Sunday, September 23, 2018

Jet lag, menu planning & frugality

In frugal news, I spent just under $20 last week, as I was out of town. (I bought Nick a gift of special Japanese origami paper. He's obsessed with origami, and has been incredibly helpful with chores & house work & school work, so this was a gift. I don't typically buy gifts for the kids when I travel, so this was a fun surprise). M & the kids ate out one time, using a gift card. In less frugal news, we had to utilize our nanny way more than normal due to my schedule, which will be around $250 extra for the week. The boys also made $10 taking care of a neighbor's pet, so they are excited about their additional income. :-)

I slept for 13 hours last night, so I'm hoping the jet lag will be minimal this time around. I worked out & kept the eating in check in Tokyo, so I'm hoping for a small loss on the scale. Fingers crossed. I didn't do my 10 miler today (hahaha, that was a great aspiration with the jet lag), and need to have a strong running week this week. I have late nights most days this week due to performance reviews at work, so the week ahead is going to be crazy busy. I'm really, really hoping that will be my last international work trip.

As for today, I've unpacked, am on my 2nd of 4 loads of laundry, Nick is helping me clean the house, and I'm working with Sam on homework. (Not the actual homework - the process of planning & organizing for the week ahead so he can start learning more planning skills. Homework & the organization/time balance is still quite a challenge for him.) We need to make some major time investments in helping in this way. I've also bought a few books to read on the topic. Having time to support him in this way is important to us, but it's a real juggling act. I need to also set up a meeting with his school counselor, to see if she has any other tips to recommend.

And, on to menu planning. We scrambled last night, as M had the kids at two soccer games & had to run errands, and I didn't get home until mid afternoon. We ended up buying a prepared meal at Costco (ravioli), when buying groceries. We need to get organized with meals for the week.

Saturday - Costco ravioli
Sunday - kebabs & rice
Monday - leftover ravioli & a kale/shrimp dish M had
Tuesday - leftover kebabs & rice
Wednesday - a casserole from the freezer my mom made + rice
Thursday - pot stickers & fried rice (Trader Joe's, freezer)
Friday - homemade naan bread pizza

What about you? What are you having for dinner this week? Also, any tips for supporting a middle schooler on learning organization & best practices for homework? Would love any tips or insights. 


  1. I'm on a grocery stretching week, but we have turkey and pork, and pasta on hand, plus canned tuna. My older daughter just made some homemade granola bars-she will be good influence on me before she moves into her place in two weekends.

  2. The bad thing about a middle schooler is that they know everything. (I went through it with 3 of them) 2 of my sons were self motivated, but the third one lacked motivation. We finally had to make it painful for him and let him fall on his tail. The consequences for not getting his work done timely were severe and it was difficult for us to change plans that had already been made to accommodate his restricted activities, but we did it. Amazingly it only took a few weeks to make a believer of him. After that his motivation improved significantly.

    1. Our son means well and wants to be successful. He'll invest the time & energy, but doesn't appear to have the right skills (organization, planning, etc). We have no objection to taking fun things away to allow for homework. We're hoping that by teaching him more organizational & planning skills, it will make life easier for him. We shall see. It's so hard!

  3. I wish I could run, it is hard for me to hear about your running when I want to so badly. Our youngest was hard also. But we kept on her like sh*t on an out house. She finally figured out it was just easier to get it done than deal with us.

    1. Sorry to hear that - what stops you from running? A knee injury? My mom suffers from knee pain & it previously caused her to stop running. She picked it up again, but dropped her pace time by 2 minutes (to 12:00/miles, as context) & is now able to enjoy running/jogging again.

      Exactly on the homework side. You just have to stay on it. I'm hoping we're teaching good habits. . . Fingers crossed! :-)