Momup Monday! What would you include in a motherhood survival kit?(Linky)

Momup Monday! What would you include in a motherhood survival kit?

So, have you ever run into an old college roommate at a coffee shop, or met your husband’s co-worker for the first time, or simply been introduced to a female without children at a social function?  They often inquire about your life, asking, “so, what do you do?” To which you reply, “I am a stay at home mother”. What follows is a slight side tilts of their head in a sympathetic manner, nod, and an expression of sorrow, as if they just found out you were diagnosed with a deadly disease. Then the icing on the cake, the ever dreaded comment, “You are JUST home with the kids”.  WHAT!!! Like it is a cake walk!

What if you were given the opportunity, right then and there, for her to truly experience all the joys of being a stay at home mother?  She would have to walk, drive, and run, in your shoes for one week.  She would have to do every single thing you do, the household chores, drive children to school and after school functions/activities, make certain all three meals are made everyday, home is tidy, laundry done, pets fed, appointments kept (dentist, orthodontist, eye doctor, vet, what have you) be the support system, referee, therapist, tutor, lego builder, boo-boo kisser and any additional hats your children require. Granted, it would only be fair to at least arm her with some sort of Motherhood survival package. After all we would be throwing her into this role cold turkey. So, the question for this Mondays Momup! Topic is: What would you include in the motherhood survival kit?

My Motherhood survival kit would include……

First and foremost I would include my 199 Favorite Bible Verses for Busy Moms book, the role of motherhood requires much prayer.  When you do everything you do in the glory of the one that made you the day is much brighter.

My sister gave me this book when I had my third child. I look forward to reading a verse every morning and I reflect upon it throughout the day.

Second, caffeine, it is a must! I am beginning to think that once you become a mother you need to kiss those well-rested days goodbye. It doesn’t matter what age your children are, the mother’s mind is a difficult thing to shut down at night, and even more difficult to reboot in the morning. So I will be adding Fairtrade coffee from Delicious Peace to my kit. (This coffee comes highly recommend by me, http://www.deliciouspeacethemovie.com/)

(This coffee comes highly recommend by me, http://www.deliciouspeacethemovie.com/)

The third item I would include in the kit is my planner. It contains everyone’s schedule, where they need to be, when they need to be there, and any additional short notes. Without my planner I would be dropping the wrong child off, missing appointments, shoot, even forgetting who I am. You can write your name, address, and who to contact in case of an emergency (Calgon take me away, remember those commercials, haha) in the front. It also has weight and measurement configurations, Toll-free numbers for rental cars, airlines, and hotels, and time zones (I guess in case the first two items don’t work you have all the necessary info to flee?) your aspirations, values, mission statement, and so much more.

Would be lost without my Franklin Covey Motherhood planner, every child has a row where you can write down their schedule for the week in addition to your own daily tasks.

The fourth item I would include is a phone to call mom.  It is funny, from the age 14, and up until the time you have children, the blame for practically everything under the sun is often placed on your mother. However when you have your first child the relationship you have with your mother is reborn.  You suddenly have such an appreciation for everything she ever did for you, and sorrow for everything you ever did to her. You can relate to her on a level you never experienced before, and it is so comforting to hear her voice on the telephone after you have experienced your own precious angel’s meltdown.  She becomes your ally in motherhood.

Lastly, and this was a tossup, and very close, but you will be happy to know that my readers beat out a glass of wine.  Did I mention it was close? While it is nice to unwind with a glass of wine of Friday evening after a long week it is far more fulfilling to read fellow mommy blogs and know you are not alone.  So, please add your blog to the Linky so that I may place it in my motherhood survival kit.

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Thank you and be sure to post a comment expressing what you would include in your kit.

There is a place for everything, now just make certain everything is in its place.

After Christmas the real fun begins, the process of finding a location to store each and every single item the children received.

Everything that comes into the house must have a home; this is a huge rule in our house.  If each and every little small thing that entered our house was just tossed somewhere our home would be clutter central and the chaos would soon follow.  In order for every single item that enters your house to have a specific home you must have the necessary storage and this all begins with your furniture.

As an interior designer I have much respect for the craftsmanship of furniture design.  The line, form, symmetry, etc. of a fine piece of furniture is easy on the eyes however as a mother I find myself always looking for the functionality of a furniture piece.   If a furniture piece is not capable of storing something I no longer see a purpose for it in my home.

