Archive for October, 2012

Making them mind…..

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Family
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I have been stuggling with my kids lately. Mom’s everywhere should be able to relate with that!  I’ve done a great deal of soul searching to try and find out why, I was not happy with what I came up with.  It’s my fault!

Yes….I am taking responsibility for my childrens behavior.  Shocking, I know!

My kids were the ones that everyone wanted to watch, have over night, take out in public with them.  They were well behaved and polite.  I was very proud of the job I had done.  But after my mom passed away in June of 2010, well, I lost it.  I stopped cleaning, cooking, smiling, laughing, everything!  I just existed.  Which has brought me to bring back the basics. 

I am living again, and my CDO is in overdrive because for 2 years my brain did not register the clutter pile up and lack of respect for our home that was happening from all parts of our family.  I guess it is true, a mom is the heart of a family, and when it’s gone…..

But now I am faced with the task of not only whipping the house back into a home, myself back into a human being, but retraining guiding my boys back to who they were as well.  I’m not saying they are out of control or anything, they have just lost touch with thier manners and self worth. 

The things that aggrivate me the most:

  1. Garbage – they have decided that they no longer need to walk to a garbage can to throw anything away.  They just leave it where ever.  (they picked this up from thier dad!)  So the fruit roll up wrappers, cheese stick wrappers, paper plates, napkins, kleenex (eewww) all stay where ever they hit a surface.  This never used to be an issue.
  2. Hygiene – I have to fight with Ethan (my 9 year old) to get him to shower! It is literally an argument every single night…some nights he goes in kicking a screaming and fully dressed!  Jacob just has to be reminded every single night…I never had to be reminded as a kid! And brushing thier teeth…..why is it such a big deal?  Just brush them, really!?!
  3. Their Bedrooms – They want to have these really cool hang out rooms so they can hang with thier friends, but I can’t remember the last time a vacuum would fit in the door of either room!  If they would just put it away when they were done, it would always be clean!
  4. Attitude – for some reason the oldest thinks that he’s not good enough, and likes to make his younger brother feel the same way.  And he is always making a point to mention faults with others.  The youngest, he thinks that the world revolves around him. If he doesn’t like whats for dinner, he complains until we are miserable. If he doesn’t like the show we are watching as a family, he complains until we are all miserable.  If we don’t do what he wants to do during an outing, well, I think you get the idea.

I just want to make them mind….I want them to mind that their rooms are dirty, and that garbage on the floor in the living room upsets me.  I want them to mind when they smell funny or thier breath stinks.  I want them to mind when they say things that hurt other people or themselves.

So earlier this spring, I made changes, added rules, enforced them, tried all kinds of discipline, made chore charts, etc.. You name it, I tried it.  Nothing worked.  That’s when I realized the problem was me.  I was not a good example for my children any more.  So….I decided to make me mind again! Wow!

I still need to change the rules in the house to turn manners into habits again. But the tip below, is my life saver.  It is the only thing that has worked with my boys.  Remember, it only takes 7 times to turn a change into a habit!


If you want to receive the desired results, you can NOT make several changes all at once.  Nanny 911 makes it look easy, but that is T.V.!  This is real life.  Make 1 change at a time.  It’s easier for you to keep track of too!  Make 1 rule with 1 consequence.  My first rule is throw away your garbage!  The consequence, if it continues, I won’t buy those items any more.  When they are gone, that’s it!  They are kids, they will find something else to snack on if the fruit roll ups and cheese sticks aren’t available.  Be consistent with this rule, give reminders until you notice them doing it without being reminded.  At that point, give praise for remembering to do it all on thier own.  Yes, my 12 year old, tells me I’m silly, but he is always smiling when I praise him. Once the rule becomes habit, add a new one. 

Bonus tip….I had a conversation about the new rules with the kids.  I listed 5 “expectations” and then the rules that I was putting into effect.  But I only focus on 1 at a time.  I didn’t tell them that.  I remind them of the expectations daily.  The rules are enforcers to the expectations. 

