25 February 2009

27 Day Challenge

A couple Saturdays ago, I opened my mouth before I really thought about the words pouring out.

"Let's see how long we can go without eating at a restaurant! It'll be fun!"

The events leading up to this earth-shattering-great idea included Addi begging to go out to eat at a restaurant almost every day. Once again, on that fateful Saturday, she was suggesting we eat inside a restaurant.

Any of you who've ever had a child know how much fun eating inside a restaurant can be with a baby. Let me tell you, if you don't already know, the more babies you have, the less fun it gets. So, we don't eat in restaurants like Chili's, Outback, or Babe's too often with our family of 5. We're more likely to grab Sonic, Chick Fil A, or McDonald's and eat it at home. What that means is I usually plan to cook 6 nights a week and then plan on pizza or other fast food for Friday nights. That is not close to extravagant, but I never want my children to believe buying yummy, greasy, fattening food is part of life. It is a treat and should, in my opinion, be one of the first treats to go in times of economic crisis. (Not that we personally are, but, if you haven't noticed a lot of other Americans are.) So, eliminating restaurants is easy if you don't eat at them often.

Or so I thought.

We decided, as a family, we would not buy anything from a restaurant for 27 days. NOTHING! That means no Whataburger taquitos for me after I drop Libby off at preschool or Sonic Dr. Pepper during Happy Hour. No treat after school on Fridays. No Freebirds burrito for Bryan if he forgets his sack lunch. No chocolate croissiant or coffee for me at La Madeleine's during my MOPS get together. Nothing!

It is a lot harder than I thought it'd be. Supper is not an issue at all. As I said before, I plan to cook most nights anyway and I really like to cook. The hardest part for me is little snacks while I'm running errands. Not being able to grab a Dr. Pepper and tator tots from Sonic during Happy Hour kills me! It wasn't even something I did that much. It's what I find myself missing the most.

We are not even half-way done with our challenge. Our ability to suceed will come from the accountability we have with each other. Libby isn't too into it and, of course, Levi is oblivious, but Addi is serious. She's a little drill sergeant! I'm sorry to say I've tried to tempt her more than once by pledging her the $1 ice cream sundae from Sonic. She doesn't even hesitate before she gives me a look like she's just caught me coloring on the walls. She's such a rule-follower! :)

We'll let you know if we make it to Day 27 and how yummy our meal in a restaurant is that night!