More Mayhem and it’s Name

A large part of my daily mayhem consists of being home all day with a little one who is very high energy, cannot/does not entertain himself at all, can’t stand for me to leave the room, gets into everything, falls off/runs into things, frequently has bumps, bruises and boo boo’s and is overall just extra cranky. Yeah, good times. Well, I’ve recently discovered that my cute little one actually has SPD/Sensory Processing Disorder (also known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction) so there really is something behind his behavior. And here all this time I just thought he was a little snotbucket. It’s fortunate to have caught it early, to get treatment (Occupational Therapy) and hopefully things will improve. It was a true “Aha!” moment as I learned that kids who have sensory issues behave in just the way my little darling does. SPD is difficulty handling information that comes in through the senses—not just hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch, but also the proprioceptive and vestibular senses, (yeah, like I knew what that meant!) which apparently tell us where our arms and legs are in relation to the rest of us and how our body is oriented toward gravity. Additionally, he's also not getting his needs met for tactile input. Someone with sensory issues can be either over-sensitive or under-sensitive, my child is in the latter category. OT will get him lifting, pushing, pulling, and working until he gradually becomes more alert to the feel of his body and its surroundings. Thank heavens he starts this much needed therapy this week. In the meantime, we are working on his communication skills and have actually heard some new words out of him lately. We are also working on signing with him and he’s already picked up a few signs! I must admit I am really enjoying learning this with him! So, we are very busy around here with all this learning, therapy and new ways of doing things. It’s pretty challenging and time consuming but all very necessary under the circumstances. I am hopeful now that I know why my child has been so difficult thus far, along with knowing there is actually something that can be done about it that things will improve for him.

Better Ways To Go Green | PARADE Magazine

This is a great little article in today's Parade Magazine. We are using several of the suggestions for "being green" although there is more we can do and we will continue to work towards that. I found it interesting and agreed with the concept that purchasing clothing from a renewable resource is not necessarily the best way to go and the suggestion to purchase [and continuing wearing] classic, timeless pieces in quality fabrics, is ironically the exact same advice I've been giving to clients for years related to simplicity and style--who knew I'd been doing a "green thing" all along! Here are some of the other things we've been doing.

We all have reusable, stainless steel water bottles and take them with us wherever we go, even the baby has a little baby version with a sippy lid! These things are great and I highly recommend them. We also fill them with tap water, filtered through our faucet instead of bottled water or water purchased from a service.

The majority of our furniture is used: we have antique, real wood. Not only have they withstood the test of time, they still look great and we did not purchase new things, let alone pieces with particle board, etc. The new things we did purchase (such as baby's crib) are real wood pieces which will last for generations.

We have recently invested in the reusable totes/shopping bags to use for all our shopping trips.

When the old washer and dryer died we decided to get quality, energy efficient front loaders.

We've been purchasing more green cleaning products and less chemical items. I will say however that when we can't get a green item to work properly, we will use what does to get the job done. Case in point: a while back we purchased a eco friendly He laundry detergent for the front loader. For some time we actually thought that our brand new front loading washer did not work! Our clothes came out smelling like they did going in and all the dirt, stains, etc. were still there. We actually had a repairman out to check out our machines and we finally discovered it was the darn detergent! We may as well have been washing with plain water. We went back to an old standby and voila! Our clothes were clean and smelled that way, too.

We recycle. We have bins set up specifically for this in the kitchen to make this as convenient as possible and our city provides separate bins for the recyclables to go in.

I'm sure there are other things we can do as well, but this is good start and every little effort helps to make a difference.

Better Ways To Go Green PARADE Magazine

Tales from the Trails

This weekend we dusted off the bikes, debuted the new bike trailer for baby and all headed out for a family bike ride. I broke out my bike riding attire only to be horrified that in my black bike pants I pretty much looked like Shamu. Whoever said black is slimming never saw me in a pair of bike pants with remaining baby weight. Despite my appearance, off we went. We are fortunate to live near wonderful bike trails which have been extended and improved in recent years. I had not been bike riding since at least a couple years before being pregnant with baby so I was actually a little apprehensive about getting on my bike. My dear husband said; “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine, it’s just like riding a bike!” Yeah, he’s hilarious that way. Turns out he was right! Anyhoo, an hour+ later, I was red in the face, sweating and sore, but had such a great time! Baby actually fell asleep in his little bike trailer! Teenager enjoyed telling his ol’ mom how to actually use the gears on her bike and daddy looked adorably geeky with his special rear view mirror thingy on his bike helmet. Photos below for your viewing enjoyment. Oh, but none of me—no Shamu shots, sorry.

It’s a Simple Thing! TM

“Clutter Catchers”

As promised in my previous post, I am starting a new thing here on SAHM. I'll be regularly posting new ideas to help organize and simplify home and life. I'll be including these ideas in a regular post unless I come up with a way to make a separate listing of all of them but these posts will be easily identified since they will all have the heading "It’s a Simple Thing!"TM

Use “Clutter Catchers” in various rooms of your home. Find attractive containers to place strategically in areas where clutter seems to gather. As you run across items that need to go back to their “home” in another room, etc. contain the items temporarily in the clutter catcher. At the end of the day or other time you’ve designated, take the clutter catchers around the house and put items back where they belong. Using this system gives you a place to house all those little odds and ends that otherwise would clutter up your surfaces, get lost, broken or misplaced. It also allows gives you a portable device to carry all the items at once back to where they belong. Of course, this is only workable for smaller items since I’m sure you don’t want "life size" clutter catchers around your home! (Hint: compartmentalized containers, such as silverware caddies work great because you can have a different slot for different types of items.)It’s a Simple Thing! TM

It’s a Simple Thing! TM Intro

I recall quite a while back, Martha Stewart’s website used to feature her calendar of “to do’s”. It would list such grandiose tasks as "re-wiring the chicken coop" and other things I cannot even imagine being on anyone’s to do list! It made for very entertaining reading! I found this feature pretty darn funny as someone who teaches the more you simplify your home and life the happier you’ll be—I guess in that respect you could consider me "the anti-Martha". While Ms. Stewart proposes better living essentially through complication I propose better living through simplification. I was also thinking about how Martha offers various “it’s a good thing” snippets of info and decided along a similar (but more realistic) line I would like to offer my own brand of helpful advice; i.e. “It’s a Simple Thing!”TM dedicated to offering little tips and tricks to help organize and simplify home and life. Please feel free to email me with any ideas you might have and I may include them in upcoming posts of this new feature on SAHM.

There are so many things that can help make life better and often even the smallest action or system can make a significant positive difference.
“It’s a Simple Thing!”TM