Monday, June 19, 2017

Doing it All

Tal and I each work 40+ hours a week outside our home. Being working parents is challenging and exhausting. I often wonder how other families manage to "do it all." How do they do all of the cooking, cleaning, and laundry, as well as have family time, couple time, personal time, and relaxation?

I thought I'd share how Tal and I manage to get everything done by using some outside services and by working together as a team. We aren't gourmet cooks, nor do we have a spotless house. However, we strive to have a (mostly) neat, organized, and efficient home by using the tips, tricks, and time savers below:

1. Daily Chores
Every evening, Tal and I spend 20-30 minutes doing daily chores, such as folding clothes, making the grocery list, or washing dishes. It's easier to keep our house (mostly) neat and organized when we do a little bit every night.

However, Tal and I don't like to spend all of our free time doing house work, so as a general rule, our family stops working by 7 PM each night. By 7 PM, dinner is done. Baths are done. We are in our jammies. That way, we can have 1.5 hours of family time/quiet time to relax, watch TV, and play before the girls go to bed around 8:30 PM. On Saturday mornings, Tal and I do yard work and house work, but we stop working by noon, so we can eat lunch, take naps, and relax the rest of the day.

Below are some examples of our daily chores:

*reserve time to pick-up groceries at Walmart
*make grocery list
*plan meals for upcoming week

*finalize grocery list and meals for upcoming week

*wash/dry two loads of laundry
*pick up groceries at Walmart

*fold/put away two loads of laundry

*finish laundry if needed

*wash sheets and towels
*make 2-3 meals for the upcoming week
*make lunches and snacks for the upcoming week
*do yard work

2. Laundry
Tal and I do 3-4 loads of laundry each week. When we do laundry, Tal and I usually wash/dry clothes one day and then fold/put away clothes the next day. We also mix everything together. We don't sort whites, brights, darks, etc. In one load, we wash/dry Tal's clothes and the girls' clothes together. I wash my clothes in a separate load because I don't put my clothes in dryer. I hang them up to dry, so they won't shrink. We usually wash sheets and towels on the weekends.

To make laundry more enjoyable, I listen to podcasts or watch shows on DVR in our bedroom. I fold clothes on our bed and then put them away in our family closet. I cull out Tal's clothes and put them on the end of our bed. Tal prefers to put away his clothes (which saves me time anyway). While I'm folding the girls' clothes, I put together 5-7 outfits each for Savannah and Hadley and put them on top of their dressers in the closet. That way, we can save a few minutes in each morning by grabbing an outfit and getting dressed quickly.

3. Cleaning
Tal and I have had a cleaning service for 5 years. The cleaning ladies come every 4 weeks and spend 3-4 hours cleaning every area of our house. We pay $119 each month. The cleaning ladies do chores that Tal and I never get around to doing, such as wiping the inside of the fridge, vacuuming our living room sectional, and dusting the windowsills, blinds, and baseboards. Since Tal is allergic to dust, I'm thankful that our house gets a deep cleaning every month. Plus, having a cleaning service forces our family to declutter and organize our house at least once a month. A couple days before the cleaning ladies arrive, our family spends 30-60 minutes cleaning off the kitchen counter, filing bills/papers, and putting miscellaneous items in their correct places.

4. Grocery Shopping
Our family gets groceries once a week. A couple months ago, I started picking up our groceries at our local Walmart. Grocery pick-up is free and saves me 1.5 hours of shopping each the stress and exhaustion of taking the girls with me. I order and pay for our groceries online and then schedule a one-hour window (usually 3:00-4:00 on Wednesday or Thursday ) to pick-up our groceries. Before I leave to pick-up our groceries, I click "check-in" on the Walmart Grocery app on my phone. The GPS on the app notifies Walmart when I have arrived. I park in a designated parking spot. An employee brings out my groceries and loads them into my car.

5. Meal Planning
Tal and I have been doing meal planning for years. Before we do our weekly grocery shopping, we choose 2-3 meals for the week and then buy the ingredients when do our grocery shopping. We cook our meals on the weekends and then eat the leftovers during the week.

