Blogging is a daily writing exercise for me. It’s a creative outlet and a way for me to stay consistent with writing because it’s always been something vital to my sanity (so says my diaries from second grade on). Still, it doesn’t mean I don’t blank of exactly what I should write about each time, so yesterday I put a plea out on instagram stories asking for any questions you may be curious about for a Q & A post. Sometimes I feel like I share too much so I didn’t expect much of a response but got almost 40 questions! It totally made my day because talking with you guys is my favorite. Still, at the risk of boring you, I’m going to break them into a 3 part mini series and if you have anything you’re curious about, leave it in the comments! This is so much fun for me and I feel like I also have questions for you, so if you want to chime in down below, please do!
I know y’all are big on extra curriculars, but I’d love to know if you have a schedule for the girls for days y’all are home together?
A quick note about extra curriculars: I’m actually a believer in not over-scheduling kids, yet here I am carting Hailey around to dance, tennis, and music. The overlap feels suffocating right now, but its short-lived. I am looking forward to things chilling out for summer!
To answer your question though, days at home are so nice and chill! I get up before the girls and by 7:15 they have wandered down stairs (they aren’t allowed out of their rooms until 7:00). We all head to the kitchen for breakfast, which usually takes 45 minutes to an hour since I cook, we chat, they run around. With nothing planned we clean up, get dressed then find something to play with around the house. I usually do chores simultaneously (laundry, etc). They are really into painting, board games, and reading books at the moment. We eat lunch at 12, then the girls have “quiet time” until 2:00. Mostly apart but sometimes I let them have it together. The afternoon is either errands or outdoor time, the dinner around 5:30, followed by bath and books, then in bed by 7:00/7:15.
I want to hear your review on Aldi!
Oh man, Aldi is awesome!! I’ve been to our newly redone store many times now. The prices can not be beat. I think it’s great for cheese and pantry items. The produce has been pretty good too, but now with my CSA and my love for Whole Food’s quality produce, I don’t get it too often.
How did you know you were ready to have kids? I’m 29 and have been married 2 1/2 years and we are starting to think about it, but worry too. Will our kids get both our bad traits? Will it mess up our good marriage? Will it be too expensive?
We talked about it, decided to wait another year before trying, then, pregnant. Best surprise ever and I’m grateful I never had to make the official decision because I’m not sure if I ever would have been 100%. For reference, I had Hailey at 27 (5 days before I turned 28).
No, your kids won’t get both your bad traits and you will be so in love with them that even if they do, you won’t notice 🙂 As for marriage, personally I think having a baby makes a weak marriage worse and a strong marriage better. It amplifies any issues and certainly stresses even the sturdiest of marriages at times, but seeing David as a dad has only made me love him more! As for expense, babies don’t really need all that much I found, but goodness the costs multiply as they get older. I’m grateful that nowadays there are so many options for kid stuff (second hand stores, online consignment), free activities, etc, that you do have some (not all) control over how the cost. However, I do think it helps to be financially stable before welcoming a child because an extra cause of stress certainly doesn’t make any thing easier.
Baby Hailey at 15 days old… hold me.
I need summer reading list suggestions? What about podcasts?
I am not the one to go to for book suggestions, so reader friends, please fire away in the comments! Right now I’m reading the second Harry Potter and listening to Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability on Audible.
Podcasts. Again, I listen mostly to kid music, but I enjoy the podcasts David listens to when I can: Planet Money, My History Can Beat Up Your Politics, TED Talks (you can subscribe by topic and I love the kids and family, society and culture, and health topics). I’ve listened to a few episodes of The Homeschool Sisters and just finished up S-Town, but honestly wasn’t a big fan of the second Seriel series.
I’d love to hear about grocery and overall budgeting. What changes have you made?
Monthly instead of weekly is working out really well for us! I’m also hopping stores again. Now in a month I hit up BJ’s, Aldi, Whole Foods, Publix, and Food Lion based on what my needs happen to be. BJ’s is always an expensive trip, but I get a ton, then I fill in the pantry largely with Aldi, produce from my CSA and Whole Foods, and odds and ends from Publix (convenient!) and Food Lion (also convenient!).
What are your favorite toddler meal ideas?
By far, modified versions of whatever you are eating. Because it’s easier and cheaper and because I think it’s a good habit to get everyone onto the same page (plate?) early on. However, for more specific ideas, check out my Munchkin Meals page for recipes and roundups of what my girls have eaten over the years!
What is your favorite thing about having two girls?
Never in a million years did I think I’d have two girls, but I love that I didn’t get to choose because raising sisters has been an incredible blessing. I love the constant singing and dancing, the snuggling, the clothes sharing (passing down), the dress up and nail painting, the fact that often times they enjoy similar activities and usually (not this past week, but usually!) they play so well together. That’s not to say it’s not without challenges (the drama starts early with girls, yall!), but I am grateful everyday that David and I were blessed with two sweet girls!
What is your early morning schedule for blogging?
I get up at 5:30 am to have 1.5 hours before the girls get up. I usually write my blog post for the day and schedule the social media to accompany it. From there I get through as many emails as possible but when the girls get up, the computer goes off. I spend the hour of quiet time also doing emails or editing pictures and sometimes I get back on after they go to bed, but I really try to keep that to a minimum because that’s my time with David. But if he has work to do, then I join him in the office!
Do you have any ideas on how to cook for 2? I usually end up making 3 things for the week and eat that for lunch and dinner but would like more variety!
Hm, good question! Honestly, I don’t know because I feel like most recipes I make are portioned for 2 people, but I think David just eats large dinner portions. We hardly ever (like never) have leftovers. In fact, I’m always looking at ways to bulk up a meal or recipe.
I guess the only advice I have is to check the serving sizes. Obviously soups, stews, slow cooker meals are going to make more food and in those cases, I’d utilize my vacuum sealer and freezer to store it for another week or month just to space out eating the same thing. Then I’d chose recipes that serve 4 to cook because we eat those in a single sitting without issue, but anything leftover could be eaten for lunch the next day (I love it when that happens!). I wish I was more help!
What brings you joy?
At the risk of sounding obnoxious, so much brings me joy. The foundation of course is my family, both immediate and extended. I’m really lucky to have grown up in a loving, family-centric house and to have married into a really wonderful, loving family too.
But beyond the big stuff, little things bring me great joy: time with girlfriends, lighting a candle, a glass of wine on the back porch, a hot cup of tea, a day with nothing on the agenda, good food!, getting a surprise kind comment or email from a reader, thinking about the holidays, when the girls match their clothing, learning a new skill, looking through family photo albums, checking off my to-do list, jamming out to music in the car, art made from the girls’ hand prints, seeing people do good, getting my hair done, combing through memory boxes and reminiscing, organizing a closet, being near water, traveling, afternoon coffee and conversation… the list could go on and on!
Play along! Pick and question and answer below!
Or at least leave your best book suggestion since I’m no help in that arena 😉
And thank you so much for the questions!