Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Josh!

My baby turned one today! It's been a full year, that's for sure. Here's a recap:

  1. Josh was born 2 weeks late. No matter what we did, he wouldn't come out.
  2. He was a big boy, weighing at 9lb 4oz.
  3. He's still a big boy; he weighs about 24-25 pounds and wears between 18-24 months clothing.
  4. Two weeks later, he developed his first fever leading us to the ER.
  5. We didn't come home for 8 days.
  6. He had a kidney infection.
  7. And RSV.
  8. It was heartbreaking watching him lay there on oxygen, struggling to breathe, and unable to eat.
  9. But he got better and regained the pound he had lost
  10. He began sitting unsupported at 4 months.
  11. One day when he was 4 months old, he insisted on drinking from my water bottle.
  12. He's loved water ever since, especially if it is in a water bottle or grown up glass.
  13. He began eating at 4 months old.
  14. He began eating table food around the same time; he'd get furious with us if we withheld our food from him.
  15. He has always had a special fondness for his big sister.
  16. He loves to terrorize his big brother.
  17. He began crawling around 6 months old.
  18. But he never crawled normally; he crawls on one knee and one foot.
  19. His favorite activity is removing every DVD, VHS tape, and GameCube game off the shelf.
  20. He began walking at 10 months old.
  21. Now he walks like it is nothing.
  22. His ability to communicate nonverbally is amazing; we almost always know what he wants.
  23. He giggles when you verify what he wants by asking him and you've gotten it right; it is his way of saying, "Yes."
  24. He has the greatest smile.
  25. He loves the GameCube and can't be fooled if you give him a controller that isn't plugged in; he'll try to plug it in.
  26. He loves the cats; the cats don't love him.
  27. The dogs love him because he'll give them any snack that he doesn't want.
  28. He walked 2 laps on the the indoor track at the YMCA 2 days ago.
  29. He also climbs...the dog, people, the couch.
  30. He can climb to the top of our stairs before we know he is missing.
  31. Then he stands at the top making a sound that seems to mean, "Mom, I'm ready to come down now. Please come get me."
  32. He also knows how to get off our bed without getting hurt.
  33. He refuses to wear shoes; he cries loudly and shakes his feet violently trying to remove them. He seems unable to stand or walk while wearing shoes.
  34. He figured out that he can stand in the grocery cart seat today.
  35. And wouldn't sit no matter what I did so I had to carry him.
  36. He's my favorite child.
  37. Actually, they are all my favorite child.

Happy Birthday Josh!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WFMW - Bromelain

When I was pregnant with my first child, my midwife introduced us to Bromelain, a digestive enzyme made from pineapples. That was over 8 years ago and bromelain continues to be a staple in our home because of its effectiveness in treating pain and swelling. I am so excited about how bromelain has eliminated my need for ibuprofen, saved both my husband and I from surgery, and cured our pain, that I tell everyone I see that may benefit from it.

We first heard about bromelain, my husband was suffering from severe pain in the tendon that moves the thumb. It rendered his hand nearly useless and he was under the care of his primary physician. His doctor prescribed two prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and gave him a brace to wear on his wrist. After four months, he experienced serious side effects from the medicine but no relief to the tendonitis. Our midwife suggested he try bromelain which can be bought at a health food store or other store that sells natural supplements (Fred Meyer, Super Supplements). Three weeks later, he had regained use of his hand, no longer needed the brace, and was pain free. We were sold.

During my pregnancy, I dealt with a flare up of my carpel tunnel, a condition I had suffered from for several years. I took large dosages of ibuprofen regularly and wore braces on both wrists. As soon as I delivered and my baby was a few weeks old, I began using bromelain too. I experienced no side effects and noticed none in my nursing baby. What I did notice was that my carpal tunnel appeared to be cured.

I mentioned that I keep bromelain as a staple in my house. This is because we haven't stopped the repetitive motions that caused our problems in the first place. I still type a lot, knit, crochet, write, and all the other repetitive motions that cause carpel tunnel. So, I still get flare ups. However, now that the initial problem has been taken care of, I find that if I begin treating it with bromelain when I first notice the first twinges in my wrists, it only takes a couple of days for it to go away again for another half year to a year.

It is generally considered safe at recommended dosages; however, there are precautions. Because it is a natural blood thinner (like aspirin), it should not be used by people who are taking blood thinners. It should also not be used by people who are allergic in pineapples.

