Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oh universe, why?

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like the universe is out to get you?  Well I did...  Yesterday.  I took our oldest to the dentist for the first time in too long to admit.  I could make excuses about not having dental insurance, but regardless he should have been taken in before.  He has a pretty bad cavity that needs a root canal.  At 10 years old.  It's horrifying.  I've never had anything that extensive done and I just can't believe that I let my child's tooth get that bad.  Ugh. 

But enough guilting... We finally have dental insurance (signed up last month!) so we went in and got him checked out.  The appointment went great, all the ladies in the office loved him, my big brave boy.  He didn't complain or wimp out even though he was nervous.  They told me he needs a root canal, one other filling, and a couple of sealants.  We scheduled our next appointment and then they gave me the bill. 

When I signed up for the insurance I made sure to get the plan with the most coverage I could get.  I bought the most expensive plan because I knew our whole family needs to get some work done.  Only after we'd already been seen did I find out that our dentist isn't in our insurance network.  Every other dentist in the area seems to be, except for ours.  What does that mean?  It means that our insurance company will not pay our dentist.  I pay the dentist and then get reimbursed by the insurance company.  That might not be so bad except Alex's first appointment was nearly $300 and the rest of the work he needs done is going to be over $2000. 

Another kick in the teeth?  No dental plan in our area will cover a root canal unless you've been with the company for over a year.  Apparently people sign up, get their work done, and cancel their policy.  I have no intentions of doing that, as I said before we all need some work done so it's going to be a lifelong policy.

I'm at the point now where I have to decide, do I want to switch dentists or insurance companies?  Honestly I would rather switch insurance companies.  We like our dentist, we don't want to switch.

Even if we do switch insurance companies, they won't cover his root canal.  As I've mentioned before, we don't have any savings.  If we save every extra penny we can and put everything towards the dentist.  It'll take 3-4 months to save up enough.  I'm going to call the dentist today and see if we can work out a payment plan.  I hope that we can because I want to get him all taken care of. 

And aside from all of that, I had to pay $80 down on the cost of his first appointment.  Which was nearly the last of our spending money for the next week and a half.  I'll go over where that went in another post. 

It seems like as soon as you start trying to build up a savings, or get things on the right track, things just pop up and problems happen.  It's like you are knocked down before you can really even get started.  I haven't lost faith though, I believe that this will work out somehow.  I'm not going to throw my hands up in the air and give up.  Even if it takes three months, we will get this taken care of. 

Thank you guys for lending an ear, it helps to get it all out there.  It's funny...  I say things in this blog that I'm feeling, things that I wouldn't ever say aloud to anyone...  Except maybe my hubbs.  He's great about letting me vent to him.  But without this blog, I think I would be a lot more stressed out!  So thank you again, for being there! =)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My very first budgeting trip to the store!

I have actually been working on a "planning your first budget trip to the store" post but I was unable to finish typing it before I had to go shopping!  I will finish it because it's nearly done, and there may be someone else out there going through this.  Maybe it will help them...

I made my first trip to the grocery store with my budget!  I had built myself up over the past couple of days thinking this wouldn't really be that hard.  People shop on a budget all the time right?  I can do this too...  Well I have to say, it was MUCH harder than I thought it was going to be!  First off, the sale paper that I had been checking?  Was for NEXT week.  What a shocker that was when all the things I had marked to "stock up on" weren't actually cheap at all.  I had to make some major changes in my shopping plan right there in the store.

I learned I need to start my grocery list early in the week and add to it as I notice we are out of something.  I kept putting all these things I hadn't written on my list but remembered that I needed them when I saw them. Things like ketchup, brown sugar, pancake syrup.  All things that we use on a regular basis.  Every time I found something we were out of but it wasn't on the list, that added to what I already had planned on buying.  It added on top of the $125 I had already planned out. 

While I was shopping, I made sure to add up every item I put into the cart so that I would know when I hit my limit.  About mid-way through the store I realized, I'm almost at budget and still need a lot more stuff.  I started sorting through everything to see if I had anything I could do without until next week.  I realized I had added a lot of things I didn't really need already.  I had steaks (on sale but still $6,), steak sauce (only for the steaks I just mentioned, $4), extra cereal that hadn't been on my list ($4), and a couple of other unnecessary things.  I should have written them down for reference but I wasn't thinking of that at the time.  But it was well over $20 worth of stuff.  I put all of that back and went back to work.  By the time I got to the end of the store, I had to do another lap to put away the things I didn't need.

There was a lot of evaluating, a lot of mind changing, and some frustration.  I was so tempted to go over budget, I thought of using some of our weekly "spending money" to cover it.  Then I remembered another blogger friend telling me: Once the money in one area is gone, it's gone.  I didn't want to take from the extra money when I knew I would need it for gas money and for the kiddos dentist appointment.  I held strong, passed up the things I wanted, and put back the things I could do without.

As I went up to the check out I was nervous, afraid I had forgot to count something, worried I had gone over.  At your grocery store, does it show you the total of everything before it takes off the money you saved by getting things on sale?  Well ours does!  I didn't know that, so when I saw it say something like $138 I was really unhappy...  Then it started ticking down, lower and lower!  I was actually under budget by a little over $6!!  I was SO happy that I jumped up and down, clapped my hands a bunch of times, and said "Yes!"  I even told the cashier that this was the first time I'd ever been able to stay under a budget.  She wasn't impressed...  But I was very happy!  I can't express how great I felt. 

I haven't been that proud of myself in a very long time.  Now I know what to expect when I go to the store next week.  And I'm going to do a couple of things to better prepare.  Like starting a list today and being sure I have the correct sale paper. 

A huge thank you to everyone who gave me words of encouragement and support this past week.  I can't tell you how much it helped.  I find confidence and strength in the fact that there are people out there waiting for me to report back in.  It makes me feel empowered knowing these people have faith in me. 

One last thing, if you are in the same boat, if you are struggling with a grocery budget or any kind of budget really.  Just know that you CAN do it.  You can stay under budget.  And when you do, you will feel like a million bucks.  Have faith in yourself and just do it.  You'll be glad you did!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's A Numbers Game - The Short Version

If you follow this blog or my facebook page, then you know that a few days ago I posted a blog detailing our financial woes and my extreme lack of money management skills.  Well earlier today I finished up a post I spent days working on, it was our budget plan.  It ended up being VERY long and I decided to write out a shorter version.  If you want to see the more detailed blog, just click here.

All of the numbers I'm going to post here will be rounded to make it even and to simplify things.  More exact numbers are in the other post.  OK let's get started!

Our total monthly income is after taxes and our house payment is $3060, $1530 every two weeks.

The total of our monthly bills:  $1550, or $775 per pay period.
Our food budget:  $500 a month, $250 per pay period, $125 a week.
My hubbs meds:  $250 a month, $125 per pay period. 
Hubbs book fund:  $200 a month, $100 per pay period.
Savings:  $200 a month, $100 per pay period. 
Misc. Spending: $360 a month, $180 a pay period, $90 a week.

Total:  $3060 which means I've budget out every dollar we have incoming.  It gives me a feeling of structure and security.  Knowing that we will have a little bit of money for miscellaneous spending also comforts me.  Everything extra we need will be coming out of that, gas money, my son's dentist appointment next week, I mean everything.

I hope this was an easier read than the first one, I know it's much shorter!  I hope you guys are having a great weekend with your families! 

