Friday, November 30, 2012

Challenge #1, Days 3 & 4

The Good Wife Challenge was briefly interrupted on Day 3, simply because I was really busy being a good neighbor!  My neighbor (not the one I've mentioned in previous posts) just gave birth to her 2nd child, so I made dinner for her family on Wednesday--they got home from the hospital on Tuesday, and I totally remember those new baby days.  We wouldn't have eaten if it hadn't been for my mom, so I like to pay it forward when folks I know have babies.  I spent all of nap time that day making my old stand-by, Pecan-Crusted Chicken, and a chocolate cream pie.  Dan sauteed green beans and peppers, and I cut up fruit for a fruit salad--all delivered promptly at 6pm that night...when I also got to meet the sweet little peanut!  He is precious.  :)

I made enough dinner for my neighbor and for us at the same time, because I'm not about to go to all that effort and not have dinner for my own family!  I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but here's a picture of Dan's plate after he had partially demolished it:

So good, it was eaten before a proper picture could be taken!

This was the most successful home-cooked meal we've had as a family of 5 ever, I think, because everyone at the table ate the exact same thing.  Everyone.  Abby loved the chicken and veggies, Jake ate a ton of the chicken, and Alex ate a few pieces of chicken (!!!!!) and the veggies (which he's never eaten before!).  It was so wonderful not to have to play sous chef to my picky kids after I'd been working on the meal all day--amazing!  The kids were totally bummed to see that chocolate cream pie walk out the door, so I promised them chocolate chip cookies after dinner--I fired up the oven again and let Pillsbury do the work for me.  I know that making cookies from scratch is relatively simple, but I also know that my mom makes the best chocolate chip cookies (and most other cookies, too) on the face of the earth, so I don't even try because I know I won't like mine as much as I like hers...I may as well not go to the effort!  Maybe that will be on the docket one of these days...

As an aside, I almost have the same philosophy about sandwiches that I have about cookies--my mom makes the best sandwiches, and even though I use the same exact lunch meat, lettuce, Miracle Whip, bread...hers always taste better than mine.  Is it just weird childhood nostalgia?  Do I have the ratio of ingredients all wrong?  I have no idea, but they just don't taste the same.  I do still make sandwiches, though, because unlike cookies, I might not survive if I didn't make my own sandwiches.  In the interest of full disclosure, Panera sometimes takes over sandwich-making duty for me, though...ha ha!

So I was a Good Housewife on Day 3 (the cookies really put me over the top!), but I wasn't as attentive to Dan as I would have liked to be.  I did kiss him goodbye in the morning and greet him at the door with a kiss and a smile when he got home (first time this week!) I didn't fail my objective--I just didn't do anything noteworthy.  I rocked it on the Good Housewife front, though--in addtion to making the best dinner, I also did four loads of laundry and got them all folded and put away!  :)

Day 4 was yesterday, and man, do I get tired by the end of the week...  Dan pointed out to me last night that I was being sarcastic with him (he is lording this whole Good Wife thing over me, obviously, because normally my sarcasm floats right by him), to which I responded, "It's Thursday--give me a break!"  He was puzzled and asked, "Are Thursdays now 'Sarcasm Thursdays'?"  We share a mutual love of sarcasm, apparently, but I've noticed that I get feisty and less focused on the Challenge the more tired I am.  That's not to say that yesterday wasn't a good day--I think I performed some Good Wifery here and there.  Dan was poking around the kitchen yesterday morning when I was making Abby's lunch for school, and was totally bummed when he realized that he had left his Starbucks travel mug in the car the previous night, so it didn't get washed.  I pointed out that his assumption was that I would have washed it if he had left it by the sink, when prior to me washing it earlier this week, I never washed his mugs.  Again, he's taking advantage of the Challenge--I just want everyone to know it.

Dan forwarded an email to me yesterday morning that included some glowing remarks about him from one of his superiors, and I shot back a quick, "Awesome!"  I was still thinking about those nice words an hour later, though, and thought that my one-word response may not have appropriately conveyed my pride in my husband and his work.  I sent him a long text message saying I am proud of him--something I know I don't say to him enough.  I felt really good about that, but he never responded...and I forgot to ask him about it later!  Oops--hopefully he got the text.  I also picked Abby up at the bus stop last-minute for him when he got stuck at work.  I even saved the last piece of that delicious Pecan-Crusted Chicken for him for dinner last night--after everyone ate it so well on Day 3, we only had 1 piece left!  I offered to heat it up for him last night before I had to leave to take Abby to gymnastics, and he said, "Yeah, I think I'll just have cereal...I'm kind of over chicken.  I've had enough chicken lately."  Ouch.  How can you be over chicken?  Chicken is pretty much all I know how to I guess I need to expand my repetoire.  I'm not sure what I'll expand it to--any ideas that don't involve hamburgers, seafood of any kind, or anything non-American?  We're all a bit picky in different ways, so finding foods we all like is a huge issue for me.  Without chicken, I am lost!  Roasts?  Steaks?  I don't know, but it sounds more expensive than chicken.

sad, unwanted piece of leftover chicken

After I got back from Abby's gymnastics class and all the kids were in bed, Dan and I had a long random talk--we don't often do that these days.  I can tell you with certainty that he wasn't at all interested in the story I told about some girl on Teen Mom (which I don't watch, by the way, but happened to see a clip of her stupidity somewhere) and her obsession with Ke$ha, but at least we connected and talked about things that didn't involve work or the kids.  It was nice to have down time with him after the kids went to bed--sometimes we (okay, I) get so caught up in cleaning up after the kids get to bed, watching our tv shows, and 8 million other things that come up in those precious few hours when I don't have little ones hanging on me that we don't make time for each other.  Last night, we did make time, and even though I now have Ke$ha songs stuck in my head, it was worth it because I think I hit the mark on TWO of the things on Dan's Good Wife definition list--seeking out more, quality couple time, and having conversations that don't revolve around work and kids.

So that you can get Ke$ha stuck in your head, too:

Yikes, okay--I almost posted her official video for that song, but I'd never seen it...and I suggest you don't watch it!  Maybe I'm getting old, but wow...I just killed a bunch of brain cells looking for a video version that wouldn't offend everyone!  I will say that I'm impressed that she manages to sing songs without actually opening her mouth wide enough to talk.  No wonder she's that Teen Mom girl's idol!

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