I have finished my 1 week challenge of taking pride in our home and valuing what we have.
Doing little projects each day helped me to combat the feelings of being overwhelmed.
The projects didn’t take that long, and can be dotted throughout the day. I found that timing the jobs was helpful.
When you complete a project (like de-cluttering and finding a proper home for things) you end up reaping the benefits from that moment on. Benefits like having less stress at looking at that unfinished project and saving time because things are orderly.
If you keep on top of your chores you have more time to “play”!
It is not unreasonable to get the kids involved. Some days they were more willing than others, but it is important to persevere as it is a valuable life lesson that we are teaching them.
De-cluttering feels good!
If you want to take better care of what you have, and get your family involved, here are some tips for you:
Make it a family effort. Share with the family that there is going to be a new family ethos or culture, where “we take care of our things”. Share examples of how they will be involved in this vision.
Take the time to teach the children. How are the children going to know how to treasure our things, unless we take the time to show them? We need to be aware of and take advantage of the learning opportunities in our children’s lives.
De-clutter. Go through our stuff and get rid of things we don’t need. This reduces mess and saves us time and effort (cleaning it up, storing it, etc etc). It also makes room for things that we really do want to keep.
A place for everything, and everything in its place. When everyone knows where things belong, clean up is easier. Choosing appropriate “homes” also helps prevent items getting wrecked.
Set an example. As parents we need to lead by example. How can we expect the kids to take on this challenge, if we are too tired to put any effort in?
Buy quality things that will last long. Get out of the habit of buying cheap things, that will eventually break. We will save money in the end.
Fix and mend. When things start to break or tear, fix it up or get rid of it. This again is building on the family ethos of “we take care of our things”.
Think before you buy. Where will we put it? Do we need it? Will it break easily? How hard is the upkeep?
Take pride in what you do have. Whether our possessions are as old as our great great grandma or our decor is more shabby than chic…we still can take pride in what we do have. When we let our possessions fall in disarray, we are basically saying it is ok for us to live that way, WE need to have pride in ourselves. We are worth it!
Do a little, often. Have little projects you are going to tackle every day. This can be random areas, or a regular (easy) cleaning routine. Flylady’s sneak peak for the week, has daily jobs in their chosen area for the week.
Perhaps in the end it is embracing a type of minimalist lifestyle where we:
get rid of what we don’t need
take good care of what we do have
do not become a slave to the things we own (and the upkeep of it)
therefore freeing ourselves to value what really matters most…which are the people in our lives.
Taking pride in our home: We were able to reap the benefits of keeping on top of the housework this week and had a rest from any cleaning! This doesn’t mean that our house was spotlessly clean, we just didn’t need to catch up on a week’s worth of housecleaning (like we sometimes have to do on a Saturday).
Taking pride in our car: Kids all took their bits and pieces out of the car when we got home.
We were able to find all the things we needed for our outing easily. Sunscreen, picnic blanket, pinic bag and water bottles were all in their “homes”.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
I still have some things that we used on our outing that need to be returned to their “homes”.
I have been amused this week at what mysterious objects that seem to randomly appear in the bathroom. Today it was 3 magnetix balls and our mysterious elf also played with the bath toys while they were at it.
I had a discovery date today Photos and details to come!
Photo by Juggling Motherhood
Taking pride in our home: Wiped down our door and some walls while the kids got ready for school.
Taking pride in our home: Washed the sheets and duvet cover from our bed.
Taking pride in our home/car: Just doing the usual routines and chores to keep the house tidy. Everyone pitching in means that we have more time for play. Today was a BEAUTIFUL day in Wellington! We went to Khandallah Park after school, so we had dinner a bit later, but we got everything done in the end.
Photo by Juggling Motherhood
Enjoyed all the space that we have been keeping tidy over the week.
I started making dinner on time today. This meant that after the kids did their chores, we could have “family fun time”. Tonight we played hide and seek in the dark (see Fave Five: Fun and easy games). The kids are soo good at hiding! It was a great way to end the day!
Taking pride in our home: Spent 20 minutes vacuuming the house before we did the school pick up. Yay! I grabbed a plastic supermarket bag and tied it to my belt loop in my jeans so that I could gather any foreign objects while I was vacuuming. I was able to re-home a hairclip and some new toothpaste???
