This SAHM's gettin' organized! Wanna join me? (support thread) - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-30-2004, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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New Year or not, I have GOT to get better organized in order to save my sanity! I've been whining to all of you about what a difficult time I'm having adjusting to life with two, and I realize that I have got to approach my daily life as my *job*, with some real, concrete coping strategies built in. I need a PLAN for running my life. And I've always been one who does well with lists (and especially check boxes for tasks accomplished! ), but I could really use some e-pals to help me tackle this idea and work toward some goals.

Here's what I hope to implement:

1) a weekly "Lesson Plan" of activities for my 3 yo (not in preschool), complete with several back-up activities for days when playdates are sick or I just can't get us out of the house

2) a weekly meal plan, with simple dinners planned for each night, and the needed groceries *in the house* no later than Sunday night

3) a weekly or monthly plan for slowly-but- surely getting housework done, one chore at a time on a rotating basis

4) a plan for integrating some FUN into my life (and dh's), so I need to pick one or two things for ME (exercise, yoga, art, etc) and *schedule* them

I know this is a lot, and I have no illusions that I can do this all next week, but if some of you awesome mamas have similar goals (by no means do they have to be the same) and would like to support each other in taking them on, I would be so excited and so grateful. (BTW, if someone thinks this should be in the Personal Growth forum, we can move it . . . but it seems a little more utilitarian to me so I put it here.)

Anyone ready to try this with me?
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Old 12-30-2004, 06:40 PM
 
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I'm with you! I use Flylady.net but I have really fallen off the organizational wagon lately and I'm going to kick my butt back in gear. I'm starting with decluttering. So far this week my DH and I have cleared out 4 kitchen trash can size bags of clothes (donated to goodwill) and 5 grocery bags of books (which I took to the friends of the library.) I feel better with less stuff.

Anyway, when I started Flylady I started a Control Notebook, which is a 3 ring binder to keep things like meal plan, weekly and monthly job list, family fun activities etc. Right now mine is a big mess and is pretty much unusable, but Im going to get it back into shape and start using it.
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Old 12-30-2004, 07:44 PM
 
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I'm with you.

I neeeeeeed heeeeelllllllp.

Can we start work on being able to use the bathroom without any screaming, fighting, bodily injury and household damage occuring when we step out of the room?
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:45 PM
 
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Okay, Okay! You women are dragging me back on the Flylady wagon. Good luck to us all!
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:24 PM
 
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With our move into a new apartment and hopefully more out of the house activities for me and MJ, I too need to come up with a plan....I normally use a monthly cooking plan.....(freezer cooking) but now am going to have to go to cooking weekly or bi weekly due to a smaller freezer (I have really fallen off the wagon for cooking). I also use my corck pot a lot, I have a zillion "easy" recipes if anyone wants them. I also need to get a shcedule set for keeping the house in order, our new place is smaller than our old and so clutter and non cleanlienss are not an option, put a couple of things on the floor and it looks like a disaster area. We can't unpack everything until we can afford more shelves (gotta look into freecycle here) sigh....I need to start writing out lists and things....
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Old 12-30-2004, 10:54 PM
 
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i'm in. i just cannot get organized and it makes me so irritable.

my goals are:
1) a weekly schedule (working on this)
2) a night-time schedule (flexible to some extent)
3) weekly dinner menu and shopping done by monday night.
4) exercise at least 3 times a week
5) some sort of cleaning schedule (need to look into flylady)

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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Old 12-30-2004, 10:59 PM
 
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I am soooooooooo disorganized that I don't even have specific goals to meet yet!

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............................I will have to think about it. If something doesn't change, I will lose my mind..................and probably my marriage!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 12-30-2004, 11:11 PM
 
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I'm in. I want to get back on the FlyLady wagon. My biggest offense these days is too much time spent (wasted) at the computer! With the new baby coming next summer, I'd like to get into a better routine.
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Old 12-30-2004, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so excited! I was thinking of sharing ideas about how to set goals, but also about sharing very specific ideas for activities for our little ones, simple meals, and ideas about how to accomplish household chores. And if people are comfortable sharing email addresses, I even thought we could email attachments to each other if we come up with really cool and usable checklists . . . I have several on my computer that I have developed over the years but have simply collected e-dust since I became a mom! But if you like to check little boxes, you might like to use some of these and format them to fit your needs.

I see that many of you are Flyladies . . . I must admit that I could never make her system work for me . . . it didn't seem to fit well with the life of a family with very young children (for instance, dropping whatever you're doing to declutter a particular space . . . just couldn't do it!). But some of us can use that technique and others a different one.

