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#1 of 13 Old 09-06-2011, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

 

Life has been so busy lately that when I do get the chance to come to MDC I usually just read a bit and rarely post, but I'm needing help with my house.  I have an almost 3 year old and a 6 month old.  Its just so hard to find the time to clean.  Before DS2 I was using Motivated Moms to clean.  That house looked great, but I feel like I was paying more attention to cleaning than I was to DS1.

 

In addition to the new baby, we moved to a new state & house in May, and I'm trying to find my routine for cleaning and stuggling.  I love the MM program, but I'm not getting close to all of it done and I'm like a pendulum, I'm either running around going crazy on the house and paying very little attention to my boys or I'm ignoring the house and the boys get me to themselves.  The back and forth is driving me crazy.  The state of my house is ridiculous.

 

I started a routine with DS1 when we first moved here, so we try to get outside by 10 am for a few hours every moring and then we do lunch, rest time and after lunch he gets to do some sort of activity.  (ie- Tuesday is baking day, Wednesday- craft day, Thursday- painting day, etc). Then I cook dinner, & we go on with the rest of our evening routine.  DS loves it, but it leaves me with little to no time to clean.  I can't clean during rest time because DS2 doesn't normally sleep at the same time and if he does, by that time I just want a break.

 

So, here's my question... does anyone get their cleaning done by 10ish am and then only do maintanance stuff the rest of the day? (dishes in the dishwasher, picking up toys, etc.)  If so, how do you do it?  What does you cleaning time look like?  We bedshare and so I'm not sure DS2 would stay asleep if I got up before everyone else, but I'm thinking about trying it.  My morning also has to include breakfast, and getting all of us dressed and ready for the day. 

 

Thanks so much to anyone who read this far.  Time to get moving.


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#2 of 13 Old 09-06-2011, 05:47 AM
 
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I try to get my daily chores done as early as possible in the morning, before taking the kids on any outings. This would include cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast, running the dishwasher, quick wipes of the bathrooms and laundry dried and folded (I do laundry daily). 

 

I do maintenance when I can throughout the day. I usually save my "big" cleaning chore for right after the kids go to sleep. This would be when I would vacuum a few rooms, dust, or mop the kitchen floor. 

 

My youngest is 4, though, so things are a bit easier for me. Although I am breaking up fights constantly, which takes a lot of my time! (I have 3 boys)

 

When my kids were as young as yours, my goal was just to get the dishwasher run and the laundry done every day. The rest of the house was a mess!

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#3 of 13 Old 09-06-2011, 08:16 AM
 
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I try to do this. Today was an epic fail, but I have been doing fairly well lately about getting the basics done. For what it's worth, I've got a 6 year-old and an almost 2-year old, so your mileage may vary quite a bit (as may mine as I'm due with my third in November). Here is what my routine looks like (forgive the excessive detail, but I don't know which elements of this might be helpful for you):

 

  • It starts the night before, with picking up the main areas of the house and with a relatively early bedtime. Picking up doesn't take long because the kids have usually picked up their toys before bedtime.
  • I try to get up between 5:30 and 6:00. I don't co-sleep at the moment, so waking kids is not a problem. After the new baby comes, I'm hoping to get up with him, nurse him back to sleep, and then carry him while doing my early morning chores. By now I know not to get my hopes up too high, of course. I use this time for devotions, journaling, and to-do-ing, and I usually do it by candlelight to avoid waking anyone else.
  • At 6:30 I start breakfast. I run a sinkful of soapy water so as to clean as I go, and I have a very clear idea of the sequence of my chores, so that if they get disrupted (when they get disrupted) I can jump back right in where I need to be. Usually I have breakfast on the table by 7:00 to 7:15, and if all has gone well I've also started a load of laundry and maybe gotten started on the morning chores.
  • After breakfast I take a quick, quick shower and then start the chores. Usually by now the 2-year old is tagging along. Yes, this slows me down, but it's better than not getting anything done, and it's a nice experience for her. I have a somewhat different schedule each day of the week, and I'd be happy to share it with you if you're interested, but the basic idea is that I try to get as much as possible done on Monday, with another burst on Tuesday, and then the rest of the week is mostly odd jobs and maintenance. Most of these chores are things like cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, and dusting.
  • Sometime around 8:30 I stop the chores wherever I am and finish cleaning up from breakfast. I'm usually done between 8:45 and 9:00. The work for the rest of the day is essentially, as you say, maintenance.