Taking pride in our car: When we got home from school, I encouraged the kids to take out all their bits and pieces again. I gathered up any rubbish and quickly vacuumed it.
Taking pride in our things: I thought I would rotate some of the toys we haven’t played with in our while. I took the crate out with all the games that required batteries - mini laptops, musical games etc. I think taking pride in our things means lovingly playing with our toys, and getting rid of the toys that we no longer play with.
De-cluttered: Took the opportunity to de-clutter the crate while we had it out.
Throw away: A musical toy which half the piano worked.
Taking pride in our home: Reminded the kids during the day to put away the things they are no longer playing with. Even compared to yesterday, they are getting faster at tidying up.
Taking pride in our home: After the kids went to bed I cleared my desk!
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
When I vacuum, I might attach two bags to by belt loop next time – one on each side. One for re-homing objects, and one for rubbish. Could have done with this when I was vacuuming the hallways, and there wasn’t a rubbish bin handy. (Let’s hope that no one comes to the door while I am looking so trendy!)
I need to find a way to keep all my “to do” stuff together in an organised way on my desk. The reason most of the stuff ended up on my desk was because I was thinking I needed to ”do” something with it.
It is amazing how easily foreign objects find their way into the wrong rooms. Tonight I found another toilet roll on the floor of the bathroom with toilet paper scattered around it (DS4 wanting to make toilet roll men). A cup from the kitchen and a random part of a toy found their way to the bathroom sink. I wonder what I will find in the bathroom tomorrow night
It was so helpful to have lots of bench space in the kitchen this morning. My daughter was turning 7, and we have a tradition where they get breakfast in bed. So my hubby and I were both in the kitchen making the special breakfast and getting the school & Playcentre lunches ready without tripping over each other.
Taking pride in our home: As we were about to leave the house, I was thinking to myself, “I wish I allowed enough time to clear and wipe this bench (the one we ate off)”. Then I thought about my goal from yesterday of “just doing it”, and started to quickly clear away the dishes and did a quick wipe down. It took only a few minutes!
Taking pride in our car and our things: We all took stuff out of the car and put them away in the right place.
Taking pride in our home & Found a home: I gathered DD2′s books from her room and stood them up on her table, leaning against each other. When she went get a new book for me to read to her, she was having trouble when the books kept falling down, and not standing up properly. After she went to bed, I moved the little table next to her bed and placed the books in one of my spare wicker baskets and put on the table.
Taking pride in our home: After I put DD2 to bed, I wiped down the walls by the stairs. DD8 said, “I want to help!” hehehe. So she tackled the pencil marks, and I did the finger marks. Aaaahhh..felt good when we finished!
Taking pride in our home: I cleaned the bathroom and rid it of all the foreign objects (toys) that found its way in there. There was a bowl from the kitchen? a car? some dolls clothes? wooden birthday candles but no wooden cake?
De-cluttered & Found a home: I have been a mum for nearly 9 years, and I have FINALLY bought those mesh bags that you can hang up to keep your bath toys in. So I de-cluttered the toys and put the bag to use.
Throw away: Used shampoo bottle. Old bath toys. Old toilet rolls that didn’t make it into the bin!
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
The car still needs work.
My desk is in a shocking state.
I want to vacuum the house!
More walls to wipe.
I want to start timing how long my cleaning projects take, because it doesn’t feel long.
We shared the goal with our family about “valuing what we have” during Family Home Evening tonight. We showed a video that hubby and I took earlier. Hubby had the video camera and pretended to be a friend that had not been to the house before, and I was showing him around our house – he saw the messy shoes by the door, baskets of random stuff in the hallway – you name it, he saw it. We talked about all sorts with the kids. We also emphasied that we want our house to be nice, because it feels good to live in a tidy, well cared for house.
Taking pride in your home, is part of valuing what you have. And a way to take pride in your home, is to keep it tidy. So I will put some stuff under the heading, ”taking pride in our home” whenever I do some tidying.
Another way we can value what we have is by separating what is valuable from what is not. I will be posting things I have “decluttered”, “thrown away”, and stuff I will be “giving away” under headings too.
