Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Today's Schedule

Greetings again, Chaotics!
I'm sorry this is late. Last week was...well...chaotic.

Last week, I had given you two(or more) websites that had templates I used to try at menu planning and keeping a schedule, as well as the two websites I found that gave a general idea of what a Stepford Wife's schedule should look like.

I did attempt to follow their schedules. However, as I mentioned before, both websites failed to mention homeschooling, and with us starting a new curriculum...yeah. The schedule pretty much went to pieces by day one.

So, after two(ish?) weeks of refining it...I think I have a schedule that currently works for me. Granted, it varies according to the day we're talking about, but as I said...it works *shrugs*.

Here is my schedule for today. This is an exception day because my husband was home due to the holiday.
5:00 AM-Wake up, start dishes from night before
5:30-start breakfast(breakfast this morning-sour cream coffee cake)
6:00-start folding laundry from yesterday, listen to homesteading podcast
6:15-wake up hubby
6:30-serve hubby breakfast, listen to him tell me highlights from the paper as he reads it.
7:00-wake kids up so we can all say good-bye to hubby
7:30-check e-mail
8:00-type up blog entry(that's now, btw ;) )/get kids started on independent schoolwork
8:30- clean up breakfast
9:00-shower, dress, hair, makeup(yes, I know I'm late on this. I was going to do it as soon as I woke up, but then I wouldn't of had time to make hubby breakfast...and he prefers my cooking over my make up lol).
10:00-11:30 start daily cleaning task(today: wash one kid's bed sheets, move and dust the DVD/VHS shelf from our bedroom back to its original spot in the living room, clean Master bathroom and bedroom)
11:30-Start lunch
12:30-1:30-Clean up lunch, kids take recess, I make my own lunch and drink 2nd cup of coffee and take a breather/file taxes online(not sure how long this will take)
1:30- call kids back in from recess, kids listen to History audio book, I put clothes away
2:00-Kids watch a Science video, I workout
2:30- start baking/preparing snack
3:00-snack time
3:15-finish snack, check over kid's progress(if done), make sure kids are staying on task(if not done), quick tidy through the house
4:00- Start making dinner
5:00-Dinner(dinner tonight- leftover fried chicken, rice, mixed vegetables, biscuits/rolls)
5:45-Make sure all dishes are in sink/wipe down table
6:00-Kids start baths
7:00- Family Devotions
8:00-watch a family-friendly show
9:15-Say prayers with kids, kids go to bed, I read my devotional(s) while waiting for hubby to call
9:30-hubby calls
10:30-make sure dog is taken out one last time, wrap up filing taxes(if needed)

So, that's it for today!

Until Next Time,
Mama Jenn

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week 1 Update- Stepford Wives Challenge

Greetings, Chaotics!
Phew! What a week!
I hope y'all are enjoying my little adventures in Stepford. I must say, overall, that I am!
Even though I received a blogging/vlogging-related injury....because, this is me we're talking about (*-_-)
Can you get carpel tunnel from social media? That would be just my luck.
...And my husband wasn't all for it the first few days. At.all.

.......BUT then, I remembered...this is not about his response. I did this because I saw flaws in myself.  Although, my husband said that, in his own way, this change might do us a bit of good. And again, in his own way, opened up that change on both our ends might not be as bad as he thought.
Granted, if you have paid attention to my vlog entries, you have seen up to the past several days. I'm sorry that I haven't been updating on a daily basis, but it hurts like you wouldn't believe to type(on here)/hold the phone to upload videos(on Youtube) because of my hand :(. Although my hand isn't 100%, it's a lot more tolerable. So that's why I'm typing ;)

The days I didn't write or vlog-

Day 7: We went to volunteer at a ministry our church supports for several hours, then went to the library, then to eat, then the kids basketball practice. The rule I followed was "always let your husband know where you're going". The specific rule stated to ask his permission, but I had done that in the past and my husband didn't really care for it, so I stopped. Since he would be driving or loading/unloading, I would text him to notify him where I was at or where I was on my way to go. He usually just replied back to let me know he got the message. It made me feel a bit more secure, knowing he knew where I was at during any given time. My house somehow became a bit undone Wed. night, so as a result, it was a mess and with us being out the house all day, I figured I'd give it a good clean on Day 8.

