Saturday, August 28, 2010

New! Book "reviews"

I very much enjoy reading and somehow seem to find time (sometimes when I should be doing other things related to my last post!). I’ve always loved it and have absolutely NO idea how many books I’ve read in my lifetime. I thought it would be interesting to keep track of that and also share some books some of you may enjoy as well. I have a very eclectic taste in books so you’ll hear about all kinds… I’m not a literary critic though, so I’m basically just going to be giving a quickie overview and my very brief thoughts!


Currently, I’m enjoying fantasy and have enjoyed series by Jim Butcher. The Dresden Files are what I would call Harry Potter for adults! And his Codex Alera series is more on the fantasy end of the spectrum; I enjoyed both series equally and wished for more when I finished them! So when I finished them, I looked for more fantasy books. I just finished the last three books in the Sword of Truth  series by Terry Goodkind (Chainfire, Phantom, Confessor). These are quite long books and there are 12 in the entire series. I picked up somewhat towards the end and would love to go back and start at the beginning; unfortunately, our library does not have all of them, so I may have to look elsewhere. As I said, though, they are long books; it has a “Lord of the Rings” feel times 20! You get to the end and feel there has to be more! It’s a very epic “save the world” kind of series. I didn’t feel confused by not starting at the beginning, but am definitely interested at reading more to understand how it all came to be. So don’t let it dissuade you if your library doesn’t have them all either.


If you’ve read any of these series, I’d love to hear your comments! Or questions if you haven’t (help me hone my book reviewing skills!). And I’m always looking for more books for my list, so what are you reading?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Housecleaning chart

I am a terrible housekeeper. I really dislike cleaning (until I start doing it, and then I don’t mind so much). It’s the idea of it, I think! And now that I’m home full-time, with an infant who still isn’t moving, and a toddler that does a fairly good job of entertaining herself, one would think my house would be sparkling… Not so much. I’m very easily distracted (ooh, shiny!). So in this, my very first official post in my home organization journey, I’ll share my plans to remedy this situation!
My initial attempt was through the file card system set up by the Sidetracked Home Executives. I found out about this through and between this site and the book I found at the library from the Sidetracked Home Executives, decided to give it a try.
In a nutshell, for this system, you put each task on its own card and then file it in the correct day in your box. Each morning, you pull out your cards and know what you are to do each day. You use a certain color card for daily tasks, a different color for weekly, etc. As you complete each task you file it where it belongs (the next day for daily tasks or the appropriate day of the week if its weekly, etc.). This is a fairly simplified description as there are also ways to keep track of seasonal tasks, monthly tasks, etc. I was so excited by this and thought it was really going to keep me on track. However… I disliked the box and piles of cards on my counter all the time, and got a little overwhelmed seeing all those cards.

Which leads to attempt #2.
This time, I decided to add daily checklists to my notebook (the organized home site describes the “household notebook” of important information; I’m attempting this as well, and perhaps will make it the subject of another post in the future…). So I made up the checklists on my computer, glued them to old file folders to make them thicker, and laminated them (so I could write with dry-erase markers and wipe it off).

For my monthly and seasonal tasks, I created a one page sheet with a list of monthly chores and dates completed, as well as a mini “calendar” of seasonal tasks and reminders. I added chores like washing windows, as well as reminders for Holiday activities and birthday celebrations.

I liked this better- not so many little cards floating around, and I could see at a glance each day what I needed to do. But I didn’t like keeping them in the notebook, as now I had a bulky notebook on my counter. As if there isn’t enough junk on there already… So I tried hanging them on the fridge with a magnetic clip. Better… But then I thought of a revision…

Better known as Attempt #3. When it comes to daily planners, I would much rather have a weekly view. In my first job out of college, I got very excited about getting a pda. However, after I used it for a week or so, I realized that I hated having to see only one day at a time. I’ve only ever liked a daily planner once, and that was in Honduras when I had a million different things to remember each day (and plus, it was free!). So I made this:

This shows all my tasks in one weekly view. Inspired by this homemade beautiful dry erase board from Make It and Love It (another awesome idea I’d like to do- they are so much prettier than my $2 Ollie’s dry erase board!), I put it in a picture frame, and plan to hang it on the wall beside my dry erase board and magnetic boards.

