Thursday, August 26, 2010

Small Successes

For more inspirational small successes click on the link above.

  1. Hung most of my laundry out to dry this week.  I actually enjoyed it.  But, I am looking forward to the washer and dryer (did you catch that AND) repairman visit today.  I did send a couple loads home with my MIL.  Hanging everyone's personal items out to dry while workmen were working in our backyard just didn't seem right.  Besides, my kids gasped in fear when I hung the underwear for my potty training 2 1/2 year old.  He was proud, they would have been humiliated.
  2. Entered all appointments for September and October into my outlook calendar simply for an easy to reference chart showing me all the times I need to be in 2 places at once (manage carpooling).  My lovely little calendar (which I find incredibly awesome) was looking a bit discombobulated.  Next step, plan how to get kids on opposite ends of town at the same time...many times during September.
  3. Finally began reading Master Your Metabolism, a book I bought a couple months ago on a whim.  It is very enlightening.  I already knew I had some issues with hormonal imbalance, but other than my sluggish thyroid I had no idea all the rest impacted weight loss too.  I guess that's the place to start.  And my next book will be The Schwarzbein Principal.

And.....I didn't cry when the repairman said it would take 10 days to get the parts for both my washer and dryer :(

      Tuesday, August 24, 2010

      Nothing to lose

      Someone told me I had nothing to lose by calling the repair company and asking this question.  They were wrong. 

      1. Washing machine isn't working quite right.  The electronic dial doesn't always move.  It's been getting worse.  I called the warranty company last week and they said they'd have someone out on Wed.
      2. Dyer quit drying.
      3. I called the warranty company and they set that up for Thurs.
      4. Now, with a quick phone call I thought I might be able to make this a little easier.
      1. Explain to the lady that I have 2 appointments and can they either A) look at both on Wed. or B) Switch them so the dryer is looked at on W and the washing machine on TH.
      2. She put me on hold to see what she could do.
      3. When she came back she informed me that they would both be looked at on TH!  What no!!!!!  I need my dryer to work.  Soon.  We have a giant laundry producing outdoor project going on right now with a bunch of guys here and some of my kids helping.  We are generating more laundry than the 9 of us already create.  We are still being cautious with my son's MRSA infection.  He has his own towels, we're bleaching them often, etc.
      4. So, I asked if there really wasn't any way that my dryer could be looked at in that W timeslot.  Her answer?  "That slot is already taken".
      So, I realized that although this is a big hassle it really isn't the end of the world.  We have a yard.  We have twine.  We have 9 clothes pins.  It's summer.  People hang things out to dry all the time.  Why am I complaining.  I guess I should just be happy my washing machine is still somewhat functioning.  That would be a real hassle.

      The ants are back...................................

      Sunday, August 22, 2010

      Getting rid of the Ants

      This is how we finally got rid of the ants:

      1. Over the years we've tried many different kinds of ant bait traps.  They kept the population low, but they were still always present.
      2. We also made sure the kitchen was cleaned up every night.  If someone had a snack after the dishes had been washed they were supposed to wash it themselves (didn't always happen - and then we'd wake up to loads of ants.)
      3. We tried cream of wheat.  Apparently they really like it but cannot digest it.  I ended up with more and more ants (like well over 100 at once...gross!)...many dead..many crawling....and they expanded their search area.  I only kept this up for a week.  It's possible if I had continued it would have worked.
      4. Tried bleaching the counters every night.   This was only moderately effective.
      5. My dh finally suggested calling an exterminator (we've had them every summer for years).  When I told my MIL she gave me a spray can of HotShot Kitchen bug killer to try.  She said it always worked for her.  
      6. I am very leery of poison type chemicals on my counters.  So, Nathan and I cleaned off the entire corner of the kitchen counter.  Every night for a week I sprayed HotShot.  Every morning I awoke to maybe 20-30 tiny dead ants.  I'd wipe them off then bleach the entire area before the rest of my family used it for the day.
      7. At the end of the week we went out of town for 4 days.  The counters were cleared and I sprayed HotShot all over them before leaving.  When we came back there were almost no ants.  
      8. We've been home for almost a week and I haven't seen an ant on the counter yet!
      9. The counters are still nearly bare.  I love it.  I am the type of person that would gladly jam everything inconveniently into the cupboards so that the counter is empty.  HA!  I live with 8 other people.  I have consented to leaving the coffee maker and toaster on the counter, as well as a smaller spice rack since it really didn't fit anywhere else.  I have stored the blender, Giant Magic Bullet, Bread Machine, and Mixer.  Only the mixer might make it's way back.  The others aren't used all that often.

      If you have ants.....good luck.  It could be worse.  At least it's not snakes or cockroaches or something.  But I'm still glad they are gone.

      Thursday, August 19, 2010

      Small Successes

      1.  Played at the playground with my 2 youngest for an hour rather than take that time to make a bunch of phone calls on my to do list.  (I did make 2 quick necessary calls).

      2.  Confidently navigated my way through the great outdoors (aka boonies) alone with my 9 year old son (and my GPS).  We were on vacation, miles from a city big enough to have an ER, but small enough that the ER was my only option.  My ds developed another cellulitis MSRA staph infection, he just finished antibiotics for the first infection about 3 weeks ago.  We needed more meds, and this is not an infection to mess around with (he is doing much better...and we do have a plan to try to stop this from reoccurring but any prayers offered  would be greatly appreciated)

      3.  Cleared everything unnecessary off my schedule for the next 1 1/2 weeks.  We've got a huge outdoor project going on.
      For more encouraging small success stories click on the link above.  Have a great week!

