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January 31, 2012

Date Night: A Cherished Tradition

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Thanks Jo for the great advice on marriage (Marriage: The Theory of the Laundry Basket) for looking for the best intentions in our spouses behavior, because we are all human and usually we are short on time and long on mistakes (I know that I am grateful for a husband that realizes all I do and that I might not have had time to do it all).

You know what? I love this guy!
Slim Jim with our sundaes from Ghirardelli  Ice Cream Shop in Las Vegas (Anniversary Trip)
Not because he has managed to keep his good looks (bonus) but because he is a romantic. He asks me on dates (no big deal you say?). Not just once and a while but all the time! With Slim Jim's work and school schedule it seems like weekly we have to re-evaluate what night and what time we are going to have our date night. I think that if it was up to my scattered brain we would probably only have date night once every month or one every other month. But lucky for me Slim Jim realizes the importance of date night and when he gets his work schedule for the week and looks over his school schedule he usually says something like, on a busy week: "We need to go on a date this night" or on a less busy week: "Would you prefer to go on a date on ________, __________ or ________ night." I then talk to my favorite babysitter, Al, and find a time that works for her.
What I usually contribute to date night is the activity. About a year and a half ago I caught the couponing bug, I went hard core at it for a while but then I found my coupon niche and left behind getting a boat load of cereal or yogurt. The only couponing I do hardcore now is local deal saving. I follow of the Facebook pages of many of our favorite local restaurants and other businesses. I also sign up for all of the text message deals that I can. In our city a group of local businesses have deals every day, the business rotates through the week. These are usually really good deals and it is fun to have variety. Here are example of a few of our dates from the last couple of weeks:
Pizza Pie Cafe - Receipt Day: found out about the deal via Facebook - Buy any item at full price on receipt day and get the same items you ordered for free by taking in your receipt any time in the month of February (Buy one get, one free later). We got a pizza bomb for each of us and then we watched Borne Identity while the kids napped.
5 Buck Pizza - Saturday Deal: found out about the deal via Text Message - $7 for Large Pizza and two fountain drinks. We did a family date for this one which Ryder really enjoyed because pizza is his favorite deal.
Great Scott's - Movie and a Drink: found out about the deal via Facebook - Buy new 90 cent fountain drink and get a free movie rental. Slim Jim and I went to dinner at Wendy's with a gift card his grandma had given us for Christmas. We then rented two new releases and had a 44 oz drink for $2, nothing like putting the home theater to use while the kids are sleeping.
Nielsen's Frozen Custard - Date Night Special: Monday-Thursday all day they have various $5 dollar deals that makes for a nice weekday date. During Ryder's nap we got two hamburgers, two frozen custards, two drinks, two fries and we paid our baby sister (Al) in a chicken finger meal deal (chicken fingers, fries, a small custard and a drink).
Classic move- I learned the tight squeeze move from mom.
I think the biggest thing I have learned in my 4.5 years of marriage is that date night doesn't always have to be on a Friday or Saturday night (it actually will save you money a lot of times and you might get to enjoy a more quiet location if you go on a weekday or during the middle of the day). It isn't about when you go just that you do. It seems like every date we go on helps Slim Jim and I recharge our marriage batteries.
(Rainforest Cafe Las Vegas- Anniversary Trip) After Several Failed attempts of a self portrait this is the one we got and I love that Slim Jim is making this face because he is showing his great sense of humor. That sense of humor is what I fell in love with and what I continue to enjoy with every date night.
January 30, 2012

P is for Positive Peaceful Pregnancy

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So as you may know, I am pregnant with my second baby and very excited. The biggest concern on my mind with being pregnant has been my fear of those few intense hours leading up to my perfect angel coming out into the world. I was fairly nervous about labor and delivery before having my first and when I got pregnant again, I found myself I am about twenty times more anxious. Let's just say the first time was a less desirable delivery. With that experience I vowed I needed things must change.

This pregnancy I have switched providers, I am seeing both midwives and doctors, I have my own personal doula, and I'm taking a fairly preparation heavy birthing class with my husband. It is a completely different and wonderful situation. Instead of dread, I really find myself excited for this bundle of a surprise to come.

