Simple Fix: Monthly Fridge Calendar

So when I headed to Target for some organizational tools, I’m not sure that I expected the dry-erase calendar to be such a big hit. As I mentioned, three of us share a family calendar on our iPhones and you would think that this would be sufficient. I mean, I had to consult the electronic version of the family calendar to fill out this new calendar. And even as I’m filling it out for the current month, I kinda wondered if I had lost my ever-loving mind. Why was I doing double work for myself? My husband was skeptical. My children were non-interested. Had I missed my mark?

But then I put it on the fridge. You know, the one area of the house that gets the most visibility. And?

  • My husband noticed that Beezus has the SAT’s in two weeks.
  • Beezus noticed a couple of events The Dude and I have where she needs to be sure and be home on time.
  • Ramona noticed that I didn’t forget about her upcoming events.
  • The girls saw when their dad was going to be out of town and how we would coordinate.

(I’d like to say that my husband will stop teasing me that he doesn’t know when my brother’s wedding is, but we’ll applaud the progress that we’ve made.)

blurred images to protect the guilty
blurred images to protect the insanely busy

We are visual people. We have to see and see it again and again to keep it in the forefront of our very busy brains. The calendar on the iPhones are awesome and SUPER necessary, but we needed to have a global view of what’s going on in our family. A constant, visual reminder of where we need to be, what’s going on, and who it involves. It’s color coded, so everyone has a better idea of how to coordinate busy schedules. We’re not just assuming the other family members knows what’s going on. We are all looking at this same calendar.

I’m not saying we’ve solved world hunger or cured cancer, but this is a big step for us.

And since I knew that I had to change the way I thought about things, I made some changes of my own. On the same day I bought the calendar, I also purchased a notebook cover that has a clip board on the front. Tease me if you want to, but this clip board makes me happy. I’ve created a to-do list that breaks out the different areas of my life and that is always on the top of the clip board. I also include a monthly calendar for reference, some paperwork of various tasks I need to tackle and some scheduling tools that I use for blogging and social media. On the inside cover, there’s a pocket if I need to stuff something in there. And then, of course, the notebook/pad of paper for notes, etc.

I love it.

I’m not going to win any awards for my organization, but it works. Or at least it works for now until I need to adjust and make changes because my life adjusts and makes changes. We all know that my life is constantly moving and growing, so my organization has to be just as flexible as I need to be to keep up with my crazy family. But I love that, for right now, it works. And it works well.

 

Fall-ing

Image
such a pretty Fall cupcake

I made a Fall To Do list today. Which immediately inspired me to have Thanksgiving conversations with some of my family. I’m really sorry to have to admit that to you. I mean…I know that it’s only September…and I didn’t mean for it to happen, but I didn’t stop it either. I should be ashamed of myself.

But here’s the thing…there are a lot of us on my side of the family. Planning and scheduling holidays and events can get really difficult. Some of my siblings do one year at the in-laws, the next year with our side of the family. (One of my siblings lives too far away. Boo.) I don’t necessarily do that anymore. I used to try and cram SO. MUCH. THANKSGIVING. into one day, that it ended up being pretty gosh darn stressful. My family has taken to planning a separate Thanksgiving so that we can still all get together. Somehow, though, the on/off schedule has gotten a little out of sync. So somehow, my sister in law and I just declared Thanksgiving 2015 the year we all are together on the actual Day of Thanks. That gives everyone plenty of time to get squared away with their respective families.

What I realized after we had made such Thanksgiving declarations, is that I will have a college student coming home for the holidays that year. My head kinda exploded with that realization.

I will have you know that I only JOKED about sobbing hysterically. I didn’t actually do it. (PROGRESS.) (This won’t last.)

The fun thing about this year’s holiday celebrations is that we are (officially) welcoming in a new family member. My youngest brother (the youngest of all the siblings) gets married next month. I can’t even remember if I have mentioned that here, and I’m too lazy to go back and check, so yeah…my brother is getting married mid-October. I’m pretty much over-the-moon over my newest sister in-law. Both of my brothers have somehow convinced some pretty amazing ladies to marry them. I’m not sure how they did it, but I’m sure they have me and my sisters to thank for it. Just a hunch.

