Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - What happens when a Girl Makes a Pine Car Derby Car

Monday, February 27, 2012

What I am up to

Blanket I made for a boy at Alex's school that has Autism

So, it has been several weeks and the weighted blanket is still working wonders for Alex. He is still off of  Melatonin and he goes to sleep within 10 minutes of laying down at night. My husband has nerve pain in his legs and he even borrows the blanket during the day sometimes to sleep with when his leg pain is keeping him awake and he says it helps him a lot. I did some research and weighted blankets have shown to help not only children on the autism spectrum, but also people suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome, anxiety, depression, or people who were abused. Some nursing homes use light ones on many of their patients with good results. I am definitely a big supporter of the weighted blanket!

Blanket I made for Isabella.

I have decided to spend some of my extra time and resources this summer making weighted blankets for families who might not otherwise be able to have them. I feel it is a very good cause, and I want to do what I can to help every child have the tools he needs. Right now I am working on a blanket for Rick's grandma who has restless legs syndrome. It is over half way done and will be my fourth blanket I have made! If you know of a family who has a child who might need one of these blankets, please contact me!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pinterest - How to Make it Work for You

So we are all using Pinterest by now, I hope. If you aren't using it, that is a whole separate problem. You need to get over there and see how awesome it is! If you are using it, you have the new problem of how to actually USE the things you are pinning. Today I am going to discuss how to use style posts in particular.

 I have now separated my own personal style posts into 4 separate categories, and I may add more if I find that I need it. Currently I have makeup, hair, my style (which is just a dress, piece of jewelry, or pair of shoes) and complete outfits.

I have an actual binder that I keep for these items. I printed the mystyle pages first making sure to select minimal margins so it wouldn't cut off part of the pages. I then needed to print the hair, makeup, and outfits one picture at a time so that it was big enough to copy. How you do this is you go to "edit picture" then just hit "save" it will now put the picture big on your page alone and you can select print and it will only put that picture in the print without cutting it off. I printed all of my outfits, hair, and makeup, I went to the actual blogs and printed makeup or hair tips if they were on a blog and not complete on the pinterest site.

I then put all of this information in my binder and used dividers for the sections. I put notebook paper behind the outfits and made notes on what wardrobe pieces I would need to complete the outfits. I looked for common threads (for instance for me I have several outfits that I need red shoes and a red cardigan for) and added a piece of paper to the front of my binder that says "Top fashion wants"

I am hoping this will help me to be more purposeful in my shopping and buy things that will make the outfits I am admiring. Also, the use of accessories in the pictures are motivational. My outfits have been much more accessorized and colorful the last few days. Thank you, pinterest!

Here are my current top fashion wants to look for on sale or when I have some extra money, what are yours?:

Red flats
Black belt (wide, front clasp)
Red belt (wide)
red cardigan
mint cardigan
Kelly green tank (spaghetti strap, dressy)
canary yellow shirt
canary yellow and grey scarf
canary yellow purse

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Privacy Please!

We have a problem in our house. Alex, age 4, has asperger's and does not want anyone to be away from him. Ever. He will shove his hands under the door while you pee, storm into the bedrooms while you are dressing, and he even was shoving a block under the door from the waiting room while Bella tried to talk to her doctor about how she needed more privacy!!! (Ironic much?)

Alex in his sensory swing not harassing anyone...for the moment.

When talking about things that bothered her this week, one very legitimate concern Bella brought up is her lack of alone time. Her brother is always begging her to play with him, asking if they can take turns should she try to use the lap top for her screen time, and following her around crying should she want to read a book or do some other activity that does not include him. The more we try to discourage these actions, the louder the fits got. I plan on bringing this up with his behavioral therapist, so we can work on strategies to put an end to some of these behaviors, but we don't have an appointment for a couple of weeks due to scheduling issues, and I felt we needed a fix to this problem now.

So, I started thinking. I had a book about 1001 great ideas for Autism and it suggested implementing a sibling knock so that the child has to use the special knock and knock before entering the sibling's room. This makes it fun and special as well so that he wouldn't get so upset. Also, Bella had been asking to be allowed to stay up 30 minutes later and we decided to go ahead and allow that so she can have 30 minutes of reading time uninterrupted every evening before bed. The third strategy I came up with was to discuss "quiet areas." I talked to Alex about how there is a quiet area at his school where you cannot bother whoever is in it. He said that he likes that area and goes in it for a little while every day. We gave each kid a door hanger and made a new rule that when one of them has the door hanger on their door their room is now a quiet area and they are wanting to be alone. NO ONE, not even mom or dad, is allowed to bother them for 30 minutes unless it is time to eat or leave for an appointment. We made the 30 minute rule so Bella will still spend time with the family and not be tempted to hide in her room all day every day. Not that she would do that. It has been two days now and so far everyone is happy. Which, when dealing with siblings, is quite the blessing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Little House In The Big Woods - Chapter 10

Language Arts






1. What did Mary say to provoke Laura?

2. How could Laura have reacted differently?

3. How do we know that Pa forgave Laura?

4. Did Mary get away with what she did? Why or why not?


Study Sweden

Home Economics:

Make cheese: Easy White Cheese

Science: Study Bees

 Honey Bee Lapbook

Bento Boxes

So, I have been reading about Bento boxes and I really want to start making them for Bella sometimes. I think it would be a lovely surprise to have cute little lunches shaped like characters when she opens up her box. I first saw some I liked on pinterest and saved the blogs to my favorites, then I got a couple of books from the library as well. I tried making her a cute lunch for Valentine's day before I got the books, but she forgot it so she ate it the next day. At least she is as forgetful as I am so we have patience with one another.

