Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Flats & Handwashing Challenge!

I recently switched to using more prefolds with covers to cut down on laundry (usually you can reuse the cover) while I'm out-of-commission with my broken leg.  It's been great!  I was typically washing every 2-3 days and washing between 12-20 pocket diapers at a time.  But, since I switched, between Saturday morning and Monday night I only had 10 diaper shells in the wash!  If I would stop using pockets completely it would have been even less.  I'm even more excited at the prospect of less laundry because of our newest addition arriving in July!  I had already planned to use prefolds and covers on the baby, but cutting down Raegan's diaper laundry is an added bonus!

And, because I've been spending a lot of time on the couch and I will hopefully be feeling quite a bit better in a few weeks, I signed up for the Flats & Handwashing Challenge this year.

Flats:  I've never used flats, so I need to get some!  I think I'm going to grab a few flour sack towels at Target and just see how I like those.  They also have them at Sam's Club but I heard they are huge!  Like these ones...

I also read how to fold an old t-shirt to use as a flat, which I might try because I have a lot of old t-shirts laying around.  Maybe we can get Daddy to clean out his t-shirt drawer, too!

Covers:  I'm going to use my Softbums shells, just so I can reuse them and not wash as many shells every day!  The Echo shells are just like a regular cover and the Omni shells can also be used as a pocket.  I have a few of both!

I have a package of Dappi covers that I have never opened from when Raegan was a newborn and I have some Size 1 Thirsties Duo Wraps that I'm sure would fit my skinny toddler so I will use those as back-ups if I have to.  I could also stuff her pocket diapers with flats but I'm not sure how absorbent that would be.

Washing:  I haven't quite figured this part out yet.  I think I am just going to use the trash can that I use as a diaper pail and the plunger we already have, instead of making a "camp washer".

I should do a test run, but I'm having surgery next week and I don't think it will be high on my priority list until later in the month.

Drying:  I love my clothesline.  On rainy days, I hang diapers on pants hangers on my shower rail.  I would love a pulley clothesline like this one.  But, I don't think there is a chance I'll get one installed before the challenge.

So, I'm excited to try out something new!  And, hopefully I'll get really good at handwashing and we can do a lot of camping without worrying about laundry!! :) I'll post about the challenge while it's going on and you can sign up here if you'd like to participate with me!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Help! I've fallen....

and I can't get up!!

I fell down the steps.

To me, that sounds so much more dramatic than what really happened.  I couldn't find the skirt I wanted to wear, so I took a basket of laundry upstairs where I could empty it, sort it, and make sure my skirt wasn't in there.  Then, I thought, I might as well fill this basket with the dirty clothes so I can start another load.

I was being productive.

I even counted the steps on the way down.  I knew there were fourteen.  I knew I couldn't see over both the clothes basket and my growing belly.  So at step number 12, I stopped and peeked under the basket to make sure there were no hoodlums lingering at the bottom of the steps.

Two more to go.

Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the bottom step.  One leg under me and one leg in front of me.

I've fallen before.  Many times.  I just get up.  I'm usually mumbling that my husband doesn't always need to frantically ask me "Are you okay?!" over every bump and bruise.

I know why he does it now.

Oh, how I love that man.

"Are you okay?"

"I broke my ankle."

"Are you sure it's not sprained?"

"Yes!  Call someone, please!"

He called my mom to watch the kids and pulled our new-to-us minivan around to the front door.  He carried me out to the van and drove as quickly and as slowly as he could -- being careful not to hit too many bumps while getting to the hospital as quickly as possible.  He drove in circles around the parking lot until he had aligned my door perfectly with the hospital entrance.

I got to ride in a wheelchair.  It wasn't as exciting as it had always seemed.

I was crying hysterically but there were no tears.  It was a strange feeling.  I was so upset, so in pain, and I kept thinking, Why aren't I crying?  I feel like I'm crying... 

They checked the baby before they checked my leg.  In my pain-filled haze, I remembered -- Don't tell my husband the gender of the baby! Priorities, people.  Baby was 25 weeks and perfectly fine.

Then I what I thought were the most painful x-rays I would have.  I was wrong, because I had to get more later that day.  The doctor came in and just shook his head.  "You're going to need surgery and I don't know how they are going to do it while you're pregnant."

No.  I am not having surgery.

We followed-up with an orthopedic doctor who said I might not need surgery.

That's more like it.

I think I scared the poor nurse when I shouted "Purple!" so quickly after she asked me what color cast I wanted.  There are just some things you always wish for as a kid.  Broken bones may not be one of them, but a cool cast?  Every kid wants one of those...

I never realized how painful a broken bone is.  I actually have three broken bones.  But still.  It hurts more than I imagined.

And I just feel so helpless.  I have amazing friends and family who have bent-over-backwards to help me.  But, I'm helpless.  I'm helpless because I'm proud.  I want to do it myself.

Just like my toddler.  No.  Don't help me get dressed.  I would rather take three times as long struggling on my own than admit that you can do it faster.

I'll accept help.  I just don't want to ask.  I desperately want to be able to do it by myself.  And, asking you... that hurts twice as much as struggling on my own.

But, I'm learning.  I'm learning to be resourceful.  I'm learning to be humble.  I'm learning to ask for help when I need it.  I'm learning to be still.  I'm learning to focus less on the stuff and the tasks and more on the people in my life.

And, I'm not even half way through my first "phase" of healing...

