Friday, November 18, 2011

Chore List

Oh yeah, I have a blog. . . . . . .

The last few weeks I have been getting a handle on this thing called housekeeping. I noticed that the little things were taking over. It is hard to be cool, calm, and collected with your (very hyperactive) children when there is a mountain of laundry and nothing to eat in the house and your car is in the shop.

I have done the thing I never thought I would do. I have made a chore list. Now I am not against the chore list. In fact, I very much look forward to creating chore lists for my children as they get older. This chore list is for me. I actually researched the most effective ways of keeping your home clean and am attempting to keep things in order so that when my kids ask to paint a picture I don't have to spend 15 minutes trying to find their art desk. I feel like such a hausfrau.

So the chore list has been in full effect for three weeks now and has proven successful. Four weeks ago I would look at the floor that would need mopping and feel stressed about when I was going to have time to get that done. Now it has an allotted time and I can delete those thoughts from my CPU. No need to worry about when I will get it done. It's on the schedule. This method really works for the teacher that lives inside my head.

I guess all the housekeeping blogs are right. If you just schedule a time for it and do it, the house practically takes care of itself. Except it's actually you doing all the work, but everyone else (cough-husbands-cough, cough) seems to think it happens by magic.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Who ya gonna call?

We are a little obsessed with Ghostbusters around here lately. Big Boy has watched it everyday since Halloween and is now a learned expert on the finer nuances of the movie. He told me today that he really wanted one of his best friends to come over and watch it with him.

"Well buddy, not all moms and dads want their kids to watch scary movies. Ghostbusters might be too scary for her."

"You can tell her mommy that it's just pretend."

"Well, maybe you can come up with some reasons that she should be allowed to watch it."

And for the next ten minutes he laid out his reasons why all four-year-olds should be allowed to watch Ghostbusters. Here are some of my favorite.

1. The scary lady ghost in the library will be nice to you if you will just be quiet when you are in the library.

2. The marshmallow man monster is really funny and he is not scary at all.

3. The Ghostbusters are heroes because they protect all the people from the ghosts and monsters.

4. New York City is really far away from our city. It is all the way past China so those ghosts in that city can't get us in our city.

5. The skeleton ghost in the taxi is not a ghost. He is just skeleton. Skeletons are real, but they don't really drive taxis. That is just a pretend part.

6. The song for Ghostbusters is really funny and she would like to sing it with me.

7. The Ghostbusters have really big guns.

8. The green ghost gets boogers all over the Ghostbuster's face and that is really funny. Boogers from a ghost!

9. The scary dog is the scariest part, but you can cover your eyes and pretend it is a nice dog.

He also managed to unknowingly eat an entire plate of food while he was distracted by all the talking and that is a major accomplishment also.

Tricky Mommy

Four years is really not that long to have known somebody so I try to cut myself some slack when I discover a parenting method that works like a charm with Big Boy. Some days I just want to smack myself in the forehead and yell, "Why didn't I think of this two years ago!?" Today is one of those days.

If he is taking a class or participating in a group activity, he has no problem going with the flow and doing what he is asked, but if I try and encourage him to do something, say practice writing his name or color a picture, he is always resistant. I have tried the usual tactics. I use the super excited, "this will be sooooo much fun" voice. I bribe with promises of cartoons, candy, and video games. I tell him it is just for big boys, but it just doesn't work. The child is stubborn when it comes to cooperating with his mother.

Today I had a fun little activity that I thought he would love. Building with mini marshmallows and toothpicks. I figured this could occupy him for hours. He loves building things, he loves marshmallows, and he loves toothpicks! Win, Win, Win. But no. He wasn't interested. I started to try to convince him with the usual tactics and then decided that I would just do it by myself. I sat down on the floor with a pile of marshmallows and toothpicks and started building a skyscraper.

"Whatcha doing mommy?" I heard over my shoulder about two minutes into my activity.

"Building stuff with marshmallows and toothpicks."

"Can I try?"

"Well, sure honey."

And slapping forehead with palm now. Could have been doing this all along! He would be able to read and do algebra by now!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I started looking at things on Pinterest. Ugh. What a time suck and also what a marvelous way to make yourself feel like a lousy parent. So many cute little things on there that good mommies do for their children. Snacks that look like the Eric Carle caterpillar, interesting animals figures made from paper tubes, toddler comfy pants made from an old t-shirt, and of course lovely decorated kids' rooms that are cleaned and photographed daily.

My kids seem to be missing out on an entire world of homemade crafts and snacks resembling cute woodland creatures.I am sure this will drop their SAT scores by ten or twenty points. It makes me wonder how these parents have time to do anything else. Do their kids actually do these crafts or is this something the parent is doing while the kid stands there and watches? How do you get a toddler to sit still long enough to make a melted crayon shaving parchment paper butterfly suncatcher?

I have tried some of these little crafty things with my kids and they are always uninterested. They like to paint, color, and use play-dough, but they do not like to be informed what the end product should be. My kids lack an interest in these types of creative pursuits and I usually end up doing the craft for them. If I am the one doing it than I might as well do a craft that I enjoy rather than a snowman made from popsicle sticks.

Today I gave my kids a box full of sticks from the forest. I also handed them some yarn, a pair of scissors, and some masking tape. They were busy for nearly two hours and it involved practically no planning or participation on my part. Now that is what I call crafty. Maybe I can sell their creations on Etsy?