It's A Numbers Game

I'm sitting down today to write out our budget, I'm doing it from scratch and I'll share my process with you guys.  You can do it right along with me!  I'm not really sure where to start with it all so I'm just going to make a list of all the things I've been paying regularly.  As a heads up, there are a LOT of numbers in this post.  When I finish this, I plan to write out a cliff's notes version for those of you who don't want to read the entire process.  -  I did!  It's posted here.  If you don't want to read this long post, feel free to get the highlights from the short one! =)

Before I get to that, I'll give you a little background on our income.  Our house payment is taken directly out of the paycheck each time.  They take $374.46 each time for the house.  After that and taxes our take home pay is $1530.66, we get that every two weeks for a monthly total of $3061.32.

I have been writing my bills down in a binder for about the past year so I'm taking the average of each one, rounding up just a bit, and adding them all together to find out what we'll need a month for bills. 

Electric - $240
Gas - $190
AT&T - $330
Internet - $55
Credit Card - $50 - The minimum payment is $25 but I am trying to always pay extra.
Fingerhut - $30 - Same as the credit card, the minimum is $15 but we're paying ahead.
Water - $180
Trash - $40
Car Insurance - $100
Dental Insurance - $120
Dish Network - $70
Lunch Bills - $80
Bandland - $40 - This is payment for our sons instrument for school.

Total - $1525 which I will round up to $1550 to make up for any differences, or $775 a pay period.

This doesn't include our house payment (which we already talked about) or any debt that we have.  I haven't really even thought about where to start with that.  My general plan is to save a small emergency fund and then start on the debt one thing at a time.  I think in total we have about $25,000 in debt including my husbands remaining student loans. 

I've set our grocery budget at $500 a month, that's about $150 less than we have been spending a month.  I include all of our household purchases in that, such as toilet paper, pet food, laundry supplies.  Things that I normally purchase when I grocery shop.  This brings our monthly total to $2050, or $1025 per pay period.

I just realized that something pretty big had completely slipped my mind.  My husband is an asthmatic and we do not have health insurance.  All of our medical expenses are directly out of pocket.  Including his Symbicort and it's $246 every month.  So including that we have $2296 a month, $1148 - rounded to $1150 every two weeks. 

That leaves us with $380 remaining every two weeks, from that we need money for miscellaneous spending such as gas for the car and anything else we may need.  My hubbs travels a lot for work and needs a little pocket change.  We will be keeping $180 for the misc spending.  That means we will be putting the other $200 per pay period towards savings. 

Something else I still need to mention is the fact that when my hubbs is not going around fixing computers for Go-Mart, he's a writer.  He's written three books so far but we have been unable to find the money for an editor.  We need to save a little over $1500 to get that done and we will be putting half of our savings money toward that.  At $100 a payday or $200 a month that should take about 8 months to get saved up.  After that, we will put the other money into our savings account.

Our initial savings goal is $3000,  we'll be saving $200 a month for the next 8 months and then it'll be $400 a month.  It should take us about a year to meet our first goal.  After that we will start on our debt.  I know a lot of people probably think we should already be paying off our debt, it's something that nags at the back of my mind all the time.  But you have to realize that we have neglected it for the past 10 years.  It seems like every time you start trying to pay off your debt without a safety net, you are doomed to have an expensive emergency.  The car breaks down, the washer dies, someone has a medical problem.  That's why we're doing the safety net before the debt. 

In the past, I've had trouble sticking to other "budget" plans I've come up with.  But I quickly fell off the wagon.  This time, we will be putting away the debit card!  No access to that bad boy at all.  On payday I will be going to the bank to get our "spending money" and that'll be that.  From this point on out, I'll be writing down every penny we spend. 

Well that was exhausting and days of work but I've finally finished the most difficult part of it!  I also got a few good ideas for future posts but for now, I think I'm done!  I feel pretty good and productive.  I've already planned out the bills that I'll be paying this payday in the spirit of being as prepared as possible. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

What's The 50's Housewifes Deep Dark Secret?

A quick disclaimer: I do not like negativity and will not tolerate it.  I understand that this is the internet and there are certain things to be expected when you put your life out there.  But also, if you treat me with rudeness or disrespect you can expect to get blocked.  I just won't put up with it.

We all have a secret of some kind...  Something that we aren't proud of, something we wish we could change.  Something that we would never want people to know about ourselves...  Well today I am going to share my deep dark secret with you.  Why am I sharing something so personal with you?  Accountability.  I want to change this problem that I have and I haven't been able to do so privately.  Besides, someone else may be having the same problem and maybe they can go through this with me! 

I'm sure you are saying OK Housewife, what gives?  Are you going to spill your guts or just keep us in suspense?  I'm getting to it!  Really it's not all that bad in the grand scheme of things...  OK well here it is:  I am bad with money.  That was harder to type out than I thought it would be.  It's much easier to say that to an understanding friend or family member than it is to say to the surprisingly critical public. 

Now that you know what my big deep dark secret is I want to take a second to say, this is going to be a long post.  A really long post.  I'm going to go in depth about my family's finances, debt, reasons behind the way I handle money, my goals.  If you are not interested in that then thank you for reading this far!  If you continue reading, thank you even more!  Thanks for sticking with me and by me. 

I'll try to keep this as organized as possible so I will start from the beginning and work my way to the present.  I was raised by a single, working woman.  I had three siblings, me being the youngest.  My mom did the very best she could with what she had.  We were dirt poor and at one point in my childhood I remember being on state assistance.  My mom tried to shield me from the fact that we were struggling.  If I asked for a toy, I got it.  If I asked for take out, I got it.  For birthdays and Christmas I got obscene amounts of presents.  I was the baby of our family, and I was darn spoiled.  I didn't realize until I was much, much older that we lived in a house that my mom had to staple cardboard no the walls to keep cold air from blowing through the cracks. 

I realize that a lot of families struggle a lot more than we did, but my point is I was shielded from money.  Everything about it...  Lack of money, what things cost, the fact that people actually had to WORK for money.  Really I just thought it was something you had for a long time. 

As many of you know, I became a mother very early in life.  I'm 26 with a 10 year old and a 6 year old, both biologically mine.  I am so very thankful for them and for my hubbs, without them I would be living a very different life I think.  That I'll go into in another post because it will be a long one as well.  But when you go from being a baby yourself to having a baby practically overnight, it's a pretty drastic change.  I didn't have time to learn about money and how to manage it when I was trying to figure out how to change a diaper and make a bottle. 

In the beginning of our marriage, we had a lot of help from both sides of our families.  Help paying bills and buying anything we needed for our bebies.  I'm thankful for that because my also young hubbs was working a minimum wage ($5.15 I think it was) job trying to support his new family.  Even with help from our parents we struggled...  We had a lot of checks bounce and our bills were paid mostly when they were about to be shut off.  I rarely thought about money at all, I was so caught up in all of the baby whirlwind.  Fast forward four years, our second son was born.  My mother passed away shortly after that.  I guess looking back, life just kept me distracted from our money problems.  I know that sounds crazy but I really just didn't think about it at all. 

We were struggling more than ever at this point, I remember my husband was bringing home $800 a month.  That's what we lived on for our family of four.  His parents were separated and we could go to either one of them any time we had a problem.  When the hubbs' step father passed away, my mother in law was suddenly a widow.  She couldn't help anymore because she was having her own financial problems.  We no longer had help from my mother (obviously).  And to be honest, his father was getting tired of helping his adult son and his wife out.  Things were really looking pretty bleak.

