Sunday, October 30, 2011

A week of firsts...

I live in the small town of Danville, Kentucky, which is known around here as the "City of Firsts" (you can read more about our historical town here).  It seems quite fitting, then, that we are always celebrating "firsts" in our home. 

We all start out celebrating the small things with our babies, like first words, first tooth, first steps, etc.  Then as they grow, the "firsts" start to come farther and farther apart - first day of school, first time losing a tooth, first soccer game, first date, etc.  But nonetheless, our children our constantly gaining new experiences and every now and then, so are we!
Over the past week there were two big "firsts" for us - one for myself and one for my daughter...

My "first" this past week?  I tried a cleaning schedule for the FIRST time ever and LOVED it!  In fact, I loved it so much that I have no idea why I hadn't succumbed to a cleaning schedule before!!!  As I've recently buffed up on my blog-reading, it seems I've read multiple times about how vital it is to have a cleaning schedule in order to maintain a clean home.  I first read about this novel idea in All You magazine, which referenced the FLY Lady website, and her claim to fame in which you can spend just 15 minutes a day to maintain a clean home.  The more I read, the more I liked this concept!  But being as Type-A as I am, I couldn't just jump into her cleaning schedule at any old time...she has monthly projects and different rooms to focus on each week and it all seemed a bit overwhelming for me and my occasional, whenever-it-needs-it cleaning routine.  But then I began to run across other blogs with their cleaning schedules like Clean Mama (who shares tips for 31 days to a cleaning routine), and Organizing Made Fun (who shares on how to "fake" an immaculate house) and reality began to sink in...I'd been doing things wrong all these years!  For at least the past 6 and a half years (basically since my daughter was born), I have been cleaning on an as-needed basis, cramming most of my cleaning and ALL of my laundry into one day!  This past week I had a trial-run of my own cleaning (and laundry!) schedule and guess what?  It was great!  With breaking all my chores into small tasks over 5 days, I didn't even notice the 15-20 minutes of time that I "lost" each day and by the time the weekend rolled around, I was actually ready to enjoy it!  In fact, we had company this weekend and it was so wonderful and freeing to invite them over without fretting over getting my typical whirlwind cleaning done!  If you don't have a cleaning schedule, I HIGHLY recommend it! 

My daughter's "first" this past week?  A concert!  I spent a small fortune to take her to her first concert to see Taylor Swift on her Speak Now tour.  Our seats were nowhere near what you would call "good" but the show was still amazing!  And Libby was so excited to see one of her favorite singers, even if it was at a distance!  And, quite frankly, so was I!

It may seem trivial that I mention that this was Libby's first concert but the memories we made last night, listening to Taylor and sitting with our friends, will last a lifetime.  And I couldn't help but get a little teary-eyed when Taylor sweetly sang one of her newer songs, Never Grow Up, and I held my "baby" girl in my lap who is growing up way too quick right before my eyes.  (If you haven't heard the song, please take the time to click on the link and listen to the lyrics.)  No matter how much she grows up, she will always be my little girl and I will always make time to celebrate new "firsts" with her.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Worms for breakfast, anyone?

My daughter and I made these lovely cinnamon-sugar "worms" for breakfast yesterday.  We need to work on our form - they don't quite resemble any "worm" that I've ever seen!  Ha!  But despite the poor craftsmanship, they sure tasted delicious.  "They taste just like a cinnamon roll!" she exclaimed after her first bite. 

We got the idea courtesy of Highlights magazine (which, by the way, she loves!).  Their recipe called for a roll of refrigerated pizza dough which you could then cut and roll up to look like worms.  I decided to cheat a little and use a roll of refrigerated breadsticks instead.  You roll them in wax paper that has been sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and then add mini chocolate chips for eyes.  Such a cute, clever, easy, and YUMMY idea!  And of course I added some spray butter for a little more yummy goodness!  :) 

It's little projects like this that I wish I would make more time for.  I'm the type of Mom that gets know how it goes a single parent, we do it ALL!  I constantly have a laundry list of things to do, places to go, projects to finish.  And you know how in the book, The Night Before Christmas, they have "visions of sugar plums" dancing in their heads?  Well, not I!  I constantly have visions of chores, to-do lists, errands, you name it!

The problem is, I need to slow down.  I know I need to slow down.  We all do!  Moments like yesterday when my daughter and I exchanged smiles and laughter as we made "worms" for breakfast are priceless!  Even though it was a little tough on my type-A personality to watch the messy kitchen unfold before me (cinnamon and sugar on the floor, sticky fingers, melted chocolate chips on my daughter's hands), every second is worth it because these are the things that matter to her.  Our kids don't care how clean the house is or whether the laundry is piling up - they care about the quality time we spend with them.  As for the rest of it, I can just add it to my never-ending to-do list!