Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good weekend . . .

It has been a pretty good weekend. Dustin has been pretty well behaved and the kids have played well. I have been decluttering our house over the past week weekends and just when I think I have pitched all I can, it seems I find more crap to throw out. Even though we are not planning on moving anytime soon, I keep asking myself if I had to move would I want to move this? If the answer is "Heck no!" then it goes to the trash. I also bought a new mattress set off a friend and did some swapping of furniture upstairs yesterday. I love feelin productive on the weekends! I have not felt well the past couple days so I have really tried to keep myself moving.

Have I told you how much I love the home made cleaning products I have been using? Fabulous! They are awesome at removing greasey fingerprints and leaving behind nothing but clean surfaces. As soon as the giant box of laundry soap I recently bought is gone I am going to try making my own laundry soap. I will take you along for the journey. I am sure you are excited! Maybe not. Not everyone gets so thrilled about cleaning products as I do. :)

I have a smooth cook top stove and today I boiled some water to defrost our chest freezer. I forgot I had just done that and went to brush the crumbs off the stove top. Holy heck! I burned the stink out of the palm of my left hand. I cried. I had Harrison run upstairs and get Robert who was napping. I thought I may need to go to the hospital. With about an hour of rinsing in cool water and some aloe spray, I think I got it under control. It is definitely gonna blister and it may actually be a second degree burn. It is a little discolored and the thumb muscle is terribly sore and still burning. I have it wrapped currently and I can hunt and peck on the keyboard. As long as I don't bend my thumb I am okay . . . well that and some pain meds. Burns are a huge fear of mine and I freaked out and scared the crap out of Dustin. He was quite helpful and very worried about me, he keeps asking me if I am alright, cute but irritating.

My mom has been in Florida for two weeks. The kids and I are going to surprise her at the airport. McCartney wants to bring flowers so I need to get moving. . . hope y'all had a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our "normal" . . .

In the comments of the last post, Miz Kizzle asked "Is it difficult keeping Dustin away from your other kids? How does he react to being separated from them? Do the other kids mind or do they prefer not to be around him? I'm curious because it's hard for me to imagine keeping my three apart from each other and we live in a pretty large house"

I love Miz Kizzle because she always asks questions when she is trying to envision something and can always make me think!

Dustin is not only on in-line supervision, but he is on a 3 foot "leash". Put down your phones! Do not call CPS! He is not actually on a leash! He is only allowed near an adult and cannot be more than 3 feet from us at any time.

Why? Dustin is a danger to himself, our possessions and others. His lack of any impulse control is difficult to manage. He is in need of an external brain to control his impulses because he is totally unable to do so on his own. That is the reason he has a 1:1 paraprofessional at school. He also struggles with very poor cause and effect correlation. He cannot fathom that his actions can cause negative consequences and is unable to predict what will happen. Because he struggles with object permanence, he is also very likely to "steal" food and gorge himself, and because he has lessened pain receptors, he has no concept of feeling full. Ever. He also tends to pick at the plaster walls and make HUGE holes (like ones I can drive a truck through) and pull carpet strings that end up unraveling whole sections of carpet. The last reason is that due to his schizophrenia, he tends to do better if he is constantly around people so that his "friends" (his hallucinations) aren't needed to keep him company. He is simply not safe unsupervised.

Our home is a 100+ years old. The downstairs is three rooms separated by large arches so they are pretty open and then a regular doorway leading into the kitchen. The first room is the living room which includes "my chair" and my laptop. The second is what we call "the kid area" that has a couch, a loveseat, a tv, and the game system. It is where the littles spend most of their time. The third is the dining room which also has Robert's computer and music equipment. Dustin is either in a chair next to mine or at the dining room table next to Robert. At my chair, he can either watch TV with me, or can see the kid's tv. When he is with Robert he can play his DS game, color, draw etc. If I am in the kitchen he is always with me. He is very helpful in the kitchen and we also have a tv in there. (We are a tv family, don't judge!)

