A Peek Into Our Week

posted by Andrea | 11/16/2015

say cheese mom!

photo credit: Nora 🙂

Last week was a crazy week for me. On one hand, with 3 kids who were all “under the weather” and not sleeping well at night, I felt like the week was DRAGGING on and on and on. But on the other hand, with a bunch of work and personal “projects” I was excited to work on, I felt like the hours of the day were fleeting… like there was never enough time for me to cross everything off my list.

I hate that feeling! 

At this point in my life, with 3 very young children, the amount of time I have to do anything “extra” on my blog, around my house, or in my personal life is basically non-existent. I realize this, I’ve come to terms with this (sort of), and I know it will change eventually.

I have chosen to work from home while raising my kids. I have given up a lot to do that, and I feel it’s worth everything I’ve given up. However, it’s still really REALLY difficult for my “thrives-on-productivity” personality to succumb to… especially since I know how much I used to accomplish before kids came along!

I honestly have almost 50 blog post ideas (that I’m so excited to write about) sitting in my “drafts” folder waiting for a little more time to flesh them out into actual posts; and I have a mile-long list of cleaning, organizing, gardening, and decorating projects I’d love to tackle at some point when I can make a few more pockets of free time.

I’d love to make more time to work on fun craft and sewing projects, try to exercise once in awhile, and (gasp) maybe even check out the new outlet mall that opened up a couple months ago. But before I get to those extra things, I have a long list of things I actually need to do first — like making dinner for tonight, doing laundry, and helping Dave with our massive amount of leaves we need to rake every year (preferably before they freeze to the ground!)

So, the extra things sit on the back burner for now… and when tiny pockets of free time appear, I pick and choose what I’d like to work on, and (very) slowly work my way down the list. After all, I’m not easily defeated!

That said, here’s a little more about our week… and the things I DID actually make time for 🙂

The first part of the week was some of the most beautiful Fall weather — cool and crisp in the mornings, warm and sunny in the afternoons. We really couldn’t have asked for anything better, and we spent lots and LOTS of time outside playing.

I got a little yard work done while the kids played, and we went on a few walks around town as it was finally cool enough for me to wear James and push the other two in the stroller without sweating profusely the entire time!

My Dad also came over to help build our shed!

There are still LOTS of “finishing touches” that will hopefully make it look like an old shed that has been sitting here for years and years… but those might need to wait until Spring. For now, we’re just happy to have the shed weather-proof before Winter.

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We’ll be using this shed to store our mower, snow blower, fertilizer, gas cans, propane tanks, and lots of other things we don’t want our kids to get into. This will leave more space in the garage for bikes and strollers; and more space in our outbuilding for entertaining (without needed to remove all the smelly yard tools and fertilizers first).

I can’t wait to add all the little details (you know, when I have a few extra moments of time!) I’m hoping it will look something like this when we’re finished with it — obviously the windows and doors are in different places, but I like the distressed wood look, flower boxes, and metal roof.

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I have so many fun ideas for this shed! I even have a miniature version of our red, white, and blue bunting to hang above the window (so it will match our front porch!)

I was glad to get so much yard work done at the beginning of the week because Thursday, Friday, and Saturday brought freezing rain, massive wind gusts, and even a bunch of hail! Needless to say, we stayed inside most of those days!

Nora held “school” and “story hour” for the boys — I supposed they can’t start too young these days 🙂

 

Simon is 20 months now and he’s starting to talk ever so slowly (emphasis on the slowly part!)

He is making lots of animal noises and saying:

  • “ca ca” = car
  • “bah bah” = bye
  • “wa wa” = water
  • “maah” = more
  • “oh-oh” = oh  no

It’s still just crazy for me to think that when Nora was his age, she was speaking in sentences… and even crazier to think that she was still nursing!

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Speaking of Miss Nora, she had another big week last week… including preschool, story hour, and a special sleepover at Dave’s parents’ house this past weekend.

We also decorated a 3-ring binder as a place to keep all her special school papers and projects (at least the flat ones!)

 

Nora and I have been busy making plans for her 4th birthday party this coming weekend. Seriously, how is she going to be FOUR already!

I’m going to try my hand at this Cinderella cake! We’ll see how it goes 🙂

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James is sweeter and happier than ever (even though he was somewhat stuffed up for a few days).

I told Dave if I had to choose an alliterative adjective for our children, I would choose “JOYFUL” for James… because he really is just so happy and full of joy. (For the record, I would choose “SILLY” for Simon and “NOISY” for Nora!)

He celebrated 4 months on Saturday… so in another week, we’ll have a 4 month old and a 4 year old!

james at 4 months

He’s rolling all over the place, sitting in the Bumbo, the swing, and in the highchair, babbling like crazy, grabbing his feet, and even scooting along the carpet a bit!

He is still taking 3 naps a day: a 30-40 minute catnap in the morning, a longer afternoon nap, and then another 20-30 minute catnap around dinner time.

