Chore Cards

April 12, 2012



I was on Pinterest a few weeks ago and came across a picture of chore cards. Clicked on the picture and went here. Absolutely loved the idea of creating chore cards, and as I already did a similar system for points I figured I could incorporate those in as well. Only thing left was to tweak it a bit!


First thing I did was sit in front of the computer and think. Then I got up and went room by room through my house. I wrote chores down on a notebook while I was in the room, hoping I wouldn’t miss anything. I then went back to my computer and started typing out my cards.  I knew that I wanted weekly or daily chores on one side, and deep-clean chores on the other, and I knew I had to have the card just under 5 inches square so it would fit in my Xyron. This led me to creating a template.


After I created all of the cards on the computer I went to print them. I chose colors that were appropriate for the rooms/kids and went to print. Funny thing happened–they wouldn’t print on both sides of the printer! After many wasted test sheets I found that my duplex printer only works with certain sizes. I then had to change the paper size on each card when I printed. Pain, but a few minutes later and that was done.

Downstairs to my craftroom I went. These are the supplies that I needed for my project: Xyron with lamination cartridge, paper cutter, self adhesive velcro circles, ruler, sandpaper, and paper/printer (not shown).

I trimmed my cards to make sure they were all under 5 inches square and then put them into the Xyron. To keep from wasting lamination I fed the cards through the machine all at once, before I cute it, making sure there was a bit of room between cards. Here’s a pic of what it looks like:


After this was done I cut out my cards, making sure I didn’t cut too close to the bubble.  The bubble is the space all around the card where the lamination sheets aren’t stuck together. It’s usually only 1/16 inch wide, but it’s very important not to cut before, or too close after it. I used a guide on my paper cutter and cut about 1/4 inch past it. I tried taking a picture of the line, hopefully you can see it:


After everything was trimmed I grabbed my sand paper. I used a circular motion and roughed up a circle the size of my velcro. It wasn’t an exact science, and the first few had some marks where I didn’t want them to, but it wasn’t very difficult. I spent about 10 seconds in each corner. I put the big side of the velcro on the back (or deep clean) side of my chore cards. After those were affixed I put the matching side of velcro over the top of the velcro stuck to the card. This way my circles would line up on my card and on the back of the cabinet.

And that’s it! I am now the proud owner of a dozen chore cards. I created cards for the kids’ bedrooms/closets, the kitchen, bathrooms, playroom, pet areas, and basement. Every week I write their chores on our central calendar the day they need to be done. The kids all know to look at the calendar each day, so I don’t have to keep a chart anymore.  Another plus is if we’re busy, or the kids have an activity, I can plan chores around schedules.We’ve had problems in the past with schedules conflicting with chores. No more!

When they’re finished with their chores they get an adult, and we check their chores off. That’s what the lines are for–kids check on the first line when completed, adult checks the second line if it’s really done. Then we’ll assign points for the room, which equals $$$. I keep track of points in a little notebook, and after recording them I wipe off the card, stick it back on, and it’s ready for another day.

Be sure to check out the link at the beginning of the post for the original blogger.


My Pity Party

March 2, 2009

To quote children everywhere, Life Is Not Fair.

It really isn’t. If it were, babies wouldn’t die, chocolate would have negative calories, and my back wouldn’t be screwed up. I’m only 28 (and yes, I said ONLY), reasonably active, and I haven’t layed a single brick in my entire life. So why the bad back?

To be fair, it could be worse. I could be wheelchair bound, my back could be twisted, hunched, or otherwise horribly disfigured. I know that there are plenty of people out there who have it much worse than I; but it doesn’t negate my problem–and that I’m sick of dealing with it.

I had a little rollerblading accident when I was 15. I was going about 30 miles an hour down a road, and was coming upon a bridge. Didn’t want to chance pitching over it, so I cut across the road with the intention of using a steep road to slow down. Great idea in theory, but not so easily done. I wiped out shortly after switching directions, flipped a few times, and ended up in the middle of the opposite lane. I picked myself up, walked to the park, and skated. Ever since then, I’ve had some back issues.

My grandma (my then guardian) was an ORN, and as I didn’t have any splintered bones protruding through my bruised body I was fine. She did give me a few muscle relaxers, but that was the end of it. And for the most part I was fine for the next 5 years. I had the occasional bad spell, where my back would lock up, but other than that I was peachy keen. Then I became pregnant with Maddy.

