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What’s for breakfast?

One of the most common questions I am asked when I mention my ridiculously low budgeted amount for groceries is 

WHAT DO YOU EAT????

The second question is usually “Are you an extreme couponer?” No, no I am not. I used to coupon, but with 5 kids, one in high school and 2 homeschooled, I don’t have time for that. I wish I did. 🙂

Naturally if you are not spending a fortune on groceries, people assume you are eating crap. I can assure you, there is no crap buying here. Why buy crap when you can make crap for free? 

Okay, that was in poor taste. Sorry. :hangs head in shame:

I was talking about chocolate chip cookies. Promise. 

Let’s get back to what we eat. I think one lie that I bought into for many years is that we need variety. I used to stockpile 12 different kinds of cereal. I think I stopped doing that, because I stopped couponing and then I just couldn’t get a good deal. My kids love Fruit Loops, but they don’t need Fruit Loops. If they want Cocoa Crispies, they buy Cocoa Crispies with their own money. 

I’m really good at going off on a tangent. Variety. Focus. We pretty much eat the same thing for breakfast most of the time:

  • Cream of Wheat (my husband’s current kick) There are 24 servings in one box, so it lasts about a month. – $4 (at the most)
  • Oatmeal – With my cholesterol issues, oatmeal is my breakfast of choice at least 4/5 of the weekdays. Our local grocery store has it on sale for 69 cents a pound in the bulk section. I buy the thick cut oats and stock up when it’s on sale. 
  • Cheerios – I keep one box on hand, because my teen likes it and it lasts about a month. A large box is about $3.50
  • Eggs – $7 for 5 dozen. One will last a full month.
  • Potatoes – $2 for a 10 lb bag, unless it’s on sale in a larger size. I buy two for a month. I like to make this at the beginning of the week, then the kids or my husband can just pop it in the microwave for a quick breakfast. Her prices and portion sizes seem to be a bit higher than mine. I make 10 servings from one recipe and calculated that each serving costs about $0.50
  • Pancakes – I use this recipe. We rarely have pancakes, but when we do, it’s a weekend. 

The above is what we generally eat. We always have fruit, veggies and yogurt on hand. Every once in a while we will make omelettes. Charlee, the baby, likes to eat bananas and cottage cheese for breakfast. Piper sticks with toast. In our house, everyone is on their own schedule and pretty much on their own for breakfast. 

I’ve found that keeping breakfast simple makes the mornings easier. Us Dixons are creatures of habits anyway and once we find something we like, we usually stick with it.

While we don’t have an enormous amount of variety in our breakfasts, as individuals, we don’t indulge in a lot of unhealthy breakfast items. Every once in a while I throw in a surprise breakfast item. In fact, I plan on making this for my husband this week. I just want to know if it’s good.  

What do you eat for breakfast? 

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Sweet Home

I wrote this Friday morning. I held on to it and only shared it with a few friends, because I wanted to have my husband’s permission to share something so personal. I didn’t realize how emotional the experience would be for me. In the days to come, I will share, with permission, some of the conversations and emotions that have happened since.

One of my favorite movies is Sweet Home Alabama, with Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas and Patrick Dempsey. The scene that causes me to catch my breath every time is when Mel’s lawyer runs in and says “But you didn’t sign them”. He points to the paper, Mel looks at it and gasps. “Does anyone have a pen?” Nobody does. Well, nobody except her almost ex-husband’s mother. Stella hands her the pen, Melanie leans down to sign and hesitates.

Yeah. I feel like I almost lived that scene this morning. Of course there was no divorce in the works, because THE FIRST ONE TO LEAVE TAKES THE KIDS!

Sorry. I’m shouting. 🙂

Today is the day. My husband is going for the big V and I don’t mean victory. This morning, he couldn’t find the paperwork that he needs, because this is what we do. We lose paperwork, panic and then someone steps in and saves the day. Today, I was that someone, which is fitting considering how many times that man has saved my butt by finding what I need. So I found what he needed, I choked back the tears and I handed them over.

This might sound like I am not okay with him having the surgery. I am. I know that this is where he is. I know this is what he needs. Honestly, I am a little sad to see this chapter of our lives closing. I can cite a few reasons why it’s a good idea though. 1. Condoms suck. For real. 2. Chad is 48. 3. We have 5 kids already. 4. Money. We never have enough! And on and on and on.

All of those reasons make sense and seem right.

BUT

I have never been one to plan life. I kind of take it as it comes. It’s been a little easier for ME to roll with the punches, because I never had a plan anyway. When I was a kid, my only plan was to not get married or have kids. We can see how well that has worked for me. I pretty much realized a long time ago that my plans suck. Charlee, our one year old, was not in our plans. I mean, we’re adults. We know that sex can lead to pregnancy which leads to a baby, but as far as saying “HEY! We’re going to have a baby 8 years after our youngest”, that did not happen. It just turned out right.

Now this chapter of our lives is closing. There will be no more babies from my body. There will be no more sweet surprises. There will be no more excitement of the risk being there. I know that many people have gone before us and had a vasectomy or tubal ligation. I absolutely know that they have moved on from that point of their life. If Chad had been able to have a vasectomy five years ago like he wanted, we wouldn’t have Charlee. He said that to me. “If I had done this when I wanted, Charlee wouldn’t be here”. That thought just seems inconceivable to me. She is truly the best surprise I never planned on. (Checks to see if “on” is a preposition. Finds out it is. Doesn’t care)

There are some people that think I shouldn’t be sad, because of the above reasons, but none of those reasons stop the sadness. I can know something is right and still not be okay with it. (Case in point… my daughter going to high school. Yes, it’s right, but it’s OH SO WRONG at the same time) This is a stepping stone in life. It’s a process I have to go through. The decision has been made, the reasons are valid, but my heart mourns the loss a little. That’s totally okay.

I’ve heard of people spending a life time of regretting their decision. I’ve had friends who have paid big bucks to reverse their tubal ligation or vasectomy. I’ve never wanted to be in that situation. I won’t be in that situation. Please, God, don’t make me eat my words. They taste yucky.

So, today is the day and I’ve shed some tears. I have some hesitation and I’m totally okay with it.

How’s that for a woman that can’t make up her mind?