5 Reasons I’m No Longer Organized 

This post originally appeared on Everyday Exiles

By nature, I am an organized person. I love order, labels, color-coding, and fancy pens. Y’all know that last one falls under the same category, right? I love it when the toys in our house have all their own pieces in their own receptacles and are under the correct labels. Talk about a happy place! But how often does my home actually show that I’m organized? Very rarely. Let me tell you the reasons why.

1. I’m a busy person. I know – we are all busy in our own ways. To be honest, busyness often enhances my productivity. I have five spare minutes, and I cram as many things into those five minutes as I can. But where I start to slip is when I let go of the organizational systems I have in place. My clothes are put away according to what type of garment they are. Pajamas here, workout clothes there, casual shirts here, blouses there. But then I have a pile of gently worn clothing that doesn’t fall into the “dirty laundry” category, but hasn’t been refolded or hung back up? Talk to me, huge stack of clothes I tried to lay out nicely but instead are all now wrinkly so I either have to iron them or throw them away. (Ahem. I will never iron. So you see the problem.) It’ll take more than those five spare minutes to put you all away, so destined you are to stay there on the ottoman at the foot of my bed.

2. I don’t live by myself. I know, you’re so surprised that since I’m an organized person, my family can’t just fall in line with me! I, too, frequently fail to see why if there is a labeled bin for toy cars, why are there toys cars not only in every crevice of my home, but also in the bins labeled “Dress Up Clothes” and “Kitchen Items”? Or how about when I have special places for canned goods in my pantry, but there are often canned goods, sitting lonely on the shelf that IS NOT FOR CANNED GOODS. It must be that the leprechaun that haunts kindergarten classrooms in March also haunts my kitchen. All the time. I digress.

3. I love organization so much that I am always finding new and better ways to organize my home. Pinterest is a win AND  a fail for me. I find a good way of doing things, use it for a while, and then I see a new idea. Well, let’s try it! Oh, Hubby and the kids can’t follow my train of very organized thought, packed away into separate see-through containers, stacked on the bottom two shelves of that bookcase in the guest room? Okay, fine. I guess it was a little confusing. Let’s go back to the other way!

4. We have a lot of clutter. I used to think that clutter was knick-knacks from flea markets and bric-a-brac from trips I’d been on in the past. I have very few of those, but I still have a lot of clutter. Nowadays I think my “clutter” is the coupons I don’t want to throw away in case we want to replace our windows this month, and the book my mother-in-law lent me that I honestly do want to read but should probably give back since I’ve been borrowing it for a year and haven’t cracked it open. I’ve heard about the Konmari book, and I think I’d be all about it: if it doesn’t give you joy, toss it. Okay, great, toss that spinach and the annoying bedtime book my kid won’t stop asking me to read.

5. I’m too tired. I know that being organized is energizing for me, and will absolutely save me valuable time with many tasks around my house. The systems we have in place that work are wonderful ones, and I’m always raving about how I’d love everything to be that orderly. But the truth of the matter is that if I have an extra few hours somewhere, I’d rather be taking my kids to the park, sneaking in a date night with my husband, or having a glass of wine with a friend. I don’t have the energy to organize the laundry room’s cabinets or to choose which cloth napkins give me the most joy. You can find me snuggling my babies, watching Moana for the thirtieth time.

If you can get organized, I highly recommend it. It saves time, effort, and often some of your sanity. But if you’re like me, and you just haven’t kept it all together, that’s okay. Empty nesters have a lot of time, I hear.

Things Toddlers Say 

Hellooooooo Tuesday! Last week was blissfully spent with very little social media and very much sunshine and sand… and now that I’m back, I didn’t write quite everything down. But I’ve got a few little nuggets of Toddler Truth for you. Enjoy!

Talking about the dentist… and changing minds…
J: I don’t really want to go.
EK: Well the last time I was there I got a new toothbrush and could pick my toothpaste!
J: Well I guess I could do that.
EK: Mom! J just changed his mind about he dentist! He said he didn’t want to go but now he’s kind of incited! He changed his mind! You know, the whole world can change sometimes.
Me: That got serious quickly.

