Mommy chuckles

So I just finished and turned in a book and I’m fried… I always enjoy a good laugh, especially ones about being a parent. Which one(s) of these do you relate to?

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I do this ALL the time!

I do this ALL the time!

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This is so me!

This is so me!

My favorite is when they ask - "what are you eating, I smell chocolate."

My favorite is when they ask – “what are you eating, I smell chocolate.”

A quiz to determine whether you should be

a SAHM, WAHM or WOHM. (Yeah, kind of kidding here).

I love this “quiz” from The Washington Post. Just goes to show that no mom has it “easy.”

Click here to see the quiz.

The Big 4-0

vision page in my health planner

vision page in my health planner

So it’s almost March which means we’re getting pretty close to May which is when I become an official adult. I realize I’ve technically been an adult for years, but 40 just seems adult in a big way.

Needless to say when January hit and I recognized this was the big year I decided it was time to make some significant changed. I’ve put us on a budget, it’s time to pay off some debt. I’ve been working pretty diligently at my health – trying to eat right and exercise. I get it right some, but I’m still a work in progress.

I’m trying to simplify our lives to some extent – putting the girls on a toy rotation (for another blog), cleaning out closets and getting rid of a ton of stuff. In other words, I’m trying to take control and be responsible and all that adult-like behavior.

How about you? Have you ever made any big changes before a significant birthday? 


I’m Robyn DeHart, AKA Basket-Case Mama, but not because I’m crazy (though really, what mom isn’t?) but because I have a slight obsession with baskets, well containers really. I’m a bit of an organization nut and I love to containerize stuff. And yes, I’m authorized to use words like that because I am also a writer. But back to the kids, so I’m mom to two ridiculously beautiful little girls and I can say that without bragging because I didn’t actually make them. The Professor and I adopted said little lovelies from the foster-care system here in Texas and now we’re a big happy forever family. Busybee is five and so full of joy it just oozes from her. Babybee is a three and is too smart for her own good.  www.robyndehart.com

Blogs I love…

I hope that most of you check in with us on a weekly basis so that you can see what we’re up to here at the Peanut Butter moms. Or better yet, maybe you subscribe and get out blogs delivered directly to your email. I have a handful of blogs that I’m a loyal follower of and can’t wait to read their posts when they pop into my inbox. Today I thought I’d share some of them with you…

i heart organizing

I Heart Organizing – this blog is like the holy grail for all things organizing for your home. Seriously her project gallery is like porn for me. I just can’t get enough of her great ideas.

bowl lemons

A Bowl Full of Lemons – this blog is pretty similar to I Heart Organizing though with a different flare. Toni, the woman who runs it, has great ideas for not only organizing stuff in your home, but also your finances. And she runs a FB group where you can see how other people are organizing their houses.

mpmk

Modern Parents, Messy Kids – I love this woman’s sense of humor. She blogs about everything too, which is great, recipes, DIY, kid stuff, organization, etc.

spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning365 – Seriously I never thought I’d follow a blog about cleaning, but I love the way she breaks projects down into bite-sized pieces. It’s so nice to think I only have to do this one thing today, I don’t have to clean an entire house.

So how about you? Do you have favorite blogs out there? If I were to peek at your Pinterest boards, what would I find? Mine are littered with organization ideas and recipes and some DIY stuff. Comment and you could win my entire Forbidden Love series. 

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IMG_0860I’m Robyn DeHart, AKA Basket-Case Mama, but not because I’m crazy (though really, what mom isn’t?) but because I have a slight obsession with baskets, well containers really. I’m a bit of an organization nut and I love to containerize stuff. And yes, I’m authorized to use words like that because I am also a writer. But back to the kids, so I’m mom to two ridiculously beautiful little girls and I can say that without bragging because I didn’t actually make them. In 2011, my husband, The Professor, and I adopted said little lovelies from the foster-care system here in Texas and now we’re a big happy forever family. Busybee is five and so full of joy it just oozes from her. Babybee is three and is ridiculously smart and sassy. When I’m not trying to keep up with my two bundles of energy, you can usually find me on my laptop on Pinterest, no, that’s not right, um…you can find me writing, yes, that’s it, writing my latest historical romance. www.robyndehart.com

