Thursday, March 31, 2011

Focus on the Family--April Edition

Click here to peak at how we did with March's "Focus on the Family" goals .  It was probably our best month yet!!!  March was a bit of a crazy month but we got through it and I am looking forward to a great April :)

Family Time
*Plan a family fun day in Boston (we tried but unfortunately plans fell through...hopefully next month)
*Spend Easter with Mimi and Grandpa J
*Family Yard sale
*Spend time with Neene while Chi Chi is away

Z and C Time
*Get in some Park Time
*Take them on at least one adventure
*enjoy this month of Seeds, Earth Day and Easter (we added whales in too ;)
*Work on Z's handwriting
*Make a bubble to keep Lil' C in so she won't get hurt so much :)  much improved this month!
*Get outside as MUCH AS WE CAN!!

Momma Time
*Mom's Weekend Away with La--Wedding :)
*WORK OUT--Start Power 90
*Continue my Advent Letter project and random acts of kindness

Momma and Papa Time (keeping it the same)
*Try Hard to not let the stress get to us (worked HARD at this!!)
*Go on a date night (maybe next month)
*have one home date

Home Time
*Continue my Spring Cleaning--Focus on Family Room and Kitchen
*Organize our spring yard sale
*Sell More Stuff on Ebay and Amazon
*Finish Decluttering the House--So close!!
*Plan the Garden
*Get compost going again

Counting My Blessings
This month I am giving a shout out to my closest of friends (you know who you are are). Thank you for your support, love, kindness and most of all your friendship.  I have depended on you all a lot this past year and I am so grateful to be surrounded by such beautiful, loving and fun people :)  I look forward to many more playdates, ladies nights outs and weekends away!  You guys are truly amazing :)

I am so incredibly blessed!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Sink Standoff

This is the sink in my master bedroom.  After cleaning the bathroom last Wednesday, I put this sign up so that we would no longer use this sink until the drain was unclogged.  I was sick of the soapy, scummy sink of standing water and was hoping S would see this sign and then remember to take care of it. 

This was a week ago....yup.  Now when I put the sign up I figured that, being as busy as he is, he would not get to it until the weekend.  In this house we have unspoken responsibilities....he is in charge of trash and home repairs and I do EVERYTHING else ;)  Since he has been working so much, I have taken over most of the trash responsibilities (if I didn't it would be out of control) but there are some things that I was hoping he would still do.  Could I learn how to unclog a sink?  Yes, I know I could.  But since he has over 10 years of experience in this area, I think he would be much quicker about it :)

So when do you think the sink will be unclogged??  S has already moved his toothbrush to the other bathroom and is making full use of the hand sanitizer I put next to the "Out of Order" sink.  I really don't want to have to ask him to do it, so I will wait and see how long it takes.  Feel free to take the poll on the sidebar and let me know when you think he will unclog the sink :)  I vow that this will not be like his suitcases that stand in the kitchen for over a week before I get so sick of them I move them to the stairs (Everybody Loves Raymond Style), and after he walks by them for a few days, give in and bring it up and unpack it!!!  No, this time I am standing firm.....I hope :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Food Sundays....

Z is a VERY picky eater and we have struggled for years to get him to try anything new.  A few weeks ago I read in a magazine about a parent offering up a new food once a week.  I think the parent called it, "New Food Mondays".  I loved the idea, told Z about it and told him that HE could even pick the new healthy food to try.  He was surprisingly open to the idea and so our new tradition was born.

The first week he picked broccoli (can you believe it???).  He was very excited about it until it sat on his plate in front of him.  He giggled looking down at the little trees in front of him and looked at me with a look of disgust.  I told him that he had to try it (eat one tree) and then if he didn't like it, he could go on and eat the rest of his dinner.  He took a "bite" and made a face.  I don't even think a morsel of broccoli touched his tongue but he declared that he did not like it.  I stood firm and told him he had to eat the entire little tree before he could eat the rest of his dinner and even showed him the old plugging your nose trick.  He plugged his nose and spent 5 LONG minutes chewing that tiny broccoli tree.  It was painful to watch but he did it and moved onto the rest of his supper.  At the end of the meal he declared that next week he would like to try Grilled Cheese. 

Last night, the delicious Grilled Cheese Sandwich was delivered to his seat.  S did an amazing job with this sandwich, it was ooey, gooey perfection.  C gobbled down the other half and Z sat there in a stand off.  He wouldn't look at the sandwich and was wishing that it would go away.  I told him the rules, that he had to eat a bite of sandwich and then he could eat the rest of his dinner and I reminded him that this food was his choosing.  This caused the waterworks to flow and he sobbed uncontrollably.  I calmly told him to excuse himself from the table and explained that if he did not take a bite of sandwich he would not be eating anything this evening.  I told him that the doctor has told me that he will be fine if he goes one night without food and that he needs to try new things. This news sent him crying to his room. 