Day 8: My husband notified me the night before that his boss was going through all the trucks to see how clean they were. Those that actually were clean got a new truck. My husband had really wanted another truck with a fridge, because ever since we were married his biggest struggle on the road was wanting to take my cooking with him but had no way of keeping it steadily cold. He asked me to come whenever he got to his job site and help him clean out his car. I got through cleaning one room before I got the text saying to get ready to leave and help. So, although my house wasn't as clean as I'd like it, I dropped everything, got the kids and myself ready, and left.
It took us several hours, but we got the truck clean. We were all tired, dirty, and hungry. I was trying to think of what to make us all for a late lunch, when my husband surprised me by saying he wanted us to go to the nearby truck stop/restaurant mostly for truckers nearby. This was a bit embarrassing because all week, I was on my game when it came to appearance....and the one day I didn't bring my make-up bag, we were all muddy and wet, my husband decides to treat us. I grabbed the girls and headed to the bathroom in hopes we could try on some level to not look like a bunch of hobos. My husband said he almost ordered for me, and that's when I remembered on the site that "the men order for the women when they're out to eat". I'm not sure if it was a rule per se, but I figured considering the circumstances, it would do. I told him the idea, and to go ahead and order for me, thinking that we've went on enough dates to know what I usually order when we go out(because I usually order one of two things). He mumbled something about wishing he hadn't said anything, and took several minutes looking at the menu. When the waitress came, he gave the kids orders, his orders, and then mine...a Chef Salad. Because "Well, you really like vegetables...?"
I did the Stepford thing, and smiled and said it was just fine. Looking back on it, I should of been more thankful for it, but I wasn't. I had told him I was trying to be more healthy as a part of the Rules. And he did remember my love of veggies. I guess I made it not-quite-as-subtle as I hoped that I was lying through my teeth and am not all that fond of vegetables, because my husband stated sarcastically, "you see? I shouldn't be ordering for you! I don't pay attention to what you eat!". But I did eat most of it....
...and then, when we separated so I could get something at Walmart and he could get a few moments to decompress at home all by himself, I ordered a $2 Chicken and French fry combo at McDonald's(*-_-). Which probably did nothing for my attempts at being healthy.
Apparently, this idea of submission needs to be worked out a bit more in me.
Then, when I came home, it was nearly dinner time. Since everyone else  had a larger than usual meal for lunch, no one was really hungry for dinner, so I didn't make one. We instead had popcorn and a frozen cream pie I bought while at Walmart, and watched a movie.
While we were...getting ready for the evening, I was more tired than I thought and didn't feel like searching for my jammies. My husband, being the kind man he is, went into our closet and picked out my jammies for me. Even though that's not "technically" approving my outfit, I'm considering it as such and saying my husband knocked out two rules in one day- choosing my meal when dining out, and choosing/approving my outfit(er...jammies).

Day 9: Our family didn't really do much, due to my husband feeling sick. Although he tried to do some things, his body needed rest more than things to do, so he largely just sat on the couch or lounged in bed. I did my best to take care of him, pumping him up with cold meds and vapor rub. I did clean the kitchen and was surprised at my husband outward show of 1. noticing(he usually doesn't unless I say something) and 2. appreciation. My husband makes it known very often he appreciates "all that I do", but rarely goes into specifics unless its food, or a special occasion. It was nice to see/hear him genuinely notice I had worked hard on cleaning and re-arranging things in the kitchen, and comment on how much better it looked.  I was going to make a roast chicken, but my husband wanted what we call a "Porky Pig" pizza, so I made that instead. Since we had dessert the night before(we usually try to limit desserts to once a week), I didn't "make" a dessert. We had ice cream and popcorn instead.

