Monday, July 10, 2006

Confessions of a frozen-entree connoisseur

Have I mentioned that Husband is back to working in the evenings? I find it ridiculous to cook dinner for myself and a toddler, and Husband patently refuses to eat leftovers, or any meals on a regular schedule, really. But biology dictates that we must eat something, and so it is that I have taken to eating frozen dinners.

Truth be told, most frozen dinners are pretty gross. Objectively, I can totally see that. But for some reason, I still enjoy eating them. It's like watching an accident - you don't want to do it, but you can't *not* do it, either. As an exercise in contemplation, I thought I'd write a little reflection on each night's dinner after I've eaten it. Maybe, on reflection, they won't seem so great after all...

So, tonight's dinner was four-cheese manicotti with a side of broccoli. Tiny manicotti - I thought I remembered they used to be bigger?! The four cheeses weren't a bad combo, but the marinara was more like tomato juice, thin and red and overly tomatoey. Somehow, I always manage to burn my tongue on the first bite, but by the time I get to the last bite, it's tepid at best. How does that happen? Still, I polished it off in record time, in between slicing pieces of cheese for the Bear. The broccoli that came on the side? I couldn't quite manage that. I love broccoli - the taste, the crunch, the color, the cancer-fighting properties, you name it. But there are a few things you need to know about broccoli, which apparently the good folk at Healthy Choice have forgotten: namely, you eat the crowns (you know, the tiny flowery bits on the top?), not the stalks (the tough, woody, stringy stems). Also, you only need to steam them for a little bit to get them to the right level of doneness. If you overcook them, they will turn gray and mushy and be totally disgusting. So, the tiny cup of "broccoli" was all stems and no florets at all, and by the time I had cooked the manicotti long enough to be done, the broccoli was overdone - blech. Even liberal seasoning was not enough to redeem *that* particular culinary misstep. All in all, it was par for the course.

On to other equally uninteresting things - I've been trying to figure out the Mouse's schedule. She's starting to put herself on one, and the Bear had a very strict schedule that she totally loved. She's still a creature of habit, although not so rigid as she was at 9 months or so. So, I figured that I might as well see if it would work for Mouse, too. I made a chart, divided up into half hours, and labeled each with what she was doing at the time - awake, asleep, eating. Then, I labeled her moods - happy, fussy, gassy, content, etc. Here's what we came up with for today:

midnight - 3:40 - sleeping
3:40 - 3:55 - feeding, sleepy
3:55 - 4:20 - sleepy but gassy, awake in crib but not fussing
4:20 - 5:00 - awake, drowsy but chatty
5:00-7:30 - sleeping restlessly
7:30-7:45 - feeding restlessly
7:45-9:30 - awake
9:30-9:45 - feeding, awake
9:45-11:00 - sleeping
11:00-11:20 - feeding, awake
11:20-12:30 - awake, getting fussy
12:30-2:00 - sleeping
2:00-2:15 - feeding, awake
2:15-3:45 - awake, content
3:45-4:00 - feeding, fussy
4:00-5:30 - sleeping
5:30-5:50 - feeding, drowsy
5:50-7:30 - awake, happy, fussy toward end
7:30-7:45 - feeding, sleepy
7:45-8:30 - sleeping
8:30-9:20 - awake, restless
9:20-9:30 - feeding, drowsy
9:30-10:30 - sleeping
10:30-present - awake but drowsy, content

So, what can we glean from this chart? Several things, I think:

a) I am anal.
b) Mouse naps a lot. Cat naps. Maybe she should be a Cat and not a Mouse?
c) She eats, also a lot. I'll probably feed her once more before she goes down for the night, bringing us to 11 feedings today. No wonder she weighed in at 17 pounds, 7 ounces at her 4 month checkup. Not a Cat or a Mouse but a Piglet, I think!
d) I am anal.
e) Is she sleeping too much? Not enough? I tried to add up the time, but got confused and quit.
f) I am bad at math.

Well, I think that's about enough crap from me - off to ponder the meanings of Mouse's sleep habits, and what I might want for dinner tomorrow night. Our options include macaroni and cheese, baked ziti, french bread pizza, and... oh, some other noodle/sauce variation, I think? What should I eat?

1 comment:

Ninotchka said...

lol - you crack me up.