The side effects, if you are not allergic to it, are mild if you have them at all. They include include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and heavy menstrual flow. I've experienced loose stools and heavier than normal menstrual flow but only when I was taking a very high dosage and it didn't bother me.

I am not a medical doctor so take my recommendation as cautiously as you would if someone were to recommend any other supplement or drug. Many medical doctors are not educated in the use of natural supplements and will steer you to prescription medicines instead. Any good naturopath should be able to answer your questions and help you out though. I only share about this because I hate to see people having to go through life with those annoying wrist braces on or having surgeries that they don't need.

Bromelain works for me and my husband.

For more tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

GG Totals - February 24, 2008

I haven't been talking about the Grocery Game lately because I haven't been doing much shopping. With my husband's job transition, we've been short on money which means we've been living out of our existing stockpile and only buying necessities (milk, cheese, produce) each week. Well, our stockpile is depleted to the point that I had to finally to some major grocery shopping.

Of course, shopping with the Grocery Game makes it so much more fun. I had amazing savings at one store because I was picking up only the very best of sales there. At my other store my savings was less spectacular because I was buying both sale items and necessities for the week.

Want to know how I did? Here are my totals:

Shelf price: $209.85
Amount paid: $120.77
Amount saved: $89.18
Percent saved: 42%

Shelf price: $227.40
Amount paid: $87.50
Amount saved: $139.90
Percent saved: 62%

So, in the end I bought $437.25 worth of groceries for only $208.27. That's $229.08 I got to keep in my bank account. I love it!

The Albertson's checker was impressed when she saw that I was buying name brand shampoo and conditioner for $0.02 and $0.03 a bottle. I thought it was pretty impressive, too.

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Design!

I'm excited about my new blog design. Isn't it great?

I can't decide which I like better: this one or the one over at Homeschool Distractions. Of course, they are both pretty much identical (to keep them consistent) except for the color scheme.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

13 Google Searches

I've forgotten about Thursday Thirteen for a couple of weeks now. I had a good excuse last week. It's time to jump back on the band wagon with a fun one. Thirteen Google searches that brought people to my site.

Have you ever looked at how people find your site? Some of the google searches make sense. Some make you wonder how your site got put on the list that Google brought up. Some are just plain odd and make you wonder what the searcher was thinking.

1. Stuffed Animal Storage - This or some variation of it is by far the most popular search term bringing people to this blog. It's all because of this post where I posted about how I store my daughter's many stuffed animals.

2. Shiny Kids Clothes - Some poor kid out there is stuck going outside to play in his shiny clothes. The glare from the sun reflecting off of his clothing is too much for his friends and one by one they chose not to play with him anymore while he wonders, quite sadly, why no one wants to play with him. It's the clothes mom!

3. House to Hold Stuffed Animals - I'm sorry but if you have to buy a whole house just to hold your kids' stuffed animals, you have too many! Declutter mom, declutter!

4. Pictures of Children in Shiny Shorts - What is it with the kids in shiny clothes? This one just sounds like a pedophile to me. Why do you want to see photos of kids at all, let alone in shorts, especially shiny ones? And how does this have anything to do with my blog?

5. The More I Lover Her the More I Want to Move Away From Her - Seriously, I think you need a shrink to answer this question, not the web. And again, how does this have anything to do with my blog?

6. Photos of Naked Swimming Lessons in YMCA - Huh? I seriously doubt the YMCA provides swimming lessons to naked individuals. And why are you looking for this anyway? Ok, so I googled it and apparently they used to require swimming nude...before the YMCA became a co-ed place. But I'm still left with the nagging question: Why are you looking for photos of this?

7. Chocolate Distractions - I find chocolate quite distracting, too, especially to diets. Today, for instance, we had chocolate chocolate chip waffles with chocolate milk for breakfast.

8. Steak Apple - Now is this a steak that taste like an apple or an apple that tastes like a steak?

9. Get Skinny While Breastfeeding - Now if I knew how to do this, I'd be skinny. Unfortunately, my 5 years worth of breastfeeding haven't helped me any in this area so you've come to the wrong place for information on this.

10. Blockbuster Changed My Account - You bet they did. That's why I wrote this post and why I'm no longer a customer there.

11. Watching TV While Breastfeeding - Is this a question? It's not like watching TV takes a whole lot of effort or coordination. Since you're just sitting there while your child is nursing, why not turn on the TV and veg out for a little while.

