Monthly Archives: September 2013

moms musings

Mom’s Musings: Lessons Learned from Doritoes

I so often learn lessons from watching my kids.

Tonight on the way home from a trip recently, I gave them each a pile of Doritos chips. (semi-rare treat.) The 4 year old dropped 4 small pieces on the ground by accident.

Rather then enjoy the big pile of chips next to him, he worried, whined and completely focused in on the 4 little pieces on he ground.

We were determined to not pull over for his ‘crisis’ so he finally just sat miserably until our next stop about 45 minutes later. He refused to acknowledge the pile of treats beside him and within reach because of his all-consuming concern with the out-of-reach bits below him.

It seemed a little dumb, but I found it convicting.

How often am I all-too-similar to this?

Focusing on the ‘little pieces.’

As moms, we cave in to focusing on whatever chips pieces are just beyond our reach – 5 star meals, perfect houses, spotless children, and developmentally above the average kids.

We miss the blessings we have. God has given us each SO MANY blessings. His son to die for us, His word, His Spirit, our abilities, our children, our families.

We don’t all have the same blessings. My children are about average in intelligence. It used to drive me crazy that sometimes they were ‘a month behind’ developmental charts.

But in reality, I was really feeding my pride. I didn’t want to be considered a bad mom because I hadn’t pushed my kids enough. I focused on those pieces rather then being thankful for the abilities and strengths they did have.

The fact is, God has given my children certain abilities and me certain abilities.

I can sing. I have a rather good voice (or at least parents who dished out 4 years of voice lessons for me!) I can fill my home with worthwhile songs and hymns. I can use the ‘chips’ God has given me and be thankful rather then lament that I am not as naturally organized as the next woman.

I can even view  these areas of weakness in a bigger perspective.  I can be thankful for this “chip” of weakness i organizing – to help me depend on God. I’ve found that if I pray, I can keep better control. God’s used my weakness to help me draw closer to Him.

Similarly, I can look at my kids’ strengths and be thankful for the ‘chips.’ My son is 100% person. He never ever does anything half way. I can use that and help him to learn to do right, kind, brave things in his 100% fashion rather then lament that he is not as laid-back and ‘easy’ as his little play mates. These are the ‘chips’ God has given us.

So, that is the lesson I was reminded of today from a pile of Doritos. :-)

- Verity

3 Kids in a 10X10 Room

Our house has 4 bedrooms, but we’ve decided to put all three of our kids (3 years, 2 years, and 1 year) in the same room.

Why? They love being together, it keeps their toys in 2

Picturelocations (their bedroom and the fairly well-organized

play room downstairs), and it helps me to keep their stuff down in numb


Toys:
er since there is less space to put it.

This won’t last, but for now it works best for our family.

Here is how we organize their bedroom:

There is one single big box under their bed with lots of misc toys. I try to keep it at 3/4s full. If it gets over that, it’s a signal to get rid of stuff. I used to also keep toys on their low shelves, but I’ve since stopped. With all the clothes and bodies in one room, it’s best to have toys in one locationBooks are kept in one basket. I try to rotate their books.

Clothes:Picture
Door Hanger: I wrote an article about my love of over the door shoe hangers. This is also a great spot to put a full wardrobe of toddler clothes!
When the baby gets a little bigger, I’ll hang another shoe hanger on the wall next to the door and organize her clothes that way too.
Baskets: Two baskets are enough for the baby’s clothes, shoes, and accessories.Dresser Drawers: Serving their normal purpo
se.Outgrown clothes: I have a covered basket in the bottom of the closet. (Not Pictured)Hanging Clothes: Clothes that are brand new and soon to be grown into (because otherwise I forget about them), Sunday clothes, and some play dresses.


Beds: 
Picture
The toddlers have bunk beds. Ikea sells a toddler bunk bed that would have made a smaller blue print in the room and fit them until they were 5, but the big one has worked fine for our purpose, allows them more personal space, and I covet the under-bed storage.The baby sleeps in a pack n play which I sometimes roll to the end of the bed during the day to open up more floor space. My 2 year old does not want the baby to sleep down there though because of privacy.Picture

Personal Space: No one is allowed in anyone else’s bed unless invited. Also, any toys in their personal space is off limits. This doesn’t always work, but it works 95% of the time.I also put a curtain on the lower bunk for when the two year old wants to escape from her semi-wild older brother.