The other kids are getting more used to playing upstairs in their own rooms. This is a new occurrence. Since we have needed to be able to see the kids at all times, they really didn't play alone in their rooms much. Because of this, they actually had a pretty healthy fear of being alone and of the upstairs of the house. This was totally our fault for trying to keep constant tabs on them. I have worked hard to improve their playing habits. This has really improved over the last few months and I am loving the distance between them and Dustin as they can play happily in each other's rooms and even alone in their own! When they are upstairs I have ventured out to letting Dustin watch tv on the "kid couch" about 25 feet from me. Progress!

The other things I have ventured to doing is sending him on "errands". He can take the laundry to the laundry room, take clean laundry upstairs, or take the trash out . . . alone. I know this sounds crazy! My life is not normal!! He is only able to do this when the littles are NOT in the path of the errand. If they are it inevitably ends up in screaming, tattling, hitting and/or tears. (sometimes mine) I am SO not joking! Life is never boring around here.

This is so much a part of our normal routine that I am not even sure what real normal looks like anymore. We make it work for us.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oh my ears . . .

I haven't written about Dustin for a while. For he most part he is doing well. He is still on constant supervision so he really can't get in much trouble. He has been doing some random chores and bathroom visits alone as long as he is not all wonky at that time, and if the littles are not near the chore or along the way. Some days are better than others. He is still throwing some wicked fits, but that is pretty much par for the course.

What is really driving me bonky is his constant talking. Robert deals with him in the morning and after school. I feel like I should take him as soon as I get home from work. He will NOT stop talking.

Mom, what are we having for dinner? Can I help? Ya kinow how my day was? You're the best mom ever. I love you mom. I had a bad dream. Do you wanna know about it? It was about sharks can you believe it? How was your day at work? Kinda looks like you had a bad day. Mom, Mom, Mom did you have a good lunch? Ya know what I had? Spaghetti. Can I have money for lunch tomorrow? I want french fries. We watched a video in class about mascots. All my friends laughed. Ok, I'll be quiet. Mom, I love you. Mascots are funny. Mom, you are the best. What are we having for dinner? Oh yeah, I forgot. Are you ignoring me? Dad said I could get the mail. There was alot. Mom, I have to pee. Hey, mom, I pooped a giant turd. I love you mom. Hey mom, can I have my DS? Hey, I forgot to ask you, Did you have a good day?

Seriously, that is like 3 minutes of questions. This lasts all night. I am not even joking. The weekends are worse. My ears just wanna hop of my head and run away. The worst part? He has to tell you about every other sound in the house. "Hey mom, the oven beeped." or "Did you hear McCartney scream?"


Domestic Diva . . .

I am trying not to make this blog all about my domestic pursuits, but that is where I am right now. Maybe it is the winter, but I am all baout being productive around the house lately.

This weekend I made some meals for the week. Or at least did some of the prep. I made Mexican Lasgana for tomorrow night. It is one of the kid's favorites. I took pictures of the prep. . . cause, ya know, that's how I roll.

Dish lined with corn tortillas.

Layer of fat free refried beans.

Add hamburger cooked with mexican stewed tomatoes, cheese and more tortillas.

Then I made some quilted notecards that I have seen all around the web. I like the randomness of the fabric and I like that it looks good with imperfect sewing. I am bundling them in groups of 4's with envelopes for the conference. Cute?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sewing . . .

I am selling my wares at a conference in a few weeks. I decided I needed to make some rice heat bags. I thought they would be simple and I love mine so I thought it would be nice. I also think they would be nice for weight therapy and I may take one for each kid for our LONG drive to Florida in 69 days. . .

I started with some soft flannel that I bought in fat quarters. It was only $1.29 a peice at JoAnns. I cut them in about 2/3's.

Then I turned them right sides together and sewed down two sides leaving the top open. I turned the unfinished edges inside and sewed two straight lines down the square to make 3 channels.

I bought a huge 25 pound bag of rice at Sam's Club tonight for like $8. I used a cup and filled the channels about 3/4's full of rice. (I made 6 bags tonight and it barely looks like I touched the amount of rice I bought)

I then sewed the top shut. I took a picture with my hand so you could see the size.

I made 6 rice heat bags in a half hour. Nice! I used the other 1/3 of the fat quarters and sewed them to another piece and made yet another bag. No fabric was wasted in the making of this project. :)

I thought that floding them and tying them with a ribbon would be a cute way to sell them at the conference. I will also attach an instruction tag to the top .

