Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Birthday Season

All our birthdays are together over a few months. It starts with mine at the end of August. Then there is back to school (yippee!), my husband's birthday, and my daughter's birthday all in September. October holds Thanksgiving and Halloween. My son's birthday starts November. Needless to say there is a lot of eating of sweet things.

In some ways this run of birthdays is great - it's all over in one shot for the year. In other ways, it's bad - all the presents and cakes have to be bought or made. So I do my best to plan ahead.

I always make everyone's birthday cakes. I like to come up with something new each time. I let me daughter pick her theme as she's old enough. And this year I'm going to surprise her with some cupcakes at school. My darling husband doesn't care, so he's happy with whatever I make. And my son, well he's turning two so Mommy gets to decide.

As for presents... that can be difficult. No one really "wants" anything. Hubby's hobby doesn't require me to do any shopping for him so I try to pick up practical things. This year he got a fancy new super-sized deep fryer. My daughter doesn't really ask for many toys. She's not really "into" anything yet but I do usually pick her up a few things. My son gets mostly practical things too, probably a potty for training along with a few toys I think he'll like. I try to think ahead, and pick up things when they go on sale. No need to blow the budget. ;)

Whatever we plan for birthdays, it's nice to do something special and make sure to take the time to spend it together.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MIA returns to balance

So I've been MIA for a few days, well 10 to be exact. Lots going on in my life and not all good. There have been so extended family issues that have needed dealing with and I just didn't want to talk to anyone. Sorry for being missing.

But today is a new day. Things are looking better and I'm working at getting more stuff organized. :)

I've realized that life is about balance. Even through the rough times I've been having (and I'm sure there will be more in the future), I still need balance in my life to keep things going. With the help of the routines I developed I was able to keep my home tidy, feed everyone and keep up with the kids and all they entail. And none of it was overwhelming. Most of it was done without even realizing I was doing it.

Still working on my Organization Station. I need to clean out the drawers in the little table. And I found a plastic folder thing that has come in handy for keeping my desk clean of loose papers. Pictures to follow one of these days. ;)

How do you find balance?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ready for school

My daughter starts school again tomorrow. Her second year of Kindergarten already. Wow! Where has the time gone? Summer disappeared so quickly. 

None-the-less, I'm ready. :) Today I printed up three routines for her - Before Bed, Morning and After School. Hopefully this will make things easier. She is almost 5 and can do a lot for herself, but I feel like the nagging mother, having to make sure she's done all the things she has to do, rather than her just doing it. Wouldn't it be nice to just say "welcome home" and she would know what to do? Or "time to get ready for bed" and everything would be done in speedy fashion? Some day......

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Organization Station is in the formation stage

Trying to work on some organizing. :) I must say it's a passion of mine - being organized. I would love it if my whole world felt in order (at least most of the time) but I'm not quite there yet. I have to admit that I'm a Born-Organized (BO) person but the lack of Domestic Knowledge has caused my BO-ness to be Sidetracked Diva-ness (SD). I get so wrapped up in the researching of how to do things that I don't get anything accomplished.

However, after finding FlyLady and learning some of her skills and ideas, I am doing much better. I actually have time for some SD-ness but am keeping my house in pretty good shape. I'm coming up with some new ideas and having time to do my hobby (knitting) too. How wonderful!

The latest idea is the Organization Station. It's a new concept I'm working on but I'm excited about it. It came to me last night after Hubby said he thought our daughter's swimming started next Saturday instead of today. I had the calendar posted on the wall by my desk with the swim schedule marked on but I guess Hubby didn't look too closely. I've got a skinny wall in our main floor that will now be the Organization Station. I moved the calendar to that wall. I've labelled all our coloured pens with our names on. There's a little two-drawer table there that will soon hold the Domestic Diva's Home Manual (more on that another day) and anything else I think we need to make our home run smoothly. Hubby even checked the calendar since I've moved it. ;) Maybe this is working....

Friday, September 2, 2011

More on Menus

So, a friend has asked how I have been able to shop without a menu plan. Well, honestly, I didn't know I needed one. Growing up, my mother always went grocery shopping on Saturday mornings by herself. Daddy was stuck with us kids while she was gone for hours. I recall her sitting down with all the grocery flyers, looking at what was on sale and making her list of things to purchase at each store.

I never understood her method. It always seemed like a waste of time and gas to drive all over creation to save a few scents on a couple of items. And I never understood how she knew what she needed for our meals.

For me, planning what to buy always went by what I needed. A lot of our foods require the same ingredients (like pasta sauce, cabbage rolls, stuffed peppers, for example), and those are the things I would constantly pick up. When we would run low on something or use something up, I would add it to my list and be sure to get it when I went shopping. When I found a new recipe to try, I would add the few ingredients I needed on my list. I'd also check through the flyers (of the two stores I shop at) to see what they had on sale that week and add any more items to my list.

Recently though, I've gotten frustrated by the lack of variety in our meals and my constant wondering of what to make. In came the idea of actually menu planning. Still haven't gotten as exact as a lot of you, but I'm working on it. I try to pick meals according to the weather (i.e. too hot to turn on the oven), what we've got going on during the day and in the evenings (i.e. I'm going to be gone all day), and what meat we've eaten last (i.e. we had chicken on Thursday, so beef on Friday would be a good choice). Also, I try to pick things I know we'll all eat or have some leftovers that the kids can eat with things that only Hubby and I like.

So I'm trying to pick a little bit ahead but it's still hard. Sometimes I just want to pick that night. lol Guess I'm stubborn like that. ;) The battle with my nemesis continues....