He’s not the best nighttime sleeper yet… and although I’m verging on extremely exhausted everyday, I truly don’t mind the time I’m awake with him at night. He is rarely ever fussy… just hungry. So he eats, and I hold him in complete silence with no other children yelling, destructing something, or vying for my attention.

Of course, it’s not ideal to be waking up so often, but right now, it’s probably the only one-on-one time I get with him during the day, so I’ll take it 🙂

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One project I tackled this week was going through EVERY SINGLE item of clothing I own — from socks, underwear, t-shirts, and pajamas; to my church clothing, old bridesmaid dresses, shoes, and even my coats, hats, gloves, and scarves.

I’ll be blogging more about this later in the week… but let’s just say I pulled many MANY items from my closet in an effort to whittle down my wardrobe to only the items I truly love and feel great wearing. I sure am enjoying the empty space!

I also started looking for ways to use up my boatload of extra Butternut Squash from our garden. I’ve roasted and frozen a bunch of it… but this past week, I integrated squash into almost every single meal 🙂

I put several spoonfuls of roasted and peeled squash into fruit smoothies, mixed it in with mac and cheese for the kids’ lunch, added it to brownies and cookies, and substituted it in place of canned pumpkin for pies and other various pumpkin desserts. No one ever noticed!!!

I also baked squash with a pork roast one night, and boy was it tasty! I will most definitely be growing squash again next year!

Oh, and I’m saving the best for last…

This past week, I tested out the brand new curbside pickup service at our local Meijer grocery store!!!!!! It was absolutely AMAZING — and I can not wait to take advantage of this during the cold, snowy winter months. No more bundling up and loading 3 kids into the cart, shopping for an hour, waiting in the checkout lane with crabby kids, etc. etc.

This could be ‘life changing’ for me this winter!

Our Menu Plan

MONDAY:

TUESDAY:

  • Pizza Pasta
  • Garlic Bread
  • Salad
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Brownies

WEDNESDAY:

THURSDAY:

FRIDAY:

SATURDAY:

  • Dave was gone all night for a school function so Dave’s parents brought dinner over and ate with me and the kids.

SUNDAY:

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And another week is “in the books”!

Only one more full week of school for Dave and then we get a few days off for Thanksgiving (and we’re hosting it for the first time this year!)

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34 comments

  1. Jennifer

    11/24/2015

    I saw your post about the Meijer curbside pickup service and I am hoping this comes to our local Meijer! May I ask how it works? Did you go online and do your shopping there and they just bag it all up for you? I think it could honestly save a lot of money as well because I wouldn’t go thru the store and pick up all the extra items I see! I have a lot of health issues and it makes it really hard to get out of the house, let alone get out of the house to grocery shop with little ones. Hopefully this is implanted in more Meijer stores very soon!!! 🙂

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  2. Christina

    11/17/2015

    HA! I totally took advantage of the “free” curbside pickup mPerks and said that it would literally be awesome for those with small children!!! Or elderly, disabled or just plain super busy! Order it all after the kiddos are in bed, on a lunch break, etc… then load up and grab your groceries! I loved it! I was in and out in mere minutes! So slick!

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  3. Mary Swartz

    11/17/2015

    enjoy your blog so much….as a mother of 4 daughters….oldest is 7…I can relate to so many of your posts!it’s interesting to see all the comments about Simons speach. My almost 3 year old was a little slower…but I discovered she was just waiting to talk till she could say it all!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Mary! So many people have told me similar stories — where their child didn’t talk at all, and then one day, they just started and never stopped!

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  4. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    11/17/2015

    A Meijer with pick-up? It hasn’t come to Indiana yet but that could indeed be a game-changer for winter time with little ones. Love this idea! Good luck with the birthday cake. I’m sure it will be lovely and that Nora will love it!

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    Andrea Reply:

    One more reason you should move to West Michigan 🙂

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  5. Laura @HowToGYST.com

    11/17/2015

    Are you by any chance doing the KonMari Method? I’m doing it myself so thought, because you went through your clothes so thoroughly, and that’s the first place you start with the KM Method, you might be doing it too. Really looking forward to your posts on same, if so! =)

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    Andrea Reply:

    nope — I actually don’t think I’ve heard of that before. I’m just literally getting rid of everything I don’t love wearing and moving it to a “holding place” for a couple months so I can make sure I want to get rid of it!

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    Laura @HowToGYST.com Reply:

    Oh, I’d highly recommend it! It’s essentially a decluttering challenge (though that’s being very simplistic about it) where you go through everything in your home, category by category, starting with clothes. It’s from the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. A quick and inspiring read, if a little odd in places.

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  6. Rebecca

    11/16/2015

    You might like to look into making fruit leather / fruit roll ups. I think you dehydrate the puree in the oven on a low setting for a long time. It’d be great if the kids like it, and it would use up a heap of pumpkin!

    Pumpkin scones are great for using up extra pumpkin (named biscuits in USA I think). They are good to freeze as well.

