You are currently browsing
  • Home
  • » Smart Mommies

Cozi

  • November 4, 2012 10:00 pm

I know I talk about trying to be organized, and the crazy of our life kind of…all the time.  It’s not the I’m obsessed, it’s more like I’m oppressed by the magnitude of everything that needs to get done every.single.day.  And, believe me, I try to NOT put things on the calendar or to do list, and actually schedule “lazy time” any.time.I.can.  For now, I’ve just decided that Fall is crazy busy because of football (Gig ‘Em!), school, pumpkins, and just the thought of Christmas.  But, I’m hopefully beginning to get a handle on all the lists, calendar entries, and to dos.

Right now, I’m in love with Cozi (www.cozi.com).  I have the app on my phone, my husband’s phone, and my daughter’s phone.  I’m thinking of loading it on anyone’s phone that might have cause to ever pick up one of my children, go to WalMart, or run across a pair of awesome size seven shoe.  The app has a calendar, shopping list, to do list, and journal.  So, I’ve added the places we shop (Wal Mart, Braums, Lowe’s, etc), and keep a running list of what we need.  In addition, I’ve added a list for each family member, and have started keeping a running list of THOSE needs.  AND, I’ve assigned everyone a to do, and keep that as up-to-date as I can.

Now, before you turn me into the OCD police, I must share the best part.

THE APP TALKS TO EVERYONE.  Meaning, as I update any list on my phone, it’s updated on all the other phones with our account.  My husband and daughter can add to the shopping list, to do list, or list of needs as they want.  We’ve started keeping common or repeated calendar events on the calendar, as well as when each kid has a test or project due.

I might just have to have tshirts made.

Try it.  It’s free, and worth all the nerd-out time you might waste.

 

Graduation from the Mom Bag?

  • October 29, 2012 8:03 pm

I got a new purse.

It’s exciting in my world because it’s a small purse, and it’s a name brand.  I haven’t owned a name brand purse since I was in college and of course had no money at all to buy one.  Granted, I didn’t buy this purse–but actually WON it in a drawing, which makes the whole experience just that much more exciting.

I’ve been addicted to the large tote bag since the onset of the diaper bag in my world.  Never in my life have I ever needed so many different types of items as when I entered the world of motherhood.  We all know the crazy that goes into packing the diaper bag:  wipes, diapers, extra clothing, snacks, drinks, extra clothing for mom, toys, books, wallets, more snacks, matchbox cars, polly pockets…I think you get the idea, and any mom out there will not have to try that hard to go right back there.  Since I graduated from the diaper bag, I’ve still had a strange collection of items in my purse:  matchbox cars, snacks, caprisons, play money, ipods, ipads, books, more snacks, McDonald’s toys, crayons…and again, you know what’s in THAT BAG.

I thought that I was doomed to the Big Bag forever, and truly could not comprehend how other moms managed without the GIANT BAG FROM CRAZYTOWN.  But, since this new small bag has come into my life, it’s like a whole new world has opened to me.  I can see in the ENTIRE BAG, from top to bottom, and all the parts in the middle.  It’s not even a little scary to put my hand in the bag and try to find something, because I haven’t introduced the possibility of sticky with a new NO CANDY policy.

I like that policy.

I like knowing that everything in my bag is MINE.  I like that there aren’t toys in my bag.  Or diapers.  Or wipes.  Or snacks.

It feels so grown up.  And clean.

Can I enroll in the Masters Program?  I’ve got this small bag thing down!

Not to beat a dead horse, but…

  • April 9, 2012 4:08 pm

I’m not quite sure how I’ve managed to do anything without an iphone for my personal assistant.  Now, I’m an organized person, and have always loved a calendar, beginning with my student planner back in the dark ages of pen and paper.  I threw a smallish fit when I moved to a Palm, but once it all came together in a phone/calendar/to do list option–with REMINDERS that DING at me, I was hooked.  Since we are Sprint People, we’ve been unable to become part of the iphone world until very recently, and as I discussed last week, I have one now.

There is no comparison.

At all.

In addition to the easy interface as compared to the Droid craziness I’ve been living in, it thinks of things to make my life easier in ways I’ve been BEGGING for!  My mails are merged.  My contacts are merged.  My calendars are merged, and sync without me asking them to do it!

Ok, so I know everyone already has an iphone, and I am literally the last one on the wagon about this, but my most most favorite part of my whole experience thus far is creating a family calendar through Google.  A genius friend told me of this feature, and since it is a Google feature, I’m sure I could have tried to make it happen with the Droid, but I’m guessing my screen would have cracked before I actually made it happen.  In creating this calendar, I’m able to add things to both my husband’s calendar and my own calendar, and keep our work calendars separate–all through some kind of sync magic.  I was actually already migrating to the Google world as far as Google Docs, Gmail, and Contacts–which by the way can all by synced on my fancy little life saving device.