It was awful!  I have never sent him to bed hungry but he is now 4 1/2 and it is time to open up his world to new and different foods.  I feel that this way of going about it is putting him in control of the food choices and thus it should not be so difficult for him.  I usually do not battle over food, for me it is not a place I want to go.  However, I wanted him to know that I mean business around this "New Food Sundays" and want him to be a little more open minded.  At bedtime he told me that he had a horrible day.  I then reminded him of the fun that was had during the day and during his bedtime routine and that it was really a horrible dinner time.  He agreed, snuggled up and told me that next week he wants to try peas.  Who is this kid????

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Project Simplify Week #3--Kids Dressers and Closets

This Week's Hotspot over at Simple Mom was the Kids Toys or Clothes :)  I go through my kids toys so often (Z feels it is a little TOO often) and we just did a big clean out at Christmas and again a few weeks ago after reading this AMAZING Book, Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne (more on that another day).  I thought it was unfair for Z to go through them again and honestly the majority of the toys that are left are toys that are all loved and played with often.  I think we will wait a bit (maybe at yard sale time) to go through them again. 

So this week was all about the closets.  My children's closets were disasters.  We had things in there that had not been moved since the day we moved in 5 years ago.  I had started going through stuff over the last month but this week was a big push to get it cleaned out.  Z has a "Clubhouse" in his closet now that the 2 guitars and all of the rest of the junk are out :)  And Lil C still has some clothes bags that need to head to the attic in hers but over all they are looking good.  I also did their drawers and went through all of their clothes.  Now Z is able to pick out his own clothes and get himself dressed in the morning!!!!  Yipee :)

Here are the pictures....

Z's closet half way through and finished closet

A sample drawer for you...Z's shirts

the stuff I took out of Z's closet!!

Z's finished room (I also decluttered his room)

Lil' C's closet half way through and after

A sample drawer of Lil' C--her socks/swimsuits before and after

Her room after decluttering :)

Thanks Tsh over at Simple Mom for Week 3's Hotspot.  It was ALOT of work (especially with a 17 month old underfoot) but the rooms and closets look great and I feel like our house just took a big sigh of relief :)

Happy Cleaning!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bartering With Best Friends :)

I had wanted this picture to be of both La and Sey at my Bachelorette Party but it is in La's account and I can't figure out her password :)  Until then you can enjoy this picture of me in 2004 on Halloween in my classroom :)

So over the last week I have struck up two "deals" with my two best friends :)  I am so excited about both of these deals and hope that everyone involved benefits and that our friendships (which mean the world to me) are not strained as a result.  I am really not seeing this as being a let me tell you about them :)

Deal Number 1--Get in Shape Girl

My best friend La from my college days and her husband J are starting a coaching website for people out there who are looking to get in shape using the Beachbody Programs.  Here is a little from their amazing website:
Welcome to Team InfinityX, a community of individuals who are committed to improving their health and fitness.  For today, for tomorrow, to infinity.     As your coaches, we are here to help motivate and support you through your own fitness journey!  Through our transformations, we have come to be true believers in what these programs and supplements can...
I personally have used Power90 and TurboJam and have loved them!  They were easy to use (I hate the gym), fun and I got good results.  I have not worked out since pre-baby and I may only be 5 lBS over my goal weight but I am sooooo flabby.  La has asked me to be her guinea pig for her new website and as a result I will benefit from her years of experience with these programs and her amazing motivational skills :)  My life doesn't really give up much time for exercise, especially with a baby who rises at 5:30 and a husband who works 24/7 but La has helped me to work out a schedule and I think it is one that will work.  I am so excited to get started (not excited about taking my before pictures though) and hope to get started with Chalene ExtremeIt is time for La and Chalene to kick my butt!

Deal Number 2--Let's Get Organized

My best friend Sey from my gradschool days has asked me to help her get more organized.  She is working two jobs, adjusting to life as a single mother, is a very involved community member and is a say the least she is overwhelmed.  She has asked that I help her to get organized and simplify life.  She knows that I have spent the last year of my life on a path to minimalism and is hoping that I can pass on some of the knowledge that I have learned along the way to help her out.  In return she has offered to do another photo session with my children (her photos are like GOLD, she is the most amazing and patient photographer I know).  I hope that together we can help her to feel a little more organized, get rid of more of her stuff, share ideas and tips and take this road together.  I am looking forward to it :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

In the 60's, Eggs, Shreddding, New Dishwasher, Grandparents, Maple Syrup

What do these things all have in common??  They were the highlights of our fabulous weekend!  Thursday and Friday temps were in the 60's.  The snow melted so much in those two days.  We went from about a foot in our yard to a couple of inches and many bear spots!  The kids and I enjoyed two days of outdoor fun in the driveway :)  On Friday night I had a wonderful time at book club and ended up coming home with a dozen fresh eggs!  The host has 15 chickens and let us all go home with eggs.  I usually buy mine at a local farm but was unable to get their this week, it was wonderful for her to share with us!   Book club was also LOTS of fun :)

This is a mess that I like to clean up!  Welcome Spring!!!

