Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So what do you do all day?

Officially home: A blank canvas of a day. Of a week. Of a month.

Temptations of idle time always loom, but in the end those wasted minutes and hours come back to haunt in piles and a full sink. 'Idle time' for me is randomly surfing online, having 7 or so tabs open with 3 different search topics, a few virtual shopping carts, and an afternoon power-nap turning into a 2 hour deep sleep. It could also be as simple as 'not planning.' I can now see the days in weeks, which has really helped me. One day for cleaning, one or two or five for shopping, one for laundry, hoping to get it all done in the M-F so the S & S is for family days, and not executing neglected chores. But shopping in one day is not necessarily practical with 2 little helpers - I guess it could be if I didn't mind spending time reading labels to be sure there are no food colorings, excess salt, or too many ingredients I can't pronounce because I'm locked into a huge labyrinth of a big name grocer. Another idle trap for me: staring at 34 different kinds of pasta analyzing ingredients, nutrition facts, and unit prices and prior to shopping running into Pier 1 Imports because it happens to be next door.

Ideally, I would make it to...
Produce Junction and the weekend farmer's market for produce
Dean Green for Seafood and Chicken
Genuardi's for Beef
The Asian Dollar for odds and ends
HMart for our asian food and produce (next to the asian dollar store)
Whole Foods for goat milk and fun kid's cereal
Home Depot is self explanatory
Trader Joe's for the don't-have-to-think-about-ingredients & reasonably-priced shopping experience
BJs for paper goods, dried fruit, et al.

And all that running around doesn't seem ideal when I sit back and analyze it. Genuardi's may have me sucked in to going more often because of the Disney Channel shopping carts, where Naomi and David can be buckled in and watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. That'll give you a chance to get distracted by all the little yellow signs, shiny back to school supplies, and an opportunity to find Red #40 and monosodium glutamate on many ingredient labels.

After 3 stops today, everyone was asleep in the car as I pulled into our driveway. This yields me 2 hours of uninterrupted production. I knew I had to get some thoughts blogged before I make Ziti for dinner. Although, now I realize that I will be making 3 personalized lasagnas - Mike: spicy, sausage, & only Mozzarella cheese, David: Mild, sausage, no cheese, Naomi & I: Mild, sausage, ricotta cheese and Mozzarella. So I'll make the banana bread in a large pie plate and the bread loaf pans into little lasagnas. Hopefully I won't pull up 6 more tabs and get sucked into computer idleness.


Ok. Zitis are done.

One tool I have found very useful is the MyPlan made by Mom Agenda. It has a 2 page spread for the week, and blocks underneath. If I don't get to something, I noticed I am still reminded of it throughout the week, so I don't feel like I have failed, but yet have another opportunity to get it done. Also, I use a highlighter to 'cross' things off, it's very encouraging to see all that you have done in bright color, rather than a bunch of crossed out things. Instead of using the squares as spots for different members of the family, I keep a google calendar going so it automatically updates my husband's smartphone with items that are relevant to him and I keep the kids and my schedules along with a to do, to call, and grocery list in all the little squares. No more grocery list pieces of paper to be found in the bottom of the washer from having lost them. Just one little cute book to carry around with my wallet, keys and phone. I'm only going on 2 1/2 weeks with the MyPlan, so what's a habit? 3 weeks? And, the only reason I bought it was because someone had to use the potty in staples and it got wet. I believe it was legitimately my fault though. I couldn't not buy it. That's like breaking a commandment.

Oh - and if you have good ideas for how you shop for your family, by buying quality, fairly priced, and fresh foods, please share your ideas! And you have an open door to spill the beans on what makes your time "idle."

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Prov 31:27

I think I just landed my next Scripture memory verse.