 

A few random thoughts--I've gotten much, much faster, despite the addition of a child and other complicating factors. It used to take me (this is just embarrassing) until about 9:30 just to get cleaned up from breakfast--if I actually got that far. For me, it was all about developing habits and routines. Also, I'm not going to claim that the above routine keeps my house perfect, but I think it's pretty decent most of the time. Floors and horizontal surfaces are pretty clean, vertical surfaces get hit from time to time, bathroom and kitchen are not horrifically unsanitary. Finally, one thing that I've realized is very important for me is to have a kind of forgiveness mechanism and to have routines that are sufficiently flexible to handle changes. Today, as I said, was a dud as far as cleaning--but I know that I can just get back in the saddle tomorrow and get more or less caught up.

 

I've got to agree with the previous poster, though--with a baby, you shouldn't be at all hard on yourself. This, too, shall pass. . .

 

 

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#4 of 13 Old 09-11-2011, 10:47 PM
 
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Always! If I don't, nothing seems to get done.

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#5 of 13 Old 09-12-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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I do, but I have an only child (9yo) and she and dh leave at 7am for school, so I don't really have much of an excuse not to.  I have my mother to take care of and if she is sleeping, I can't do loud things (such as vacuuming) because mom is a light sleeper, but everything is usually done in just 15-20 minutes or so each morning unless I am actually cleaning the house (takes about 2 hours once a week).  The rest of the day is spent caring for my mother and getting other things done unless I'm working my part-time job.  When dd gets home from school, she gets her school stuff out, but that goes back in the backpack when done.  I don't really have to pick up at night anymore.  When dd was little and still at home, she was a late, poor sleeper, so I just did everything after she woke up.  Now she sleeps through anything, so during the summers when she's off from school, it all gets done before she's awake.

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#6 of 13 Old 09-13-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LoveLife View Post

 

In addition to the new baby, we moved to a new state & house in May, and I'm trying to find my routine for cleaning and stuggling. 


I think part of your problem, in addition to having two kids (one of which is a baby) is that you just moved. It really complicates things. All your stuff got scrambled. I'd lay money you have some organizational problems that are making the day to day more difficult (we've moved a lot).

 

I think your in situation, it is completely unreasonable to think you are going to get all this stuff done on your own while your DH is a work. What is happening on weekends? Is he helping? How much of a difference would it make if you guys took a weekend and worked on core organization (closets and cabinets, where thing are kept) for a weekend? If he's no help with this, how long could he keep the kids out of the house so you can really get some stuff done (accommodating naps and nursing)? 

 

Once you add some basic organization, letting go of the idea that a clean house is part  of your job, make the weekend up setting up for the week. He can either help clean or he can take care of the kids while you do it. He can help grocery shop or stay home with the munchkins while you do it. That way, you can focus on the kids, the day to day upkeep, and the meals, which is a HUGE with a baby and a toddler.

 

Either that, or hire someone to come in once a week or every other week and do the big stuff. winky.gif

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 13 Old 09-13-2011, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


I think part of your problem, in addition to having two kids (one of which is a baby) is that you just moved. It really complicates things. All your stuff got scrambled. I'd lay money you have some organizational problems that are making the day to day more difficult (we've moved a lot).

 

I think your in situation, it is completely unreasonable to think you are going to get all this stuff done on your own while your DH is a work. What is happening on weekends? Is he helping? How much of a difference would it make if you guys took a weekend and worked on core organization (closets and cabinets, where thing are kept) for a weekend? If he's no help with this, how long could he keep the kids out of the house so you can really get some stuff done (accommodating naps and nursing)? 

 

Once you add some basic organization, letting go of the idea that a clean house is part  of your job, make the weekend up setting up for the week. He can either help clean or he can take care of the kids while you do it. He can help grocery shop or stay home with the munchkins while you do it. That way, you can focus on the kids, the day to day upkeep, and the meals, which is a HUGE with a baby and a toddler.