Then we received a true blessing, my husband was offered a wonderful new job.  An amazing offer.  We couldn't believe ourselves!  An IT position for Go-Mart, a chain of gas stations here in WV for those of you that don't know.  It was paying an unbelievable (to us) $50,000 a year.  There was a small catch, we would have to move about an hour north of our childhood homes.  It wasn't that big of a deal to me because my family was mostly gone, I had no ties to the community except a few close friends.  We found a home and set to the loan process and were (surprise!) denied.  Turns out when you have unpaid bills and bad credit, banks are not likely to give you a loan!  We got another blessing, the same person that owns the company my hubbs was going to work for also happens to own a chain of banks.  They helped us get a loan. 

Within a couple of months, we went from broke and renting to rich (to us) and home owners!  During that drastic change, I learned the joy of being able to go out to the store and buy what ever I wanted, when ever I wanted.  That was five years ago...  I've been shopping ever since without ever really looking back.  Our bills are caught up and (mostly) paid on time, we have a ton of debt which I will go over in a later post, we have no savings and are living paycheck to paycheck even now.  There is no safety net and it's getting old.  I've been embarrassed to admit to anyone that we are still having money problems even to this day.  We shouldn't be.  I know that.  With my husband getting regular, yearly raises we are making more money than ever before.  But somehow we always still seem to be broke come payday. 

I've tried in the past to make small changes and it just hasn't worked for us.  This time I'm doing something I've never done before, I'm drastically overhauling our finances.  I've been working on a budget for the past couple of days and I'm changing the way we live.  It's not setting a good example for our children and I'm tired of it.  We've been living paycheck to paycheck for the past 10 years.  Really isn't enough, enough? 

I'll be going over the rest of the things in a series of other posts.  I will be talking about my budget, goals, and much more so check back! =) 

If you are struggling financially or just want to set some new goals for yourself, we can do it together!  Comment here on my blog, message me on my facebook page, or send me an email.  Whatever you are going through, I promise to never judge you.  If you need a supportive friend then I am here for you, no matter what! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wooo Party! Kid Style!

I was tying up a big long post about Thanksgiving and how awesome it is then I realized that I was totally skipping over Halloween.  It's not that I dislike Halloween, I love it!  For some reason when Fall comes, I can't get turkey day off the brain.  But since we are just 6 short days away from the day all of the creepy crawlies come out I figured I'd do a post dedicated to that!

This year the youngest wanted to go as Spiderman and that was a pretty simple costume to find, they had it at Wal-Mart.  He's all set to go and ready for his party next Wednesday.   My oldest decided he wanted to dress up as a grim reaper, he picked out which costume he wanted like two months ago.  A really cool cape thing with glowing red eyes and a pretty scary (plastic) scythe.  It's a cute costume, we have to go out this weekend and buy it.  That is if they still have it!  We've been so swamped with visiting family and busy weekends we haven't had a chance to get to the Halloween store. 

I mentioned to Alex (the oldest) that I don't think he'll be able to take the scythe to school.  You know, the no weapons - not even plastic - policy at school.  I understand it and support it!  But I was pretty shocked at his reply, he said "I know I can't take it to school, I'm not dressing up this year."  When he said it, it was kind of a question.  Like "Duh mom, you know I'm not dressing up...  What are you thinking?"  I asked him why not and he told me that they weren't allowed to dress up in middle school!  I couldn't believe it.  I remember dressing up all the way through high school.  I mean maybe we didn't have parties but even the teachers dressed up.  Now he's telling me that's against the rules these days?  How unfair!  I didn't realize that last years Halloween party was his last.  I was pretty bummed out when I heard that.  But I guess times have changed... 

Since he's been denied his partying rights, we're going to have a little party with just the four of us!  I'm browsing Pinterest right now looking for some simple and fun crafts to do with the kiddies, it's amazing the stuff you can find on there!  I will be pinning the things I am interested in on a Halloween board which you can find here.  If you have any suggestions for us, let me know!  Email, Facebook, or here on the blog!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Where oh where has our housewife gone?

Hello Everyone!  That is if there is still anyone checking this blog...  I told you in the beginning that I have a tendency to get a little sidetracked.  As usual, I find myself thinking "Oh man I need to write a blog!" while I'm doing my daily routine and then I tell myself "Well I can't do it now, I don't have enough time!".  So today when I thought about it, I just stopped what I was doing and sat down to write. 

What have I been up to these past couple of months?  Well pretty much the same ol stuff.  Taking care of my bebies, hubbs, home, and pets.  One small thing is different though!  I've started taking a photography class online.  It's something that has always interested me and I decided to do it because I love taking photos of my kiddos.  I figured I have a decent camera, why not learn to take better photos?  It's been a lot of fun...  I'm taking so many more photos of our kids and that's great because now we'll have them to look back on when they are all grown up.  I was really disappointed with their school portraits this year so we took them out and did our own!  They turned out so much better...  The school photos always have forced smiles and I don't think they really capture the kids personalities.  We went outside, played in the leaves and just had fun.  Now we have photos where they are really smiling, playing, and having fun.  Plus we have the memories of taking the photos.  It was great!  =)   I'll show you what I mean!  Here are their proofs from their school portrait, now these are photos of photos so they do look a bit better in person but I just wanted to give you a general idea... 

 And here are the photos that I took and ordered...

Photos of my beautiful bebies that I am proud to hang on my wall.  They grow so quickly it amazes me! 
Fall is officially here...  It's my favorite time of year!  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, all of our family comes here to our house for dinner and we spend time just being thankful.  We're the only ones with kiddos so everyone comes together here.  It's a blessing and I love cooking for everyone! 
I wanted to keep this shortish today, I'm going to try to commit to blogging at least once a week although I'd love to do it every day or every other day.  If I don't cram everything into one post I think I'll be more likely to post sooner!  It was great to sit down for a few minutes and catch up on things.  Thank you guys for sticking with me through the slow times! =)  See you again soon I hope!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Taking Care of the Caretaker

Have you ever had one of those days where you snap at everybody?  Nothing seems to go right...  The dog pees on the living room floor, the cat throws up a hairball, the kids are fighting, the hubbs is in a bear of a mood, and you are exhausted.  Sound familiar? 

If you are like me, most days are somewhat like this to an extent.  There is always something to clean up, always an argument to settle, and a meal to be cooked.  Most days I love it, it's what I do, it's what we all do.  But sometimes, some days, I feel like I'm just going to go nuts!  Do you ever feel like that?  Well I can't speak for you but I know when I get like that, it usually means I've been neglecting to care for the caretaker.

We need to remember to be kind to ourselves.  How can we care for everyone else if we aren't caring for ourselves?  It's important to take some time for yourself every single day.  Some days, this isn't practical and you just can't do it.  It seems like those are the extremely stressful days.  How do I keep from boiling over on days like this?  I take care of me.

I usually don't notice that I'm having one of those days until one of two things happens: #1 - I nearly bite some one's head off, #2 - I actually bite some one's head off.  Neither of those things are good!  Some days I can catch it before then but sometimes not... 

Let's say it's been building up to be a whopper of a stressful day.  Just like in the first paragraph, things are piling up all at once...  Your family is tugging you in 10 different directions, all at the same time.  You feel like you're about three seconds from either yelling at someone or locking yourself in the bathroom.  Here comes the straw to break the Mom's back, the youngest just spilled his entire glass of chocolate milk...  On the carpet...  And he wants a refill. 

