08 May 2015

May Goals

I am so behind on May, pretty much because I can't believe it's not April still.
The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind around here. We have been busy with ball games and practice and we FOUND A HOUSE!

That seems to be taking up a whole lot of time. So far things are going smoothly with it. We don't close for another 7 ish weeks though.  It's in rough shape and needs some TLC. Neither one of us have ever dealt with contractors, permits, rules etc. So this is a new adventure for us.

I am excited and still a little nervous. The unknown can be a little nerve wracking. I am just trying to not stress about it, and let things just happen.

So my goals for May, other than surviving baseball/softball season are:
~Slowly go through stuff again. We have been in this rental over 6 months now, in every season but Summer. Chances are if we haven't used it, gone looking for it then we don't need it.
~After going through stuff, pack the stuff we won't need. Winter coats and Halloween decorations for sure.
~Figure out what we are doing for school next year, get that all set up.
~Sign up for Summer activities, before things get even crazier around here!
~Use the groceries we have, be better about meal planning and grocery shopping. I just bought 2 more cans of olives. We have 6 already. Whoops.

And for the first time in forever ( I know you mamas sang that Frozen style) drink more water is NOT on my goals list. It's been going so much better!  Also not on my list is working out. Psssh, I give up for now. Maybe once this sweet muffin baby is a little better sleeper, I will try again. 

I don't want to wish May away, but I am SO SO excited for June! Schools out, berries are ripe, that whole new house adventure will be approaching.

Eh, 1 out of 4. Oh well. The others aren't time specific, they will be back :)
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01 May 2015

I took my kids toys away {Week 18}

**First, I want to say I am not judging anyone for what they do or don't do for their kids. Just in case this strikes a nerve in the wrong way to someone.

I want to talk about STUFF! Specifically toys. We have been buying toys for over 10 years now and it's been an issue getting kids to pick up, keep tidy, care at all, for the last 7 years. At first I wouldn't say our kids were spoiled, I felt like spoiled can be taken as a mean label for a kid. I rationalized that they were privileged and lucky to have lots of folks in their lives that enjoy blessing them with a toy here and there. It rarely seemed like overdoing it, just something to make them smile. That's been going on for 10 years! It's about time I acknowledge our kids ARE SPOILED and it's all MY fault.
I should have done this a long time ago and it wouldn't have gotten out of hand or to this point.
old picture but we have the same issue, just didn't take another picture 
I think we have gone too far and it's overwhelming for them and insanely frustrating for me. I feel like everyday is a fight to get them to pick up after themselves. I got drastic this week and took 90% of the Lego's and put them in a bin for the garage. This was after I gave them 2 hours, plenty of direction, the ability to clean up, and they chose not to. I really think the mess was just too overwhelming. When I started putting the Lego's away there wasn't a single complaint, and I actually got some help.

Before the Lego's I had slowly been taking things away, just putting them in the garage, after I ask them to put them away and it's not done. Not a single thing has been missed! I haven't been loud about it, just picking it up and into a bin, not telling them. Barbies, clothes, random toys that all had a place they belong but weren't valued enough to be put away. They haven't asked about any of it!!

While we haven't been home as much because we have been at the ball fields every night, when we have been home the kids have been playing together better. Asking them to tidy isn't the instant meltdown it had become. I get a little nauseous thinking about the $$ that is sitting in the garage. I don't have plans to get rid of it right now. I just feel like we probably could have had some good family experiences rather than more stuff. Live and learn I guess. I really think we were doing a disservice to our kids. I am hoping that we can scale back and learn from it. I don't want them to expect toys and stuff, nor do I want them to feel like it's acceptable to not clean up after themselves.

Is this something that is a struggle at your house too? Finding a good balance with responsibility, appreciation and stuff? I feel like it will be a slow process to get there but we are on our way.
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24 April 2015

Organizing Friday {Week 17}

I asked a couple weeks ago how long other people keep their clothes that don't fit right now. For me, it's after baby, none of my summer stuff really fits and I don't see them fitting in time to use them this summer. There was a whole variety of answers. I haven't decided what exactly I will do yet. Something has to give though.

Clearly I needed a good clothes purge! That is what I worked on today and have a bit more over the weekend. I have been reading all about this capsule wardrobe thing and read this great article.

