coffeepoweredmom

Getting through the day, one cup at a time.

Being Reasonable

Let’s.

All of us.

I’ve been trying to clean lately. That’s a big deal for me because I’m kind of a slob. My parents weren’t too big on the cleaning when I was a kid, and that was the way I was used to living. It is not however, how I would like for my children to live, so I have been working my buns off lately in an attempt to rewrite my cleaning habits part of the brain.

Yeah, it’s a part now.

This is exhausting. Very rewarding, mind you, but exhausting. Upon waking every morning, the kids and I get dressed and then make our way to the dining room to eat breakfast. As soon as I finish I start my pot of coffee and wash a load of dishes while it’s brewing. After the kids finish breakfast they are each responsible for doing one chore from their rainbow before they can play. I sit down and enjoy my first cup of coffee (normally checking my email or reading posts) while the kids play in the living room. After my first cup of coffee is done, I will gather a load of laundry, cart it down two flights of stairs and start the washing machine. I will then return to the kitchen, sort the recycling and make a second cup of coffee. The table is then wiped while my coffee sits on my desk being sipped occasionally, the dining room floor is swept, the kitchen floor is swept, the hall is swept. The kids do another chore (or two) from their chore rainbows while I make lunch. After lunch I move the washing into the dryer and they are responsible for picking up everything off the living room floor so I can vacuum. While Kira naps, Ally plays an ‘older child’ game or toy while I wash another load of dishes. I then sit down and try to play with her, or – more likely – am on the phone or computer trying to sort out some doctor’s appointment, school issue, financial aid, renovation hooblah. After Kira wakes up we have snack, fold laundry and do more chores from the chore rainbows. Then we put clothes away, tidy the bedrooms and try to squeeze in some outside time. Sheesh. Then it’s time to make dinner, the kids each do a chore from their chore rainbow, we eat dinner then have bath and either read books or watch a movie before bed. Then I have another load of dishes to do, and then I collapse on the couch somewhere.

This doesn’t leave too much time for you guys. And unfortunately, things are only going to get more busy as Ally starts school, Christmas approaches and (upon funding approval) I begin school in January.

I guess I just wanted to say that I’m still going to be around but until I get into a really good groove you guys might now hear any more from me than the weekly grocery shops.

So, yeah….I’m just being reasonable.

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Chore Rainbows

I saw a similar craft somewhere…but of course I can’t remember where. The gist was to write down behaviours that you want your child to model. I adapted this into chores because I want my kids to have better cleaning habits then I do, and it is best to start them young. Trust me. As an adult it sucks to try to change your cleaning habits.

The first step is to cut a cloud shape out of white paper and then write on it. Ours are labelled “Ally’s Chore Rainbow” and “Kira’s Chore Rainbow” respectively. I then cut out strips of coloured construction paper, and cut up old crummy magnets (thank you realtors) to stick to the strips with ye olde double sided sticky tape. One permanent marker later and the strips are labelled with whatever chores you deem appropriate for your child.

These have been a little…worn…because we’ve been using them for about a month now. Still good though! What I decided early on was to create twice as many coloured strips as necessary for a rainbow, and then allow the kids to pick which chores they wanted to do. Once a chore is completed they get the strip, once they have a strip of every colour they are allowed to choose a ‘prize’ from the treasure box. This box is filled with small dollar store toys such as rings, zoo animals, and dinosaurs and helps to encourage the kids to push through their chores.

The current available chores for the kids are:

  • use the duster
  • pick up dishes
  • put away hair stuff
  • garbage/recycling
  • pick up laundry
  • bathroom recycling
  • pick up dog toys
  • wash the walls
  • organize dish cupboard
  • put toys away (Ally)
  • put toys away (Kira)
  • tidy bookshelf
  • put shoes away
  • bedroom animals
  • make your bed (Ally)
  • make your bed (Kira)
  • sweep the stairs
  • dry the dishes
  • wash the table
  • feed the dog
  • organize toys
  • special request chore (Ally)
  • special request chore (Kira)
  • {blank}

While most of these are fairly self explanatory, the {blank} chore is simply the last strip that hasn’t been designated yet. Once I added a second set of strips I left them blank and filled them in as repetitive chores became noticeable. “Special Request Chore” strips are given if one of them completes a chore that I ask them to do that is not a regular chore. For example, putting away clean laundry is a job that only Ally can do, but it doesn’t need to happen daily or even every other day so it doesn’t deserve it’s own strip.

This method works so well for the kids that I was inspired to make my own chore rainbow to help keep me on task.

I only have one set of chores at this point, but these are the daily ones. Everything else is just additional mom chores that I normally stumble upon of my own accord.

All in favour? Motion passes. I rock.

12 Comments »

Magnetic Calendar

Have I ever mentioned that I was an Assistant Teacher for Kindergarten a few years back?

Yeah, I was.

Every morning the kids would gather for circle and they would find the date on this velcro calendar thing and talk about the weather. It is so cute. I thought, since Ally is starting kindergarten this fall, that it would be neat to have our own little version of this calendar.

