Tip{py} Tuesday- Visual Cues


We all need reminders. However, I have my limit at repeating myself 4 different times per person in this family. It gets old fast and I get annoyed even faster, especially with the 4 I have. I have also come to the conclusion that was a maid in a former life. I picture myself as one of the ones in Downton Abbey. Milling around a grand mansion striking soot off Persian rugs and helping the Lady pick just the right piece of flare for tonight’s dinner with the Earl. And then reality sets in and I am scrubbing pee off the toilets, using my nails as a abrasive edge to peel who-knows-what off the dinning room table, and the only piece of flare I get to wear is the splash of blueberry smoothie on my shirt…that I wore yesterday. I have hit that threshold of “no one appreciates me” yesterday when I said goodbye to a dozen small deadly little bits and pieces I sucked up with the vacuum. So today, I am doing something about it.


Hubs and I have been battling in the past weeks on the next step with parenting. Our children are getting older, more responsible and understanding of the world around them and what we expect of them. It’s not cute anymore when they leave legos in the floor to be stepped on or when the sticker book threw up all over Diva’s room one afternoon. Actions will now equal consequences. We also decided it was about time the children start pulling their weight around here. Why else do you have kids? JK. However, the main battle we are having is should it be a paid system of chores or a list of household responsibilities?

I never got paid as a child for chores. I did what I was told with childhood resentment. However, it lead to adulthood gratification. I know how to clean a toilet, how to do the laundry and how to load a dishwasher with out looking for someone to hand me a quarter to do it. I was raised that it would your duty and responsibility to your home and your family to do your work.

This this is how it is gonna work. Everyone needs reminders. And from this point further I am going to stop verbally reminding everyone to do what they are suppose too (with the exception of SB). Yes, the rest of them has ASD and yes the rest of them have ADHD and see something shiney and there they go forgetting what they were suppose to be doing. But, I think it will benefit everyone in the long run and everyone will lead a much longer life. Even I have my own self reminders of work to do and things to remember. Don’t think this is just for little children. I am contemplating making one of these nifty do dads for Hubs.

I found the idea on Pinterest (who knew!). I adapted it to what materials I had on hand because I am thrifty like that. I used a diaper box we got from Costco and cut off all the folds with a sharp knife. Next, I took the chalk board door hanger off his door and used it as a template. However, if you do not have template handy you could probably do a “door hanger template” search on Google. After I traced out three, I used my sharp knife again to cut out the shapes. After that, I found some scrap scrapbook paper I had been saving and traced the template on the paper again. Again, I cut out the three paper templates. I grabbed my rubber cement and smeared some on both the backs of the cardboard and the paper templates and smashed them together. Lastly, I took my stash of Washib tape and clothes pins and got to work. I went on Pinterest again for ideas of responsibility, but mainly I just thought of what I had them doing daily already. We don’t have much time in the mornings so I left off any morning routines that needed to be followed. In the end it took about one hour to complete three.


They are so cute hanging on their doors…until Diva when to close hers and broke the clothes pins off in the door jam. So new solution? I grabbed a couple small 3M command hooks and slapped those babies on the front lower middle of the door and hung their reminder charts there.



Mommy Moment Monday: Home Organization Tips


Today was a great day. I had MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) this morning and was able to connect with some great moms. Not only did we have our Thanksgiving meeting (which meant Thanksgiving themed brunch) it was also a round robin with 7 different speakers on 7 different important mommy topics; and I was a speaker! Luckily I did not talk on time management since I was a few minutes late because I realized I hadn’t used the restroom yet this morning. However, I did talk about home organization. Between three kids and nine therapists the file through my home weekly, I feel a constant need to make my home presentable. They are constantly on the ground or sitting out our dinning room table for work. I never want them to feel like they are uncomfortable sitting down due to the state of my home.  A few of the tips I shared, I have already shared with you all; and a few are new. Either way, here is a round up of some mommy tips we use to keep our home organized (noticed I didn’t say clean, hehe.)