 

Either that, or hire someone to come in once a week or every other week and do the big stuff. winky.gif

 



I'd love to hire someone, but that's just not in the budget right now.  I think that organization is part of it.  Although most of our stuff is unpacked and has a place, the closets and several kitchen cabinets are definitely a mess.  So I'm sure an organization weekend would help.  Usually we try to spend the weekend doing fun family things together, although a couple of weeks ago after my in-laws left we had a cleaning day.  The house was just awful.  Anyway, other than that, DH isn't much help.  He works long hours throughout the week and so unfortunately everything falls to me.  He gets home with enough tim eto eat dinner and spend about 30 minutes with the boys before bedtime.  I like the idea of the weekend setting up for the week, but at the same time I hate the idea of giving up our family outings together.  (Although we do grocery shop together on Saturdays.) 

 

Thank you for all the thoughts.  Its given me a lot to think about in regards to how we've got things set up.  Maybe there are some changes we can make so I have to do less during the week.

 


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#8 of 13 Old 09-13-2011, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by phroggies View Post

I try to do this. Today was an epic fail, but I have been doing fairly well lately about getting the basics done. For what it's worth, I've got a 6 year-old and an almost 2-year old, so your mileage may vary quite a bit (as may mine as I'm due with my third in November). Here is what my routine looks like (forgive the excessive detail, but I don't know which elements of this might be helpful for you):

 

  • It starts the night before, with picking up the main areas of the house and with a relatively early bedtime. Picking up doesn't take long because the kids have usually picked up their toys before bedtime.
  • I try to get up between 5:30 and 6:00. I don't co-sleep at the moment, so waking kids is not a problem. After the new baby comes, I'm hoping to get up with him, nurse him back to sleep, and then carry him while doing my early morning chores. By now I know not to get my hopes up too high, of course. I use this time for devotions, journaling, and to-do-ing, and I usually do it by candlelight to avoid waking anyone else.
  • At 6:30 I start breakfast. I run a sinkful of soapy water so as to clean as I go, and I have a very clear idea of the sequence of my chores, so that if they get disrupted (when they get disrupted) I can jump back right in where I need to be. Usually I have breakfast on the table by 7:00 to 7:15, and if all has gone well I've also started a load of laundry and maybe gotten started on the morning chores.
  • After breakfast I take a quick, quick shower and then start the chores. Usually by now the 2-year old is tagging along. Yes, this slows me down, but it's better than not getting anything done, and it's a nice experience for her. I have a somewhat different schedule each day of the week, and I'd be happy to share it with you if you're interested, but the basic idea is that I try to get as much as possible done on Monday, with another burst on Tuesday, and then the rest of the week is mostly odd jobs and maintenance. Most of these chores are things like cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, and dusting.
  • Sometime around 8:30 I stop the chores wherever I am and finish cleaning up from breakfast. I'm usually done between 8:45 and 9:00. The work for the rest of the day is essentially, as you say, maintenance.

 

A few random thoughts--I've gotten much, much faster, despite the addition of a child and other complicating factors. It used to take me (this is just embarrassing) until about 9:30 just to get cleaned up from breakfast--if I actually got that far. For me, it was all about developing habits and routines. Also, I'm not going to claim that the above routine keeps my house perfect, but I think it's pretty decent most of the time. Floors and horizontal surfaces are pretty clean, vertical surfaces get hit from time to time, bathroom and kitchen are not horrifically unsanitary. Finally, one thing that I've realized is very important for me is to have a kind of forgiveness mechanism and to have routines that are sufficiently flexible to handle changes. Today, as I said, was a dud as far as cleaning--but I know that I can just get back in the saddle tomorrow and get more or less caught up.

 

I've got to agree with the previous poster, though--with a baby, you shouldn't be at all hard on yourself. This, too, shall pass. . .

 

 



This was very helpful.  Thank you and I'd love to see your chore schedule.  Although I have to admit, the very iadea of getting up at 5:30 is daunting!  What time do you go to bed?  The thought of having my cleaning done for the day at 9 is great though.