In my head, I like that I’ll be able to see everything at a glance, and know what I’ve done (or not done!) that week. And I can use my dry-erase markers and check things off or add new ones, and then… viola!- clean slate for the next week.


I’ll let you know how it works, and in the meantime, I’d love to know what works for you! How do you organize the running of your household?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Quick and Easy Tutu

I finally finished this tutu for L… I ran out of the tulle in the middle, but really it’s a very easy and quick no sew project!

I based it off this tutororial from Samster Mommy. She shares a super quick method using rolls of nylon tulle from a craft store. I didn’t want to wait to get to ours (30 minutes away!) so I bought by the yard from Walmart and modified her method. I ended up using 2 yards for L’s tutu, but you could use more if you wanted it even fuller. If you don’t want your elastic showing at all, you’ll definitely want more than 2 yards, especially if you are making one for a larger child (L is almost 3).tutorial
I bought ½ yard of each the first time I bought it, and folded it in half so I had an approximately 9” wide rectangle. I lined up my 4 inch quilting ruler against the short side, and wrapped the tulle around the ruler, and the cut up both sides, creating 4 inch by 18 inch strips. From there, I followed Samster Mommy’s directions to tie it onto my elastic (which I sewed as she suggested, but later tied in a knot since it was too big; on my second tutu, I just tied it in a knot.
It’s cute, easy, and so much fun to watch L dance around the living room and shake her little bum!

I added this under my saving money label, as this tutu cost me less than 3 dollars to make.  Compare that to the beautiful tutus on or this tutu from Amazon.  You even save money on the less expensive ones  though they are great options if you don't want to do your own.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

E's Early Intervention Therapy

I thought since its been so long since I posted, I would write up a quick post on E's Early Intervention Therapies.  I haven't taken many pictures, but have a few of him working hard! 

I'm so thankful every day for the 3 wonderful women who come to our house once a week (each).  It's so nice to know that they don't care what it looks like: how many toys are scattered on the floor, if there's a pile of cookie crumbs or L's breakfast bowl in the living room, baskets of folded (or unfolded) laundry sitting around.  They don't care about any of that, just about E and his progress.  I love that you can tell, every time they see him, how much they care about how he's doing and what progress he's making.  I won't show any photos of these three lovely ladies, as I don't  have permission, but we appreciate them so much!

In case you don't know, E has been diagnosed with Complete Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum, meaning that his corpus collosum (the part of your brain that is the main bridge of communication between the two sides) did not develop.  We don't know yet what this will mean with regards to his future, as there is a huge range of development for individuals with ACC.  Some people never know they have ACC, and others are noticably affected in various ways, whether it be in their physical abilities, speech, etc.  Whatever happens, we are believing that God has a plan for our beautiful boy.  In my heart, I want him to be "normal" but we know he will be amazing no matter what his capabilities.

E has been working hard in therapy and is very close to sitting by himself!  We are also working on weight bearing activities, and helping him take steps.  He is still not very interested in toys, so we pray (and ask you to pray with us!) that the opthamologist, who we will see tomorrow, will find some way to help him be able to see those toys better.

So, without further ado, here are some photos of our almost one year old (TOMORROW!!!!) working hard at his therapy.

Daughter L was SO excited when our physical therapist brought this big ball (she's been asking  for one everytime we go to walmart!), and has done a good job of "sharing" it with E! Here he is working on standing- Isn't that ball just the perfect size for him?!  We also have him sit on it and roll it slightly so he has to work at bringing himself back up straight as well as doing tummy time on it which he seems to like a little better than the floor!

And of course, later when L is playing, she does some therapy too...
We do this activity with E also! 

Working on crawling!

One of my favorite therapies with E is water therapy!  We spend time in the pool, and are excited to see his legs start kicking more!  I don't have any pictures of that, but here's a photo of what's been happening every time we go to the pool.

Yup, he's sleeping... I guess he really loves the water too!

As I said E turns 1 tomorrow; seems like this year has gone too fast for that...
We know lots of our family and friends have been praying for him, and we would love if you'd continue to do so!  We are so excited to see what this year brings for him!