesting instinct so much as the desire to wake up to a clutter-free main area. I've also had to fight the "Why do I have to do this?" mentality, as in, "Why can't Eli do this?" It's a partnership that got a wrench thrown in it (named Elsie), and is being tweaked as we prepare for another wrench (as of yet unnamed). We haven't explicitly discussed the division of responsibility (though we should probably formalize some important things, such as who gets to sleep in when), but things have pretty much fallen into a fairly even division of labor.

I pretty much have been taking care of the inside of the house (or trying), which includes the tidying, maintaining, quick-cleaning, laundry, dishes, most of the cooking, etc. Eli has been taking care of the outside of the house, the cat litter, the cars, etc. Since I've been back to work this week and leaving earlier than Eli even thinks about getting up and ready, he's been getting Elsie up and ready while I get all my junk together. And then when I'm tidying/maintaining on the nights that he's here (and not at Coast Guard Auxiliary or LSAT tutoring), he puts Elsie to bed. We're both tired. We make it work.

As for dinner, we are in the middle of week 4 of our E-Mealz plan, and it has been really good. For the most part, the menus have been varied and there were maybe one or two recipes that could have been better. Eli's only real complaint is that there isn't a green vegetable every meal (I, however, do not have a problem with this). We haven't regularly eaten home-cooked meals as a couple in...years, if ever. Prep time has been anywhere from 10-20 minutes, and we talk and play during up to an hour of cook time, so it's really not a strain on my energy or brain capacity at the end of a long day, because, again, all the ingredients are in the house (thanks to our weekly Wal-Mart run with pre-assembled shopping list in hand), and the instructions are hanging on the fridge, right next to the stove. Too easy. No excuses. And the plan for 2-3 is enough to supply us with lunch leftovers, so we're not spending too much extra money on other foods, aside from snacks and breakfast foods. It has definitely been nice.


Let me know if you decide to try it. I'd like to see how that works out for other people. And I'll let you know how we hold up while we're both working.

Okay, time to go maintain.



Ange said...

We just started e-mealz here as well. Going shopping tomorrow for the first week's menu. I'm hoping it helps us as well. thanks for sharing and getting me to go look it up. :)

Beaver said...

Hey Angela! Thanks for commenting--haven't heard from you in ages. :)

Keep me updated on how you guys like e-mealz. We've had to tweak a little, knowing our appetites: for instance, we don't buy dinner rolls if the menu calls for them because we probably won't eat all of them before they get fuzzy. Haha. And a couple of times we have swapped out side dishes for items we already had around the house pre-E-Mealz, just so that we don't have too much extra stuff in the pantry. But it's been good. Are you just doing a basic 2-3 person? Or are you trying a special menu?

And I'm glad that someone got something useful from my blog. Squeeze that sweet baby girl for me!

texaschick200670 said...

Hey there. I was wondering are the ingredients for the e-mealz expensive and how easy is the meals to make. And for 2-3 people is there a bunch of food left?

Brittany Kostecka

Misty said...

Trucking with you. I'm 37 weeks now, and delivered both mine at 38 weeks, 5/6 days. One induced, one natural, so I have no idea where this one will fall!! Hoping to make it another week, but really, if I make it to Monday, I'll be good :). I've been having contractions every night since last week after dinner, and Friday I go for my first 'check' if you know what I mean. Please post somewhere when you have that baby!! :)

Beaver said...

Hi Brittany!

Long time no see! I didn't realize that you read my blog, too! Well, now there's pressure. ;)

You asked about the ingredients? Well, the people who make the menus make them around what is on sale at the specific grocery stores (if you don't get a general) plan. At the bottom of the week's menu, it tells you about how much you will be spending on just the groceries listed. It's a little more if you don't have some of the "staples", and obviously there are other things like cereal, break, milk (and for us, Elsie food--some more fresh fruit, etc.) that you probably use outside of dinner time.

We're on the Wal-Mart plan since it's less than a mile away, and most of the ingredients suggested are the Great Value brand, which is their cheapest, usually. We've saved a little money by buying a bag of frozen chicken breasts for $6, where we get 7-8 of them that will be used over 2-3 weeks, instead of the three fresh breasts suggest for $5-something. I don't know if you coupon, but after a couple of weeks you will get a feel for what is used frequently and start looking for deals on these items in sale papers and with coupons. That will bring the price down a little bit.

Our grocery budget (not including Elsie food) is $200/month. This past month we had to buy some staples that we didn't have, so we went closer to $300/month, but that's still pretty awesome, considering how much we saved by NOT running through Taco Bell, or whereever the belly mandated (I'm so suggestible about food when I'm pregnant that just the mention of food will make me go to a particular restaurant!).

Really, it's not too much food. About 2-3 of the meals have enough leftover to eat for lunch, but not too much that I've had to throw anything away, since I'm not really an eater of leftovers, though Eli is. And a couple of times I've thrown some leftovers in the freezer, preparing for that hectic time when the new baby is here.

So, I guess my estimation is that it's not too much, and it's not too little. For us, it's just right.

I guess the only way to know for you and yours is to try it. If you do, let me know how it goes. :)

Great to hear from you!

Craig-Jen said...

Erin - what struck me by this post the most is that Eli and you are a team. That makes me so happy for you guys, because whatever life throws you (hello, two babies in 15 months) you can handle. I only met Eli a couple of times at Baylor but he sounds, as Craig would put it, like a good egg. I'm praying for you these last few days that you would have a peace and calm about the VBAC. I have no idea how I'd feel right now and I will be in your shoes one I'm kind of looking forward to hearing how this all goes down.

Oh, and as I read this, I totally felt like you're having a boy, so get your boy names ready ;-)

texaschick200670 said...

Thanks for responding. I just like your blogs. Im going to be starting to Subsitute teacher in a couple of weeks. Im thinking about starting the e-mealz when I start working. Ill let you know if we start it or not. Good luck with the second baby. Keep up with the great blogs.