Friday, July 29, 2011

Sink Chronicles: Day 9

I fell off the sink wagon yesterday. WHOOPS! It's mostly because I was so busy and got home late and was soooo tired, and then Dave was sick, too. I'm ok with it. It happens. I made sure to do it today though so I don't completely scrap this whole project like so many others.

For today's assignment, click here

Day 9: De-clutter a Few Minutes at a Time

So I'm supposed to add a "5 minute room rescue" to my morning routine. There are a few problems with that. I don't really have much morning left after my morning routine because it's peppered with interruptions from Joshua. That's the name of the game with a 7 month old. Problem number two, I don't know what a "5 minute room rescue" is. It doesn't say anything else about it on that page, and the only link there is this one which doesn't say anything about a room rescue. All it talks about is decluttering. What's the difference between a 2 minute hot spot and a 5 minute room rescue, besides the minutes, anyway?

So what I did tonight is just worked on cleaning up some stuff. I have a laundry basket in my bedroom with stuff that goes in other rooms, so I cleaned that out and put the things away where they belonged. Then I organized my baby food jars up with my food storage. Now I can use that laundry basket and close my pantry door again!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sink Chronicles: Day 8

Click here for today's assignment.

Day 8: Get a 3 Ring Binder and Put Paper In It

Sounds like the easiest assignment yet, huh? Well I didn't get around to it until 10pm tonight!

Ok, so I didn't actually get a 3 ring binder, I just grabbed a notebook, because Joshua was already asleep, and I didn't want to dig through my office things to find a 3 ring binder and some loose leaf paper. I wrote down my morning and before bed routines as I've been doing them. Here they are for your reading enjoyment.

Morning Routine
  • Get up
  • Feed Joshua
  • Breakfast
  • Brush Teeth
  • Get dressed for exercise
  • Exercise
  • Shower
  • Get dressed for day
  • Lunch
  • Put out Hot Spots for 2 minutes
Before Bed Routine
  • Put Joshua to bed
  • Put out Hot Spots for 2 minutes
  • Relax & Computer if time
  • Clean up dishes
  • Shine Sink
  • Brush & Floss teeth
  • Lay out clothes for tomorrow
  • PJs
  • Go to bed

Speaking of going to is a wonderful article about going to bed earlier, which I need to do (as I type this up at 11:45 pm....arg). Ever since I went to Lake Tahoe, my body hasn't gotten used to the Mountain Time again, plus I stayed up late at Tahoe, equals I go to bed super late, which means I'm exhausted in the morning when Joshua decides it's time to wake up. Here's to trying to go to bed earlier!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sink Chronicles: Day 7

I'm so sleepy. I couldn't sleep much last night. (Took a nap during the day, too hot, too hungry, Joshua waking up several times) So this entry is going to be short, but I'll possibly add to it tomorrow.

Click here for today's assignment.

Day 7: Pick Out Your Clothes

My sink has officially been shiny for 1 week. I find myself trying not to use it as much, which I'm sure will save on our water bill, but it doesn't get very high anyway.

I worked on the living room couch hot spot tonight before bed.

I have both outfits picked out for tomorrow morning (gym and day clothes).

Now I'm ready to crash. G'night!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sink Chronicles: Day 6

Click here for today's baby-steps assignment.

Day 6: Hot Spots

In Flylady's definition of Hot Spots she mentions that Hot Spots will grow and take over the whole room and that clutter attracts clutter. I think that my whole house is one big Hot Spot. Yuck.

Now it's time to bare my soul to you. I have nothing left to hide. Here are some pictures of my worst hot spots. Some of them don't look too bad, because I cleaned them up in the past month, but they can get just as bad as the worst ones. Here goes!

Bedside Table: This is where my hair ties, bobby pins, etc. end up as I take them out before bed. Note: The juice, cup, and water bottle were added to the stack right as I got online to type this up.

The table beside the rocking chair. Books, toys, and clothes get put here when I'm stuck in the chair nursing Joshua.

This is the classic "stuff that needs to go upstairs" and "quick, hide this pile behind the curtain when guests are coming" hot spot.

This one is a new one, living room couch right inside the door.

Coffee table, of course. Some of it is still from our trip to Tahoe.

This is the worst one in our house. It's the dining table, but we hardly ever dine on it. It's just a great central flat surface in the house to put things when you're on the way from one place to the next, especially mail.

This is Dave's hot spot. It's where he empties his pockets when he's changing. Receipts, money, pay stubs, business cards, keys, hats, oh my.

This is my pocket emptying station. I don't usually carry a ton in my pockets, but there are some deposit receipts, cash, lipstick, usually bobby pins, safety pins, jewelry that didn't quite make it into the jewelry box right above it, etc.

So those are the worst spots. Today I'm supposed to work on one of them for 2 minutes, and I think I'll tackle the dining table and I might cheat and work on the living room a bit, too.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sink Chronicles: Day 5

Click here for today's assignment.

Day 5: Write Down What You Hear

On Sunday I go to church in the morning/early afternoon, nap or cook in the afternoon, and spend time with family in the evening. Since today is Sunday, I didn't get on the computer until late tonight, so I didn't really have a chance to even know about the assignment until I was ready for bed (right now). I did the previous 4 things, and I will post about the Day 5 assignment tomorrow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sink Chronicles: Day 4

Click here for today's assignment.

Day 4: Write These Things Down

Ok, the more I look into this site, the more it bugs me, honestly. I think the principles are good, but it's just a messy site and I find more and more typos and things that aren't explained well. Today's task is a good example of this. What exactly am I supposed to write where? It also says that this will become part of my "Control Journal" but doesn't explain what that is, nor does it have a link to anything. You'd think that a site about organizing would be more organized.

From what I understood that I was to do to day, building on the previous days, I was to add notes in the kitchen and bathroom to remind me to do the tasks from Day 1 and Day 2. I had a busy day running errands so I didn't get around to making notes until this evening, so I'll have to report on how they function on another day. One thing that I'm worried about is that they'll just become another piece of paper around my house.

I thought I wasn't receiving any emails all day today, but it's still my blackberry messed up. Like I said, I just got a "digest" version in one email daily, so I'm not swamped by millions of emails all day distracting me from what I'm doing and pulling me back to the computer.

There is a ton of stuff to read in the emails. They also include links to more reading material on the website. It's a bit overwhelming, but there's a note at the bottom of each one to remind readers that they're not supposed to feel behind, and just to jump in. The only problem with that is, that I'm still on "baby steps" and now I'm supposed to read these emails that have a full daily, weekly, and monthly schedule, with tips on how to do some of the things. Hmmm. They really need to figure out how to tailor their emails to where the people are in the program.

Not to be too negative, there are a lot of good ideas in the emails, and I've only read half of the first one so far! I'm excited to get to the point where I can implement more of the ideas from the emails. Now, I need to get off my tush, fold my laundry, then get on my nightly routine (including shining my sink!).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sink Chronicles: Day 3

Here goes another day in the Sink experience!

Click here for today's task description.

Day 3: Do What We Have Already Done

Ok, I find myself peeking ahead a few days to see what tasks I have coming up. I honestly was a bit disappointed by this one. Do I really need to take a break in improving after two days!? So the goal today is to get all the way dressed, and keep the sink shiny all day, and shine it again before bed.

Well I showered and got dressed, and my sink is still shiny. Check. Ok, it also says to go sign up and check out "big tent." I guess this is where I start receiving bucket loads of emails. So far I've gotten two. I signed up to get 1 daily digest so I don't get 10-12 emails per day. When I did this, I used my "spam" address that I use for signing up for things like coupons, advice, etc. I noticed that I had to change my password and forgot to update it on my Blackberry, so I had a bunch of emails sitting in my inbox that I didn't know about! Luckily there wasn't anything too important.

Bring on the emails Flylady!

Side note: It's Laundry day, so I've already changed the towels, sheets, and run 3 loads of laundry! I also got our special dishwasher detergent/cleaner in the mail so I'm currently "shining" our dishwasher as well. Woohoo! Isn't it nice to have appliances that do most of the work for you!? Now I just need to get my garage key back so I can mow the lawn. Too bad it's not a riding mower.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sink Chronicles: Day 2

Click here if you missed Day 1.

Like I mentioned before, I'm cheating a bit by calling this Day 2 since I only finished Day 1 this morning. I'm OK with it though, are you?

Day 2: Get Dressed to Lace Up Shoes

Here is today's task description.

Honestly I think the way she labeled this is a little strange, grammatically. Oh, well. This morning (I think it was still morning...maybe noon) I showered and got dressed. I did not, however, lace up my shoes. It's summer, so I pretty much wear flip flops unless I'm mowing the lawn or exercising. Luckily I've been pretty good about this lately so it wasn't much of a change from my usual.

The purpose of these baby steps is to build a routine, so naturally, on Day 2, I still have to do Day 1's task and this will continue through the rest of the 31 days. Day 1's task was to shine the sink. Luckily I don't have to do the 3 hour process daily, or it would never get done. On Flylady's Shiny Sink 101, she also had some tips on how to keep the sink shiny. My favorite tip was to keep a towel by the sink to dry out the sink every time you use it or leave the kitchen. (Change the towel daily.) The idea is that you'll get into that habit, as will the rest of your family. Also, don't put any dirty dishes in your sink! Put them in the dishwasher. If you don't have a dishwasher, put a dish tub under the sink and put them there.

We tend to stack ours on the counter next to the sink anyway, so it's not a change for us to not put them in the sink. How can you use the sink if it's full of dishes? Also, they get all slimy and gross when you put them in the sink. Our problem is that the dishwasher doesn't get emptied when the load is finished washing, so the dirty dishes can't go in until the clean dishes are taken out. Today I will be emptying the clean dishes so I can put the dirty dishes in. Tonight before I go to bed, I will wash the few hand dishes, and then windex my sink again.

Update: I just found this page on Flylady's website. Apparently there's more to putting on her shoes that she lets on in her baby steps pages. Not sure if I'm up to wearing tie-up shoes every day.

Sink Chronicles: Day 1

In an effort to try and get my life and house back (was it ever?) in order I decided to try out this flylady that I've heard people talking about. I've been referred to her website by multiple people in the past, but whenever I went to it, I just didn't have the patience to figure out where to get started. This time I delved a bit deeper to figure it out.

I finally found a page called Baby Steps and it has a day-by-day plan of how to get into a routine. I decided to follow this routine and blog about my experience each day! How fun. When I'm done with the baby steps, I might just see if I can figure out a way to get her a better/cleaner website!

Day 1: Shine Your Sink

Day 1 for me was yesterday. I was reading her website after Joshua went to bed and thought I'd start today, but the more I read, the more I wanted to get started right then. So at 10:30pm I started the sink shining process. The process takes 2 1/2 hours! Ok, I only did one side of my sink before I crashed. I shined the other half this morning.

Here are her tips on how to shine a sink, revised/edited by me:

Shiny Sink 101

This process is to deep clean your sink and get it to its shiny potential. This is not an everyday process. Once it gets to shiny, all you have to do is keep it shiny.


  • Bleach
  • Comet/Ajax/Baking Soda
  • S.O.S. pad (if stainless steel sink)
  • Scrubby sponge
  • White Towel
  • Windex
  1. Take all the dishes out of the sink. (Put them anywhere you need to, even on the floor if you have no other place.)
  2. RINSE SINK (I used my dish brush to get rid of any food residue.)
  3. Fill one side with hot water and 1 cup of bleach and let sit for 1 hour. Pull plug with tongs, or don some long rubber gloves and pull plug by hand. (You can remove some of the water to the other side if you can't reach the plug.) Be careful not to get any bleach water on you or your clothes.
  4. RINSE SINK (Again, be careful not to splash the bleach water on you or clothes.)
  5. *Stainless steel sinks only: Use an S.O.S. pad to scrub sink. It polishes the finish and will have it looking like new (do not use on faucet, sprayer, or inside of drains, it will scratch them). RINSE SINK again.
  6. Scrub sink with cleaner (Comet, Ajax, or baking soda) and scrubby sponge. Use an old toothbrush to scrub around faucet and hard-to-reach areas.
  7. Take a sharp edge and clean around the rim of the sink, just like you would clean dirt out from under your fingernails. Be careful not to remove caulking or sealing around sink if present.
  8. RINSE SINK (This time it's very important because you don't want to mix bleach cleaners with ammonia cleaners, it causes harmful/deadly gasses!)
  9. Dry sink with clean towel.
  10. Clean sink with a window cleaner, like Windex.
  11. Put all your cleaning supplies away. It's counterproductive to leave a mess when you clean something.

You can see why it takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours to do, huh? When it's done, it looks so nice! In fact, I just ate my PB&J lunch admiring my shiny sink.

Before. Left side is full of water/bleach, soaking.

Before and after: Left side after, right side before.

Another before and after...pretty obvious which is before and which is after. Mind you, we didn't have a filthy sink, those are just water deposits!

After. Both sides shiny.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lake Tahoe Trip 2011

We went on our annual Lake Tahoe trip for the 4th of July this year. We got there very late on June 30th and stayed until July 7th and had a really nice vacation.

Day 1: We took it pretty easy the first day. We slept in, ate a nice breakfast, packed a lunch, took a walk to the park, and had a picnic. At the park, Joshua slept in the stroller while we ate and then we played some ping pong and there were some little bitty lawn chairs and a baby swing that we put Joshua in.

Day 2: We slept in again and eventually headed down to the beach (it's amazing how long it takes to do something when you get all ready to go and then it's time for Joshua's nap). At the beach we mostly just played in the sand. The water is really high this year so it's FREEEEZING cold. Needless to say, Joshua wasn't a fan of going into the water at all, not even his feet. That night my cousin and her boyfriend (Sylvia and Frank...and Burley the Bulldog) came and we had enchiladas for dinner. yum! I made them with rice in the sauce and rolled half and tore the other half.

