Back to school

Last week my oldest daughter, J, went back to school, she started 1st grade.  She was thrilled, I cried.  It makes me so happy that she is excited for school but it is bittersweet to think that my baby girl is growing up so fast.   IMG_8051

She is still so little, she is the shortest kid in her class and I’m pretty sure her grade. She is also one of the youngest because her birthday is in May.  My youngest daughter, E, is two years younger and pretty much the same size!

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One of the ways that I am a modern mommy is how they eat.  I am very particular about their diets, they have only had fast food (other than pizza) maybe 4 times in their lives and that is when we are on road trips and have no other way to feed them.  They don’t drink soda or even juice, they very rarely have processed foods.  And while I do allow treats in the for of cookies, cake, etc. it is always homemade and I am able to control exactly what is in it.  I guess that it’s not very modern at all actually 🙂  I love to cook and I love to bake, I pride myself in that we have home cooked meals 99% of the time and most things are from scratch.  I take some short cuts, such as buying the steam-able frozen veggies, but for the most part I do everything from scratch.

This year is J’s first year going to school all day, she was in half-day kindergarten, so she is having lunch for the first time at school.  I had always known that I would be packing their lunches every day, school lunches are terrible and not to mention EXPENSIVE!  I knew that I would prefer to spend 10 minutes in the evening preparing her a nutritious, real lunch than to let her eat that garbage they try to pass off as food.  Granted, hot lunch has gotten better since I ate it but not by much.

I had been checking out ideas for cold lunches on pinterest since I knew she (and I) would get bored with a sandwich every day.  I came across Bento Box lunches.  They are so cool and you can do some really fun things with them.  I like that everything she takes is reusable, I didn’t want to have to buy plastic bags and stuff like that.  I purchased a kit from Laptop Lunches http://secure.laptoplunches.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=K830%2DPLUM&eq=&Tp= this is the one she got.  I like that it had an extra compartment for her snack and that the handles were situated in a way that would keep the bento box upright.  The bag is insulated and it stays pretty cool, a fork and spoon are included.

she loves it, its a little big for her but it should last a few years.  I will be chronicling my first year in bento box making, maybe I can get as good as the Japanese moms who make Hello Kitty rice balls!

here is what she has had for lunch this week

monday

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Orzo pasta salad, mandarin orange, cherry tomatoes, ham, pretzels.

Tuesday

I didn’t take a picture, but she had leftover popcorn chicken from the night before, carrots and tomato, yogurt pretzels, and a babybel cheese

Wednesday

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peanut butter and jelly hearts, pretzels, string cheese, carrots and tomatoes, and a lime jello.

I make the jello in individual, reusable cups.  it is cheaper than buying the premade ones and I can control the portions.

I just noticed she’s been having pretzels the same side dishes a lot, I’m going to have to be more creative next week 🙂

I plan on making this a recurring post, I would like to hear some feedback from you all.  Would you prefer a weekly post that shows everything from the week or a daily one that would be shorter.  Thanks!

I also have some outfit posts coming up, I just scored big time from ModCloth during their 70% off sale so I will be showing you the haul when that arrives.

Ps. I am on instagram now, you can find me @bettiebanshee

I have been so far behind in posting.  I think I said earlier in the month that I am currently taking an accelerated class.  It is part of a mini-term, they stuff a 16 week class into 3 weeks.  It has been so hectic and busy.  I am in class from 9 am until 1 pm, then come home and read and write papers until midnight or 1 am (the latest I’ve been up is 3 am finishing homework that was due the next day).  I am exhausted! On top of that I have been trying to keep up on my January 1950s housewife challenge.  All things considered, I have been doing a damn good job 🙂 I start the normal semester on Tuesday so it will make it a little easier, at least I will have more than one day to get stuff done.

It has been so cold were I live, it makes it worse that we don’t usually see weather this cold.  Nobody knows how to drive in the snow.  One of the water pipes in my house froze on saturday, we weren’t able to get it thawed until sunday afternoon.  It was awful, I couldn’t wash dishes or laundry, and we didn’t have  a shower for two days! Not pleasant.

I bought a couple vintage dresses on eBay so I will be posting pictures as soon as i get the chance.  I love eBay, if you look hard enough you can find some amazing pieces.  I got 3 or 4 dresses for the price of one new repro dress.  eBay is the thrift store of the internet, so you have to approach it the same way.  Sure, some things wont be in perfect condition.  But there are some diamonds out there to be dug up.

I will get back into regularly posting this weekend, until then enjoy your week.

Clean up, everybody do their share!

Happy Saturday everyone!
It has been a crazy busy week for me.  I am taking an accelerated class, we are fitting a whole semester (16 weeks) in to 3 weeks.  It is a women’s literature class so there has been a lot more work involved than I was expecting.  I am in lecture from 9 am to 1 pm monday through thursday then for homework we have to read four novels, write 3 essays (3-4 pages), and a final essay (8-10 pages!!!) in that 3 week period.  There has been little time for anything else!

So in all of my free time, I have been tackling my 1950s housewife challenge.  I have been trying to keep up, but have fallen behind a little, I’ve had  a basket full of folded laundry sitting in my living room for a couple of days.  I am trying to get everything in the house organized, so I am doing one room at a time for that project.  I have put up pictures that have been sitting around because we didn’t have frames, bought frames for said pictures,  I moved around some shelving, got rid of a bunch of papers that were junking up drawers.  So I think overall it was a pretty productive week.

I  started keeping track of all the things I do around the house in my planner, I am actually surprised at how much I get done!

Here is a sample, this is one whole day:

Saturday 12/29

6:30 shower, get dressed

7:30 Wake up the girls, breakfast, run the dishwasher (hooray for modern conveniences)

8:30 make beds, help the girls make their beds, tidy up bedrooms

9:00 laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away, repeat), I think I did 3 or 4 loads completely through out the day

10:00 make YouTube video 🙂 I know that this isn’t traditional, but it is what I did

11:00 go to the Goodwill to drop off a bunch of old clothes

12:30 lunch

1:00 violin practice, my daughters are learning how to play the violin, it’s so freaking cute

2:00 girls take a nap, clean up from lunch, fold laundry, tidy up living room

4:00 girls get up from nap, they clean their rooms

5:00 make dinner

6:00 have dinner, then clean kitchen, load dishwasher

7:00 watch Battlestar Gallactica with hubby, a girl needs some down time

8:00 girls get ready for bedtime

8:30 bedtime

9:30 bedtime for Mama

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then once school started again on the 31st, my day was more like this:

12/31

6:30 shower, get dressed

7:00 kids breakfast

8:00 drop girls off at mother-in-law’s house

9:00 class

1:00 class ends

1:20 pick up girls

2:00 get home, girls needed a nap, I needed a nap too but instead I tidied up the house

2:30 homework

4:00 girls wake up

5:00 dinner

5:30 dishes, clean kitchen

6:00 more homework

8:00 girls get ready for bed

8:30 bedtime, then more homework

9:30 my bedtime

blah! I hate having to cram a whole days worth of housework into like 2 hours, it’s no wonder my house is never spotless.  I am technically a stay at home mom, in that I don’t have a paying job anymore.  But I go to school full-time, my husband made a comment the other day that I am at school at least as many hours a week as he is at work,  but I go more days than he does.  I am at school usually 5 days a week and he works 3 days a week.  He has been a lot more helpful lately, he will do a load of laundry or do the dishes and he is wonderful with the kids, he is a very active father.

During this past week, I don’t know if it’s this challenge or the “feminism” class I am taking, I’ve been thinking a lot about division of labor in households.  My husband and I have taken upon ourselves very traditional gender roles.  I cook, clean, take care of the kids, decorate, etc.  He makes the money, fixes things around the house, does the yard work, does everything that needs to be done with the cars.  I am usually satisfied with our division of labor but it can be very frustrating when I come home and find a days worth of dishes piled in the sink or worse on the coffee table, and he has been at home all day.  Though we talked about it and he is trying harder to help out around the house.

