11.10.11

31 for 21: Keeping up with it all


[So for 31 for 21, quite a few moms have shared some tips or insight into how they get through the day. On that sort of a theme I thought I'd share about my recent campaign to organize. It makes for a boring read I think unless you happen to be facing the exact same stuff so in that case, I recommend stopping at the Stuff video and coming back tomorrow when some cuteness will appear again.]

I have been on an organizing high of late. In August I felt discorganized and unmotivated (something which tracks very well to Nava being moody and hard to motivate-coincidences! ha!). For me, it took a couple phases to get back up on top of it all:

#1: The Story of Stuff
Have you ever seen The Story Of Stuff? Kinda depressing I must warn you. How's that for a recommendation?


I find I can't get down to organizing the little stuff until the big stuff is better. And that means everything needs a place and to be in that place. So first I had to get rid of a lot of un(der) used stuff. I got rid of baby stuff we wouldn't want for #2 and sold some, gifted some and begged people to take some. Then I edited my closet considerably so all that's left is what fits in the tiny chest of drawers or my half of the closet. Living in a place where I cannot buy clothes (really, at all) can lead to clothes hoarding so it's a constant battle. I gifted the stuff that didn't make the cut to two friends, thus closet cleaning made 3 people happy for the price of $0.

#2: Little Projects 
In the midst of all this I rearranged furniture, filled under-bed boxes, and created a desk for myself out of a the dining room bench that had been retired. Around the house I had little piles of things that were meant for something. Empty frames stacked up, for example. So I got photos printed. I had Boy Cousin buy wood and make picture ledges and book shelves for Nava I'd been wanting to do for months. I had Sout finally send some extra furniture back from our work site condo. Finally having art for our kitchen walls and a really cute addition to the play area was hugely motivating and rewarding. I kept up and made those crawling obstacles and also upholstered a padded table top for some of Nava's physical therapy moves. I finally retired the very-much incomplete dish set and replaced it with the better one from our work condo. Having a bunch of things like this off the to-do list then motivated me to get back to organizing.

#3: Papers and Files
Next priority was medical organizing. Nava's is healthy (YAY!) but there is still alot that goes on to keep her at her best. She takes supplements, gets more check ups than a typical kid, and needs therapies. And all that has to get organized by yours truly. Think I'm exaggerating? Consider this:
  • Nava has seen a more than a dozen doctors and therapists since she was born. 
  • She takes 10 supplements regularly.
  • She receives care in 3 countries, in more than 9 hospitals, clinics, and centers. 
  • She has no early intervention but what I do or directly instruct a cousin or nanny to do

So, the ultimate Nava excel file was born. It includes her supplements (dosing, brands, prices, websites, when to order, etc), her doctors, her blood tests and desired results, and her doctor and therapist visits' schedule. It took way way way longer to complete this than I guessed it would. Turns out the little miss generates a ridculous amount of data.

And not all of it fits in an excel file. So her medical results, notes on her doctors, her hospital cards (ahh, the Thai system), and lots of other stuff got filed into a binder. So its all now in one place. This is huge.
Ok, not literally-its about 2 inches thick-but now I don't have to keep trying to remember where this stuff is. And all of her care costs money. So now I've got an acordian file just for her receipts. Really.

And then our home therapy program, featuring her EI services coordinator: Me. I have been making my own daily worksheet for about 2 months now. It's gone through 4 major edits and gets more useful all the time. It has check boxes for everything we do and a place to note down meters crawled (did you wonder how we kept count?). It also has space to quickly jot her breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, if she had a BM, and when she napped. This doesn't always get filled out mind you! But getting her craregiver to write wahat lunch was saves me from repeating it at dinner and since we have constipation issues, having a food and BM log should help with figuring out what doesn't agree with her. And its good for everybody to have reminder about what we are supposed to be doing because it would take super human abilities to keep it all in your head.


Which might be why I was getting so stressed trying to do just that. Silly me. I thought I had a system. I thought I had it organized but the honest truth was I didn't and so my subconscious was working overtime trying to keep track of it all-leaving me anxious and discouraged. The night I came home to a completed medical record in excel, a finished binder of hard copy records, and an updated thereapy check off sheet...I felt like a new woman. I went to bed smiling and slept easier. Having all that in the back of my head felt like it was slowly killing me. It probably was.

So here's my public service announcement. If you've been meaning to get more organized and reading any of the above makes you think you're kinda like me with stressing out over stuff that's not really well tracked...Stop putting it off and make organizing a priority. It's soooooo worth it. Like, as in, even if it would mean having to pay for childcare to have the time to do it.

Cheers!

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