Cute or Clown Vomit? You Decide.

In my defense, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I’ve been working on Christmas gifts (when Bean actually lets me), and I thought the funky colors of this yarn would make a great bag for my twelve year-old niece. Thought being the operative word there.



So, is it cute or Clown Vomit? You decide.

Hooray for Monday—Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom

I confess that, as a stay-at-home mom, Monday has turned into my favorite day of the week. See this picture of Bean? This is kind of what my house looks like after my husband and boys have been home all weekend. Unexplainably messy and more than a little gross.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having my guys home…I really do. However, after a couple of days of “fun,” our home is overtaken by clutter, sticky floors, and bathrooms that should be declared hazmat zones. I’ve tried keeping up with all the housework on the weekends, but it never works out. I swear I could scrub down my whole kitchen on Saturday morning, walk out for less than thirty seconds, and by the time I return, several dirty dishes will have mysteriously appeared on the counters. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you. Keeping my house reasonably clean on the weekends is an exercise in futility.

Come Monday, I gladly usher my peeps off to school and work, and go about the not so inconsiderable job of cleaning and disinfecting our house. Just relocating all the misplaced shoes, belts, dirty clothes, laundry, homework papers, Legos and batteries takes me nearly an hour. Then I have sheets to wash, floors to clean, dust bunnies to slay, and bathrooms to sanitize. It’s a lot of work, but because it’s Monday, I get to revel in the fact that the things I clean will actually stay clean longer than five minutes at a time.

As you can see, sanity is thin on the ground around here.

Losing at Germ Roulette

We didn’t even make it through the first two weeks of school, and both of the Heathens are already sick. Much to my dismay, they woke up yesterday with fever and a case of the sniffles. Oh joy. Even the fact that they looked and felt like death warmed over could not erase the glee in their eyes when Dad proclaimed them too sick to go to school.

You want to know a secret? I don’t think schools should be allowed to give “perfect attendance” awards. I know truancy is a problem, but I seriously doubt that the prospect of an attendance award will motivate truants to change their absentee ways. School awards should be about rewarding behavior that is within a child’s control, like grades, conduct or school service. Whether or not a kid gets sick is certainly not within his or her control. And, last time I checked, most schools even have sick policies that require parents to keep their kids home in cases of fever, vomiting, or other clearly contagious illnesses. This means that, even if a sick child had a burning urge to work toward said award, they still couldn’t tough it out in the classroom with their 103 degree fever.

What message is there in a perfect attendance award? “Hey, lucky duck, you scored in the germ lottery?” Better yet, what message are we sending to the kids who don’t get the award? “Sorry kiddo, but you came up short by contracting that swine flu…better luck next semester?” I can tell you from experience, when a kid in the Heathens’ class accepts a perfect attendance award at the honor assembly, all the other moms are muttering under their breath, “so that’s who keeps getting everyone sick!” They all know who the class Petri dishes are.

In the meantime, I’m happy to keep my germy little Heathens home until they are well…even if it means they’ll miss out on the most pointless award ever. I’ll just make up something even more pointless. Something that at least has a modicum of productivity behind it.

I think “Best Baseboard Duster” sounds pretty good to me.

Getting My $6 Worth

When it comes to time management and organization for my family, I’ve tried just about everything. Planners inevitably end up lost in the black hole that is my purse…if I ever remember to carry a purse in the first place. I’ve also tried computer programs, but the time and effort of booting up my laptop so dang often was just too much for me. Typing on my iPhone is torture, so handy apps weren’t helpful either, and don’t get me started on why kids don’t mix well with wipe-off boards. I finally realized that for me, any organizing plan that required too much time or effort on my part is doomed for failure.

But alas, I am also a sucker and an impulse buyer. When I saw this magnetic notepad at Target:

I tossed it in the shopping cart, thinking that it might be useful for the upcoming school year. It’s made by Mead, and apparently, it’s part of a new line of products called Organizher. Goony as it sounds, this has been the best $6 I’ve spent in ages. Obviously, the front has a weekly schedule with room for all the family members and their events, as well as the week’s meals. Little did I know then that the back looks like this:

So, here’s why it works for me. Our breakfast/dining room is command central our house. It’s where we eat meals, do homework and it’s basically the nexus of our home life. In this room, we have a corkboard on the wall, where I keep the Heathens’ homework lists and other important information. Since I bought this $6 notepad, we’ve developed a routine that takes less than five minutes a week, but has saved my sanity for the back-to-school rush. Here’s how it works:

On Sunday, I jot down everything that I know is going on that week, as well as the meals. I then tear off the sheet and stick it up on the corkboard. In the meantime, I pull down last week’s sheet, and use the back as a shopping list for this week’s meals.

Yes, this is so easy, it’s stupid. But, for someone that has struggled with just how much supposedly helpful organizational tools complicate my life, it’s nice to find something that is simple and flexible.

So, yeah, I’m bragging about my $6 notepad. But I’ve had a week with no missed assignments, meetings or annoying repeats of “what’s for dinner?”

It doesn’t take much to make me happy these days, but I’m ok with that.


**As always, all reviews on my blog are unsponsored. Mead doesn’t know me and I don’t know them. I just like passing along when I actually get some bang for my buck**