Life Update

The short version is, my husband lost his job just over 11 weeks ago and things have been in total chaos since.

The longer version begins with my husband losing his job 11 weeks ago. He was fired via text message from a job he had been working for over three years. It was an all around terrible situation that we’re still angry about. But there really wasn’t anything for us to do.

My husband panicked. I went in to get things done mode and figured out our storm mode budget. We would only be paying for rent and the bills that had to be kept up. Grocery money was cut as low as possible and all extras were cut out effective immediately. I matched that up with what we had in the bank and figured out how long we had before we needed to panic. And then I calculated to figure out what we needed to bring in money wise to keep us going for longer.

The job loss was a huge hit to my husband’s ego. He’s been suffering through waves of depression, anxiety, fear, and more since the incident. Because of this he hasn’t truly focused on the job search yet.

My freelance work doesn’t bring in enough funds to sustain us so we’re currently living off of our savings. It’s a terrible feeling to watch our bank account balance slowly shrink as we have more money going out then coming in these days.

Things have settled down a little bit at this point though. My daughter is loving having daddy home with her every day. I’m liking that he’s in charge of dishes and cooking. I’m not loving all the extra stress of not having enough money to be sure I can feed my kid in another few months. I’m not loving our completely uncertain future.

Things are moving in the right direction again though. My husband has started a journey looking for a new job he thinks he will love and we still have enough savings to keep us going for a while longer. We’ll continue to cling together as a family and do our best to keep our heads above water. And hopefully we will all still love each other when this period of chaos comes to a close.

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Purging Toys

How do children get so many toys so fast? My daughter is three and owns more items than I do!

 

Obviously I know where the toys come from. Christmases, birthdays, doting grandparents, and myself. I’m one of ‘those parents’ that let my child get some small toy every week when we go shopping. It’s never over budget, but it’s nearly every week she’s bringing home at least one new toy. Excessive, I know, but for now that expectation is not one I’m willing to challenge. We’re working on potty training, sleeping in her own bed, and being willing to try new food.

 

So, the purchasing of a small toy is not the current battle. The way the toys seem to have gone from a bit much to complete overwhelm in the past few months is. Christmas is a big affair, then shortly after is her birthday and then Easter. All big gift giving occasions for us and our extended family. Toys have simply ballooned out of control.

 

Purging items we have too many of or don’t use any more isn’t a problem when it comes to my own items or to household items, but I can’t quite get myself to purge my daughter’s giant stuffed animal collection. She does play with most of them at least from time to time, but 20 stuffed rabbits seems a bit much. She’s not quite at the point developmentally to be able to decide which five she wants to keep and to give the others to another child.

 

All purging decisions are on me and I can’t seem to pull the trigger on that one. Logically I can see that she has far too many toys, but emotionally I can’t get past taking away her toys that she loves so much or giving away things that were very thoughtful gifts or that she used her own money to purchase.¬† Why does it seem so hard to give my child a better play space? It may just be time to put on my big girl panties and purge those toys.

 

How do you deal with your child’s toys? A toy rotation? Periodic toy purge? How old were your children when you let them be part of the purging processes?

Overwhelming Amount of Books to be Currently Reading

I love reading. Reading a book and drinking coffee is what I would choose to do every moment if I had the choice. Unfortunately, the house needs cleaning, work needs done, and the kiddo and hubby demand to be fed multiple times a day.

 

My bigger problem is that my list of books that I want to read is so big I couldn’t possibly read them all in my lifetime. Books I own that I haven’t read yet is probably a couple of hundred at least and that’s not even considering the thousands of books I don’t own yet.

 

I read 63 books in 2017. That’s a number I very happy with considering the amount of time that is spent doing everything else in my life. But at that rate, just reading the books I already own will take more than 3 years to complete. And that’s if I don’t buy any new books. Clearly that is not happening considering I went on a book buying spree with Book Outlet last month and bought 39 new books. The three years also doesn’t take in to account books I read from the library. Currently between my husband, daughter, and I we have 90 books checked out.

 

I think about all the books I want to read and decide that I have to try and read as many as possible. And it has to be right now. In this free minute or half an hour that I have while my daughter is napping. If I don’t read it now I won’t get a chance to. So I pick up a book, one of the many on my to be read list. I read a few pages and then she wakes up. The next nap time I end up starting another book. And another one. and so on.

 

I do finish books. I sometimes read one book straight through without even glancing at another book I want to read. But, more often than not, I have about three books going at once. One on my Kindle that I read when I’m trying to get my kiddo to sleep. One fiction that I own or is borrowed from the library. And one non-fiction book. Three is my limit. Three is what I can comfortably handle reading at a time and not get overwhelmed with choices.

 

Any more than three books and I find myself stymied on reading any of them. So how every few months, when I get overwhelmed thinking about the amount of books I’ll never have time to read, do I end up in the position I find myself in now. I have 15 on going books. 15 books I’ve started reading. I’ve read only the a chapter of some and am nearly at the end on others.

 

15 books at once is simply too many choices for me at one time. I know this. Eventually I’ll choose a book. Either the one with the fewest pages left to read. One that is due back to the library soonest. Or the one I started first. Then I’ll read only that book until it is finished. I’ll choose another and finish that one. And I’ll keep going until I get down to two or three books and I’ll be relieved and excited to finally start another new book.

