Friday, December 30, 2016

Clothes....

Can you believe that I threw out another 2.5 garbage bags of clothes?! I mean, really! I threw away 12 garbage bags of clothing when I started this life simplifying journey. And after sticking closely to my capsule wardrobe this summer, I went through my clothes and threw away more stuff. Cheap stuff. Stuff that did not fit well. That did not look good on me. That hadn't fit in awhile. I was careful not to throw away too much stuff because it was too small, because my body is still changing after having Teddy.

I like to shop the sales after Christmas. Now that I live in Nebraska, I have to do most of that online. Well, this year I tried to only buy stuff that was sustainably and ethically made, and only pieces that I felt I needed to fill out my wardrobe. The first place I hit up was Madewell. I got a garnet colored silk shirt and a cream colored sweater. From PactWear I got a white T-shirt. From Everlane I got a white tank top, white long sleeved shirt, a black trench coat, a navy blue blouse and a cashmere cardigan. I may not keep all the stuff from Everlane, we'll just see. I've never bought anything from any of these companies before, so we'll see how I like them.

I just struggle to really see what I think I need. I want to make sure I'm getting quality pieces that look really good on me and that I love. And I want to make sure that I have the correct number. But sometimes it feels like I'm grasping at straws and while I have a feeling of what I want, I'm not sure what it actually LOOKS like, you know?

But I'm also trying to simplify other parts of my life. In an attempt to make me feel less crazy during the week, and to maximize the time I'm doing the important things in life, like hanging out with my boys. I've started to make a menu for the month. Meals planned for every night ahead of time, so that I don't have to think about it. We do diapers on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We do laundry on Thursdays. We bathe the boys on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. There are obviously exceptions, but for the most part, we stick to this. Then we always have clean underwear and diapers and we don't have to think about what we're having for dinner.

I still have to work on cleaning out other parts of my life, but I think I'm making process. I try to focus on the process not the end result. Because ultimately it is about living with what you need and not cluttering things up with what you don't.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fall Capsule Revisited

My fall capsule was supposed to last from September through November. So we are now into December and I realized that I should probably start to think about my winter capsule:)

I've learned a few things. First off, it's not as difficult as you'd think to stick to so few clothes. It's actually pretty easy and makes getting dressed in the morning easy peasy. Sometimes I open my drawers and then remember about this sweater or that shirt and then I think to myself, "Oooohhh I should wear that!". But if I don't open my drawers, I don't think about it.

I am sort of using this capsule experiment to see which clothes I really like. Which ones really make me feel good. Which ones are truly good quality items. My maroon pants from Stitch Fix are all but shot after one season of pretty heavy usage. They will be retired soon.

One of the issues I had is that, in general, I go to work and then I come home and put on my loungewear. But when we went out of town for a week over Thanksgiving, I struggled to find enough outfits to wear that weren't too dressy for what we'd be doing. Because I don't normally need that many casual clothes.

I would like for this to morph into something a bit easier. I'd like to put some thought into creating a dressy capsule. A work capsule. A casual capsule. A loungewear capsule. Hopefully full of clothes that I really like and fit me well. And that are versatile and functional. And then I don't have to worry about what to do if its 70* in Nebraska in January and I have no clothes in my capsule that will work for that curveball. But I think in order to make it something effortless, you have to put some effort in to see what you like and what works well for you.

So, my winter capsule will be forth coming. I'm trying to identify holes in my fall capsule and patch them. Add things that I have been missing and take out things that aren't really working for me. Hopefully I'll have something before the end of December, but no promises, lol.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Consumerism

One of the best/worst things about nursing is that you have this time where you are required to be still. Just still. And when you are not doing much of anything at all, you have a tendency to pick up your phone. And when I pick up my phone, I tend to peruse Facebook and Amazon. This has resulted in a huge influx of packages coming to our house.

Most of it is for breastfeeding. Charlie is always amazed there are so many "booby accoutrements" that one can purchase. I'm part of a Facebook group called Dr. MILK. It is physicians who are supporters of breastfeeding, and they have been incredibly helpful keeping me calm and knowing that everything is OK with feeding Teddy. However, they also have lots of suggestions for things that can help with this and that.

So I bought Lily Pads which are reusable silicone breast shields. They work quite well, especially overnight so you aren't leaking all over the place if baby sleeps longer. I also bought Bamboobies which are bamboo reusable nursing pads that have a PUL backing. They are so much better than cotton reusable nursing pads and don't show through your bra, which is a huge plus. Then there was the Hakaa a silicone manual breast pump that you can use on the side your aren't nursing on overnight to relieve engorgement. It works well and if I can get it on right, I'll get 2-3 ounces off the other side which really does help. Most recently came Milkies Milk Savers which is a silicone thing you can put on the other side under your bra while you're nursing to catch the milk that would normally get all over your clothes or breast pad when the milk lets down. I probably keep 2-3 ounces of extra milk per day using this. It's easier to use than the Hakaa and doesn't actively draw milk off, so when you're not engorged its a quicker and easier way to go.

It all works, and works well. But then I was looking at a pumping bag by Sarah Wells. Cost about $100. I was convinced that I needed it to make pumping easier for me at work. It was big, and would make it so I didn't have to carry so many bags with me to work and to surgery. I knew that Charlie was going to disapprove. So I talked to him about it. And he said, "It's not like you have far to go. You literally walk to the garage, and then into work. There is always another thing. Always something better. But I'm not sure this is something you need. I'm trying not to be insensitive, but I just can't see how you need this."

And you know what? He was right. 100%. It's not like I live in Chicago and I'm schlepping 10 bags on the L to work everyday. It's not that bad. And I don't need it. And it's one more thing that I will not use in a few months or a year when I'm done breastfeeding.

Charlie is really good at that. At really thinking about needs vs wants and what do we NEED and if it is a WANT, is it something we really WANT, or something we would be just as happy living without? It comes so easily to him, and not so much to me. Sometimes I don't agree with his assessment, but in this case talking to him made it seem silly to even entertain spending $100 on a bag to hold pumping gear when I live 5 min from the office.

It's amazing how you can talk yourself into "I need THIS. It will make my life so much easier and ensure that I continue to breastfeed indefinitely, if I just had THIS."

Sometimes you need someone to take your phone from you while you are feeding your baby so you can just concentrate on the present. On him. And you. And this time that you have together. Because it will be over and done before you know it. So here's to trying to do that more. And shop online less :-)