My Life In Beer and Cookies

One whole fortune cookie on the counter. Hmm, all the kids are in bed. That must mean it is meant for me. Eat cookie.

I like to eat my fortune cookie before reading the fortune. I won’t describe to you my eating of said cookie.  I am not a pretty eater. Although, I do eat them more delicately than, say, popcorn. Fortune cookies can have sharp pokey corners if not eaten with care and can result in pain. OK, enough about eating fortune cookies. Read fortune.

“Now is the best time for you to be spontaneous.”

Um, no. Just 30 minutes ago I informed my beloved about my spontaneity at an event I attended earlier in the evening – he was not impressed. His response, “You should have checked with me before you did that.” Before you go thinking, “How can he say that….,” he was right. It involved him and I committed to doing something he would prefer not to do. He will make it work out, because he is sweet and puts up with me. Thank goodness!

So… that fortune sucked, but there is whole bag of broken fortune cookies on top of the fridge and I am kind of enjoying my beer with the cookies. I am sure there has got to be a better fortune in there for me. Grab one handful, eat cookies, drink beer. Read fortune.

“Plan for many pleasures ahead.”

OK, not too bad. I like that. But wait, the last one was a bust. Does that mean this one will be a bust too. Crap. Maybe this fortune cookie thing is a bad idea. Maybe I need some more cookie and beer. Grab another handful, ooh two fortunes this time, eat cookies, drink beer. Read fortune number 1.

“Prepare today for the demands of tomorrow.”

Sigh, really. I am an overachiever. I make a checklist every evening for my children for the next day. If you know me, you understand what I mean – this fortune is just ridiculous for me. Well there is always fortune number 2.

“Wealth and prosperity are in your future.”

Ok, time to stop while I am ahead. Besides, the beer is gone and I have had my fill of cookies, because honestly that was really what this was all about, the beer and the cookies.

My Life In Beer and Cookies

I can be a good, fun mom and have a clean house

Lately on Facebook there have been several posts about moms choosing to have a messy house because they would rather spend the time with their kids than clean.

Yes, I agree kids grow up way too fast and the more time you can spend with them the better. However, I do not agree that mantra should be used as an excuse to keep an untidy household.

I have 3 kids who can create a tornado disaster in my house in about 5 min. It could be in any room; the kitchen, in the living room, and in their rooms, all simultaneously. I dread picking up after them each day.

I think, “I didn’t make this mess… Why should I have to clean it up.?” All parents think this. It drains the energy from us and we feel defeated.

It is no wonder we look for reasons to ignore the mess and leave it. After all, those kids are just going to do it again tomorrow. It is easy to fall into the “if you can’t beat them, join them” mode, and tell ourselves, we should just spend the time playing with them rather than worry about cleaning up. It is a good excuse after all.

But life is about balance. We have to balance what we eat. Balance what we spend our money on. Balance work, school and home life. This obviously leads into balancing the activities we do with our children. While hanging out, reading books and playing games is always fun, cleaning is one of those activities you can and should do with your children. For some of us having a mostly clean and organized house means sanity.

Is it fun? No, but it can be more enjoyable with your kids, when you all work together to get it done.

Will there be whining? Yes. Will you want to pull your hair out? Probably.

Will it be rewarding? Yes, and you will enjoy that playtime even more when there is less mess in your life.

It is a life long skill you will be giving your child to help them grow into an independent adult.

I thrive on a tidiness. Without it I am not able to relax. It helps keep me sane. Me sane equals good, fun, loving, playful parent. It is one thing I feel I can control, when so many things I cannot. Don’t judge me as the parent that would rather clean than play with my kids. I choose to have and do both.

For those interested, my trick is checklists. After learning to fly, where everything has a checklist, I find myself making checklists for everything in my life. My kids have checklists for getting up in the morning, cleaning each room in the house, school work, daily chores, and getting ready for bed. I can say “Let’s clean the living room”, the kids grab the checklist and start checking off the list.

Checklists free you from the incessant whining, “what do I do now? Am I done yet? How much more do I have to do?” It is hard to do much of anything yourself if you have to micromanage cleanup. All I have to do is say, “Did you do everything on the checklist?, Are you ready for inspection?” They know what needs to be done without the constant pestering from you or them.

And to top it all off, one day you will be a proud parent when, after asking your kids to pack for a trip, they pull out a piece of paper and start making their own check list.

We started checklists before they could read with pictures and 8 simple bedtime tasks, hanging on their door. They are 8, 8 and 10 now and still use those checklist today.

I can be a good, fun mom and have a clean house

Light or Dark

Before I start this post there’s a few things you need to know about me.

1) I am always cold. If it ain’t 75 my coat and boots  do not come off. Being that I live in Seattle, it is rare that you won’t see me in a winter jacket and bogs.

2) my children (with Daddy’s help) have found a way for me to actually take my jacket off at home without roasting everyone else out of the house: a cute house jacket or robe. I have received one the last two Christmases and I wear it everyday, unless it gets to be 75 in the house. It happens occasionally and is a running joke in our household…. “When will mama take her robe off?”

Now the post can start,

After wearing my first house coat for 365 days straight (yes I even take it with me while traveling) it made sense that my kids would give me a new one for Christmas.

My first one was fuzzy warm and thigh length. The new one surprisingly more fuzzy warm with a crazy large hood, also mid length. I loved it.

One day, several months later, I randomly threw the hood on and felt myself instantly transformed into the Emperor from Star Wars. I envisioned lighting shooting out of my finger tips, a maniacle laugh and  creating havoc across the galaxy.

But then I wondered why I automatically saw myself as the Emperor rather than a Jedi. Technically my robe could have taken me in either direction. Maybe it was the lack of a light saber, or is it that I know in my heart that I am pure evil.

I decided some days I live on the dark side and other days I am a Jedi saving the day. Every time I throw on that hood I get to decide who I will be at that moment.  I’d like to think I spend most days on the light side.

Do you have a Star Wars character in you?

Light or Dark

A Month, A Day, A Year

Today is a day, like any other day. In bed and kids ask to watch cartoons, (must be a Sunday). Husband is already off and running for the day. I crawl out of bed, find robe and slippers. Head down stairs.

Oh yay, Grandma is here visiting and already dressed. No surprise then that kids have already been fed. I make coffee and a fire. Kids ask what day it is.

To me it is just another day. There is a tree in the room, with shiny lights and sparkling figurines. No presents under the tree or purchased for that matter. Not a thought given to it beyond the numerous lists I find around the house titled “Christmas Wish List” or “Dear Santa.”

My children open another door on their advent calendar. They tell me it is 5 more days to Christmas….. Oh 5 more days to Christmas……

Wait that means there is only one more day to get two day free shipping from Amazon and avoid shopping at the store, two days if I really push it. Crap. OK. Today is the day to figure out and order what everyone is getting for Christmas.

You have probably figured out I don’t get too excited about Christmas. Some years I get the bug and enjoy it, other times it doesn’t happen until Christmas Eve. I can’t figure out why it happens sooner in some years than others. Obviously this year is the latter.

This year I see it as more stuff that will clutter up my life. Things that I will have to kindly remind or yell at my children to pickup. Things I will have to find a home for.

I purchased no legos this year, no toys. My kids are getting books, cute toiletry travel bags and astronaut ice cream (as requested, apparently it has become a tradition I wasn’t aware of. My sweet son informed me that he was looking forward to getting it in his stocking again this year). And it will all be delivered on Dec 23rd, just in time to appear under the Christmas tree on Christmas eve.

Don’t worry, my kids got plenty of toys and games from friends and family. They are really spoiled, but hopefully a little less by me.

A Month, A Day, A Year