Latest posts by Katryna Jolene (see all)
- Are You Stressed? I’m stressed. ARE YOU STRESSED!?…are you stressed now? - December 7, 2016
- Comfort Soup Recipe - November 30, 2016
- Indoor Aquaponics System: My new obsession - November 23, 2016
Son: “Mom! Can we have pancakes for dinner?”
First Daughter: “No! I don’t want pancakes, can we have macaroni and cheese?”
Second Daughter: “Gross, I don’t want either of those, can you make your spaghetti sauce? PLEASE!”
Husband: “I want steak and potatoes”
Baby Son: “Oh, you’re trying to cook? I’m gonna crap my pants and freak out about it in, 3…2…1… WWWAAAAHHHH!”
Dog and Cats: “Whine, bark, please drop something! feed me! Meow, hiss, we’re going to trip you while you cook!”
This is my struggle with dinner!
It’s pretty easy to write about my normal life…but hard at the same time because the baby always needs something and the kids need to read every word I put on the screen, while jumping around on my workspace, which is currently my bed. That’s where my laptop was and I didn’t feel like searching for an unused outlet. I am seriously going to wear out my backspace key. AghijnvWPE8UR
THAT’S IT! I’m going to the kitchen table. And I swear if someone starts jumping on that I am going to lose my mind!!
My name is Katryna, I have 4 kids, 3 jobs, 2 cats, 2 geckos, 1 dog and 1 fiancée.
Life is great; exhausting but great!
Every morning I get up around 7am, change and feed the baby, say goodbye to my oldest daughter, Emily, who takes city transit to school, make sure the kids are dressed and eat their breakfast. I make 2 school lunches for my middle children, (Emily just takes a package of salted crackers and a juice box everyday) and start laundry.
I remind the kids that pajamas and slippers are not appropriate clothes for school, and that no, their lunch cannot consist entirely of cookies and pudding. Then there is the struggle of packing up the baby, the kids and the dog in to the van to head to school.
Most families don’t have to take the dog on such short trips. But my dog, Ubu, is…special. She is a 1 year old, lab x blue healer. She’s an amazingly smart dog and helps to parent the children, but if I leave her in the house alone before I can take her for a run at the dog park she will eat EVERYTHING!
For example, in one 20 minute outing she ate and/or tore up the following: garbage and recycling, blankets and pillows, a 10lb bag of potatoes, anything there was in the litter box, all the fish food, all the underwear she could find, and the list goes on.
After I drop the kids at school, I HAVE to go to the drive-thru coffee shop to get my first caffeine fix. Then home to unpack the baby and dog.
During the day I take care of my baby boy. Jace is teething, and seemingly starving all the time. When he naps, I get the privilege of doing all the normal household chores. There is the never ending piles of laundry and dishes, a labyrinth of floors covered in dog and cat hair that I just swept an hour ago, but is back somehow, toys to pick up, bathrooms to scrub, etc., etc., etc..
Between chores and baby food and poop, I have to make sure I make some time for my two home businesses.
I pack up the baby, the dog and the ball for a trip to the dog park to exhaust Ubu. Then home to unload baby and dog again. Unloading children who can walk is easy, loading and unloading a 23lb infant and car seat, and diaper bag and stroller and stuff is quite a challenge sometimes when it’s just me and a dog that takes off after birds.
At 2pm I scramble to pack up the baby and the dog again, and rip down to the elementary school to pick up my 2 little kids, Nathanial and Lexa. Nathanial is 9 and in grade 4 and Lexa is 8 and in grade 3. They get in but before I can drive away I have to hear everything about Lexa’s friend and her “big, pretty house that makes our house look like we’re poor.” (Lexa’s words)
Another drive-thru coffee for me! We get home and Jace is settled in his chair and watching Kung Fu Panda, now the homework war begins.
Kids: “I don’t have any.”
Me: “Yes you do, I talked to your teacher.”
Kids: “Oh, she didn’t tell us we had homework.”
Me: “Yes she did, I talked to her, and it’s written in your agenda.”
Kids: “Oh, I forgot my agenda at school in my desk or somewhere.”
Me: “No you didn’t, I talked to your teacher, it’s in your backpack.”
Kids: “Nuh Uh”
Me: “ARRRRGGGGG!!! Go get your agenda and do your homework now! Or everyone is grounded forever!!!”
Around 4pm I lay down on the couch for a quick nap that is always interrupted by: “Mom, can I watch NetFlix?” “Mom, can I play PlayStation?” “Can I have a snack?” “When’s dinner?”
By this point I’m pooped and become ‘that mom’ and say something horrible like “I don’t care! Do what you want, just leave me alone and don’t kill each other!”
4:30pm is time to start dinner, but honestly I am usually too tired and annoyed to do that so I let my hubby cook. It’s usually rice and chicken, or mac and cheese.
At 5pm I leave for work. My last drive-thru coffee for the day, mmmm so good! I go to my super glamourous job of delivering pizzas late at night. I work until 2am. By 3am I am finally in bed… no wait… Jace crapped himself and is starving again.
4am and I finally pass out. Thank goodness!
7am…I pretty much exactly repeat yesterday…6 days a week.
I get Saturdays off from my delivery job.
This is the day I generally spend in my jammies. If you knock on my door on Saturday I will greet you in my fuzzy Batman pants and old beer T-shirt.
Saturdays are for catching up on my home business things I didn’t get to throughout that week, grocery shopping and for batch cooking.
I never have time during the week to make decent meals for everyone before I leave for work. So recently I have been cooking up large quantities of what most of my family will eat and then freezing the rest.
