1. e-mealz.com: miss america told me about this fantastic website. it. saved. my. life. i would dread Sunday evenings, or last-minute Monday mornings, when i would sit down and figure out meals for the week. but on this website you can choose what kind of meals you want (meals for two, meals for larger families, lite meals, holiday meals. . ) and from there you can print out meals for a week at a time, with a grocery list. so now, what used to take maybe an hour (mainly because of all the interruptions. . er, sweet questions, needs, fights, poops. . ) now takes about 20 minutes. i don't always use every meal (especially the gross-sounding ones, which are few and far between), and i usually leave one night open for sandwiches or pancakes and one night open for an old favorite, usually a Pioneer Woman special (hello, meatballs & mashed potatoes). check it out. you'll love it.
2. 2 loads of laundry a day. except for one especially busy day that i choose and of course, Saturday and Sunday. so yeah. 4 days a week, 2 loads of laundry. i used to do the whole 'all laundry on one day' thing, but as we've grown and there is one more little body in this house peeing and pooping and spitting and drooling, that whole 'all laundry in one day' thing became a nightmare. i would fold all the clothes (because i like to) but then there they would sit for the rest of the week. . piled on the couch. overwhelming. but now that there is another little person and it's pretty much summer-time (sprinkler, little pool, mud puddles, potting training, painting outside, sand-boxing, sweating. . and then there are the girls' activities, too. .), it started to become 2 days a week of constant laundry. and frankly, i don't have time for it, much less the energy. two loads a day really works. i have to commit, though, to putting those clothes away that same day. but at least now it doesn't take me 45 minutes (yes, really). and everyone has clean clothes and i'm even getting consistent in the whole washing-our-sheets thing. wow. (because we all know linens are the last thing to be washed).
3. sertraline. google it. been on it since i was 19 (i'd love to type out all the reasons why, but that is a completely different blog). i've tried to come off it at least a dozen times since then (yes, actually with much prayer and others' prayers), but to no avail. it works, and i embrace the marvels of modern medicine. thank you, Jesus.
4. a baby swing in the front yard and a baby swing in the back yard. i am one lucky mama. nap not going so well for baby J? well, throw 'em in the swing. the little girls are outside anyways, may as well make it a family affair. it gives me ample opportunity to spruce up the front garden, weed the veggies, clip the herbs, play in the hose. . you know. all that fun stuff.
5. potty seat in the van. this is a life-saver, er. . seat saver. . with miss poopy-potty-training-shorts. she's not quite to the point of going to the potty when she needs to. we're in the 'oh my goodness, there's pee coming out, i'd better run to the potty right now!!' stage. and hey, that is progress. so i'm still making sure she marches to the potty at least once an hour right now. so when we're out and about, before going to the library and after an hour at the Y, she sits on the potty in the van. even the Eldest uses it. heck, i might even use it.