Wednesday, September 21, 2016

10 Things to Do While Your Toddler Takes a Bath

| picture from last year|

Last night I was sitting in the bathroom on the little wooden bench I always sit on when the kids take a bath. I grabbed my phone and started making a list of things I needed to get done before we leave for Colorado Friday morning. Before long I got distracted and started cleaning m makeup brushes., it needed to be done and I thought it was the perfect time since I was already in there. Plus, those things haven't seen soap and water for longer than I'd like to admit; perhaps that's why I'm breaking out so much? Anyway.

It was just Tracen in there tonight, Sky was already begging to be put to bed (yes, he LOVES his sleep!) Trace is five and a half so he most certainly does't need me washing his ass any longer so I normally just chill in there and tell him how much longer he has while I scroll through my phone mindlessly. When he takes showers I will go in the other room and fold laundry, clean up etc since I feel comfortable that he won't drown from raindrops.

It got me thinking though of all the things we as parents can do while our kids take a bath. These are things for the parents that have toddlers or older kids that don't technically "need" us to help bathe them any longer but we can't be leaving them in a tub full of water either!

1. WASH YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES: This is what I choose to do last night. I sorted through them and tossed any that were not worth keeping and washed the rest. I use my Real Techniques brush cleaner palette and some Dawn dish soap (the blue one they use on those poor ducks in oil spills in commercials) that one works the best. Let them dry over night and you are good to use in the am.

2. CLEAN YOUR BATHROOM: I know this may sound funny since your kids are in the bathtub and that most likely that needs to be cleaned too but clean anything else you can! The toilet, the sink, around the baseboards, the mirror, the floor, change the towels, organize the cupboards, etc. There is SO much cleaning that can be done in the bathroom that you most likely hate doing, why not do it while you're already sitting in there anyway! Please remember to not use bleach or any harsh chemicals while the kids are in there since its such a small space though.

3. ANSWER EMAILS: I use this time a lot to hop on my computer and answer emails for videography business, look at orders that need to be filled from my clothing shop, start a blog post, edit photos or videos, etc. It gives me a little window to get a few things online done before we start the teeth brushing and book reading aspect of the bedtime routine.

4. PAMPER YOURSELF: I will take this time to wash my face really good and do a face mask. Usually this is the perfect amount of time needed to slab a face mask on and wash it off before the boys are done with their bath. A couple face masks I'm loving at the moment are, First Aid Beauty mask, Freeman Facial Charcoal and Black Sugar Polish Mask,and this black peel off mask..

5. FOLD LAUNDRY I will bring a basket, or two, full of clothes that need to be folded and get to work while they bathe. Once they are done I then drop off all the clean and folded clothes to everyone's room right before we read books. This way Jerek and I aren't forced to do this after bedtime and we can get straight into watching Ray Donovan!

6. TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY: With Tracen starting kindergarten I try to ask him about his day while we drive home or over dinner. I read somewhere that sometimes kids don't like to answer these questions because they just want to turn their brain off when they leave. Kinda like when we commute home from work, the last thing I really feel like doing is talking to someone on my drive home and telling you how my day was. Using the bath time to ask how their day is you might get much more of an answer than if you asked on your drive home from school!

7. PLAY A GAME: Again with Tracen and starting school, he's really excited that he's learning different words and to read. Take the time to ask him how do you spell "THE" or what words start with the letter B. Easy things you can do as "homework/practice" and also have him wash his fifthly little body at the same time, win win!

8. PAINT YOUR NAILS: I can't say to do this if you use regular nail polish because it might not be dry in time for when you have to help them get out and dry off. However, since I use an at home gel manicure system I can easily do this in 15 min and my nails won't get messed up! I've mentioned this before but this is my ride or die! I don't think I'll EVER go back to painting my nails with regular nail polish again!

9. MAKE A LIST: I am a die hard list maker! I make lists about lists! Take this time to make a grocery list, a weekend to do list, a To Sell online list, a list for your husband to do when he wakes up from a nap on the couch at 7 pm, wait what ;) Take this time to plan things out so you are not wasting time then! I just signed up for Shipt so I can legit grocery shopping done while the kids take a bath and it is delivered to me in an hour. I kid you not!!!

10. RELAX: Sometimes sitting on the chair with a cocktail and just watching him play is all I need at that moment in time! Take a breather from the crazy day and enjoy being home with them.

I know sometimes we hate bath time (at least I do sometimes) because we have to stop what we're doing and sit there while they pour gallons of water onto the floor take a bath but it doesn't mean you can't multitask!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Faves


Hello there and welcome to Friday, you've made it!