Specifically, I was thinking of listing 14 chores that go beyond the daily cleanup (kitchen, laundry, vacuuming the main living space), and then writing one chore on my calendar each day. After 2 weeks of doing one chore a day, my house should be pretty clean, and then I can start over. (I must admit that this is prob inspired by Flylady -- think I thought of this after I had perused her web site.) You could also do a 7 or 21 day rotation, or even just one chore every other day (which might be more realistic for someone like me with a new baby!)

Anyway, I'm probably getting too specific for the planning stage . . . let's give people some more time to join us, then let's introduce ourselves and set some goals for the "group" (meaning, those who'd like to chime in once a week or so for support, ideas, and encouragement).

Looking forward to getting to "know" you all better very soon!
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Old 12-30-2004, 11:46 PM
 
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sounds great. i have 1 good, easy, healthy recipe to share when we get to that stage. it's called mediterranean pasta. i had to type that so i don't forget by the time we get to it. :LOL

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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Old 12-31-2004, 01:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissy
i'm in. i just cannot get organized and it makes me so irritable.

my goals are:
1) a weekly schedule (working on this)
2) a night-time schedule (flexible to some extent)
3) weekly dinner menu and shopping done by monday night.
4) exercise at least 3 times a week
5) some sort of cleaning schedule (need to look into flylady)
This is a great list. I used to be organized and a night time routine was really the key to the whole thing. I've just been really down lately and haven't felt like doing the things I know I need to do I feel down, so I don't do my little jobs, so things start falling apart, so I feel worse and it is just a nasty little cycle.

Since the last time I was on-line, I decluttered my control notebook. It had been collecting all sorts of paper (i.e. trash) that made it unusable. Now I'm going to work on updating our morning and evening routines for the ages my kids are now and posting their routines on the fridge. What works well for me is to put my evening and morning routines in sheet protectors and then I can use a white board marker to mark through the things as I do them.

Do we want to talk about specific routines or is that more detail than we want in this thread at this time?

Flylady really worked well for me when I was actually doing it, but I know that nothing works for everybody. Ideally, we will be able to learn from each other and pick and choose what makes sense for our own situations. It is very different to try to do ANYTHING when you have a baby and a toddler.
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Old 12-31-2004, 01:20 AM
 
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Me too! I'm not just a SAHM but also a WAHM and yet many days can't find my keys (using the spares right now) or even my debit card (discovered in a pocket yesterday). I've tried so many books, plans, strategies and am in awe when I walk into someone's house and see several happy children, often several who are being babysat, a reasonably organized house, and a sane, relaxed mama! I want to be those women!
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Old 12-31-2004, 01:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda KS
Do we want to talk about specific routines or is that more detail than we want in this thread at this time?
I think it'd be helpful for me to read about others' specific routines.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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Old 12-31-2004, 02:16 AM
 
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I am SO in on this! I feel like my life and house are collapsing around me. I'm having a baby in 5 weeks or so and I can't live like this with 4 kids!!! My main goals:

1. Have a weekly menu & grocery plan.
2. Have a routine in place for daily chores.
3. Make sure that I have homeschooling stuff planned out each week so we don't start on Monday with "What are we supposed to be doing today, Mom?"

Those are more than enough for me to start with! I'm kind of doing the Flylady thing; it's worked for me in the past, I just can't seem to come up with enough energy to get started again. I wish my nesting instinct would kick in!

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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Old 12-31-2004, 02:22 AM
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I'm in! I need to spend more time at home period. That's a start....

subscribing!

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd19, ds17
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Old 12-31-2004, 07:22 PM
 
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I'm in! I need help. I tried Flylady this summer and it actually worked (when I did it!) and I did manage to get rid of a good amount of clutter but somehow its back! I can't tell you the last time I did my routines, but its been on my mind alot lately... I unsubbed since all that email was cluttering up my box, lol! But I miss the motivation, so I hope to get that here

I just had my fourth baby right before Thanksgiving, then we went right into all the busy-ness of the holidays (even with having a real low key Christmas), but now I am feeling well and things are calmer so I am looking forward to the kids going back to school next week so I can get back to a "new normal"

How will it work? What's the first step? Everyone posts their plans?
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Old 12-31-2004, 07:56 PM
 
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I made a meal plan for the week, sent my Dh to the store with it, and cleaned out the fridge while he was gone I feel so much better already.

Our fridge was gross, BTW. Worse than I thought. : I ended up tossing a bunch of icky things and wiping it out a bit.

I like to make my meal plan on a small piece of paper (4x6 index card is perfect) and then put in on the side of the fridge with a magnet. As the week goes along I make a note on the back of it of anything I notice we that we are out of (or about to be out of). If you are new to meal plans, save them when the week is up and you can use the same one again in a couple of weeks.