Reassess your furniture, is it working for you? Can you store objects inside, on top of?

One of my favorite pieces of furniture in my home is my bench in our living room (similar to the one in the image).  The finish matches the décor, it has comfortable leather padding for guest to sit on, and the best part, it has drawers and baskets that are currently filled with our linens, winter gloves, scarves, and hats, and a basket for mommy’s planner.

Source:http://www.cymax.com

While it can be difficult to locate the perfect piece that meets the aesthetic and functional needs of your interior and your growing family, space can also play a factor.

SMALL SPACE ORGANIZERS

Source: http://www.home-designing.com/2009/08/home-storage-and-organization-furniture

If per chance new furniture isn’t in your budget or perhaps you have already purchased all the furniture your family requires the next location that can be organized for storage are the closets. This includes the linen closet, pantry, bedroom closets, and front closet.

CLOSETS

Source: http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/get-organized-00100000064718/page27.html

My closet is the same size as this closet and I am working on organizing it so that it resembles this image. At this rate by the time the children leave for college my closet should be complete.

Source:http://www.campusconfidant.com/style/style-closet-freak-out-organizing-your-small-closet-on-a-small-budget

I highly recommend removing closet doors when you have a long shallow closet and it encourages children to keep the space organized since it is visible at all times.

Source: http://kids-closet.closetsystems.co.uk/organize-kids-closet/

Once you no longer have storage available in the furniture pieces, closets, or shelves you need to become a little bit more creative. You can even have fun with it.

CREATIVE STORAGE

I want this for under my basement stairs, PLEASE!!! Talk about organized storage space and utilizing all means for storage, this is this girls dream come true.

Source: http://urbankitchenandbath.blogspot.com/2010/07/brilliant-storage-idea.html

Here is a creative way to maximize storage in a laundry room.

Source: http://www.home-designing.com/2009/08/home-storage-and-organization-furniture
Source: http://bungalowinsanity.com/2008/08/16/playroom-progress/

These are so much fun for a child’s room.

Source: http://dornob.com/surreal-storage-curved-cabinets-dressers-bookcases/?ref=search

So, the next time your little one comes home with goodies from a party, gifts from their own party, clothing from grandma, etc. remember to express the importance of finding a home for each and every item that enters the house.  This will keep the home clean and also keep you from losing your mind because everything will be in its place, no more searching the house for random objects again.  That goes for the children as well, if they lose an item simply give them a gentle reminder that if it was in its place it would not be lost and they are in charge of their material things.  Failure to place your items where they belong doesn’t constitute an emergency on mommy’s part.

Do you have a similar rule in your home? Do you have a special item in your home that helps keep you organized? What is your favorite piece of furniture and why?

Wacky Wednesday: Mommies have to poop too!

Why are moms always the last individuals in the family to get to go to the bathroom? Ever missed your window and had to live with that bloated uncomfortable feeling all day? Or worse, after waiting your turn, and rapidly approaching a closing window, your opportunity finally arises only to be interrupted by some form of chaos.  Such as the baby placing small foreign objects in her nose or ears, or, perhaps your son thinking he can fly like superman only to be hugely disappointed by the impact of gravity and the pain of his head hitting the coffee table.  Off to the emergency room, maybe you can poop tomorrow?

Source:http://mystery-solved.com/potty-train.htm

“No great genius has ever existed without some touch of poop”.

-Lucius Annaeus Seneca-

As if it wasn’t bad enough already not being able to have the opportunity to have a bowel movement, we are then reminded periodically throughout the day that every other living creature in our house is, has, or will be pooping but us.  We clean up poop from the animals, we smell the horrific farts from the dog and our husbands, we change the baby’s diapers, we wipe our 3-year-old’s butt, and we flush the toilet after our 5-year-old forgets. Yes, it is in our face all the time, everyone is pooping but mommy.

Why does daddy get 20 minutes of uninterrupted pooping time, often twice a day?  Does mommy’s colon not deserve the same? Ladies it is time to stand up for our time in the bathroom, or sit down, either way you get the point. So, grab that magazine you have been meaning to read and claim your time on the throne!

