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Let it snow...
Or not. Just dealt to the best of my ability with snow in the front of the house - shoveled the walkway, alongside the cars (the ground is gravel, so there's still some snow there), and along the sidewalk. Also dug out the curb so that we can back out of the driveway without getting stuck. Hopefully a snowplow doesn't come along and destroy all my hard work.

Not all of it is clean to the ground, but the sun being out today seems to be turning a lot of it into water, so I'll probably wait until afternoon and sweep up the rest, which will have turned into water at that point, so we don't get ice. The biggest problem is that the people we share a driveway with went in and out 3 or 4 times yesterday, so they packed some of it down to ice, but i think that since I scraped the snow off the top of it, that'll probably turn to water today sometime.

Dishwasher is emptied, thanks to Alicia, so I need to fill that in a bit. I think that I need to start working on assigning her more specific tasks for cleaning up. I can tell her to empty the dishwasher or do a load of laundry and she does it well, but if I tell her to clean her room she typically goes and reads instead of doing even the simplest amount of cleaning. I can tell her to move a stack of laundry from her floor the the laundry room and it gets done, but if that same stack of laundry is there and I just tell her to clean, she won't.

Took some time with Julie today to have her clean up some of the hair ties that had gotten all over the living room. Having a laser pointer handy helped, but it is frustrating that she gets distracted in the five seconds it takes to pick something up and put it away. It makes me worry about her having ADD as severe as or more severe than her sister's, but there isn't much to be done about it at this point. It's hard to evaluate how distractable she may or may not be when she doesn't have the full range of speech yet. She's doing some additional therapy stuff - speech and physical - at school, so we'll see what they think.

I'm tired. And I hurt. I need to go finish cleaning the house though.

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For cleaning tips for the girls, you might want to check out flylady.net for ideas on scheduling managable chores with children, helping them get through 15 minutes at a time.

Alicia's behaviour is normal even for an adult like me; you can't just tell me to clean up, I can see all the mess and can't sort it out in my head. I really have to struggle to clean things, every single day. Even for my 11 year old, I have really specific tasks, and she doesn't have ADD. "Brush Dog X with Brush Y for 5 minutes" gets done. "Brush one of the dogs" never does.

Making a game of it with Julie might help her keep focused. Has she had her vision tested? Not being able to see easily might affect her concentration. A simple thing to do with her might be to give her a basket and have her find 5-10 things out of place in the room, put them in her basket, and then put them where they belong. Again, I totally empathize with Julie. I have anxiety disorder that mimics ADD/ADHD, or I have both, we're not sure, but the anxiety must be treated first. Good luck with the girls; it's good to see you both being gentle with them about it and not just dismissing it as bad behaviour.

*nod* They're definitely not being bad on purpose, although it's hard to see it that way sometimes, and looking at their room sometimes *I* feel at a loss as to what to pick up, but that's in part because they have so many little things that just need to get thrown away.

For Julie, it was "pick up that pile of hair bands" -- about 15 of them. She'd get 2 or 3 in a handful, put them away... then get distracted. Constantly pointing them out with the pointer saved me from having to get up, and also got her to pick most of them up. The biggest thing is that she seems to respond well to high volume - saying "Julianne, pick that up right now!" will get her working, but very little seems to.

I'm trying to make sure that I don't yell at them for it, even when I get frustrated. The big thing that I'm trying to get across right now is "It's not okay to make other people do all your work". They've gotten away with it a lot in the past, because of various reasons, so I'm trying to work hard now to prevent it from sticking in their heads that that's an okay behavior. There's a hard thing to balance between "You need to do it yourself" and "I'm going to sit here and hold your hand through it", especially for Alicia.

Thanks for the tip on flylady: I'll check it out.

I think this might be in the flylady stuff too, but I'm not sure: Keep in mind it helps a lot if they actually have specific places for their belongings in their room. If Alicia knows that the blue basket is where the books go (just an example), then putting away her books becomes very easy. :)

When I was a kid, it was really really difficult for me to clean my room. I don't have ADD, but I'd just keep getting distracted. I'd see the cards on the floor and remember that they were on the floor because I had been playing solitaire and I'd want to finish my game before putting them away (hi, OCD) so I'd do that and then put them away. And then I'd see a book on the floor and remember I had been reading it...

Or I just wouldn't know where to begin. It was just majorly overwhelming. If someone could have sat with me and said do this, do that, it would have been okay. Or even if an adult had made a list for me to read and said I could spend five minutes playing with something that was already out and hadn't put away yet between the tasks ont he list...tha twould've been great.

Yeah, that's pretty much where we're at too. It's not *bad* neccesarily, but it makes cleaning really hard, because I know I could do it so much faster myself if I'm going to have to sit there and hold hands the whole time. But I don't want to teach that the kids can just have us do everything for them: Alicia already has that in mind way too much, like yelling at me for not hanging up her coat when she left it on the floor.

Parenting is just too hard :p

it really is *sympathy* kids are cute but Jolie makes me tear my hair out sometimes.

Bring a book or something to keep yourself occupied while you sit in the room with them. They're learning important skills by putting things away, but you shouldn't have to inconvenience yourself too much. Would a list work with Alicia? Or could you make a treasure hunt type thing out of it? "I want you to find everything on your floor that's made of cloth and put it away, either into the hamper if it's clothing or..." "Pick up all wooden toys and put them in the toy box."

If they have a hard time knowing what to do, you could also just help them by showing them how to do it. I'm not saying do it for them, but model it for them. Instead of going from doing it for them straight to having them do it all on their own, clean it with them. "Okay, now we're going to pick up all the clothes and put them in the laundry." And then all of you go around the room picking them up. Do this for a little while and then they will be into the routine and can do it by themselves.

For Julie (perhaps Alicia too), you can get a good round of I Spy going, "I spy a window that needs to be washed. I spy a coat that needs to be hung in the closet. I spy a book that needs to be put on the bookshelf."

Play fun kids music while they clean.

Tell them how proud you are of them when they are finished cleaning something. Tell them when they've done a good job making the bed or putting the books away. Maybe they can put a sticker on the calendar for that day if their room is clean. :)

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