Hop to it! Easter is here

Once a Upon a time I loved holidays. I loved to make each holiday super special with decorations, themed crafts, baked goodies, books, all out for all holidays. I am a pinterest mom, I just loved it…..note how I said loved not love. Now that I have more than one child, holidays have gotten out of control. I have created holiday monsters. Its horrible, they are so exited and won’t stop talking about whatever holiday is next…..its extremely annoying to constantly explain that Easter x number of days away or St Patrick’s day is not your birthday (my middle child name and so he and his siblings think it is “His” day) and its a constant discussion of holidays. Of course once you start something in a house full of children they quickly learn that it is now a “tradition” and you gotta do it for the memories right. Sigh I know I did this to myself…..I’m warning all you parents of singles and babies if you are planning on having more children lower the expectations now, because what you did for one you have to do for all. This advice is for all holidays, birthday parties and basically everything in your life. They will hold you to this, I’m warning you now and they will never let you forget “but he got to do it why can’t I” avoid this at all costs.

The hunt is on, they totally know how to find hidden things…..some how this only applies on Easter egg hunts

So now Easter is around the corner and I’m basically screwed because don’t you know I have to do all holidays by myself and I did not follow my own advice early in life. My husband to be honest he doesn’t care about holiday crap….its a mom job we all know it. They have no idea what they got the kids for Christmas let alone all the minor holidays that magically happen. This year he is also working, life of a shift worker sometimes you have to work during the holiday’s. So because we have always taken our oldest to the community Easter egg hunt…..guess what now we have to go every year. So you will see me stressed out to the max that my children will be lost, run away from me (extremely likely), get hurt (equally likely) or taken in a crowd of hundreds of families but I’ll put on my big girl panties and suck it up because my children are so excited and will not forgive me if they miss out.

waiting for the horn to release the hounds

We limit the amount of treats and chocolate our kids have, they don’t need it and frankly it never ends well for us…they are sugar monsters and my husband just ends up eating most of it, he is not sad about this and requests his favorites……really like I need a reminder. But because of this they are at the age where sneaking away their treats requires MI6 spy level skills, I’m too tried for that crap so here’s my go to non candy Easter basket treats that won’t break the bank and your kids will love too.

What I found at the local dollar store

Crayola paint, they sell them at amazon in the 10 pack, they are small and brightly colored so its fun and easy for them to find. All the kids really care about is finding tons of stuff so the more items you can buy and split up the better! works with markers and crayons too! Now my kids love the dinosaur hatching eggs, I found them online and at the Dollar store they are always a big hit in the Christmas stockings too! Bubble wands, now I find the cheaper the better because those jerks will dump out a tube in seconds again they come in packs so yay! more crap to find but make sure everything is in even numbers….because they will find out if one has more than the other. Go down to the dollar store and find some fun bugs, silly string, sunglasses, glow sticks, hot wheels and coloring books, the key to to get things that they enjoy doing and will use. So if you have a little crafter in the house get some fun supplies, books are always a great thing to find at the thrift stores, mix it up but don’t break the bank because they could care less how much money you spent, save it and buy a bottle of wine for yourself because its going to be a long ass day setting everything up and then the ticking time bomb of meltdowns all day long.

Enjoying new sunglasses and silly string from the Easter bunny

Now my kids do get a few treats that I put in the refillable plastic eggs, I change it up based on their ages. My older kids get jelly beans, foil eggs, smarties (careful if you are doing this outside if they get wet its not fun) , bear paws or annies cookies and I mix in a few of Dads favorites which we ask them to “share” they are always watching to make sure all their eggs are still intact, use your spy skills or be mean whatever works for you. When they where little and for my current baby, I fill them with yogurt covered raisins, love ducks, and baby food. That’s pretty much it, it ends up being a ton of stuff for them to find which is all they really care about but most of it is things that we use anyways in the summer months so its great because I was going to buy it anyways, now it counts as a gift….hahahaha suckers!!

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10 ways to Keep your House Clean

Life is messy but you gotta clean it up, because you know sanitary reasons ( insert eye roll) and no one likes stepping on cheerios and mystery liquids. So here are my top 10 tips to keep your house clean when you have 3 tiny humans running wild and free. Full disclosure I am a shitty house keeper, it is one of my most hated obligations and responsibilities as an adult. But I love a clean house, I just would rather no be the one to clean it.

Tip Number 1: Hire a Housekeeper! seriously this is the best money you will ever spend. Now I know this is not budget friendly, your talking with the girl who hates cleaning but doesn’t have the luxury of hiring a housekeeper. But if you can swing it in your monthly expenses it is well worth it to have someone else come in 2x a month to decontaminate your bathrooms and wash your floors. If you have decided heck yeah I’m outsourcing this shit (literally) then forget the rest of this post because you my friend can sit back and attempt to “up keep” clean your house between visits.

