As I mentioned last week, I am realizing that we are entering a new season of simplifying (or needing to, anyway!). The process of moving (especially during an “emotional” nesting season of pregnancy), and living amid the boxes and suitcases always gives a rather disorienting sense to daily life. (Tracking down essentials, keeping a toddler out of the knives, etc…)
But we seem to be through the worst of it, and a sense of “a place for everything” is emerging. As we put things away, I have focused on considering each item’s use. I attempt to have our home uncluttered, while keeping essentials easily available for convenience in completing household tasks. Continuing my life-long habit of a devotional time during the day has been especially vital in keeping proper focus to my day.
Gen has been exploring new avenues of creativity, and I have scrubbed quite a few crayon marks this week! (She discovered that coloring on a warm heater is a fabulous sensation, as the beautiful green crayons melt nicely on top, while windowsills have an interesting texture for the purple crayon.) So, we are working on re-directing these creative endeavors, as she is rarely without a pen or crayon in hand.
It is amazing to see her developing more independence, and becoming such a “kid,” doing things that I remember enjoying in my preschool-age years. “Wee Sing” songs are a new favorite for her. We are also excited to live especially close to a library- just a couple blocks away! We made our first trip over there this week (all dressed in green for St. Patrick’s Day!), and returned home with a bagful of books for everyone.
I am still on a journey of a simple pregnancy, and preparing for the “simplicity” of a home waterbirth. I finished reading “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering”. Although there was a significant amount of “evolutionary emphasis”, I was able to glean some good substance from the book. I enjoyed reading the scientific research that affirms our desires for a natural pregnancy/birth, as well as additional inspiration for an “undisturbed birth.” I found the emphasis on rest during pregnancy and postpartum to be especially insightful, which goes hand-in-hand with our simplifying goals for our family in this season.
As I enter the “halfway point” of this pregnancy season, I have been amused at the effect of pregnancy “nesting” hormones! Typically a rational, organized person, I was overwhelmed at first, until I recently realized what was going on! (Those “irrational” desires to sort magazines or scrub the soap dish, instead of systematically unpacking boxes now make more sense.)
Our local children’s consignment sale is coming up next week, so I have been preparing for this event. Unpacking was a perfect time for taking inventory of the children’s clothing and supplies. (Normally, I wouldn’t be sorting baby clothes quite this early, but the timing of the consignment event necessitated this process.) I made a list of needed items for both Gen and the baby, to take along with me. I already prepared our items for sale, entering them into the online inventory system before our move, and they are on hangers, all boxed up. I just need to do the final step of affixing their price tags.
I keep basic baby supplies/clothing on hand, as well as special “heirloom” clothing handed down through the family, in a couple Rubbermaid totes for storage, and then pass on or sell the “extras.” I purchase mostly “neutral-colored, all-purpose” clothing that work for various seasons/genders such as onesies and stretch pants (red is my favorite “neutral” color!).
This frugality prevents “over-buying,” since I am only purchasing clothing once; not a new wardrobe for each child. We didn’t entirely expect to have a newborn when we were adopting Gen, so I didn’t actually have much “newborn” stuff on hand; just items for an older baby. (I temporarily borrowed some newborn items for her, which needed to be returned.) I do keep seasons in mind, since this baby is due in the summer (Gen was a winter baby); this is where basic layering items are perfect for any time of year.
I am also rediscovering ways of simplifying in our new kitchen. Now that I am past the nauseous stage, I have enjoyed being back in the kitchen and planning meals. I have focused on following the Brewer Diet, and have found it surprisingly enjoyable. I have begun stocking our shelves with pantry staples for easier meal prep (especially with purchases from Azure Standard or the local Grocery Outlet), now that we have the kitchen space.
We were a bit skeptical at first with the older dishwasher in our kitchen, but with some tweaking of the homemade dishwasher detergent (thanks Donielle, for the simple suggestion of adding salt!), and not over-loading it, we’ve been able to enjoy its convenience. Now, if we make sure to use dishwasher-safe dishes, we have very little hand-washing to do!
At the library, I also checked out some “simple dinner” books for some new inspiration. Right now, I am enjoying the book The 5:30 Challenge: 5 Ingredients, 30 Minutes, Dinner on the Table. I have long-loved the concept of minimal ingredients in a recipe; it allows for ease in preparation, as well as usually being more frugal. (You can see examples of my “minimal ingredient” frugal meals in my Bargain Meal of the Week posts.)
God is faithful to encourage us along this journey, and as we allow Him to mold us, we learn more about what it means to “walk with Him.” Simplifying my daily life, under His direction, allows me to better have a listening ear to His voice, and follow His daily guidance.
How is your week going? I’d love to hear!
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