I had horrible back pain, and pain shooting down my legs. My friends with children are saying sciatica, which is exactly what the doctors told me. They said it would go away shortly after birth. Well, it didn’t, so I saw new doctors. They told me that sometimes it takes a while to go away, and each doctor after that said the same thing. I muddled through it, and then became pregnant with Meredith.

Everything intensified with Meredith. I started falling down when my legs would go numb, had excruciating pain in my back, and had many days when I couldn’t get out of bed. After delivery, they told me the same thing–it’ll go away, it’s just sciatica. It didn’t go away, and it took going to a pill doctor to find out that I had two herniated discs, nerve damage in both legs, and needed surgery to take out the disseased discs (almost forgot that I have degenerative disc disease), insert donor bone, and screw it all together.

Didn’t get the surgery, opted to make do on pain meds until I couldn’t take it anymore. After Ben and moving to MO, I decided to go off all of the meds and try and deal. That worked, but now everything’s coming back. I can’t wear heels without feeling the effects for days, and today I shot a few hoops and ran up and down the court with a friend of mine’s son. The consequence? It hurts to breathe. My feet are tingling, the left side of my back from the middle down is in searing pain, and I can’t laugh, sneeze, or cough without first supporting said back. Can’t sit, can’t lie down, and can’t walk without knives twisting in my spine.

I’m just plain sick of this. For just over a year I haven’t had to go to the doctor once a month, and I don’t want to have to start again. I don’t want to be tied down by my meds, or suffer withdrawl symptoms if I’m late taking one of them. I want to enjoy shopping again! I’d love to sleep without pillows between my legs, under my back, and wherever else I have to shove one in order to fall asleep. I tell myself that it can and is worse for many people out there, but I guess thinking of how lucky I am to be able to walk doesn’t always cut it.

So here I am, wallowing. My problem isn’t the biggest in the world, but it’s the biggest in mine.



February 28, 2009

I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on all of these years. I’ve always liked fruit, but for whatever reason never ate it at home…until NS. There’s a restaurant in Auburn, CA called Katrina’s. It’s absolutely fabulous, and among other fresh items they offer fresh fruit on the side. Every time I went there I’d order it, and think how great that restaurant was. I’d bemoan the fact that I could never eat that well at home, and always looked forward to my breakfasts there. Little did I know that I could eat that well!!

While on NS I’ve eaten much more fruit than I ever have, and have found new favorites. Plums are one of my newest loves, along with pears. Yum!! Even everyday apples are tasting better and better. Just this week I’ve had blueberries, blackberries (caught these on sale for .99 for a 6 oz pack!), pears, apples, and plums…and that’s just the fresh stuff! When you add in canned mandarin oranges and freeze dried cherries, that’s probably more fruit than I have eaten in the past three months!

So thanks, NS, for reminding me of my love of fruit. My only problem now is not too eat too much!


How the Mighty Have Fallen

February 26, 2009

I was doing everything right. Not cheating a smidge on my food, exercising as much as my back would allow, and drinking tons of water. Everyday. I’d faithfully log on to NS in the evenings, blog, and touch up my food diary, as well as plan out what I was going to eat in the morning. I stuck to my guns, as I knew that the program only worked if you worked it, and by golly I was working it.

I’d read everyone’s blogs, give atta-girls and boys to those who did well, and offered support for those who didn’t, because hey–I was doing great! I was at the top of my game, numbers were shrinking, and I didn’t even feel the need to cheat. Sure, Valentine’s day my numbers weren’t great, but I made up for that after. Hell, I was even sick and managed not to eat crackers!!

But then it happened. I sat down, dug into my entree…and couldn’t eat it. I tried, I desparetly tried, but I just couldn’t get it down! I kept telling myself that I could do this, it was only one night, no big deal. Take a bite of salad with my meal, chew it up, rinse and repeat. No bigee, right? I couldn’t do it. The food just sat in my mouth, I tried to chew, really I did, but it just wouldn’t go down. It coated my mouth and throat, and just stuck there. I’m telling you I could feel it move down, finally, and just sit in my stomach. Chalked it up to whatever, hormones or what not, and moved on. About an hour before dinner the next night I became extremely nauseous, and was filled with this horrible sense of dread. I was going to have to eat another pasta meal, and my stomach was severeley protesting. I didn’t even try to eat right that night, and the next day/night went to Hell in a handbasket.