Day 10: We decided not to go to church today because we were afraid my husband would be contagious, and he wanted to get a jump start on the week so he left earlier than usual. I spent most of the day listening to televangelists while trying to re-write my weekly schedule/menu plan for the week.
The rule(s) I did were to look attractive for my husband as he leaves for work(I usually don't get dressed when he leaves from home on days like this), and to wave goodbye until he turned beyond our lane. I got a shower, brushed my hair, put a scented lotion on, and got dressed for the day shortly after waking. I didn't put on makeup today. I made our usual big Sunday breakfast.
I have to say, waving goodbye to him until he turned beyond our lane isn't really something I don't usually do when he leaves home. In fact, I really had no idea this was an actual "Stepford" rule until I read the website. I usually stop whatever I'm doing and walk him to the doorway, waving goodbye to him regardless of if he's going to the gas station a mile away or if he's leaving for the week. I don't know if it makes him feel any more/less special or not. I just did it because I thought that's what should be done. *shrugs*

I am looking forward to week two....but I'm starting to run out of rules to follow. While the website I mentioned in my original post has a good deal of entries on what their group does, it's becoming hard to distinguish what is actually a "rule" and what is just something they do personally.

I did try to e-mail the website I mentioned, and another blog that's I mentioned in a later post that is a group of sisters trying to be Stepford....but I received no response from either :(

So, next week, I'm hoping I find enough rules to follow to make it through. If not...well, then, I'll just keep trying to refine the rules I have attempted.

I'll try to post another rule tomorrow, as well as my meal plan and schedule for the day.
Until Next Time,
Mama Jenn

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Day 5 and 6 of the Stepford Wife Challenge

Greetings, Chaotics!
You can find my ramblings/thoughts on day 5 here.

So, I'm really sorry that I haven't been posting in a timely manner. Even without fully doing "the Stepford Way", trying to really does NOT leave a ton of time to sit near a computer!
And for those who know me personally, I'm sorry that I haven't been exactly keeping in touch in a timely manner, either!

Okay, so today is day 6. In theory, I'm doing the rule I said I was going to do day 5. But I was sort of not feeling it the way the website suggested(or rather, how it worked for one of the women), so I thought I could just say it and it would just happen.

But...it didn't.

The rule was "act as if you were born happy". In my mind, it was sort of combining with the overall message on the website which, loosely stated, is, "shut up and actually listen to your man".  They say it with much more grace and charm, but that's basically my interpretation of it.

Granted, my husband is a man of few words. He has mentioned in the past that he loves to listen to my random ramblings about the day, largely because he likes the sound of my voice.

But yesterday was a day I really should of adhered to this rule. And, of course...I didn't.

I guess this is one of those things about submitting I need to keep working towards- the world doesn't revolve around me. As much as I like to think it does, as awesome as I like to think I am...in truth, there are people with "bigger fish to fry" in the problems department.

Okay, maybe not *that* awesome

And last night, my husband was one of those people.

I should of shut my yapper. I knew the moment he said "hey, Mama", that he was tired. That the day had in some way, shape, or form, got the best of him.
But, I was so wrapped up in me, so down and out that I had sucked at whatever and everything that I failed to do for a challenge I'm sure no one even cares or reads about, that I had missed an opportunity to actually live out being a submissive...no, a caring and empathetic wife.

And reading today's Created to be His HelpMeet section, and looking at the verses....I started to feel that maybe...the term "hush ladies, the men are speaking!" phrase on one of the pages of the(Stepford) site was aimed at miss loud mouth, complaining women...like me.

So, today, I'm going to try and take more seriously the "act as if you were born happy"/ "shut up and actually listen to your man before speaking" rule today.
I may actually have to stick honey in my mouth to do so, but....whatever it takes!

Until Next Time,
Mama Jenn

Monday, January 4, 2016

Day 4, Stepford Wife Challenge

*Note* Sorry that this is 2 days late. I typed it up but didn't realize until today that...I didn't post it
(*-_-). My bad.

Greetings again, Chaotics!

So, yesterday was a bit of a flop, as well as a success. I'll be posting my vlog thoughts later tonight. I tried to do it several times this morning, but for some reason it wouldn't upload :(
**UPDATE*** here it finally is!

Today, I am technically killing several birds with one stone.
No, I am not literally going around killing birds.
My son and youngest daughter are with their BB guns.
How 'Killing Two Birds With One Stone' Kills Us and Our Work
No literally birds were actually harmed during the making of this blog post. I think.

