Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Homemaking During a Pandemic?!


We are now almost a year into this pandemic, and there is not a whole lot of "homemaking" going on here. You'd think it would be quite the opposite...with no plans, and nowhere to go, we should have all the time in the world to do ALL THE THINGS we have ever planned to do around the house.

The cherry tree that needs to constantly be sprayed because it always attracts fruit flies and other weird bugs, the apple tree that needs to be shaded and watered regularly, but not too much, the plum tree that needs to be trimmed, the avocados that need to be picked...and that's just a little bit of my to-do list outside.

We have basically been living in survival mode since last March. I mean, I'm really glad we "survived", and we've been able to have a bit of fun at the same time...but after a whole year of pandemic anxiety (did we take enough vitamins today? Did the kid wash their hands? Did the husband sanitize properly at work? Are we going to unknowingly get family sick? Did we stay out too long? Someone coughed...do they have Covid, or are they just choking?) we are DONE. We are actually beyond done. My 6 year old cried and asked me just a few days ago if we're allowed to have fun yet.

It's time to take control. This year, unlike last year, we KNOW what we're facing. We know all of our plans are fluid. There should be less disappointment knowing things can change for us daily. 

Today I'll be printing out schedules for the kids and myself. We might even put on the Matilda Broadway Musical soundtrack and see if we remember our dances (my kids and I were going to be performing in a Matilda play that got canceled due to the pandemic).

However you are "homemaking" today, I hope you see a little light at the end of the tunnel!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Disneyland Tips We Love!

That's my husband's hand, not mine ;)
When I was pregnant with my third child, we took our first two children to Disneyland. My son was 3 at the time, and my daughter was almost 2. That trip awakened our love for all things Disney!

We've been annual passholders for going on 2 years now, and in those two years, we have discovered so much useful (and completely useless yet fun) information and facts on all things Disney.

Here's the my top 3 Disney Fun Facts:

  • Those ridiculously overpriced balloons Disneyland sells? So worth it! We actually have one here at home right now, that still has air...and it's been one full month since we came back! My advice is, buy one on your first day there, tie it to your stroller, and you'll have something to catch your eye as you're searching for your stroller in the craziness that is "stroller parking". 

  • The best Sleeping Beauty Castle photos are taken just to the right of the castle if you're facing it, head towards Snow White's wishing well. Of course, it's not a centered castle photo, but there aren't crowds of people walking around right there, and often, you can angle your camera just right, so that no one else shows up in the background!

  • You can find a "Hidden Mickey" anywhere in Disneyland. Seriously. Your kid is having a meltdown in line? Find a kid with pigtails and show your kid that Hidden Mickey! Your kid spilled their drink and is now crying over it? Dump a little more until it's the shape of Mickey!

I should add, we go to Disneyland with 5 kids. Currently they are all 6 and under. And yes, we LOVE it. Lots of fun times are had at the parks, the Lego store, Downtown Disney, and even the hotels.

I'll be posting a little more about our trip planning, our Disney themed birthday parties, and Disney on the cheap(er), so stay tuned!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Stay tuned for a makeover

It's been quite a while since my last post! Oops.

Just wanted to stop in and say I'll be revamping by blog, so stay tuned :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

When you have more ideas than time...

Advent season is here. This is the the year we were going to have an awesome advent. We were going to print out a calendar, make a cute fabric bunting to go along with it, complete with a scripture for every day, along with a craft for every day.

We were going to bake cookies to give away. Make gingerbread houses. Make homemade marshmallows (we may still do this, they sound yummy!). Bag up some goody bags for the homeless. Fill some boxes for Operation Christmas Child....

My list was endless.

It's December 5th today, and you know what we've done? We've watched some Christmas movies. We pulled out and set up our fake tree (it has about 10 ornaments on it so far), and set up our Disneyland Railroad to ride around the tree. I bought the kids some peppermint mocha cake pops from Starbucks, because making anything in my kitchen right now is out of the question.  And let me just say, I NEVER buy the kids sweets from a bakery, or coffee shop. I didn't want them to know that the same place I get coffee has stuff kids like :)

I see my Facebook newsfeed, and feel a bit like a failure when I see that someone's elf did an amazing thing overnight, or got into some fun mischief, and I think of our elf stuffed in a box. I wasn't planning on doing the elf thing this year, but I did find a great Christmas Star theme I was going to follow. I see crafts these moms are making with their kids, and I feel bad that my kids are just making tents in the living room.

