You know how having a kid with special needs can often make life seem like it's a bit out of your control?
Oh, who am I kidding here? Life is pretty much always out of my control, special needs kid or not. And since there is so much that I can't control, I like to exercise my authority over what I can.
Notice I said "what" I can and not "who" I can. Ryan doesn't really go for my attempts to exercise my authority over him.
I think that's one of the reasons I'm frequently organizing things around my house.
Because while I may not be able to just take charge of autism and boss it around, I can be the commander of my closet. Or the guru of my garage. The mastermind of my medicine cabinet. The kingpin of my kitchen. The.... ok, ok. I'm done. But I'm sure you can see that I like being in control just a teeny-tiny bit.
These days, I'm all about making our family life just a little bit easier.
Finding ways to do the stuff I need to do in the simplest means possible. Especially since we are about to embark on a new journey with the Bird - public school kindergarten. I want to have all my ducks in a row at home so that I can face 504, IDEA, FAPE, ARDs, IEPs, BIPs, LREs.... well, I think you get the idea.
For example, I recently started getting all our prescriptions filled at one nearby 24 hour Walgreens. It saves me from making trips to three different pharmacies, as well as trying to get there before they close.
Another example: I finally went through my recipes and pulled out our family favorites. Then I created three weeks worth of menus. I started with Week One, then we went to Week Two, and finally to Week Three. Then I just start over again.
When I started this menu rotation, we actually ate supper at home every day for three weeks. That's pretty remarkable for us.
One more example: I just went through our coat closet, removing anything that didn't belong in there, dumping suitcases with broken wheels, and giving away too small jackets. You can now enter the closet without tripping over plastic Easter eggs, the vacuum cleaner hose, and rolls of gift wrap.
The most recent make-over in "Operation Streamline"?
It was chronically messy and I was always buying stuff I didn't need and not buying stuff I did need because I couldn't find it on the shelves.
I went straight to the source of all things organization - Pinterest. I looked at lots of pictures of pantries, but unlike many of the pantries I saw, a real family lives in my house. And we buy real food - bags of chips, jars of peanut butter, bottles of syrup, sandwich bread, and canned food. I knew I wanted something pretty (I have a tiny bit of a "thing" for jars.) but more importantly, it needed to be functional.
After about three days of emptying packages, wiping down shelves, driving to Wal-Mart twice, arranging, and re-arranging, I give you..... my pantry:
I left a little bit of the door (on the right side) in the picture so you could get an idea of the size. While I would love to have a beautiful walk-in pantry with electrical outlets and plenty of shelving, I do have a good sized pantry. The shelves are deeper than I like, which means things can get hidden.
The jars help me see at a glance not only if I have a certain ingredient but how much of it I have. And without all that multiple sized and colored cardboard packaging, my pantry looks nice and uniform.
Bushel baskets on the pantry floor hold chips, popcorn, and vegetables like potatoes and onions. The large flat basket contains snacks for the big girls. Cereal boxes on the far left would look nicer in some canisters but we go through cereal like no one's business in this house so I would constantly be filling and re-filling.
No. I don't have much control. But I'm the president of this pantry. And right now, that's good enough for me.
How long has it been since you've seen some cute family pics? Well, if you don't follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@lanarush), that's just too long.
So, for your viewing pleasure:
Please disregard the unidentified lady guzzling a beer in the background.
In the picture below, that girl on the right? She just turned 16. And that girl on the left? She's leaving for college on August 12.
See what I mean? No control I tell you. Time to start another organizing project....