November was a crazy month, but we knew that going into it. We stayed with my dad for three weeks after his hip replacement surgery. It was really hard at first with my sprained ankle and Liam catching a cold, but we made it through. In the end, it was fun to have a three week change from our ordinary lives, but we are glad to be back home.
In mid-November, my sister and I surprised my mom with a birthday party. We learned a lot about the art of surprise (especially in light of the fact that Mom had just put a quiche in the oven at the time we were supposed to get her for the party--always plan something with the surprisee to prevent this!).
Liam turns seventeen months old today. I was looking through old pictures and saw that he was just learning to sit up this time last year. He would lie under the Christmas tree looking at lights. This year, he's all about the ornaments, and it is so cute to see him get excited about certain ones (namely animals and a particular red truck).
This month has been really slow as far as reading goes. However, I am reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up for the third time in one week because it's just that good. In it, Marie Kondo shares her method for a once-and-for-all major tidying that leaves you with a clearer house and clearer mind. She dispels many of the major myths about tidying, and it really makes sense. I have a post I'll share about it soon. And seriously, I love that she uses the word tidying.
I also finished A Year of Biblical Womanhood and learned much more than I expected. I reread Bringing Up Bebe for the first time since actually having a child. I wasn't as impressed as I was in my pre-child state.
Liam also loves this video on Youtube (and several others by the same channel). RC trucks at their finest!
My capsule wardrobe. I've tweaked it and updated a few pieces, but having a set number of pieces has simplified laundry, outfit choosing, and even a three-week stay with my dad. It's amazing! I get dressed in real people clothes every morning now, and it's so easy.
Plan to Eat: I just started this meal-planning service and will update you soon, but so far, I think it is way better than Pinterest for culling and actually cooking recipes (plus it makes a grocery list for you!).
Our Christmas tree and Christmas music: As far as Advent preparation, we're (not faithfully) using The Greatest Gift as we did last year. (P.S. I posted last year about when Christmas becomes too much and when it's not enough. I also wrote about how motherhood changed the Christmas story for me.)
Morning tidying: After staying with my dad and tidying every morning after coffee and breakfast, I've found a routine that works well for Liam and for me. I read a post recently by a mom (wish I could remember where I read it!) who applied Newton's First Law of Motion to her own daily routine. She explained that if she started her day in motion, she tended to have a productive day. If she started with rest, she tended to continue to rest all day. It turns out that this is true of me. Starting our day with work contributes to a more energetic and productive day.
Watching Liam grow: Living somewhere else for three weeks really changed Liam. He had to share my attention because I was helping my dad, and he has become much more independent and helpful. He is, however, somewhat obsessive about seeing clothes on the floor or finding trash now that he lived with my super-tidy Dad for a while. He will take anything trash-like straight to the trash can. He also loves coloring and play-doh now.
Gift Guides: Instead of links (because I'm behind on my Internet reading), I'll share some gift guides I've found helpful as I pick out gifts for some sweet nieces and an adorable nephew plus various family members.
- I love Lindsey's guides for children, men, and women. They are wonderful!
- Coffee+Crumbs has had great suggestions for babies and toddlers.
- For whimsy and some inspiration, I like Cup of Jo's gift guides (her titles are great!).
- Art of Simple also has great, thoughtful information on gifts.
I have a post about life with a sixteen-month-old in the works. I also plan to share about tidying and infant potty training. It may be a little slow over the next few weeks (and I just may be trying out the new tidying system mentioned above!). Is there anything you would like to see here?
I'd love for you to follow me on Instagram for more daily-life pics!
What have you been up to this month?