Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mom Hacks

Ashlyn at a recent karate tournament

Hi friends! I hope you are enjoying all the great parts of Spring-and that the pollen isn't hitting you like it has us. Between the smoke and seasonal allergies, we've used a lot of Zyrtec at our house in the last week!

Of course, with summer softball (baseball, whatever...I know there's a difference, I just don't care!), we're out in it more often. More often like every. single. night.

Ashlyn & Hope are both playing ball, with 2 practices each a week, plus Awana for a few more weeks, and karate on two nights a week plus Saturday afternoon. The mom taxi is a goin' nonstop right now!

Usually this would kind of kill me-I don't like running all over town, worrying about who's supposed to be where and how I'll get them any dinner-especially on nights like tonight when Hope's ball practice starts before dinner time, then she leaves it early to go to karate which won't be over until about 8:30. I know, I'm not usually that kinda mom...but for a few weeks during ball season each year I am, sorry!

Here are a few hacks that have helped me stay sane:

First and foremost, I AM NOT thinking about the games that will start in a few weeks. Games I will be attending with a super sized jogging stroller that is supposed to keep two little ones trapped, ahem, I mean, safe inside and a bored 5 year old. Usually, my sweet husband will not be able to attend, so I'm on my own--but again, I'm NOT going there right now!

Seriously, though when I'm not in denial, I try to stay on top of things with the following systems in place:

*menu plans that reflect the activities of the day. No big fuss meals when I have to drive kids to and fro.

*Snacks. I'm not usually a snack buyer or server ('cause I'm cheap), but on nights when a child might be in practice during dinner and have to eat late, a snack is in order. I've made a list of easy to make healthy snacks and try to stay on top of having them ready for the kids.

*Scheduling it all on the calendar. I started using Google Calendar to list all our stuff, it sends me an agenda via email each morning, so I know what we're having for each meal, who has practice, when & where, and any other notes. Shane can also add to it from work, so if he has something he needs to schedule, he can log in, check our schedule and add it.

*Keeping the gear organized-the girls have a drawer in their room for just uniforms. Karate gis, Awana vests (and books) all go here. Also, the other gear for karate goes in their gear bags and is hung behind the front door on the rack. It's much less stressful to find everything in one place than to run around looking for one piece of sparring gear minutes before class!

*Return basket-right by the keys near the front door is a pretty basket I bought from a thrift store. It holds all the things that need to go back to their owner-borrowed books, dvds, clothes for my mom to mend for us, swim suits left by girls spending the night (Brandi-that's C's suit! From last summer!). It makes it easy to return things (in theory-you have to remember to check it and keep your husband from putting his junk inside!).

There you have it! How I'm staying somewhat sane during the crazy days of Spring activities. Oh, and the BIG one, I have accepted offers to let other people bring my children home from their classes. Which also means I've let go of a little control and allowed them to go to practices ALONE (but I know all their coaches pretty well and Ashlyn now has a cell phone). I know, I'm sooo that kinda mom now! You would be too with a brood this size!

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