Monday, April 25, 2011

A Laundry Solution

I've been reading a lot of blogs and listening to a lot of venting about LAUNDRY.  It is a never ending war.  Even the most skilled mamas have a hard time keeping up with the piles and piles of laundry that continue to grow.  For my friends with out children... please know that one infant can create the equivalent to 3 grown man loads in one day
(# small exaggeration).  
Well I've been trying out a solution that was suggested by a neighbor of mine.  She is a busy mom of five, and after we both vented about laundry she joked that her kids have a uniform at home.  Now I have to admit, I'm not sure if she was serious or not, but it gave me an idea.  Yes, there was a literal light bulb that appeared over my head (okay, maybe I turned on the kitchen light).

So here's what I came up with.  The solution is simple... five outfits that repeat.  A couple of weeks ago, during the rainy and chilly days... I cleaned and organized both my boys closets and dressers.  My boys both have so many outfits.  What happens is they wear them all, and the laundry grows and grows.  Well, I chose 5 weather appropriate outfits for both (once it gets consistently warmer I will switch the outfits).   I used to organize dressers by type of clothing: undies, shirts, pants.  Well now I have a drawer for socks and underwear, one for PJ's, and one for the five outfits.  This system also had a serendipitous out come.  My husband can no longer say "what should I put on him?", and I have preselected outfits, so my boys don't come down stairs looking crazy, as is the case when my husband gets them dressed.  This system is so simple that my 8 year old niece was able to dress my 2 year old.  All I had to tell her was pick socks and an undershirt from the top drawer, and any pile from the middle drawer.  15 minutes later, she walked him downstairs fully dressed in a matching, weather appropriate outfit.
This is Little Bear's outfit drawer with four outfits ready to go ; )

This is Munchkins drawer, he is wearing one outfit and the other is in the hamper.

How does this affect the laundry you ask?  The laundry doesn't pile up because there are only five sets of clothes that get used.  I've been using this system for 2 weeks now, and it seems to work.  Now, I must be honest... my 7 month old does tend to make more.  He's a spitter upper, so burp clothes and bibs pile up.  There is also the occasional messy diaper or yogurt splatter on my Munchkin, but I am temporarily winning the laundry battle with my boys clothes. 

What did I do with all their other clothes?  The nice ones are hanging in the closet waiting for a party or other special occasion (I chose my favorite play/ everyday clothes for them to wear).  All the other T-shirts and sweats are folded in a box.  Once the season is over I will either donate them to a church,  or save them for Little Bear (or any other new baby in the future).  

As with any system, I am still working out the kinks... and reminding myself that it will not always work the way I hope... and that is totally okay!

Oh yeah, this is my laundry schedule

Sunday - Daddy
Monday - Boys
Tuesday - Mommy
Wednesday - Daddy
Thursday - Boys
Friday - Linens and Things
Saturday - Free Day  : ) 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On My Way

Notice all the scribbles!!!
   So I'm on my way to getting more organized.  I've been working on and tweaking a master daily schedule to follow.  I first made a schedule that incorporated anything I wanted to do.  My schedule had multiple tasks or activities for every hour of the day.   It only took me one day to realize that my schedule was not going to work.  I was racing around like a chicken with her head cut off, and dragging my kiddos behind me.  There was crying, screaming, and full out temper tantrums... from all three of us.

    The next day I went about the same tasks but finished them as they came.  Looked at my schedule, but more as a guide of what needed to be done without looking at the time it should be done.  I didn't complete everything, but with a little self talk, I've realized thats okay.  The boys (and mommy) had a much better day.

     Here is my tweaked schedule:
(please note, if Munchkin is having a particularly terrible two day... this schedule goes to pot!!)

