Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FlyLady - Day 6

Day 6 - Hot Spots

Yesterday was all about learning my houses Hot Spots. Those are those spots in the house that things just naturally accumulate things and if left alone the things will just take over. At first I didn't really think we had any (yeah I know) in our house, but then when I was making dinner I looked into the playroom and went...oh there's a Hot Spot! Of course I completely forgot to take before pictures...I'm so bad at that!

The rules with dealing with Hot Spots is setting a timer for 2 minutes and going for it. I was waiting for hamburger to defrost in the microwave so my timer was in use and I figured I didn't have much to do anyway so why not just work until the meat was thawed out. This hutch in our playroom (used to be our dining room) always collects a bunch of toys, puzzles and books. I put all those away and then even dusted since it was so dull looking.

This dresser in our dining room is also a Hot Spot. It collects all the spill over of stuff that won't fit in my craft corner. I usually stack scrapbooks on there since they are "on deck" as my next project, but I decided to just put them away where they go in the hutch in the first picture. When I'm ready to scrapbook I'll just get them out...novel idea huh!

I also cleared off my deck up in Michael's office and gave him two tasks this week of cleaning off his deck and the area in the kitchen that he usually clutters up.

Decisions, Decisions!

Hmmm...what should I wear today?

Monday, May 30, 2011

FlyLady - Day 5 / New Parenting Method

Day 5 - Write Down What You Hear!

So yesterday was all about those negative voices that pop up and tell us ladies that we aren't good enough and that it's just too much and we'll never get it done. FlyLady wanted me to write down the negative thoughts and then turn them around and say something positive to myself. The only thing was I didn't have any negative thought concerning this yesterday. I'm sure there will be days though! Since yesterday was Sunday it was a pretty relaxed day...now if this was a weekday I might have had some negative thoughts.

On top of tackling my household CHAOS (Did you know that FlyLady has an acronym for that too...it's Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) we are also tackling behavior chaos with the kids. Like I mentioned in a previous post we decided to read 'Have A New Kid By Friday' and we are currently on Thursday of the book. We started last Friday and let me tell you Friday was B.U.S.Y!!

On of the main principles of correcting bad behavior is by responding to it not reacting to it. Just like a patient at a hospital responding to medicine is a good thing, but reacting to medicine is a bad thing. So for example if one of the kids spits at another kid in the car instead of getting mad and telling them not to do it we just hang back and say nothing and then when we get home or wherever we're going the very next time that child asks for gets denied....a simple NO! Most kids will get a little irritated (I say that because Jack doesn't really care right now so he's taking longer to catch on) and ask again or get agitated. Part of the principle is after you say no you turn around and walk away. That's so the child with not be able to argue and they will pursue you. When they are really panicky about it that's when you know you have their attention and can explain why they aren't getting what they want. Child...you are not going to play outside because you spit on child in the car....this is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. Then walk away! No arguing...it is what it is period!

This has revolutionized our household! I tell you arguing has been one of my biggest complaints. Walking away just shows the child that you won't stand for them to sit there and argue...you aren't going to listen to it. Your word is your word!

Needless to say I did a lot of walking on Friday...round and round our house over and over again! But the behavior has gotten so much better. We have kids that are using their manners and also listening after being told ONCE! Go figure!

Another big part of the principles is Reality Discipline...just letting things happen so kids can learn from it. Not trying to save them from everything. We almost had a really good example of this when I asked Owen to get his shoes on so we could go to Wal-Mart and he said, "No!" Jack said, "Well then you won't have any shoes!" Exactly Jack...I was absolutely going to let Owen go to Wal-Mart with no shoes and I know he would NOT have liked that at all, but in the end he did put his shoes on. We had another incident with shoes though where I told Owen to put his shoes on and he was just taking his sweet time and I said if you're not ready to go by the time I am I'm leaving....and I did! He wasn't able to go Fred Meyer's with me, but I bet the next time he'll put his shoes on when I ask him to!

