Tag Archives: chores

Win the battle, the war might follow

This is effectively the first real day of Summer Vacation. So far, books and magazines have been read, laundry has been prepared, tables have been cleaned, and a bed has been made.

I made a list of little chores that can be done almost every day and put them in a bowl. In order to get computer time, five of those chores must be finished. The boys finished all 5 each in about 2 hours. But the best part was that no one minded doing the chores and earning the time. At our current rate, all the boys will use their computer time by lunch. If they want more computer time, or some time on the Wii, they can do more chores after lunch. I also love that I don’t feel as guilty about letting them play games since they did something productive first.

Here’s to keeping up the good work.

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Ruh roh…

(NOTE: I wrote this entry last week but something went wrong with the Auto-Save feature. I’m going to try to replicate it as best I can…)

While sitting in the Auditorium waiting for The Hubs to arrive and The Regulator’s Spring Concert to start, I had a rather startling realization:  there were only two weeks left to the school year.

If you lived anywhere– let’s face it, anywhere— this past winter, you’d agree that it didn’t feel as though the school year was ever going to end. But it is, and as usual, I feel woefully unprepared.

I had had such high hopes for this summer– vacations, day trips, and a move to a glorious house in suburbia. But alas, this was not to be. I’ve been tutoring here and there, but it doesn’t pull in all that much. The big vacation is already paid for, but aside from that, I’ll have to wait and see if I land a work-from-home gig that Mrs. Legal Lawyer told me about. If I don’t get that… well.  Can’t feel sorry for myself if that’s the result.

I always say that I’ll get the kids working on their basic skills and reading like crazy over the summer, but that doesn’t really happen, either. The Regulator needs to improve his handwriting like woah, and they could all use more trips to the library. The Hubs and I love books, but we really can’t afford to be buying all of them! The Summer Reading Program at town libraries is pretty great, but we just haven’t been able to keep up  with the assignments. I think we need to spend more time there and get the boys a little more familiar with their reading interests and limitations (why am I bringing home 6 novels per kid?).

And even though we’re not moving, it’s not too early to start preparing. I intend to  start tossing all the stuff we don’t need, maybe even selling what we can. Who knows? We might even be able to be a little happier in the space we have when there’s less stuff in it. We have a storage unit and most of that stuff hasn’t seen the light of day in a couple years!

The Regulator is also transitioning to *gasp* MIDDLE SCHOOL. I hear tell the 5th grade is one of the toughest years in our school system. Probably just as well that we’re not moving anywhere… he’s not one to handle stress. I want to prepare him, though: study skills, note taking, organization. Things that will make the actual content a non-issue (which it pretty much is– he’s above average intelligence-wise and I have the objective test results to prove it).

There’s always swimming and soccer, and maybe if we can squeeze in a day trip, it’ll be a grand time. Anything to keep them from being plugged in all damn day.  Anything to keep them from making a royal mess of our home.

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Oh… if I use this. Poor boys won’t know what hit them! They’re downright lucky we don’t have a pet (or a farmstead, for that matter… how the heck old is this list?!?!).

Here’s to family fun and making memories.

I hate to fail

Does anyone like it, really? Faulty thesis statement: C+ at best.

Trouble is, it keeps happening. 

I am determined to keep up my prayer habits; I don’t.

I resolve to keep a clean home: crash and burn.

I set about to be a successful professional: I guess since I’m typing this from my home and not a job, you can answer that one.

I make plans to be more than a mediocre mom: Can’t say as I fail miserably… but I slip up on occasion, and I get so disappointed.

I can’t even finish a medication prescription without missing at least one dose!

Even on the days I don’t look like a total schlumpadinka, I’ve skipped some step that would probably make me look better.

Losing weight? Nope. Keeping up with bills? Nuh-uh. Staying in touch with friends without the aid of a computer screen? Nooooooo…. There are only 29 days to my 30-day blogging challenge, for the love of Mike!  Remember Operation Double Down? Not even happening (Can’t help that one– Buttercup went back to 5-hour naps on her own). 

Maybe I need professional help. Blog therapy is a start.

Here’s to finding a track to get on in the first place.

There’s not just ‘clean’ and ‘dirty.’ There are many subtle levels…

(Man, I’ve gotta learn how to make .gif files! I wanted that line as said by Bill Murray in “Ghostbusters 2” to post here. Couldn’t even find a YouTube video of that scene.)

I’m not a fan of washing clothes after wearing them once. 

Don’t get me wrong…. underwear and socks, obvi. But most clothes are not dirty or smelly at the end of the day. You can wear them a total of twice before they go in the hamper. Pants maybe get spared once or twice more. Jeans manufacturers recommend you wash their product as seldom as possible, even going so far as to suggest that you stick ’em in the freezer if they do get smelly. I’m not going that far. I don’t want icy pants.

I guess what bugs me is that, since I live in an apartment complex, I do not have in-home access to laundry facilities. There’s a laundry room on the other side of the complex, and since the Polar Express ahem, Vortex showed up, as well as the ALL THE SNOW, I am quite reluctant to leave the warmth and traction of my home for the snow and ice outside. But children were concerned, and they complain so seldom that I had to heed the call. (We doled out new chores at the beginning of the year; Pint Size Genius took responsibility for watching the hampers to make sure none of them got too full.)

So I made sure I sorted out what I had to wash– which is easy, since I have the boys sort their own clothes with a 3-section hamper– and bagged it up to take down to the laundry room. There aren’t a whole lot of options once I’m there: hot, cold, warm; normal, permanent press, delicate. I do appreciate that they switched to a swipe-card system so that I don’t have to go to the laundromat for quarters just to leave and wash clothes elsewhere. All the wash cycles are about a half-hour, the dryer always a full hour. That means it takes about 2 hours to do wash, including the time it takes to walk or drive back and forth from the apartment to the laundry room. 

Three loads I washed and dried. I dragged them all back to my place. I folded shirts and paired up socks. (Aside: is it a ‘mom thing’ to know what clothes go together? The Hubs insists that he cannot remember for the life of him what goes with what.) I stacked the clean clothes, sorted by kid, onto Pint Size Genius’ bed. And then I thought to myself, “Self– I’d better check out a drawer or two to make sure there aren’t dirty clothes in there.” So I went into a dresser (I’ll protect the identity of the kid whose dresser I opened). The T-shirt drawer was full of balled-up shirts (well… I guess that’s one way to indicate which shirts you wore, kid…). 

But when I picked up a shirt to re-fold it, I found stains on it. Why did you think it was clean enough to put back in the drawer, kid???? So I looked through all the shirts. Only three needed to go in the hamper. That wasn’t so bad. Then I found the underwear on the floor. The kids were most vocally complaining about a short supply of underwear. How am I going to keep you in underwear if you don’t put them in the right place to be collected and washed?!?! 

*le sigh* Where did I go wrong?

It’s an uphill climb, really. It took a long time to get them putting any clothes in the hamper. I felt like I won the lottery when they started putting dark clothes with dark and light clothes with light in their own sections of the hamper. So I guess it’s really not that bad.

The kids have been home quite a bit since Winter took a huge dump–of snow– in our area. The Regulator informed me that they would all stay in their pajamas to save me a little laundry. Kinda sweet, right?

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Hey, there’s a thought….

Here’s to keeping it clean, folks.