6:00 - 7:00:
Little Bear Nurses

Sometime Between 7 - 9:
The dogs go out
Everyone eats Breakfast
The Kitchen Gets Straightened Up
Mommy Pumps
(During this time the TV is on, I NEED it!!!)
9:00 - 10:00
Munchkin gets dressed
Little Bear Gets a Bottle

10:00 - 11:00
Nap time for Little Bear
Mommy Gets Dressed
Start Laundry
Playtime for Munchkin

A Chore from the cleaning schedule (to be posted soon)
More Laundry
Snack time

Nap time for Munchkin
Mommy Free Time (Scrapbooking, Mary Kay, Blogging, or Vegging)

Little Bear Nurses
Finish Chores from Cleaning Schedule

1:30 - 2:00
Lunch time for everyone

2:00 - 4:00
Playtime outside with dogs
I can also use this time to teach Munchkin the concept of the day
Little Bear gets a bottle @ 3

4:00 - 5:00
Start Dinner (unless its a crock pot day)
Fold Clothes while I watch TV with Munchkin

Little Bear Nurses

Dinner (Daddy is home by then)
After Dinner I like to have family time in the playroom.  Hubby and I get  a chance to chat and Munchkin gets to play around us.

Bed time routine - Both boys get baths, Once PJ's are on, Munchkin watches Diego.  While Munchkin watches Diego, mommy quick cleans bathroom and bedrooms.  Little Bear gets a bottle and at 8:00 it's story and bedtime for both.  Every once in a while bedtime gets moved to 8:30 for this reason or that.

Once the boys are in bed, if I'm not too tired I'll straighten up the master bedroom and fold more clothes (if not it will wait till the next day)

The next page for my binder I will work on is an important numbers list.

Until next time...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Road to Uber Organization

 I've decided to attempt to be uber  organized at home.  I think I am pretty organized to begin with.  I plan meals a month in advance (well, most months).  I have one cabinet designated to baby/toddler items and the shelves labeled with my trusty label maker.  I have recently organized my cleaning supplies into tubs depending on their use.  With that said, I'm ready to take it to the next level.  My theory is if I organize even more than I can have time for everything, so far I feel like I haven't mastered this whole stay at home thing.  I have been making the transition from working mom to stay at home mom for close to a year, and I feel like I haven't exactly gotten to the place I want to be.

Where do I want to be? Hmmm.  I want to be there for my babies without having to use the TV as a babysitter (too often). "Be There" meaning homeschooling my toddler, creating healthy meals, and giving them an adequate amount of attention and cuddling.  I want to be able to keep my house in order, by that I mean shiny, sparkling, and organized.  I also want to be able to spend quality time with my hubby when he gets home, and have a tiny bit of me time for blogging, scrapbooking, reading... or vegging out in front of the TV with a glass of wine.  Is this possible?  In the past I have been able to do one of those things perfectly, but then something else suffers.  I spent a week of playing with, teaching, and holding my boys.  The result, a messy house. #FAIL.  I spent a week cleaning, dusting, organizing, and disinfecting.  The result a magazine clean house, but Munchkin watched TV all day and Little Bear sat in the bouncer most of the time. #FAIL.  As for the me time... I haven't scrap booked in ages and reading is non existent, vegging out doesn't exactly happen since I typically multitask when I watch TV. #FAIL

The first thing I will do is create a master home binder.  In my classroom I used a master binder that stayed on my desk.  It included lesson plans, class info, grades, my calendar/schedule, master copies of frequently used worksheets, and a miscellaneous section.  I plan on taking that concept and creating a master binder for home.  I saw something similar on Want What You Have.  I just have to figure out the sections I will use.  The only thing I am certain that will go in my master binder is a schedule which will accommodate everything I mentioned above.  Once I create my schedule I will post it here and move on to my next organizational task.  Here I go!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blogger Mom

This blogging thing is getting to be addictive.  It's a quarter to 11 and instead of watching my DVR'd recording of Glee, I am here reading blogs, researching how to make my blog better, and playing around with my blog.  I have stumbled onto Mom Bloggers Club, and is it weird that I feel cool because I'm a Mom Blogger. Heheheheh... who'd have thought.

