Family Life

Family Life, Uncategorized

Life Planning Meeting

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One of the most challenging things about have three young children is finding time to spend with just Andrew and I. We do are best to get in as many "date nights" as we can but life moves fast and things come up and we don't go out as often as we'd like. Our mornings and evenings are filled with hurried conversations about finances, the kids, schedules and other adult-ing things. We never rarely sit down and discuss these important things at length. In fact the last time we did was at out Engaged Encounter which was a LONG time ago. I knew that it was time to revisit a lot of these important subjects that we barely touch on in a day to day basis. Especially since several of our friends have made some big life changes and it left us wondering if we also needed to make some changes.

Like I mentioned a few posts back, this whole "Life Planning" meeting was an idea from Nap Time Diaries. She posted about it on Instagram with a brief outline of what she and her husband discuss at these dates/meetings. I took what she posted and tweaked it to fit our family. Then about a month ago, Andrew and I sat down to get some planning done.

Hopes and Dreams

I had a full two pages written out of things to discuss and we barely made it halfway through the first! But that's ok because now we just get to schedule some more time together. Ok, here is our "Life Planning" itinerary.

~finances

-budget refresh

-goals

-changes

-starbuck design

-mantled

-little flower studios

~andrew's plate and schedule

-what's working

-what's not working

~andrew's heart

-dreams

-prayers

~susana's plate and schedule

-what's working

-what's not working

~susana's heart

-dreams

-prayers

~our marriage

-expectations

-improvements

-appreciations

-affirmations

~the kids: making them saints

-faith

-education

-development

-parenting improvements

-discipline

-limiting technology

~extended family: how can we love better?

-helmsdeep

-house starbuck

~our house

-up keep

-things to fix

-timeline for buying

-what we want in out dream house

This outline is purely for guidance. Andrew and I found ourselves addressing other important things as they cam up naturally. We still have to finish a few more sections but hopefully we'll complete it all soon. The fall is so busy for Andrew with work and ministry that if we don't finish it now, it will be Christmas when we finally sit down again. I hope this helps you like it has helped us!

~BM

Family Life, Mom Life

The Schedule Of A Stay At Home Mompreneur

I've gotten a few mail bag questions wondering what our days consist of. What does our schedule look like? How do I get work done with little three kids?

These are really good questions and I never really gave our schedule much thought because almost every waking moment of my life feels like absolute chaos. But after I thought about it for a little bit I realized that we do have a certain way of spending our days.

So... Here is a breakdown of our schedule on ordinary days.

6:00-7:00: I wake up, run (sometimes), shower, make coffee, journal and pray.

7:00-7:30: Andrew and the kids wake up. Andrew changes diapers and then gets ready for work.

7:30-8:00: I make Andrew's lunch and feed the kids bfast. I also drink more coffee.

8:00-8:15: The kids and I say goodbye to Andrew and I clean up the breakfast mess.

8:15-9:30: I love having the Today show on in the morning so that will be on the tv until about 9:30. The kids play and make a mess, I sit on the couch with Aria and enjoy another cup of coffee (yup that's 3). I'll peruse social media and emails on my phone but try not to get too wrapped up in anything.

9:30-11:30: I turn the Today show off and the kids get a snack and milk. I put on some music and play with the boys. Aria usually goes down for a short nap at this time. When we do our homeschool lessons, this is the time it usually happens. Then I'll look at my to-do list and start tackling small stuff like phones calls, answering emails, and making sure I know everything I need to do for Little Flower Studios during nap time. This is also when I schedule student phone calls for MODG.

Schedule of a stay at home mompreneur

11:30-12:00: Lunch time! I used to just put out an assortment of foods on the table and let them graze because I was tired of battling every single meal. It's just a much more pleasant experience that way. Now that they have a new picnic table (thanks Ampa and Ammo!) I put the food there and they eat and play for about 30-40 minutes.

12:00-1:00: Milk, books, and nap time!

