I rarely share personal updates here on mommieswithcents.com but I know things have been really slow and want to offer an explanation for my sporadic posting. First, things are always a little slow for bloggers in the new year but several other things have contributed to lack of content here. Near the end of January 3 members of my family came down with the flu, one of them being myself. While we started feeling better after 3-4 days it took significantly longer for our energy levels to return to normal — I couldn’t believe how zapped it left me! My daughter’s energy hadn’t returned after several weeks and she ended up having pneumonia.
Somewhere in the middle of all this our area was hit with back to back major snowstorms. In total we had 6 snow days and were pretty much snowbound. We dented our 4 wheel drive truck just trying to get out of the driveway. Just when I thought things were going to get back to normal and the kids had returned to school after mid-winter break, I hurt my back. I’m not even sure how I did it but it was excruciatingly painful just to get from my bed to the car so that I could get my kids to school. I tried resting it better with heat and ice but gave in to the pain and went to the doctor. Thankfully, I was up and walking within a few hours with a prescription for steroids. Needless to say, we are ready for March and a hopefully healthy rest of the year!
While it was a really rough time, I found many positive things to be thankful for and I want to share those as well.
I beat the rush to the grocery store and stocked up on food and supplies 2 days prior to the projected snowfall. This was a good move on my part because the shelves were literally bare and people were fighting over milk, bread, eggs and bananas (yes, bananas!) It was crazy! When school is cancelled so are sports practices. Good home cooked meals are fairly rare at our house because we have three kids in multiple sports. That means practices and/or games every day of the week, often from right after school until bedtime. I loved that I had more time to cook and have meals together. Here are a few of the things I made, most of them use an Instant Pot. If you don’t have one of these yet, I highly recommend it! I use mine a LOT!
- Pressure Cooker Olive Garden Copycat Chicken & Gnocchi Soup
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken
- White Chicken Enchiladas
- White Chicken Chili
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken
Most of these are family favorites but the Chicken Gnocchi Soup was new for us. It turned out great! I’ll be honest, I don’t love to cook but I do love to eat! All of these recipes are really easy and don’t take a lot of time. The White Chicken Chili takes the longest but is totally worth it!
It was a nail biter watching the weather reports while knowing that my son’s baseball team had a tournament a two hour drive away right when the storm was about to arrive. Our original plan had us driving down on Friday and back the same night then heading back down again on Sunday. Due to the weather report we ended up booking a hotel which put my mind at ease a little bit. We got the kids out of school a little early and got ahead of the storm for the trip down. On Sunday another storm was predicted and the anxiety turned up again as our final game was delayed. We made good time on the trip home and arrived just as the road were starting to cover in snow. I am so thankful that the weather didn’t stop us from playing ball and that everyone made it home safe (no pun intended!)
The roads were so bad that our mail was only delivered ONE time in two weeks. Luckily it included our Gramma in a Box delivery. This gave my girls something fun to do while we were stuck at home. If you haven’t tried Gramma in a Box, you are missing out! It is so much fun and an inexpensive subscription service your kids will LOVE.
All the extra time at home gave us an opportunity to spend quality time together. I had a lot of fun playing “bored” games with them. Two of our new favorites are Sequence and Mastermind. There are really fun and inexpensive games to add to your collection and come highly recommended by my kids and myself. We also built blanket forts, did puzzles and watched movies.
And played in the snow of course! We had pathetic attempts at building snowmen and a snow fort and we weren’t very successful at making a good sled run either but we still had fun!
My kids finally returned to school on a 2 hour late start on Valentine’s Day. Having the extra time in the morning I was able to make them a good breakfast. We tried a new recipe that was super easy:
2 mashed bananas
1/2 cup Quick Oats
Mix it all together and add some chocolate chips if you’d like then cook like a regular pancake! I tried making them heart shaped for Valentine’s Day. They were a little hard to turn but it was the thought that counts!
Another rare thing that happened was that I curled my hair for an even rarer date. My husband lined up his parents to babysit so we could go out for a late Valentine’s Day dinner. It was just what we needed! Despite all of our setbacks in February there were still plenty of things to be thankful for. Still, I am ready for March because there’s even more positive things in store for us like my son’s first outdoor baseball tournament of the season and a family trip to Hawaii! I think we deserve it!
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