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November 25, 2009

Thanks Tampa Bay Baby!

I have been reflecting upon my parenting journey for the last week now. It fascinates me that when my children become sick, they seem to have a frailty to them that I don't notice until they are down for the count. Usually the status quo around here is a combination of screaming, laughing, whining, crying, talking, running, jumping, giggling all into one big bundle of daily chaos. So when one of them becomes ill, the chaos diminishes and life becomes more introspective for me as they lay in my arms whimpering in the midst of their misery.

This has been my last week with BOTH girls so sick and hubby and I not far behind. It is times like these that I think about my 3 year old Cati who was just a baby like a week ago...right? But then there are the moments (actually, 4 seconds ago as I type this post), a giggly Cati approaches me with blue play doh squished against her forehead while a dried smear of goo trails out of her nose onto her cheek. I see her and smile because I see the baby she used to be reflected in that cheeky smile yet she is no longer my baby but a growing little girl. My precious girl who wants to dress herself and has recently decided she can put on pants all on her own...
...even Daddy's pants. (She pretends the pockets are a shirt)

Or my Ella who has been the most sick all week. My active, independent 15 month old who wants to do everything by herself and throws a fit if you do it for her. Like washing her hands...

At the same time, she makes us laugh, loves to be a girl, and gives us a hug when she races by for whatever blinky, flashy thing that has caught her attention yet again.

So I begin to see how thankful I am to be their mom and to know so many other parents out there who are thankful for their children too. And I love learning about the lives of other moms, their journeys to parenthood. Especially since I constantly want to learn new things about all things parenting; especially parenting babies.

So I feel so honored to be Tampa Bay Baby's featured blogger since they are a fantabulous resource for anything baby! What a fast, easy resource with expert advice and heart warming features, articles, and informative links. I had no idea I was featured until I clicked on their home page and there was my button! The button I had just made and posted! How exciting! I am thankful that my blog can encourage anyone else going through this parenting journey with me. This journey that took me many years to arrive at this particular stage yet it will be the rest of my life as it continues.

For the feature and being a wonderful resource for parents in Tampa Bay, FL and everywhere else!

November 24, 2009

Two Tips Tuesday

Tip #1: Holiday Hostess Gift

I am so excited about this tip that I doing a tiny bounce in my chair as I type! Nothing is more fun to me than giving people gifts and this is the season to give a hostess a gift of appreciation for incredible hospitality. From cookie and ornament exchanges, dessert parties to family get-togethers, there are opportunities galore to give a thoughtful gift.

This Thanksgiving we are spending it with new friends. BFF broke my heart and decided to go to NC this year to visit family that moved from our neck of the woods just last year. We don't have any family here buuuuuut...we are grateful for new traditions and making new friends!!!!

Anyway, I decided to make this...well, I have no idea what to call this. I guess a flower holder. I say this because I recycled a large coffee mate container by wrapping it in felt and spelled out BLOOM across the bottom. The problem is the canister is made to hold dry powder, not water so I plan to put an inexpensive vase inside. I love that I re-purposed this container for my very green friends who are hosting Thanksgiving. I plan to buy flowers to put in it as a gift.

And as I type I am cracking up because this friend reads my blog (especially 2 Tips) and I am being ghetto tacky as I not only post what I am giving her but put a picture of it as well. Um, so to my friend Alaina...SURPRISE!

I really think this would make for a great gift for the holiday season. Ideas to use for are flowers, Christmas cookies, candy, a gift, whatever goodies you can think of to give to someone. I personally love packages that are a gift in and of itself. Obviously, felt and fabric are my thing but you could scrapbook this thing into the cutest little package everrrrrr! Paper would be faster and so gorgeous with all the endless embellishments it can have.

I plan to make myself one that says Cookies on it. I also endeavor to someday use different size containers and make a cute play canister set for the girls for their play kitchen.

