Monday, November 3, 2014

ATTACK!

Operation get everything done officially commences today. I am sick of the same old same old, day in and day out. I’ve been sick of it for so long; I’m not even sure when it all started. Things were still pretty crazy up until the day that X decided to climb through the living room window. After that, I’d have to say the same old same old commenced rather quickly. I clean while the kids were at school, and then they’d come home and it would all come undone.
It has been better lately, but there is still a ton of room for improvement. That’s where my little war plan comes into effect. I’m thinking that this way, I may actually get somewhere instead of feeling like I’m trapped in the middle of Groundhog Day.

This week, the first thing I’m going to implement is chore charts for both Ryli and Landry. They are both little tornadoes, so if I can get them participating in this, I think that things will get better for all of us. I’m still working out the reward(s) just to get them started off motivated to do their chores just until it becomes habit. I’m thinking that in February, Ryli will start to get a bit of an allowance in conjunction with completing her chores, as she’ll be 5 and I can then start teaching her more about the ins and outs of money. One thing that I do think that I will use as a motivator is our Friday night camp-outs in the living room.

The chores are starting out rather simple. You know basic things like getting ready for school, hanging up backpacks after school, picking up their messes, and things of that nature. Ryli gets to help with dinner, and Landry gets to help clean up after dinner. Those will switch back and forth every week. They also have weekly tasks, which are things they actually like to do. Ryli gets to wipe down the front of everything in the kitchen, which she will take over if I start doing it. Landry, already showing the typical toilet humor that all boys seem to share, LOVES to scrub the toilets. I have to keep the toilet brushes hidden from him. Hair washing also makes the weekly list, but it has a set number of times in a week they have to do it.

After they get used to it, my hope is that they’ll become so used to doing the things on their charts that they will continue to do them, even if the chore chart changes to a different list of chores. I’m just trying to get them into some habits that will make all of our lives a little easier.

The main area that I intend to concentrate on for myself is the entire lower level and the stairway to the upper level. Today, my goal is to just get everything where it’s supposed to be. I'm not going to do anything overly nit-picky. Tuesday, I will focus all my energy on getting everything in the kitchen the way I want it. Putting the small appliances where I want them, organizing the pantries, cupboards and drawers the way that work the best for me, things like that. Wednesday will be devoted to the “office” area of the living room and the entertainment center. I won’t be touching the things that can’t be seen by the average person, however. That is for when the rest of the house is done, because the majority of that is filing and/or throwing away.

Wednesday will be spent on the remainder of the living room (including the area that is the dining room) the half-bath, and entryway. That will essentially pave the way for Thursday and Friday to be split between the closet/room under the stairs, the stairway itself, and laundry. I figure this will allow for plenty of time for me to decide for sure what I want to do with the space under the stairs. I am leaning heavily towards making that the train room for Ryli and Landry’s ever-growing Thomas and friends (and track) collection.

Saturday and Sunday, while the munchkins are with Memaw, Pepaw, and X, I’ll get started on the upstairs. It’s my hope that Saturday I can knock out my room, the hallway, and the two hall closets, thereby giving me all day Sunday to devote to their room. That way, Monday until I finish with it, I can put all their keeper toys where they’ll reside and begin the purge that I have no chance of doing unless they are out of the house and fully occupied. What better time than during the school day? And they have a ton of toys that they’ve outgrown that I’ve already made plans to donate, so they’ll get another chance to make some kids happy. Then there are those that will unfortunately make the trek to the dumpster.

When all is said and done, the house will finally be up and running and clean as a whistle so that come the 17th, I’ll be able to start doing the Fly Lady routines to keep it all up. I’m also hoping that I get the upstairs knocked out with enough time to spare that I actually get the unseen areas of my “office” knocked out of the way.

Wish me luck!



Sunday, November 2, 2014

After the fall(back)

Well, today wasn’t nearly as productive as I had hoped when I made my game plan for the day that I wrote out before bed last night. We may have gained an extra hour overnight, but I didn’t take into consideration that for some reason, I’d have the worst time getting to sleep last night. That was just compounded when Ryli woke up sometime before dawn complaining that both ears hurt. I vaguely remember staggering into the kitchen to fill two of my clean socks with uncooked rice to heat up in the microwave. I swept up the spillage when I got up again later.

I woke up with the mother of all sinus headaches, which instantly reminded me that I neglected to buy more ibuprofen. I got the kids dressed and ready to go visit X again, and got myself semi-presentable to run to the store once they were safely sent off with Memaw and Pepaw.

I got some store brand headache slayer and came straight home to sprawl out and watch Sons of Anarchy while I waited for the dull ache in my head to subside. I pretty much stayed there until about 3:00 (I think… my clocks are a bit confused and not all set correctly yet). That’s when I got back up and just did the major things I set out to do.

