Archive for the 'lists' Category

27
Apr
13

Stomach Bug Survival Kit

Whether you need to run to the store for your family or you want to bless someone else’s family whose  has been hit by the stomach bug, here is a list of survival items we’ve found essential to weathering the storm.

  • Saltines: Mild carb, easy to digest.
  • Sprite: Sugar helps balance electrolytes and fights dehydration.
  • Chicken noodle soup: Salt also helps balance electrolytes. I’ve found chicken and rice soups to be more unpleasant to throw up. The rice gets stuck in the throat. The noodles slide back up easily.
  • Jello: Sugar and Salt for electrolytes and smoothly travels up and down.
  • Pedialyte: For electrolytes and fights dehydration, use sparingly since it is pretty strong and overuse can actually induce diarrhea.
  • Wet wipes: Because you can’t give them a bath every time they vomit on themselves.
  • Lysol III: It’s the only cleaner (aside from bleach) that I’m aware of that kills stomach bug viruses.
  • Rubbing alcohol: For cleaning cloth furniture that has been vomited on. It disinfects and evaporates quickly.
  • Paper towels: For vomit clean up.

Luxury Items:

  • Spearmint essential oil diluted in water (brown bottle): I spray this inside their cleaned vomit bowls to keep the vomit smell at bay (which can make them feel more nauseous).
  • Nice smelling all-purpose cleaner: To use as needed.
  • Laundry detergent: Because we do a lot of extra laundry during these times!
  • Diapers (if sickies are at that age): We go through double (triple?) the amount of diapers we go through normally.
  • Entertainment: Thankfully we have Netflix, but  if that isn’t available, bring some movies or stories on tape to help keep the kids entertained while they are laying down.
  • Food for mom: Often mom will end up neglecting to eat because she is so busy with the kids. Bring her something easy to eat (a sandwich, a ready made salad, protein smoothie?) and maybe some coffee to keep her going strong.
  • Garbage bags: For mess control!
  • Straws: Because it is better sip then gulp when you are throwing up a lot.

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18
Jan
13

Chore Charts

#3, #1, and #2 camping in the living room

I grew up in a home where there were 6 of us kids. I was the 3rd. Both my parents worked and we were homeschooled, so you can imagine what my chore list was like. My parents did a good job of teaching us to be hard workers.  I’ve been scrubbing baseboards and toilets, doing my own laundry, hand washing dishes (we didn’t have a dishwasher back then), and taking out the garbage for as long as I can remember. I don’t remember enjoying all of my chores, but I certainly didn’t hate most of them. With my own kids,  I have tried in the past to set up chore charts for their edification (they end up being more work for me to enforce then to simply do it on my own), but nothing has stuck this far. The older ones do help me around the house with whatever the current need is, but whenever I tried to have a more structured system it only ever lasted a couple months before dissolving. It could, admittedly, have something to do with my frequent HG pregnancies. It is hard to stay on top of chore charts when you are in and out of the hospital, and barely able to get out of bed. We can make plans, but ultimately, God decides the course of our lives (Proverbs 16:9).  The relative chaos in the housework department doesn’t bother me much anymore. My chaos meter has changed a lot since spending collective years listening to my family live while I helplessly listened from my bed. I can get involved again and bring some order to our little world. Plus, I have long since gotten over any aversions I had to chores. I enjoy cleaning. It occurred to me the other day that since we are done home growing our family, that the odds of sticking to a basic program have greatly increased.   I’ve also noticed a good deal of boredom going around our house. During the day when my oldest is at school, my second plays with our third, but then #3 takes a nap and #2 becomes my shadow, her questions cycle around on a loop, “What day is it? When will sister be home? When will brother get up? What are we doing tonight? Can I play games on the ipad or watch tv?” When I have my wits about me I take the opportunity to give her something constructive to do. Preschool workpages, wiping down surfaces, helping me fold the laundry or tear up lettuce for supper. If I am really on top of my game, I’ll drop everything and build a fort with her or host a tea party for just the two of us (and sometimes baby #4). However, more often then not, my wits get lost somewhere between my morning coffee and the Magic Laundry (you know, it pulls dirty clothes out of thin air and strews them about the house). Add into this the constant direction I give throughout the day and it’s no wonder I am ready to crash the second I load the last dirty dinner dish into the dishwasher (Praise God for technology!). The time has come for change. Today I sat down, searched through all those chore lists I’ve pinned on Pinterest, and came up with what I think is a decent working list for us. I’ll share it here, but I would like to hear what your thoughts are. What chores have you found work well for different age groups? What are your thoughts on incentives? Sticker charts or check lists? Have you found any certain flaws in the system that I should be aware of?

 Chores for a 7 Year old Girl 

  • BEFORE SCHOOL
Mon
day
Tues
day
Wedn
esday
Thurs
day
Friday
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
Put dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
  • AFTER SCHOOL
*** *** *** *** ***
Change clothes.
Put dirty school clothes in laundry hamper.
Wipe down bathroom sink.
Clean your room (make your bed, put clothes away, put toys away, sweep).
Unload dishwasher.
Homework.
Help fold laundry.
  • BEFORE DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Set table with plates or bowls, napkins and silverware.
Wash your hands.
  • AFTER DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Clear your plate.
Put on your pajamas.
Put your dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to braid your hair for bed.

