Spring Cleaning and Babies


Loveys, here's a crazy thing about me: I like spring cleaning. I do. I think it goes along with my tendency to want to move. I like the feeling of something fresh and new (or new to me, at least). Here's another thing: It's nearly impossible to embark on spring cleaning when you have a one-year-old who is into everything. In truth, it's nearly impossible to even go to the bathroom alone, much less clean out closets. I tried to go through Lily's clothes last week. It was a disaster. She kept emptying the box as I was filling it with too-small clothes. Very frustrating. I feel a deep need to purge the kids' rooms--throw out old, broken toys. Box up clothes that don't fit. Push aside winter clothes and make room for summer clothes. (I know. We're supposed to get snow all weekend and into next week. Don't talk to me.) But as I said, Miss Lily is into everything and I can't really leave the confines of the loft, where there are no marbles or small Legos or what have you. So here I am. In the loft, when I desperately want to be digging into the garage and throwing stuff away. Sometimes we're limited in what we want to do. And it's okay.

Honestly, there are so many mornings that I wish I could sit quietly with a cup of coffee and write. Or maybe read a devotional. Or maybe just do yoga and breathe. (Or go back to bed.)

I have a feeling those days will come, and then I'll miss the confines of the loft--and Spider Man on TV and baby toys all around. There's nothing wrong with a little bit of wishful thinking. A sigh and a thought of how nice it would be to have a little more alone time. But I would never want to wish my days away. I've been thinking lately that I need to be more disconnected from my phone. It's become such a part of my life. Checking Facebook, checking Instagram, reading forums, reading news articles, texting. It's such an easy way to connect with people, and I like connecting, but I know it can be an addiction. Like everything, it can control us and we need balance. I need balance.

Now that I've finished my freelance project, I'll work in spring cleaning around nap times and bed times. On top of my desire for cleaning out closets and throwing things away, I NEED to stop going to the store so much. For one, going places with kids gives me anxiety. For another thing, I feel like it ends up in wasting money. This might not happen to you, but I run in for tomato sauce and come out with ten things. It's not wasting money exactly, because I'm buying things we'll eat or use, the thing is, if I hadn't gone, I feel like we would have been fine anyway. So last week, I tried something. I did one big shopping trip on Monday and refused to go to the store for anything else. If I was missing an ingredient, I reworked the menu. If we were running low on something, I made it last until the weekend. Guess what. I ended up making meals I hadn't thought of before. So I'm trying again this week. I did a big shopping trip this past weekend and I'm holding off on going to the store for anything. One shopping trip per week means that I have to go back to doing meal planning. Which is fine because I think it's helpful anyway.

I'm always asking Jeff what he wants for dinner, and he'll say something like, "I just woke up, I have no idea what I want for dinner!" Easy for him to say! Since I'm the one who is home and I'm the one cooking, I'm thinking about meals all the time. So, I'm starting meal planning (but believe me, I'm flexible. I'm fine with deciding on scrambled eggs for dinner at the last minute). (Thinking of meals . . . pray my child gets some teeth. For real. Lily is almost 13 months with no sign of a tooth.)

I'm all about finding ways to preserve my sanity. Going to the store less frequently definitely helps with this. Saving money helps my family. Win-win. Spring cleaning helps me in the same way. I just breathe easier when things are organized, when there's not a lot of clutter. Taking boxes to goodwill and letting go of toys they don't need anymore helps my kids learn to let go. (Don't worry, I'm not a meanie. If letting go means crying and devastation, obviously we still love those toys and they stay with us. I've got a bin of Cherry Merry Muffin dolls and nineties McDonalds toys that I am NEVER letting go of.  Hello, sentimentality.)

What about you, lovey? Do you get the itch for spring cleaning? What methods help preserve your sanity?

I like setting goals. As summer gets closer, I find myself already starting goals for summer. What do I want to accomplish? What do I want to experience?  What do I want for my kids? What would I like for myself? A lot of my goals for summer involve making time for family. Immediate and extended. We've got family coming to visit and we hope to travel to see family as well. Jeff's regional meeting in the mountains. I want my kids to go camping. (Notice I did not include their mother in this. I'm thinking it will be a dad's weekend.) I'm hoping for dinner on the patio at La Sandia (who wants to go with me?! Margaritas!). I'm going to a summer Bible study for several weeks. We've already signed up Linc for swim lessons at the end of this month. I'd like to learn how to make a really good fruit salad with a cream cheese topping.

Goals.

Life.

Living well.

Loving the people God has given us.

Choosing grace.

What about you, lovey? Spring cleaning?   

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