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Posts Tagged ‘routine’

I recently got a prescription for bifocals. That didn’t bother me as much as the fact that I’d have to move up from children’s frames to women’s frames, which rarely run as small as I like them. I finally found a pair I liked and ordered two: one for distance/reading and one for the computer, which is where I spend a good portion of my days now. I don’t really need the computer glasses, but they had a BOGO sale…

Then I decided since I have a new job and new glasses, I may as well get a new haircut. A few weeks ago, I cut off my long curly (and frizzy) locks for something shorter, hipper, and “easier”. And in the beginning it was. Then I found out about Curly Girl, a handbook for curly hair. I had been doing a few things right, but I was also doing several things wrong. Namely my choices of shampoo, conditioner, and gel. Well, that and some styling issues…

After reading a little more than half the book, I went in search of sulfate-free shampoo, an alcohol-free conditioner, and silicone-free/paraben-free/alcohol-free gel. That’s hard to find within a reasonable price range! I finally found what I needed and spent about $16 for three items.

For the last week, I’ve been sulfate-free shampooing (three times, but I need to do it less), drenching my hair in conditioner and finger combing it as I rinse it out several minutes later, squeezing out the water with a microfiber towel (instead of towel-drying with a hand towel), and scrunching with gel (without combing it first – because the only time I should comb it is in the shower). Then leaving it alone. Keeping my hands out of it. Not touching it up until it’s completely dry. That’s hard to do!

I’m also not supposed to use a flat iron on my bangs, which is something I’ve been doing for years. Curly bangs are not pretty. I’ve been trying to clip them down to dry, but the clips are a little heavy and my bangs end up looking plastered down. That’s also not pretty. Oh, and I end up with some little crazy flip on one side that even the flat iron won’t tame. (Yes, I keep going back to the flat iron… The one day I didn’t was a disaster!) I’m still experimenting with the clips…

All that to say my personal morning routine now needs tweaking. Showering now takes longer because of the finger combing, but I’m getting better at that. The hair-fixing routine is quicker because I’m not combing my hair out after towel-drying it, which was causing quite a mess. I need to brush my teeth before showering instead of after because my hair won’t be up in a towel anymore (the microfiber towels are too small). I need to put my moisturizer on my face before clipping my bangs. I need a diffuser for my blow dryer (which I rarely use but would like to). It seems each day I make a new discovery. I keep thinking surely I’ve made them all…

Once I get my own personal care routine down, I think the rest of our morning routine will flow more smoothly.

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It’s been 11 days since I last posted. I only made it 1/3 of the way through the 31 Day Challenge. Busyness won. But I am succeeding in finding our new “normal”. I’m getting my ducks in a row.

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Evenings have been the best indicator. Jacob was finished with his homework before 8:30 three nights this week, including Wednesday night. I was tired of coming home after youth activities and having to urge him through more homework when he should have been in bed. This time I told him if it wasn’t finished before youth group started, he and I would just be late – if we went at all. That worked! He got right to it and finished with enough time to go out and play basketball for half an hour before things got started.

Next week, we start basketball games. The first two or three weeks, we just have one a week, but we’ll go to two a week after that. Until early February. With a 3-day double elimination tournament our school is hosting at the end of December. Basketball season also means those insanely early morning practices will be reduced to one or two days a week. Hallelujah! Driving Caleb to 7-Eleven at 5:30 a.m. to meet his ride is excruciating. I’ve learned to not hit the snooze button…

At least I remembered to check my calendar and plan our menu accordingly before I went grocery shopping today. (And speaking of that, I drove by ALDI yesterday morning. From the looks of things, they should be opening any day now!) We’ll only be eating at home two nights next week, three if you count Saturday night. That’ll be one big pot of chicken & dumplings and two nights of leftovers. Yes, a big pot. Really big. And if no one wants the third night of chicken & dumplings, there are frozen corn dogs, waffles, or sandwiches. And that will leave more chicken & dumplings for another night… It’s a good thing I like them so well!

In spite of all the busyness, I have managed to carve out a little time for myself. I walked around the pond three days this week. 2 1/2 miles over the course of the week. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a start and I feel good about it. Even though I didn’t have to take Jacob in at all this week, I chose to go in to work early and get some walking in. Once were no longer in the upper 80’s and 90’s, I’m considering walking during my lunch break. I take my lunch three days a week. It would be so easy to eat in the park, then walk a mile or so before going back to the office. I finally remembered to put a spare pair of earbuds in my car so I don’t have to share my Pandora “Journey” station with everyone. Now I need to remember to take my tennis shoes. The flip flops are okay, but not my best choice.

