Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Summer Schedules

School schedules, cleaning schedules, baby schedule, summer schedules...schedules. I might be a little odd, but I really like schedules. I'm one who likes to know what I'm doing and when. Either in the morning, before bed or sometimes during the day, I jot down my items I'm doing and write a time down for them as well, even schedule when I have play time with my girls. It may sound over the top, but it helps me to mentally be present with them instead of thinking about my to-do list as I play.  Now, that being said, being someone who likes to have a schedule and follow a schedule, it can be hard for me to diverge from said schedule. And if I need to, well because life happens, it's harder for me to do than I'd like to admit. That is something that I feel God has been helping me to work on. They say when you pray for patience, God gives you opportunities to practice that patience.  Well, He has given me opportunities to practice diverging from my schedule and not getting frustrated and flustered. However, there is definitely still some work to be done.  And my girls have helped me learn to let things go off my schedule many more times than I used to be able to do. Just recently, they woke up way too early, but instead of getting frustrated that MY time was disrupted we took some snuggle time on the couch together instead. 

To all you new moms, one thing I remember a lot of people telling me was the first thing I should do was to get that baby on a schedule, it will really help you out.  And you know what, our first baby did awesome at having a schedule. Which worked great for me. Then came our other 2.  Little J was here and there, as most of you know, I started to stay at home after I had her, so she had a little more freedom with mom always being around.  But with also watching a few other kids, she got on a rough schedule pretty quick.  As for Little S, she has yet to have a schedule. Her schedule consists of waking up at whatever time she decides for the morning and then eating approximately 3-4hours apart, with maybe a few random naps thrown in there here or there. So don't fret if your little one isn't on a schedule right away. Sometimes we can get more stressed trying to put them on a schedule than if we just let them be how they are. One thing that helped me, was to write down when Little S did anything, eat, sleep, poop.  Then I could recognize that she was sleeping about 2 hrs after she ate, even if it wasn't always at a specific time.  This also helped me to know when it was best to do housework and when I could play with baby. Because as the saying goes, dishes will always be there.  But it's also true as a mom of little kids that at some point you HAVE to actually do them as well instead of letting them take over.   

So summer's here and now I'm trying to balance a summer schedule along with a baby schedule (who doesn't follow a set schedule). This was not easy for me to do when I started to write my summer schedule down...see the Lord's still working on me. Anyways, just a couple weeks ago I decided to sit down and put one together. I'm sure you get it, summer just calls for a whole different routine. You might have kids home from school, or those summer projects are calling to you, or you just want to take some time to have at your nearby lake, for us it's the pool.  Since planning in the summer can be way harder to stick to, I decided to use a rough one instead without times blocked, and so far it seems to work well. Ok, so I didn't get rid of all time slots, but it's definitely more flexible! :) 

Pre-Morning (5:00ish-6): devotions, me time, laundry 
Morning(6:00ish-8:20): get ready, breakfast, wash breakfast dishes, hang laundry, play outside 
8:30 Walk with a friend
10:00 park/play outside 
11:30 lunch 
12:00 wash lunch dishes 

45 min - 1hr. playtime with the girls 
30 min. - 45 min. Cleaning agenda
15 min. - 20 min. reading time 
4:30 Make supper 
5:30 Watch for Daddy/walk to meet Daddy 
5:45 Supper 

wash supper dishes
play time 
bath + teeth + bible story + bed 

And as I said before, I have a nursing/napping baby to throw into the mix as well.  But since she's not too scheduled, I've left her off the schedule.  That's also why I went from times to just amounts of times in the afternoon, then I don't get stressed if it gets to that time and then it doesn't work to do that item.  

I will say that having a schedule can also help you save money.  How? 

1. Save on gas

For example, we visit a few different farmers markets in the nearby towns.  One of those towns I do some grocery shopping as well.  So I make sure to try and schedule both our shopping trip to the grocery stores on the day that the farmer's market is open.  That way I'm making one trip to the town instead of two, saving a little on gas.  

2. Save on supplies

For my cleaning schedule, I know if I missed cleaning the bathroom or kitchen, or windows because I have set days to do those items. This way I'm not over cleaning them and then in return using up my supplies more than need be.  Don't get me wrong, in the summer we go through more cleaning supplies even though we go outside a lot, I feel I clean more too...but I'm not cleaning something that's already cleaned. 

3. Only buying what you need 

This kind of goes hand in hand with saving on supplies.  But this comes to play especially in the summer.  It's so easy to look at that summer to-do list, buy everything you need to get those projects done, but then never make enough time to do those projects.  Then more likely than not you forget about them by next summer and are out the money for them.  