Trying to get the whole thing for ya but it was a challenge. My camera does let me stitch all these photos together to make a panoramic view am techy challenged. So use your imagination.
I used contrasting embroidery floss with both a blanket stitch and running stitch for interest and wrapped a lighter brown, felt ribbon around the top. Not sure if I can let this one go. It is so fun and happy!! :) Plus, I did my best to make it something she can use more often if she chooses.

Tip #2: Glam It Up For Your Festive Feast
I love, love, love attention to detail on a table. It is so my thing and I dig tablescapes, centerpieces, and all things different and creative. Because it all centered around eating! Food Decor! You just can't get better than that. So here are some ideas to get your minds churning. Sadly, the pics are sub par but their lack of clarity is made up for with my brilliant tip. :D
I am bummed that my photo taking skills were even more non-existent 3 years ago when I did this really cute centerpiece for Thanksgiving. This is the only photo I found and the table was not even done yet but I press on!
Anyway, I used white roses and green apples, grapes, and herbs to make a fun arrangement on the table. So pretty. I even tucked rosemary sprigs in the napkins for a simple touch. I would have made this amazing table but my mother came down for Thanksgiving that year and the woman will make a feast fit for 50 people and there was only 4 of us with Cati. No room for anything but the food. And she did alllll the cooking, God bless her.

This is a photo from my table from my Church's Christmas Tea last year. Squint and you can see it better. I loved seeing all the beautifully decorated tables. Most of us whipped out our china though I was not bringing my glasses that would break if you merely look at them so I splurged for 8 smoky grey water glasses at the dollar tree. It worked with my silver theme.

My theme was a partridge in a pear tree. I found a tree branch (no easy feat in palm tree laden, sunny, Florida), painted it kinda like a white, glittery birch, glued silver leaves on the sparse branches and hung silver pear ornaments, I even clipped on a little bird ornament which was not a partridge but people got it so who cares. The base was a white batting covered in sparkly snow with silver and gold leaves. The plates had confetti filler made nests that hubby and I made and I filled them with Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates (so yummy) so they looked like 3 golden eggs inside a white nest.

I have more ideas up my sleeve but I will save them for more Tuesday Tips during the rest of this season.

In the meantime, do you have any fun or creative table ideas? Place cards? Centerpieces? Give us the scoop!

Happy Tuesday Friends!

November 22, 2009

The Bliss of Ignorance

No, no.

Not ignorance. Perhaps I meant the bliss of IGNORING my reality. No, I definitely can not plead ignorance if I am aware of my reality. Like if you drove by the Naked Cowboy. Could you ignore the man? No, he is a man in his banana hammock, skivvies with a guitar singing on a city street corner. Obvious would be an understatement and ignoring this spectacle would be impossible.

Because now I can not ignore the reality that none of my jeans fit.

Not in that "Oh, dang. These don't feel as comfortable as usual" kind of way.

Uh uh.

Enter in muffin top and the mad quest to find the little pregnancy extender, doo dad thingy that enables me to wear my jeans without having to blouse out my tummy.

Perhaps you are asking yourself how Jess ignored her reality. Well I would be just slap my knee happy to fess up for you because...well this is my first step in getting help...CONFESSION.

