Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tricks up my sleeve

Today we had to make our weekly trip to the grocery store, not a big deal for most but Maddux hates nothing more than going into ANY store. I have tried restraining him to a cart, letting him ride in the "car carts" and simply leaving him at home. The third is always easiest but rarely practical. So I decided to take a cue from one of my favorite "famous moms", Michelle Duggar, and make it my own. It worked out REALLY well.

First, I laid out my expectations for their behavior in the store. I had four simple rules
 1) hold hands in the parking lot
 2) stay close to mommy and the cart
 3) keep your hands to yourself, unless instructed otherwise
 4) use your inside voice

We talked about these rules before we left home, before we got out of the car and reminders when I saw them about to veer off course.

Next, we talked about the consequences for breaking the rules. Each one got 2 silly bands, the first time they broke a rule they lost a band, the second time they broke a rule they lost their other band and their treat. Misbehavior after that would result in a trip to the bathroom for a spanking. After that they would have to ride in the cart for the rest of the trip. I showed them the belt in my purse to show them mommy meant business.

Finally we discussed the reward system. It was simple, I pulled out two dollar bills and let them know that if they had at least one band left when we headed for check out they would get a dollar. They could use it for whatever they wanted, a toy, candy, coloring book or save it up for a bigger prize in the weeks to come.

Like I mentioned before, we went over the rules, consequences and rewards several times before and during our trip. I am proud to say that both children were able to purchase a prize. Maddux wandered one time when he saw a coloring book he wanted, but once the first band was taken he knew to keep it together. He even asked to sit in the cart for a while so he wouldn't "lose" me.  Maddux left with a bag of army men and Brooke chose one of those gooey hands that you throw against the wall and it sticks. The best part of the whole trip was that I was able to praise the children so much more than correcting them, which made us all very proud! I hope our future trips to the store are equally successful.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mommy Report Card

The other day I was flipping through some of my favorite blogs and Kate, from Centsational Girl,l had a post about interviewing her two little ones. I thought this would be a fun way to not only find out what is going on in those little heads but also "grade" myself as a mom from my children's eyes. I found out that it doesn't work as well for a 3 and 4 year old as it does for a 6 and 8 year old, but for giggles I will share their answers with you. Some questions were altered because the kids didn't really understand them.

What are you (or have you been) afraid of?
   M: Spookies
   B: the dark
What is the happiest day of your life?
   M: Last week when mommy and daddy brought home ice cream from their date night to share.
   B: When she got to ride on the big slide at the Rodeo with Nonna
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
   M: no more spookies
   B: no more scary dogs (we have had stray dogs in the neighborhood this week, so we haven't been able to ride bikes)
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
   M: my hair would stop growing so I don't have to get hair cuts anymore
   B: I could have rainbow hair like my mermaid Barbie
What is one thing you could not live without?
   M: Blankie
   B: family
What is your favorite movie?
   M: The robot fighting movie (he watched this with his dad so I don't know what it's called
   B: Beauty and the Beast
What cartoon character do you wish you could be?
   M: Buzz Lightyear
   B: Princess Celestia (My Little Pony's)
What is your favorite thing about being 3 (or 4) years old?
   M: Get to drink out of a big boy cup
   B: Get a big girl bike
Describe your perfect day?
   M: Go to Nonna and Papaws house, watch Star Wars and eat cookies
   B:Go to Chick-fil-a, eat outside in a picnic and then go out to the woods for a tea party with a flash light
What job would you like to have when you grow up?
   M: Be a baseball player
   B: Be a chef
Who is your best friend and why?
   M: Daddy and Uncle Brian because they are boy and they are nice to me.
   B: Mamo because she takes me to my friend Avery's house every Sunday night for church.
What does mommy always say to you?
   M: "If you get out of bed you are going to get a spanking." (sad about that one!)
   B: "I love you more than the sun"
What makes mommy happy?
   M: Big much (???)
   B: When I help with the chores and play nice with my brother.
What makes mommy sad?
   M: When the police officer puts her in jail (side note: I have never been in jail)
   B: When I have a bad attitude
What makes mommy laugh?
   M: When I say "freckles and keekles"
   B: When I tell knock-knock jokes
How old is mommy?
   M: Big
   B: 26
How tall is mommy?
   M: Bigger than me
   B: As tall as a 26 year old
What is mommy's favorite thing to do?
   M: Move the closets (dressers)
   B: Hang out with me
What does mommy do when you aren't around?
   M: Break the closets (dressers)
   B: Hang out with daddy or sleep
What is mommy really good at?
   M: Moving the closets
   B: Exercising and cooking everything
What is mommy really bad at?
   M: Police officers put her in jail
   B: Having a bad face when I am not nice to my brother
What does mommy do for her job?
   M: Fight Spookies
   B: Playing with me
What is mommy's  favorite food?
   M: Pizza
   B: Apples, Bananas and Cereal
After this point Maddux got tired of answering questions... he actually answered more than I thought he would.
If mommy was a cartoon character who would she be?
   B: Ariel
How are you and mommy the same?
   B: We have the same eyes.
How are you and mommy different?
   B: I am little and she is big
How do you know mommy loves you?
   B: She gives me hugs and kisses all the time.
Where is mommy's favorite place to go?
   B: the nail salon

The conclusions that I came to after this "interview" with my kids are:
-my kids are silly
-daddy talks about putting people in jail too much
-even Brooke knows I need to go to the nail salon more often :)... I have been twice in the last year.

