laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Life Begins After Coffee


Well, folks… there are some changes coming. Our family had agreed to do in-home daycare for some dear friends of ours. And they’ve since changed their minds. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to have been asked and excited to have a tiny baby in our home again… but I am relieved. I can’t say I’m not at all disappointed, but overall I feel like this is the best for everyone. They will likely use a center so that they don’t have to worry about what they’ll do if I get sick, and I will have the freedom to continue taking on doula clients instead of only being able to do “scheduled” ones. Plus, it means I have some freedom still with the kids- we can go on day trips to visit friends and family, and we can still leave early for weekend getaways, without having to wait until pick up and leaving at bedtime. These are real advantages. I figure I’ll settle for being friends and maybe they’ll let me babysit once in a while! (Yes, I do love babies *that* much!)

So… it means I need to set up a website for doula clients to find me, refine what my services will be, and fun things like that. Plus, we’re wanting to start selling some of our homemade personal products! So you can be looking forward to some giveaways in the near future! We’ve decided that since natural and organic and living with intention are things that we’re passionate about and believe in, we will offer the recipes along with the products! So if you want to make it yourself- fantastic! We’ll help you! Just want to try it out, before you invest in the ingredients? Perfect- we’ll sell you some samples. Or you just don’t want to go through the hassle of making it yourself, no big deal- we’ve got you covered! Sound exciting? I think so too!

And… my hubby is fixing my laptop!! I’m not sure if it was becomes of the time lapse, or just a different customer service rep, but they were no longer willing to cover shipping, and we will had to pay for the repairs… so he took it to work today to take it apart and check out if he could just buy a replacement screen and exactly what kind he’d need. Apparently it’s cheaper. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it happens before our big trip in June! Between no laptop and my tablet dying… (which we’d always used in place of getting a new portable dvd player) it may be a really long trip for the kiddos. So that’s pretty exciting. I’ve been waiting since February for that!

And because I have so many new and exciting things and adventures that I want to begin… I need some organization. At home. At my desk. In my life. So I’m signing off here (for today) and getting to it… but I couldn’t help but leave you with this first:

I need this put onto a tshirt. Then I could rotate between that one and my current favorite T, which reads: Life begins after Coffee. 

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Simply Organized


Ok, so this isn’t a foodie post (sorry!) and I do promise to do more of those. Especially as summer comes around! But today was grey and rainy. Which left me with kids jumping off furniture and onto each other.  So we sat down with puzzles. If you have kids, they have puzzles. Ours have 14 of them.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like a huge number, but when you think of it in terms of how many individual puzzle pieces you’re left with- it’s a lot. And when they all get dumped out all over the place, it can be downright overwhelming.

I once blogged about it, but there were no pictures, and not a lot of description, and since we’ve spent the afternoon doing puzzles, I decided to share with you my puzzling system!

Take a puzzle: the board and the pieces.

Turn them all over and write a coordinating number (or letter) on the back!

Boxes get destroyed quickly, so I put them in zip-locks, marked with the corresponding number!

This is awesome on many fronts! First of all, it’s no longer a huge headache to figure out which puzzle goes with what board, or puzzle pieces. And hello, number recognition!? My kids can (5, 3, and 20 months) can look at the back of the puzzle piece and find the bag with the corresponding marking. Teaching, cleaning, organization all in one? You know I love that!

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A Good Tired


I had lots of plans for cleaning on Saturday, but the day came and went with only the bare minimum attended to. But we enjoyed a surprise visit from my parents (they were on the anniversary date that happened to include dinner in our area and couldn’t resist a quick visit with the grandkids!), lots of playtime and snuggles. This afternoon however, I got to it. And once I started the organizational process, I couldn’t stop myself! I started cleaning my bedroom (yes, dear, *our* bedroom) and ended up cleaning out and reorganizing our closet, cleaning out and organizing our storage space under the stairs, reorganizing the hall closet, and while those may not sound like huge feats, trust me when I say This was a huge feat. 2 goodwill bags, 2 trash bags, 3 bags of baby clothes intended for 3 different families, and it is such a good feeling! Oh, and I reorganized my gift wrapping box (it’s huge, I have everything). And I organized and put away all my sewing and crafting things. I’m pretty pleased with the way things turned out. Our storage space is usable and accessible, our closet is neat and orderly (and there are places for things and things in their places), and I have a laundry basket in our hall closet (linen closet) with hopes of dirty clothes no longer piling up on the bathroom floor. Have I ever mentioned I love organization and organizing? I do. I love finding ways to make things more efficient and simple. Love it.

