Sickeningly sweet

I have a 6 year old who thinks he's the king of the world that listens to no one and a 10 year old who is embracing every bit of pre-tweendom there is. I know. You're jealous.

But just because my kids have bratty tendencies doesn't mean they're like that all the time. In fact, they can be sickeningly sweet. Take this past weekend for example.

Friday night GG was invited to sleepover a friend's house. With one child out of the house I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to work on the 100th day of school project with the other. Little Dude, with the help of GG, decided to make a football field for this project. Football fields have 100 yards so this was a perfect idea.

I squirted some green paint on a plate so Little Dude could start to paint his field. When he was done he asked if he cold paint the rest of the plate. Instead of wasting the paint, I told him to have at it. Before it had time to dry, he asked if I could add some glitter to the paint. When all was said and done, he had a green glittered plate with a picture of a girl taped to the side. On the back of the picture was a note to his sister - I love you.

How sweet, right?! But he was not the only one who was sweet over the weekend.

GG had some gift card to a book store burning a hole in her pocket. I told her we could go to the book store and have a mother-daughter afternoon. While we were at the store, GG got lost in the maze of shelves. Being an avid reader, she just couldn't make up her mind. And then she saw it. An illuminating Harry Potter wand! Sadly, the only actual Harry Potter wand we could find was broken. She was about to settle on a Hermione wand when the look in her eyes changed. I tried to explain she could get whatever she wanted with her gift cards. GG told me if she bought the wand and one of the nooks she wanted, she wouldn't have enough money left over to buy me a treat and coffee.

Naturally that explanation broke my heart. I told her to put the wand back and grab her original choice of books. If treating me was that important to her, the husband and I would go online and buy her an actual Harry Potter wand. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree. She proudly paid for her books and we walked towards the coffee shop. I must say, that was the best tasting Oreo cheesecake I have ever had.

Have your kids done anything sweet lately?

Until next time...

Hungry toys

Lately it seems that everything we want or have to do all falls on the same day. It's not quite an issue during the week because I'm still home during the day to get stuff done around the house. But when events fall on the weekend, everything goes to hell. And by everything, I mean the house.

Dishes are piled up. Clean, but not yet put away. The living room is clean, but not quite. Big toys have been put away, but little Lego blocks and army men can still be seen throughout the room. By the time the kids go to bed at night, I am just too tired to do much about those things.

And besides, the kids' bedtime equals some me time. I'm willing to sacrifice certain things in my life, but don't anyone dare take away my me time!

Saturday night I finally found the pattern for a vest I had lost when my computer died. I knew right then that I would work on that vest once the kids went to bed. As I worked on that vest with episodes of Big Bang Theory in the background, I glanced around the room. I knew a few things still needed put away, but it finally occurred to me that the toys would take care of themselves.

To be more specific, the dinosaurs would take care of the misplaced toys.

This dinosaur will kindly eat organize all of our Wii and DS games

This one will kindly eat take my new pillow up to the bedroom

This dinosaur, well I'm not sure what his job is.
I think the other, bigger toys have attacked him in protest!

For the record, none of these pictures were staged. This is exactly what I saw when I surveyed the room.

Until next time...

How Pinterest saved my house

2012 will be the third straight year where my resolution is to be more organized. Actually, I prefer to call it a goal. Not that it really matters because I'm sure you can gather I haven't accomplished any sort or organizing resolution or goal being this is year number 3.

Anyway, this year I might actually accomplish something. Or at least get a little better at this thing called housework. The past 2 years have started off so well. Our house was spic and span. For about a minute. You see, I never had an actual plan. I knew what needed to be done. I knew designating certain chores for each day would help. I just never actually did it.

Enter Pinterest, the problem solver extraordinaire!

Over the kids' Christmas break, I was browsing through the site. I wasn't looking for anything in particular. Usually if a picture grabs my attention, I repin. I had come across other pins about organizing and cleaning your home, but for whatever the reason, this one in particular spoke to me louder than the rest. I clicked away to get to the original site of the pin and scanned the blog post telling me how I should clean my house. By the end I was thinking "Hot damn! I think I can actually do this!"

