braindribbles

Posts Tagged ‘kids

It’s quarter past five. I have got the kitchen into a state where I can actually mop the floor. I have also…mopped the floor. And tidied the hall (the smallest, and therefore most manageable room on the ground floor).

That’s it. Well, from the official list, anyway.

Other things I have done:

  • Checked my emails. About five times.
  • Looked on Facebook. More than five times.
  • Played a silly computer game. Well, dipped in and out a few times.
  • Played a different silly computer game.
  • Picked up oldest one from school.
  • Cuddled smallest one when she bumped her head, though I saw her do it and I still can’t quite work out how.
  • Watched young musician of the year on the iPlayer.
  • Which all goes to show that I would rather be doing anything but housework.

    I like the idea of the timer, and I am saddened that I couldn’t sort something out on that front. It does help you to focus, which is why I have been more successful with this before.

    Now, what I want to do now is cook dinner, get the kids to bed and worry about the rest of the housework tomorrow. However, another favourite saying of good old Flylady is ‘You are not behind! Just jump in where you are.’

    She has a point. If I do the rest of this tomorrow, I won’t be able to do tomorrow’s things tomorrow. It’s all about not trying to be perfect. Just doing what you can do. It’s still a heck of a lot better than not doing it at all, which is how I was prior to using Flylady’s methods.

    So, here are a couple of realistic ‘after’ photos. Those of you who know me well will already know that this is quite good for me. Those of you who don’t can feel relief that there is someone out there whose battles with the housework can put any such battles of your own into perspective.

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    Note the dying flowers on the table that I keep forgetting to throw away.

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    See the counters are just as messy (second dishwasher run is due), but the floor is clear!

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    I managed to declutter everything off the hall floor. But it still desperately needs a hoover…

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    And smallest one will have to suffer through another night of mess. Oh well.

    And upon that note, I declare the challenge a partial success. Sort of.

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    Damn.

    I meant to complete the morning routine in the morning. And it’s no longer morning.

    Boo.

    Mind you, I did complete it. This is a significant achievement for me. I think since the start of the year I have successfully done this maybe, um, once or twice. Let’s look at the list again:

    Get Dressed to Shoes including Hair/Face, Brush Teeth
    Did that before the school run, you’ll be relieved to know

    Make Bed
    This was quite a challenge because our bedroom is such a mess. Here’s a ‘before’ picture

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    But a quick, focused tidy got it to this state in under ten minutes.

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    So I’m quite pleased about that. (The cats were less so, since they like to snuggle under the heaps of rumpled duvet. See the look of dismay on her face)

    Swish & Swipe
    Right, swish and swipe is a term for ‘swishing’ the toilet into a respectable state, and ‘swiping’ the washbasin. The idea is, you do it every day and then it never gets bad. I have a feeling flylady has never seen what my kids do to the toilet, because if she had, she would allocate more than two minutes per bathroom for this task. As such, I couldn’t bring myself to offer any ‘before’ pics. But here are some nice shiny ‘after’ ones instead.

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    Empty Dishwasher
    In a family of five, we often run the dishwasher twice or three times a day. So not doing this first thing is catastrophic. So I have actually established a habit of always doing this before breakfast. And I generally do eat breakfast eventually. Phew. (oh, I usually refill it too. Otherwise eating your breakfast in last nights scummy leftovers is pretty unpleasant.)

    Reboot Laundry (a Load a Day Keeps CHAOS Away)
    Yes! I have rebooted! The wash I put on yesterday is now all dry, and folded and sorted. And I put a new load on. See? My halo is almost intact.

    Check Your Calendar
    And now my halo is broken again. It’s my nephew’s birthday, and with a rather eventful week his birthday presents are still upstairs un-posted. And with sick children I can’t go out and post them today. Or tomorrow, as loved one is away. So his pressie will be at least 4 days late. Sigh

    Check Your Control Journal
    What’s one of those…? It’s a place to keep your todo lists. Flylady likes to put them in clear plastic wallets and tick stuff off with dry wipe markers. I keep losing the markers. So I stick with the normal to do lists these days. Or without, which makes for more excitement, but not necessarily in a good way. Thankfully, I am sent an email telling me what chores need doing today, so I flick back to that when I need to.

