Organizing Baby and Toddler Clothes

March 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

What did I ever get excited about before I had kids……………………………………………………………………….. moving on…..

I have had multiple totes and trash bags full of sorted-by-size, “organized” baby clothes hidden in closets or just in corners of the fourth bedroom that we don’t use since…………….. before we moved into our current house. Baby clothes is one of those things that is easy to hoard and can get out of control – especially for a family not done growing.

I did give away a bunch of little baby clothes – trying to eliminate some of the clutter – when I was pregnant with Leonardo because I SO believed that he was a girl and just thought that IF it turned out to be a boy then – hey! – shopping trip! Wow. Ya. I know.Thankfully I am friends with a few people who have little boys who could help me fill in the clothing gaps no problem,

But that left me with THAT much more baby clothes again. This house is spacious enough that  I just closed a door and didn’t think about the clutter…… which just kept getting crazier and crazier…. and then friends would give me more clothes and I would sort through, pick out a few things, and pile those items on top of my already overflowing totes.

I spent a couple of hours just a few weeks ago going through every single item of clothing from newborn to 2T just resorting and refolding trying to compress everything and make it more manageable. Granted, I was childless at the time – so no interruptions – and had a favorite show on DVD playing while I worked and was totally enjoying myself. I like that kind of busy work. Makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. But really I was just wasting time AGAIN working on a project that I’ve done so many times before.

Then it dawned on me recently that hey! Dante – being the oldest AND not having any friends older than him  from whom he receives hand-me-downs, really doesn’t have a ton of clothes. He has a few pairs of pants and a few shirts and pairs of jammies that he cycles through each week. AND since I am managing a two story home (stairs are my adversary) I often will go days before actually taking the time to put everybody’s clothes away. **I am not proud of this – trying to get better about managing my time. I find it difficult to be going up and down the stairs with multiple piles of laundry during the day and then run into either having to leave the kids alone for 3 minutes while I run through the upstairs and put away clothes in respective drawers – in which time someone always is either crying for me to return or beating on their brother, or someone is sleeping in a room that I need to go into to put clothes away and it just ends up in a pile in my room and never gets put away properly** SOOOOO I end up cycling through the same few outfits for people during the week with whatever has been washed and not put away. I have drawers of clothes for the two younger boys that never get worn!

Kids don’t need that much clothes!

What an obvious notion. Heck, I don’t have nearly as many outfits as they do and I get by… maybe my sister would disagree but still!

So I decided to pick one tote per age/size and picked out a handful of outfits for each (3, 6, 9, 12, 18 months, etc) for cold and warm weather, considering every day clothes, church clothes, and pajamas. Holy pajamas! I’m pretty sure that half of my hoard was made up of pajamas. The only time anybody needs so many pajamas is when they’re a newborn – at least in this family…. I almost never dress my tiny babies in “outfits”, even for church – comfort all the way!

And when my husband came home from work and complained that he had to scale a mountain of baby clothes to get into our room (because naturally I piled the “donate” pile in front of our bedroom door) I considered myself triumphant. I bagged up eight 13 gallon trash bags worth of clothing for a quick trip to Salvation Army and am left with six containers of my favorite clothing items from cutie newborn jumpers to size 2 Oshkosh overalls. And only ONE tote (2T I think) is filled because there are two rather bulky coats inside. My pride wishes I could take a picture but I’m missing my camera battery charger at the moment. It’s a beautiful sight. Trust me.`

Bam. Cyber high five!

So if you find yourself hoarding clothes because your family isn’t done growing and you just don’t know WHEN you’re going to have another baby and can’t be sure of what time of year he or she will be born… don’t fret! I feel your pain. It can be hard to get rid of clothes. How do you choose? What if you don’t save enough? You don’t want to be left regretting getting rid of so much and not be prepared when a new baby comes! But really, the clutter finally got to me. I think 10ish t-shirts for summertime are plenty. 3 or 4 pairs of pants and shorts. A few nice sweaters for church. And for the love of dresser drawer orderliness…. 4 to 5 pairs of footies! Stefano is a monster child – he is like the Hulk in more ways than one… we may or may not have nicknamed him Banner……….