I've talked about this chart a few times on Facebook and Twitter, which led to others wanting to know more about this chart. Without further adieu, I present

"How to Clean Your House" - or at least make a very good attempt at it.

Monday - Laundry day for the kids. Start in the morning and keep the machines running until all of the kids' stuff is washed and dried. Fold laundry at night while watching TV. Make sure all clothes are put away before you go to bed.

Tidy the house. Go through each room and put everything away. Never leave a room empty handed.

Vacuum the main rooms (not bedrooms or stairs).

Tuesday - Laundry day for adults, towels, sheets, and blankets. Again, keep the machines running until everything is washed and dried. Make sure it is all put away before you go to bed.

Bathrooms. Clean everything: toilet, replace towels/wash cloths, tubs/showers, sink, floor, wipe out drawers/cabinets, mirrors, restock toilet paper. Spray something good in there when you are done for no other reason than it will make you happy.

Wednesday - Surfaces. Anything that can be dusted, mopped, swept, wiped, vacuumed, etc, do it.

Thursday -Organize/clean out something. A closet, a toy box, make-up drawers, the fridge. Pick one thing and don't stop until is is cleaned and organized.

Friday- Tidy the house. Never leave a room empty handed.

Vacuum the whole house (main rooms, stairs, hallways, etc).

I tweaked this list to better suit my schedule. If you want to see the original, you can go here.

I won't lie, the first week was really hard. Especially the laundry. I never knew how many dirty clothes could come from only 2 children. And tidying the house on day 1? Cleaning up from a natural disaster was more like it! In the kids' defense, we were coming off of Christmas break.

Now that I am in week 2 of this cleaning plan, things are going so much better. Because the husband does his own laundry and I won't dare disturb that system, I could do all of the laundry in 1 day. But I won't. I know how I am and I have a better shot at putting the clothes away before I go to bed if I split it up.

Once the first week is out of the way, it becomes more of a "stay on top of it" chore instead of deep cleaning every single day. Even with new things I've added to my life recently, like yet another crochet project and a job, I have yet to feel overwhelmed when it comes to cleaning. I hope it stays that way and I hope my sharing of this can help someone else out as well.

Until next time...

Stay out of the kitchen

It never fails. When we want the kids to do something, they can't be found. Or become temporarily deaf. When we need the kids to give us space, they are all over us like white on rice.

The perfect example happened just the other day.

News Year's Eve. GG was at a friend's house so we had to wait for her to come home before making dinner. It was too early to begin any kind of celebrations. I couldn't really go out and stray too far from home. I'm paranoid like that when GG goes to a friend's house.

To kill some time I thought I would try to clean our kitchen counters. Again. Don't get me wrong, it's not that they're not clean. They just don't look the part. We have very limited counter space to begin with so the space we do have gets used. A lot. Over the years, many things have been spilled in these counters, including red Kool-aid. Our counters are cream in color as well as textured. I know anything red has the potential to stain, which it did in regards to our counters, but every so often I try to remove all of the red stain.

I have tried spray cleaners, soap and water, bleach, Mr. Magic erasers - they help, but the red still remains. The other day I decided to make a paste and make it stronger. In other words, OxyClean. I made my paste and I covered the counter top. It now had to sit for an hour. Throughout this whole process, Little Dude was in and out of the kitchen. He wanted a snack. Then a drink. Could I hook up the Wii so he could play a game? When is dinner? What is that white stuff in the kitchen (my paste)? He was so far up my ass he might as well have been in front of me. All I wanted to do was clean, but he was making things rather difficult.

But I think my yelling, and that of the husband who was trying to help me out, finally kicked in. I turn around and in the doorway to the kitchen I see this...

If it gives me some peace to get done what needs done, this sign can stay on the wall forever!

Until next time...