Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The right tools make all the difference.

Let me start by saying cleaning is not my favorite job, like it is anyones. But I do love having a well kept or at least somewhat kept house.  It has only been for about the last 6 months or so that I cared what my house looked like at all.  That being said, do to social standards I have had to clean occasionally.  I have always noted what cleaning tools did there job with little effort.  When I was first married we had a Kenmore sweeper and I loved it.  The power was great.  It did a fabulous job and with the exception of the occasional broken belt, never game me problems.  I even used it to detail a car that had been in a fire and foamed with no problems.  Now eventually it died and I didn't have several hundred dollars to get another so I have had several "on sale" models.  None have ever made me as happy as my Kenmore.  I announced to my husband when this cleaning kick started my next sweeper would be a Kenmore canister.  He had all kinds of issues with the canister part.  But because we only have one room of carpet on the main floor I wanted something that would make it easy to suction up pet hair from bare floors.  We even did a date night for my birthday and I insisted we go to Sears and look at sweepers so I knew what to save to get it.  Did you know you can take a test drive on a sweeper?  Yes, you can I think it's how they get out of paying for cleaning people.  I found one I loved and as luck would have it last weekend mine died and we had enough money in the bank so my wonderful husband picked up my dream sweeper.  Under my direction of "I have had enough.  If you ever want to have vacuumed floors again you better go get me my sweeper."  Because it is shedding season and we have 1 dog and a herd of cats ( I don't think that's quite right but when they all run it sounds like a herd) I sweep ever other day, at least.  The sweeper is everything I had dreamed.  Last night I decided to do the stairs which I haven't done it so long I can't remember. It was amazing the attachment was so powerful I couldn't stop I wanted to clean ever piece of furniture and the drapes.  It is crazy that the right tool can turn you into a cleaning maniac.  All those years of struggle and unhappiness gone with one little sweeper. Now if I can only find a few more of these miracle tools I will have a perfectly clean house.  Ya right.  A mom can dream can't she.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MINI-VAN MAMA..............AGAIN

Well it's official I'm a mini-van mama again.  Now don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with a mini-van.  I have owned 3 before.  But I had thought I had moved on to bigger and better things.  Yep a Suburban.  No really we live in Southwestern Pennsylvania and snow is a way of life.  Last year I actually ran car pool to every activity mine and my friends kids were in because the "burban", as the kids call it, was all that could get around.  Unfortunately the price of gas has prompted us to look at alternatives and with three kids the options were limited. Now when looking there were several options that were not optional. Let's combare what some of these options really are.  Second row bucket seats, or as I like to call them referee seats.  By having second row bucket seats the children are seperated there for serving as a referee to keep fighting down.  Tinted windows create a dressing room on the go.  Anyone who has children in multiple activities it is vital that you have tinted windows for clothing changes. Rear heat control is really the not make mom so hot she explodes option.  None of my previous vans have had this option and I have spent much time trying to warm my children in the outer reaches of the vehicle while melting in the drivers seat.  Power sliding doors looked like a need feature but I didn't think of them as a must have.  At best I thought it would save me the countless trips back around the car when child #2 couldn't close the door and child #1 was being to "I'll show you" to help.   I was so wrong since getting this van my kids run out the door to the van as soon as I announce I'm opening the doors  Even the baby has a new independance with them.  She gets to push the door buttom if she gets into her car seat and doesn't fight me. All in all if you get the right options being a mini-van mama isn't so bad.  I may even get one of those catchy license plates or window decals showing how cool I am. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Holiday traditions...out of control

I am very big on holiday traditions. We go to the local parades, including pulling the float in several, take the kids to see
Santa and the Easter Bunny at the mall, have family pictures taken twice a year, and what is on my mind most right now, go to the pumpkin patch to do hay rides, corn maze, and general farm fun.  The problem isn't that I love to go places but I also must decorate for all holidays.  In fact in January we get a thank you note from the power company for all the extra money we give them October thru December. I seem to have this desire for my children to have a perfect Norman Rockwell existence.  They are each in extra activities and my husband and I are very involved parents.  With all this we have very little free time.  It occurred to me last night as I was finishing the fundraiser order for my 2 two oldest, reviewing the calendar of events and more importantly what I need to get together for scouts, and finishing homework, that October is over and before you know it the holidays will be over!  I know . I know.  It is only the 6th but I look at time in different terms.  Instead of 20 some days to Halloween I see 4 weekends till Halloween.   FOUR OMG! Now that seems worse doesn't it.  But really we look at things in weekend terms because week nights are out by the time I get home from work and we do what ever activity we have that night we have time for dinner, bath and homework before we have to go to bed.  I don't even have time to do the dishes at night I do them in the morning after my older ones leave for school before I go to work. As for the weekends Saturdays go something like this dance 9-10 soccer either 10 or 11 for an hour cheer 2:30 or 5 for an hour and half or more. Sunday church.  Yep that's it we take it easy on Sunday.  So we have from 1:30 till 6:30 on Sunday to do all the stuff we didn't do last week and need to do next week. At 6:30 we eat dinner and start our bed bath homework routine, not in that order.   In case you lost count we're down to 5 hours a week or 5 hours times 4 weekends or 20 hours to make our house spooktacular and create all kinds of family memories for this fall.  So what is a crazymama to do?  Give up? Stop planning all these memory makers?  Pull the kids out of activities?   Nope, get your prozac refilled and stop by the liquor store for some wine and keep going.  I mean what would life be like without not so perfect adventures.

