Monday, January 16, 2012

"Survival" of the Littles ~ Part 4 ~ Picking My Battles

  My mother tells me all the time, "Pick your battles, if it won't matter tomorrow, it probably doesn't really matter right now."  And you know, she's right!!!  (I know, I know, I just agreed my mother was right, I guess that means I have officially outgrown my teenage rebel era.)  But, really, she is right.  Just to give you some examples, and then I'm sure you can find all kinds of way to put this idea into practice.

  Occasion #1 ~  I decided to clean out the fridge while the baby was awake.  So I knew going into it that I would have to stay calm.  (Sorry, Fly Lady, when I start something I have to finish it, I can't just work for 15 minutes at a time on a project, like you.  I'm trying, really I am)  At first all was well, I started her out playing in the floor beside me and she kept herself quite busy for sometime.  But as I started to bleach the shelfs, she started to notice all the bottles of different sauces and such on the floor and counter.  So she picked up the ranch dressing and started to put it back in the fridge.  I told her no, that Mommy needed to finish first and then she could help me put all the food back away.  So she obeyed and laid the ranch dressing back down, however the paper label caught her attention and she saw that it was like a sticker.  She started to peel it off little by little.  Now, if you know anything about me,  you know that I like everything just so, so.  The milk always sits on the same self on the right.  All of my rugs must not be messed up and must be even.  Anyway, you get the picture.  So it took every ounce of will power I had not to tell her no, because in all honesty, what was it going to hurt?  I would know tomorrow and the next day and the next day after that, that the bottle with white stuff in it was ranch dressing.  And it would keep her busy long enough to let me finish my chore at hand.  And she is old enough to pick up her own mess, so when she was finished I made sure she threw away all of her trash, so for a lesson, she realized she couldn't make a mess like that and not clean it up. 

   Occasion #2 ~ I told you a little bit in the last post about how she loves to be in the kitchen.  And how, this can if I let it, get under my skin very quickly.  She loves to rinse the dishes, while I wash.  I would love to just hurry and wash them and move on to the next thing, but I must continually tell myself, it's a great learning tool for both her and I.  Yes, sometimes, after she's rinsed a few things, she grabs a cup that is already clean and wants to play in the water with it and I cringe thinking that cup is already clean, but I have to stop myself and say, really what is she hurting?  Nothing!  She's playing with clean water and she loves standing by my side "helping" me.  It definitely teaches me patience and that everything doesn't have to go in a certain order like it does in my head.

  Occasion #3 ~ Giving up the high chair was definitely a battle for me!  I wanted the baby to stay in the high chair for a little while longer, because it's much easier to clean up the tray than the whole floor around her chair.  But she is very independent, as you can already tell, and wanted to be just like Bubby and Sissy!  So I gritted my teeth and started letting her sit at the table in a "big" chair. 

  Now, like I've said before, I'm not saying give into bad behavior.  Do not allow hitting, biting, throwing tantrums, dilerberate disobeying, backtalking, etc. to go unpunished.  However, take a good look at yourself and if you are getting annoyed by little things, that really won't matter tomorrow.  Trust me, if you are, I completely understand how you feel!!!  But that still doesn't make it right.  And we are to continually be trying to become more and more like Christ.  So, today, remember to ask yourself, Will this really matter tomorrow? 

  I hope this encourages you today!!!  And have a blessed day!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Surviving" the Littles ~ Part 3 ~ Chores

   Incorporating chores in your children's lives is key to "surviving"!!  There are several things a young child can help out doing around the house.  Even children that crawl can sit beside you and put toys in a basket.  Teach children very young and they will absorb it quickly! 
  In our house, we have morning chores first thing in the morning, then school, then free time.  Work before Play, if you can teach this to your children, I firmly believe they will go far in life!!!  The above picture is Leah, age 22 months, doing one of her chores, putting Daddy's pop in the bottom drawer of the fridge.

   So here's a look at our day, hope this is some encouragement to you out there will "littles"!!!

  Morning is not my friend, and if I've been up a lot at night, then we tend to sleep in.....shhhh...don't tell anyone ;)  Derek, doesn't seem to understand the concept of sleeping in, so he understands he may wake up normal and have some quiet free time before Mommy and the girls get up.  However, if I'm already up or when I do wake up everyone begins on their morning chores, myself included! 

    1.)  Get Dressed (Mommy helps Leah with this.  I also change baby Leigha and my Leah's diapers at this time.)

    2.)  Make bed

    3.)  Put jammies under pillow, put sippy cup in the sink, and turn off night light

    4.)  Pick up room, anything that wasn't done the night before

    5.)  Breakfast/Brush Teeth

    6.)  Leah and I do dishes or start a load of laundry, Lindsay cleans the bathroom, and Derek does outside chores (feed dog, cats, and take out trash).

  Then we begin our school day.  After quiet time we also work on afternoon chores.  Wednesday is laundry day for the kids.  They each have their own laundry basket in their closets for dirty clothes and when it's their turn they take them to the laundry room and do their own load.  Both of the older two know how to run both the washer and the dryer.  Lindsay, right now, is responsible for both her and Leah's clothes.  Mommy, then folds and puts clothes away when they are dry.  They are both also responsible for stripping their sheets once a week and washing those.  Then Mommy puts new sheets on their beds.  I have other chores written on the fridge for other days of the week, such as cleaning light switch plates, baseboards, wiping down the kitchen trash can, fridge, stove, etc. 

   There are days, that my "help" can become a little overwhelming, but I have to keep in mind their "help" will not be perfect.  Leah, right now, LOVES, to be in the kitchen with me at all times.  And some days, I just want to hurry up and finish what I was doing, when here she comes pushing her chair over to help me.  So I have to take a deep breath and find her something to help with.  It is almost impossible for me to do dishes without her by my side now.  I wash and she rinses ;)  And when I cook, she is right next to me handing me things.  She's very resourceful, I can tell her almost anything in the pantry or fridge to bring me and she will, as long as it's not on the top shelf.  And I know in the long run, these are the moments I will cherish, when she's grown and gone.

   There are lots of resources out there, that I have used for ideas in teaching the children.  One of my favorites is Managers of their Chores .  Check out the whole Titus 2 website.  They have so many good books and training advice!  Another favorite of mine is Homemaking 101 from Family Vision Films.  Click Here to watch the trailer for the DVD

  I hope this is does encourage you with "littles".  And just remember, that all of your hard work does matter.  Even if you have to do it again tomorrow, you're working for the King!

  Have a Blessed Day!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012: New Year's Resolutions

1.)  Read my Bible everyday!!!
(Ronnie and I have started reading together again, hopefully we can keep this up!)

2.)  Try to continually bless my husband:
Fix his breakfast
Pack his lunch
Make sure his clothes are clean
Try to keep the house picked up the best I can

3.)  Read to the children everyday; more than once is better.

4.)  Work on scripture memorization with the children more.

5.)  Less computer, TV, screen time.

6.)  Cook more at home:
Work on menu plans
Less eating out
Cook from scratch more

7.)  Rest on Sunday ~ No working!