Then I was reminded, I am in a different season of life. I tend to forget (or try to work against) the season I am in. I am in the season of dirty diapers, diaper laundry up to my ears, hungry kiddos who are too young to cook, bathe or really help out around the house on their own. The moms that I see doing all this great stuff have kids a little bit older, or less kids. That fact slips my mind when I see how their advent plans are going.

So this year, and probably next year, and quite possibly the year after that, it is our season to just.slow.down. I'm okay to pop in a Christmas movie and call that our advent celebration. I might go ahead and buy cookie dough from my neighbor to make our Christmas cookies, because making cookies with 4 extra sets of helping hands just does not appeal to me.

I read this amazing blog post yesterday, and it literally made me cry. I read it just after I had posted a question in a group I'm in, asking how moms of a lot of little ones manage to get anything at all done.

Moms of little ones, remember, you can't do it all, and you are not expected to do it all. I'm going to try and remember that too. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Once Upon a Time - Second Star to the Right, and a bit more

Go behind the scenes of Episode 221: "Second Star to the Right"

Well! Bae met Wendy. Could he be Peter Pan? I called it :)

What a great episode.

I had planned on posting recaps/fun ideas for each episode, but with the lack of sleep that's been going on here, that just was not happening.

So...what'd we miss?

This is probably out of order, but it's all past episodes, so I don't care.

Belle is now her alter-ego, Lacey. She just went from a quiet librarian type, to...well, the complete opposite.

I have to admit, I do like the new Belle just a little bit. Or I guess Lacey. Did it come from years of frustration, being locked up? I just like that there seems to be a real personality. Maybe she'll turn to the good side when whatever is attaching Storybrooke comes, and since she's Lacy, she'll still keep her spunk. Anyway, I did not like the evil that she is bringing back out of Rumple. Bae almost had his father back...and then he turned evil again. Sad.

The flashback of The Evil Queen posing as a peasant girl with Snow White was very sad. The look on her face when Snow told her she could be forgiven, and there was good in her, was pure joy. Then the two had to happen upon the village the Queen just had destroyed. I wonder what kind of relationship they would have had? I am also wondering why Regina (as the queen, and Regina) didn't see her actions as evil. So much like her mother!

Second Star to the Right was fantastic. And not, at the same time. I just don't think Regina would have held out that long, only to tell Greg that his father was dead. There was really nothing to gain by lying. I don't think he's dead, and I'm not sure where I think he is. So, who's body was that buried in the forest?

I loved the flashback of Bae meeting Wendy. Was it just me, or did she resemble young Cora? I am loving Neal/Bae's character. He is selfless. Basically giving up his life, to keep another family together. Then later, giving up his true love, to save Storybrooke. Yup, I love him! And Hook and Bae on the boat! He had to have known that was Rumple's son, right? Can't wait to see where that story goes.

Now everyone knows Greg and Tamara are working together. And now we know there are more people who are working with them. Are they going to be coming to Storybrooke? And how did they all find out about magic? Did Tamara come from a land with magic too? She knows an awful lot about magic, and different lands.

Oh Emma and Neal. Of course, they profess their love for each other, then one has to leave. I wonder which land he goes to? Neverland? It would make sense, since we've just been introduced to those flashbacks. Or will he go back to the Enchanted Forest? We have to go back there sometime.

And where's Robin Hood? And what ever happened to the child that Rumple spared the life of (or the pregnant mother, I guess)? All the characters seem to be intertwined, so I'm sure we'll find some more stories of the baby. Can't wait for next season!

And my favorite theory of all...

A few episodes ago, Rumple had a dream. We saw an image of his shop in Storybrooke. And if you looked closely, you would have seen the camera briefly pause on...a lamp! I am wondering if Rumple will have to summon a Genie in the near future? Maybe the Genie is going to save Storybrooke from the self-destruction in Regina's ring. The season finale is coming, not the series finale, so we know everyone is not going to die.

Just one more thought...who do you think Henry is, or do you think he's a fairytale character at all? I am still wondering how he plays a role in Rumple's undoing. Those aren't very specific words, so I am wondering if that simply meant the boy will change him forever. Undo the evil, and turn it to good. After all, he did help bring the rest of his family back together, and he definitely brings the "good" out of Regina.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

28 Days to Mary and Martha-Work on the kitchen

Here is a printable for you.
How much better my days would go
if I would think on this, all day!

I hope you’ve been washing your dishes every day! I have, and it has helped so much!

Once my dishes were washed and put away, it was easier to see the empty spaces in my kitchen. It was also easier to see everything that didn't belong!