As for shredding, it took me TWO days to shred all of the papers that I needed to shred from last week's Hot Spot Project for Simple Mom :)  It feels so good to be done and I hope to never have 12 years worth of crap to shred again!

The new dishwasher came on Saturday evening (did I tell you the old one melted a hole in the bottom and I was standing in a lake in my kitchen???).  I had been without one for a week and a half and it was soooo nice to see it arrive.  We decided to forgo the $150 installation fee and so S and his Dad worked all evening and into the night on getting it installed.  It was tedious but it works and looks GREAT!

We were so blessed to not only have my mother over for dinner (dad was in Mexico) on Saturday night but S's parents drove up to be with us as well.  The kids were in their glory as they were spoiled with love and attention.  It was so nice to have everybody here!

Sunday we visited a local Sugar House to see how the golden goodstuff gets to our table :)  It was lots of fun and Z even ran into one of his friends.  We went home with some syrup for our pancakes and can't wait to enjoy it tomorrow.  We then spent the afternoon outside.  It was not as warm as Friday but 40 and Sunny, we'll take it!
Sugar House

I hope you had a nice weekend :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Project Simplify Week #2--Paper Clutter

Oh paper, how it clutters up our lives.  It clutters my car, my handbag, my kitchen table, my Family Management Notebook, my cabinets, my overstuffed filing cabinet....MY LIFE!  This week's challenge over at Simple Mom was especially challenging for me.  But I am happy to say that after 4 days attacking the problem, we are looking pretty good.  I still have a pile of things to shred (S was out of town this week and I didn't want to shred without him just incase I had a shredder accident) but overall we have turned over a new leaf.  This included moving the filing cabinet out of Lil C's closet.  Having it there was so impractical because any time I had a chance to file something she was asleep!  Hopefully with our new plan in place we can keep it up!

Here are some photos of the progress.

We reclaimed our table!!!  All of the mail is either being eliminated by going paperless, being recycled right away or being filed away (and the basket is now in the pantry).

I made four folders:  Immediate Attention, File Away, our Tax Paperwork and Business Receipts

 Here is the pile (plus one more box in the basement) to be shredded!!  We had papers dating back to 1999, including every lease we have ever had and we have owned our house for 5 years!!

My recipes were all a jumbled mess.  I keep most of them on my computer but often print them out to have them close.  I made this recipe binder to fix that paper nightmare :)
My Family Management Notebook and Counter Keeper before
 Then After :)  Nothing too drastic here.

Our Catch All Shelf (envelopes, take out menus, markers, tape...ETC) before and after

Thanks Tsh over at Simple Mom for Week 2's Hotspot.  It was very important and I am glad that we now have it under control.  I will now spend my weekend shredding :)

Happy Cleaning!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

As My Irish Grandfather Use to Say....

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
... And may you be in heaven
half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!
Green Shamrock Pancakes :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not Her Week

Lil' C is having a rough go this week. 

Thursday Afternoon:  After a lovely morning at the local Science Museum and Lil' C could not stop crying.  She had been fine at the museum but was a wreck upon arriving home.  I snatched her up and could feel the heat radiating from her body.  Her temp was 101 (ironically the little girl we went to the Museum with that morning also went home and had a temp of 101) and she was frantically pulling on her ear.  I never take my kids to the doctor (hate the looks they give you when you bring them and there is nothing wrong) but I called and they wanted to see her.  Turns out she had a bad ear infection and a new molar coming in.  Poor thing was in tons of pain.

Thursday Evening:  We were on our way up for bath before my MOMS night out and I opened the gate to go upstairs and heard SCREAMING.  Poor Lil' C's fingers were caught within the gate :(  She had a big gash and they were quickly swelling up.  I scooped her to the sink and when S looked at them he yelled, "I think you severed them!"  We are not really all that great in emergency situations but we tried to remain calm, I sang to her as I ran cold water over her fingers and S ran around collecting things we would need at the Urgent Care Facility (mainly pants for Z, he was half nude ;)).  After getting in the car, we thought twice about going to Urgent Care, I mean what would they do for a finger even if it was broken??  I called my sister, a nurse, and she agreed that the best thing would be to give Lil' C some advil and get her to bed (she had an ear infection after all).  This is what we did and thankfully she is okay.  They were black and blue and quite swollen but not broken!