12. Science Experiments for Kids With Just Household Items With Out Suscribing - That's a long one. I find shorter phrases yield better results especially if the spelling is correct. Try "kitchen experiments for kids".

13. Free Fun for Kids in Tacoma - I'm glad this one is working because I now know that all the research I do so I can post my Tacoma Kids Weekly at Homeschool Distractions is not in vain.

Visit other Thirteeners here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WFMW - Wedge Pillow

I'm all out of organizing tips for now. Since my family just got over the flu, I have a illness related tip.

A good friend of mine gave me one of these when I was pregnant with Josh:

It is a wedge pillow designed for sufferers of acid reflux. She had bought an extra one and found she didn't need it. When she heard that I have horrible heart burn when I'm pregnant, she gave me her extra and boy am I so grateful she did...for many reasons.

This pillow is awesome for heart burn. With my first two pregnancies, I had such a hard time falling asleep because of the terrible heart burn I suffered. I would be woken up in the middle of the night with reflux (stomach acid coming up). This last pregnancy I had NONE of that, not a single bad night. I attribute that to the pillow.

It is also wonderful to have around for sick kids. All three of my kids have used the pillow on more than one occasion. It's great for when their little noses get stuffy. You know how they can breathe better when elevated? Well, if you have one of these pillows, they can sleep the whole night elevated. Having this pillow has improved the quality and quantity of sleep both my sick child and I get when they are sick. I love it.

When it isn't in use, I simply slide it under my bed. They aren't cheap but now that I know about them, I'd pay the money to have one. There are several different ones available at a range of costs. I can't vouch for the comfort of the others but mine looks just like the one at this link:

Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more great tips.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More babies? Two?

I just got an email from my husband (he's at Awana with the kids) telling me that my son wants me to have twins so we can have a boy and a girl. Crazy kid!

And I thought the excitement of having a baby in the house would lose steam when they saw how much of my attention they'd lose to the baby. Guess it didn't phase them much since both kids are begging for the next one as if I'm a vending machine.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Spring is Almost Here

I can feel that spring is nearly here. We've had several days of sunny weather and slightly warmer temperatures. The days are starting to get noticably longer. My body is starting to morph into its summer self; I'm feeling better and happier.

I'm one of those people who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or at least I think I am. Ever since I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I've struggled with the winter. The very long spell of rainy, gray days where the sun rarely, if ever, peeks out can really take a toll on your energy levels and emotional health. I've been here for 15 years and have learned to live with it. Still, it is difficult to lead two separate, seasonal lives.

I have the winter self. This part of me lives during the long, gray season of late fall, winter, and early spring. While I no longer struggle with depression during the winters, my energy levels run very low. I feel like I've gone into hibernation.

I also have a summer self. Each year, I look forward to the re-emergence of this part of me. I feel great! I have boundless energy, limitless enthusiasm, and I feel good through and through. With high energy levels, my body feels ready to conquer anything. Mentally I feel on top of the world. In general, I just want to run out into the streets and shout out, "Welcome summer sun! I'm so glad you are here! Let's play!" It's like an annual rebirth and I feel like my re-entry into the world is just around the corner.

I love summer.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Did It!

I tested for my yellow belt on Saturday. Master Park said I did very well: A+ on everything. I guess that means I'll be officially receiving my new yellow belt and certificate on Wednesday evening when I go to my next class.

Sammy was pretty excited for me. Here he's showing you the board I broke as part of my yellow belt test. It was much easier to break than I expected. I brought the board home and broke the larger of the two pieces for Scott to see so now I have three pieces.

Family Flu

We are slowing coming back around to normal:

I'm pretty much over my flu entirely. I have just a very minor post-nasal drip/cough left.

Mika is over all of it except she is left with a bad cough.

Josh is out of the woods. His nose is still draining pretty steadily, he has a hard time breathing while nursing, he is fussier than normal, and he is not eating a lot of solids. However, his last fever was early last night.

Scott is in the midst of the flu now. He's complaining of the dreams more than any other symptom. Weird, I know.

Sammy has not shown any signs of getting it. We are hoping he won't get it at all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WFMW - Organizing Kid's Dresser

Works for Me Wednesday is being hosted by Don't Try This at Home week while Shannon is Uganda. Head on over there to find over a hundred other tips. While you're out blog-hopping, stop by Shannon's at Rocks in My Dryer to read about her experience in Uganda; she's there for 10 days with Compassion International, blogging about her experience. You can find a listing of the other bloggers, with links to their blogs about their Uganda experience, here. Each person has their own unique way of telling the story. Once you've read their stories, hop on over to Compassion International and sponser a child. Now for the tip...

For the last several weeks, I have been sharing how I organize my kids' things. I believe this will be my last post in this series: how I organize my toddler's dresser.

Take one ordinary dresser showing plenty of wear.

Except that it isn't so ordinary. The top slides over and down between the wall and the dresser to reveal a changing table. Isn't that cool? Since Josh is still in diapers, we leave the top open. Some day, we might actually close the top but leaving it up is easiest.

The top drawer is already partioned off into three sections. It's the coolest thing. I keep diapers on either side; you can see that they fit perfectly. I keep extra packages of wipes, Balmex, hydrocortizone, and a thermometer in the middle section.

That top section and Organizing Junkie gave the idea of how to organize the rest of the dresser: use dollar store baskets! They fit perfectly, three across. Each basket holds a specific item; I've labeled the photos to show you.

The next drawer down holds overalls/one piece outfits, pants, and shirts. I store the pants and shirts with the folded side up which allows me to see all of them without having to lift up stacks to see what's under the top layer. This really helps keep the baskets neatly folded.

The bottom drawer holds the baby blankets that we still use and outerwear (heavy sirts, vests, jackets we do't use every day).

Josh's dresser always looks this neat. The baskets help keep like things together and keeps piles from toppling over int drawers that are oversized for baby clothes. Everyone can find clothes for Josh, even the kids. Before I started using the baskets, his dressers were a wreck and we had to rummage through everything every time we needed to find somthing for him to wear.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Flu Strikes

Turns out I have the flu. They even swabbed my nose (not recommended) and tested for it to be sure. Now I just have to make it through the next week or so. I hope the kids don't get it, especially Josh.

Full Body Pain and Now Fever

Ugh! I feel absolutely miserable. Sunday night I went to bed feeling a little yucky but not too bad. Within a couple of hours, though, I was in so much pain that I couldn't sleep. It was like a had a high fever (you know how that feels) but I had no fever. It continued through Monday until last night my temperature went up to 98.4; my normal is 97.5. By the middle of the night, I was curled up in a ball, shivering, with a temperature of 100.8.

I've been thinking about what's going on. I mean, why would I be hurting like I had a fever but not have one? Why would the pain preceed the fever? I realized this morning that I've been ignoring a backache for a couple of weeks now. There's a possibility that I've been ignoring a UTI. Now that the fever is here, I think the tropical temperatures have given the bacteria in my nose a reason to celebrate and multiply because I now have sinus pain and congestion too.

So I called my doctor's office this morning to make an appointment to make sure I don't have an infection. I got an appointment for 2:30pm. It's been the longest day in my life waiting for it. I still have another hour to wait and already it feels like I've been waiting all week.

Oh, and Josh hasn't been sleeping well; he's up almost hourly. He's also being very fussy today.

Where's my Calgon?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where's the Best Bakery Treats in Tacoma?

At Corina's Bakery!

What initially attracted me to the bakery was the story of its beginnings. It was started and is owned by a husband and wife team. They met while working side by side in a bakery, got married, and had children. Walt, the husband, was an American immigrant here on a green card and went to Iraq where he was twice wounded. While in the hospital for the second time, he was worried about missing his citizenship ceremony in Baghdad. Fortunately, fellow Marines came to his aid and he was able to get his citizenship. Meanwhile, his wife decided to put her baking skills to work and start the bakery. Upon returning to the USA, Walt took on an exhausting schedule of helping in the bakery, going to work (on base), taking classes, and raising his children. It's really an inspiring story; check it out at Michael Yon: Online Magazine.

Since reading the story at Michael Yon I wanted to visit the bakery. Besides wanting to support American veterans (we're a Navy family; my husband, my father, and my grandfather are all Navy veterans), I wanted to try some of the delicious sounding treats I read about at an old News Tribune article. So, off we went for my birthday.

Upon arriving at the bakery, which is located on 6th just up the hill from downtown, we noticed it is a cute, little, hole-in-the-wall type of place. Inside we found four tables with chairs and a comfortable little seating area with a couch and two comfy chairs. It was nicer than you'd expect for the location. We were greeted by a friendly, smiling, employee who patiently waited for us to make our very difficult choices of which desserts to try.

We ended up choosing two varieties of desserts and shared tastes all around. My daughter chose a peanut butter pie that was light and creamy and oh-so-delicious. It consisted of chocolate cookie crust, light and fluffy peanut butter cream, and a richer, denser chocolate topping. I can't describe just how wonderful this pie was and I know wonderful pies. My son and husband each chose a slice of chocolate cheesecake. The cheesecake was rich, chocolatey, and seemed to have just a hint of cinnamon to it. It was too wonderful. I'm not sure I could choose a favorite between the two desserts. Josh and I shared off of the three pieces we purchased since the serving sizes are very generous.

In addition to the two desserts we chose to try, they also had a regular cheesecake, a chocolate raspberry cheesecake, a berry cheesecake, banana pudding, red velvet cake, hummingbird cake (description at the News Tribune article), a lemon coconut cake, a german chocolate cake, magic cookie bars, cappaccino brownies, lemon bars, pumpkin loaves, blueberry muffins, and a few other choices. The cakes are enormous and the serving sizes, as I said before, are also enormous. They also serve french press coffee and other drinks. To top it all off, the price was very reasonable; we paid just over $12 for the three generous servings of pure delight. That's much less that you'd pay for three desserts at a restaurant and those wouldn't have been any where near as large or as delicious.

So, if you'd ask me where you should go for dessert or a treat, I'd tell you a very definite, "Corina's!"

Go there!


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday and I'm spending it in a way that is fun for me. Last night I discovered how to create my own graphics in Photo Explosion, a program I requested for Christmas (at $40 it was MUCH cheaper, but does similar things as, PhotoShop). So today, I've been working on a new blog design for my Homeschool Distractions blog. I have a new header up that I created last night. The rest is still in the works. It will be colorful and fun. My husband thinks it's distracting which is just perfect with my blog titles. LOL

Aside from that, I went to taekwondo class this morning. Master Park says I'm ready to test for my yellow belt. I'm ready except that some of the self-defense techniques (not normally required for belt testing but is for me) are still hard to do and I'm a little nervous about breaking the board. I've only had one practice at I also found out that I don't get to break a little board like the kids do.

Tonight, we are going out for dinner. We'll be having dessert first at this bakery that I recently read about. They close early which is why we are having dessert first. Then we'll be heading down the street to this nice gourmet wood-fired pizza place.

Afterwards, I'll probably let the kids watch Charlie Brown's Valentine tonight (on ABC at 8pm) followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory while I play on the computer some more.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Making Swimming Progress

I'm thankful that we switched to the homeschool swimming classes at the YMCA. Not only are they going much better than the evening swimming classes went, but my kids are actually enjoying swimming class and making progress.

There are three class sessions available for homeschoolers. I had the chance to see the class following ours and realized it would have been disasterous for my children had I picked that class time. There are more students in that class and they all know how to swim somewhat independently; mine are still working on getting their face wet and floating/swimming with the teacher holding them up. Fortunately, I chose the class time that I did because the parent volunteer teaching the class is just perfect. She understands, first-hand, what it's like to be afraid of the water and has exceptional patience. Because of her, my children are enjoying their class and making real progress. Yesterday, they begged to stay for free swim. Here they are having fun.

Yesterday, Mika was able to swim on her back ("arrow arms" style not backstroke) by herself for a short distance. Both her and Sammy are able to swim on their tummies and backs using the kickboards. If you knew where Mika was just a couple months ago, you'd be astounded by this. Because they are doing so well, we'll stay with the YMCA for the remainder of the school year.

Unfortunately, the teacher will be moving to her local YMCA next year. Unless we want to travel 20-30 minutes twice a week, over a bridge, and pay a toll each time, we'll be losing this wonderful teacher. We'll miss her. I hope my kids make enough progress to be able to continue regular swimming lessons somewhere else since I doubt we'll be continuing with the YMCA next year.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I Agree!

I just heard this quote by Ord on the PBS show Dragon Tales:

We can go back to my house and celebrate with pie, cake, and ice cream. And, if there's room, dessert!

I agree whole-heartedly with what he has to say. ~smile

Guess I'm Right

Mary over at 4boys4me posted her results to this little quiz. Since I have no clue who to vote for I thought I'd see what results I'd come up with. Obviously, I lean to the right. Now to figure out who to vote for. I was planning on voting for Rudy but he withdrew. With the Super Tuesday results, it looks like I'll be voting for someone I don't like regardless of which way I go.