Once we decide what we value and want to keep, we need to find it an appropriate home. A home where it is easy to put away, looks uncluttered and where it won’t get wrecked. I will be posting stuff under “found a home”. When something doesn’t have an obvious home, it makes cleaning up harder because it isn’t just a two step process – found an item, put away an item (feel good). It becomes – found an item, think about where to put it, walk to a place, too full, walk to another place, doesn’t really go there, give up, put it with a bunch of other random stuff (feel defeated and guilty)
Taking pride in our home: Wiped down the cabinet doors in the kitchen while I was making dinner.
De-cluttered & Found a home: I decluttered two of my kitchen cabinets. I found suitable homes for my appliances that were cluttering up my bench space which I needed for my cooking. Also I found a good home for my vases thanks to new space in my cabinets.
Throw away: Old pan, old breastpump. Lots of random bits that were collected when were speed cleaning and “hid” the items in the cabinet.
Give away: A random glass plate and a random plastic cup.
Taking pride in our home: Wiped down the kitchen benches, that were now clear of my breadmaker and rice cooker. Gave some TLC to my gas cooker and made it sparkle.
Taking pride in our home: After putting DD2 bed, I put away some of her clothes on my way out.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Make sure the kids and I pick up our stuff as we leave the room or car.
No longer close my eyes to things that need to be done because the job is too big. Instead, break the job down into managable steps, and just do 1 thing, or 5 minutes worth. Challenge myself to do something.
Hubby is a minamlist by nature, where I am one in training. His tip was to always make time to tidy up before moving on to another activity. I’m sure that a lot of you do that already
Ugh! “Another scratched CD” I thought to myself as I heard a song skip while I was driving this afternoon.
The thought that kept popping into my head after that was, “we don’t take care of our stuff”, “how are we going to change that?!”.
I could blame it on being too busy, not having good systems in place, having too much stuff, being too easy-going etc etc. All of that plays a part, BUT I think that we are at a stage where we need to instill in each of us, a family ethos that “We take care of our things”. The fact is, when we FEEL it is too hard, we leave it (case and point: sorting the clothes that the kids have grown out of). We need to change the way we think and our habits. We need to tackle a little…often. That way it won’t be an overwhelming job, and we will avoid burn out.
So this is what I will be tackling this week, amidst birthdays and birthday preparation! yikes!
If you have any tips along the way, I would love to hear them!
I have come to the end of my goal of ”sticking to a schedule”.
I found that you need to find a scheduling system that works for you. You may like using a planner diary, maybe you have a PDA or a phone that you can sync with your computer calendar, perhaps you like using a “real” calendar rather than a digital one. I found that using a weekly planner that I put on the fridge worked for me (it was just a A4 sized paper which had room for me to write down 7 days of the week, and under each day of the week I had room to write the things I wanted to do that day, and room to write a rough time schedule of the day.)
Previously I had been writing my appointments in 3 different places and was not consolidating them (I was using my cellphone calendar, my family calendar in the kitchen and my google calendar). Sometimes I would rely on my memory to store important information – not a GOOD idea! Consequently, I had missed appointments and even turned up to appointments a week early. This week, I used a weekly planner to help me organise my life! I used it as the central place that I would write the appointments, and I would check all the calendars daily to see if anything was on. Not only did I become more reliable, but I found that I was always thinking ahead to “what needed to be done before the appointment” eg putting on dinner early, buy certain things for that event, adjust routines to fit around the appointment. This meant that the build up to the appointment was smoother and less stressful.
I also did not have a very good system to write down tasks/to-do lists. So I would usually end up running around like a headless chicken before the deadline because I had forgotten about it. This week I was more pro-active. When I got new tasks, I would look at my planner to see when would be a good time to do this task. My appointments were written in the planner, and were up to date, so I could see at a glance where I could slot it in. Much more things were getting done straight away, so I didn’t have that extra stress hanging over my head. I no longer felt I was “behind the 8 ball”.
I found it really useful to have my planner by my bed in the evening. It is funny you seem to remember things as you are getting ready to sleep. It was a relief to get the ideas down on paper, instead of having to tell myself to remember it. I was also able to refer to the planner in the morning when I woke up, since it was right by my bed.
Being aware of what needed to be done, helped me avoid getting sidetracked by less important things.
It was easier to make a morning routine, since I would normally do the same thing every day. It was helpful to be a bit generous with the schedule/routine, so that I would be less likely to fall behind in my entire schedule if I went a bit over in certain parts. I found it more difficult to make routines for the rest of the day, because the days were all so different. This is something that I will continue to work on, so that I can use my time more effectively.