Friday Afternoon:  I was putting Z's clothes into his drawer and went to shut the drawer when I heard screaming again.  You guessed it, she had her fingers there too!!!  This time it was the other hand.   I am so not winning MOTHER OF THE YEAR!!!  It was not as bad as the night before and some cold water made everything okay.

Weekend:  Tired, teething, miserable, whining, sick baby :(   She is climbing up on everything and took a nasty spill off one of the chairs.  We have removed half of the chairs (including all kitchen and a few dining room) from our home as a result!

Monday Morning:  Lil' C was at music class and was on all fours trying to get up to come over to me.  This kid sees her bum in the air and takes it as an opportunity to kick her with all his might.  She slams her face down on concrete floor (covered by thin carpeting) and there is blood everywhere.  It is coming from her nose and mouth and Z and I are trying to get her both calm and the bleeding under control :( 

Tuesday afternoon:  Lil' C takes a spill off of the rocking chair in the family room.  This was probably the 15th fall of the day.  She is okay but what am I going to do with her??  We do need to have some places to sit in this house!! 

So that is her week in a nutshell.  The poor thing is a walking disaster.  Does anybody have a bubble they can lend us??

Monday, March 14, 2011


It has been awhile so I am going to share a bunch of funny things Z has said lately.  If you are my friend on facebook then you have seen all of these but I thought it was important to document them here ;)

1. After explaining the concept of lent to Z and that I had given up sweets, I asked him if he would like to give anything up or try to do something good. He said, "Mommy, I will try to sing songs from the 80's"
2.  Z and I were pretending to be Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House books and our tree house landed on Jupiter.
Me: How are we going to go explore Jupiter? It is really cold out there and the planet is made of gas.
Z: Let's put on our poop suits and go explore the Gas Giant.
Me: Poop suits? What will those do?
Z: Poop makes you ...gassy so you need to wear a poop suit to be in all that gas!
3.  Z: Mommy when I am 53 I will have two kids and a car.
Me: Sounds great Z
(long silent pause)
Z: Mommy, if I don't have a car, how will I go to the car store and buy a car?
Me: That is a great question, you could always someone to give you a ride. 
Z: (more silence) I know, I will take your car and then go to the car store and buy a tow truck and then tow your car home.
Me: Brilliant!
4.  Z: I love Bacon so much!!
Me: Do you know where bacon comes from?
Z: Yes, farms
Me: Yes, it does come from farms but do you know which animal it comes from? (blank stare from Z) It comes from pigs
Z: Oh yes!!! Pigs poop out bacon!!
It may have been wrong to not correct this notion but for now I guess ignorance is bliss?!?!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Project Simplify Week 1--My Closet :)

This week Tsh over at Simple Mom kicked off her Project Simplify.  The first "hot spot" that we were assigned to tackle was our own closet.  Tsh wanted us to put ourselves first for once and truly take a close look at our wardrobes.  For the past 6 months I have been working on my closet and have downsized quite a bit.  When I first saw this assignment I thought that all I would have to do would be to straighten up and vacuum.  Boy was I wrong.

Tsh asked us to take out each article of clothing and try it on and assess if it was something that really looked good on us.  If it didn't, it was time to give it away.  She also asked us to remove all clothing with stains or holes (I can't believe how many crappy shirts I was holding on to!!).  This project took about 2.5 hours.  My friend K took Z for the afternoon and the baby slept for 1/2 of the project, she then "helped" me.

If I had the money to spend right now, I would have gotten rid of even more.  For now there are some very tired pieces that stayed but I do hope to replace them one by one :)  I hung all of my clothes on hangers and placed them back into the closet backwards (a tip from so many of the minimalism websites).  The plan is that as you wear something, you hang it back up the correct way.   If the hanger is still backwards after 3 months, it is time to get rid of the piece of clothing because it is not a regular item (fancy clothes are exempt from this rule).  I can't wait to see which hangers are still facing the wrong way in 3 months.

So here are the pictures of the process.

My Closet Before

My closet before without my spring clothes added in
The Goodwill Pile

The Trash Pile

The Hardest Thing to Throw Away :(

My 9th grade class shirt.  You can't read any of the names and it has holes in it :(

6 Months Ago I did not have enough hangers in my closet...Look at these Extra!

My Closet Now :)
This is my finished closet with my spring wardrobe added in and some winter stuff at the dry cleaners :)

 Here they are side by side...

So now it is your turn!  Go and clean out your wardrobe and then head over to Simple Mom and figure out what you need to do to win this weeks terrific prize :)  You can participate even if you don't have a blog but you need to do so by Friday!