Why I Got Rid of My Wardrobe

So inspiring!
 Right now I feel like not a whole lot of my clothes fit me just right (yay post baby body, not), there aren't many that I LOVE and overall it is kind of overwhelming because there are too many choices!
I didn't know if I could be that brave and limit it to 
15 tops
9 bottoms
9 pair of shoes
2 dresses
2 jackets
like the article suggested. That is SO SO much less than I have right now. I am going to try a little bit more or go that route but put some in storage rather than completely letting them go.

 I have a hard time balancing the wear it out thing vs. the capsule wardrobe thing. I know we do not have a budget for a new (even small) wardrobe every season.
Finding where my budget and lack of desire to shop meet will be interesting.
It was not fun deciding what could be packed away for now. But I think I will like having less to sort through and I don't feel like I let too much go that I will regret it. 

2 Sweatshirts
5 Cardi's
5 Long sleeve tops
9 t shirts/short sleeve tops
11 tank tops/summer tops
*Once we are officially in summer the long sleeve ones will get packed, or if I haven't worn them, donated.
 11 dresses
3 jackets
*no room to store the other 2 winter coats

 2 Pair of jeans
2 pair of capri
2 pair of shorts

1 skirt
 *also have a maxi skirt folded

I also kept a variety of basic colored cami's and tanks for under tops. Also, my clothes that are in the laundry, not much though. 3 sets of workout clothes.

I put most of the stuff in a couple of bins in the corner of the closet, but this is what is leaving. And there is evidence of "yes" day, little dude was helping me and playing on his tablet.

Do you do the capsule wardrobe thing? Have you considered a capsule wardrobe? If not, what is holding you back? 

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10 April 2015

Organizing Friday {Week 15}

I didn't do much last Friday, Good Friday, hubby was home and we stayed busy. This last week I was working on the kitchen cabinets. We have been living in this place for a full 5 months. There are some things we still haven't touched. I was thinking there was some I can move up higher that we won't be using a while and other things that can just go!

I knew I couldn't do a whole kitchen overhaul in 1 week. We have too much snuggling and baseball for that. But I set a goal of the 3 worst drawers and got those done.
I know I can't be the only one that has a problem storing plastic storage. We usually use glass for storing in the fridge but hubby and kids use plastic for lunch stuff.
 after (and I hope it stays this way)

We also have a whole drawer dedicated to baby stuff, food, snacks, spoons, bottles and sippy cups, bibs and all that stuff.

This drawer was just a mess. I haven't used the lunchbox in a year or more. We don't typically use paper plates or plastic utensils. This time of year is when we do. I needed to make a spot so I can grab some at the store. We eat on the go 5-6 days a week during baseball season. It's not great but fine for now.

I know we are all busy and finding time for stuff like this can be tricky. I put the baby in the carrier and snuggled him to sleep while I did 1. I did the other while making dinner and bribed the biggest kid to sort plastic stuff.

How do you organize these things at your house? I bet there are better ways out there!
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07 April 2015

Keeping Up. How do you manage?

About to get personal here, sorry. I will try to keep it short. 

Social Media. Love it and hate it. Recently something happened on Facebook. I am sure it has happened to many of us. Out of no where, someone I cared about deleted me. Nothing had happened, nothing I posted would have offended her, just random. We've been friends for over a decade, through some serious stuff. Marriages, a whole bunch of kids, divorce. I couldn't image what in the world I did to bring this about. I still don't know. But being the over thinker that I am on top of being awake so many hours at night, it was just getting to me! I started thinking maybe I am just a really crappy friend!

And here I am STILL wondering if that is it, which leads me to wonder, how do we keep up with friends? Having 4 kids makes me feel like the luckiest taxi driver most weeks. Where in this crazy schedule that we have do I make time for friendships? Maybe it's part of my over thinking thing, but I rarely call friends because chances are they will have to repeat themselves multiple times or the baby will start crying or my phone battery will die. I talk myself out of calling people because of those reasons, and others. I try and text friends, but that seems so impersonal and I often will get a text while I am in the middle of something and forget to respond and then it just feels awkward responding to something 2 days later.

**Now don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about the schedule. I know we have made it for ourselves and while this season is our very busiest, it is just a season. I know there are plenty of parents who say NO to sports and activities while their kids are young. That just isn't us.

So I am wondering, how do you do it? How do you make time for friendships, what do you sacrifice? What do you do? Just stop by friends house, always meet somewhere specific and kid friendly? Grocery shop together? Only hang out when you are kid free?

