Friday, January 28, 2011

Week #4 Organizing Challenge - Or Lack There Of

So I don't have any pictures to add this week, because I didn't get any of the things I wanted to get done this week.  I did however get an awesome cake made for a retirement party which I will post pictures of.  My hope for today is that I can get my house picked up and all of my cake and craft stuff put away.  Anyways, here is my cake I made this week.  Maybe I will get my file box sorted, cleaned out, and ready for 2011 today.  I promise I'll take pictures when I get it done.

Oh, I did start to get things cleaned out in the attic.  I have several boxes for a yard sale, and I took pictures of things that are keepsakes, but I really don't want to store any more.  I can't remember where I got the idea, maybe from,  Anyways, I am going to start a photo album of keepsakes that I would like to remember, but just don't want to store away in boxes in my attic any more.  That way I will have them to show my kids one day if they ask.  Plus every time we move, we aren't moving boxes of stuff that is never opened or used.  Yeah, for de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Makes Us Stay at Home Moms Vs. Working Moms

Since becoming a mom, I have heard many other moms talk about how they either love being home with their kids or couldn't wait to get back to work after their maternity leave.  I have started to wonder, what is in us that makes us want to be stay at home moms or working moms?  I know there is that other factor we have to think about... paying the bills.  But I wonder, why do women say they couldn't stay at home?

Why do they say, they are a better mom when they go to work?  YES, I have heard this.

Why do they think they couldn't be around their children all day?

Here is what I wonder and ask my husband when I hear women say this... "Then why do they have children?"  Is there someone out there that can help me with this question?  I have always known, that when I had a child, I would make it work so that I could stay home.  One way or the other, I would be there for my child.  I had no desire to have children and then send them to daycare all day.  I want to be the one to feed them, care for their every need, watch them grow, take their first step, say their first word, watch as they explore new things, and be there to kiss their boo boos when they fall.

So, do mothers who work and enjoy working feel they are missing out?  Do they feel bad, or is this just the way they were raised and feel this is normal for them?

I also wonder what daycare is doing to the past few generations.  Have any of you noticed how spoiled and bratty children are getting?  Have you noticed how parents never think their children could do any wrong?  Have you noticed how parents think their children are perfect in every way?  Have you noticed if an adult approaches the parent about a problem with the child they become so defensive?

Is there something wrong with the way we are raising our children, have things changed so much?  When did we stop teaching our children to say please and thank you?  When did we stop teaching our children to be polite to everyone?  When did we stop teaching children to share?

I'm finding that with more and more people working full-time and leaving their children with caregivers at day cares, there seems to be some disconnect.  Parents start to feel guilty, which in turn leads to spoiling their children when they have time to spend with them.  Because let's be honest, how much time does a working parent really get to spend with their child?  A typical day starts around 8:30am so here is what a typical parents day would look like.

6:30am - 7:30am - Wake up, Eat, Shower, Get dressed, Feed Children, Dress Children
7:30am - 8:00am - Get into the Car, Drop Off the Kids, Get to Work
8:30am - 5:30pm - Work
5:30pm - 6:00pm - Pick up the kids, Drive Home
6:00pm-8:00pm - Cook Dinner, Eat Dinner, Bath time, Homework, Playtime
8:00pm - Kids into bed

So If you look at that, you are getting about an hour and a half of quality time, and that is if you don't have kids that have to do homework.  Somewhere in this crazy world we have gotten away from what is really important... FAMILY.  Our days are filled with paying bills, running errands, working, chores, and phone calls.  Sometimes we just need to stop and take a minute to realize that life is quickly passing us by.  Our kids will be grown before we know it, and have their own fast paced lives.  Take advantage of the time you have with them now, because before you know it, that time will be gone.  I am grateful that I am able to stay at home with my son.  Not to say that we don't have our crazy days, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. 

So, are you a stay at home mom who loves her full time job of caring for her children?  Or are you that full time working parent?  I would love some feedback as to how you made your decision to stay at home or go back to work after having children. 

Wordless Wednesday - It Doesn't Get Much Sweeter Than This

My two favorite guys on a sleepy Sunday

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Menu Planning

Monday - Baked Spaghetti

Tuesday - Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Wednesday - Frozen Dinner from the Frezzer

Thursday - Shrimp and Sausage Pasta

Friday - Pizza

Weekend - Out of Town

I normally cook more, but my husband has 2 evening events this week and I hate to cook for just me when I have a little one to take care of.  Happy Cooking!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Junk Drawer

Okay, so I have organized my junk drawer.  Here are the before and after pictures.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Passed Out

Passed out in the recliner - forgot to put on a cover, thank goodness he didn't pee though his diaper

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Attic

So I'm not sure about your house, but the attic is that place where everything gets placed when I either don't have room or don't know what to do with it.  Since I had a little time yesterday, I thought I would tackle the organization of it.  I forgot to take a before picture which would have been awesome.  But I knew I didn't have long to get it done before the baby woke up.

