Monday

02.27.2012

I've been putting together a cleaning schedule over the last month or so, trying things out.. finding what works best for us. I found a lot of really great cleaning schedules, then filtered and compiled the things that we need in a schedule. Bless pinterest, my SIL pinned this cleaning schedule that was a really cute printable. Not to mention it was my favorite day to day arrangement. I downloaded it and tweaked it a bit. I decided to write up a daily and monthly cleaning guide as well.

Weekly cleaning chart
daily and monthly cleaning guide 
I am feeling really good about the way this schedule has been working for me. I love having monthly chores for Saturdays. It is so nice having Taylor home to help me with some of those bigger jobs. I will pick 1-3 monthly chores that I think need to be done, and it has seriously helped keep the deep cleaning manageable. I try to include Caden in cleaning as much as possible. He is very good at vacuuming and picking up his toys. He really likes to help me clean the mirrors and windows, and Brynnley likes to leave hand prints and nose smudges as soon as we are done. Caden is really good about clearing his dishes when he's done and putting his coat and shoes away when we get home. He's a good little helper. This is very customized to my little family in our little home, but in case it is of help to anyone else I thought I'd share the PDF files: Weekly Cleaning Schedule and Daily/Monthly Cleaning Guide. I am going to have these printed off and hard laminated. I have been making all of my own cleaning products too this last week, mostly following this post from HowDoesShe. I love doTERRA, I am ordering a few more oils this week to make a mattress spray. I really love cleaning with the chemical free homemade products. They work really well, and I feel safe using them with my kids in the same room.

I am still waiting on my the adapter for my computer, we ordered one and it was the wrong one. We found that apple discontinued the adapter that we actually need in 2010 so Taylor spent the weekend placing bids and trying to get a used one off ebay. We finally won the bids and have one coming in the mail right now. It should be here by Friday. I am so excited to get that machine set up. It's going to be 8X faster than what I'm currently running on. I'll finally be able to get through all the pictures I want to post. Hopefully lots and lots of pictures to come in the next couple of weeks!

Until then... Happy Cleaning! ;)
lara

Tuesday

02.21.2012

The kids are both napping. It is a rare occasion when they both take naps at the same time. Most of the time I have Brynnley down, then when she wakes up Caden goes down, then when he wakes up Brynnley goes down for a second nap. Nap time used to be my time to "get things done" when I had only one child. Now when I have those rare quiet afternoons, I just like to take a break.

I've had a lot on my mind lately.
Motherhood, Family, Organization, Marriage, Prioritizing
There is a lot to juggle as a mother and wife.
Cleaning the house, cooking, grocery shopping, running errands, organizing, teaching your children, playing with your children, spending time with your husband, having a healthy lifestyle.. and a million other things that come to mind.
I love being a mother more than anything in this world. My kids and husband are my world.
I have had a lot of time to reflect over the last couple of months. What is important? Where do my priorities stand? ... Where should they sand? What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? How can I improve?

Time management has been a big change since my second sweet baby came. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a corner because of all the demands I have. It kills me when people ask "what are you doing these days?" and my response of "being a mom, cooking, cleaning, and running a house" seems lacking to so many. What else do you do? ......... umm. Nothing. I don't have time for anything else.
I feel very accomplished on the days when we don't have the tv on and my kids go to bed on time with a clean house.

I am easily overwhelmed by all the favors I am constantly being asked. I enjoy sharing my talents with others, and I truly love serving and helping where I can. The challenge lies when I have so many favors piling up that my responsibilities at home get put on the back burner. It's not worth it. I feel guilty and overwhelmed.

My resolve to change things, came over the last several weeks.

I am committed to changing a lot of things:
  • Following a cleaning schedule - it has made keeping the house clean a complete dream. 
  • Sleep training with my little stinker, and she has slept through the night for the last 2 weeks - I have never felt so rested!
  • Taking more pictures of my kids, everyday things.. my favorite childhood pictures are the ones captured of the things I did at home with my siblings. Those everyday memories are brought back to life through those pictures. I want my kids to see the kinds of things they did every day.
  • Spend my free time with my kids: playing games, teaching them, encouraging them. No more turning on the tv so I can do things that are less important.
  • Cutting back on internet time. I love you pinterest... but seriously.. you take up way too much of my free time. Forget facebook. Other people bragging or wining does not appeal to me. 
  • Documenting our family. I want to have something to look back on, a reference, pictures. I love reading back through all of my old posts and seeing what we were doing years back. Seeing my sweet little boy. Being inspired. I am committing to keeping up here and writing things down. 
  • Eating healthier. Practicing better hygiene (keeping our hands and faces clean). Prevent illness
  • Get organized. Deep clean the house. Finish house projects that have been waiting around forever.
  • Saying NO to favors and job requests that I really don't have time for.
  • Be more faithful with scripture reading and family prayers.
  • Wake up earlier, get ready for the day, and get my kids ready for the day (goodbye pajamas!)

There are a lot of areas I would like to do better in. I feel a constant need for improvement.

I know that I love my family more than anything. I don't want to look back with regret wishing I hadn't been so lazy or selfish. I want my kids to remember me playing with them and teaching them, the way I remember my mother did.

Put the Lord and Family first.
That's the goal!

A few other things I wanted to jot down:

Brynnley:

Is crawling! I mean, she's been scooting (army style) for the last 6 weeks or so. Today was the first time I saw her crawl across the entire room without plopping on her belly!

