The Rantings of a Tortured Mind

Valerie Rayne Rants


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Meal Planning is on the List


So last night, as I scoured the house for what to make for dinner, it occurred to me that now, more than ever, we need a meal plan! In the past, I’ve been slightly interested in this concept, though it was more for once-a-week/month cooking and I’ve since officially given up on ever having this as a possibility. But I’m sick of every night getting home from work, and the last thing The Boyfriend or I want to do is cook. Then we sit there for an hour trying to figure it out and by the time we’ve figured it out, we’re not hungry anymore, so getting up to go make dinner is becoming WAY too much of a chore…

I seriously just want to get my life back on track or at least closer to the track, because right now, I feel like my big old boat of a car is stuck out in the middle of the ocean! (Did you like that metaphor?) I need to learn how to live life without everyday being this huge burden and stress. It should not be this hard and I know it can be easier, it has to be! And I think getting a budget going and planning our meals are two really amazing steps towards a more organized life.

The budget thing I’m still massively working on. We’re nowhere close to being where we could say that we have any sort of budget, though I think we’re both pretty conscious of where our money is going. The big thing we need is a way to not spend as much on stuff we don’t need, that and cutting down on all the stuff we want like smokes and pop. It’s one of those things that I’m not really comfortable with figuring out, so I’ve put it on the back burner for a really long time. But I really want a car this year, really bad. And while The Boyfriend came up with one idea to make it more possible this year, it won’t matter if we can’t save a penny towards it!

But anyways, back to the meal planning. I think a big problem with meals lately is that The Boyfriend and I are both being so choosy when it comes to what we’ll eat. We often choose the same things over and over and could probably live off of burgers, fries and gravy. Not only is this not healthy for us or the kids, it’s not helping me get anywhere closer to my goal of losing my baby belly and it’s definitely not good for our wallets. The big issue for us though, is that we don’t like to mix it up with our food too much.

Some of the other things that stand in the way of us making meal-time (including planning, prepping, etc.) is that my kitchen just straight up sucks. There’s not much room, the dishes are never done, it’s almost never as clean as I like it and now my oven door is popping off it’s hinges. We recently got new pots and pans to eliminate the issue of never having the right sized pots or pans, but now we have a new issue where we’re missing appliances or kitchen gadgets that we need. Mixing bowls and measuring devices are the one I hate the most!

We have slowly been making headway with keeping the kitchen tidier. It’s still not anywhere near where I’d like it to be, not even close. But at least the dishes are getting closer to done everyday and the counters are finally clean! When my floor and walls have been scrubbed and my oven cleaned, then I will be truly happy. Until then, I think that kitchen is not going to inspire any meal-time loving…

I also don’t know how to make a meal plan. I mean, I get the basics. Plan out your meals for X amount of days/weeks/month, put it on a calendar and stick to it. My issue is that, like I said, we eat a lot of the same food. You can only see Mashed Potatoes and Rice so many times on one piece of paper before you start thinking your palette is pretty pathetic! Then there’s the issue of how the heck do I plan for these meals. Normally, I separate up my meat as soon as it comes home, and it’s always the same thing. Then it’s normally whatever we have available as a side and corn as the vegetable. A lot of times, the entire meal comes from a box or bag that had been in the freezer (Hamburger Helper, Tacos, etc.). Those aren’t really things you plan, that’s things you pull out of the fridge…

I’m just not sure how to start, I’m definitely not sure how to follow the plan and I’m not sure how to incorporate what I’ve read with what my real life is like… I need to start researching recipes more and start experimenting and changing and buying the stuff I need to be able to do all that. Why does everything that is on my to-do list make my to-do list even longer?!?


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It’s Been a Long One…


Hey, look at that, I’m posting today like I said I would. What do you know!

Today has felt like an incredibly long day. Work was horrible, Carter’s been nothing but terrible and Kenzie had his first ever migraine… For some reason it was also a day filled with “I miss my Daddy”. I have a feeling that it has something to do with all the talk about breaking up and Dad’s that’s going on in Mad Men, which they’ve been watching on and off with us.