Six o’clock rolled around all too soon as far as my agenda, but not soon enough by how much I missed Ryli and Landry. Luckily, they were both awake when the car pulled up. I got them herded into the house as they showed me the pictures that they drew and the new toys that X bought them. I managed to get them in and out of the bathtub with most of the water remaining in the bathtub, and some sort of idea of what they want to wear to school in the morning.

Once the kids were dried off and put into their pajamas, we sat down to watch some cartoons while I brushed out Ryli’s curly mop and pull her hair back to ease the things I’ll need to do come morning. She was starting to doze off before I was done. I quickly finished, and herded her up to bed, where she was out before her head hit the pillow.

Now, all that remains is Landry and me. He’s winding down as he continues his studies of all things dragons, as I sit at the computer and type this as I get ready to make a new game plan for tomorrow. I am without a doubt making a preemptive move on the headache and taking something before I go off to bed, because I feel it already planning its return. I so do not want my Monday to be a repeat of today! The women’s group starts to meet tomorrow, and I really would not mind getting out and interacting with someone else besides cashiers and the gals at the munchkins’ school!


Time to go make my list for tomorrow and hit the hay; here is tomorrow being a lot more productive than today was!!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My born again joy of cooking...

X used to get onto me a lot about the fact that I always cooked the same things in a vicious cycle. I will fully admit to that. X, on the other hand, was a total creature of habit, and nothing sounded good to him, so it fell to one of the "same ol' same ol'" list, or we'd eat out. On the rare event that I did try something new, he'd either hover and tell me what I should be doing, or tell me everything that he would have done differently as he ate. I am a firm believer in following the recipe at least the first time you make something brand new. After that, if you think it warrants a slot in your repertoire, you monkey with the recipe accordingly.

All that back story aside, I love to cook again. Without him to moan and complain, I can try what I think the kids and I will all like as I see fit. So far, I haven't once had to break out the peanut butter and jelly for sandwiches. I will admit, there have been times where each of the munchkins prefer a different element of the main dish, so they have eaten half each and then swapped plates. Considering I used to do the same thing with my brothers on occasion growing up, I see no harm.

An added bonus would be that I am relying (slowly but surely) less and less on the packaged kits and helpers and making more and more from scratch as I gather the spices, herbs, and other staples. That is a definite win in my book. Food is going further, too. The more X seemed to complain, the more I wasn't preparing full, balanced meals. Now, there's food to put away after dinner because there was more to the meal than a main dish and a vegetable.

Trust me, that isn't as bad as it sounds, at least for the kids. They snacked healthy and frequently. They were after all, the easy ones.

Right now, as I try to get what I can out of the last few hours of their visit with X, I am tortured by the aromas coming from my kitchen. I had to make Carne Asada from $5 Dinners again. The first time I made it, I confessed to a friend that I was periodically walking outside just so I could come back in and smell it again. Yes, it is as good as it smells!

Tonight, when Ryli and Landry come home and were getting ready to hunker down to watch "How to Train Your Dragon" for the 1,524,547th time, we'll go toast up some Cheerios in a little bit of butter with some Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt. 

With all that being said, time for me to go do a few more things around the house before they get home. They will be very disappointed if they come home and don't have a pristine living room to demolish.

Moment of Truth

It's November 1st, time to really see if I can start writing and stay writing. I've had so many false starts with this blog. Time for one last attempt at mental CPR. As I promised, I am going to start with Mama's Mission of the Month, so just click on the link, and it will take you to Jenn's site where she talks more in depth about the whole process. I personally use the blank printable, being a single mom and all. Maybe someday I'll have a love life (or at least a dating one) to add to the mix, but for now, what I have in the various slots works for the munchkins and I.

Without any further hub-bub, let's just jump right in, shall we?

PERSONAL:


  • Reschedule all appointments of mine that I have quite simply fallen away from.
  • Relish every last illustration and word of A World of Ice and Fire (while keeping it out of the hands of a certain dragon obsessed 3 year old).
  • Make myself do at least one fun thing for me while Ryli and Landry are with X.

PARENTING:


  • Chore charts done and ready to go for 11/03/14
  • ENT procedures/surgeries done.
  • Set up more routine for the munchkins.

HOMEMAKING:


  • Budget (and stick to it).
  • Meal plan to help stretch the budget.
  • Start back on FlyLady to help out around the house (something that I've been as consistent with as the blog, to give you an idea).

FINANCIAL:


  • Keep up with the freebies and start to coupon (Ryli can clip since I have yet to find a pair of left handed scissors that can be used with no help from the right hand).
  • Look into filing bankruptcy (yikes).
  • Budget (yes, I am aware that is a repeat. It's THAT important)

HOMESCHOOL PREP:


  • Read Homeschooling 101: A guide to getting started by Erica Arndt at Confessions of a Homeschooler.
  • Read Mary Pride's Complete Guide to Getting Started Homeschooling by Mary Pride.
  • Start list of needed supplies.

