Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Schedule

It has been on my mind to write a post regarding our schedule. I don't really know why, but the urge to do so has been nagging on me for a while now and I'm just going to start it. Mind you, this schedule changes as my children have grown and changed and also based on what the Lord is doing in our lives at the time. When it was just three of us and we were more involved with CRU on campus, for instance, bedtime looked more like 9pm and Lydia would wake up closer to 8am to adjust to the college group's late night events. With two kids, life changes, and new sleep routines... well this is where we're at right now and this is what we do to keep things going in a home of  four.

5:30-6:30am- Our day starts. The kids have a tiny breakfast/snack and then Lydia will watch a movie as we prepare our day. The kids only wake up this early because they want to see their daddy off so they are still pretty sleepy and grumpy at this point.(I always thought I'd be the anti-tv type of mom, but I'm more of a limit-tv type of mom now... there really are some great educational tv shows for the kids! Lydia learned a lot of sign language, animal names, songs, and spanish phrases from shows like Baby Einstein and Dora the Explorer! )

8:00am - This is when I've officially had my coffee by, the kids are really awake, and I make a bigger breakfast. As they're eating I try and get the laundry rotated and started, the house and their rooms picked up,  and the vacuuming and sweeping done. It's easier to do all of those things when they are stationary!

I won't give a specific time because it varies day to day, but I make sure to clean up after breakfast, rotate the laundry and put laundry away, play with the kids, and get them dressed and ready for the day.

9:00am/10am -(depending on when he wakes up) Grayson goes down for his first nap. Once he goes down it's a mad dash to spray down and clean the bathroom, put away clothes in my room (it's a pain to do when he's awake!), and pick up whatever needs picking up. If I don't pick up the toys then they just slowly pile up through the day, I get more irritable, the kids actually play with them less, and someone ends up hurt on something. I know it's redundant picking up the same things a couple of times a day, but it works for us and helps everything function better in our day as a whole. Since Graybee is now sleeping, Lydia and I try to have a special 'Lydia only' activity. Usually a craft, or cooking something, or a game. Nothing big, but something to engage her mind so she doesn't get bored. Being stuck in the house most of the winter months leaves her super antsy and she's more likely to be a grouch and get into trouble if 1. she's not getting enough one-on-one attention  2. She doesn't have something to engage her mind or 3. She doesn't get enough physical activity.

11:00/11:30am- Gray wakes up and the kids get a small snack. They play, use their imaginations, pull out toys, push each other in the little stroller, ride bikes....etc. If it's sunny outside we take a walk or play outside. I try to get out of the house anytime it's sunny enough (more like no rain/snow enough because the sun just doesn't want to come out lately!) or we will do our shopping around this time. 

1:30- Lunch time!

2:00pm- Lydia gets her quiet time. She is put into her room and must stay on her bed. She has books that she reads (that read to her). If she's tired then she'll fall asleep, but if not... she'll just read a while. Grayson just putts around playing with me or on his own.

3:00pm- Grayson goes down for his second nap! If Lydia fell asleep then I rush to either finish a project, take a nap, or deep clean something that I otherwise can't do while they're both awake.

4:00pm- start dinner, kids wake up, I give them a tiny snack to hold them over until dad gets home.

5:30/6:30pm- Dinner time

7:00/7:30pm- Bedtime!

Key things I make sure to do every day:
-Start at least one load of laundry in the morning and have it put away by the end of the day and put a new load in before bed in the evening. I often get more than that done, but 1 is my goal. 
- Vacuuming, sweeping, swiffer mopping.... I do it at LEAST once a day. If my floors and tables are clean then food and junk doesn't get stuck to anything else in my house. It's a win win. 
-Dust- I wipe down our furniture in the living and dining rooms every day. I don't have the best vacuum so it gets pretty dusty after everything settles after vacuuming and if you add my black furniture to the equation... well it's a necessity. I feel better after doing it just knowing that we aren't breathing it all in and being that I'm allergic to our puppy it helps keep the dander down.
- spray out puppy's house... She's a pretty clean puppy, but I try to spray out her little house each day.
-Spray vinegar over shower after we're all done showering for the day. I do it anytime after a bath or shower and it keeps the mold and build up away.
-Wash inside of the windows

Weekly chores:
-Washing puppy bedding and changing it out
-deep cleaning: I choose something new each week. If you haven't ever had a 'plan' on cleaning your house there's a lot of great iphone apps to get you started. I used 'Home Routine' and it gave me a routine to keep my house clean that I've continued to use. I don't need the App anymore as it's kind of programmed into my mind now, but it was a great $4.99 spent!

