Thursday, February 1, 2024

Seven Questions

If I've thought about it and planned beforehand - this french dip recipe because it is ALWAYS good, my entire crew eats it and there's a bunch of leftovers.  I've even been known to put some of the au jus in a small sauce pan and whisk in a cornstarch slurry to make it gravy.  Can't be beat!

If we're getting home and I realize I have to feed my family and haven't planned for it, I'm about to be real honest here... these chicken chunks from Costco ;) hahaha. Seriously though - they're the BEST chicken "nugget" and you can eat them solo, put them in a wrap, I've diced them up (once they're cooked) and made almost like chicken parm subs with some marinara and mozzarella... you just can't go wrong.  By the time everyone is showered and changed they're done and everyone is happy.

I get it!  And if I'm being honest, three kids (and in 5 years) wasn't on our radar and we were more than a little panicked (along with ECSTATIC) when we found out we'd be outnumbered.  Dave and I have ALWAYS shared household responsibilities (partly out of necessity because we both work full-time, partly because that's just who Dave is) which is a HUGE part of how we've managed and still manage.  We don't have specific chores or duties that fall on each of us... we really work together in most aspects of family life and pick up the slack for each other when life/jobs get crazy.  

When the kids were younger and Dave was working crazy service-industry hours I HAD HELP!  We lived about 12 houses down the street from my parents from the time Luke was 1 until he was 8 and my parents would "pop in" to "see the kids" but I know it was a coordinated effort to help offset some of the parenting load that was falling on me during that crazy time.  We had someone clean our house while the kids were younger.  I hired a "mother's helper" to run errands with me, play with the kids while I folded laundry, come to the pool with me so I had an extra set of hands and pretty much help me juggle getting out and not feel like I was trapped at home.

Let me add - I wouldn't change our family dynamics for the world and can't imagine NOT having three kids.  If I get a vote I say "go for it" but also know that I'm coming from a place of living locally to family, having help and having a partner who carries more than his fair share of household duties.

I may be in the minority here but I love a self-checkout.  I love bagging my own items so that I can kind of group things together and make unpacking things easier.  What I don't love is when you use self-checkout and then they stop you at the door to count your items... you either trust me or you don't! hahaha 

Yes and no ;) We've been on several college campuses this past month for indoor track meets and it's given him a good opportunity to see some very different campus sizes and locations and his wheels are for sure turning.  Our school offers a college tour for sophomores that he'll go on next year and then hopefully start narrowing things down based on majors and all of that.  I've always thought he'd go into engineering, but he's recently expressed an interest in pursuing law so we'll see!  Exciting times ahead!


I heard the name Bea (pronounced Bee-ah) a while ago and thought it was PRECIOUS - it means happiness and I think it's darling.

My grandfather's name was Henry and we had it on our list for Griffin - I just love it so much!

Queso (one of our rescue box turtles) is currently hibernating for the winter in her outside enclosure.  Last year was her first year to hibernate and she did great and we're hoping for a repeat!  

Chips (the other rescue box turtle) escaped the enclosure sometime last Fall despite us having a lattice cover and keeping the dirt low from the top.  We have NO CLUE how he got out but when Queso came out of hibernation we emptied the entire enclosure looking for Chips and he was nowhere to be found!  We guess that he escaped sometime in the Fall and we assumed that he had buried himself.  We were all super sad but are assuming that he's living his best independent life somewhere close by ;)

These turtles were kept indoors for an unknown period of time before we adopted them and were pretty sedentary in their indoor enclosure.  We moved them outside in their regular enclosure and it was apparent that they really wanted to bury themselves and hibernate, but didn't have enough substrate to do so that first winter so we moved them indoors where they were sad ;(. We bought a huge vintage cattle trough and filled it with over a foot of substrate for them and they were happy as a clam!

Meatloaf (our Russian tortoise) - we still have Meatloaf and he's the cutest little guy!  He lives in an indoor enclosure (they're dessert tortoises) and watching him chomp on his lettuce brings me daily joy ;)

Now, for Gary Patterson.  Mason got Gary in August of 2019.  He saved all his money and bought her from another little boy who was moving and couldn't take her with him.  Yes... I said her.  Mason had his heart set on getting a male dragon, but fell in love with this one so he decided to name her Gary Patterson (after his favorite TCU football coach) anyway. Gary lived in an enclosure in Mason's room for a couple of years and in August of 2021 she came to school with me to be a classroom pet and get some attention during the day. 

We brought Gary home for Thanksgiving break and noticed that her eating really slowed down - bearded dragons can brumate (kind of like hibernation) so we assumed that may be what she was doing as all other signs pointed to her being healthy (she was still shedding, still had fat pads, etc) but after a while we realized that there may have been something else going on because she never really came out of her brumation.  Reptiles can be finicky about their lighting and humidity but all of that was the same (and fine), she didn't have an impaction, was still pooping and drinking... and then in May of 2022 she died.  And Mason was DEVASTATED.  It was the first pet we had ever had pass away and he loved her so much.  It was rough, which is probably why this is the first time I'm talking about it ;(

I searched "gary patterson" on my texts to see if I could find a particular picture I vividly remember sending to a friend and this popped up instead...

... we planted her under a butterfly bush and Mason got a little dragon statue to put by it ;(

We've never had hard and fast rules for screens because we found it kind of painted us into a corner unnecessarily.  In general they do homework before they have screens... but, I'm also not opposed to a 45 minute "decompress" time after being at school and sports and all of that before starting homework.  Some weeks they play often, other weeks they don't play at all.  The one thing that is consistent is that if they argue about getting off a screen they lose it for an extended period of time because our pet peeve is the "one more minute" thing turning into 20.   We started this when they were younger because some days they'd watch multiple movies because it was rainy out or I didn't feel great or needed to get things done and then other days they wouldn't get any screens because we were out and about doing things, playing outside, etc.  The screens are never an "expectation" or a reward - they're just kind of there.  I realize that sounds weird. hahaha

 That may not have been the answer you were looking for, but it works for us!

I hope y'all have a great Thursday and I'll see you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!

1 comment :

  1. RIP Gary! I love this kind of post. Thanks for sharing.


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