Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crazy brains and shopping

My husband and I do things very differently from each other.  And by "very differently," I of course mean about as opposite as humanly possible. 

I plan everything, in detail, before I do it. (Important things, at least.) His planning ability stop as soon as teaching is done for the day.

I need things organized, with places for everything so I can get everything cleaned up and easy to find. He goes by the rule, "Out of sight, out of mind," and so if it's put away, he won't remember it. So everything stays in piles.

I talk. A lot. Especially if I'm scared or worried or frustrated. He internalizes everything and rarely talks about something that might worry him or make him upset.

I ask about his day and want a story - what happened, how did you feel, what did you do?  He responds with the same handful of responses, usually three words or less, and while he likes when I tell him stories, feels no need to tell a story about a blah day.

He has ADD - and no, it's not just an excuse because he was a disruptive kid. In fact, he was an extremely well-behaved kid. His brain really does work very differently and it takes a ton of mental effort to stay focused the way he needs to for work.  I don't have ADD and the things that are hard for him are easy for my brain.

We are learning how to deal with these differences one moment at a time. Funny enough, one of the areas that was a potential minefield of tension for our different brains was... grocery shopping. 

You see, he has always gone grocery shopping by randomly going to the grocery store, wandering through aisles and picking out things that look good, and maybe (if he was lucky) having food for two or three main meals.  Then, if he wanted something different later in the week, he'd go back.  And back again.  It wasn't unusual to go to the store 3-4 times a week.  And never with a plan. After spending a few months in total with his parents, I've seen that they are exactly the same way.  It wasn't unusual for his dad to stop at the grocery store every few days on his way home from work so we could cook dinner. 

I, on the other hand, hate going grocery shopping like that.  I want a plan.  And not just a list of food that I'd like, but an actual plan of what I could have to eat for the week.  I sit down and try to plan out the week's dinners, make sure I have ideas for lunches (since I have never been a fan of traditional lunch foods), and enough sustenance for breakfasts as well.  Once I have a plan for meals, I then write out my list of ingredients.  And, ideally, I won't deviate from my list if at all possible. 

So the past two weeks, we've tried to compromise.  I do the meal planning - last week, I jotted down ideas on the back of an envelope in the grocery store parking lot so we could buy food after church and come home for or weekly Sunday brunch.  This week, since we had all we needed for the brunch - eggs, bacon, hash browns - I got to make a list at home and then we went.  It makes my brain happy, and my husband is still able to add some extras into the cart that weren't on the list.  Today, I think I spied some ice cream and cookies and salad dressing. 

We're working out little by little how to be a good team.  So far, all things considered, I think we're doing fairly well.  And just because I want to document what I'm cooking, here are our meals from last week and what I've got planned for this week:

Last Week
1. Slow-cooker pulled-pork BBQ sandwiches
2. Slow-cooker chicken tacos with fiesta lime seasoning
3. Slow-cooker chicken, Santa Fe-style veggies, salsa, and rice
4. Leftovers
5. Pizza
6. Take-out on a night I had a horrendous migraine and my husband had to be at work from 7 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
*And I honestly can't remember what we had on Sunday!

This Week
1. Chicken & veggies stir-fry - either with teriyaki or sweet & sour sauce, cooked in our new wok
2. Mashed potato & sausage bake - a recipe I found in a cook book my grandmother just sent me
3. BBQ pork sandwiches - quickly becoming a favorite, cooked with country-style ribs in my slow cooker
4. Jambalaya
5. Homemade burgers on our grill with sweet potato fries
6. Tacos

And one night will by my husband's 31st birthday celebration.  I need to plan some baking to treat him all week, but I want it to be a surprise.  I'll probably bake a cake, but I might also make some cookies or chocolate muffins or something.

That's all for now.  Happy Sunday!

No comments: