Saturday, October 25, 2008

Simplifying Ideas from Two Years of Parenting

Recently I've been reading some (emphasis on the "some" because I don't really have much time!) blogs I've run across to get ideas and see what some others are learning on their journeys. One of the more informative, down-to-earth, and encouraging ones I've run across is Keeper of the Home. On Saturdays, she invites others to post entries on their blogs about how they are simplifying their lives via something called Living Simple Saturdays, so I'm giving it a shot. I have definitely learned some things in these last 2 years and imagine if you ask me in 10 that I'll have an arsenal of many more!

1. A binder with essential information I posted about the Brain-in-a-Binder awhile ago, and I've adapted it to suit me. It just doesn't work for me to put everything in there, but what I have used it for has been great. It contains our commonly-used recipes, birthdays, and phone numbers.

2. Kids' clothes in the main living area We stumbled upon this one accidentally. We live in a small house, about the size of a 3-bedroom apartment. When moving in, we found that my big dresser wouldn't fit upstairs where 2 of the bedrooms are (the 2 we use as bedrooms), so into the dining room it went. I love it! Diapers and changes of clothes for 6-month-old Abby and 2-year-old Stephen right at my fingertips.

3. Trading meals with another family I'm sad to say this isn't happening right now but I'm always open if the right situation opens up! All of last year - right up until Abby was born in April - we cooked 6 nights a week. On Tuesdays, I had the evening off and our friends cooked for us and them. Then on Thursday it was our turn to cook for both families. It worked well because we both had a family of 3, and their son is the same age as ours, so picky-toddler issues were understood by both of us. We set some ground rules. It was okay to say we just couldn't do it if it was going to cause more stress. We only rarely cooked dessert. We decided not to try to "impress" each other and to just cook what we would normally cook.

4. A comfortable baby carrier This was nice to have for Stephen but it is essential with Abby. I do dishes, grocery shop, cook, and walk, all with my baby snuggled right up next to me. She still usually is on the front but I've recently started putting her on my back and that makes things even easier. I'll just link to Sue's post on this because she covered the bases.


Laura said...

Lisa, I saw Karen Ehman speak at the Hearts at Home conference I just recently started my own brain. It is really helpful when you have two kids coming home with papers from soccer, dance, school, bus , etc.

Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home said...

I love the idea of having children's clothes in the living area. Although we live in a one-floor house, I think that it was be really helpful for those whose bedrooms are upstairs and living areas are downstairs.

Thanks so much for your sweet words and for joining in with the carnival- glad to have you! :)