19Apr

A Peaceful Home: The Toddler Room

Photo Credit

I mentioned here and here that I’ve committed myself to making our home more peaceful.  Obviously that means more than just keeping it clean, but for us, decluttering is a part of that.

I have also committed to sharing my BEFORE pictures, no matter how embarrassing they may be! So, here goes.  My boys share a bedroom.  Also, I have to say, their room wasn’t always quite this messy, but this day it was, probably because I let it go for a couple of days in anticipation of the fact that I was going to be doing a huge overhaul anyway:

 

 

A few notes:

1.  Too much stuff.  Yes, when all this stuff was put away, their room still looked neat, but overall, I felt like they didn’t need half of this stuff, so I did a MAJOR pare down.  I probably got rid of about 70% of the stuff in this room.

2. The TV.  I never really felt great about having a TV in their room, but my friend gave it to us when she got a new one, so I did it.  But I never really felt comfortable with it (even though the didn’t watch it much and when they did it was only DVD’s) so the TV is going bye-bye.

3.  Overflowing closet.  As I post more before and after photos, you’ll notice a recurring theme.  Closets get out of control fast around here, and usually end up to the point of avalanche.  Since they were “babies” (or at least used to be), I felt like they didn’t really need closet space, so I used it to store clothes that didn’t fit anymore, etc.  But, they would get in there and drag things out and we would dig around to find something, and it ended up looking like that.

4.  The walls.  I am terrible at choosing paint colors.  The color might look perfect on the card, but that never transfers to my walls.  Once it gets on the wall, it looks awful, and that’s what happened here.  This was painted when I was about 7 months pregnant with Caeden…since then things have been kinda crazy with being pregnant, nursing, pregnant, nursing, and having infant/toddlers…so I just now got around to fixing it.

5. Chaos.  So, I know that some people might say a peaceful home has nothing to do with it’s state of clutter or organization, but when I look at these pictures, it stresses me out.  It just gives a sense of chaos.

Now…here are the AFTER pictures:

   

Ahhh…isn’t that much better???

Like I said, I got rid of about 70% of the stuff in their room.  And as you can see, they still have plenty of stuff.  I put their stuff into the closet.  I actually moved the dresser in there for now.  They are actually currently sharing a dresser while we are getting rid of the old changing table dresser combo.  But, it works since summer clothes take up less room than winter clothes.

No t.v. anymore, which makes me feel good.  And, the pale blue walls look much better than the old colors.  I really wish their beds matched, but it’s really not worth spending that much money on a new bed when Caeden is about to outgrow the toddler bed anyway.

As you can see, I moved the beds around as well.  This actually works better for us because as you can see in one of the before pictures, we always had a problem with that rail falling off easily.  Now that it’s against the other wall, we use mostly the other rail, which is much sturdier.  After we get the changing table out of there (listed on craigslist and someone is supposed to come get it today), I might experiment with some other ways to arrange the room.

But, the bottom line is that with some of the clutter gone, the room is much more peaceful now!


 
02Apr

This week’s Meal Plan :)

Last week’s meal plan was a bit of a bust because (1) We had more leftovers than I thought, and (2) it was a really busy week and we ended up eating some quick meals (goulash, sandwiches, etc.) in place of what I had planned…so I have some carry over from last week.  Hoping to get back on track this week.

Monday
Lunch: beef  with veggies over rice
Supper:  Calzones

Tuesday
Lunch: tuna  with salad and crackers
Supper:  Chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday
Lunch:  leftover chicken and dumplings
Supper:  creamy macaroni & cheese w/ hamburger, peas

Thursday
Lunch: tacos
Supper:  breaded chicken salad

Friday
Lunch: potato soup w/ cheddar garlic biscuits
Supper: homemade chicken and tomato pizza (date night)

Saturday
Lunch: spaghetti w/ garlic bread and salad
Supper: BBQ chicken with broccoli and baked potato

Sunday
Lunch: leftover potato soup
Supper:  Pasta salad w/ veggies, grilled chicken, corn

(also check out: This week for Dinner, Meal Plan Monday, Meal Planning 


 
29Mar

Routine.

After struggling depression for several years, in which time even completing daily tasks took more energy than I had some days, I am trying now, to find my way on “the other side.”  On March 17th, the fog lifted and I have felt “normal” since then,  Praise the Lord!!!  As time goes by I’m working on a post with my testimony and my struggle with depression and eating disorder, but that is for another day.