………….Anyways! He was gifted a pair of warm raccoon footie pajamas for Christmas and because they are a 3T they fit him great and are just a tad on the long side (he’s 3T in bulk without the height!). It’s so adorable when his heel pops out of one the raccoon feet and he stops where he is and waits for help because his “raccoon is off!!” He loves those things. So instead of stocking up on more 3T pajamas for him he has probably worn those pajamas 5 out of 7 nights a week since Christmas time. No lie. Yet I would stuff his clothes on top of all the 2T jammies that he didn’t even fit into down in his drawer every time I put his clothes away. Lame.

Yay for organization and being one step closer to having an orderly home! Woot woot!

 

*Healthy Mama* Update

March 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

So for the last almost-month I’ve been trying to find my footing in Healthy Eating World. I’ve cut out fast food completely, and limited my intake of breads that have no health benefits like bagels and other white breads that are processed and loaded with sugar and useless carbs. I’ve cut down on soda and juice. I don’t buy mini muffins every time I enter the grocery store.

However. I have still been having my usual chocolate-y coffees (no EXTRA sugar… I’ve never needed the extra sugar in a coffee that’s already loaded with mocha) a few times a week, still have indulged in some artisan bread breakfast sandwiches here and there, enjoyed a dessert a few nights, and made myself a couple of cranberry juice/seltzer water spritzers when I’m craving something carbonated.

I’ve made a real effort at upping my veggie intake…. I HATE peppers and red onions… easy things to toss into salads…. and not really excited by salads to begin with…. so a lot of my day time vegetables are coming from kefir/fruit/spinach smoothies. Steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus and cauliflower make frequent appearances at dinner time. And I try to throw some kale or spinach into our eggs and soups.

Switching to whole wheat pasta wasn’t a big transition for any of us.

I’ve steered clear of my usual recipes that call for canned soups to cut down on the processed “cream of chemicals” (harsh I know, but I read that somewhere and thought it was funny) but I will at some point adjust my recipes to just use more natural ingredients.

It’s a start at least. I’m sure no clean eating guru would praise my daily menu for our family but it’s looking much more green than it did a month ago. So THERE!

And when I weighed in at my last midwife appointment I had lost, like, 4 pounds. Nobody seemed concerned. I’m measuring good and there’s plenty of movement and a healthy heartbeat. When the nurse asked me if I had been sick at all I just told her that I’ve just cut a lot of junk out of my diet and that seemed to satisfy her.

Speaking of the pregnancy, I’m scheduled to do my glucose test in two weeks and am having a follow up ultrasound in four weeks to check on my placenta. At my 18 week ultrasound my placenta was lowish so they want to make sure it has moved up and not down. If the placenta is blocking the way for the baby to come out…. it tends to cause concern! I haven’t worried myself with it and there’s nothing for me to do (I may asked if headstands would help… and got a big no way) but pray that all looks sound for a safe delivery. If your brain isn’t too busy right now, feel free to say a prayer for my placenta as well. *Thanks!!*

Sickness, Hormones, and Prayer – Oh My!

March 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Sickness seems to still be lingering in our house. We’ve got juicy coughs, seal-y coughs, boogies-dripping-down-my-throat coughs… bloody noses from the dry winter air, headaches, restlessness at night… tissues everywhere……

So not only have I not slept (which isn’t super abnormal for me) I have been working double time.

And I’m tired.

And 26 weeks pregnant.

My hormones are out of whack.

And this morning when my husband had to run out unexpectedly after a weekend of not seeing him much I broke down in the middle of a diaper change. Dante heard me from the next room and came on out….

Are you okay mommy?

Yes I am honey

I’m going to pray for you mommy….. Lord help mommy and take away her tears

(Fresh sobs from the sweetness)

Did daddy make you sad?

No baby, I’m just so tired, and I miss him

I want to wipe your tears

Thank you, my little prayer warrior

God will give you a hug and help your heart

…………………..

When I shared this with his daddy, Dante beamed. What a sweet moment for my heart, which then turned into an opportunity to praise my baby boy for praying and lifting mommy up in the Lord. I love seeing his satisfaction when he knows how proud we are of the little man he’s turning into.

Give Me Grace!! ….. (getting chocolate wasted would also help)

March 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

The Play-by-Play:

Wednesday. Happy-seeming child ASKS to take a nap. Wakes up okay. Then cries until I agree to bring him home from his Gigi and Grampy’s house later that night. Odd.

Thursday. Child is whiney. Clingy. Low fever sets in. The whining gets worse.

