Monday, April 30, 2012

Dinner Plans

The menu board has been working great! I have been properly utilizing it for almost a month now. I am happy to say we haven't wasted a ton of food, bought a bunch of take out, or even had to buy too many groceries. Now, sometimes we don't follow it perfectly, but it is working for us.

Here's our plans this week:

Sunday- Grillin; brats, corn, potatoes, etc. (this was supposed to be dinner Sat, but we had a banquet I forgot about.)

Monday- Stuffed Peppers Leftovers

Tuesday- Pork on the grill (getting moved to next week) Stuffed peppers

Wednesday- Homemade Pizza

Thursday- Beef Burgundy (crock pot)

Friday- Grilled Chicken

Saturday- Roast (crock pot)

Does The Laundry Ever End?

The boys LOVE laundry day!

Its Monday. I actually like Mondays. To me Mondays mean getting back to our routine. It may not seem (or look) like it, but I love routine. Don't get me wrong- we love our weekends around here, but Mondays mean things actually slow down somewhat. Instead of running from place to place and event to event I get to look forward to laundry, housework, cooking, and all the other daily to-dos that keep this family running.

Monday is laundry day. I try to do a load a day the rest of the week, but Monday is laundry all day. It is probably easier to just do a couple of loads a day, every day; but my family is not consistent at putting their laundry down the chute as soon as they take it off. Sure, I could pick up after all of them. But I don't.

I instituted the Monday morning laundry rule to help alleviate the Thursday morning "I don't have any jeans" drama. If they want clean clothes they need to put it in the laundry chute by Monday morning. If the dirty clothes do not get put down by Monday morning, they may not get washed until next week. This caused a little drama for the first week or too, until they realized I was serious. Now the laundry may not get put down the chute every week, but we also do not hear "I don't have any clean clothes!"

Today's list of six:
  1. Laundry
  2. Vacuum
  3. Mop
  4. Dining Room (I really want to see that table!)
  5. Clear Bar
  6. Package and freeze meat
Also: change air and water filters, and bake something with those ripening bananas

Off to work...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Repaying thoughtfulness

We try to live frugally. I can't say that we are on a budget, because we are not. It may happen someday, but not today. In the meantime, we save wherever and however we can.

One way we save is scouting previously loved baby stuff. We are not ashamed to take used clothes, equipment, and toys off of peoples hands (if we have a need for the item).

One friend gave us a ton; crib, two high chairs, pack'n'plays, double stroller, clothes, toys, and much more; refusing payment of any sort.

She has mentioned a couple of things she likes, and I know I can make them. I have been keeping a to-do list, so I can let her know how much our family appreciates her thoughtfulness. Well, a list means nothing unless you take action. She is leaving for vacation in less than two weeks, so I need to get crafting!

Here are my plans:
  • A couple of flower hair accessories
  • ID wallet
  • Passport wallet
  • Luggage ID
  • Time permitting- Slouch hat
I will update with photos, and links as soon as (or if) I finish.

Time to get to work.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Twin Tips

It is a challenge raising twins. I have yet to find an adequate instruction guide to these precious little things. (While I was pregnant I read every book about twins and multiples that I could get my hands on.)

I am going to try to post a twin tip each Tuesday. This are tips that have worked for our family, but please keep in mind that every family is different.

Remember Biology class? Well, all that talk about 'adaptation' and 'survival of the fittest' makes much more sense now that I have twins. At our Well Check this week the pediatrician asked how I grocery shop. I had to laugh, it seems like second nature to me now.

Here's what we do (and have done since the boys were born):
I bought stroller hooks, much like these ones. I use reusable shopping totes, fill em up as we shop, and hang from the hooks. I felt weird at first, like people thought we were shoplifting. I got over that fast, now it is a way of life. (Next time we go shopping, I'll take a photo of this phenomenon.)

This is one adaptation I have made since being a mommy.

*This may be common sense, but please do not fill bags too full, or your twins will be popping wheelies through the grocery store. (Don't ask how I know.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

What's for dinner this week?

This past winter I made a dry erase menu board. It is can be very helpful when used. I have trying to get the hang of this meal planning business.

This is what I have been doing: Our menu goes from Sunday to Saturday. On Saturday I look in the freezer and pantry for dinner ideas. Then I ask hubby, "What sounds good for dinner this week?" I wipe the board clean, and write down our plans. Then, if needed, I find recipes and stick with a sticky note so they are easy to find. Next I write our shopping list, buy the goods, and we have a home-cooked meal most nights of the week.

We have a very busy household, our son is currently in track and baseball, and our daughter is in softball and pom-pom. If I know everybody's schedule, I can try to avoid costly takeout all week. I try to do easy dinners, or crock pot meals (LOVE my crock pots) on the busiest days. Actually that is what I do most days, but it still helps to have it wrote down, another to-do.

Here's our plan this week:

Sunday: Crock pot Mac n Cheese
Monday: Jambalaya
Tuesday: Enchiladas
Wednesday: Tater Tot Casserole
Thursday: Crock pot Italian Chicken
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Grillin! (Burgers or Brats)

Friday, April 20, 2012

No focus without a list...

Wow! This week ran away. I did manage to some stuff done, but not too much. The boys have started standing on their on this week. Now they pull themselves up on everything, reach for everything, and prefer standing to anything else. Needless to say I have been busy learning the ropes of this new skill.

