About Common To Moms

There are many common life experiences we share as women, and sometimes life is less than glorious. That’s when we need a little inspiration to get us through the day. Welcome to Common to Moms, where we find motivation for meaningful living on our every-day journey as women, wives and mothers.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Forward Motion & Merry Christmas!

It has been a long time! I have missed those of you who read and comment, and I have missed getting to read everyone else's blogs on a daily basis. The last month or two has seriously been the most busy and hectic of my life. After a long time, I am checking in to tell you that we finally have forward motion with foster care. We are taking a placement next week!

I don't plan on sharing many details here in the internet world, but we are very excited about the new addition to our family. :) I think I will feel more calm once he gets here and Christmas passes, like everything is not so urgent anymore. And I plan on taking the week after Christmas to just enjoy our new family. So I'm not sure yet when I will be able to write again, but until I can...

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you God's joy to fill all of your hearts and homes this Christmas!


Friday, October 28, 2011

A Brief Haitus

Remember when I mentioned that we are beginning the process of foster care? Well, this week we have had some action in the foster care department (as in we are rushing to be approved so we can take a placement)... Basically we will be focused on that for the next several weeks.

I just wanted to post a little to say, I hope you will still check back with me, but for now I'm not sure when I will be able to blog over the next few weeks. If I get a chance, I definitely will, but posts may be a bit sporadic... or things might be quiet for awhile. I am still reading your blogs though and want to stay in touch.

Now you are all informed :)

Thank you for all of your support!

Love, Rachel

Monday, October 17, 2011

Declutter List Part 1

For reasons that escape me, today I was able to think of things to declutter in my house. It's funny since sometimes I feel that we couldn't possibly get rid of anything and then suddenly this afternoon, the log jam broke free and I flooded a yellow legal pad with a list of all the things I want to get rid of. Now I have a list I can turn to when it is time to declutter something. Who knows? Maybe my list will inspire you to think of a few things you are ready to get rid of in your home! It is long, so I am splitting it up into two parts. Here is the first half.

Declutter List:
  • Linens- I only want two pairs per bed. One to wash and one to wear.
  • Lingerie Drawer- oh the things that will never fit me again from when we first got married that should not be taking up space in my bedroom...
  • Leotards- Now that I am teaching ballet again, I should only keep the ones that truly fit me now
  • Tshirts & Pajamas- my dear mother just bought me new pajamas, no need to keep old ones that are worn out!
  • Camisoles- just bought some new ones, so now I need to get rid of the ones I never wear!
  • Clothes in general- there are so many that do not fit any more and now they are also old... bye bye college wardrobe!
  • Box up Maternity clothes (I should really not be passing them off as regular apparel anymore)- put them in the attic!
  • Blankets- we have too many for all the beds in our house taking up valuable closet space
  • Decorative pillows- oh the decorative pillows we have lying around that don't go with our decor! We need to either use them as decor (by updating their covers) or get rid of them altogether!
  • Baby bottles- Melody has not bottle fed since around a year and yet still they sit taking up space in our cabinets.
Stay tuned for part two...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Making Progress

Right after I posted yesterday, Melody woke up and would not go back to sleep. After being a little frustrated, I took a deep breath and tried not to get discouraged. Instead, I got inspired again to create more systems for myself.

Here is what I came up with.

I typed up a list of all the things I need to do daily, weekly in order to keep the house clean, take care of myself and focus on quality time with Melody each day. I printed it out on white card stock then cut the words out. Then I used 2 pieces of coral card stock one to put on all the tasks I want "to do" in my house and left the other one blank. Then I hung them in my kitchen where I can see them. (I just made the tape double sided to put the words on the first piece of card stock.) As I do each task, I move it from the "To Do" Piece of card stock to the "Accomplished" one. My goal is to do as many as I can each day.

This doesn't necessarily solve my issue of getting ready for company on Monday, but it does help with daily maintenance (and seeing how much I do v. how much I don't).

I did manage to tackle a lot of dishes last night after the bean went to bed, but after re-reading yesterday's post I definitely need to keep on going with finishing it up. Besides, it will only make my life easier! :) I also managed to clear a major clutter spot (I sort of tackled it before I even realized what I was doing!) while cleaning my living room. Even though the kitchen didn't get totally cleaned, my living room and dining room got very close!

I'm actually excited about my new plan of action for tackling what needs to be done each day. Moving a task to the accomplished page is a lot like giving yourself a gold star. And I am one who is very encouraged by getting a little star. :)

See pics below...

Love, Rachel

My new system! On the top is the list of things to do each day (remember that some of those are tasks to be done weekly, so not every one needs to be every day). The bottom is blank at the beginning of the day ready for me to move things I've accomplished down...

... Like so!

Here is my clutter clearing spot for the week... I know it still looks like a mess under there, but you should have seen it before! There were papers, bible study books, foster care info.. all kinds of things under that TV stand! Now all that lives there is a video camera, a breast pump (for lack of better place to store it), and a nintendo game system with its parts and games.

And as a bonus- here is a fun picture of Melody... notice how many sock monkeys she's holding?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Holds Me Back

I hope the never-ending posts about cleaning aren't getting old to you... To be honest, it is therapeutic for me to process all of my difficulties about cleaning with you... so thanks for listening! Today I have a problem. Every room in my house is messy in some way (with the exception of my daughter's bedroom and the guest room). I have people coming over on Monday though and I have a lot to do before then! Also, I am tired of dealing with the big green messy monster. But where do I start??? Being so overwhelmed by the amount of work there is to do constantly paralyzes me.

A few minutes ago, I went over to Fly Lady's website and looked around for inspiration. Then I decided to make a plan. I wrote down all the days I have between now and Monday, then wrote down all the rooms in my house that need a good cleaning. My goal is to thoroughly clean one room per day, then keep it clean. After that, we'll see what else needs to be tackled.

Today I am going to tackle the kitchen. Melody is sleeping (hopefully for at least another hour), so my hope is to clean the entire kitchen before she wakes up... I'll be back later to update you how it goes... But the kitchen is all I need to do. After the kitchen, I can feel free to move on to other things- as long as I keep going till Monday cleaning one room per day.

Now, I blogged about it, so I have to do it! :)

Thanks for being my accountability again!

Love, Rachel

Update: Began to do some dishes in the kitchen and any little noise is waking my daughter up from her nap... grrr... Having such a light sleeping daughter can be very difficult in a small house... I will keep you posted though.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week 3 of Habit Round 2

So I have to be honest... this second round of habits is kicking my tush. Particularly the going to bed by 10:30pm part.... Here, you can look for yourself...


Again, I am doing pretty okay with laundry and dishes. At least I am moving forward most of the time (which is the idea since these are the types of things that always need to be done- they are never truly "complete"). Even the 15 minutes of follow through for 3 days out of 7 I think is pretty good. I am getting a lot of things done, and less and less is hanging over my head. That is a good feeling.

Areas of Confusion:

Going to bed early ... Apparently, this concept simply does not compute. I actually wind up staying up late in order to get some of these other things done! I haven't figured out yet how to accomplish everything while still getting a decent amount of sleep.

Feelings of Determination:

You would think after a week like this (at least with the going to bed part) that I would be super discouraged... but really I'm not... I'm just tired. Really tired. However, I am also determined not to give up. Going to bed late is a habit that is really engrained in me, so it might take longer to conquer, but I won't be tossing in the towel just yet.

Thanks for checking in!

Love, Rachel

P.S. We have been very busy with foster training, work and church the last couple of weeks which explains all the crickets over here. I actually have completed the whole month of this habit so I will (hopefully) have week 4 up in a day or two.... So stay tuned!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cloth Diapering... The first of many installments

One of the things I have been wanting to talk about on the blog for a long time is cloth diapering. This is definitely geared toward women who are mommies or those about to become mommies, but to be truthful I learned how to cloth diaper way before kids were even on my radar. In fact, knowing about (and having experience with) cloth diapers before I was a mom is where my enthusiasm for cloth diapering came from!

Before I get too deep into the cloth diapering topic though, I'd love to know... Where do you stand with cloth diapers? Have you used them? Do you love them? Do you hate them? Are you the type of person that thinks, I could never do that! ?

No matter what type of person you are, I would love to share my personal experience with cloth diapers. I hope that I can answer questions you have and just introduce you to these concepts (if you don't already use them or have decided against them)... and maybe at the very least when asked by a friend, "How do I find out about cloth diapers?" You can direct them here.

So let me share my very first experience with cloth diapers. I have been baby-sitting for a family I know (first in their home, now in mine) for three years now and when I first started with them they used disposable diapers for the first month or two. I loved taking care of this nine month old baby! (I still love taking care of her now as a toddler:) ) Then one morning I came to work and the mom tells me they are trying out cloth diapers to see how they like them since it could save them so much money. She demonstrated how to do one (it didn't look too difficult to me) but assured me that if it proved to be too complicated I was welcome to continue using disposables.

Enter the first wet diaper and my need to change little girl's diaper... I quickly realized that this was more complicated than it looks! I had NO idea what I was doing. There sat a stack of disposable diapers next to me and I remember thinking to myself, "I can't use all of these disposable diapers, they're doing this to save money! I can't be the babysitter that causes them to have to buy tons of diapers all the time. I'm going to figure this out."

In spite of the fact that the parents are very laid back- they would never be upset with me if I thought this was too difficult- I was determined.

I don't remember if I used a disposable or managed to get the cloth on somehow, but during the baby's nap I got on the family's laptop and Googled "how to use cloth diapers" and found this website. I watched every video there and read every piece of information I could find on how to use cloth diapers. There were diagrams of how to fold cloth diapers and even videos on how to use snappi's. (These are what you use now instead of diaper pins- unless you want to use diaper pins!)

When baby girl woke up from her nap she laid patiently on the changing table while I tried all the different methods of folding pre-fold diapers (I will explain all the different types of diapers in another post) until I found a method that worked. It was nice that she was an accommodating baby who laid still for ever diaper change practically her whole diapered life. (I know that is rare.)

And even though I didn't do it exactly the same way the mom had shown me that morning, when the parents came home I was proudly able to tell them I had done fine with the whole cloth diaper thing. Their baby-sitter was not a reason that cloth diapers wouldn't work. I had accomplished my mission. :)

And that is my first experience with cloth diapers. It was a good experience (I felt a little like a Super Nanny), but it also wasn't necessarily a personal choice. My first experience with cloth was a service to someone else, so I'm sure that made a big difference in my attitude about them (in a good way).

So tell me, do you have a first or funny experience with cloth diapers? And don't forget to give me your opinion on cloth diapering!

*Green Mountain diapers has in no way given me compensation for bragging about them in this post. In fact, I have paid outright for ALL my baby's diapers from there since before she was born. :)