I dislike politics in general. In fact, I'm likely to not vote at all because I've come to believe that my vote doesn't matter anyway, especially in this state where the liberal left in Seattle rules. There are just not enough conservatives in the entire rest of the state to overcome the results of Seattle's votes. It isn't uncommon to see a conservative issue winning the vote only to be overturned when they count Seattle's vote. It's disheartening to see every issue I'm interested in overturned when they count Seattle and to watch more and more and more of our family's income go to taxes. Then there's the whole baseball stadium issue; after the voters turned it down, the state came in and built it anyway. So, rather than paying this tax to pay for a stadium, we pay that tax for a stadium. Apparently, our votes didn't count. Apparently, we really did want to pay for the stadium. NOT! Then there's our car tabs. We voted for a much reduced flat-rate car tab (yea! Sometime I wanted passed!) but the state government has been slowly tacking on additional fees. We voted for a $30 flat rate car tab. So why do I pay over $80 every year? Even our current govenor is up for debate. The last race was close, so close it required a manual recount. During the recount, they found prisoners' votes, duplicate votes, dead people voting, dogs voting, etc. Military votes from oversees weren't counted. The recount called into question the validity of the results, especially when our current govenor came in from behind to ultimate win the race by a mere 8 votes. (She lost the original vote by 261 votes and the machine recount by 42 votes).

It boils down to this: Washington state has taught me that my vote doesn't matter. Any time I do vote, I watch the results and see every single issue and every single person I voted for lose. So, why bother?

As far as my quiz results go? I'm not excited about McCain, who appears to be winning the Republican caucus. I'd never vote for Hillary. I know nothing about Obama. I'll have to check him out if he pushes Hillary out. Did I say I hate politics?

78% John McCain
76% Mitt Romney
75% Mike Huckabee
66% Tom Tancredo
66% Fred Thompson
61% Rudy Giuliani
54% Ron Paul
49% Hillary Clinton
48% Bill Richardson
48% Chris Dodd
47% Barack Obama
43% John Edwards
40% Joe Biden
26% Dennis Kucinich
22% Mike Gravel

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

P.S. I pay so little attention to politics I don't even know who most of these people are. I've never hear of eight of the names above.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More About My Personality

So I was looking around the internet for more information about these personality types. Specifically, I was looking for information about my husband's since he did the little quiz too. It seems that even the personality quiz thinks we are complete opposites. What I found, however, didn't help me in the least. I couldn't understand anything it said about him and his way of was just as confusing as living with him can be. It just goes to show how opposite we are when I can't even understand something that is suppose to be explaining him to me.

What I found on my own ENFP personality made me laugh though. Anyone who knows me, especially my husband, will understand how completely true this quote is:

They come up with great ideas, and are a major asset in brainstorming sessions. Followthrough tends to be a problem, however; they tend to get bored quickly, especially if a newer, more interesting project comes along. They also tend to be procrastinators, both about meeting hard deadlines and about performing any small, uninteresting tasks that they've been assigned

I'm surrounded by unfinished projects! I could design a tour of my home around unfinished projects. I've found that if I can't finish a larger project within 3 days, it just isn't going to get done. This is true whether it is painting a room, organizing and decluttering a space, or crocheting an afghan. Because of this, you can almost view my tendency to hyperfocus as a positive thing. Yes, I may neglect everything else in my life while I'm hyperfocusing, but at least the substained, focused attention to my project at hand gives it a chance at being finished within in the time limit set by my ability to maintain interest in the project.

I know this about myself and I'm trying to get myself to finish projects. I see this or that lying around undone and I feel bad about it. I see a pile of clutter sitting here or there, the result of a larger project, and I hate it. I want that project done. I want the pile, the mess, the clutter cleared out. But, for me, it isn't as easy to do as some people may think. "Just do it," I've been told. Once my interest is gone, just doing it is torture. My mind has moved on to other more interesting things and I can't move with it; I'm stuck doing this boring, awful, miserable, hateful, tedious thing. I'd rather compute the distance to the sun in binary code, by hand, than finish the project! (Not really.)

Oh, an those small, uninteresting tasks they've been assigned? Those have names in my life. They are called washing dishes, laundry, making beds, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, etc.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My Personality

Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ENFP)

Your personality type is enthusiastic, giving, cautious, and loyal.

Only about 8% of all people have your personality, including 9% of all women and 6% of all men
You are Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.