As far as routines, I used to have really long ones but since I have stopped doing them, I am going to stick with something really simple for awhile. Here they are:

Evening
10 minute pick up (all family members help)
load and start dishwasher
make sure any laundry started that day is folded and put away (it should be done before then)
get things out of freezer for dinner
put kids to bed
get self ready for bed

Morning
Empty dishwasher
start laundry
get self ready for the day
feed kids and get them ready for day
have kids feed pets
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Old 12-31-2004, 10:43 PM
 
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i'm not sure i'm ready to commit, but i'd like to lurk . do y'all mind? i have quite a bit of ODD :LOL so checklists/flylady/etc don't really work very well for me. i get all resentful at having a "list of chores" and say things in my head like "i don't have to do that if i don't want to. so there." not a good motivational tool for me. HOWEVER, my house is always a wreck. dh and i are both packrats, though of different sorts -- he with computer/electronics/automotive and me with possible art projects (broken plates -- they could be a mosaic, really), childhood and just 5 yrs ago STUFF, and PAPERS -- oh i hate the papers. AAAuuuuuggghh! we've actually been doing a little bit better lately, especially me. our couch and futon are fairly cleaned off and there's not too much stuff on the floor. don't go in the kitchen, though. no. stop. turn around. don't look at that counter. :.

breathe, don't know if you're looking for more out of the house activities with your boys, but we did a lot of mommy and me type classes this fall and that went really well with us. we started with one last yr when my two were about at your two's current ages. i found it helps me as much as anything. get me out of the house and i'm a much happier mommy. probably because i don't have to look at all this clutter!

i'll lurk and see if i can glean some good ideas from y'all w/o having to do too much set in stone stuff like weekly menus. would drive me nuts , but please don't take that as a dis. i wish i could do it, but i feel all icky and rebellious and it's like a bad diet where you resent it and sneak ice cream for midnight snacks. i need inner motivation which i think i am slowly finding, slowly slowly slowly...

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Old 01-01-2005, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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beanma, You always make me laugh! Of course you can lurk, as long as you promise to throw in your witty perspective from time to time!

Wow, it sounds like some of you have so much more practice at this than I do! Are you sure you need help?!?

Since it's the weekend (and a New Year!), let's go ahead and get started . . .

How about if everyone briefly introduces themself and then jots down their goals (if you haven't already). I would suggest putting your goals in order of priority and maybe starring the one or two (or more, if you're closer to be organized tham I am!) that you want to try to implement this week. I'll go first:

My RL name is Eleanor, and I'm a SAHM to Maxwell (3 yrs 3 mos) and Henry (3 mos). I have had a REALLY difficult adjustment to life with 2 -- see all my whining threads! -- and am trying to convert some of my anxious energy into action. (use my powers for good!) I should also add that I have the BEST dh so I can never claim to be doing this on my own (which would def send me over the edge). Since the baby was born, he has been getting up in the middle of the night (after falling asleep with the 3 yr old) to clean the house and wash diapers so we'll be ready for the next day. He is a godsend!

I was a teacher early in my career (pre-K, K, & 2), which probably explains why I love checklists , and was working on my PhD when I got pg the 1st time, so that also gave me good practice at HAVING to be organized. It has frustrated me to no end that my prior organizational skills have flown out the window with motherhood!

My goals again:
*1) weekly lesson plans for ds1 (with back-up, since it's cold and flu season)
*2) weekly meal plan
3) one "extra" household chore each day
4) exercise for me (and dh) at least every other day

I'm intrigued by the morning and evening routines Linda posted, and I would LOVE to work toward that, but right now I think the new baby prevents me from really having much routine . . . I don't seem to be able to COUNT on anything!

I will say, however, that dh and I have an agreement that I will be showered and dressed (with my hair dried!) BEFORE he leaves each morning. This will become more and more difficult as spring arrives bc dh begins his busy season at work and will be leaving earlier and earlier. (Yikes! I will need LOTS of support as the year progresses!)

At some point today I will try to map out my lesson plan AND a grocery/meal list (LOVED the idea of saving them, thanks!). Anyone else have a 3 yr old at home? Maybe we could share activity ideas?

Who wants to go next?
Eleanor
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Old 01-01-2005, 04:04 PM
 
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Oooo...oooo....I'm in!

I'm Erin...SAHM to Lily (6 1/2 mos). I have been totally disorganized for as long as I can remember. I really, really want to be organized and I have been chipping away at organizing my house since I've been home but I find it REALLY hard to get anything done with a velcro baby on me most of the day.

