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Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan

Can I just take a pause from my normal weekly silliness and tell you all how much I appreciate the hell out of you? Anytime I think you’ve reached the pinnacle of awesomeness, you all go and blow that out of the water.

With my new post email subscription service, I have had the pleasure to interact with many more of you. Before my posts went out via email (usually with strange tech errors involved) and that was that. NOW, when my post gets emailed out, many of you respond to the email and it comes into my inbox. I freaking love it! I love that you’re reading, commenting, and giving feedback.

Troy has started rolling his eyes whenever I squeal when I see an email come in from a reader. Whatever, he doesn’t get it. Bottom line: you rock. And thank you.

So there is a urinal in my bathroom now. A tiny urinal shaped like a frog. <—seven words I never thought I would type in my life.

With Jack, we did a potty training method called “Three Day Potty Training“. It took us five days. 🙂 But it worked and Jack never needed a Pull-Up or anything at night. The ability to spend three days just focusing on potty training seems like it is best suited to a single kid. With Jack’s sports schedule and Troy being gone 24 hours at a time, I just can’t seem to find a great three-day stretch to do this.

So, we got him a potty and underwear and are kind of just winging it for now. The book recommends potty training at 22 months which is what we did with Jack. I really do think the Three Day Potty Training system works, but I don’t know if it works for our lives right now.

Bennett refuses to sit when he pees and thus, the urinal. Which should greatly improve the “boy pee” smell I was railing against this week on Instagram. Or not. I am so outnumbered by males in this house. It isn’t even funny anymore.

Jack needed “silly” socks for a theme day at school. The striped ones are mine. And they fit him perfectly.

Are you looking for an interesting new docu-series to watch? We started Flint Town this week on Netflix. Holy balls how frustrating, depressing, and scary. I’m really selling it, aren’t I? It’s about the city of Flint Michigan and the extreme challenges they face. It is told through the lens of the city’s police force.

Due to budget cuts, the police force has dropped from 300 offices to 98 for a city of 100,000. It has the lowest police to resident ratio of any American city of its size. They are now the second poorest city in America after they used to have the highest income per capita of any city in the world. I cannot even start to comprehend how this city fixes itself and the problems.

The documentary is fascinating and I highly recommend it. But you should have a glass of wine or something that rhymes with “mochlate” with it because it is depressing AF!

After another day of hauling some wood we got from Troy’s uncle, I have decided that my goal in life is to become a model for the Carhartt’s women’s line. I adore working outside and I would rather haul 40 wheelbarrow’s full of wood than ever go the gym. Shoveling composted chicken shit is much more satisfying than any exercise class. Schlepping around 45-pound bales of straw in the garden is the original Crossfit.

And also, why don’t Lowes and Home Depot sell leather work gloves in size small? They have plenty of gardening gloves that fit, but no work ones. Is it because my lady brain can’t comprehend the math involved to stack a woodpile? Maybe because I shouldn’t be outside because periods attract bears? Get it together hardware stores.

Pop Quiz: Bennett or Jack?

Has anyone ever tried a Tens treatment for TMJ and jaw pain? I went to the dentist this week because of two extremely sensitive teeth. Turns out I had cracked a filling that I had replaced last September. Why was it replaced last fall? Because I cracked it from grinding my teeth so much.

Yes, I wear a nightguard every night and yet I am still cracking the shit out of my teeth. It is like my jaw is the Incredible Hulk or something. Recently, I’ve found myself pausing throughout the day and realizing that my jaw is super clenched for no damn reason. Anyone else experiencing this? Is it a byproduct of the anxiety and anger in today’s society? Is it stress? Or am I just an uptight chick? Maybe a mix of all three.

Anyhoo, the dentist recommended a procedure called tensing. It’s jaw therapy that is supposed to help your muscles calm tf down. It has been around since the 60’s so of course insurance still sees it as “experimental” (eyeroll) so I would have to pay out of pocket. I’d love to hear your experiences with a Tens treatment if you’ve been through it before.

