"Use your words." This is a phrase that becomes quite popular through toddlerhood as we teach our children to speak and not to whine. To ask for what they want. I like to tell my children, "I don't read minds, and I don't speak whines." (I have lots of ...

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  1. Say What You Mean; Mean What You Say
  2. This, I Won't Miss
  3. House Cleaning: With Kids
  4. 10 Things I Know About Parenting
  5. I've never done a book review before....
  6. More Recent Articles

Say What You Mean; Mean What You Say

"Use your words."

This is a phrase that becomes quite popular through toddlerhood as we teach our children to speak and not to whine. To ask for what they want. I like to tell my children, "I don't read minds, and I don't speak whines." (I have lots of little phrases like that that my children HATE!)

But 8 year old Quinn has mastered the art of using her words, and is quickly becoming a master negotiator.

Q:  Mom, can I have 5 cookies.

Me:  No, Quinn.  You may have 2.

Q:  4?

Me:  3.

Q:  Yes!   That's how many I wanted to start with!

I don't know where she learned this technique, but I do know that if she survives childhood, it will be an excellent asset to her as an adult in whatever field she should go into. 


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This, I Won't Miss

As a mom to 6 kids, my friends often tell me how lost I will be when my children are grown. 

So, to counter that, and to prepare myself, I've decided I need to start thinking of things I WON'T miss.

This morning, after the kids all left for school, I walked into their bathroom to get some laundry, and spotted this:

Let me assure you.....THIS I won't miss.


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House Cleaning: With Kids

I try to have friends over at least once a month for dinner.   It's the biggest motivator I know for really deep cleaning my house.  

Tonight, we're having 3 couples (and their kids) over.   My kids go loopy over the thought of all these people coming over to play, and are actually quite motivated to help clean up their rooms and the play room in anticipation.

I like to start cleaning a few days in advance, to get the really big jobs done, the corners, the cobwebs, under the furniture, behind the toilet, the stove top, and THE KITCHEN COUNTER (shiver!!!).   I was breezing along with my cleaning this week, and the house was looking pretty spiffy (under the clutter -- clutter is always last, because it's impossible to eliminate until the last minute for some reason).   I had only the stove top and the dreaded KITCHEN COUNTER to clean yesterday, when on Thursday night I realized that Luke did not have school on Friday because of a teacher meeting of some kind.   That meant my 3 hours of quiet organizational/cleaning time I had reserved for Friday had just disappeared.

His older siblings left for school, and it was just the two of us.

Here's where I'll confess:  I gave him cookies and told him he could eat them in the living room while watching Spongebob.   He was speechless!  This had never been done before (at least not when I was around), and he watched television for a good hour ("bad mommy!") while I scrubbed my stove top and sink and worked on organizing the chaos on my kitchen counter.   The errant clean dishes that were sitting on the counter because the kids can't reach the cabinet were put away.   The toaster was gleaming.  The counters were scrubbed and the paper work had pretty much all been put away.  I even got the shop vac out and moved the stove so I could clean under it. 

Ah, yes.  The shop vac.

That's when the fun began.  

Luke loves to help me clean.  He loves a big full bottle of Windex, a can of dusting spray, and a shop vac.   I have a spray bottle filled just with water that I give him so he can "clean" the front of the appliances and the kitchen table and the sliding glass door.   But he REALLY loves that shop vac.  And when he heard it, all bets were off.

So I moved the stove and he went to work vaccuming.   I hadn't mopped the floor yet, so I asked him if he'd like to vaccum the corners of the kitchen for me.

While he was busy "helping" I went off to the living room to do a quick dusting and clean up the bigger of the cookie crumbs he'd left behind..   The shop vac motor was humming along, and I was feeling pretty good about how quickly I was getting everything done.

Until I walked into the kitchen.

Luke had discovered that if he removed the hose from one side of the shop vac, and put it in the OTHER side, that the air would BLOW OUT.   This was fun!  This was exciting!  He had blown all the papers off the front of the refrigerator and the few that were left on the counter.  But more importantly, he had blown UNDER the REFRIGERATOR.   There was dust EVERYWHERE!   My formerly clean kitchen was now coated in a blanket of dust.   Gritty dust.  And a few good sized dust balls, too.

But Luke was so excited about how well he'd cleaned UNDER the refrigerator, that I did my "mommy smile" and thanked him for being such a "good helper" and then asked him if he wanted to watch Spongebob and eat some more cookies.

How do you keep up with your housecleaning with kids underfoot????


10 Things I Know About Parenting

After all these years of being called "Mom", the things I know for certain about it can be listed on my 2 hands:

10 Things I Know About Parenting:
  1. My life revolves around someone else's bladder and/or intestines, therefore I know where every public restroom is in a 25 mile radius of my house
  2. Within 3 days of paying to have my carpet cleaned, someone will vomit on it; within 24 hours of mopping my kitchen floor, someone will spill on it
  3. If I get down on my hands and knees to get toys out from under the couch, a child will jump on my back and want to play "horsey."
  4. The amount of time it takes to get ready to go anywhere increases exponentially with each child.  One child, 15 minutes; 2 children, 30 minutes; 3 children, 1 hour; 4 children 2 hours, etc.  
  5. Every time I back out of the driveway to go somewhere, I have to pull back in so I can run into the house to get something I've forgotten.  (This is called Mommy Brain, I believe.)
  6. I haven't gone to the bathroom by myself since my eldest child was born....22 years ago.
  7. Clutter is beautiful.  (I keep telling myself this, hopeful that I will actually eventually convince myself that it is true.)
  8. Children will argue. Children will fight. It's called sibling rivalry and has gone on for centuries.
  9. The laundry will NEVER be done.
  10. There is nothing, absolutely nothing! in the world as wonderful as when one of my children runs up to me, hugs my knees, and says simply, "I love you, Mommy."

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Have you read this awesome book yet???


I've never done a book review before....

I've never done a book review before in my life, and I'm certainly not going to try to do one now.   But since I spent the last 3 1/2 days of my life totally immersed in a book that I honestly could not put down I just had to tell everyone about it.  

The book is The help by Kathryn Stockett. 

Now, when I choose a book, I choose it in one of two ways:
  1. Someone refers it to me, simply by telling me "You've GOT to read this book!"  OR
  2. I read the first (only the first) paragraph on the inside jacket of the book.
I hate to know what a book is "about" because it causes me to think ahead and try to figure out what's coming next.  

So, instead of telling you what it's about (except that it is a novel, not a self-help book), I'll simply tell you how I felt while reading it:
  • Stunned
  • Amazed
  • Awed
  • Inspired
  • Ashamed
How's that for a list?   Got your curiosity piqued yet?

Now, get to the bookstore, the library, or, heck, order it from Amazon......but you MUST read this book.



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