The last few months the attic has been used a lot.  There are tons of boxes of baby things, clothes that either used to fit, don't fit, or are maternity.  There are things that need to be sold in a yard sale and things that are just keepsakes.  So I organized everything into groups.  I now have the following areas in my attic.




Camping Gear

Empty Boxes for the next move

Yard Sale


And... A need to go through area

I have to say, that when I went up there yesterday I could hardly walk around without falling back down the hole I climbed up.  Now there is tons of room to clean out the 4 or 5 boxes that need to be gone through and find the things I need every so often. 

Thanks for the motivation!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Competed Projects

I was able to accomplish a few things so far and wanted to post some pictures.  I wish I had been on top of things enough to have before pictures of these, but these have been a work in progress for over a week now.  It's so nice to see what you have available to use in your day to day life and not spend tons of time looking for what you know is some where in that mess of a house.

Bathroom Cabinet

Spice Cabinet

Before Organizing and Cleaning Out

I went ahead and took some pictures this weekend of the places I want to get organized in the house.  The pictures make it all a little more really.  You know the mess is there, but when the door or drawer is closed you can't see it.  However, when you take the time to take a picture of it and place it on your blog, it becomes much more real and something that needs to be taken care of.  Here are some of the pictures.

Junk Drawer

Kitchen Cabinets


Workout Room Closet

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Holding On For Dear Life

This is when Jack was just 3 weeks old and we were headed out to do some errands.  He had found his harness and was holding on tight.  Too cute!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm not the problem, he is

So my husband and I were talking this morning about the difference between his new electric razor and his old one that is dying.  In the middle of our conversation, I asked him if he was going to throw away the old one, now that he received a new one for Christmas.  He said no.  It would be a good one for traveling.  Now, if you were paying attention earlier, I told you the old one is dying.  So why if he has a new one and disposable razors, would he keep the old electric razor? 

You want to know why?  Because he is a saver!!!  He keeps everything and I finally realized this morning, he is the reason we have too much stuff in this house.  I am a tosser.  I clean out and toss things everyday.  I am constantly cleaning out my closet and passing clothes down to my sister and mom.  I get rid of stuff I not longer use and drop them off at the Good Will.  But my husband keeps EVERYTHING.

Another example is the vacuum.  Until a few weeks ago I had never bought a vacuum.  I know that seems crazy.  But when I moved out on my own, my room mates always had a vacuum and then when I moved out on my own, my boyfriend who is now my husband let me borrow his vacuum.  Anyways, long story made short I just bought my first vacuum after being married over 3 years.  Our vacuum my husband brought into the marriage just wasn't doing the job.  So when I bought the new one, I went to put the old one in the trash and my husband told me not to.  I asked him what he was going to do with it and he said someone might want it.  I wonder to myself... "WHO wants a vacuum that doesn't do a very good job and smells like DOG?"  Not me, that's why I got a new vacuum. 

So now that old vacuum sits in the attic taking up precious room.  One day I will get to finally throw it away, I just don't know when that day will be.  Probably when we move out of this house.  So, are you  a keeper or a tosser?  Dose your significant other help or hinder your ability to keep the house clean and cutter free? 

This morning was eye opening for me.  I know what I am working against and it will make things easier for me in the future to know that my husband will fight me in throwing things out.  It will also change the way I clean out.  I'll have to do it when he is at work, then there will be less arguing... hehehe.  Hope you enjoy finding out who the problem is in your house, and happy cleaning.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Week #1 of Orgainizing

So I started getting some organizing and purging done this week.  I need to get my list done and take some pictures so I have before and after pictures.  Here are a few things I have accomplished this week.

Cleaned out under my side of the bathroom sink
Cleaned out my clothes in the closet and took clothes to the Salvation Army
Cleaned out the spice/baking cabinet and threw out anything expired (there was a lot)

I've actually been surprised at how much stuff there is in this house that we don't use.  I'll post the after pictures of the things I have done this weekend when I can get a few minutes to myself. 

