One Year Later…

It’s fitting that it’s been a year since I posted my last blog post – and it was about my “New Normal”.

I’ve found that my commitment to finding my “Best Yes” has been an ongoing challenge (as it is for almost any parent in today’s society).  I’m still struggling to find what is my best use of my time.  I’m still AHG Troop Coordinator for GO’s troop (though, we have a new coordinator that will take over next year, and I’ll step back to be her assistant).  I’m now the 3rd Grade Director at church (but, have given up the check-in desk to my Meggy).  And I’m committed to working the staff nursery for the two younger Caterpillars, every Tuesday, and I’m loving my year as KB’s Room Mum (this teacher has had GO, Went, and KB – and I’ve been her Room Mum all three years!).

Our family has changed a bit, we added a Meggy.  She’s an amazing dear-heart who loves the kids like they are her own siblings.  She makes our house complete.

We, also, have been dealing with a very sick kid.  Nothing we can talk about on social media, for many reasons, but things that have taken up much of our time and prayers in the last four months.

Add that to the fact that two of the Caterpillars are graduating this year – and you have the recipe for a crazy and wild ride.

I’m not sure what the normal is going to be.  I certainly haven’t found it in the last year, and not sure when I will find it.  I do know that I have missed blogging very much.  This was an outlet for ME – it’s nice that others read it, but it was a place for me to get out my thoughts and it was my personal space out in the world.  I think I will be blogging, again, for me.  A place to leave lots of pictures, which I miss taking.  If you come by my corner of the internet, feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for coming by.

Welcome back,
Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Working on My New Normal

Lots has changed in the last year.  And we are moving into a season where we know will be filled with even more change.  It’s hard to look at what we have right now – knowing that in three years, it will likely be completely different.

Otto and I are working on our new normal.  This summer, I took a pretty big leap of faith and put myself in a small group with five other women.  I knew one of them well enough to call her a good friend (but not close enough to hang out at each other’s houses), two I would call “school friends” that I would talk to during preschool, but not really much outside of that, and two I didn’t know at all.

For three months, we went through “The Best Yes” by Lysa TerKeurst.  And we came out the other side vastly different.  I gained a group of women who walk into my home without knocking and would do my laundry if I had an emergency. But in that bible study, I lost a lot, also.  I was challenged to look at what God wanted for me and my family, and then say my “best” yes.

Sometimes we say yes – and it’s not WRONG or BAD, but it prevents us from giving our best.  As a mum, I find myself feeling like I *need* to say yes to so many *GOOD* things, but then I am worn out and tired when it’s time to say yes to the *BEST* things.  So I started to say “not at this time” and “I’m sorry, but my schedule doesn’t allow me to take on that responsibility” and hardest “no, I am not in the season of my life to be able to help you with that”.

I am down to three major commitments outside my home: I’m the Troop Coordinator for GO’s American Heritage Girl Troop, I am Went’s Room Mum, and I serve at the Kids Sign-In Desk for an hour on Sunday mornings.  That’s it.  Everything else I say “yes” to is a one-time deal, and has only short-term commitments.

It’s hard.  I know B10 and CW miss their scouting (though, that decision was made with 100% of their input, and they had their own reasons for wanting to step back themselves), but at the same time – we have had more family days.  More time to sit around and laugh and talk and just BE together.  I miss being a part of our local Mom Group, but find myself soaking in the time I have with my Best Yes Girls.  I realize that my dream of finishing my Master’s Degree has become much further away, and could very likely never happen.  Which is disappointing, but necessary.

I’m stepping back.  I’m re-evaluating everything, and praying it through with Otto.  What does this season look like for us?  What does it look like for me?  Where are my priorities?

I’m coming back stronger, it’s simply going to take a while to figure out my new normal.

Until then, every sunrise is a blessing.

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

August Meal Plan

I’m at the point where I’m ready to get back into the swing of things and really embrace my “new normal” with KB here.  The pain isn’t gone, but I’m tired of trying to wait until I feel healthy to get back to life.  With that in mind, I wanted to put together the August Meal Plan.  I’ve had a lot of people ask questions about my meal planning, and how we do it for $400 a month for everything (that includes diapers and dog food – usually).

AugustMealPlan2015

First – you’ll notice that August 1st is at the bottom of the calendar.  This enables me to still give each day it’s own block, even when the meals “bleed” into six weeks.

Second – how to choose what I have each day: I ALWAYS make my meal plan with my EC Planner right beside me.  Days I know that we will be running around, so a crockpot meal is best, are the first meals I plan.  Then I fill in with family favorites, or special holidays (like the Birthday Dinner).  Since the 1st (my shopping day) is a Saturday, I picked an easy meal that is well liked by the family.  That way I’m not stressing about what to fix, after I have spent 3-4 hours shopping and putting away food!

Third – the “special” meals: the 4th is a Birthday Dinner for a dear friend. She requested a specific meal.  Also, you’ll see that each caterpillar has a “day”.  On that day, they get $20 and have to decide how to feed our family.  They have to plan ahead and present me with a shopping list, and they will do the cooking by themselves (except GO – she can request assistance, but she’ll start working on most of the skills).  Once they can consistently feed our family for $20, I’ll knock it down to $15.