I ignored my reality by...
  • Consuming everything conceivably edible with no accountability whatsoever.
  • Enduring a 2 week period with confusing pregnancy tests (some negative, some positive). These ended up being false positives (evap lines) because I used blue dye, cheapo tests and I should know better since my infertility journey caused me to be an expert on all sticks requiring to be peed on. Pregnancy was negative but ate like it was positive and justified it for that growing life that needed all the empty carbs I took in for my own pleasure.
  • Wore pregnancy jeans from 1st trimester of last pregnancy time frame to justify above eating spree. Figured if I was preggo I would jump in with both feet. Apparently, I needed a bib too.
  • Wearing the same shirt and pants that were always roomier and washing them over and over. I just never noticed they began to get snug. But wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt 5 days a week will do that.
  • Using coupons and BOGO deals at the grocery store to justify all the snacks I have crammed in my pantry. They are for the kids, I tell myself. So question: Why is it my poor kids never get a clue of their existence? Answer: Because I have hoovered them like a starving beast.
  • Making easy meals because family flies in for a visit. Translation: Order pizza.
  • Stacking boxes of clothes for charity onto my treadmill and telling myself that my lack of exercise will clothe a child in need somewhere.
There you have it. I have faced reality with all of you to hold myself accountable in my life of denial. But here's the thing. I am not looking to get back in my size 4 or 6 jeans. I think my belly will probably remain this nice little extra garment that I can tuck in like a shirt. Whatever. But as of a few weeks ago my goal was getting back into a size 8 because I was hovering between a 10 and a 12. NOW MY 12's are snug! UGH. I am ill just tapping it out on these keys but we keep it real, or KIR...(such a geek) at two shades. No reason not to.
But I am not sure what my plan is at this point. I guess I need to start running again. But I so don't want to. I feel weary to the bone. Not in a depressed way. More like a...who cares? And who wants to justify weight loss at this yummy time of year?
It is so funny because hubby has masters degree in exercise physiology. We used to both work at fitness club where we met. Yet both the will and the flesh are weak. Seriously, hubby and I are madly in love and how can a mom get stoked to exercise when she wears her children's meals, fluids, or art work on a daily basis? I also have no motivation when I see some baked good telling me how good it will taste with my morning coffee. Naughty little pastries.
I need to sign off at this point anyway. I need a snack.

November 20, 2009

Making a Handmade Tradition

Recently, I read a book called Gideon'a Gift by Karen Kingsbury, the first book of the Red Gloves Series. These are small, wonderful books focused around Christmas and most of all around the miracles God can bring our way. The fact that I experienced the miracle of my girls makes me especially emotional for these tear jerker reads.

But the first book of the series has this character who had a tradition in his family where each Christmas they would make one handmade gift. Maybe a painting, a written song, something knitted or crafted. And it would be set apart from the other gifts by being wrapped with white tissue paper. I was so touched by such a personal tradition. It requires thought, time, and effort and becomes incredibly meaningful while it is being made and then to the person who receives it.

I told hubby that I really wanted to so something like this each Christmas. Often when I sew something for someone, I pray with each stitch for that person. A set of fabric blocks for my friend's new baby. Or this one...

This gift has special meaning because I gave it to an incredibly dear friend where she and her husband decided to name their daughter a name that means PEARL. My friend also used to work in a very popular, high end jewelry store and pearls held such personal and wonderful meaning for her. Then one day she wrote a post on her blog about her Pearl Girl that had me weeping while rivers of goo just poured out of my facial orifices. It was not pretty. The post was just so beautiful. At the same time, her baby shower was in mere days and I had a gift but wanted to make something yet I had been stumped. After her post, inspiration struck and I made this girly wall hanging using fabric on canvas.

And would you believe all the material is from 3 adorable kitchen towels? Gotta love it.

My friend is also STYLE PERSONIFIED and what would be more appropriate than a cute dress, a bag, and shoes with pearl embellishments? (Sadly, you can't see the pearls in my awful pic but it ended up so cute.)

Then we have these sweet felt coasters I made for BFF. This was actually painfully hard to give these away because I loved them so much. But God helped me pry my selfish fingers off them. Loved the colors, the fabric accents, and I am obsessed with birds. Kinda trendy but you can't help what you like. Anyway, I made these for her and she loooooooved them. I thought of what her style was like, what she is drawn to and it made it such a personal process for me.

This one is a little bow holder with...surprise!!! A bird. But whatever. You get that I dig birds. This one was fun because the wing is from an old dress of my oldest daughter's which I loved but it had holes in it from so much wear. I saved it and loved that I could include it on this project. Then there was some nostalgia attached to it. She is very into the whole bow in the hair thing and I needed to get all of them organized for both of my girls. I had seen them for sale online and figured I could make one myself. So I did. She loved it and it made me so happy to make her happy.