Day 3: We went on a hike around Spooner Lake (Dave, Joshua, Sylvia, and me). It was more like a nature walk, but a pretty area, for sure. I was wondering why people didn't swim in that lake, since it's sure to be warmer than Tahoe, but then we saw a sign warning of Leeches. Blech. That evening everyone else arrived: My aunt and her boyfriend (Karen and Greg), my mom's cousin and his wife and daughter (Darrel, Deia, and Mayara), his wife's nephew and his girlfriend (? and Mayara). It was a full house! That night we had Lasagne made by Sylvia with thinly shaved carrots and zucchini in it. Yum again!

Day 4: Sunday, so we went to church, took a nap, went on a walk, and then Darrel made ribs for dinner. oh. my.

Day 5: Independence Day! We woke up early to go to a ceremony at the lake (can't spell the word...revaly? revally? revely?) I spent the afternoon making a birthday cake, someone decorated the golf cart for the parade, and then there was the parade and the picnic. Tons of food as usual. We stuffed our faces with BBQ chicken, hot dogs, and MORE RIBS! At the end we snatched up extra left over drinks and food (and my grandmother snatched a few extra bottles of wine and hid them in a bag - as usual. hehehe. silly.). Then we headed home to eat cake for little Mayara's 5th birthday before the fireworks started. We debated going to watch the fireworks from the shore, but decided that it would be too loud for Joshua, so we ended up watching them from the deck and Joshua was fascinated...until he fell asleep.

Day 6: Darrel and company left early, before anyone else was even up. We bummed around a bit and then went to China beach (Dave, Joshua, Sylvia, and I) and played in the sand and water (it was warmer water there, since it's shallower and has black sand). Joshua was covered in sand, and even ate a few grains...crunchy! Frank had been working to get a bolt on his motorcycle loose all week and finally got it off that morning, so once he got it fixed, we all had an early dinner of burgers and hot dogs and then everyone else headed home again.

Day 7: Dave and I watched a movie in the morning while Joshua took a long nap, we went hiking up Shakespeare Rock and planned to have lunch at the top, but noticed some menacing clouds, lightening, and thunder rolling in, so we headed down quickly and almost MISSED getting poured on. We enjoyed the storm from the deck instead of going to the beach again like we planned. Then we had dinner of lemon cod with my grandparents.

Day 8: We washed sheets, vacuumed, and cleaned up after ourselves, and then headed home. They were fixing some scratches on the driveway which made it a bit complicated to pack up, but we got it figured out. On the way home, we noticed that Joshua had a fever ("Ding!" oh, that's why he's been taking long naps...), which turned into a pretty nasty flu/cold bug and was passed on to me, and then Dave, and it's almost finished running its course, two weeks later.

Besides getting sick, which is almost a given being around so many different people for a week, it was a wonderful trip and it was really refreshing to spend so much time together and not have to worry about a lot of things.

Monday, July 18, 2011

So Cal and Vegas, Baby!

My cousin got married on May 7th in Redlands, CA. I also had a friend getting married on May 13th in Albuquerque, NM, with a reception the following weekend in Las Vegas, NV. I also have a bunch of friends in Vegas and NM. So I had a choice to make. I obviously couldn't go to all three of them (three road trips in three weeks, no thanks!) I figured family should come first, and I could make a stop in Vegas and see friends, including the one getting married, on the way.

So my brother Alex, little Joshua, and I (Dave had to work *sad face*) packed up the car on Thursday morning, and headed to Vegas. That night I had a blast chatting it up with girls I love, while Alex did homework. Friday morning I hit up my favorite store EVER (H&M) for some new clothes (hadn't bought any new clothes - except maternity clothes - since the last time I was there...two years ago).

Then we headed down to California. We got there in time for dinner at my Aunt and Uncle's house, and had a delicious dinner made by Aunt Emiko: Rice, spring rolls, and orange chicken (was it orange? sesame? sweet and sour? was delicious).

Alex, my dad, Joshua, and I shared a hotel room in Redlands that night and hop-skip-and-a-jump-ed over to the Redlands Temple in the morning for Cynthia's wedding. I stayed in the waiting room while Joshua screamed slept peacefully during the ceremony. After the luncheon, we all crashed for a bit on couches until the reception that evening where Joshua got passed around from relative to relative during the festivities. We left early from the reception, which is unusual for us - we're usually the first to come and last to leave, but Joshua had been patient enough with us keeping him up way past his bedtime already.

Sunday morning we packed up, went to Sacrament meeting, and then drove all the way home. The last half of the drive was peppered with screaming Joshua (he wasn't a fan of the changes in altitude), and then a torrential downfall of rain, so the drive home was longer than planned, but we all made it home in one piece...physically.

I came home to a spotless house with a bouquet of flowers and a stack of girl scout cookies on the table - happy mother's day! (best. gift. ever.)