Tedious tasks

clothesThere are plenty of things we do as moms and caretakers that are less than exciting. Like I could really do without clipping my girls’ finger & toenails. It’s not really that big deal, but it seems like I have to do it so often and they complain and whine and it’s just annoying. But I do it because I’m the mom and that’s my job. Another such task seems to be happening a lot lately – going through the girls’ clothes. I’m glad they’re growing, they’re strong and active and I love to get them new clothes, but when the laundry baskets overflow and the drawers are too full, then it’s time to sit down amidst the pile of clothes and sort.

Needless to say it’s that time again and I swear I just did this three weeks ago! Last night I went through all of Babybee’s clothes and pulled out all her 2T’s. The super cute stuff I’ll send to my sister-in-law for my little niece, the rest I’ll donate. Going through her clothes makes me sad because it’s over – with her stuff, I just get rid of it. It’s a little easier with Busybee because I get to save her stuff for Babybee. Still the whole process is tedious and time consumer and ug, I seriously just did this!

In general, I find their small clothes difficult to deal with. It works best to fold, but it’s little so it’s difficult to fold at times. And then they just dig in their drawers and unfold all my hard work. ACK! I started something recently that’s working well for us. I got these hanging shoe holders for their closet, it hangs low so they can reach it. On Sunday I go through and pick out a week’s worth of outfits for them and tuck them in different cubbies. This way the girls get to pick what they’re wearing, but from pre-approved outfits so that I don’t have to explain why they can’t wear polka-dot pants with a flowered shirt.

So how about you? What are the mommy tasks that you find tedious? What are your favorite tips for little clothes? 

School Days

FallSo, I’m not the most organized person in the world. That’s understatement. As many of you know, my husband is the man of the house…in that he is the house husband. In that if it were not for him I would select all clothing out of a laundry basket each morning. Clean laundry, no one panic.

Anyway, as the school year approached I started getting really wound up. Mainly because we have two kids going full time this year for the first time (Because he’s in a special needs class, Danger goes a full day even though he’s in kindergarten), and our youngest is going to preschool two days a week.

I was panicky because we had ONE kid in school last year and uh…I suck at keeping track of paperwork. I suck at packing lunches. I suck at getting up early. I forget to make kids do their homework. The aforementioned things being reasons that the school year actually kind of terrifies me.

So this year, I decided I needed to go in with a plan. More kids in school means MORE of all those things that intimidate me. I decided to try and at least start organized. And I started with a lunch station.

I read up on some tips on Pinterest, which has become my favorite place to get ideas from people who are craftier than I. The thing is, organization tips and tricks are something I NEED to get things together. But because I’m not a natural organizer…well, I have to get my tips from somewhere.

Fortunately, I was able to collect a myriad of tips from Pinterest and I’m going to share some. 🙂

1. Establish a homework station now. (I cleared of my son’s desk for this, but it hasn’t been super successful because he likes to do his homework in the kitchen.)

2. Make a lunch station, put EVERYTHING in it.

This I did. And it’s the most effective organization tip I’ve gotten. For some reason…I never thought of this last year. So I bought two baskets, and I bought tupperware that locks together. Then bought the lunch supplies (and I even bought cookie cutters to make CUTE lunches, darn it) and put all of that, plus the lunch boxes in my new station.

Voila!

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As the school year progresses, we’ll see how it all works out. But for now, this is saving my sanity. Feeling empowered to pack lunches is saving my sanity. Because it’s hard to try and gear up for a time of year (that lasts nine months…) you feel you kind of fail at.

I’m trying to set myself up for feelings of success, even in little things. Even in peanut butter and jelly. Got any more organization tips for me?

Especially when it comes to paperwork?

