When did you get so big?!

All of a sudden, seemingly overnight, my 19 month old decided to be big. He puts on his own hat and those beloved boots. He's working at un-dressing himself.  He consistently goes on the potty.  He puts his laundry away. He puts his dishes in the sink. No more taking baths in the little apron front sink, he's graduated to our large single basin sink (so glad we installed this, as our only tub is a deep whirlpool).  He no longer wants to eat in the high chair, it's now the youth chair (the same one my brother and I ate our meals at).  He would much prefer to use the same cups, utensils and dishes as mama and dada.  He's quite the boss, too...telling us exactly what he wants in his little 2 word sentences.

But, you know what...I will not say it's gone too fast.  Of course, everyone would always like for their kids to stay little, but I'd much prefer rejoicing in these new developments rather than mourning in what's lost.  Although it's against my personality, I have really worked hard at slowing things down so I can enjoy him.  It's been all about simplifying things here.  I've always been busy by nature, particularly through high school and college.  However, I decided that I did not want to be that parent who over schedules her kid.  I feel like I have really had a chance to enjoy him thus far, and hopefully I will be able to say the same once baby #2 arrives.
Like many mamas out there, I try my hardest to think about what type of parent I want to be and alter what I do based on my vision.  What's my vision?  Simpleness.  Getting back to the basics.  Time together being the utmost importance.  I'm certainly not perfect by any means, but this is what I've done to try to work on keeping things simple, so I can try to enjoy parenthood to the fullest.

*  Balancing Outings with Downtime. A full schedule with little breathing room isn't how I want my little one to be raised. I want him to have time to be home and play.  To discover and learn without the pressure of a time schedule.  If we need to be out and about in the morning, we stay close to home in the afternoon.  If we're out and about for much of the day, the next day will be a day just to be at home.  I am learning it's okay to say "no".  We don't need to have something planned everyday.  The best days are the days spent home, together.

* Less errands.  It's amazing how much time it takes to run those routine errands. We now only grocery shop once every 3ish weeks (fresh fruits/veggies first week and a half, frozen 2nd week and a half).  We limit department store trips to every other month (which saves us oodles as a bonus).  Debt free/cash only living has taught us that there's not much that we need.  Because we've reduced those trips, there's more unscheduled time in our week, every week.

* Big batches. If you're a blog reader, you know I make almost everything from scratch.  I almost always double and/or triple every recipe...freezing the extra.  It's not much more work to make larger batches...which can be dug out later.  That way, we're still eating from scratch even when no one feels like cooking. I make one thing a day, but only cook a main meal every 3 days (my family doesn't mind leftovers), The other days I make a dessert, bread, granola bars, yogurt, granola, etc (recipes in the tab at the top).  The time I spend in the kitchen is manageable for my little helper, so it's together time, not something that has to be done.  This kid has likely made more bread in his time than many adults...the pace of bread making is perfect for keeping things simple.

* Keeping our home simple.  We don't do TV.  We don't do cell phones.  We avoid toys that have batteries and we have only a couple toys made out of plastic.  We do read a lot.  We garden.  We tend to our animals.  We have almost all wooden, cloth or metal toys that promote learning through experiencing.  We spend lots of time outside, digging in the dirt or going for walks as a family. We spend a bunch of time near the water...which is calming. The simplicity of our home coupled with spending lots of time outside makes our together time comforting.

These are just a few of the ideas I've been working on for our family.I'd love to hear if there's any readers out there who are also trying to keep things more simple.  What are your ideas?


  1. So, when do you go thrifting???? :) I love it. You are doing such an amazing job. :)

  2. Thanks for the compliment. :) Great question about when I thrift. It's almost always on the way to/from somewhere, not a special trip. Lately, it's been on the way to a midwife appointment, which happens every other week now I'm so far along. We're lucky because we drive right by, so it's a 10 minute stop in. Or occasionally I get a chance to go to the close to home one when he's napping and my husband is home.



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