- I try to change out our bedding every other week... sometimes I lag in this area
(I know there's more here, but that fits into the whole choosing something to deep clean different each week!)

- wash the washing machine (I know silly concept right?) 
- write a meal plan for the month and shop accordingly 
- outside of windows (yes I should do this more often, but honestly when do I get the time to go outside without the kids?! I don't have a moniter!)

Organizing... It's been my new kick lately.
If you have an organized home, you have an easy to keep clean, easy to manage home. I've been de-cluttering our home like a crazy woman. I don't know why it took me so long to learn this, but less clothes=less laundry, Less dishes= less dishes, less anything=less work. Monumental huh?! Minimalism. Keeping things simple.. it's the key! Clothes that are just in the closet for 'when nothing else is clean days' got sent away to goodwill. Whatever the kids didn't need or I simply didn't like found a new home and whatever was in the kitchen that I don't use also got sent to goodwill this pretty much happened all over our house. I narrowed down the amount of dishes in the cupboards and placed the left overs into our hutch in the dining room. It's all still accessible for when we have company over, but we've made a commitment not to just grab an extra dish out of there when all the rest are dirty. Less dishes= less dishes to clean so we never get this huge overwhelming pile of dishes to clean. If you know ANYTHING about me then you know I HATE doing the dishes more than anything else. I have since birth. I was born this way. As a kid I legitimately would start gagging just at the thought of touching a dirty food laden dish and although I've gotten better.... I'm still not a fan. I sent off books that I know would never be re-read or shared. Toys that neither of my kids liked were purged and I narrowed down to only what they loved. Everything has a place now in my home and although I still have a trillion plans up my sleeve (thanks for that pinterest!) on how to better organize my home... we're at the best it can be for right now, or until I can afford to put in new shelving and buy the furniture or containers I need. I don't want to ever get to the point of "I need to buy more this and that to fill so I can keep adding more junk to my life", but I do want to have a place for things that we NEED. My craft closet may not be a need, I understand that, but I did narrow down to only the fabric and supplies that I plan on actually using for a project instead of holding onto the 'maybe someday' stuff. 
Anyway... enough about that. You get the idea. Go through each room/space/closet/drawer and narrow down to the things you love, the things you need, and only what you plan on using in the nearest future. Simple is better, less is more. I can tell you now that it has completely changed our life!

Cleaners we use?: Natural is the way to go... for the most part. I'm not a green freak. If I'm honest with myself... It's more about what my kids are breathing in and crawling around that bug me more than taking care of the planet. I can't believe how nice and clean things get with just the same stuff my great grandparents probably used. The whole need for a different cleaner for each part of the house is just a marketing ploy in my opinion! I have started using a vinegar solution for just about everything in my house. It's made by just soaking citrus peels in vinegar. I add 1/4 or less of the vinegar solution to the bottom of my spray container and then just fill it up with water, shake, and go! It cuts through just about anything, smells amazing (not leaving that nasty vinegar scent I hate), doesn't leave a film like a lot of products, and the citrus helps to repel ants! We were having a horrible ant issue recently and after I started using this cleaner.... they just don't want to stick around anymore! Yay!!!  When something is harder to scrub (like in the bathroom... I won't go into details ;), I just make a paste with some baking soda and it'll scrub it right out. I do like to use bleach every now and then, but it's a pretty rare thing. I still love how well resolve cleans my carpet too, but I'm definitely going to try some of the new recipes I've found on pinterest. I could link all of my cleaning recipes on here and go further into detail, but I don't think it's necessary. If you're following me on pinterest then I'm sure you can see what I'm using from my 'Helpful ideas for around the house' board. It's all there.

                                                          Miracle orange vinegar cleaner!!

So I'm sure there's a lot more that I could write on here, but Lydia is in her quiet time early today so that leaves Grayson alone and wanting to play.... so I better get off here :)

*when in list form.. this looks like a lot, but mind you I'm only cleaning for about an hour or two (or less!) a day... and that's counting laundry. When you clean the same rooms daily... it never gets built up grime so it's a quick wiping to clean.
* I clean things dry to get a better clean in less time. (I learned this from pinterest too). that means even drying the whole shower before cleaning it. try it... you'll be amazed. Ever wonder how hotels are cleaned in record amounts of time without a hair left in the bathroom? No water cleaning!

Have any questions about our schedule? Don't have pinterest and want recipes for a cleaner home/links to what works for us? Are you a new mom and want to know what a schedule looks like for your little one? Looking at the task of cleaning your home with no sleep and feeling overwhelmed? I've learned a lot in the last few years and although I'm not perfect (obviously) I have some great resources. Just ask!

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