She is pulling herlself up on furniture. She will follow Caden around and when he hops up on the couch she wants to follow. She just started really pulling herself up this week.

She has one tooth popping through on the bottom. Her other one is cutting through, and I can see her little chicklet teeth coming on top. From her gums it looks like she's going to have a big gap like Caden, I really don't mind because it means their adult teeth won't be as crowded!

She is really wanting to eat "big people food". She basically begs. She will crawl on the floor and lay next to Caden's chair when he is eating, and he will drop bits of food onto the floor which she will then pick up and eat. Then go back to staring up at him waiting for more food.

She has taken recent interest in books. She loves to sit on our laps while we flip through the baby books. She will point at all the pages.

She will repeat mama and dada when we say them to her.

She loves to shake her head. I mean... she's kind of obsessed. She has made a game of it with Taylor. Whenever he walks in the room (even if she is half asleep) she will shake her head at him. He shakes his head back at her and she squeals and quickly responds with another head shake. It goes on forever, but it is seriously adorable.

She loves to play with Caden's cars and her baby dolls.

She loves to look at herself in the mirror. She is so bashful and flirty with her reflection.

Caden:

Today I heard him telling Brynnley in the other room "Today is FEBRUARY twenty first, two fousand twelve!" haha. He is picking up so many things from preschool. I love watching him learn and grow.

He has recently become obsessed with having a corn pack for his feet at night. He will tell us to heat it up for 1 minute, then place it where his feet are.

He had a major case of hives about a week and a half ago. I think it may have been from the eye drops he had for pink eye. My other assumption was Honey.. I tested it today and he hasn't gotten hives yet. I am praying he is not allergic to honey, because it is easily his favorite food.

He is the best brother. He will read to brynnley, play toys with her, help her out of sticky situations, tell me if she puts anything harmful in her mouth, tell her how beautiful she is. It really melts my heart. My favorite moment in the day is when he sees her first thing in the morning and exclaims "GOOD MORNING BRYNN! I missed you all night!"

He sings loudly in the shower.. I have a feeling Taylor passed this one down ;)

He tells me on a daily basis "I hate clothes!" He would seriously run around in his underwear all day if I let him.

 As for the me and taylor:

Taylor has a new position at work. He is training to take over the Surplus Lines and Licensing department.

Taylor surprised (shocked) me with a new computer for Valentines Day. I mean.. I love roses and everything. But I'll take a new computer over flowers any day! We are just waiting for an adapter cable for my monitor and then I can get it set up. I am dying! My photo processing time is going to be cut in half!

I am posting for HowDoesShe.com on the first Wednesday of every month. My scheduling has been kind of random till now. I've had a few people ask, so here is a link for all of my posts.

This Winter has been amazing. I love snow in December, and although it was a little disappointing that there was none, I am so happy that this winter has been so mild and WARM! I mean, I've ventured out without a coat on many occasions!

Life is really great. We have so much to be thankful for. I am so glad we are all healthy again (knock-on-wood). I've already started spring cleaning and I love that feeling after I drop a load off at DI. Getting organized and getting on a Schedule is worth the time. Everything runs more smoothly.

Those are my thoughts and updates for now.


lara

Thursday

02.02.2012

...it all started about 3 1/2 years ago... this condition that may have some permanent effects on the brain: mom brain! Now, maybe some of you were lucky enough not to contract this: (scatter brain, loss of memory, tuning everything out, wondering if your lifetime of education even did any good) Mom Brain. I on the other hand am not so lucky. On a daily basis I have incidents of mom brain occur,
and it is only getting worse with time ;)

I had one of those moments (as I was editing these pictures)... when I realize oh crap.... did I REALLY do that! Read the sign Caden is holding.. Or.. maybe don't read the sign. Spare me the embarrassment. It was late, and I was trying to make the sign cute plus make all the letters fit. I guess I couldn't squeeze all of them in. Don't worry, I already got a good laugh out of it. 
If you can't spot my mistake.. then maybe you have mom brain too ;)

Caden started preschool on January 24, 2012. He is going twice a week for a half day. We have been on a waiting list for several months now and they finally had an opening for him at the beginning of the year. He has been so excited to start, he would beg me to call his "teacher" every day to see if he could come to school yet. He seems to be having a really great time. Every day when I pick him up I ask him what he did at school that day. His response is always the same "I DON'T KNOW MOMMY!" {in an annoyed tone} I have to ask him little details: what snack did you have? did you play outside or inside for play time? what letter did you learn about today? etc.. He ends up telling me all about his day and how much he loves his teachers. I am excited to watch him grow and learn over the next few months. His teachers have told me he is doing great and is one of their most polite and obedient students. I really didn't want to throw him into a full time preschool. I think that a child's place is at home with their mother and siblings when they are young. They need to be nurtured and loved at home. The half day, twice a week is the perfect preschool schedule for his age right now. It gives him a little education and interaction out of home; and gives me time to go run errands and do grocery shopping with just one child. I cannot believe how much I can get done in 3 hours! 

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It is hard to believe he is old enough for this big milestone. I look at him now and see a little boy, not a toddler, or a baby. He is so sweet and showers me and Brynnley with lots of hugs, kisses and "i love you's" every day. He is a stinky, sweaty, wild, ninja, dancing, crazy boy. He is perfect in my eyes. He is very obedient and funny, and every now and then I get a little attitude creeping through.
He is my little man and I love him with all of my heart.

lara