I seem to handle those moments with Kaeidyn and Keirnan okay. Keirnan is much easier than Kaeidyn, and Kaeidyn normally has a lot of questions that I don’t feel comfortable answering, but Kenzie has never said anything prior to today. Then he gets this vicious headache (I’ve never seen him in so much pain before, I felt completely helpless) and starts bawling that he wants his Daddy and I just felt horrible. Even though, I’m not the one that’s choosing whether or not their Dad is in their life, I’m just the one that’s setting out limitations and boundaries that can’t be respected.

I always wonder what it feels like for The Boyfriend when he hears the kids talk about their Dad. I wonder if he feels hurt at all that he puts so much time and effort into having some sort of relationship with them and all they want is their Dad and not him. Or I wonder if he feels bad that he stepped into these shoes. Or I wonder if he doesn’t feel anything, to him it’s not a “thing”. He doesn’t even think twice about it. Hmm, interesting conversation for us to one day have.

Work is being really rough lately. I’m having a hard time being the type of person I like being when I’m working and I hate that. But I’m angry about a lot of things. Today, it was mostly that everything that I’ve learnt in the last year of this job is now being completely changed or thrown out altogether to adjust to one person. There is an entire group of us that has a problem with one person and we’re being completely ignored and it seems like we’re the ones suffering the most because of the problems. I know it sounds very cryptic, but it’s hard to explain what exactly the problem is without going too much into detail.

Then I come home from work, to my messy house, and these darn kids lately. Carter can’t seem to sit still for one second and if he is sitting still, the entire time is made up of this overwhelmingly annoying cry. He’s constantly getting into stuff that he shouldn’t be able to, he spends most of the evening crying or screaming and it just really wears a person down. And quiet is a concept that he absolutely does not understand. I don’t remember the other kids being this terrible when they were two…

The older kids are still mostly doing their usual thing of talking back or not listening at all. Every time I think we’re making some headway, it all just blows up in my face. I’m trying really hard to limit the amount of times I raise my voice, because I think that’s just causing more problems than it’s solving. I yell a lot more than I would like to, and it’s not some outrageous yelling or anything, just a louder than needed No or Stop when necessary. I think what I’m going to try to start doing with all of them is more explaining about why they are in trouble and more sitting and thinking about it for them. We’ve tried the whole corner-time and timeout in your bedroom and getting toys taken away and none of that seems to really work. Or even worse, it will work for a couple days and then it will seem to explode!

It’s hard right now with them at the ages they are at. Kaeidyn thinks because she’s oldest, she can take care of everyone. Which results in a lot of comments from the peanut gallery when the others are being spoken to. Kenzie is totally the obvious middle child, always thinking that everyone else gets it better than him. I don’t know how many times I used that one of my Mom! And Keirnan, while honestly, I’m more than confused about Keirnan. I just can’t seem to figure this kid out. On one hand, he’s the quietest one of the bunch. He’s not very active, he likes to play by himself more often than not, and he doesn’t talk that much and when he does it’s normally just long enough to ask for something he wants. On the other hand, he’s bossy, he’s rough, he’s very stubborn, he’s particular.

I feel like I’ve been learning a lot about the kids the last few days, not that what I’m learning is helping me in anyway be a better parent, at this point anyways. I think I’ve been subconsciously noticing them more, little things about them. The way Kaeidyn brushes her hair or the way Kenzie is restless without even knowing he’s being it. The way Keirnan breathes so gently while he’s sleeping and the positions that Carter stops snoring in. Today was definitely a huge learning experience as I tried to make Kenzie’s headache go away and keep the other three kids quiet… Almost a complete impossibility!