What do you think?

Oh Snuggie, you have disappointed. . .

My kids have wanted a snuggie forever. Last Christmas my mom bought them new robes and I convinced them that they were Snuggie's with belts. They wore them backwards, and that worked for a few months, then they got smart. Dang.

This year, the assistant director at the daycare got them both a character Snuggie for Christmas. They were so excited! They came home, ripped them out of the boxes and proceeded to try to walk around in them. Of course since it is simply a banket with sleeves, open in the back, they just fell off them. They were sorely disappointed. They ended up clipping them together in the back with chip clips. Too funny, but not really effective.

Last weekend I saw the snuggie's hanging on the back of their bedroom doors all lonely and forsaken and I decided to fix them.

I turned them inside out and sewed a diagonal line from the neck to about halfway down the snuggie. This way it was likea long pull over sweatshirt. I then cut the large triangle off the snuggie and turned it inside out. I decided to be funny and sew the large triangle together and make a long pointed "night cap" as a joke. I put it on McCarntey's head and she loved it! Harrison started whining saying, "Where is mine!?"

They look like little snuggie wizards. They have worn them almost every night since. I have a hard time not giggling everytime I walk by them!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The hubs, AOL, and old buddies . . .

Have I ever shared how I met my wonderful, adorable hubs? No? I don't think I have. I rarely do because people automatically assume the worst.

Do you remember the early days of AOL? I'm talking dial-up, $400 minute overage fees, snerts and chat rooms. I was an addict. I can vividly remember when they decided to go with unlimited minutes each month, I thought I was in heaven! I really only chatted in one room . . . the Indiana Room in the Town Square area. I was there so often I came to know all the regulars and they knew me . . . if only by Sherific (it's been around that long) "We" the regular visitors to the Indiana Room had monthly parties at a wonderful bar in downtown Indy called The Cozy as well as here in Fort Wayne. There we met face to face and drank alot of liquor! LOL I decided to go down to Indy for the first time one weekend in January of 1997.

My dad had recently passed and during the long illness a long time boyfriend had shown his true colors. We had broken up and I was definitely not looking to a boyfriend, and I was definitely not trolling AOL for a husband. That night I spent a long part of the evening talking to Robert (Sssnakepit was his screename) and laughing and having a great time. He had been drinking only soda that particular night being the designated driver. He had a soda with a bunch of cherries on top. Every time he would turn around to talk with someone I would eat a cherry and put the stem back in the glass. Eventually I ate them all and he laughed when he found a glass full of stems.

We spoke on line throughout that week. All the while I thought he was married. He thought I was married because I had intentionally worn my grandmother's wedding set to the bar. We were just chatting as friends. I found out he was coming to the party in Fort Wayne the next weekend. He asked if I had any cute girlfriends. I laughed saying something about his wife not appreciating that comment. He said he wasn't married. I then said, "What am I chopped liver?" And he said something about my husband. That's when I laughed and said I wasn't married either.

I went to the Fort Wayne party. I was only there a short time because I had a date with another guy that night. Shhhh! When I left the bar at the AOL party, I slipped a jar of cherries into his coat pocket. The next week on line he confused he was smitten.

We began dating the following week on his birthday. The next week I had a horrible case of food poisoning and my mom was out of town. He came up (from Anderson) to take care of me and he never left. We were married that August.

He still swears that he was done with women when he met me. He never thought he would marry again. He says the only reason he was initially interested in me was that I was onery and stole his cherries! He thought that bringing him a bottle of cherries and slipping it in his pocket was funny. The rest as they say is history . . .

Fast forward to facebook. A couple months ago, another "old reg" from the Indiana Room found Robert. She decided to start a group for all us old regs hoping that for each new person we added they would've remained in contact with another couple. We added a couple a people each week. Last week it exploded! It has been a RIOT seeing how everyone grew up, grew old and has families! We were not the only AOL Indiana Room couple that married and it is neat to see all the kids that have sprung up from that room. Some of us have even uploaded old pictures from the parties "back in the day". Too fun!! As someone said on the wall of the group today . . . "Facebook will never be the same."

