Meal Plan no. 14

Things might be looking up for meal choices. Or maybe with the seasons changing and Jakey getting older and a little more independent that I’m able to do more in the kitchen. Whatever it is, I’m glad to not be in such a rut!

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

Sunday: Bagel bites

Monday: Spaghetti

Tuesday: Dinner with family

Wednesday: Hamburgers

Thursday: Must-goes

Friday: Dinner with family

Saturday: Out to eat

Some of my new favorites

A couple of weeks ago we went to Gulfport to pick Kevin up from the airport and then went to eat lunch at a fun place nearby. I had such a good time and got done great pictures of the kids. They are my new favorite pictures of our family and I’m going to print them out to replace our old family pictures!

What Clutter Can Do

Right now I’m lounging on my couch holding a sleeping babe and listening to my other two having fun playing in their room aka making a big mess. I’m cringing with every loud noise I hear from them dumping out another box of hot wheels or little people. I’ve already put up 100 large LEGO blocks and hid the box of alphabet blocks. Those tend to just be thrown about. With every crash I think of how bad I want to go in and do another purge of toys.

I found a journal from two years ago right before Eleanor was born. Almost every time I wrote, I wrote about how much I needed to clean and it was always the same things. I never made any progress no matter how much I straightened and cleaned. The messes were still there and so was my frustration.

I am so glad to not be in that place anymore! It’s easier to keep the house straight and I’m usually more ready for people to visit. Surprisingly, I’ve realized that I love bright colors in my decor more than I thought. There was too much going on in my house, there was no room left for bright and pretty. So I found myself drawn to more neutral decor because my mind craved the calmness it provided.

I also have more room to pursue more creative projects. It was as if I couldn’t concentrate or even commit to doing something because I didn’t have the mental capacity from all the clutter in my physical space. Even if I wanted to make something for myself, I often never even got started on it.

In addition to getting rid of clutter, we got rid of a lot of what houses clutter! For instance, I had a ladder bookshelf on the wall next to my piano that had a lot of books and several knick knacks and pictures. This was actually the first thing that I decluttered back in August. I had been feeling for a while like there was too much in the house like on the walls and there was too much furniture that went all the way up to the ceiling. So when I got back from my trip to Dallas and I walked in the house and the first thing I saw was that bookshelf holding just a lot of things that I didn’t even care about, I took everything off and got rid of it. I kept about half the stuff that was on there and donated or threw away the rest.

We’ve gotten rid of several pieces of furniture since then and have had to find places for anything we wanted to keep. It’s crazy to think about how much we had in the house just to hold everything. Although we have gotten rid of so so much, it feels like we still have the same amount. But only because in addition to decluttering the small stuff, we also decluttered the big stuff that held the small stuff.

It feels like our house is still bursting at the seams with stuff. I’m not sure if we’ll ever get finished or if decluttering is going to be a lifelong process. I hope not because I am so weary of throwing so much in the trash. I am weary of feeling so wasteful and hopeful that our consumption will continue to slow to almost an end.

Plans for the yard!

First off, I love being outside. Maybe not all the time, but since I spend the majority of my time inside with the three littles, I especially love my time I get to spend outside now. I’m ready now to get the yard in order, specifically the front of the house. Also, my potting bench that my dad built me is super cluttered and I need to clean that up.

My biggest focus right now is the front bed and the flower bed I’m attempting to build. I want to get some pine straw to neaten everything up and also to use a deterrent for weeds to keep growing. I have huge elephant ears in the bed, Kevin loves them! And at one point I planted garlic and it keeps coming back. This past week I noticed some garlic stalks coming up again!

I’m just going to let both of the plants grow and see what happens. I’m hoping that they can both grow there this year and when the elephant ears die out when it gets colder again, then I can harvest the garlic. I just have to keep Kevin from weed eating it all down. If I keep the bed weeded, then he won’t have to weed eat it. We’ll see how all that goes.

I’ve always dreamed of having beautiful flower beds blooming and I’ve slowly been collecting bulbs from friends who have divided their flowers in the spring time. I like doing it this way because I have an extremely hard time making decisions on what to get and I don’t really know what I’m doing. So when somebody gives some bulbs away then that is one less decision for me to make.

The past several years I’ve always focused on gardens and doing big things. Those were my dreams, though! Since we’ve been decluttering and cleaning up, that has slowly moved to us doing things outside as well. The more we do, the more it clears up for me to focus on the basic things that need tending to.

