Day in the Life: Summer With a Toddler

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Day in the life” post…I always love a peek into other people’s lives, so I thought it would be fun to share what a typical summer day looks like for us. We have a unique situation since both Corey and I are teachers – we get to be home all day every day as a family throughout the summer. It’s an amazing set-up, and I never want to forget how sweet these days are!

You can also see a day in our lives with Jackson as a newborn and when he was a little under a year old.

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6:30 – My alarm goes off. Time to work out! I (slowly) get out of bed and head out the door for a quick run. It’s always so hard to get moving but I love how I feel the rest of the day, so it’s worth it! Currently I’m listening to B.J. Novack’s book, One More Thing while I run…it’s hilarious!

7:30 – I’m back home and hopping in the shower. By the time I get out, Jackson is awake and I hear him and Corey chatting in his room. I meet them in our room and hang out with Jackson while I get dressed for the day.

8:00 – I’m finishing up getting ready and Jackson is starting to ask for a “‘nack” so I know it’s time for breakfast. We all head downstairs and settle in for a quick meal.

8:30 – While I am cleaning up from breakfast, I see that Jackson has started to unload the dryer that I left open last night. He’s nothing if not helpful! I guess it’s time to put the clothes away, so I finish the kitchen and Jackson helps me bring the laundry upstairs to put away.

I put clothes away while he reads books and “helps” by throwing clothes all over the floor (and occasionally actually putting them where they belong).

9:00 – Clothes are put away, Corey finished his breakfast and got dressed, and we’re ready to head out the door! We have a few errands to run, and Jackson is always antsy to get out of the house in the mornings, so we’re off.

9:30 – We run by Babies R Us, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Trader Joe’s. Jackson is always thrilled to go to TJ’s and play with the flowers while we shop (I always buy a bouquet and he always spends the whole time touching them).

Corey and I are thrilled to try a few things we haven’t had before…like this chocolate bar.

YUM.

11:00 – We’re done shopping and just got home. I unload the groceries and give Jackson a snack while Corey helps do some cleaning around the house. We have people coming over tonight, so I ask if Corey will hang with Jack for a while so I can clean. I rush around getting as much as I can done while they play with blocks and Jackson occasionally follows me around trying to steal the mop from me.

12:00 – House is almost clean, and Corey makes Jackson’s lunch for him while I finish up. After lunch, they sit and read on the couch for a while before Jackson asks me to play with him on the floor. We spend about 15 minutes playing before…

12:30 – Nap time! I need to work on a few things on my computer so Corey takes Jackson upstairs and lays him down while I get started. Corey then disappears to play some video games and I settle in on the couch for some blogging and Pretty Little Liars (don’t judge!).

2:30 – After some lovely, lazy time watching television, Corey comes out and joins me. We chat for a few minutes and soak up the last few minutes before Jackson wakes up.

3:00 – He’s up! I run upstairs to grab Jackson and Corey gets started marinating some chicken for dinner tonight.

We hang with him in the kitchen for a few minutes before my dad shows up to visit Jackson. Jackson has a huge “papa” obsession right now so my dad has been stopping by on his way home from work every once in a while. They play in the garage together for a while and Corey and I work on dinner. We always love when he stops by – it makes Jackson so happy!

4:00 – My dad’s visit is over and he has to head back home. Jackson and I watch him leave from the window and then spend some time playing on the floor. Corey starts an epsiode of Mad Men and we slowly make our way through it (with interruptions for Corey to take Jackson outside to play for a few minutes, for me to get Jackson a snack, etc. etc.).

5:00 – Our show is over and my sister and her family will be here anytime. Jackson and I have a dance party in the living room while Corey gets dinner cooking. We all putter around the house, putting food together, playing, and chatting until everyone arrives. Jackson makes a mess in the kitchen that I’ve just cleaned by pulling out all of our disposable dishes/silverware, stacking them on top of each other, and knocking them over, all while giggling maniacally. It’s a mess, but he’s happy and I’m able to work in peace, so I let it happen.

5:45 – Everyone’s here! We spend the evening eating dinner, chatting, and playing a game. Jackson starts rubbing his eyes at 6:30 on the dot (my kid knows his schedule!) so he goes down for the night while we keep hanging out.