Good news is that hubby has today off, so I'm planning on catching up on all the housework. I would also love to de-clutter some more, but we'll see what time allows.

Here's to getting my to-dos done! (Am I the only one who gets excited when the spouse has a day off- so I can try to clean?)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Success does not happen overnight!

How did I do you ask? Well, I am a work in progress. Right?

1. Laundry- Everything is washed and dried. Everything except one basket is folded. The folded clothes are still sitting in baskets. Oops.
2. Vacuum- Done. Vacuum is back in closet.

3. Mop- Done. Mop is back in closet.

4. Potato Bread- Made the bread. Machine is still on the counter.

5. Ranch- Done.
6. Fill Diaper Box- Started, kinda. I found a couple of books to get rid of.

Today's list:
1. Laundry- put those darn clothes away. (Usually they sit folded in the basket until the next Monday when I need the baskets, that's when they get moved to the tops of dressers, eventually getting put inside the dresser or worn. I want to break this habit.)

2. Fill diaper box with things to rid the house of.

3. Clear dining room table.

How did I let this happen?

4. Clear bar and counters (this means putting away the bread machine).

There is that blasted bread machine...and the crock pot from last night's dinner, and my cup from this morning's coffee.
5. Clear breakfast table.

Now this one is not too bad. Keeping it cleared is not quite a habit yet, but getting there.
6. Go to post office and bank.

And just for fun- work on crocheted dishcloth, and make goodies (yet to be determined).

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Six Most Important Things List

Have you ever heard of 'The Six Things I Must Do Tomorrow?' A long time ago Charles Schwab, president of Bethlehem Steel wanted to increase the company's efficiency. He hired Ivy Lee, an efficiency expert, in hopes to increase productivity. Long story short Ivy instructed Charles and his employees to make a list for tomorrow. They were to list the six most important things they needed to do the next day, and number them by importance. They were to cross each item off the list when it was finished (1-6). If something does not get done today, it goes on tomorrow's list.

This worked for Bethlehem Steel, and also earned Mr. Lee what would today be equivalent to more than a quarter million dollars ($25,000 in 1920). May Kay also implemented this technique in her business.

What does this have to do with Theresa's To-Dos? Well, for a couple of weeks I have been writing out my list (sometimes it has ten things to do, hey I like to have options). Then during nap time, when dad gets home, or any other time during the day I try to bust through the to-do list.

It works for me, I like being able to see that I actually did accomplish something during the day. The only problem I noticed is that I really like crossing things off. For most people this would not be a problem, but God did not make us all from the same mold... I tend to start and mostly complete something, then cross it off. Start the next thing, mostly finish it, cross it off. Notice a pattern?

My resolution: I will not allow myself to cross anything off the list until it is finished.

Monday's To-Dos
1. Laundry, which means I have to put the clean, folded clothes away before I can cross it off the list.

These are usually stacked up all over the house. (Laundry is done right?)
2. Vacuum, which means I have to empty the canister, and put the vacuum back in the closet before it is crossed off.

This is normally where the vacuum gets left. (It belongs behind that door.)
3. Mop downstairs, same as above, put the steam mop back in the closet.
Out of shame I am not posting more pictures. I think you get the idea.
4. Make potato bread, this means the bread machine is not allowed to sit on the counter for a week, only to be moved to the top of the refrigerator, when the bread machine actually belongs in the cupboard.
5. Make ranch dressing, crossing this one off will not  be too hard since I have been really good at doing the dishes every night.
6. Fill diaper box with stuff for garage sale- this one has been pushed from day to day for a couple of weeks now. I tend to procrastinate when it comes to de-cluttering. But since we have twins in diapers, we have a lot of boxes, might as well put them to good use.

Wish me Luck!

Welcome to Theresa's To-Dos

Hello, my name is Theresa; and I have a lot of to-dos. (Everyone: "Hello Theresa.")

I am the wife to the most wonderful man in the world. (I know it sounds cliche, but it's true!) I am the step-mom to a 13 year-old boy, and a 10 year-old girl.  Last July we were blessed with twin boys.

I have always been very put together. The queen of multi-tasking, Miss Can Do Anything. I used to be the go-to girl when people wanted things done, done good, done in a timely fashion, and done with a creative flair. I'm pretty sure I had a bit of OCD, I called it perfectionism, but it my husband recently notified me that it was actually OCD. Since having getting pregnant for Thing 1 and Thing 2, I've lost my talent. I can't focus, my time management skills have disappeared, and most recently I have become good at starting things and not finishing. My world has been literally turned upside down. I am not complaining, but I am desperately need to for some sort of order.

I have pieces of paper with phone numbers, recipes, to-do lists, I-would-like-to-do lists, important information, not so important information, knitting, sewing, and crochet patterns, crafts I would like to do, blogs I like to visit, and the list goes on. I started saving things on the computer, both computers. I would send files to my Kindle, bookmank my favorites, and most recently I have been pinning.

I desire a clean (to me) house. I crave less clutter (by golly do we have a ton of clutter). I hope someday to have everything organized. I would love to be able to multi-task again, but if I can't it would be great if I could at least find that recipe I've been looking for. Speaking of looking for, where oh where did I put that digital kitchen thermometer I bought last week?

Okay, I think you get the idea. This is my little space to work on getting my life a little more organized, my place to document my (hopefully) finished to-dos.