What My Mom Gave Me

*For Company Girl Coffee, read previous post.

What did my mom give me? Her light complexion. For sure, hands down, it’s how you can tell my siblings and I apart, if not by anything else. I can’t get tan for the life of me. Sorry if I blind you with the brightness that is my skin during the summertime. We also have freckles.

Besides that physical trait, we also have the same thoughts when it comes to the whole cooking/dishwashing method. My dad (and many other people) like to wash all the dishes after meals. My mom and I, however, like to get everything done (except for the meal dishes) before the food gets to the table. So while something is cooking, boiling, baking…we wash up whatever we can. After the meal, there’s not a big pile to deal with.

I’m sure I have picked up a lot of habits from my mom, but these two just popped into my head this morning. Oh, and we also have the same birthday too. The photo below is from our birthday in March. =)

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network for the Mother’s Day Blog Blast with Johnson’s Celebrity Hand Me Down charity auction
.

1) http://www.ebay.com/celebritymoms
2) http://blog.parentbloggers.com

From Week 12 of 52

Cleaning Schedule – Scheduled Cleaning

In January, I created a household tasks schedule. It has helped tremendously. Rachel Anne from Home Sanctuary had us list household tasks and categorize how often they were done. Then, we were to organize a weekly calendar of what needs to be completed. I took it a step further by going into the little details, because that’s what I do. =p Since we have only lived in our home for a little over a year and we do not own too much, it is still pretty uncluttered around here.

Here’s what I did:

  • List all tasks to be completed.
  • Mark how often each one is done.
  • Spread out tasks through the whole week/month/year.
    • Usually each day is assigned a cleaning area (i.e. bathrooms, bedrooms, living areas, etc.).
    • Tasks should take no longer than 20 minutes. (try minimum maintenance)
    • We designated one day to completing bigger tasks (i.e. ones that are only done quarterly, half yearly, or yearly). Our day is Saturdays for now.
    • Sundays is reserved for church and family, so there are no tasks assigned for that day.

Since everything is broken down and strategically assigned, there’s only 1-2 small tasks each day. No big cleaning projects, and everything is organized and clean.

Tips:

  • Focus on one task at a time. If it’s not completed to your liking, do not dwell on it too much. Fix it the next time you work on that task again, or finish it on your big chore day.
  • Ask for help. No need to have someone sweep, steam mop, and wax your floors, but if you find a willing helper, have them come and give one room a good Swiffering.
  • If you have a friend who has a fantastic up kept home, ask for tips. They may be so flattered that they will stop by and help you out.

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network for the Methods to Your Cleaning Madness blog blast with Pledge Multi Surface Cleaner.

1) http://www.howicleannow.com
2) http://blog.parentbloggers.com

Naturally…

It wasn’t just recently that I became “green” and living more naturally, but it was more recently that I became a homeowner and am more able to “control” my “green” status.

Recycle
We’re always been recyclers, and we’re so happy that our county takes plastics #1-7 in the bin, instead of just certain numbered plastics like before.

Foodscrapping
Something I was on and off with was foodscrapping. We have a little bin next to the kitchen sink but I wasn’t ever too conscience about being consistent. I made it one of my goals to foodscrap this year and we’re doing great so far. It’s made a HUGE difference in the amount of garbage we produce. What makes it easier is saving up cereal, cookie, or cracker boxes to put the scraps in…a lot cleaner to put into the compost bin. Will work on composting on our own one day…

Laundry
I know people have many loads of laundry that they spread out over the week to do, but I found that it is best for us to do it all in one day. Once the washer/dryer has been used already, the time it takes to wash/dry a load is shortened a bit, so it gets done faster. The trick is to make sure you know when a load is done (our dryer makes a loud beeping sound), put a new load in the wash as the other load moves to the dryer. We’ll work on line-drying one day…

Tote Bags
Those store tote bags!!! Love them! We’ve cut down on how many bags we have stuffed in the drawers. The drawers thank you I’m sure. The tote bags hold more and are easier to carry in my opinion. Sometimes we even tell the baggers not to bag items for us…if it’s something big like gallons of milk.

Cleaner
And we’re been using Seventh Generation cleaners since Melody was born. Actually, I just cleaned ALL the windows with it yesterday. It works just as well as other cleaners I’ve used, and doesn’t have the horrible cleaner fumes.

Veggie Garden
Also, since we’ve moved and have an area in the yard for planting a garden, my dad helped us to plant some tomatoes, zucchinis, and corn. We got over 200 tomatoes last year. He helped us to plant some squash 2 weeks ago, and we’re going to plant a few other things too. It beats having to pay for some of the stuff at the store for sure.

