Staying Sane: Couch monster


This past week involved a lot of shifting around my little living room.   This was to make room for the Christmas tree.  I bought the cheapest, fake tree I could find.  So, it is actually quite long and skinny.  Which is AOK by me, since my little living room can’t really hold a lot of tree.   Anyway, dealing with the small space and trying to free up room by the windows to make room for a gorgeous, decorated, tall skinny tree was in order.  And guess what we found while moving the couch sectionals around the space…

  • 1 remote control
  • 1 piece of art from the kids – a picture of a hand-drawn fire truck that was beautifully drawn and colored
  • 5 bouncy balls, 1 golf ball, 1 other random ball
  • an assortment of Lego pieces
  • 1 pair of rabbit ears
  • the equivalent of a bowl full of popcorn and unpopped popcorn seeds
  • a hair clip
  • countless bits of crayons
  • some plastic toy bugs
  • about 5 marker caps
  • 1 empty bottle of children’s play nail-polish
  • some kids books
  • a few puzzle pieces
  • massive amounts of fuzz
  • likewise, lots of hardened coal-like guinea pig poop

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So, if you are driving yourself crazy trying to find that little “do-dad” that either you are missing, or worse yet, your child is missing (and thus throwing a tantrum and falling to pieces), there could be a possibility that the couch monster that was at my place is now at yours.   It might be worth a look under the couch to see what kind of gold could be lurking…

Have a great week everyone –

– Mama K

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Gig tips: Calendaring


I came across the below and I STRONGLY advocate this advice — keeping your work and family calendars in one place:

“Unfortunately, it’s often easier to cancel on your child than on a potential client. Scheduling business and family obligations on the same calendar will lessen your chances of forgetting a personal commitment when you’re planning work activities. It will also help you avoid over-scheduling and alert you if your commitments are unbalanced.”   Source:  CareerBuilder.com

Image source:  cincinnatisportsmed.com

Here are some things that have worked really well for me:  

  • I use Outlook at work.  I color code personal appointments as a separate “color” from other appointments such as internal meetings or client meetings.    That way when I’m at work, I can quickly scan the week/month and visually see how booked we are as a family.
  • If I’m at work using Outlook and a family event becomes scheduled, I send an invitation from my work Outlook account to my personal email account (I add a participant, “myself”, with my personal email address), which then gets sent to my iPhone.
  • Likewise, if I create an appointment from my iPhone (typically a personal or child-related appointment), I “invite” myself with my work email address so that my work Outlook is updated.
  • As an extra step to make sure everyone is on the same page, consider also adding your spouse to these invitations so their calendar has the same information.   I did this in the past and it worked to keep me and co-parent in-sync with what was happening with the kids.

Any other ideas?  What do you find works well to help manage your work and your “life” schedules?

Thanks for listening –

– Mama K

Staying Sane: Back to School Supplies


I am a BIG proponent of organization in general.   You should see our house.  We have bins for everything.   Toys, clothes by size and gender, art supplies, mementos, etc.  This particular topic on school supplies doesn’t really apply to us just yet since our eldest, Big Bro, is only starting Kindergarten in the Fall.   But I just received some great insight on how to deal with back to school supplies from Mama J from San Diego.   I love this concept since it aligns with my general approach to bins and organization, and also gives me a head-start on planning for the future of school years.   Oh the tears are starting to form so let’s just get right to her advice:

“[Big Bro]’s school probably can’t require you to bring in school supplies, but you’ll want to pick up supplies for home while everything’s on sale:  pencils, erasers, new crayons, colored pencils, glue, scissors, etc.  We bought each boy a 6 qt storage box with lid for storage and makes homework nice with everything they need in one place.  You’ll also need a storage box to hold school work you can’t bear to toss.  Makes it easy to have one place to keep it all.  Not to big, but wide enough to hold the larger art projects. At the end of the school year, go thru again to keep samples of work and things you can’t part with. It gets overwhelming really fast because it’s hard to throw anything away, but don’t worry, after about 5 years you get the hang of it and know what to keep!”

– Mama J, San Diego

Thank you Mama J!!!!   I’ll start keeping my eyes peeled for the sales!   Great ideas!  Anything else to add from anyone else???

– Mama K

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