Until a few months ago my eating habits were horrible! I’d grab fast food from a place that everyone in the family will eat at and call it a day. Often I wouldn’t eat anything at all, just my drive-thru coffees.
I gotta tell you, I felt like crap and didn’t even know it!
And then the videos happened! I have two vegan sisters, one biological and one in-law. Neither of them have ever pushed their ways on me, but I was curious. So I googled. I watched some videos and vlogs. I read some articles and blogs. I was horrified, ashamed and repulsed and sad all at the same time.
Now I don’t eat meat anymore. I haven’t been able to cut out the dairy completely yet, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE my drive-thru coffee, and soy milk in a container does not travel well, and I’m in my vehicle for 8 hours a night.
This was a HUGE adjustment for me, not because it’s was hard to quit being a carnivore, but because I can’t even bring myself to cook meat for my kids.
So now I cook a whole bunch of delicious food that doesn’t make my stomach turn. It takes a good chunk of my afternoon to do all the veggie prep because I never, ever just put in the 2 plant ingredients that a recipe calls for, but so worth it in the end.
I eat healthier, and more regularly and my body is super happy about it!
I had this belly problem that the doctors couldn’t figure out, but now that I’ve quit meat and most dairy it’s almost completely gone away.
I have more much needed energy, and I get to feel good about not eating deep fried chicken flavoured plastic chunks!
Feeding my whole family the same meal is not an event that happens often at my house. Almost everyone has some set in stone ideas of what their food should and should not be.
Me: I don’t eat meat, cut WAY back on dairy, and am deathly allergic to strawberries. I found a new love for squashes. Kabocha squash is currently my favorite. Sweet and savoury!
Tyler: Fiancée and father…doesn’t eat vegetables! I can get him to choke down a few raw carrots or corn nibblets but that is it. He won’t try any new food at all unless “that food used to eat food.”
Emily: 16 years old…eats crackers. She will try anything without a fuss, but only in amounts that a hummingbird would eat. Then she is hungry 20 minutes later and grabs a box of crackers or a granola bar. She refuses to eat tomatoes or eggs, and there is always something new that she absolutely will not put near her mouth.
Nathanial: Almost 10 years old…ridiculously fussy! This kid will eat hot dogs, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, broccoli, cooked carrots, corn nibblets, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, plain rice, plain pasta noodles and peanut butter sandwiches. Nothing can be touching! Nothing can be mixed! Nothing can be new! Getting him to try something new will result in him pouting and eventually making a crying noise that sounds like a whale and a banshee are fighting to the death.
Lexa: Almost 9 years old…will eat pretty much anything, thank goodness! The only time she refuses something and says she doesn’t like it is when she is upset. Then she hates everything in the world.
Jace: 10 month old baby…will eat whatever the spoon puts in his mouth. So far his favourites are avocado, banana and sweet potato. Except cauliflower and spaghetti squash; he hated those.
Ubu: 2 year old mutt dog…will eat anything. Anything at all, food or not food, she will eat it. She has an allergy to broccoli. She snuck a piece of broccoli stem out of the trash can one day and her face swelled so bad it looked like it was going to blow up. That was scary, but now we know.
Judy: 2.5 year old cat…only eats dog food. Silly cat.
I would so love to drastically improve the health and lifestyle of my family. I would like nothing more than to be able to be more active, eat only organic produce and have my kids eat what I know is best for them. There are so many things that get in the way of my dreams.
As a mom of 4 with work and housekeeping and errands— basically life—it’s pretty difficult to find time to run around town and find all the organic produce I want to stock my fridge with. Also, with all these mouths to feed and living on a very strict and tight budget, it’s hard to scrape together the funds to buy the food I want. I have always found it strange that organic produce is harder to find and more expensive. You would think that all the pesticides and hormones pumped into non-organic food would add to the cost.
Then there is all the stipulations I have to deal with from my family in regards to what they will and will not eat. I’ve tried to give Nathanial a few of my favourites in very tiny amounts—spinach, avocado, and squash—but it always ends in tears and an early bedtime.
Some other things that halt our progression into healthier living are questions like: How the hell do you cook that? What is this, and what do I use it for? Should I use this in that recipe? I wonder what that spice tastes like?
Until recently, cooking was not something that I embraced. I had never baked, grilled, roasted or marinated anything. I am still at a beginner’s level in regards to creating new dishes. I usually end up throwing a bunch of veggies in a pot with tomato juice or coconut milk and calling it ‘soup-ish’.
With a little help from my sister I have been opening my eyes and learning more about our food—what’s in it, where it’s from, and what happens to it from life to dinner plate. The little changes that I’ve made so far have made such huge improvements already that I’m super excited to keep the ball rolling and do even better.
I will find a way to get my kids to not only tolerate, but to embrace and enjoy healthier eating. I know I will because I’m quite stubborn and like to get my way. It’s really important to me that my family is not just fed and happy, I need them to be well fed and healthy.
Moving forward I am really excited to share my progress, successes and failures, with you. I am sure that this crazy circus I call my family will have great success with our healthy habits, diet and exercise and all that good stuff. But I am positive there will be hilarious setbacks as well.
I sure am glad I have dog with an iron stomach, because there is a ton of “oh no, this food I don’t want just accidentally fell off my plate, and I accidentally called Ubu over, and she accidentally ate it.”
I will get Nathanial, and hopefully Tyler to add new veggies and fruit to their diets without watching them gag, which I find really annoying and rude, and secretly hilarious.
I also hope to completely kick dairy, eventually. My obsession with my drive-thru coffee is making that difficult.
And maybe one day I can convince the cat, that she is a cat and that the dog food is not hers.