My Top 5 Biggest Homemaking Fails

top 5 homemaking failsI am so grateful that God provided me with a sense of humor. I am also grateful that God provided my husband with a sense of humor.  If it wasn’t for the ability to laugh, I’m not sure our marriage would have survived the first couple of years.

OK, that may be a slight exaggeration, but let’s just say I did not come out of the womb a homemaker.  Nothing about homemaking comes naturally to me.  I used to hate cooking so much I told my mom I would have to marry a chef because I would not be doing the cooking.  My first time dealing with a raw turkey carcass, I just about became a vegetarian.  I do enjoy sewing, but for some reason every time I undertake a sewing project, I end up spending 5 times more money on materials and supplies than if I had just bought the item.

When I post a recipe on this blog, it is not something that just “came to me” overnight like so many other real-food bloggers.  It probably took me months and my family eating a lot of really nasty “fails” to get to the final product.

I say all this because if I wasn’t able to laugh at myself, I would probably be in my room crying right now.  Homemaking is hard!  And so in the spirit of levity, I am going to share with you my top 5 homemaking fails.  Believe me, we had a lot to choose from.  I hope they bring you a laugh and encourage you in your homemaking pursuits – no one is perfect.

#5 – I washed my cloth diapers the wrong way for 4 years.

Before I had my first son, I was determined to save as much money as possible.  I researched and researched cloth diapering.  I bought my diapers and figured out a system, and followed that system for 4 years without ever thinking twice about it.  However, after my second child (same diapers), we started to experience problems with the diapers burning his skin whenever they were wet.  I stripped, and washed, and sunned and just thought this is what happens with old diapers.

Now that I’m pregnant with another sweet little life, I decided to get serious.  I called the company that manufactured the diapers so they could help me trouble shoot and it turns out – I had been washing my diapers all wrong for four straight years!  In my defense, the way I had been washing them was recommended four years ago, they had just changed their recommendations not long after.

5865390693_e074431437_bPhoto Credit: Clay Larsen via Compfight cc

#4 – I forgot how to iron (but not really)

When my husband got hired as a youth pastor we were still newlyweds.  I wanted him to look sharp when he was at work, but no matter how much time I spent ironing his clothes, they always looked wrinkled.  I remember watching him one day as he was giving announcements and was so embarrassed that his clothes were so wrinkled.  That Christmas we went home to visit family and I had my mom give me ironing lessons.  I was very successful ironing clothes at her house, but then when we got home, the same problem persisted.  It wasn’t until my mother-in-law bought us a new iron that we finally realized the problem wasn’t me – it was that I was using a broken iron all that time!

#3 – Our fire alarms work.

I admit that in the first years of our marriage I set off the fire alarm a lot.  However, you know you’ve set off the fire alarm a little too often, when just the mention of the word sends your 13 month old into hysterics.

On our private family blog, I wrote about those days of burned meals:

I don’t know what it is about marriage that makes me burn dinners. If burned food was a delicacy, I could open my own restaurant. I still think that Scott has not fully recovered from my special ten-month anniversary dinner that I burned just for him. And today, as I stared at my burnt chicken on the oven-top, I pondered this question? What are good wives supposed to do when they have burned dinner? Seriously?! Throwing it away is a waste, but eating it is unusual torture. If I was to carve off the burnt parts, dinner would be cold and the kitchen a black crumbly mess. Then I wondered after how many years of marriage does a husband stop offering to eat the burnt food just to make you feel better? It’s been almost 16 months for us now and Scott still puts on a brave face and pretends that he’s ok eating it.
Then…while I was pondering these questions…. I realized I burnt the cinnamon apples I was making as a special treat. It’s been a long day!

#2 – I burned bone broth

You can read the full story here.  The short version is that the water evaporated out of the pot in the middle of the night and the bones just burned all night long.  We woke up to the most horrible stench and the whole house in a foggy haze of greasy, burned bone smoke.  My husband actually woke up gagging.  The smell permeated every inch and surface of our whole house.  We had to scrub all the walls and floors with vinegar, set all the furniture outside to air out, and re-wash every single piece of laundry in the whole house.  All of that still didn’t stop people at church from asking us why our children smelled so badly.  We had to keep our distance from other human beings for at least 3 or 4 days.  It was bad people…really bad!

#1 – The day I ruined the neighbors dinner

Of all my homemaking fails, there is one that stands out among the rest.  This one gets brought up at dinner parties and I will never, ever live it down for as long as I live.

It was the summer of our first year of marriage and long before our real food journey – so don’t judge!