Now excuse me while I go and crack some walnuts with my molars. I have a dessert to make.

I recently realized that I have spent the last six months thinking I was a year older than I actually am. I Benjamined Buttoned myself! This does not bode well for my mental clarity as I age.

Did you get a chance to read my other posts this week?

Vegan Custard Tart With a Thin Mint Crust – Oh.Em.Gee this is good! And, as the name implies, it’s vegan/dairy-free. Everyone deserves a delicious dessert, my friends!

Vegan custard tart with a thin Mint crust on a tray with mint |

Instant Pot Tortilla Soup With Rice – declaring ANY soup my favorite soup is a pretty bold claim considering I could and would happily eat soup every single day. But this soup is currently coming close to edging out my favorite Easy Homemade Tomato Soup, and Troy’s favorite, Chicken Gnocchi Soup. Ack! So hard to choose. All my soup recipes are like my kids.

And none of them pee on my floor.

instant pot tortilla soup on a grey board |

Meal Plan time!

Monday:: Mongolian Beef in the Instant Pot, Rice, and roasted broccoli. Want to know the best secret ever for getting razor thin slices of beef for Pho and stir-fry? Freeze it! If you have fresh meat, freeze it for a few hours. If it is already frozen, let it defrost a bit but cut it while it is still icy.

Tuesday:: Roast chicken (baked using this method), Home fries, and salad.

Wednesday::  Easy Homemade Tomato Soup, biscuits, and salad. Jack is having his last two (of six!) baby teeth yanked this afternoon.

Thursday:: Noodle bowls with crispy air fryer tofu (using the method in this recipe). Last night of basketball!

Friday:: Instant Pot Tortilla Soup With Rice (I can’t help myself, we’re in looooooove) and homemade baguettes.

Saturday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Sunday:: Family dinner

Smith Brother’s Farm: $19.70 

Want to sign up for Smith Brother’s home delivery and get a $10 credit on your first order? Simply click this link enter “Sarah Cook” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” field and then enter “FRIEND” in the promo code field on the payment page and you’ll be credited $10! For full disclosure, they would also credit my account as well.

Central Market: $140.89.

So yeah, I blew my budget this week. And next week’s budget but it was sooooo worth it! My favorite “destination” grocery store had free-range whole chickens on sale for under $2 a pound. I bought, um, a lot. They’re currently hanging out in my freezer and it is like a box full of possibilities!

What are you having this week?



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23 comments on “Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan”

  1. I think we are going to watch Flint Town this weekend – we live in Michigan, although a ways from Flint. I know for a fact that I will be crying – it is hard to think about what the residents of that city have to live with, and how as a state we really need to change things for them.

    And that soup looks amazing! I could eat soup for every meal.

    • It’s super depressing for sure. But there are some fun and hopeful moments but pretty heavy overall. Let me know what you think of it!

      Soup at every meal is totally my motto. I love soup so much!

  2. I don’t know about it for jaws, but they recommended getting a tens machine for coping with early labor in my childbirth class. You can pick one up from Amazon for $30-40. 

    • I realized on Sunday that we have a Tens unit already for Troy’s back. I guess I never considered that it would be the same machine and same process for back and jaw.

  3. I am a physical therapist and we can treat TMJ. Doing some manual therapy to the muscle, exercises and life style changes can help. I suffer from it myself and notice if I sleep with my hands or the pillow under my chin I clench all night long. If there is no pressure under my jaw then no problems. Also if I clench at night I tend to clench during the day too. Plus stress can manifest in clenching jaw. You may have an imbalance side to side too which can cause TMJ. Anyway I would look for a PT that specializes or at least has treated patients with TMJ. I’m not sure what a TENS unit would do for you. It’s mainly used for pain – to send other stimuli to the nerves so that your brain is confused between the pain and the TENS sensation.  Hope you get it worked out! It can really suck! 