Goals:

1. Clean out my car so I don't have to say "hold on...just a minute...one more sec" as I heave stuff into the back seat (or from the back seat into the trunk) when I give someone a ride.

2. Get my house to a place where I am comfortable having people over. Right now I am TOTALLY EMBARASSED if anyone stops by and I have yet to host playgroup because I don't want the other mamas to see my house.

3. Plan weekly meals/grocery shopping so I actually have the ingredients I need in my house when I try to cook.

4. Tame the laundry beast in my basement!!

I'm sure there's more but DH wants to go take a walk and is waiting for me to stop

~Erin
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Old 01-01-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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Okay, I kinda did an intro with goals, but I'll do a more detailed one. I'm Deb, SAHM to Maggie and Kate (11 year old fraternal twins) and 3-year old Alec. I'm also 35 weeks pregnant, planning a VBA2C homebirth (oh, please, oh, please, let it happen!). We homeschool, so the kids are here all the time, making messes. The whole family has a clutter problem! We live in a 3000 sq. ft. house, so there is ample room to spread that clutter out so that it becomes a river I'm trying to wade through. We do have housecleaners who come every other week, so I'm not too stressed about the major cleaning. It's the day-to-day stuff that I can't handle, the details of life that some moms just seem to know how to do that I don't. I'm bad at time management (hello? I'm supposed to be cleaning the kitchen but here I am on the computer again) and I don't have that much free time to even manage in the first place! I would really love our home to be a relaxing, calm place to hang out and it just doesn't feel that way to me with all this STUFF everywhere!

Okay, now I'm stressing about all of this, so maybe I should go relieve some of that stress by scrubbing my kitchen sinks. Except that I have to do about three dishwasher loads before I can even SEE the sinks! See what I mean??

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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Old 01-02-2005, 11:54 AM
 
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My intro...Hi, I'm Jill. SAHM (well, I teach childbirth classes at our local hospital one night a week for 3 hours and I look forward to it immensely so I don't count it as work) of four - Nick is in 1st grade and Tori is in K, they go to school full day so I am left to entertain Christopher (2 1/2) while taking care of Dominic (7weeks). My problem is I am a perfectionist, instead of just mopping the floor to get that days worth of "sticky" up, I tend to wait until I have time to get on my hands and knees to do it right...which obviously never happens! So a whole weeks worth of "sticky" is still there. And alot of times I over-organize. (An example would be the kids toys, instead of putting all the blocks in one bin, I feel like the colored ones should be in one bin, the plain wood should be in another and any with prints should be in yet another.) That's why I am having such a hard time coming up with routine lists, I keep turning them into outlines! So I'll post again when I come up with something coherant .

Eleanor, your dh sounds great! He's like mine, he puts our 2yo to bed and wakes up to do chores until midnight. I think I've only washed the diapers once since the baby was born. He has a system that works and I never get around to it, lol. He does the dishes and the laundry...half way. He'll empty and fill the d/w, but doesn't put the dishes away. He washes and dries the laundry but doesn't fold or put away. This works out well for us since if I am overwhelmed with a chore (like laundry for 6 people!) I don't do it - back to the perfectionist thing, there's way too much to sort properly and I would NEVER just throw all the clothes in together, so nothing would get washed until I could find the time to do it "right". But dh does do it that way, and I have found out that jeans do get clean with towels in the same load...who knew?! Anyway, it's been a process letting go of the "my-way-is-the-only-way-to-do-it-thinking".

And Erin, I feel the same way about my car! And my house! I can't wait to get it together!
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Old 01-02-2005, 04:51 PM
 
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My name is Melissa, and I have a three-year-old named Miles and one on the way in June. I too have a super-helpful dh, for which I am truly thankful, but I still can't seem to keep on top of things. Plus, it drives me crazy when the place is cluttered and I can't relax -- and we have small rooms in our bungalow so it's easy for things to get out of control.

I do have a couple of routines in place (laundry Mondays and Thursdays, bill-paying Monday nights) and they make life a lot easier so I'd like to do more of that (making the weekly menu, grocery-shopping, etc.). I'd like to get off my duff earlier in the morning and ready to go -- we tend to lounge around in our pjs a lot. And I'd just like to be all-around more productive -- I tend to fritter away my time.

Looking forward to this!
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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I'm Linda and I'm homeschooling my two kids, who are 6 and 8. My Dh works long hours and travels, and we move a lot for his job. We moved last summer and it looks like we will move again in the spring. I was really organized and had solid routines before our last move, but things have just gradually fallen apart since then.