I’m still going to plant and grow a couple of herbs and vegetables this year. I love growing my own food even if I don’t always eat it. I’ll probably just grow them in pots on the porch, Kevin hates having to mow and weed eat around all my projects. So this year I’m trying to make it where he doesn’t have as much to do in the yard.

I’m looking at it like you have to start somewhere and where I already started needs a little attention. So now it’s time for a restart and spring is a great time to give everything a little TLC.

Meal Plan no. 13

Here’s what we’re eating this week.

Sunday: Must-goes

Monday: Meatballs

Tuesday: Sloppy joes

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Bagel bites

Friday: Dinner with family

Saturday: Out to eat

On starting to get moving

My body is tired. I’ve had three pregnancies in three years and I can feel it. I’m realizing that I need to do something more or I’m just gonna hurt more and more. Not to mention I want to feel more comfortable in the clothes I like to wear and want to wear. And I want to run and play with the children.

I feel like I’ve just kind of let the past 6 or 7 years just happen to me and just kind of floated along doing whatever I felt like. So now that my body has changed from mostly having babies and also years of inactivity, I want to change.

I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I want to do something that involves a good deal of stretching because my body is just so tight right now. When I’m holding Jake while he’s eating, I’ll flex my foot and I can feel how tight my legs are. I want to get back to feeling loose and limber and not hurting.

I also like to wear shorts and tank tops and I really miss my muscles that I used to have that made me not as self conscious when wearing them. With spring and summer coming I want to get more fit than I am right now!

I believe that the kids are going to have a lot of fun getting moving and exercising around the house. They love to constantly be moving and playing. So to have their mama playing around with them will be a blast! Now I just have to start.

Kids Clothes

Having a system for sorting through clothes that the kids have outgrown and having a plan for what to do with them was not something I thought about until Finley was at least a year old. Even then my only solution was to toss anything that he wasn’t wearing anymore into a diaper box and to store it in his closet. Since then I have sorted through those boxes once. And I put size labels on the boxes so I could keep them somewhat organized.

With Eleanor’s clothes, they were mostly sorted by size, by the time I figured out I needed to store the clothes, I realized to go ahead and sort them from the beginning and I would never have to go through them again. Game. Changer. I donated 5 boxes of Eleanor’s clothes this past month and it felt so good to pass them on! And get them out of the closet and house. There are two boxes of her clothes left that didn’t get donated with the rest. I made the mistake and got caught up in looking through the clothes and got sentimental about them. I didn’t have time to go through them like I needed to that day so I closed those boxes up and put them back in the closet. I will definitely look through them later and hopefully I won’t be feeling as sentimental then as I did that day.

I haven’t given anything of Finley’s away, mainly because we have Jake now! I have to sort through the boy clothes I have. And reorganize because apparently I did not do a good job sorting the clothes the first time. Some of the boxes are going to a friend who has a little boy several months younger than Fin. I love the idea of giving to others but I always talk myself out of it by either convincing myself that they don’t need it or that they wouldn’t like anything I have to offer. I was not prepared for the insecurities that accompany motherhood and it has been hard dealing with all these feelings.

Jake has grown out of his newborn clothes and it’s time for me to pack them up. And I am so much more prepared this time around. Third time’s a charm! I have another friend who is going to have a boy this summer that I’m planning on giving these clothes to.

When talking about giving away all the boy clothes, people often question why I’m not saving them all for Jacob. It may seem wasteful to give them away when I know I’m going to have to buy more. But the main reason is we really don’t have a lot of room to continue to store everything we think we might need in the future. Also, many of those clothes are hand me downs from a friend that we desperately needed during a hard year for Kevin and me. So I would like to pass those on the same way but also half of the clothes aren’t really a style I would pick out myself. So it’s very possible they would just sit in a box while I get clothes that are more my style to put on Jake.

Keeping in mind that my goal is to keep as little clothes as I need should help keep me motivated to stay on top of the clothes situation. And as time passes I’m sure I’ll get better at my methods for sorting and organizing baby clothes whether I donate, give to a friend, or even put them in a weekend consignment sale.