"What makes the anticipation so high now?" you might ask. Well I'm doing a method and class called Hypnobabies where you put your self into self hypnosis and meditate. Epidurals are not generally needed because your body can produce it's own anesthesia if you can visualize it. I know, it probably sounds 110% crazy, but it does work. Last class we experimented with it by being under hypnosis and our husbands pinched the back of our arm. It felt more like pressure than discomfort. Later not in hypnosis they pinched us so we could compare how it felt. It hurt.

The other thing I love is the focus on a positive and peaceful pregnancy. Everyday we are supposed to listen to a joyful pregnancy affirmation track on our CD. It talks about how our body is normal and healthy, and then it goes on to say that you have control of your baby and the decisions that lead up to it's coming. It says much more than that, but you get the general just of it. It's very empowering and I wish I would've had it with my first.
January 28, 2012

Scary's Right and Left Brain Diagnosis

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Jo: Right Brained
I would say Jo is primarily right brained which is great for her house of 4 boys and 1 girl. The fact that she can be so flexible with time allows her the flexibility to help others at a drop of a dime. Because Jo is right brained than her emotion allows her to be very compassionate towards others. When she has a moment to herself she paints, bakes and arranges flowers. The other day we were talking about recipes and she said that she hardly ever follows a cookbook, she just throws things together and watches them come together flawlessly.
Deviation from the Right brain: Jo HATES Cats...this isn't entirely her fault she did get ring worm when she was a teenager after that experience she has had a dislike for the feline creatures. Jo doesn't listen to rock and doesn't even have a TV. Jo is also very organized in her home everything has a place.
I love Jo's right brain because even though she may change her mind from time to time, she is never afraid to make a change based on what others might think. She is always able to make the choice that is best for her and her family even if it is only the best choice for the immediate future.

Al: Left Brained
I would say that Al is primarily left-brained. She is very talented in math and science. Al likes to learn from detailed instructions and if possible from a master of a skill with detailed instructions. Al is also not afraid to tell it like it is, and has a reputation for honesty. On a number of occasions when I talk to Al I will ask her what she is up to and she will tell me organizing (sometimes the same space that she organized a couple of weeks ago). She is always looking for the most logical way to do things.
Deviation from the Left brain: Al is very creative as well, she has an amazing ability to put together beautiful quilts using various pieces of fabric. Al is also very good at Art as well.

Me/Scary: Center?
I know it is sort of cheating to say that I am center brained but I really can't put my finger on it so I am looking forward to seeing my sister's answers.
I think I am center brained because I love having an exact timeline for everything big in life (left-brained) but for my day to day activities it is very go with the flow (right-brained). When I make decisions at the moment they are often made by emotion (right-brained) but the longer I have to think about it the more logical it will become (left-brained). I am a little more creative (right-brained) than I am logical but in cooking/sewing love to watch the exact processes and then modify ingredients/supplies for what I need. Even though I can figure solutions out I usually like it more if someone else will help me figure it out (left-brained). I prefer non-fiction to fiction (left-brained). I love all music, sometimes I am in the mood for classical but other times I need....pop, rock, rap, or country. I am a dog lover (left-brained). I guess you would just say that it would say that I am confused brained.  

January 28, 2012

Al's analysis of the sisters and their crazy brains

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First of all I would like to officially declare that I am definitely left brain functional. I’m not exactly sure what my sisters will say about me, but most of the qualities fit me.
Evidence: I LOVE to plan and have always had goals set for way in advance. I reason through logic most of the time and rarely through emotion. Things need to be said exactly how it happened. On my first real summer job I had I got called "Miss Exact" because of this. I really enjoy math and science (hence the Physics Education degree). Even when assembling the most simple of things, I always read the directions first and double check that I have all the needed parts. I love solving equations, organizing, and bluntly dealing with reality.
Deviations: I hate to teach using lecture and discussion and if I had my choice in the matter, I would do hands-on activities for 95% of my science lessons. I am more into fictional stories than nonfiction. I read sitting up and laying down (it doesn’t really matter as long as I get to read). I think I’m pretty good at sports (namely volleyball and basketball) and I enjoy artistic things like painting, drawing, and sewing.

