Monday, January 11, 2010

Making my life easier...that's always my plan!

I like to think of myself as aspiring to total efficiency, but I might just be lazy. I could spin my housekeeping and shopping routines as organized and efficient, but really, the whole idea is to make my life easier. And it does. I realize, having had a rough few months with a teething pre-toddler (if you haven't been around a baby in a while, you may not realize that teething makes babies fussy and clingy and learning a new skill, like walking, does, too, so my life the past couple of months, adding in the frenzy of the holidays, has been haggard. Now the baby's walking and the holidays are over...but two more teeth are coming in...) how much I NEED my routine. I'm getting back in that groove now with planned outings with Elizabeth each day, scheduled housework each day, pre-planned activities with Caroline each day. And I'm adding a new dimension to make my life easier -- DINNER SWAP!

Today was our second swap, and I am just pleased as punch! Four other moms and I get together once a week. To that gathering, we bring three of the same meal to share with our friends, leaving one of that meal at our own home. We swap our meals, leaving with three dinners for the week. I cook on Sundays so I have help from John occupying the girls. Then on Monday, I swap meals with my friends leaving my fridge filled with a different meal for each weeknight. My new motto is "I only cook on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!

There are so many reasons why this food swap is so great.

1. No witching-hour scramble to get dinner together when I'm tired and both kids are extra-needy and we're all counting the minutes until the daddy gets home.

2. No meal planning. Isn't that the hardest part of dinner? Figuring out WHAT to cook?

3. Easier grocery shopping since I'm only planning four recipes a week and can buy in bulk.

4. Trying new things. Don't you always wonder what other people eat? Now I get to try some of the neat things other families eat!

The dinner swap idea was inspired by several friends who are doing more of a dinner coop from ideas in the book DINNER AT YOUR DOOR. I wasn't able to find enough interest within the two mile/five minute radius recommended, so we did this instead. I actually like getting the meals at once because I have a little more control over what we have each night. And it's an extra play date for the mommas and kiddos!

I do plan to blog more this year, though I'm not making that a resolution or anything. I'm just planning on being more organized and less pulled-in-a-dozen-directions...thanks to things like dinner swap!