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Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

I love this time of the year.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas coming up.  I love decorating the house and getting the kids all dressed up in their outfits. 

My oldest boys have Homecoming Week at their school this week so that means spirit week and then my oldest is going to the Homecoming Dance with his girlfriend.  It’s his senior year so I am trying to absorb all of these memories as they go on by.  (pictures to follow).

Now it’s time to start thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday and then Christmas preparations.  One thing I have learned is that these holidays really creep up on you so now is the time to start preparing.  For me that means getting out the checklists and planner and start organizing it all so I can be ahead when the new year comes.  Lord knows it will be a very active Spring with one kid graduating high school, another one graduating preschool, and another making her First Holy Communion.  I might need a year long vacation when it’s all done.


Good thing I know how to keep a schedule.  I have perfected the art of the schedule for awhile now ever since I got Outlook at work and at home.  The calendar functionality on Outlook is the best in my opinion and I can’t imagine there being anything better.  So I use my work calendar for everything from work related meetings to personal reminders and tasks.  I color code it all and have trained my eye to focus on the most importantly coded things.  After testing and tweeking I finally found something that works for me.

That said, my schedule is always crazy.  With two high school boys and two younger ones there is always something going on.  It’s not as bad as some people I know because I try to stick to my rule of only one activity per person at any given time and now that my teens can drive and have friends who can drive it’s not as hard to make sure they are getting to their games and practices. Thank Goodness.

I also like to make sure that at the end of the day my family has a nice home cooked meal that we can sit down to.  Most of the times I reach that goal.  Sometimes I don’t.  Any suggestions on that?  I am still perfecting the home cooking thing and searching for ideas that work for me. 

Now I am off to make my schedule for the rest of the week.  Happy Week to everyone.

Geez..it’s been a while since I have blogged, hasn’t it?  I have been so completely busy these past several weeks in my personal life that I am afraid that other things like blogging had to be put on hold.  But I am back and ready to share some experiences with you all.

One of the reasons I have been gone for a while is that fact that my oldest son is in his senior year of high school.  I guess I realized somewhere in the back of my head that this would be the year that activities would really ramp up like applying to college, graduation requirements, etc. but I never really knew it would be to the level that it is.  After all when I went to college the application process was fairly easy.  There was no internet so everything was done by paper and through the mail. 

In fact the college application process can get very confusing. Thank goodness the Catholic school that my kids go to have a really wonderful college placement office that is willing to help you every step of the way.  Last Spring I attended their Spring Workshop for Junior students so I could find out all that we would need to do in the senior year. Even with that workshop I still had lots of questions and since the process really doesn’t get into full swing until the senior year starts I figured I would make an appointment with the college placement counselor in September.

I met with her and she helped to answer any left over questions I had. Good thing I am organized because I don’t know how you do it if you are not.  I wrote everything down and organized the tasks that need to get done in a calendar form.  There are SATs and ACTs still left to take, online applications to submit, essays to write, etc etc.  I have all of my checklists done so I don’t forget anything.

But this is just the beginning.  Senior year is where it all seems to happen not just in school but in extracurricular.  Graduation planning, homecoming dance, sports schedules, etc.  What would I do if I didn’t have organizing tools in my belt?  Thank goodness that I do.

I used to struggle every morning dragging myself out of bed, rushing to get myself ready, and struggling to get breakfast on the table for my kids.  Every morning was chaotic. I was running around the house with wet hair and half of my face made up for work.  I would run to the pantry and have to get a bunch of different cereals because the kids like different kinds.  I would look for bowls only to realize that the dishwasher load didn’t run last night which means I had to take time and wash a few dishes for the breakfast cereal.  Kids shoes and backpacks would go missing.  It was crazy.

So one day I did something that I usually do when chaos seems never ending.  I take a step back.  I look at the situation and I really study it.  What am I doing wrong?  How can I survive like this?  How can I make it BETTER??  There is a way.  I know it.  I can figure this out.  I have an engineering degree, after all.

I reviewed my morning ritual.  Most of it revolves around looking for stuff whether it is breakfast bowls, cups, sneakers, or backpacks.  I decided that instead of looking for those things in the morning when my time was the most precious, I would look for those things the night before and put it all out on the counter in the kitchen the night before when I did have a few minutes to spare.  Lunches get made the night before and put into the refrigerator.

So I put it all out.  Cereal containers, bowls, spoons, cups, backpacks, lunchboxes, sneakers, my purse, car keys, and my laptop bag.  With the exception of food from the refrigerator it is all there waiting for me the next morning.

The first day was like heaven.  No rushing around.  When my kids and I woke up, I leisurely walked into the kitchen, got the milk from the refrigerator and everything was all right there on the counter waiting for me.  No rushing at all.

I have been doing mornings like this for the past several months and it’s been the best morning move I have made.  What I have learned from this is that if I can shave off minutes or even seconds from my routine to make things run smoother it is so worth it in the end. 

Do you know of any opportunities in your own life to make improvements such as this?  What are they?

Messy Kids

Posted on: May 24, 2010

An organizer with messy kids?  I ponder this thought all the time because I am starting to face facts. My kids are not the organizer that I am…and they might not ever be.  I try to put all of these great systems in place in their rooms but they are just not that into it like I am.  They say organization makes them lose things and forget things…huh?  Isn’t that the purpose of organization??? 

I won’t fight it.  I mean my kids are great in so many other ways…who am I to complain?  I do cringe at the thought of them going off to college, keeping messy dorm rooms, and then possibly someone thinking that their mother must be the same way (you know how the apple doesn’t fall far from the trees). 

I guess I will cross this bridge when I come to it…maybe….or maybe I will pray they figure it out on their own. 

How about you? Do your kids have messy rooms?  Disorganized habits?  Or are they super organized?

on the way to the ballpark.  As I entered the ballpark with my husband and two young children in tow to watch my older boys varsity baseball game last night, I learned of a funny phenomenon that is going on right now in my household…

My older boys are becoming men.

It’s a strange, strange experience for me who is constantly remembering the days they were born, their first steps, their first days of school.  Add to the list their first girlfriends.

As we were sitting in the stands and my oldest was playing in the game, my other son was sitting in the stands with a bunch of his friends.  Some of them are guys and some are girls.  He was laughing and having a good time and not realizing I was watching him grow up the whole time.

I realize at some point they will have girlfriends and go out on dates.  I can tell this is coming soon…almost too soon.  It’s a mom thing. I just know.

I am thankful that I have a good relationship with my boys so that they are comfortable talking to me about their personal lives and their interests and yes, sometimes that includes them talking about members of the opposite sex.

For now I have to remember to keep my distance because  “moms are pretty uncool”.    I am not sure if you got the memo on that but it’s true.  I also have to remember to keep communicating with them and keep talking to them about how to become responsible and respectful men.

And after those talks I will go back to my room and look through the pictures of our lives together when they were still young enough to think I WAS cool and I was the only girl in their lives.

The other day I was screaming politely explaining to my two teenage boys how much I really wanted them to clean their room. I only ask them to do it an average of 1,023 times a day. 

I finally got fed up with trying to navigate around the room dodging objects like basketballs and the many pairs of clean socks laying in the middle of the floor. 

Eventually we got to cleaning it all including the night stand.  But something interesting happened at the night stand.  As I was making my way through all of the old gum and candy wrappers I found several gift cards.  Which further contributes to my theory that everytime one organizes, one finds treasure somewhere. 

We estimated that the gift cards were worth about $80 and it only seems fair that dear ole Mom gets a finders fee for finding them, right?

Mom thinks so.  😉

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