Thursday, November 22, 2012

Chore Chart

Yes, I'm 26 years old, and I need a chore chart. Here it is.

I took a four week chart I found on pinterest and re-made it to work for me. I also printed off new ones for the kids since I SO want to be consistent with their chores. Grant is supposed to make his bed, clean up his toys, practice his music, and get a hug and kiss every day, while Rachel is supposed to make her bed, clean up her toys, and get a hug and kiss. It's really hard for me to be consistent; there's so many things I'm trying to accomplish with them. So here I am trying again!!!

One major thing you might notice is that I didn't include laundry on my chart. I basically do our laundry on an as-needed basis - if I notice we're running low on one thing, I'll throw the load in. The kids have tons of clothes, plus Grant has plenty of accidents still that force me to do his even when he still has plenty of clean clothes, so they don't seem to run out. Everything else, I check every few days - socks (lately I've been waiting and doing one big sock load of mine and Trevor's, mostly his), whites, towels, darks, jeans. The only thing I sometimes get behind on is towels, which includes dish towels for the kitchen and is the place we notice if I get behind. But I consider myself very efficient and on top of things when it comes to laundry, therefore it doesn't need to be on the chore chart - except bedding!

One of these charts I made a few years ago was a day by day exhaustive list of nearly everything that needs to be done in a day - empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, make the beds, laundry (split up into loads to be done on certain days) - but that was just ridiculous and didn't work for me. Some people do certain loads of laundry on certain days - one blog I read had a mom doing each person in the family's laundry on one specific day of the week, which really appeals to me, but not quite the right fit for now. Maybe someday. 

My chart also needs a bit more tweaking. I need to include cleaning the front door, cleaning the inside of the van, front and back entrances, scrub the kitchen table, wiping the walls, etc. There's also those less-than-once-a-month jobs - cleaning out the entire fridge, draining the hot water tank, cleaning the oven, backing up computer files onto the portable hard drive... and let's not even mention the outdoor chores that will be back in the spring - and the new rooms to clean once the basement is finished.

When we moved into our new house, Trevor and I challenged ourselves - knowing that what we were asking is impossible - to keep our house clean like the temple. It never is - we know it never will be - but we are going to keep trying, and that way it will maybe look mostly clean, some of the time.

Trevor also suggested that maybe my incentive for keeping up with my chore chart could be a night away from the kids while he watches them, which sounds fantastic to me. That's definitely something that could motivate me. We haven't set any details or discussed it at all further than his mention of it...

I strongly believe that getting my kids involved helps to build their self-esteem. They start to understand what it means to be a contributing member of the family, and it makes them feel good inside. 

I am learning, slowly, to be patient with myself, rather than punish myself emotionally with negative self-talk, to keep trying again the next day. I rarely keep this schedule. Things will get pushed a few days back. With three of us using three bathrooms, they don't really get that dirty, so sometimes it's just a "check kids' bathroom" instead of really cleaning it; I'll just give the toilet bowl a scrub.

I couldn't do any of this without Trevor's help. He is always cleaning. His big thing is the floors - he's a self-admitted floor obsessor. He doesn't want them wrecked and he tries really, really hard to keep them clean. He usually does the front and back entrances all on his own, as well as the hardwood, and if the carpets are getting bad he always grabs the vacuum himself. He's awesome.

My challenge is trying to enjoy the kids - appreciate how little they are - in spite of their messes!

Good luck to everyone out there who is trying to have a cleaner home :) I believe it CAN be done.

Although some days - this graphic is accurate.

I think it's because Trevor helps so much that I can usually pick all three. 

I'm off to fold laundry.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

House Tour

Grass = totally photoshopped. 
We only have dirt. Actually, right now it's super dirty mounds of snow.

Living room - view into kitchen/dining

Back yard view

Front door and den

My dream kitchen.


Dining room. Kids have a nice big bench that's perfect for them.

We LOVE our master bedroom. The photographer didn't 
include photos of the kids' rooms on the CD we received so
I'll have to take some myself.

Master bath with our amaaaazing shower. Come try it.

Top of the stairs - first door on the left is Grant's room, second
door is Rachel's room and you can see her pink wall in this photo.
Across from her room is the upstairs laundry and kids' bathroom.

We LOVE our new home!!! It's much better in person, so please stop by 
if you haven't already (it won't be as clean as this though!!!)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Preschool Pictures

Look at this little face! Last week I said to Trevor, "One day the endless stream of pee underwear will stop and he won't be begging me to snuggle him at bedtime anymore, and I will miss it terribly."