1) Sock basket. This was one of the first posts I did back in February of this year. We still employ it now. In our home, like most, my children were forever pulling apart their matching socks and ending up with three socks. They would fuss and draw out getting reading in the morning because there were only three socks left. First off, they only have two feet, so why are we worried about three socks? We have enough socks to cover the feet we have. We will worry about the one sock later.  You can call it lazy, but I like to think of it as a teaching lesson. So I instituted the sock basket.

2) Kids kitchen storage basket; another post from earlier this year. I like to teach my children independence and that mom or dad or anyone else for that matter, does not always have to do things for them. My children are old enough to ask for a snack or a drink and I felt time they were capable of getting simple things on their own. I bought two cheapo baskets from Walmart and placed them in a kitchen cabinet low enough they could access it. In addition to the baskets, I had the kids start emptying the dishwasher on a daily basis.

Up onto that point it was sorta hit or miss. Again, I felt my kids were getting to the age, or past it, where they are able to help around the house. I had seen to many friends start having to fork over a portion or their paycheck to pay for their children allowance. I wondered why they waited so long to institute chores. Then I had a light bulb moment- they didn’t have to be chores if you simply instill in them they are household or family responsibilities. I feel that if you start a child early on household responsibilities they will grow up knowing they are helping out their family instead of feeling like they reserve some type of token or rewards.

So not only do my children unload their dishes and the silverware (I take out the sharp objects) they are capable of getting themselves a glass of water or a small snack. Warning: If you have younger children they will follow lead and do what their older brothers and sisters do. At one point I thought my fridge was leaking. I called out maintenance who informed me it was not my fridge, but my very intelligent and highly observational 20 month old who was coping what their older siblings were doing by getting herself a cup and trying to reach the button the water dispenser. Ugg.

3) Do not but the cute colored totes. Don’t do it. Walk away! I know they are cute with their fun colors that match the holidays but I bet you anything once you pack it all away and go next year to pull it out, you will have forgotten what you put in there. This same suggestion also goes hand in hand with clear Tupperware. Buy clear containers. For me- out of sight is out of mind. Whether it is the left overs from a month ago or rebuying the same decorations as you did last year, if you cant see what is in the box, you forget it is there. I throw out all my colored Tupperware. It was time, we got them as a wedding present. We invested in a Costco sized collection of clear contains for food storage. It has cut down our grocery bill. Now I can see what I have left over and what halfs of fruit or veggies I have and use them in a new dish. My fridge has never been so clean or organized.

But still have those cute colored 5 gallon totes for storage? I do. In order to use them and not pitch them, I bought a package of page protectors. I wrote out an inventory of what was in the tote and slipped it in the protector. Last I taped it on the tote. This works awesome if you are in the military like us and move frequently. We have learned that most moving companies don’t always want to repack those totes into their own boxed. Most times they will just take a quick look and tape them shut. We even had one company repack them with packing material and put it back in our tote. Makes moving and getting organized a whole lot easier.

4) Ditch the toy box. It is a toys death. Basically, when a toy hits the bottom it will never see the day of light again. It seems to be the small pieces, the broken toys and the outgrown toys that float to their depths. Which is great when you need to purge, but not so great for those expensive toys you bought her for her last birthday. Instead use smaller more manageable sized boxes for storage.  We repourposed our toy box (which was actually my toy box from childhood with a broken lid) into the dress up box. Most of her dresses, skirts and other bigger items go in there. Her smaller items like Barbies, Legos and baby doll stuff. Of course they are in clear totes with labels. The labels are words and photos. Words are great for early readers. It encourages them to sound things out. The pictures work great for the younger non-readers. Seeing a photo of a lego on her lego box helps her match them up and see what she has. Some might think it is a little OCD, but I think it is just common sense. Here is a peek at her shelves with smaller baskets.home organization