Tal and I are tired and hungry when we get home from work. The last thing we want to do is spend 30 minutes cooking a meal and cleaning up afterwards. Some families don't like leftovers, but we don't mind eating the same meals for a couple days.

6. Lunch Prep
To save time during the week, Tal and I make our lunches and lunch snacks on the weekends. For lunch snacks, I fill baggies with nuts and baby carrots. Tal makes sub sandwiches and keeps them in the fridge. Then, when we get home from work, Tal and I spend 5 minutes assembling our lunches for the next day and putting our lunch boxes in our fridge.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Everyday Moments

These random iPhone photos are dark, blurry, and untouched,
but they capture everyday moments from the last couple weeks.

Last weekend Tal was having trouble breathing. I thought it was adorable when Hadley crawled into his lap while Tal did a breathing treatment:

Hadley was so proud of herself when she put on Savannah's gymnastics leotard all by herself. She didn't care that it was on inside-out!

Before church, Savannah asked me to measure her to see if she'd grown:

On Sunday afternoon, Hadley took a nap with me:

Sweet Sisterly Moment

On Tuesday night, Savannah fell asleep on the couch while she waited for Tal to come home from choir/drum practice at church and carry her upstairs to bed:

Hadley was adorable when she got all of the blankets and covered herself and started talking to herself:

Hadley has gone 6 days straight with only one potty accident during the day. (She peed on Tal during nap time yesterday):

Savannah sat on Tal's lap and told him about a chapter book she was reading:

Savannah and Hadley had fun playing on top of Tal:

Father's Day Naps

Father's Day Nap

Father's Day Weekend: Part 2 (Cards)

Happy Father's Day to our favorite dad who loves us, protects us, takes care of us, provides for us, helps us, cooks for us, makes our home beautiful, takes us on fun adventures, and doesn't mind living in a pink palace with three girls. We love you, Tal! 

On Father's Day, Tal played drums at church. Then, our family ate lunch at Buffalo Brothers, took afternoon naps, and watched the US Open on TV:

From your princess(es):
Who needs a tiara,
who needs a jeweled crown,
who needs fancy shoes or
a fairy tale gown...
When all that it takes to be a princess each day
is a daddy who treats me in such a sweet way!
Happy Father's Day with love
We love you, Daddy!
Love, Savannah, Hadley, and Rachel

 Savannah was excited to show Daddy the card she made for him at school:

Since Savannah was 2 years old, her nickname has been "Savannah Banna" or "Banna" because the other kids in her class couldn't say "Savannah Banana:"

Dear Papa:
I love you so much.
I love it when you take me to the park and get ice cream.
Love, Savannah Banna

My dad is the most wonderful dad in the world!
He is as handsome as a singer.
He is as strong as John Cena.
He can lift 0 pounds and is 6 feet tall.
His favorite food is hot dogs and meatballs.
His favorite activity is going to concerts. 
I think my dad looks funny when he tickles me and Hadley.
But I know he is really mad when he hears Hadley cry.
I wish my dad would eat with me at school every day.
I would not trade my daddy for money.
Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father's Day Weekend: Part 1 (Golfing)

On Friday night, our family kicked off Father's Day weekend by taking Savannah and Hadley golfing for the first time. Golfing is one of Tal's favorite hobbies, and he was excited to share it with the girls. Savannah enjoyed holding the flags and driving the golf cart (while my hand was on the steering wheel and my foot was on the brake). Hadley loved holding Tal's putter and getting the golf ball out of each hole. Tal had to stop playing after 12 holes when dark storm clouds rolled in, and it started thundering...but our family still had a great time.  Happy Father's Day to our favorite dad!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Falls Lake

Yesterday our family (along with Savannah's friend Liza) took a late afternoon swim at Falls Lake. We played in the water and sand for two hours and didn't even sit in our beach chairs. Savannah and Liza enjoyed doing flips and handstands, while Hadley spent most of her time digging in the sand and dumping buckets of water in the lake. It was a beautiful afternoon for swimming, relaxing, and family time!

Savannah (8) and Liza (9)

Tal and Liza were surprised when they found clams in the lake: