I haven’t posted a challenge from 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me in awhile, and this one happens to coincide with a question I get asked almost on a daily basis. What in the world does a typical day look like for you? As a full time working (IssueTrak), small business owning (The Studio Hampton Roads and Modern Femme), mother to twin toddlers and a teenager (and 1 husband, 2 dogs, a snail and 6, wait 5 oops, fish)…I can tell you one thing, it’s barely organized chaos most days and I’m almost always one tip toe from insanity. But before I get to the real deal of our daily routine, let me catch you up on the last handful of 30 Things challenges I completed in case you’d like to get to know me better:
Alright, are you ready? Brace yourselves!
- 4:30AM (Yes, that’s a 4): Husband’s alarm goes off. He inevitably sleeps through the first 30 seconds, then spends another 60-90 seconds figuring out how to turn it off. He immediately goes back to sleep. I am now awake.
- 4:50AM: My alarm goes off. It doesn’t wake him up, not even a stir, but for reasons unknown, I still scramble to turn it off as quickly as possible so I don’t disturb him. I get back in bed just because it’s still dark out and I’m depressed over the fact that it’s not even 5:00AM.
- 5:15AM: At this point, one of two things has happened. Either he’s hit snooze a million times, or he somehow turned it off completely and I have to wake him so he’s not late for work. My snooze has also gone off twice at this point, but that didn’t wake him either. I have now completed 2-3 leaps from bed to alarm clock, and I consider this the extent of my workout for the day. Until I have to carry around J, who is the bigger twin, at a whopping 40lbs., and demands I constantly work my arm muscles for his sight-seeing benefit. Usually right when I’m carrying two backpacks, another bag full of extra clothes since we are potty training, my purse, and my lunch (if I had the luxury of being able to pack it). Needless to say, my arms are jacked. My butt…is not. (Did you know that my butt died?)
- 5:25AM: Now that the husband has rushed to get ready and has vacated the premises, the bathroom is mine. Sweet Jesus. I turn on the shower and let it heat up.
- 5:27AM: B has to pee. And he wants to watch a show. And he “needs food and milk to stop his cough.” NOW. And he must immediately put on underwear. That he takes 5 minutes to pick out. He has also woken my dog, who now wants to go downstairs with the other dog to be fed and let out. I turn the shower off and give up on cleanliness for the day. J hears the dog running around and he’s up too. He’s peed the bed through his night time diaper, so time for total strip down and he gets washed. Throw yucky stuff in the washing machine. (Note: Child and clothes have now been cleansed. I. Have not.)
- 5:45AM: Dogs are now fed. Kids are now snacking in their recliners while I attempt to get ready for work. I’ll spare you the gory details of that process.
- 6:30AM: Children have now eaten 3 bowls of Cheerios, 1 breakfast bar, an apple and a cup of milk. Each. And maybe some toast. In between refilling their cereal bowls every 3 minutes, I have managed to put on makeup and clothes. Forget the hair. When it doubt, put another bobby pin in it.
- 7:00AM: The dressing war. Battle both children to get dressed. Wind sprints, hide and seek, whining, pinching…general discontent and gnashing of teeth. Somehow I get them dressed. And then they decide to trade clothes.
- 7:15AM: The shoes war. See above description.
- 7:30AM: Dogs to kennels (Yes, this is a THING. J must close the top latch, B must close the bottom latch. Both must give 1 treat to each dog.). Attempt to get out the door.
- 7:45AM: B decides he wants sneakers instead of flip flops because his feet got wet with morning dew. Unlock door, swap shoes. Continue efforts to get them to stop picking leaves off the bushes and to get in the car. B must get to his seat from J’s side. He apparently hates his door. And of course, J hates B going in on his side.
- 7:50AM: Finally head to day care. Listen to J to determine which songs we can listen to and which have been rejected. Listen to B clamor to have the sunroof opened because he must see the beautiful clouds. Even if it’s raining.
- 8:15AM: Leave day care and head to work after a million hugs and kisses. I love this part of the day.
- 8:30AM – 12:00PM: Work my butt off in glorious non-kid silence. In between sales tasks, answer inquiries for the Studio, process invoices and make a million to do lists. Every minute counts.
- 12:00PM – 1:00PM: POWER HOUR. One of three things happen here – Blog like the dickens, run a crazy amount of errands without having to leave my prime parking spot and instead sprinting all over the downtown area where I work on foot, or by some miracle, I get my butt to the gym (my dead butt). On especially busy days, realtor and lawyer meetings for the Studio and maybe a counseling appointment for my sanity and to renew my prescription to my crazy pills. The one thing that usually doesn’t happen here. LUNCH.
- 1:00PM – 5:00PM: Work my butt off part deux while snacking on company popcorn. Enjoy the remainder of the childless portion of my day.