When my whole world seems to be in the chaos of testing and baseball season, this little light of OCD happiness is literally making me shine.  :)

iphone crazy

  • April 4, 2012 7:33 pm

I feel like I talk a lot about my phone, or … technology issues here, but the fact is, I have a lot of phone AND technology issues that plague my daily life.

The most recent tragedy has been my EVO that would neither charge nor be fully touch screen operable.  I was FINALLY due for an upgrade last week, or rather my father-in-law was due for the upgrade.  Graciously, he acquiesed his opportunity to me, and I have now in my possession my very first iphone.

I think I am in love–I mean serious, heart-palpitating love.

The difference in an iphone and any-other-phone-at-all is incomparable.  I feel as though I have finally entered the new generation, and my learning cure this week has been exponential.  I don’t even know all I should know right now.

But, I’m willing to learn.  This phone might just be as life changing as TiVo, and that’s really saying something, because I credit TiVo with the key to proper marriage communication.

The possibilities…

5-4-3-2-1

  • February 22, 2012 9:20 pm

I’m not sure why my kids choose not to hear me the first one or TEN times I ask them to do something, but they don’t.  I find myself repeating and repeating and repeating my requests again and again and again.  After a while I even tune myself out.   I’ve tried a thousand ways to get their attention, but it seems to always come back to the 1-2-3.  For some reason, when I speak in numbers, they realize I have asked them to complete a task.  Unfortunately, they still don’t seem quite interested enough in my words of wisdom for my liking–so I find my voice rising and rising and rising with all the repeating and repeating and repeating.

You can imagine how much fun this is for all of us.

Recently, one of my brilliant friends told me that she counts down to one instead of up to three.  Her theory was that in counting down to zero, her girls always knew when the end was coming.  When she started at one, they tended to hope for an “extra” number tacked on to the end of three, and the warning didn’t seem as scary.  So, I tried it out on my own hoodlums, and I’m very eager to report that it seems to be working much better.  I still find myself repeating and repeating and repeating, but perhaps not as much when combined with the counting.  As a result, we all seem a little more stable–for now.

I’d love to hear some other supermom advice on this topic.  Let us know if you have a perfect trick to tame the natives!

Laundry Lessons

  • July 6, 2011 6:05 pm

A wise mom recently told me that once her children turned ten, she taught them how to do their own laundry, and then slowly as each child neared that sweet double digit decade mark, she had less and less laundry on her plate.

I thought it was genius, and she perhaps the smartest mom in all the world.

Today I implemented Phase I of my double-digits-earn-you-the-right-to-do-your-own-laundry-plan.  Phase I included my daughter doing an entire cycle of the family laundry on her own.  I showed her the finer points on sorting, starting the washer, transferring to the dryer, and then we tweeked the folding process.  Laundry folding was already part of her chore list, but she needed just a few pointers.  I casually noted how tshirts should be flat when folded, not crumpled; socks should be in a matching pair, not just thrown in a basket–that sort of thing.  At first it was a bit of a novelty, pouring the soap and starting the washer, but it did eventually drain on my happier-to-be-slacking-daughter.  But, after an entire day of the laundry process under her belt, I feel she can tackle her own laundry without too much trouble.

And, if Phase I is a complete success, she might be happy tending to her own clothes rather than being slave to all our folding needs.

I’m crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath just yet–but it would be so exciting if I actually got a few hours of my week back!  So exciting!!

An End to a Hand-Me-Down Era

  • June 23, 2011 6:12 am

Kid wardrobes have constant turnover–mostly because the little hoodlums keep growing (darn vegetable eating!), but sometimes the clothes simply wear out (boy clothes specifically on that one).  So, when my daughter was a baby, and I realized just how fast she was going to grow out of the adorable outfits we had painstakingly collected, I quickly devised a Hand-Me-Down Plan.

The Plan:  a big plastic tote at the bottom of her closet.  As she grew out of clothes, I’d put the “keepers” in the tote (for future bundles of joy), and the stained, worn out, or just plain bad fashion choices in another pile (for future garage sales).  And, so it went.  As our second bundle arrived, I continued the Tote Plan–this time saving boy clothes for any third bundles that might come our way.  By year five in our parenting adventure, our attic was a virtual clothing store for any newborn-5T wearing fashionistas.