Like I said, typically I would be lounged in front of the TV or knocked out in bed by now, but we are trying something new to try and get little bear to sleep.  For the last two days I've been waking him at 11pm for a bottle feeding, hoping that will sustain him for a longer period at night.  Yes it has been close to 9 months since I have slept at least 5 consecutive hours, for at least a week.  I know some of you may be thinking, WAIT! Little bear is only 6 1/2 months, but you must be the same people who haven't been prego or have forgotten the insomnia that accompanies the third trimester (but I digress).

I have lots of new ideas, tips, recipes, and random rants that I will be posting to my blog.  I can not promise they will be coherent (see previous paragraph), but I will try to make them entertaining and as useful as possible.

Well it is 10:55 and I have to get Little Bear's bottle together! Until next time... Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Finding Time for Skin Care

Last summer I was pregnant.  I didn't feel like moving let alone taking time to take care of me.  Then I decided to sell Mary Kay.  I thought a little extra money can't hurt, and I like those products anyway.  So I met with a very excited Mary Kay lady and signed up.  In a few days my starter kit arrived and I did what any warm blooded woman would do... I played with my stuff.

I started really looking at my face.  I could see the signs of a summer of no sun block, rarely removing make-up (if I even had any on).  I wasn't happy.  I already felt as big as a house, and blotchy, dry skin didn't help.  I started making sure that at least once a day, I'd give myself the royal treatment.  After my little munchkin went to sleep was my time.  I used my complete miracle set.  I immediately felt results.  My skin felt so much more smooth.  Then I started to notice the not so blotchy look, basically just healthier.  From then on, I've been hooked.

When I started really getting into doing facials for my friends and family the number one concern was when do you find the time to do this twice a day?  The following is a list of humble suggestions.   I realize everyones situation is different.  This is how I find the time.

In the mornings I've started using the facial cleansing bar. It's in the shower so it's like feeding two birds with one seed.  When I get out I use a my Timewise Age-Fighting Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 15.  Simple and to the point.  I can start the day with clean, soft, skin.  I may or may not put on foundation and color, that depends on my mood and the moods of my two little ones.

I do my night time routine throughout my favorite TV shows.  I also use my travel roll up bag to keep things organized.  There are a lot of different products to use and it can be confusing remembering which order you're suppose to put everything on.  I have my bag organized into sections.
In the first section is my Oil Free Eye Make-Up Remover, 3-in-1 Timewise Cleanser, and Satin Lips Mask.  If I'm going to do satin lips, I put my Satin Lips mask on first (This saves time since you can rinse it off with your cleanser), If I have eye make-up on I remove that then wash my face (and rinse satin lips).  This can all be done during one commercial break.

The Next section has special treatments... masks, essences... ect.  The next commercial break is for applying any mask I may be doing (this probably only happens once or twice a week, I'm using the Even Complexion Mask now).  By the next commercial break it's time to rinse and apply any essence or replenishing serums.

The Third and Fourth Bags have my day/night solution, moisturizer, and eye creams.  Those are easy to apply during another commercial break, add my satin lips balm and I'm done.  If I feel like it I might also give myself a satin hands treatment.  Love, love, love it!!!!!!!!!

By the end of my show (Grey's Anatomy, Glee, ect...) My skin feels smooth and soft and I feel like a girl again.  I don't have to miss out on anything (I can't stand commercials) and since I'm awake watching TV, I can also be awake taking care of me.  It is immensely important to remember to take care of yourself.  As mother's we spend so much of our time taking care of everyone else, that we often forget about ourselves.  YOU DESERVE IT!!!!!!!!!

Now, I have to be honest.  Every once in a while, I have a particularly rough or tiring day and by the time I get my Munchkin and Little bear to bed,  I can barely make it to my own bed before passing out.  Or there was that one time after a wedding and open bar that well... let's just say I slept in my make-up that night.  No one is perfect!

I hope these little suggestions have been useful.  If you have any questions about skin care, or need help customizing the perfect routine for you visit me here!!!!