I'm scheduling that dreaded surgery because my bones are not healing correctly after three weeks in a cast.   Then I'll be in another cast for six more weeks.  I'm now 28 weeks pregnant... so hopefully I will at least be able to walk when I go into labor!  But, if not, I'm sure I'll learn something from that, too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Menu for March 16-22

Sunday:  I have no idea what we ate for dinner.  I cannot remember for the life of me.
Monday:  Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf with sweet potato hash
Tuesday:  Taco Salad
Wednesday:  McDonalds... family road trip
Thursday:  Carbonara, after spending the evening in the ER.  Quickest meal ever.
Friday:  Mac&Cheese with Chicken.  I had a wonderful meal planned with homemade mac & cheese and cooked chicken breast.  Then because of a death in the family everything fell apart so we had Kraft mac&cheese and organic chicken nuggets... :)
Saturday: Funeral dinner

I also cleaned my deep freezer.. I have a pizza casserole and a lasagna casserole from my "Third Trimester Freezer Cooking" in 2012!  How freezer burnt do you think they are?  :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Menu for March 9-15

Another menu plan!  But this one is for last week.  I decided it's probably better to share what we ACTUALLY ate instead of what I planned on feeding everyone... because between work and pregnancy, I rarely do anything creative with dinner.

Sunday:  We ordered pizza.
Monday:  We had hoagies from a Cub Scout fundraiser.
Tuesday:  Pizza, again, for a very special young man's birthday!
Wednesday:  Lasagna at church.
Thursday:  Clean Enchiladas... Chris had seconds and packed three for lunch but I think all three came home and I haven't had a chance to ask what happened.  So, I'm not sure if these were a hit or not.  I do have three extra jars of the homemade enchilada sauce and it smelled amazing.
Friday:  General Tso's Chicken with rice and veggies
Saturday:  Eggplant Parmesan with the ladies while our men are at the Father & Son banquet at church.

We're trying to eat cleaner to get Chris ready for his juice fast.  And, I'm excited for spring veggies!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Menu for February 17 - 21

Monday:  BBQ Chicken & tatertots.  I usually do this in the crockpot but I'm not sure what time I'll be home so I will just do it in the oven.  The chicken is already thawed and I'm afraid it will cook too fast in the crockpot.

Tuesday:  Chicken Parmesan.  Straight from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.  This is a favorite at our house - served over spaghetti.

Wednesday:  Hoagies from a fundraiser.  We have church so it's a nice convenience meal for us!

Thursday:  Pot Roast with veggies in the crock pot.  If I have a lot of eggs left at this point I'll make Yorkshire Pudding and gravy to go with it.

Friday:  Leftovers.  I'm not sure if Chris will be home or not.  I typically just snack if he's not.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Week #7

I'm loving my new Filofax!  The Chameleon has such a slim profile compared to the other binders I have used in this size.  I got a few stacks of scrapbook paper and an A5 hole punch so I'm getting ready to really customize it!  I'm still using the Frixion pens exclusively until I find a system that works for me.  Then, I want to try the Ultra Fine Paper Mate Flairs.

Here is my BEFORE shot of Week #7:

So I decided to use boxes to mark scheduled events and the blank spaces to mark "to do" lists.  If there is something I need to do at work, it goes in the box for that work day.  I'm finding this extremely helpful for my Tuesday/Thursday job.  I was feeling overwhelmed and unorganized, getting emails all week long but only being in the office to actually do the work twice a week.  The lists help my brain relax and keep me from forgetting things.

There were also a lot of cancellations this week due to snow.  I could have erased them to make the week look a bit neater, but I leave cancelled events in the calendar for future reference.

And here is my AFTER shot of Week 7:

On an unrelated note, I bought my son a Red Pocket Domino Filofax and I really like it!  It is so much nicer than I thought it was going to be.  Yesterday, we sat down together to sync our calendars and decorate our pages.  I got him a book of Star Wars stickers and a book of Marvel stickers to get him excited about the planner.  He wants to get extra notebook paper to keep a file of his drawings!!

I going to try to make some dividers this week -- what sections do you keep in your A5 binder?  So far I think I need -- weekly calendar, monthly calendar, contacts, finances, medical/health, cleaning schedule, kids' schedules, one for each of my jobs for meeting notes and reference info (3 or 4).  Too many??


Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Week #6 & Week #7 Preview

I'm balancing a lot of different jobs right now.  Besides wife and mother, which I try to keep as first and foremost, I am working as a tutor, teacher, church secretary, cemetery secretary/treasurer, volunteer elementary tutor, volunteer Scout treasurer, and my newest addition:  Tax Collector.  It's going to be a busy season so I'm focusing on mind-organization.  My best tool for that is my planner.

I was using a Franklin Covey zippered imitation leather binder, which I liked but the zipper was frustrating when holding a toddler in one arm and trying to open a binder with the other.  I was using the Day Timer Family Plus inserts, which I really liked.  Here is how I used them:  Events in purple - to do's in pink.

But, I decided to use my birthday money this year and buy myself an A5 Filofax.  My new inserts arrived before my binder so I filled them out ahead of time!!  Here is how I tried using the vertical A5 set-up last week:

This week I am trying something a little different.  To-do lists within my scheduled work hours... or personal to-do's written in the free-space.  I need a solid menu-planning area but we aren't eating at home much this week so I can add that next week.  I'm using my Frixion pens exclusively (freedom to erase and change my mind limitlessly) until I decide on a system that works for me.  Here is my "Week 7 Before" shot.  It has a little bit of Monday updates already but I'm sure it will look worlds different on Sunday night!