At times it's seems a little brutal, but you know what it's just life. Kids have to understand that this world isn't going to be handed to them on a silver platter. So far we are very happy with the results and we're not even done yet. I would totally recommend this book and it's principles to anyone who would like to get some behavior issues under control. The funny thing is that it's not so much about the kids behavior because they are just doing what they have been taught to do...it's more about us parents adjusting our behavior and sticking to it!

Side Note: Owen cut a chunk of Ella's hair yerterday while Michael and I were in the shower. It was mainly my fault because when I was decluttering the kitchen I moved a couple pair of scissors upstairs since we had about 6 pair in the drawer. When we are in the shower they usually just stay in our bed and watch cartoons so I don't worry about them getting into stuff. It's not horrible, but I did cry!

Uncle Ry's Surprise Party!

On Saturday we surprised Uncle Ry at his house with an early birthday party. He was under the impression that just a few friends were coming over for a barbecue...little did he know that Stephie had planned this whole thing for him.

Even at his own surprise party he still gets to be the cook!

Ga-Ga & Pa surprised Ella with some new white shoes. She was pretty excited about it and she showed it by dancing all around for us.

Here Jack is enjoying his strawberry on a stick. There was tons of yummy food. I wish I had taking a picture of the table. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, steak, shrimp and meatballs. There was chips and dip, fruit and veggies, potato salad and all sorts of fixings. I mentioned that it felt like the kick off to summer with all that yummy barbecue food.

We forgot Ella's portable highchair at home, but we had the stroller in the back of the van. The seats can come out so we just used that as Ella's highchair instead...it worked really well!

After awhile we all gathered around to sing happy birthday to Uncle Ry!

Stephie had this basket of toys for the kids to play with on the deck...it was filled with bouncy balls, Slinky's and bubbles. Great idea to keep the kids busy!

Uncle Ry's cake was an Xbox. The same lady that made their wedding cake made this one. It was red velvet and it was yummy...I think! I feed a whole piece to Jack and Ella, but forgot to taste one bite myself!

Just case the candles spark a fire!

Happy Birthday to Uncle Ry!!!

Ella wasn't sure what all that singing was about!

Time for presents!

Even though it's blurry it's cute...a picture with all the kiddos!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

FlyLady - Day 4

Day 4 - Write These Things Down

Yesterday I went around and put up a few stinky notes to remind me of the new things I've learned. The last couple of days have been pretty easy for me and I decided to poke around the FlyLady website a bit due to reading some of the testimonials and getting curious about what they were talking about. I learned more about FlyLady's Routines....Before Bed & Morning and I decided to add that to what I am already doing. The sticky note on my obviously unclean mirror above says "Swish & Swipe"...I'll talk more about that later.

This is the mirror in my closet. Yes, I know the mirror isn't really usable, but I love to see my baby's ultrasound pictures everyday. There are two pictures for each of our 3 kids...their first ultrasound and then the ultrasound when we found out their sex. The sticky note on this mirror says, "Make the bed".

Ta Da!!!

Yes...I normally would not make my bed...like ever! Maybe if we were having company and I thought they might come upstairs. If you are a family member or a really good friend...nope! Sorry...when I get comfortable with someone do I really think that them seeing my bed unmade is going to make them say, "I can't be friends with you!" I think not! I remember telling Michael when I first started this journey, "I bet I'm going to have to start making the bed!" Yep I do! It's really not that hard and it is nice to see a put together bed during the day. Oh and yes we are still sleeping with the Afghan on because for some reason Washington State hasn't figured out that it will be June next week.

Yesterday we also went to Wal-Mart and spent $28 to get supplies to keep the house looking nice. I got bleach, 3 new toilet brush (one for each of the bathrooms), 3 bottles of glass cleaner, Borax, Washing Soda and Koolaid Lemonade.

My goal for the day was to get the bathroom in good shape. I say good because I was only focusing on the sinks, mirrors and toilets. I did not let myself get carried away and stress out over the dirty tubs, showers, and floors. Baby steps people! The above picture is the cabinet in the half bath on our first floor. I keep forgetting to take before pictures, but I needed to get this organized so I could fit the glass cleaner and paper towels in the cabinet. It really wasn't super bad before, but it's definitely a lot nicer now.

