The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

“What’s for Dinner?” August 5, 2013

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FlyLady is right. There is a sense of peace and purpose when you know what your family is having for dinner.

I forced myself to assemble a casserole this morning, using chicken from the whole chicken we roasted over the weekend. We were fortunate to have on hand the other ingredients (shredded cheese, cream cheese, onion, butter, whipping cream — we eat low carb around here).

I’ve been feeling rather off kilter today, with so many competing priorities and not a lot of energy, but I do feel a bit better now that dinner is in the fridge and ready to go in the oven this afternoon.

Power to all of the mamas who, like me, aren’t that great at meal planning!


Day 3 of Hubby being out of town July 28, 2011

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I think – no, I know – my morale took a beating today.

Today was Day 3 of Hubby being out of town. Yesterday was long, but I was focused on “let’s enjoy summer while it’s here” and had a good day overall. Today – I don’t know what exactly was different, but by the time I was serving supper to the kids, I didn’t have much good humor left to endure DS2’s shenanigens and DS1’s complaining and bad attitude.

I texted Hubby to give him a heads-up that by the time he got home from his trip this evening, I would be glad to see him but maybe not in a very good mood. I explained that I felt like a hamster stuck on a wheel and that I was very tired of it. I also explained that I have a million things on my to-do list, yet I’m lucky if I can take care of my basic needs. I hope he will be understanding.

I’ve recently re-instated FlyLady routines into my day, and it definitely helps to keep CHAOS away. It’s also a lot of work to actually DO laundry every day and CLEAN the kitchen/kitchen sink every morning. I think I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor, but also feeling the effects of not plopping onto the couch every time I feel the urge. I’m sure Hubby being out of town also plays a large part in my feeling overall wigged out and worn out.


Working out which way is “up” July 10, 2011

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It was one week ago that my family and I returned from our gigantic (to me) European trip. I truthfully had no idea how difficult it would be to get back into the swing of things here at home. I had no idea about the sleep and clingy-ness issues that would arise with 2-year-old Mark. I had no idea how much fatigue would affect me, as well as feeling depressed, unmotivated, and unfocused.

This morning, I told Hubby that I truly do not want to be grumpy and negative, and that I’m working to figure out what types of things will help me move forward. I theorized that “getting back into FlyLady” might be good for me, as it seems that the times when I’ve followed FlyLady routines and mindsets have been good times in my life.

I went to iTunes to look for the FlyLady podcast; I used to listen to her podcast a lot while working around the house. It seems, though, that she no longer has a weekly podcast that is HER. All I can find is the Flylady and Friends podcast which cycles through Gramma, Leanne Ely, Missus Smartypants, and so on. (Do any FlyBabies have advice for me here? Am I missing something?)

Anyway, Hubby took both kids to church stuff this morning, where I will join them later for the worship service. Meanwhile, I have some RARE!!!!!! time to do my FlyLady routine, tidy up, and have some time to myself (hence this blog post). Next up is some devotional time, another piece of my life which needs to get back into place.


Down in the dumps and off-track lately October 19, 2010

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The last 1-2 weeks have been unusually busy (out-of-town doctor appointment; MIL visiting; son Mark’s birthday party) and I have been way off-track with eating, exercising, and housekeeping.

In general, I’ve been feeling more like taking a break (giving myself a vacation?) than dealing with real life. And while it is important to take breaks, I also find that if I spend too much time off duty, it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle where the house gets messier and messier, and I feel less and less like dealing with it. The cupboards get more and more bare, and I feel discouraged about meal-planning, so I put off going to the grocery store. Etc. etc.

On the GTD end of things, I have been letting “stuff” accumulate in my inboxes, while also ignorning my whiteboard and GTD coordinator (where my lists live). As a result, I dread the process of catching up, and I put off the processing of everything. Another self-perpetuating cycle.

Eating right and exercising also become part of a negative cycle. And with all kinds of candy and sweets in the house … yikes.

So yes, I have been way off track and down in the dumps lately. Today I am making a very good effort to stop these negative cycles and get back on the right track, while also keeping in mind the need to take breaks and take care of myself.


GTD and FlyLady: What they look like in my life right now September 7, 2010

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Lately I’ve been spending some time revamping my use of GTD and thinking about my time, priorities, and so on. I did some looking into Mind Organization for Moms, which is based on GTD, and while I didn’t buy their system, I did realize that I could improve some of my GTD strategies/tools.

I have a large dry erase board next to my kitchen, and I re-claimed it from whatever junk had been cluttering it up. On the board I now have a daily checklist for my 5-year-old son, Adam, to help ensure that certain things get done every day, preferably as early in the day as possible. Having this checklist helps Hubby and me to be on the same page about “where we’re at”; it also helps Hubby to be aware of what things need to be done (brush teeth/get dressed/take meds/put on eye patch), particularly for mornings when it’s Hubby’s turn to get up with the kids. My day gets off to a good start when I come downstairs and find that things are rolling along nicely. I am a big believer that we are both responsible for our kids and that it is not solely my responsibility to do things like give Adam his meds or put his eye patch on.

