What Do I Do With All These Clothes?!

It’s no secret that one of the fun parts of being a mom is getting to dress up an adorable little butterball every single day.  After the baby showers and family and friends’ first times meeting your little one, I’m sure you noticed that his or her closet began to grow exponentially (if only my closet grew that quickly!).  Different sizes, styles, and brands filled drawer after drawer, and if you’re like me – finding a way to organize all these beautiful gifts seemed a little overwhelming.

The first mistake I made was taking sizes for their face value.  I kept all the newborn clothes with newborn clothes and all the 3 month clothes with all the 3 month clothes. Then one day I did the first cleaning/shuffling of her clothes, and realized baby sizes vary brand to brand just like women’s pants do.  It can be a nightmare. Before I was even aware, several of Tayler’s outfits were already too small and she never even got to wear them.  What a waste! Lesson was learned.  From then on, my organizing went by sight, not size.  Trust your eyes – you get very good very quick!

As she grew out of clothes, I realized I didn’t have a system for storing them.  They began to pile up on a shelf in her closet, and while I knew what those clothes were doing there, my husband did not.  Clothes I had already “discarded” were being recycled back in on accident.  Lesson was learned.  So, below is how I keep her clothes cycling through smoothly as she continues to grow at what can only be described as warp speed. I call it moving up and moving out.  We’ll start with the dresser.

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Top Left: Current Onesies sorted by short/long sleeve and solid or patterned

Top Right: Diapers, Wipes, Burp Cloths

Middle Left: Current Bottoms (Shorts/Pants/Bloomers/Leggings)

Middle Right: Accessories (shoes/socks/hair/swim)

Bottom Left: Current Pajamas & Sleep Sacks

Bottom Right: All next size up clothes

At least every two weeks I quickly browse through her “next size up clothes” drawer and make sure there’s nothing that can be “moved up” into a current drawer.  And any time there’s a onesie or piece of clothing that makes me think it might be too small next time she wears it, I automatically put it in a storage bin in her closet.  If you thought it might be too small, it will be, and will just continue to take up space.  I’ve been keeping the storage bins in her closet, and always have one that is “open” to keep filling as she grows.  They look like this:

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My thought is that when the time comes around that we either need them again for another little girl, to give away, or to sell at a sale, they will already be washed and sorted by size.  No future work needed! Once one is filled, I get another one to have open and ready. (And I’m clearly breaking my own rule, as I filled the 6 month one a few days ago and don’t have a new one yet!).  I chose these plastic bins as opposed to cute baskets because I imagine them finding a home in the basement storage room at some point, and are stack-able/durable enough to keep the clothes clean.  Everything has a clear defined home now, and it’s easy enough for my darling husband to keep track of! 🙂

Do any of you moms have ways of organizing clothes that works for you? I’d love to hear other suggestions!

You Treat It Differently

Tonight I had every intention of writing about keeping baby clothes organized, as many of my future posts will revolve around baby products, organization, DIY, and an assortment of many other baby-related topics.  As our weekend is wrapping up, however, I’m having another one of those reflective moments (I promise, they aren’t that often) and feeling compelled to let my writing wander elsewhere. 

Earlier this week we had some family ask if they could stay with us for the weekend.  Knowing we’d be in town, our automatic answer was yes – anyone we love is always welcome at our house! Matt had used a vacation day Friday, and for the first time in awhile, he had a whole weekend off from work. His job has had demanding hours lately, and while Tayler and I are beyond grateful for the hard work he puts in to support us, we had been missing our man. Later that day I really looked over our calendar, and began to notice that this weekend was the only one for quite some time that we weren’t traveling, and wouldn’t have guests.  This one, sacred weekend. What a problem to have, right? I don’t think I can even call it a problem! We are incredibly blessed to have people to go see and people in our lives that want to come see us, but every now and then you just need that family time.  

So I did something that for anyone who knows me, was not easy.  I (very apologetically) asked our family if they could come another time.  Not to be rude, but this weekend just wasn’t going to work.  The wife in me desperately needed those few hours each night with my husband.  And the mother in me desperately needed my daughter to have uninterrupted, focused, and quality time with her daddy.  I needed it for my mental, emotional, and (can I say physical without offending anyone?) health.  So I spoke up.

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I learned awhile ago that those things you cherish in life, those things you want to last, you treat differently.  My family and my marriage being two of those things.  The two most important things.  So I spoke up.  I was stingy and selfish with our time.  I wasn’t going to let another month go by without a full, family weekend.  Would we still be together if we had guests stay with us? Absolutely.  But would our time together be spent the same? Absolutely not.  

This weekend we went on walks.  We all napped on the couch.  We ran errands together.  We built fires and watched sports and movies.  We set up Tayler’s swing outside.  We played in the yard.  Matt did her bedtime routines.  Matt fed her more, got her up from naps, and played with her all morning in her playroom.  Matt and I got to drink wine, play Scrabble, snug on the couch, play basketball outside, and all the other boring things parents of a little one do. We let the house get dirty.  We didn’t worry about keeping anyone else happy and comfortable but ourselves.  And we laughed.  A lot.  Oh, did we laugh.  