How could I eat that many potato chips? Why did I go back for more, and more, and more…WHY!!! Who cares if I never want to see another lasagne, fagioli, or ravioli again, WHO FREAKING CARES????? I certainly shouldn’t, because they were helping me lose weight. Seriously, if I can down half a full size bag of Ruffle’s Cheddar and Sour Cream potato chips, you’d think I could stomach a NS pasta entree, right?

I’m done. I’m done with the chips, with the bread, with all of the other crappy things I ate those three days. I know my numbers will show it tomorrow, and I’m seriously done. I don’t care if I think I’m going to get sick, or go to bed hungry, or whatever, I am going to eat those nasty things and LOVE THEM. I’ll love them because they’re not in my next order, and each day that I eat one of them I’ll be closer to getting what I want. Food wise, weight wise, lifestyle wise.


Train Wreck

February 17, 2009

You can see it.  You can feel the vibrations, hear the screech of the metal and the movement of the cars…and yet there’s nothing you can do but watch and wait for it to slam right into you.

That’s what is happening to me right now. I can feel my skin slowly getting tingly and flushed. The fever’s insidious, slowly starting, but now it’s crept up to my elbows. I’m sure by the time I fall asleep it will fully encompass me, from my freezing toes to my then burning head.

I’ve ate as many berries that I could find, taken my multi, and drank more water than anyone has any reason to. Have ate all my vegetables until today, and I only missed one serving. Think the train cares? Hell no! It’s coming, regardless of my other children laying on the track with me. It could care less.

I’m trying to hang on until a dietitian from NS gets back with me regarding a question I have about staying on plan when you’re puking your brains out. No, haven’t started yet, but tomorrow (or tonight, if I’m really lucky) it should start. I’m wondering when the runs will join in on the wreck that has become my house, but if they don’t show up I won’t be upset. Would be nice, actually, to have some control of at least one orifice.

Going to bed now, Tylenol isn’t working anymore and who knows how much sleep I’ll be able to get tomorrow. Looks like Ben is going to be fine tomorrow (if he doesn’t puke in his sleep as well) and Maddy will hit her bad day. Meredith’s been in the bathroom all day, but so far she’s not having any of the dizzy spells or headaches that Madilynn and I are having, although I’m having respitory symptoms that none of the kids have had. Knowing my luck, I caught two separate bugs. Go figure.

Stay healthy, no rubbernecking, and above all WASH YOUR HANDS! If I would have done a bit more of this I wouldn’t have had pepper oil in my eye, and I could have possibly forestalled my own personal wreck until after the children were down with their own.


Will the puking ever stop?

February 16, 2009

My poor son picked up the bug that my husband brought back from Michigan. Yesterday morning when we went upstairs to get him up we were greeted to vomit…tons of it. Cleaned that all up, packed everyone up and headed to the airport. Ben looked a bit green, so I decided to stop at the store and pick up some items in case he was going to be sick for a while. Made it as far as the cheese isle, and he lost it all over the cart, the floor, and a bit on a family size pack of mozzarella.  Threw up a bit more when I was taking off his clothes to put him in the car seat, and finished while I was buckling him up.

Took him home, unlatched the whole car seat and set it in the living room while I cleaned up the truck. Ran inside when the girls screamed that he was doing it again, and set him in the tub. Cleaned him up, dismantled the car seat, and settled in for a few more clean ups.

Woke up this morning with him sleeping on my head, but luckily it was puke free. Monitored his water intake, thought everything was going OK, so I added a bit of chicken and rice to his gatorade, water, and pretzel diet. After dinner he was crying from me not letting him guzzle his sippy, so he puked up red and white stars all over my bedroom carpet. Cleaned that up, set him back on my bed (which by this time has the last comforter I own on it, one’s in the dryer and the other’s in the washer) and hoped that he could hold off until I can get one dried to put back on it.

Poor little guy, I really feel for him. He’ll be 2 at the end of June, so he’s old enough to hate being sick, but not old enough to tell me how he feels, or understand what I tell him. I hope that he can kick it pretty soon.


Day 5

February 10, 2009

I started NS last Friday, and let me tell you it’s been one thing after another. Went to a buffet Sat morning with KCM, and did great. Two eggs with jalapeno and a touch of tomato, one TINY waffle, and some fruit. Drank water, and after going to Wal*Mart went home to grab a NS lunch.