    • Thanks so much for your insights Chantel! I tried to see if my chin was touching the pillow last night but I move so much while I sleep that it is impossible to gauge my chin position for much of the night.

  4. If anyone gives good tips on how to sort jaw issues, please share! I recently started clenching mine within the last year, and find it happening throughout the day as well. Yoga has helped, but I can’t stop for 30 minutes of yoga every time I notice the tension, so would love other ideas. 

    • I’m sure no one would mind a little downward dog in the middle of Target, right?

    • I also do yoga, but when I’m crunched for time I just do 10 minutes. The 2 minute warm up I do is mostly getting tension out of my shoulders, where I tend to tense up (and then it travels to my jaw), so that plus about 8 minutes of exercise really calms things down. 

  5. I still remember my mom potty training my brother: for some reason, she put his little potty in the kitchen (! – guess it was a larger space with linoleum? still, ew) but, she’d put a plain cheerio in the potty and he’d get a honey-nut cheerio if he hit the floating one, with the promise of an m&m if he could sink it. That urinal is hilarious.

    • I’m pretty sure we had a little potty on a towel in our living room when Jack was being potty trained. I think it is more based on where they spend the most time?

      I’ve heard of the Cheerio trick before and I think it’s hilarious.

  6. Making freezer food for busy weeknights later on. Made big batch of White Chicken chili yesterday and today I am making marinara sauce with LOTS of veggies. I have broccoli and asparagus prepped for roasting. Oh, and turned 6 lbs of apples into applesauce yesterday. I plan on making your home fries tonight to go with leftover salmon from Friday. 🙂

    • What veggies do you put in your marinara sauce? Do you freeze or can your applesauce? We didn’t make any applesauce this year and honestly, I’m pretty shocked by that fact. I hope the home fries went well with the salmon!

      • The veggies depend on what I have available. This time it was onions, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms and LOTS of basil leaves I had in the freezer. I then blended it with a hand blender so it was smoother and looked more like marinara sauce and less like vegetarian chili. My sons and husband had it on regular spaghetti and said it was very good. I had it on zoodles.
        I don’t can my applesauce, but will consider freezing it since you mentioned it (wasn’t aware it could freeze). We usually eat it up in a week or two so it sits in the frig. I eat it with cinnamon and my husband warms it up with cinnamon and then adds a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. The home fries were fantastic as always! 🙂

      • Sounds great! Other than the ‘shrooms. 🙂

        Yep, you can totally freeze applesauce. Just make sure you use wide mouth jars and leave 1 inch of space between the top of the food and the top of the jar.

  7. I realized the other night that I am still 36, been thinking I was 37 for the last few months. The realization was like winning the lottery. Also, still have a hard time wrapping my head around the whole adult thing and understanding that my mother was also winging it without an effin’ clue. But damn she owned it!

  8. It’s Jack!

  9. I am seriously outnumbered here–four boys, and we used to have a female cat but not anymore–and the huge blessing in my life is that my husband agreed to teach them ALL TO PEE SITTING DOWN. When he was a bachelor, he noticed that female visitors to his house would exclaim when they went into the bathroom, “OMG, it’s SO CLEAN IN HERE!” and he deduced that this won him big points with the ladies. He also has said “you just don’t have to clean the toilet as often, which is a big plus.” I like to think that any future daughter in laws we may have will really appreciate this.

    • Your husband is very smart! Jack peed sitting down for years but then wanted to stand. And that is what Bennett has been observing for the last few months. Sigh. All the pee smells.

      Your future daughter-in-law(s) will be so thrilled!

  10. I’m actually looking forward to watching Flint Town because I live only 40 minutes away. The water crisis has affected the lives of people that I know personally. The city seems to be catching up with Detroit for notoriety.

    • I have a friend in Rochester Hills who works in Detroit and the things she tells me about “the Big D” are so sad. For a tiny town of 100k to be getting the same press as Detroit is just heartbreaking.

      Can’t wait to hear what you think of Flint Town after you’ve watched some of it!