Fourth – how do I stop the caterpillars from eating all the food meant for meals?  Simple – when we unpack the grocery bags – Otto and I use a sharpie marker to label EVERY item with the date it is suppose to be in a meal.  For example: the sloppy joe mix will have the number 26 on the top of  the can and the hot dog buns will have the number 7 on the bag.  The kids know that if the day has already passed, and the food item is still there, it’s safe to eat it.  So, on the 10th, if CW wanted a sandwich on a hotdog bun, he would know it was past the 8th and safe to eat.  This has virtually eliminated my ingredients being eaten ahead of time.

All told, it takes me about 1 hour to prepare my calendar (the screenshot above) and to make my detailed shopping list.  Then it takes 3-4 hours to grocery shop and precook the meat or put together the “casserole” type meals.  So approximately 5 hours at the beginning of the month, then less than 15 minutes each night to fix the meals.

Any specific questions I can answer?

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Things I Love – Ellembee Clothes

A few years ago, my awesome parental people – Daddy and Lala (AKA: Minnie Mouse) – found me a gorgeous hoodie at a local fair, by a woman with a company called Ellembee.  It was grey with beautiful white flowers.  A couple of years later, I received a v-neck shirt, a slightly darker shade of grey, and it quickly became one of my favorite tops.  I love the handmade look and the softness of the cotton.  Flash-forward to Christmas 2014.  KB had a gift under the tree, so to speak, and I was thrilled beyond belief when I opened it.  Her very own Ellembee Onesies!

Being a smart person, Lala had chosen onesies in the 3-6 month size.  Today was the first day my little girl could wear her Giraffe Onesie!

<3 the softness and comfort of the cotton onesie!

Ellembee Yellow Giraffe

Ellembee Yellow Giraffe

I was so excited I had to post to their Facebook page.😀

Happy KB LOVES her Ellembee!

Happy KB LOVES her Ellembee!

I think KB was pretty darn excited, too!

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

PS – I got no money from this, no free stuff, and if you click on the links and purchase anything – I don’t get anything for that.  I just❤ Ellembee so much that I wanted to share!🙂

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!

Happy 4th of July!

I got a STICK, Mum!

I got a STICK, Mum!

Striking a pose (with a bit of Went hair to the side).

Striking a pose (with a bit of Went hair to the side).

The Littles

The Littles

My sweet Girls

My sweet Girls

Me and KB

Me and KB

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Adorable outfits came from Goat and Lulu!  I love that they match AND Went’s JonJon is reversible to be LSU colours for fall!

Beach Caterpillars

We were blessed by a dear friend asking us to come spend a few days with her at the beach.  Otto had to work, so it was me and the three littlest Caterpillars, plus my niece – Princess Flower (PF).  We headed to Topsail Island on a Saturday, and stayed until the next Thursday (to make it home before the storms and to spend the holiday with Otto).

The view was beautiful, the weather was fantastic.

The view from our balcony - looking at the two older girls in the surf.

The view from our balcony – looking at the two older girls in the surf.

We spent two mornings at the beach, and took a few short trips.  The island was once a military installation, so we visited the local museum: Missiles and More.  What an amazing little free museum!  Not only was there no admission (we left a donation), but their exhibits were outstanding.  They made the most of their small space, including a large fossil dig outside for the kids (again – FREE – they even provided the baggies to take fossils home in!).  When we arrived, each child was given a Pirate Sticker, the two volunteers (I’m assuming they were volunteers) were incredibly articulate, letting us guide ourselves, but answering (in great detail) any questions we had.  I was suitably impressed.

My favorite exhibit

My favorite exhibit

Inside at the Touch Table

Inside at the Touch Table

Digging for Fossils

Digging for Fossils

We also visited the Turtle Hospital, and saw the Turtle ICU and the large area where they housed turtles being rehabilitated.  GO’s one request was that we adopt a turtle, so we took home pictures of Kit the Turtle!

A turtle!

A turtle!

Went was fascinated about half the time...the other half he was bored senseless.  Turtles in large blue tubs....over and over!

Went was fascinated about half the time…the other half he was bored senseless. Turtles in large blue tubs….over and over!

Listening to a volunteer talk about types of turtles and how they get injured.

Listening to a volunteer talk about types of turtles and how they get injured.

Riding the Stone Turtle outside.

Riding the Stone Turtle outside.

We only ate out twice – once at a fun Hot Dog place, then my friend and I had a grown-up dinner at a “fancy” restaurant (where I had the best steak I have had in YEARS)!

The Gang

The Gang

We enjoyed the beach and the pool, and simply relaxed in the sand.

GO in her puddle jumper (for the pool).

GO in her puddle jumper (for the pool).

One of the cool things we saw was the Navy practicing rescue missions in the ocean right outside our door!  That was so different and cool.  We watched for almost an hour.

The helicopter was dropping in a "victim", then rescuing them.

The helicopter was dropping in a “victim”, then rescuing them.

We also visited two different playgrounds (and might have had a chocolate milkshake)!

DSC_0312 DSC_0323

The Atlantic Waterway (Inlet) where we got to see shrimping (with a net), during a playground break.

The Atlantic Waterway (Inlet) where we got to see shrimping (with a net), during a playground break.

I’m so grateful to have had this chance with the littles.  I know GO and PF went home with great memories!

~Mummy Butterfly )i(

Merbaby

I caught a Merbaby while at the beach…

Sleeping Merbaby

Sleeping Merbaby

I <3 those cheeks...

I❤ her.

Sleeping away  to the sound of waves (outside on the balcony, so peaceful)

Sleeping away to the sound of waves (outside on the balcony, so peaceful)

Otto said I should bring her home with me…

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(