As you have more balls to juggle, it is imperative that you have a good scheduling system. Here are some tips that helped me:
Have a command centre. Have a central place that you write down your appointments and tasks.
Always record new tasks or appointments straight away. Don’t rely on your memory! Write down new appointments and tasks as soon as you make them.
Refer to the list often. It isn’t much use if you write it down, and never look at it. Make a habit of looking at your schedule in the evening and in the morning.
Take your schedule to bed with you. Take the planner and a pen to your bedside in the evenings, so that you can add anything that comes to your mind as you prepare for bed. In the morning you will be able to refer to your planner when you first wake up.
Get plenty of sleep. It makes a HUGE difference if you discipline yourself to get penty of sleep. Go to sleep early enough so that you can wake up before the kids, and so you can have some quiet time to yourself before you start your day. Having plenty of sleep also means that you have the energy to DO the things that you have on your schedule.
Schedule in when you will accomplish task. Make sure you take items off your to-do list and slot them into the time where you think you can complete it.
Just say “no”. If you can’t fit it into your schedule, perhaps it is time you start saying “no” to some things. (I have found that you also have to say “no” to YOU! We are so good at coming up with new projects, when we haven’t even finished the old ones!)
Prioritse how you spend your time. This way you don’t end up doing what Richard G Scott said, and “fill life with ‘good things’ so there is no room for the essential ones”. You know deep down what the essential things are. Sometimes they fail to get on the schedule because there is no obvious “deadline”. But we must always make time for (in no particular order) our family, our children, our spouses and ourselves!
Review your schedule. At the end of the week look at your schedule and ask yourself : Was it balanced? Are there areas that need work? What can I do better this coming week? What ‘essentials’ do I need to schedule in?
Lastly, do not be a slave to your routine. Schedule more than enough time for tasks, be flexible, change it if necessairly. Most importantly, it is a tool to help take the stress out of your day. If you find you are getting stressed trying to keep to the routine/schedule, you have made it too unrealistic, and you have too much on. It may be time for you to purge some activities out of your day. Kids pick up on our moods, so use the planner to assist you to make the days with your children more enjoyable!
Attended a really interesting workshop by Pennie Brownlee about “The Nature of Creativity”. She talked about how creativity is core-central to being human, and how it has to be engaged and exercised so that it
can develop. She covered the nature of creativity, both for our children and for ourselves. She covered the different stages of the creative process, what blocks creativity, how to unblock it, how to keep it flowing.
Had nice clothes to wear to the course thanks to the laundry done throughout the week.
DD8 attended a birthday party while I was at the course and there was no stress about rushing to get a birthday present.
While at the course we got to draw with pastels. I enjoyed it so much that after I picked up DD8 from the b-day party, we went and got some oil pastels and some blank art books for all of us. The kids and I spent the rest of the day drawing.
Got to spend the night chilling and talking with hubby.
The sky was so unusual that I decided to take a photo using my cellphone while I was on my walk.
The weather wasn’t so cold today, so I had a lovely walk early this morning.
I got called this morning to fill in for someone at Playcentre, and it wasn’t stressful getting everyone ready, thanks to the routines.
The car didn’t start this morning, so we quickly carried 2 carseats and backpacks over to my mum’s place next door and used her car to go to school and Playcentre. Kids were dropped off 15mins before school started and I got to Playcentre at 9am – not bad!
Another notice was sent back to school without the usual delay.
Done some things off my to-do list.
The planner came in handy to tell me that tonight was going to be only free night to get birthday presents and craft things.
Bumped into some friends while I was out shopping, that was nice!
Spent some time planning for tomorrow, since I have a few things to remember.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Forgot to arrange for someone to look at the car yesterday when I had some trouble starting the car. This morning we got into the car to leave and it didn’t go!
I think I want to start dinner during the day. After I do afternoon tea it’s nearly time to cook dinner, and I find at that time of the day, I am craving down time to myself.
Able to keep focused during the day, so time didn’t get sucked up on unimportant stuff.
Laid out my clothes for next day.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
Need to find a better way view my schedule. I kept on leaving my diary all around the house. So it wasn’t with me when I needed it.
Will try putting a planner on the fridge, so I can refer to it often.