As opposed to my extreme left brain, I would say probably both of my sisters are right brained (the first much more so than the second).
99% right brained.
Evidence: Things are definitely done spontaneously. Lol. It always makes me chuckle when I get updates on what’s going on in her life. She definitely acts on feelings and doesn’t usually think all the exact details out before doing something. She is amazing at running and has always been into art. I remember with her last baby we were visiting her and she was having labor contractions and painting another masterpiece for her guest room. I’m not quite sure what her ideal classroom is like, but she doesn’t mind a busy, active, and noisy home. I think that’s a really good quality because she has four boys in a row that are all pretty close together and kind of wonderful handfuls.
Deviation: Not a cat lover. I’m not exactly sure about music, books, or studying. Keeping track of time is probably pretty important since there is so much responsibility for her, but I think that this might be a recently acquired characteristic (since growing up, i.e. getting married and having kids).

Even though I declared her as right brained, I thing she 2/3 right and 1/3 left.
Evidence: She often reasons with emotions. Is creative and artistic. She plays most sports, is into photography, plays music, sews things based on an idea she had (doesn’t need a pattern) and they turn out beautifully. She’s really good with people and definitely thinks really deeply about everything. I don’t think she usually reads directions when assembling an item. It’s funny when the two of us are together when a new item needs assembled. Lol.
Deviations: She is always making to-do lists and likes non-fiction biographies and other factual and unexciting things to read. Prefers classical music as opposed to rock and is definitely not a cat lover. She’s not usually unpredictable (but maybe that’s just cause I know her so well). I think she likes to read independently and study in quiet places. I know that when she was in school she would go to the quiet floor of the library to do homework. I could never go here because there was no sort of noise to tune out.

The great thing about sisterhood and especially our sisterhood, is how no matter how different each of us are, we still are really close. With the three of us together we make a dynamite team and a triple threat. We generally support and defend each others decisions. And whenever we are together, we spend hours together having sisters council. This is no kind of formal meeting, but just an assembly in which we all spontaneously end up together in a bedroom sharing stories together. I've been lucky because I am the youngest and many of them have been benchmark moments in my life. I remember when I had my first period. Erika was home visiting and we all ended up in my room looking at the stars on the ceiling and telling funny stories about what each of us had gone through. Time after time we are always there for one another.

It's so great to have a sister. They are the only people that you can truly share everything and know that you can trust their confidence for life. They sympathize with your perspective and let you know that you're not alone in your struggles. I really don't know where I would be without my two sweet sisters. Both have impacted my life and given me the confidence that makes me me. I love them dearly.
January 28, 2012

Jo's version of Right Brain/ Left Brain/ Center Brain?!

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I am very goal-oriented- (left brain)(Marathon, Triathlon, Beacon)
I am emotional- I tend to act on my feelings.(right brain)(If I think someone from my family needs me- I am bound to drive the 21 hours to help)
I am creative and artistic. (right brain)(painting or writing)
I am intuitive (right brain)(cook without recipes- sew without patterns)
I am realistic (left brain)(I rarely read a novel-95% non-fiction)
I prefer classical music-and I never could study with sound in the background (left brain)
Dog Lover- can't stand cats!! (left brain)
I am a left brain teacher and a left brain student (my poor homeschooled children!) ps-thats the right brained side-speaking ;)

