Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Operation get my sh*t together...

In all honesty I have never been the most organized person and since we are being honest I am not the best at completing most things I start (examples include the 1st borns baby scrapbook with 3 pages finished, half completed knitting projects let on needles, a half organized basement).  I have a hard time staying on task and I tend to get bored with projects that take longer then a few hours (some days anything over a few minutes).  Over the years I have gotten "better" but I still tend to get scattered and sidetracked, and life with 3 kids, a husband and a puppy can easily become chaotic on a good day and spiral quickly out of control on a bad day.  Since becoming a full time stay at home and adjusting to the husband's new schedule we have been "surviving" but it is time to get my sh*t together so that our days are happier, our memories better, our food healthier and my anxiety that comes with all the chaos is calmed.  So here are a few things I am starting with:

1. Schedule/routine:  

The whole house runs better when there is a schedule/routine.  I like things to be predictable and the boys do to.  It also keeps us focused and on task. We will be returning to a weekly house schedule that includes laundry/floors everyday, shopping on Mondays and our official cleaning day to be Wednesdays (it used to be Saturday, we would listen to NPR and clean all morning but since the husband is home on Saturdays we have gotten away from that since I have been going running resulting in some deep cleaning being ignored)

We will also start using our daily schedule again.  This allows the boys to see what we have planned for the day and what will be coming up.  It also gives them a bit of control because at the end of the day they can request an activity for the next day.

Daily Schedule: Laminated cards w/ velcro - adapted from the concepts used in AI classrooms
This also means I want to get back to my own personal routine which included some down time in the evening to journal and reflect.  Hopefully using the days more productively will result in a less exhausting day and the energy in the evening for this.  It was so nice to look back and see all the positives of the day and all the small things that make a person smile.  I miss that.  It also means preparing as much as possible for the next day after the kids go to bed.  Sippy cups filled and in the fridge, dishwasher emptied, counters clear of clutter, etc.

It also means getting back to updating our Cozi Family calendar so everyone in the family has access to our current week/month schedule and can easily see any updated appointments and engagements.

2. Meal Planning/Shopping Lists:

This is one of those domestic activities I really stink at, I can have the best meal plan but day of the meal I won't want what I planned and well, we end up eating out or ordering pizza.  The new rule is no matter what we are having what I plan! (This means making sure I have all the ingredients, that they are thawed).  Today I plan to reorganize and inventory our pantry, food shelf and freezer, then use what I have in the house to make a plan that includes 2 weeks of meals (minus fresh veggies and milk since we will need those weekly).

I get all of my meal planning printables from Organized Home and my pantry/freezer/shopping list is a simple Numbers document I save to my iCloud so I can have access to it when I am not at home on my iPhone.  I also use the shopping list on Cozi to keep some smaller shopping lists for things like Christmas or birthdays.

I also want to start getting the kids in the kitchen more, they are always begging to help but by dinner my patience is gone and I do not want to deal with the mess (yep I am pretty sure after this post my Mom of the Year nomination will be revoked, but hey we are being honest right).  This is going to take some planning and prep so that they all will have a job to do and we can safely cook our meal.

3. 1-2-3-Magic:

This is a big one! We used 1 - 2 - 3 Magic as our discipline system a while back and it helped SO MUCH (at least in my opinion) with the yelling (theirs and mine).  Not only did I stop yelling, but the time with the boys was so much better.  Back to this system we will go, I will be rereading the book tonight after bed time and sending the ebook to the husband for him to read, and tomorrow we start again.  My kids are great kids, they are just FULL of energy, excitement, strong personalities, and often times overly emotional which when all of those things are combined it equals fighting, obnoxious behavior and a ton of chaos.  I want to return to the laughter and joy instead of the fighting and yelling. 

Three things is enough to work on for now I think...I will check back in next Tuesday to report how it's going and if I am any closer to getting it together...

Do you ever have days where you feel like you know longer have it together?  Any tips for me on getting it together?  Any tips for getting kids in the kitchen and keeping it all under a decent amount of control?

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