Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Preschool fun

Zachary has been doing some very important work today.

I love re-purposing stuff into useful materials!  The "trays" are actually the box that an art kit came it, but the hinges broke a while back.  The colored cups came in a magic set that lost most of its pieces. The little orange circle is a cloth cotton facial round that I adore (and sell with my diaper business), but they come 30 to a box and that's way more than I need.  The little white bowls are from a set of precious condiment bowls that we inherited, and I just rarely find a use for them. 

He has done these two "jobs" about 7 times each in the last 30 minutes.  They are used in the Montessori practical life area, and I just love Montessori learning.  My 2 older boys started out there, and I went as a child, so I'm just taking what I know and trying my best to recreate as much as possible.  There are so many purposes to these jobs, some being that they learn how to do things slowly and carefully, practice cleaning up spills, and mimic holding a pencil.  He also must put one away correctly before getting the other one out, which is a big issue in our house right now.  We need all the practice we can get in that area!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quick project

I've been needing to recover my kitchen chairs for a while now.  They were getting pretty disgusting.  The only problem was that I don't like to spend a lot of money on fabric, just to have them get ruined again.  I'm too embarrassed to show the worst ones, but here is one of my "off-white" colored chairs.

Um, gross.   Fortunately, one day I had the brilliant idea that maybe a vinyl tablecloth would be the perfect fabric since it's easily wiped clean.  So one $5 tablecloth from Wal-mart, a drill, a staple gun, and a massive hunt for staples later, this is what we have now (times 6):

Pardon the small head.  A certain toddler stays up under my coat tail 24/7.

I love them!  I knew it would look good enough, and I'm certainly not trying to impress anyone with my home decor, but I think they turned out very pretty.  I even did my office chair, it was in some pretty pathetic shape having completely lost the fabric cover.  I've been sitting on the foam!  Anyway, I still have a little bit left over for when the kids decide to rip holes in a couple of them.

If you keep covering your chairs in regular cotton fabrics, stop it!  Kids are going to try to ruin everything, you might as well make it a little harder for them.  Plus, this was so much cheaper!  If you've never recovered chairs before, do it!  It is so unbelievably easy.  Take out 4 screws, pop the seat off, flip it over on the new fabric, pull the sides up, and staple.  Screw it back on, and done!  Don't even fool with trying to take the old fabric off, it's way to difficult and completely pointless.  The only issue I had was having to leave the house like this for several hours while I thought we were out of staples,

but my hubby came to the rescue and found just enough in the bottom of the toolbox for me.  All in all, a very simple project for a Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

High School sucked

Lately I've been thinking that being a mom is a lot like being in high school all over again.  Having to find people that think like you and join in so that you don't feel like a complete freak is a big reason why, but there's an even better comparison.  My gears have been turning, so bear with me as my rambling gets spewed out there.

Your first baby, aka Freshman year:  You are excited about everything.  Every little thing that happens to you and your baby is a big deal, and you think everyone wants to hear about it.  You read all of your assignments (that stack of baby books) ahead of time, you plan your every move, you do everything perfectly and on time, or a day early!  You make well-informed decisions on how to do things, and never stray from the ideal vision of parenthood you have created.  Of course, all this time the upperclassmen are watching you and rolling their eyes, but you don't see it or care because you are on top of things and they can't seem to keep it together do it all like you can.

By the next baby, you are a Sophomore.  You know the ropes and what to expect, so you can do it even better this time around.  Things get a little tricky as expectations get higher, and a few areas aren't as perfect as they used to be, but nobody needs to know about the dirty baseboards and those books you haven't had a chance to read yet.  You eventually realize that the "teachers" (that oh-so-perfect first child) were just going easy on you last time around, and some situations are a little more difficult to handle than you originally thought.  No big deal though, because now you finally get to use all that information from that stack of baby books you read before.

Junior year, well, it's just plain fun.  No pressure, very little is expected from you (who would burden a mother of 3 with extra work?), and by now you've learned to let loose and just enjoy life.  That third baby is happy and carefree, and so is mom.  You have decided that some things just don't matter anymore, and aren't willing to waste precious time worrying about them.  You don't have a clue what anyone is doing and don't really care.  And to be perfectly honest, you won't remember much from this time period anyway.

Then comes Senior year.  There are some days when it's just downright hard.  Everybody wants something from you right now, and there aren't enough hours in a day to get it done.  You come to realize that the things you thought were so very important before, don't really matter at all.  Unfortunately, you also now see that some things you chose not to worry about are extremely important and you have some making up to do in those areas.  Every once in a while, you say "Screw 'em all!  I'm doing this my way and I don't care what anyone thinks about it."  At the same time, you know that you just have to keep your way to yourself because there is still a ton of pressure coming at you from every angle, questioning your every move.  You have long forgotten how to do things "right" according to the baby books, and while most of the time you can wing it, sometimes you have to crack one open, refresh your memory, and get a new game plan.  None of you really know what the heck you are doing, and you don't dare question those around you.  You are quick to help a friend in need when they ask, but don't have time to save everyone that is headed down the wrong path.