Planner(left)(for sure! you should have seen her plans for her wedding)
Emotional(right) (she tends to be cautious of others feelings)
Creative(right) (with cooking, sewing, and kids crafts- she is a super pinner on pinterest)
Precise(left) (ahem-recipe follower-ahem)
Realistic(left)( I know she is a documentary watcher and a poli-sci major)
Sound(right) (I have seen her pandora list-for sure she is a musical gal!)
Dog lover-and I am going to assume left brained learner and right brained teacher
Planner(left)(planned to be straight A student-done, milk a cow-done,Graduate with teaching license before baby #2 arrives-done)
Rational (left)(Awesome ability to follow the plan without being emotionally attached)(I must drive her crazy!)
Logical (left) (Physics major-need I say more?) and creative(right)(Painting, drawing sewing, cooking)
Precise (left)(Recipe following, closet organizing, budget-sticking-to-it-girl)
Psychic-She read Harry Potter-all of them- in a week total :) Actually I am not really sure- but for a girl who is so left brained, I am going to say that she has to unwind with a good mystery from time to time.
Sound (right) (you should see this girls play list for cleaning the house!
Dog lover, but I think she likes cats too. I assume left brained learner and teacher
January 27, 2012


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I guess the job falls to me, to be the first to post on marriage. This is sort of a Marriage and Family 101 on "understanding your husband".
This comes from a little theory I like to call, "the Theory of the Laundry basket".
This is how it goes.
My bedroom is very small. There is room for two upright dressers, 1 king sized bed, and 1 laundry basket. When the laundry basket is in the proper place(not the laundry room), it lives over in a corner snuggled between the wall and the bed-so no one trips on it, when they(namely me) get up at 12:30 with the baby.
I fall into bed around 11pm every night. My husband comes to bed later than that. When I get up in the morning, and make the bed, and straighten our room, I find my husbands socks on the floor, next to his dresser. This is puzzling to me.
Now I can look at this 2 ways. First: My thoughtless husband won't even put his own socks in the laundry basket. Or Second: My thoughtful husband wasn't sure if, A: he would have a clean pair of socks to wear in the morning-so he was keeping those "just in case" B: he came to bed late, didn't want to wake me up by turning on the light, and therefore figured he would find the laundry basket in the morning and B2: in the morning he was helping me and the kids get ready instead of throwing socks in the laundry pile.
Now, after reviewing how different these two scenarios are, can you imagine how my thoughtful husband would feel if I said "you are so thoughtless-can't you even put your socks in the laundry basket." Or, equally as sad, if I felt "put-out" or resentful for picking up his socks day after day, instead of feeling grateful for all the other things he was doing.
I feel sorry to say that this wisdom has come after 9 years of marriage. Poor Hubbin.
January 27, 2012

Right, Left or Center Brained.

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I was on Pinterest while feeding the little dear and I saw this graphic. As I was reading I had a light bulb moment I thought to myself oh this would be a fun quick activity for us as sisters to do. Here's the challenge sisters. Read the information on the graphic as you are reading think of where you would categorize yourself and the other sisters. Then tomorrow we will all post our Right, Left or Center brain forecast for ourselves and our sisters. Also feel free to post if there are any deviation from the side that you forecasted.
Source: Pinterest

January 23, 2012

TMI: Feeling Like A Cow

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Warning this post is not crafty or homemaker related. It is just how I am feeling, feel free to skip over it if breastfeeding or milk production makes you uncomfortable.

If there is one thing in life that I really don't understand it is.... Why on earth does breast milk need to come in like you are feeding ten starving children instead of just coming out to the amount the baby needs.
The first couple of days home from the hospital, I had to pull out my breast pump a couple of times. I astounded my mother in law as I pumped ounces upon ounces just to dump.
Another another occasion, after I had finished pumping my mother in law said that she could see a noticeable difference between my breast size pre-pumping and post-pumping.
Warning Super TMI (but I am sharing this so if someone else has this happen they won't be as freaked out as I was) This would be the most alarming part of my milk coming in this time. I had a sore bump show up on my right under arm, I thought it was an in grown hair from shaving so I squeezed it to see if I could pop it. And instead of puss I had a large amount of milk. At that point I realized it was a clogged milk duct. For the next few days I just tried to keep that side as empty as possible to try and give the milk duct the ability to empty out. We all joked about my third nipple until it finally went down in size. I am happy to report it is gone now.
Last night Ryder was having a hard time going to bed, he was crying and was really upset. I tried to ignore him and then I realized that his crying was making my milk supply go crazy. So I had to go into our bedroom so that I didn't hear the crying.
January 17, 2012

It is True: No One Stays Pregnant Forever.