Doing these few things don’t change our lifestyles too much, but I’m sure it’s making an impact on our environment. I’d love to hear what you do to live more naturally too.

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network for the How Are You Living More Naturally? Blog Blast with SC Johnson’s Natural Cleaners.”

1) http://www.naturessourcecleaners.com
2) http://blog.parentbloggers.com

- Joyce

Goodnight Moon

Melody has had some days when she just wanted to play and play, but for the most part has her bedtime routine down – a little snack, pick up and say good night to her toys, wash up, read a book (usually it’s Goodnight Moon because she loves pointing out the mouse), pray. When she does want to stay up, her excuses usually are:

*Poo-poo
*Read please
*Water
*More play please (she says please for everything)

And I think she might be a little sneaky with this one, but she’s always loved to pray. Once we say, “Amen” she’ll tell us someone else we need to pray for. hehe

This is a funny blog blast because recently at the library, we got Mo Willems’ book Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! and there are a lot of excuses that the pigeon makes for not going to sleep.

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network for the Are You Afraid of the Dark Blog Blast with Sylvania PalPODzzz.”

1) http://www.sylvaniaonlinestore.com
2) http://blog.parentbloggers.com

- Joyce

What is Love?

heart1Not a day goes by when I don’t grab Melody and shower her with kisses and hugs and say “I love you”. Sometimes it’s a little too much for her (haha), but I’ll take whatever I can get before it’s too late, right? =p (I hear those teenage years sneak up on you. But it’s more than a decade away. Whew!)

Growing up in an Asian home with your typical Chinese parents, there aren’t too many kisses or “I love you”s that go around. I don’t even remember giving or receiving a real hug. But we always know how much our parents love us. With parents who immigrated here as young adults, knowing no English, we know how much they sacrificed so that we would have our needs met, as well as a little more…even if there are 4 of us siblings. They worked long, long hours without complaining about the hard work that they did. As a family, we did enjoy the occasional vacation, but it wouldn’t matter the location because we just had fun together. Going to the library every single week before grocery shopping was love. (Yes, I don’t know how my mom brought 4 of us to the store, but we were pretty well-behaved kids.) Doing the gardening and yardwork together was love. Dad cooking up a scrumptious meal was love. (Everyone loves coming to eat at my parents’ place.) And even sacrifice was love. We may not have demonstrated love in an affectionate way, but I think I’ve been more blessed with love from my family than most people.

My parents made time to ensure that we grew up to love people, and love each other most of all. My mom always told me to cherish my relationships with my siblings because it is the longest relationships we will have in life. As kids, we made up all sorts of games to play. We invented our own board game (haha…maybe we’ll have it made into a real game one day), we made our own “magazine”, we turned big cardboard boxes (from our parents’ restaurant) into trains, we had a pretend grocery store, etc… (Good times!) Most people who know my siblings and I know that we like to spend time together even to this day, even it if it’s just sitting around and chatting. We’re also board game people, so you can find us doing that quite often…when we are able to get together, now that half of us are married and have kids. I hope that Melody will be able to grow up to love her sibling(s) as much as I love mine, and that she will also love those around her.

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network in collaboration with Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education for their Selfless Love Contest

http://blog.parentbloggers.com
http://www.insureyourlove.org

- Joyce

We Won!

Remember Joyce’s entry about reading? It was to participate in The Parent Bloggers Network Balance Living with BOCA – Blog Blast. Anyway, there was a prize…$100 spafinder.com gift certificate. We won! Yay! Check it out! (And we got a BOCA coupon for being one of the 1st 25 bloggers to post.)

That’s all the excitement we have to share from here today. Meh…

Refreshment in Reading

book-lending-2swapI have mentioned it before, and it’s still true. I feel like being a Pre-K teacher and having 30+ kiddos in my care is somehow easier than giving my full attention to my own little one (especially during the infant stage with the neverending demands) for 24 hours of the day.I find that taking time out for me helps me to have a better day, even if it’s only for a few minutes. This doesn’t always happen but it helps me to be more refreshed.

I find refreshment in reading. I’ve always been a bookworm. No matter how busy my mom was, she always took time to take us to the library every week when we were younger. And whenever she had free time, you can always find her reading (when she’s not watching Chinese dramas).

I like all kinds of books. I even love to read children’s books. Now I don’t have to make up excuses because I can read them to Melody. When it’s a fiction, I can escape to a different world through the story. Through the non-fictions, I learn, I get inspired, I get motivated…

Reading is not something I have to schedule. I don’t really have to travel anywhere to do it. I can always pick up where I leave off whenever I want to. There aren’t any materials that I need to gather. I just need a good book.

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by BOCA.”