I have my meal plan and groceries for this week and we are back to doing our morning and evening routine. My short term goals are to update our weekly plan (including the kids' jobs), to make a homeschooling plan for January, and to continue decluttering.

Because I've been organized before, I know what I need to do. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, but if you guys want some tips of making a weekly plan or questions to ask yourself when decluttering, just say so.
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Erin, Deb, Jill, Melissa, & Linda: It's great to meet you guys! (BTW, people don't have to give their RL names, if they don't want to.) Those of you with babes on the way are so smart to be attempting organization now -- It'll probably lapse once your babies are born, but it'll be so much easier to get back to if you've had some type of structure in place. And Linda, feel free to toss out as many ideas as you can think of! (Jill, what's wrong with separating the blocks?!? I LOVE my various bins of sorted blocks!!!) :LOL

May I toot my own horn? Last night I typed up a standard grocery list with everything we ever buy, organized in order of how we find things at Whole Foods. Then today I wrote up meals for 3 weeks (and this is BIG to come up with 15 different meals for us, bc we can't eat wheat, dairy, or corn). I then hi-lited everything we need for this week's meals on the grocery list AND I did the shopping. (luckily my colicky baby was happy for that 1 hr in the sling) Now I have a fresh grocery list posted on the fridge for NEXT week so we can hi-lite things and add things as we run out. I am very excited. Of course, I think I had the energy to do all this bc dh was home all last week on vacation and I've gotten some rest and relief. I am truly afraid of what this week will bring, and will be hoping to have enough evergy to repeat my planning next weekend.

Haven't planned ds1's activities for the week, but I *think* we have a playdate every day (barring illness) and I've pulled out one of my favorite resource books. Hope to jot down my back-up ideas by bedtime tonight!

How are others doing? Do you feel ready for the coming week?

(I'll email my grocery list or meal-plan list to anyone who wants a sample . . . )
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Old 01-02-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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I haven't had time to read all the replies, but I am all over this!

Some other MDC members and I started a yahoo group awhile back to help everyone organize meals, but it didn't go very far. If you want, we can use that group for this purpose as well. Let me know and I'll post a link.

Regardless of whatever form it takes, I really need this, so please count me in!
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Old 01-02-2005, 07:54 PM
 
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ok...I'm in!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 01-02-2005, 08:18 PM
 
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Breathe - I think you and I are living parallel lives! I too have 2 boys, 3.5yo and 5.5months old. We shop at Whole Foods (can I please see that master list you made!?!?!?) and I am trying to reduce the amount of wheat I eat for various health reasons. My dh is also super helpful, and anything I implement I'm sure he will be totally on board.

I gotta run, but here's my really brief, but so important, goals list:

1. Plan, shop and make weekly meals for dinner, but also NCLUDING breakfast, snacks and lunch.
2. Keep this house picked up!
3. Declutter
4. Have daily activities for the kids. Ds1 is in preschool for a few hours during the week, but I am thinking about taking him out. But even if I don't, I still need ideas about what to do with him and the baby.

Okay, now I'm burning my lunch. I'll be back later.
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Old 01-02-2005, 09:41 PM
 
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k i havent read the whole thread but we are moving in a couple weeks so i want to start out organized..i already unpacked 3 boxes AS SOON AS WE walked in the door at the new place. flylady did work for me and i really really really enjoyed being organized but i just used it as a guideline. for ex. instead of wasting my time cleaning the sink i'd do the dishes at night b4 bed so i'd wake up to a clean sink

right now would like ideas on how to organize the meal plan stuff and i would *love* to do some freezer cooking..(any links?)

how do i freeze something like stuffed zucchinis in tomatoe sauce for example? do i freeze the zucchs and the sauce separate? what kind of containers should i use etc? is it ok to freeze the stuffing if its' made of rice..that kinda sounds nasty..and lastly do i freeze them *after* they've been fully cooked or do i just make extra and cook what i need while i freeze the rest? :

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Old 01-02-2005, 10:00 PM
 
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Can I join too? I'm Sarah, sahm to Lucas (age 4) and Ryan (9mos. today). I've tried flylady several times but could never stick to it. So, now I've made my own plans/goals. I actually made these New Year's Resoultions before I read this thread. They are:

1. Meal plan for the week, also try to include breakfasts/lunch/snacks as much as possible. Grocery list, shop on sundays for the week. Eat healthy while trying to stay within budget.
2. Make and stick to a daily routine - mornings and evenings for myself, dh, and ds1. Includes cleaning and bedtime routine w/ ds.

Sarah : , mama to Lucas (8) , Ryan (5) : , Andrew (1yr) , and someone new : due early Dec.
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