    Anyhow, halo intact or not, the morning routine is done at last. Yay!

    Now for the ‘during the day’ routine. Flylady does all this on her Mondays:

    * What’s For Dinner? (work out what you are going to eat tonight)
    * Drink Your Water (not a bad idea)
    * Declutter for 15 Minutes (in my case, that really needs to be two hours and fifteen)
    * 15 Minutes of Loving Movement (a nice euphemism for exercise)

    Monday is also the day for Weekly Home Blessing Hour. An hour dedicated to mopping floors, hoovering, dusting, changing sheets, cleaning windows and mirrors, emptying bins and getting rid of old magazines and newspapers. I am going to revise that to something more manageable. I will mop floors and hoover. I will empty bins. And I won’t do any more because I need to add my own stuff to the list.

    1 tidy the hall
    2 tidy the lounge
    3 tidy smallest one’s bedroom
    4 tidy the other rooms in the house.

    I’m not expecting to manage the 4th, but if I don’t do the first three I am not going to be able to hoover anywhere at all, so that’s why I need to put them in.

    I will report back soon! And if I don’t, please come and check I haven’t been buried in clutter.

    It’s 9.08 in the morning. I now work some Saturdays and generally slob out Sundays to recharge the batteries. So the house is really disgusting. It is my mission to get the place in order today.

    I want to see how well I do, so I thought I would make notes. What works? What doesn’t work? Do poorly children get any attention? Well, let’s see…

    I am going to be using the good old Flylady approach. That means, morning routine first. It’s worked well in the past. When I have felt less overwhelmed by mess. And had no children at home.

    Here is a cut-and-paste of the morning routine I get emailed everyday:

    -Get Dressed to Shoes including Hair/Face, Brush Teeth (yup)
    – Make Bed (ummm)
    -Swish & Swipe (not yet)
    -Empty Dishwasher (yes!)
    -Reboot Laundry (a Load a Day Keeps CHAOS Away) (only enough that oldest one has dry clothes for today; there is a trail of wet clothes leading from the washing machine to the tumble drier.)
    -Check Your Calendar (no, not yet)
    -Check Your Control Journal (I don’t have one any more. Oops)

    At the time of writing, I have managed two of these. I should have done them all first thing, way before I took oldest one to school. Before breakfast too. (actually, I haven’t had time for breakfast yet…)

    So. Part one of the challenge is to complete the morning routine. I will report back! Feel free to take bets on how long I might manage to do all that. And have breakfast.

    Part two coming soon. How soon? Hmmm….

    Oh! Nearly forgot. Here are some ‘before’ photos.

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    Back soon! Wish me luck…

    Hi folks.

    These last couple of weeks I’ve been doing something I don’t seem to have been managing much recently. It’s the Easter holidays, and I’ve been enjoying spending time with the children.

    And I mean properly enjoying them.

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    If you see what I mean.

    Now, I love those kids, and I, even recently, regularly have little moments of heart-glow several times a day, especially as smallest one has been doing so many new cute things recently. In spite of my numerous low moments recently. But what I haven’t been doing is engaging with them on any level other than making sure they go to school clothed and fed and making sure they go to bed fed and teeth brushed. I haven’t had any room to enjoy them. Not emotionally.

    Instead, I have been shutting myself off. Unable to handle any more than the bare minimum, I have been using the iPad loved one gave me last year. I have hidden myself away and frittered huge quantities of time finding an unsatisfying numbness in pointless games. Games that don’t need anything from me but my eyes, fingers and reactions.

    But now we are on holiday. In a cottage in North Wales. Lovely. Rainy. Lots of green with lots of sheep. Waking up to the sound of bleating. Simply fabulous. And most importantly of all, all five of us are here. For two weeks.

    Two weeks! I may have mentioned this last post, it’s such a rare event. And I have been given a chance to stop worrying about the daily grind, thanks to a lot of input from loved one. We have slept lots, been out in the fresh air lots (and in the rain a lot too, of course). And, whilst my now-rather-difficult-to-break habit of retreating into my games has some way to go, at least I have felt alive. And more to the point, able to cope.

