August 27, 2012

Summer | Photos and Favorites, Day 14 [Girls in Curls]

Photo: Kailyn's First Day Of School! So I swore I wouldn't be that parent running through the school's hallway (even though it's clearly listed in the School Rules: NO Running), hiding my crocodile tears behind my oversized sunglasses (definitely NOT cool wearing them inside when they're paired with old workout shorts and a dirty t-shirt).  And I actually held it together at least until I got to my car.  It wasn't as bad as the night we met her teacher last week.  I bawled most of the night after I laid them down to bed.  I finally told DJ (my hubby), "This is just the first step to her getting married," between snot and sobs.  That may be a little dramatic, but it really feels that way, the first BIG stepping of letting go little by little.

Luckily, she is more excited than nervous for school and I KNOW she's going to do great. That helps a lot.

Favorite: Kailyn. Since it's wrong to say I have a favorite child I always say to Kailyn, "You're my favorite Kailyn in the whole world!" And I say the same to each of them. And it's true! No one else with their name is better...not anywhere in the whole world.  I loved painting everyone's nails pink and wrapping their hair in curlers overnight, what can I say?! We are curls.

Now, to do it all over again tomorrow when I send Neeci and Addy to Parent's Day Out...*sigh*  I also  saw this picture on Facebook this morning and it pretty much summarized all of my thoughts this morning. And may have brought a few tears to my eyes...maybe.  Some happy ones too though.

August 24, 2012

8,000 Words...

Clothing, Backpacks, and Shoes Oh My...Getting Ready for First Days of School!

Meal Plans, Shopping Lists, Researching Food Allergies...Now that Neeci and Addy are Allergic to Dairy and Eggs I am Researching and Finding New Recipes, and Compiling 2 Months of Meal Plans with Shopping Lists. Headache Anyone? =)

Addy with her curly hair. So adorable. Amid all the craziness of FOOD ALLERGIES, SCHOOL, POTTY TRAINING and SUMMER STUFF I'm trying VERY hard to enjoy my little people. It's pretty hard not to...What can I say? My girls rock.

Next on the agenda? Organize! Our closets are running amuck! ;) So, time to channel my inner-nesting and sort through everyone's clothes and our storage closets like I touched up our "craft center." Fall cleaning? Who's with me??!!!  I know, I know...It's not exciting no matter how hard I try. ;)

August 19, 2012

Summer | Photos and Favorites: Day 13

Photo: Neeci: "I Love You"

Sorry I haven't been able to share sooner, my internet has been down at home for almost a week! It is such an inconvenience. =)

Favorite: I have a huge list of blogs I've wanted to search through and explore. So I finally took a few minutes to check out a few of them and thought I'd share some of my favorites with you!  Please feel free to comment and share some of your favorites. 

Amanda Russell.  I have already mentioned her page in an earlier post, but it's worth mentioning again. I find her fitness and nutrition pages so motivating!

Cozi.  I raved about this free online organizing resource before.  Their organizing lists and home/family checklists are some of my favorite.  Sign up (for FREE) before August 31st and get over $100 in Back to School Coupon Savings - including 6 months of free ShopRunner - one of my favorites!!!

Arlington Mama.  I was so honored to be asked to speak at a SAHM's brunch a few weeks ago.  So fun! It was my first time! I got to meet a bunch of awesome ladies, including Annie from Arlington Mama, who also spoke.  I can't wait to dig through her blog some more.  Her projects page is so inspiring!!  She posted about the brunch more here.

August 8, 2012

A Usual Day (Especially For Moms)


So, it was recently requested, by a fellow Stay At Home Mom, that I share how I plan out my days so that I fit in all the demands of a mom as well as my own needs!  I am honored to be asked by fellow mommas what I do as a mom or wife, but I can't help laughing because God and I both know how often I fall short of my own goals and feel crazy running around my house.  Maybe this is God's way of encouraging me, because I have felt so lifted up by my friends and family this summer - which has truly been my most challenging season of motherhood to date!

Just a quick peek into why my "Daily Schedule" is more of my "Daily Goal Schedule" and what I shoot for but haven't been too consistent with this summer: I have been trying to get my 6 1/2 month old to take solids but she has NO interest.  Which is completely new to me, and also means she has been nursing ONLY and since she's growing we went from wonderfully sleep-filled nights to waking up somewhere between 1 and 3 times every night.  For a few weeks I have felt like a zombie walking around with such a foggy brain I can't think past the next few minutes!
Secondly, I am potty training our two year old.  She is so stubborn (which can really be a great trait), once she decided she WANTED to potty like a big girl she's been doing great.  We are still only about half way there...not ready to sleep or nap without a pull-up and trying to get the hang of "number 2s" going in the potty.  But we're getting there.  Typically this would be the ONLY challenge I would take on at a time, but having more children hasn't really given me that option! ;)
My third child, Neeci is 4 and has some serious eczema issues flaring up.  It has forced me to research natural options to try at home and search out a dermatologist for more direction.  While this isn't a daily task it has been weighing SO heavily on me lately. 
And last, my oldest Kailyn is starting Kindergarten!  What a season we are about to enter.  Very bitter-sweet.  But I am happy to say I have finished buying supplies (and trying not to look ahead to the 1 or 2 years when all 4 of these girls are in elementary school at once....ah!) and almost finished purchasing all her dress code-approved clothing!

It seems things have intensified these past 6 weeks or so, but I know that in just a few weeks our routine will change a bit as my oldest goes into school full-time and my middle two start Parents Day Out two days a week.  Just in time I think, to give my frazzled brain a break! 

