Thursday, November 3, 2016

Five Things I Want to do Better

This post feels more appropriate to early January in the New Year Resolution theme than early November, but moving into our new house (with all the accompanying upheaval of stuff and routines) has caused me to rethink and hopefully reset the way that I do some things.

1) As we cleaned up our old house to prepare to sell it I realized that there were some areas that were falling through the cracks with regards to cleaning. The day-to-day and weekly cleaning was getting done, but various "deep cleaning" items were not ever getting done. I want to make a schedule of "special" cleaning projects to do one per week so that, for example, the refrigerator gets cleaned out from top to bottom, inside and out, once a month or so rather than once in two years.

Obligatory New House Family Photo

2) In my last coffee date post I wrote about how I was trying to be more mindful, but I have completely lost focus on that the past several weeks. It's time to recommit to being present. The biggest challenges for me are multi-tasking, thinking about what I'm doing to do next instead of focusing on the task at hand, and "checking out" with random internet scrolling. Swede has been a really challenging the past couple weeks and while it's tempting to blame it on the "threenager" phase I think my recent distraction is also a contributing factor.

3) I want to do better at meal planning. We always have a plan for dinner but I want to starting planning ideas for breakfast and lunch rather than snacking on this and that throughout the day. I want to make sure I have options for the kids if the grown-up meal doesn't work. [This is usually because it's too spicy.]  I want to try a couple new recipes every week. Also, I want to make an effort to have family dinner be (slightly) more formal and leisurely, by which I mean we'll use place mats and try to have a conversation.

Dates & Peanut Butter are a better snack choice than leftover Halloween candy.

4) I've been working at home for almost three years, and I've found that the key to success is to maintain "separation of church and state," aka HOME and WORK. I find that my satisfaction in both areas is decreased when they overlap too much. I've let this slide recently while I was dealing with various issues related to moving, but I need to focus on work during work hours, and home during home hours. No checking email when I'm with the kids in the afternoon and early evening. No folding the laundry during work hours (although it is super convenient to be able to switch it into the dryer as needed throughout the day).

5) I want to start parenting more intentionally. I feel like I've had a very haphazard approach to parenting these past three years but I'd like to spend some time thinking about qualities that I want to teach/encourage/develop in the kids (such as: patience, kindness, generosity, persistence, respect) and strategies how to get there. Jonathan and I have discussed that we want to sit down and create some family rules (and then consistently reinforce them forever after).

Just because he's so cute.

I'm linking up with See You in a Porridge and Gretch Runs for What's New With You today, and with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday Five 2.0 tomorrow!

27 comments:

  1. It's definitely all too easy to completely forget about the necessity of deep cleaning tasks. I can't even remember the last time I, say, washed my curtains. haha! They look just fine but I'm sure that's supposed to be done once in a while!

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    1. Haha, Yep! Washing the curtains was definitely another thing that did not happen ever in the 2 years we lived in our old house. I'm adding it to the cleaning schedule now!

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  2. Oh, yes. The separation of church and state. I work from home, too, and I don't have a dedicated office space right now, which has been super hard. I can't wait to be able to close a door in our next house and end the work day properly!

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    1. One the great things about our new house is that I DO have a dedicated office space now and I can close the door at the end of the day. At our old house my desk was in a corner of the living room and it was too easy to see the emails come in & want to deal with them ASAP.

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  3. Mmm those dates look yummy! I recently read a great book that talks about family rules. I loved it. It's called The Secrets of Happy Families https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15818077-the-secrets-of-happy-families
    it sounds like it would be right up your alley in deciding on those important parenting guidelines (this book doesn't really subscribe to any particular parenting, just discusses a lot of interesting strategies) :)

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  4. Oh man, I'm CERTAIN my house needs a good deep cleaning. I just hate the thought of devoting a whole weekend afternoon to tasks like this. I really need to get myself on a cleaning schedule in general though. I could certainly be wiping countertops while pasta water boils instead of checking instagram.

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    1. I'm thinking (hoping) that if we just do one additional task per week along with normal cleaning it won't feel so onerous... We'll see how it goes!

