SuperMom Vs the Evil Dr DustBunny

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Could it be? Am I actually writing a real blog post? Why yes, yes I am. It took me three days of penning this out in my pocket notebook during brakes at work, and another 2 days to remember to bring it into the house to copy it over, but here it is…..

If there is one thing we all face its Housework. This is a topic I touch on from time to time, mostly cause I am still learning how to be good at it. I’ve known many woman who are like Superman, or Thor, or Spiderman, it’s just one of their super powers. They keep tidy, often well decorated homes. A place for everything, and everything in it’s place. And those places are even pretty.

Me? I’m more like Batman. No in born talent, no radio active bug bites, no natural skills at it. It’s been a matter of training and good tools helping me defend our home against the Evil Dr DustBunny and all It’s nasty, grimy minions. And even now I am not great at it. I’ve gotten better over the years, but am still learning how best to fight the good fight.

My Mother is Bi-Polar. The pattern was she would be ok, then she would be depressed and things would slide into epic levels of mess. Then she would get better, and/or go manic and start doing what we have lovingly come to call “Disaster Management”, and try to fix it. This was normal to us, and it wasn’t til I was in my mid to late teens I started to realize that this is uncommon and a really bad way to go about house keeping.

Needless to say I didn’t form good habits early on in life. I am still getting the hang of proper maintenance cleaning, instead of falling back onto to Disaster Management. I am also still working on getting better at how to properly organize our home so it can be easier to keep up on.

My Mother-in-law was a great house keeper/home maker. One day fairly early on in my marriage I asked her how she did it, how did she make the house shine and feel clean. Her response was “You just do it.” This was, at the same time, the most profound, and the least helpful answer to my question. Yes, the trick of it is to “just do it”. And there are some days we just have to make ourselves get up off our butts and make ourselves get things done. Trouble is I had to no clue what “It” was. I mean sure, I had the basics down, pick things up, put them away, how to sweep, mop, dust, vacuum and wipe things down. But creating “aways” for things, what all I should be wiping down/scrubbing (aside from the most obvious) and how often, it was all a mystery to me.

So for all my fellow Batman style house keepers I want to post up some of the things that have helped me both get on track with keeping up with my home better, and have made doing the work more fun(ish)……

Music. I love to listen to music when I clean. Yes I even dance some times. There is nothing like music that moves you to help keep you moving.

It can be a game. Sometimes I make it the type of game where I get the Younglings to take on challenges with points awarded for getting them done. Sometimes I give myself points for getting things done, with a list of treats for myself I can “buy” with my points. Sometimes I play pretend. I am a princess forced to clean the castle of an evil witch. Or I am a super hero and fighting some evil forces, either for the sake of beating it, or to rescue someone. There are any number of ways you can use that idea, have fun with it.

Make lists and a schedule. When I do this and stick to it this works great for me, but if anything throws me off it can be hard for me to get back on track. I take a little calendar or a day planner and I just write it all out. I make a list of everything I need to do and how often, then I schedule it out around whatever else I have going on. Monday I do these basics and this extra thing that has to be done from time to time. Tuesday I do the basics and this other semi-regular task. So forth and so on.

Pinterest. Pinterest has tons of listing of how to do things, the types of things you should do to keep a clean(er) house and how often they should be done. I have a whole board dedicated to this topic.

Theres an App for that! Just like pinterest there are apps out there that tell you the whats, whens and hows. Which brings me to my next tip

UFYH! Ok, I am gonna warn you on this one. Adult language is used on this site and with this app. If that doesnt bother you then I highly recommend this!! It is my current method and reigning favorite right now. Sure I do the other stuff, but this has allot of great ideas. It is also written less like BHG and more like the way my mind thinks. She has some great blog posts, and lists of whats and whens. And the 20/10 timer. There is an app that goes with it, and both have helped me. The link is Here

I hope some or all of this helps you! If you have an great tips, tricks, or ideas that work for you please share them with me!!