- 5:30PM: Pick up the kids. Shouts of “Mommy!” fill the air. This is my most favorite part of the day. I feel blissfully loved and I realize how much I missed them.
- 6:00PM: Battle the dinner hour with tired, cranky kids. Try to avoid being a short order cook by offering new foods consistently. New foods consistently refused. If I’ve got my A-game on, I realize if I just sit down and play a game with them, they’ll be happy as clams. If I’m just as grumpy, the warfare continues and everybody’s angry.
- 7:00PM: Begin the transition upstairs. If it’s bath night, pray that Emily will dig in to help because for reasons unknown they behave a million times better in the bath tub if she’s in charge. If I’m flying solo, prepare for constant whining and “Don’t get my hair wet! There’s water in my eyes!” Yup. I have the only two kids who hate bath time.
- 7:30PM: After potty break #1, wrestle them into their night time diapers. After potty break #2, determine if they want “bellies in or out” otherwise known as “Are you going to wear pajamas tonight?”
- 7:45PM: Tuck them in. Repeat the phrase “I love you, I miss you, See you in the morning, Good night, See you later, See you later, See you later” at least 10 times before closing the door. Exactly in that order.
- 7:47PM: Potty Break #3.
- 8:00PM: Tuck them in again. Repeat night time phrase five more times. Hand each child a toy car.
- 8:05PM: Watch them on the video monitor and tell them to get back in their beds.
- 8:10PM: Go upstairs to break up WWIII because someone wants to trade cars and repeat night time phrase again three more times.
- 8:15PM: They finally pass out.
- 8:20PM: Clean the kitchen and dining room from the chaos of dinner. Put away toys. Swap laundry. Drink some sort of alcoholic beverage.
- 8:30PM: Sit down at the computer to begin the grind. Rework blog website, write additional blogs, schedule posts and social media. Respond to Studio inquiries as needed, balance finances. Skype with Somer to strategize marketing and to do lists. Skype with blogger friends. Edit any photos for outstanding clients.
- 10:00PM: Check on the boys. All is well.
- 10:01PM: Back to work.
- 11:00PM: Pass out in bed, trying to close out the night with devotionals and prayer, but struggling to keep my eyes open.
7 Reasons Why a Budget for Your Child is Important
As an adult, you probably know that a good budget is key to keeping your cash flow in check. However, have you ever considered giving your child a budget to work with too? While most parents know how valuable it can be to teach their youngster about things like saving and the value of hard work, few actually go as far as giving their kid a budget that helps them to understand exactly what they spend each month.
While you might think that your child is too young to start budgeting, it’s fair to say that this is a skill that has no age limit. The more your youngster learns how to manage their spending in the early years, the easier it will be for them to avoid debt in the future. Here are just some reasons why it’s important to give your child a budget.
1. It Pushes Them to Take Responsibility for Their Money
Whether you’re helping a young child to learn how they can use their pocket money more effectively, or your teaching your teenager about the best way to use the money they earn delivering newspapers, a budget can be a great tool. When your children know exactly how much cash they have to work with each month, they can make decisions based on long-term goals, rather than short-term wants. This gets rid of the ever-present problem of instant gratification and pushes your child to think about how they’re spending.
2. It Makes It Easier for You to Stick to Your Own Budget
Let’s face it, many parents today are struggling to make ends meet, which is why we’re using budgeting to help us find the extra cash we need to save for Christmas, birthday presents, vacations, and other big expenses. If you’re constantly dipping into your emergency fund to pay for the things that your kids want because they’ve failed to save their own cash effectively, then you’ll never reach your goals.
3. It Helps Them Understand the Real Value of Money
Younger children can find it difficult to really understand money and how it works. While they know that you need to exchange cash for goods, they don’t know how much work and effort goes into getting that cash. Giving your child a budget helps them to correlate some of the tasks they do throughout the month, like tidying their bedroom and helping with housework, to an income that they can spend on the things they want. This will help them to understand how important employment is later.
4. It Teaches Them That They Can’t Have Everything
It’s very difficult to say no to your child when all you want is for them to be happy. Unfortunately, unless you’re very rich, then it’s hard to give your youngster everything that they ask for. Even if you had the money to do this, simply handing over everything your child wants could cause problems in the future, as your kid will start to think that they’ll simply get life handed to them on a platter. Teaching your youngster how to budget for the things they want by compromising, and prioritising ensures that they approach the world from a realistic viewpoint.
5. It Promotes Independence
When your child has their own budget, they know exactly what they can afford to buy, and what they can’t, without running to you every time they want to make a purchase. This encourages good decision-making skills, and independence – both things that can be useful as they start to grow up. The earlier your children start saving with their budget, the earlier they begin to understand the concept of financial independence.
6. It Demonstrates the Rewards of Saving
When your child learns how to budget, they’ll also learn how to put small amounts of their money away each month towards a larger goal. This helps them to eventually understand that saving money can be rewarding because it allows them to afford the things that they want most in the long-term. You could even give your child a little reward for sticking to their budget every month, by telling them that you’ll match the amount they’ve saved at the end of the year.
