20 week bump date – Happy Halfway!

Being pregnant can pose a few challenges. There’s rules to follow, there’s a child to make preparations for, there’s doctors appointments, there’s that whole “too tired to function” segment, there’s random aches and a rapidly increasing belly, and wait – what else? Oh yeah, there’s everything that you normally do. Maneuvering can be a a struggle at times, but one that I’m so happy about!

Take this weekend for example. For the past five days, I’ve had a pretty awful cold {don’t worry, it’s not the flu, I went to the doctor and confirmed that I’m flu negative. Let’s just say that was one test I was happy to fail.} Friday night, Charles was having guys night, so I planned to happily take this opportunity to clean the house and catch up on some much needed chores. Combine congestion, an awful headache, a sore throat, an aching back, a glorious thunderstorm, and pregnancy exhaustion {by the way..hello to all of you big fat fakers who told me second trimester bursts of energy were a thing. I mean, I’m not falling asleep at 6pm anymore, but still, so tired..} and take your best educated guess to see if you think I accomplished anything I intended to. If your answer was no, congratulations! You’re a winner. No, there’s no prize or anything, but nice deduction skills. I ended up taking a tylenol, slathered on Vicks, sat with my beloved heating pad, and turned on my humidified filled with eucalyptus essential oil as well as my diffuser, and I caught up on rest. I did nothing. My body was begging me for this rest, yet I ignored it all week. I mean, Grayson is already taking a lot of my energy {and food…and nutrients} and the told was zapping up the littler I had left, so I should have realized sooner I needed to stay in bed all night in order to get well.

Enter Saturday morning. I woke up feeling refreshed after sleeping in {woohoo, I slept until 7am! If you know me at all, this is a victory for me!} and I knew I had wifey duties to tend to. The house was a disaster{remember aforementioned thunderstorm? Well, we have our two dogs as well as my mother in laws two dogs this weekend. Combine wet grass, mud, and the paws of four dogs and you get an idea on how messy the house was when I woke up Saturday} I had also volunteered to watch my nephew Liam for a few hours, and I needed to address and mail invitations for a couples shower we are co-hosting. Somehow, I managed to address + mail the invites, watch Liam, take a hot shower, make a grocery list, sweep + mop all of the floors,  cleaned the mirrors, had all of the humidifiers and diffusers cleansing the air, replace scentsy’s, wash all of the sheets {I had a cold, this had to be done}, clean the counters, scrub toilets, scrub the showers, and make a grocery list. And let me tell you – It. Felt. Incredible. 

enjoy my wife duties. I absolutely love being a wife, and these are just the kind of things you look forward to when you take on the role of someone’s wife. More than anything, I love how the house feels now that I’m finished! From the way clean sheets feel, to the way the house smells, to the calmness it brings. Take last night for example. I was so happy to be done with all of the cleaning and so exhausted from doing it, I was sitting in my clean sheets, with “sleepy pillow spray” on my pillow, my heating pad on my back, next to my humidifier, and the house felt wonderful. I felt calm, I felt peaceful, and I felt exhausted. But it can be a tad harder to achieve constant calm when you’re expecting a little one, especially if you’re sick.

I don’t feel like I always have to have it together, but I’m going to try my hardest to make sure I have it as close as I can possibly get. Today will be a Sunday well spent with coffee, grocery shopping, washing Grayson’s new crib sheet in newborn detergent, putting together his crib, and meal prepping for the week to come. This is the life that I love. This is my best life. Taking care of my husband and soon to be son makes me feel fulfilled.

Quick “20 week bumpdate” – HOORAY we are HALFWAY to meeting you, sweet Grayson Lowrey! Your mommy has been feeling great, just tired. The only thing she has been craving is beer, so daddy got her some O’Douls {non alcoholic beer} and that seems to keep mommy satisfied. Daddy has painted your room and put together your crib. He is so excited to meet you! He also goes around showing EVERYONE the pictures of your gender ultrasound, saying “THAT’S MY BOY!!” He talks to you every night and has to “hold you” aka hold my belly every night before bed. Mommy keeps buying you clothes and knows she needs to stop, but she can’t help it, you’re going to be the best dressed boy on the block! Mommy was talking to a stranger the other day and said “my son…” and then started to cry. of happiness. Your fur sisters Cholla and Milli are excited to meet you, too! We can’t wait to get another sneak peek at you in a week, but until then, we are going to post a few pictures of your 16 week ultrasound to show everyone!

