Monday, February 3, 2020

{6} Things Saving me This Winter

We are approximately half way through winter right now which normally feels like an accomplishment but this year we haven't had a whole lot of winter weather!  This week last year we had a couple days of -40° windchills that practically shut down the city (and all schools) and this year...we've had one really cold Sunday and one snow fall in November, but otherwise...some snow dustings here and there but most days the temp peaks in the 20s or 30s which is bearable, especially if it's sunny!  Although Sam still tells me every time we walk out the door that it's cold.

Winter feels less like something to survive this year and more or just something to tolerate although we do still have a good 6 weeks left with the possibility for heavy snowfall and another month after that where dustings are possible so maybe winter will show up at some point!

A few things that are making this not too miserable season still a little better!

1) Microwave meals
Lunches have long been a struggle for me.  I hate figuring out what to eat every day and it can be a hodgepodge.  So I finally decided that since they are such a struggle, occasionally I can have a microwave meal and it's fine (I limit it to once a week but sometimes that's all I need).  I know, microwave meals aren't great but I'm also not interested in making a complicated meal just for me during precious nap time unless it's soup that will feed me for a week.  The one shown is my favorite (that I bought 4 of when I was using my 20% day in December and stacked with a 20% off Cartwheel deal so they were pretty cheap!).  I like this one so much that I am attempting to recreate a version of it for supper tonight!

2) Early Bedtimes for All
By Christmas break a lot of things were falling apart and we were all ready for a break from the slog of school.  Since school started again in January we've been much better about getting the boys to bed at a reasonable time (about 7:30 for Sam, 8:00 for Luke) on school nights.  That means that some nights we are starting baths at 6pm but that's ok.  Getting the boys to bed on time means there is time for Matt and I to have kid-free time and get ourselves to bed on time.  Being well rested is good for everyone.

3) Massively Planning my Weeks and Menu Plans
This year, more than any other, I've been extra careful with how I plan things.  I usually work for an hour to 90 minutes one night a week after Matt gets home and at least one other night a week we usually have something else going on which means I have been extra careful about which nights I have to make dinner and which nights we can heat up leftovers.  I spent 2 hours last Sunday making a menu plan and grocery list and planning for the week ahead.  Which was a lot but it sure makes our weeks go a lot smoother when I am not trying to fit 4 hours of things into about 2.

4) The Days Matt can Pick-up Luke From School
Matt's work schedule can change daily (he's gone in as early as 4:30am and left as late at 10pm) but there has usually been one day a week he's out early enough to pick-up Luke from school which is my absolute favorite.  I don't have to wake up Sam from his nap and rush him through a diaper change and coats and getting out the door in order to entertain him in the car line when I just want to sit and read while we are both cold because I hate leaving the car running the whole time we are sitting in line.  It's wonderful when Matt can do the afternoon school run.

5) Target pick-up orders
This was on my list last year and I still love it.  Please don't ever take this away from me, Target.  I've greatly cut the time spent in store and will just put things in my online cart through the app throughout the week.  Especially when I order a lot (like 3 cases of diapers when they had them on sale a couple weeks ago) and then I don't have to worry about being the one to return the cart!  It's super helpful and convenient.

6) Blue-Tooth Connection to Car Stereo 
We upgraded our cell phones when Verizon had a fantastic deal on Thanksgiving and I FINALLY have a phone that doesn't need charged 5 times throughout the day to survive.  Which means I don't have to plug it into my car every time I am driving anywhere and therefore can use the blue-tooth connection which I always used to hate but now I love.  I often have music or podcasts playing and now, once I start the car and am buckling in Sam, usually my phone syncs to the stereo and I don't have to mess with a cord!  It's fantastic.  We are now looking to upgrade a vehicle so we have space for the baby we are listed for, and a blue-tooth connection is on my list (not very high on my list but I do check the listings for it).  

Winter 2019 List
Winter 2018 List
Winter 2017 List

What is helping YOU get through the winter?

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