1. It feels so weird to have everyone back in school at the same time. Two weeks of work days surrounded by snow days have gotten us all completely out of our routine! I am trying, trying, trying to get us more organized and less cluttered. You know what you end up with when you have four kids? A lot of stuff!
Donating, selling, and trashing stuff (only trashing trash if you're reading this, honey. no worries.). I've cleaned out our closet, 2 linen closets, and the pantry in two weeks. The kids' rooms are next on my list! (Then the loft, the attic, the room over the garage...)
I also got sick of seeing this after school every day:
I've been trying to convince Brian to turn our narrow garage hallway into more of a mudroom. This has been met with a bit of hesitance. We have a Pottery Barn bench/shelf combo at the front door (like this), but it's not cutting it. Plus, the kids can't reach the tall hooks, so the front door always ends up a little disheveled!
Last night I dug some of our old Target One Spot hooks out of the attic and put them to use on the wall. Exactly what I want? No. But will they work for now while I try to prove my point to Brian? Absolutely. It will at least help keep the backpacks off the floor, for goodness sake!
Eventually I would love to have something that looks a little more like this pin, and then maybe paint the door to the garage something other than white, but why spend the money up front before we test it out?
2. I've also been on a bit of a laundry process re-vamp. One of the linen closets that I cleaned is in my laundry room, and I was able to clear up enough space to fit my laundry baskets on the bottom. Not having a basket everywhere is definitely going to create one last trip hazard (one was always sitting by my bed, or right by the kids' rooms, or on the other side of the gate as you can see in the picture of the backpacks!). Having a home for them will make things a lot easier.
I've also changed my laundry routine. I have one large laundry sorter with four bins - one for each kid. The problem was that the kids couldn't walk to the laundry room alone (the hallway is gated for Finley), and they would just toss their clothes over. So the laundry would pile up on the floor until I put it in the right bin. And I would also let each kid's bin get completely full before I did laundry. I couldn't stand doing a large load and having to travel the entire house just putting clothes away, so I usually did one load for each of the kids. But it meant I was always doing laundry - especially for my athletes!
After talking to another Momma of four about her laundry routine, I decided test hers out around here. Now I take out a hamper in the morning and have the kids put their jammies in it. At night I put the hamper by their rooms and they put the clothes they wore in it. I toss it all in the wash after they go to bed, and throw it in the dryer before I go to bed. My washer has been practically empty, it takes less than ten minutes to fold and put away, and I've also been able to find the time to wash the cloth diapers and our clothes more easily. Also, I make sure to change the load setting on the washer to medium to save water. It's kind of amazing!
3. I had so much "free" time yesterday that this girl and I spent a lot of our morning building blocks, reading books, and hanging out in the tee pee. Love this smile! The kids were in school, so I didn't have to keep them busy. It was so nice not to have to run to get a load of laundry or run around picking stuff up off the floor. She is talking and singing up a storm now! This little one has perfect pitch.
4. I am obsessed with Cartwheel. Like, obsessed. I walk around the store with my app open and scan the barcode of every. single. thing. that goes in my cart. Between coupons and cartwheel and my red card I saved $37 last weekend. I love watching my "amount saved" inch closer to $100. Only $10 away now! (and for the record I'm not a buyer and stock up kind of gal. This was all stuff I legitimately needed!)
5. I am a little excited for Valentine's Day next week. Reese has been working on her Valentine's since Christmas. No lie, she has made Valentine's drawings, hearts, and cards for her friends. She asked me if I could pick up some Valentine's bags for her friends at school, and she said she has several things for her teachers and wants me to pick up two buckets. I love her sweet heart, but has she been scouring Pinterest after I go to sleep at night?
6. Wyatt and Reese both got new kids in their classes last week, and both speak only German. I thought it was a weird coincidence, but they ended up with a brother/sister pair in their classes at two different schools. How random! I asked Reese to help Finley and teach her to say "block" yesterday and she said, "Uh Mommy, I must be really good at English. You want me to teach Finley, and I'm trying to teach Hanna to speak it, too." Wyatt is learning the German words for winter sports so he can talk to his friend about the Olympics. They crack me up!