Friday, July 18, 2014

Being a Mom is Tough

I've been sleeping on the couch since December.  I was 4 months pregnant with my 3rd when my body decided that my bed just wasn't comfortable enough.  Now my little man is almost 3 months old and he sleeps in his swing next to the couch next to me, and my almost 5 year old sleeps at the other end with her foot up my...well, you know.  I'm so scared that I'm going to kick her in the face, but maybe if I do, she'll stop wanting to sleep with me on the couch.  She's getting sooooo big!
Just a swingin'.

I woke up at 4 something this morning to the sound of Luke grunting.  His swing had stopped.  Size D batteries don't last long when the swing is in constant motion all night and most of the day.  He just loves to swing.  Even when in his carseat, if I set him down, he wakes up and starts grunting.  
If I swing it, he passes out.  

Anyway, I woke up to find him not swinging.  I grabbed him and began our 4 AM feeding session which usually doesn't last long because he just wants to use me as a pacifier to fall back asleep.  I put him on my pillow hoping that Kinsley wouldn't kick him in the face while I scampered around my dark kitchen looking for scissors to crack open the ridiculous packaging that batteries come in.  I find everything I need, and begin trying my hardest not to make too much noise, but hard plastic is impossible to keep quiet when you're cracking it open.  I remove the old batteries (maybe 1 1/2 weeks old) and replace them with the new ones.  I put him back in his swing and he stayed asleep...PRAISE GOD!

Now I'm wide awake.  I put on a pot of coffee.  Well, I attempted to.  Took me two tries because the first time I put the coffee in the little container thing without a filter.  FAILURE.  Next try, I got it right.

Once I had my coffee in hand, I sat down to make lists.  I love lists, but I'm feeling overwhelmed by what all I have to get done before August 4th.

I return to work on August 4th.  I don't have to, but being a teacher takes a lot of preparation in order to have everything perfect for my new batch of students.  I usually give myself a week to get my classroom put back together, but it often takes longer than that.  We have in-service for 2 weeks prior to school starting and they give us no time to work in our classrooms so we are usually there until after dark.  I can't do that this year due to breastfeeding my little man.

So, I now have 2 weeks to get my house in order and get my girls ready to head off to school.  I'm stressed.  Not only from that, but the fact that Luke still won't take a bottle.  It's not that he refuses them, but instead of sucking, he bites the nipple.  I'm worried that he is going to work himself into a frenzy that first week.  
I seriously worry too much.

By the way, it's storming outside.  Serious lightening and thunder.  Everyone is asleep.  
Except the one that goes to bed last and gets up first.  That would be me.  Must be nice being a dad.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

22 Day Challenge - Day 2 Menu Planning and Grocery Shopping

Menu Planning and Grocery Shopping

The amount of money that we've spent on take out and groceries since I became pregnant last August is absolutely ridiculous.  While I was pregnant, I was so extremely exhausted that I just couldn't stand anymore once I got home from work.  Now that I've had the baby, I find that he is usually awake during the times that I have to cook dinner.  It makes it very hard to get anything cooked in time.  
Once, I started cooking at 6:30 and we didn't sit down to eat until 9:45.  He kept waking up and crying.  

Instead of cooking, Eben will just go get something fast and easy.  Or he'll make daily trips to the grocery store and will easily spend over $40 each trip and I have no idea what all he buys.

So, it's my goal to go grocery shopping once per week.  I'm going grocery shopping today, but I'm only getting things for today, Monday, and Tuesday.  I plan on going to the grocery stores on Wednesday after the sales paper comes out.  Tuesdays will be my planning time and I'll go after work on Wednesdays.

Our weekly menu:
1.  Meatless Mondays
2.  Ethnic food Tuesdays
3.  Crockpot Wednesdays
4.  Takeout Thursdays
5.  Crockpot Fridays
6.  Southern Saturdays
7.  Seafood or grilling Sundays

How I plan my shopping trips:
1.  I make a menu for the week.  I go through my cookbooks, Pinterest, and recipes that I have on hand.  I write down what we're having each night (breakfasts and lunches included).  
2.  After I make our menu, I write down everything that is needed for each recipe. 
3.  Then I go through my kitchen to see what all we have or are running low on. 
 If we have it, then I cross it off of the list.  If we don't have it, then it stays on the list.  
4.  After that, I make a grocery list based on the order of the grocery store I shop at.  
5.  Then I gather any coupons that I may have to go along with my shopping trip.

It literally takes me up to 2 hours to do this, but I find that it saves me so much money because I'm not buying things that I already have and I'm usually pretty good at sticking to what's on my list.

I used to shop for 2 weeks worth of groceries (non-perishable items), but after Hurricane Ike I now only shop for one.  A few days before evacuating for Hurricane Ike, I had went grocery shopping for two weeks.  You don't take that stuff with you when you evacuate and electricity usually goes out during hurricanes and can be out for weeks at a time afterward.  If you've every smelled a fridge that has had food in it for a long time with it running then you'd know that you never want to smell that smell again.  It will make you gag with the best of them.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

22 Day Challenge - Day 1 Girls' Room

I have to tackle the girls' room first because they have so much stuff coming in and out all of the time.  I've got to get this room under control.  I wish, more than anything, that they could each have their own rooms, but that just isn't happening here with 5 people in the house.  Luke has his own room, but that's because I don't want him waking them by sharing with one of the girls and vice versa.  