I also set up areas on the dry erase board for Next Actions (@Phone, @Computer, @Errands) and Waiting and Current Projects. In one corner I have a space for a basic plan for the day [Baths for Kids (Yes/No), Mom to Gym (Yes/No), Dinner Plan].

Overall I’m finding it quite handy to have all of these things right in front of me all the time. I still keep lists in my GTD Coordinator, and it does feel sort of strange to have things “living” in the Coordinator and on my dry erase board, but somehow it all works. It seems that I have so many interruptions in my day that by the time I open up my GTD Coordinator and find the proper page and find a pen, my chance to complete my thought is already gone and my 2-year-old is running off with my pen. Since the board is out of the reach of my toddler, and markers are always at the ready, I can easily jot down a Next Action or erase an item. (To think I used to take such things for granted!)

On the board I have my daily FlyLady list (Kitchen/Bathroom/Laundry/Floors) and it’s nice to check these things off as I complete them. I have never figured out how to get these things done first thing in the morning, but they are generally my first priorities in the day even if they don’t get done until lunchtime.

In Ready for Anything, David Allen (the creator of GTD) talks about how the brain isn’t good at reminding the self to do things, therefore it’s best to have a system in place to take care of those reminders. I am finding this to be true during my daily grind: When I have a chance to work on something, instead of flipping through my mental checklist to think of what to do next, I simply glance at my board to see what remains to be done.

Granted, there is a lot more to my life than churning through a daily checklist of things to be done, but it’s difficult (impossible?) to get to the “more to life” stuff as long as I’m still wallowing in the chaos and confusion that results when the basic things are still undone.


Thoughts on holding a garage sale May 16, 2010

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Yesterday I took part in a garage sale at a friend’s house. I helped set up the night before (some work, but also fun to see friends) and arrived bright and early on Saturday morning to get ready for business. Our family made less than ten dollars, but we didn’t have much in the sale and we did get rid of our old, beat up pack & play. Was it worth it to take part in the sale? Hard to say. From a fun/social standpoint, yes. From a time & money standpoint, probably not. From a decluttering standpoint, it’s a toss-up since everything we got rid of could have been donated to the Salvation Army.

Of course, now that the sale is over, I see a number of things that could have been in the sale — sandbox, highchair. On the other hand, we would have needed to haul those items to our friend’s house, and haul them back home if they didn’t sell.

I can see why FlyLady generally advises against having a garage sale. It requires so much work and time and space (space to store things before and after the sale). I feel sad for my friend, Angela, because she had been saving her boy’s clothes and gear and toys for years, in anticipation of having a huge garage sale, and it didn’t turn out that great. We didn’t have as much traffic as we had expected, and the customers we did have didn’t seem to be in need of baby gear. Angela seemed genuinely sad and disappointed about the results of the sale, and I can’t blame her considering all of the time and effort that she put into it. Angela had a nice bouncy seat priced at 3 dollars, and the fact that it didn’t sell tells me that we just didn’t have the right customers. I have seen similar (or not as nice seats) priced at 10 to 15 dollars, so I know price was not an issue.

In the end, all of the people participating in the sale put most of what didn’t sell on the curb with a FREE sign. It’s sort of depressing and it makes me wonder whether it was worth it to have a sale. If the goal is “just to get rid of stuff” and you don’t care how cheaply stuff sells for, then why have a sale in the first place? Why not donate everything to the Salvation Army here in town? The more valuable things, like highchairs and the like, can be sold on Craig’s List, consigned, etc., for much less effort than holding a garage sale.

For the past few years, I personally have been taking my nice baby gear and baby/kid clothes to a local children’s consignment shop. Now, I am more certain than ever that this is the right route for me. The fact that I don’t have to pay for a garage sale ad (which costs about 19 dollars) or even for a share of an ad is a huge advantage, not to mention that it takes very little time, effort, and planning to go the consignment route.


Daily planning for the SAHM December 31, 2009

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The last few weeks have been very active for me in terms of decluttering and re-committing myself to GTD. I have been putting a lot more effort into ubiquitous capture, and one result of that is a very different feel to my days. It is hard to describe but I guess I could say that when I have a thought worth capturing, instead of ruminating on it and worrying about it and so on, I put it on paper (or even on my shower wall) and then move on to have even more thoughts.

A thought I had yesterday was: How useful would it be to me to go over a series of questions every morning?

Questions such as:

  • What’s for dinner? (a la FlyLady)
  • What items are on our schedule (appointments, preschool, etc.)?
  • Which child needs a bath today, and when will this bath fit into our day?
  • What time to the kids need to go to bed?
  • Are there any errands that I can, should, or need to run today?
  • Are there any phone calls or emails that I should take care of today?

I suppose this is sort of a daily planning session for the SAHM. Ideally I could also scan through my Next Actions to catch things that are especially important.

Does anyone else use a checklist to help plan their day?