The morning routine worked better than the day and evening routine because I had allocated times to each task, rather than a list of “to-dos”. This helped me easily see what needed to be done next, and kept me on task.
You know you have a problem on your hands when you miss appointments or turn up to an appointment a week early! (yes they both happened to me this month!) I would write my appointments down in 3 different places (my cellphone, the family calendar in the kitchen, and google calendar), but I didn’t have a routine to consolidate them, or review them on a daily basis. I had also been going to bed late during the school holidays.
Well, today is the first day back at school for Term 4, so what better goal than to get myself organised and follow a routine!!
TOTAL FUN HAD: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000….
We ended up cutting down on TV. I wanted to reduce the amount of TV the kids watch so that they would get out of the habit of always asking to watch TV when they were bored. Turns out that this week, we were able to cut down the TV watching to a DVD a day. The kids weren’t too interested in the TV (except for DS4. I would get the question from him at least once a day – but believe me, that is 100 times better than before). They were content to play with their toys or each other. It was great!
We ended up cutting down on Sugar & Fat. We didn’t spend any extra money on takeaways or other spontaneous treats or junk food so we reduced the fat and sugar that we consumed this week.
I had so much fun not spending any money! Having a list of possibilities helped me stay one step ahead so that I was always thinking “what cool thing could we do next” rather than “I need some time out, why don’t the kids play by themselves”.
The kids had a really great time, and didn’t seem to be effected by the fact that the activities that we were doing didn’t cost any money.
I think I would like to do another spend free week next holidays! If you want to give it a go, here are some tips:
Make a goal and share it with your family. Sell it to get support.
Research all the free activities in your area. A good place to go is your local council website or google “kids events” to find event calendars.
Choose activities that suit your children. Keep in mind what their interests are, their age, their abilities etc. Make a list.
Maintain a tidy kitchen and tidy play area. If you are staying home, make a special effort to keep the play area and kitchen clean. This way you have options. If your kitchen bench is a total mess all the time, you are less likely to do baking, or other fun things like potions, and playdough etc. If your play area is a mess, the kids won’t be in the mood to play there. You w0n’t want to be there. Once again you reduce your options, you won’t be able to play games or toys easily or do crafts etc.
Extend outings by being aware of what activities are available in the area. If you go on an outing, think of what other things are close by that you could also visit. Eg Go to a mall show, then go to a nearby park.
Be prepared. Always pack food, water and extra clothes when you go out on an outing. This means you won’t need to cut your trip short, and you won’t be tempted to spend money on food.
Be flexible. Be aware of the circustances (kids’ mood, your mood, weather etc) and do activities accordinging. Only tell your kids what the next activity is, rather than the run down of the whole day. That way you can change your mind when needed. I usually have 2 or 3 options of what we could do next and then narrow it down as we finish up our current activity.
“Be present!” Have fun with the kids, get involved!
Today was the day that I had secretly been dreading. We usually go on a family outing on Saturday – were we going to be tempted to spend? Would all the week’s work go down the drain because of one day?
I looked up the word detox and in Wikipedia and it said that detox diets involves a change in consumption habits in an attempt to remove toxins from the body. This last week has been made me change some of my habits, and helped remove some of the toxic thoughts that were in my head like “just buy it”, “you need it”, “it will be fine” and finally “go for the activities that cost money, because they are the fun ones”.
How we spent day 6:
Had a lovely blissful sleep in courtesy of my hubby
Went for a walk to a bush reserve near our house
Went to see a horse in a nearby paddock
Had lunch at home
Went to our local school to ride bikes
Watched DD2′s DVD
DD2 and I had a nap together (I have no idea why I needed a nap after this morning’s sleep in?! DD2 doesn’t usually nap either? Can we blame it on the movie? Or maybe all the walking we did today?)
Hubby and DS4 made afternoon tea for us (DS4 was really getting into it, it was so cute!)
We all did a 15 minute tidy up of a stash basket we had accumulated things in during the week
Hubby made dinner HUBBY’S TEMPTATION: He wanted to go out and buy a sweet treat
We did drawings and crafts
MONEY SPENT TODAY: $0.00
THINGS I HAVE LEARNED TODAY:
I love it when we find win-win situations. Hubby and I decided that he would look after the kids for part of the morning, then I looked after the kids while he went to volley ball.
