Monday, January 19, 2009

Let's Have an Up Kind of Day

Do you Fly? I do. No, I'm not talking about mode of transportation from here to Florida (although flying is far better than 18 hours in the car!). What I mean is are you a part of the 500k Flybabies? I am.

If you haven't heard about Flylady, bear with me. This might sound a little crazy, but I promise you it has changed my life and can change yours too. 

At it's core, the Flylady is a system of routines to help perfectionists be okay with imperfection. The focus is on housecleaning but extends to fitness, fashion, and parenting. The idea is housework is not something that is done too you - not a punishment. It's just something that has to be done and actually "blesses" your family. Parents who model this attitude can instill a healthier approach to chores and responsibilities in their children. 

I used to think I had to spend 5 hours every Saturday cleaning my house. Half my weekend was gone by the time I finished! Since I work full time, I don't have the luxury of being home much during the week, and evenings are my precious time with Olivia. Flylady taught me that I can do one thing for 15 minutes every day to improve my house and do things today that will make tomorrow easier. The system allowed me to find time to open LivvySue Boutique with my mom. I just work on it for 15 minutes a day, and presto! a children's clothing and accessories business is born. There's a lot more too it, and more can be found on Flylady's website. 

Healthy parenting is a big part of the Flylady system, and her company dropped a CD this fall called Up Kind of Day full of songs to inspire kids to develop routines, eat their veggies, be kind to others, and more. Each song as a specific message delivered in a non-preachy, super motivating way. Even parents will enjoy listening with their kids. We literally listen to the CD every day after work/school. It's become part of our routine. The last song we listen to is the 2-minute Cleanup, which is Olivia's signal it's time to pick up toys and head upstairs for a bath.
Clips of the songs can be found on here and the entire album is just $9.99 to download on iTunes.

In addition, the Flylady and Friends network has a weekly podcast called Give Your Children Wings to Fly. In lieu of finding time to read parenting books (because time for that is non-existent), I listen to this podcast while I work out. Kelly, Flylady's sidekick, hosts the show and has tons of excellent advise on how to teach kids to keep their little lives clean and organized - a key to a successful life. Every episode is chalk-full of excellent tips and tricks; I learn something new every time I listen. Check it out on iTunes by going to podcasts, type in Flylady Kelly. Subscribing is free. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Potty Talk

Going back to the roots of CMM, I have a product recommendation - the Boon Potty Bench

At Olivia's 18-month check up in December, her ped recommended we buy a training potty to have in the house for Olivia to get used to seeing and try sitting on, but not to actually use. Most girls are apparently able to potty train by age 2. 

A co-worker recommended the Boon model, and after seeing it I ordered immediately. I was suckered in by the multi-functional features and general coolness of the product. If you have to deal with wiping butts and endless conversations starting with "Do you have to go potty?" it may as well be done in style. 

Boon's Potty Bench is way more than a toilet. It's a toilet, toilet paper roll dispenser, book storage, and step-stool (no pun intended) all in one. Two side compartments flank the seat area perfect for storing tp, wipes, and toys and books to keep little ones occupied while they do their business. Then, when they are finished, the seat has a non-slip cover that functions as a step-stool, perfect for reaching the sink to wash hands. The sleek design comes complete with what they delicately call a "deflector shield." Basically, it is for keeping pee from spraying all over your powder room. Brilliant.

There's lots of potty talk going on in our house now. We're replacing our old cussing habits with new potty words. While it's not as much fun, I will be very happy to free up the money spent on diapers each month. The cost of the Boon was the same as what I spend on a jumbo box at the warehouse club - $34.99. Shipping was about 10 bucks but the order arrived in two days. Even better, 10% of Boon's profits are donated to children's charities. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year, New Goals

Whew! Survived the holiday madness thanks to hours of therapeutic knitting. I've been a knitting fool these past two weeks, the longest I've been off work since maternity leave. 

//All holiday gifts including two handbags
//Socks for me (Monkey sock pattern in Noro Kureyon yarn)
//Socks for Olivia (Most Basic Toddler Sock pattern in Crystal Palace Yarn in Panda Cotton Print... not a big fan of this color-way, but Santa chose it for me)
//Hat for me (pattern from the amazing Boutique Knits, Sideways Grande Hat)
//Pants for Olivia that ended up WAY too big for her

Looking ahead to the new year, I set goals to push my knitting and sewing skills.

1. Join local knitting group
2. Take sewing class
3. Knit a pattern using the entrelac technique
4. Sew a dress for Olivia
5. Learn how to line knitted handbags

What are your goals for 2009?

As a side, keep checking LivvySue Boutique. New fashions will be posted soon that we're so excited to debut!  

Happy New Year!