This is where I would have to stop, take a breath, and walk away.  In this situation I like to go sit outside by myself on the back porch for a few minutes, listen to the birds sing, get some fresh air, and just try to clear my head.  I would almost call it meditation.  I find that when I'm about to break, if I do this it helps me recharge.  While I'm sitting there I think of all the things that make me happy and all of the many blessings in my life.  After I've had a few minutes to calm down, I'm able to go back inside and face the spilled milk without crying over it.  I don't feel like I need to scream anymore and all is well. 

Sometimes though, I don't catch it in time and I do end up snapping at one of my beautiful babies or my hubbs.  If that happens I walk away and do my "calming down", then I go back in and try my best to apologize.  I think it's always easier to say you are sorry after you've had a chance to think things through and process what you are feeling.  You would be surprised how far an, "I'm sorry, I'm having a stressful day and I took it out on you.  I shouldn't have done that and I will try my best not to do it again." will go...  I know I always appreciate an apology after someone has snapped at me! 

No matter how zen you are, there will be stressful days.  But you can keep them to a minimum if you remember to take care of you.  Exercising is a great way to reduce stress and it's good for you!  Go for a walk (or run) outside, play with your kids in the back yard, go swimming, do a Jane Fonda video.  There are a thousand (fun) ways to get your blood pumping and shed some pounds while you are at it.  Get your hubbs to tuck in the kiddos once a week and while he's doing that, take a long hot bubble bath.  Do you know what I find relaxing?  Grocery shopping without the kids! 

There are a lot of things you can do to relax, find what works for you.  Everyone is going to have different ideas of what is relaxing but I can promise you one thing, if you take pamper yourself every now and then, you will be a better caretaker to your family.  The short of things?  Every day find a few minutes in a quiet place to breathe deep and think of all the things that make you happy.  If you get stressed to your breaking point, walk away.  At least once a week take an hour to do something just for you!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A man with a sign...

I'm warning you guys...  I'm in a very deep state of mind today.

Today while on our way to the grocery store, we passed a man holding a sign.  It said "Will work for food."  This is the second time since we moved to this area nearly 5 years ago that I have seen this man.  He is an Army Vet and my heart breaks for him...  I don't know his back story but I wish I did. 

I grew up with a father who, when he saw a homeless person or someone begging, would say "Get a job you bum!".  It was embarrassing as a child and now as an adult, I'm horrified at the memories of how he behaved.  But I knew as soon as I saw this man, I wanted to help him.  I checked my purse for cash, no cash.  So I continued on to the store, bought a few groceries for him and some other staple items, got cash back at the check out and we were out the door.  I was afraid if I didn't hurry, he would move on and I'd miss him.

As we are sorting the items we bought for him into a bag, my oldest (10) says, "He's lucky we are helping him."  When he said that, it made me stop and think for a second about how to respond.  I mean really, is he lucky we are helping him?  No not really...  There aren't a lot of things that I have to stop and think about before I answer my kids.  Most of it at this point is pretty automatic.  But when he said that it made me pause for some reason.  I realized we were the lucky ones...  To be able to help this man.  So that's what I said, "Actually Alex, we are lucky to be able to help him." 

We packed in the rest of our groceries and headed up the road, he was at an intersection so I had to do a bit of turning to get to him.  We pull up, roll down the window, say hello, and he approaches the car.  Alex hands him the bag of stuff and I reach him a bit of cash.  He asks if he could please do some work for us and I respond with a thank you but no, he says God bless, I say you too and we drive off.  It took like 30 seconds of interaction but it had an impact on me none the less.  For a lot of reasons...

It makes me feel like I take the things I have for granted even though I try to always appreciate everything we have.  I feel like I am not "giving back" enough, like I'm not contributing to the greater good.  I also feel like I'm not teaching my children to be as appreciative as I thought I was.  My hubbs is blessed with a wonderful job that pays well above average for our area.  We live in a nice home and I drive a nice car.  My children have all the new gadgets, toys, and video games.  We have clothes to wear, food to eat, beds to sleep in.  Do we take it for granted?  I'm afraid we do...

There are so many things you have to do as a parent, so many things to teach them.  It's hard to keep up with it all and I know I leave out important stuff.  All I can do is try to get remember as many important things as I can, show them I love the unconditionally, and teach them the best values I can.

I'll be thinking of the man with the sign for the rest of the evening...  Wondering if he has a place to sleep tonight, if he has dinner, if he has family.  Today I will be even more thankful than I normally am.  I'll hug my kids a little longer and talk to them about our appreciating our many blessings, as well as blessing others when you can.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My (lack of) 50's Style

One of my favorite things about the 1950's housewife is that she always, and I am always, looked her best.  Me on the other hand?  Unless we are going out somewhere, I'm sitting at home with my jeans and (stained) t-shirt, hair in a frizzy pony tail, and not a speck of makeup.  I feel like a skuzz and hate to go to the door if someone rings the bell.  I mean I'm not walking around nasty dirty but still I don't feel "pretty", you know what I mean? 

Let's just go over my contents of my closet, shall we?  The majority of my clothes are dark in color (black is slimming right? =P) *Quick Note - If you want to skip over the contents of my closet and get to the "point" of this post, scroll down to the next asterisk (*).

1 floor length black (This is what I call my "fancy" dress)
1 knee length black (Even I have a LBD)
1 knee length floral (worn once because I got too fat for it, have since lost weight, yay!)
1 knee length black & white (favorite!)
1 knee length white & gray (newly purchased for the hubs birthday last Feb, OK so not new exactly)

1 long black
4 knee length black
2 olive green
1 khaki

4 jeans (3 blue, 1 white)
2 slacks (1 gray, 1 black)

2 jean
1 khaki

Now looking at all of that, I would think to myself, "Well what's the problem?  I've got nice clothes, why can't I make that stuff work?  Well the problem is my collection of "tops".  It consists of mostly t-shirts and more t-shirts lol. Honestly I can't remember how many shirts I have at the moment and I'm not going to go count them right now (I know, I know, lazy!) so I'm just going to estimate.

1 black
hmm I honestly only can remember the one!  I need more sweaters!  Or maybe I have some and just never wear them?  I'll have to check that out!

Long Sleeved T's:
3 black
2 gray
1 blue
1 pink

Short Sleeved T's:
8000 - OK not that many but at least 30.  They are all different colors!  But I almost ALWAYS wear T's.  I don't have hardly any winter shirts because I just wear a t-shirt under my coat.  It's crazy now that I think about it...  I've got problems lol! 

Almost forgot the tank tops!  It's summer and I have a ton of tank tops...  Probably 10-15 in varied colors.  I wear them to sleep in or around the house.  Rarely outside the house but if it's hot enough, I'll totally go for it!

*My goal is to spend the next 30 days making what I currently have in my wardrobe work.  Fall & Winter are rapidly approaching so I will be trying to make a few sweater additions but as I said, I'm just going to try and work with what I already have.  Later today, I will be going to clean out my closet and I will *try* to take and post photos for you guys.  Once I get things sorted out and organized, I'll take inventory of what I actually have and post an updated list (hopefully, you know how it is as a mom, you get side tracked!).  With that list, I will plan out my outfits a couple of days in advance! 