Friday, September 2, 2011


This was the first week of school for our district.  And not even a full week, it started on Tuesday.   I have 2 children in school this year.  My daughter is in 5th and my son is in 1st.  We are trying something new this year instead of going to daycare after school they are going home.  Scary yes I know but they have done really well and we have been getting ready for weeks going over the rules and what is expected. Tuesday night came and along with it the usual mounds of paper work.  Added to that was my son's overwhelming excitement to be back in school complete with homework which he black marker.  I'm sure the teacher will love this.  I decide I will dive into the mom homework after dinner and the kids are settled down ready to go to bed.  The problem is they never settled down and I must remember to make a note to self for next year to buy a really nice and comfortable pen for me for the first night of school. That tells you how my weeks started.  Let count other things that have happened already this week.  Remember 4 school days.  Number of days kids ate breakfast-2 Number of forms forgotten to return 1+ pictures for each kid (not counting because they weren't really forms.) Number of lunches forgotten 1 Number of days late 1  All in all it could have been worse.  I think of it as a success.  I mean if I was a baseball team I would be way over 500.  Some how looking around my house at the total disaster I have going on trying to keep this all together it doesn't feel like a win.  In fact last night I found my self saying "  I can't believe that I wanted school to start again. What was I thinking?" 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Enough is enough!

It seems like for years we have been fighting a loosing battle with clutter.  I'm not sure why it happens and beleive me I have tried to figure it out.  Maybe it was because we started out with so little we really appreciated everything we got.  Maybe its because our mothers can't throw ANYTHING away.  Maybe it's just a sickness and we need help.  I have decluttered many times just for it to come back.  I really beleive this time is it.  I have enrolled in many organizational bootcamp websites that show me it didn't get cluttered in a day it won't get uncluttered in a day.  Despite that I still took yesterday off work to organize my life.  With three kids, a full time job, a husband, many animals and a bazillion other things going on it finally became enough to never know where the dance shoes were or where the soccer uniform was or be able to find a clean sippy cup.  Yes I am tired of emailing the teacher  for another one because I can't find the permission slip for the fieldtrip tomorrow. And needing another cheerpacket because ours is lost.  Not to mention almost missing lots of meeting/events because I forgot about them.  At the begining of this week I decided I needed a me day.  Some might call it a mental health day or a get away day but to me it was a day about me.  Clearing clutter clearing my mind.  I started by writting a list I knew was way to large to complete in a day, but I figured I could do the rest over time.  Then I decided what was the 1 or 2 biggest headache areas in my life.  That is where I would start.  And did I pick a doosie, my desk.  I wish I would have taken a picture before I started.  Wow did it make a difference.  Luckily my husband got called off work, because we tore it up.  We also worked on 3 area in our dining room and rearranged our dinning room.  When I stopped and looked this morning I did about 6 things on my list.  Way more than I thought it would. Yes I do beleive this is it I will keep what I organized clean and add to it alittle everyday.   Maybe I can do this mom thing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Well Easter is just a few daya away and lets say I am less than ready. I think I am skipping making dinner this year.  Every year we have Easter with the family either at my in-laws or with my husbands oldest sister which is nice and not to far so we would come home and have a condensed dinner at home.  This year we are going to one of my other sister in laws which is considerably further away but I am super excited to have the holiday at her house.  We traditional get our kids outdoor type toys for Easter.  I find myself running out of things to get them.  They have a giant swingset, a trampoline and even a swimming pool so what do I get them this year.  I'll have to let you know on Monday.  Any way Happy Easter to you all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Is the universe trying to tell me something?

Let me start by saying I am not pregnant!  The last couple weeks have been strange but usual.  I get up run around like crazy all day get home usher the kids straight upstairs and never even look at my kitchen dining room or living room.  I can barely get them washed and in bed before I fall asleep.  All while I have a headache and generally feel crappy.  So of course I mention that I'm not feeling well and of course everyone response with "Are you sure your not pregnant?"  This question alone would not bother me, especially since we have 3 kids already.  Its not unheard of for me to be pregnant.  The really strange and disturbing thing is that the universe seems to be posing the same question.  Suddenly we started getting formula samples and welcome gifts from both Enfamil and Similac.  Every couple days we get something new.  My husband actually thought maybe I was trying to break it to him gently.  Then just as I find a way to explain this weirdness away.  I get an email from the hospital where my two younger children were born saying information for your new addition.  It was all about how they have changed the baby photographer and how pictures are taken.  It also had some general information you may have forgotten about what your birth experience will be like with them.  They can't wait to see you and your new addition.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Something for me

Let me start by saying I've always wanted to be a mom.  As far back as I can remember I would mother small animals and dolls the way many young children but I also had many younger cousins and nieces and nephews that gave me plenty of time to sharpen those skills.  Funny thing, none of that mattered when I had kids I realized I know nothing (and my older kids will tell you that.)   This blog is my gift to me.  It is a place where I can share my daily experiences and struggles.   So lets talk about me, something I rarely do.  I am the youngest child of a worrying woman and an indecisive father.  My mother had one other son who was 18 when I was born.  My father on the other hand had 7 other children.  The youngest was  about 9 when I born and lets just say none of them where happy to have a new little sister.  Because they lived with their mother we had little interaction until I was a teenager and they were adults.  So basically I was an only child with 8 siblings.  I knew one thing; I wanted a big family which promts this blog.  I never knew having that big family would be so rewarding and crazy at the same time.