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motherhood

I came across this great video – Reflections of Motherhood. They asked moms if they could go back to right before they had their first child, what would they tell themselves? I love the mom who would tell herself that Google doesn’t have children. I Google EVERYTHING!
I would tell myself that there is no “right”  way to parent. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t be so hard on other parents. We are all just doing the best we can.  Also I’d watch all the stuff that I swear I’ll never do.  You know – I won’t use TV as a babysitter, I won’t use food as bribery, I will never lose my temper or raise my voice.  Why do we set ourselves up like that???
Anyhow – great little video. Check it out.

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Snow!

We were lucky enough to get to use the cabin (absolutely beautiful home) of a family member this last weekend and take a great little vacation up to Tahoe with the kids.  The weather Saturday was so beautiful, and we went to a local park and did some sledding.  The kids were little daredevils.  They had so much fun and asked to go back all weekend.

On Saturday night a little storm came through and dropped about 4 inches of fresh snow and continued to lightly flake all day Sunday.  It was perfect!  The kids went outside first thing and started making a track for sledding at the cabin, and continued working on it all day.  The hubby and I stayed in our PJs almost all day and just watched them from the window!  We read books, took a nap, did puzzles, played games, watch movies.  It was relaxing and beautiful and just so much fun.

 

My parents even came up and visited us for an afternoon.

 

Seabury Snow Photo 2011!

Little bit of Pirate eye…

Not bad.

Bunch of crazies!!

Thanks J and P for letting us enjoy your beautiful home!

 

As you know, I love to find treasures at the Goodwill. I find the most amazing bargains on things I’ve always wanted or didn’t even know I needed 🙂 The other reason I love the Goodwill, is they take all my stuff that we are done with all year long! And, I feel good about giving it to someone who may be able to use it.  As much as I love a great deal – I get an even bigger thrill from decluttering and getting rid of stuff.
The secret to being a tosser is to make it easy to toss things! We have bags and boxes in 3 different places in our home for the stuff that needs to leave.
J has a box in his closet for all the clothes that he outgrows. These are given to my cousin who has a boy a year younger that appreciates the hand me downs.  As we come across things that don’t fit – they go straight into the box.  When it is full, we bag it up and give it to them.
The girls have 2 boxes in their closet. One is for our niece that is right between Doodle and Missy Moo in age; so Doodle’s clothing goes to her, and we get it back for Missy Moo. The other box is for Missy Moo’s old clothes and even toys that we later sort through to see what to donate and what to resell.  When a box is full, we bag it up or sort through it and get it out asap.
When the kids have clothing and toys that are finished in our house – too baby for anyone living here – and if they are in good shape, we sell them in a local consignment sale twice a year. It is a great sale ran through Just Between Friends. They have sales throughout the nation, so check them out. There are several in our area alone. I might add that this is also a great place to find lightly used baby equipment and clothing. Twice a year I participate in that sale, and I put that money straight into a vacation fund to help us do something fun!


The last box is in my closet! The hubs and I throw anything that doesn’t fit or we just shouldn’t be wearing anymore into this box when ever we run across things. As I work around the house and come across something we no longer need,( old baby plates and cups, ugly decor that I just shouldn’t still have) I just walk into my closet and put it in that box. Our room is down stairs so this works great for us. When the box in my closet is full – I bag it up and drop it at the Goodwill while running errands around town.

Having all these easy places to put things we no longer need makes it really convenient to keep clutter under control.  We rarely have tons of stuff to sort through because we have all been trained to do it constantly.  This is the system that works for us!

RANDOM – binder clips

Came across this great little video at The Clutter Diet Blog, highlighting some uses for binder clips.  Thought I’d share!

 

on the road again

I went for a walk/jog (a wog as my bff says) today. First run of the new year. First run really in months! It was hard, and slow and FREEZING – but it felt good. I figure there had to be a first run back and that it wouldn’t be pretty, so at least now it is done. It only gets better from here right? If only I could do it more than once a week….

getting myself in order

The kids are going back to school tomorrow – and I’m already in full swing of work.  It was such a nice two weeks home together, getting stuff done, doing activities we don’t usually do, crying and fighting about every little thing, enjoying the holidays… overall a great vacation.

This evening in an attempt to get us off on the right foot, I put together some organizational tools for both dinner planning and to help the kids help me with their chores.  I found these ideas as I randomly searched from blog to blog last night looking at nothing in particular, however somehow I now can’t remember which blog it was.  I’m sure the ideas aren’t terribly original anyhow, so I’ll claim them as my own for now 🙂

I REALLY like the idea of menu planning.  It is so up my ally.  The worst part of dinner for me is making the decision of what to make every night, so this is my attempt at moving my menu planning in that general direction.