9:00 – My nieces are tired so it’s time for them to go home. Corey and I clean the kitchen and spend a bit more time hanging out downstairs before we go up to bed – we’re both exhausted so we don’t watch any more television tonight.

10:00 – We peek in on Jackson and giggle at how he’s almost escaped his sleep sack. We debate fixing it and decide to leave him as he is. We head into our room and go to bed.

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And that’s what most of our summer has looked like! It’s lazy, slow (but oh so fast), and absolutely perfect. I’ll have to come back and read this post in two months when I’m in the full swing of school and be jealous of myself for all of this free time!

What is your summer looking like so far?

Week in Review

A few highlights from our week:

– We took a quick trip to visit some friends in Dallas. We got to play a ton of games together and they have a son a bit younger than Jackson, so it was a blast to see them together. It was pretty amazing how much more self-sufficient the kids are now and how they were mostly able to play together while we played games and kept an eye on them. Toddlerhood is the best!

– Corey took Jackson on a father-son date one morning and I got to clean the house in peace!

– We took a 100% spontaneous trip to College Station! We hopped in the car with plans to head to a local indoor playground and ended up finding ourselves on the road to Aggieland! It was so random and we had so much fun. We’ve made it a goal to take Jackson to visit every year of his life, and so far we’ve been successful (including the year I was pregnant).

– Jackson turns 18 months old today!

– I have a new favorite card game – Tichu. We played last weekend with our friends and I cannot stop thinking about it. I want to play every day!

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Here’s what fascinated me on the internet this week:

This post on getting rid of toys inspired me to do a clean out of the toys we have in the living room. It felt so good to purge a bit and pack some stuff away to rotate in later!

– Marriage is hard work – here’s why it has to be that way.

I! Can’t! Wait!

– I need to follow this list to help me keep the momentum in purging our house of unnecessary stuff!

– We’ve been super into making antipasto platters for dinner lately. Here’s a great guide!

 

Wardrobe Overhaul: Going Capsule

I’m not a fashion blogger by any means (and I never will be!) but in the last 6 months or so I’ve started to pay much more attention to the clothes I wear and what’s in my closet. I have always been pretty low-maintenance when it comes to my wardrobe. I keep clothes until they practically fall apart and I do 95% of my shopping at Target and Old Navy. But, up until recently, I’ve not been very thoughtful about the clothes in my closet. I have entirely too many of those “stand in front of my closet full of clothes and complain about having nothing to wear” kind of days, and I have entirely too many pieces in my closet that I rarely wear.

Over the last few months, I’ve become intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I’ve been following Un-Fancy for a while now and have searched “capsule wardrobe” on Pinterest more times than I can count. At first, I was staunchly against the idea of actually doing one myself – it’s a scary concept, really. But, the more I thought about it and the more I researched it, the more I wanted to just jump in.

My motto for this year has been “be content” – I’ve been working to find contentment and peace in every area of my life, but specifically with all of the “stuff” I have. I’m constantly yearning for more, and I don’t need it. I have all that I need (and then some!) and I’ve been working towards reducing my constant desire for more, more, more.

This new challenge (and trust me, it’s a challenge!) lines perfectly with my goals for contentment, and I think that by reducing my wardrobe to only the necessities, I’m going to find that I have so many more options and am so much happier with what’s actually in there. So, what’s my plan?

THE PLAN

– My first capsule will be for the fall and will span September-November. I’ll probably go ahead and officially “start” with it when I go back to work in mid-August, though.
– I’m reducing my wardrobe to 50-ish pieces. I’m not 100% decided on the number yet, and I’m not done cleaning out my closet yet. 50 sounds like too many to me (it feels too comfortable, and like I wouldn’t be pushing myself enough), so I’ll probably try to go lower. I’m undecided – I love the Un-Fancy model of 37 pieces, but I don’t know if I can get that low!
– My capsule will for sure include shirts, bottoms, jackets/cardigans, and dresses. I think I’ll also include shoes, but I’m not fully decided yet.
– My capsule will not include accessories, workout clothes, pajamas, or school/college t-shirts that I occasionally wear for work (though I am limiting myself on how many of those I can keep in my closet).
– I will not shop for clothing at all for the duration of my fall capsule. If I need to add anything for the winter, I can do some shopping as I’m putting it together.
– I’m not actually donating or getting rid of anything yet. As of now, I have all of my extra clothes in a giant pile on the bed in our guest room. I’m trying to leave things very open to myself just in case I have an “I have to wear that specific shirt moment,” but I doubt that will happen.

