What’s working at your house? Do you ever just stop, during a day which
isn’t going well, to realize that there are some things to be grateful for
because they always work? I feel that way about a few things in my own life,
and I plan to share some of them on Wednesdays. I “sneak-thiefed “(as my son likes to say) the idea from this blog (she said it was okay)!

So, here’s what’s working around here (product images from Amazon):

1. Hoover Linx Cordless Vacuum

This is the love of my life. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. Nope, I can’t downplay it – I love this vacuum cleaner. If you know me (and my disdain for all forms of cleaning), you will know how amazing this vacuum cleaner must be to earn my affection. I got this little beauty a couple years ago for my birthday. No, it wasn’t my husband’s idea of a joke; I bought it for myself (you know you’re over thirty when…). Now cleaning is super easy. This baby runs on batteries that can be charged on my countertop (no need to plug the whole machine in!) And the battery means it’s cordless, which makes it super easy to get out and put away. The downside is that the filters occasionally need to be cleaned. The best part? This thing is so light that my almost-three-year-old can vacuum up his own messes!

2. Amazon Mom Subscription

Leaving the house with my little ones is like trying to wrestle two very slippery snakes into the same grocery cart – then keeping them there while I shop. So, I get as much shopping done as I can online. With Amazon Mom, I got free 2-day shipping for 3 months (and they extended mine because I was such a good little shopaholic). When you “subscribe & save” you can get 20% off on things like diapers. Look around – sometimes it’s the best deal, and sometimes it’s not, but don’t forget to factor in the gas you need to drive to the store (and the snakes, don’t forget the snakes).

3. A Timer

Actually, this picture is a bit misleading, as I use the timer on my phone, but since this is the one my parents used, I thought I’d pay homage.

The timer is my new best friend in discipline. It has its obvious, time-out usages, but I recently read of a new use that has made our home a more pleasant place. In Don’t Make Me Count to Three, I got a great idea to end whining.  My son is now old enough to ask for things politely (“May I please have a puppy?”). When he has asked impolitely (“I want a puppy!” or worse, “Puppy! Puppy!”), I used to simply make him restate the request nicely. But then we fell into the pattern of me constantly asking him to rephrase which didn’t seem to curb future whining at all. Now we set the timer for 2 minutes, then he may ask again, politely. However, the answer to “May I have a puppy?” will still be NO.

Another way the timer is working for us is as a meal savior. Sometimes, around our house, meals cause our children to start behaving like overactive monkeys. Sometimes, these monkeys don’t like what I’m serving and they refuse to eat. To preserve the sanity of the circus master (me), I set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes. I inform the monkeys that their bananas will only be available until the timer goes off, after which time they will be gone forever (and no snacks until the next meal). That’s it! No bartering or cajoling.  Sanity saved; and the little monkeys seem a lot cuter.

I just realized that I compared my children to snakes and overactive monkeys in the same post. Next week I’ll have to compare them to glittering unicorns or adorable, fluffy bunnies to make up for it. What’s working for you this week?