Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cleaning up...

My kids (like many kids) are expert mess-makers. My daughter loves to put things back in their places, and if she was on her own, she'd probably never make much of a mess. Of course big brother is the boss though, so he invites her to make a mess with him nearly every morning in the playroom. I've spent many days thinking about the best way to make them clean. I always had a clean-up song in the back of my mind. I didn't want to be the one to sing it though, b/c then I'd have to be there the whole time they are cleaning up. I'd rather be in the kitchen doing my own clean-up while they are cleaning the playroom. 

A few weeks ago, I took the iPod and searched for a clean-up song in Russian but did not have any luck finding one (I speak Russian to the kids, so I try to make everything we do in Russian if I can...there's so many times ahead that I'll be speaking English to them, like if I home school, so I like to keep Russian as the main language for now). I decided that in this case, it'd be ok to make an exception, and I YouTubed a clean-up song. The first one that came up was this one, and it was perfect!!! 5 minutes and 18 seconds long, just the perfect amount of time for little kids to spend cleaning. I play it at least once a day and make them clean up until the song stops (usually they manage to finish in that time). Sometimes I help them, other times I do my own house work or cleaning during that time. Lately they have even asked me to press 'repeat' when the song was over, because they were still not finished cleaning! At their cousins' house the other day, the song was a huge hit and I had the kids "race the song" and they were able to finish cleaning all together in just 4 minutes!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Food for Thought...

"Brethren, what is the end of faith? The salvation of the soul. What is the goal of faith? The salvation of the soul. What is the fruit of faith? The salvation of the soul. Therefore, we do not adhere to faith for the sake of faith, but rather for the salvation of our souls. No one travels for the sake of the road, but because of someone or something that awaits him at the end of the road. No one throws a rope into the water in which someone is drowning for the sake of the rope, but for the sake of the one drowning. God gave faith to us as a road, at the end of which the travelers will receive the salvation of their souls. And like a rope, God extended faith to us who are drowning in the dark waters of sin, ignorance and vice, so that we, through the help of faith, might save our lives."

-St. Nikolaj Velimirovic in the Prologue to Ochrid

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pre-Bedtime Routine

I've been going on a few days of my new morning routine now, and I am happy with it, but I have really been struggling to get up before the kids, so I've had to make changes accordingly each day.

I have come up with a pre-bedtime/evening routine which I will be trying to complete each evening once the kids have gone to sleep. We will see how this goes, and I will make changes if needed.

Here's a look at my new routine. I'm hoping it will help my mornings run a little smoother, and my days in general.


Run through the downstairs room and pick up anything that has been left out (shoes, clothes, scarves, toys) - 20 minutes tops

Make sure all laundry from the morning’s load has been put away

Clean up the kitchen - shine the sink, wipe down the countertops, lay out a clean dishcloth and start the dishwasher

Clear a “hot spot” for a timed 10 minutes, if there is one (any area with visible clutter)

Lay out clothes for tomorrow for children and self

Get into pajamas

Reflection time/Self time: Journaling, blog time, reading time, time with hubby

Read something spiritual before bed

Say evening prayers (apart from the ones that are said with the kids)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Food for Thought

As soon as I read this quote, I had to share it with you. It comes from the book, Children in the Church Today,by Sr. Magdalen.

"A mother at home, although she may be busy, is more free to pray than anyone at work outside the home. In general, a working mother must be earning away from home for really valid reasons and without her losing the feeling that her family is her first duty. Her salary must be a genuine necessity for the family. A change from home may be psychologically necessary in some cases, but this does not mean that a mother needs a full-time career. A mother's presence in the home has a positive influence on the spirit of the family; this is well expressed in the saying that "the mother at home is like the heart in its place." A mother's spiritual role in the family "organism" is more valuable than any financial assistance she can provide; and it is irreplaceable, especially in the modern nuclear family."

Monday, July 7, 2014

New routines...

For months now, I have been meaning to re-vamp my daily routines because they have not worked for me at all for probably a year now. Ever since my 3rd pregnancy exhaustion hit, plus having 2 toddlers in the house, I got away from housekeeping and I have had a hard time getting back into the swing of things. Now that my little one is almost 6 months old (this week!), I am hoping that I can get her to sleep through the night soon (she's almost there...I just need to gain the courage to sleep train her fully), I'm hoping I can start feeling a bit more rested each night (who am I kidding?!)...

Anyway, housework is a constant challenge for me because I simply have no time for it. That's not even an's the truth. I spend every second of my day either running after one of my kids (or two of them at a time), cooking, feeding or diapering. By the time my husband gets home from the office, it's the dinner marathon, followed by a little family time, followed by bedtime. I'm sure I lose time during the day every time I check my phone, for example, but that's the only time I really can think of that I "waste." These days I've really focused on trying to only look at my phone during nursing sessions so that my kids don't see me on my phone too often. It's hard, especially in this day and age when phones are "tools" in people's lives on a regular basis. 

The point is that I have decided to write down my routines (fix the ones I wrote 2 years ago, really), and keep them laminated in my housekeeping binder so that I can try to follow them and hopefully, waste less time this way, leaving some time for the house each day. If I can spend 15 minutes of time cleaning each day, I'll be happy. This does not include laundry time or dishes, which I have always tried to keep up with. 

Here's what my morning routine is, starting tomorrow morning. Side note: Swish & Swipe is a term used by FlyLady, which means literally swish the toilet once over (with a Clorox wipe, for example), and swipe the sink.

I'll update with other routines as I create them and start enforcing them in my life.


Wake up(before the kids) and thank God for a new day

Get up and make the bed

Check weight


Swish & Swipe in the bathroom upstairs

Get dressed to the shoes

Grab some laundry on the way downstairs

Make coffee

Do hair and make-up

Start the laundry

Sit down, sip coffee, and read something spiritual

Check the calendar/planner for today’s routines and activities

Empty the dishwasher

Prepare breakfast for the family

Take vitamins and give the kids vitamins and any medication necessary for that day

Check what’s for dinner and see if anything can be prepared in advance