Meal Plan no. 12

Still uninspired for most of our meals. Here’s what we’re eating this week:

Sunday: Meatballs and green beans

Monday: Scrambked eggs and bacon

Tuesday: Hot dogs

Wednesday: Meatballs

Thursday: Sloppy joes

Friday: Dinner with family

Saturday: Tacos

Hitch Goals No. 5

Oh I totally forgot to post these yesterday! I’m still keeping my goals simple, infant and all, pretty much planning for something I’ve had in mind for a month or two by this point. I love a new month because I feel inspired to get up and make changes that I’ve been putting off or do a project I’ve been thinking of.

  1. Declutter and restyle bookshelf. I’ve been staring at this bookshelf in the corner of our living room for two months now and all I can say about it is that it needs work. I haven’t been able to bring myself to get everything off of it and figure out how I want to do it but this month I’m going to do just that!
  2. Start a stretching/get moving routine. Pregnancy is hard on the body. Caring for three small children is physically demanding and my body is tired. I need to fix this somehow.
  3. Fix up yard. Spring is coming!!! I cannot wait!! Every year I try to do too much with the yard. This year I’m doing a basic fix up and not much more. I’m not going to be able to stay away from growing my herbs and tomatoes.
  4. Cook more vegetables. I’m in a rut again with figuring out meals and I know we need more vegetables. Now that I think about it, I felt this way around this time last year and I started a whole30 as a way to challenge myself to get more creative with meals. I feel stuck right now with the kids, Ellie eats anything and everything on her tray except chicken, Finley only wants meatballs and bacon. Kevin eats pizza and spaghetti. And I want chicken based meals so I’m trying to figure out a compromise. Mainly for myself because I’m the most reasonable of the four of us.

I think I can get those done. And I’m excited about all of it. Here’s to spring coming!

Thoughts on a Thursday

It’s been a while so I thought I would just write about some things that have been happening around here with us and some of my thoughts I’ve been keeping to myself. It has been a quick month, after all, February does have 28 days. LOL!

The days have been very long, I feel like it has rained more days than not this month. It reminds me of one of my semesters in Starkville when it rained for at least 20 days straight. It was pretty miserable to be honest.

I have done approximately two decluttering projects since my last post, I cleaned up the two overcrowded drawers in our china hutch and I sorted most of the children’s clothes. I’m so happy to have those things done, it will make my life much easier. The top drawer now contains the craft supplies for the kids(and me): colors, pens, coloring books, etc. and the bottom drawer houses extra paper, mail supplies, and a couple of other things that I use to help run the household. It’s been 3ish weeks since I did that and for the most part it has worked. I can’t say it’s the most efficient for sorting mail and such since the mail has piled up again. I think it’s important to note that it is strictly important mail. I’m pretty diligent about sorting the junk mail out from the time I bring the mail in the house.

I donated 5 boxes of Eleanor’s clothes and also took two boxes of Finley and Eleanor’s clothes to a consignment sale that’s going on this weekend. This took several hours because having a system for sorting through clothes that the kids have outgrown and having a plan for what to do with them was not something I thought about until Finley was at least a year old. I’ve been fine tuning my system and figuring out the best way for me to handle kids clothes and it gets easier every time I have to do something with the clothes.

Life with two toddlers and a newborn is just not easy. As Jacob gets older, I’m slowly starting to venture out to do a little more with all three. Honestly, I’m tired of sitting at home. But going out is really exhausting. Jake doesn’t really like when the car isn’t moving so car rides are not always as enjoyable as they once were. And I’m trying to figure out a nap schedule with Jake. Half the time when he starts crying because I’m not holding him I can’t pick him up as soon as I want to so I have to leave him crying a little while.

I keep reminding myself that this is just the first phase, it’s not going to last. But goodness it’s hard and the days get soooo long. Especially when I’m solo parenting it.

The sun has been out for three days now and Kevin got the yard mowed so we have been spending time outside! The kids love being outside, I do too, and it makes the biggest difference in our day when we get to get outside. Before he mowed, I didn’t want to take them out because it was just a mess and a hassle. The clovers came up to Eleanor’s knees and there was just a mess everywhere. I can’t wait to get back started with a garden and some pretty plants and flowers. I love growing things and I’m super looking forward to it!

That’s about all I can remember right now. I had several more things going on in my head but I got interrupted from this post about 75 times today so it’s a miracle I kept a good flow going. One day I’ll be more consistent with my posts. I’m just rolling with the flow right now and doing things as I can get to them.