The Helper Chart

July 30, 2010

As a mom of 2 (and #3 on the way), I’m overwhelmed. I stay at home with the girls and there is never enough time to get all the tasks done to keep an orderly house, let alone make my husband and children feel loved.

A few nights ago we were at our neighbors’ house and I found inspiration in a piece of paper hanging on their wall…a chore chart! Brilliant! Why haven’t I thought of this before?!? Grace is VERY capable of helping with tasks and Alyssa will try to do anything Grace does. So, I talked to Matt about it (who was quickly on-board) and then presented it to the girls.

Our idea is that they both help with 5 chores every day and get smiley faces for completing a task. If they fill their chart with smiley faces, then they both get $1 at the end of the week. Our thought is this not only teaches them responsibility and being good helpers, but also how to manage money. We’ve been talking with Grace about how she’ll have the decision to make…to spend and get a small toy…or to save for a larger one. I’m curious to see what she does…I’m sure Alyssa will follow the leader. 🙂

As for their response to this…complete and utter excitement! We call it the “helper chart” because they love to help and I want them to see it as fun and not a “chore.” The things they help with are…make their beds, unload the dishwasher, put their laundry away, clean the toy room, and take dishes to the sink after meals. Most (if not all) of these require help (especially for Alyssa). But, the idea is to teach responsibility. And, I either do these tasks by myself or have some help. 🙂 Of course, now it may take Mommy a little longer to complete these things since I have “help,” but it’s more fun this way (I have to keep reminding myself that!).

After day #1, they both have 5 smiley faces!! All day they’ve been anxious to know what they can help with to get another smiley face. Tonight when we put them to bed, Grace wanted to sleep on top of her “made” bed as to not mess it up. 🙂 What she doesn’t know is that if she does that, will she get a smiley face tomorrow if her bed is already made?! haha

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In 2 days (the 29th) we’ll have been in Denver for 2 months. It’s so hard to believe! Part of me feels like we just left Austin, but another part of me feels like we’ve been here for longer.

We found a church (Fellowship Denver) and have made some friendships, so that helps it feel like we’ve been here awhile. But, we only have 1 thing hanging on the wall (my IKEA dry-erase board) and we desperately need to organize our closets, so that makes me feel like we just moved in.

The girls have adjusted so well! They are really enjoying their new friends and have added them to our mile-long prayer list at bedtime. We have a Tuesday play date will all the moms and kids from our church, which we really look forward to every week. Almost daily Alyssa says “I love our new house!” and Grace asks about “Jacob, Sydney, or Kalena.” We’re still in the process of finding Grace a preschool for her to attend this fall, which she is begging for!

Matt loves his new job at 9NEWS. He’s gotten to cover things like wildfires, a plane crash, a fallen Marine, and so much more. His schedule is Friday through Tuesday, which we’ve come to love. Wednesdays and Thursdays are his weekend and we feel like we have another weekend (everyone else’s weekend) because it’s “Friday night” or “Saturday night” and prompts us to do something fun and out-of-the-ordinary. Matt also recently hiked a few mountains in the Rocky Mountain National Park with our pastor from Missouri and his family.

I’m now 17 weeks pregnant and wearing only maternity clothes (the picture is me when I was 14 weeks). I LOVE my OB! She is high-energy and a little spastic, but INCREDIBLE! She took time to have a conversation with each girl and asked Matt and I individually what our concerns were. She even brought in the ultrasound machine to take a peek of baby #3. With the girls we didn’t find out their genders, but this time we’re going to. We tried to see at our appointment, but baby had his/her legs crossed! Stubborn! We’ll try again at our 20 week ultrasound on August 19th. I’m excited to find out and think it will be good because Grace keeps saying she wants a “boy baby.” Alyssa is obsessed with babies too. Whether we’re at the gym, church or at home she’s carrying a baby doll around. Today she even asked me to put the baby in her shirt to be like Mommy. ha!

As a family we’ve been up to Mt. Evans (which is the highest paved road)(family picture is at the top), Estes Park to visit friends from Missouri (the picture of the girls is in EP), and Colorado Springs. We even found a Mexican restaurant close to our house that satisfied this pregnant woman’s craving for Mexican food! 🙂

One last thing that I’m super excited about…our church has two groups (we’re now apart of group #2) called Sitter Swaps. They were created to help families that don’t have family in town so that we can have date nights without hiring a baby-sitter. Our group is 4 families and we set aside every Friday night from 6pm-10pm. We’ll watch the kids one night, get 3 date nights and then take the 5th week off for a family night. AMAZING! We’re so excited and dreaming of fun restaurants and things to do around town. We celebrated our 6 year anniversary on Saturday and some friends watched the girls. This was our first date since moving to Denver, so we’re very anxious about having a regular date night!!!