Back to the "Swish & Swipe"...part of my morning routine is now going to include this. After you are all done getting ready for the day before you leave your bathroom you are supposed to a) Swish your toilet w/cleaner and b) Swipe your mirror and sink with glass cleaner. Done...in about 2 mins!

See my new toilet brush in the corner. I'm seriously not sure why I never thought of having a toilet brush in each and every bathroom, but it completely makes sense. Humans (okay some humans not all) are really good at making excuses and being lazy. For me the toilet brush and cleaner was always down in the laundry closet and that was enough of an excuse to put it off. Now I have a brush and cleaner in each bathroom so no excuses. These nice brushes with holder were only $3 and some odd cents so they are cheap, but life changing! Okay maybe not life changing, but you know what I mean. FlyLady says it best, "Nothing says love like throwing up in a clean toilet when you're sick!"

You might have wondered what the Koolaid Lemonade was for.....homemade dish washing detergent. This isn't a FlyLady thing this I heard about from my friend Christina she hasn't blogged about it, but she mentioned it on FB so I decided that might be fun to try...this is the website she got the information from. I used mine for the first time tonight, but I haven't checked the dishes. I hope it works because it's much for cost effective!

Back to the bathrooms...I did all three of our bathrooms "Swishing and Swiping" away. Enjoying every bit of cleanliness! The surprise and I guess it shouldn't be is that the messiest toilet was in the kids bathroom. I guess it surprised me because Jack doesn't use that bathroom yet since he still needs help and a little potty cover and that toilet doesn't have one so it's only Owen that uses it. However, when he does use it he only flushes it oh every now and then! Ewwww....big time! We'll be working on that little bad habit!

All clean! Yes, I took a picture of the inside of my toilet and put on my blog...you got something to say about it! ;)

So nice and lovely and the mirror is definitely not spotty like it was in the first picture. You'll see I did take down the sticky note reminder and to be honest I'm not sure I'll use the Day 4 principle that much. I hate have sticky notes all over the place and once I have added something to my routine I very rarely forget about it...it just becomes part of my day. Plus I also looked around on the website and read a little about starting a Control Journal so I'm sure I'll be starting one of those soon and it will have lists of everything I need to do each and every day right there.

Ryan's BBQ Booklet!

So in addition to diving into FlyLady and a new discipline method with the kids I also found some time to make my brother his birthday present. Mainly because I worked on it after Michael got home and I'm sure by the look on my face he knew he should get the kids out of my hair or things were going to turn ugly. Anywho...

Since we are still having to scrimp and save even though Michael has a new job I'm left with the task of making gifts. I don't say that begrudgingly...not at all! I really do like to make gifts, but usually when you make gifts you still have to go out and buy some stuff. So I'm having to be really creative to just use what I have on hand. Plus coming up with a manly crafty homemade present can be problematic. Thankfully on Wednesday (3 days before his party) I finally came up with a good idea....

Handy Dandy Mini BBQ Cookbook. I got the idea all because of that cute little latch key chain thing that I bought using a Groupon that I had got for Paper Zone. Those things come in SO handy for things like flash cards for the kids. So I saw one of those in my craft area and the idea was born. I designed the front and back of the book using Microsoft Publisher and shrunk the image down to the size I need.

Then I took our BBQ Bible that I got Michael years ago and went through it and picked out 1 steak, 1 chicken, 1 pork, 1 salmon dish. I also added in 2 side dishes, 1 bread recipe, 2 desserts, 1 marinade and 1 rub. That equals a lot of typing!

My friend Kim helped it all come together though..she's the one with The Big Shot. It's a cutting machine from Sizzix that you buy through Stampin' Up. I laminated all the pages (I had just enough) and then used The Big Shot to cut them out into this nice scalloped square.

It turned out just like I imagined it would and I finished it in 2 days!

Happy Birthday Ryan!!!

