Wednesday, February 10, 2010


A new year is typically a time for resolutions. My friend Suzie instead chooses a word to focus on for the year. This year her word was "nest". This year I have chosen my own word. I haven't yet written about it, waiting to see how things would work out. I am now happy to present my word for 2010, "simple".

Simple. Everything my life is not. I am tired of the constant chaos. Scrambling to find school forms in the morning. Trying to figure out what to make for dinner as I am running out the door from work. My cluttered, messy house. Taking on too many commitments at the kids' school.

I need to make things simple (relatively speaking). The first thing I have decided to tackle is dinner time. Last year we made Monday night pasta night. That is always our busiest day at work, and it was helpful to always know what dinner was. Pasta is easy because we always have it in the house, so no need to plan ahead. The kids like pasta, so no whining kids, another plus. This year we have continued pasta on Mondays, and added Tuesday and Wednesday. I chose meals whose ingredients I always have in the house, and can be made relatively quick. Tuesday is now soup and sandwich night (and in the summer we will make it salad night). Wednesday has been a work in progress. I initially was going to go with a "crock pot" night, but had difficulty finding enough vegetarian recipes that weren't soup recipes. So I went with "casserole night", where I will alternate between my hamburger pie casserole (made with fake hamburger, of course.) and my enchilada casserole. Thursday nights are easy since I don't work on Thursdays, and Fridays are easy because Pete is off that day and he makes dinner. So far it is working out great. The other change that has made are week nights smoother, is that the boys all have a job setting part of the table, and they have it done before we get home. Success!

I am slowly working on cleaning out drawers and cupboards. The less unnecessary stuff I have, the easier it will be to keep things cleaned up.

I am also working on not taking on to many things from school. Instead of signing up to bring something complicated that requires a lot of prep work, I am choosing easy things, like the cups.

Any suggestions on how to get my boys to keep the toy room picked up, besides throwing away all of their toys?


Suzanne said...

Simple. Love it.

I just checked out a book from the library that you might want to investigate: Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson (ISBN 1-55832-255-8). It has some interesting recipes and a lot of variety. My one beef with it (pardon the pun) is that I felt like many recipes required some stovetop prep before putting the ingredients in the crock pot. I know that often enhances the flavor and texture of the outcome but I prefer dump or layer recipes. That being said, there were a bunch that I thought I'd try out.

As for the setting the table thing, I am really inconsistent about it so the kids balk when I ask them to help. Do you think it's fair to say they can't eat if they don't set the table? :-)

Finally, the toy room? It's our nemesis too. One recent suggestion I heard was that it had to be picked up by everyone before bed. I liked that because at least once a day it was clean. I'll check back to see what your other readers say because you have touched on topics that any honest mom would admit were hot buttons. (Ok, most moms.)

cardiogirl said...

Ugh, the toy room.

I have found the only way to make them clean it is to *make* them clean it. I have to actually stand in the room, state the name of the item while pointing at the item and tell a particular kid to pick it up and place it in the basket.

Then I have to name the next kid, tell her what to pick up and where to put it.

That's not really a solution, but it's what I have to do to make them clean.

Michelle said...

Suzie-- I will check out the book. I agree though-- I don't want any stove top prep when I am using my slow cooker!

I do a lot of bargaining with the toy room. They want to play wii? Then they have to clean up.

Cardio--I have to do the same thing! drives me crazy. Faster to just do it myself