Taken from the book Minimize the Chaos in order to Maximize the Joys of Motherhood

New Year’s Resolutions: Organize those piles of papers

Source:http://www.sparkminute.com/2011/12/28/12-step-paperless-strategy/

Ever walk into someone’s home and instantly begin to have heart palpitations due to the overwhelming amount of crap and random unidentifiable odors? Ever notice that the majority is often random piles of paper, what is up with that? Unfortunately you can’t even light a scented candle to get rid of the stench due to the fear of an instant inferno. So, what to do?

I thought I might start off this post with some alarming statistics regarding mail, particularly junk mail.

The book 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth listed stopping unwanted junk mail as its number 2 recommendation. Some interesting junk mail statistics from the book include:

•Each year, 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail

•250,000 homes could be heated with one day’s supply of junk mail

•Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail every year.

Advertising by third class parties, you know those various envelopes addressed to “occupant” or “resident” that usually accumulates somewhere in your home?  You know the pile that you so unconventionally distinguish as the “I will get to this later pile”.  Breaking News…this just in.. IT IS LATER.

As mail enters your home it is very important that you send it on its necessary route. Your home is not the final destination, it is merely a layover.  There are three possible destinations for each and every piece of mail that comes into your home.

Those three routes are:

• In a designated file in an accordion folder.

• In the recycling bin

• Or, off to the shredder.

 

Accordion Folder

The accordion folder is a very important destination and is the main hub for all mail that will be kept in the home.  If you do not already have an accordion folder I would recommend you purchase one at your earliest convenience.  When purchasing your folder look for one that is visually appealing to your eye, just because it is a means for getting organized does not mean it needs to be dull or boring.  As an Interior Designer I would highly recommend purchasing organizational items that speak to your personal style.  When you select organizational supplies that are aesthetically pleasing not only are they functional but they can also add to the décor of your space.  I shopped around for the perfect accordion folder that would complement the décor in my kitchen (see image), which brings up another important point, location. The accordion folder needs to be located near your front door.  This could be a room adjacent to your entryway or in short walking distance.                          

Source: Franklin Covey

If you keep the folder a far distance from the entryway, say for example, upstairs the chances that you will run upstairs each time the mail arrives are slim.  However if the folder is in close proximity the task is much more convenient. So, once you have decided on a stylish design for your accordion folder and determined where you would like to place the folder the next step is labeling the folders. 

When it comes to labeling your folders you will need to determine what works best for you however, I highly recommend the following:

•To be paid

•Paid

•Coupons

•Tax

•Menus

•Happenings

•Shredder

 

To be paid: Means just that, these are items that require payment.  These include, gas, electric, utility, cable, car insurance, auto loans, mortgage, medical, credit card bills, etc.  I then look through the folder every two weeks, which is when we get paid, but again, you can adjust this to accommodate your personal schedule.  I pay the necessary bills bi-weekly and then place the statements in the paid file.

Paid: Documents that should be filed away in the paid file include credit cards, mortgage, auto, bank loans, and medical bills and/or statements that have been paid.  Once the file has become rather thick, usually every other month or so, I go upstairs to our office and file away the documents for future record. The documents are placed in a filing cabinet with files labeled accordingly.  This way if there is ever any discrepancy regarding an account in the future you can effortlessly locate the document in questions.

Shredder: This folder is for documents that do not need to be filed away for future referencing.  This includes credit card applications or any documents that may contain any personal information, in particular your account number and/or social security number.

Tax: Throughout the year we donate to various charities and this is where I place receipts and/or documentation.  This folder is also nice to have when the first of the year rolls around and documents that are required to complete your taxes start coming in the mail.  When this happens simply place W2s, mortgage info, charity, loan, etc. directly into the folder then you have all the necessary information in one handy location.

Menus:  Let’s face it, mom needs a break from meal preparation every now and again, and when a sitter watches the children, take out, or, delivery is inevitable.  As menus come into your home simply place them into this folder.  It is so convenient to just sit out the folder when a babysitter arrives.  All the local options are right there at their fingertips.

Happenings:  This folder contains the Art Museums’, Zoo’s, Park’s, Library’s, and any additional happenings around town flyers, readers, and brochures.  Happenings folder is a great folder to reference when planning future outings with the children.  Again, the convenience of having all the information in one folder makes planning an outing effortless.  Now the only dilemma is narrowing down your selections.