Robert and I at The Cozy in 1997 for the Christmas Party.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Too True Tuesday (12) . . .

Essie asks today, "This week, tell us how cheaptastic you can be."

Hmmm. . . I am pretty cheap, let's see . . . (alot of mine are similar to Essie, I knew I liked her!)

- I buy store brand ketchup and put it in a Heinz bottle

- I love store brands! I don't typically shop with coupons because I can get store brands cheaper.

- Jeans are to be worn more than once as long as they aren't dirty or smelly.

- If the kids wear their socks to bed and they don't smell, they wear them the next day.

- If chocolate milk is not on sale, I buy an extra jug of white and add chocolate syrup to the whole jug. Works as long as you give it a shake each time you use it!

- I make all my own cleaning products with lemons, baking soda, washing soda, vinegar . . .

- all my kids clothes are from Goodwill (don't judge, our's are FAB!) and then I resell them at a clothing resale for more than I paid for them (escept I don't usually pay for them, my mom spoils them!) Free money!

Visit Essie's blog to see more clever and cheap ideas! And tell us your favorite secrets . . .

Sunday, January 10, 2010

So much energy . . .

Usually this time of year I am in a funk. No energy, and not enough hours in he day to get things done. Last year I really struggled and I remember going in search of a women's vitamin for some energy. This year, I am not sure if it is the lack of caffeine (26 days soda free!) or the exercising I am doing (we just got a Wii fit) but I have more energy than I can imagine!

Yesterday I did about 8 loads of laundry, furminated one dog and bathed the other, cleaned out their crates, stripped and remade beds, did a craft with McCartnye worked out on the Wii fit for an hour, went grocery shopping, rearranged the living room and cleaned the entire downstairs. I even lost 1.3 pounds! (we are doing a weight loss thing at work)

Today I got up in a great mood, went to church, made salads for the week, made breakfast burritos for the fridge, made a pizza bake for tomorrow's dinner with homade garlic roll, froze a dozen twice baked potatoes I made this afternoon, baked peanut butter cookies, made macaroni singles and tuna salad for lunches, AND I lost another 1.3 pounds. Woot!

I am loving this energy and hope it doesn't come crashing down around me anytime soon! I am hoping that I can lose some weight with good choices and still eating what I want in moderation. I know that depriving myself of what I want will just make me gain the weight right back.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

My food love . . .

Grill up a whole wheat low-carb tortilla
Warm up some fat free refried beans and a tablespoon of taco seasoning, I add some water to make it a little thinner
Add some hot pepper cheese, tomatoes, and fat free sour cream


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Accountability post . . .

So the eat healthier thing? How's that going you ask? It's going. Here's the plan so far:

I have been eating healthier. I have decided that wheat tortillas with beans and hot pepper cheese is my new favorite food. I bought some roma tomatoes last night to add to them.

I am the world's biggest grazer. I love to eat bits and pieces all day long. I have brought some healthier snacks to work like crackers and summer sausage, granola and yogurt. I hate yogurt. I make myself eat it. I have found it I put something crunchy in it I do much better. I have began to add some Grape Nuts cereal in it so I get some wheat and barley. Makes me happy!

I still have yet to drink soda. I think I have it licked. I no longer crave it as long as I am not thirsty. The key for me is to constantly have water around. When I get parched I want a soda more than anything!

Other than that I am simply cutting my portion sizes. I know that I do not have the willpower or the time to drastically alter my eating routines. I also know that if I do it will not last.

We are starting a weight loss program at work. It includes monetary penalties for gaining weight. That is a huge motivator in my book. The person who looses the most weight by May 1st wins the money we all paid to join as well as all the penalty money. I am all for that!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

A night out . . .

Last night I went out to a bar I have not been to in well over 10 years, to see a band that included a couple guys we used to watch perform in other bands about 17 years ago. One of the girls who used to waitress and perform there put together a little reunion. Wow, if that doesn't make you feel old I don't know what will. Ok, I do. How about dancing and complaining that you have not used those particular thigh muscles in years? Or maybe thinking about the last time you went to that bar you didn't need your mom to babysit your kids? Yep, that'll do it!