 


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#9 of 13 Old 09-13-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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Cleaning is sporadic at my hose, but gets done for the most part.  I have 3 kids and am pregnant, so I do what I can.  This is what I have posted on my fridge, though it has been mostly ignored as I limp through the end of this pregnancy and struggle with exhaustion.  LIke I said, I do what I can do and ignore the rest.  

 

Monday -- vacuum downstairs, strip beds and wash sheets

Tuesday  -- bathrooms, we have 2

Wednesday -- vacuum upstairs, tidy bedrooms

Thursday -- pick a chore day -- I usually save this for something gross that I have ben ignoring.  This week it will be cleaning out the fridge.  

Friday -- groceries

 

I tidy and organize as I go.  My main concerns are bathrooms and floors.  I do dishes and a load of laundry every day.  The table get wiped down after meals.  The kitchen gets wiped down as I cook.  I am happy with a mostly tidy house and am okay with a little dirt.  I focus my attention on what gets grossest and for us that is bathrooms and the floors.  With 3 kids and lots of neighborhood boys, my toilets and floors can get really dirty.  

 

 

Today, I had a little extra energy and decluttered a couple of hot spots.  Got the bathrooms clean.  But then, I skipped vacuuming yesterday, so it will get done another day.  I am sure the dust bunnies won't mind hanging around for another few days.  


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#10 of 13 Old 09-13-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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Oh, I completely forgot the OP's question!  Pregnancy brain is robbing me of my coherency.  

 

 

Yes, I absolutely have to get my big chore of the day done early or I simply do not get to it.  Right now, it has to do with my energy level.  When the kids were younger, I would get my biggest project done early when the kids were either sleeping or playing quietly.  By mid-morning, they were rearing to go.   So, I would do breakfast, wash up the dishes, do my chore for the day and then we could pack a picnic and take off to the playground.  Then, I never sweated it when we all slumped in the afternoon for a nap or video. 

 

I have a friend who was raised Amish and she likes to say that 'work not done by mid-morn is work not done at all". 


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#11 of 13 Old 09-13-2011, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LoveLife View Post
 Usually we try to spend the weekend doing fun family things together, although a couple of weeks ago after my in-laws left we had a cleaning day.  The house was just awful.  Anyway, other than that, DH isn't much help.

 


My advice is to pivot your thinking, and make the "family fun" activity one, short thing, like a 2 hour visit to the zoo, and get stuff done together the rest of the weekend. Working together towards a common goal is good for marriage. thumb.gif Reframe your thinking so the work required to run your home is something sorta fun that you  and your DH work on together.

 

I'm all for family fun, and we do something just for fun pretty much every weekend. However, I think what you are trying to do right now, with the ages of the your children and that fact that you just moved to a new city, is completely unrealistic. More organization can help a bit, but until you let go of the ideal that "mom can get everything done in 5 days so we have two days to play" you may always feel like you are failing at this, which really isn't fair to yourself.

 

So far this year, you've had a baby, done the physical part of the move, found new professionals like doctors and dentist (may still need to find a few), learned your way around a new city (may still be learning way around), made new friends (most likely still working/hoping), adjusted to the reality of baby, figured out new insurance, got new car tags, helped toddler adjust to new baby, had marriage adjust to new baby, BF, hosted out of town guests, and on and on and on.

 

If you DH is no help at home, send him out with the children with an errand list. But the guy needs a reality check.

 

Some moms do get everything done during the week with no help from their husbands. I don't know any body with little ones your kids' ages who could do it on top of a move and stay sane and happy.

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 13 Old 09-14-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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I HAVE to do my cleaning in the morning or it doesn't get done. My kids are 5 and 7, which I know seems ancient to you now.

 

They are homeschooled. I have an Etsy business where I need to work on stuff and ship it every day. We have ballet/tennis/golf/whatever that also has to be done. Basically, we eat breakfast around 8:30. After breakfast, that's when I do whatever cleaning it is I'm going to do. I try to keep the kitchen clean. The living room can stay at a decent level of cleanliness-- get into the habit of putting things up before going to something else.

 

While I used to have X on this day and Y on that, it just got tedious. At this point, I'm happy to have a certain amount of organized chaos. I do not live in a museum. I try to keep it clean enough to keep ME happy.