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  7. Michelle

    11/16/2015

    I WISH we had a drive thru grocery store! Oh my gosh, I would never go inside again!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Move to west Michigan — problem solved 🙂

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  8. Caroline

    11/16/2015

    Totally not judging b/c I had two boys who loved their mini’s, but maybe the reason Simon doesn’t talk much is because he always seems to have a pacifier in his mouth? It’s rare to see him without it

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, Simon LOVES his pacifier! I’m sure that’s part of the reason, but he’s quick to take it out if he has something to say. He just often doesn’t have anything to say 🙂

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  9. Anna

    11/16/2015

    My Mom used to make cakes like that for my birthdays, and 40 years later, that’s still one of my fondest memories 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    we always had our neighbor make our cakes. When we got older, we got to go and watch her make them. She was a professional cake decorator so it was REALLY fun!

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  10. Linda

    11/16/2015

    I live about 10 minutes from the new outlet mall. I would not waste my time. Maybe it just does not have stores that interest me, I don’t know. It does seem to get a lot of traffic but for me it was a waste of time. I guess I would research the stores first to see if you love those name brands.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the heads-up! I mostly just want to go to see it. I probably wouldn’t actually buy anything — more just browse (but I don’t want to browse with 3 kids!!)

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  11. April

    11/16/2015

    “thrives-on-productivity” personality. I think you are so amazing. You are SOOOOOO productive right now – the only thing is that it is taking care of little people and your home (repetitive tasks) every day. Your productivity will show in the future when the children you are raising turn out to be wonderful, caring individuals. You are an amazing mom. LOVE your blog – I look forward to reading every day.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, you are right… but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over my love of crossing things off my list. Maybe I should start putting “change diapers” and “read books” on my to-do list 🙂

    Thanks for your kind words April!

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    Brenda Reply:

    Every now and then I will put the everyday stuff on my list like dishes, laundry, make lunch… Then I use tally marks to see how many loads of laundry I did that day (or weekend), how many loads of dishes, how many meals I made. AND then I also add (and cross off) the un-listed stuff that I decided to do (or that just had to be done) . Then when I am pooped on Sunday night and feel that I didn’t get much done,i can say, wait, I did do 12 loads of laundry, cook 4 meals, do dishes 3 times, plus, this, that and the other thing. So it’s OK that I didn’t get everything done on my list. I think this helps me to not feel like I didn’t get anything done on my weekend (because I have 3 kids to take care of too).

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I do this too! It makes me feel better about myself 🙂

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  12. Kelly

    11/16/2015

    I have made 4 Barbie cakes and if you have the big pampered chef glass mixing bowl put 1-1/2 boxes of cake mix and also make a couple circle cakes for extra lift. I make them the day before and put them in the fridge so I can cut them without them crumbling. I hope this helps. Also, thank you for all of your blogs. I look forward to reading them. Wish Nora a Happy Birthday.

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    Andrea Reply:

    thanks for the tips! I actually have a domed cake pan that I was planning to use — and then putting some round cakes on the bottom like you suggested. hopefully it will turn out! I’m more worried about frosting it!

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  13. Melissa @ teammadefamily.com

    11/16/2015

    I did a whole blog post a few weeks ago about the ways to use up ridiculous amounts of squash. My favorite was including it as a pumpkin substitute in pumpkin baked oatmeal–it was yummy!

    Also, your weekly posts are a breath of fresh air. So many of the blogs I follow seem to be written by women who always seem to have everything together… Thanks for being real. And reminding me that my inability to cross off every single thing from the to-do list by the end of the day does not mean I am inadequate.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Melissa! glad you are enjoying my “real, everyday life”!

    I too have been using the squash as a substitute to pumpkin in many MANY recipes!! It has turned out perfectly every time!

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  14. Muriel

    11/16/2015

    Noisy Nora was one of my favorite books as a kid. Your post made me think of that. I still have the book and read it to my kids (4 & 2 year old). 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, we have that book too! Nora loves it!

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  15. Anne

    11/16/2015

    I love your weekly peek posts. I can particularly relate to this statement, “At this point in my life, with 3 very young children, the amount of time I have to do anything “extra” is basically non-existent. I realize this, I’ve come to terms with this (sort of), and I know it will change eventually.”

    I’m in the same place! Gentle reminders are good for me to slow down and relish the current stage of my life.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Amen!!

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  16. MrsD

    11/16/2015

    I can’t wait to see what you did with your clothes as I’m trying to tackle that now.

    Happy Birthday Nora! She is seriously such a smart little thing…so advanced!

    Mmmm….I’d love to see your pork recipe as it sounds delicious 🙂 Also….a post on your vegetable garden and how you manage with little ones would be awesome! I keep saying….”next year I’ll plant vegetables”, but keep putting it off with all the toddlers around. I don’t really know where to start…..

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks — I’ll pass your birthday wishes along to Nora! And look for my post on clothes clutter later this week!

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  17. Jen

    11/16/2015

    I love these posts! And I made that Barbie for our daughter when she was young. If **I** can pull that off, ANYONE can!! I know it will be great and Nora will love it. Happy Birthday to her!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well good, glad you have faith in me! I’m mainly worried about the frosting part right now!

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