Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My First Day Off!

Tomorrow is my first day off in months! 

I mean I've had days off but normally my days off are; favors for other people, photo shoots, babysitting, helping with random things I'm asked, house cleaning, laundry doing, kid running, husband packing, lawyer appointment, estate settling, never doing what I want days off.

Tomorrow I am spending the day going places I want and doing things I enjoy and I just might let my husband come along for the company.  If he can be good.  Well... I guess he's coming since the day ends with a doctors appointment and I will need him for a ride home because I might not feel particularly great.  But he better be up to be a girlfriend for the first half of the day and a husband for the second!

But!  Other than the visit to the doctor, it will be a day of thrift and craft stores for me!  I can't wait.  It has been months since this girl who shopped thrift stores back when they were tabu has walked into a Goodwill.  I have shopped Goodwill for over 20 years.  My dad found this particularly entertaining when I was in high school and was voted 'Best Dressed' and often teased he would let the secret out, that I was sneaking off to Goodwill for clothes while everyone else was going to the mall.

So, tomorrow is MY day!

Wish me luck on finding lots of treasures!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Decorating ADD

I can't seem to find my style in this house.  I'm not sure what happened but somehow... I've lost it.

In the past month I have painted my hallway upstairs twice and have completely hated it both times. 

I started to work on my oldest son's bedroom but can't seem to find bedding and have reached a standstill. 

My kitchen is half completed.

My dining room sits empty.

I am just in a funk.

I keep moving from one room to another never really completing anything.  I have decorating ADD.  It's horrible and it's suffocating.

I need to complete something.

So... welcome to my living room.  My latest turn on this decorating roller coaster.

When we moved in I painted the living room the same color as the living room in our prior home thinking that it worked well with everything we had and looked amazing in our old house.  I was often complimented on how cute and homey that room was.  Ahhhh... my old house with it's pretty flat walls and crown molding.

The color is okay here.  But even with all of these windows in this room it just always seems dark.  Not helped at all by not having any overhead lighting that can be turned on at night.

This is my free Craigslist piano by the way.  It's pretty cool and fits perfectly into this goofy little nook.  It has also, as you can tell, become the place to put things that I don't know what to do with.

So, this room just isn't doing it for me... at all.

But this one is...

And so is this one...

Pottery Barn... my love...

My goal is to turn my 'frumpy caught in limbo of my previous house' living room into something beautiful. 

I need to let go of the house I had and work with what I HAVE and hopefully this will help bring on some good changes in this house. 

My inability to let go of what I had and embrace what we now have has made the most menial of tasks a challenge.  Something as small as replacing the throw pillows in the living room after the dog destroyed all but one, has left me indecisive and stuck... with one throw pillow it so seems.

So moving forward, I will embrace what I have.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Free Printables

After looking further into the Accountable Kids program and some other behavior and chore systems that are out there I decided that I am far too picky to hang three little pine peg racks with ugly little cards on my walls.  I just will never be able to bring myself to do such a thing.  Even if I hung it in the ugly bathroom, I would still have to see it and I would ultimately hate it and take it down.  Making the whole plan worthless.

So I have decided that I am going to create my own system for our house. 

Okay, first let me say that my kids heads do not spin around, they do not spew green vomit or float to the ceiling while attacking anyone who dares to enter their room.  They are good kids.  They are actually GREAT kids.  Right now we are all just going through a bit of a tough transition since my father's death a couple of months ago and I think it's bringing some trouble out.  Hopefully this system will start to get the little bit of anger and aggression that we are seeing under control.  Unfortunately, this aggression and inability to listen is not taking place at home but rather at school where it is out of my control. 

The system that I will be using for my kids is for behavior, routine and chores.  Each item completed will be assigned points and x amount of points will translate to tickets.  Tickets can then be turned in for privileges or prizes.  Privileges and prizes are assigned ticket values.  Easy.  Lots of work to put together.  But easy.

My kids are pretty excited about the idea of this program.  This week we are practicing while we wait for mom to finish getting things together.  Hopefully it only takes a week to compile everything I need.  They went to their rooms last night and turned in all of their video games and controllers and did so willingly!  Apparently the grand prize of a weekend at a water park is a great motivation. (We are actually planning this but they don't need to know that.)

I thought I would share my program as I put it together.  I made the tickets that the kids will use to turn in for video game time, movie rentals, sleepovers with friends, water park weekend (they are allowed to pool tickets for big items such as this) and whatever else I think of.  I was surprised when I was looking for tickets to steal  borrow for my kids that this was hard to find something I could just print out and go. 

Enter my tickets...

My tickets are standard business card size.  I have sent my tickets into my printers to be printed on actual business cards so that they will last longer.  Plus, 300 business cards costs about $30 compared to the price of the ink in the printer... no brainer for me.

I am attaching the tickets in two ways, the single ticket form that you can copy and download to Vista Printing or another online printer if you choose or a full sheet of tickets that can be printed and cut out individually.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What to do...

Each day I think more and more about giving up my job to become a stay at home mom.  Giving up is probably not a proper term.  It's not like I have a complete passion for my job by any means.  Quit!  That's better.

Each day I try and decide if what I am doing is best for my kids.  Is it best for them that we race through the morning and scramble out the door in a mad dash as I am trying to get 4 people ready for their day in less than an hour.  Is it best for them that when I get home at 5:30 I am in another scramble to make dinner, clean up the house, homework, baths, dishes, laundry and whatever else might be done before finally getting them to bed, late, every night.

I am torn.  I don't know what is best for us to do.  I have worked since I was 14.  Legally since 14 anyway.  I grew up in the family business, there was a nursery in the office and our parents would tote us along to work.  As we got bigger we were sent to baby sitters but still, in the summer a few days a week we would be brought out to work to price groceries (way back in the days before scanners).  So my job is a big security blanket for me.  The idea of not working when you have done it for almost 20 years is just scary and even thinking about it causes me anxiety.

But now, more than ever, I think I need to make some decisions.  My middle son is a  struggle.  A constant struggle.  He is a wonderful, affectionate, loving little boy, who also happens to be bull headed, strong willed and can bring me to my breaking point daily.  I think I need to make some serious changes for his sake.  I really do not know what to do. 

So for the past few weeks I have been researching different behavior systems to try before I go to the extreme of walking away from my paycheck.  We have done chore charts in the past but both the kids and I quickly loose interest making it a complete waste.  I think what will work best for us is a pre-planned system that all we need to do is 'insert family here' and go.

In looking for different products that I could achieve this with I found the Accountable Kids program.  I had heard of this program before from a friend who was using it with fairly good success with her children.  (She also has a difficult #2 child.)  With this system the kids are awarded points for good behavior, chores, homework, cooperation and penalized by loosing points with bad behavior, not completing chores or homework.  At the end of the week you tally up the points and award tickets to the kids based upon points earned.  They then can turn their tickets in for special privileges such as playing video games, going out to eat, having a friend over, whatever is determined to be special privileges in your house.  And the best part is, everything is planned out for you. 

My husband doesn't know if he loves the idea of this program.  So I will continue to look for some more.  If anyone has any suggestions of good behavior/chore programs I'd love to hear from you.