Shoes:

Shelves: This is perfect for a preschooler to put away and get his own shoes.
Picture
Baskets with clothes: Baby shoes can go anywhere. Why not in with their socks and hats?
Shelf Basket: Works great for little kid shoes. We could easily fit 12 pair.

Changing Station:We were given a low, three drawer dresser that is a great height for changing. The top drawer has diapers, creams, wipes and misc. The bottom two drawers hold preschool boy clothes. I think I could actually fit them into 1 drawer, but he has a drawer completely devoted to PJs while he learns to put them away. (Not there yet, but we’re working at it.)We keep extra diapers and wipes in the bottom of the hutch in the closet.

So, this is our 3 kids in 1 10X10 room. They love it, and we like it for now too. They love to go in and play on the floor together, sit up at night talking (not my favorite part), and get ready for the day together. ( I do close the door as we get ready to keep the 80 pound dog out; we don’t have space for him too.)

I hope it’s keeping them close in more ways then physical closeness.

- Verity

Picture

Cleaning: My System Part 1

The Scene: 

Your house is a wreck. You just put your children down for naps and you are exhausted. You head down the stairs to face the mess and are so overwhelmed by it you spend most of naptime wandering, eating, trying to figure out where to start. Before you know it, the baby wakes up and you accomplished very little.

How many of you have faced days like this? I sure have! Multiple times. I’ve had people ask me where I start when I’m facing a large mess, so I started to think about it. Here’s what I’ve discovered.

The Plan:

First, if you have enough time, start with the dishes. I’ve observed that if you will be cleaning for any length of time (more than 20 minutes) you will probably be snacking or preparing food for others along the way. You might be unloading the dishwasher or trying to complete a kitchen project and dirty dishes will only slow you down. We all know what it’s like to move them and rearrange them to make it work, but it’s only a waste of time. Buy cute dish gloves, put them on, and knock those dishes out in 10 minutes or less. Then move on to the rest of the house!

Start with the living room. It’s the most important/showy to keep up with. Look at the mess. Force yourself to view the items as groups. Before you pick anything up, mentally assess your groups. My groups are usually things like, kids’ dirty clothes, garbage, dirty dishes, toys that go upstairs, toys that go in the living room, and things that go to my husband’s office. This step should take less than 10 seconds. Then I decide which group (or item in a group) looks fun. This might sound weird to you, but there is always 1 item that is easy and you know exactly what to do with it without thinking. Sometimes it’s as simple as picking up a coaster that fell on the ground. Start with your fun or easy item. While you’re down there be thinking ahead to the next fun or easy item. Your excitement at taking care of these fun items will continually push you to conquer the next group. Don’t allow yourself to stop thinking in terms of fun or easy because even once you knock out several of those items there is always another that is more fun than the next. Do this until you are finished.

Don’t allow yourself to become bogged down by taking things all the way to their home. Make piles. All things that go upstairs, I place in piles on the landing. It’s not unusual for my landing to be FULL when my kids get up, but it saves time so I’m not running up and down the stairs or getting distracted. While my kids are eating their snack, I take it all up and disperse it quickly to its correct locations.  Papers that need to be sorted go in piles on the dining room table. I will sort them later in the day. Not when I’m trying to quickly clean up. Just don’t forget about them!

When the living room is done, move to the dining room, hallway, etc. however your house is set up. Keep going until the clutter is in piles and taken care of. Don’t allow yourself to get bogged down or distracted. If something is slowing you up, set it aside to do later in the day and find the next item or group that looks fun and easy. Keep moving and you’ll be amazed at how quickly and easily you can clean up a messy house!

The Recap:

  • Do the dishes
  • Assess your groups
  • Find 1 fun or easy item or group
  • Make piles
  • Always think ahead to the next fun or easy item or group
  • Don’t get distracted—keep going until it’s done!
  • Go back the time consuming items later

Happy Cleaning!!

-Lydia