My body has been in quite a bit of pain lately. I’ve been having this pain in my shin and my knees have been driving me up the wall. I’ve been complaining about my back a lot and I wake up every morning with a sore neck (and don’t say it’s my bed or my pillow, because I’m not sure that’s the case – maybe it has something to do with the way I’m sleeping, but I don’t think it’s my bed or my pillow!). The Boyfriend and I were joking the other night about my pain, because when I first started complaining of the knee pain, doctors chalked it up to Osgood-Schlatter Disease, a sports-related injury. And then my shin starts hurting and we start joking that maybe it’s shin splints. Wouldn’t that be hilarious if my lazy ass kept getting sports-related injuries? My body must think it’s working mighty hard, when it’s really not…

Well, I think that’s all I’ve got for today. Did your day feel long today too?


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Wastes is Kind of Harsh…


Well, I’ve already failed at one resolution for the year… I was planning on blogging everyday in January and here it is, the fourth day of the month, and I’m finally writing a post! I suck at resolutions, what can I say? I just haven’t been spending much time working on this blog lately.

First of all, I’ve been watching TONS of TV. On one hand, Netflix is freaking amazing and perfect for us being that we aren’t interested in getting cable. But on the other hand, it sure wastes a lot of time. Wastes is kind of harsh. But it takes up a lot of my time. Especially right now, because I’ve become very very interested in Mad Men.

I had never watched it all the time it was on TV. I caught one part of one episode and decided I didn’t want to watch anymore. But when I saw that Netflix had it, I decided I was going to watch it. The first and second season, I could’ve done without. But now I’m on the fourth season and I seriously can’t get enough of it. I get home about an hour before The Boyfriend does and I am literally itching to watch it by the time he gets home. Then we spend the next 4 hours doing nothing but watching Mad Men. I’m really truly loving it.

And then when I do get on the computer lately, my focus is 100% on Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous. I’m really looking forward to this upcoming year on the site, and I think if I can execute some of the ideas I have, it’s going to be that much more amazing! My number one goal on there this year is to get the site upgraded, with video uploading and chat rooms. I’ve also got some big ideas for making connections with my blogging idols, so I’m definitely excited about it.

We’ve also been doing quite a bit of cleaning lately, though you can hardly tell at all, which just totally bugs me. I spend a good two hours on the living room and it’s wiped up in only a few hours. Then it looks exactly like it did before. Just the other night, The Boyfriend and I finally tackled the bathroom and today, you can’t tell at all. The only thing that looks different is that there aren’t clothes all across the floor, which makes a difference, but not enough of one for me to care about it…

Well, I think that’s all I’ve got to say today unfortunately… Hopefully I will be back posting tomorrow. Cross your fingers for me 😉


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Reflections on a Year and Looking Into the Future


This year started off worse than it finished, and it’s had a wide range of ups and downs. I failed almost every single goal that I had set out to do in 2011. I didn’t blog more this year, I didn’t keep up with adding YouTube videos, I didn’t lose 30 pounds, I didn’t get my house or life clean or organized… In that respect, it was an epic fail.

But, I did catch up on all my bills, I did get my hot water turned back on, I did get my Mom paid for babysitting the kids and I got a raise at work. So for all the epic failure of this year, there has also been some really great accomplishments. This year has been one of great transitions and learning. Learning about what I want, who I am, what I expect and where I want to be.

Both The Boyfriend and I have had some big changes go on at work this year, which we’re still trying to decide if they’re for the best or the worst. I guess we’ll see what 2012 brings. For me, I changed offices, got a new boss, got a ton more responsiblity and started working longer hours. For The Boyfriend, he got a really big promotion with a significant raise, he’s had to adjust to a new boss, new responsibility and a schedule that is all over the place. It’s been interesting to say the least and I think we’re both looking forward to and dreading the new career possibilities.

Now, it’s 2012 and I want this year to be a great year from start to end. I want to complete all my goals, I want to get our lives organized and on track to some sort of destination, and I want us all to be happy. I have very high hopes that this year is our year. And also that the world doesn’t come to an end *crosses fingers*!