An-y-ways, today isn't really a full-on "rule" day as it is more a "habit" day. I haven't memorized the website's "rules", but I do know *somewhere* on the site, it mentions keeping to or trying to adhere to some kind of schedule. The website mostly gives advice on how to plan your moments when the hubby is home, but as far as I saw, there was no real "schedule" as to how to conduct my day.
I googled "Stepford Wife Schedule" and found two that gave me a general idea of what a Stepford/retro wife's schedule should look like. You can find them here and here.  Then, I found a website to give me  pretty little hour-by-hour, weekly schedule slots to fill in to my heart's content. Which I did, over the weekend. Today, I am actually implementing the schedule for the first time.

Secondly, today is the day I do an extension(of sorts) of trying to please my husband with my appearance.
Yup. That's right...today, I started doing the dreaded "E" word. I'm also trying to do a "diet" of sorts...which is having some....uhm...interesting results already.
*raises eyebrows so you don't dare question what that means*

I am already almost a hour behind on my schedule(*-_-), so I'll leave it at that for now, and either jot down a bit more later tonight, or post something on Youtube.

Until Next Time,
Mama Jenn

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Day 2, Stepford Wife Challenge

Hello, Chaotics!
Sorry about not posting the link last night. Here's the link for my thoughts on day one.
With that said, today's challenge comes from, once again, the "Pleasing Men" section.

I think that, aside from the top concern of the implied title, the second chief concern would be to always have a great appearance. Because according to the website, I am to be "the picture of traditional femininity".
This one, again, isn't too hard. First off, my husband isn't one to really have specifics. However, I have specifics/convictions about femininity that I have implemented myself several years before meeting my husband. I wear only dresses or skirts, I(usually) wear modest tops/shirts. I cover my head when in public and around the house.

So, the rule I'm following today is- always wear your makeup.

Well, they never said you had to look good while putting it on.

As I mentioned in another post, I have started attempting to wear make-up when going out of the house. I don't usually go all out with make-up, largely because I have oily skin and not many people notice, anyhow. I stick to-eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and long-wear lip gloss/glaze(what do they call this nowadays?!). My husband actually doesn't like the lip gloss, because he's big on kissing a lot, and ends up wearing more of it than I do when he's home and I wear it.

A few months ago, I did start attempting to rock some nail polish on a regular basis. My husband noticed from time to time, but never really said outright if he liked it or not. So, until he says otherwise, I'll continue to do it.

And, although this isn't exactly make-up related, I did start wearing some scented lotion and body spray on an everyday basis instead of just when I'm going out of the house...basis. My husband did notice(the second day I wore it, but at least he noticed) and has complimented it, so I kept applying the lotion on and off all day when he's home so the scent would still be there all day long.

This morning, I did try. I took my shower, applied the scented lotion and body spray, picked out a cheery colored dress, applied a fresh coat of nail polish on my nails, took a few minutes longer to do my hair(even though it's covered)...and put my face on(aka-put some make-up on). I even shaved(again), too, just to make myself feel like I haven't missed anything.

I'm sort of peeved at my husband(I mentioned why on my Youtube channel), so I'm not sure if he's not saying anything because of my anger at him or if he really didn't notice I'm wearing make-up. We have our monthly date and discuss the budget night tonight, so let's see what comes of it. *shrugs*
I'll update again sometime tonight or tomorrow morning my thoughts on my channel.
Until Next Time,
Mama Jenn