Until then - I have a washing machine that allows me that precious snuggle time.

Home Sweet Home

We moved into our new house on August 30th - and we absolutely LOVE it. There are hardly words to describe how grateful we are for it - how blessed we feel. Truly, both Trevor and I feel as though it must only be temporary because we simply don't deserve to live here. Surely someone is going to knock on the front door and say "Just kidding!" So we're enjoying it while it lasts.

My kitchen is an absolute dream. The kids have adjusted much better than I expected - they each have their own room - and now that it's dark again outside they are back to sleeping 12 hours a night.
Grant and Rachel are both in music class again - although Grant's class is serious business this year. He has to practice every day and can identify C, D, E, F and G on the piano. He is also in preschool four afternoon a week!
Rachel is getting more and more grown up. She asks to use the potty, although with no results, I think she would like to toilet train but I can't seem to commit...

Here he is with his preschool friends (the ones we carpool with):

And, because I have so much time on my hands and my house is always clean, we're having another baby in March! Bring on the madness!

Picking its nose maybe? That would definitely make it related to Grant...

Trevor and I are speculating that it is a boy, judging by how sick I've been - more than with Rachel, with vomiting continuing past the first trimester... and Trevor had a dream where we had three more boys in addition to Grant. Yikes. It's a good thing we have a backyard.

In other news - last Monday, I chopped my hair off, pretty much completely. I was finally READY and man it feels good!!!

And it looks way, way better now that I got some wax gel and hairspray in it. It feels amazing. I keep thinking "I've got to take my ponytail out" when I get in the shower - and then realize it's GONE! I'm not sure how to describe the amount of hair I left on my hairdresser's floor - but it was a LOT. It looked like an entire animal had died in her kitchen.

The kids were able to come to a costume parade at my work on Halloween, Grant's preschool party, and we went trick or treating at the mall - I called it quits after that - so that they could get to bed at 7, and also because the sidewalks near us were incredibly slick from the freezing rain and it was a broken tailbone waiting to happen out there. They were both very cute saying "Trick or treat!"

I was just about to post Grant's preschool picture, but as I went to take the photo off the CD - I thought the price we paid got us one color photo of one pose - I got a fabulous surprise as on the CD there were 5 different poses/crops with each one in color, black and white, and sepia - so they now deserve their own post. We also had new family photos done which are adorable! But you may have to wait until the Christmas card to see...

Sunday, July 29, 2012


In our new house, we're going to have a little girl's room and a little boy's room. I originally thought that I would keep Grant and Rachel in the same room in our new place, but this entire summer has been ridiculous - in the sense that, one of them absolutely has to go to sleep in our bed and then be moved back into their shared room or they will NOT go to sleep. They play, pull their beds apart, jump on the mattresses, and just generally goof around. I want a boy's room and a girl's room anyway... I was just going to have Rachel sleeping in the boy's room for a while.
But no, that is not happening. Every single night this summer has been a fight.

SO.... I am once again asking for your opinion! I've narrowed my hunt for new crib bedding for Rachel down to two possibilities... I am very picky... and these are two completely different looks... however one is cheaper than the other... tell me which one you would choose. Take price into account too - the pink set is actually cheaper because it includes more matching items in the price, and we will need curtains, etc, for our new place anyway.

P.S. One of the reviews for the purple says it's not a bright purple, more of a dusty purple - the picture is a bit misleading!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I would say I've been too busy to post, but that's not true. More like too mopey - depressed  - bored. I spent most of the day sitting at the computer but haven't blogged since April.

We are living in Raymond in Trevor's dad's house for the summer. It was sitting empty since he is working in Calgary and Fort McMurray. I guess I had high expectations - it's a brand new house, spacious, vaulted ceiling in the living room, huge front and back yard, raised deck, lots of light, brand new gas stove.

But I didn't realize that it would be so hot that we'd have to put tinfoil over those nice big windows - so tacky but it would literally have been 40 degrees Celsius in here this week if we hadn't. I'm constantly on edge because the kids are ruining his ultra-glossy brand new hardwood floors, along with all the usual things they wreck. The basement is totally undeveloped, and the upstairs is *mostly* done. Let's just say, I will be incredibly grateful for toilet paper holders, towel bars, and handles on the cabinets in our new house! I will appreciate those things in a way I never have before - I'm sure of it!

Kids can't go out in the yard because there's no fences anywhere in Raymond, which is disappointing. We're all chomping at the bit for the kids to have a yard they can go out in anytime they'd like. Besides having no fence, the back is full of garbage - construction scraps, containers of used oil, old kitchen sink, propane tanks, broken bottles.

