Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It's Alright

Mommy fashion! Ok, this one is more about feeling pretty than about practicality - but after all of the changes a woman's body goes through in order to have a baby, I feel like that can be just as important. So this look actually combines that concept three ways...
1: Sparkle. A pair of pearls that Adam brought me from Sri Lanka, a sequined cardi, and a metallic belt all make me feel a little more like a girl and a little less like a mobile feeding and diapering service.
2: Open front cardis. This is one that I got while I was pregnant and none of my clothes fit anymore - but because it doesn't button, it doesn't matter, making it perfect both during and after pregnancy.
3: Belts. Same concept - as you're getting figured out where your weight is going to settle (that's both where on your body, and where on the scale) belts can help if your current jeans are sagging but you have hopes of eventually fitting into a smaller size.

I signed up for Hope*ologie a few weeks ago (it's a wonderful source of encouragement and ideas for home and family and quieting your soul, and you will hear more about it from me in future posts) and I succumbed to a crafting project and a printable and started creating a gallery wall. My issue with them up to this point is that I don't like making holes and then moving things, but I want to be able to move things - so my solution is a chalkboard-paint covered corkboard. This way, I'm free to rearrange as I find things to add. So far all it has is our word for the year, laurelled as per The Nester's instructions, a Hope*ologie printable, a verse I'm trying to memorize, and my grown-up tired-mum chore chart.

Yes, that. Originally, I planned to designate a day a week for each task (like, laundry Mondays, clean Fridays, that sort of thing) but once I was honest with myself I realized that that wouldn't work. Our schedule isn't consistent enough for that, and I know that if I missed a day that would blow the rest of the week (because I'm just like that - and that was a slightly painful admission have to make). So I chose one task for each weekday (leaving weekends free for rest and family) and I can choose which task to do each day, flipping the card once it's complete (and keeping the kitchen clean every day - it's the least I can do, since Adam does the bulk of our cooking). This I made from 1" wide strips of Bristol paper (cardstock or a cut-up manila folder or old greeting cards would do just as well - I used what I had) and the little tabs are a folded strip of Washi tape. It's working so far - I'm neither demotivated by an unrealistically long to-do list, nor depressed at the end of the day because I don't feel like I've gotten anything done. And after a week of sticking with it, I added a task to the every-day category --- making the bed (yes, I'm four. And efficient. Why bother making it when no one will see and it will just get messed up again at the end of day?)

I've read several posts lately about people disliking being "adult renters," which confuses me a little, because while I understand that the equity of owning a home is good, at this point I really like not having to maintain a lawn and knowing that if the refrigerator suddenly perishes (like it did in our last apartment) then it's their responsibility to replace. It's also space efficient (I can vacuum our whole living space without having to stop and move the plug!) and energy efficient (second floor - insulated above and below, and having neighbor noise is a minor inconvenience compared to the benefit). One of the Hope*ologie journaling exercises was to list ten things you loved about your home and that was a fun and easy exercise, and also to make a home purpose statement so that you could make your home serve you (instead of the other way around - if that sounds strange, the idea of serving your home, reexamine your motivation for decorating and cleaning. Are you stressed that someone will mess something up, or are you able to comfortably occupy your space without worry?) That one required a little more soul-searching.

To aid in creating a purpose statement, she suggests simply listing what you need from your home. One of the "purposes" that I listed was indestructibility - because I realized that the concern that Brooklyn will get into something keeps me from wanting to invite people over before 7pm (when she goes to bed). So I went through our apartment and took anything of ours that I don't want her taste-testing off the low shelves and replaced it with her books and toys. When she discovered this, she was positively delighted.

I also "baby proofed" our board games - we have an ample collection and they're housed in a small bookshelf, and there's not really anywhere else that I can put them. And Brooklyn loves to pull them all off of the shelf. Since we do play them fairly frequently, I needed a way to keep her from scattering Monopoly money and choking on Risk soldiers that wouldn't keep us from being able to get the box open when we need to (like those child-proof medicine caps that only children can open...) Washi tape to the rescue! I put a small strip on two opposite sides of each box - Brooklyn can't open it, but we can peel back the tape when we need to.

Lately I've had The Beatles' song "Here Comes the Sun" on repeat in my head... it feels like I've been in a long, cold, lonely season of life for way too long, but maybe (just maybe!) the sun is finally coming, and maybe it will be alright. I'm opening the windows, opening my heart, and praying for the courage to open my home - I'm ready for a new adventure!

Are there any areas of homemaking that you've had to become more realistic about, giving up a self- or socially-imposed ideal?

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