Thursday night. We have a bed-wetting incident (which was, I believe, our fault since I think we overlooked having said child use the bathroom before bed). Sick child is woken during the sheet change since they have been bunking together lately. Never seems to go back to sleep. Cries to blow his nose all night long. I try to get out of my mom duties by telling him to just wipe his boogies on the blanket. Fail. Sickie ends up in our bed and after A LOT of tossing and turning, falls asleep and sleeps in.

Friday. Fever broke. Child still whiney. Otherwise good day. Got my hopes up for an easier night. Wrong-o.

Friday night. Formerly feverish child wakes after initially going to bed pretty easily crying for me asking to wipe very runny nose. I try the blanket thing again. It doesn’t work. I stand at his door for an hour because in the few seconds it takes to walk from the boys’ room to our room, he calls me back. I try propping up his pillows. Undressing him to only sleep in his diaper (hey you never know), dress him when that clearly has no effect on his comfort, open a window, turn the heat down, close the window and turn the heat back up when I decide it is far too cold, move him to the empty toddler bed, move him back to sleep with brother, and back again, and back again, tuck him in this way, tuck him in that way…… ultimately trying to avoid letting him come into our bed again because nobody gets any sleep in that situation.

Later Friday night. Sickie finally seems to be settled down. The baby wakes up. Angry. Sickie child asks innocently why his brother is crying. Ha! I pat baby’s back. He wants to fall asleep this way. I give him the half full sippy cup of water that sickie child hadn’t finished. He goes back to sleep.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning. Sickie child wakes crying again. I don’t even try. He comes to bed with us. The baby wakes up again. Even angrier. I take a little more time with him, rubbing his back. He’s not having it. He gets his little baby way. A nice warm bottle. Peace (Until tonight when he thinks he can get away with THAT again. Puh!) Sickie child flips and flops in our bed. Kicks daddy in the back during his acrobatics. Steals my pillow. Eventually falls asleep.

6:30am. All three kids are awake. Not quite rearing to go. They’re actually all bleary-eyed and grouchy. But I throw in the towel and tape the corners of my mouth into a smiling position and head downstairs.

God. There were a few times last night that I lost my grasp on grace and gentleness. Please pour a little bit into the coffee I’m about to drink and help me through the rest of this day….. and night. Amen.

Super Team Work, Team Work!!

March 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

I know I’m not the only mom out there who doesn’t enjoy playing dinosaurs for an hour with the 2 year old. Maybe with my first, when everything was so new and fresh and my child didn’t have anyone else to entertain him I would do that… but even then I didn’t LOVE it. I LOVE seeing my children grow and learn and play together, but most of the time I get zero pleasure out of roaring back and forth for very long.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a few minutes of back and forth play conversation…

Mommy you be the sheep, I be the T-Rex

Okay. Don’t eat me Mr. T-Rex!

Rooooooaaaaarrrrrrr!!!

Oh no! Run away!

Don’t be scare of me sheep

Oh ok. You’re nice?

Yes. Let’s eat grass.

And so on. That’s cute and entertaining for a few minutes. But once the conversation begins to repeat itself I’m all, “wow that was fun, maybe go see if your brother wants to play!”.

Today someone was speaking some serious Whinese and the other was picking on the baby so since nobody seemed to be able to sit and find something quiet and happy to do – and I wasn’t feeling up to sitting and playing with toys – I invited everyone to clean the dining room floor with me!

And guess what?! They loved it! Dante (and I) used a dust pan and meticulously swept up crumbs. Stefano brushed the crumbs around while holding the pan above his head. Both took turns wiping down the floor with a wet cloth. And Leonardo was just happy to watch and cut teeth on the crayons which were scattered all over the floor from an earlier round of coloring (and I totally let him).

Two out of four of us were quite productive. Four for four were busy and engaged. And my two big boys got a great big shot o’ praise for helping out mom.

No lie I was singing the Team Work song from the Yo Gabba Episode with Mos Def as Super Mr. Superhero. I love that one.

Anyways….

When they felt they were done the crayons were picked up and some more coloring ensued which allowed me to get some work done in the kitchen – I made macaroni and cheese with whole wheat rigatoni noodles and plain Greek yogurt (and cheese, milk, and some seasoning of course) and it was delicious and healthy! Boom!)!!

Dante drew a fantastic dinosaur. Stefano drew some worms. Those are some real boys for ya.

Nothing like a little team work to get the chore ball rolling and creative juices… juiced?

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