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I don’t like the boys waiting until Monday to do the homework they need help with. I told them over weekend that any homework needing my assistance should be done on Saturday when I would be home and have plenty of time to help them. Did they listen? No.

“I can’t concentrate on it now.”

“It’s not that much. It won’t take long.”

“I don’t mind doing math corrections in the morning.”

And of course, things didn’t get started until I was at work. And as soon as I got home at 6:15, after a day of work and a trip to the grocery store, still needing to make cornbread and heat up leftover vegetable soup after I unload the groceries, Jacob tells me from across the street, “I need some help on a few of my math problems. Oh, and I have a paragraph to write that’s due tomorrow. It’s just one paragraph.” A paragraph for Jacob is like writing a dissertation. It takes forever, and it’s not a fun process. For anyone.

I walked in the door and Caleb greeted me with, “After supper, can you help me with my bibliography? Oh, and I have to write an outline for my research paper, too. I have to print them out so I can turn them in tomorrow.”

So I unloaded the groceries, made cornbread, heated the soup, ate, cleaned the kitchen, and then split myself down the middle so half of me could help each needy child because they didn’t listen to my warnings over the weekend. Well, I wished I could split myself down the middle… Thankfully Billy took the reins with Caleb and helped him do searches on sources for his bibliography. I was able to help Jacob with his summary, which turned out to be a page long, and to check his math. Corrections will be done in the morning… sigh

Jacob went to bed sometime after 9:30, and Caleb crawled into bed at 10:10. I’m sitting in the quiet, taking a few minutes for myself – otherwise I won’t get any today. Now I need to go to bed so I can get up when my alarm goes off at 5:00 tomorrow morning. We have got to find a better routine.

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I thought I could do it on my own. And for a while, I did. I made up my own schedule of cleaning house, based loosely on The Fly Lady. Then I’d forget to do things. Or I’d get lazy. After a while, I wasn’t following any sort of schedule at all. If I got things done, fine. If I did’t, well I’d clean like a madwoman if I knew someone was coming over. If someone dropped by unexpectedly – which, thankfully, no one ever did – I probably would’ve died from embarrassment. I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point, right?

I tried to remember which cleaning zones Fly Lady had set up and which weeks where for which zones. I tried to rely on my memory… Ha. Not happening.

When I got the boys on their schedule for daily cleaning, things started looking better. I was also encouraged to pick up the few things here and there that I’d leave out because I didn’t feel like picking them up at the moment. Clutter (in the main part of the house, at least) virtually disappeared. I got back in the habit of keeping my kitchen cleaner throughout the day instead of letting everything pile up to do before cooking supper every evening.

Still, I wasn’t on track with cleaning the more “unseen” parts, namely the bathrooms. Oh, and my bedroom. It seems like all the unwanted clutter gets shoved somewhere in there, waiting for the day I finally get in there and do something about it.

Finally I gave in and reread some of Fly Lady’s principles of cleaning and decluttering. I’m not going to implement all of them, but it was a good refresher course. I did mark on my fun Pinterest-project wipe-off calendar what rooms to focus on each week. It’s written on every Monday’s block, which is almost always a stay-home day for us. (Read: nothing else written in for that day.) That’s been a big help on getting me focused each week and it’s helping me stay on top of things. And having it on my calendar helps me determine which days the big jobs need to be done (because we’re home for the day) and which days need to be skipped over. Knowing that in advance, I can get things done and not end up having to rush because I wasn’t thinking about it earlier and let it slip up on me.

This week, it’s bathrooms. I gave both bathrooms a thorough cleaning last time around, so they’re still looking pretty good. This week, I’m doing light cleaning in there and focusing more on other less-noticed jobs like cleaning out junk from under the cabinets, throwing out expired medicines, and reorganizing drawers. Maybe I’ll even clean the blinds in my bathroom… Next time around, I’ll do deep cleaning again.

Next week, the master bedroom is the focus. I’ve got plenty to do in there to keep me busy for a month. I’ll do what I can and not stress too much. I know it’ll be coming around again before I know it.

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