Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My Multi-Tasking Secrets Revealed

I am honored and thrilled to be the first Featured Multi-Tasking Mom. In the blog-world, I am TCC of The Campbell Corner. I am a real mom with real kids learning how to navigate real life. Sound like you? Let's find out what else we may or may not have in common...

Do you enjoy laundry; thrilled at the opportunity to scour off a layer of skin while attempting to remove a stubborn stain from your child's clothing? Are your children naturally obedient, prepared to responsibly respond to the next request that is made of them? Do you have hot fresh meals prepared daily with apron cleanly pressed and pearls around your neck? If you answered yes to all of these questions then sadly, this post is not for you. However, if a "no" crossed your lips, then read on...there may be something that has worked for me that will work for you too.

#1 The Moldinator
Do you know what this is a picture of? It is a petri dish covered with mold. I am actually comfortable with this. I did many labs with my students where we grew colonies of common bacteria and fungi. It allowed them to become familiar with how quickly bacteria form colonies and what environmental variables impact that growth, observe and classify bacteria according to their physical properties, follow the procedure of Gram staining and determine if the colony was Gram + or Gram -. They were also able to observe differences between bacteria and fungi. It was scientific. It was in a controlled environment. Procedures were followed for the completion of the growth and disposal of material which is considered to be a biohazard. This is when I am OK with these 'germs'.

Outside of the classroom I am not a fan of bacteria - or any other microorganism. I wash my hands after I handle raw meat or crack an egg. I make sure I use a cleaner with paper towel to wash down my sink and counter tops and table and any other surface in my home. I NEVER use a sponge. Even though I zap it in the microwave to kill those microorganisms - you just never know.

You can imagine my glee when I discovered that Barber's train sweatshirt (that he received as a Christmas gift and has worn maybe 3 times) was covered with mold because it was left in a plastic bag, soaked, for about 2 weeks in the basement laundry room. I am not proud of this fact. I didn't realize it was soaked but obviously this means I hadn't frequented the laundry room for about 2 weeks...

Back to the point. It was covered and stinky with teeny reddish dots. Although those teeny dots had merged in certain areas making it simply a red patch. I was utterly disgusted and annoyed with myself. I was feeling a bit helpless too. Kind of like the time when I discovered that I had somehow overlooked a purple crayon in Jeter's clothing and only noticed it after everything was dried. Loverly. The difference was this was mold...a biohazard. Ugh.

I have no idea why but I decided to lay it on top of the washer and sprayed a little bit of OxiClean Active on a spot. I really didn't think it would help. I was looking for definitive proof to declare the sweatshirt a 'lost cause' and toss it. To my utter amazement when I went down to the laundry room the next day (to actually do some laundry) I noticed that there was a patch that was lacking red spots. NO WAY!?! Was it actually possible to clean mold out of this sweatshirt?!?

YES!!! Granted I used about half of my bottle of OxiClean Active but it was well worth it. I put the sweatshirt on an old white sheet and sprayed this all over one side - no scrubbing. Just saturated it and let it sit. 24 hours later I repeated the step. 24 hours after that I turned the sweatshirt over and saturated the back of it. After another 24 hours I sprayed the few spots that still remained. If I had a digital camera I would be showing you a clean mold-free sweatshirt that cost me $2 (to fix - I bought it at BJ's), about 15 cumulative minutes of spraying and then patience to wait for the spots to literally disappear. I do not typically advocate products on this blog but seriously, this is amazing. I also don't plan on this ever happening again but you never know... On another note, it's also excellent at removing grass stains with limited scrubbing - if you don't feel like waiting for them to disappear.

#2 Growing Up and Being Responsible
I know charts are not for everyone but these have worked wonders for our family and you never could give you the peace you need as well.

Barber experienced tremendous success with the potty chart and kept asking me for a new chart. We are still figuring out what he will receive besides stickers but right now the stickers mean a lot and I have seen tremendous improvement in his behavior is just three days. I needed this. Three is an important age. I prefer to reinforce positive behavior and there has been a need to focus on areas where improvement is needed - like making good choices, quick obedience and respecting others. At the same time I added areas where he is already pretty successful but we want to continue to reinforce; brushing teeth, zero accidents and being a helper fall into this category.

Jeter's chart is set up to reinforce positive behavior, establish new levels of responsibility and teach him valuable lessons about tithing, depositing money into his savings account and saving for the purchase of something special. Each sticker he receives represents five cents. Last week was his greatest earning of $1.95. Since I recently added two categories, he has the potential to earn $4.20 per week. In a few weeks his level of obedience has improved and he is quick to complete his responsibilities and even jump in to help with things that aren't on the list. Simms and I are purposely not labelling this as an allowance. Rather, it is a tool to teach Jeter responsibility while instilling in him (hopefully) a strong work ethic.

Finally, I shop and cook in bulk. This allows me to provide healthy meals for my family amidst the busy-ness of life. It allows us to enjoy the seasons of soccer, t-ball, swimming, church activities and whatever else ends up on our schedule and still eat a good meal together as a family. If this interests you, check out the food category of The Campbell Corner. You will also see cakes and cookies that I have made (I love to bake) but if you scroll down you will find information about bulk preparation and cooking as well as some neat recipes to try.

Thank you, Multi-Tasking Moms for the opportunity to share with you today. I am still learning how to master the art of multi-tasking and appreciate the encouragement and practical resources that the women of MTM provide daily. If you are interested in being the next Featured MTM click here for more details!


kdwhorses said...

Thanks for sharing! My daughter helps with almost everything around the house. She has to empty trash from the bedrooms and bathroom, help fix meals, fold laundry, take care of the animals, etc. She loves it, but I make it fun. She also has a bedtime chart who have been using for about 3 months now. She gets a sticker every night she is in bed on time and stays in the bed. It has worked well for us. I love checking in and seeing all the great tips and ideas!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

wow, I love those charts. I think I am going to adopt that second one for my 3 and 4 year old girls! Thanks for sharing your tips.

jodi said...

Thank you so much for sharing your charts. I have tried to use them in the past, but I had trouble being consistant. Now, at 4, I want to begin teaching her a tithe and saving routine and I'm determined to stick to a chart. These have definitely inspired me!

Lori said...

Great post. All great ideas.

I love charts or lists.

We used charts with stickers and treats for potty training too. It worked.

We also use a chore chart.
I too have my kids do chores around the house from emptying garbages, to washing and putting away dishes, to putting away folded laundry, cleaning up toys and the like.

Aurelia said...

Great post and those charts are amazing!! I think I may try to create one for my 7yo son.


Amber said...

I am a HUGE Oxi Clean fan and I love your charts! Great post!

God Bless,

Dawnelle said...

LOVE those charts- especially the titles. I think I'll use the "I am Responsible" one for our daughter. Great post!

Classic MaMa said...

Love the post and love you! I think you're a great MTM.

TCC said...

I am so thrilled that many of you found the charts potentially helpful! What is neat is they are very easy to alter and personalize for whatever stage/phase your child is in.

I think you ladies have me convinced that this will be a future candidate for "mommy talk" at our chuches Moms In Action meetings!