5) Table top organization. When you start having people, not family, filter in and out of your life on a daily basis, they do eventually become like family. There finally came a point where I told my children’s therapists to stop asking me for a glass of water and start helping themselves. I showed them were the cups where, how to get ice and press the button for water. Ok, maybe not that detailed, but I showed them around. They were coming into our home almost 20 hours a week and honestly I didn’t have time to stop every 5 seconds and answer their question where the pencils where. Finally, one day it hit me. I just need to create a way where my kids and their therapists could be independent. I seem to like that words a lot. So I drove  my happy self over to the local goodwill and stock up on the most disasterly hideous looking wide mouth vases I could find. Why? Because no matter the color in the store, they were all getting spray painted a uniform color of silver to match my decor. And to make my idea more awesomer was the fact that they were so disgusting they were deeply discounted. When it was all said and done about a hour later, I had a very cheap (I already had the basket in storage) and effective supply basket for the kids. There is a vase for all the remotes, pencils and sharper, markers, a few coloring books, wipes and a one for randomness. Another warning: said 20 month old from #2 will watch older siblings and find the only paper she can (which happens to be her brothers report card which was three weeks over due), climb up on the table, grab a nice brown marker and color all over the paper.
table top organization


Hoped some of these tips helped you. I know they have helped me and saved me time.

Tip{py} Tuesdays- Snack Attack!

Or the snacks are attacked! Either way you phrase it- my kids have been attacking all the food coming into this house lately. They go through growth spurts at the same time! It drives me insane. It’s like having triplets and I’m just as busy as a mom of one. So I have taught my kids to do a few things independently to help me out and to teach them a few life skills they will need in the real world.

One is getting themselves a snack. A while back MrsMissionControl wrote a great post about teaching her kids how to get their own cups and plates.

We use this method in our home too. And to help my kids get their own snack as well I went a step further. I bought a large over-sized snap lock lidded monstrosity of a jug from the px and simply filled it with gold fish. It will hold two of the bags from Costco.

My only issue? SB helping herself.


My Parenting Style

Let’s get back to the basics. I feel a lot of parents are ignoring the basics of parenting today in order to be a modern/hip parent; even a friend of their child. Today I see too many rude, inconsiderate, and basically uneducated children because their parents are being more soft-handed than the previous generation and are afraid. They are afraid of not being a friend in their child’s lives. Too many parents are coveting that open relationship a friend has, rather than coveting the accountable relationships parents have.

From experience I have seen a parent afraid to discipline a child in fear they will lose the love and relationship their child gives them. However, even with an loving and authoritative relationship; a child still shows love and respect.

I think children even thrive more on strong dominate relationships where parents play the leadership role. Children are lost in this world and God put us here to lead, education and show them how to love. If we stand next to them, instead of in front of them, children are just lost souls.

So why did I write this? Maybe it is because I felt a need to remind my own self my parenting style. My children are growing up, and more and more I am having to parent them; instead of being their princess in a tea party. My parenting style is being tested on a daily basis and I need to make sure I am comfortable in my own ways before I teach them to my children.

Dish Duty



Okay, personal confession time.  Drum roll………  I do way too much for my kids.  It’s ironic because by profession, I am a teacher.  Come into my classroom and you would find that students were expected to be personally responsible for their belongings, tidy up after themselves, and pitch  in to keep the classroom running smoothly.  Alas, in my home as a parent I do not always practice this same set-up.  I tend to do things for my kids because it’s easier and faster.  Patience is not my strong suit.  

So, one day I was telling a friend of mine how much I hate putting away dishes, and how I always feel like I’m searching for sippy cups.  She asked me why I didn’t have my kids do it.  I responded with, “that cupboard is way too high for them.”  She was very sweet and showed me her own kids’ dish cupboard.  It was in a bottom cabinet, totally within their reach.  They had a basket for plates, bowls, cups, etc…  Each basket was labelled and they could totally handle putting their own stuff away.  Not only that, when they want a snack/ drink, they can get their own dish to put it in!

My wheels started turning and I came up with my own version, pictured above.  There is a spot for plates, bowls, cups, and a plastic tumbler for kids’ silverware.  It is not always a tidy cupboard, what with all the little hands in and out of it.  But, MY KIDS ARE HELPING AROUND THE HOUSE! It’s awesome!  The labels are done with words and pictures since my kids aren’t reading yet.  I drew them, but clip art would work great too.  Now that I have a handy-dandy dish cupboard for the kiddos, now I just have to consistently make them use it…I’ll keep you posted 🙂