Sorry the pictures aren't that good...I had to take them without the flash since the laminating sheets reflect the light.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

FlyLady - Day 3

Day 3 - Do What We Have Already Done

Because you know it's takes around 21 days to form a habit FlyLady is serious about you starting out by taking baby steps and getting used to the process. So yesterday my goal was to keep my sink shiny and get myself dressed to lace up shoes. I'm loving this slow pace and the fact that in every correspondence that FlyLady sends this is the message at the bottom of the email...

"You are not behind! I don't want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?"

I don't know about you, but when I jump on the band wagon of something new I always try to go full in. Like working out...instead of just walking a mile I want to go for the whole 4 miles! Of course by the second day I can barely move and it's all over for working out. Starting slow is going to be good for me. It's going to stick and I know it!

But....here's the but! FlyLady does have some tricks up her sleeve. I mentioned correspondence earlier...FlyLady sends out LOTS of emails. She does say don't worry about reading them all...just read the ones you want and delete the rest. They are emails that are filled with tips and testimonials and even challenges for yourself. Yesterday I was challenged to declutter the kitchen for 15 mins, living room for 15 mins, the bathroom for 15mins and then give myself 15 mins of rest. The key here is SET A TIMER!!!

I take my cellphone with me everywhere so I set my alarm clock and I was off. I was planning on taking before and after pics, but I just got going and forgot about it. Of course what should have taken exactly an hour took longer. After the bathroom was cleaned I had to get the kids a snack and then I started with the next phase and then it was time for Ella to go to bed, but it all worked out. At first I was really thinking how can I spend 15 mins decluttering my bathroom...I don't really have clutter in there, but then I opened cabinet under the sink....hmmm I haven't touched a bunch of that stuff in a while. So organization commenced!

I didn't really have that much to do in the living room so I added on the playroom to that section and did a little organization in there. The kitchen I wasn't able to completely finish, but that's the key with the timer...baby steps remember! There is a section in the kitchen that I'm saving for Michael since it's all his stuff so it's his job to do!

Overall I really have felt better about myself....did you know that FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself! Taking care of my house and my family and myself makes me a better mom, wife, friend and person. On Thursday night I even came downstairs AFTER the kids were in bed to make sure my sink was shiny for the next morning!

Friday, May 27, 2011

FlyLady - Day 2

This is something I already do. I am just one of those woman that can't stand to sit around in my lounge clothes all day. I HAVE to get up in the morning, take a shower, put make-up on, get dressed and do my hair. I have to do that for myself, my kids and my husband. I quickly realized that it would be VERY easy to fall into the never getting dressed up and presentable pit after becoming a stay at home mom. I mean seriously you are so sleep deprived and heck you only put your newborn baby in sleepers so why should you get out of your pajamas either. With that being said I really want my husband to come home to a well put together person. I want my kids to see me respecting myself and them by being the best me.

Every morning I wake up before the kids and get showered. It is just something that works for me. I love that alone time to myself to get my make-up on with out the ankle biters running around me and me having to say things like please don't get into my lotion again. I'm not saying we don't have pajama days, but they are definitely few and far between. I also refuse to go to the store in sweat pants or any form of lounge clothes period! I just won't do it...not that I haven't tried, but my conscience gets the best of me and I end up running upstairs and putting on jeans!

Here's me yesterday all dressed and make-up upped!

One of things I realized about a year ago is that I HAVE to put my shoes on. I was always walking around barefoot and there are SO many things you can't do if you don't have your shoes on...go get the mail, go grab a toy that was left outside, head out to the garage with the freezing cold cement floor. Okay maybe you can do those things, but you can make an excuse not to if you don't have your shoes on. Now I wear my shoes all day! It really does motivate me to get more done...no excuses right!

