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Meal plan for September 8th – 14th

Pretty much this entire post is about me being a giant hypocrite.

So, I’ve got that going for me.

Hypocritical moment one
I’ve been doing a cleanse for the last week, and it’s been great.  Seriously!  The only time I crave sugar is when I’m bored at work and happen to walk by the candy jar in our main office.  I haven’t been wanting anything, or feeling deprived.

Then, the commercial came on.

I was talking to Troy on the phone before bed, as I do most night – not because we talk to each other via phone side by side, but because he is rarely home – and the TV was on and on mute.  Troy was telling me about his day, and suddenly, I said “stop talking right now, I need to focus on something else”.

The Little Caesars pretzel crust cheese pizza.

Crap on a cracker it looked amazing to me right at that moment.

I typically don’t like commercial pizza, because it never fills me up, but that pizza needed to get in my mouth right then.

My friend and I got our kiddos together on Friday, and bought ourselves that pizza, went to park, and then destroyed it.  Cleanse be damned, it exactly hit the spot.

Hypocritical moment two (kinda)
I can’t stand individually packaged food.  Seriously, can’t we survive a day without unwrapping multiple items to feed ourselves?  From a waste standpoint, it’s ridiculous, and from an expense standpoint, it’s crazy.

Jack starts kindergarten tomorrow, and this is the first year of all-day kindergarten in the district.  They are trying things out, and informed us that the kids will have access to a snack packed from home, twice per day.  Morning, and afternoon, they’ll pause for kiddos to have something to keep their blood sugar level.

I went to the second poorest elementary school in our district, based on those who qualify for free and reduced lunches.  Many of my friends and classmates only ate that day due to the district provided lunch.  Jack’s school is probably one of the top in the district in terms of family financial abilities (it isn’t in our actual boundary within the district; we open enrolled him), but I’m sure there are some kids in the school whose parents do not have the means to provide two snacks a day.

So, I bought a box of small bags of goldfish, and another giant box of small organic raisins at Costco.  I’m going to give them to Jack’s teacher for the days when some kids need a little extra.  Jack of course is mad as hell because “why can’t I have those Mommy”?

Individual packaging blows, but so do hungry kiddos.

Hypocritical moment three
Jack has been working on me over the last week, and finally convinced me that he needs a cake the night of the first day of school.  After turning him down multiple times, I was finally pulled to the dark side by a pasty little blonde with huge blue eyes looking at me and saying “momma, this is a milestone that is to be celebrated”.

Ahem

So, I’m making a double chocolate Batman cake, with chocolate fudge frosting.  To celebrate the first day of kindergarten.  Ha ha, sorry kindergarten teacher, but I’m sugaring my kid up on night one, and then sending him back to you the next morning.  And good luck to you madam.

Hypocritical moment four
I am not that mom who gets weepy over packing up baby clothes, or looking at baby photos, or anything like that.  I’m just not.

Wednesday was the first day of school for all kids in our district, except kindergarteners.  They use the first few days to assess kindergarteners, orient the parents, etc.  Jack’s assessment was at 9 am on Wednesday.  We parked in the back of the school, and heard this huge roar and a ton of music playing.  We walked to the front of the school, to find all the teachers, employees, administrators, etc., standing in two lines facing each other with their arms raised and meeting in the middle.  The kids getting off each bus would run under the “tunnel of hope” while high fiving the occasional teacher.

I was about .03 nanoseconds away from bursting in to tears, right there in front of hundreds of kids.

The school Jack is attending is not our “home” school, and I had to jump through some hoops to get Jack enrolled at this school.  The near-tears were because I was just so glad it worked out and he was going to be attending this school.  It’s so clear how very much these people care about these kids.  I’m just so thankful.  Feeling so blessed.  And kind of emotional about our very wonderful luck to find this amazing place.

Ugh, enough gushy stuff.  Let’s talk practical crap, shall we?

I saved up all our swagbucks for months to buy Jack just the right bento box (which is currently unavailable for some dumb reason).  This bento box rocks, and you can pack wet foods like yogurt, applesauce, etc., and they won’t leak!  Something awesome I found out with this lunchbox, is because the box creates a seal, cut fruit does not brown.  Amazing.

Listen, I get that the lunchbox is expensive, and ziploc baggies are wicked cheap, but with the investment in the Yumbox, Jack is essentially having a zero waste lunch.  I may have also made a series of three superhero cloth napkins.  MAY HAVE.  Ahem.  We have used cloth napkins forever, so Jack knows not to throw them away.  Even if one accidentally gets tossed, there are two more in the wings.  The napkins were made with fabric scrapes leftover from his Christmas quilt last year.

It’s just the right size for my boy, and has space for a sandwich (what he chooses to eat every single day of the year), a side like bunny crackers, fruit, and a small space for dessert.  It’s great for adults too!  I purchased one for my sister-in-law, whom like me, does not like her food touching, and she loves it.  She has recently lost a ton of weight by watching what she eats and exercising, and the Yumbox helps her with portion control.