5 expectations (not rules):

  1. Personal hygiene, you must shower everyday and brush your teeth 2ce a day. No exceptions.
  2. You must pick up after yourself
  3. You are responsible for your own room
  4. You must get good grades, an education is the most important thing for them right now.  A’s and B’s are the only acceptable grades.  If you are falling behind, let us know and we will take the appropriate steps to assist you.
  5. Go to bed on time!

I am already seeing improvement. It does my heart good to see glimmers of the kids I had before I screwed them up!


I have inspired!

Posted: October 9, 2012 in Chaos, Family
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It looks as though I may have inspired my husband to declutter his barns.  Yes, it is plural.  He has 3!  36×80, 24x26ish and 24x24ish.  And they are all jam packed full of stuff.  Not mine.  I was given rights to the 2 car attached garage, which I really have rights to park my jeep in and keep some yard tools.  He has managed to take over the majority of the rest.

He has, however, managed to fill the yard with everything that was in the barn.  Making it look like a bad episode of hoarders. He found that a lot of the items aren’t even ours, but a culmination of items left by friends. It’s a disaster!  The good news problem is that is that he has to complete this project by the end of today because it is scheduled to rain all night!

I find it very theraputic to purge. It’s euphoric in a way, because it seems as though all of those things, well, they weigh you down.  With each room I complete, I feel lighter. And seeing the room clean in every way, with each item in it own space, not hidden behind things that did not hold meaning, is like nothing else.  (yes, I have a bit of CDO)

I keep the back to basics theory in my head while I purge and declutter.  Items that may hold a meaning, but no purpose, are sent on to others to spread joy.  I take a picture of the item if I really find it hard to let it go and that way I know I will always have a piece of it to hold dear.  We all grow and change throughout time, and those items lose their purpose.  It’s okay to let it go.  And keeping only the items that have purpose in my life right now, or the lives of family, it part of getting back to basics. 

I’ve decided to share a tip with each blog, so my tip today is about the basics. 


Take 10 minutes and go into your kitchen.  The challenge is to find 5 things that you have not used in a long time.  Put those 5 items into a box. Tape the box shut and put that days date on the top with the word “kitchen”.  Place that box in the bottom of the closet, in the garage, any where you won’t lose it.  Do this with each room of your house, creating a new box for each room.  1 a day until all the rooms have 5 items removed and boxed up.  In 6 months, if you have not opened the box to look for an item, take the boxes, still sealed, and deliver to a donation center.  More than likely, you will have no idea what you put in the box, keep it that way. 

Good Luck!

Sorry I haven’t been blogging all summer.  I have been trying to manage time better, but I haven’t had much luck.  😦

I started the summer with the intent to get back to the basics.  I have had some luck with that, but I have also had some bad luck as well.

The garden:

It started out beautiful! I created a defined space and planted in an eye pleasing and functional design. I kept it weeded and it was all going so well.  And then the seeds started to pop.  I was so very excited!   I then noticed an error on my part….the bad luck I had in previous years (which is why I gave up before) was not the case this year.  Normally, I have a very hard time with cucumbers, the plants would die and I would not have enough cucumbers for a family who LOVES them… I planted seeds instead of plants this year.  A whole package per trellace!  They ALL grew! Over population is not a good thing!  Trying but not devasting….until all my plants we about 3 weeks old.

At this point, all my plants except those to the far right of the garden started to yellow. I was lost….I had never had this problem before.  I fertilized appropriately from the very beginning, there were no weeds sucking the life from my plants, and yet the shaded ones on the far right were dark green lucious and growing at a rate that more than doubled that of the rest.  It was a unseasonably hot summer, so I blammed that.  I was wrong.  The dirt we brought in, had zero nutrients!  So after talking to a local farmer or two, we got the right fertilizer.  They started to green up again, but they were stunted and the fruits of my garden were limited.  I was sad.  And then we got rain! And the weeds decided that the fertilizer we put down was just what they needed.  And that was the end of my poor garden.  We got a few tomatoes and a few squash, a couple of cucumbers and 1 b