Nothing Has Changed. Swearsies.

IMG_1495.JPGThe paparazzi will NOT leave me alone. I have to wear big glasses now, in hopes I won’t be recognized.

No seriously.

I know that I was just cited as a “guru” in Fast Company. And, like, I was quoted and stuff. So- yeah- that means that I was interviewed by Laura Vanderkam. Because I know stuff about things- like Whole30, or getting rid of 5 things a day, or whatever else.

Yes.

All this is true.

But- you guys- really. I’m still the SAME PERSON.

I still put my pants on one leg at a time. (Which is getting increasingly difficult, what with the pregnant belly and all).

So please don’t treat me any different. I’m still the same person inside. Just with one more email subscriber to my blog. And seven extra clicks today.

No really.

It is not a big deal.

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Goal for November

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Me and my favorite 3 year old. I think I told him to look “skeptical”. It appears that neither of us knows what that looks like.

I asked for goal ideas in my last post and Carolyn had the winner: to get my Christmas shopping done this month. When I read that one I got all excited and it felt like finding “the one”. Like that first date with my now-husband. Like eating cookie butter for the first time. Like a new haircut that looks awesome. It was just right.

So- game on for that! I know my female family members read this here blog, so I will not be sharing their gifts on here (except maybe with a link, which they can click or not click on… hmm…) but I’ll tell you what I get for everyone else as I do it.

I already know what I’ll do for the nieces in my family, of which there are five. I’m getting playsilks and we’ll dye them when we are together. I started seeing these on crunchy-parent blogs years ago and parents say they have staying power because they can be anything. A blanket for a doll, dress-up accessory, fort-maker, etc. I might put a command hook on the ceiling above Chicken’s bed and let her hang one as a sort of canopy. Or if we ever get around to putting bunk beds in the kids’ room they could hang them down for their own private bunk space. I think I’ll get them in scarf-size for my older nieces, so they can wear them if they like how the dye turned out. That might go over better for the 10 and older set.

Mostly, I like the hands-on gifts with my nieces and nephews. I’ve had good success with bouncy balls, shrinky dinks, and sunprints. We also made flubber a couple of years ago, which is just the gift that keeps on giving. And if they lose interest in the object a day later, it is fine with me. It is mostly fun to just make something with them.

Moving on from Christmas ideas…

If you are a fan of Love and Logicyou will be familiar with the idea of getting your kids to do chores as a consequence for whining. And my 3 year old is in a top-notch whining stage. (I dare any 3 year old in a five mile radius to go head-to-head in a whining contest. He will take you down). Love and Logic advises that parents have kids do chores to replace the energy that their whining drained out of the poor, worn-down, parent. You’re supposed to sort of warn with an “uh-oh!” so your kid knows he is treading on thin ice. Then, when you hear that godforsaken whining again, you sadly inform them that they have drained so much of your energy with their whining that they will need to do some work to build that energy back up.

So when Monkey is on a real whine bender, I hand him some baby wipes (my cleaning method of choice. I will continue to buy these long after my kids are out of diapers) and have him get to work wiping down the baseboards in a room. After two days he has cleaned the entire upstairs. And doorways and doors. I don’t like whining, but I do like clean baseboards.

Might I suggest this to other parents, when the idea of a time-out just doesn’t feel rewarding enough to you? I have also gotten clean kitchen floors and kitchen baseboards with this arrangement. And clean windows at the front of the house. (Well, I had to clean the windows again because frankly my 5 year old did a crap job. But she was working and- honest- seeing that DID replace the energy she had drained out of me from her earlier tantrum). Sometimes time-out loses its’ pizzazz. When it does- hand them baby wipes and put them to work.

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Window Cleaner on the left. Baseboard Cleaner on the right. Both have put in their time on the kitchen floor.

Update: The “Love and Logic” link is my first foray into the world of Amazon affiliates. If you click and buy anything via this site, I will make mad money. Like, seriously, so much.

How My Life is Different Without Facebook

You’re probably curious as to what this post is about.

I’m a little over a week into my facebook-free life and 1) it really doesn’t matter much at all and 2) there are plenty of other ways to kill time, if you just look for them.  Blogs, for example.

A friend of mine was published recently and I missed reading the chatter about that on facebook.  I read the two comments on the actual website, but I know there was a ton more discussion on people’s facebook pages.  It makes sense- facebook is easier to comment on, so a lot of people just do that instead of taking the extra 7 seconds to fill in their email address and check the box that verifies they’re not a spammer.  And word verification on a blog or website?  Forget about it.  I usually just move on if I see that, and keep my solid gold comments to myself.

Facebook, on the other hand, doesn’t require that stuff.  I know that this little blog o’ mine gets more feedback via my personal facebook page than in the comments section here.  So yeah- I have missed reading what people are saying about this friend’s article and- for a little bit- thought about signing back in to catch up.  And I miss the extra comments and “likes” when I post my blog on facebook.  There, I said it.

Other than that, I miss facebook the same way I miss a fingernail I couldn’t stop biting.  (I’ve been biting my fingernails as long as I can remember!  There is a long history to this analogy).

Fingernail, I didn’t want to bite you, but you kept calling me back.  I couldn’t stay away, as much as I wanted to.  As much as I purposed to.  As many times as I vowed to let you grow and forget about you.  I know that biting you is, most of the time, not all that good for me-   but, fingernail, you’re always there!  And the temptation is too great.

(My facebook relationship, in a nutshell).

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Here is one thing I did because I was NOT piddling around on facebook:  Cleaned three windows!

Back story: sometime in the last year, two friends had their windows washed within a couple of weeks of each other.  Both commented on how much brighter their house looked as a result.  And then I saw this, about how taking your screens out lightens up your space.  Of course, then I looked at my windows downstairs and saw all the little spots on them that is probably fly poop but I refuse to google it to find out because eww gross I’d rather not know.  And also I let my kids stand on the furniture to watch exciting things like the trash truck!  And recycling truck!  So there are little hand prints all over the windows.  In short, you could barely see through the filth and the concept of clean windows was popping up on my radar left and right.

When I think about washing windows, I think “hire it out!” because my memory of that task is my mother, taking our windows out of their…window spaces(?) and spreading them out all over the living room and then cleaning them for hours.  Bleh.  Who can get pysched up for that?  Not me, Jose.  So that task sat at the bottom of a to-do list for the past year.

So when my husband casually tilted the window out of its window space(?) last week I was all NO WAY IT IS THAT EASY???  And cleaned two of them the next day.  I used some Lysol that my in-laws left here when they took care of my kids.  (Because we don’t have any Windex, if that tells you how often I clean mirrors or windows.  And no, you hippies out there, I didn’t have any vinegar either.)  I used Lysol, the roll of paper towels that my in-laws also left (I don’t buy those.  Can I buy back a few hippie points?) and the issue of the Hook free newspaper I had just finished reading.  Easy peasy.  It is not a perfect cleaning job, but who cares as long as I’m not looking through fly poop to see the garbage truck anymore?

I did the third window yesterday.  The baby woke up from his nap and I thought to myself “Self, I bet you can wash that third living room window before the baby really gets pissed that he is still in his crib”.  And I did.  I cleaned the window and got the baby before he got really riled up.  I felt like homemaker of the year.

Now I can’t stop looking out my windows and marveling at the difference.  Seriously.  And once the stupid stinkbugs back up off me and this cool weather stays, I will take the screens out, too.  For extra brightness!