I’m not sure if all of you are familiar with pregnancy legend and lore, so I’ll fill you in before I launch into this . . .

Apparently, when a pregnant woman moves into her 2nd trimester, she becomes full of energy and awesomeness in general. The woes of the 1st trimester are behind her, and the mounting physical difficulties of the 3rd trimester are months away. Her skin begins to “glow” and she can supposedly move mountains while washing dishes and providing scheduled craft times that result in perfect macaroni pictures of Albert Einstein.

I’m pretty sure I missed the announcement for whatever 2nd trimester train I was supposed to hop on. I’m tired. My body hurts, and I’m pretty much at a loss right now when it comes to entertaining my 2 year old. All I really want to do is turn on some cartoons and snuggle Charlie while I sleep.

I’m well aware that that’s not something that I can do all day. It’s just not okay. But it sure would feel nice at the time.

I have an idea, though, and I need you guys’ help.

Charlie loves to help me cook. He likes to put vegetables in bowls as I cut them and line things up on trays before they go into the oven. When I’m done cooking dinner, he gets mad because he can’t help anymore. This is absolutely something I need to take advantage of.

I always look at those “once-a-month-cooking” websites and think, “Man, that’s a nice ideaand all, but how in the hell do they actually make that happen?”

Well, I’m not really interested in cooking an entire month’s worth of meals in one shot, because I really don’t want to be eating frozen food all month . . . but if Charlie and I could spend a couple hours a day making a few meals, I think it would totally solve my child-entertainment/not-wanting-to-make-dinner problem.

Here’s the deal, though. I have pretty much zero crockpot/casserole recipes in my repertoire. I don’t want to make any cream-of-shwatever-soup stuff. Paul’s not a big fan of casseroles anyway, but I think he’s just got stroganoff and chicken-and-rice stuck in his brain. I know there are some tasty, non-artery-clogging casseroles out there, and I would love to have a stack of them in my freezer. What’s that, you say? Betty Jo had a baby? Good thing I’ve got a casserole in my freezer! You say you don’t feel like making dinner tonight? Let me just whip this baby out of the freezer here . . .

Aaaaand you get my drift. When Charlie gets bored and we’ve already watched 2 Little Einsteins in a row, I can say, “Hey, buddy, you want to help me cook?” and he’ll say, “Yep,” and we’ll frolic happily in the kitchen productively. Right?

Anyway, I’m reaching out to you, my friends. Do you guys have any tried and true casserole/crockpot recipes to give me? I don’t really want any links to “365 days of slow-cooker” things, because I can find those on Pinterest. I’m talking about your favorite recipes that you love to make over and over again. Please share them in the comments, as I know I’ve got friends out there who would be just as interested as I am! Thanks!