It was our ten month anniversary and I was determined to do something special.  Scott loved orange chicken so I found a recipe online and was determined to make it.  I decided to do sopapillas for dessert.  I spent all day in the kitchen, slaving away for the perfect anniversary meal.  Somehow I left out a couple of key ingredients though.  As I wrote on our family blog:

I served it up very excited to see the look on Scott’s face when he eats my delicious creation. He took a bite, stone faced, chewed and swallowed. I knew it was just expressionless enthusiasm for the fantastic meal I had made…. that is until I took a bite. It was horrible, bitter, and disgusting. I told Scott he didn’t have to eat it, but he tried. He gave it a good honest effort. I couldn’t watch my dear husband of ten months go through anymore. I threw it away.

I was so forlorn that my whole meal was ruined until I remembered the sopapilla dough.  I decided to turn dessert into dinner and make stuffed sopapillas with beans and cheese.  I put some oil in the frying pan and then got distracted by a show on tv.  Before I knew it our tiny little apartment was covered in billowing smoke.

smoke

This was after a lot of the smoke had cleared. We can go ahead and count that paint color as homemaking fail #6.

It was so thick we couldn’t breathe and had to evacuate our apartment.  Now I had ruined dinner number one and dinner number two.  I was feeling a little discouraged and so my husband suggested we walk down to the little market by our apartment and buy some Coke.  They had the really good Coke in the glass bottles that was a big splurge for us. That cheered me up.  After we returned to our apartment, we still couldn’t go inside, so we sat out on the balcony drinking our Coke and eating the couple of sopapillas I was able to make.  I decided this dinner was worth commemorating and put our Coke bottles on the balcony to take a picture.

coke

Two seconds after this picture was taken, I accidentally bumped the bottles and they fell two stories down, landing on our down stairs neighbor’s grill (he was grilling burgers). The Coke bottles shattered completely ruining their dinner as well.

And that, my friends, is how you ruin three perfectly good dinners in one night.  It takes talent.

So now that I’ve shared my biggest homemaking fail, I would love to hear yours.  Let’s all give each other a good laugh.  Plus, we all know the comments are more fun to read than the actual blog posts anyway!

(Pssst…speaking of homemaking, there is another Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Sale coming up soon.  The coordinators of the sale have put together a fun, free e-course on Stress-Free Homemaking.   There are four short videos in the course.  You can see a preview here:


You can sign up through my affiliate link and if you share the free ecourse with 10 of your friends, you can earn a FREE bundle! Enjoy!)

5 Practical Ways to help Nose Pickers

5 practical ways to help nose pickers - for the parent who tried everything!I never imagined I would be writing this post, but I blog about life, and this is life my friends.  I have two little boys and they are constantly picking their noses.  Not only is it just a gross habit, but it’s mildly embarrassing when people come up to talk to your children and they are digging for gold (so to speak).  We have tried redirecting, gentle reminders, etc. without luck. I scoured the web for tips and tricks to get them to stop but no advice I found was truly practical.

Statements like:

  • “Kids usually pick their nose because it has something in it that doesn’t feel right.” (source)  (Do people really need that explained to them?)
  • ” just keep her hands busy” (source) (Clearly, she has already found a way to keep her hands busy.)
  • “Hand them a tissue” (source) (Now they have a place to put the booger, but it does nothing to stop the actual nose picking.)
  • “show her how to rub her fingertip around her nose rather than pick it.” (source) (I just have no words for this one.)

Being the researcher I am, I wanted to get to the bottom of this issue and I wanted some practical ways to make the picking stop.  I found one study performed on 200 adolescents that revealed most adolescents admit to still picking their noses (an average of 4 times a day!).  Oh you guys, I want so much more for my children than this and I know you do too! We have got to take action now.

Since I couldn’t find anything truly useful online, I decided to do some research and compile a list that will truly help! My husband and I have already noticed a huge reduction in this bad habit since we started implementing these ideas.

3442706195_0b8eae732d_bPhoto Credit: Renzo Apostoli via Compfight cc

5 Practical Ways to Get Your Kids to Stop Picking Their Nose

Stop Clipping Their Fingernails – This is such a logical way to deal with the problem.  If you stop clipping their fingernails, eventually they are not going to enjoy getting poked in their nasal passages, or their nails will grow so long they will start to curl and the finger will no loner fit in the nose.

Visual Reminders- So many of our children are visual learners and really benefit from visual cues.  We purchased these stickers and placed them all over the house to remind our children not to pick.boogers When we are out in public, I put a sticker on each of their hands and on my shirt.  Then if they start to pick I just have to point to the sticker.  I don’t even have to say anything.  It’s great!  I think it’s also a good reminder to everyone in public places that boogers are gross.  I’ve had several adults tell me they appreciated the reminder, although I do get a couple of strange looks every time we go out. Those people must not have young children.
Other great visuals you can put around the house:Nose-Electrical-Plugs

Nose outlet protectors.  Whenever your child looks around the house and sees one of these, they will be reminded that they are not allowed to touch their nose, just as they are not allowed to touch an electric outlet.

nose_ring

A nose ring – literally!  Putting this on your child’s finger would be a constant reminder to not touch his nose.  Plus, it would poke him in the face if his finger did make it in the nose-wardly direction.  You can get one here.