Left for Brook’s house sans black bean tortilla soup, so Tony picked up a lean cuisine for me. Ate that, salad, then after picking up a desk for them I drove back home to pasta f something and sesame carrots.

Madelon came over as soon as I was walking out the door to smoke, and then we spent the next few hours cleaning up my craft room. 11:30 and starving I ate a chocolate peanut butter bar, and hoped Sunday would be better. Which it was, and that brings me to yesterday.

Grabbed a blueberry muffin pack, three bottles of water, and drank my juice before I left for the meet and greet in Lenexa. After stopping at BK for the kiddo’s breakfast (and forgetting that I didn’t want them to eat in the truck after it was detailed) Idug into a doughy mess. The muffins somehow managed to be dry and undercooked at the same time! After arriving at Parkside Cafe I decided to have a soy chai latte after I asked to see the caloric content on the chai mix and soy milk. Figured I could use the soy for my snack protein, and eat a light dinner to make up for the extra in the chai content. Well, soy milk doesn’t have near the protein that cow’s milk does, and the day went down hill from there.

Went shopping for a Valentine’s dress, and didn’t leave enough time to feed the kids lunch. So while Ben napped, Meredith ate my protein for lunch and I downed a fudge graham lunch bar. That was delicious, but without my salad and protein it only took most of the edge off. Barely made it to Lens crafters in time, where I fed the kids skittles while getting my glasses.

Of course that took way too long, and I was stuck in traffic while Maddy was home by herself. She talked with dad until I got there, where I picked her up and drove back out to Oak Park Mall and to pick up the glasses. Bought both girls an outfit, then headed to Chili’s. I had the guiltless grill black bean patty, veggies without the parmesan cheese, and iced tea with lemon. Sqeaked in right under 1200 calories, so no dessert last night. But wouldn’t you know it…my stomach actually hurt? I think it’s already shrank, so eating a black bean patty, veggies, and 1/3 of a bun over filled me! It was the first night that I didn’t crave anything to eat in bed, and it also made me tired. Went to bed well before eleven.

Which brings me to today. I told myself last night as my gut was screaming in protest that I was going to be NS all the way. Had scrambled eggs with veggie sausage crumbles, added another egg for my protein serving, and had OJ. Watched the kids eat yummy toast, drink huge glasses of OJ, and didn’t cheat a bit. Grabbed a NS cheese tortellini for lunch, and headed to playdate. I watched everyone else eat, waited until after 12:00, then nuked my meal. As I was bringing it into the living room Chandra commented on how small it was. I told her that I know it looks tiny, but it’s actually the size that you’re supposed to eat. Afterward, I was full! I’m sure the 32 ounces of water that I drank there helped that, but the fact of the matter is I wasn’t hungry. My other diet that I was on I was hungry often, no matter how much water I drank.

Dinner was late tonight, but I had a huge spinach salad with blackberries, red peppers, FF balsamic vinegrette dressing, and a tablespoon of sunflower seeds for my fat serving. Nasty nutrichocoaltes and pretzels later, and I’m one fat and happy Maureen. Well, not so fat anymore, but definitely satisfied.


It’s all so tiny!

February 5, 2009

My much anticipated Nutrisystem food arrived today…and let me tell you–a whole month fit in one forty pound box.

I dove in, excited about starting the program, and I noticed what looked like a ravioli container. You know, the kind that has the head of a tubby chef in a white hat on it? Those itty bitty snack size servings that your kid eats three of? That was my lunch.  Oh, I get a salad and dairy or protein serving with it, so it’s not that bad, but still. You forget how small a portion really is until it’s sitting in the box in front of you.

Did a bit of super-secret work today, and while that was happening I went to the big rat with Meredith and Ben. Trying to make ten bucks of token last three hours isn’t easy! Luckily my daughter is an opportunist, and found discarded ones under the horse jockey game. Those kept her busy for another half hour or so, and then it was time to go.

I’m going to fast forward for a minute–guess what I had the privilege of cleaning up a few minutes ago? Cat pee. Suzy decided to cop a squat on my opened box of Nutrisystem meals. I’m guessing she pissed all over about 150 bucks of food, the whole top half was sprinkled with yellow drops. As I was hollering at Maddy to help me out, I noticed a dry spot of pee on the bottom of the box, so out came more packets. I sincerely hope that the food is sealed well, or my eldest will be without her pet!