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Momma Shaffer has a quote that she frequently says to all of us girls when we enter the exhausting third trimester, and are complaining about our aches, pains and lack of sleep. "________ (enter name here)_____, no one stays pregnant forever."
I had to be reminded much earlier in this pregnancy than the third trimester when I was throwing up several times a day, husband working long hours and trying to take care of a energetic 2 year old that "no one stays pregnant forever."
I am happy to report after caring our sweet little girl, Boston inside of me for 39 weeks and 2 days (same amount of time as I carried Ryder), that she is here and absolutely perfect.
In full disclosure this was taken on the second day after I had time to shower and I was able to change into my own nightgown and not one provided by the hospital.

January 07, 2012

Carpe Kairos: A Bear for the Baby

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One of my friends had shared 2011 Lesson #2: Don't Carpe Diem, via Facebook. As I read the article I felt myself laughing and crying through out. The author captured truth when she said:
I think parenting young children (and old ones, I’ve heard) is a little like climbing Mount Everest. Brave, adventurous souls try it because they’ve heard there’s magic in the climb. They try because they believe that finishing, or even attempting the climb are impressive accomplishments. They try because during the climb, if they allow themselves to pause and lift their eyes and minds from the pain and drudgery, the views are breathtaking. They try because even though it hurts and it’s hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard. These moments are so intense and unique that many people who reach the top start planning, almost immediately, to climb again. Even though any climber will tell you that  most of the climb is treacherous, exhausting, killer. That they literally cried most of the way up.
And so I think that if there were people stationed, say, every thirty feet along Mount Everest yelling to the climbers – “ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF!? IF NOT, YOU SHOULD BE! ONE DAY YOU’LL BE SORRY YOU DIDN’T!” TRUST US!! IT’LL BE OVER TOO SOON! CARPE DIEM!” - those well-meaning, nostalgic cheerleaders might be physically thrown from the mountain.
I know that a lot of times I have a hard time waking up early in the morning because Ryder had a bad dream or dealing with 30 minutes straight of tantrums, hanging on my leg and screaming while I am simply trying to make dinner. It is true it is often hard to enjoy the joys of parenting when you are in the middle of climbing (or barely crawling through the day).

She goes on to talk about how in life we have Chronos time and Kairos time. Chronos time is: 
...[R]egular time, it’s one minute at a time, it’s staring down the clock till bedtime time, it’s ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it’s four screaming minutes in time out time, it’s two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.
Kairos time is:
...God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. It’s those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.
I decided since parenting is hard I want to be able to celebrate on this blog those moments of parenthood where I can say, "Carpe Kairos". This post is my first of many future Carpe Karios posts.

It seems as though with the near arrival of our little girl that Ryder and I have the opportunity to enjoy a lot Kairos time which I appreciate (and I think he has too). Friday I had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon, which I was nervous for all week but Ryder helped all those nerves just melt away with some sweet Kairos moments.

A Bear for the Baby
At 6:30 am (this is 1 to 1 1/2 earlier than he usually does) Ryder awoke and instead of his usual knock at the door accompanied by, "Momma"  he was instead crying in his bed. I ran to him and told him that I would lay with him but we couldn't get out of bed until it was light outside. So we laid there for several minutes I pretended to be asleep by closing my eyes to see if he would go back to sleep. Instead of going back to sleep he gave me sweet kisses and cuddled right up to me. After 15 minutes of this I decided that he wasn't going back to sleep but that this would be a good time to talk about what was going to happen when the baby comes.

I explained that Mom would be going to the hospital and the doctors would be cutting a zipper in Mom's belly and the baby would be pulled out. Then after the baby was all cleaned up, Aunt Al would bring Ryder up to the hospital to meet the baby. I told him that the baby and I would be staying up at the hospital for a few days but that Dad would be there at night to put him in his bed, I ask him if this was okay with him and he said, "Da." (his version of ya). I asked him if we should go to the store today so he could get the baby a gift and he said, "Do" (this is another yes if he thinks we should do something). I asked him what kind of present he was going to get for the baby, he looked at his bear (his very favorite stuffed animal and the one that he has been babying since we found out about the baby) and said, "Bear." I said so we should get a bear for the baby? And he said, "Da."

