Letting My Inner Child Out

So, I’ll admit it, even though I love my children to little bits and love being a SAHM, I sometimes look at my day in two parts:
Part 1: How To Keep Everyone Sane Until Nap
Part 2: How To Keep Everyone Sane Until Bedtime

This morning, however, the day worked a little differently. I had found some of my old doll toys at my parents house by chance the night before and brought them home for my daughter to play with. At first, I thought this would be a cool activity for just her but it soon became Mommy and Emmy playing dolls for hours and hours and hours and hours.

I found old barbie doll clothes, an old American girl doll clothes, an old crib for a baby to sleep in and we made a MESS out of the living room, well, living in it. As we were playing, I felt like I was twelve five again, having so much fun playing with old friends and making memories. The morning was almost therapeutic for me and it made me feel nostalgic for the days my sisters and I played barbies for hours on end together.

Isaac would join in, in case you were wondering, mostly in his Mr. Destructo demeanor, roaring like a monster and grabbing some toy and hitting the dolls as if to say, “I will join in on your play but I will make the game more suited for the Y chromosome I possess.”

I could barely tear MYSELF away from our game when lunchtime came about. After we cleaned up a bit, Emmy came up and told me I was her best friend. I about melted into a huge puddle on the ground.

Can they stay little forever? Because I really don’t want to know what she’s going to think of me in ten years.

20120806-131654.jpg

20120806-131710.jpg

Go Ahead, Play With Your Food

The wheels on the bus go around and around.

20120730-113519.jpg

20120730-113532.jpg

Do you ever wonder…?

Do you ever wonder, “how in the world did the mothers back in the prairie do it???” Because I certainly do. We have so many modern advances in this day and age to make life easier. Washing machines, for example. Can you even imagine having to handwash everybody’s dirty clothes and hang them out to dry? And cars! I mean, I can’t imagine trying to juggle my kids around with whatever else I need to being for them and going to the market and such and have a slow moving wagon or having to walk on foot. Yikes.

I wonder sometimes if mothers from “back then” would look at our complaints and think, “umm really? Your kid didn’t nap and you have morning sickness? Try having to wake up at 3 am to churn your own butter!”

Still, even with the advances, mothering is quite a task. I feel thankful for my vacuum cleaner, my car, my washing machine, even the frozen food aisle in the grocery store.

And thus ends my random thoughts for the night.

Housekeeping

I’m not a fabulous housekeeper. In fact, I struggle a lot keeping afloat. Pregnancy exhaustion makes it harder. And toddlers make it worse. Like Jerry Seinfeld said, “Having a two year old is like using a blender without the top on.” True story. I’ve tried a lot of different household routines and I fall behind and it gets frustrating. I’m trying something new now and I think it’ll work.

Aside from normal every day maintenance (dishes, picking up toys and messes, etc), I will clean (deep clean) one room a day (with the exception of bathrooms. They will get cleaned twice a week) and do laundry twice a week. I’m hoping this will save me from having so much pile up on me and being unsure where to start. It takes about 30 mins or so to deep clean a room so if I can finish it while emmy has some tv time while Isaac naps – perfect!

Cross your fingers, wish me luck! Hope this brings order to my house!

Realistic Expectations part 2

Turns out Em loves helping around the house!!! I got a lot of great input from FB, comments on here and behind the scenes. The responses I got were really inspiring to my own housekeeping skills actually ;).Β  One friend mentioned looking at games/tasks like a circle. For example, you start a circle by taking out a book, then you read it and the circle isn’t complete until the book is put away. I think I am definitely going to use this as a way of illustrating play and clean up for my kids.

Ideally I’d like only one game at a time to be played with at a time but with the attention span of a 1 and 2 year old I don’t know how well this can play out. If any of you have experience with any good ideas of enforcing this, please share!!!!

