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

Digging out from Under the Clutter:
The Secret to Organization Revealed

It’s Spring and many folks are thinking about Spring Cleaning. I mentioned in my very first post that in my previous life [read: before becoming a SAHM to new baby] I spent over a decade helping folks with home organization. Ironically, I started my business as a Professional Organizer (way back in 1994) not because I was an organized person but because I was just the opposite and wanted to help others with something that had been my own struggle. Over the years of consulting, coaching, teaching and speaking on the topic my role evolved into what I referred to as a Life Simplification Strategist: meaning, organizing per se in my opinion was not really what it was all about—finding strategies for simplifying home and life was what people really needed and what I did. This is something I firmly believe in and incorporate into my daily life, though I no longer take on clients at this point. As I mentioned, I struggled with clutter and disorganization so it has been an ongoing effort to keep the focus and stay on top of things so that I can live my life with the order and organization I desire. There is absolutely a need for people to have strategies for simplifying various everyday aspects of life—both tangible and intangible. But one of the first things to realize is a super-secret special bit of knowledge that kick starts one’s ability to have organization in their home and life...I’m going to tell you what it is because I think everyone needs to know this, even though there are those who don’t want you to know. Ready for it? Here it is...get rid of half your crap! ;-) Seriously folks, we have too much stuff and many of us don’t even realize it. Most homes I’ve been to over the years were filled with approximately fifty percent (give or take) more stuff than they needed/used/wanted. Now there is some confusion these days when someone mentions “simplicity”. I am not necessarily talking about the voluntary simplicity movement here, I am talking about a level of personal simplicity that is something you can live with. For some folks that may be much less than others, it all depends. I only advocate simplifying things to the level you are comfortable with.

Clutter drives me crazy, as it does many of us. The trouble is we are living in an age and society that teaches us to have more, want more, and do more. It’s hard to combat this but when we don’t, we find ourselves unable to eat dinner at the table because it’s stacked with stuff, no where to put the groceries because the cabinets are already full, no place to prepare meals because the kitchen counters have papers and other junk covering it, embarrassed to have people over because all the surfaces are filled with clutter …the list goes on. Once we admit that there’s just too much it’s time to resolve to start eliminating and then putting those systems and strategies into play to deal with everyday tasks. That in a nutshell is heart of getting organized and simplified. But yes, it’s hard to do…hard to find the time, because well, we have lives!
It’s also hard to let go of the excuses:

“I paid good money for that!”
“I might need it someday”
“They don’t make ‘em like that anymore”

Yes, I’ve heard them all! One of my favorite excuses had to do with guilt. A lady at one of my seminars told the following story:

“Many years ago I took a sewing class and my project was to sew a sport coat for my husband. I went all out and bought the best material and spent a lot on this project. I really worked hard on this thing and was determined to make a wonderful sport coat. Well, the class eventually ended, the sport coat was still not done and sat unfinished in the hall closet. Life went on, months and then years went by and every time I opened the hall closet I felt guilt… guilt because my husband could have used that sport coat, guilt because I spent the money for the supplies, guilt because I took the class and never finished the project, and guilt because I just didn’t accomplish what I set out to do. I finally got tired of beating myself up over the whole thing and one morning I went to the closet to grab the coat, marched it out to the trash can and slammed the lid. I was finally free! And besides, I’d divorced that husband years ago anyway!”

This cracked me up! The things we do to ourselves! So, if we let go of the excuses, the guilt, and yes, about half the “stuff” we own we can focus on getting organized and simplifying our lives.
“Have in your home and life only things that provide necessary function, add true beauty, or bring genuine happiness. If something is more stressful than joyful, find a way to simplify it or eliminate it.”

Life is in the Details
or
“Mommy Dresses Me Funny”


I get a lot of flak in my family for being…well, being me. Being in a household with all males “the boys” often complain when I dress up the baby, especially on holidays. You see, I am pretty traditional in many ways; I believe in and enjoy dressing up, particularly when the occasion calls for it. One such occasion would be church (even though I realize now days most folks are ultra casual), and even more so when it’s Easter. So, yes, today the baby was wearing his adorable Easter outfit, a bubble romper with a peter pan collar and Easter bunnies in the smocking on the front.



Yesterday when we went to the egg hunt he was wearing another similarly styled Easter outfit.
By the way, both these outfits are actual boys outfits, purchased used (I may have a desire for the finer things but always try to save as much as possible) and worn previously by other darling little boys last Easter. The baby looked adorable, but as these outfits are pretty dressy, traditional and well, I guess you could say “foofy” and if you combine all that with a kid who’s dang cute (not that I have a bias or anything) we get lots of folks saying “What a cute little girl!” I’m sure my dear little baby boy is thinking “Umm, no, I’m a boy, but my mommy dresses me funny!” But you know what? I don’t care. Frankly, I like being different and while part of me wishes more folks cared to dress up (themselves & their kids) part of me feels like, hey, to each their own! One of the many fun things about being a mommy is enjoying things like dressing up your darling little baby in special outfits (yes, even boys!) and he’ll have the rest of his life to wear jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes!

So, I guess what I am really saying is that I am all about simple pleasures in life, and for me this is one them. Yes, there are far more important things in life than clothes, looking good, etc. But over the years I’ve come to learn that sometimes we focus so much of the big, dramatic things and become all consumed with them to the point that we miss the simple little pleasures in life—the things that turn everyday occasions into “special occasions”. Whether it’s a great cup of coffee, a nice glass of wine, an extra few minutes of snuggling before getting up in the morning, making your teenager laugh by being hilariously embarrassing or just being happy to see your baby look cute in his Easter outfit, these are the things that give added meaning and make life worthwhile.

Warning: Opinions Ahead

Now that I've been blogging awhile readers are likely to be forming certain opinions about me. So far, I can imagine things like:

"Too lazy to cook lentils!" "Clumsy enough to yank out own eyelashes" "Too wide for a thong" and other such amusing notions from recent posts. Oh, that's only the beginning! Of course with a fan base of three, I haven't been in too much danger of scrutiny yet. But, since it's naturally only a matter of time before Oprah and Ellen are asking to interview me I get a few more readers onboard it will inevitably begin. As I am on the verge of being plenty old enough to not care what anyone thinks forty *gasp* I imagine I'll be bolder in sharing my own opinions and various thoughts. Stay tuned.

You really can buy anything at the warehouse clubs!

So recently we we're at Sam's Club - the hubby's one aisle over looking for Alka Seltzer and I'm pushing the baby down the next aisle with other health & beauty items when I stumble across something that looks familiar from all the commercials: Enzyte the natural "male enhancement" stuff. Just as I see it the hubby walks up behind me and I jokingly say; "Look honey, they sell that male enhancement stuff here!" as I turn around to see his reaction I realize it's not the hubby but some other man! Yeah, gotta love those moments. When the hubby actually did come find me I had to tell him about my faux pas and of course I had him rolling with laughter over that one. Once again, my “I Love Lucy” qualities come out in oh-so-entertaining ways. I of course have to remind my hubby how “lucky” he is to be married to such a character. Somehow I’m not sure he quite sees it that way all the time. Hmmmm…..

So they make them afterall!

Today I went grocery shopping with the little one. I love Trader Joe’s…I find something new and exciting every time I go there. And by exciting I mean things like… cooked lentils! Something I recently looked for and thought did not exist. As a good source of protein I thought it would be a great food for the baby now that he’s mostly feeding himself table foods and we are getting away from baby foods. Yeah, I’ll admit it: spending time in the kitchen is not my favorite thing. I keep telling myself it’s because we have a small, hard-to-work-in kitchen, something I refer to as a “one butt kitchen”. Sadly, if mine happens to be the one butt then there’s even less room, but back to my original point. A few weeks ago when I was at my regular grocery store I asked if there was such a thing as cooked lentils—I mean, there’s cooked lima beans, pintos, garbanzos, etc, so why not lentils? There weren’t…and worse yet a nice lady who heard me ask the clerk and started extolling the virtues of lentils also told me where to find them in bags and let me know “it only takes water” to cook them. *sigh* if she only knew. Yeah, sometimes I’m that lazy. So, my grocery trip was a success, baby got a balloon and was quite happy, and I cleverly managed to put all my groceries on the lower part of the cart thus avoiding the inevitable reach, chew & throw maneuvers from the baby. The last time he did this he chewed through the cardboard on a box of crackers, nibbled on the end of some green onions and hurled limes directly at the produce guy. Good times. Good times.

They want me to do what?

Lately we’ve been experiencing trouble with our diaper pail. I wrote to the company telling them of our difficulties and have posted their response for your reading enjoyment:


Hello, I do apologize for the trouble. Below are instructions to assist with adjusting the rubber ring.

Please follow these steps correctly and take your time:

1.) Please take the two side knobs off and open the top drum. Take everything off that is blue expect for the ring.

2.) The top portion is called the “top drum”

3.) Open the top drum and work with one half of the product first.

4.) Flip it over so the top part is facing you.

5.) Notice the piston in the middle is surrounded by a hollow tube.

6.) Take the tube out of the blue ring and you can notice it is in the grove of the ring.

7.) Put the blue ring in your hand and peel it back. Place it under and over the rim of the diaper pail.

8.) Place the hollow tube in the groves of the ring on the inside of the diaper pail.

9.) Rotate it to secure the ring is in the groves. Test it to make sure it does not pop up on any side.

10.) Do the same thing for the other side.

11.) Then reassemble the diaper pails top drum and place it on the bottom pail.

Note: If you are still experiencing problems with the rotation of the top drum, please try the steps again.


Apparently they left out:
12) After swearing a little, give up repair attempt and go out and buy a new diaper pail!

Leap Day

Today being a day that only occurs once every four years I felt I should write something deeply profound and thought provoking. However, I find myself contemplating things like:

Why does Steve on Blue’s Clue’s have such a hard time finding those darn clues?

Is is just my crazy imagination or does the Count on Sesame Street strike an amazing resemblance to villain Stefano DiMera on Days of Our Lives?

How can my 18 mo old possibly toss enough graham crackers over the edge of his high chair to feed a small village of chipmunks?

Why is it so much harder to lose weight now than it was ten years ago?

How do teenagers suddenly lose their ability to hear?

Why does the hubby suspect that when I claim, “we need to celebrate leap day” it’s just a flimsy excuse to go out to dinner?

If I close my eyes and walk barefoot across the “cheerio dust” on the kitchen floor can I convince myself I’m on a sandy tropical beach?

But in reality, I guess I can be glad that leap year gives me one extra day this year to remain in my thirties. **sigh**

Isn’t it romantic?

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. This cartoon reminded me of a story the hubby and I read during a book study on marriage last Fall. I was reading aloud a chapter about husbands showing their wives love through gifts on special days. The author gave the example of a husband either buying an expensive gift or doing something like taking a romantic walk with her and picking up a rock to give to her later along with a poem or note about their time together. The author went on to say that years later, when she’s ninety-three and he’s been dead for a decade what do you think she’ll have on her mantel? At this point in the story my husband pipes up and says; “The rock she killed you with!” I couldn’t stop laughing.

Okay, now they're just messing with me!

I realize that the ads Google places in my Ad bar are related to my posts-- for instance ever since I wrote the story: "What do Diaper Bags have in common with Purses, Panties & Frugal Spouses?" I have had several diaper bag ads shown. But after writing about my eyelash curler mishap in: "How on Earth Did you do that?!" it cracked me up to actually see an ad for false eyelashes! Google has quite a sense of humor I must say! Speaking of missing eyelashes, I think I see a few sprouting up so apparently I won't have to join the circus afterall.

“How on Earth did you do that”?!

This is what my husband said to me after I called him at work this morning to report what had happened. Let me back up a moment…I’m known for my “I love Lucy” qualities, both in respect to some of my “hair brained schemes” and in my general nature of being prone to mishaps. So this morning I’m getting ready, doing my make up like usual, and while using the eyelash curler something rather unfortunate happened. Apparently I did not have a good grip on it and somehow slipped. This maneuver caused the instrument to shoot across the room—sadly, taking my eyelashes with it. I now have one eye with no eyelashes. At. All. And yes, it hurt. In fact, the spring with which this thing went off caused me to wonder for a moment if I still had an eyeball. When I called the hubby and reported my tale of woe I could tell he was struggling not to bust out in uncontrollable laugher on the other end of the phone. After asking me how I could possibly do such a thing he comes up with: “Do they make a safety version of the eyelash curler? You know, one that so when you shoot it across the room it releases your eyelashes first?” Yeah. Funny. I’m over here with no eyelashes and hubby is teasing me. And all on the morning in which I am taking the baby to a playgroup for the fist time. This will be great—I’ll be known as the new mom—the creepy one with no eyelashes! Now I’m just sitting here wondering if they’ll actually grow back. I know they make false eyelashes but it doesn’t exactly sound like something I’d be into—or have time for. Speaking of which, I don’t really have time for such things as curling my eyelashes either, but hey, I had an eyelash curler that came as part of one of those cosmetics bonuses—I guess that could be the problem there. Note to self: go buy an eyelash curler--& look into getting one with a “safety” just in case.

Weight Watching, Gaining, Losing and Maintaining

So here we are at the beginning of a new year and so many of us are trying new diets to lose weight. For many years now I’ve been a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers [which I refer to as “WW” since it’s no coincidence it also stands for Wonder Woman!] I went back when my baby was just 8 weeks old to get the “baby weight” off and continue to go each week to drop the weight I gained the previous week “maintain”. I’ve learned a lot over the years about eating, exercising and in general the emotions behind the whole thing. To me, it’s all about a plan—not only do you need a plan to follow (for eating) you also need a plan to stick to the plan! Just sticking to it is the hardest part! I don’t know how many times I’ve stepped on the scale, known that I’d not followed the plan that week and lo and behold I didn’t lose or worse yet gained. Well surprise, surprise! [insert Gomer Pyle accent here] Then there are those weeks that I did exactly what I was suppose to do and I lost—it’s amazing what happens when you do what you are suppose to do! We come up with lots of little tricks in an attempt to stick to whatever plan we’re trying. Have you heard the one about not eating after 6pm? Yeah, that would work if I went to bed at 6:30. Then the other day we were talking about “trigger foods”; those things that you pretty much have to banish from your home because you know you’ll not only eat them but you won’t be able to stop eating them. One of my trigger foods is chips. Not tortilla chips or corn chips but good, crispy, fresh potato chips! One day I thought I had come up with the perfect solution to allow me to indulge in the occasional potato chip snack without going overboard—I bought one of those boxes with all the tiny little individual bags of chips. Sadly it hadn’t occurred to me that I can open multiple bags. Amidst a large pile of little potato chip bags I told myself this was a trigger food that needed to remain banished. ***sigh*** Another trigger for me is fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Not being much of a baker myself you’d think this would be easier to avoid. However, I have a mother-in-law who makes fabulous chocolate chip cookies and just happens to be a “cookie dealer” (like a drug dealer, only with cookies!) I have the hardest time keeping her from finding a way to get those cookies into my house! Since the hubby & I try to stay away from them she wants to try to give them to the teenager (who’s active, thin and can handle the extra calories) but I try to tell her I have no willpower and if they are in the house, even if she gives them directly to the poor teenager, I will tackle that kid to the floor to get them! Yeah, it’s pretty sad. And yes, I know, what a bad mommy for depriving my kid of cookies! (He does get treats so don’t feel too bad!) Seriously though, once she no-too-subtly smuggled him some cupcakes, later the hubby and I knocked on his door and said, “we know you have cupcakes in there—give ‘em!” (there were three, we all had one).

Flashback moment

As we approach a three day weekend I was thinking back to this very same time many years ago, when the now teenager was just in Kindergarten. I went to pick him up from school on Friday and said: "Do you know you don't have school on Monday because it's a holiday?" He said: "Yes Mommy, I know, it's Ma.. Mar... Martha Stewart day! After calming my uncontrollable laughter I corrected him and told him no, it's actually Martin Luther King Jr. day. Clearly a classic case of little ones calling something by a name that is more familiar and has a similar sound, I thought this was hilarious. Of course, back then, it was even funnier since Ms. Stewart had not yet done time in the slammer been briefly incarcerated. In any case, I’ll never forget this and have to remind the teenager of this each year.

Marriage & Entertainment

Just as I was thinking about writing a little post on marriage I ran across the following video that I thought would be perfect to share. I'm sure many of us are having to come up with new ways to entertain ourselves during the awful "writer's stike". {The hubby and I had to talk to each other last night after dinner!"} But seriously, I do miss my TV and frankly am kinda irked to even have to be paying for it right now when no one is writing anything! Grrrrr...

Enjoy the clip...

Houston, we have a problem...

So, the baby discovered the camera mounted above his crib and is apparently now tall enough to mess with it. I learned this when I flipped on the monitor to see my little angel and instead got a view of something that looked like the moon from the space station...seriously. Apparently, he turned it so it was a view of the wall, but was so close that it not only looked rounded but the wall texturing looked an awful lot like the "texture" of a planet! I recall not long ago some woman actually did get some freaky interference on her monitor and actually was seeing some NASA stuff, so I thought this was pretty funny. I guess I need to add "re-mount baby camera" to the hubby's never-ending to do list!

What do diaper bags have in common w/ purses, panties and frugal spouses?

Below is the story I wrote to go along with my recent e-bay listing for a diaper bag.
___________________________________________________

Why, you may ask, am I selling this fabulous diaper bag? Sadly, it wasn't perfect for me. My husband says I have a habit of doing this thing he calls “The Perfect Search” for various items—I guess over a decade as someone who helps others find items and learn ways of doing things to organize and simplify life might have something to do with this trait. Anyway, it drives him crazy. For instance my search for the perfect purse is still going on. He's getting a little annoyed at my buying purses only to state they won’t work for some reason. Is it so much to ask that a purse be large enough to hold “the basics” and have enough pockets/compartments to organize various items? A purse somewhere in between the size of evening bag and suitcase? *Sigh* I am still looking for “the one” (which reminds me I have a lovely Coach bag I will be listing soon!) A while back it was the search for the perfect underwear. My husband griped, whined and moaned about being dragged through store after store, weekend after weekend, on his wife’s search for the right panties. Apparently perusing women’s panties is not exciting anymore once you’re married. Finding a good pair of well fitting, nice looking and stay put-ing panties is near impossible! Don’t even get me started on “thongs”! What idiot thought of this?! Was it a man who simply wanted women’s underwear to be as skimpy as possible or was it a woman who figured, “well, they always end up my bum so they may as well start there!” Either way, I refuse to wear something that makes it look as though my behind is enormous enough to have actually swallowed a pair of underwear. When the hubby makes the comment that I should buy thongs I just threaten to give up the whole search and buy granny panties...this seems to keep him quiet for a while...but I digress.

My search for the perfect diaper bag led me to this one, the Fleurville Sling Tote. This is a $150 diaper bag that is gently used and comes with the wipes case [never used], the bottle holder and changing pad. Though I really liked it I ended up needing something that can hold even more (& this holds quite a bit!) I am one of those “take it all with you just in case” types and I found I couldn't quite fit the kitchen sink in this one. So, the hubby said I needed to get rid of it. I can’t argue with him since it was a battle to buy the thing in the first place. You see, my husband is a tightwad frugal man, who has trouble understanding why his wife needs a diaper bag that cost more than his first car. I just tell him that wouldn't be the case had he not waited a hundred years until his forties to find the woman of his dreams and have a kid. "Yes dear, things cost more now and a good diaper bag actually does cost more than an AMC Gremlin did back in the 70’s. Sorry!"

So hey, you are in luck because you can buy this beauty for a fraction of the cost which will come in handy if have a cheapskate husband practical man like mine! Good luck and happy bidding!

Life is Great in 2008!

Yeah, I know, it’s pretty corny. My hubby & teenager have been looking at me like I’m the biggest dork for repeating my new mantra when the mood strikes—I just can’t help myself! In fact it’s been so much fun annoying them with it that I think I’m going to do it every year..lemme see…I could get a head start on next year's (Everything’s fine in 2009? We’re at it again in 2010? Okay, I’ll stop now.) But seriously folks….I have a New Year’s tradition I do each year on New Year’s Eve. I learned this many years ago and have since heard of others doing it as well. Each year-end after writing my final journal entry I list the big negatives of the year along with my hopes for various positives in the coming year. Then I print out the negatives, cut each into it’s own little paper strip, and burn each one in a bowl at midnight, thereby “letting go” of them. New Year = new start. Of course I’m not going to list them here for you to see, but those of you who know me can probably guess some of them!

Anywho, I thought I would share my thoughts on the start of the New Year and getting started on those resolutions. We are all familiar with the old Diet resolution; we tell ourselves "No more bad foods!" and then come February (if not the end of January) we are at it again with our favorite junk foods. Then there’s the ever-popular “I resolve to exercise daily” which again turns into a week (maybe a month) of diligence followed by many weeks/months of guilt in which we just don’t “get around to it”. I suggest that making small, positive steps in the right direction is a better idea than making grandiose promises to ourselves that we know we can’t/won’t keep. Take the dieting thing for example…for years I was famous for telling myself that beginning January 1st I would no longer eat anything “bad” (high fat, sugar, refined grain, etc.) and of course I would never stick to this for long. Anything that is too restrictive is destined to fail (and that goes for other things in life, but I digress). So now, years later and wiser, I know that I need to be realistic. So, although some of my favorite foods are on the “naughty” list, I use moderation in choosing how often and how much I’ll eat of these foods and stick to a healthy eating plan for the majority of the time. I mean seriously, if I could never have pizza again—well, you might as well just shoot me!

I plan to have some fun blog posts coming up so “stay tuned” and Happy New Year! Oh, and hey, it's going to be GREAT in 2008! ;-)

Christmas Cleanup

So, the cleanup begins! The tree needs to come down, the halls need to be un-decked and all the serving-ware needs to go back to it's home...it's this time of year I'm thankful for older kids who are home on Winter Break to help! Of course the teenager grumbles about this significantly, but I remind him that he can enjoy the time working on the cleanup project while using his new ipod! Speaking of small music making devices, the baby got one, too! Just this year Playskool came out with an MP3 player for the little ones; the Playskool Made for Me digital music player --the unit sits inside a larger animal shaped sturdy thing and allows the baby to push a button and hear the songs we've installed for him as well as others it comes with. Why the ipod folks didn't think of this is beyond me-- (they passed on the opportunity for a babypod? crazy!) and frankly the good folks at Hasbro / Playskool should be paying me for blogging about this! (but sadly, they're not). Anyway, the kids are quite happy with their gifts though I can't say the same for daddy. (let's just say that a pair of cords looked like a nice blue color online and in real life they are apparently "periwinkle".) In addition, my hubby thought my feet are smaller than they are so my new slippers don't fit. So after the cleanup, let the exchanges begin!