Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Works-for-me-Wed. - scrapbooking with no time and littles underfoot

What works for me is getting the kids' baby scrapbooks done. I've moved on to digital scrapbooks for our new ones but definitely want to finish what I've started (the cute little toddler in the pic is not my current cute little toddler, that's my almost 1st grader). Plus, I think the lack of a baby book is how one of my sisters convinced the other that we'd ordered her from "Feed the Children". :) I don't have any extended time to get it done and if I would set it out on the dining room table my helpers would come along and artfully re-arrange it all. So, I hung (OK, begged my husband to hang) a magnetic whiteboard (walmart - $15) in a corner of my bedroom wtih a folding table and used my IKEA magnets ($1/set of 4-6). I use little snippets of time to work on a spread and get it exactly how I want it and then just another little snippet of time to glue it down. I'm using the same "snippet of time" strategy to get the digital one going.

Works for me! Head on back over to ROCKS IN MY DRYER for oodles of ideas!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Works-for-me-Wed. - toys

Hi! With 4 kiddos and lots of loving family, we have LOTS of toys around here. And LOTS of our toys and games have LOTS of little pieces. When we're cleaning up the playroom or when I try to end up in the ER by stepping on one of those many little pieces, we send the lost and lonely pieces to the Lost and Lonely Toy Club.

Old Pop-up wipe containers with the pop top pulled off work best. You can deposit a piece without opening the lid and it doesn't easily spill when dropped. When it's full, pieces must be put away or trashed. It's definitely not rocket science but it Works for me!

Head on over to Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for more great tips!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Works-for-me-Wed. - getting kids to pick up their stuff

My best tip this week is called the "10 item pick-up". I've learned that the best way to get kids (or even me) to do the right thing (like pick up their own belongings) is to make it easier than doing it the wrong way (like dumping them wherever). Around our house if you leave out your belongings, like a backpack, I just say "Bubby, Backpack plus 10". He then has to pick up the backpack and put it where it goes and then pick up 10 other items that are out of place and put them where they go. I've also used this for potty flushing ("Flush plus 10") and a friend has adapted it for thumb sucking in a 1st grader - says it's worked great! It's easy to say it in a calm pleasant tone and not nag, because, hey, that's 10 fewer times I have to bend over and pick something up (it is best to keep the glee out of your voice). (If it takes too long to get started - it goes to 20). It works for me! For more great ideas go on back to Rocks in My Dryer!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Day in the Life (VERY LONG, but, hey, sometimes the days are long)

Cast of characters-
Dad (dad)
Bubby (8 year old boy, 2nd grade)
Boo (6 year old girl, kindergarten)
Buddy Buddy (3 year old boy)
Bear (2 year old girl)

Early morning—
Have to convince Boo that her classmates and teacher will still recognize her even though she lost a tooth last night (the other tooth is VERY wiggly – screams when I get my fingers within 5 inches of her face).

Mid morning –
I thought I was losing my mind. I opened a Diet Coke, set it on the counter, and then the phone rang. Then I changed a diaper and wanted my coke. Couldn't find it ANYWHERE! Finally I gave up, thought maybe I had just begun dreaming of Diet Cokes - time to quit! I'm a real addict. And then I found it, well not the can, that's still MIA, but my liquid energy has been located - in Bear's sippy cup. So, maybe I'm not an addict after all. Later, using my super sleuth skills and interrogation skills, I deduce that the dynamic duo worked together and took my coke. I think they recycled the can though. See, I am a good mom.

Lunchtime – Convince Buddy Buddy not to run around with the laundry buckets on his head or get mad at his sister when she won’t push him in her doll stroller.

Naptime –

Do some research for the new adoption/foster care/orphan support ministry we’d like to get going at church. Read a very inspiring article. Read some more of Dr. Laura’s book Stop Whining, Start Living (I like it.)

Receive call from elementary school that Boo is in the nurse’s office for the fourth time today. Her wiggly tooth was bleeding again and “was concerned about it” (nurse’s words). I imagine she was actually freaking out. The nurse tried to pull it but couldn’t get in her mouth (BTDT). It’s stopped bleeding and they sent her back to class calmed down. I don’t need to pick her up early. (Hooray!)

Early afternoon – Find Bubby IN the recycling bin (it’s one of those large trashcans you roll out to the street). He said he was “creating”. This is what he came up with.

It looks strangely reminiscent of the beer guzzling caps at the ballpark. Makes a momma proud!

Late afternoon -
Bubby (dressed in knight costume)-- “Hey Boo, pretend that I can shoot lightning bolts through my fingertips!”
Boo(dressed in Ariel costume)-- “Pretend that I’m a beautiful princess and you want to marry me and this is the ring- Pretend that it’s raining and you give me your cape to use as an umbrella. Pretend that I’m a beautiful mermaid and I can swim like this and jump out of the water - Remember when you were pretending that you were a knight and were trying to kill me and I was a beautiful princess, mom’s writing that all down. (Now she finally takes a breath)
Bubby --Nuh, uh!

Dinner –

Dad’s going to be home a little later due to an emergency Home Depot run. To tide over little appetites and continue my crusade for everyone to eat healthier, I peel and slice a cucumber and announce it “Hors d'oeuvres”.

After I’ve patted myself on the back and then picked up the little pieces of cucumber from all over the den floor, I return to dinner prep.

At dinner B. Boo takes a bite of chicken, forgetting that she hadn’t used her front teeth in weeks, and the tooth comes out. We try to get her to swallow the bite she has in her mouth now because it’s about to bleed. No luck! To the bathroom we go. As soon as she’s back at the table, with her tooth safely inside her purple plastic tooth treasure chest the school nurse gave her today, I see Bear out of the corner of my eye. In my mother voice I say “Please don’t put Chicken in your nose” without even thinking. We take the chicken from her. A few minutes later dad says “What’s in her nose?” “Uh, oh”, says Buddy Buddy (he’s not much of a talker but is very perceptive). Yep, it’s the chicken. I begin the search for the elusive baby nose sucker (she 2, haven’t used it in over a year), while dad tries to convince her to blow her nose really hard. Finally the nose sucker is found and 2 small pieces of chicken (each the size of one of her fingernails) are retrieved from her nose. Hooray for dad!!

Sorry we didn’t take a picture of the nose, just the gums.
Amazingly enough, my food was a little cool when I began to eat. That’s why God made microwaves.

Sing a little Jesus Loves Me, spread a few blankets, give a few kisses and thank God for our many blessings.

Hurry to spend some time with dad and get to bed. Tomorrow will come early and most likely be as busy as today, put probably not as entertaining.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Works-for-me-Wed. - perfect drawer organization

We love to eat fruit around here and I've begun using the berry (and grape tomatoes) containers for drawer dividers in "junk drawers", office supplies and make-up. They're much deeper than bought drawer organizers and allow me to see everything. I put a sheet of textured shelf paper under the containers (so they don't slide around) or make sure the drawer is filled and things stay exactly where I put them - unless one of my helpers gives them a new home. The big container is from some bakery brownies. That works for me too! Have a great day!