Life

March 23rd, 2017

There isn’t much going on here right now, besides just life. Busy, messy, noisy, imperfect life.

There are no more babies coming, no super exciting new announcements or changes.

Babies are getting older. Kids are learning new things.

Most surfaces are sticky at least 73% of the time.

There is nothing picture perfect about mismatched socks and eating lunch on the floor.

These weirdos are in some sort of contest to see who drives me to break open a bottle of wine before 5 pm.

But they’re my weirdos.

And every day I’m reminded that someday they’ll be real people who are supposed to go out into the world and have their own lives.

(Seriously, buddy, I won’t be wiping your butt forever.)

And I just hope that until then I can remember that this too shall pass. The bad stuff and the good stuff. So things like Caroline’s 400 scraps of paper everywhere…

…and the crayon scribbles on every surface…

…and tiny fingers stuck into the sour cream while I’m making dinner are all going to be over way, way too soon.

I started this blog as mostly just words and more words and more words. I thought that was the best the way to document how I felt about my new life as a mother. But these days there aren’t any words. Or maybe there are too many words and I just don’t have time to find the right ones. There are SO MANY words in my daily life that I need something bigger to show, not tell, future me about these days I am sure I won’t remember. I’m so thankful I found photography.

 

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My Week(332) in iPhone Photos

March 22nd, 2017

My husband does this thing where he sits right next to me on the couch and checks my blog. I often point out to him if he hasn’t SEEN me blogging it probably didn’t happen, because my hands are pretty full during the day. He still checks it. I mean, at least it’s nice to have a loyal reader even though I suck at updating?

Sunday:

Little boy in a big bed

Obviously very good at Sundays

Decorating their new marble jars

Monday:

There are at least 2 dozen people who had my old password saved in their phones, so this will make the new router easier for everyone

CL A M and G I F T

He is a fan of baby yogurt

Tuesday:

Toddlersplaining granola bars to me

Unsure about selfies

I call these my unicorn shoes

Wednesday:

He’s so big now

This was his 2016 computer project

 

 

I ate these too fast. I need more.

Thursday:

Cute, but such a mess

WHO WANTS TO WATCH MOANA AGAIN?

These two <3 <3

Friday:

OH HAI

Couch naps

The sunset was really pretty but I was too tired to go outside to take a picture

Saturday:

Sleeping in a closet

Superheroes vs Jedi

It felt like spring today, but the rest of the week is going back to miserable and cold. At this point, even my mega-dose of Vitamin D every day isn’t going to be able to keep me from becoming despondent. I NEED SUNSHINE AND WARMTH. I am a lizard who is going to die if I can’t warm my body naturally. Or at least I feel like one, because our heat has made the air in the house so dry my face is starting to peel off.

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Adulting: Housework

March 14th, 2017

Ever since Christmas, I’ve been on a mission to have a clean house. I read the Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up. I joined some organization groups on Facebook and revived my Pinterest boards dedicated to improving my home. I read lots of blog posts. I looked at dozens of house cleaning schedules and charts. And then I threw myself into it.

It’s been going pretty well. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Cleaned and organized the coat closet
  • Bought a shoe rack to solve the pile of shoes by the back door problem
  • Cleaned out most of the kitchen cabinets and got rid of TONS of things I didn’t use or love
  • Cleaned out the banquette storage
  • Cleaned and organized the file cabinet
  • Moved the cereal/snacks/crackers/misc food stuff to a cabinet so my countertop is mostly clean
  • Cleaned and organized the fridge
  • Bought new pillows for all the beds
  • Created a laundry system* with multiple baskets
  • Started emptying the sink every night before bed
  • Started unloading the dishwasher every morning after the kids go to school
  • Prioritized an evening clean up every night before bed
  • Started making my bed, complete with throw pillows

Now, weeks later, I wouldn’t be ashamed to have surprise company show up at my door. (I mean, I will probably be in pajamas and no bra, but my house will be in pretty good shape.) I’m not saying things are spotless or that you could eat off my floors – I have a dog, a cat, and four kids – but if you wanted to come in for coffee I wouldn’t be mad. I still don’t live in a Pottery Barn catalog or a blank white box, so those toys on the coffee table are actually supposed to be there, as is the downstairs laundry basket, the art supplies on the dining room table and the bins of small plastic things. The look I am going for is “well-loved and lived-in family home not occupied by hoarders”.

Are you dying to know the secret to my success? Do you want the link to my eBook on how to solve your messy house once and for all? Am I so smug you can’t wait to poke holes in my system? Let me tell you how I have accomplished this 180 turn around from trash heap to nice home. Here it is, my secret to a clean house:

You just have to f**king do it.