      Thursday, August 12, 2010

      Small Successes


      It's been a busy week with what seemed like a zillion necessary errands

      1. Requested a new driver's license yesterday (after losing mine over a month ago ).  Then found it this morning, really (along with the cc which I had  immediately cancelled after discovering that I had lost it).  I prayed to St. Anthony but instead of helping me find them I think he was trying to teach me a more careful.  (this is by far the first time it's happened).   And...instead of shoving them in a pocket when I go somewhere I don't want to risk losing my purse...I finally purchased a wrist wallet.  But really, waiting until I actually FOUND my DL?  I think St. Anthony has a sense of humor :)
      2. I finally prayed to St. Francis asking him to please ask the ants to leave my kitchen.  Then my MIL gave me a bottle of a bug killer she has used.  It worked!  We've been battling these tiny little grease ants every summer.  Taro, bait traps, bleach....nothing has worked.  I think St. Francis sent my MIL.  Maybe the ants were disobedient.  One extra bonus kitchen has never been so clean.  Nathan and I removed almost everything from my counters and found them new homes, I've been spraying every night.  When the spraying is over...most of the things will not be going back on my counter.
      3. I finally contacted someone who ran a camp one of my children attended and was injured at after mulling over Crunchy Mamma's post.  It wasn't serious.  But it was incredibly out of the ordinary and I think I should have been informed by someone other than my dd.  I am so the type of person that just shrugs things off.  I don't want to take the time and I really don't like confrontation.  But I think this one required me to act. 
      4. I've finally learned to Bi-locate.  O.K.  so that's stretching it.  But I did set up a few carpools to help out with my inability to be in 2 places at once.   And, I finally called my SIL to ask about helping with driving for a class Anna will be taking this year.  Anna told me she really enjoys spending time with my SIL on these rides (she's helped out in the past as well).  Although we do benefit from her being able and willing to drive during the day we are still praying for her to find a job in this economy (a little prayer for her and all the others still looking for work?)

      Sunday, August 8, 2010

      Help is relative.

      After being friends with Real for a decade, sometimes I am not sure who came up with what and what stories are mine and which are hers. While it is fun to have a friend for this long, sometimes I feel a little touched by dementia. The saying, "Help is relative" is an example of this. Real says it and so do I, but I am not sure who said it first. What it means is sometimes help is not really help. When someone comes over "helps" by holding your three day old baby while you vacuum, that is not help. Vacuuming for you, so you can hold your new baby, that is help.

      Last night, I was experiencing a bit of "help" myself. Esme (age 3) wanted to help get ready for our trip to see Real and her family. (I AM SO EXCITED!) She promptly snuck off with her suitcase and loaded several outfits. I was impressed.... until she came back to show me that she had added the dogs kibble to the top of it all. Not help. So now I have to wash everything again.

      It was late and I could see that we were both overtired. Instead of pouting about this small setback, I gave her something she could do to help. She folded washcloths. Then she matched socks and put them away. Finally, my smartie pants determined these things were not getting ready for the trip. So we decided she could help by loading the water into the cooler, getting the crayons ready to go, and petting the doggies and telling them what they would be doing while we were gone. Suddenly, she was help!

      It would do me good to remember that even the smallest of helpers can be real help if I take the time to give them jobs they can succeed at.

      Thursday, August 5, 2010

      Small Successes


      For more inspiring small success stories click on the link above

      1. Managed to sort of keep the laundry and kitchen moving in a positive direction while working on our giant backyard pool removal project.
      2. Found out that my desk is brown (notice desk was not a priority last week).
      3. Finally posted the names of some of our favorite fiction math books.  I love math, some of my kids will grimace when they read this.
       Here are a couple pics of the progress of our project.  And...a new respect for people who lay sod.  We reused our sod on about 1/2 our yard.  Those were 12" by 36" rolls.  Apparently the ones we will need to buy are 2' by 6', woah.  And, although the kids look a little down in the picture, our backyard has been kid heaven and they have been thoroughly enjoying it!

      Tuesday, August 3, 2010

      Fiction Math books

      Some time ago I mentioned that we would be reading a lot of fiction math books from the library this summer.  Well, we've been through a lot of them and they need to go back to the library later today so I thought I would share some of our favorites (and then it's off to requesting similar art books).

      • Circumference math adventure books
        • Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi
        • Sir Cumference and the First Round Table
        • Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone
        • I cannot remember the title but we checked out a really neat book about Inners and Edges (Area, and Perimeter) with a fun game to play.
      • Cut Down to Size (about ratios)
      • Beanstalk:  The Measure of a Giant (about ratios)
      • Zachary Zormer Shape Transformer (my kids amazed their friends making moebius strips and expanding frames for many days)
      My 5-11 year old kids enjoyed these most of all.  I got all these ideas from Maureen Wittman's book For the Love of Literature 

      I haven't checked out her blog much, although I hear it's pretty good.

      And...while I am on the subject of books I just gotta tell someone about this one.  Not quality literature or anything, it's one of those bizarre books.  We found this one at the pediatrician while waiting.

      Storyline goes something like this:
      1.  3 french hens are on their way from Paris to America to see someone.
      2.  They get separated from all the other stuff but manage to catch a plane and get to America.
      3.  They look up their friend's name in the phone book and locate his address.
      4.  Go to the Bronx to find their friend, they got the wrong one but didn't know it.
      5.  They are now living with a starving fox who intends to eat them, but the give pedicures and make him a wonderful french dinner so he has second thoughts.
      6.  They give him a bunch of Christmas presents and decorate the tree, etc.
      7.  Fox feels guilty and offers them some gifts.
      8.  They politely decline, saying they cannot accept Christmas gifts because they are HANUKA chickens.
      9.  The end.
      10.  Complete silence no the part of my kids...then I hear a very quiet..."that was weird"