Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

I realize that this might not be the most POPULAR of ideas but...one way that I have found to have less stress in the morning is...too get up before my kids. If I get up earlier, get a shower, get dressed, check email and eat breakfast...all before they get up, I know that I can concentrate on them when they wake up. I am just so much more focused and not worried about how hungry I am or trying to get a shower in while kids are running around everywhere.

The other thing to do is to get as much done as you can the night before.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday

It has been a long time since I did a tackle. I have totally missed it and am glad I got it done. I did start out nice and slow as our power has been iffy all morning! In our laundry room above the washer and dryer are two cupboards. These cupboards have not been used to their maximum potential. Why? Because they are hard for a little shorty like me to reach!! In the before pictures, the blue tupperware container is holding...cords. Random cords, and just a whole bunch of misc. things. The clear one had baseballs. Linens are kind of tossed in. The big turquoise blue container holds a steamer. However the case is too big and so the door doesn't close all the way. So...I cleaned out the containers. One question...how many usb cords does one family need?! I went through everything and there were maybe 10 things worth keeping. All baseballs and swim gear, out to the garage. Steamer out there too. Small linens, tucked into a basket. Tablecloths folded. I think it looks so much better. Happy I got that done. My other tackle is that I have 2 cards that need to be written and sent. Thanks for looking at my tackle!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I usually try and figure out breakfasts but I am a little lax on ideas for this week. So just dinners this week!

Taco bake ( from Kraft Food and Family)

Tuesday: Ben's gone

salad/other green vegi

Thursday:(I'm gone)
cresant dogs
tater tots

teriyaki stir fry
bread of some sort
Toffee Crunch dessert

pizza night

If you are looking for other great ideas, head on over to

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sweet Sunday

I love the idea of having a huge family dinner on Sundays. Every time we are home, Ben's Grandma always lets us know that we are expected on Sundays for dinner.I love it. I think it is wonderful to have that weekly time to talk & eat without the rush of the week. Our family is uber busy and so we don't always eat a family dinner during the week.

So every Sunday I am going to share what we are having, with recipes. Just for fun. :)

Although I hadn't orginally planned on it, our dinner will be very "sweet." We are having brown sugar chicken, couscous, carmel apple salad, and grilled pineapple. Whenever I have these recipes mentioned on my menu plan, I usually have a request for the recipes. So here we go...

** Brown Sugar Chicken**
3 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken pieces ( I like to use a bag of chicken tenders)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup splenda
1 c.vinegar
1/2 diet lemon lime soda
3 TBS garlic
3 TBS soy sauce

Place chicken in the bottom of crock pot. Pour remaining ingredients on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

**Caramel Apple Salad**
8 oz. container of thawed cool whip ( I use sugar free)
1 (8oz) can of crushed pineapple
1 ( 4oz)pkg of instant butterscotch pudding mix
3 cups diced apples ( my kids like the peels off)
1 c.chopped pecans
1 c. miniature marshmallows

Mix cool whip, crushed pineapple with juice and pudding. Add apples,pecans and marshmallows. Keep in fridge until ready to serve

**Grilled Pineapple**
I don't know about the states right now, but we have pineapples aplenty at the commissary right now. I cut the pineapple into rings, dip it into a bowl of teriyaki sauce and than put it on my George Foreman. If we are already having bbq ( which is my fav!!) I will have Ben throw it on the outdoor grill.

I love these recipes because 1) they are "open and dump" recipes, 2) they are soo quick and easy 3) the kids love them

What are you having for dinner this week?

I am going to ask the kids an open ended question to get them talking..." If you were a superhero, what power would you want and why?

Have a sweet Sunday!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Long time...no blog

I had honestly hoped to keep this blog updated while Ben's parents were here. Soooo did not happen! It is hard to clean or organize things while you have company. What do you say..."Oh I can't go sight seeing right now,I need to organize my junk drawer." Not gonna happen. At least not for me. Now that they have gone, it is time to get back to what I was doing. Back to routines, and getting organized.

There has been something going on in my life that I hadn't really shared. For a variety of reasons, I have kept it to myself. But the fact is, I am an extrovert. I have to talk things out. Share how I am feeling. The feedback really does help. So I am taking a deep breath and here we go...

I have always described Ivan in a variety of ways, a cute little Dennis the Menace, Hurricane Ivan, Ivan the Terrible, my wild man, a little stinker etc. His behavior has always been hard to deal with and I never know how he will react in a situation. He goes from 0-60 in 5 seconds. Just up and down with his emotions. And all of his emotions are extreme. He has started to be very aggressive. Hitting, throwing toys,biting, kicking and more. We have always said, " well that is Ivan" or " he is only 2" or " well he is the baby". However, as the problems have increased, we had to start looking at him and wondering if there was something more.

One day a friend of mine asked me if I had ever had Ivan tested for autism. I said no, I have never had a reason. But it got me thinking. Then at his well child exam,the doctor felt that he might be developmentally delayed. She said that I could get him tested if I wanted too and I said yes. After that, he seemed to just go downhill. He is really hard to take and I am always finding myself exaughsted and just...DONE by the end of the day.

My neighbor came to talk to me one day,and told me she knows just how I feel and has a son who is very similar to Ivan.I nearly started crying as she echoed everything I had been feeling. She let me borrow a book that helped her. I didn't get a chance to really start it while Ben's parents were here. But when I did, the first page had me in tears. " How can the author be describing Ivan when she has never met him?" I have been crying as I read through this book. Is Ivan ADD or ADHD? I don't know. Is he a "spirited child"? He scored off the charts. So I need to help him. He is my priority right now.

After reading many forums and articles there are a few things I have learned that I am trying to implement. It amazes me that there is such a correlation to the things that I want to do and what will help Ivan.

