Thursday, January 31, 2013

{Pretty, happy, funny, real}

round button chicken

It's ba-a-ck.

I've done this once...maybe twice. But I love reading them. And in my quest to document the Goobers because they aren't getting younger, I'm going to try it up each week. Try. No promises. Feel free to yell at me if I miss though :D

So the idea is to post a picture of a pretty, a happy, a funny and a real. Simple right? It's started by the ladies over at Like Mother, Like Daughter. Click the button above if you haven't read their blog before. Pretty interesting stuff over there

Anyways, lets see here...


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Homemade chili. Homemade corn bread. Homemade guacamole. Yum.


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My view last night. Homemade cakes mixed, baked and decorated by Goobers, who insisted on candles, singing and Are you 1... 30 has arrived, and I couldn't be happier :D


I have a few funnies this week. The first two are of my rock stars after my birthday concert they put on in our living room...

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And this I found on my phone when uploading pictures tonight. Pretty common for there to be surprises on my camara. So here's Spawn.

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This was after Kindergarten Bedtime Stories. The kindy classes do it every January, go in after dinner in your pj's, with your blanket and stuffed animal and they have about a half hour of stories read by their teacher. So far all of the Goobers have had this awesome kindy teacher, we're hoping she'll still be there in 3 years when Chunk starts.

So that's my pretty, happy, funny real this week. What's yours?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Routines...they really do work!

So, sometimes with Chunk I feel like a new mom all over again. I suppose I can say that with all of my Goobers when they do something new.

You would think though after being a mom for 10 years, I would have gotten the memo about sleep routines sooner.


Just got it last week.

Well, let me correct that. I got it way back when. But when you work in a restaurant or in retail, you don't exactly have 'routine' hours. So it was hard.

Being home almost all of the time now though let me finally give it a shot, so we did last week.

We started with Chunk since he is the littlest. Backtracking a bit here, we took him out of the crib and into a pack n play because the big kids decided they were going to climb into the crib and play with him and bent one of the metal things that allows you to set the height of the mattress. Then when he was super sick we moved him into bed with us because we were using a nebulizer on a very strict schedule, including through the night , and it was just easier to do it when he was sleeping then wake him up for it. We tried to go back to the crib when he got better and we got the replacement piece, but he would scream. I've let my kids cry it out at bedtime before but this kid will scream for hours. Seriously. So we were stuck with him in bed.

Then he started daycare in September. And after a few days, he would go down for naps in the pack n play there. So I had the brilliant idea last week to pull out the pack n play at naptime and give it a shot. He whined for a few minutes but took his nap. Same at bedtime. Yay! Now he goes down for his nap no problems...and as long as we keep the big kids downstairs, bedtime is a breeze for him too.

Even The Chef yesterday was surprised that when they put Cute Boy on the bus that Chunk came home and laid down on the couch and took a nap. I was at a meeting and told him the routine, but you know how men and listening skills can be sometimes.

So since I was excited about the success with Chunk, I moved on to the big kids. Sweet Nut wasn't much of a problem, as long as no one bugs him, he's always been the best sleeper of the 3...but he can't have anyone awake near him or he turns into a clown. Cute Boy surprisingly has gotten better. It still takes him awhile to go to sleep, but he does. Spawn still takes for.ever.

The biggest thing with them is that since they all share a room, we have to wait until one is asleep before sending spin the next. So bedtime takes awhile. The plan is one day to at least have 3 bedrooms, one for us, and then split the boys between 2 rooms so we can send the little ones at the same time and once they are asleep, send the big ones. Unfortunately, that is probably going to take us moving out of the area, or hitting lotto. Rent is just crazy expensive here. One day though, it gives us something to work towards.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

They work hard for their money...

So hard for their money.

Ok. I'll stop singing now.

Anyways, we're 3 weeks into our new allowance/chore system and its going surprisingly well!

I mentioned in my last post that we've been trying to figure out the whole chore mystery for years.

Thanks to Pinterest, I found a lot of different systems that people we using. But none of them really worked for us. Then I had the brilliant idea to combine a little of this with a little of that and lo and behold, we got a keeper.

The boys like it because they aren't stuck doing the same old thing all the time and I like it because I'm not much.

So let me walk you through a Sunday afternoon at our house.

