Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On Being a Super-Mom...or Not.

Being a mom to 2 boys under 2 has been interesting to say the least. It's a crash-course in multi-tasking. If I wasn't a good multi-tasker before, then I have to be one now as my sanity relies on it. But I think I have developed a pretty successful strategy. 

Let's work through an example.
Situation: Toddler is crying because he is hungry. Baby is crying because he is hungry. House is a mess. Dinner needs to be made because adults will be hungry. Kitty is running around like a maniac. Mom is losing her sanity. 

Step One: Assess the situation
You need to prioritize which screaming/crying/tantrum is most urgent, and then attend to that kiddo first.  In this situation, I can hope that Toddler is probably open to some sort of reason. I first try and appease him by giving him the apple he is asking for. If I am lucky, that is the end. I'm never lucky. 

Step Two: Damage Control
Most of the time the simple solution of giving my toddler what he wants just results in me not actually grasping what he really wants. For example, he asks for an apple. I assume this means he would like an apple. I am a fool. What he really wants is an apple, but only after being offered 3 other things, and then he wants it cut in a certain way, in his blue bowl and sitting in a certain section of the kitchen. While I try and discover what the magic routine is this time, I let him have his little meltdown and attend to screaming Baby. 

Step 3: Neutralize one of the threats to sanity
I feed Baby. This is an easy fix, and I am pretty much guaranteed he will be super happy afterwards for at least 10 whole minutes. 

Step 4: Return to the original problem and re-attempt damage control
By this time I can usually hug the toddler and help him calm down. We can then reattempt the apple-giving and he will usually concede at least 1 of the requests (perhaps this time I can use the plate instead of the blue bowl) and be content.

Step 5: Accept the things you cannot change
I know I cannot make Kitty sane. I also know I cannot keep my house clean. It's best to just abandon all hope that these things will ever be accomplished. 

Step 6: Attempt the task you need to get done
Yesterday I actually was bouncing a bouncy-chair with my foot while baking muffins and keeping an eye on my toddler. This actually happened. For a second I felt like a pro. I mean, look how amazingly I am multitasking! 3 things at once! And muffins to boot...that's like Martha Stewart stuff right there. Then I remembered I hadn't showered in 2 days and my house looked like a bomb containing toys, food crumbs and random kitchen utensils had exploded. See step 5, and then make dinner.

Step 7: Once the kids are in bed, attend to your sanity
Pour yourself a huge glass of wine, or cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Pat yourself on the back and say "Congratulations Mommy. You made it through another day."

Oh man, are they worth it! xo


Monday, May 13, 2013

$100 Room Makeover Results!

So last week I posted about the Walmart Frugal Heroes Challenge here. Basically I decided I was going to redo our office on only $100. It was tough, but it turned out much better than I thought it would! 
Here is our "Before":
And here is our "After":

We bought the blue paint for only $15!!

We haven't transitioned Peanut out of the crib yet, and also haven't found a place to move our massive desk to. So, the desk is currently taking the place of the crib until those 2 things happen, and you will have to use your imagination to picture a dark wood crib in place of the desk. 

I Mod-Podged (is that a verb?!) an old map of Thailand we had while traveling onto some foam board. It makes for a very interesting wall piece, and it only set us back $11! 

Wrinkly bedsheet alert! You all know now I don't iron my bedsheets. Ain't nobody got time for THAT... 

These curtains were the biggest surprise. I thought buying the cheapest curtains they had would turn out horribly for us. I wasn't really digging the sheer thing, and was unsure of the pattern. They were $8/panel. Once I hung them up against the blue I loved them! 

Those frames for the photowall were only $1 each!! We also bought the "Love is all you need" plaque as well. I had to have it. The rest are photos from our travels, an old airplane picture that Hubby had, and a mask we bought in Indonesia. Ta Da! 