I don't want this post to be a compilation of my complaints, rather a brief explanation of why I'm depressed about living here. The people in Raymond have been great. I've adjusted to living in this town much better than I thought I would and I'm even warming up to living in a small Mormon town. I could do it. Maybe because I didn't grow up in the church - I love everyone around being Mormon.

But the kids and I are just plain bored. I don't have close friends here, and the gas into Lethbridge is so much. The kids and I watch TV literally all day until we're all pulling our own hair out. We have no fresh food because it goes bad extremely quickly in the fridge (guess it doesn't seal properly?), I can't stand cooking in the gas convection oven because it takes more than an hour just to heat up to temperature - all around, I've given up. Especially on cooking.

Needless to say, I will be very happy when our house is finished. We take possession August 28th and plan to move in on August 30th - we'd like to paint a few feature walls before we move in.

Friday, April 20, 2012


My serious three year old: 

I really can't believe that he is three - and I know I'll feel this way at every birthday. It's been three YEARS since that special day in a Vancouver hospital when I first met him? It's so surreal. He's talking so much now and is very bossy. He's stubborn and determined. He has his moments of sweetness, little glimpses where he's kind to Rachel or says a very precious bedtime prayer. All he really wants is to be able to help Mom and Dad with whatever we're doing - cooking, cleaning, building, vacuuming, packing. He is the happiest boy in the world when he's able and allowed to help us do chores! He's also really into play-doh right now and still loves the sand table at Stay and Play. He's just discovered Curious George on Netflix and mostly alternates between that and Mighty Machines. He also loves Cars 2 which Grammy gave him for Christmas, and has watched Toy Store too many times to count.
We absolutely adore him and love his helpfulness. He doesn't see every day things as challenges like I do, he sees them as something fun to do. He loves all things green and eats frozen waffles by the sleeve.
But I still remember this...

My precious son sent to me from a loving Father in Heaven.


The night before Christmas - kids opened their new Christmas jammies and left cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer:

Christmas (middle of the night):

Christmas morning:

Grant's most favorite gift was his toy vacuum. Rachel had great fun with the wrapping paper. We spoke to a few of our relative on Skype Christmas morning during present opening. It was very fun - Christmas is much better with kids!!! 


It has been another long absence from the blog. I read a long time ago, when I first started blogging, that there is an inverse relationship between how busy real life is and how much you post on your blog - although I think that a lot of people simply make time for it and are just as busy as me - namely, the busier you are in real life, the less you post on your blog. The article said that the inverse is also true - the more boring your life is, the more you will be posting on your blog. If your life is actually interesting, you'll be out living it instead of sitting on your computer writing about it. At least, that's my excuse. I know plenty of people with interesting lives who blog frequently, and I'd like to be more like them.

Two/three main things have affected why I haven't posted since December. Number one - Trevor won an iPad through a work photo contest (which came as a shock to us, since the photo is crap). The iPad has greatly reduced my need for the computer - I use it to go on facebook, check email, play games. It's so handy, and since we don't have a laptop, it's much easier for me to use while being on the main floor or in the basement with the kids than the upstairs computer room.

Another thing - I returned to work on January 16th at St. Therese Villa (assisted living facility - mostly elderly people). They offer a five week long course that you get paid $10/hour to complete. It was full-time, 8am to 4pm, and mine was Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday. The kids went to a fantastic day home but Grant had a tougher time adjusting than Rachel. Since then, I've been working a couple shifts a week, in the evenings. Trevor comes home early from work and then makes up for it by doing a little bit of work after the kids are in the bed.

This week and next I'm not working much since we are MOVING. We were hoping our landlords would let us stay here until our house was finished, but they want to put it up on the market - totally empty - right away. Trevor's dad, Les, graciously offered to let us stay in his house which is empty right now. We are very grateful to be able to live rent-free for the summer. It's out in Raymond, 20 minutes outside of Lethbridge, with plenty of room to store all our stuff in the basement. Also, Raymond has a brand new outdoor swimming pool and I plan to make use of it this summer! Rachel hates swimming though, so maybe I can convince her that it's not so bad.

Currently, the kids are sleeping on their mattresses in the old computer room upstairs - we cleared out the computer room and moved what was in it to Raymond - and mostly cleared out the kids' room since we need to paint it at some point before the 30th. The computer is hooked up to the TV, so right now Grant is watching Mighty Machines on one half of the screen while I blog on the other.

A lot of things have happened this year that I have not blogged about yet.

Next post: Christmas.