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So Fresh and So Clean

The days are getting shorter, your to do lists are getting longer. How’s a girl supposed to keep the house clean? If you’re anything like me, in order to get back on track with your cleaning routine, you need a free day {because they are so easy to come by…} where you can wake up one morning, grab a cup of coffee, and take the entire day to do nothing but Deep. Clean. Everything. Now we’re talking.

Most of the time, I can get by with an hour or two of “spot cleaning” here or there, but there are about 4 times a year when I just need something more. Typically, these line up with the season changes, so I’m already in the spirit of change, kind of like right now, actually. There’s just something wonderful about waking up to a spotless and refreshed house that makes you not want to leave {HA! As if I needed another reason..}

Now, doing a whole house deep clean isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes the right mindset, attitude, and most of all, it takes a house so messy you can’t stand another day of it. It also takes zero interruptions, for example, a husband saying he’s bored every twenty seconds.

Since I like sharing so much, I thought I would share some tips on how I stay sane and organized when a deep cleaning marathon event is on the horizon, so without further ado, I present to you my “husband isn’t home to get in the way, finally have a free day, house is a disaster” cleaning routine.

  1. Make a checklist – No, I’m not kidding. This is the first thing I do every single time. It helps me remember what I want to accomplish, and it’s gratifying to check things off! You can also appreciate the work you’ve done once you see the list diminish.
  2. Clean one room at a time – This isn’t mandatory, but it helps me stay on track. This advice comes straight to you from my momma. Her theory is that when you have a large task at hand, it makes it less daunting when you can at least walk into one room knowing that it’s completely done. Here’s the order I typically use:

Ø    Master bedroom

Ø    Bathrooms

Ø    Guest bedrooms

Ø    Living Room {heads up, if it’s the fall time, like now, it’s a good time to check and ensure that your fire place is in functional order. FYI, ours is not. Looks like a call to the repair man is in order at the Alley Homestead…}

Ø  Finally, the kitchen. I save this for last because this is typically the most trafficked room in our home and usually has the most work ahead.

  1. Open the windows – Let your AC or heater breathe. Turn it off, open your windows, and let the fresh air make your home feel renewed. We’ve actually had our windows open for about a week now and it just plain feels better. I also like to turn my essential oil diffused on to further cleanse the air. This weekend was a chilly one, with rain in the morning and sunshine and cool winds in the afternoon, and this girl loved every minute of bundling up and having the windows open and the sound of leaves rustling.
  2. Multitask when you can – Work smarter, not harder people. If you’re washing sheets for the master bedroom, throw the guest sheets in there as well. Same with blankets. If you’re needing to take a minute to fold the laundry, make sure you have the tub in a deep soak, or turn on your self-clean mode on your oven. Make sure you’re maximizing your time.
  3. Make it fun – When I first get my coffee in me and I’m getting my head together to start cleaning, I put on a Netflix or Hulu show that I’ve already seen on to distract me and keep myself entertained while I start cleaning. After a while, I need something a bit more fast paced to keep myself going, so I switch to Pandora and throw on a fun station, like 90’s hits or Hip Hop BBQ radio.
  4. Don’t forget the miscellaneous chores – This is the perfect time to give those pups a bath {you have fresh sheets, after all..} or to clean your makeup brushes. You’re already in cleaning mode, so why not get everything in great shape? Your day well spent will bring weeks of content.

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I bought these placemats at Dollar Tree and I cut them to fit the size of the shelves in my fridge, that way when I need to clean my shelves, I just remove the mat and clean it instead of stuck on goop in my fridge drawers!

 

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Walmart SCORE – these new products are incredible! I used the Plink drain cleaner on every drain in this house to make it smell nice and clean stuck down objects. The Dishwasher cleaner will be used tonight, and I’m excited to clean the dishwasher!

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How incredible is our new macrame wall hanging? A friend’s wife made it for me, and she is in the process of creating a business, “The Knotty Momma!” More details to come. 
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Spent all Sunday with a screwdriver and these slippers

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I had the most random thoughts while cleaning this weekend. Everything from “How the heck do you clean a cowhide rug?” to “can dogs glare at you?” to “I really think I’m annoying Cholla with my Abba sing along.”

What are some of your “deep clean day” rituals? It seems like this is the exact way I clean my house every time. I’d love to hear how you clean your home! Stay tuned next time for some of my favorite face cleansing products. In the meantime, here’s some pictures of some neat new cleaning products I found, as well as how clean the house looks now!