January 30, 2012

A Morning In My Life

5:30 am - my alarm goes off and I stumble out of bed to the bathroom.

5:45 am - Miss C is awake.  She always hears me tip-toe around in the morning.  Change her training pants and then head downstairs to prepare breakfast.  Put Miss S's lunch bag into her backpack.

6:00 am - wake Miss S and eat breakfast with the girls.

6:20 am - shower and prepare myself for the day.

6:40 am - make sure Miss S is dressed and ready for school.  Dress Miss C.  Brush hair and teeth for both girls.

7:00 am - drive Miss S to the school bus stop.

7:10 am - arrive home and put on a load of laundry.  Put the dry dishes away and unload/load the dishwasher.

7:30 am - put on Winnie-the-Pooh for Miss C to watch while I clean the oven.  I had left the baking soda/borax/white vinegar mixture on overnight.  Now I need to thoroughly rinse it off.

7:45 am - Miss C comes to help me.  She uses the water in my clean rinsing bowl to "paint" her clothes with water.

8:00 am - finish cleaning/rinsing the oven and clean up the water all over the floor.

8:10 am - change Miss C's clothes.

8:15 am - build Lego towers with Miss C.  Turn off DVD player.

8:45 am - head to laundry room to swap laundry to tumble dryer and put new load on.  Miss C comes to help.

9:00 am - make sure DH has everything he needs for his business trip this week and Miss C and I say goodbye to him.

9:15 am - head back to kitchen while Miss C plays upstairs.  Today is Monday.  Laundry and kitchen cleaning day.  Clean the stove top and hobs.  Clean extractor fan.

9:30 am - Miss C comes into the kitchen looking for a snack.  Prepare her snack and continue cleaning. Clean counter tops and backsplash.

9:45 am - Miss C has finished her snack and wants to play.  We play upstairs with her puzzles.

10:00 am - time for my snack.  Swap over laundry load into tumble dryer.  Miss C comes to help again.  Fold and put away dry laundry.

10:30 am - check email and Etsy shop.

10:45 am - head back to the kitchen.  Wipe down cupboard doors/pantry door/fridge door and dishwasher.  Hand Miss C a damp cloth so she can "help" too.

11:10 am - prepare lunch for Miss C and myself.

11:30 am - time for Miss C's nap

11:45 am - Work on draft blog post.

12:00 pm - Clean up from breakfast / lunch.  Clean microwave.  Dry and buff the sink.  Sweep the floor.      

12:30 pm -  Sit down to rest and admire my clean kitchen.  If only it would stay like this for longer than 10 minutes!

January 27, 2012

Banana Muffins

These are delicious and the girls also enjoy them.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
2.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl and set aside.
3.  Mix bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter together in a large bowl.
4.  Fold in the flour mixture and mix until moistened.
5.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
6.  Bake in preheated oven.  Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes and large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes.  Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean.

January 22, 2012

Mother-Daughter Date

Miss S. and I had a lovely date this afternoon.  We went to the mall to buy some new school clothes and then to the theatre to see the 3D Beauty and the Beast movie.  It was wonderful.  I had such a great time watching both the movie and Miss. S.'s face as she was watching the movie.  

We followed that up with a visit to the bookstore where we browsed the children's section and had fun reading books about dinosaurs and Pinkalicious.

Such a fun day!

January 09, 2012

Big Girl Beds

We are transitioning to big girl beds.  Miss S was the lucky recipient of a handmade bed (built by her paternal grandfather) for Christmas this year.  She absolutely loves it.

The girls enjoying Miss S's new bed
The delivery was cloaked in secrecy.  I took the girls out after Miss C's nap in the afternoon.  We went to the shops for a couple of hours.  Then we arrived home and watched the reactions from the girls as they saw their new rooms.
Miss C was a very good independent sleeper in her crib.  I could lay her down for a nap or at bedtime, give her a kiss, turn out the lights and she would go to sleep without a problem.  Now that we have the bed, she is needing a little transition time to sleep as she did before.  

I have been sitting in her room (in the corner by the door) as she lays in bed and falls asleep.  This has taken between fifteen minutes and an hour.  I'm hoping that she will soon be comfortable enough for me to sit for a few minutes and then stay in bed when I leave the room. 

Once she is asleep, she will stay in her bed all night.  I don't mind sitting there as this is my quiet time.  It gives me time to think through my day, plan the next day, enjoy watching Miss C. as she falls asleep and let my mind rest for a few moments.  

Are you sleep training?  Do you have any experiences to share?

January 07, 2012

Natural Cleaners: Bathroom

I have been experimenting lately with natural bathroom cleaners.  Here are a few of the recipes I've liked.

Pour a little straight vinegar into the toilet bowl to clean and deodorize.  For regular toilet seat wipe downs, keep some vinegar in a spray bottle.  The smell is quite strong to begin with, but will dissipate quickly.  

Microfiber Cloth
Spray glass/mirror with vinegar and clean with a microfiber cloth.

Soft Scrub
¾ cup baking soda
Enough liquid castile soap to form a paste
5 drops tea tree oil
5 drops of lemon, lemongrass, or sweet orange oil (optional)
Add liquid castile soap to baking soda slowly until paste is formed.  Then add antiseptic essential oils. Apply scrub to sponge for use on surface to be cleaned.  I've used this on tough stains on toilets and it works really well.   A pumice stone can also be used to scrub away tough stains.   

Toilet Cleaner
Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl.  Add ¼ cup white vinegar and scrub the toilet as it fizzes.  Flush.  

Tile / Grout Cleaner
Scrub tiles and grout with a mixture of ½ cup of baking soda and enough water to make a paste. A used toothbrush makes a good grout scrubber. After the grout has been cleaned, spread the paste over the surrounding tiles, wipe, rinse and dry. 

Drain Cleaner
Pour ½ cup baking soda into the drain.  Follow with 1 cup of white vinegar.  Let it sit and fizz for 10 minutes, then pour down a kettleful of boiling water.

Castile Soap Cleaner
Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add a few drops of essential oil (lemon or tea tree).  Add a tablespoon of castile soap to the vinegar and shake to blend. 

January 04, 2012

Plans for 2012

It is the start of another new year, so over the past few days I have been thinking about my personal plans for 2012.  

Here is the list in no particular order:

1.  Switch to all natural household cleaners.  I have made a start with this, but would like to take all chemicals out of my home.  

2.  Add exercise to my weekly routine.  Walking (either outside or on the treadmill) and practising yoga a few times a week.  I have a few (too many!) baby pounds to lose.  I have noticed that I am out of breath more quickly while playing with the girls and I don't have the flexibility I once did.  I am aiming to improve this.  

3.  Eat a healthier, whole food diet.  We have made changes over the last year, but have a ways to go.  I am also trying to encourage the girls and DH to embrace the taste of healthier food.  

4.  Take more control over the budget.  The grocery bill makes up a large portion of our budget and I would like to try and take more control over this.  We live in an expensive city, so I will try to find ways to eat whole, healthy foods for less.  Repurposing is something else that interests me.  I am not a sewer, although I do have a machine.  I would like to see if I could make simple repairs, turn old clothes into cleaning cloths and so on.    

I would love it if you would come and join me on this journey.

What are your plans / goals for this new year?