    And the kids have been WONDERFUL. Extra cuddles from the lot of them. Extra jokes cracked by oldest one. Extra pictures drawn for me by middle one and heaps of new words and actions from smallest one.

    Or maybe it’s not extras. Maybe it’s just their wonderful normal selves, and I am only just noticing.

    Gotta try and savour that once the holiday is over…

    In the absence of any creative juices from my own keyboard (study stress!), I give you The Good Greatsby. I imagine life in his house to be enormously exasperating, yet he makes me laugh every time. Go on, I bet you’ll laugh more than you ever thought you could as far as a barrel is concerned..

    A Barrel of Laughs? No, Just a Barrel. My son, Optimist Prime, turned ten years old on Sunday.  (Read his birthday tribute post: The Most Positive Child in the World.) When my wife asked him what he wanted for his birthday he answered, “A barrel!” This has been a recurring joke in our family from the time we were eating at a local German restaurant and I spotted a barrel among a collection of furniture and junk which appeared to be on the way out.  I felt destined to have that barrel. … Read More

    via The Good Greatsby

    Remember my last post? Anticipating a no-show on my first singalong day?

    Well it turned out just fine in the end.  Totally not what I expected – it was supposed to be all about grown-ups doing grown-up music and playing grown-up instruments and singing grown-up songs.

    What did we do instead? Kids songs.

    Well, there were more children there than there were adults.  And they didn’t want to join in if they couldn’t have some kiddie songs they liked.  And we would have had virtually nobody if they hadn’t joined in.  So kids songs it was.

    Thankfully, I have some excellent Sandra Boynton music that everyone enjoyed.  Top of the hit list was ‘I want to be your personal penguin’, and everyone strummed and sang and bashed and rattled.  Great stuff.

    Next time, however, I am hoping for more grown-up stuff. The kids are keen to play board games in the next room, and they can do that if they aren’t pretty much the only ones there.  They are particularly keen to play with other kids that turn up.  And I am particularly keen that they give us grown-ups some space to enjoy ourselves.  On our terms.

    So, though I have no regrets, next time I am looking forward to singing some grown-up songs. With grown-ups.

    Can’t wait.

    Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    I’ve been having the same dream on and off for months now.

    I dream that I’m asleep in bed.  And then I realise I’ve forgotten one or two children somewhere.

    I wake up in a panic and am halfway to the kids bedroom before the sane part of me kicks in and makes me realise that I didn’t leave any kids at the shopping centre, in the car, downstairs playing, at the park or wherever.  The children are where they are supposed to be. In bed asleep.  And I gave back any other children I had earlier in the day.

    It takes me a while to calm down from these dreams.   To be honest, it took me a while to recognize these dreams and acknowledge that they are not real as soon as I wake up.

    I looked it up on a site called Dream Moods.  They tell me the following:

    To dream that you are forgetting things, signify life’s anxieties. You are expressing an overwhelming amount of stress in your life. You feel the need to tend to everything and everyone’s needs. Alternatively, forgetting something may represent your unconscious desire to leave that something behind.  On a more direct level, the dreamcould just be your subconscious telling you or reminding you of a forgotten appointment or date.

    To dream that you forget where you live, suggests that you do not want to go home. Is there a domestic conflict or argument?

    To dream that you forget the baby, indicates that you are feeling burdened by the responsibility of taking care of someone else.

    So I’m under an overwhelming amount of stress, and I’m feeling burdened by the responsibility of taking care of someone else.

    Well, thinking about it, there’s a fair bit of stress.  Studying, moving house, and trying to take care of three kids can be stressful.  But there is good stress and bad stress, and all these things are mostly good stress, since they all have a positive outcome, and thankfully, in spite of what the Dreammoods site says, I don’t feel overwhelmed.

    Well, not quite.

    And I’m feeling burdened by the responsibility of taking care of someone, am I?  Well, nobody said it was easy.  But I wouldn’t call it a burden so much as a self-inflicted injury that brings as much joy as it does anything else.

    I suspect I’m going to keep having these dreams until something eases up.  Let’s see when that will be, then…  Studies – hopefully 9 months.  Moving house – hopefully within 6 months.  Babies and children – umm…

    Yep.  I’m going to keep having these dreams for a while.