Join me at my new Blog!

I’m excited to announce the start of my new blog – Hotel for Kids!

My husband, daughter and I are thriving in our new home with all of the children.  I’ve been doing activities, creating art with them, managing a garden and trying out lots of yummy recipes!  I am continuing working on being a happier person while living with anxiety and OCD!  Come join me on my new adventure!

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My bathroom

Okay – I understand that bathrooms are not the most exciting place in the home but I wanted to share anyway.  There are three full bathrooms in the new house that get regular use.  The first floor bathroom gets heavy traffic with all of our respite guests, the kids all share the second floor bathroom and we have our own bathroom off our suite.  This is our first floor bathroom.  Not minimalist but not cluttered either.  I have found time and time again that it’s easier to clean when you have less stuff.  This is especially important in the bathroom.  I’ve never known my husband to clean a bathroom and I hate to clean so here is how I make it work.  I keep a stack of washclothes on the back of the toilet and encourage their use.  When a kid uses the washcloth they drop it on the floor by the door.  I swoop them up when I do our laundry.  I also use the washclothes when there are any signs of dirt – toilet seats, sink, mirrors, baseboards, light switch.  The washcloth gets dropped onto the pile on the floor and then gets washed in hot water.  Occasionally some hand soap is added for the messier tasks.

First signs of dirt or mess are easier to clean then set in dirt.  A quick swipe and we are good – there’s rarely need for a lengthy scrubbing session.  I spray down the shower after use with an all purpose cleaner and clean the toilet (several times a week) by squirting in lysol toilet bowl cleaner and let it hang out in there while the kids are at school.

bathroom 6 bathroom 2 bathroom 1

Not too much frills or extras but a definate owl theme.

bathroom 3 bathroom 4 bathroom 5

  • Framed flower picture
  • 2 white hand towels with pink stripes and 1 green hand towel with owl
  • Fabric Owl print shower curtain with owl shower curtain hooks and a shower curtain liner
  • carpet cleaner because you know everyone keeps this in their bathroom.
  • Blind for window
  • behind the vanity mirror with tampons and pads (always keep a few handy for those too embarassed to ask), toothpaste, outlet safety plugs, peroxide, dixie cups, handsoap (in a ghost bottle), body wash, shampoo/conditioner
  • Owl wastebasket, toilet brush
  • green hand towel, stack of wash clothes
  • Under the sink with 2 burgandy bath towels, 1 blue bath towel, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, baby shampoo, toddler toilet seat.
  • hand soap, glade plug in with lemonade scent
  • owl rug

I do not keep cleaners in the bathroom due to the ages of children we get.  I would hate for a child to get under the sink and get hurt from cleaners.  My husband sweeps and mops so I do not worry about doing this.

Going Bananas

I found a discount food store through recommendation from a foster parent. I struggle a bit going into this store because it has that unpleasant warehouse smell mixed with slightly old food smell. they sell damaged food freight, bread that is almost too old and produce that should be eaten up in a timely fashion. Amazingly though I returned and will do so again. The people who work there are the nicest people – friendly, helpful, geniune. The variety is amazing and the produce cheap and plentiful. I bought 2.5 pounds of kale for $2, a ginormous bag of carrots diced for $2, a dozen ears of corn for free and a whole case of overripe bananas also free.

So i get these overripe bananas home and then my OCD starts gliching. What am I going to do with all these bad bananas? First things first – i google bananas to make sure I’m not going to poison myself or the kids by eating mushy bananas. Then I pull two ideas out for this insane amount of bananas.

Banana Bread
6 mushy bananas
4 tablespoons of melted butter
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of self-rising flour

bake at 340f for 40-45 minutes for amazing, banana heavy banana bread.

Let me just say – 6 kids and myself LOVED it. I loved that there were only 5 ingrediants and that the bananas played such a huge role. you could add vanilla extract (i forgot and the bread with still great)

Frozen Bananas
mashed bananas
sugar
vanilla extract
touch of milk

We turned about 20 bananas into banana bread and then mashed the rest and froze them. I decided to add just a bit of sugar, vanilla extract and milk into the mix. We have about 60 mashed bananas now in our freezer. I figured it’s ready for banana bread, banana “ice cream”, banana smoothies, etc.

The house smelled so good yesterday and the kids enjoyed making the bread and mashed bananas.

Update

so apparently I haven’t written in 5 MONTHS! I’m trying to remember when my life turned upside down. It doesn’t look anything like it did when I last posted. Here are the major updates:

1. My husband and I became certified foster parents
2. We moved from our small 3 bedroom house to an extremely large 6 bedroom house.
3. I had to find new homes for my bunny, cat and dog – a decision I’m still majorly struggling with.

We are now providing short-term respite care for up to 6 children at a time. It’s still new to us. We started in June – April and May were spent going through the certification process and the packing to move process. We are still trying to sell our house. I’m still trying to find our groove.

I find that the OCD that I struggle with has been worse lately but that was expected. I spend a lot of time making sure the house is JUST right. I also spend quite a bit of time hand washing and washing fabrics (clothes, blankets, etc).

I find that there are certain things that I really love about my new life. The first being the house comes with a washer and dryer and maintenance if it breaks so no more going to the laundromat for me. There is a fenced in back yard complete with basketball hoop, wooden swing set with slide and deck with picnic table. I also have a dishwasher now so I really don’t mind doing dishes anymore. I’m spending more time doing activities inside of mindlessly sitting at my computer.

Here are some of the things I’ve done so far with my daughter and the kids

1. 3 trips to the library
2. attend a family reunion
3. learned how to make paper mache bowls
4. made paper beads
5. baked cakes from scratch
6. baked cookies
7. watched fireworks
8. played lots of mario party 8
9. water balloon games
10. watched a play written by my daughter and 2 of my girls
11. taught kids how to cook
12. attempted to make sugar crystals
13. attempted a diet coke/ mentos fountain
14. brushed lots of hair
15. created stories around the dinner table
16. watched my husband teach card tricks
17. made paper water bombs
18. played with bubbles
19. hosted 3 sleepovers for my daughter
20. paddle boating

There’s been bad parts of this new life. First and foremost – I miss my dog so bad that it hurts. Second is the negative behaviors – 7 full weeks with 34 different respites with 29 unique individuals plus two of my daughter’s friends we’ve been busy. with so many different people we see more than our fair share of tantrums and defiant behavior. The third thing I struggle with is our new loss of freedom. When you are watching other people’s children in a foster care type setting you can’t just up and go anywhere. Even the act of taking our daughter to therapy now requires a babysitter and advanced planning.

so an easy list of 20 life enriching activites paired with a heavy list of 3 negatives. There have been many heart warming moments in this adventure and a few really punch you in the guts. I’m hoping the good outweighs the negatives so we all come out for the better.

Be You

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I saw this somewhere a few months ago and it has resonated with me.  Be you and believe in yourself.  What a fun combination – ADHD and OCD – sometimes it’s embarrassing to be me.  i’m not ashamed anymore of my quirks and gliches.  I’ve recently realized this and it was such a pleasant realization.  I’m not who i wish i was but i am exactly who i ought to be.