After Slim Jim's morning class we headed to our neighborhood Wally World to get a Bear for Baby. We trolled the isles of the toy and baby sections looking for the perfect bear. It looked like we were going to come up empty handed so we headed for the door. On our way, out of the corner of our eyes Slim Jim and I saw the Build-A-Bear-Workshop Kits. I asked Ryder if he liked the bear, he said, "Da." and grabbed it and put in the cart on our way to the checkstand all he said was, "Baby" and "Bear" with a great big smile on his face. He anxiously gave it to the checker and then excitedly got it back after Slim Jim purchased it.
When we returned home he decided that he was going to carry the bear up the stairs.
He pulled it apart so nicely for me.

Once it was all stuffed (excuse my craft table that is looking dangerously over stuffed, that is what happens when you get to many projects going during the holidays. Don't worry it is looking somewhat better now).
We excitedly opened the box and began building our bear. Oh he loved every minute of it. I was surprised and really pleased that the kit was easy enough to do that he could help some with every step. With the stuffing he pulled it from the bag and I placed it in the appropriate areas. The sewing I could let him push the needle (plastic object built like a needle but in no way sharp) when it was time. And then he helped me put the clothes on her.
Sewing up the bear
After we were all done I asked him if he should introduce his bear to her bear. He immediately popped up, ran to his room and grabbed his bear from his bed. He came back grabbed the baby's bear and had the two bears kiss. (Seriously, loved this moment. Because it was totally unscripted he just did it all on his own.) He even made the kiss sound when he did it. After the bears gave each other kisses he then gave me the bear and made the kiss noise. So I gave the bear kisses. Then he kissed it. Then the two bears went back to kisses and hugs.
The bears first meeting

After a minute of the kissing I ask him if we should put it back in the box so that we could wrap it. He agreed so we put the bear in the box it came in. I told him that we would wrap it in a little while. That wasn't good enough, so he went trolling for wrapping paper. He found a very small sheet of paper that was left over from Christmas, handed it to me and said, "Wrap." At that point I decided we needed to find something to wrap the baby's gift in, so I turned to my supply of Funny papers. With two funny papers and a lot of tape (Ryder wanted to help with the tape so I put on a little bit more than I usually would) we wrapped the box.
The completed project
I then ask him if he wanted to draw her a picture to put on the box. He said that he would. I told him maybe he should make a picture of a bear. He agreed he then told me that he was doing the head and the ears (it looked like his normal scribles but he preformed it much more slow and meticulous so it might have been). I wrote his name on the picture for him, then taped the note to the box.

I asked him if we should find a place to put the box so that it would stay nice for the baby. He said that we should and then picked up the box and ran it to their room where he then made several unsuccessful attempts to put the box in her crib (right now the crib is holding a number of items that we are keeping  nice for the baby). Finally he got it in the crib, he came running back into the living room to tell Slim Jim and I that he had completed the task (though we couldn't understand the words he was saying because he was beyond excited). Since that point every time we have a visitor he has to show them the box and tell them about how that is the baby's bear.

Even though I am beyond excited to hold her (and not be pregnant anymore) and Slim Jim is so ready to have his little girl, I can safely say I think Ryder is by far the most excited and least patient out of all of us.

Carpe Kairos for Ryder the Excited Big Brother that Built a Bear for the Baby!
January 07, 2012