Even if you are not crafty you could still be creative. For my second wedding anniversary I wrote on little cards 24 reasons why I loved my hubby. Or one Christmas, my hubby printed out all our emails from when we first started dating. That was fun! This past anniversary I made a jar with tiny slips of paper with the title that said..."Thoughts of You I wish I said Out Loud & More Often."
Just wanted to pass on our new tradition we hope to begin this year. I can't wait to see what we end up doing for one another in our family.
Do any of you have traditions like this? I so need ideas!

November 19, 2009

Ear Lobe Holes & The 50 Meter Dash

I am astounded at the rate in which my children grow and change. I sometimes look at one of the girls and suddenly have a freeze frame moment where I look, really look at them. And suddenly I see the time that has passed me by. This is nothing new for a mother but I am always amazed at the emotions that come with this realization. They should cancel one another out but instead they blend together to become what is commonly called...bittersweet.

This introspection all began when my Cati told me she wanted her ears pierced the other day. This was big because this was a follow up conversation from a few months ago. The time I was literal about the process with my innocent 3 year old. Not my wisest moment. I decided to be brutally honest. Selfishly, of course. So I told her the TRUTH about getting her ears pierced. This scenario should really be written down in the Mommy Handbook: What Not To Tell Your Children.

Picture it...

We are sitting on the couch and I tell her that piercing your ears means getting holes put into your ears with this kinda sharp tool that will put an earring through her ear. I demonstrated by taking my earring out and go in slow mo for dramatic effect. I so need a lesson in age appropriate teaching moments. Perhaps I should have acted it out by creating a loud noise, jumping up and screaming while holding my ear lobe.

But I maintained remarkable restraint. I assured her we could go to the doctor's office to get her ears numbed and then have them do it there since she looooves her doctor. Then I take out my earring and show her the hole and then have her watch me put it through the lobe and I even turn my earlobe so she can see it poking out the back. It was like a preschool version of a health class video about parasites that seems really gross but cool at first. Then they scare the tar out of you with truthful facts about these parasites invading and then taking up residence in your body.

The clincher?

"Cati, it might hurt a little to get your ears pierced. Are you okay with that?"

Uncertainty fills her eyes but I felt my honesty was good, strategic move. I laid all my cards on the table and put the ball in her court. Yes, I am still talking about my three year old who looks to me for guidance, encouragement, and assurance. Did I mention that I was selfishly thinking about me, myself, and moi in this not so brilliant moment?

"Mommy? I don't want my eawrs pursed."

"Okay, Baby. But when you are ready, you come to me and we can do it." Shame on me.

Now here was her precise wording 2 days ago...

"Mommy, I want my earwings pursed."

"You want what?"

"I want my earwings pursed in my eawrs. I won't cry." Um, but I might.

"Wow, honey. Really? You now feel ready to get your ears pierced?" I am so regretting letting this opportunity pass me by when she was an infant.

"Yes. And I want those." Pointing to 2 little flowers that she had ripped off her Debbie Dancer doll's tutu minutes before.

"Cate, those are not earrings. They are flowers from your ballerina doll's tutu that I now need to sew back on."

"Oh. But can I still have real earwings?"

This is such an interesting development due to the aforementioned convo that she and I had a month or two ago. She had told me she wanted earrings like Mommy. And because I am not particularly ready to place a gun like contraption to her teeny weeny ears and spear them with sharp ended bling, I was not prepared for her to still want to do it.

Hence her request and assurance that she is now ready. And apparently I am not. There seems to be something so final about it but I think it is great that she is excited. We shall see when the moment of truth comes.

Then we have my little Ella. My baby who walked for the first time 2 weeks ago. Who keeps toddling around here like the cutie patootie that she is and then falling, giggling and picking herself back up again. I was beginning to think she would do that scoot on her boom until she graduated high school but she is now on her feet. Only problem is that she is trying to make up for lost time by trying to run. She looks like Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins when he runs around with his pants stretched out to look like penguin.