Friday, January 1, 2016

Day 1 of the Stepford Wife Challenge

Greetings, Chaotics!
First off- Happy New Year! I hope y'all are just as excited to be in 2016 as I am!
So...today is the first day of my Stepford Wife Challenge. As I said in my introduction post about this challenge, I'm going to try to focus on one "rule" a day for the next 30 days. The website I also mentioned has several categories on how they obtain being a Stepford Wife, so I thought, I'll focus on one area each day.
The categories are-
  • Home
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Pleasing Men
  • Manners
  • Dressing
Since it's technically a holiday, and since my husband is home, I thought today, I'd start with a rule from the "Pleasing Men" page. One thing that's stressed on the page a lot more than is actually needed to me is to be available to your husband for love making at any and all times, no matter how you feel or if you are in the mood. I chose this largely because this is an easy baby-step for me to do today.
I know a lot of women who are probably getting mad that I'm so...okay with this one. But, this is one area that I differ from some married women on. Even before the challenge, even before I was married, I was downright giddy at the thought of marriage love making. I still have no clue as to who/where I got the idea from, but I knew for a very long time that once you're married, lovemaking is fair game at any and every chance you get. And I looked forward to it, because, *confession time* I had tried unmarried sex and it sucks rocks to me. Yes, I had great fun in the heat of the moment and all that jazz, but truth be told, a part of me hated that feeling of "this may not last", "give it all you got...and maybe they'll stick around", etc. I have always poured my emotional and physical heart into "it", only to not get the same in return, or only to be crushed than the average woman when the relationship ended. That it was just an "event" to some men, and not a connecting of souls, an act of love, a moment that's sacred and beautiful and brings two people into one. When I realized that Christians believe in saving themselves for marriage, I was actually quite relieved and followed suite.
So, I had always found it weird that women willingly said "no" to their husbands, and only did "it" when they felt like it. Which was rarely never, because, babies and kids and we have a lot on our plates and yada yada yada.
Again...maybe I'm the exception to the rule. But since I've been married, I can count on two fingers the times I have intentionally refused my husband. Once, when I was sick(not just head cold sick but like, I think everything that's inside me is dying sick), and once when I tried to pretend I was sleeping because, in truth, I was furious at him for something and wanted him to know it(side note-it didn't work, anyways. Last time I ever do that!). Granted, we've only been married for a year and a half, but...still. The concept that you're pouring so much into your children, your job, your...whatever that you can't give your husband a moment of your soul that he is eagerly asking you for is a foreign concept to me.
Refuse my husband some nookie? Are you freaking kidding me?!
I chose this rule because it's a no-brainer for me. Plus, it's New Years, I'm still a bit tired, and wanted to take a super easy baby step into Stepford.
Tonight, I'll upload my thoughts on the day on my Youtube channel, and post the link in another entry.
Until Next Time,
Mama Jenn

