Wednesday 30 August 2017

New Routines

I am working on implementing a few new routines around our house.  I am trying to make things easier on both me and my family as this pregnancy progresses.  My energy will start to wane and I really want to try to keep things running smoothly.  I am hoping these changes will do just that.

1.)  New bedtime routine for Miss. E

Bedtime just got a whole lot stricter in our house.  Miss. E has been difficult to drag out bed for daycare and on the days when she is tired we seem to have potty accident after potty accident.  I just finished doing some reading on the toddler stage and the book I was reading confirmed what I already knew.  Miss. E wasn't getting enough sleep.  We have always struggled with getting Miss. E to sleep.  She fights sleep tooth and nail.  I made simple adjustments to her bedtime routine and they seem to be working quite well.  I have been incrementally bumping up her bedtime by 15 minutes a week.  By next week she will be at her new bedtime.  Bedtime routine starts at an exact time.  There is no more playing with that.  That was probably our biggest problem before.  I think we started the routine too late and at slightly inconsistent times.  Miss. E was often overtired and wound up and then bedtime was a fight.  Bedtime routine consists of a quick bath, brushing teeth, nighttime puffer, 2 stories and then bedtime songs.  We aim to complete this routine in about a half hour.  She has been falling asleep much easier and much earlier.  It has been helpful with both waking her up for daycare and for successful use of the potty.  I am hoping that this routine will also free up our evenings so that I can get more blogging and housework done at night.

2.)  Dishes HAVE to be done nightly.

I used to be good at this.  When I became pregnant I was super exhausted and everything started to slide.  I am following this rule again.  It makes for a much more peaceful night and calmer mornings.  I hate the sight of dirty dishes sitting on my counter so I make sure they get done immediately after supper.  Hubby gets home quite late so it is easy for me to zip them up while he squeezes in some quality time with Miss. E before she has to head to bed.

3.)  Exercise is a non-negotiable part of my routine.

Hubby and I take turns walking the dog every other night while the other partner puts Miss. E to bed.  I have been good at keeping up with my walking.  However, I have found it easy to let my strength training go when I am tired or busy.  I am no longer allowing this to happen.  I already do short, intense workouts so time never should be a deterrent.  I have started making this a priority for my health and the health of my baby.  I aim to do 2-3 strength training sessions a week and I am sticking to this goal. It helps me to feel strong and have more energy.

Do have any routines that you always stick to that improve your daily life?  I would love to hear about them!

Friday 25 August 2017

High Five For Friday- 25.08.16

Wow!  At this time next week it will be September.  I can't believe how fast this summer has flown by!  We have another family vacation planned before the end of summer and I am excited to get away.  I am linking up with KatieTifDella and Becky for H54F.

1.  I adopted my Grandma's orange tree when she moved into the nursing home.  It was doing really well up until Elizabeth's birthday in May.  I think that perhaps something happened to it at the party.  It began to wilt and act strange.  We repotted it in hopes of saving the tree but it didn't seem to work.  Finally, as a last resort, I had my Hubby place it outside in the heat and sunshine.  I was hoping the fresh air would revive it.  Alas, the tree looked deader than a door nail.  For some odd reason, I kept watering it now and then when I was watering my other plants out front.  It was actually pretty crazy, because this tree showed no signs of life.  The other night Hubby came in and told me that the tree had a shoot growing out of the bottom of it.  I thought it was a weed, but lo and behold the shoot is really coming right out of the orange tree!  Ollie the Orange Tree is alive.  (What?  You don't name your houseplants?)  I am absolutely thrilled.  It was a lovely reminder of what God can renew even when we may think things are too far gone. I am happy to still have the tree alive and doing well.

2.)  We spent last weekend at my parent's cabin.  It was quite cool, but I welcomed the colder weather.  Miss. E had a blast playing in the dirt and running around.  It is my favourite place on earth.

3.)  We took Penny for her yearly vet checks and she is doing well.  Miss. E was thrilled to get a sticker from the vet that said "Good Pet Owner".  It was cute.  I appreciated the vet being so good with both my dog and my precocious little girl.