The best part of all? I found my mother’s necklace (one of those ones that has the kids’ birthstones in it)!! I wanted to have Littlest’s added for Mother’s Day and have been searching (and I mean searching) since a week or so prior to Mother’s Day (you know, back in May). I thought I found the chain it was on in one of the kids’ bedrooms and was heartsick thinking that they must’ve gotten ahold of it, and that it was lost forever.  I was so relieved I almost cried! In fact, I’m a little surprised I didn’t. I probably would have it I wasn’t so hopped up on organization.

I still have a full day ahead of me tomorrow (you know how sometimes on the way to clean things become messier?), but for now I am just pleased with the results so far. On that note, anyone want to entertain three little monsters sweethearts while I enjoy my organizing? I will pay you in organization. You name the room and I will organize it.

*Littlest is 18 months today!  (*I admit it, I’m writing at midnight this ahead of time and setting it to post tomorrow morning, but it’s just after midnight, so technically I wrote this “today.”*) How on earth did that happen?!  I’m pretty sure that yesterday I was just taking Biggest home from the Naval hospital. (Though those feelings may have been a bit of nostalgia due to going through all the baby clothes and preparing to say goodbye to the last of the baby clothes and toys! But seriously, time goes by so fast!)  Hold them close, laugh with them often, and teach them the importance of organization and organizational skills.

(I know I’ve used this photo before, but I just don’t care! And seeing how I listened to a good 20 minutes of my children telling me about how far away they intend to live – Ireland!- it seems fitting)

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Things And Stuff


After reading a post about how people used to struggle when they were first starting out in life, I recalled our own simple beginnings. Hubbyman was still militaryman, enlisted military man… which means, nevermind. I won’t go there. Let’s just suffice it to say, that we do not properly compensate our service members and their families. (Especially when you think about how one term in congress sets you up for life… it’s ridiculous. But I won’t continue that direction.) And if you think that we do properly compensate them, then you’ve never been exposed to life as an enlisted servicemember. Sure there are perks, like the Commissary (grocery store) where things are discounted and tax free (they are also closer to expiration date, and who doesn’t want to go through armed security every time they’re out of milk?!), the  housing (hey, who doesn’t love espestos and having to call in a special team anytime you want to hang up a picture?! Or walls so thin you can have conversations with your neighbor without having to leave your bedroom?! And those were the nice ones.)  Anyways….I was thinking about our first year of marriage.

We’d only been married a few months when we were sent to the next duty station. Which will probably always be one of our most favorite places on earth. An island in the Puget North Sound; surrounded by ocean and mountains; filled with state parks and beaches. It’s also the place I became a mother, but this isn’t about that… so we moved. We trekked our vehicles, some necessary belongings, and ourselves up the coast. When we finally landed and moved in… well, let’s just say we were thankful for all the bath and kitchen supplies we’d gotten as wedding gifts, but that’s basically all we had. And most of it was still in transit, along with our 20ish year old TV. So what did we do? We played lots of games. I beat hubbyman in Trouble, so many times, that he still refuses to play it with me. And one of our, well, at least one of mine, favorite memories happened in our office. The only piece of furniture we had, other than our bed, was a desk with our computer on it. So we’d set up our camping chairs (literally, no furniture.) in the office, and watch movies on the computer. Even once our TV arrived, either it was so old it didn’t have a connection, or we just didn’t have a DVD player. Either is possible, and I don’t remember which. Either way, we continued to watch movies, in our camping chairs, on our computer… and while we probably thought it was “lame” back then, now I’m very appreciative of those times.

So while we have stuff coming out of our ears now, including furniture, a newer TV (that can use -and does- a dvd player), and three children… I love our earlier times. I loved that we started out with nothing and worked our way from there. I appreciate that we did what we could with what we had. And what I really appreciate was the fact that without all the “things” distracting us, we really were able to focus on what was really important, like each other, and hiking new trails, and visiting amazing places, and meeting amazing people.

And so in memory of those days and because all of the “things” that are overtaking our house… I’m in full-on organizational mode! Things are getting done, and put away, and probably over organized if it kills me… and it might.

Anyone have any great organizational tools, or favorite tips? My kids love puzzles. They also love to dump every single puzzle piece on the floor in a big pile. I’m such an organizer that I’d go through and put them all back together before putting them away. Well, one day I got tired of it. So I took each puzzle board (if there was one) and numbered it. The back of each puzzle piece has a correlating number, and the big ziploc bag they go in, also has a correlating number on it. So pick up is a breeze. The kids can look to see what numbers are the same and group them all together and do it themselves! And I’m happy because they’re all where they belong, and I didn’t have to do it myself! Have you done anything that made your day to day so much easier?

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