Here is what I would like to accomplish in the next few months:

Clean out and organize all kitchen cabinets

Clean out and organize all kitchen drawers

Clean the fridge

Clean out and organize the pantry

Find a new place for our shoes to live - (Jack has found them and likes to chew on them, YUCKO)

Clean out the file box and reorganize it

Go through 2 boxes a month in the attic

Have a garage sale to get rid of some of the stuff we don't use any more (plus this will help pay for things we do need or want)

Get my coupon binder reorganized according to the store isles

Get the workout room closet organized

Get the car cleaning stuff organized and in one container

I think that will have to do for now.  I will add to my list and mark them done as I accomplish things.  Before pictures will be added here and then for each one I accomplish I will post a new post with before and after pictures.  Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - He Is Mobile

Trying His Best To Get The Camera

Trying To Figure Out How To Get Out Of The CoSleeper

Teething On The Side Of The CoSleeper - Too Cute!
So I know this was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I forgot and I wanted to start doing this every week starting this week.  So I guess this week it's my Wordless Thursday, but we will just keep that between us.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

52 Weeks of Organizing

As I was laying in bed, trapped under my son taking his nap, I started to surf other bloggers sites.  I ran across a great blog that got me motivated to get a little more organized in my life.  If you would like to follow along as well just click on the button below, which will take you to Laura's blog.  The deal is, every Friday you can get on her web site and talk about what you have done that week to get organized.  You will get ideas, motivation, and support from others who are doing the same thing you and I are doing... getting organized.  I am really excited about this challenge.

During the first week, I have taken on the master bathroom cabinets and drawers.  I have already thrown out a grocery size bag of stuff that was either empty or really old.  I can't tell you how good it feels when I throw out stuff.  I love it!  I have cleaned out one cabinet and two drawers so far.  I will post pictures when I am done.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

We Will All Be Judged

I find it amazing how things have changed since becoming a mom.  Everything has changed including how I look at life, others, and what I want to do in my life.  When we are children, our parents try their very best to teach us to be good people and always treat others with respect.  They try to teach us life lessons and how to contribute to this world we live in.  Some of us try our best, but always feel like we could be doing more.  Others just do enough to get by, and yet others seem to have never figured out that life is not always about them.

I have recently realized through reading some other fellow bloggers posts, that we are all judged.  We are judged, critiqued, criticized, applauded, and sometimes ridiculed for the way we do things.  I think I have only realized this now, because I didn't really care before.  I only had me to worry about, and as I have stated before I do what I want and don't usually care what others think.  I have a few very good friends who know this about me and I love that they love me for being me.  A person I consider my best-friend, but has moved away recently got me a dish towel for Christmas.  I know you all are thinking what a silly thing.  But I love to cook and it really was the most perfect gift for me.  The pictures of them are below and I love it!!  My towel says, "I'm not bossy. You just need to be told what to do."


Anyways, since having a child I have realized that everything I do now will be judged.  People may not intend to be critical or judge how I raise my child, but they do.  When someone asks you a question about your child, what they are really wanting to know is if you are doing it RIGHT in their eyes.  Most people believe there is a right way and wrong way of doing things.  Yes, I am one of those people.  However, I also understand that my right and wrong way of doing things is not for everyone.  This is where we end up having problems.  If you don't agree with something a person is doing, that is fine, but it seems more and more people are getting in the middle of things that don't really affect them.

Here are just a few examples of things I know people have not agreed with me on and what they have said:

Cosleeping with my son - People say it's unsafe, it's bad for your sex life, you won't get enough sleep, he will never leave your bed, and so on.

Cloth Diapers - It takes too much time, they cost too much, it's gross, they are too hard to use, they are inconvenient.

Baby Wearing - It's dangerous, you are spoiling him, those are expensive things to spend money on.

Not having a crib - Where will he sleep, why doesn't he sleep in his own bed, he needs to learn how to put himself to sleep.

Solid Food - He needs to start them soon or he won't like food, babies have to have cereal for the vitamins, they have to have purred foods or they will choke, starting him on finger foods is dangerous.

Not leaving Jack with a baby sitter - It's not good for you marriage if you don't have alone time, you need time for your self, he will be fine if you leave him.

AND the list goes on.  But what I have come to realize, is that it's okay.  I have come to terms with the fact that I am going to be judge and not everyone is going to agree with me and how I raise Jack.  That is okay, because I don't AGREE with everything they are doing to raise their children either.  We all do what we think is best for our children and our families.  This is where we all have to realize that we will not agree or even like what all of our friends do with their families and children.  It is our obligation however, to be supportive of our friends and family.  We are each others support system and it is very important that we can trust that our wishes will be met, rules will be followed, and children will be respected in every way, if we are not around for some reason.