My mom: Listen! It’s so cute the way he says this! J, what color is this?
J: Toyquoise. It’s light blue.

J, as we passed a bread truck, covered in pictures of different sweet breads: Is that a special treat truck? Can we go where it’s going?

Our babysitter: While you were at the beach, did you eat some seafood?
EK: Yeah, but I didn’t like the seafood. But they had hush puppies, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, they’re dying me!” And then I said, “I’m going to eat all that stuff!”
And me, overhearing it from the other room, dying laughing.

I’ve listened to EK say mermaid incorrectly for a long time now, and I finally realized what she was saying: mername.

J, watching the first 30 seconds of A Bug’s Life: This is my bothest part! My favoritest! I’m gonna die about this part!

D, asking for more noodles: Doddles! Doddles, peez! Mo’ doddles peez, mama!

J in his car seat: Ugh a bug! Shoo shoo shoo! You’re making me stupid, bug!

J and D’s new favorite song: “Trust In Me” from (the old cartoon movie) The Jungle Book. You know, the song that Kaa the snake sings? So J is into slithering around, singing, “Trusssssssssst in meeeeeee….”

J, when he knows he’s in trouble: When we get home, could I play for just a little bit tad?

Well what are your kids saying? Do they have songs they sing or things they quote that are funny?

Book Review: The Fifth Wave series, by Rick Yancey

Does anyone else love YA literature, even when they’re (kinda far?) out of that age bracket? I know that it’s supposed to be for people younger than me, but I almost always find the reads quick, easy, and quite fascinating. Dystopian novels in particular can be favorites of mine, and Hunger Games is at the top of my list. I have a particular affinity for series (as I mentioned here) since they go on a little longer than a couple hundred pages. And so, much of the YA lit is right up my alley. Everyone loves a good story that doesn’t end too quickly.

I have read Hunger Games too many times to count, and have also read the Maze Runner series and loved it. I first heard about the Fifth Wave series from another mother/writer friend, who was loved it for the same reasons I love it: only so much brain power can be attached to the books I’m reading at the moment (can you say three kids?), so the more attachment I form to the story, and the simpler the difficulty, the better.

The Fifth Wave and the subsequent two books were a refreshing break from the non-fiction I had been reading. They immediately caught my attention, however initially confusing it was that every few chapters, the first person tense switched characters. I wasn’t too keen on the “alien invasion” idea, but the books had a magnificent twist that not only was unexpected, but a little relieving for my stuffy, “there’s no way that’s real” perspective.

The first main character Cassie has a charge to keep her younger brother safe in a world turned upside down, and she finds friends and help in the strangest of situations. It could be pretty violent at times – much of the story was taking place in an army boot camp of sorts, but the soldiers were all children. Nonetheless, I enjoyed finding out how all the stories had woven together by the end, and the final twist had me in tears.

If you need a read that won’t go by too quickly, but will hold your attention, this series is a good one for you! I downloaded it on my Kindle, and it was special pricing when I downloaded all three of the books at once. If you read it, or have read it in the past, let me know! I’d love to pick your brain about a few things!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Vacation isn’t stopping my kids from saying hilarious things, so here is a sampling of the things I’ve heard this week! Enjoy!

EK to our babysitter: I’m going to make your hair look exotic!

J: Mama, when I get up, can we do that thing we did the other day?
Me: Yeah, babe. What thing?
J: I don’t remember.

Heard from the back seat…
J: EK, we’re not playing that panties game!

EK at dinner: Did you know that bats use listening and feeling and snelling (no typo) to find their way around ’cause they can’t see?
Everyone: Oh wow! Cool! No way!
EK: Yeah, that’s how I get to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Listening, feeling, and snelling.

EK, randomly: Mom, I want to join a bunch of kids. I want to work on my soccers.

EK, randomly mimicking the self-check out: Thank you for shopping at Lowe’s Foods!

D: *crying in the car at 9:00am*
EK: Why don’t you go to sleep, D? You’ll do less crying that way.
Me: He’s not even been awake a full hour, sweetie.