Am I Doing Better than My Kid? Guest Post by Sherry Thomas

Today I welcome fellow historical romance author, and new YA author Sherry Thomas, to the blog. Sherry is one of the most interesting people I know, and she always makes me laugh.

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In general, I do not have peanut butter on my keyboard. That’s because my children are fairly elderly, years removed from their prime peanut-butter-smearing days: Senior Kidlet is a sixteen-going-on-seventeen, Junior Kidlet twelve. (Although a couple of years ago Senior Kidlet upended a cup of eggnog on my laptop and it was a miracle nothing happened.)

In our house, Senior Kidlet and Junior Kidlet take turns being the concern child. For the past couple of years, as Senior Kidlet became a full-fledged teenager, with college looming on the horizon, he has once again become the focus of our parental handwringing and teeth-gnashing.

As we lecture him endlessly on taking initiative, taking responsibility, taking care to do things properly the first time—his problem being mainly an ingrained case of slackerism—sometimes I make myself step back and take a slightly longer view of things.

The thing is, people have short memories.  For those of us who are parents, it often seems as if we have always been mature, responsible, and just plain competent at life.  Some of us are—His Hawtness, my husband, might always have been mature, responsible, and just plain competent at life.  Me, not so much.

Senior Kidlet has been known to let his homework slide for weeks.  But I faked my entire 10th grade science project: I poured cooking wine into apple juice to pretend it had fermented into cider. My chemistry teacher suspected something, but couldn’t prove the alcohol content came from manual addition—or maybe he couldn’t quite bring himself to believe that a studious-looking Asian girl would pull that sort of con.  I would say my fraudulence beats my kid’s laziness in the what-would-convince-your-parents-you-are-doomed-in-life category.

Senior Kidlet recently decided he wants to study political science and become a legislative aide.  His Hawtness, an engineer by training and by vocation, could not wrap his head around that choice.  Which makes me wonder what my poor mother had thought when I declared, approximately two decades ago, that I planned to become the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Senior Kidlet lost a textbook last year.  I lost three textbooks my first semester in college.

He does things last minute.  I only start cooking when people are already digging through the kitchen looking for food.  I often finish cooking after everyone had already fed themselves with leftovers.

He can’t plan ahead.  As long as I have the least bit of food in my stomach, I can’t come up with grocery lists.

He turns in stuff late.  I just turned in a manuscript ten days late.

He is messy.  Our house is slightly better now, but used to almost always look as if it had just been visited by a tornado.

Darn, this kid really is related to me.

One of the reasons kids don’t like high school is that you have to study everything, whether you have an interest in or a talent for the subject.  Along that same line, during a kid’s teenage years is when parents nag about everything, from punctuality to personal hygiene to tidiness to how they talk and walk.  We want them to do everything well.

The thing is, we can get through life very decently without ever learning to do many things well—and without ever learning to do some things at all.  And after a child reaches a certain age, the role of the parents becomes that of a failsafe.  Whatever else the kid still has to learn, only life will teach.

I turned out okay.  It follows Senior Kidlet will also turn out okay.

Fingers crossed.

****

PBOK Ask the Mom Questions:

Cloth or disposable diapers?

Cloth.  Though for Junior Kidlet, His Hawtness forbade me from using cloth diapers at night—he remembered me crying one time, when Senior Kidlet was small, while washing diapers in the middle of the night.  That darned kid pooped seven times around one feeding. Seven times!

Favorite children’s song?

The opening theme of Hana no Ko Lunlun, a Japanese anime, called Lulu, the Flower Angel in English.  (Have a listen here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyHQg1MFfZ4)

Favorite kids’ book?

Anno’s Counting Book.  A book without a single word, which transports and moves me in an almost nostalgic way.  Perhaps it reminds me of the magically beautiful Europe of Hana no Ko Lunlun.

Most annoying kids’ TV show/character?

Used to be Barney, until the start of Elmo’s World.

Midnight or Dawn? 

Middle of the day.

