Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A time for new routines & recipes

It's going to be interesting this year, with the boys at two separate schools. One has an early dismissal day (Tuesdays) & the other has a late start day (Wednesdays). I did manage to arrange soccer carpools, so that should help. Sam also wants to try out some new clubs & activities (you know, as a new middle schooler! ;-), so that may add some extra wrinkles. Details on that still coming, as they haven't announced the schedule yet for after school activities.

As part of a new season, we try to review our routine (see above) to determine the hot spots, and coordinate rides, nannies, & work schedules. We also review the boys chores & determine if we need to make any adjustments. We know that Sam is taking an advanced math class, so we will likely need to free up more evening time for homework. That means he'll likely pick up a few additional weekend chores.

Speaking of chores, our boys are 10 & 11. Here's the current list of chores they currently manage. (They split them, for the most part, by day to account for sports practice).

  • Setting the table
  • Watering plants 
  • Bringing in the mail
  • Making lunches (we're about 1/2 way there)
  • Cutting fruit for breakfast
  • Putting away their laundry & keeping their rooms cleaned
  • Taking the garbage & recycling out (as needed)
  • Taking the garbage/recycling/yard waste to the curb on garbage day
  • Making a salad (this is usually in the winter, when they don't have to water the plants & have more evening time)
  • Shower (not technically a chore, but they feel like it is ;-))
  • Homework (again, not a chore, but their top priority every day)
  • Empty backpacks, bring any paperwork for us, bring their lunch bags to the counter & put all dirty containers in the dishwasher 
  • On weekends, the boys help with ad hoc chores such as yard work, and pool maintenance.

I would like both boys to be more involved in meal planning & selection. I have one who eats almost anything, & one who is still exceptionally picky about food not being "mixed". This has been a challenge for meal planning & cooking in general, but we continue to get better, & he knows he can always heat up anything in the fridge, and/or make his own pasta if dinner isn't something he will eat. *I* don't make separate meals. I'd like for this to evolve as he gets older, but it's our current operating principle.

As for new recipes, I'd like to get Sam (the non-picky eater) more involved in selecting recipes, and potentially helping more with the prep & assembly. Mornings are getting crazier (middle school hours), so I'm considering making breakfast burritos & breakfast sandwiches with him this weekend for the freezer, and seeing if that helps us get out the door a bit faster. I'll report back on any successful breakfast freezer meals. 

What about you? Any great breakfast recipes you can recommend? Particularly those that can be prepped in advance/frozen? He likes to eat a full breakfast (eggs, starch, fruit), but would be open to anything particularly filling. How often do you review your routines & schedules at your house? 


  1. One thing which we used to do when I worked (before kids)was make a huge batch of pancakes on Sunday morning. What we didn't eat got put in the refrigerator to be popped in toaster for quick breakfasts.
    My kids have started not eating breakfast, due to the ghastly early hour the m.s. and h.s. start. Fortunately, most teachers are o.k. with kids eating say, a granola bar in class.

    1. I'd hate to not offer breakfast, but can totally see how it would happen. Both of my boys are still early risers, so they have time to eat before school.

  2. We just went glamping and I made frozen breakfast burritos ahead for the first time this way... bulk sausage, a bit of cheese and diced potatoes ( I microwaved the potatos then skillet fried, with the eggs) surprisingly my kids who hate potatoes ate them microwaved almost every morning and asked me to make them again at home for when school starts....We usually just have eggs in tortillas. We also do frozen waffles and the frozen pancakes. Our middle schooler will eat packet oatmeal too, he can heat up the water himself which helps.