There you have it; It CAN be done! We spent exactly $94 to update this room. We used some of our leftover paint (the brown) from when we painted our bedroom, but otherwise everything else was purchased for the challenge from Wal-mart. I must say, I love it! It really refreshes the room and makes it much less junky. Hubby and I just looked at our before photo and remarked how nasty the room used to look. Frugal for the win! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

$100 Room Makeover?! The Wal-Mart Frugal Heroes Challenge

I have accepted a crazy challenge. Wal-mart issued a Frugal Heroes challenge to see how far you could make $100 go. They gave a list of suggestions that included things like "Feed your family of 4 for 4 days" or "Outfit yourself from head-to-toe". You know what I chose? I chose to re-do an entire room. 

That's right. I have had it on our to-do list for a while now; we want to turn our office into a guestroom/nursery for Q for when he moves to the crib (right now he sleeps in a bassinet beside our bed because I am lazy and don't like getting up during the night for feedings. It's how I roll...). 
This is a true "Before" pic...I didn't even clean up our giant filing mess from searching for tax documents. Enjoy this slice of realness. Ick. 
So basically I got it in my head that it would be a cool idea to see if I could re-do the room for this challenge. Which means that now I have committed to try and re-model a room for $100. Frugal? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Impossible? Probably. 

I have been doing some research (which I should have done BEFORE deciding what to do for the challenge...ahem), and this is going to be a lot harder than I anticipated. I have some ideas on how to stretch my buck as far as possible, but we will have to see if I can actually make them work. 

We headed to Wal-mart armed with our $100 giftcard and determination. We left the kiddos with my parents so we could really get down to business (and actually fit things in the cart that aren't children). It took a lot longer than a normal trip as we circled the store about 10 times gathering intelligence, comparing prices and colours, generally engaging in child-free shenanigans like trying on sunglasses and playing hide-and-seek in the aisles...you know, essential shopping strategies. 

I will tell you that despite our best intentions, our planning consisted of me pinning some ideas on my Pinterest board and taking 1 measurement to see if the desk would fit under the window. The problem with this plan is that the things that I pinned are all different, and of course look gorgeous in the giant showroom-y houses of Internetland. What I actually have to work with is a teeny room which needs to work as both a nursery and a place for our guests to stay. There is not a lot to work with, believe me. 

We grabbed a cart full of supplies and are all set to attempt this insanity this weekend. It was amazing how much we could actually purchase for $100 when we really stuck our mind to it.  I'm pretty impressed with our haul, and am looking forward to sharing our success (failure?!) when it's complete! 
It might not look like that much to re-do an entire room, but it's going to be awesome. 
Wish us luck. We will need it. 

**Please note: This is a sponsored post. I was provided with a $100 Wal-mart giftcard to complete the challenge. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Circus is Coming to Town!

For my local readers, I have an awesome family event to share with you! The Royal Canadian Circus is coming to Calgary May 10-20, 2013. 
The Zerbini Family Circus is celebrating it's 250th anniversary under the Big Top. It's basically good, old-fashioned family fun with all the classics! They have an Equestrian act, the largest display of tigers in North America, elephants, acrobats and clowns. Basically everything you could ever want from a circus. 
I am really excited to take Peanut. He loves elephants and will be so excited to see them! Plus clowns, face-painting and acrobats? I know he will love it. I have fond memories of going to the circus when I was little (oddly enough, I remember the cotton candy the most vividly...). He is just getting to that age where everything is THE AWESOMEST EVER! and the circus is the perfect place for childhood amazement. Though if he does get his hands on some cotton candy, I can assure you that he will be making an impromptu visit to Grandma and Grandpa's to burn off all that excitement. 
If you want to know more about the Circus and to keep up with all the latest news, you can head over to their Facebook page and give them a "like" or follow them on Twitter. They also are supporting Kids Up Front by providing tickets for children who otherwise might not be able to attend. Love that. 
It's always awesome to have an affordable family event in town, and I know that it can get expensive to attend events with your whole family. So I am happy to share a discount code with you for a 2-for-1 general admission! Just enter the code "FUN" at the checkout. 
You can purchase tickets on the Royal Canadian Circus website or through the Royal Canadian Circus Facebook page
See you under the Big Top! 
**Please note: This is a sponsored post. I have received compensation from the sponsor(s) of this post, but all opinions (as always) are my own. 


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