This year, unlike last year, I plan to seriously focus on losing some weight, becoming more healthy, and getting my house organized. Those are the top three goals. So, let’s talk about how I plan to achieve these goals.

  1. Wake Up Earlier

    There is no reason at all that I can’t wake up when The Boyfriend gets out of bed. If he can get up at 6:00 AM, then there is no excuse for me not getting up at that time too. It’s only an hour and a little bit before it’s my normal wake up time, and it would be a lot nicer to get out of bed and not have to rush around to get the 4 kids and I ready to leave the house.

    Waking up at 6 will also give me the additional time that if I want to add a workout in the morning, it wouldn’t be impossible. It would be really nice to go back to doing morning workouts like I did before my first boyfriend. It would also give me the time to make a healthy breakfast every morning, which brings us to…

  2. Eat Breakfast Every Day

    By far, this has got to be one of the hardest things in the world for me, next to drinking water… I have never really been a breakfast-type person. I normally don’t get hungry until right around 11:00 AM. But this needs to change for a variety of reasons. First of all, from a metabolic stand point, if I don’t eat breakfast, my body is just going to continue doing what it’s been doing since I had Carter. I’m not going to lose any weight by starving my body – even if I am doing it on an unconscious level! Even if it’s just a Pop-Tart or Nutrigrain bar as I’m walking out the door, any food is better than none.

  3. Drink More Water

    Currently, I hardly drink anything other than Sprite and coffee. I’ve tried adding water to my beverage list many times and normally fail miserably. I’ve never liked the taste of water and it gives me an icky feeling in my stomach. But, I’m almost sure that my body is full of all sorts of miserable toxins. The water will be good for ridding me of some of those. Also, it’s good for me on a whole, everyone says so. I don’t think it should be so hard to add more water. Which takes us to the first “cut back”…

  4. Cut Back on Sprite

    I really drink WAY too much Sprite. A 2L a day of pop isn’t healthy for anyone! It should be more of a treat than an everyday, multiple times a day occurrence.  I need to get over my addiction for pops in general. Before Sprite, it was Pepsi and that was for almost 7 years straight. Sprite’s only been about 3. That’s 10 years of my life that my biggest beverage consumption has been pop. It’s gross when you think about it…

    Last but not least:

  5. Clean Daily!

    I seriously don’t know why this one has been so hard for me to keep up with. It seems like every year, and every six months, and every 3 months, and everyday, I make this goal. I tell myself that I’m going to clean the next day, and when I don’t clean the next day, I promise myself the day after that, and it’s this never-ending vicious circle. I am happy to say that I’ve had ENOUGH!!

    My biggest goal of 2012, the number one thing that I want to accomplish, is getting my house to a state where I’m not embarrassed to have people over, and I’m not disgusted the second I walk in the door, and that I’m not stressing all day everyday about the messes of the house. I want my house clean and I want it organized.

    I know that this goal is probably going to take the longest and it’s going to be harder than losing 30 pounds. It means big changes for me, The Boyfriend and the kids and a lot of time teaching those changes to everyone. It’s going to be a big challenge, but it needs to be done. I’m sick of spending half of my morning searching for things that could easily be found if we just had a dedicated place to put it, and I’m sick of my floor being used a garbage can. I’m tired of cleaning things one day just to have them be right back where they were before I started cleaning. I’m just plain done with these messes.

    We have a few ideas of how we’re going to do this, though we’ll see how they work out. My first mission is to get the upstairs of the house clean and keep it that way. I want the dishes to be done every single day, the living room floor to be vacuumed every single night and all the garbage collected up and taken out – without fail – every day. No more procrastination, no more excuses. It gets done or this Mommy will be very angry!

There are many more goals, which I’m sure I’ll be posting over the next day or two. I know that the list is large where goals are concerned, but these 5 are a great place to start with. Have you set any goals for 2012? What are you hoping to achieve this year?