Now, I’m just trying to pick up the pieces and I think routines can be important for that.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about planning out every second of the day, but for me just a general plan is nice.  I’ve seen a lot of different takes on this and read a lot of literature, and it seems to be a concept going way back.

So, I’ve been working on my daily routine.  Here is a simple list of daily to-do’s that I have found beneficial in our lives.

-Make the bed.  I think this is important.  The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is make the bed.  First of all, it makes such a difference in the room.  If your bed is unmade, it makes the room look messy, even if it’s clean otherwise.  On the other hand, even if the room could use some work, if the bed is made, it has a neater feel to it.  Also, I think it’s good to start out your day on a productive note.  Kinda sets the tone, if you will.

-Get dressed, in real clothes. I’m still working on this one.  My husband saw this on my list of “goals” for the New Year.  He said, “Real clothes?  What does that mean?”  I’m guessing that my fellow stay-at-home moms probably won’t need an explanation! Lol.  Anyway, there are several reasons for this.  First of all, I feel like it respects my husband, telling him that he is worth my best and not just sweats everyday.  Secondly, I feel like this, again, sets the tone for the day.  Lounge clothes speak of idleness while “real” clothes remind me that the day has begun and it’s time to do something.

-Quiet time. Read your Bible, talk to your God and redeemer.  I think that spending daily time in His word and in His presence is vital to maintaining a strong walk with God.

-Meal times together at the table.  For me, this was something I had backslid a bit on.  We’ve always had family dinner at the table, but sometimes we eat when it’s just me and the boys and it was way too tempting for me to let them watch a show while they eat, and for me to have some quiet time while I eat.  But, I really think it’s important to eat all of our meals together at the table, so that’s what we’ve been doing, every day for lunch and dinner, even when Chad isn’t there.  We also pray over our meals, and one of the most precious things in the world is hearing my babies pray.

-Wash the dishes.  Since I cook for 2/3 meals each day and we don’t use any paper products in our kitchen, the dishes add up.  I find it’s so much better to keep ahead of them and wash them every night, so that I wake up to a clean house and clean kitchen.

-Laundry.  This is another thing that can get away from you, and is easier to stay on top of it if you just do a load a day.

-A bedtime routine for the kiddos.  We’ve been really lazy about creating a bedtime routine with our kids.  We have our own reasons for that, but now we’re really working to get them (well, Logan…Caeden is pretty much there already) into a routine at bedtime.  We’ve only been doing it for about a week and a half now, but it’s going okay.  Not perfect, but still better than what we were doing before.

-Work out. For the past 2 weeks (yay!), I have been working out daily…I only missed one day due to a very busy day and unexpected things coming up at the end of my day.  I’m actually losing weight, slowly but surely.  More importantly, I have felt better.

So, those are my basics for now.  I’m just getting started, so here are some other things I’m planning to slowly work into my list of daily to-do’s.  Also,  I have been kind of “spring cleaning” over the past couple of weeks, really looking to simplify our belongings, so some of the maintenance cleaning stuff is kind of on the back burner right now:

-Homeschool lesson  I’m working on a little learning area for all of our stuff to go.  I’ll post pics when I get to it.  My to-do list is pretty long right now, since I’m in the middle of overhauling the boys’ bedroom and closet.

-(3) 10 minute cleanings:  once before lunch, once before Chad gets home from work, once at bedtime.  If the house is already clean, then 10 minutes is enough time to go through and pick up the key areas, so that Chad has an orderly house to come home to and we all have an orderly house to wake up to.

-Bedtime routine for myself.  My eventual goal is for the boys to be in bed by 9-9:30, giving me time to hang out, relax, read a book, watch TV, do what needs doing…whatever and get in bed myself by 10:30-11.  I have always suffered from insomnia, and one of the things that helps that is to have a sleeping routine and bedtime.

-Writing time.  It’s really hard with two little ones, but I really, really want to start working in some writing time.  I’m doing good so far, getting this blog up and such, but I’d like to have even more to work on the projects I’ve got going.  I have a novel that needs to be perfected and sent off to agents/publishers, and a couple more works in progress.

I didn’t include playtime with the boys, because that’s a given and it’s going to happen everyday regardless :)

 I’m sure I’m forgetting something important!  What is important on your daily schedule?

(Also check out: Works for Me Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday,


 
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