10 years from now will we remember this weekend? Maybe.  Probably not.  But I refused to let another weekend go by where we weren’t able to do all these things together that fill up your heart, and fill up your tank to get you through those long weeks. The old me would’ve just gone with the flow, and let this weekend slip by.  (And not that it would’ve been wasted by any means – time with our extended families are invaluable).  But weekends like this are far, few, and necessary if we are going to treat our marriage and our family like they should be treated.  I now refuse to feel guilty for speaking up.  Our family is too important and time goes by way too fast to not fight for these times together.  

I AM going to shield and protect my family. I am never going to abuse it, and I am never going to expose it to the elements.  It is not common or ordinary, and I will never treat it so.  It is special because we’ve made it so, and will continue to make it so.  

This simple, quiet, seemingly uneventful weekend was perfect.  And it was because we made it so.  🙂 

 

 

(And to our family that was supposed to visit, if you’re reading this – thank you for being so understanding.  Cant wait to have you stay in a few weeks! 🙂 

 

Wait… She Doesn’t Need That?

A few days ago Tayler and I took an hour drive to spend the day at Grandma’s.  Sure enough, just as I got on the freeway, she started to cry.  I knew she was ready for a nap (isn’t that how we all plan road trips?!), if I could just get her pacifier back in her mouth without being a maniac on the road.  After all, since the day she was born she has always needed a pacifier to get her to fall asleep. Her cries kept intensifying, and while I’m not opposed to letting her cry some things out, after awhile it really starts to distract my driving.  I thought for sure I’d have to quickly pull off the highway, find the pacifier, and get her resting easy. Just as I was about to exit, she started to quiet down.  I passed the next exit, and sure enough – she had figured it out and put herself to sleep without a pacifier.  

Small story — big reflection.  

I sat there driving quietly, somewhat bewildered.  She always needed a pacifier.  How did she do that?! How long ago could she have gone without one? Did she really need one, or had I just been assuming she needed it? Had I been giving it to her for her sake, or for mine? Its the little things like having a pacifier at nap and bed time that are predictable, anticipated, and planned for.  The no-brainers that help us as moms get through each day with some ease. But does that predictability sometimes get in the way of letting them stretch their wings and continue to grow? She didn’t need it, and I had no idea.  It prompted me to start thinking about other no-brainers I take for granted as part of our daily routine.  What else can she do on her own that I’m not letting her do? 

Had I been crippling her by letting her have a pacifier when its time to sleep? Probably not.  Is it a big deal? Probably not. But it was a little wake-up call that I need to be more cognizant of her developmental growth, and giving her more opportunities to become secure and independent.  While routines and no-brainers are great for stability and predictability, they should also be changing just as quickly as our babies do.  (Ugh – I swear she was born yesterday, and I want her to need me forever!) After the confusion had passed, I felt so proud of her.  Way to figure it out honey – good for you! 

Have any of you ever had an ah-ha moment where you realized your little one may just be a little more independent than you realized? I imagine that this revelation is something that happens repeatedly throughout our entire journey as mothers, and I am sure this is the first of many times Tayler will continue to show me “she’s got this”.  

Here We Go!

As a first time mom, one thing I’ve noticed about my adventure so far is that it has truly been enriched by sharing it with others.  From the day we found out we would be blessed with a beautiful baby up until now, as the mom of a 7 month old, I’ve shared our journey – all the up’s, down’s, and in-betweens.  The love and support I’ve received along the way has been nothing short of overwhelming, and has in part inspired my desire to start this blog.  

I want to be clear about my hopes and intentions for this blog.  I do not consider myself to be an expert, guru, or authority on any of the topics I plan to write about, and I hope to never come off like I think so. How could I? I’m new to this! I do not think my way is always the best way.  And I am absolutely positive there are other and better ways of doing the things that I do. A lot of which I’m sure I’ll learn along the way. A friend once said that there’s got to be at least 10,000 ways to raise a healthy baby, and I agree with her. My goal is to simply share what I do, be open and honest about our journey, and hopefully inspire discussions, creativity, or at the very least create a place for moms (or soon-to-be moms!) to go where they can feel like they aren’t alone in this entirely unique adventure of motherhood.  The sense of camaraderie, solidarity, and friendship I’ve found in talking with my fellow mom friends is invaluable to me, and I would love to be able to create that here with any and all moms who desire the same.  

Finally, I want to clarify what I mean when I sling around the term “mom” – the women I am inviting to join me in this blog. While I envision most of my posts being particularly geared towards or helpful for moms with little ones like myself, I am also inviting pregnant moms who haven’t had the joy of meeting their little one face-to-face yet, and I am also inviting moms who may not have children yet, but are moms in their heart and soul.  I know I was a mom long before a tiny heartbeat showed up on an ultrasound.  

Now let’s see if I can figure out how to use this thing! 🙂

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