4.)  My Mom gave us a box of carrots from her garden.  They are SO delicious!  We have been enjoying them for fresh eating and I froze a bunch to use in the winter months.  We are so grateful that Mom has a bounty of carrots to share.

5.)  Miss. E and I attended a fun playdate this week with an old friend and a new one.  I truly believe playdates are as important (if not more important!) for Moms as they are for the kids.  We had such a great time.

How was your week?  How are you spending your last weekend in August?

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Weekly Planning (Otherwise Titled: How I Keep From Going Insane)

Planning is such an important part of my life.  I have really had to learn how to balance out all of the demands that I face on a day to day basis.  I am first a wife and mother, but I am also a daughter, friend and employee.  I truly feel that my weekly planning sessions help me stay on track and focused.  I usually have 2 major planning sessions each week.  I do all of my meal planning on Thursday/Friday and my weekly planning on Sunday.

Meal Planning

I live in a small town (1200 people) that has 2 grocery stores.  I almost exclusively shop at the one store, because you can have a grocery cart and cruise it up and down the aisles.  The other store is much too small to allow carts so you have to take a basket (or 2!) around to gather your groceries.  I almost always have my daughter in tow, so the store with the carts is easiest for me.

I have access to the flyer on Thursday night.  I go through the flyer and write down everything that we need.  I always shop sales because I truly could not afford to grocery shop in my town if I didn't!  I make out my grocery list Thursday night and I go get my groceries Friday.  The sales start Friday and the truck comes Friday.  I never wait until Saturday, because they will often sell out of things that I want by then.

When I get home, I plan my meals around the groceries that I bought and the items that we have on hand.  I try to do a freezer inventory now and then, because we often have much more than I think we do!  When planning, I note anything that we have scheduled during the following week.  I save time-intensive meals for when I know I will be home all afternoon.  I write our meals on the dry erase board that hangs on our fridge.  I also write the plan in my daily agenda.  Meal planning saves me from having to think about what to make for supper after a long day at work.  It also helps to keep my spending in check.  In total, my meal planning usually only takes 10-15 minutes of my time.

Weekly Planning

On Sunday evenings, I sit down with my agenda and phone and go through the calendars.  Hubby and I use a shared calendar app and I like having my paper agenda for writing our schedules and small to-do lists.  First, I go through the app and the agenda to make sure that they both have all the same events.   Sometimes when we are scheduling items, the event will make it onto only 1 of the calendars.  After I know that both schedules are the same, I will write in any to-dos or reminders on my agenda.  This often only takes 5 minutes but it can be invaluable to our week.  The household runs much more smoothly when everyone knows what to expect of the week ahead.

How do you plan your weeks?  Have you embraced meal planning?  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!  Leave a comment below!

Wednesday 16 August 2017

July- Goals and The No Spend Year

Whew!  This summer is flying by.  I am finally here with an update of my goals in July.

1. Complete a No-Spend Year

This summer has been HOT.  WAAAYYYYY too hot.  Seriously.  At one point I told my husband that I would prefer -30 degrees Celcius (-22 degress Fahrenheit).   Yuck.  The heat makes me sick.

So..... where exactly am I going with this?  I broke the no-spend year to purchase cheap (temporary) paper window coverings for our house.  The window coverings that were in the house when we bought it were dirty and non-functioning.  I took them to the dump shortly after moving in.  It was winter so the notion that the house may get too hot in the summer never even crossed my mind.  This summer, after many days of 30 degrees and higher (86 degrees Fahrenheit) I broke down and got window coverings.  It cooled the house by 15 degrees.  It was totally worth it.  We couldn't afford to install central air conditioning this year, but we are saving up for next year!  Other than that, I did a good job sticking to the no-spend year.

2.)  Establish a self-care routine.

I am good at this.  I really think that it has become a habit.  There are definitely days when I could improve (more water or sleep) but on the whole, I am doing well with this goal.

3.)  Say yes to family time.

This goal has been going well.  In the summer we really try to make a concerted effort to get outside and enjoy the nice weather as a family.