Tip Number 2: Don’t have tiny humans in your home. HAHAHAHA no seriously those peanut butter covered jerks are the sole reason my house is a disaster zone. I remember the days when I had no children and worked, my husband being a shift worker and way better at cleaning, would clean on his night shift days…..ah the good ole days. Better forget about that because its only demoralizing and sadly those peanut butter, dirt covered faces are my reason for living…..( I have to keep telling myself this so I don’t run away one day and never come back)

Tip Number 3: Ok I promise this is an actual tip not just a pipe dream. Start training your children. Yup you read that right, I 100% believe that those tiny tornadoes can and are able help clean if given the proper motivation and incentives. Age appropriate tasks are perfect for teaching them how to survive as adults, this my parent friends is our most important job. To make our children self sufficient adults one day. My kids help unload the dishwasher, fold and put away laundry and clean up their crap at the end of the day. It takes a million years longer to get shit done but I think its worth letting them help most days

Tip Number 4: Pay yourself to clean your house. Heck yeah I bill out for cleaning my house, if you are like me and a SAHM its so often seen as my responsibility to do everything. Fuck that! I’m busy and my time is valuable too just because I’m at home doesn’t mean that I have to miss out on the fun because I don’t want to have to live in a hazmat suit. So when I have to clean, like deep clean my house, not the normal everyday clean I bill out. Sometimes its a reward of monetary value but lets be honest I’d rather do tip #1 if I could, so I mostly pay myself in lieu pay….yup every hour I bust my ass cleaning this house I get in time away doing something for myself or walking around Walmart without kids whatever floats your boat. You earned it! Bonus it counts as a work out right?

Tip Number 5: Split your house into zones. I find this very helpful because I only get a limited amount of time to actually clean after the kids go to bed, or when they are out of the house. Its my “break time” so I’m not wasting it when I have my shows waiting and a cold drink to relax with. So section off your zones, upstairs bathroom, downstairs bathroom, floors, windows, walls….yeah thanks kids for adding that chore to my list. I take one zone at a time on a rotation so I spend only 30-45 mins cleaning at one time…..notice how it wasn’t each day. I’d like to say that it gets done that way but lets be honest I hate cleaning.

Tip Number 6: Do what you can with your kids around, I often will tackle the laundry, dishes, windows, dusting and walls etc while they run around the house. I do this because one I want them to see shit doesn’t magically get done and two because it is things I want them to help with but I don’t have to stress that they are going to continue to get it dirty as I clean. Nothing pisses you off more than cleaning a bathroom to have all of your children need to use the potty that second. I live with little boys……gross lets just say they are gross.

Tip Number 7: Get yourself some good all natural cleaners. OK granola mom moment here, I try to limit the amount of chemicals I spray into the air. So I invested in cleaners from my fellow side hustling online business owners, I personally use doterra OnGaurd cleaning concentrate and Norwex cloths. But can pinterest this up and get some ways to make cheap and safe cleaners….hello vinegar it stinks but works like a hot damn. My kids get into everything so I need to make sure I don’t have to call poison control because I put the spray bottle down to go deal with one kid to come back to see the other one either sucking the bottle or spraying it on their siblings (eye roll) this happens every freaking time without fail so I feel better using “safer” products.

Tip Number 8: split your jobs up. In my house we have stereotypical Blue jobs and Pink jobs……I can feel the haters right now! hear me out ! we do this in jest, we are both perfectly capable of doing each of these tasks but doing the garbage is a blue job, along with recycling, composting and any ladder work (I do not do heights). While pink jobs are cooking and grocery shopping etc…..trust me this is best for everyone in our house, we have had some pretty questionable dinners, I’d rather not remember. But what I’m getting at is it that it is not your sole responsibility to do it all, spit it up based on what works in your house.

Tip Number 9: Get a friend to do a kid exchange. This works well when you both have a major clean or project that you want to get done. And if your kids are past the toddler stage, basically you can let those crazy maniacs play while you “supervise” moderately. My dad friend and I each took all the kids for 2 hrs one weekend, he was able to paint the room kid free and I was able to clean my house kid free, well the baby was sleeping but it still worked out for us both. The extra benefit was that our kids had the best day ever playing with their best friends that they left us pretty much alone and we ended up getting way more accomplished than we had hoped. Although not something you would want to arrange all the time it is totally worth it for those big projects.

Tip Number 10: Plan a play date, dinner, business presentation, a party, whatever. Nothing gets my house clean like the mad dash panic when I know people are coming over, not just your village (they have seen you at your worst and don’t care) but new friends or people you don’t know well and want to show that you actually care about your house. Seriously you can rage clean and get your house looking spotless in like 30 mins. Plus it burns more calories right? Bonus then you get to drink wine with your guests, win win in my book.