Why am I doing this?  Is it because my husband thinks I'm a slob with no style?  Is it because I think housewives should always look fabulous?  Well no...  It's because I am tired of feeling like a frumpy housewife.  It's because I want to take pride in my appearance.  It's because I want to feel good.  Am I going to play dress up like it's the 50's, wearing my dresses and pearls every single day?  No.

What I am going to do every single day is:

- Wear a nice, yet comfortable outfit every day.  (This may even include a t-shirt, because my collection of what I would call "nice" tops is very limited.
- Accessorize with some jewelry.  I have a lot of nice jewelry yet the only things I ever wear are my wedding band and simple hoop earrings.
- Stop just pulling my hair back in a pony tail!  I exercise daily so I have to have a pony tail then but lately, it's been up all day every day.  So I'm going to start prettying it up!
- Wash, moisturize, and makeup my face every morning!  I am great about washing it before bed but totally slack on the morning routine.  Also, I'm not talking all out war paint but a little powder and mascara really makes me feel pulled together.

That's really not so bad is it?  I mean how long will it take to do all that in the morning, 10 minutes at most? 

I have one more thing that I want to touch base on really quickly and I hope it doesn't get me virtually thrashed.  I think that it is extremely important to "pretty up" for yourself.  To give yourself a bit more confidence and to hold your head higher (some of you may not need that, and if not good for you, I admire you!).  But I also think that it is important as a wife and mother to look nice for your family.  Personally, I know from past experiences that my husband notices (and comments on it) when I take a little more pride in my appearance.  When I first met him, I was always dressed nicely and always had makeup on.  Why should we stop doing this once we are married? 

So if you are like me, tired of feeling frumpy.  If you want to start putting a little bit of effort into the way you look each morning, join me!  We're all in this together anyway right?  Let's look awesome while we're at it!  If anyone wants to do this with me, let me know!  Either here, on my FB page, or email me.  We will support each other!  =)

Also keep in mind, I'm no style expert.  I'm just a woman, a housewife, and a mother wanting to un-frump.  I don't think I'm qualified to write a "how to" exactly but maybe one day, at the end of this exercise, I will be able to!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Being A Supportive Wife

I was originally going to post about my lack of style...  One thing is for sure, women of the 50's were glamorous.  Me in my jeans and t-shirt?  Not so much.  It was a very good topic I think and I still will make a post on it.  Instead I have something more important to talk about today!  My experience with trying to be a supportive wife to my husband.

My hubbs has been working on a book for about 3 years now, actually he's written a total of 3 books.  He's ready to start getting them out there in the world for people to read and it's not been an easy road so far.  We've run into a few snags...

I will give you a bit of info about my hubbs since I really haven't really done that on here yet.  He is an extremely hard working man, a wonderful provider for his family, an involved father, and a caring husband.  One thing he is not, is good with people.  He can't stand interacting with people, especially people he doesn't know, it makes him extremely anxious. 

Can you imagine what that's like for a writer?  Working for years on your book, putting a part of your soul into it and then sending it off for strangers to critique?  Well it's just not easy for him...  He struggles with all aspects of it. 

I've been doing my very best to help him as much as I can...  I've helped him create a Facebook page for his books, I've helped with research and finding publishers & agents, I've helped with editing and revising, I've helped with brainstorming ideas, today I helped him create a blog...  I really have done my very best to help in any and every way. 

What I haven't always been able to do, is help with a smile every time.  I try my very best to be understanding and supportive.  I've never once told him he couldn't do it or not to do it.  Because I know he can do it!  But he doesn't seem to believe in himself.  I find it frustrating that he doesn't just get in there and do what he needs to do next...  He agonizes over each and every decision and choice.  He's a perfectionist for sure! 

I listed the ways that I have supported him, now I think I'll list the ways that I have failed him.  Keep in mind these are only related to supporting him in his writing.  I get snappy when he asks me the same question over and over, I get frustrated when he needs me to look up something that he could look up himself, I've yelled at him over stupid things, I am extremely impatient, it frustrates me when he doesn't understand something when I think I've been perfectly clear, I took too long when helping with proofreading...  I'm sure there's more but I'm having trouble recalling everything. 

Looking back now I realize I have lost my temper a lot more than I wish I had.  I do believe that I have been more supportive than not...  He may have a different opinion on the subject, I'll make a mental note to ask him.  I'm going to make a decision right now to try my very best to be patient and understanding when we're talking about his books. 

I think it's very important in a marriage for both the husband and the wife to support each others dreams and projects.  I can't think of any person in the world that I rely on for support more than my husband.  He supports me in every aspect of my life and I try to do the same for him.  I think sometimes we all get caught up so much in our own hopes and dreams, we find it hard to support others with theirs. 

So I ask you, are you a supportive spouse?  Have you ever told your spouse that you thought their idea was a bad one and not to do it?  If you aren't very supportive, will you try to change that?  I hope so because we all deserve someone in our corner.  Be there for your spouse!  =)

My favorite, FAVORITE thing about blogging is reading your comments!  So if you have anything to say on the subject I ask you to comment!  It's the best part really!

Aaaaand I forgot to put a link to his blog here!  Just incase you are curious as to what all the hubbub was about!  You can find it here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Quick Note

Hey guys!  Just a quick post to say that we finally have power back!  I have a ton of errands to run today, especially to the grocery store.  But you can bet your butt I'll be sitting down to write a nice long post tonight.  I have SO much to talk about!  Mostly how grateful and blessed I am for this wonderful life and wonderful family.  I wanted to let you all know that we are alive and well.  The storm was nasty but we had gas for cooking and hot showers so it wasn't so bad.  I hope you guys have a great day and can't wait to get back on here to write!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kid Free Me = Too Much Thinking

So my kiddos are at their grandma's house and have been since Monday evening, they'll be home on Thursday so it's just one more day.  When they are gone for a couple of days it gives me a chance to catch up on things I don't normally get done when they are here.  When they are gone for more than two days (like this time a total of 4 days), I get lonely and miss them like crazy.  I tend to smother my husband with my attention and really clean my house.  Like SCRUB it from top to bottom. 

When I type that out it makes me feel a little weird...  It makes me think, "You can't go without your kids for a few days without going nuts?  Talk about being overly attached!"  But then I remind myself, I am their mother!  It's my job to miss them, love them, and worry about them.  I think society has put it in my head at some point that if I can't occupy myself without them for more than a couple of days, there isn't enough substance to the "me" outside of being a mom.  But there is no "me" without the "mom" part.  It's just who I am, deep down.  Some people are bankers, some lawyers, some scientists.  Me?  Well I'm a mom and I'm proud.

As I'm sure you can tell, when I am child free for a few days it gives me time to think.  My brain is always on overload so when they are gone and the house is quiet, well it gets magnified.  I end up thinking about things that I normally don't think about.  Like, what will I do with myself once my children are grown?  Yes, I take pride in being a housewife, not just a mother.  I honestly do not think I will work a regular 9-5 even when my children have gone off to college.  Just as much as I take pride in caring for my children, I take pride in caring for my husband.

This morning hubbs was running late for work and didn't have time for a normal breakfast.  He was rushing and feeling stressed.  I made him a quick egg sandwich to take with him and packed a snack for later, hopefully I was able to calm him down a bit and relieve some of his stress.  But the point is, I enjoy taking care of him and being his partner.  I think if I took a regular 40  hour work week that would take me out of my place as homemaker and wife.  Don't forget we are talking about our home post children, not when they are still home.  My oldest just turned 10, in just 8 short years he will be headed to college!  I'm starting to realize they won't need me every single day of their lives. 