In other news, I have been praying and seeking God's word as we set some Family Guidelines. I realize now that this is something a couple should discuss before their first child is even born. I may be late but I am praying God will help us get on the right track.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Go Straight to the Source!

Lately I have been feeling a bit inadequate in the parenting department. I have been letting the kids get away with a lot as I am so tired these days, I have had a few people close to our family either discipline the kids in front of me or have given me "pointers" about what I SHOULD be doing. I felt completely defeated! Now let me stop here and say that I truly believe that I have the worlds most awesome children. They are fun to be around, the see beauty in the smallest things,and most importantly they are already developing a love for God and His word. Even so, they are only 3 and 4. If they don't get that constant training then they are going to slip up... it's only human. So there I sat in the middle of the kids room crying and praying as the kids drifted off to their nap, then God spoke right to my heart. It felt as if He was saying "Everybody has their own opinions and way of doing things, the only one you need to worry about is mine." I immediately hopped on the computer and search the words "what does the bible say about parenting?" There are endless resources to view, this is what I have found to help me begin the process of truly Godly parenting. As long as I do it his way, I can be confident in my parenting.

1) Teach our children to love God with all of their heart, soul and strength. Deuteronomy 6:5-9

2)Teach them respect and loving leadership through our actions towards Christ and your spouse. Ephesians 5:21-29

3) Raise them up in the way that they should go, according to God's word. Proverbs 22:6 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17

4) Involve them in church and surround them with fellow Christians. Hebrews 10:24-25

Monday, April 9, 2012

10 Fun Childhood Memories...

That I would love to share with my children.

Everybody realizes as they become parents that there are things they would like to do differently from their parents and things they would like to do the same. I have to say that my "do the same" list is much, MUCH longer than my "do differently" list. As our own family grows I am learning that it is very easy to become overwhelmed and stressed at times, so I decided to compose a list of things that we did growing up that were just plain fun! These are in no particular order.

1) Go fishing. My dad got a boat when I was in my early teens, it didn't matter if it was at the bay or on the lake, we always had a blast. Thanks to my parents I now get to share that experience with my kiddos every July 4th week.

2) Have a food fight. This did not happen everyday in the Goode household but I remember vividly my parents starting a food fight one night at the dinner table. It was the greatest dinner ever! Afterwards, all 7 of us worked as a team to clean the kitchen and it took less than 30 minutes. I learned that day that walls, drapes and chairs are ALL washable.

3) Wrestle with one another. This became an almost nightly routine in our home. We would move the coffee table out of the way in the living room and play WWF all night long. Dad played ref until I got so big the younger kids didn't stand a chance, then he was my opponent!

4) Sing familiar tunes in crazy voices. Every time we sang 'Happy Birthday' to someone dad would sing it very loud and off key (on purpose), after a few times we all joined in the silliness. We also got to practice this on Christmas morning when it was time for the kids to wake mom and dad. Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bell Rock never sounded so good at 6am. I bet mom and dad don't miss that!

5) Double Bounce. When we got our first trampoline, dad was one of the first people to get on. He was king of double bouncing us. We would fly so high it felt like we were free falling back down to earth.

6) Have a picnic in the park. Once a week during the summers growing up mom took all five of us kids to the park. We met up with other families and while the moms had bible study we got to play with the other kids.

7) Go to the Dollar Movies. I don't know if they even have Dollar Movies anymore but I remember mom and dad taking us "just because". With five children I know it was hard to fit going out into the budget but whether is was the dollar theater or the pizza buffet, it was always special.

8) Go camping. My mom  is a rock star camper! Sometimes it was a family trip and sometimes it was with our Awanas group at church. No matter what you wanted to be in my moms group. The woman can put together a gourmet meal from a grill and griddle. She can always come up with ways to entertain us. Board games, talent shows or adventures "exploring"... she's got you covered!

9) Have breakfast for dinner. Sometimes you just feel like having pancakes and syrup instead of pot roast... and that is A- OK in the Goode home.

10) Dive into a cake. Pink, Blue, Green or Black icing, mom always let us dive into our birthday cakes... even as big kids if we wanted to. There is no mess that can't be cleaned up and if something is so precious it can"t get dirty then you probably don't need to have it out at a birthday party. And you know what, sometimes she let us have dessert first.