So go ahead Get Dressed To Lace Up Shoes...so slip them on in my case. BTW these are the shoes I bought when I went to 4 different Wal-Mart's last Saturday....LOVE THEM!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

FlyLady - Day 1

About 2 months ago a friend of mine introduced me to FlyLady. She told me how it worked for her family and showed me the basics of it. I went home that night and checked out the website, got totally overwhelmed and shut my computer. Fast Forward 2 months and I've now volunteered to present this whole concept to my MOPS group next winter. So I figured I'd better started using it and to keep myself in check and on track I'm going to document my process here. Who knows maybe some of you will become FlyBabies (nickname for all the FlyLady followers) too!

Part of the reason I got overwhelmed in the first place was the website is a bit busy. When I did decided to really take a look at it I just followed the Getting Started Instructions. That really helped me not stress out. So onto Day 1 - Shine Your Sink!!!

Why shine your sink...we'll it's pretty much the first thing you see in the morning when you are busying getting breakfast for the kids and trying to get all the dishes in the dishwasher or you're doing them in the sink. Let's face it...our sink can get pretty nasty! So FlyLady has detailed instructions on how to make your sink shine. Seriously? I honestly kind of rolled my eyes in bed thinking about this, but I gave it a go! Yesterday morning I got the kids all ready, put the dishes in the dishwasher and set out to have the shiniest sink on the block. I encountered an obstacle right way when I realized that I didn't have enough bleach. Instead of putting this off and starting when I get around to buying bleach I decided to just go with it and only use bleach on one side of my sink...seriously how big of a difference is bleach going to make.

A BIG difference!!!

Check out how shiny the sink on the left is compared to the one on the right. It sure does look nice overall, but man do I love that shine!

I'm going to pick up some more bleach this week so I'll do the other side when I get that, but in the meantime I'm keeping my sink shiny by wiping it out with a towel after each time I use it so there are no water spots and at night you can give it a quick shine boost by cleaning it out with glass cleaner.

There's Day 1!

End Of The MOPS Year!

On Tuesday we had our last MOPS until September. Afterwards a couple of us moms headed over to Mathison's Park in Burien and hung out. It was a perfect day to be at the park.

This was the first time I've taken Logan with me to the park so I pulled out the double stroller for her and Ella. Logan had a rough morning at MOPS (I later discovered it was because of a bad diaper rash) so she just hung out in the car seat since I knew she was tired.

Patti and her son Caleb are on the left. Caleb is seriously the most active 8 month old I've ever met. He seriously was trying to climb up on this huge rock...he was all over the place! Patti you are going to have your hands full! :) Wendy is on the right...her son Nikolai graduated from MOPS so she won't be coming back in September! :(

I love Mathison's Park (we went there earlier this month) because of the two play areas. The boys had fun running around and playing on everything.

After a teeny tiny bit of fussing Logan did take a little nap while we were there. Love those cute chubby cheeks!!

Nikolai did not want his picture taken and was frowning big time, but then instead of asking him to say, "Cheese" I asked him to say, "Stinky feet". He thought that was quite funny and cracked a smile!

It was fun hanging out with Patti, Wendy and the kids and I'm hoping we'll get to have more park play dates during the summer!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wal-Mart Adventure!

On Saturday I was on my way home from my parents and I decided to stop at the new HUGE Wal-Mart in Auburn with all 3 kiddos. I really haven't taken all 3 with me alone to many places other than MOPS or Bible Study. Being with other moms and being in a store are two different things. I had the double stroller in the car, but it was buried under other stuff so I decided to just fit the kids in a cart. When we were walking to store I noticed these mack-daddy carts!!! I seriously didn't know they made carts for 3 kids!

The cart was so HUGE though! I felt like I need those flagger guys that the airplanes need to back up from the terminal. It really did take a bit to maneuver it!

It was certainly nice having the kids all strapped in! The boys don't really look very ghetto in these pictures, but let me tell you they looked a bit silly. See it wasn't a planned stop so Owen was in his Christmas pajamas and Lightning McQueen shoes, Jack was in jeans with his Santa pajama top...I did put coats on both of them so it wasn't as bad as it could be. During the trip though I ended up running into one of the aisles and I said, "Bonk"...remember what happened when I told Ella that? Well she started hitting herself on the head and then laughing and then the boys started copying her and hitting their heads and laughing. Seriously people I was feeling pretty odd right then...I'm wondering if my cute, crazy kiddos will show up on some People of Wal-Mart website....okay it wasn't THAT bad! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Sign...Literally!