Physical barriers- Sometimes our children need a physical barricade to help them break the habit.  Below are some excellent resources for physical barriers that will truly help train your child to keep the finger away from the nose.

nose coneOk, I admit, the head cone is taking it too far.  The hand cones are definitely sufficient to keep your child from picking his nose.

nasalfilterscreenface

Nasal screens – originally designed to filter the air you breathe, these are great barriers to nose picking!

nose glasses

We found these at the dollar store and couldn’t believe how effective they were.  If your child already wears glasses, just detach the nose from the fake glasses and use a little bit of super glue to attach the nose to the real glasses.

boxing gloves

If you have a compulsive picker who just won’t stop, you may want to invest in a pair of these.  These are the best way, hands down, to stop any picking (no pun intended!). They may be cumbersome when going out in public, but the plus side is, your child won’t be touching everything on the shelves at the grocery store.

Make Them Eat the Boogers-  I know this sounds like horrible parenting advice at first, but just hear me out.  A logical consequence of picking your nose is getting a booger stuck on your finger.  Right? Most kids will just rub it off on the nearest wall, couch cushion, article of clothing, etc.  This is unacceptable.

Instead, simply tell your children that if they insist on picking their nose, then they will have to eat whatever comes out. Before you call child protective services on me, know that I would never have my children consume something that wasn’t good for their bodies.  That’s just not commensurate with our real food lifestyle. While gross, boogers are perfectly safe to eat.

One scientist has this to say about consuming boogers: “By consuming those pathogens caught within the mucus, could that be a way to teach your immune system about what it’s surrounded with?” (From the article Picking Your Nose and Eating it May be Good For You.)

Another set of researchers discovered that a component found in our boogers is actually so antibacterial it would be a highly effective cleansing agent for medical devices. (source) So who knows, maybe you are actually doing them a favor by having them eat their boogers!

Blow a Whistle and Give A Little Slapwhistle

This is a simple psychological technique discovered by Pavlov. It’s called classical conditioning.  If you blow a whistle and then slap your child’s hand away every time their finger goes up their nose, then eventually you will condition them to remove their hand every time they just hear the whistle.  The bonus is that any time they are at a sports game, they will be reminded not to pick their nose for the whole event and you won’t even have to attend.  But please don’t take this too far and use a bull horn – that would just be abuse. You can get the perfect conditioning whistle here.

But Don’t Take My Word For It

These are some of the things that worked for our family.  I am happy to say that my children no longer pick their noses.  But it wasn’t easy – it took a lot of perseverance.  Also, some of these ideas may not work for your family.  That’s OK.  I asked around in my blogging network and here are some more excellent ideas from other bloggers I know and trust.

  • “The best way to get your kids to stop picking their nose is to let them pick each others noses, or even your own. Not only are you teaching them to share, you’re also helping them build up their immune system.” Whitney from Beauty in the Mess
  • “Encourage STEM curriculum by using the robotic booger picking technique- have your kids build it themselves and feature it in local science fairs.” Lee from Well Fed Family
  • “We encouraged nose-picking at first for its various health benefits, but it became problematic when the kids were picking their noses during swim lessons. The instructors didn’t want the pool to become contaminated, so we began using swimming nose plugs. It was so effective that we took the nose plugs out of the pool. After 9 days of 24 hour nose plugs, we were nose-picking free!” Virginia from Virginia George
  • “Let them read quality books about nose picking. Try to find living books; those with examples and real-life stories of nose-pickers. One of our favorites, The Story of Bradley Booger.” Danielle from More Than Four Walls
  • “We tried everything for two long years with our chronic nose picker. We finally got desperate, and though we hated using GMO’s, we found taping bugle chips to his fingers was the most effective. Two weeks and the habit was broken. Eating them was not an issue as we had more successfully taught him about real food then we had been in teaching him to not pick his nose.” Debra from Worth Cooking
  • Nose picking has always been a huge issue over here. While my daughter had a deep understanding of the hygiene issues and germ issues associated with nose picking, she simply just loved the sensation of something being up her nose. I gave it some thought and realized that there was a simple solution. She has a strong bond with our house rabbit so I knew she would be game for an experimental run with my idea. I took two nostril size rabbit poops and stuck one up each of my daughter’s nostril – just far enough to plug the opening like a finger would! It was perfect! My daughter got to bond with our bunny in a new way and it kept her unsanitary finger out of her nose.” Jennifer from Hybrid Rasta Mama

One More Thing

I hope this article was helpful for you and more practical than most of the other nose-picking articles you will find out there on the World Wide Web.    Also,

The

Please do not take any of this advice.  It’s all really horrible advice.  If you have a nose picker, then that just means you are a parent.

Happy April Fool’s Day. :)