Monday, January 31, 2011

A bit less disabled.

Remember the other week, when I was complaining about cleaning my apartment?  Well, Tony and I were discussing the problems and I realized it really boiled down to a lack of organization  and poor time management.  I sort of felt like I did before I lost the weight last year, like I knew how, but just wasn't ready.  I know how to clean, I know how to spend my time more wisely, I just wasn't ready or rather, just didn't want to.  I felt a real fear of failure.  I've tried to make lists so many times and have never followed through with any of them.  It's something I've struggled with since becoming a stay-at-home mom.  Anyway, that night, after Tony and I talked, I said my prayers and felt a real need for repentance in this matter and the inspiration and courage I needed to change.  

So, over the next few days I started making another cleaning list and on Sunday night, I entered it into Excel.  Now, you know I mean business if I'm willing to use Excel.  I've had too many jobs that turned "spreadsheet," into a dirty word.  I came up with a list of chores that need to be done on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. basis, as well as a list of Saturday chores to be done monthly for bigger jobs.  

I put my plan into place last Monday and knew before the end of the day that this system had changed my life.  I worked diligently all week to keep track of my tasks and mark them off on the sheet (oh the power of a measurable goal).  Our home is cleaner and more peaceful.  The benefits have been several after only a week.  One major blessing is the loss of stress.  I no longer look at a pile of stuff on my dresser and wonder, "when will I have time to get to that?"  It's on my list for Wednesdays.  I no longer feel guilty about putting things into my "inbox," because that's on the list for Mondays.  I also broke up my least favorite job, the bathroom, into smaller, easier sections.  It's worked amazingly and every day the bathroom feels clean, instead of the 30 seconds after spending an hour cleaning in there.  

Another benefit has been the lack of what the FlyLady refers to as CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome).  On Wednesday, when I needed to fill in for preschool, I felt confident telling everyone to come over because I knew my place was clean.  I've seen the benefit of my example for Lucy, as well.  She has responded well to cleaning up all the toys before movie time and will even take her water sprayer and spray down the kitchen and then tell me, "don't go in there, there's chemicals."

Speaking of my children, I started to worry about the one unborn and worried about the increased amount of 409 I've been inhaling, so I decided to take advantage of a book on homemade products my MIL gave me a couple years ago.  I made my own "tough multi purpose cleaner," and "Super glass cleaner."  They work perfectly and cost a fraction of even "off-brand," cleaners.  Next, I'm going to try the bathroom cleaner.

So, 2010 was the year of getting the weight loss thing under control and 2011 is now the year of the dirt and clutter loss.  I'm thankful I've been given the strength to make these positive changes in my life.  It sure feels good.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Botanical Garden

I was in macro heaven.
Here are some of my favorite photos of the day.


I didn't get the name of this one. 

Lucy holding the fruit of the "sausage tree,"  it was very um, sausagey. 

The kiddos 

Calla lilies for Tony 

Grapefruit tree 

String of beads, which I thought was string of pearls but I guess I was wrong. 

Lu made a friend.

Isn't this plant kaleidoscope cool? 

I think her favorite part was the Coy pond.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Self binding baby blanket

I'm going to a baby shower on Saturday, and wanted to make something to give to the guest of honor.  I came across this blanket on a blog this week and it was just the thing.  It took my about 2 and a 1/2 hours and would probably have been less if I had figured out the mitered corners sooner, they took me a minute and I did the first one incorrectly so I had to rip out the seam and start again.  All in all though, I think it turned out really great.  I followed the instructions on this website.  I didn't do the monogramming because I don't think they're 100% sure on the name.  It was a fun project that I will for sure be doing again.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Thank you Gram, for coming and helping us through the winter doldrums.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Domestically Disabled

Okay-I am 99% better than yesterday and am so glad.  I woke up this morning feeling really good.  I've been sleeping better as well so I know that helped.  Anyway, I've been thinking about house cleaning lately.  I don't have a house, but a comfortable apartment and I really don't like cleaning it.  I've tried several times to make lists of what needs to be done each day/week/month/quarter, but somehow it all falls by the wayside after a couple days and before I know it I'm drowning in laundry.  One of my goals for this year is to be more organized and clean.  I don't really love to clean, but I don't mind it, I just need a way to be accountable.  Anyone have any good suggestions that work for them, as far as a cleaning system?  I looked into a couple of iPhone apps, so maybe something there will work.  I just have the three of us to clean up after so it's not too hard but as things are I don't want to bring a forth person into the messy mix, I'd like things to be neater.  Any ideas?

*Photo from:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Giving in to the sickness

I hate being sick.  I usually try to power through any symptoms short of barfareah, as mentioned here.

A little cold usually doesn't bother me, I support hearty doses of cold medicine and Tylenol Flu.

I woke up this morning at my new usual time, a little before six, and my head was c.l.o.g.g.e.d.  Is clogged.  I finished watching North by Northwest, I fell asleep to it last night.  I wanted to love it.  I didn't. Boo.

In my delicate state I can't take anything accept some pathetic little tylenol and squirt saline up my nose.  Neither of which are helping.  I had to admit sickness.  I looked in the mirror as I added more layers to my sweats because I'm getting the chills. great.  My eyes are all baggy and tired looking and I tried to smile at myself as if testing, "am I really sick?"  My headed pounded a resounding yes.

Boo.  I hate being sick.

Lu and I are having a Toy Story Marathon.  Finishing off the blueberries that kind of taste the way a flower shop smells.  weird.

P.S. Go read PWs free excerpt of her book.  I'm thinking a roadtrip is in order.  Her book tour starts next month.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cutie pie, right?

I went for the triple screen & n/t test yesterday.  It was wonderful to get to see this little muffin.  The baby was uncooperative for most of the time.  I had to roll back and forth and sit up and lay back so they could try to get the view they needed.  The tech kept apologizing, saying sorry it was taking so long.  I told her to stop because I could have watched all day.  Finally, the baby jumped around a little and she got the shot she needed.  It's amazing how quickly they go from peanuty-blob to a baby-like appearance.  We could see tiny little legs, arms and hands.  I can't wait to find out if we get to reuse our pink stuff or go get some blue.

Oh yeah, I forgot this conversation Lucy and I had last week,
L: "My belly is getting big, there's a baby in there."
Me: "Oh yeah?  When is it coming out?"
L:"On Saturday, to watch a movie."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Platte Party 2011.

 Jen and Tina-I wish I had taken more photos.  Next year, when my big camera comes to the party, it's on.

 Lucy singing with the kiddos.  She requested, "Christmas Bells."  The one she sang at church.  I love her.

 Silly face.

 Kristina loved her gift.  One great memory I have of grandma's house was playing Yahtzee or sitting on someone's lap while the adults played.  I loved the sound of the dice rattling in the cup.  I was so glad to see her delight.

Lucy and Ariel.  Ariel is very excited to join Belle and Snow White.

 Lizzie was a riot.  She was dancing to the music and spinning around-cutest baby dancer ever.

 Andrea and I.

I told Calvin to, "look tough." 

 Lucy was mesmerized by this toy.

Lucy and Savannah enjoying cupcakes.  Lucy ate the frosting.  Then asked for another, and only ate the frosting.  What a goof.

I love the Platte's and I love the Platte party.

Friday, January 14, 2011

They have bread here? We've gotta get the recipe for bread.

Do you ever want to type things you don't say in real life?  I often catch myself wanting to type the word (or is it technically a contraction?) y'all.  I don't think I've ever said y'all in my life but I always want to type it in posts.  Weird.

Anywho.  You know how I love to bake bread?  I thought I had found the most wonderful bread recipe in Grandma VanDoren's white bread, and I still think it's good.  But I just tried Becky Bread, named after food blogger TeriLyn's mom.  She writes some yummy stuff over at A Foodie Stays Fit.  I wish I had half her style.  Anyway-we were VT companions once upon a time and have stayed current with each other through the wonder of the internet.

While Lucy was gone on a playdate I baked bread for our family party tomorrow.  I tried the braided method and seriously, for someone who braids on a nearly daily basis you'd think I'd be a pro.  When it comes to braiding dough, I had no clue.  I kept having to untwist it and try again.  Hopefully my "technique will improve with time." (Name that movie)

This bread is the best white bread I have ever tried.  Hands down.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Random Thoughts

I do not like missing church.  It makes me feel like a huge loser and messes up the rest of my week.  I don't feel like I ever get to hit the "reset" button.  The days just blur together.

I've been suffering from insomnia the last few weeks and it got a little overwhelming on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  I fall asleep fine but then wake up  in the middle of the night and just lay there and think and worry and think and worry and try to fall back asleep.  Sunday morning it was 3am and I just felt sicker and sicker as the morning progressed so I decided to skip church and sleep.  It sort of worked.  I felt a lot better by about 8pm but then last night, same thing.  I wake up and am unable to get back to sleep.  Then I feel like a zombie during the day and am functioning a little above minimum capacity.  I called the nurses line at the health center to see what I can take and the nurse I talked to had no idea (what is with the nurses there?) so she's going to ask the doctor and call me back.