Last Friday I had a 'ME' day...if you're on FB you know I was pretty excited about it. My SIL Michelle had wanted to bless me with a day to myself for awhile now and I took her up on the offer. I had the whole day planned out...first was getting my haircut, then I went to Southcenter and stopped at The Dollar Tree, Old Navy, Starbucks and Lifeway Christian Stores. Then I went through the drive-thru at Wendy's for lunch and was off to browse the racks at Value Village. It was heaven! I got to take my time and look at practically everything without being rushed! When I was looking at the household items I ran across this...

At first I caught it glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye and then I leaned over and my mouth dropped to the floor. Out of all the names that would be on a sign at Value Village it just happened to be the name I had chosen for our baby if it was a girl! I think I've only told one person that that was the name I picked...okay two...Michael knew! To be honest I'm not really sure what I feel about seeing this and whether or not it is or has anything to do with God giving me a sign or not. I do feel like it was interesting since Addison isn't a very common name.

We are still awaiting the results of the lab work from my D & C to find out if there were any abnormalities with the baby and whether or not it was a boy or a girl. I will be happy to know. I want to name this baby, however, I will not name the baby Addison if it was a girl. When we miscarried Brayden, Owen was the first name on our list, but I just couldn't name that baby Owen...in my heart I knew that Owen Michael would be here with me on Earth so we chose the third boy name on our list instead. I feel the same way about the name Addison Jane...I feel like one day Addy Jane will be here with me!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Scardy Cats!

Hey Logan were you just hanging out while Miss Lyndsay mowed the lawn?

Hey Ella girl...did you have fun being out in the yard while Mama mowed?

Where are those boys girls?

Did they run away when they heard the mower....silly scardy cats! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yard Work!

A couple Saturday's ago Michael had a side job to do...when he got home we talked about using a little bit of the money and sprucing up one of the garden beds. We've decided to focus on one garden bed each summer in order to cut down on the cost.

Michael loves hostas so we got 3 of those and 2 lilies and 2 willow plants. We also got 2 tomato plants and it cost less than $50. I do want to spend just a little bit more and get some mulch to cover this garden bed and one that's up by our driveway. That one has a bunch of bulbs in it so it looks nice, but it always gets tons of weeds. The garden bed in the above pictures was just overrun with weeds too so I'm really hoping the mulch will really help. We also want to get one more little plant to put up closer to the end of the stairway.

The other night Michael got out his hedge trimmer and really trimmed back two of our trees/bushes in the backyard. This one by the play area is such a nice tree, but it was out of control. The below picture shows what it was last summer and it had grown even more since then. It looks so nice now!

We also have a camellia that we didn't want to cut out since it provides us with a bit of privacy in the backyard. We didn't want to complete trim it back last summer since we brought in so much dirt we want to first see if it would survive and now that it has we decided to hack it back.

Out of control!

So nice and shapely!

When Michael was picking up the trimmings he came across this one branch with this perfect looking flower. It totally reminds me of the rose from Beauty & The Beast!

Side Note: If this is posting I guess the world didn't come to an end afterall...interesting!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Afternoon With Ella!

Sharing Logan's Corn & Sweet Potato baby food. This actually grossed me out...not the sharing with Logan, but the fact that Ella has been eating normal food for months. In my mind that's a one way street and there's no going back, but she was pretty insistent on it and I was shocked when she actually liked it! This girl will eat pretty much anything!

Thankfully Logan was pretty full and didn't mind sharing her food! Such a cutie pie! It was so nice to get to sit outside with her and enjoy the sunshine!

What are these huge crocodile tears from you say?

She wanted to sit in the Bumbo after I took Logan out! Can you say jealous?

Oh yeah and see her wet pant leg...that's from almost falling in the little pool in the front yard! She's such a mess!!!