4.)  Start school in September.

After a few discussions with some close friends and mentors, I think I know what direction I am taking with my next educational pursuit.  I am still researching, however, and figuring out how to work my education around my pregnancy.

5.)  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

Let's just say that I did not excel at this goal in July.

6.)  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

Umm.... no.  It has been basically crickets around here, I am afraid.  There were only 3 (!) posts up in July.  Yikes!  Summer really messes with me and I am still learning how to make the blog a priority.

The summer is always a bit lax at our house which is evident from my goal keeping.  It was eye opening to look at how I did this month and I plan to improve in August!  How are your goals coming this year?

Friday 11 August 2017

High Five For Friday- 11-.08.17

I have had this whole week off work.  It has been really nice, but also packed with activities.  We have very little on the docket for this weekend and I am looking forward to some down time at home.  I am linking up with TifKatieDella and Becky for High Five For Friday.

1.)  Miss. E had swimming lessons this week and she is doing quite well in them.  I am glad she is getting comfortable in the water because Hubby and I enjoy being in the water.

2.)  Our pooch Penny got groomed yesterday.  She looks so pretty!  She is so soft and even smells like shampoo.  Miss. E was super impressed that the groomer put a pink bow on her collar.  

3.)  I went for my 20 week ultrasound yesterday.  Baby is doing well and it was so fun to see the little one moving around.  

4.)  Miss. E got her stitches out on Monday.  She did really well and her cut is healing nicely.

5.)  I bought a bedroom set on an online garage sale site and it came with a mate's bed and headboard, a six drawer dresser, and a small secretary's desk.  I got a great deal on the set.  Miss. E will get the mate's bed, the dresser will go in the baby's room and the desk will go in the living room.  I am excited to be one step closer being ready for our new baby.  Miss E is excited to get a new bed and she will have so much more room in her bedroom.

How was your week?  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Saturday 5 August 2017

Hello again!

Hello!  I am still in the land of the living, even if it seems I dropped off the face of the planet!  😉  I have done a terrible job keeping up on my blogging.  Real life has been super full as of late and the blogging dropped off.  Whoops!  I decided to post a quick update to let you know what has been happening in my little world.

-I worked.  A LOT.  My coworker (who takes some of my days so that I become a part time worker rather than full time) had a daughter getting married this month!  She (understandably) took a bunch of time off which meant that I worked nearly full time hours.  Ouch.  I am definitely not used to that!

-My work shoes were completely worn out and I paid for it BIG time!  I limped all week at work and at home because of my crappy shoes.  Yikes!  The number one rule of working on cement floors is to wear good shoes!  You can wreck your back, knees, hips, and feet.  I am an x-ray tech and I see the damage we do to ourselves all the time.  I know better than to wear bad shoes.  Anyway.... I had bought new ones but with my pregnancy my feet changed and they were much too tight.  I broke down and bought new ones and I am happy to report that I am no longer limping or in pain!  Whew!

-We went on Hubby's family "camping" weekend.  It was fun.  Miss. E was sick, however so that wasn't fun.

-Miss. E had to have stitches this week.  She fell off a chair and into a bed frame at our hotel and cut her head open.  Poor kiddo.  She was brave and did fairly well with the stitches.  I seriously want to bubble wrap her.  You know?  Is that so wrong?

-Baby has been moving lots which I find so comforting.😍  Hubby felt baby kick for the first time the other day.  We had our first OB appointment in the city and I am very happy with the plan that my OB and I have.  I really like my doctor, which is fantastic.

-I ordered a few baby items online that we have decided to purchase new.  Most of our baby items are going to be second-hand this time but there were a few things I wanted to get new.  It is so exciting and fun to start getting ready for baby!

-I have been working on trying to minimize some items in our home again.  I did, however, go through all of the donation boxes.  I pulled out the few baby items that I was planning to donate and packed them away for the new little one.

-My little brother is moving closer to home and I couldn't be happier!  I really enjoy seeing him and I hope we will see a lot more of him when he moves closer.