 

Looking down from the mountain of 15 books to finish before I can start a shiny new release makes me feel dizzy and like I might never get there. But I will. It just might take some time.

 

Maybe this is the time that I’ll learn my lesson and I’ll never find myself in the middle of 15 books at once again. Maybe.

Can I hate “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”?

I’ve been doing theme days for my daughter while we’re working on some schooling. I choose a book and then activities that go along with it. This past Friday we read “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” by Rosemary Wells. It’s my daughter’s favorite book. We then did several spider related activities and finished by watching a animated version of the song on Youtube.

That has since spiraled out of control in to a 50 video playlist of different videos and versions of The Itsy Bitsy Spider. She begs for me to play it again and again. She has had it going on the background while she’s playing for days now and to be honest it’s starting to drive me up the wall. I tried to convince her to change to something else, but she’s not having it.

If I never hear the Itsy Bitsy Spider again that will be fine with me, but she wakes up 23 minutes from when I’m writing this. 22 minutes. 21 minutes. Wish me luck.

July Monthly Bullet Journal Set Up

It’s that time of the month, for me at least. I’m setting up for the following month in my bullet journal. This is when appointments and bills start coming in for the next month and I need a place to write them down besides my future log. ¬†This is my favorite part of the month. It’s when I create the most pages at once.

I switched at the beginning of this year to a more traditional calendar format for my monthly. I just love the way it looks.

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I LOVE my Zebra Mildliners! I use them in almost every spread I make. The large orange numbers and the words July and Goals are written with the orange one in this spread.

I will fill in the bills, appointments, etc on top of the orange numbers and write my goals along the blank column on the right. The days of the week stickers are from my favorite Etsy shop createdbydanielle1

My second two page spread in my monthly set up is very simple. It has the word gratitude on the top left and strips of orange washi tape on the bottom of the left page and the top of the right page. I use these pages to write down or draw things I am grateful for or that make me happy throughout the month.

The third two page spread is very similar. It is the word Anxiety on the top of the left page and a strip of washi down the left side of the left page and the right side of the right page. I use this space to write down everything that is triggering my anxiety. It helps to reduce the panic attacks if I get it out of my head for a bit.

The final two page spread in my monthly set up includes a page I title currently on the left hand side.

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This page has space for things I am doing or enjoying this month.

On the right hand side of that final spread is a page where I plan what I will post here on my blog each Monday and Thursday as well as what I will post on my facebook page daily.

As soon as we get to July I will start writing dailies on the following page.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

One of our local libraries started a new program two weeks ago called “1000 Books Before Kindergarten.” They handed out trees with apples to color in. Three double sided sheets have the first 300 apples for the project. We took them home and set them in a place I would remember to color the apples in.

In truth I thought it was a silly program for someone like my daughter who requests stories to be read to her all the time. We will sometimes read the same story a dozen times in a row. I laughed and thought how ridiculous the program was. We would be done with the first tree in a week I thought to myself.

Here we are two weeks later and we have 54 apples filled in. I’m not sure if that’s because I just can’t remember to color in the apple after a story, if I’m underestimating how many books we’ve read when I get back to my desk after a long reading session, or if we really have only read 54 books in the past two weeks. I’m not saying that’s bad by any means, just that it’s less than I expected.

Reading 1000 books to your child can sound like a lot if you don’t read often, or even if you do, but it is a challenge that is completely worth tackling. If your child is one day old, read to your child. If your child is a screaming three year old that only wants to read books about dump trucks or sword fights, read to your child. Even if your child starts kindergarten in a week and there is no chance you will finish the challenge in time, read to your child. If your child is twelve and willing to listen to you read out loud to them, read to your child. Reading to your child is never amiss.

Hearing us, as parents or caregivers, read out loud to them and seeing us reading for our own pleasure are great ways to show children that reading is fun and what child doesn’t want to do something fun.

Are you going to take on the challenge with your toddler?

Bullet Journal Reusable Shopping List

Bullet Journal Reusable Shopping List

I’m setting up my new bullet journal to begin in July. It is an A5, squared, lemon Leuchtturm1917. One of the first pages I knew I wanted to transfer over from my old notebook is my two page spread featuring my running shopping list and a running list of things I’m waiting on. The center orange part is a 4 x 6 inch post it note.

I used to have a small section on my weekly spreads for shopping list items for the week, but found I sometimes needed more space than was allowed by that set up. I moved the shopping list to this spread at that point. I like the post it note because I can add what I need to the list, put it on my organized weekly shopping list when I’m meal planning, and simply cross the item off on the post it note in the spread. I then keep using the same post it until it has all been written on and crossed off. At that point I can simply remove the used up post it note and put in a new one to start fresh.

The Waiting On spread works in a similar way. I use it for packages I’m waiting for in the mail. As soon as I order something I usually add the name of the item to the list. Once it ships I add how it was shipped (ups, usps, fedex, etc) and the last few numbers from the tracking number. Once the tracking has been updated I add the expected date of delivery. After it arrives I cross the item off and like the shopping list, once it has been filled and crossed off to completion I swap it for a fresh post it.

I use this two page spread so often it is where one of my two bookmarks live at all times. I am certain it will be a constant in my bullet journals for the foreseeable future.