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Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed romance authors working today. Her books regularly receive starred reviews from trade publications and are frequently found on best-of-the-year lists. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

English is Sherry’s second language—she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger’s Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys digging down to the emotional core of stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.

Sherry’s next book, THE BURNING SKY, volume one of her young adult fantasy trilogy, is on sale TODAY.

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23 Ways to Save Your Sanity

Facebook is a fascinating amalgamation of… stuff. There’s all the daily mundane posts, the pictures and the advertisements, the political/religious/other lightning rod topics, videos, jokes, virtual train wrecks…  But every now and then, a little gem pops up and you find yourself absorbing every word, going yes…yes.  That’s what happened a week or so back when a friend posted the following list.  As I read along, it was like someone was giving me a cyber hug, and I just knew i had to keep the sharing going. Fortunately, the lovely ladies at Mommy Made gave me the green light to share 😉

Without further ado…here you go: 23 Ways to Save Your Sanity

  1. Lower your standards for cleanliness and order.
  2. Did that? Lower them even more.
  3. Your house will never look like a magazine spread, period. Embrace that.
  4. No matter how many baskets you buy to contain toys, they will always be visible. Embrace the Toys ‘R Us/ frat house-chic decor.
  5. You can never have too many popsicles in the freezer. How many bad moods have been fixed by a simple popsicle?
  6. If you can’t change them, change your perspective. For example I read recently– probably on Satan’s website Pinterest– that toothpaste is great for cleaning things like faucets. So now when I go into the bathroom every day and see toothpaste splatter all over the bathroom faucet I think about how my children have done half the chore of cleaning for me. How considerate of them! Then I wipe it off while cursing.
  7. Those chores that no one ever wants to do. Decide if you would rather do it yourself, badger your child to it, or let it go. If you are confused about what to do, see Number 1 on this list.
  8. No one cares what is stuffed under your child’s bed, why should you. Unless it is old food. In that case, you should get a dog.
  9. If you have boys, your bathroom will always faintly stink like pee. Invest in some Febreeze and count down the days until they move out and you can go visit them and pee on their bathroom floor.
  10. Don’t buy white furniture. Unless you enjoy screaming at your children every time they go near it.
  11. However bad a situation might seem, one day it will be funny. I have a few for which I am eagerly awaiting for the funny to kick in. Any time now….
  12. When your child is a young teen there will be nothing more embarrassing than your very existence. Use this to your advantage. Start planning early.
  13. Do not paint any walls in your house with flat paint.
  14. Be okay with letting your kids stumble sometimes. Whether that is turning in an assignment late because they didn’t do it or wearing an outfit so hideous you have trouble looking at them without laughing.
  15. Noise cancelling headphones are great for blocking out whining, bickering and the endless episodes of Sponge Bob.
  16. Socks do not have to match. Every day is Crazy Sock Day at my house, which is infinitely better than Crazy Mom Day.
  17. The crayons will break and it is okay to throw them away rather then save them to make some sort of craft that involves the hair dryer. In fact, I give you permission to not feel guilty about all the crafts you know you will never do.
  18. Your children will not die from eating the occasional hot dog or frozen pizza. And by occasional I mean more than you are really willing to admit.
  19. If your children are driving you crazy arguing with each other, start an argument with them. Then your children will bond over their mutual hatred of you and be quiet.
  20. Children do not appreciate top sheets or high thread counts. Buy neither.
  21. Homework time is the worst time of the day. Help your kids and yourself by having a designated time and a quiet place to do homework. Preferably in a neighbor’s home.
  22. Just say No to ironing.
  23. Last, but not least, a glass of wine and some really bad TV makes everything seem a little better.

See? How awesome is that?  Which is your favorite? For me, I think it’s probably 8. Or 9. Or then there’s 11…

If you’re inclined, go check out the fabulous ladies at Mommy Made: https://www.facebook.com/MommyMadeCraftsAndRecipes. They’re got a great page going there!

And…let’s see if we can turn 23 into 30, 35, 40….surely there are more ways to save our sanity!