Works For Me Wednesday: You Owe Me A Quarter

A few weeks ago, the Princess and I were enjoying a Sunday afternoon at the mall. That is, we were enjoying it until I got totally frustrated with her about her whining. It had gotten out of control. Whenever she didn’t get her way, she whined. Whenever I said we were going to do this or that, she whined. I HAD HAD IT!

My Princess has life pretty good. She doesn’t have to share with any siblings. We make sure she gets alone time with each parent individually, nurturing those individual relationships. We make sure we have family time weekly, nurturing the entire family unit’s relationship. We make sure we spend time on our marriage, ensuring that she knows we love each other and that we will always be together. We make sure she knows she is loved unconditionally and feels safe. And, she lacks for NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING as far as material things.

So, when the whining had hit a crescendo, I felt like I was living with a spoiled rotten brat (who I had taken to the mall for an afternoon of fun for goodness sakes), and I was done with it. DONE WITH IT!

Upon the uttering of yet another whine from the Princess’s beautiful mouth, I turned on her and in a VERY FIRM voice, “The next time ¬†you whine you owe me a quarter. I’m sick of listening to it. Now you’re going to have to pay me for listening to it.” She looked at me rather stunned. And, we went about our day. In no less than 20 minutes, she uttered a whine. I looked at her, raised my eyebrows, and she proceeded to pull out her coin purse and give me a quarter. No fuss, no whining. She realized quite quickly that whining about paying me for whining was going to cost her another quarter.

I earned $2 that day. I earned $1.50 the next. I earned $.50 the next. That’s all it took. Three days. The whining was gone. Well, it still creeps in every once in awhile. And then, she has to go find me a quarter.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had to do a crack down on a behavior. And, I’m sure it won’t be the last. The key with the Princess is to find her current currency. In the past, it’s been book time or tv time or computer time. Right now, it’s actual currency. She does not like to part with her cash.

However, it’s not the actual paying me the money that made the whining stop. It’s the fact that we both stopped and recognized the behavior I wanted to go away. I had to point out when she was doing the whining. It’s all well and good to say “Stop Whining.” But, if I say, “You’re whining. Right now. You owe me a quarter,” she recognizes the behavior that needs to stop.

When she was younger and I wanted a behavior to stop, I would put five to ten pennies on the counter at the beginning of the day. Every time the behavior was exhibited, I would tell her to go bring me one of the pennies. It always only took a few days to stop the behavior. Now, I will qualify that I have a “people pleaser” child, and one who has quite the conscious. She doesn’t like to be in trouble.

The other key to the plan was that I had to be intentional. Me. The Mommy. I had to pay attention. Rather than getting frustrated and just fussing (which is close to whining isn’t it- hmmm) at her, I had to remember to ask for the quarter. EVERY TIME! I had to be on my best mommy game. I had to be consistent. Without consistency, it won’t work.

But it did work for me. Just asking for the quarter.

For more great tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday.

Works For Me Wednesday: Green Hair

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

It’s the day to wear green. And, as with any holiday, the Princess got all into it. She loves holidays and celebrations of any kind. Everything should be a party in her world. It’s actually a pretty fun way to live. Sometime over the weekend she got it in her head that she needed to have green hair for St. Patrick’s Day. Seriously. Green hair. I really think her dear father put the idea in her head, but I can’t be totally sure.

So, she asked me to get her some green hair spray. She wanted green hair. Seriously. I waited a few days to see if it would pass. Nope! She told everyone at school she was going to have green hair for St. Patrick’s Day. She talked about it at the dinner table every night. She wanted green hair. Seriously.

I had two choices as a parent (obviously). I could say “NO! We don’t color our hair on a regular school day. It must be wacky hair day or some such thing.” OR, I could say, “You want green hair? Seriously? Okay.” and go buy some green hair spray. Guess what I chose.

Green hair – it works for me. (As long as it’s not mine.)

In order to get the green highlights look, I sprayed a section and then ran a brush through it so that it spread the paint out. I’m throwing the brush in the dishwasher and hoping the paint will come off the bristles. Her hair is actually a darker green that it appears in the picture, and I did highlights all the way around. She was happy with it, so Mommy was too.

For more great tips visit Works for Me Wednesday.

Works For Me Wednesday: Thoughtful Gifts

Do you have a friend going through a rough spot? Are they in a valley? Do you not know what to do? My answer is always to bake or cook or take the kids, but sometimes that’s not the right thing to do. Sometimes they don’t need that kind of help. They just need to know you’re there. That you are thinking about them. That you are praying for them. That you love them and you’re just a phone call away.

