New Season, New Goals

BalanceThere are two things I’ve not been so great at in the last couple of years since having the kids. OK, I’ll admit, I’m TERRIBLE at these two things – meal plans and kids’ event planning.  I used to be a great cook, full of ideas, lots of exotic dishes were made in my home, but since having kids, it’s become mac n cheese and hot dogs.  Ugh, how did that happen?  Oh wait, maybe because my husband doesn’t like to cook (but thank GOD, he does laundry), and I work full time.  Oh yeah, that.  So when the weekend rolls around, we are exhausted from the week and have to find ways to entertain our kids while we somehow catch up on our rest (which, sadly, barely ever happens).

My goals for the meal plan are to know what I’m cooking for dinner BEFORE I’m driving home every night, and to save money on our grocery and eating out bills – which has skyrocketed in the last month or two.  I started this weekend by making a couple big meals that we can reheat during the week for dinners and/or take to work for lunches.  I also stocked up on a few frozen meal options – I try to stay very simple with those because I don’t usually like the ingredient list on them, and want my kids to eat fresher food.  Yeah, right.  The mac n cheese will undoubtedly resurface, but I’m trying.  My kids didn’t like the big pasta dish I made on Sunday for this week (boo to them, b/c it is super tasty), but I will keep trying.  The power of cucumbers and ranch dressing are high in my house, so as long as I keep something fresh in front of them, I guess I’m doing my job.

Anyone have any suggestions for me?  I have a crockpot, and I use it, but honestly, my crockpot food never really comes out as awesome as all those crock pot sites will attest.  I don’t know what I”m doing wrong with it, or my food tastes are just different from the rest of the world.  The only really great-tasting food that I get out of that thing is chili.

Now, on to Event Planning.  Honestly, my husband and I are terrible at planning things for our kids to do.  We basically wake up in the morning hoping we’ll figure it out.  He likes to plan, I don’t.  But I know for everyone to happy, occupied and LEARNING, I have to step up and do what I can.

60FunthingstodoinRochesterI heard about this today on the local NPR station  – – and I bought the little book!  It looks really fun, and we can go explore some local places as the weather gets better.  I will update as we visit these places and let you know how they are.  I really hope that I’m not alone in my exhaustion and frustration in all this.  Sometimes I feel like the worst parent ever, but then I look at my kids and realize they are happy, healthy and loving little people (when the tantrums subside, that is), and that we’re barreling through like the rest of the frazzled, exhausted parents out there.