SO! With all that said, here is how I try to plan out my day/week.  I can't say I've ever thought this all out before, but this has definitely been the trend for the past few years.  PLEASE NOTE: I try to do this each day, but I have learned to listen to my body and STOP when I'm really tired; be okay with restful days (or attempted ones); push my "to-do's" off to another day and NOT feel guilty; and stick to the priorities!!!  Oh yeah....and ask for/receive help! If any of this can help you - GREAT! But don't let any of what works for me bring extra pressure or stress on you!!!  We all work differently, so be okay with that too!!! 

2 Week Meal Plan Printout (fill in as you see fit!).  "Booty Call" is just a Tone It Up term meaning: morning workout (try to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual and move for 30 minutes - Yoga, walking, running, a DVD, or your full workout for the day). Don't worry about the additional notes under each Meal, that's just what I try to follow.

Daily Schedule. (blank print out by
5:30-7/7:30 Quiet Time, 30 minute workout, shower/dress for the day (MY Time)
7:30-8 Breakfast, prepare kids for school or parents day out
8-9 Husband or I drops off the kiddos, start TASKS (laundry, cleaning, projects, play dates, etc)
9-11 TASK time (my most productive time of day, when everyone is rested and usually happy), snack around 10am
11-12 Prepare lunch and serve!
12-12:30 Clean up lunch, nap/quiet time for the older kiddies
12:30-1:45 MY Time! Workout 30-60 minutes (first thing or it usually doesn't happen), quiet time if I slept in, sometimes I nap as long as I can, shower, read, etc.
2-3:30 Pick up parents day out at 2 and school at 3
3:30-4:30 Rest with the kids, finish morning tasks, set out anything that needs to thaw for dinner
5 Begin preparing dinner or for Date Night
6 Eat dinner as a family (or out for Date Night) *RELAX, Enjoy Family Time*
7-7:30 Clean up dinner, begin bedtime routine (baths, stories, teeth, PJs, etc.)
8-8:30 Bedtime, Hubby or Me-Time, sometimes grocery shopping
9-10:30 Pack lunches & bags, write out tomorrow's "to dos" or schedule, bedtime!
*Somedays I clear all my morning and afternoon so I can REST!*

Weekly Schedule: I don't have any of this set in stone, but it helps to have a plan to guide me each week.  
Mondays I try to stay around the house and recover from the weekend. I get all my laundry and most of my cleaning done on Monday.  
Tuesday is usually rollover cleaning day (finishing all the stuff I didn't finish) and sometimes play-date/lunches out type stuff.  This is typically our date night as well!
Wednesday I usually make today more for myself. I know everything is done so I try and rest, or get an extra workout in, watch a movie during naps and not feel guilty or try a new recipe for dinner if we have the time.  I sometimes use Tuesday or Wednesday to cook up snacks and drinks ahead of time to make it easier to stay healthy during the week! I usually meal plan every other week on Wednesday and Thursday.
Thursday I do another load or two of laundry to keep it from getting overwhelming on Mondays. This is always an odd day for me. Just finish up tasks, get out of the house, prep for the coming weekend (which for us is Friday and Saturday since my husband is a pastor). I like to make the most of my down time, so if I'm feeling energetic I will try and take on a task from my growing mental list, such as updating baby books, organizing that junk drawer, switching seasonal clothes, etc.
Friday we are usually out and about, starting our weekend or running errands.  I usually schedule all of  our doctor's appointments on Fridays, as well as hair, teeth, etc. I will either grocery shop during the day when my husband is home or sometimes Sunday or Monday nights.
Saturday we try our best to keep this our day of rest. Laze around the house, have fun out of town, and celebrate birthdays or other events!
Sunday we start the day early since DJ and I lead worship.  We are at church from 7:30-1(ish), most Sundays I try and have a crock-pot meal planned for lunch, and we ALL take naps typically. I like to take a moment during the afternoon to look over the coming week and sometimes month to stay on top of planning for upcoming celebrations, and to make sure I think ahead about things like birthday presents, play date lunch menus, school activities, etc.

I feel more tired when I look at it all like this.  Haha.  But honestly, I have never written this out, it's just the way my brain looks ahead at the day and week.  So if this is helpful, Yay! If it feels like a shackle, then forget it all!  And PLEASE feel free to share all your own bits of advice!!!  We need each other!

August 6, 2012

Summer | Photos and Favorites, Day 12

Photo: Today is our 7th anniversary.  So this is a throwback photo, of our Florida beach wedding.  And of course my Favorite today is my husband, DJ.  *awww* ;)

August 4, 2012

Summer | Photos and Favorites, Day 11

Photo: The girls got free haircuts yesterday!  JCPenney Salons are offering free hair cuts to kids K-6.  The cool thing was I called ahead to make the appointment and just asked if Pre-K was allowed, the lady said yes and scheduled both of my little schoolers for FREE hair cuts! It never hurts to ask =)

Favorite: Awesome Back to School deals and savings!!  Check out the massive, and growing list of freebies and great deals here: Back to School with Hip2Save!

Just yesterday I got all of this for a little more than $6.50!!!! Thanks to Hip2Save and my local Staples!

August 1, 2012

Summer | Photos and Favorites, Day 10

Photo (taken with my phone): The girls first time bowling was this summer! We had a fun day with their aunt Hannah, $1 kids movie, lunch and bowling with Shenanigans Free Kids Bowling this summer and a REALLY long nap when we got home.

Favorite: Keri Glassman from Nutritious Life has some really informative and super cute videos on YouTube like the one below.  Check out all of them here.

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