  Chores for a 4 Year Old Girl

  • MORNING
Mon
day
Tues
day
Wedn
esday
Thurs
day
Friday
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
Put dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Do school.
Help fold laundry.
  • AFTERNOON
*** *** *** *** ***
Dust coffee tables.
Disinfect doorknobs.
Clean your room (make your bed, put your clothes away, pick up toys, pick up garbage and throw it away).
Unload dishwasher.
  • BEFORE DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Wipe off kitchen table.
Set table with plates or bowls, napkins and silverware.
  • AFTER DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Clear your plate.
Put on your pajamas.
Put your dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth.
Wash your face.
Brush your hair.

Chores for a 2 Year Old Boy

  • MORNING
Mon
day
Tues
day
Wedn
esday
Thurs
day
Friday
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
  • AFTER NAP
*** *** *** *** ***
Make your bed.
Wipe down front of dishwasher.
Wipe down front of oven.
Wipe down front of fridge.
Wipe down bathroom cabinet.
  • BEFORE DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Wash your hands.
Wash your face.
  • AFTER DINNER
Put your toys away.
Put on your pajamas.
Put your dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth.
Wash your face.
18
Jan
10

Spring Cleaning: Clothes

The cleaning bug has struck early this year for us. First job on the docket is a wardrobe purge. My basic rules for cleaning out the closets are….

  • CHUCK IT if I haven’t worn it in a year.
  • CHUCK IT if I don’t like the way it fits.
  • CHUCK IT if it is trashed beyond repair.
  • CHUCK IT if I haven’t had time to repair it in the last 90 days.
  • CHUCK IT if I don’t really like it.
  • CHUCK IT if I have nothing to wear it with.

Exceptions to these rules include occasion wear (aka formals, seasonal wear) and one or two really awesome pieces I just haven’t found the right thing to match with it yet but it still fits fine.

We moms have an especially difficult time navigating wardrobe management since our sizes tend to fluctuate with every new child. A good rule of thumb is to only keep the maternity pieces you really love, ditto post partum. An alternative  is to start a lending chain. If you have a lotta mom friends, start putting all your extra maternity/post partum clothes in a bin and pass it around. When one person is done taking from and adding to it, pass it on.  It hurts, but I’ve found it best to just lose the pre-pregnancy clothes if you don’t honestly think you’ll be back in them within the next 3 years. I have yet to find a motivational piece of clothing motivate me. I always just end up feeling like a looser. Pass!

RECYCLE:
When you choose what to goodwill, give away or sell, make sure you put anything un-wearable (torn, tattered, stained badly) in the garbage. It’s true sometimes one woman’s trash is another’s treasure, but sometimes your treasures might be trash. Be realistic.  Pick out the best of the best of your chucked items and preferably give it to a friend who would like it or consignment shop/ebay it. With the rest of it, use freecycle.org or craigslist and offer it to whoever wants it. You don’t have to use big descriptions. Mine are usually are something like, “Offer: Bag of 12 month old clothes.” If you don’t mind driving a bit, just run the bag down to a goodwill drop off point and be done with it.

Remember it is okay to clean out your children’s closets. It is NOT okay to clean out your husbands! There’s that one time right after you get married, when it’s kind of cute to go through his clothes and veto parts of it. That is your freebie. Don’t do it again without permission.

When you are done, take inventory. Write up a small list of essentials that need replacing.  Socks, underwear, everyday basics.  Put the list on your phone or in your purse and keep it there so when you happen to have the money, you know what you need.

I try to go through my closet every 6 months or so. Obviously, a lot of the kids clothes are in storage until the next one grows into them, so I just re-evaluate when I pack it away and then again when I get back into it.

When you are shopping, hold yourself to a  standard. Don’t buy things you feel ho-hum about. Even the most uninteresting clothing should make you feel comfortable. Btw, these babies made my top 10 essentials list! Don’t buy things that don’t fit right that you can’t fix easily. And for Pete’s sake, don’t go shopping on a skinny day! The best time to go shopping is in the evening on a “fat” day. If you look good and feel good in what you try on then, you will always look/feel good in it.

02
Sep
09

Back to School

In prelude to Autumn I give you my favorite seasonal  smells:

  • Fresh Bread: best if honey has been drizzled on top after 2nd rising and before baking.
  • Burning Wood: accompanied by a warm glow.
  • Chicken Soup: simmering on the stove in an excessive amount of thyme.
  • Rotting Leaves:  an scent best enjoyed outdoors.
  • Cloves: in cider, candles, chili & tobacco.
28
Dec
07

Life is too short to…(a countdown of recent convictions)

6. Compare myself to others

5. Worry

4. Be offended

3. Not smother my loved ones in kisses

2. Diet

1. Not laugh




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