Coupons: This folder is where you can place all your coupons.  We have coupons for, future oil changes, makeup, grocery store, children’s stores, manufacturer coupon’s, etc. While I try my best to save every coupon that comes into our home I have not yet mastered the extreme couponing. Unfortunately I am not the mom who goes to the grocery store and ends with a grand total of $500 but only pays $10.

Thanks to my many coupons, perhaps one day? This folder, like the others does require some maintenance.  I usually file through this folder bi-monthly and recycle the expired coupons.

Source:http://www.sustainabilityissexy.com/blog/?p=14

The Recycling bin

All junk mail or envelopes addressed to “resident” or “occupant”, leaflets, pamphlets, brochures, notices, catalogues, and etc. can head right to the recycling bin.  Don’t think twice; don’t put it down to look through later because that is how those annoying piles got started in the first place.

Shredder

As expressed earlier, all documents that may contain your account number or personal information should be shredded.  Identity theft is real, and although, the chances of having your identity stolen by someone rifling through your trash is slim there is still a chance and it is a chance that you should not take.

Source: http://www.whyleaveastoria.com/profiles/blogs/no-more-junk-mail

Added tidbit:

To remove your name from prescreened offers such as credit and insurance offers you have two options.

Option #1 -To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit http://www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.

Option #2- To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at http://www.optoutprescreeen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request. Please note, you will be asked to provide certain personal information, including your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt out.

If you don’t have access to the Internet, you may send a written request to permanently opt out to each of the major consumer reporting companies. Make sure your request includes your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth.

Experian

Opt OutP.O. Box 919

Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion

Name Removal Option

P.O. Box 505 Woodlyn, PA 19094

Equifax, Inc.Options

P.O. Box 740123

Atlanta, GA 30374

Innovis Consumer Assistance

P.O. Box 495

Pittsburgh, PA 15230

 

So, what is your organizing problem area?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We had a blast last night and I hope your families did as well.

CHEERS!

We started off our party at the munchies table which the kiddos loved; they thought it was so cool seeing their toys transformed into serving dishes. Each family member made a plate then found a spot in the living room to eat.

Coco Krispies as “dirt”
A Castle with cascading Grapes
Gotta have pizza
Krabby Patties in the Restaurant
Egg Rolls
“Peeze”….more “dirt”….”peeze”
Thor visited briefly, made an appearance then exited.

After everyone finished their munchies it was time to get the party really started with some music. We danced to the Kid’s Looney Party Tunes which included the Birdie Song (chicken dance), See you Later Alligator, Lion sleeps Tonight, and much more. They had so much fun dancing around the living room.

Gotta Dance!
Looks like they are in the middle of a serious conversation

Then it was time for family traditions, writing New Year’s resolutions on balloons that would be popped at midnight (or 8pm) and Mommy reading The Velveteen Rabbit.  Both are traditions that I had growing up and I so enjoy sharing them with my family.

He said he would like to fly and I asked where he would like to go, thinking Hawaii or somewhere warm. He explained to me that he doesn’t care just as long as he has wings.
She already has a busy schedule but she would like to add swimming, dancing, and soccer.
Storytime

After the story it was getting close to “midnight” so we had the kiddos get their shoes and coats on so they would be ready to greet the New Year with lots of noise.

Everyone was starting to get a little sleepy, time to welcome the New Year.
Make some noise!!!

They banged the pots and pans with spoons and screamed Happy New Year!!! Then it was time to pop our balloons. There were even a few brief moments of comedy. Our daughter asked if it would be okay if she sat on her balloon in order to pop it. We both proclaimed that it would be alright. Then she looked up with a very serious expression on her face and asked, “Will the balloon go up my butt?”  It was too funny, a great question, but hilarious.

Crazy Humans!

And yes, we made it to Midnight. Granted I brewed some coffee around 6pm which helped and we were able to toast the New Year together once the kiddos were in bed.

It was a fabulous New Year’s Eve Party, probably the best one I ever attended and the guest list was remarkable, each guest the love of my life.  Here’s to a remarkable year with family and friends, raise your glasses moms (coffee, tea, wine, whatever), Happy New Year!

Here is a toast to all my reader, Happy New Year!

So how was your New Years?