There aren’t any tricks. There isn’t a magic organizational chart or schedule or Pinterest board that made my house clean. I have to do all those stupid, repetitive chores every single day to stay on top of the mess. Even my laundry system boils down to “Oh you put away three loads of laundry yesterday? DO IT AGAIN.” I sit down less. I see something that needs put away and I get up and put it away. I don’t let things “soak” in the sink for five days. I pick up the same toys five times a day and then one more time after the kids go to bed…then I do the same thing the next day. It is never-ending. It is stupid. It is necessary.

It sucks.

The peaceful sleep of a child who isn’t living in chaos, made possible by the fact that I made my bed. And then I had to make it again because he slept in it.

But it is starting to get easier. It’s become a habit to clean the sink and clear off surfaces as soon as I can. Same thing with the laundry – I finally remember to throw in a load/switch to the dryer/empty the dryer several times a day. I’m learning to value how 20 minutes of work can help me stay on top of the housework instead of constantly playing catch up. I mean, I am ALWAYS playing catch up. Always. I have four children. I am very tired. But by constantly climbing towards the top of housework mountain I don’t end up buried under it.

It would be foolish of me to say this is a permanent change. I doubt I will ever be someone who finds it easy to stay organized. But by changing my attitude from “I need a strategy” to “Just f**king do it” I’ve made definite progress. You too can have a sort of clean home if you sleep fewer hours, relax less often, and follow your children around cleaning up their messes as they make them.

*I ordered medium sized laundry baskets for every member of the family at the advice of a friend. That way when I’m throwing clean clothes out of the dryer I can throw them into the baskets and putting away each person’s laundry takes a lot less time than sorting from one giant pile. These baskets are the perfect size: http://amzn.to/2mO0gmx.

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My Week(331) in iPhone Photos

March 11th, 2017

Between sick kids and cold weather I feel like I’ve been trapped in the house forever. If you’re in a similar situation, here’s today’s tip: Buy Moana and watch it at least 10 times. It’s amazing.

Sunday:

I don’t even object to this anymore

Fancy hair!

When you recognize your friends’ cars at Target…

Monday:

Snuggle naps

Not quite ready to go

Peek a boo

Tuesday:

Someone needs driving lessons

New baby kitchen location

Superhero-ing is exhausting

Wednesday:

Someone thinks it’s spring

Sibling snuggles

A+ Parenting right here. You should take lessons from me.

Thursday:

Big brother helping at Finn’s checkup

Well that’s one way to sleep

Nice kitty, soft kitty

Friday:

They’re pretending to nap. Badly.

Napping for real. Much more convincing.

Saturday:

Who let this kid drive?!

Almost 10 years in this house and we’re finally setting up the TV area nicely

In far less exciting but expensive home repair, we just had the stairwell fixed. Finally. E pulled down the plaster a couple years ago, thinking he could just patch it. But it ended up being a really big area and we needed to have the whole thing drywalled and taped and skim coated and primed. So we paid a guy. He just left. But that was the last major thing we needed to do to have a grown-up house that doesn’t look like it’s about to collapse, so yay? Not the most fun way to spend a big chunk of money but we feel very responsible.

 

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My Week(330) in iPhone Photos

March 4th, 2017

Right now, the kids are about to walk out the door to school (note, I wrote this yesterday). If I was a nice mom, I would have reminded them to bring me their lunch boxes so I could make home lunch. But they’re busy playing, so they forgot. I’m using my 10 quiet minutes to blog, because I’m not foolish enough to wreck it with packed-lunch demands. School lunch it is!

Sunday:

Are these two the cutest or what?

Who new professional lacrosse games were really fun?

Finn couldn’t hang though, he slept right through the very exciting overtime

Monday:

I finally started making my bed, like I’m a grown up or something

All our linens, sorted and vacuum bagged for storage

More couch naps

Tuesday:

My favorite baby time

Or maybe this is my favorite baby time

I made it to the final rounds of the Shoot & Share contest! That bottom right one is mine.

Wednesday:

Lincoln does not love the craft store like I do

Being 2 (and everything being 2 entails) is exhausting

Super excited to read El Deafo, her new graphic novel

Thursday:

I got exactly zero of these numbers on either of my lottery tickets

Eating his feet

I am also tempted to chew on his feet

Friday:

Linc has started getting really sad when the big kids go to school

CHUBBY

Late night ladies trips to Home Depot

Saturday:

Making progress towards the guest/play room

New fox sox

I love this photo

Is anyone in the market for a 2-year-old? I’m about ready to sell mine. His favorite hobbies are giving me heart attacks and dumping out bins of toys. But he’s really cute when he sleeps and can be super funny. Maybe I can just send him off to circus camp or something for a few weeks until he gets it out of his system. Otherwise I might have to invest in deadbolts, padded walls, and $10,000 worth of granola bars.

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