Clutter takes away so much from a room. So, before you go any further on cleaning your kitchen, start the declutter process. Just the kitchen for now.

Get a box, and fill it with everything that doesn't belong in the kitchen. Don't worry about putting any of that stuff away right now, just get it out of the kitchen. This includes the 15 extra toddlers cups you may have, that you have been putting away on a daily basis! Or is that just me? I kept 3 plastic cups out for the 3 kids that actually drink out of cups. They will just have to keep better track of their cups now.

Now your dishes should be out of sight (put away, or in the dishwasher)
Here are some tips to get you started on the rest of the kitchen:

1. When using the dishwasher, place one cup right side up in the top rack. Add a small amount of vinegar. When the cup fills up, vinegar water fill pour out into the bottom of the dishwasher. The upside-down cup will catch all the extra bits of food swishing around your dishwasher, so that your dishes aren’t caked with dried food crumbs.

2. If you have any fruit sitting out on your counter, cut it up and make a fruit salad! We buy lots of fruit, and it clutters the counters. And usually goes bad. But, if it is cut up, the kids will eat it in less than a day.

3. Keep a small basket or box in the kitchen, to stick everything in there that doesn’t belong. Have one in there on a regular basis. It helps

4. If you don’t use the item at least once a week, it does not belong on the counter (toaster, blender).

5. If you can get the counters cleared enough to spray and wipe down the whole thing, go for it. Otherwise, just worry about what you can see. We aren’t deep cleaning here!

6. How often do you bake? Do you really need all 5 baking sheets in your oven at all times? And how many baking dishes do you really use? Get rid of the extras (as I’m looking in the mirror).

7. If you know you aren't going to use it, get rid of it. I tend to save glass jars, "just in case"...well, time to get rid of them. They are just taking up counter space.

8. Vinegar, water, (50/50) and a little bit of Sweet Orange Essential Oil  is great for cleaning the kitchen! That same mixture, with just a little bit of olive oil is great to clean wood floors and cabinets.
9. Last kitchen tip for now: Once the kitchen is fairly clean, light a scented candle. It just makes it look so much nicer.

How does your kitchen look?

And just as a side note, sometimes, life happens. Your kitchen is not going to stay looking great. Just remember that the minimum is your dishes. Keep doing those, and you'll be fine.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

28 Days to Mary and Martha

First off, Amanda is the winner (and the only one who entered :) ) the giveaway for these two books. Enjoy, Amanda!

Now, the beginning of our 28-Day Challenge…28 Days to Mary and Martha
By the end of the 28 days, I hope that I am in the regular habit of reading my bible first thing in the morning (I'm joing Red and Honey's 30 for 30 for this), and doing the basics around the house, every.single.day.

During these 28 days, I will be following the book 28 Days to Hope for Your Home, in addition to working on some extra assignments to get things in order around here.

I can only pick one habit to share from the book, so you'll have to buy the book to learn all the awesome tips Dana has to share…here's the one habit I'm sharing…

Do your dishes! Now, and every single day. Make that your first habit. As simple as that sounds, it works!

I feed 4 kids, 3 or more times a day. I cook every meal (okay, there are days where I just stick a Pizza Pocket in the microwave!), and I have lots to wash. I don’t normally wash dishes as we use them. I let the dishwasher get full, start it, and let clean dishes sit, while we are dirtying more dishes. I let dishes sit in the sink, or on the counter, overnight. Most nights.

After reading the first, and most important habit of the book, I got up, and washed my dishes.

I focused on doing only my dishes, and you know what? Once they were all clean and put away, I could actually get to the counters to wipe them off! And you know what else? I wanted to clean the rest of the kitchen.


Day 1: stop reading, and wash some dishes :)
If you have little ones you need to keep occupied, a dumped out Battleship game does wonders for keeping them busy!

I didn’t dump the game out myself, the kids gladly helped with that last week, but I’m thinking that the next time I have a time-consuming project, I’ll either be dumping the game, legos, or puzzles. Not kidding.

Here are the areas I’ll be working on during the next four weeks:
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Playroom (or wherever you keep the kids toys)
  • Spare bedroom/craft room/home office
I will probably not go in order, and some days I'll work on the master bedroom, or the kids room, because my cute little tornadoes are very sporadic on the rooms they destroy customize.
If you are joining me, I'd love to year about your journey in the comments throughout the challenge! And if you're a blogger, please share your link if you are document your "spring cleaning", whatever that may look like for you.