Again, there is something final about beginning to walk because she leaves another part of her "babyness" behind and moves forward. Because she will ALWAYS walk. These girls just keep changing just when I start to get acquainted with "The Current Stage." Then they move on to the next stage and I'm left wondering how they grow so fast that I find it difficult to keep up. But I have a strange feeling that holes in the ears and walking pales in comparison for what is it to come.

November 18, 2009

Full of Thanksgiving!

Friends, I never knew I would write something called a blog. The first time I heard that word, I was so mystified by this techy term that it reminded me of blob and frog merged together. As I began to read other blogs, I became inspired by the creativity I encountered. Blown away, laughing out loud, weeping just by reading about the lives of people I have never met. It was the most surreal experience to be vested in a person's life through this little monitor window into the webby world. So in light of this 4 month journey of writing this blog, I am so incredibly wowed to be a featured blogger on the Shabby Blogs Blog.

I am excited, humbled, and most of all thankful for such a fun recognition. I love writing and sharing my life in my posts. To have someone give me such encouragement has touched me in a monumental way. I read numerous blogs from talented, incredibly gifted writers who are every day people just like me with something to say. So I pray that God will use my writing, maybe my Two Shades of Pink Story or just some laughter to bless someone who stops by.

Thank you bunches, Meg! The day I saw your little cameo pop up as my 3rd follower, I will never forget how insanely pumped I was knowing you were out there rooting for me. It means so much and so does this feature.

Thank you to every person who has visited me, left a comment and just stopped by to peek in.

You know. To my blob frog.


November 17, 2009

Two Tips Tuesday

Tip #1: A Prayer or Thankfulness Tree

Deck my blog with holiday fuuuuuuuuuuuun...fa lalalala la la laaaa
All my tips will be like this till the New Year...fa la la la la la la laaaaaaaaaaaa!

OK. Lame song. But the holidays are officially here and there are so many goodies we can do with the rest of the tips in 2009. I will challenge myself to do just that!

A prayer or thankfulness tree, you ask? This is not a new idea but I love that so many people do this each year. It is simply just a tree with leaves that say what the person is thankful for or prayers written on each leaf to pray for during the holiday season. BFF has one in her entry that is kind of like a guest book which is so nice. It is a paint drawn tree on paper and she has a bowl of leaves for each person to fill out and hang on the tree. I have always wanted to get a tree branch from outside and make it into a mini tree and hang reusable leaves on them. That has been my plan for 2 years and I still have not done it.

More inspiration...

  • Set a pretty bowl on the table with several cut out leaves or buy the ones in packages at the store to write out your thankful notes.
  • A unique and different idea...a girlfriend and I were designated to decorate for a baby shower for a dear friend of ours and we filled a glass vase full of brown river rocks. We had each guest sign their name and write an attribute of our friend on that rock.
  • Make a large, paper tree for the fridge, cut out paper covered magnets in tree shapes, color, and write them out during the whole month of November until Thanksgiving.
  • Postpone this idea until Christmas, have a tabletop tree and write out prayers or the things you consider in life to be a precious gift. Write them on ornaments to hang on the tree.

Tip #2: Photo Gift Tags for Tots

I love wrapping gifts. My mother always made them look BEAUTIFUL and about killed herself doing it each year. But one thing I have learned is to simplify this season as much as possible. I used to do fancy bows and gifts tags. The whole shebang. But the first time I saw Cati tear into a gift and not notice one thing about the nifty little bow or how I uniquely offset the ribbon on the top, I knew things would change. My efforts were utterly ignored and I realized...WHO CARES? But I still have to be me so it needs to look cute.

This year I want Cati to have lots of fun and be a Christmas helper to hand out all the gifts. I initially thought I would designate a particular wrapping paper for each of us but then I realized that might not go well with what I purchased during last years after Christmas sale. What if there is ONE, lonely gift that has random paper? It would drive me into bouts of insomnia.

So I decided to make photo gift tags. That way, Cati could look at it and know who's gift it is and feel involved. It also may help prevent her from tearing into all the other gifts. I went to Walgreen's, chose photos and had them printed in black and white, and wallet size to give me four pictures per sheet. Then I mounted them on paper, hole punched the corner and wrapped it with ribbon. Here are a few I have already wrapped for the girls...

Happy Tuesday Friends!

November 13, 2009

What's a Promise?

So on the way home from AWANA Cubbies the other night, Cati tells me she made me a picture and it is in her bag. I pull it out and see this rainbow with the phrase "God makes a promise." I tell Cati how wonderful her picture is and then decide to make this a moment to learn.

"Cati, do you know what the word promise means?"

" Yes."

"Really? What does promise mean?"

"It's like a circle."

Whoa. I had to let that sink in because she seemed to be going a little deeper than what I was prepared for. Then I figured she meant that a rainbow is like a circle. I had no idea but I was definitely fearful in that moment that my 3 year old was beginning to show signs of an intellect that vastly surpasses my own.

"A circle?"

"Yes. A circle."

"How is a promise like a circle?"

"Because it is round like a circle."

OK. Time to move on from the philosophical circle.

"Cati, a rainbow is a promise from God. He gave us a rainbow after the flood when Noah built the ark. Do you remember that story?"

"Mmmm hmmm."

Well, a promise means that when someone says they will do something they will really do it. Like, if I told you Mommy promises to give you a popsicle, I will give you a popsicle. Because Mommy keeps her promises. And God ALWAYS keeps His promises.

My child lights up like a birthday candle. "A POPSICLE?"


Silence fills the car and only the sound of the radio playing and the hum of the tires ensues. Then...


"Yes, Cati?"

eat that popsicle."

Ahhhh. Lesson learned.

November 10, 2009

Two Tips Tuesday

Tip #1: Label a Canister

I have kept this canister from a little set I had when I was single and in my first apartment. It is the only one left but I have always used it for miscellaneous things in the pantry or around the house. The latest uses were a piggy bank for Cati and now it is housing Halloween candy. I love that I can just label it with a dry erase marker and erase it when I find a new use for it. Endless possibilities and I get to indulge in my obsession with labeling any and all things.

Tip #2: Some Great Websites that Save You BIG MOOLA!

I am all about a deal and I am discovering that I have gone far too long in not taking advantage of deals that are floating around out there in cyberland because I have just been too lazy to go look for them. But over the last year I have had delightfully frugal friends who have clued me in on some of these websites that help us out in saving a little money. So here are some I find VERY useful and I hope you will too...especially as the holiday season of ridiculous spending is upon us.

Coupons and codes for a gazillion stores! Savings include things like free shipping or codes for certain percentages off. Great to check out if you do holiday shopping online.

A great grocery store site that does all the work for you to find the deals at your local grocery store, Walgreen's, CVS, etc. If you are willing to do the work, this pays off in crazy ways. BFF went to Walgreen's and got over $60 worth of stuff for $11. Worth a shot!

Limited time deals that expire but are scouted and submitted to this website. You can really find some drastically reduced prices of higher dollar items.

I would love for any of you to comment about some great websites you have found that save some change or have great deals.

Happy Tuesday!

November 5, 2009


I have no idea what to write. So I have started this post praying that the Lord will just take over my brain, my typing hands, and the words will just flow. But I am anticipating random musings and ramblings, yet that would mean I am not believing God for a very poignant post.

I have been in such a writing slump. For no apparent reason. I guess it is because life is sometimes normal and mundane. So let's try a list. Lists are a balm to my soul. They create order and order is my bliss. Perhaps if I do a list, something extraordinary will come of it. Or I will just be able to update you on life happenings in my household. My last post outside of my weekly TTT post was my Halloween bag. So let's go in order...

Halloween: Boy did I have some grumpy girls. They were not thrilled with a boiling hot Halloween in costume. Or that we were a volunteer trunk and candy hander outers for our church trunk or treat. But I am sure you would appreciate a visual of my girlies in costume. A Strawberry Fairy and Princess Aurora...