Preparing to Enter Stepford

Hi, y'all!
I just wanted to drop a quick line about things I'm trying to do to make this transition to the January(well, today) Stepford Challenge as smoothly as possible.
Stepford really isn't an exclusive concept. I mean, the writer had to get an idea from somewhere, right? After watching the movie, I started to see that in all honesty, the concept of a humble, obedient, put-together wife is not really something original. I had watched clips from the 50's and 60's long before I had watched the movie. If I'm being honest, I had strived to be this idea to some degree since I heard of the Quiverfull movement. It seemed the two went hand-in-hand.
Anyways, I looked on the websites I had mentioned in my previous post, and started to see some similarities to those of a retro homemaker. So, to prepare for my self-proclaimed "challenge", I thought of a few things that might help....
-I got back into the habit of making a meal plan. I know y'all would like to think I stick to one religiously, but I don't. With the holidays and just overall fall/winter activities, I really haven't stuck to one since maybe August. I changed this in that, instead of week to week as I had been doing, I did a monthly menu for everything- breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, and weekend desserts.
-One of the things my husband and I have been attempting to do for several months now is adhere to a budget. Guess who is the one more likely to overspend when shopping, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays? *raises hand* (*-_-). So, in order to hopefully stay on course for our budget and do it the Stepford way, I took it upon myself to start going to the "market"(our local grocery store) daily. Our local grocer is less than a mile away, so if weather permits, I may alternate between driving and walking.
-As I mentioned in my previous post, the website I preferred the most on how to be a Stepford Wife did have a reading list. But due to the above "help", I am somewhat banned from buying anything extra that's not really a need(plus, with all this cleaning, do you KNOW how much my budgeted amount for household cleaning products is going to jump :O?!?!). So, the books I will be doing my best to read daily are- the Bible, The Duck Commander Devotional(I...I mean, dear hubby bought this for me for Christmas! ;) ) , Created to be His Helpmeet, and The 5 Money Personalities(hubby gave the okay on buying this).
-I have told the kids about the challenge, which meant, for them, no more "full-on" chores(since, as far as I know, most Stepford Wives cleaned the whole house themselves, daily.). They will still be expected to pick up their own toys/clothes/books. Although I will be doing all the cleaning, I don't expect them to be slobs. Since yelling clearly doesn't work, and money seems to talk around here, I'm providing a money-based incentive for them to keep up this little bit. Let's see if it makes my job easier or not....
-I am "testing the waters" in several areas of submissiveness to my husband. This is probably the hardest area for me to give way to, because, although I do like and fully embrace the Biblical definition of submission to one's husband(which is partially similar to the Stepford Wives way), I have not practiced it fully. While the Bible gives a loose definition of what submission should look like, the Stepford Wives Associate has not. They have everything from how to act in public to how to act in the bedroom. I'm not kidding. Everything in their world shows total and complete submission to one's husband...and this is something I am totally not used to.
*Note- Depending on what area we're talking about, so far this has frustrated either me or my husband, or it has been good for me or my husband. Part of it's due to the website I mentioned previously expects your husband to be home daily. My husband is a truck driver and is only home a maximum of two(full) days a week-two half days and(usually) one full day. This is the area I personally wanted to work on the most, so maybe that's why it's becoming such an uphill battle(?)
-I have noticed they have a dress code. I do attempt on some level to dress modestly; however, the idea is to dress for your husband. While my husband has said repeatedly that he could care less about what I wear or don't wear, I have noticed that he does, through body language, etc. respond to certain items. I'm not saying he's a pig about it(far from it!), but he has started to say a thing here or there about wearing dresses, dress/skirt lengths, head coverings he prefers, and the presence of cleavage or lack of. I'm going to run past hubby if or if not I should buy any additional items to keep with the Stepford ways.
-I have started to get into the habit of trying(not always succeeding!) to make sure I'm presentable before leaving the bedroom for the day. As far as I know, Stepford's don't start the day without making sure they are "neat as a pin" most days.  If I'm going beyond the house, I have started to apply a small amount of makeup and run a brush through my hair. As it gets closer to the challenge, I will probably start putting on more make-up before coming out of the bedroom for the day, regardless of if I actually go beyond the house or not.
-I have noticed a lot of women(in the movie) do an awful lot of baking. I'm not exactly sure how this is going to help my attempts at "looking fragile for my husband", but with Christmas and all the cookies I've made during that time...and the oven on anyhow...I have started to get up earlier to ensure the kids have a fresh baked breakfast of some kind, in addition to making snacks here and there(not too hard with all the Christmas cookies), and lunches and dinners myself.
*I have to make a note here-
This, for some odd reason, has brought more joy and warmth(and I'm not just talking because it's winter) into our home than I expected. My previous way of cooking for meals went something like this- make a huge batch, eat for several days until we either get sick of it or until it's gone, make another huge batch of something, repeat...repeatedly. I did this for several years when first learning how to refine my cooking as a single mom because 1. I held jobs on and off 2. I often had more than my kids to feed on any given day(gave some to neighbors, family that "just stopped by", or children I was babysitting and could never tell what would be loved and requested seconds/thirds, etc.). The habit stuck. But since cooking and preparing the food, all the food, we HAD to sit down at the table and we HAD to do it at the same time. I have also been adding a bit more of a loving gesture to each meal-serving it on platters, trying to arrange it to look a little better on said platters, etc. I don't understand why exactly this is making such a difference, but it has. I may strive to stick with this after the challenge.
-I have also noticed that the women are supposed to be constantly dieting and trying to be a healthy weight(well, they specifically say "thin", but I have tried thin and the only thing it makes me look is gross.). So, I'm going to be working out and trying to incorporate more produce and smaller potions in my challenge.
-This week, I'm starting a "Homemaker System for the Domestically Challenged" e-course, which you can sign up for here, and also downloaded and printed off the planner mentioned in the course. I'm hoping this will help me in my attempt at adhering to "A Stepford Wife Schedule", while not becoming too...legalistic(?) about it.
So, here's to Stepford!
Until Next Time,
Mama Jenn