Once we get back from Disneyland, it will be less than three weeks until the wedding. Crazy. I should probably find something to wear that isn’t work clothes or yoga pants.

But now that the thought of shopping for a dress has sufficiently stressed me out, I’m going to go back to thinking about Disneyland. However, if I show up to the wedding in jeans and a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, I may not have to worry about Thanksgiving plans since I will probably be uninvited.

I should re-think this plan. Probably.

it’s a venti kind of Thursday

Every Monday and Wednesday, my husband (The Dude) teaches an evening class at a nearby college. I know! Our life isn’t busy enough so we threw another mound of crap on an already very full plate. But what started out as a work “I think you should do this” thing turned into “hey we could totally pay off this bill” thing. We obviously talked a lot about this before fully committing to it and decided we would try it out for a semester. And yes, I said “WE”. My Mondays and Wednesdays are now a whole lot more insane.

And they were pretty insane before.

I think since we live in a pretty constant state of busy, it’s almost like we don’t even notice when we throw another log on the busy fire. However, this week saw us have MANY scheduling conflicts and overbookings for things that were already scheduled way in advance. Which is fine. Sorta. It’s just that I am asking for help even when it’s hard to do so.

Yesterday was especially nutty. Luckily, my mom had Ramona and could hang out with her later than normal. I had gotten a ride for Beezus from her water polo game to softball practice (because logistics were impossible unless I only worked a half day) but I still needed to get her softball bag to her after leaving the office. Maybe it was lucky that we both got a little stuck in traffic, because that way we ended up at practice at the same time. As I called out my goodbye as she traded one backpack for another, I said “Hey! I’ll probably be late!” My response when she asked why? “Because my life is insane! And so is yours! Yay!” (I did have a smile on my face. Just thought I’d put that out there. It might have been an ironic, sarcastic type of smile.)

I took all the back roads as I headed home to try and avoid some of the traffic. Quick phone call to touch bases with Sarah on some important FP updates. Sang at the top of my lungs when I needed to. Pulled up to my house, knowing I would be leaving again in 15 minutes. My brother was there dropping off a chair (because, duh…doesn’t your brother drop off chairs on Wednesdays?) so a quick hello and an equally quick goodbye, and my mom (Ramona) and I were off to a family-type meeting regarding my brother’s wedding next month. A meeting I should’ve only stayed at for 20 minutes because Beezus would be done with practice soon. However, it was rather hard to leave right in the middle of plan stuffs.

So I asked for help. Again.

Wonderfully and thankfully for me, my dear friend (and another parent from the softball team) could cover for me. I was able to text everyone involved and soon enough, Beezus had a ride to their house while they waited for me to finish up. I didn’t stay too much longer, though. Just long enough for my sister in-law to call me Miss Perfect and long enough for me to be super sarcastic and crack jokes to people I didn’t know very well. (Totes normal!)

As I picked up Beezus from my sweet friend’s house, she said it sounded like the next few weeks were pretty crazy. I said yeah. She asked what she could do for me. (I love her.) I said, “Uh…THIS. This helped me a ton! Taking my child home with you saved the day.”

And then I said what I always seem to say:

I just need to get through September.”

But of course, I’m an idiot and wasn’t thinking about the aforementioned wedding next month.

“Uh. Just kidding. I just need to get through October.”

I know full well that I’ll be saying the very same thing in November and December. (Holidays. Duh.) But, for right now? Getting through the next 4-5 weeks is all I can focus on.

Now, you would think that our story would end with us heading home after that. But it doesn’t. Yes, we are as insane as you think we are, but we have family visiting from out of town (out of the country, really) and so we popped over to my in-laws to say hello while The Dude met us there. We only stayed for an hour, though…the kids had to get to bed. And I had to start a load of laundry because I really wasn’t sure what the clean underwear situation was. (Ahem. It was good I did laundry.)

Tonight doesn’t look a whole lot different, but I won’t make myself look more insane by telling you about that too. At least there is a lot less driving tonight, The Dude isn’t teaching, and I probably won’t have to start a load of clothes when I get home. However, I really should do the dishes that are beginning to pile up in the sink just in case we have company tonight after the family attends Beezus’ double-header softball games.

I’m terrible at not telling you things.

I also REALLY deserve this venti iced coffee.

venti