EK, with a bag full of sandy seashells: These are sorry shells for D. Because he wasn’t feeling good. 

J, to EK, while brushing their teeth: Don’t just eat it like a lollipop!

There you have it: Things I Couldn’t Make Up If I Tried. What are your kids surprising you with these days?

Book Review: A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House

I borrowed this book from my aunt, who has spent about half her life living in Kentucky, near where Silas House lives. She had bought the book originally because he was a local author, and I saw it on her bookshelf the last time I was at her house. She let me borrow it, and I read it in basically one day, on the road trip back home. I couldn’t put it down!

A Parchment of Leaves is set in the mountains of Kentucky, portraying the life of a Cherokee woman named Vine Sullivan, her family, her community, and her accidental love triangle. It’s a captivating saga from start to finish, written in first person straight from Vine’s heart and mind. I enjoyed reading a bit about Cherokee culture, about what women did during the first world war while most of the men were away, and about how a group of small town women were able to fend for themselves in a time that most women weren’t able to do so.

If you’re local to the southeast, if you like literature based around the WWI time period, or if you like a sweet and captivating story with a few surprises along the way, you’ll love this book. There were several times that I thought I could predict what was about to happen, but I was wrong – and I like to be taken off guard! It’s boring if I know every single thing that’s about to happen. I absolutely recommend this book as a great summer read! If you do read it, let me know so that we can chat about it!

Things Toddlers Say 

Happy Tuesday everyone! We’ve just completed a day full of yard work, and I’m feeling great about a little spruce up in our back yard. The kiddos are at preschool summer camp this week in the mornings, so we’ve been fairly productive with the two mornings we’ve had without them.

Here are a few funnies from the past week – hope you enjoy them!


That picture up there is an example of what EK asked the face painter at a birthday party to do. It’s a sunset with palm trees. In case you’re wondering.

EK: Will cherry juice stain your clothes?
Hubby: Yes
EK: Will it clean off in the washer machine?
Hubby: Maybe, but it’s extra work, and it still might not come off.
EK: Maybe you’ll just have to deal about it. Like my mom tells me when my toys break.
Hubby: *silence*

D, pointing at the TV: Mana! Mana!
Hubby: You want to watch Mary Poppins?
D: Mana! Mana! MANA!
Hubby: OH! Moana… You want to watch Moana?
D: Yeah!

J: My booboo’s getting very reddish and I need a bandaid!

EK, calling me out: Why do you always put your eyescara on in the car?

EK with some wisdom: I think you had me first, because you needed help, because D and J are hard.

J, stomping into our bedroom at 10pm: I just want to snuggle you!
Me: *giggling*
J: Laugh quietly because the baby is sleeping!

EK, when the three kids and I are all in the car: Where’s daddy?
Me: He’s at home.
EK: I bet he’s sad because he’s got no one to talk to.
Me: It sounds like you don’t know he’s an introvert.

What are your kiddos saying these days?

Book Review: Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan

 

If you’re a woman or a parent or you just enjoy funny books, drop what you’re doing and buy this book right now. Bunmi Laditan is witty and hilarious, snarky and sweet as she writes a novel about a new mom who tries to impress her potential mom friends. It’s a sure way to laugh out loud in a coffee shop and make people think you’re nuts.

New mom Ashley joins a “boot camp” led by her mom idol, and proceeds to botch everything – and we find out about her little one, her hubby, and her mother-in-law along the way. She struggles just like all of us have struggled with aspects of motherhood, SAHM life, or just trying to be a domestic goddess in a Pinterest world. It makes you feel better about yourself, while also falling in love with Bunmi’s quick humor.

I found out about Confessions of a Domestic Failure because I’ve been a long-time follower of Bunmi on her Facebook page, and I’m always impressed with how she blends her humor, a little satire, and a lot of feel-goodery all in one post. She’s got a one-in-a-million style, and I love that about her. I downloaded the book to my Kindle right when it came out, and finished it within a week – and mind you, that was a busy week, not a vacation where I could just read and read. I put it down only because I had to! I urge you to get this book, because I giggled and cried and would love to chat with you about it when you read it!