So where does this leave me?  What do I want to do with my time as my children grow to demand less and less of it?  Well as of right now, I am not sure!  But it's something I've been thinking about...  I don't know if I've told you this before but I'm only 26, still very young.  I could go to school, but there are a lot of questions I have about that.  What if I choose a subject I end up hating?  Why go into debt with student loans if I don't need to?  Won't that take me out of the home, the place I choose to be?  Statistically, women out live men.  If my dear sweet hubbs passes before I do, won't it be good to have a backup plan? 

You see what I mean here?  Not having my bebes at home is not good for my poor fried brain!  It really goes on overload when they are gone.  Too much time on my hands!  I think today, I will clean their bedroom.  They keep telling us they are ready for seperate bedrooms so I suppose we'll be moving our office to the guest room and moving the youngest to the office.  That is something that will take quite a bit of work so I think that is a great project for me to start on today! =D

And pretty please, don't judge me for saying that my place is in the home.  I'm not saying all women should be in the kitchen all the time.  But I do think all mothers should be home with their children whenever possible, but that's another post for another day.  But if all you have is something negative to say, well you can just take your comment somewhere else! =) And on that note, a HUGE thank you to all of the supporters I have out there!  The nice comments well outweigh the nasty ones and that is the way I like it!  You guys are the best! <3

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Oh how I have missed you!

If there is one thing I'm known for, it's starting things and then forgetting them.  I can't tell you the projects I have started and never gone back to.  But blogging has really stuck with me, I think it's a bit therapeutic!  No matter how long it has been since I've written a blog, it's something I've been thinking about.  I end up putting it off "just one more day until I really have time to sit out and do it right."  Well now here we are, two months later, and I'm still not doing it what I would call "right".  But I know that is perfectionism talking and it's time to shut it up!

I have a serious case of insomnia tonight so I figured I would take this spare time and get out a quick blog!  The first thing I really want to talk about is my page views for this blog.  It is an amazing feeling to know that people are reading this even when I'm not posting.  I am so thankful for all of you who check in from time to time and leave a comment here or there.  It just warms my heart!  Also to my FB page followers, a big thank you!  You're always there for me whether I have a question or just want to talk about something.  It helps me feel connected to people outside of my little family circle.  I love knowing there is a whole world of people out there that I can talk to! 

Another thing I want to hit on really quickly is the topic of SUMMER!  I love love love Summer because I get to spend every day, all day with my kids!  I miss them so much while they are at school and sure, by the end of Summer they are driving me nuts.  But I appreciate having them home with me!  So every Summer this is what we do...  We make a TON of plans and do you know how many of those things we accomplish?  None.  That's right, none.  We sit home, watch TV, play games, sleep a lot, and play together.  Which is awesome!  But at the end of Summer we are always wishing we had done some of the cool stuff we talked about. 

To solve this problem we decided to make a list of all the things we wanted to do this year.  To keep it from becoming enormous we had some rules...  Each of us gets to choose two things, it cannot be an out of state activity, and it needs to be a reasonable price.  So we sat around the table one night after dinner and took turns coming up with things.  We called our "Summer Family Fun Bucket List" and I am so excited to start crossing things off!  The beginning of Summer is always super busy for us so we were waiting until after Alex's birthday to start.  Well his party is today so next weekend, lookout Summer here we come!

I don't have the list in front of me but I am going to share a few of the things we've decided to do this Summer.

1. Have a cookout with all our family
2. Go back yard camping
3. Go to the local water park
4. Have a water gun war
5. Visit the WOW Factory (a local place with a ton of cool science stuff)
6. Dedicate an entire weekend to "Family Fun"

Hmm there are two more but I can't remember them off the top of my head.  But all easy, fun, and inexpensive.  I can't wait to get started.  We're going to have to hurry up though because we've only got two months until school is back in session.  So that leaves 8 weekends and 8 list items.  It'll be busy but we are going to get some stuff done this year lol!

Does anyone else share our problem?  Big ideas and then never getting them done...  If so, jump on the bandwagon with us!  Kick some Summer butt!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Who wants free stuff?

Evening Everyone!  I have an exciting announcement that I hope everyone is going to enjoy!  I recently came into the possession of a $20 gift card from Amazon.com.  Now if you have been to Amazon before then you will understand how great that is!  They have just about anything for sale that you could possibly want. 

Now I bet you are thinking, "Ooookay, that's great but why should I be excited?"  Because I am giving it away to one of my Facebook likers!  Why you may ask?  Lots of reasons!  Because I am having SO much fun getting to know all of the new and wonderful people that I meet every day.  Because the friends I have made are awesome.  To shamelessly get my page shared?  Maybe...  Most of all because it brings me great joy to make other people happy.  And also, I think it will be fun!

When I got the gift card I started thinking about doing a giveaway.  I just couldn't find any reason to.  Well in four days my FB page will be a month old, I think that will be a fun thing to celebrate.  Also, at the time of typing this up I am at 235 "Likes".  I think it would be fun to make a little game out of this!  So I was originally going to do the giveaway at 250 likes but I think that will be way too easy to get.  Here comes the game part...

If my you, my lovely friends, can help me get to 300 likes before my page hits its one month-aversary then everyone who has liked the page is entered into the drawing and gets a chance at a $20 Amazon gift card!  So share out the page to anyone and everyone you know, help spread the word.  Not only will you have a chance at the card but so will your friends. 

If we pass 300 likes before the 2nd of March(the one month-aversary), anyone who gets their like in before then will also be entered into the drawing.  I am SO excited to see how much fun we can have with this!  Squeeee! 

Good luck to you all and much <3!  A big thank you to each and every one of my likers out there, you guys are so awesome!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Day in the Life of a 50's Housewife: Weekly Chores

I know this post has been a long time coming but I've had a bit of a difficult time finding information on this!  I had originally found a website with a partial list on it and ever since I've been trying to find more.  Well I haven't been able to!  So I've ordered a few old fashioned magazines from eBay and I plan to take a trip to the library to see if I can find some more info.  As of right now I have a partial list of what I've found on the Internet, from a few different websites.  It's not as detailed as I would like it to be so we will call it a work in progress!

Basically the 50's housewife would make a list of things to be done around her home that week and she would stick certain things on specific days.  So she was always doing the same weekly task on the same day.  I'll show you an example of what that list may have looked like and then I will show you how my weekly chore chart compares.

A 50's Housewife Weekly Chore List:
  • Monday: Do a deep cleaning of the kitchen, living room, and dining room.  In the kitchen the appliances were thoroughly cleaned every week.  That's the stove, refrigerator, and any small appliances like the toaster.  Windows were washed in all the rooms and the floors were scrubbed spotless.  She would also do a thorough dusting in each room and replace any fresh flowers in the home.
  • Tuesday: Deep clean the bedrooms and bathrooms.  Bed linens should be laundered twice a week and the floors in the bedrooms should be vacuumed on the same schedule, windows should be washed, bathroom floors scrubbed, and bathroom fixtures polished with metal polish, bath tubs and toilets were to be scrubbed and disinfected.  Garbage pails were also scrubbed and disinfected. 
  • Wednesday: This day would be a kind of errand day.  She would go do the grocery shopping, go to the post office or library.  Anywhere she needed to go that week.  After returning home and putting away the groceries she had the rest of the day to do the mending or any sewing. 
  • Thursday: Wash clothes.  Not everyone had an automatic washer so many 50's housewives still had to do this by hand.  It was an all day chore.
  • Friday: The day after wash day was always dedicated to ironing.  She ironed everything, right down to underwear.  Table linens and sheets were also ironed.  This was another all day chore.
  • Saturday: Saturdays were for finishing up any loose ends from the week before and doing any preparations for your big Sunday dinner. 
  • Sunday: Usually this was a day of rest.  The only tasks for the day would be a shorter version of the every day chore list and to prepare a lavish Sunday dinner. 