After lunch we pull these out:

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That's our chore box and our family bank binder.

They take turns pulling chores. Each of them gets 5. And the chores a mix of things that have to be done every day and once or twice a week.

We jot down who has what...and every once in awhile there's a trade worked out between brothers. Then we pull their log charts. These are up on the fridge and they get marked each day when something is done. We add up what they earned- daily chores are worth 25 cents. Weekly chores are worth 50 cents. We add them up and they write down what they earned in their bank register as chore payout.

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Then they either work with Mom using the calculator to figure out what 20% is, or Spawn gets a piece of paper and does the multiplication by hand. This money goes into their savings. They can't touch their savings. (Eventually when they get enough saved they'll go with MaMa (my mom) to open a savings account.). The rest is theirs to save or spend. Right now we have them convinced to save for our Disney trip.

Starting tomorrow, we're getting rid of the check sheets and making it electronic. I found today (thanks Pinterest!) a website called We played with it today and it is pretty awesome!

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You set up your account and then add your kids and assign them jobs. They earn points rather than money (each point is equal to 1 cent) and you can set what the jobs are worth. You can set rewards they can earn, there are general ones and they also link to Amazon, so you can put a specific toy or something (right now theirs are filled with skylanders.)

After the kids earn their points they go to their store where they can organize their points to savings, organizations to give to and rewards. Once they feel they have enough points in one of those sections, they can 'spend' it, which emails you to let you know what they want, so you can either put it in the bank, donate, or buy it.

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So far the boys like it, I figured they would, because its electronic. We have it linked on the iPad so they can just click and open it. Once they do that they click their picture and enter their password to get into their account.

So thats's how we have chores worked out.

Allowance is a whole different animal. We started this month giving them a dollar for their age, so for example, Spawn got $10. Again, they have to save 20% of that. We're actually going to start tweaking this too this coming month. A friend of mine does this with her boys and we're going to give it a shot as well. The goal is to correct behavior and have them behave, but also to make you look for the good and compliment the positive. There's a mason jar for each kid and a jar of marbles/stones. Each time they get caught doing something good, you compliment them and add a stone to their jar. At the end of the month a full jar is worth $10. They can't lose stones, because remember, you are trying to be positive. She says since they started it she's noticed a change, so I'm anxious to see if it works on Goobers as well.

So far so good.

Just a note. Although I talked a lot about, they don't know who I am or that I wrote this. I just found it and thought it was neat and wanted to share. Best part is that it's free...well, the site is free...the kids will eventually expect money :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


So here we are, the beginning of another New Year...and we're making lots of changes!

First, if you read the last post you know we're working on building our savings. It's been a rough few weeks but the budget is in place and we're starting to use it.

Second is food wise. I desperately need to lose weight as I've watched it get closer and closer to a super scary number. One day I'll share but not yet. Spawn, Sweet Nut and The Chef can stand to shed some pounds as well. I decided to dive in head first with meal planning. This is our first full week and so far so good. I made the menu on Saturday and went shopping Sunday. The plan is to make at least a weeks worth of menus (ideally I'd like to do the whole month, but I have to work up to that) and to shopping once a week. There are times where I'm in the grocery store once a day or more, and we start buying junk food we don't need just because its there. By forcing myself to only go once a week, I'm hoping it helps keep the junk food out. We're also trying some new recipes and we're going to be adding some sort of salad or raw veggie platter to the menu every day starting next week.

Our other big change is our new chore payout/allowance system. I've been looking for a new system for awhile and I've taken some components of what I've read and made up one that so far works for us. Each Sunday the big 3 draw 5 chores out of a box. Those are their chores for the week. We list them on the fridge next to their check sheets. Each Sunday before we draw new chores we have chore payout. Then on the first Sunday of the month, we give them their allowance...$1 for each year they have been alive. We're on our second week and its going pretty well.

And one of the big reasons for our new system is that we are planning to head down to the House of Mouse at the end of April. Yep, we're heading down for a week at Disney. So we've told the boys that they can certainly spend the money now, we strongly recommend to save it for Disney, because we are not giving them money. And it's been working.

So that's what's been going on around here. Oh and Spawn hit the big ole 10!!! Chunk was getting over the flu so we just needed the wheelchair.

Hope the New Year is treating you well so far...what resolutions or changes are happening with you?