I think I’m done for the night, can’t seem to get into writing. I’m shocked, it’s the equivalent of me being speechless, but I’m beat. Kids are down, cats are locked in the main bathroom with the litter robot, and I’m off to dreamland.


Slow Day

February 4, 2009

Nothing much happened yesterday.

Madilynn decided to take a thirty five minute shower, as she was walking out of the bathroom I looked at the clock–8:01. Her bus comes at 8:05, so she had to throw on her clothes and run out the door. Her hair froze in the 2 minutes that she was out side.

Playdate was nice, we had a new member come. She has an adorable six week old son, and I was surprised that he wasn’t screaming the whole time because we were loud! There were 8 adults and 12 kids in Erin’s house, and it was non-stop pandemonium. He was a trooper, though, and actually managed to fall asleep for a bit.

Let’s see…oh, Sarah took a before picture of me for Nutrisystem, and I was thinking I looked pretty good. Until I opened it in my email and saw that my bra was showing through my shirt. Two white blobs floating in a sea of black. That’s not going to make it online, so I have to figure out another way of getting a pic of me. Brian said to buy a camera, use it, and then return it (such an honest man my husband) but I just need to get a hold of whoever’s handling Circuit City’s warranties through their bankruptcy and get my camera replaced.

Arrived home at 3:21, waited for Maddy to get home, and then fought with her over going to Hapkido. It’s always worse if she misses a day (as she did last Thursday) and I’m wondering how long I can hold out before I give in to her wheedling. It’s not that she wants to quit that’s bothering me, it’s the reason. She’s afraid of failing, so wants to quit before she gets the chance. I don’t want to set a precedence, so we’re making her stick it out. Hopefully the hysterics will taper off soon.

Nabbed Chinese food for me after getting Burger Sling for the kids, ate dinner, picked Maddy back up, and then went to Dairy Queen…I figure if I’m going to start NS Friday I can be a bit of a bad girl now. Pretty soon it’s going to be reconstituted food for me! I’m actually quite excited, although I’m sure that feeling will pass after a bit on the program.

Looked around a bit on a really neat website last night for artwork. Here’s one I’d love to have either in my room by my computer, or downstairs in my craft room: http://www.artistful.com/art_sell.php?id=8905. Brian would never agree to spending $350 dollars for a smaller piece like that, especially if it’s not going somewhere prominent, like the living room. I thought about getting a print instead, but it’s a mixed media piece and they don’t offer prints from it.

Went to bed, woke up to Suzy puking at the foot of my bed…looks like today is shipping up to be another ordinary day as well.



February 2, 2009

Generally I’m always complaining about how I’m flat lining. How I’m always so tired, how I never seem to have the energy to do what needs to be done…how about the days when you have plenty of energy, but don’t WANT to do anything?

That’s what’s happening with me today. It’s the damnedest thing, really. Here I am, furiously typing away while my mind races a zillion miles an hour, and I’m sitting on my ass. Sure, I made my way back here to blog, but in the grand scheme of things that’s not really important. My kids would benefit from not having to wear full combat fatigues in the house for fear of stepping in something dangerous. Or maybe washing the windows, even, so they don’t become deficient in vitamin D. Those are things that could actually make a difference in our quality of life, but I can’t seem to do them.

I could always go downstairs and clean the pit that is my craft room. That’s something that I never seem to have the drive to start, and seeing as that I’m having a crop down there in a few weeks it would definitely be beneficial. Think I’m gonna jump right on that? Hell, no! I had to put it in writing that I was going to clean a part of my house before I started this blog, so that I’d actually do something constructive.

So why am I so psyched? Why do I feel like the energizer bunny being pinched between two fingers, zooming away to no where? Beats me. I only slept for five hours last night, had to run and take Maddy to school cause she missed the bus, and I skipped breakfast. I should be my normal zombie self right now, not all bubbly and (shudder) cheerful. I keep waiting for my energy to dip, to be overtaken with the urge to sleep, read, watch TV, or call someone and complain about how dirty my house, hair, and children are. As of 2:33 reality hasn’t crashed back yet, but I’m counting on it happening fairly quickly.

For now, at least, I can uncomfortably bask in this feeling of alertness. Who knows, this could be the start of an uncynical, effervescent, bright new Maureen.

As soon as David Boreanaz decides to become my sugar daddy, that is.

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