This particular quiz is very short. I took a longer one that I found online with the same results. When I look at these results, I would have to say that it is a pretty accurate description of me.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Goal Progress - February

At the beginning of the year, I did a Thursday Thirteen post listing 13 goals for the year. I decided I would also post at the beginning of each month how I am doing on each goal so far. It's the beginning of February and it occurred to me today that I better get this post done before it is no longer the beginning of the month.

1. Monthly Budget: I haven't been able set up a monthly budget because I do not yet know how much my husband's base net pay will be at his new job. I'll know this vital piece of information for next month though. On a good note, we'll be a month ahead; the paychecks he receives in February will pay the bills in March.

2. Saving money with the Grocery Game: I was only partially successful with keeping up with this. I spent $507 at the grocery store this month which includes any household items, bath & beauty products, diapers, and diaper wipes. I can't find the official figures but I did find an article stating that the average family of 4 (mine is a family of 5) spends $709 a month on food. Based on this, I think I'm doing ok.

3. Weight loss: I totally flubbed this one in January. Not only did I not lose any weight, but I gained about 5 pounds since my lowest weigh in at Weight Watchers.

4. Pregnancy: I'm not pregnant which is great. My goal is to not get pregnant before July.

5. .Homeschooling Routine: I do not yet have a working homeschool routine but we are getting our basics (language arts and math) done every day which is an improvement. Sammy is doing awesome. He often does more than he's required and, because of this, he'll be finishing up most of his language arts (spelling, phonics, reading comprehension) by the beginning of March. He'll finish up his grammar and math before June. Mika is doing pretty good too. She's on track to finish all subjects before summer starts: a huge improvement over last year, especially considering she had to finish last year before starting this year. I'm still working on a plan for catching up on our unit studies.

6.Clean house: While my house is not clutter-free and clean, I did make a dent in the work I have to do. During January, I swapped bedrooms which I've been wanting to do for a long time. The kids are now in the larger of the two bedrooms. With two beds and all their toys, they needed the larger room. In the process of switching rooms, we took about 7 bags of stuff to Goodwill and threw out another 2 bags. Their room is now wonderfully clean and organized. My new room is also very nice now with the exception of the closet which isn't finished.

7. Menu plan: I've been struggling with this one. It takes a lot of time and effort to make a menu based on this week's Grocery Game list while computing all of the Weight Watcher's points for each meal and get my shopping done before the list sales end on Tuesday.

8. Bible study: I've done exactly one Bible study with the kids as part of our homeschooling. Sad, I know.

9. Scrapbooking: I didn't spend a single day on my scrapbooks. I focused my energy on creating my daughter's birthday DVD though. That was the first step because now each of my kids have a collection of their photos showing their whole life on DVD. In the process, I had to organize ost of our photos which will make printing for scrapbooking easier.

10. Knitting and crochet: I didn't touch this at all.

11. Piano practice: I only manage 2 practices last month.

12. Taekwondo classes: I did begin taekwondow with my son. In fact, I have 3 out of 4 stripes for my yellow belt and will probably be testing for my yellow belt soon. Unfortunately, my bad knee does not like taekwondo and has been causing my a lot of pain.

13. Madden 2008: I won two games last month. Whoo Hoo!

So, I'm doing ok on some goals. I didn't expect to be able to accomplish them all in one month so I feel good about what I have done.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl...Yum

I tried, unsuccessfully, to convince my husband to go to NW Trek today. Ha! Not on Super Bowl Sunday. I didn't really try to get him to the park; I just mentioned it to be funny.

There is one think I do really like about the Super Bowl: the excuse to eat yummy food. Here's our Super Bowl dinner:

Nachos! This is a photo of my husband's plate. Our nachos consist of tortilla chips, refried beans, seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, monteray jack cheese, olives, jalepenos, tomatoes, sour cream, and homemade guacamole. We add so much stuff to our nachos that they must be eaten with a fork. He paired them with his favorite soft drink: Mountain Dew.

I leave off the olives and jalepenos but I double the cheese. I enjoyed my favorite soft drink: Dr. Pepper. Mika's nachos are identical to mine. Sammy also leaves off the tomatoes.

Josh? What did he eat? Well, nachos, of course! I added beans, ground beef, tomatoes, cheeses, sour cream, guacamole, and chips into our baby food grinder and ground away. He loved it!

What about you? Did you watch the Super Bowl? Who were you hoping to win? Did you enjoy any special Super Bowl food?