Here’s what my closet looked like when I first got started:

(Note that I had already started to do some clearing out on the bottom hanging rack when this photo was taken)

The process of actually narrowing down my wardrobe to no more than 50 pieces was incredibly intimidating to me. I’m a clothes hoarder so I have a lot of stuff in my closet. I decided to break the process into more manageable chunks to make things a little easier. So far, I’ve completed what I’m calling “Phase One”…

PHASE ONE

I did this phase one section at a time (short sleeved shirts, then tank tops, then long sleeved shirts, etc.). I took every single piece from that section out of the closet and laid it on the bed. Then, I made piles.

Pile one: I feel fantastic in this and could wear it ever day. Must-have in my capsule.
Pile two: I like this a lot, but I’m not positive I have to have it. May or may not end up in my capsule.
Pile three: I definitely don’t want this in my fall capsule.

The first pile was the smallest by far, and the second and third piles generally ended up with similar numbers of items in them. I didn’t think too hard about this phase – I went with my gut. Once I had sorted it into piles, I put away the things I knew I wasn’t using, put the rest back into my closet (I put a few empty hangers in-between the “must haves” and the “maybes”), and then I walked away.

Yes. I walked away, I stopped working, I didn’t think about it anymore.

I could feel myself getting overwhelmed by the number of pieces I still had left in my closet (50 seemed so unattainable!), and so I forced myself to take a break. I decided that I would walk away from the project for a couple of days or weeks, then re-visit it once I’d lived with my (partially) pared-down wardrobe a while. Here’s what my closet is looking like now:

(I forgot to snap a photo of the dress section, but trust me that it’s pared down just as much!)

Pretty big difference, no?

I still have a long ways to go – there are way more than 50 pieces left in here. But this is a major start. July isn’t even over and I don’t go back to work until the end of August, so I still have about another month to continue editing and work towards my magic number, whatever that will be. I’m planning on starting “Phase Two” soon, which will be to go through a second time and do the same thing – with a more critical eye. The second time around, I’ll put more thought into my choices, I’ll be more brutal, and I’ll be focused on eliminating as much as possible. Then, of course, “Phase Three” will be to settle on my final capsule!

I’m so excited about getting start with this, and I can’t wait to see how it all goes. Anyone else join the capsule wardrobe movement lately?

Week in Review

This week was probably the most low-key week of our summer so far. On Tuesday evening, Jackson started doing a bit of coughing and had a runny nose – we’re going out of town this weekend and really don’t want a sick kid, so we cancelled most of our plans for the rest of the week and spent a lot of lazy time at home.

We watched a friend’s baby on Monday for a good portion of the day – Jackson loved having a friend in the house, and it was so sweet to watch how he looked out for her when we were out and about. Melted my heart!

We went to a local park that was built for children with special needs (which means it’s also perfect for toddlers) one day for a few hours – Jackson had more fun than he’s ever had at a park and I couldn’t even get him to sit still to eat a snack (a rarity for this child)! I had to drag him out of the park crying because he wasn’t ready to stop playing, but it was so hot outside I was worried he was going to get sick if we didn’t leave! I definitely want to take him back here again before the summer is over – it was perfect!

We got Jackson’s hair cut this week – last time he had a cut, it was because I couldn’t take his crazy long hair anymore and didn’t want to pay for a haircut (it grows so fast!) so I did it myself. Big! Mistake! It looked pretty silly and I won’t ever be attempting that again. So, now that it’s grown out enough to actually be fixable, we took him in to have it taken care of. He loves going to get his hair cut and always behaves fabulously (thank goodness). I asked them to cut it nice and short so I don’t have to worry about coming back in a month, and it looks adorable. I can never believe how much bigger he looks after a haircut!

