Friday, April 12, 2013

Master Bedroom

In an unprecedented break from the habits of my whole married life, I am pleased to announce that my bedroom is still clean, and it's been clean for three weeks now.  I think the thing that helped me was this blog post about how to make your bedroom more romantic (reposted below).   Even thought I've only done #1, 3, 4, and 6, it's still made a huge difference, especially #1 and #4.  When I see my unmade bed, I tell myself "Do it now."  (I don't always do it when I wake up cause I get up before Corey, and when he gets up, sometimes Sophia is in our bed, but once everyone's out, I make it.) And for #4, if I stay on top of keeping my dresser cleared off, it makes it easy for me to pick up the rest of the room too.  Great advice, so read on!!

Is your bedroom a Haven? A getaway from the worries of the world? A romantic destination? Ha! If you answered no, no, and NO, you just might be a mom like me.
Before I had children, my room was always the cleanest room in the house. It was my sanctuary. I recently came to grips with the fact that my bedroom is, well, “overflow”. My definition of overflow: The stuff you don’t want the random unexpected guest to see: Laundry (folded and unfolded), superhero toys, sippy cups, mail that needs attention, paperwork, and of course, the dreadful SOCK basket. You know what I’m talking about: the random socks that will most likely never find their match. Ugh. I despise that basket.
I needed my sanctuary back, so the past few weeks I’ve made a conscious effort to make my room a bit more romantic. Now, I’m not just talking about making it a place for…. err… whoopie. Romance is so much more than that. It’s a place to escape to, a place to talk about important things, or a place to reconnect with your spouse.
If you are feeling your master bedroom needs a little romanticizing, here are 11 simple and inexpensive tips to make your bedroom a bit more romantic.
1. Make your bed. Every single morning. It takes less than 2 minutes and defines the space as being “important”. Unmade beds = Unromantic.
2. Personalize your space. Add pictures, memorabilia, sentimental gifts, ANYTHING that reminds you of the love you and your spouse share.
3. Add more pillows. Have you ever walked into a 4 or 5-star hotel and seen two flat, pancake/frisbee-looking pillows? I think not! Flat pillows were for college dorm rooms, not a master suite.
4. Don’t let clutter gather in your bedroom. {Yes, I was the bad example featured in this picture. Don’t worry, it’s been BANNED}.
5. Add a little mood lighting. Try to avoid flipping on your ceiling light. Opt to use your bedside lamps, and occasionally candles. 
6. Don’t do chores in your bedroom. No ironing, No piles, No folding clothes, NO PROJECTS.
7. Make your room smell wonderful. Pillow mists, candles, Scentsy warmers, or fragrance plug-ins. Comfort, memories, and romance are linked to smells. Make your scent distinctive to your master bedroom (not the same scent as the rest of your home). If you are a Scentsy lover, I suggest Quiver, Be Still, Just Breathe, or Linen Sheets.
8. Make time for pillow talk. Pillow Talk: The sweet conversation you have with your spouse, no intimacy attached. Chatter about the kids, where you dream of taking your next vacation together, compliments towards each other, etc.
9. Go to bed together. Decide on a time, and stick to it. No matter what. Pillow talk, or other romantic things, aren’t going to happen if you don’t go to bed together.
10. Keep the TV off. I admit it, I have a TV in my room. Sometimes I wish I didn’t because I strongly believe OTHER things should be happening in the bedroom. Don’t get me wrong, occasionally snuggling up to a good movie and dozing off is wonderful, but don’t make it a nightly habit.
11. Occasionally, dig into the nightie drawer. That’s right. Forget your flannel PJ’s, your favorite Old Navy pajama bottoms, or even your plain-Jane underwear. Invest in a few comfortable/sexy pj’s and wear them even when you aren’t “in the mood”. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

One on One Time

One on One Time is so important for our children.  Especially in a large family, it's important to make the effort to have personal private time with each child.

My friend Amy has "snuggle nights" with her kids - each of them has their own room, so each night the kids take turns having private time with Mom or Dad to read, snuggle, and talk about anything that the child wants to talk about.  She said it is something that each of her children really looks forward to.  Another friend of ours, Aubrey, has started this too, and on her children's snuggle nights she rubs their feet or back with essential oils.  They love it!  (who doesn't like a massage?)

My kids share rooms, so I've been experimenting with how I'll start this.  We first tried "stay up late" nights, where the child could stay up later than the other kids downstairs and play a board game with one of us, write in journal together, or snuggle an talk on the couch.  But that didn't work yet cause the kids all stay up too late as it is.  We might try that during the summer though.  After talking to Aubrey, I thought about doing back rubs and have started that, giving back rubs to the kids - one a night, taking turns, as we read scriptures.  Usually it's just Ethan that requests and sometimes receives backrubs, but he asked so often, when I'd tell him no, the other kids who had never gotten back rubs, didn't bother asking cause I'd already told Ethan no.  Anyway, it's been working great for us, a little bit of special attention for each kid, and Ethan doesn't have to ask an I don't have to tell him or anyone "no" cause they know that I will each night and that they each have a turn coming up.
Also, I've started taking one child a week with me when I run errands, which is their one on one time with me.  Corey's one on one time with the kids is Thursday, so it works out well that they each have something to look forward to about every 3 weeks.  When they go shopping with me, I buy them their incentive that they are working toward if they've earned it, or a treat or small surprise if they haven't earned their incentive (earned by doing their homework checklist each day).