M

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A little update!

Hello everyone! So been busy busy, summer is coming, or rather is here, so the Younglings are out of school. This is good news for the blog because part of our summer plan is to work on writing skills, and since I try to work along with them, that means I can use all my hopefully great blog ideas as my projects. Also we are hopefully start The Great Room Shift, which should me I get organized and form better work habits. Here’s hoping! For now I will leave you with more promises to get on the ball and blog more *AND* a look at one of my latest efforts. I made this for a friend of the Fisherman. The pattern can be found here…….

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kissy-kissy-fish-face-hat-for-boys-and-girls

This is mine

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I changed the mouth on it, cause this was more what we wanted. Also used felt for the eyes instead of the crocheted ones in the pattern. But am loving how it turned out! Also, I hate taking selfies, so the fact I took this picture shows how much I love my followers!

What are you guys working on?

My life is a wild ride

Once again I find myself tell you all how sorry I am that I have been quiet. The sad truth is I will have an amazing idea and sit to write it out, after having mulled it over all day, and cant get it to come out the way I want. So we are on to a new plan. And as soon as I figure it  out I will run with it!! The trouble comes really from being insanely busy and not budgeting my time well. I will be working on that. Starting with my work desk, cause I do better when my craft space looks like it could be tidy if it wanted to. I have given up hope on it ever being truly tidy. Secondly I may get the Younglings to help bully Mom into doing her “work”. So stay tuned and I promise one day I will have my act together and have regular posts up again.

The Cat is Back!

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Hey gang. Sorry I went quiet on you guys. Life kinda got crazy on me for a bit. I am relearning how to balance my time though. So posts will happen again. Bit of a change up though. Instead of the structured way I was doing things before, it’s gonna become more free flowing. I am gonna try and have something up at least twice a week, just not always sure what days, or what about. I am still all about encouraging others and sharing my own journey though. I have a bunch of ideas brewing in my head even as I type this that I am gonna try and cover over the next couple weeks!!

A place to start!

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I’m cheating a bit here, but I am gonna let this post have double duty. My blogging 101 class set a challenge to write a post based on a daily prompt, so I started kinda peeking through them, and I found This One. I am in love with this idea. Not just for blogging, but for all my creative efforts. It’s like a challenge to myself when the creativity is running low. Cause let’s face it, we all have those days. Those days where you want to do……..something……and you sit down and stare at that blank page, that empty canvas, your stash of supplies, full of the burning desire to create, but what?

Life is easy when I am mid-project. I know what to do, I just do it. And maybe that is why I have so many WIPs laying about. But that new, undecided project is the killer. Being able to reach into a box and just pull out an idea, and let that fuel me? It’s so simple, I wonder why it had never dawned on me before. Even if as I go I stray from the idea, it is still that great starting point that sometimes we need help with.

I will be making my box soon. I will likely set up a temporary one out of whatever I can find on hand that works though. In all honesty the container doesn’t really matter, what ever works for you works. For me though, I want something special. Something I can decorate to reflect me and my creativity. I will call it my Muse Box, and fill it with words and pictures to inspire me. What about you? Will you make one? What kind of box/jar will you make, and what will you fill it with?

Time for SideKicks

So I got a kick to the emotional guts the other day. Monkey looked up at me with her big blue eyes and told me “I miss you Mommy, you never spend time with us anymore.” My knee jerk response was to deny it, say I was around them all the time. But I didn’t, I took a moment to stop and think about it. Really think about it. Was she right? Sure I have recently gone back to work, but I’m part time so I am still home a good bit. And they were home all the time recently due to winter break. My next thought was sure I was around them, but was I spending time with them?

I spent the rest of the night thinking about it. I had a hard time admitting it, even to myself, but she was right. I have taken on a good bit of stuff lately, and had lost the knack of balancing my time and attention. I had taken to sitting at my desk to work on things so I can focus better, and told them to go play while I cook or clean. The next day I came across this article, and it hit me all over again. She was right, 100% right.

Clearly my next step was to figure out how to fix it. I am still learning this part. But I am gonna share it with you anyway. Why? Because these small people in our lives, the ones that call us mom, are our greatest Sidekicks. And one of the greatest things we can do is connect with them and enjoy being with them. Enjoy who they are, as much for ourselves as for them. We all win when we connect. It’s over whelming at first to try and work more closely with them, and to spend more time with them. I have 4 Sidekicks, and they all want a piece of my time and attention. But I knew I had to figure it out.
What I have learned so far is that the more time I do spend with them the easier it gets. The next day I bought us a new game to play, I dug out the Uno deck, and we played and laughed together. We had silly dance time. I have started making time for them when I can put things off, and when I can’t put things off I am learning to find ways to include them. I enlist them to help with housework, I make them my chef helpers in the kitchen. This gives me the chance to spend time with them and teach them how to cook and keep house. When I need to go out I take them with me on my errands. Not only do I take them with me, I have started trying to make them a part of what I am doing. I talk it out with them. I have even used this as a chance to start teaching about things like organizing errand routes, budgeting and effective grocery shopping. I started crocheting on the couch while we watch movies, I bring my jewelry projects out to the kitchen table while they do homework or work on their own crafts. I can do my computer time while they are at school or after they go to bed.

The other added benefit is when I do just need some time to myself they are better about respecting, because they are sure in the fact that when the time runs out I will rejoin them. Does this complicate my life? Yeah, a little bit. But it is worth it. It isn’t an easy thing to start, but I am loving it. We have fun, and I get to know these wonderful little people better. We are becoming closer.
Now I encourage you to do the same, if you aren’t already. Sure there are times we have to take them out and about with us, but is there a way we can make them feel included? Are there tasks you do that you can include them in? Teaching them housework slows things down at first, but once they get the hang of things it can shorten the work time, and if you are like us and put on music, or joke around, it can be fun too. Are there things you can do later to make time to do something with them now?

Update of the week (this time with photos!)

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Another week has come and gone in The Studio. I am sad to say my hat is no further along. But I do have these pics of the lovely bracelet I am working on.

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Yeah, really need to stop trying to do these pictures with my ipod. Other then that I have just been trying to keep up with my Blogging 101 home work, writing my posts (which means I am rocking my January resolutions!). And enjoying life. Hope you are doing well and keeping in creative!

Inspired by the neighbors

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My Blogging 101 course has challenge me to write a post based on another post I have read recently. Gotta admit, the hardest part was deciding which one to use. There are allot of really great bloggers out there. So I read through the comments I had made recently and saw which one really got me to say something I could elaborate on. This Post kinda touched on the idea that we hate Mondays because we all hate Mondays.

This got the wheels turning in my own head about things we do simply because that seems to be the thing we do. The comment I made in response was
“Love the attitude! It’s very close to the one that has been taking hold of me lately. Embrace life and make it what you want! Also, I agree with the habits we pick up simply because they seem to be the way of things. Ever notice how many people will ask you how you are and not wait for the answer? “How are you?” has become a meaningless greeting for many.”

My new job has me working for the public, and I have noticed that most people will ask how someone is and just keep walking. Most people don’t seem to realize they have just asked about someone’s well being and then ignored the answer. Personally I like to shake this up a bit. I come back with things like “Fantasmic” or “Spiffytacular”, or just some other unusual come back. Even if I am not feeling that way, cause lets face it, no one runs to the store to listen to the employees grumble about their day. Most people do a double take kind of look at me and realize that yes, they are indeed engaged in a conversation with another person. I will ask them how they are, and they even seem to answer a little more honestly then the greeting version of “Fine.” and when possible I even try to make them smile.

What about you? Ever notice anything we do simply because that seems to be what we do?

Yes, you will mess up, and it’s ok.

One of the things that held me back for a long time on my creative journey was the fear of messing something up. I had things I held onto for a long time because I really liked it, but was saving it till I got better so I wouldn’t waste it or mess it up. Then one day I did something brave. I gave myself permission to mess it up. I sat down with a project idea I had been kicking around for a while and just said “Ok Bek, it is ok if this doesn’t turn out. You can mess this up completely and it is ok. You will never learn anything new if you don’t take any risks.” And it worked out that time.

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Kindle case I made from a kit. I had to draw the design myself, it turned out way better then I thought it would.

Doing this has done allot of things for me. I have gotten bolder, braver and reached new levels of skills. I have also learned that sometimes “oops” is a good thing. I learned to let pieces just take shape. It doesn’t always go as planned, and sometimes if you can just follow the flow of change you can come out with something even better then you planned.

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This is a hat made with a pattern I designed myself. It started life as an idea for a washcloth.

Sometimes you just learn what doesn’t work. Even then that can be a matter of taste. You may hate what you did, and someone else could love it.

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A bracelet I made as part of a design challenge. I still hate it. The woman who bought it wanted it at first site.

The important part is to be brave, to try. Give yourself permission to make a mistake and let your inner child/creator/writer/crafter/photographer/singer play. It’s so freeing, and it can bring so much joy. Most of us never truly regret the doing of something, but we almost always regret letting fear stand between us and what could have been. And when you do fail, and there is no saving it, learn. Try again. I have more projects than I care to count where I had to undo, remake, redesign and just plain start over on.

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French Beaded flowers made as a thank you gift. It took me 3 days and allot of redos before I was happy with it.

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Own Your Superpowers

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Thus far we have agreed that yes, You are a Super Mom, and how to face The Mountain. Now I want to talk about something fun. Super Powers. Did you know you had them? If you are anything like me and many of the other moms I have known, I am sure you have noticed others’ super powers. The “I wish I could keep house like her” or “I wish I was crafty like her” or “I envy her ability to home school, I could never do that.” And we all know the mom that no matter what is going on stays calm and collected.
There are lots of powers out there, and they come in all kinds of combinations. It’s always easy for us to see them in others. Ever stop and wonder what ones You have? That’s right, you get super powers too!! I know, this is a hard one. At least for me it was. This means that for a moment, at least to ourselves, we have to brag a little bit. I hate doing that. Most moms I know are like that, they see the good in others but they only see their own short comings.
The ugly truth is I am not a great house keeper. There, I said it. It wasn’t hard, putting ourselves down never is. I can’t home school either. Now the hard part, the part that took me years to see. I am a crafty mom. Yes, crafting is one of my super powers. Playing with kids is one of my super powers. It was hard to type that. Ok, one more. *deep breath* I am a decent to good cook, depending on what I am making.
See what I did there? I owned my super powers. Yes I understand my short comings, they don’t matter, I do my best and have faced down the fact that I am not perfect. The trouble with facing something like that down is that it is to just keep spiraling down. To list all the short comings. Stop doing that! It’s not good for you. Know they are there, do your best and keep going.
Now for the challenge. Yes, this is a reader participation post today. I want you to sit down and list three super powers you have. What are you good at? It’s there, we all have them. When you have your list I want you to put it someplace you can see regularly. And in those moments when you are down, and feeling like a lesser mom I want you to do two things. Pick yourself up by your cape and go look at your kid(s). Yes, those little beings who love you very much, the ones that make things harder and better all at the same time. They are fed, clothed, cared for. You aren’t failing. Step two, read the list and if you can, read it out loud. Own Your Superpowers. This is part of why you are awesome. Even if no one ever says it. I am saying to you, sight unseen, You are awesome. This is a hard job, doesn’t matter if you have one kiddo or a bunch, if you stay at home or are working. It’s hard in its own way for all of us. My husband, wonderful man that he is, always tells me “You only fail when you give up. As long as you keep trying you are winning.”