On Kids and Chores

Allowances, Bonus Chores and Penalties. This Is How We Do It

On Kids and Chores

Tom and I both work, and we have 4 children who we taxi to school in the morning (it’s not a local school) and to sports in the evening. It doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for house work.

Full disclosure: There are 2 hours in the evening that could be used for house work, but we are usually so tired that we end up on the couch in front of the TV or computer.

This is where having 4 kids comes in handy! We have doled out some of our housework as chores. Of course, only 3 of our 4 kids are old enough to do proper chores, but Siobhan does help tidy toys… so long as you sing the “Clean up, clean up” song.

This isn’t just your average chore list though, we have bonus chores and penalties!

Here is the run down:

Eleanor (12) is responsible for unloading the dishwasher, usually a daily chore, and she is paid $6 a week.

Ethan (9) is responsible for garbage. Once a week he has to collect the garbage from all the bedrooms and bathrooms, he has to take out recycling whenever needed, and he has to take the bins to the curb on garbage day. He gets $4 a week.

6-year old Rebecca’s chore, up until very recently, was to feed the dog. Since our dog moved out, we had to change her chore. Now, she is responsible for our front hall. She has to keep the shoes and boots tidy and make sure hats/mitts/scarves are in the bin. She gets $3 a week.

Now, each child has the opportunity to make more money should they choose because we have bonus chores.

If someone takes the initiative to clean the kids bathroom, they will get paid. If they only clean the counter top, they get 50 cents. If they clean the whole bathroom, that’s worth $1.50.

Vacuuming is worth 50 cents per floor. So, they have the potential to make another $1.50 if they vacuum the whole house.

Dusting will get them another 50 cents and wiping down all the kitchen cabinets another $1.50.

They are welcome to negotiate other opportunities also. Tom and I are open to paying them for any house work they do, they just have to negotiate their deal. I have, in the past, paid them 50 cents for sorting socks, Eleanor often asks “How much will you give me to…” and sometimes the answer is nothing… if it’s something like cleaning her own room.

Their earning potential is unlimited!

They also have the potential to lose a lot of money because our chore list includes penalties.

If you leave your light on, you owe me 25 cents. Left clothes lying around? That’ll cost you another 25 cents. Forgetting your dishes on the table will cost you too! Again, 25 cents.

We are saving up the money they are penalized for a nice dinner out for the whole family.

Looking for a way to get your kids to do chores without the expense? Check out HighScore House


If I Die Facebook App

A Message From The Grave

If I Die Facebook App

If you know me, you know I announce everything on Facebook. I announced when we bought our house, I announced when we got married (moments after it happened changing my name to include my husband’s last name), I announced when I was pregnant, and I announced the birth of our baby.

I even announce non-monumental happenings. Things like “Maureen Turner Rasmussen is baking cookies!” Who doesn’t want to know that?

Seems logical that I would announce my death as well…right?

Facebook has just announced the “if I die” app. What you do, is record a message that you would like to play once you are dead. A few of your friends will have to confirm your passing and then your video will be released.

I guess the idea of leaving a message to your loved ones is kind of cool, but Facebook seems a little impersonal. Not to mention, what if this video is released before everyone knows you have passed? How creepy would it be to click someone’s farwell video not knowing what it was and have them announce (from the grave) that they have died.

I have a few friends who have passed away in the past couple of years, and their Facebook accounts are still open. I get birthday notifications every year…for a dead friend.

If you have a family member who has passed, and you don’t want these reminders, all you have to do is contact Facebook and have the account memorialized. This takes the account out of the public newsfeeds, but leaves the wall open for friends and family to leave messages and pay their respects.

I think a memorial page is a great idea. You can start a fan page for the deceased where friends and family can join and leave messages, support the family, and pay respects. The best thing about the memorial page—no creepy videos.

So, will you be leaving your friends and family a message from the grave?


God Bless Toopy and Binoo

Surviving The Terrible Twos

God Bless Toopy and Binoo

Siobhan, our youngest, is fast approaching the terrible twos…well, actually, I think they’ve arrived early.

She sits, hand in mouth, drool on chin, rash on bum, snot—everywhere, and she cries. She is cranky ALL. THE. TIME!

Wait, I take that back, she stops crying as soon as the Toopy and Binoo theme song comes on. Then she sits, and she watches without moving, until the show is over.

Then, she looks at me with her little, red cheeks and her tired eyes and she says “More Toopy Toopy, Mommy.”

The first time she said it, I had no more Toopy Toopy, but we found it online. Now I have about 5 episodes sitting on the PVR waiting for her to say “More Toopy Toopy, Mommy.”

Call me a bad mom, but the other day, she was so irritable I let her watch Toopy and Binoo pretty much all day. If I was in the kitchen, she sat on a stool at the computer and watched. If I was in the den, she watched the tv. Sometimes, she wouldn’t even notice that I had left the room.

Her favourite episode is The Magic Mirror; she actually laughs out loud.

As much as I hear people saying they hate Toopy and Binoo, at my house, they are saints.