So I started with little tasks for Em which she was incredibly excited to take on. First, I started taking advantage of the fact that she can take her shoes off and take them upstairs and put them away in the shoe basket. Then, about halfway through the day I have her help me pick up trash or things on the floor and ask her to help me throw them away. Today I let her load laundry and then insisted she help clear the breakfast table. All chores she took on with exuberance and kept telling me that “Emmy is veery helpful.” πŸ™‚ Afterwards, she got a sticker for being so helpful and she’s been wearing it like a trophy.

Now, as one of my commenters said, just wait until she finds out she’s actually doing work. πŸ˜‰

 
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
 

Realistic Expectations

A couple of SAHM friends of mine and I were discussing chores and responsibilities and a few mentioned to me that they include their children in their chores. I’m not sure how young their children started in with the chores but I know some Montessori programs start in at a pretty young age. I had been thinking of this passively until I was at Target and stumbled through the $1 section and found this:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Now clearly I will not be expecting my 2.5 year old to be mopping floors or any serious chores but I did want to give her a sense of responsibility and rewards either now or eventually. I’m still very unsure though what chores are developmentally appropriate for children of her age. Maybe just chores that involve picking up after herself, etc. And I want this to be fun and empowering, not a battle.

Any ideas?

The Good, The Bad and The Messy

This morning was ridiculous. It was one of those mornings that, looking back at it you think, “Oh…haha…yeah, that was bad.” Among nausea, a headache, a baby that didn’t nap longer than 20 mins and a 2.5 year old that was pushing every imaginable button you can think of, I looked down at the living room that I had deep cleaned not two days ago, saw food meshed into couches, cheerios crunched into the floor, every book removed from the bookshelf, and two crying children. Damage control, I’m thinking. Where do I start? After cleaning some food off the couch and literally having both kids hanging off of my legs, a fight that brews between them that requires separation and a time out I looked at the clock. Only 10:30 am. I threw sunscreen and sippies in my baby bag, jumped into the car and tried to decide what the heck I was going to next.

I decided the park was my best option. We would be epic parkking it up. So, we made a stop at Trader Joes for some lunch and picnic supplies which turned out to be an adventure in and of itself.

See, Emmy loves the toddler-sized grocery carts, it’s normally very cute and adorable. Unfortunately, she was not paying attention and trying to do the opposite of what I asked her to do and running into people while she was doing it and any time I touched the cart, she threw herself on the ground and tantrumed. On top of that, Isaac was screaming bloody murder and trying to do anything he could to get out of my arms. Emmy was throwing everything she could find in the cart and I was screaming, yanking, flustered and yelling “NO!” any chance I got. Yes. I was THAT mom with the ridiculous kids in the store. I apologize for all of us out there.

Once we got into the checkout line, both kids started full on tantruming. I was ignoring it, trying just to pay, and out of the corner of my eye I see this mom with a 3-3.5 year old, adorably perfect dressed ballerina, who is standing quietly, and perfectly with her mommy (who was dressed in a spotless sundress and looked relaxed and showered). I heard at least 3 or 4 “Oh, SHE is adorable!” comments while people would glance over at me with a look like, “CONTROL YOUR CHILDREN, WOMAN!” Don’t you love it when your “Boy, your hands are full.” moments are broadcasted for the whole world to see?

Finally, we made it to the park. As soon as we got there, both kids became new children. I laid out the picnic lunch and fun ensued. I felt the morning and the stress completely melt away and we began to act silly, play and eat our special picnic lunch. A lady passed by, complimented my cute children and said, “How wonderful that you do such special things with your children! That’s a sign of a good mom.” I smiled appreciatively at the kind, encouraging woman and laughed in my head. If only she’d seen my 10 minutes ago, I thought.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

After 4 hours spend at the park, we came home and naptime began. I looked at the pictures of our time at the park and realized the only documentation of my day was the happy. Most of my pictures are of the happy. One day, years from now, I’ll look back and think, “wow, that was such a happy time.” and giggle to myself when I remember the not so pretty:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Happy Bright Friday!