life, organization

Time Saving Tips Pt. 1

Everyone wants to save time doing the required stuff so they can spend time doing the fun stuff, whether you’re a mom, dad, living the single life, or whatever.  When you’re “adulting” there are some things that are required which aren’t always glamorous but if we can make those things take less time then we have more time for the fun stuff.

  1. Outfit planning – I read in a blog a few years ago about planning out outfits for the whole week and that revolutionized my mornings.  It’s amazing to not have to think about clothes for the week.  I have taken this a step further and added accessories to the outfit in little baggies which allowed me to go through my jewelry and make sure I’m actually wearing it instead of it sitting in my jewelry box.  I also set up the Munchkin’s outfits when clean laundry in an over the door shoe organizer so when I am trying to get her ready, just pick an outfit out of the pocket and you’re ready to go.
     

  2. Batch cooking – I’m fairly new to trying to do this, started as an experiment a few weeks ago to make an attempt at weeknight dinners early.  There is still some tweaking that needs to be done but I cook a bunch of meat, rice/quinoa and veggies one day and then after that it’s been about a 15 minute meal prep on any given night.  I just use a little olive oil, salt and pepper so when I go to cook the actual dinner I can add any other flavor I want.
    img_3028
  3. Showering with the Munchkin – I am able to kill two birds with one stone.  I found these awesome Crayola ® Fingerpaint Soap in the Dollar Spot at Target and it has made my life so much easier.  She sits at one end of the shower and plays with the “paint” while I take my shower and then transition over to her bath.  I should make the disclaimer that I take short showers (generally under 10 minutes) and I approach showers with a very utilitarian mindset so if you take long showers or want to savor your shower this is definitely not for you.  It saves me the getting soaked when my bathtub soaked Munchkin tries to give me a hug or splash me and having to shower once she’s asleep because currently her crib backs up to the same wall the shower is on so I’m pretty sure she’d sleep through it but not interested in taking any chances right now and once she’s asleep I can spend the next couple hours getting stuff done but also relaxing.  Once I’ve reached a point where I should be going to bed it allows me to get to bed in a timely fashion.
    img_3017

 

Now that my summer is winding down and I’ll be heading back to full time work I know that I’ll appreciate saving time because I’ll want to spend more quality time with my family and more quality time on myself which will hopefully also include some regular exercise.

life

Meal Time with Toddlers

One of the greatest (and scariest) things as a parent is watching your child become more independent – except for meal time. There are so many things about toddler meal time that just make it a fun and exciting adventure every time you sit down to the table, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks you’re never entirely sure what you’re going to get.  We have been very lucky with my daughter, she is a good eater and has been from start.  She was trying to eat foods at 3 months old….so we let her (that’s what baby lead weaning is all about right?!?!) but that brought a whole new set of challenges to parenthood.  

There are some very interesting things that happen when you allow a child to feed herself and most of it has to do with where the food ends up.  When the Munchkin started getting annoyed with meal time around 10 months we started giving her the spoon/fork to feed herself or just pick it up with her fingers and that’s resulted in finding food in various places, especially when we go to change her for bedtime.  She’s had cheerios in her diaper, yogurt in her eye, peanut butter in her hair, and peas in her ears.  It’s gotten to the point where dinner time almost always ends in a bath now because she attempts to feed herself and it tends to go horribly wrong from an adult standpoint.

She has also become aware of the fact that there are dogs in the house who will conveniently eat anything she drops or throws to them.  As a result of her meddling the dogs have put on a few pounds and for the time being I’m really not sure about what to do about it, because how else would I keep the floors clean if they weren’t around to eat up all the food that falls to the ground or clean her high chair when she’s done?

Lastly, she can’t communicate with words.  She’s saying some words but she’s not reciting the Gettysburg Address just yet.  This makes it difficult to decipher exactly why she isn’t eating something that she ate just fine yesterday.  We’ve been very lucky with the Munchkin, she eats pretty much anything and everything we give her.  She’ll never quite give up on a food, she’ll try it and spit it out multiple times and then you can get her to try it the next day.  I’m hoping this trait sticks around but it can make it difficult to understand why she doesn’t want to eat something, especially when it’s something she’s had multiple times before so this leads to a whole lot of me sounding stupid trying to get to the bottom of it: “Mommy doesn’t understand, does your mouth hurt? Are you not hungry? Do you not like green eggs and ham today?”
If you have ever wondered what it was like to feed a toddler, go look at some abstract art and imagine talking to the Swedish Chef and then I think you’d have some clue of what meal time looks like in our house!