Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5 Months- What's working? Part 2

So there is one other change we recently made, that much to our surprise, is making perhaps the biggest difference in our sanity (in a positive way!).

Before I get to that, I must give a little history as to what lead up to this little but big change. I'll admit that for years Chris and I fell into a routine of eating dinner in front of t.v. I enjoy cooking and I'd often cook a homemade meal, but we'd never really sit at the table to enjoy it. We'd fix a plate, set up our t.v. trays, and watch a dvr'd program. Side by side and exchanging words but not really talking. At the same time, we used to love to go out to dinner and talk for hours. We just never sat at the table at home.

Fast forward to now and we have one very picky eater in our first born! Some days he eats okay and other days, getting him to eat anything feels like pulling teeth! Forget about trying anything new. When I present something, he'll often say, "Too hot mommy". Nice try. Kiwi fruit is not hot.

So now that the babies are going to bed at 6:30, we thought that maybe eating together at the dining room table would help Colin eat more. He'd see us eating and more importantly he wouldn't be distracted by toys or t.v. or anything else. The focus would be on food.

This was a change to help him.

But what we've realized is how much we needed it too. Our dinners together have become the calm at the end of an always hectic day, a time to re-connect, talk, and give thanks for our blessings. Colin has even started asking, "Time to eat?"

Our goal was to eat together as a family (sans the babies) every week night the first week. But it was so easy, so enjoyable, that it's become part of the routine, and one that we've continued almost every night since first trying it.

One clear obstacle to this new plan, was that I still don't have time to cook! If you could see how I cook, that would be even clearer. I've never been a "clean as I go" sort of cook. Instead, the kitchen is an absolute mess after each meal. I've tried to clean as I go, but it never pans out. Ain't my style.

Plus the whole four kids under 2 1/2 thing makes it hard to cook.

So for the past three weeks, I've started cooking once a week and freezing many of the meals. Little did I know there's a whole sub-culture of folks who swear by once a week and once a month cooking. I can see really getting into this!

I'll share some of the meals that I'm finding easiest to freeze in future posts. Part of my challenge is finding freezable vegetarian options. We eat fish but no meat. Well, actually Chris eats meat but since I cook our dinners, he's adjusted to a life of mostly tofu and veggies :)

Perhaps this means I'm really getting old. As a kid I remember every night, eating meals together around the kitchen table and sometimes thinking about how much cooler it would be if we could just eat in front of the t.v. I love my family but I also loved Diff' rent Strokes.

I guess I've come full circle because now I think it's way cooler to turn off the t.v. and sit with your family around the table.

And perhaps I can look forward to my own boys groaning about the same thing because I think family meals are here to stay.

Yesterday while eating a late breakfast, Colin insisted on candlelight. Why not?

No comments: