Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why Mommy needs to stop yelling

I know you've been there.
I've been there. 
Hearing your own voice grow louder and louder with the frustration about to bubble over.
And you suddenly find yourself yelling at your that little person. 

We all strive to be good mothers. 
We warm milk, we wipe noses, we empty shoes of sand that irritates tiny feet, we bathe and scrub, we play, we cook, we clean and we LOVE. 

Yelling doesn't mean you are a failure, but it does need to be address for the sin that it is so that we can have a game plan of how to deal with it. 

Why Mommy Yells:
I think one of the biggest steps in having a plan to stop yelling (or shouting, raising your voice, screaming, whatever it is YOU do -- and you know what I am talking about mama), is to figure out what sets you off and unleashes your cray cray side lol. This was vital for ME in realizing the times when I was getting the most upset was due to outside circumstances - not only my child's behavior. For example, YES it is always frustrating and aggravating when my 2 year old decides to scream "NO" and launch her cereal across the room. However, it is 1000 x more stressful when we are late, or I have company coming over, or I am tired, or the house is a mess. Instead of merely responding to the behavior (the disobedience of saying no and throwing food) I am now fuming inside with the fact that I have more work to do now in cleaning up, getting more food, and dealing with the issue. So figure out what your triggers per say, are. It is hard to stay calm when a toddler is kicking, hitting and screaming but you must -- because you are the adult not the 2 year old. 

Why Mommy Needs to Stop:
We all know why we shouldn't yell or why it's bad blah blah blah, but if you really don't think it's that bad you will continue to do it. 
You can be anti-spank, anti-shame punishment, anti-whatever -- but if you are yelling and screaming at your kids you are doing just as much if not more damage. You can read countless studies online about what happens in kids brains when you scream at them but the point I am stressing is that when you yell -- you are demonstrating and out of control mama. And the truth is screaming scares kids. It makes them wonder if and when you will lose it again. And an out of control mommy screaming at her child is not only scary, it's missing the point and not allowing you to calmly deal with the ISSUE of your child's disobedience. Then you feel guilty about how you have now responded so you try and justify it by the outrageous behavior of your child.......and the viscous cycle continues. 

Game Plan:
I talked about triggers so discover what things in particular set you off, but if you are a yeller and that has been your M.O. for a while you are going to have to do some major revamping when it comes to dealing with difficult situations. 

  1. Take a DEEP breath. I know this is obvious but this works. You feel that anger rising about to bubble out and just STOP. Take a few deep breaths, I promise your reaction will be different. 
  2. Take a mommy time out. Seriously. If you need to walk away (given you can from the situation) and take a few minutes to calm down. yes the discipline will not be immediate as it should be but it will be from a calm and gathered mommy instead of an explosively reactive one.
  3. Be there for and with your kids. Your toddler is less likely to hurl their shoes at the wall or dump their plate if you are right there with them. This obviously can't be all the time. But if you are sensing a difficult day ahead maybe leave a few things off you list and be attentive to your child's moods so you can correctly handle them when they get out of hand. 
  4. Confess and repent. Don't allow yourself to justify your shouting because of your lack of sleep, busy day, or tantrum throwing child. Ask God for forgiveness and his strength to deal with your child in a loving way. Next, confess to your child. I have already done this multiple times and my daughter is only 2 -- yikes! Tell them you are sorry for raising your voice, that their actions were wrong but that your response was too. Ask for forgiveness. This is so vital is showing your kids that even mommy is subject to God. She makes mistakes and has to daily ask for help and forgiveness. I encourage you to begin practicing this even if your child is too young to understand. You will be creating a habit for the future when you mess up and they do understand. 
  5. Get on their level and see things from their perspective. Were you running around getting ready to leave while texting and ignoring something? Sure we can't all just throw our breakfast on the ground to get attention, but when you can try to come at it from their view you will have a better response in why that is not an appropriate way to get mommy's attention. 
  6. Don't be mad at them for being children. This is huge. Your child or toddler is just that -- a child. You were a child too and had to learn the correct ways to act and behave. Someone took the time to teach us as well :) I can't be mad at my 2 year old for needing discipline, that is what she is supposed to need. I am the adult who has already received the training in what is right and wrong, and it is my job to teach her. I cannot be upset for that. I can be disappointed when she blatantly disobeys me, but it has to do with her heart not her actions. These are the years of guiding and training and guiding and training. If they needed to training I would be worried! 

Whether you grew up being yelled at and that is your motivation to not yell at your kiddos, or are like me and have not ONE single memory of your mom yelling (super mom much?) -- it doesn't matter. Yelling is damaging, and above all else it is sin against God and against your child. Refuse to yell. Ask God for the strength when you feel yourself about to lose it. Pray for patience when you are picking up those scattered cheerios. Take a break if the stress is overwhelming you and causing you to act out more. Spend your few spare minutes during the day prepping dinner or straightening up instead of scrolling instagram that way when kids are crying at 6:30 but you are just starting dinner you won't lose it and lash out. You can control your tongue, and with God's help your heart can change towards your little ones as well.

Friday, April 25, 2014

DIY wood signs

I have been having a blast making re-purposed wood signs.

They are ridiculously easy and fun to make! And cost very little if you have the right equipment and time :)

 While I love the pallet look, I actually don't use pallet boards to make my signs. 

Using Pallet Boards:
  • Perfect re-purposed look
  • FREE
  • Easy to find
  • Very hard to get apart 
  • Possibly harmful - since it is impossible to know where pallet boards have been or what has been stored on them it's possible they have had chemicals stored on them or been in the rain growing mold. They continue to re-use them so you have to decide if you are comfortable handling them
If you are making one sign I say go for the pallets, but if you are going to be making a bunch I would maybe reconsider. I use old wood and my sweet hubs puts them together for me! 

First decide if you want to have all the edges even or staggered, horizontal or vertically put together :) 

Once you have the shape sign you want, sand all the edges and front to make sure it's smooth. Splinters are no fun :( 

I then add this amazing product I love! I got it at Lowes for $8.99 and I have hardly made a dent and have used it for at least 10 projects. Dab a little on a rag or old T-Shirt and rub liberally into the wood until you have the darkened look you want. 

I use a mix of pre-cut words touched up by hand. My amazing mother-in-law has a cricut so I can cut any words out of it, making it way easier! But you could also print any font offline and then cut out to use as a stencil. 

This is my favorite kind of stencil brush because it is tightly packed an won't let the paint bleed under your stencil. 

Once dry, carefully peel off so the paint doesn't bleed.  

If needed, touch up with a fine brush and make sure all the letters are smooth. 

Have fun and happy crafting! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

As the weather warms and you find yourself soaking up the sun don't forget to swing open those doors (and cupboards!) and get a good deep cleaning in. 

After a long winter of being cooped up inside and spending your afternoons cuddled up on the couch it's no wonder it's called spring cleaning. It's finally warm and things that have been left untouched need to be gutted out :) I know they do in my house! 

Here is my checklist, these are things I would do in addition to a normal weekly cleaning. 

My advice:
  • Break it up and don't tackle too many things on the list at once--ESPECIALLY if you have kids. I made you a very limited and doable list with 10 or less chores per room! If you are feeling the need for more simply google spring cleaning and you will be blow away ---- seriously. But if this list still frightens you don't be discouraged, pick a few things and do those to start. Or decide to do simple ONE thing on this whole page per day this spring. 
  • Include your kids if you have them!! I can still remember my sister and I borrowing my moms "cleaning bandannas" and wrapping them up around our hair (Think the "We can do it" sign) as we grabbed dusters and brooms to "help" my mom out. Make it fun with loud Disney music and make sure there are goodies along the way.
  • Meal plan for that "day" or grab a take-out so you aren't worried about starting dinner in the midst of reorganizing your cupboards when the counter is littered with food. 
  • OPEN the windows!!!! It definitely makes it feel so much more springy! And I don't know about you but I feel so much more in the mood for cleaning when the breeze is blowing and the sun is shining. 
  • Crank the tunes! Whatever music gets you motivated get it blasting. 
  • Get movin. For me, I have to start first thing in the morning and move move move! 
  • Take a break -- or don't. Okay, so some people need to take a break and put their feet up to get up the energy to start again. For ME, as soon as I take a break (usually around mid-afternoon for naps) that is IT, I am done. No matter how much I try to muster up the momentum I had I am so tired and done for that day. So know yourself! 
Make sure your house is ready to go for deep cleaning! Trust me I know this is hard, if you ever actually have your whole house clean usually it took the whole day (week) to do so and the last thing you want to do is start deep cleaning. So all I say is at least straighten up! It's hard to completely gut out your bedroom when the counter in the kitchen is covered in breakfast mess and dishes. Clean up and then dig in.

I am making these lists in addition to a regular house cleaning. So there are not the obvious weekly tasks that we do when cleaning the house. (PLEASE NOTE, cleaning your microwave, if not already a weekly task, needs to be! I never get why people don't clean their microwaves. Pop a cup of water in there for a few minutes to loosen things up before you clean, trick from my mama). 

  1. Open windows
  2. Change sheets, mattress cover and bed skirt. 
  3. Flip mattress
  4. Dust all blinds (good kid job!)
  5. Wash windows and panels 
  6. Take off curtains and wash
  7. Clean out under the bed, in closets and under dressers
  8. Reorganize clothes and get rid of ones you aren't wearing! 

  1. Scrub behind toilet and sink (if you can) and any area you normally just do a quick wipe down
  2. Take everything out of your shower and scrub everywhere -- I am talking toothbrush here people!
  3. Go through medicine cabinets and throw out old lotions, medicine (flush) and expired products
  4. Wipe out cupboards and cabinets
  5. Wash and wipe fronts of sink drawers
  6. Wash walls/baseboards
  7. Clean shower curtain and liner
  1. OPEN WINDOWS -- this is especially important when using strong smelling products. If using natural products no worries........but I'd still open up :) 
  2. Apply oven cleaner and follower instructions
  3. Take stove top apart and scrub each part (This I do weekly so if you do as well then consider doing a step further like this)
  4. Take off stove top knobs to soak and scrub
  5. Clean out pantry and cupboards - discard expired food and repacked spilled bean, rice, etc
  6. Empty and clean refrigerator and freezer -- this is best done right before a shopping trip when it is the most empty. Make sure to clean before you leave so that you aren't waiting with cold food items when you get home. 
  7. Pull away from the wall slightly the stove and refrigerator if you can and clean behind. Be sure to check the cords for any damage. 
  8. Run your coffee maker and dishwasher on empty with some vinegar
  9. Clean EVERYTHING off your counter tops and scrub underneath
  10. Organize drawers and wipe down inside and fronts of cabinets
Living/Family Room:
  1. Take all cushions off couch and vacuum -- just vacuum everywhere! 
  2. Clean out under couch and entertainment center
  3. Move entertainment center away from wall and clean cords, back of tv, etc
  4. Clean wains coating  -- I use a toothbrush and rag
  5. If you have rugs, move them and clean underneath
  6. Wipe down legs of end tables, coffee table, etc
  7. Clean light fixtures
  8. Wipe down curtain rods
  9. Disinfect remote, tv buttons and other electronics that get handled frequently 
  10. Buff and clean leather furniture 
Laundry Room:
  1. Wipe down washer and dryer
  2. Take out dryer vent and clean 
  3. DE-CLUTTER this room :) That can take me a whole day as it is my dump zone
  4. Wash floors behind appliances under laundry room sink
  5. Organize food products with oldest in front and other items on shelves
Kids Rooms (follow Bedroom checklist with these few modifications)
  1. Toy simplify! Donate or put in storage toys that have had no play in over a week
  2. Wipe down bed frames that may have gunk or stains
  3. Wipe down closet doors
  4. Organize clothes and shoes pack away or donate too small of ones
  5. Take toys and books off shelves and wipes down

Whole House:
  1. Dust and wipe fans
  2. Scrub/wipe baseboards (this was my job when I was 5!!)
  3. After regular mopping take a knife and spray bottle of cleaner around and scrape any gunk off your floors. Jelly and lots of other unpleasant things get stuck in every nook and cranny at my house and this is the only want to get them up!
  4. Wash windows inside and out
  5. Take off screens and scrub with water and soapy scrub brush then hose off to rinse
  6. Spot clean your carpets
  7. Wash walls, door handles, light switches and anything else you don't normally clean
  8. Vacuum ceiling air vents
  9. Vacuum cobwebs from all corners and ceilings  
  10. Dust light bulbs, smoke detectors and high shelves that normally get neglected

Happy Cleaning! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's just ONE day :)

I know everyday can't be like this, but ahhhhhh I love these kinds of days. After an incredibly busy weekend and even busier Monday, I decided as I crawled into bed at 1130 last night that today would be a complete rest day with my babes. (I wish baby boy had gotten the memo and not woken up over 6 times to nurse.....yes he is 8 months not 8 weeks)
So I got to do something today that I don't normally get to do and that was literally play with my kiddos all day long! I know this can't be an everyday reality, we have things we need to do and although we do our best as mama's to juggle it, I end up usually feeling drained one way or the other from needing to be 5 different places at once. I always wish I could not worry about the dishes, dinner, laundry, cleaning, lists, etc and just sit and play for a whole day. I have read a lot of posts lately urging women to put down their lists and just sit with their kids and I wholeheartedly agree! But I think even if you set out to do just that, the reality is that your kids and husband get hungry -- so you need to unload the dishwasher so that you can get the cutting board to chop stuff for dinner, oh but then you need that pan that you left in the sink so that you could, ya know, be a good mom and spend time with your kids instead of always cleaning, so you wash that one and soon need something else so end up just washing the whole sink full, and before you know it kids are pulling on you asking to play trains and you feel again that struggle in your heart! How do I do both! I also recently enjoyed this article about it not being your job as a mom to entertain your kids all day and I love that. I can remember countless times my mom telling me to go play outside cause she needed to cook or lesson plan or whatever and I DIDN'T DIE!
So obviously it is all about balance. 
As is everything in life, but this means that I can't sit and scroll facebook or instagram all day while ignoring my kids, but I also need to be ok with telling my girly to go play so that I can clean up the messy kitchen from our forts made that morning. 
I enjoyed today SO much. I loved being able to take time and watch my 2 year old build her block towers and see her little mind working. I loved being able to enjoy playing with them instead of thinking "oh! They are both entertained happily I should DO something really fast!" 
We played trains and cars, we painted and used a whole sheet of stickers, we filled the kiddy pool and layed in the sun, we had smoothies and made bread together (paleo of course lol), we napped and went for a walk and it was a great day! 
 I think I'll make it something I do once a month :) 
Have you ever done this? 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Less is More

I know I am not the first mommy to jump on the "less toys!!!" bandwagon but last week I felt like I had finally had it tripping over a gazillion toys in my toddler's room. But it wasn't only the toys everywhere that was bothering me, she was seeming to play in her room less often because there were simply too many toys in there. It was impossible to keep clean. This is a disgusting first world problem I know, but yikes..........it's reality. She has a little room and I have to work against my urge to throw EVERYTHING out. I don't like clutter and I have more than once regretted my ability to be very detached from items that have been tossed out/given away (my husband is the opposite, isn't that funny how that works!)

So we have created a system that keeps both of our slightly extreme tendencies in check. 
Things that are simply TRASH (i.e. used stickers, that random string of beads, PAPERS from church/preschool, etc) get tossed out. 
We then have large plastic bins that are marked "Toys for Later" that we rotate out. So I fill it with the toys that she hasn't played with in a week or two and sometimes bring one or two things out that she hasn't seen in a few months. It's like new toys all over again!

The room is left with a more simple set up toys wise. I have found that she is SO much more content playing in her room because she has less to choose from and can actually see her toys! She has her books, train set, and several things in her toy chest instead of barely being able to close the toy chest!!!  If any of you mommies are considering clearing out the clutter I say GO for it! Pass on the items your little one is done with and simple put away the ones you aren't sure about :) 
Happy Spring Clearing !


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2 ingredient Carpet Cleaner

I found this ridiculously easy carpet cleaner on Pinterest and with very low expectations decided to give it a go.

This stuff is AMAZING.  A little.....addicting!

Once you start you may find yourself running around the house with your burning hot iron trying to find more things you can get stains out of.

When we bought our house, we decided to simply clean the carpet in my daughter's room instead of ripping it out -- BIG mistake. That carpet taunts me everyday with it's disgusting stains that seem to appear in dozens by the day. They are SO gross and coming up from underneath.

This cleaner literally couldn't be easier. It's a 1 x 1 ratio of HOT water and Ammonia (grab it at dollar tree), and iron and some old cloths.

This is the post I read and followed, I am sure there are others on Pinterest but this is where I found it.
1. Combine your hot water and ammonia in a spray bottle.
                      -- I got one at dollar tree along with the ammonia
                      -- use a 1 to 1 ration (for example 1 cup of ammonia and 1 cup of HOT water)
                      -- shake it up!

2. Spray the carpet stain/spot liberally
                      -- I figured out if you really worked the liquid in there and soaked it through it came                          out better
3. Place a cloth on top an start ironing over the stain

                      -- it is PRETTY cool, you will see the towel soak up the brownish color of the stain                          instantly
                      --I discovered that a very hot iron works best! Don't be afraid to really work it back                         and forth over the towel to get the stain out

4. Be amazed and find more spots :)