You can make your own adventures. While hubby was at volley ball, the kids and I went for a walk. We have a bush reserve near our house, and one day my DS4 was leading the way and found/made a new path that lead to a horse paddock. The path he found/made was overgown with knee high plants, so each time we go through this path that “no one knows about” we all feel like it is a bit of an adventure as we step over the plants and climb up over a small hill to get to the paddock. The kids have named the horse Hony – pronounced ho-knee (it is the cross between pony and horse – aren’t kids creative!)
Sometimes it is good to be led by the kids’ interest. As I started to think about what we could do after lunch, my girls mentioned how they wanted to ride their bikes at their school. Perfect! That was our family outing for the day. Cost: Free!
To a child love is spelled T*I*M*E. This week has challenged some of my toxic thinking like “go for the activities that cost money, because they are the fun ones”. I now feel that as long as you are enjoying yourself as a family, any activity is a fun activity. Like today, hubby took the time to involve DS4 (Darling son aged 4) in the preparation of afternoon tea. DS4 helped distribute the fruit that hubby cut. He took orders from everyone on what spread they wanted on their toast. He helped choose what was for afternoon tea. Well, you should have seen the look on his face when he called us for afternoon tea…absolute pride! What made this magically moment even more touching, was when his sibling really showed appreciation to him for making their food *warm fuzzies!!*
Mothernature didn’t co-operate with us today, it was very windy and cold. If the weather was better, I think I would have liked to have gone on a bushwalk. In the end, the children were in a melllow mood, and were getting into their own projects. I also got into a big project myself, and I was so busy, that I didn’t get around to taking any photos today…I also faced my biggest challenge which had me thinking about breaking the spending detox!
How we spent day 5:
Older girls did portrait sketches
DS4 used his mobilo to make transformers (he rented a transformer DVD last night. It was so cute how he would transform his mobilo and make that “chh chh chuu chhhuu” transformer sound)
DD2 played with dolls (isn’t it weird how the children take on a higher voice when they are doing the voice for the dolls…makes me smile every time!)
I moved the car out of the garage so the kids could ride their bikes inside
I started decluttering the garage and ended up staying there most of the day
DS4 found our picnic basket and decided to make us an indoor picnic with bread and fruit
All of the kids enjoyed the new space I made for them to do their drawings and crafts
The charity shop came to pick up 2 tables, a cot mattress, and a few other bits and pieces. BIGGESTTEMPTATION: I really wanted to take a load of rubbish to the tip/dump. I was really torn: finish my goal for the week or finish decluttering the garage and pay to go to the dump. ugh!
Hubby was late from work, so the kids started watching out for him out the window. All of a sudden I heard “DADDY!” then another wouldn’t know what to do with themselves so yelled out “HIDE HIDE!!” TEMPTATION: Felt like having a lazy Friday and pick up hubby from work and get take aways
Had a “breakfast dinner” at home (just to change things up, we sometimes have scrabbled eggs and/or bacon, and or mini sausages and/or pancakes for dinner as a fun treat)
After we played with the kids in the evening, we ate the traffic light jelly that we made in a bowl a few days ago
Got a DVD for DD2 that we will probably watch tomorrow
For a date, hubby and I watched a movie on tv together
MONEY SPENT TODAY $0.00
THINGS I HAVE LEARNED TODAY:
Sometimes you just have to let go of your things. I had to make some tough choices today about some of the furniture we have (did I mention I’m a bit of a hoarder!). Asking these questions, helped me to let them go: Does the item fit, or have a home? Do you use it now? Is it even worth keeping?!
I had trained myself to look past the mess of the house all these years. In reality, I was never really looking past the mess, if anything the mess was like a “to-do list” staring back at me, and that can make anyone feel down. As we de-clutter the house, and all pitch in to keep it tidy, I actually feel lighter!
Whenever I finish de-cluttering a section of the house, I ALWAYS say to myself afterwards “you should have taken a “before shot”. Then I do the same mistake the next time, and the next time! Will I ever learn?!
I love watching my kids play together! I also love it when they give each other sympathy when they get hurt.
I’m not sure when everyone else in the blogging world writes their posts!?! I seem to be doing mine late at night. I guess when you read what I have been up to today, you will understand why!
How we spent day 4:
Woke up to a tidy house. Thank you kids and hubby!