We’re headed out of town this weekend to visit some friends – we’ve been looking forward to it for a while now and I can’t wait to spend the weekend relaxing and enjoying our friends that we haven’t seen in a long time!

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Before I go, here are a few things from around the internet that stuck out to me this week:

– Ever forgotten to put on deodorant in the morning? There’s a super simple fix for that.

– Someone found Britney’s grocery shopping lists. They don’t look quite how I expected them to (or maybe, they look exactly how I expected them to…)

– Did you hear who they’re probably casting as the next Bachelor? Thoughts? I’m happy!

– We bought some of these to bring with us this weekend – I haven’t tried them yet but I hear they’re amazing, so I can’t wait!

– Lena Dunham is coming out with a newsletter – maybe I’m just a total groupie, but I’m looking forward to it!

Hands Free Mama: Chapters 3-6

I’m reading through Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford and blogging along as I go. Here are chapters 3-6. 

Read Chapter 1 here
Read Chapter 2 here

Chapter 3: Choose What Matters

This chapter is all about choosing to find important and special moments in your everyday, mundane tasks. Household chores turn into an opportunity to bond and teach your kids valuable skills, and wait time at the doctor turns into a great way to connect. This chapter has really helped me change my attitude about down time in my life. I used to automatically reach for my phone when things got boring or uneventful, but now I stop and think about how I can connect with Corey or Jackson or whoever else is around me. I’m not perfect – I definitely still grab my phone sometimes – but I have noticed such a huge difference.

This is probably still the area where I struggle the most, to be honest. I feel like I’ve come a long way, but it’s still an automatic response to check Facebook or Instagram when my mind starts to wander, and I’m trying really hard to break that habit. I think it will get even easier for me as Jackson gets older and more verbal – right now I’m still mostly just talking to him, but when he’s able to talk back and really connect with me in those moments, I think it will be a lot easier to resist the phone!

Chapter 4: Recognize the Gift of Today

This chapter has been my favorite so far. By leaps and bounds. I don’t know if the words were just exactly what I needed to read or what, but I learned so much with this chapter and feel like it automatically helped me change my entire attitude. It’s all about setting aside the crazy stresses of life and the worries that don’t really matter, and embracing the quiet “moments that matter” with your family. This chapter (along with Chapter 6) inspired me to write this post for Hellobee and has calmed me from so many moments of frustration in the months since I read it.

Chapter 5: Take Pause

The first section of this chapter really stuck with me – she talks about how awesome it used to make her feel to pick up her daughter from preschool and see the euphoric excitement she had on a daily basis. She compares that to how she often responds when her husband or child walks into the room – not quite with the same level of excitement. It got me to thinking that I probably don’t always do a great job of making Corey feel like I’m excited to see him, and that’s such a simple change I could make to help him feel more loved.

My favorite part of this chapter, that I actually underlined and starred a few times in my copy of the book, is this:

“It’s time to slow down and listen. The world will undoubtedly keep whizzing by, but wait. Just wait. In times of stillness, joy and love can find you, bringing you closer to the place you are meant to be. Not only will you be fine, but you will be super fine. And that, my friend, is a lovely way to live.”

Powerful words, right? Such a great reminder that all of those distractions (like the dishes, the work you brought home, and the mail piling up on the counter) can wait, and the world won’t fall apart. You’ll be fine – super fine, even! – and you’ll get some quality time with your loved ones to boot.

Chapter 6: See Life Through Undistracted Eyes

The part that stuck with me the most in this chapter is what I referenced in my post I linked to above – the “moments that matter”. She talks about not allowing minor inconveniences in life to get to you and instead looking for ways those moments can be positive, and reminding yourself that those tiny moments are the ones that matter in your life – the big ones are the ones that make a difference. I’ve started a “moments that matter” list in my journal and have started to regularly ask myself in times of frustration if it’s a moment that really matters in the grand scheme of things – usually, it’s not. This is something I need to keep working on (and probably always will!) but I’ve come a long way!

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I can’t emphasize enough how much this book is changing my life. It sounds cheesy, but it’s been such a huge influence on me lately and has really helped me re-focus and change a few things in my life. It’s been amazing and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the book continues to change me!

Is anyone still reading along? What books have changed your life lately?