The first thing I did was make a list of all the dinners we make.  I tried to include as many as possible.  I ended up with 20 main dishes.  This didn’t include the dinners we so often resort to like a can of soup or a frozen pizza.  Though, to be clear, I totally count those as dinner and even as cooking.  I mean, my kids can’t eat it frozen can they?

I took my list of dinners and went into Word, and I brought up a business card template and typed each dinner into a card.  Under the title I listed all the ingredients this main dish required.  Then I printed them on some business card paper I had to make them a bit more sturdier.

The goal is to look at what is in the fridge and freezer and pantry and look at my list of dinners and put together a list of four dinners for that week. (I figure four planned dinners would be a huge step in the right direction for my family!)  Then I can make a list of ingredients that I need to purchase when I do my weekly grocery shopping.  I’m hoping to add a bit of variety and continue to add more dinner cards as we go.  I’ve already thought of 3 more regular dinners that we like to make.  I also tried to include easy – no recipe required – type of dinners.

The next little thing I did was REALLY simple.  I took a handful of Popsicle sticks and wrote out all the kid friendly chores that I ask my kids to do.  Water plants, dump trash, sort laundry, clean the library upstairs, etc.  Then I put them into a cute little pitcher I have.  I want to have the kids draw their own chore sticks when I need things done.  That way there will be no negotiating.  No, “but I did the trash last time” – talk to the stick!  It has nothing to do with me.  You do the chore you pull.  Also I can pull out the sticks of things that don’t need to be done – like maybe the plants don’t need to be watered that time.

I was thinking I could easily write up extra chores that could be done for money as well that I want done, and see if there are any takers on those.  Maybe label the end that sticks out with a color so the kids know that a particular chore is harder, but also worth money.  We’ll see on that one.  So far I’ve been pretty firm on the – we all live in this house and we all clean it rule – no money involved.  But that may change.

I also was reminded about an idea for picking a weeks worth of outfits – socks, undies, accessories – on Sunday and putting them in a hanging sweater holder for the week.  This might be an idea I’m ready to start implementing soon.  We’ll see 🙂

Hope you all are having a great start to your new year!  Only 24 weeks until I’m on Summer vacation 🙂

I’m linking to skip to my Lou ‘s Made by you Monday and Blue Cricket Design

I’m that girl

Yes… my Christmas decorations are all put away.  The presents found homes in the kids’ closets (we had done a pre-Christmas clean out last week to make room).  The tree is standing naked in my living room waiting for the hubby to put it in its box in the garage.  To be honest one of the best part of all the pretty decor is the clean slate after it is gone for me.  I always put some of our everyday stuff in a box while all the red and green is out, and I haven’t gotten all that out yet, so our house is a bit empty right now.  It feels like we just moved in – all empty and clean. (not really clean – that is next on my list)

Christmas was wonderful.  It was fun and loud and full of family and friends.  We did a great job of enjoying the festivities as they happened without expectation and pressure, and the kids always make it magical.  But… I’m so ready for the freshness of a new year.  A new start.  Starting over.  It is almost like the first day of school.  Nothing really is changing – same house, same jobs, same family.  The attitude is new though, and I always feel hopeful that the possibilities are new.  So, yes.  I’m totally that girl who makes new years resolutions.  I don’t usually write them down, and they are usually pretty similar each year, but I like to think they become more refined 🙂

Two years ago my word of focus was JOY.  I wanted to do more of the things that brought me joy.  I did pretty good at this one.  This year my word was NOW.  I wanted to be present and enjoy the now of every situation.  For 2011 my word is going to be SLOW.  This is a tough one.  I don’t really do anything slow, and I often feel like I miss out on things because I’m always running and spinning.  I’m going to work on slowing down.  Doing less, but doing it better.

Here is where I stand on the rest of my resolutions.

In 2011

I hope to lose a bit of the holiday weight I gained this year, and get back into running again.  Maybe remember where the gym is that I pay for each month.

I hope to get my scrap books up to date. (That is a huge undertaking!  I’ll definitely post more on this soon.  I am going to try to get some scrapping in this week)

I want to spend some time doing improvements around the home of the non-monetary type.  The house could use some TLC – paint, elbow grease, storage, etc.

I definitely plan on blogging more.  It would be ideal if I could get on a schedule, but I guess you will quickly see if that pans out or not 🙂

I may come up with more before the end of the week, but that is it for now.  I’ll keep you posted as to how they work out.  Now I’m off to do a bit of sorting in my office!