While I was getting all the information that I could for this post, I just kept thinking about how much less dust there would be in my house if I cleaned this hard!  I do have a weekly chore list but it sure isn't anything like this one.  Maybe I should give it a shot for a couple weeks and see if my hubbs asthma gets any better?

Here is a peek at my weekly chore list!

  • Change the sheets on all the beds.
  • Dust.
  • Vacuum all the carpet.
  • Sweep and mop all the hard floors.
  • Sort out the paper clutter, file what needs filing and shred the rest.
  • Empty all the garbage cans in the house.

That's pretty much it for me...  As I've mentioned before, I am a lover of FlyLady and this is the basic weekly home cleaning list she has.  She calls it the Weekly Home Blessing Hour and it really would take just about an hour to do it in one day but I spread it out.  I change the sheets on Monday.  Do the dusting and vacuuming on Tuesday.  Sweep and Mop on Wednesday, you get the idea...  It works very well for us!

If you haven't checked out FlyLady yet, I suggest you do so now.  It was one of the best things I've ever done.  I've learned to stop beating myself up for all the things I don't do "perfectly" and loving myself for all the things that I do get done.  She's got a lot of great information out there and you can find her website here.

So there it is, the last post in my A Day in the Life series.  I hope you enjoyed them and I hope it shed a little light onto what it was like in the olden days!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Catching Up

I know that I promised a look at the weekly chore list of a 50's housewife but it's been a busy few days.  If you have been on my Facebook page in the past week you know that the Hubbs and I hosted a party for quite a few people this past weekend.  It was wonderful and I would do it again in a heartbeat!  But...  And there is always a but.  We're still recovering from it in more ways than one.

The most obvious problem with hosting that many people is that it throws my entire cleaning routine out of whack.  We had a few guests stay longer than anticipated and while it was wonderful getting to visit, it backed me up even more.  I've got a ton of bed linens and extra towels to wash up.  I need to go to the grocery store but didn't get to do that on my usual day (Monday) because we still had guests.  I haven't done any of my weekly chore list because I've been busy just cleaning everything else up.  I just feel like I'm still trying to play catch up around the house.

Now the problem behind the curtain...  (I am aware that this could have been avoided with some proper planning but we'll get to that in a sec.)  We certainly put ourselves in a financial crunch.  There were so many little things that popped up over the last few days before the party that I hadn't anticipated.  The need for extra toilet paper and paper towels, paper plates and plastic cups, extra folding chairs.  There were the food costs...  We fed a little over twenty people dinner and breakfast plus snacks and drinks.  Also, the cake.  The deliciously wonderful ice cream cake, my hubbs' favorite.  We also purchased prizes to give away for contests and game winners.  Oh yes, as an afterthought there will also be the added charges to our utilities.

I would say that we will be trying to make up for these extra expenses for the next two months.  I know that with a little planning ahead I could have bought most of these things and set aside some money for the food.  For those of you that are not on my Facebook page, I've only just set up a budget about two weeks ago.  I'm still extremely excited to actually start our budget but at the same time I know I'm going to have to make a few tweaks for the next month or so.  I plan to cut back in every way that I can.

I'm not letting this discourage me or take away from the amazing weekend we had, I'm learning my lesson!  It was just wonderful.  I had the best time being a hostess and my husband loved that everyone was coming together in our home.  It was so comfortable and it gave me a very fulfilling feeling.  We visited with people we hadn't seen in nearly 10 years.  As they all started to leave, one by one they all said how much they hoped we would make this a yearly event.  A few even went so far as to say they would help with the financial part if we would like to continue. 

All in all I feel like it was definitely worth it and we will do it again.  Next time, we will plan for it financially and it will be much less stressful. 

One last thing, I'm finding out how wonderful it is to have a blog and a FB page!  As a stay at home mom, I don't get a lot of outside conversation or chances to connect with other people.  With FB and blogging, I am meeting so many other wonderful, like minded people.  Thank you to all the wonderful people I have met so far and for all of the comments I've received here and on Facebook.  I'm still trying to figure out how to "Reply" to specific comments...  When I click the Reply button on some one's comment, nothing happens.  Anyone have any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Day in the Life of a 50's Housewife: Evening

It's been a busy day so far for the 50's Housewife...  She's taken care of her family in the morning and she cared for her home during the day.  She is almost finished with her day but she's got a few more things to do before she can call it a night.

A 50's Housewife Evening:

  • Clear table immediatley after dinner and wash dishes.
  • Flush pipes with boiling water to be sure they are clean and don't have a smell.
  • Pack lunches for your husband and children if needed.  Also, prepare a plate of left overs for yourself a lunch tomorrow.
  • Set table for breakfast in the morning.
  • Do any make ahead preperations for breakfast in the morning.
  • Bathe children and get them ready for bed (if applicable).
  • Go through the house putting away any items that may be out of place.
  • Relax and enjoy the rest of your evening

She's had a busy day hasn't she?  Well here comes my evening routine....  It's usually the busiest time of day for me.  There isn't much information out there about 50's housewives with kids that I can find but I have to do a ton more stuff with mine than just bath them and get them ready for bed.

  • Wait for the kiddies to get home at 4PM, get them a snack and talk about their day.
  • Do homework and put their school things away.
  • Make dinner and eat together.
  • Everyone clears their plate and puts it in the sink.
  • Load the dishwasher and start it.
  • Wipe down the table, counters and stove.
  • Sweep the kitchen floor if needed (crumbs underfoot are my pet peeve!)
  • Bath the little one at 7:30 and story time at 8.  Story time for the oldest at 9:15 and bedtime at 9:30.
  • A quick pickup through the house and I'm done for the day!

I always knew the 50's housewife was a busy women but typing out my entire day made me realize my day isn't really that much different than hers was!  I'll be posting the weekly cleaning chart within the next couple of days...  There are some things on there that I'll admit I almost never do.  I think you'll be surprised!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Day in the Life of a 50's Housewife: Daytime

After the 50's Housewife lovingly sends her family on their way, there isn't much time to relax...  She has work to do! 