How does the housework get divided out in your house?  If you are married/living with someone, do you both work outside the home or does one person stay home?  Who takes on the bulk of the domestic duties or is it pretty equal?  I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on the subject.  I feel like if I was a true stay-at-home mom and was at home 7 days a week, it would be entirely my responsiblity to keep the house clean and I would have so much time to do it in the house would be spotless.  Since I essentially work full-time, I think my husband should at least clean up after himself.

 

New Year’s resolution time

My house has gotten destroyed over the last month.  With the holidays, finals, and Ballet practice 3 times a week I haven’t been home except for one day a week for over a month.  My house has fallen by the wayside and in disrepair, I’m such a bad housewife!

I read an article on glamourdaze.com about the daily routine of a 1940s housewife, originally printed for Life Magazine.  I was so intrigued by how they spent their day, I have decided to challenge myself to a month of living the routine of the 1940s housewife.
This is the link to the article if you are interested http://glamourdaze.com/2011/02/1940s-fashion-housewifes-daily-routine.html.

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I decided to start today, instead of the 1st since I go back to school on the 12/31.  I have this week off so I thought I’d get an early start and deep clean my entire house.  I always find it easier to maintain a certain level of cleanliness and organization (the hardest part for my family) than to start over every week, so I have decided to clean and organize everything this week.  I am going to use the blog to hold me accountable 🙂  I will go by the Life article as my starting point.  However, there are things that I won’t do such as making my children’s beds every morning.  My daughters are three and five and more than capable of making their own beds and picking up their own toys/rooms.  I will try to do an update a few times a week to let you all know how it is going, I’m not sure how much time I will have to spend on the computer 🙂

I may have to get up a little earlier than I have been to fit everything into the day, because it would not be a 1940s housewife challenge if I did all the housework in sweatpants and a ponytail.  They did it in a dress, full makeup and fixed hair, so I will too.

I started with my kitchen today, cleaned everything from the light fixture to microwave.  Now I will go organize my pantry and take inventory.  Then move on to the living room, dining room (they are connected), and play room to organize, dust, sweep, and mop.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it!  The consolation is I only have to do the organiziation part once, which is the most time-onsuming and difficult part.  I do need to get my husband involved so he can put his stuff away, half of my litchen counter is being overrun with his tools and things that belong in the garage.  I will make a Goodwill run tomorrow to drop off a bunch of clothes that no longer fit, they have been piling up for a few months while I went through my youngest daughter’s clothes and pulled out and washed all the things that didn’t fit.

I have also gotten more serious about my couponing, I watched that Extreme Couponing show and now I feel like an underacheiver.  I don’t think it’s actually possible to only spend $50 a month on groceries for my family of four, nor is it practical to stockpile years worth of toilet paper.  But any money that I can save my family is a good thing.  However, going through and trying to find all the coupons is almost a part time job!  The big problem I have is most coupons that are out there are for really processed food or junk food/soda, things that we don’t buy anyway so I’m not going to buy it with a coupon.  We try to avoid processed food and I refuse to buy things with HFCS (high fructise corn syrup), that stuff is awful for you.  I already prepare most of our meals from scratch, it doesn’t take any more time than heating something pre-prepared or going through a drive-through, and it is significantly cheaper! We eat a modified “paleo diet”, mostly meats, vegetables, and fruit, but I still use pasta and rice (to stretch the budget) and I love bread so I don’t want to give it up 😉

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If anybody wants to join me in walking the walk of being a woman from the 40s-50s, I would love to hear from you!  I mean, who doesn’t wish they had a spotless home!  Try it with me for a month and by the end you won’t want to go back.  We can officially start on January 1st, even though I’m getting a jump on it due to time conflicts.