1) He can not have sugar. It is not good for him and keeps his blood sugar up and down. He can not handle the surge in his levels like that. Some of the major things that I did not realize how much sugar they have are...fruit snacks, yogurt, applesauce and juiceboxes. These were things that I was constantly giving him. A child size yogurt has 19 grams of sugar in it! And sometimes he would eat more than one. So my goal is to find recipes that don't use sugar. At first I felt bad for the other kids ( no cookies or pop tarts etc.) but then I thought better of that. None of us needs that!!

2) He needs a clean and organized environment. It is confusing and hard for him to handle. However, he needs my attention during the day. So I will be getting up early and getting as much done as I can before he wakes up. Then when he is awake, the focus is on him. Nap time will be spent as my free time. Time to relax and rejuvenate. Then a strict afternoon and evening routine.

3) Routine. Ivan thrives on a routine. He does not do well with transition. If I take him to do errands and than throw in an extra one, he will throw a fit and make my life miserable. So I need to be on a nice scheduled routine. So he knows exactly what comes next.

4)Limited tv. It is just too much stimulation. The tv needs to be kept off. Relaxing with a movie/tv show actually does the opposite. Reading, or a bath is a better way to help him relax.

5) exercise and outdoor play. He needs to be able to let all of that energy out. We need to be spending more time outside.

This post has already been way too long so for now that is all. It is just time to take care of this. Help him as much as I can. It is so important to be a homemaker. My place truly is in the home and he needs me here. I hope I can live up to the task!

Monday, February 11, 2008

so far..

Sunday night I wrote out my morning routine. I was excited to get started. I didn't do anything that night but just planned to get up and do my routine. Well...since I hadn't done anything, I spent the morning playing catch up. On my routine was " unload dishwasher" well since it was never loaded I had to do that first. I couldn't do the laundry because I needed to make the kids lunches, etc. So...what did I learn? That the evening routine is just as important as the morning. They work together for efficiency.
Harmony has Girl Scouts every Monday. While I love her leader, I would love to have it at a different time. It starts at 5:30, so that involves feeding her dinner before she leaves, and then feeding the boys when I get back. Then going back to pick her up while Ben helps the boys get ready for bed. It's crazy.

But I knew it was important to do a night routine. So I cleaned the kitchen, cleared off the table, swept the floor and straightened up the living room. This morning...my routine went so well. I didn't feel like I was playing catch up at all! Now I am totally not a night person so my routine will be small. But here goes...

**clean kitchen ( as soon as dinner is over! Do not head to the tv!)
** clear off table
** sweep
**quick spot mop
** pick up toys in living room
** pack lunches ( minus sandwiches)
**write to do list for next day
** get anything out of the freezer that may be needed for dinner the next day

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I normally only plan for a week, but with my in laws coming life is going to be crazy. I really don't want to be flying by the seat of my pants but I also don't want everything so scheduled that it doesn't leave us time to have fun. So here is what I am looking at. I also need to start making my menu's a lot healthier! :0

Monday: (GS for Harmony)
B: pancakes, sausage, oj
D: grilled pork loin, rice, rolls, vegi

Tuesday: ( Ben is gone)
B: cereal, yogurt
D: mac and cheese, fruit,toast

Wednesday (picking up Ben’s parents)
B: muffins, eggs
D: hot dogs, chips

Thursday: (date night !!)
B: leftover pancakes/muffins
D: pizza, watermelon, strawberry kool aid

B: cereal
D: night out

Saturday: ( Connor’s b-day party)
B: pancakes, sausage, oj
L: hot dogs, chips, fruit, cake
D: taco soup

B: kids pick
L: left overs
D: lasagna, salad, garlic bread, dessert

B: eggs w/ham
D: sub sandwiches, chips, caramel apple salad, potato salad

B: cereal
D: Ben’s birthday

first things first..

I have read so many organizing books that I should be the most organized person on this planet. Unfortunatley that is not true.

I am a big fan of Flylady and
one of the things that she has you do is set up routines. Things that you are going to do every single day. Even if that is all you do during the day! LOL

So I am going to post mine here. If it needs to be redone later, so be it. It is a work in progress!

exercise 30min. 3 days a week ( probably Tues/Thurs/Sat
shower, dressed, make up all done before kids wake up
quick clean of the bathroom
bring dirty clothes downstairs/start a load
unload dishwasher
make breakfast
make lunches ( eventually will be part of a night routine)
After big kids are out the door:
make beds
quick swipe of their bathroom
load dishwasher with breakfast dishes
plan for dinner

Sounds like a lot but I am already doing the majority of them anyway!
Another blog? Do I really need another blog? Well my main blog that I know and love is for my family life. Things that are happening with us.I love to do all the challenges about home life (menu plan Monday etc) and wanted a different place to keep up with them all. This way they are not on my regular blog so you don't have to read about my homemaking if you don't want too!

I have this secret desire to be just like Martha Stewart. She is organized, creative, smart and a very hard worker. Her home(s) are immaculate, her life is balanced and organized.I realize that she was in jail,but she wasn't like other celebrities and asked for special treatment. She served her time. And I am not taking about her personal life anyway.

When I was younger,I had no interest in any sort of homemaking skill whatsoever. Who cares about cooking and cleaning? Well...now it matters to me. I posted about a conference talk that I read and it really instilled in me a want/need to once and for all get my life and home in order.

So here is my place to share my challenges I participate in, my organizing ideas, house hold hints, recipes and whatever else falls under the listing of "homemaking".

Enjoy and feel free to share any ideas or suggestions!

Want to contact me?

Feel free to contact me at hecimommy@gmail.com