4. Prioritize 

This is also summer related.  When summer comes so do all those fun things to take the kids to.  Zoos, amusement parks, aquatic centers, strawberry/raspberry picking centers, town summer festivities and more.  If you don't plan out what you want to do, you may end up spending more than you planned to. Instead take some time in the beginning of the summer and think about what places you want to go to this year.  Don't worry you still have time to do this!  For example, we had a few family vacation trips that we wanted to take this year and so we opted out of going to a big zoo to save on gas. Want some cost-friendly ideas for summer? Check out a previous post I did 10 things to do this summer 

5. Save on water 

Just like with supplies, I have a laundry schedule.  I wash our sheets once a month (maybe that's more often or less often than you do, but that's what works for me).  This way, I know at the end of the month, I change the sheets and then sometime that month wash the dirty ones. (We have a spare set for each bed so I don't have to wash right away.)  So this way I'm not trying to guess when the last time I washed our sheets was.  But I also take that time to wash our washer.  We have a front loader and so need to empty the water regularly, doing this the same time I change our sheets, helps me to not do it too often, but keep up with it so that we keep our washer nice and in return don't have to replace it soon. 

So, schedules they can be helpful as long as you don't let them rule your life.  Just remember to make them work for you.  And if you are a new mom or dad, remember it's ok to take time to do housework, yes it will always be there, but you can make that time together with your little one was well.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Baby Food: the third time around

We've hit that stage again with Little S, she is now eating baby food!  I feel it makes them so much more happy, because they feel like everyone else sitting in a chair ( well high chair) and eating food (well, what was real food, until mashed).  But really, they just seem to feel like they are apart of the whole experience at the table.

In the weeks leading up to us starting baby food, little S would reach out for anything and everything she could to try and put in her mouth.  And if she was in her saucer instead of on my lap at the table with us, she'd be fussy.  She just wanted to be apart of what we were doing and she was starting to recognize that she was not.  

So we started her on baby food.  Now I will say we haven't done well with making out own this time around.  Our Spring was crazy busy and I feel I'm now slowing down, I know right as we enter SUMMER, but I didn't get around to making my own baby food this time around.  However, I can't say that's a bad thing, because I only knew how to make 3 different types of baby food, peas, carrots and applesauce.  

But recently I was reading this post; on a blog called Think Baby, written by a few moms and they have all kinds of different recipes for baby food!  I love that this one has pumpkin and even avocado!   But before you look at the recipes, check out their post on The Baby Brezza.  To all of you new moms out there if you can you should invest (or add to your registry) this baby food maker.  My other two girls, I made their baby food in a blender which was more time consuming, but this thing...well you'll have to check out the post to see for yourself.

So now I've got some great summer plans, making new types of baby food!  Oh Little miss S is in for a treat!  She's pretty excited herself! 

Do you have any favorite baby recipe blends? I'd love to hear some more ideas! 

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Reuse those clothes or shoes for your kids.  Sometimes I feel my generation is not doing it's best at recycling.  We give past generations grief about how they didn't treat the earth very well, but think about how much they really did recycle.  They didn't need to recycle in the sense that we do now, because they didn't have anything left to recycle.  Old clothes (that were used as hand me downs until they were almost scrap), then became rags to wash windows or cars.  By the time the rag could be "trashed" it had already been used many times over in multiple different ways.  Milk didn't come in a plastic container at the store, but rather a glass one that was re-used.  These are just a couple of ways people reused instead of just buying something.

I'm slowly trying to get back to the re-use, re-use, re-use, until you have gotten all the use out of said item that you can.

Now I was pretty blessed with my first two girls.  They were born almost exactly 2 years apart, which made it really easy to re-use those clothes and shoes from my first.  Yep, little second child got hand me downs.  Now, of course, she got her own clothes from family for birthdays and Christmas and just because, but we didn't need to buy anything new.  You can save so much money on hand me downs.  Clothes can be expensive, but any re-use you can get out of them the better.  Plus the more you are re-using the less garbage we are making.

Shoes too, why get rid of a perfectly good pair of shoes just because they were already worn by your first kid?  Now, I will say Little A is starting to get rough on her shoes as she has started preschool and is older.  I'll be surprised how many will work for Little Miss J, but if anything they can be a back-up or just for things we don't want to mess up her new shoes at.

Another way you can make kids clothes last longer is alter them yourself.  Like I said in my last post about homemade curtains, you can check that our here, I'm not a great sewer, but any bit you can do is helpful.  Altering their clothes can make a shirt that was too short into something different, just by adding a little more fabric.  Again, this isn't something that I'd say I'm particularly good at, but it's something that I'm trying to better at.  Clothes can be repurposed into different clothes.