You will need:

  • magnetic sticky paper
  • printer paper with awesome words printed on it
  • exacto knife
  • ruler
  • cutting board
  • patience

First of all you’re going want to print out whichever words you would like, in awesome colourful designs of course.

Days of the week, months, and numbers 1 through 31 for all possible dates. You are then going to need to cut the words out using your exacto knife, ruler and cutting board. Or scissors if you’d like…

The next step is to begin peeling back the plastic on the magnetic sticky paper. This will reveal the sticky side which you can adhere your papers to. I peeled a small section and then placed the paper, then peeled more and added more paper over and over again to discourage things like hair from getting stuck on the magnet.

Another tip for this step would be to put the biggest pieces of paper on first, and then fill in the available magnet space with the smaller pieces – in my case, the numbers.

If you still have available magnet left then you could save it, orrrrr you could put it to use with magnetic art labels! This also allows me to introduce the rule that they can each only put 4 pieces of art on the fridge (4 labels each) and therefore my fridge doesn’t look like the floor of a bombed office.

I also let them each draw small pictures (above you can see Ally’s pictures of every member of our family) that I cut out and stuck into the spare spaces. I also added a couple of small drawings myself to utilize as much of this magnet paper as possible.

After everything is stuck on, you then cut out the magnets with a sturdy pair of scissors; stick them to your fridge however you’d like. I chose to organize mine as if they were a calendar, lining the dates up with the appropriate day of the week.

You can see the art labels holding up some of their precious drawings at the bottom of the photo.

More recently I have moved all of the extra month magnets to the side of the fridge so that only the days of the week and numbers are visible on the freezer door.

Every morning the girls will pick the appropriate day of the week (Tuesday) and appropriate number (10) and place them on either side of the month (July). This has been helping Ally learn the present date, passage of time, and days left until events; and it has been helping Kira practice saying the names of the days of the week.

Very simple, all it requires is a little time to invest in writing the words, sticking the paper and cutting the magnets. The girls keep insisting that they love it, and the educational value is a definite bonus for me.

Tahdah!

PS I have been working on improving my house keeping skills, which as anyone with any form of attention disorders knows, is hard as sin. This has been absorbing most of time, although I feel like I am starting to make significant improvements in my routines and behaviours. Perhaps, at a later date, I will be able to write all about my successes. I am also still battling terrible eczema that is inhibiting my ability to fully bend my last two fingers on my right hand AND I am trying to renew my interest in post-secondary education which involves a lot of hoop jumping and financial planning. Let’s throw in a dash of: 3 birth days, 2 birthday parties and 1 birthday outing all in a 40 day window and you have the making of a very busy, highly undercaffeinnated momma. I love you all, and I am still around, I’m just…cleaning things.

Lots of bloggy love,

coffeepoweredmom

4 Comments »

Catch All

Top. Desk. Drawer.

This is apparently where everything on the face of the planet ends up.

After getting particularly frustrated one day I decided to clean it out.

Oh my God! Look at all of this stuff! I ran out of room on TOP of my desk while unloading one drawer. Catch all. Everything in the world.

Why is this picture sideways? It’s right ways up on my computer…

Stickers, a billion hair elastics, mini toothpaste and floss from the dentist, craft supplies and even a wine cork and beer bottle cap. Classy.

More stickers, napkins, tons of craft supplies, drawings, a cook book, a screw driver, ribbon, bob skate straps and even a pair of glasses that the kids snapped an arm off of a while back. Turns out the glasses were a good thing to keep, but more on that later.

So? Are you ready to see the finished product? I’m excited.

Whoa-ho! Actual desk supplies! And yes, I keep nail clippers in my desk for hang nails and every time the kids whine about their ‘nails being too long’ hahaha.

Want to know the kicker? About four days after I cleaned my desk we had a last minute visitor and I shoved everything that was on top of my desk (to be sorted, etc.) into the top drawer to hide it from sight.

Sigh.

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It’s Time To Cut My Losses

I fell behind on reading. I went camping and then fell behind. I tried to catch up, I really did. I’d keep breaking 100 and be super pumped, but then I entertained a couple of days, had a lot of family time and quite suddenly had over 300 emails in my inbox. Each of them a post to read. I just broke 300 and celebrated to myself, and then felt sad. At this rate, I am catching up on things that happened a week ago, and I’m not actually making a dent.

This is my solution. I am going to delete everything that is beyond my first page of my inbox. I’m sorry if I missed a great post, I would love for you to link it to me in a comment on this post if you think/want/need me to read it and I will. Promise. But if your post doesn’t spring to the forefront of your mindthis very minute, then I really need to just cut the cord and be back in a place that is conceivable to follow the blogs that I follow. On time. This time.

I hope I don’t offend! Lots of bloggy hearts,

coffeepoweredmom

 

PS (Because I have no scruples) Remember that there are only 7 days to vote for the winner for The Great Outdoors Photo Challenge!

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