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!
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.
So my plan for a slow down in January did not happen last week. We started our week off by going to Hattiesburg on MLK day. We had no idea it was holiday and there were people everywhere and it was a very aggravating experience. With Kevin’s work schedule and since none of our children are in school yet, we don’t really keep up with holidays and it always throws us off when we try to go have a fun slow day.
We went to Home Depot to get flooring for our bathroom! We haven’t done anything to the bathroom and it is just not a very nice or pretty room in the house. I’m just gonna go ahead and say it was awful. So Kevin spent the week partially gutting the bathroom and then laying down flooring and putting the toilet in! This bathroom is the only one with a bathtub so we couldn’t take everything out, but we did get the flooring and toilet replaced and now we are working on a design for the vanity. I’m not sure what I want and I don’t really like what Kevin wants to do. #marriage amiright?
We both ended up with dentist appointments and I had to do an extra grocery shopping trip. On Saturday we had Finley’s birthday party so in addition to all the stuff we were doing last week, we were also getting ready to have people over. The craziest thing though, we didn’t really have a lot to do thanks to all the decluttering we’ve been doing! I kept remembering two years ago to Finley’s first birthday, I started cleaning and getting the house ready a month before the party. A month! I can’t believe that I thought it was reasonable to take that long to get my house ready.
I want to take this week to get back to a slow routine but I have a root canal to be done and Kevin has a follow up to do with the dentist too. Plus we have like 38482838 more decluttering projects we want to tackle. Maybe we can get to a few of them, hopefully.
I’ve noticed a trend on the internet in this new year. Many people are opting to not make any resolutions. Because we were going to be having a newborn, I decided that I wouldn’t make any resolutions or goals for the beginning of the year, but because I’ve seen others doing this too, I have no idea if I came up with this on my own or if anyone on my social media feeds influenced my plans. In my hitch goals for this month, I kept it super simple because all I wanted was my baby in my arms. Now that I’ve had him, I’m ready to spend my time cocooned with my family. I said before how busy the holiday season was for us. Every time Kevin was home, we had so many obligations and we hardly had a day to just stay home and rest. Now that the holidays are over with and we’ve had our baby, I’m ready to just stay home.
For the last month of my pregnancy I was so looking forward to the newborn stage of keeping away from going out in public. A slow down month is exactly what we need. Before Christmas, I was thinking I wanted to do a no spend month because I knew I had spent a lot over the holidays. But maybe what our finances will really benefit from is just being able to slow down and saying no to things.
I’m hoping to spend this time doing things we love like going to the swamp or maybe even the zoo, but that option might not be possible. Something I want to get away from is how much tv we watch. I can almost see Kevin’s eyes rolling at that statement, we have different needs when it comes to how we entertain ourselves, but that’s ok. And at first when I was thinking of having a theme for this month of slowing down, I was coming up with a mental list of things I wanted to stop doing.
But. Something that I wanted to do in the new year was to change how I think about things. I noticed the past several months, or maybe year, or I really have no idea how long I’ve been viewing life through negative words and ideas. What I mean is there can often be two ways to word a statement that has either a negative or positive connotation. Lately I find myself leaning towards the negative versions and I want to change that. I want to choose the joyful route.
So keeping that in mind, instead of coming up with a list of all the things I want to stop, I want to come up with a list of things I want us to do more of. I believe that by doing so, the other things will naturally be left behind. I have no problem with us watching tv. Sometimes I need the kids to be entertained by something besides me. And I know that the more we spend time playing puzzles, going outside, reading books, etc. the more we will be used to depending on ourselves for entertainment and less on technologies. As for me personally, I know my tendencies for having the tv on hinders my productivity and before I know it, I will have spent all morning with the tv on. Usually whatever I am watching is something that is totally non-edifying to my life.
Instead of saying that we are going to watch less tv, I’m choosing to say we want to do more. For me, the secret to choosing to do more is that the doing more has to be what is for our family. Not what other people expect us to do. I think that many people often hold expectations of other people and can be judgmental when we don’t live up to those expectations. Now I’m not saying we should all become self-centered and only do exactly what we want with no regard to the needs and wants of others. But as a mother, my first responsibility is doing what is good for my family and for my children. I’m choosing less of the world, less of the busy; more of my children, more playing, more rest.
I want to do more outside play, more puzzles, more creative play. I believe childhood should be fun and busy in a good way. And if we fill up our time with play, then that leaves less time for filling our day with screens. Instead of being anti-screens, I am choosing to be pro-play.
So now that we have had Jake, I’m now more outnumbered than I was before when Kevin is at work. So far my mom and his mom and his grandmother have all helped out tremendously and I’ve been getting a good bit of rest which is just fine with me!
Last night was my first night on my own with all three of them and I’m so proud of how I handled it. I had both of the kids in bed by 8 and they were asleep by 9! I couldn’t believe my luck. I’m not gonna see how tonight will go because my mom took both of them to her house to spend the night. As much as I wanted to keep them home so we could start to get into a rhythm, there was no way I could turn down an easy night! I even had the dishwasher loaded, the kitchen cleaned, and my coffee prepped for tomorrow.
My plan is to take my days and nights slow and not try to do too much. For right now this looks like consistently keeping the sink fairly clean of dirty dishes and running the dishwasher every night when I can. If I miss a night, then that’s ok, I can just get to it the next day. This also means that I need to keep the trash can clear and open by not letting it overflow to the point where I can’t use it anymore. When these two things are being done in the kitchen, then it helps my life run a little smoother.
Finding ways to make everything run smoother is the key to surviving when I’m outnumbered. I’m really glad several months ago I began implementing a laundry day every week. It has totally changed my life in regards to always having clean clothes and I’m more prone to hang the shirts and put away other clothes in drawers. It’s also surprisingly easier to do the laundry now because I only have a week’s worth of clothes to fold and put up.
I also try to run the dishwasher every night. No matter how much or little is in there I just go ahead and run it. I use the same pans and dishes almost every day and it’s just easier for me to put it all in the dishwasher than to wash it all by hand. There are nights that this does not happen. Especially when I was still preggers because I was so dang tired! Surprisingly I was tired more when I was pregnant than I am now with a five day old newborn.
As long as I can keep the cycle up then life will run smoothly. Or somewhat smoothly. I’m setting the bar for myself really low, I’ll onky have these precious slow days for a short time. There is no need to put any pressure on myself that doesn’t need to be there.
I’ve been looking forward to spending January in my own little bubble with my family. The past two months have been so busy among the flurry of doctor appointments and the holidays, I couldn’t wait to slow down! Now our time is here and we get to spend it with our growing family, keeping to ourselves.