List Making Relieves My Stress

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I am not a highly organized person. I don't like to have every minute of my day planned out. I don't even like to have a few of my minutes planned out. I like to have a broad outline for my day (sometimes very broad like wake up at this time and go to bed at this time is all it involves). I think this flexibility I get from Dad.
Dad taking Ryder fishing for the first time last spring. He had a fish on the line and then wanted Ryder to take the line and reel him in.
Our Dad is a really chill person, he often goes anywhere from 5-10 minutes below the speed limit because there isn't a reason to go fast and why waste extra gas getting there and the longer he has to drive the more time he has to think. He isn't late to things that really matter like work or church, but when time doesn't matter he doesn't think of it. He can spend hours at the lake just casting away, trying different lures. He is one of those super relaxed fisherman. That if you go to the lake with him he might talk to you the whole time or he might not say a word. 
For the most part my SAHM style is very similar to this, I will get all I need to done but there is no set time in which it will be completed. For example, the dishes need to be done sometimes I will be good and do them in the morning but other times I will play with Ryder in the morning and wait until his afternoon nap to start the dishes. Sometimes I will start my dinners early in the afternoon so they are all prepped before dinner time. Other time I just pull it together at the last minute. I like leaving my time flexible enough that if someone needs my help or wants to spend time with me that I can simply join them without too much fuss.
Both Mom and Dad can be planners but they go about it in totally different ways.
Mom makes lists for every trip somewhere so that she won't forget the essentials or even the non-essentials. For every trip to "town" (they live 1 1/2 away from affordable grocery shopping) she has a meticulous list of what she needs to pick up and where she needs to go.
Dad usually compiles list when he is 1. Assembling or building something (he is a builder by trade), 2. Planning an important trip or activity (like camping or fishing). Though his list making is done less frequently they are very detailed and leave very little to chance.
Mom and Dad with Ryder and Ty on Christmas Eve. Dad went between chilling with the Grand kids and nodding off. Mom was down to business of fitting it all in including the story.

I find that even though I am not a "highly organized" person, list making helps relieve my stress and help remind me that I have enough time to do it all. This morning (3 am to be exact) I was laying in bed having a hard time going back to sleep thinking about all the things that need to be done before Wednesday (4 days from now, ya!) when the baby comes. I knew I had enough time to complete the tasks but I also knew that I would be able to relax if I would be able to set out a timeline of completion for each task. So I wrote down the days between now and D-Day each on a separate piece of paper and then wrote down what activities should be completed on that day. I tried to think about not having to redo anything before D-Day and spreading the activities out enough that I won't be overwhelmed any one day.

Saturday (Today)
  • Clean Bedroom (I don't know if anyone else has this problem but it is usually the last room in our house to be cleaned and organized but I am trying to do better)
  • Straighten out craft table 
  • Put Christmas in storage - Slim Jim's help
  • Pull baby swing, air mattress and other baby essentials out of storage - Slim Jim's help
  • Put Ryder's clothes away -I did laundry a few days ago just haven't put his folded clothes in the drawer yet
  • Clean off top of fridge 
  • Date night with Slim Jim
  • Straighten up balcony

  • Have Power Shoes (Al's husband) help with hanging curtains (Slim Jim is able to hang curtains but with our 70's style blinds at our apartment Power Shoes has found a creative work around)
  • Have Big Brothers help hanging coat rack (Slim Jim is also able but Big Bro offered to help with a while ago and will be disappointed if I don't give him the opportunity)
  • Finish pretty headbands for baby and I
  • Clean out car (I think this one is more for Slim Jim than me)
  • Reassemble infant car seat and put it in the car. 

  • Do Laundry
  • Clean behind the fridge
  • Charge Camera and Video Camera
  • Make Dental Appointment for 2 weeks post surgery
  • Sweep
  • Mop
  • Vacuum
  • Clean Bathroom
  • Pack Video Camera and Camera
  • Get photo props ready for newborn pictures
  • Wrap baby's gift to Ryder and put it in hospital bag
Then after completing those lists I made lists for the food to be cooked for the next two weeks. My mother-in-law is a great cook and can make any ingredients taste delicious but to make it easier for her we tried to plan what we would like her to cook and get a lot of the staples ahead of time. So I laid out a list for my mother-in-law so that she would know what meals we had purchased food for and what day I thought it would be good to cook it on.
Then I started on a similar list for Mom, since she will be coming to help after my mother-in-law leaves.
After all this list making I finally felt like I could breathe. And now I feel like I can comfortably (at least mentally comfortably) go back to bed. I am not sure that my list style is Mom's or Dad's, it is probably a comfortable mix between the two. But I find list making is such a nice way to organize my mind and relieve stress.

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