SOCIAL (friends, family, spiritual):


  • Find a church and start attending regularly.
  • Find a weekly social outlet or two.
  • Have fun when Grandma-Mom comes to help out with the munchkins when the ENT stuff gets done.

BLOG/ONLINE:


  • Blog a minimum of FIVE days a week.
  • Do a few reviews.
  • Start looking for a blog planner for 2015.

MISCELLANEOUS:


  • VOTE!!!!!
  • Read Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine.
  • Go to the hearing for temporary child support (and you were wondering why budgeting came up twice).
And, on November 30th, you will be updated as to how well I fared this month!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ahem...

Well, this is a little embarrassing. I have had all sorts of things planned for this blog. Unfortunately for the blog, I really botched the planning of when I was going to do all of that writing. The result is me, frustrated and trying to figure out what goes where and when.


I think I gave myself the needed reprieve to just think things out. I have a lot of various stuff on my plate. Admittedly, I have let some things slide, while others I have attacked with everything I have, leaving me worn out.


So, I basically came up with a game plan to get me over the hump that is the waning days of October. I have a few drafts ready to go for November, and some good ideas of things to lead into November.
As for these posts that I have made from my phone, I'm going to get on the computer tomorrow to clean them up, add some links and maybe even some pictures. Trust me, good things are coming.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Some of the things I've "found"

Okay, I will admit, I am on Facebook, and when Ryli and Landry are gone or asleep, I'm all over it. I have found a few little gems on there, thanks to friends liking them enough that they showed up as recommended pages or better yet, one of my friends gave me a referral link.


There are three of those that I admit have hooked me in some fashion. Two of them are subscription services, while the third is a deal site for botique-style little girl things, with occasional offerings for the little man and myself. I feel the need to share my little finds with you all. Nothing is prompting me to share these, other than just to share.


The first is Ipsy. A whopping $10 a month for a cute little make-up bag full of 4-5 regular and trial size goodies. So far, in the two months that I've been getting the bags, I've received two eyeliners, an eye shadow, an eyeshadow brush, a hair conditioner, a lip gloss, a lipstick, hand cream, facial highlighter, mascara, and a pack of facial cleansing wipes. When you sign up, they have a quiz that you take so your bag can be tailored to fit you, and you can retake it when ever the mood strikes you. So far, I love it. That hair conditioning treatment I used, but not on me. I used that on Ryli and her unruly curls. I finally found something that takes her mane!


Ipsy also gives you points for reviewing the items that were in your bags, and also for referrals. You are then able to use those points on add ons for your next bag. I really can't justify buying a lot of anything for me s of late, but for $10, it makes for a nice treat for me, and as a so single mom, I think it makes for a nice little treat. Needless to say, it has found a little place in my monthly budget.


The next subscription box I got my first month free. Julep Maven. I got two nail polishes and a top coat in my free box yesterday. I love the colors! I'm toying with the idea of keeping this subscription for maybe another month or two, but at $24.99, I'm just not totally sold.


Last, but certainly not least is Screaming Owl. If I ever came into a ton of money, I would drop a pretty penny (or more) there. The site is pretty simple. They post a few deals each week, normally lasting about a week. The overwhelming majority of it is little girls' clothing and accessories, but I have, however, found something for Landry, something for me, and a few Christmas gifts as well. Ryli has gotten a couple adorable dresses and some pretty floral headbands. I found Screaming Owl back in July and have loved it from the start. They basically buy in bulk in order to offer what they do for as little ad they do. If you share a purchase on Facebook, you get a 10% discount. Shipping is always a flat $3 per offer.








Relaxing and catching up

We made it to the ENT appointments Wednesday. May have been by the skin of our teeth, but we made it with two minutes to spare for Landry's appointment. The clinic was running late, though, so I think we would have been good regardless.


The surgeries are on the books. I went in with the idea of getting the kids scheduled for the same day. The doctor didn't give me time to ask and went one better. Inpatient is done in the hospital proper, while outpatient is done in the ambulatory pavilion. He scheduled them both in the hospital. I personally think that is awesome, as I am fairly certain that Ryli will be giving Landry pep talks this way.


Grandma-Mom, as Ryli dubbed her, will come up for the assist. I'm wondering what my mom will be sporting as a manicure after Ryli gets a hold of her. She and Ryli will hang out at the hotel, while Landry and I will veg out at the hospital. Ryli will eat like a horse, and I'll be coaxing liquids into Landry. Wonder who'll have more fun?


I am a bit more nervous going into this tonsillectomy than I was for Dacey's fifteen years ago. I had no clue I had Factor Five Leiden back then, let alone that any of my children did as well. So, now I get to push the fluids on the kids who thinks that liquids are more fun to play with. Should be messy.


So, I think it's a given that our Thanksgiving feast will be heavy on the mashed potatoes.