I was in a valley last fall. One of my dearest friends was really sick. My Sweetie was out of town with his father who was having quadruple bypass surgery. It was a scary week. My faith was strong, but every hour seemed a struggle. Every day so very long. My friends and family rallied around me. They kept checking on me and seeing if I needed anything. Some brought me food. Several gave me cards. Many sent encouraging emails and Facebook messages. One friend even dropped this at my door with a nice note.

If you know me, you know that I’m a chocoholic. SERIOUSLY!! Love me some chocolate. This gift touched my heart in so many ways. She had done something so simple, but with oh so much love. All it was was a votive holder with ribbon tied around filled with Hershey Kisses. Simple, but perfect. It said, “I know you. I love you. And, I’m here for you.” Tearing up as I type about it. So very powerful.

That’s what WORKS FOR ME today. Thoughtful gifts. Thoughtful notes. They can reach out to someone who is in pain. They can celebrate someone who is rejoicing. They can be… well, just perfect.

Yes, I kept the votive holder with the ribbon attached. I know I’ll use it someday to pass the love (and kisses) on to someone else.

What do you do to show someone you care?

For more great ideas of what works for many, click on over to the Works For Me Wednesday carnival.

Works For Me Wednesday: Lunch Tray

The Princess often likes to eat her lunch while watching TV on the weekends… and I often let her. I know, I know. Seriously bad on the Perfect Mommy scale, but it’s not the worst thing I do I’m sure.

She has her favorite spot on the couch and considers it a real treat for her lunch to be served to her in that spot. (Please note that I said this is a treat – as in it doesn’t happen ALL the time.) The issue became that a plate while sitting on the couch is not all that secure. As in, it will slide onto the floor when the Princess is reaching for the remote. So, what’s a Mommy to do? Come up with a little lunch tray for a little lap – that’s what!

I used one of my Tupperware Modular Mates – don’t ask me the specific name – I don’t know these things. It’s the skinny rectangle one. I just put her lunch in snack baggies (just as I would in her lunch box) and put those in the rectangle. It’s small and compact, and sits just perfectly on her lap.

A happy girl, with a safe lunch. That works for me!

For more fabulous ideas go to Works For Me Wednesdays at We Are That Family.

Works For Me Wednesday: Leftovers

You know all those leftovers that you have in your fridge? Some are in square containers. Some are in take-out containers. Some are in old cool whip containers. Those leftovers that can cause an avalanche if you pull the wrong one out.

I used to have those leftovers. Then, My Sweetie, he experienced one too many avalanches. He had enough with the avalanching. So, on his next trip down to IKEA, he solved the problem. He purchased these square storage containers that are ALL THE SAME SIZE SQUARE – just different heights. That means that they ALL USE THE SAME TOP!! Brilliance I say. My Sweetie – he’s brilliant sometimes OFTEN!

Now my leftovers shelf looks like this:

Since the containers are opaque, I use those tiny flag sticky notes to label what is in them. Makes it easy to know what to grab in the morning on the way to work.

IKEA storage containers. They work for me.

Works For Me Wed: Parchment Paper

I was making cookies for a PTA function at school, but was super lazy and didn’t want to do actual cookies because then you have to cook each batch, there are more stones (I ONLY bake on Pampered Chef stoneware) to clean, etc. So, I decided to make bar cookies.
Then I remembered that if I put parchment paper in the pan, it would be easier to get out and of course easier to clean the stoneware (um, you just wipe it out). AWESOME!
So, the cookies cooled – I just pulled the whole chunk of cookie out of the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Then, I thought, hmmm… I can just transfer this chunk, parchment paper and all, onto my cutting board and cut them right on the parchment paper. I used my handy-dandy Pampered Chef pizza cutter and sliced those cookies right up.
Guess what – no mess on the cutting board either. Then – my most brilliant thought – I can just lift this parchment paper chunk of cookies right into the container.

Look at that! It fit right in! Well, actually I had to do a tad of adjusting with one row, but it was so quick and easy. And guess what – minimal mess in the container!!
I have decided that parchment paper is my new best friend in baking!
So that’s what works for me. For more ideas go to We Are That Family.
What works for you?
Oh! I almost forgot. The cookies I made? One batch was regular chocolate chip – I just made bar instead of drop cookies. The other were Snickerdoodle Blondies. They were a new recipe and delish!!!