Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm BA-ACK!!!

I know, it's been a 2 months....

And for all 3 of you who actually look at this blog I sincerely apologize!! Things have been a little crazy around our house and I was seriously lacking in the blogging department. I was sick and then things just crazy around the house with kids and work and life in general.

Now, 1/3 of you might be thinking "but this blog was established to prove that there was in fact 'Life After Diapers'..." and you are right, but that is exactly why I've been slightly lacking lately. My family is my first priority, over work, over my personal life - they come first. For these past 2 months my family just took more of my time than it usually would, and that was mostly due to my lack of energy for the 5 weeks I was sick with a sore throat and other nastiness.

So, here I am, back and with an even greater resolve to bring you more recipes and ideas to help you out!! I have had lots of time to think and one of the things I have been doing is making goals for myself, as a mom, a wife and just a woman in general. I have decided to incorporate a new, SMALL goal every week or two to try and contribute to the general awesomeness I strive to embody - so here are a few of the goals I set over the past 2 months, and how I implemented them...

#1 - The first goal I set was a small one, and it was to keep the dining room table clear - this is an Achilles heel for me because the dining room table is SOOOO convenient for dropping stuff when you just don't have time to put it anywhere else. Our dining room table is also my sewing table, craft table for the kids and I, and just generally a wonderfully flat raised surface used for a multitude of things. So, one weekend my husband went through and "power cleaned" the table and kitchen (he was fed up with the clutter, and I don't blame him one bit!!) - once the table was empty and I had overcome my embarassment with letting it get that bad I decided that it was time to start over new....from that day forward nothing was to go on that table unless it was for a specific project I was doing at the time AND it could be cleaned up quickly and had a place to go when it was dinner time.

That was 2 months ago, and to this date I have kept that kitchen table free of useless clutter!!!

#2 - DISHES!!! I use capital letters because I used to think that dishes was a foul word, one that should be spelled with asterisks and other symbols depicting it's naughtiness (D&%*@#)!! I had a horrible habit of just letting the dishes pile up in the sink with the intention of washing the plastic and other non-dishwasher safe items...and also letting the clean dishes just sit in the dishwasher because, well, I hated emptying it. So, just let your imagination run and this could be a real problem.

Now before you start thinking "eww...isn't that a sanitation problem??" the answer is no...I am VERY picky about rinsing and wiping things off before leaving them in the sink, so the stuff in the sink didn't have day old food clinging to it, it just needed to be "washed" with soap.

So....about 2 weeks later I made the goal that with a few exceptions, I was going to make sure that sink was empty every night. So, I started doing dishes "by hand" every night....and after a few nights of grumbling through it I remembered I had an iPod that had barely been used, and a growing library of songs from a new TV show I was dying to listen to (thank you Glee!!). So, I clipped on the iPod, stuck an earphone in my right ear (for some reason I hear better out of my left I want to leave that one open to hear children) and started washing dishes....and singing along...

After one night of this I realized a few things - one, dishes aren't that bad, in fact, I wash almost everything by hand now unless there are a lot of dishes or I'm in a hurry, then I put the dishwasher safe stuff like plates and cups and silverware in the dishwasher. Two - I forgot how much I LOVED singing. My whole life throughout school was music, especially Choir in high school. Before I had little ears in the car you would find me driving with the music up so loud the license plate frame was shaking and I would be singing along just as obnoxiously loud; singing and listening to music really allows me a release for stress, and amazingly enough makes me feel better about the world.

#3 - my last goal 2 weeks ago - to try and fold the laundry the same day I took it out of the dryer. I tend to leave 2-3 hampers of clothes sitting and waiting to be folded because I just had a hard time making time to sit and fold it all and put it away. So far I'm definitely doing better than I was a month ago. In fact, right now there are 2 hampers sitting in our room from Sunday, but this is the first time in a while that has happened. It's a work in progress, but I figure any improvement is better than no improvement =)

And my goal starting today....

I have been MUCH better about making "home-made" meals more often and choosing meals based on the sales....and an unofficial goal I made was to try and made at LEAST 2 homemade meals every week.

To go along with that, I am making a goal to try at least one dessert recipe every week (to last through the week hopefully) since the homemade desserts are better for us than the store bought ones, and much cheaper!! AND I will post the dessert and recipe weekly for you to see!! So, below are the dessert recipes I tried this week...

Chocolate Picnic Cake
This recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine and I decided to give it a try on Friday since it was simple and I had all the ingredients...
This cake is described as being very versatile because it has no frosting, so is perfect for lunchboxes, and they saw it freezes well...and I think it would!! I actually added chocolate chips to the cake mix, but I don't think I would do it again, there were enough on the top!

Strawberry Cream Pie

This was the second recipe I decided to make on Sunday because I had a lot of fresh strawberries on hand and some extra heavy whipping cream hanging around....
We have yet to try this is in the fridge awaiting its fate after dinner tonight....but just from tasting the pre-fridge "batter" things looked promising!!
So, those are my desserts for this week. The chocolate cake is OK, I could see where it would be perfect for a kid's lunch, but I wouldn't make it as a dessert for company - it just doesn't have enough chocolate taste that us women expect from a dark dessert!! I will let you know soon what we thought of the Strawberry Pie.

1 comment:

Mike and Shelby said...

Yeah for all of your goals! I had similar goals for a clutter-free kitchen counter-one in particular, that is. I did get it all organized and free of all the clutter... the problem was keeping OTHERS from putting things there! It's much better than it used to be but we're still working on that one. :)

And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE doing my dishes. It is BY FAR my favorite chore in the entire house. I've always felt two things make a house look clean...dishes done and the floor vacuumed. I'm not very good about the vacuuming, but our kitchen is usually clean.

And {insert sigh} laundry. Laundry. It seems every few years (hmmmm, I guess it correlates with a child being added to the family?) I have to re-evaluate how I'm doing on laundry. I, personally, like to knock out ALL laundry in one day. Gather, sort, wash, dry, fold, put away...all of it. It was possible with a family of four, but now that Andrew is here, it seems to take a second day. Right now, my routine is: the girls and I gather and sort it all one night just before bed. (Which, by the way, Karyl is totally old enough to help with that part too!) Then I usually start one load in the wash and put the kids to bed. Once bedtime routine is over, I throw the load into the dryer. That way, the next morning, I already have one load done and ready to be folded while I start the rest. Throughout the day, I just knock each load out one by one in between cleaning other parts of the house/helping with homework/nursing/preparing dinner/reading to the kids/blogging. I often have the girls help fold their clothes and they are always responsible for putting their own clothes away. (Which isn't always done neatly-not because they don't try but because they are 3 and 6 years-but at least it's done!) When I'm doing it once a week, it is usually about 5 (sometimes 6) loads total: whites, towels, darks, mixed colors and one load rotated of bed sheets or bathroom rugs each week. And my preferred day is Monday or Tuesday. (Just cause then I can have Mike help me fold any unfinished loads at night while we watch our favorite show 24-what are we gonna do now that it's over!?!) I've tried the whole one load a day thing, it just didn't work for me.

Well, not that you asked for ANY of that! But, it's what works for me. Keep me posted on your goals-you've inspired me to start picking some areas that need some dutiful help in my house. :)