Here is her Valentine's lunch. The cups are heart shaped. There are crackers, bell peppers, and tomatoes to dip in a red container of hummus. A red box juice, and granola with strawberries. To keep the cups from moving around I used a babybell cheese because they are red, and this box has a red lid.

Also, speaking of Valentine's Day, remember that box I helped Bella create? She ended up winning the prize for most beautiful Valentine's box! So proud!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Menu Monday

This weeks menu:


Chicken Fried Rice from Spark People.

We ate sesame chicken on Sunday and I have a PTA meeting from 5 - 6 so I made double the sesame chicken to cut down one of the steps of cooking on this one.


Five Pepper Chicken from Yankee Kitchen.


Cheeseburgers, Salad.

Isabella has Missionettes and I have a Zumba class so we aren't doing anything fancy this night!!


Mediterranean Chicken Breasts from with feta cheese, chicken broth, penne pasta, and broccoli.


Middle Eastern Rice With Black Beans and Chickpeas from Allrecipes. This recipe is quick and easy, goes good with red rooster sauce and pita bread, and would even be good inside of corn tortillas.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Food, and How I am learning to Eat it!

When I first met my husband almost 8 years ago, I hated real food. I only wanted to eat McDonalds and maybe I would come to your house if you were making tacos or fettucini Alredo or something. Otherwise, I was out. No vegetables, no drinking water, and lots of candy and Mountain Dew. (Then I wonder how I got to almost 300 pounds, but whatever.)

I still have weight to loose, but it isn't just about weight, it is about health. I mean, I know weight is a health issue in itself. I am now on cholesterol medicine and have had to have the plantar's tendons severed in both of my feet because they were permanently injured when my feet couldn't handle the weight of my body any more and my arches collapsed.

But also, there is fatigue, behavior problems (my son has some that food helps regulate), migraines (I have those and changing our diet has helped so much), depression, and the list goes on and on and on. We all know the information, but it is really a matter of choosing to do something with it. Sure, McDonalds tastes great. It is nothing but sugar and sodium, I am suprised it can take on the form of real food. It seems it should be some white crystal that you snort and then feel placated for 5 minutes and like crap for a couple hours afterwards...At least they got the side effects right. Have you ever looked up just the protein on the meat? There is like no protein in it. How do you make meat with no protein? Creepy. 

Nowadays we try to eat mostly white meat like chicken and turkey. Or even fish or beans for our protein.  We opt for organic fruits and vegetables. What is for snack? Carrot sticks and hummus, peppers and ranch, string cheese, a yogurt, or maybe a banana or some granola. In the past it would have been cookies and cupcakes or ice cream. I make my daughter's lunch and try to make it different but healthy everyday. I am by no means an expert on health.
In fact, I would have no idea how to begin making any of these changes if it weren't for my friend Shasta who eats super healthy and was a big motivator to some of my changes. As it is, I still like the chocolate mint flavor Luna bars best after I work out, and  I still make bad choices more often than I would I like. All I am is a person who is trying to slowly make a move towards better choices for my family, and who is noticing the changes are good. I have less headaches, my son's behavior is improved, and our entire family has more energy and better moods overall. I think that it is worth the effort (and extra expense, because yes, eating healthy costs more) and I would encourage you to do the same. Really, once you get used to the taste, food is more appealing when it is real.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What I Did With My Spare Time Today

So, I injured myself so bad in that body shaper class that I can hardly walk. I am currently unable to go to the gym, lift Alex, or even have him sit in my lap without wincing in pain. Now that you are done smugly giggling at my pain. Lets talk about what I CAN do. I CAN use that time to be two days ahead of my homework schedule, have finished reading all of my library books, caught up on all of my tv shows, and now today I finished Bella's quilt top. It kind of looks like it was made just in time for Valentine's day.

 Isn't it a beauty? It is twin sized. She wants her blanket weighted like Alex's so I will have to go buy more beads before I can quilt this one. If anyone has suggestions on cheap places to get those beads, please fill me in! I have done okay so far thanks to coupons, but it isn't a cheap habit. I eventually want to start making weighted blankets and donating them to centers, schools, counselors, or families who might not get them otherwise. They are expensive and not everyone has the skills, tools, or time to make them for themselves. I think that is what I want to spend my time doing this summer. I already have one family at least I have promised to make a blanket for.

Wordless Wednesday...Family Fun

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More Valentine's Crafts

Here are some more awesome Valentine's crafts Isabella and I made this week!

A couple of cards I made for some of my closest :X:X:X

This is a craft I helped Bella make for the kids at school - paint chips, heart paper punch, and ribbon = a fun and easy book mark that Bella could make on her own! 

Last but not least is Bella's Valentine Box! A shoe box, some scrap paper, foam stickers, and a feather boa = perfection!!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!