The Wind Chimes they made at the craft workshop & one of the balloon animals they got at the circus show
The girls made wind chimes at the hardware store kid’s clinic. TEMPTATION: A pack of two nightlights were calling my name “buy me, you know you want me, I would look so cool in your kid’s room!”)
Went to a beach that we haven’t been to before
Went home to get changed and have lunch. TEMPTATION: I was starting to feel a bit hungry on the drive back to our place. Had to talk myself out of stopping off at my favourite bakery and getting a sugar donut.
Went and watched a juggling/circus act at the mall. TEMPTATION: Curse those mall ice creams! There’s just something about sitting together and having a relaxing snack to finish off an outing.
The girls got taught how to do the diabolo in a workshop after the show. The younger kids and I enjoyed going up and down the escalators over and over again! TEMPTATION: There was a coin operated massage chair, that looked very inviting!
We got some balloon animals made after the show
DD6 won a $10 mall voucher at the show!
DS4 looking at worms up close!
On the way home we stopped by our local mall to go see the Science Roadshow. DD2 was in heaven unlocking and locking a larger than normal lock with a larger than normal key at an exhibit that showed how the inside of a key lock works. By the way! I didn’t even think about the mall ice creams! yay!!
We rented DD4′s free DVD
DD4 watched his DVD while the others pottered around
Had dinner at home
Hubby and I spent some lovely quality time together and had a nice dessert treat
MONEY SPENT TODAY: $0.00
MONEY GAINED TODAY: $10 DD6′s mall voucher, $45 supermakert voucher I got in the mail from my grocery loyalty points, $10 voucher for free online grocery delivery. TOTAL: $65 (We spend nothing, and gain $65! That’s crazy!)
THINGS I HAVE LEARNED TODAY:
Although we did a lot of things today, I felt like at any time, if things got to be too much, we could just go home and unwind. Once again this meant that there was no pressure or an expectation that we needed to do this or that. Since we had no real concrete plans, I would tell the children what we were doing next as we came to it (eg I wouldn’t tell them we were doing A, then B then C). That way there was room to really guage what activity would suit the mood of the children at that time.
Having an idea of what things are available to do in the area that you are in is helpful. Thanks to the research I did at the beinning of the week about what events were on and what activities to do, I always had a couple of options available on what to do next.
Being prepared and organised paid off, but there is always room for improvement. Packing food and water not only extends your outing (like I said in “day two“), but it means you are less likely to have to stop off and buy food – very helpful when you are on a spending detox! Going to the beach was another spur of the moment thing, so I had not packed any towels or swimsuits etc. The kids got a bit wet (some more than others), and because we weren’t too far from home, we just popped back home to get dressed. I’m thinking that having a couple of towels that lived in the car wouldn’t be a bad thing. I remember a couple of summers ago, the sand toys lived in the boot, because we were always going to the beach.
Sometimes you can make things work and sometimes you might have to revisit it another time. Once again the younger ones weren’t too interested in the craft workshop. Unfortunately the placement of the craft table was a little bit further from the play area and outside area. So trying to be with 2 sets of kids was proving to be a bit difficult, especially since the craft activity this time was a bit more tricky and needed more adult help. Thankfully a lovely grandma, assisted one of my daughters who was stuck. I thanked her thoroughly and she seemed happy to help. *bless!* I think this craft workshop is one that I will have to revisit when the kids get a bit older or I will have to get creative in how to manage the children (eg in the past my friend and I arranged to take turns taking the older children to an activity while the other stayed back with the younger children). Keeping the younger kids busy and happy by going up and down the escalator can definitely be counted as getting “creative”!
You feel a stronger family bond when you all pitch in and help out. There were times when the older girls would push the pram for me while I was holding DS4, or would help with food prep or everyone helped to clear the car of food and wet clothes etc. It just makes you feel a sense of togetherness.
The sun just makes me want to go outdoors! The weather was really bizarre this week. It seemed to know whenever we wanted to go out, and stayed nice for that duration of time! On Monday it poured down. On Tuesday it was nice for half the day (the part where we went out). On Wednesday it rained and was cold. Today it was sunny and warm for most of the day.
Even though kids are kids (and I had the sort of day that you would expect when you go out with children who are aged 8 through to 2), in the end, I feel like I had a great day with the kids! And that is a good feeling!