Tuesday, May 3, 2011

diary of a cheater mommy: how I (hope to) get dinner on the table

I just might as well come clean. 

And say it outloud. 

You know.  Before you get too attached to me and we risk a bloggy break-up.

Embrace transparency, n' stuff. 

So here I go...

Hi.  My name is Danielle.  And I am a Cheater Mommy. 

But before you gasp too loudly.  I bet you are too! 

Because what I mean by Cheater...is really more about being efficient.  Choosing to simplify.  Opting for the easy-peasy-pre-made route over the super-cute-but-uber-complicated way.  Although, I am a sucker for uber complicated crafts.  It's just that they usually wind up half a collection of needed products in a Walmart bag shoved somewhere I won't forget.  Except I do.  Until I Spring Clean that closet.  Cheating is enlisting help.  Have I mentioned how much a I love Grams (my mom)?  Or purchasing tools to make my job easier.  Like the dishwasher we installed last year.  Shhhhhh...don't tell my Hubs but I think I'm in love.  Cheating is finding the way that makes (fill-in-the-blank) work for me.  For my family.  Something like... 

moving the dinner ware out of the cupboard.  Into the dining room.  Because the dozen and a half steps between there and the kitchen were proving to be too much.  And too much made it easier to nix dinners around the table altogether.  And since I actually enjoy dinner around the table with my family every now and then (even if I don't the actual planning for and cooking of). I needed a solution that worked for me.

I forget what day specifically the idea hit me.  But when it hit me...I knew it was right for me!  (for right now...because I'm learning what works today doesn't always work tomorrow :)  

I already had that adorable pine dish rack above.  IKEA, of course.  It was perfect for displaying my Corelle within easy reach of the table.  Looks cute and is totally easy-peasy.  Win-Win.

Although I need to add that a year ago this wouldn't have been possible.  Trevy was in his must touch everything followed by must throw everything phases. 

There were times I thought we'd never move through those phases.  Hallelujah!  We have! 


I had been hunting for a silverware basket for a looooong time.  And just the other day stumbled on the one up there ^ while trolling the aisles at Target

I really had my heart set on a basket.  But the bucket was half the price and still kinda cute.  Also...unbreakable.  Soooooo...

We have these great little stores around here.  Christmas Tree Shops.  Where you can find all sorts of neat and cute things for great prices.  Like the tray above.  Which serves for some Geogrpahy fun and it's light weight.  Which means it's perfect for the kids to load up with miscellaneous table necessities like: salt, pepper, ketchup, ranch, you get the idea.  This means less trips back and forth!  Less trips back and forth means Mommy is less suspectable to calling Daddy for a pizza run.

Another confession.  I stink at being consistent with chores for the kids.  I've created all types and sizes of chore charts.  I've read books.  And blogs.  I've poured my heart out with my LifeGroup girls.  And beat myself up for not following through.  It's just one of my weaknesses.  I naturally trend towards just doing it myself than I do towards delegating. 


I am committed to growing kids that know how to contribute.  That have a work ethic.  And team spirit. 


I am outnumbered and I NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

click me to print your own

So they'll be helping with setting and clearing the table.  I printed out an adorable place setting guide.  Later this week Bristel and I will cute it up.  Laminate.  And find a place in the dining room to either hang it or keep it for the kiddos to refer to when setting the table. 

Here's to hoping we eat at least one meal as a family around the table this week! 

And it'll probably have to be tonight.  Since baseball and soccer are soaking up every other evening this week.  And if it's going to be tonight, I'd better get hopping!  So I can post pictures of my dinner around the table success...  


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  1. I am totally a cheater mommy! love this! and I need a cutlery basket. Didn't even know they exist. Are they still at Target? Going to send dh to get one. :) -jodi

  2. I got it...ohhhhh...maybe a week ago? Hopefully they're still on the shelves for you. They do have a super cute basket one too...I was so torn between the two. I like the bucket. It is a little tippy...but it's cute and easy to clean.


  3. I'm in love with my dishwasher too. I think the hubby understands:)

    Glad you found a niche that is working for you. It always feels so good.


  4. I love this! And I just discovered myself on your link page--thanks so much for the shout out! I'm really enjoying this blog thing!

  5. H...blogging is addictive in a fun sorta way. And I *heart* your blog...along with all the workbox girls. It's just nice being wrapped up in a support system.


  6. ahhhaha, love this post!
    For the placemats, I bought some cute write on ones at a teacher store that are already laminated, but I punched a hole in them and they hang neatly on a cup hook inside the cabinet door that I have in the dining room! This way the kids always know where they are and it's the youngest's job to wipe them off after every meal and hang them up!

  7. Great post, I need to do more cheater things so I am not so stressed out all the time:) A dishwasher in the house is a MUST have otherwise we would be eating off paper plates in my house

  8. So funny! I wish I had a dish washer. I think I would be in love too. I have started buying paper plates and using them more often. I used to think it was a waste of money, but that is my "cheat" thing.