1:00-3:30: The kids are finally down for a nap and will "usually" stay down for around two-three hours. This is my golden time. I sit down at the kitchen table and crank out as much work as I can. Maybe it's a blog post (like this one!), or LFS stuff, or grading for MODG. And I will also make myself an iced coffee (that's 4).

3:30-4:30: Kids are up and I let them have some tv time for about an hour. This works pretty well because then I can wrap up whatever it was I was working on when they woke up.

4:30-5:30: The boys play and I strap Aria to my back. It's around this time of the day that she doesn't let me put her down at all. So I clean up and get dinner ready with a little Yoda on my back.

6:00-6:30: The dinner time battle begins. I don't know what it is... It rarely matters what I've made, the boys just fight it. James used to eat whatever but now he takes cues from his older brother who happens to be a little more picky. Also, at this point in the day I make the switch from coffee to wine. I feel like that's important to note.

6:30-7:30: Clean up and baby fight club. While I clean the kitchen, the boys take all the pillows and cushions off the couch, throw them on the floor, and wrestle. They'll do this for a good hour or so. It's amazing.

7:30-8:00: Depending on how I'm holding up and how the day has gone... This is the boys screen time. They'll play on my phone or iPad for 30 minutes or so. Sometimes it's just so I can finish cleaning but most of the time it's because I need to stop baby fight club before someone gets hurt.

8:00-9:00: The bedtime routine begins. The boys get milk, then pjs on, and teeth brushed.

9:00-9:15: On a good night, the boys are well asleep by 9:15. I know this is a pretty late bedtime for toddlers but I'd rather have them nap for 2-3 hours everyday. I NEED those hours of silence. God blessed me with babies that are good at naps. If Andrew is home he will handle the boys bedtime while I put Aria to sleep. On days he's working late I'll just nurse Aria in the boys room until all three are passed out.

9:30: In a perfect world I'd be able to stay up for another couple hours doing more work but the reality is, at the end of the day I am so beat I can barely keep my eyes open. I'm just not a night person. So most of the time I'll fall asleep with Aria and Andrew will wake me up and I go back to the kitchen table to put in a little more work. Sometimes.

Schedule of a Stay at Home Mompreneur

On days we run errands I do those all in the morning. As early as possible because A) It gets so hot here so fast, and B) I don't like to mess with nap time, oh and C) All my motivation to leave the house is usually gone by 1:00. Now this day may seem packaged together in brown paper with a pretty ribbon but its actually packaged in a Trader Joe's bag with scotch tape. There is fighting, yelling, crying, laughing and singing all mixed in. There are meltdowns, timeouts, dance parties and car races. And there are dishes in the sink, toys all over the floor, but similes on little faces and little toddler bellies filled with food.

All in all pretty typical. I didn't sit down and create this schedule. It just kinda happened naturally and I've found that it works really well.

~BM

Family Life, Mom Life, Uncategorized

Peter The Pirate

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Today my first born child turns 3. This morning my husband and I just sat on the couch in compete amazement that we now have a three year old! How did that happen?! Don't answer that. It's rhetorical.

Watching Peter become the little boy that he is has been so amazing. Listening to him talk and develop sentences blows me away. I remember when my siblings learned to talk but it is so much different when it's your own child. He is so eager to help me in the kitchen and he absolutely loves to explore and discover new things. He is independent and stubborn but I wouldn't expect anything less from a first born (ahem). He loves pirates and legos. His favorite movie is Toy Story 3 and he likes to sleep with action figures under his pillow. Oh and his favorite color is orange.

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At times I worry about these early years of his life. Having two siblings follow so soon, I wonder if he knows how much I really love him. I hope so. Did I give him enough attention? I think so. Were/are my expectations too high for him? Probably. I know that most of those questions are silly to ask myself but they are thoughts that I often find myself entertaining as he drifts off to sleep at night.

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However, those fears and worries are put at ease when I see the joy that fills his eyes each day. The excitement he has for all that life has to offer fills my heart. When I see how deeply he loves James and Aria, or how tight he hugs me goodnight...I know that he's doing just fine.

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To the boy who made me a mommy... I love you to the moon and back.

~BM