The totes came in quite handy for our third hoodlum/bundle of joy.  With both the Big Brother clothes, and generous offerings from friends, we have virtually clothed my youngest on about a five dollar budget.  Which, I thought, was pretty awesome since I was clothing three evergrowing bundles.

But, this week, during the every-six-month-whether-we-need-it-or-not-closet-clean-out, I unpacked the last tote of clothes.  (Sniff, Sniff)  My boys are now so close in size, that as I cleaned out my older son’s closet, I simply moved the clothes from Big Brother to Little Brother’s closet.

It makes me a little sad to know that I don’t have a box of clothes ready and waiting for me to unpack and remember all the cute things that were done in each outfit-from summer vacations to Christmas traditions.  But, I suppose that’s what happens to these kids.  They eat their vegetables, grow, and eventually get their own wardrobe–that I guess I will need to purchase!

It’s just the Mommies that are left with empty totes and pictures of fashion memories.

Bonus!

  • May 30, 2011 5:50 am

When the kids were babies, my husband and I went through the usual growing pains of adding the parenting element to our marriage.  Suddenly, there was this WHOLE OTHER PERSON in our lives that we had to care for, and care for really well.  Those growing pains consisted of many “conversations” where we discussed the “to dos” of taking care of babies, but ultimately the general planning of that time of our life was left up to the Mom-diapers, bottles, formula, toys, clean outfits, snacks, spoons, naptimes, and strollers just easily fell into my court.   He was still very involved, tackling dirty diapers when he could, but ultimately the knowing the amount of dirty diapers to account for was mine.  I know in some couples the roles are flip flopped, and the dad is the Great Organizer of Stuff, but for us, that was how things went down.  That system went on through the toddler and preschool years, and now we are knee deep in the elementary years.

But, this weekend I had an epiphany!

The daddies are REALLY GOOD at the elementary years!  Without realizing it, I looked around and found myself sitting in a group of friends, KIDLESS.  The daddies took it upon themselves to teach fishing, and baseball, or to throw kids from one area of the pool to another, and the mommies didn’t have to think about it!  I was so thrown off by all the relaxing, I forgot how to function in my own little society, forgetting caprisons, bread, swimsuits, and other random items we needed on our Memorial Day Weekend extravaganza.  We muddled through, problem solving our way through snacking and swimming, and I bathed in the thought that a little of my brain my be coming back to me.

I’m a little out of practice using my brain for my own thoughts, but I plan to work on that through the summer–and those of you in the baby/toddler/preschool years, just wait!!  Your brain will return someday, too.  :)

Busy Week

  • April 8, 2011 7:08 am

Monday and Tuesday we administered the Math and Reading TAKS test to our students, and even not taking the test, it was a grueling couple of days.  They do everything but take away your birthday in order to monitor the Test, and two school days of walking around a classroom watching students take a test without any contact to the outside world makes a person a little nutty.  I was glad to settle back into our somewhat normal routine yesterday and start preparing for the last TAKS test near the end of this month.

Because of my seemingly unproductive Monday and Tuesday at school, I was driven to be productive at home-much to my children’s chagrin.  I’ve spent the last three days going through closets, cleaning out under beds, rearranging furniture, and stockpiling my garage for the community garage sale event next Saturday.  I don’t know why, but my hoodlums seem to “nest” wherever they go, leaving little bits of paper, beads, barbie shoes, Star Wars guns, caprison wrappers, socks, batteries–you name it, and they leave it in a corner or in a sock drawer.  In fact, I found a Christmas ornament in my daughter’s sock drawer. A CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT.  I didn’t even know where to go with that one, but there might have been a slight raise in the pitch of my voice.  Slight.  But, I’m working on it.

I have one more hoodlum room to organize, and three more closets, and I might resume normal activity.  That is unless I tackle the garage, too.  My husband might rebel against that one though.

But, hey, that’s why they call it Spring Cleaning!

The Holiday Season

  • November 29, 2010 5:21 am

We are knee deep in the Holiday Season now, after counting our many blessing last week with friends and family, putting up our holiday decorations, and last but not least, partaking in some Black Friday Shopping.

Yes, I was one of those crazies out there at 4a.m. Friday morning running to stand in line for one of the items I had circled in the newspaper circular-just giddy about the good deal I was getting. I haven’t always been such a crazy, but always being a fan of getting a steal of a deal, the past few years I’ve taken it on-and had a blast doing it. But, that’s just me.

If you’re not into the lines, and the people, and the loss of sleep, take a look around today on the internet at the deals for Cyber Monday-with deals similiar to Black Friday, but just online. But, be careful, you may become just as addicted to the sales as the rest of us. :)