Thoughts for Thursday: 5 Things that are Making Our Lives Easier at the Moment :)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hi!! Happy Thursday!! How has your week been going??
It has been pretty busy at our house- my two youngest daughters have had several end of year the activities this week- so we have been up at their school quite a bit! It has been so fun to spend some extra time with a bunch of preschoolers- they are SO DARN cute! 
And while it has been busy and just a tad bit crazier with a newborn in tow...we are still alive, standing and all in one piece- HA!
Which conveniently leads me to the topic of my post today-- 5 Things that are making our lives a little easier at the moment!  
Get ready- because the 5 items I am about to share are quite riveting- HA!

1. Paper Plates
Ok- so don't laugh at me- but currently- using paper plates is making my life SO much easier!!
Unless we are on vacation (and staying in a beach house) or camping, we don't buy or use paper plates.  It is an extra cost and it isn't the best thing for our environment. 
BUT- you can guess when I do use paper plates and have no issue with it- when we add a new baby to our family!! Using paper plates at meal time makes clean up that much faster and easier- and for me- just knowing I don't have to rinse and load a bunch of dirty dishes automatically relaxes me! Like I mentioned- they aren't the most earth friendly item- so if the paper plates we used at lunch time (when we're just eating sandwiches and fruit) didn't get dirty- we will wipe them off and use them again. I am definitely not into wasting just because they are a disposable item.
Paper plates- they aren't the classiest item ever- but they sure make our lives easier!
Ain't no shame in my game! HA!

2. Saying "YES" when we would normally say "NO!"
I don't know about you- but things will be perfectly fine with all of my kids and everyone is calm- all right up until we have to go somewhere. Or until it is time to head upstairs for bedtime. Then all H*#@ breaks loose! HA! 
I would say normally- Aaron and I run a pretty tight ship. We are very consistent with our kids' schedule and our expectations of them (e.g. put your dirty clothes in the hamper and brush your teeth, etc) - however- even though the kids are absolutely SMITTEN with Marshall- his presence and addition to our family has definitely made things different for them. Cue all sorts of "special" behavior from my other kids :) HA!
So- in this new season of life as a family of 7, with 5 kids under 7 years old- 2 of them being under 2 years old...we've loosened up quite a bit with our expectations and our discipline.
For example- one of my daughters decides to throw an epic fit at bed time and "ALL SHE WANTS TO DO IS HOLD MARSHALL!!!" Well normally- I would never say "ok! you just totally freaked out- but sure- I will let you have some extra snuggle time with your brother." Luckily- the 6 years I spent in college pays off sometimes- HA! and I can recognize I need to say "YES" in this situation instead of trying to pull the parent card and make her "follow the bedtime rules."  Another more simple example is when James decides to just absolutely refuse to get in the car. Goes limp. Yells "NO!" Runs away from us. All while Marshall is getting ready to have a meltdown in his carseat. Normally- I would scoop James up, buckle him and just deal with his tantrum until he calmed himself down.  Currently?? I offer him a gummy worm (he LOVES them!) or a roll of smarties. Those two things automatically make him happy. DONE AND DONE! I think part of being a "good" parent is understanding: 1) Kids' behavior doesn't always make sense- but they always are communicating something- even if to you- as an adult- it just seems super annoying and frustrating. 2) You have to be fluid and dynamic as a parent- this goes for parents of young children as well as parents to teenagers and even adults. Life is always changing and kids are growing and developing constantly- we can't just always expect them to fit into our little "box" that we think they should :)  So- when all else fails- we have been saying "SURE!" or "YES You Can!" a lot more than we have been saying "No way!" lately- and it has made our lives SO much easier!
And let me tell you- this little graphic is SO funny to me- because it is exactly how my youngest daughter acts when we ask her to put her shoes away! HA!
4. Individually Portioned Snacks/Drinks
So normally- I NEVER buy the individually packaged snacks for my kids lunches and snacks- they are so much more expensive and we don't have room for that in our monthly food budget. BUT- for everything there is a season- and this is one of them for our family! HA! 
Making my kids' lunches has been SO quick and easy having individually packed snacks and drinks on hand. And I need quick and easy anywhere I can get it! Also- it is a major treat for my kids to get this kind of food in their lunches- and right now with the addition of a new baby brother and things just being a little different for them- I like the idea I am packing a little extra "happy" in their lunches :)
And just an idea I thought I would share- for those of you with friends who have "older" or school aged kiddos who are welcoming a new baby- a big box of these types of chips/snacks, a couple big boxes of fruit pouches and a couple boxes of juice boxes or individually packaged milk would be SUCH a great thing to drop off!! I am telling you- your friend will LOVE you for providing her with a few things that make her life a little easier!! :)

