Saturday, August 25, 2012

Getting Ready

Is it awful that I'm SO excited that school starts on Monday??   I know there are lots of moms who mourn the first day of school, but I'm not really one of them.  I seriously can't wait to have more structure to my days.   I LOVE summer.  I LOVE having my kids home all day everyday for three whole months.  But I also really, really LOVE the schedule that we're forced back into when school rolls around every fall.   By the time November and December come, I'm sure I'll be ready for another break, but until then, I will happily plan to thoroughly enjoy my 6 hours of kid-free time.  I already have a list a mile long of things I want to fill my days with.  It's a good thing the school year is long.  I definitely need to figure out how to pace myself.  

Today, I spent all morning on Pinterest planning menus for the next two weeks.  I planned breakfast 6 days a week (they can fend for themselves on Saturdays since most of them don't even wake up until lunchtime anyway.)  I found tons of easy recipes for dinners for the next two weeks and posted them on the fridge (mostly to remind me what I need to do the night before or the day of, so it's not a surprise at 5pm.)  And in order to make sure we actually eat dinner together AT HOME every night, I've bumped that up to 5:30pm instead of 6:00pm.   Then I made my list and bought groceries for the whole advance...and I only spent $100!!  (I wouldn't suggest doing that on the Saturday before school starts, though.  Next time I'll shop on a weekday morning.)

The best thing I did today, though, was plan school lunches and healthy after school snacks. I found these awesome lunch containers (super inexpensive which made me happy, earth-friendly which makes Spell Girl very happy, and re-useable which means fewer purchases of those little Ziploc bags.)
$3.97 for a set of two at Walmart

I cooked an entire crockpot of chicken breasts this morning and shredded them all up for chicken noodle soup tomorrow night, chicken salad sandwiches for Monday's lunch and enough leftover for  Chicken Lo Mein on Tuesday night.  Thanks, Amanda, for the great idea to cook A LOT of chicken and shred it all at once.  What would I ever do without smart friends??

I've thought for a lot of years that my least favorite part of the school day is when the kids come home after school and just graze until dinner.  I've had a "snack shelf" in the pantry of every house we've ever lived in and they've gotten very casual about their snacking.  In the summer I could barely keep that shelf stocked for three days before they had devoured everything on it it, including any stray stale cracker that might have escaped a previous week.  I really would like to have more control over what they're eating.  They're active, healthy kids, so I'm not worried about their weight, but we could all use a little less processed, boxed stuff in our lives, right?  And if I have 6 WHOLE HOURS everyday to just hang out in my house, why not use a little of that time to have a plan for something better than chips and oreos?  You might have noticed that there wasn't a single snack on that grocery list I made.  I didn't get ANY...not even for lunches.  I'm feeling ambitious and motivated...

I made 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies for lunches this week

and here are some awesome ideas I found for afterschool snacks

I LOVE having a plan and carrying it out.  It makes life so much easier when I have a list I can follow.  I'm looking forward to a great new school year, and much less stress around meal times (and more pedicures in my future with all the $ I save)  


  1. This is the hardest thing for me, planning dinner, cooking etc. is just not mything. I am so impressed at your two week plan!

    1. Thanks! It's making me happy to feel like I've accomplished a good thing at the end of the day. One successful day down, 179 more to go! :)