I renamed our blog - Peace and Chaos. Like "peace and quiet", but there's no quiet around here, just chaos. We strive for peace, but we just keep landing smack in the middle of crazytown. We really hit our stride as a family in December. Then January came and I started grad school....and our beautiful little rhythm ran out the door. I think we're figuring it out again and making the needed adjustments. And just because we have our "rhythm" doesn't mean we don't still have craziness exploding all around us. So, "Peace and Chaos" it is, regardless.
Today we had a playdate with some new friends that I met through a mom's "support" group that I participate in during the fall. I love having people over and getting to talk with other moms (actually, I just enjoy chatting with adults in general - one and two year olds only provide but so much conversation). We were talking about peace, calm, and rhythm and how nice it all sounds, but how it seems like we can never quite get there. I have this idea in my mind that someday, if we follow all the right steps, we'll arrive at this place where our house will stay clean, my kids will always listen, and there won't be any yelling. I don't know where the heck I got this crazy idea. I'm completely aware that it's crazy talk...but I hold onto it regardless. I read the books on simplifying our life, our house, our routine and I do my best to implement the ideas into our family. Because, obviously, if we just simplify things enough all the chaos will go away. Right? Ok, maybe not, but I do buy into the idea that less is more. And I do hope to create a home that is a comfy, cozy, uncluttered, loving, stable environment.
Which means, I've been spending at least one naptime a week trying to reduce the amount of "stuff" in our house. Not big things, but all the little crap that piles up everywhere. Our living room, playroom, dining room, and the kids' rooms are done. I've dabbled in the attic spaces some, but I don't know how much there really is to get rid of up there. Each nook of our "attic" seems crammed, but when I go through it, it's just seasonal or storage stuff that we use on occasion or need for a later date and there's really not a lot to toss/donate/sell. I'm just happy that each time I sort through it, I part with a few things. Overtime it will eventually get more and more reduced. I think ultimately it just needs to be better organized and that's hard when it's all crammed in the small spaces in the eaves of our upstairs (i.e. our attic). I still would like do more in the kitchen/laundry room and our bedroom hasn't even been touched. Slow and steady wins the race is the motto I'm applying to this situation. Justin rolls his eyes at me everytime I talk about it because he knows how I get super passionate about something and I just go, go, go for a few weeks until I drop it for the next thing (sewing, baking, crafting, whatever strikes my fancy for awhile). I just tell him that's not always true - I'm crazy passionate about him and I have been for years....which leads to more eye rolling. And I personally think I've stuck with all of these things to varying degrees - I just don't always have things to sew for example.
I'm also trying to simplify our budget. I think I've got a new one created for us that we can actually adhere to. It stinks all the little things I need to learn to do without, but it's very encouraging how much money I think we can begin to save. I tend to get very anxious when I think about all the things we need to save for - two kids to college, two sets of braces, new cars, a down payment for our eventual second home, retirement, emergencies...you get the picture. It means virtually no shopping, little (to no) crafting (time to use up what I already own), no eating out, and some other sacrifices. But spending less money fits right in with trying to bring less stuff into our home and keeping things simple! Win - win situation there!
What else is going on with us? The kids are continuing to grow - they still won't listen to my pleas to stop. Twice in the past week I've put 18-24 month pants on Summerlin and they were a bit short. Jackson is in 3T completely now. Summerlin adds new words to her vocabulary daily. Jackson actually speaks in sentences now. I think he just needed a little competition from his sister before he felt the urge to talk. We've been enjoying the warmer weather and spending as much time outside as we can. I was really looking forward to winter this year, but it's really hard to complain about sunshine and warmer temperatures.
I try to study, but I'm pretty bad about it. I'd much rather bake bread, clean the house, vacuum my car, facebook stalk, blog, etc. I know that naptime should be study time, yet I just can't get myself to sit down and start. It's easier in the evenings for whatever reason. I'm starting to get better about running consistently. I'm trying to get myself into a habit of running whatever pace/distance I feel like doing on M/W/F, with a longer run on Saturdays. I did a fast 11 mile run two weekends ago, an easy 18 miles last weekend, and tomorrow I'm doing 13 miles! Again, Justin thinks I'm crazy, but I found a new running friend and she's been great motivation! I keep telling him not to worry, I'm not signing up for a marathon anytime soon nor do I intend to go back to running 60-70 miles a week. I just like running. But I'm not so sure he believes me.
Justin has been been amazing with taking care of the kids on the nights I have class. He's such a good dad and our kids adore him. He does a much better job of staying cool (most of the time). I think they really like that about him. (I tend to yell too much.) He's been running with me from time to time - and enjoying it! He's teaching an overload this semester (meaning he's teaching 6 classes instead of 5). The extra income will be very nice. He's been finishing up a few small projects that we've been neglecting around the house. I've never seen him so focused and self motivated. I mean that purely as a compliment, not a slight to how he used to be. My husband impresses me. And he's a stud while he balances it all. I'm a lucky, lucky woman.
Pre lunch activity - I thought they were playing with the train set. I should have known better than that. There is always yelling, crying, and lack of sharing when they play with their toys together unsupervised. They were so sweet and quiet when they were tearing through my ribbon and fabric supply.