 

I can't offer much more than that, but just having a set time (after breakfast) helps it come routine. Things are perfect, but on most days, they are definitely do-able and we're happy enough.


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#13 of 13 Old 09-17-2011, 05:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLife View Post



 



This was very helpful.  Thank you and I'd love to see your chore schedule.  Although I have to admit, the very iadea of getting up at 5:30 is daunting!  What time do you go to bed?  The thought of having my cleaning done for the day at 9 is great though.

 


I go to bed at 9:30, as in lights out (when I'm doing well). When people ask me how I manage that, my answer is that the kids have a really, really early bedtime (7:30, usually). Which in turn relies on an early dinner and so on and so forth. It's probably not for everyone! But getting up early is not, strictly speaking, part of my cleaning routine--it just helps me get my game face on before everyone else wakes up. So you could, I would think, get away with a later wake-up time.

 

The weekly chores are as follows. Just as I try to get the bulk of my cleaning done early in the day, so I try to get the biggest, most necessary tasks out of the way early in the week. If I don't complete one day's chores, I move them to the next day and try to catch up. This means that there are plenty of weeks in which I don't really get much past Wednesday's chores, so don't think I succeed at this all the time. . . Keep in mind, too, that I have a smallish after-lunch maintenance period, and that in the evenings I spend some time putting away laundry, picking up, etc. Also my kids are older which means I can get a little bit of work out of them, particularly in terms of cleaning up their own messes and my husband helps with the laundry, especially line-drying (when we do it) and putting stuff away :).

 

  • Monday: I try to do a thorough vacuum of whole downstairs, which includes two bedrooms. "Thorough vacuum" means getting under furniture, vacuuming behind easily moved things, vacuuming the living room upholstery, and when I'm really on a roll, hitting the ceiling corners for cobwebs, etc. Also I clean the downstairs bathroom, which means tub, floor, toilet and sink.
  • Tuesday: A thorough vacuum of the upstairs, which is basically two bedrooms, a study and a hallway. Dust these rooms and clean the upstairs bathroom (again, tub, floor, toilet and sink). Dust downstairs.
  • Wednesday: This is our playdate day so I'm usually rushed in the morning. I try to hit the downstairs toilet and sink again and if I have extra time I use it for spot cleaning the kitchen cabinets and appliances and hitting walls and doors with a Magic Eraser.
  • Thursday: Another downstairs vacuum of the living areas and kitchen, this time just the floors. If needed, the downstairs toilet and sink. Then I try (emphasis on try) to reserve the rest of the time for decluttering.
  • Friday: Hit the upstairs toilet and sink again. In a perfect week, this is the day I try to do a tiny little bit of household projects--for instance right now I'm slllooowly stripping some hideous wallpaper in the kitchen, bit by bit. But I'm going to be utterly honest and say that 9 times out of 10 (maybe more like 29 times out of 30) I'm using Friday to catch up.
  • SaturdayMop the kitchen floor, ideally while my husband gets the kids to work on some outside chore, like cleaning the car with him. Again, this doesn't happen nearly as often as it should. Then another very basic downstairs vacuum and a quick clean of the downstairs toilet and sink. Every once in a blue moon I also get around to sweeping the porches.
  • Sunday: I try very hard to keep Sunday a day of rest, both for religious and practical reasons. What this means for me is that I take care of the day's detritus--so basic picking up, washing dishes, sweeping floor in eating and cooking areas--in short, maintenance, but I don't  use the day to catch up or get ahead, or (as much as is possible) worry about the overall state of the house. There are always emergencies that come up and so forth, but I am trying very hard to develop an understanding of this day as living in the moment and focusing on the fact that there are more important things than household maintenance. I'm including it in my schedule because I think it's key to refreshing myself for the upcoming week, forgiving myself for any lapses in the previous one, and in general making my peace with the way things are.

 

I can't emphasize enough that it is hardly ever the case that I get this all done. Like a previous poster, I'm getting hit really, really hard with third-trimester fatigue and it's eating into my routine. But I get enough done to keep myself pretty happy with the house, and I do find that I get more and more of it done as time goes by. Hope all that blather is helpful. . . smile.gif.

 

 

 

 

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