July 15th, 2011

devil girl

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.

In fact, I've moved. We have our own apartment now as a family, up near shoreline. I've discovered a plethora of things that I had at the house and could use here, but didn't think about until I needed it. Sponges, for example. Or, better yet - went to open a can of veggies the other night for dinner - no can opener. I think I'll start a wish list for all those little things.
It's affordable housing, so with it comes that kind of crowd. Well, some anyway. Seems to be a nice "mix" of people here - but there are some that look like "affordable housing" clients. I'm determined *not* to be one of those! The building isn't bad. Secured doors on the outside - have to have a door card key to open. There's trash chutes with their own rooms, so the smell doesn't get too out of hand in the hall. We're in a corner apartment, separated by a stairwell to the neighbor next to us. The only "close" neighbor is across the hall. So far, I haven't heard anyone upstairs. We're on the second floor (out of six), so I worry about the kids making noise - but so far no complaints. Of course, we've only been here a few days! There's a playground on the property for the kids. There's a YMCA on the property - it's not part of the apartment complex, but they lease a space in the building/complex. It's right on a main bus line. Our view is not so spectacular, but it isn't terribly bad either. We overlook a nursery, a car lot and Aurora Ave. On the other side, we have apartments and a courtyard we can see - but, I don't mind. The only apartments I see have their blinds closed most of the time, anyway.
The apartment itself is kind of small, but we'll be fine. Two beds, one bath. The kids are sharing a room, which has been alright so far. Of course, when we get settled in, it may be different. *laugh* I like the kitchen. Even though it's tiny, it's open, so I can be with the family when I cook and clean. We have room for a small couch. It's very workable. I have nothing up on the walls yet. We have an in unit washer/dryer - which I like. Been doing laundry non stop for awhile, but once I get the three week build-up done, we should only have a few loads a week. Right now, we're lacking in furniture, so I'm sorta in the air as to where to put all the clean clothes - but, we'll figure it out. We got a queen sized mattress last night. It's a pillow top - oooohhhh my, comfy, comfy. The kids still need beds, but I hear Kmart has a bunk bed set for like $200 that comes apart, so when the kids are tired of the bunk beds, we can take them apart. Hopefully next week we can do that. Dressers are back at the house - not sure how we're gonna work that yet, as we only have 2. But, again, we'll figure it out!!
I'm just glad we have our own spot and are out from under the family thumb. It's been kind of stressful to move, and I'm sure as we continue to move and help clean the house there will be more stress, but it's all worth it.
Smile

Chores

I found an excellent site online to keep track of chores for the kids. Each chore they are assigned and complete earns them X amount of points. For example vacuuming earns 10 points. Right now I have each child doing it 3 times a week, so that it gets done every day (either the oldest or the adults will complete the 7th day). When they redeem their points, they have the option of sharing (donating to charity), saving (depositing a dollar amount to a savings account) or spending. There are several options for them to spend points on - tv time, computer time, picnic, park (the park down the street for us as opposed to the playground on the property.) and a few other things. Each reward has a point value to be cashed in. They even have a "money" reward - they get paid an amount of money if they earn 1000 points. I just started this today, so there may be some adjustments and additions to it. So far, it works out pretty well. The kids can send me messages via this site. I can respond and/or send messages to them as well. Both kids, so far, have decided to share and save points. Each point is a penny. I think when it gets to like $10 we can actually go to the bank and deposit it for them. I think part of it is, I messed up on how to allocate the points. I didn't realize that you needed to put some in the "spend" pot to set it aside for spending on rewards, rather than saving. Once you allocate them, there doesn't seem to be a way to redo it. Oh well. Over all, I like this - no more printing out charts and such. Yay!