Eventually, you figure out what works for you, how to keep criticizing people quiet, and go about your merry way.  No one "class" is better than any other.  They are all at a different time in their lives and need to experience it in order to grow.  Every mom has different experiences that lead them to the decisions that they make.  The important thing is just to be here for one another because we are all doing something incredibly hard.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Officially 'Poo Free

I just have to say, that I am loving my hair.  I took the plunge and went shampoo free, and it is fabulous.  I have wanted to do this for a long time, but couldn't find a good explanation on how.  All I kept reading was that you use baking soda and apple cider vinegar, but nobody would tell me what to do with it!  I finally got someone to answer me and give me the "for dummies" version of how to go 'poo free, so I am sharing it with everyone.

Grab a box of baking soda, a bottle of apple cider vinegar, and a small cup, then head to the shower.  Stick the ACV in the tub where you keep your other products so that it's in reach when you are ready for it.  Put a teaspoon of baking soda into the cup, and put the rest of the box in a safe place.  Don't put it on the counter next to the sink if you have children.  Just trust me on this one.  I am currently using baking soda in clump form rather than powder.  Anyway, stick the cup on the side of the tub, and hop in the shower.  When your hair is wet, grab the cup with the baking soda in it, fill with water from the shower, mix well, and pour into your hair.  I thought it would all run off, but it actually sticks pretty well.  Work it in with your fingers, and rinse well.  Your hair will be squeaky clean!

For the rinse, take your bottle of ACV that should be right there in the shower and put a teaspoon into your cup.  Fill with water again, and pour into your hair, working out any tangles as you go.  Rinse well if you don't want to smell funny, and your hair will thank you.  I was only shampooing every 2 or 3 days before, so that's what I plan to do with this method.  I love that my hair is healthier, my scalp feels better, and we are consuming less!  My budget thanks me too, since this method is as cheap as it gets.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Referral plug

Sign up here to vote in the Valentine's gift contest, and help me win an Amazon gift card.  Then just share your own link and get your friends to sign up too.  When 15 people sign up with your link, you get a $20 gift card.  I love free stuff.  :)

Resolution update

I am pretty much sucking at my New Year's resolutions, but it's really not my fault.  Well, for one of them anyway.

I've been getting up a little earlier, and I was going to exercise, (really, I promise!) but when I put my Wii Fit Plus disc in, it couldn't be read.  Some little punk scratched up my disc.  Again.  As in, this is the replacement disc from the first one that went flying through the living room.  It's too cold to walk outside, so I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do for exercise.  Maybe I'll just start by doing some stretches when I wake up in the morning. 

The businesses still have little direction, and I'm just not feeling like focusing on work.  Our family could really use the extra income, but right now it is requiring me to get on the phone in order to put myself out there and that has to be one of my least favorite things to do.  If I could live through Facebook alone, I would be a happy woman.  Unfortunately, it's too easy for people to ignore me on Facebook, so the phone it is.  Maybe tomorrow.

I really have been trying to work on my marriage issues though.  I'm not doing too terribly there, but I do have some habits that still need some major work.  I've started doing The Love Dare, and it has really changed the way I see things.  Sometimes you just have to be lovable if you want to be loved.  I'm on day 13, even though I started like a month ago, because I keep either messing up big time or just forgetting to read and do the dare.  I will say this though - it works.  It is unbelievable how well it works.  It's too easy to get caught up in yourself and your own daily responsibilities, but when you make a daily effort to think about doing something for your spouse, great things start happening.

So, every day is a new day to start fresh, and I'm just trying to make sure each day is better than the one before.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

In a funk today

Something seemingly minor has me down today.  I hate it when that happens.  I'm sitting here dwelling on it, and just can't seem to shake the funk it's putting me in.  I have zero motivation, even though I know getting up off my butt and doing something would make me feel better.

All of my friends and family know that I work from home and they are familiar with the products that I sell.  So it just really bugs the crud out of me when they purchase one of my products from someone else.  It's like all my hard work of sharing my information with them, sending them links, giving them samples, or whatever else I've put into introducing a product to them has just been wasted.  Meanwhile, someone else gets paid for all of my work.  Ugh.  It just makes me sick to my stomach.  Especially considering how desperately my family needs the money right now.

I'm currently diffusing an uplifting essential oil to help me get some positive thoughts going.  I really just want a nap though.