We Got Our Power Turned Off: By mistake. Oooohhhh...I was hot! Fortunately, not in body temperature. It was 72 degrees that day. I was just plain mad. This is the second time this happened. And in this little rental we have, the power guy actually has to open our back fence gate to come to the power box to turn it off. Sometimes the city workers have to come check the meter thingy and the first time I almost bit the guy's head off coming onto the patio. This time, I thought that was happening again and greeted him cheerfully since our window was open on such a cool day. Scared the guy silly. We laughed together. Hee hee ho ho ha ha. Then I hear the TV pop off. I tell Cati to turn it back on and she said it wasn't working. I thought she was referring to the sub par Disney DVD from the library where other mothers apparently let their children scratch them up and leave mystery, sticky food particles on them. Then I realize the house is eerily quiet. It is 10:30 in the AM and my power is off. That little deceiver! OK, he was just doing his job but I soooo wanted to kill the messenger. I run outside and he speeds off. But HA! Our street dead ends and he would have to turn around and come back. So I waited like a predator for his prey. OK. Not really. I waited like the panicky mommy I was because ya kinda need power to cook stuff, blog stuff, watch stuff, wash clothes and know. So he turned around and I say,

"Why did you turn off our power?" Nothing more angry or better came to mind.

"I had a service order for your house. You need to call and work it out."

"But we paid our bill last week...on time too! Maybe you meant to do the neighbors and got the wrong one." There. Now I was getting a groove. He made a mistake. Of course.

Then he says my husbands name. Uh oh. He had the right house.

So I call hubby who got right on the phone with the power company and they said there was a glitch in the system and it would be turned on within the hour.

Um, no.

Try EIGHT HOURS LATER! They came at 6:30 that evening. I had to take the girls out for pizza just to feed them. Oh well. But I was ready to have a power company tech head on a stick.

Ella took 6 steps! That was the great thing about that night. Ella walked on her own for the first time and she keeps trying. Woo Hoo! She is 15 months and I am ready for her to be toddling around here. She will be more destructive and busy but I find it so much easier when they can walk. Call me weird.

That is all my exciting news. Just wanted to let you know I am pretty out of it with a writer's block but perhaps this was still a nice update. Hopefully this will jump start me out of my little, bloggy hiatus.

November 3, 2009

Two Tips Tuesday

Tip #1: Name Basket

This one may be super obvious to most of you but it took me some time to grasp this one. I have seen it on those organization shows, magazine articles, blah, blah. But I never really saw a need to use a basket to contain clutter. If it has a place to go, put it there. And lookey need for the basket. Ah, but my arrogance turned to humility when...yes...


They are not the organized little robots I thought I would train them to be. No, no they are mini cyclones of chaos that disturb my peaceful order. If there is order, I feel peace. I so need help.

But for now I came up with designated baskets to contain the clutter. I still have a specific place for EVERYTHING so the basket helps contain it before it gets there. As I try to clean up around here, I take Cati's basket and grab her shoes, dress up clothes, books, stuffed animals, odds and ends and throw it all together in the basket. Usually I do this at nap time when they won't undo what I just cleaned. Then, when they wake up, I put it all back. Cati is getting great at doing this herself so that helps too. She puts away her laundry and toys from the basket and gets excited she helped Mommy. Everyone wins.

Tip #2: Inspiration Notebook

Yes, another organization tip. I have to confess I like magazines. A lot. If they had bible verses throughout them, I think I would retain scripture in a miraculous way. I also think magazine ads would be cleaner too but perhaps that can wait for another "post on my soapbox."

Magazines could very possibly take over my house if I am not careful. So I try to purge of them every once and awhile. I go through them and take out the articles I love. Stuff like web sites, home decorating, tips, recipes, you name it. Then I put them in page protectors and stick them in a binder categorized by topic.

OK. After typing that I realized I am a geek. I am a bona fide, organizational, freak, geek.

But I reap so many benefits so I shall pass on this tip to you so you can do the same. Come and find your inner geek with me. It'll be fun.

Enjoy your Tuesday.