 And please tell me I am not the only one who hesitates to make plans when I know it would work, time wise? I think I talk myself out of initiating time with friends because of silly things like: who knows if I will be able to shower and get dressed that morning on time. What if I look like the hot mess I feel like? Or a big one for me is worrying the baby will spit up, he does this a lot and pretty much every time he eats, what if it gets on their couch/carpet/at a restaurant? These are just 2 of the more common reasons I talk myself out of doing things.  Am I the only one with this much crazy in my head about seeing friends for coffee? Friends I know would never be mad or upset if a baby spit up on their couch?
Maybe you are more like me? What keeps you from hanging with your friends?
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06 April 2015

April Goals

My goal in March was to work on meal planning, March was rough, and April is probably going to be worse. I am going to have to meal plan even better the next 2 months. We are starting baseball and softball and T-ball. I am not sure how we are going to be at 3 places at once. This will be interesting to say the least. Figuring out dinner is one thing I will need to just figure out ahead of time to make life easier. Also going to work on eating better and working out again. I have been in such a rut, mostly due to lack of sleep. Our little guy is still up a good portion of every night. I will share some more of what is going on here and with this rut feeling soon too. For now, the usual lineup (So hard for me!) plus a couple more.

 ~Drink more water
~Stick to the meal plan
~STOP with the sugar
~Make the time for at home workouts during the week

Water drinking will probably always be one of the things I need to work on. Meal Planning this month will have to have some portable dinners. We recently added a pressure cooker to the kitchen gadgets, OH MY GOODNESS. I used it every other day since we got it. What a time saver! I had no idea what I was missing out on! I love baking, baking does not love me! Sugar has been such an issue lately! Preparing the hubby and kids that I may be, like for sure will be, on the grumpy side while I work on some sugar detoxing. Planted some veggies a couple weeks ago and can't wait to have them around. When they are here and fresh it's a whole lot easier to enjoy them. I borrowed some dvd's from the library that are less than 30 minutes to do. I have set my alarm again after a few weeks of just letting the baby or big kids wake me up. I should be able to find 25 minutes in a day to just do the workout! Please tell me I am not the only mama that puts laundry, dinner, dishes and 100 other things before doing something for them self?

Anything you are working on this month?  Still keeping my word for the year as a goal for life in general. Refine is my word, looking for ways to apply it to life. How is your word for the year going, if you participate?

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30 March 2015

Seasonal Clothes Swapping

First I will say that I do not enjoy this task but thankfully it only has to be done 2 times a year.  Transitioning from tank tops and shorts at the end of summer and the packing away of long sleeves and heavy coats at the end of winter. By the end of the season I am so over seeing the same clothes on the kids anyway, I guess that part I do enjoy, along with having it done!

First things first, make sure you have enough time. Don't rush it, make it 2 separate times if you need to but don't try to rush through it all.

Prep your boxes or bins, baskets or whatever you are using to sort.
I have 6 bins I use.
~ Keep in drawers
~Keep for next year
~Hand Down

Keep in drawer is something that is going right back in.
Keep for next year, stuff that will likely still fit in 6 months and is in good shape
Hand Down, outgrown by this kiddo but in good shape for the next
Donate/Sell. Honestly, sometimes I never want to see something again and if it's not worth it to sell we will donate it or hand down to another family that can use it.
Scrap, there is only so much you can do with a shirt that was put over chubby thighs and stretched out. If it's cotton I will keep it to clean stuff up, or use it to stain wood.

Once the current stuff is sorted. More prep. Get the kiddo ready! I can't tell you how much this part of the project will determine how it ends. In smiles and probably some mama tears or tears of frustration from everyone! Bathroom, snack and then distractions put away just sets the stage for a smooth transition. We have a speedy try on everything questionable session. Sometimes it's hard to know if something is going to fit without trying it on. Sizes on labels can be very different from brand to brand.

~If you are a momma of more than 1, do 1 child at a time. It's already daunting, don't make it harder on yourself with more stuff than you have to have out at once.
~Keep 1 top and 1 bottom from the sell or donate pile handy. Just in case there is a weird weather day. You don't want to have to dig through a bin for them in the mad rush before school or bed the night before.
~Get the stuff that is going out, OUT as soon as you can!
~Label your bins/boxes with a label you can see easily

I have found that the more often I do this, the more often I buy less the following year. Seeing stuff that was not worn much before it was outgrown is a sure sign that our kids have too much.

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