It took me a very long time to find a lunchbox that would fit this, and still have space for Jack’s waterbottle, and ice pack.  I finally settled on a neoprene flexible lunchbag by Built.  I loved that it was easily washable, flexible, and had a clip that would let me attach it to Jack’s backpack.  It fits Jack’s waterbottle perfectly (one we’ve had for years and love dearly).

I need to include an ice pack with his lunch, but didn’t want it to inevitably sweat all over everything.  I thought of the wetbags we used for Jack’s cloth diapers back in the day, and made a mini one that perfectly fits a mini ice pack.  I’ve never sewn with a zipper before, and this PUL material is tricky to work with, but I accomplished what I set out to, even if upon close inspection, it’s pretty fugly.

020

021

Oh yeah, excess threads, exposed seams; professional baby!

Meal plan time!  Reminder, I only plan dinners.  My breakfast of choice is homemade Greek yogurt with tons of cut up fresh fruit (or fruit I froze in the summer), and a homemade granola bar crumbled on top.  It’s delicious and keeps me completely full and satisfied until lunch. Lunches are always leftovers.  We rarely eat dessert during the week, and our dinner drink of choice is water kefir soda.

Monday::  Homemade reubens (with turkey pastrami and coleslaw instead of saurkraut), spicy stir-fried green beans, and fruit.  And chocolate cake of course!

Tuesday:: Everyone is working late. Sigh.  It’s Jack’s first day of his new daycare, and our neighbor has to pick him up.  Lamesauce.

Wednesday:: BLTAs, chinese chicken salad, and fruit.

Thursday:: No more in-law dinners, now that Jack is in school and my MIL and FIL don’t babysit him on Thursdays.  Double sigh.  We’re having Troy’s famous grilled chicken, leftover chinese chicken salad, and fruit.

Friday:: Popcorn and movie night!

Saturday:: Smoked salmon frittata with my dad’s fabulous smoked salmon (I’m drooling already), spicy asian green beans (gotten enjoy the fresh harvest while I can!), and fruit.

Sunday:: Family dinner at my parent’s.

This week I spent $15 at Costco, $14 at the local fruit stand, $7 at the local farm for raw milk, a whopping $66 at the grocery store (we bought some packaged items for our local food bank via church, and I had to buy a crap ton of fancy deli meat for Troy’s lunches), and $11.67 at Trader Joes.

What are you having this week?

Making this recipe or others?

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6 comments on “Meal plan for September 8th – 14th”

  1. Loved this post. That pizza sounds amazeballs. Since we don’t get commercials, I haven’t seen it yet which is probably a good thing 🙂 Let’s make a recipe for a homemade version. I have a really good pretzel recipe that we’ve used for stromboli, hot dogs, and pretzel balls. Maybe I’ll have to try turning it into a pizza. You are so thoughtful & sweet to send in extra snacks for the class. Really, really, you are awesome!

    So Jack has inherited his father’s LOVE of sandwiches? The bento box and the ice pack pouch are so cool and make eating lunch fun. Happy for you all and hope he has a wonderful school year.

  2. I normally only plan dinners too and I just need some lunchmeat around for my husband’s lunch and for the start of school, I had nothing for my son for snack or lunch. I was searching around the house trying to figure it out! I made applesauce bread, popcorn, and some bread for sandwiches to start and went searching around to see if there were any little bags of fruit snacks or things that we got at birthday parties. The only thing that I did think ahead with was tube yogurt which is a must have for my son’s lunch so I was going to try to do better this week but it is Sunday night and I have nothing. I want to try the pretzel pizza now too!!! Haven’t seen the commercial but my cousin did and called me about it! Off to try to bake my way ready for another week of school!!

  3. Pizza sounds AMAZING. I always take off the week of Labor day every year. I love being home for the kids first days of school and watching them get on the bus & all that. I do always make special cookies on the first day of school. This year’s request was vegan chocolate chip. They were really good! Jack is right, first day of school is a celebration day. It can be a celebration from the end of paying for daycare, the celebration that the entire family made it through the summer alive and with minimal trips to the er, celebration that you actually purchased all of the items on all three school supply lists, whatever you choose to celebrate! 🙂

  4. Being a parent is all about going back on your “word.” But you did it each time in an awesome way. I don’t call these hypocritical — I call them awesome!

  5. I love following your blog and hearing all of your ideas and your fun take on life.

    I work for the St. Louis Area Foodbank in programs, and I just want to say THANK YOU for donating product to your son’s classroom. So often, kiddos really depend on the free/reduced meals that they receive from school to get them through the day, and those snacks could potentially make a huge difference in their day. The back to school season can be particularly rough as parents are making really tough choices when they run out of money before they run out of month (should I buy my kiddo new school shoes or go to the grocery store tonight- not a thought process I would wish upon anyone!)

    Thank you for being thoughtful about the struggles that other families face, and being intentional about doing something about it. The world would truly benefit from more caring, compassionate people like you!

  6. I would consider you a hypocrite if you ignored Jack for 2 days while you baked crackers from scratch, dried grapes and sewed bags so his classmates could have raisins because you HAD to stay green while saving the world and didn’t have the time to bake a cake for “a milestone that is to be celebrated”. 🙂

    Being flexible and adaptable is the trait of an awesome parent.