A 50's Housewife Day:

  • Neaten all the rooms in the house, gathering items into a basket that belong elsewhere from each room.  Placing them in their correct place as you move from room to room.
  • Light dusting, fluff pillows, water plants.
  • Make the beds.
  • Hang up any clothes, place dirty ones in the hamper.
  • Neaten the bathroom, put out fresh towels, refill the soap dispenser and toilet paper if needed, clean the sink.
  • Wipe down the kitchen counters, sink, stove and inside of fridge.
  • Take out the garbage.
  • Sweep and mop the kitchen floor.
  • Check your menu for today and tomorrow, make a note of anything needed from the market.
  • Handle any outside of the home errands: grocery shopping, post office, etc.
  • If you went to the grocery store wash vegetables and put them away.  Place the rest of the groceries in their proper place.
  • Have a quick lunch.
  • Start any advanced food preparations like thawing the meat or starting dessert.
  • Complete an item from the weekly chore list. (There will be an entire post about this on a later date!)
  • Set the dinner table.
  • Arrange the living room for an evening of enjoyment. Such as the Mister's newspaper, book, and cigarettes.
  • Do a quick sweep of the floors and double check that the entry ways are clear.
  • Prepare a special dish for dinner.
  • Freshen up before your husband returns from work.  Consider changing if your day's dress is plain. 
  • Set out a tray for mixing cocktails in case the man of the house would like to serve drinks before dinner.
  • Greet your husband happily when he comes home.  Do not burden with your troubles from the day as soon as he walks through the door.  Ask him about his day first, listen intently to what he has to say. 
  • Serve dinner.

Wow!  That list turned out to be bigger than I thought it would be...  I'm going to do my list a little differently than I did for the morning routine.  I have a feeling if I write it out like I did last time, it's going to take quite a while!  I'll start where I left off last time... Quick recap: husband and children are gone for the day, breakfast has been served but not cleaned up, covers thrown back but bed not made. 

OK so a lot of my morning routine I got from a system called the FLY Lady System.  It's amazing and I cannot say enough positive things about it!  I'll post a link to it because I could write an entire blog about it and that's not what I'm trying to do today...  The list goes something like this:

  • Let the doggies outside again. (I forgot to add that to my morning list.  I actually let them out as SOON as I wake up in the morning.  If I don't they pester me.)
  • Neaten bedroom, pick up any laundry, put away any items out of place. (Don't make the bed yet, it's still airing!)
  • Pick up any dirty laundry in the bathroom and put in hamper.  Straighten the sink and put away any items out of place.  At this point I do my Swish & Swipe (Flylady thing you can read all about it here.) Basically you wipe everything down with Windex (swipe) and you do a quick swish of the toilet bowl.  The idea behind this is if you do a small cleaning every day then you won't need to do a big hard scrub every week.
  • Neaten the office, gather any dirty dishes or things that belong elsewhere.
  • Make the bed.
  • Move downstairs, bring down any laundry to be washed or dirty dishes.
  • Neaten living room (put away things, gather dirty dishes from kids breakfast).
  • Start a load of laundry and empty dishwasher.
  • Place dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wipe counters and bar where hubbs and I have breakfast.
  • Sweep the kitchen floor.
  • Feed pets.
My morning routine only takes me about an hour or so, keeping things straightened up most daily keeps it from getting out of control. After that I have a bit of downtime while I wait to switch out the laundry.  I have a list of weekly chores but will do that post when I do the 50's weekly chore list.  I have a little bit more that I do after about noonish...

  • Switch laundry from washer to dryer.
  • Lay out any food that needs to thaw for dinner.
  • Neaten up anything I've dirtied up through out the day.
  • Tend to the doggies needs again.
That's pretty much it to my daytime list.  I don't fix dinner until around 6 so that'll be on my evening list.  Either I serve a later dinner than the 50's Housewife did or my hubbs gets home before the 50's Husband did! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Day in the Life of a 50's Housewife: Morning

The life of a 50's Housewife was quite different from most modern day wives.  I'd like to take a few minutes to go over her routine and talk a bit about each item.  Originally I was going to do the entire day in one post but just the morning turned out to be pretty long! 

A 50's Housewife Morning:

  • Wake quietly, careful not to disturb the man of the house.
  • Freshen up: Tie your hair back with a ribbon, splash your face with cold water, brush your teeth, and apply lipstick.  Do this first thing!  If you don't you may not bother to do it later, you're on a slippery slope from beautiful bride to dishevelled wife.
  • Prepare and serve breakfast for your husband and children (if applicable).
  • Clean up after breakfast.
  • See your husband off to work.
  • Throw back the covers from the beds.
  • Open the blinds and curtains.
  • Get ready for your day by showering, dressing, fixing your hair and make-up.

OK so my morning does vary from this quite a bit...  Firstly, I do not freshen up first thing in the morning.  Usually I'm putting the kiddos on the bus in my PJ's.  Although I think it wouldn't hurt me to get up a few minutes early, get dressed, brush my teeth and hair.  I would probably feel a lot more refreshed and awake! 

Secondly, my children get on the bus at 7AM so they have to get up much earlier than the hubbs (about 6 O'clock).  Some days hubbs doesn't leave for work until 9.  I do try to keep the kids as quiet as possible so he can sleep undisturbed for a bit longer.  I do that because I know how much I would appreciate it if it were me.

I wake my boys up and lay out their clothes for them, I help the youngest get into his outfit for the day while the oldest has his morning shower (the little one takes his bath the night before).  I make their breakfasts and they eat while watching a bit of cartoons.  While they are eating I pack their lunches (if needed) and get their snacks.  After breakfast they brush their teeth, put on their shoes and make sure their backpacks are ready to go.  If they have gotten ready quickly enough they are allowed to watch a few more minutes of TV while waiting for the bus.  A quick kiss and a hug and they are on their way!

After I get the kids off to school I usually spend some time to myself just getting ready for my own day...  I relax and check Facebook.  Have something to drink and wait for the hubbs to get up.  When he wakes up I do make his breakfast for him!  To be honest I do it for myself as much as I do for him, it makes me feel good to do something nice for him.  Plus, we have our breakfast together and I think it's a great chance for some quality time before we start our busy, hectic days!

When he leaves for work I do throw back the covers because I think they feel more fresh when they've had a little time to air out.  I also open all the blinds because I love the natural light. =)

That's going to have to be enough for tonight, I'm getting to bed much later than I had intended to!  As usual!  >.<  I'm excited to finish the day's list though so I'll post that in the morning hopefully!

I'm curious other housewives out there, how does your morning differ from that of the 50's Housewife?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Putting a modern spin on the 50's Housewife...

What comes to mind when I say to you, "50's Housewife".  I'll tell you what used to come to my mind when I heard that...  Words and phrases like: opressed, depressed, I want to shoot myself, my husband makes ALL the rules, my children run over me.  I may be taking it to the extreme but you get the general feeling.  Not many people have something positive to say about traditional housewives. 

I can't really decide what I would describe myself as...  I feel like a modern day, traditional housewife.  I know that's a bit confusing so I'll try to explain what I mean.  I am a stay at home wife and mother, I do not have a job outside of my home.  I have a ton of jobs inside my home though!  I love the feeling I get from providing my family with a comfortable home and delicious meals. 

It used to offend me when someone would say "You're just a mom?" or "You're a housewife?" like it's such a terrible thing.  I've since gotten over that.  I may not be curing cancer or saving the world but I do make a difference in people's lives.  I make a difference to the people that matter the most to me. 

Recently our entire family had the stomach flu...  It was horrible.  But even though I felt like dirt I was happy to know that because of me, my kids were hugging a clean toilet instead of a dirty one because I had cleaned it.  There was plenty of toilet paper and wet wipes because I kept our home stocked with the things we need.  We had clean and comfortable beds because I keep the sheets freshly changed.  I know that I made their being sick just a bit easier for them.

That's what a modern day housewife is to me.  Comfort to my children and husband.  Support and love.  It's nothing negative and I am certainly not oppressed.  To be honest, I'm a bit spoiled.  My husband does not keep me from anything, not even my bi-weekly manicure, and for that I'm truly greatful!