Some of my New Year's Resolutions (I called them "promises to myself" in the hopes they would feel more like fun opportunities and less like "obligations") were to cook more healthy food for my family, and do more crafts with the kids.
I've done better on the cooking front than the crafts. It seems if I take the time to look up something "different" to do with the kids online, I'm not planning for meals very well. And if I dedicate myself to finding new healthy recipes, making menu plans and shopping lists, the crafts fall by the wayside.
I barely even try to keep the house all picked up. And I don't feel bad about this one...I think love and attention, be it emotional, social or intellectual, are more important than a clean house.
My cooking has consisted of a lot of crock pot meals. Some have been a big success, others nobody but me would touch. And even this one effort seems to be more than I can balance. Either it is super yummy, and not very healthy, or its healthy, and nobody wants it.
But through it all, my kids seem really happy and mostly healthy (winter, I'm ready to say bye bye to you!). Amelie has been "hosting" more and more elaborate tea parties for all her dolls (and her brother ;-). Evan is loving preschool, and is appreciative as ever of everything we do. "Thank you for making us this dinner, Mommy", he'll say. He and Amelie have more and more little conversations, and get along great (for the most part ;-). They just had their first session of a new religious ed. program at church. And after that we went for ice cream and then they played in the back yard with Daddy on their bikes for the first time this season.
And of course, I messed up dinner. I listed only half the cheese I needed for my crock pot mac n cheese, and so I thought the mozzarella cheese that was for another dish was intended for this. Mozzarella cheese in mac and cheese? Not so great. But the kids ate it up and called it yummy. And so now, Monday, I realize I'm not making what I had intended because I used the cheese for it mistakenly on something else. But oh well...Thankfully I have all the ingredients for a Rachel Ray pasta toss recipe.
But I still have a long way to go on my goal to spend more time just BEING with my children. They play on their own a lot of the time. And while there isn't anything inherently wrong with that (independent play and the ability to play independently are good things, and they also love each others' company), I know I spend too much time researching more recipes, looking for "the perfect craft", etc. What they will remember most isn't how well I cooked, or how fantastically creative any given craft was, but the time we spent together. They delight in the simplest of art making and just seem to love it every time I cook for them, no matter how it turns out. Kids have their priorities straight.
So I'm still plugging away at working on doing the same...with gratitude that no matter how well or poorly I do, they love me and seem to be very aware that I love them to pieces too.