I am SO close to my camera I can taste it.  I thought for sure I wanted the Canon T2i and now I'm thinking maybe the Nikon D90.  Any thoughts?

I emailed this blogger I really like and she never wrote back.  I still want to like her but feel bad that she ignored me.

Those are my random thoughts for the day.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Grown up lunches

A friend of mine and I were chatting a while back about how we eat kid lunches. Lucy is not going to finish a box of macaroni and cheese, so I might as well eat some. If I'm making nuggets, I might as well throw in some for my own lunch and call it good. But, sometimes it gets old. This morning, I invited my sister over for lunch and starting thinking about what was in the cupboard. I thought tuna sandwiches and then realized I have no bread. I stopped buying bread when I learned to make it, but don't make it often enough. Then thought I'd make wraps, but found we only had one tortilla. I toyed with the idea of making some tortillas, which I'd still like to do, but realized they needed more rising time than I had. Oh, and I don't have a tortilla press.   So...what could I make out of what I had? I was perusing this great blog called, Budget Bytes, and found a recipe for some Garlic Noodles. I am a huge fan of cheap, yummy meals and miraculously had everything on hand for this one, aside from the green onion-so I used some finely minced yellow. I also added some shredded carrot for color and crunch. You could add chicken and peas and have more of a Lo Mien for a main dish. Or Mien dish. Ha. Ha. Ha. This was simple, quick, yet a little more sophisticated than animal nuggets. Perfect for a grown up lunch.

Check out Beth M @ Budget Bytes

Can Gringos make tortillas?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Gray day for crafting

When it gets gray and cold and I have to wait around for the maintenance man to come fix the thoughts turn to crafting.  Being the pregnant mom of a three year old...I AM TIRED.  I wake up tired.  I'm tired all day and I go to bed tired.  Then I toss and turn all night and am still tired.  So, I cope by grabbing naps when I can, and sometimes it's when the sun is blazing through the window.  I've been meaning to make one of these for a while, and today was the day.  The middle layer is black felt for extra light blocking.

I also starting thinking about the string quilt that is in the back of my I gathered up my scraps and realized most of my fabric choices are little or medium floral they pieced together well.  I cut up about 8 blocks just so I could get one square together.  I will make more progress on this when I purchase a rotary cutter (in the near future).  How have I gotten a long so far without one?  Plus, I saw a pattern for a houndstooth baby quilt that is calling my name. 

By the afternoon, Lu and I were getting a little (okay, a lot) stir-crazy so I took her out in the cold to ride her bike.  She had fun, then the flurries started coming down faster so we came inside to warm up.  A good cozy, crafty day.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Holiday Highlights

1.  We started a new Christmas Eve tradition of singing carols at a nursing home in the morning.  I think everyone who sang and everyone who listened could feel the spirit and meaning of Christmas.

2. Traditional Chili Mac.  Serious heartburn followed.

3. Playing with Miles.

4. Watching Lucy open gifts, especially the beloved Jack-in-the-Box.  Who would have thought?

5. Chriso made Italian sushi for Benjamin's birthday.  He is such a good cook, yum.

6.  A double yolker. 

7.  Miles giggling at Tony.  Tony would bellow "MIIIIIILES" in a really deep voice and Miles would giggle and giggle.

8.  Happy Birthday Bengamin!  It was so fun hanging out with the "in-laws" for Uncle Bobo's birthday.  I have never seen anything funnier than watching Tony and his brothers "horse back ride" with the Xbox Kinect. 

Probably my favorite Christmas moment was watching Mom open the "Baby Announcement."  I waited to tell anyone, aside from Jennifer, until Christmas morning and I was up at 6:30 am, hoping to will people awake with my mind.  Finally Coco and Alison arrived and we could get to the opening.  This was the only craft I did for Christmas this year and I think the silhouettes turned out really well.

Also during the Holidays, Tony and I celebrated 7 wonderful years of marriage.  We have had our share of downs but definitley more "ups."  At the end of the day, when we're laying in bed, I am always thankful to have him at my side and always on my side.  He's such a good partner who oftentimes gives more than he recieves and I'm thankful for him every day.

We were a little boring in our New Year Celebration, I feel asleep at 11:30.  All day New Years Eve we just relaxed and had fun.  Lucy is staying with Grandpa and Grammi until this afternoon, so today I'd better get some cleaning and laundry done.  I reflected a little bit on 2010 and it was really a great year.  We made some gains and losses this year that I feel good about.  I feel like each year I've learned new things and each year has been a little better than the last. 2010 was certainly a fun year, full of learning, service, family, and tradition and I'm excited for what 2011 will bring.  Thanks for reading Annadotes and Happy New Year!