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  5. every year i feel the need to make big goals or spring clean my life/house around this time of year. it's weird. but yeah as we were moving i saw the same things and i was like wow.. next house i need to make sure and deep clean certain things. i thought my house was clean, it wasn't. haha. jk. like you, the daily stuff was done, and even most bigger things, but things i didn't notice until we were moving everything out.
    i need to be better about meal planning. my breakfast and lunch options don't change much because i don't need or like variety, but i do for dinner, for some odd reason. and i suck at planning and end up eating cereal or eating out. not good.
    thanks for linking up with us :)

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels this way! Moving really makes you realize how NOT CLEAN your house really is.
      Thanks for hosting the link-up, It's one of my favorites! :-)

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  6. I'm definitely feeling the new year/spring fever/cleaning thing too. Which I don't usually in November. I've been making huge piles to donate... now if I can just get them out of my apartment! :) I started a cleaning schedule, but did not stick with it. I would like to start up again (especially entering the busy holiday season...) to keep us more sane! I had a list of things to be done monthly as well. Oh, meals have fallen by the wayside recently. I've been so darn busy... hoping we can also put that in a more prominent place starting this month. So far we've done OK this week. :) Good luck with your goals! XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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    1. It's easy to make a cleaning schedule, but much harder to stick to it! We'll see how it goes... Another thing I could do better at is following up on the blog with how I'm doing at various goals - That might help with accountability too!

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  7. These are some great goals/life changes to make! I think it's always important to try to improve areas of life. Good for you :) And thanks for linking up with us!

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  8. I work at summer camp and live on site for 4 months of the year...separating work and life is a huge struggle (not to mention living with 20 19 year olds)! It's always something I'm trying to be more intentional about.

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    1. Oh WOW, That would be hard! I worked at a summer camp for one summer when I was 19 - I commend you for doing it year after year!

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  9. These are really great things to work on. I need to do some kind of deep cleaning schedule too. I do surface cleaning constantly but not deep cleaning often enough.

    Yes to the constant mindless internet scrolling. I really need to work on that too and being less distracted when I'm with my family.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with deep cleaning! And with constant mindless internet scrolling. One of my downfalls is getting the phone to take a photo and before you know it I'm deep in an Insta wormhole. :-)

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  10. I always think this when we move too (we've moved a lot)...that I will keep not just the house clean, but stay on top of the big tasks that often get neglected. It never happens though, lol. Although, I have started deeper cleaning in preparation for baby to come...like actually removing every item out of the back mud room, vacuuming and washing the floors, when normally I would just vacuum and wash around the rugs and shoes.

    I too keep saying I want to get better at meal planning and plan breakfasts and lunches, not just dinner. I have been better about making home made snacks for the week, but I've gotten lazy with that too. Some pre-made breakfasts would be nice (like I've pinned enough freezable breakfast sandwiches that you'd think I would have made some by now!!).

    We're also trying to make sure we sit down and eat dinner as a family. Sully is pickier than ever lately and dinner time is super challenging and frustrating. But what I find the hardest is, getting him to stay at the table with us after he's declared he's done. Why do toddlers want to leave the table the second they are "done" and how do parents get them to stay put?!

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    1. Everyone has been giving me more great ideas of cleaning projects to add to the list. It's so hard to stay on top of everything. I'd really love to hire someone. Maybe just for a twice a year deep clean. But I can't get Jonathan on board.
      Recently my breakfast and lunch options have been so random. (Currently eating crackers and pimiento cheese at 10 am). Freezer breakfast sandwiches would be great! I struggle to find the time (or energy) for freezer meal projects though.
      Swede has gotten much better at dinner in the last 2-3 months. When she was Sully's age was definitely the peak of picky eating and not sitting still. She almost always eats (or at least tastes) what I've made. We do bribe with dessert for "5 more bites" near the end and will let her get down and play as long as she comes back periodically for another bite.

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  11. I've never heard of putting Dates & Peanut Butter together - it sounds interesting! I need more snack ideas that aren't so much bread and/or halloween candy ha Thanks for the idea!

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    1. It's one of my favorites right now. Also good with almond butter and sprinkle on a few dried coconut flakes if you have any...

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  12. I think it's a great idea to try to have dinner be more intentional with place mats and conversation. It's tough to do when schedules are tight! And yes on how it's extremely difficult to separate home and work, especially with smart phones and IM. It seems like everyone is responding to work messages at all hours of the day. For me, personally, if I see something come through I always want to respond right away. This can be problematic if I'm spending time with my family, et al. Love the idea of eating dates and peanut butter together - I've got both in my cabinet right now and will be trying over the weekend!

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  13. I make it a point to not put my work email on my phone. They aren't paying for my data, and I need my space after work so it doesn't drive me totally crazy. Once I'm gone for the day, I'm gone until the next work day.

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  14. Dates and peanut butter!!! That's genius!!!

    And I've got a threenager. I can relate...

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  15. These are all great things to do better! I need to work on a lot of them too! Have you ever gone to the website ApartmentTherapy.com? They have a ton of cleaning schedules and really helpful calendars, plus lots of cleaning tips!

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  16. Love the family pic in front of the house. I always want to try to meal prep as well so it'll make for an easier evening knowing what I'm going to have, but I never think about dinner until the time. Sometimes I will put something in the crock pot for that evening and I think that is a win for the day!

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