7. It Builds a Foundation for Great Money Management
Finally, budgeting is just the first step towards financial freedom for your child. The more they grow, the more you’ll be able to teach them about things like investment, interest, and even avoiding debt. However, a strong education in the world of cash starts with knowing how to spend and save the money you get every month.
30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me: Pet Peeves
Ok, this one really isn’t fair. For someone with OCD, picking 10 pet peeves is like asking me to identify which of my kids I love the most. It’s an impossible question. And in truth, I hesitate to even write this down, because knowing my luck, my husband and/or coworkers will read this and subsequently spend their time driving me insane by plucking each one of these pet peeves as frequently as humanly possible.
Ah well…here we go. 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me: Pet Peeves.
1. Drawers left open 1 inch. Seriously. CLOSE. THE. DRAWER. If you can go 95% of the way, you can make it the remaining 5% to a full 100% state of closed door completion.
2. Dishes left on top of the dishwasher. You literally arrived at the dishwasher, but the dishes didn’t make it in. I am baffled and rendered speechless by this.
3. Random lone socks. Why is there constantly one sock everywhere? Do you aimlessly wander around, one-socked wonder, for fun? Is only one foot cold? Is this some sort of body temperature balancing act? How did you manage to pass this trait on to the children?
Pause: This feels like it is turning into the “Husband Pet Peeve List.” Perhaps I should switch gears.
4. Liars. (Seriously, I’ve switched gears here. This is in no way a reference to the husbandman.) This is far beyond a “pet peeve,” but very high on my list of absolutely intolerable things. DO NOT LIE. I can overlook so many things…but not lies. I can forgive any wrong, as long as you are honest with me. Always, always, always tell the truth.
5. Mike and Ikes (although I hear they’ve broken up?). This candy should never have been created in the first place. These suckers are nasty. Who the heck likes these? People that eat these little pet peeves of mine are pet peeves of mine. So many better candy options out there. Do your research, people. Oh, and Good & Plenty, you can disappear too. Yuck.
6. Chewing with your mouth open. Ick. I cannot be friends with you if you do this. ‘Nuff said.
7. People that think my name is Kathy and that I accidentally misspelled it Katy by omitting the “h” and then graciously put it back when they reply to my original message. This happens more times than I’d like to admit. I may or may not delete them promptly and declare them “dead to me.” Maybe that’s harsh. Oops.
8. Non-readers. Serious pet peeve alert here. Nothing drives me more batty than when I take the time to communicate with someone and they respond back with a question I quite literally, very clearly, answered just moments before in that very same message they hit “reply” to. It makes me all Emily Post, crazy good manners have gone MIA, nutso “you just wasted my life!” crazy.
9. When the cleaning staff at my office moves my trash can. I think they are toying with me.
10. Mumblers. Speak up. Enunciate. The quiet talkers at meetings…you have to know that no one can hear a word you are saying. Don’t you? I CANNOT. HEAR. YOU.
So, that was a nice little dose of Dark Katy now, wasn’t it? I told you, OCD.
30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me: Most Embarrassing Moment
It’s time for another installment of 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me!
Most embarrassing moment. Well, jeez. I’m practically perfect in just about every way, so obviously I’ve never been embarrassed for even a nanosecond in my awesome life (translation: it is impossible to choose just one).
Let’s see…there was that one time that I went to see the physical therapist about back pain and got told my butt was dead. Oh yeah, and to put on some super attractive, giant paper shorts so we could do super intimate, really tight in, crazy up close stretches with my legs that hadn’t been shaved for weeks. That was fun. And extremely recent.
Or how about 3rd grade when I was Snoopy in the school play and promptly forgot my lines, stomped off the stage, thought I had it figured out, stomped back ON the stage, only to realize I was still totally and completely lost and just for added flare and drama, promptly stomped back off the stage one more time, never to return.
I could tell you about the hours of old school video footage (seriously thankful that you only have DVD players right now) of our huge family musical variety shows that we used to sell out, but I think I’ll keep the location of those cassettes (do you even know what that word means?!) to myself. They may or may not include red velvet unitards, a bedazzled cowboy hat and Hammer pants. And one extremely tight perm.
I have a friend who literally walked into the wrong person’s house one day. Like…walked in, went through the house and didn’t realize her error until she came upon the family, completely unknown to her, in another room. So at least I didn’t do that.
Morale of the story. Laugh. At yourself whenever you can. And at others. As long as they are laughing with you. Except for my friend from college who tripped into a plate of ketchup and chicken wings in front of the basketball team our freshman year. I was laughing then. She was not. In fact, I just giggled remembering that moment. You can laugh at those too. She’s probably finally laughing now. After decades of therapy. 😉