I think we can all agree that we as a human race will never stop being judgmental.  But we can learn to be better people and live with what we cannot change.  We can all live our lives the best way we know possible and hope that will be enough.

We Have Started Solid Foods

So I had been going back and forth about starting solid foods.  The doctor was pushing, my husband was pushing, and others kept asking what he was eating.  I was holding back, not because I didn't want to feed him new foods, but because I didn't think he was ready.  I have to say I was really not ready for the nasty diapers either.  Anyways, December 18th, 2010 Jack had his first food.  Sweet Potato Fries!  He loved them!  I made them in the oven with just a little olive oil.  He gummed them, since he didn't have any teeth yet and seemed to really be enjoying them.  He did very well and only gagged a few times.  I think it was just a little hard to be swallowing something other than milk.

Since then Jack has tried many new things.  Here is a list of what he has tried, loved, and refused.  By the way, I skipped baby food and cereal and went straight to soft finger foods and he is loving it.

Loves - Sweet Potato Fries, Bananas, Avocado, Rice, Carrots. Crackers, Bread, Regular Fries, Rice Puffs

Won't Try - Peas

Tried - Green Beans, Apples, Mashed Potatoes

He loves to pick everything up and feed it to himself.  This of course makes a huge mess, but it makes it possible for my husband and I to eat at the same time.  Yes, food is in the hair, nose, yes, and all over the face and body.  But I have to say he really enjoys doing it himself.  He is learning how to pick things up, big and small which are great gross motor skills.  He has got the thumb and pointer finger pinch really well.

I guess we will keep exploring new foods and creating big messes.  Life is messy, especially with kids!  Enjoy the time you have, as time flies by when you are enjoying life.

Freezer Meals

So I thought I would talk a little bit about freezing meals.  I wish I had a little more room in my house so I could have a freezer that was separate from my fridge.  But that will just have to continue to be on my wish list until we move into a bigger house.  Anyways, there are so many ways you can cook from your freezer. I just finished cleaning out my freezer and eating through what needed to be used to start the new year.  Have you looked in the back of your freezer in the past few months?  You might be surprised what you will find hiding in there.  You should try and eat through your entire freezer stash at least every 4 months or so.  This will help you save money and also keep food from going bad or getting freezer burn as I like to call it.

Here is how I use my freezer to help me with my day to day, and monthly cooking.  Any time I cook a meal that is easy to double, I try to do that.  I cook all of it and then place half of it in the fridge to cool overnight and then freeze it for later in the month.  I just did this with a new recipe that my husband and I loved.  We had some awesome slow cooker pork chops with rice and veggies.  I made a double batch of the pork chops in the slow cooker and then put half of them in the freezer.  Now all we have to do is defrost, cook some rice and veggies and we have dinner on the table in no time.

I also love to store my leftover sauces or extra veggies to add to other meals.  You know when you have just a spoonful or two of something?  I used to hate throwing that out.  Sometimes the dog would get it, but most of the time it was wasted in the trash.  Now, I put the extras in a container and put it in the freezer.  Then when I have enough I can make a soup out of what I have.  I have done this a few times now and it has turned out very well.  I just add some meat and a little more veggies and some kind of liquid and presto, you have soup!  Get creative and try it for yourself.  If it's a flop, try, try again.  You can always make PB & J that night if you really mess it up.

Once you have cleaned things out pretty well, it may help to designate certain shelves to always have the same things.   is how my freezer is set up...

Top shelf - frostings, fruit, and anything I might use to make something sweet.

Below the Ice Maker - This is where all my husbands frozen lunches go.  He takes one to work almost everyday so there are a lot of them.

Next Shelf - This is where I put all the food I have from leftovers or meals I have cooked and are freezing for a later date.  Try to always date and label them.  This helps in so many ways.

Next Shelf - This is for pre made food from the store.  Fries, frozen dinners from a bag or a box and pizzas.

Bottom Bucket - This is for all the meat.  I try hard to separate the meat out into sizes that work for my family.  This way I can just grab what I need the night before and place it in the fridge to defrost overnight.

Door of the Freezer - There are lots of things in the door.  Bananas, veggies, breads, popsicles, and anything else that doesn't fit on the shelves very well.  

Hope this helps a little and makes you motivated to clean out your freezer and start using it to save you money.