You only live once, you are only a kid once... let your kids enjoy it! We all had our responsibilities around the house but every now and then it was OK to break them for a few hours and just have FUN!!! That is one of the big things on my "do he same" list.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Linen Closet

So this next project has actually was actually done about 3 or 4 weeks ago. The overwhelming need to conquer clutter actually began as soon as we found out we were expecting our third baby. Our home is not tiny by any means but it is what most would consider a starter home, so organization becomes very important when space is limited. Anyway, our number one goal starting this year was to pay off one of the cars... extra nesting cash was limited. I took stock of my home and what I had on hand, this was the project with the fastest and cheapest results. Again, no before pictures...

I have heard from many people, "label everything, it keeps the
family all on the same page."
Starting from the bottom, a couple of our larger extra throw pillows and
our beach bag. Originally we had our beach towels on the shelf
and the bag in another closet, then I realized how silly that was.
Extra sheets are on the shelf above.

For all of the smaller items that tend to get muddled up I used these drawer organizers
from Ikea. I just used a paint pen to label them because my label maker doesn't make labels large
enough to really catch the eye. If I want Matt and the kids o help keep  up the system I need it
kind of "in your face". I know my shams and pillowcases are overflowing a little bit but
I'm trying to keep it real!

The top two shelves are for extra towels and extra blankets. It looked a little nicer
when we had the heavy comforter on our bed and the lighter one up in the closet, but
it has been in the 80's everyday! While watching a show on HGTV I learned "the right way"
to fold towels. In all honesty, this has been something I have changed a few times in my
6 years of marriage, the way I fold towels. Silly I know but that is another story.

And because I can't pull out the camera without them jumping in front of it... and
they are the real reason why you come here. Brooke

and Maddux! (please excuse the random something dripping down the wall
beside him... I have no clue what it is)

All in all this project was FREE fr me but you can find these boxes at Ikea for less than $10, they come in a set of 6 boxes in varying sizes.

Now I am working on getting the kids clothes consolidated into one dresser. I took the day off yesterday to play hide and seek, watch some toons and just enjoy my kiddos. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shared Closet

One of the tips from professional organizer, Amanda LeBlanc, was that when it comes to closets, open wall space equals wasted space. I kept this in mind when merging Brooke and Maddux's clothes into one closet. I don't have a before picture (because I kind of dive into projects not thinking), but here is the after.

 So the break down of what I did... I added a second rod for each of them ($9.69 each @ Target), got a shoe shelf for each of them ($10.49 each @ Target) and replaced Brooke's old hamper ($9.99 @ Target). I also got four packages of kids hangers at (you guessed it) Target, they were $1.17 each and will be shared between all three kids. Once I had all my gear in place I organized each child's clothes on their own side. Tops on top, bottoms on bottom. After they were separated by season I lined the clothes up based on the rainbow (another trick I learned from watching "The Amandas" on Style Network). Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet; or ROY G. BIV. I paid attention in elementary art class :)! I have to tell you that I was a little stumped when it came down to Brooke's side because there are so many sub-categories for a girl. Do tunics count as dresses? Do sweaters go with light jackets? Are dresses on the top with tops or bottom with bottoms? But I put everything up as best as I could and then shifted where I needed to. I am happy with the end result though. I do plan on painting in there just to liven things up a bit, but that will wait until we decorate the main part of their room. The kids love it, especially Brooke who can now reach some of her clothes to get herself dressed. Just about $55.00 was spent on this portion of their room but considering the cost of a full closet system, I would say it was a pretty good deal!

Home Stories A2Z

Monday, April 2, 2012

Can Neat Freak Be Learned?

There are two types of messy people. The first type lives in chaos and thrives in it. They swear they would never be able to find anything if it wasn't spread out and right in front of them. The second type are the ones who live in chaos and hate it. They look at organized people like they have some sort of powers only certain people possess. They long to have everything together but either can not figure out how or can not keep it up. I am the second type. I long to have my home color coded and alphabetized, a place for everything and everything in its place. But, from childhood I have been overwhelmed by the notion of tidiness and  therefore lose motivation. That is not to say that we are a "dirty" family by any means. We do our dishes everyday, we always have fresh clean clothes, I mop at least once a week... it's just the clutter that gets me. My sister on the other hand is a pro and always has been. I am sure when we shared a room it drove her crazy to see my mess. Even now that she works a full time job, cares for her family and maintains an active social life, her home is spotless at all times. Even when she swears her house is a mess I come into a home that looks like mine on its best day. In all honesty I am jealous! So my question is, Is the neat freak born or learned? Is it hopeless for me to think that my home will one day be a well oiled machine? If the skill can be mastered, can it be done before we welcome our little Elle? I am putting forth the effort to at least try, it is all I can do to stay sane. I need this for myself and my family. I am doing lots of research online for ideas and tips for methods I can keep up with in the long term. Maybe if I document my progress it will keep my on track. Do you have any secrets? Do you struggle with the clutter wars as I do?