Here's the LIST:
1.  Pick up 
2.  Go through closet

  • have girls try on all clothes to weed out the smaller items
  • remove items that are too small
  • try on all shoes
  • remove shoes that are too small
  • organize top of closet
  • organize blankets and sheets
3.  Strip sheets off of mattresses
4.  Clean mattresses
5.  Wash pillows
6.  Go through drawers
7.  Weed out any clothes that are too small
8.  Go through books and weed out
9.  Change out all pictures in frames
10.  Move hanging stuff over correct beds
11.  Clean window sills
12.  Clean baseboards
13.  Clean ceiling
14.  Clean walls
16.  Dust every surface and knick-knack
17.  Windex all glass surfaces and mirrors
18.  Make a list of items needed for their room
19.  Clean carpet
20.  Vacuum
21.  Lysol everything
22.  Febreeze

Update:  I've been going through everything all day.  This may take me two days.  Plus, the girls are playing in there as I'm going through everything.  I'll have to do it real early in the morning when they are asleep (they often end up in our bed).  I've gotten all of the clothes cleaned out.  Now I just have to figure out where to store it all until I can get a few boxes to put away Katie's clothes in order for Kinsley to have them in the future.  I'm selling all of Kinsley's clothes at a local consignment shop or at the bidding site that I participate with.  I now have to go and clean the kitchen before my dear husband gets home.  I hate when he comes home to the 3 main rooms being a mess.  Luke is asleep and I just hope he stays that way until I'm done.

22 Days To A Clean and Organized Home

I started my maternity leave on April 18th.  Had my baby on April 22nd, and summer break started for us on June 7th.  The last day of my maternity leave was June 6th.  I planned it perfectly.  All summer, so far, my house has been a disaster due to spending so much time with my new little one.  My other two have been running a muck without much focus on cleaning up after themselves.  We've had a few days here and there where the house is clean, but it is quickly destroyed again within a day due to us not following any type of schedule.  

On top of all of this, I've been preparing the girls for school by purchasing school clothes.  I've bought a lot through a local bidding site on Facebook.  I've purchased so many next size up clothes through there that now our home has 2 sizes for each girl X two.  Ugh!  Talk about overload.  

In 22 days I'll be returning to work to begin preparing my classroom for my new batch of kiddos.  I spend all of August getting ready for school, so I want my home to be ready for me to get back to it.  During the school year, all of our focus is totally on school.  We have a few weekend days that I spend cleaning out and decluttering, but it's few and far between.  

I'm going to be blogging about my 22 day challenge as I prepare my home for the return of school on August 25th.  Each day will be focused on one room or one item that I need to take care of.  Pictures will be included.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

End of 2013 - Part 4

September 2013
 We started September with a bought of head lice.  This was our first time ever getting them.  It was ridiculous and I cried many times as I was having to go through their long blonde hair to dig the little suckers out.  I ended up chopping Kinsley's hair off.  It was her first haircut.  
 8 Weeks pregnant and my baby looks like an alien tadpole...LOL.
Katie's first spirit day at school.

October 2013
 We've waited 3 years for The Bears to play the Indians near our house.  We may be Bears by day, but we're Bulldogs by night and Indians by blood.  My kids were so confused on who to cheer for.
 Katie with her sign.  The Bears won and daddy's heart was broken.
 Carving pumpkins and stickerin' them up.
 Storybook Character Parade at school.  Katie is Little Red Riding Hood and I'm Skeleton Hiccups.
 Halloween at school was ridiculous.  We had a bad storm blow in and were under a tornado warning.  We spent 45 minutes under our desks.  Not fun!
 Getting ready for Trunk or Treat at church.
At church playing games.  I swear Katie never smiles in public.

November 2013
 My girls got to take professional photos with their cousin, Britton.  Thanks Grammy.  
 50th day at school.  I was Lucy and Katie was a car hop.
 We got to find out what our bundle of joy was going to be.  This is the survey my co-workers did at school.
 It's a boy!
 Eben and I sharing the reveal at our reveal party.  I will never forget the screams and hollers.
 We got Luke's bear in the mail.
 Our family of 5 stockings.
 Time to put up the tree!
The day after Thanksgiving, my family got to see Dustin's headstone for the first time.  I was so honored to have a part in creating it.  My hubby did a fantastic job.
The back of his headstone is beautiful!

December 2013
 Brode Christmas party.  The girls (and Luke) talking to TaTa via Skype.
 Brode Family photo.
 Katie's first school performance.  She was an elf and the first day of Christmas.
 Grammy and Sarge drove a long way to watch our big girl perform in her Christmas play.

 Cousins' Night 2013.
 Thank you for the trampoline, Grammy and Sarge.
 Michael Jackson pulling a prank.
 Pajama Day during Polar Express.
 Celebrating Maw Maw's 50th birthday.
 Katie and her BFF at her Christmas party at school.
 Our failed attempt at making a Gingerbread house.
 Hard at work.
 Messy, messy, messy!
 Luke says hi!
 Waiting for a surprise from momma.
 Hot cocoa, cookies, and new blankets to go look at Christmas lights.
 Making cookies for our Christmas lights trip.
 Ready to go!  Kinsley lasted 10 minutes.
 Our advent calendar is now complete.  It's Christmas Eve!
 Cousins at MiMaw's house.
 Our family.
 Santa stopped by with lots of new toys!
 Christmas morning at Maw Maw's house.

Luke's gifts from MiMi and Paw Paw Terry.