4. Netflix
I mentioned a couple weeks ago that we finally jumped on the Netflix bandwagon....why did we wait soo long?!?
I am not at all above bribing my kids to get their playroom cleaned up with the promise of a show on Netflix! HA! There are SO many more great kid shows and movies on Netflix than there are on Amazon Prime TV- so for us (we don't have cable) it has just been awesome to have access to more variety!
And since Netflix is new to our family- the girls really look at it as a treat.  Which is great for us- because it is very motivating for them to know they can watch a Netflix show if they help me out or if they can "control their emotions" (we have a couple of our girls working on that one! HA). 
I try to make sure the kids don't watch too much TV- we are all about playing outside as much as possible- but with me nursing Marshall so much right now- sometimes the girls just want to be right by me. So we all gather in the living room and watch an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and all is right with the world for 22 minutes :) 
Thank you Netflix- you are definitely making my life a little easier right now!!
5. Newborn Snuggles :)
I don't think this one needs much explanation :) But seriously...newborns are just pure heaven and getting some snuggles in with Marshall is all I need to decompress and just let out a huge exhale.  Same goes for the kids!! Marshall is the kids absolute FAVORITE and he has definitely helped a couple of our little ones calm down and be in a better mood- just by getting to hold and love on him :)
So I would love know- what makes YOUR life easier when you are in a "new" or particularly "busy" season of life? It doesn't just have to be when you have a newborn at home! I know so many of you have older kids involved in tons of activities or maybe you are getting ready to move and are in the midst of showing your home and packing. 

Life is full of different seasons- and while some of them can be difficult or stressful or just not the easiest- I think they can still be beautiful- it's just how you look at your current situation and choose to approach it.  

Hope you have the BEST day!!

Linking up with Annie and Natalie!


  1. Ummm, I don't even have the ability to think of time/sanity saving tips because all I can think about is how absolutely precious Marshall is! That face! So squishable and perfect! 💙

    I definitely relax the rules at our home in the summer. I expect a lot from my children academically even though they're young and so in the summer I like to be a lot more lenient with TV/bedtime/"sleepouts" in each other's room, even desserts/junk food. And on vacation I am pretty much all about disposable and packaged food.

    1. Marshall is definitely squishable!! :) and we are the same way about our summer time routine/ schedule- and I just love it! It feels so good to just relax about everything and not have the early school routine hanging over our head!!

  2. I used so many paper plates and slow cooker liners when I had my second newborn. I plan on doing it again for this one!

    1. Major yes to crock pot liners Linsley!! Such a time saver!

  3. Ummm...I LOVE, Love this post!! Why do paper plates make mamas so happy? I am with you, that we use on special occasion, but they make my life so much easier!! And I totally think it is okay to just say YES sometimes. You are doing great mama - adjustment will come!!

  4. You're so smart! I love the paper plates, saying yes to things you normally wouldn't and having special treats to make life easier. We've definitely been watching more cartoons, staying in our pjs longer and snacking on easy things these past 6 weeks. The newborn snuggles make everything better and it's important to do what makes life easier when life feels a bit crazy. You're doing great!! And your stories of gummy worms making everything better make me feel good to know I'm not alone. We've had meltdowns over things like putting on pants or riding in the shopping cart at the store. Things that aren't usually a big deal are tragic which goes right along with what you said about kids behavior not always making sense. That's a hard one for me so I've had to majorly CHILL OUT, laugh and know it'll pass soon enough. You're the best and I always love hearing about your family :)

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