At least that's what I told myself this morning at 530 when my alarm was going off,


This week has been the first full week of kindergarten for Trace and I think I can speak for both Jer and I to say we're fucking tired.

|1|  I now get why my mom made me start going to bed early a week or two before school started because getting kids to school by the bell is hard! To be honest I don't even have to deal with it anymore. Some would say that's great but I'm having a hard time with it. I use to be the one that took the boys to school and Jer picked up. With Tracen's new school schedule we have him in before care that starts at 7 and school starting at 830am. To save a little cash and not have him at school for 23 hours a day we are skipping putting him in aftercare. This means I get up at 5/530 everyday to get to work by 630 so I can leave at 230 and get him by 330 when the bell rings. With this major change I don't see the boys from 830pm till 330pm. I don't get any kisses good bye in the morning or anyone saying don't go to work or hanging on my leg while I try to leave daycare. Most people would be like that's awesome! You don't have to deal with the hard stuff in the morning and they get to run into your arms when you pick them up.

I miss that morning shit though.

I've told you before. I love the chaos.

I love the stress it brings.

It fuels me.

They fuel me.

Although, I LOVE missing all the Detroit traffic by getting to work almost 2 hours earlier! It's better for my mental clarity and to be honest, my overall happiness while at work. I also miss the traffic (for the most part) going back home and I get to scoop the boys up at 330 and enjoy them for longer in the daylight hours than I did before.

|2| If you follow along on Snap (eastwillowgrove) I made this vegan creamy Fettuccine for dinner Wednesday night and it was awesome! Super easy to make and with only 9 ingredients involved it was almost fool proof. There were zero leftovers it was that good!

|3| We leave for Colorado next Friday and I'm so ready for a little family vacation! The boys did great flying to Mexico so I'm praying this goes well! This week I'm going to be getting things all prepared and ready and hopefully cleaning the house real good because I absolutely loathe coming back to a shit hole to deal with! I'm not sure if I mentioned this but I managed to get FOUR non-stop, round trip tickets for $304. Yes, you read that correctly! We are flying Spirit, each bringing a backpack(free personal item), the stroller and car seats are free to check and that is all! We only packed 2 suitcases and 2 carry-ons for our entire wedding for us four to Mexico for a week and that included my dress and all the decorations, so I know this will be fine, I'd like to think I'm really good at packing. I'll be vlogging the whole trip as well as posting on Snapchat and Instagram (@eastwillowgrove for both) if you want to follow along!

|4| Summer here in Michigan is officially over and I have come to terms with that after editing this vlog. But like all basic white girls in America, I'm diving in deep with all the fall feels! My fall capsule wardrobe video will be up on Monday so stay tuned for that!

|5| I have been getting really good at perfecting my at home coffee/latte making and I owe it to a few different items. The frother. Jer didn't understand it at first but now I think he gets it. I love this thing! It's so cheap and works really well, you don't need to spend a ton of money on those fancy ones at Starbucks. The other thing is the sugar free vanilla syrup. I normally use a vanilla almond milk creamer but I'm about to stop buying it and just use my soy milk and this syrup! It's the Starbucks brand and you can find them at Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Goods, Amazon, etc. These mugs are what I like to call our weekend mugs. Jerek doesn't give a shit but I just feel so fancy and I swear your coffee taste 100% better in these things. Or maybe its the weekend that makes you think that. Anywho, a must have for me!

Overall this week has been really good! I've been slaving away editing wedding videos, shipping shop orders out and trying to be the best damn kindergarten and preschool mom I can be!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

First Day of Kindergarten


Which one of these two kids started Kindergarten today?

In case you weren't sure, that's Jerek on the left! His mom sent him that photo this morning after seeing Tracen's online, how nuts is it?!

Does this not make you wonder if Jerek just made this kid on his own because there are about .0001 Chelsea genes in this kid! Okay, I'll take credit for his blue eyes, freckles and stubbornness but

I want you to know that I cried today, multiple times. I said I wouldn't but I did. 
I wore waterproof mascara though, gotta plan in advance for this kinda shit.

Tracen was born a month early and 5.5 years ago as I cried in the NICU wondering if we would get to come home for Christmas, I had no idea what these last 5 years would look like.

How is it possible we went from that.. now this!


Tracen's school does staggered start with kindergartners. So 8 kids start Tuesday, 8 Wednesday, 8 Thursday and then everyone on Friday. Today was his first day. We've been talking it up for a few weeks now and he's seemed fine. Last night and this morning he seemed nervous though.

I contemplated calling up to the school to ask how he's doing > < Then I realized my aunt, who is a kindergarten teacher, would tell me not to so I refrained from doing so. 

I thought about it aunt Peg, I thought about it!

So here I am being that annoying parent all you kid-less people are complaining about behind social media handles. 

Cheers to the first of many first day of school pictures together!