Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Seahorse Love

I know, you are wondering how I managed to get such a flattering shot of myself. You have to do what you have to do so I had TB and the seahorse in one hand and the camera in the other.

Justin had (and still has once the rest of our stuff arrives in Namibia!) a Playskool glow worm that he quite liked. I am a fan of the glow worm too, but it does have some flaws. I hate that it plays music for such a short period of time. The new and improved sea horse will play for a full five minutes. It also has two volume settings and an on/off switch.

Grandma got TB the seahorse. When Justin saw it, he loved it too. What a surprise. I think it will be a keeper. Ryan thinks it is cute and I hope that it helps soothe him. Last night, however, it did not. He noticed how bright it glows when there is no other light in the room and took that opportunity to play peek-a-boo with it. He would cover it up with his blanket, pull the blanket down, say "peek-a-boo" and laugh. It would have been a lot cuter at a more reasonable hour of the day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

NOT a Fan!

I just removed myself as a fan from a Facebook page that suggested ideas from the following blog entry:

I wasn't sure if it was a bad joke to rave about some of the ideas. Sure, I have been known to make lists on the back of junk mail envelopes. Why not? There is usually junk mail lying around. But to scratch out the address and use for my own mail? I don't think so Tip #17!

#22 Use old light bulbs inside of socks as a darning egg? I confess I had my grandma darn a pair of socks for me. I really, really liked the socks and couldn't find another pair like them. I don't know a lot of people who darn socks. I don't know that it is cost effective. Do people have to take a day off of work to have time to darn socks? If you don't want to be wasteful can't you find other uses for your old socks and buy new ones? I use old socks as disposable rags. Maybe people find that idea strange.

Ideas #18, 19, and 21 involve reusing boxes etc. for kids to play with. That I can understand. My kids often like the box as much as the toy inside. I know both of my children have enjoyed pushing around their diaper boxes (both full and empty). Covering boxes with patterned contact paper though? How much does that cost? How long are these 'toys' going to be around?

#14 suggests saving dryer lint (because it is highly flammable) and stuffing it in empty toilet paper rolls and using as a fire starter. Great. I envision people everywhere saving piles and piles of dryer lint.

#38 recommends using old toothbrushes for cleaning. Uh oh. I do that. Maybe I will be following all of the suggestions before too long.

I hope you are not in such financial shape that you have to reuse your envelopes or use cereal box liners in place of wax paper. If you are trying to make a difference for the environment, there are other ways to do it. Personally, I think that most Americans like to do little things and feel all warm and fuzzy about being 'green' while it hardly even makes a dent. In Japan we had to sort our garbage into a million (okay, not that many) different types.
You willing to do that?

Here in Namibia, things are packaged very differently. It isn't necessarily attractive, but there is a lot less waste. Do you buy your lotion in a bag? You really don't need another bottle if you already have one. Refills in particular are not grabbing your attention as you walk down the aisle.

Go ahead and feel all warm and fuzzy because you reused your Styrofoam meat tray for giving neighbors baked goodies at Christmas (tip #36). Go ahead and leave me off your baking list. I probably don't want to visit your house either. You probably have a lot of junk lying around. Or maybe your house is made out of all the stuff you so frugally repurposed.


The other day while I was sitting in the playroom with Justin, I mentioned that we might have some friends over for dinner. He immediately got his brain in gear, trying to figure out where people could sit. He was telling me how we could 'scootch' the table and someone could sit by TB and someone could sit by Daddy. I told him that I thought we would eat in the dining room. Obviously this is something we have not done yet here. He looked at me with a puzzled expression. I repeated that we could eat at the dining room table.
"There's a table in the dining room?" he responded.
I assured him that there was and encouraged him to check. He ran out of the room and returned a moment later.
"Mommy, you were right! There is a table in the dining room!"
I asked him how many chairs. He again ran to check, and was amazed there there are eight chairs at the table. He didn't mention the two other chairs in the dining room on either side of the china cabinet. I figured it was a big enough shock to discover that there is table in the dining room. He was bound to notice it sometime, right? I mean, we haven't been here quite two months yet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Facebook Apologies

To all my blog readers who are NOT my facebook friends, I apologize for not writing more often. I fought long and hard before getting "into" facebook. I think that FB is, in many ways, a way of keeping in touch that says, "hey, I am interested in what you are up to, but don't care enough to write, call, or send an e-mail!" I still think that is quite often true. I have discovered that it does allow me to keep in touch with people I would not otherwise. Let's face it, I can't even keep my blog up to date, I am behind in responding to e-mails. Perhaps FB isn't such a bad idea. I also thought (correctly) that it would be an easier way to upload pictures of my boys for me mom to see. It is a pain for me to do on my blog and it seemed that my mom always had trouble with flickr. (No offense, Mom!) I have found that I can use FB to quickly send a link to a friend, to share a quick thought, or to let people know that my day is NOT going well. I would hardly send an e-mail out to everyone I know to say that I broke my baby toe! I also enjoy hearing quick updates about what other people are doing. Hearing other people's highs, lows, and day-to-day events helps me feel like I am not the only one who goes through some of these things. So, though it was completely unintentional, I am a facebook user. I will try to keep up with my blog and e-mail. If you want more frequent updates, add me as a facebook friend. Chances are I would like to hear what you are doing too!

Today was quite a day. I decided to make tortillas and had to fight off the ants right while I was making them! My spray bottle broke so I have not been as diligent about vinegaring the counters (more on vinegar later). I was able to keep on the winning side of that fight. :) Then right AFTER mopping the kitchen floor, I discovered two ants in the pantry. Two ants, you may think, is not a big deal. With our current ant situation I doubted that those two were alone. I mean, how often do you hear of only TWO ants hanging out together? I wanted to get the pantry under control as soon as possible, so I started wiping down the shelves with vinegar. I love using vinegar because it helps with ant control AND it isn't harmful to my kids. As I am moving things and wiping down shelves, I DROP a container of sugar and it goes ALL OVER! Now in the best of circumstances that is not a pleasant situation, but on a still damp kitchen floor... Let's just say that sticky sugar floor is not something that I think will help me in the war with the ants. I tried to clean it up as best as I could. In the meantime, the ants were making off with the crumbs from the boys' lunch because I did not IMMEDIATELY sweep and/or vacuum the area by their table. Sigh. Of course I had some help too.

At least Justin and Ryan were decent human beings while I tried to take charge of the kitchen. I didn't get some of today's other chores done, but that's okay. Then Justin decided to go to the bathroom, squat BESIDE the toilet, and poop his pants. Lovely. We got a later start on potty training than is ideal because of our move, but he has been doing great. Last week his big boy underwear arrived and he has been doing well staying dry during the day. A new Duncan train is now sitting in the bathroom, just waiting for Justin to poop in the toilet instead of his underwear. Justin seems motivated. When the time comes, we shall see. He loves his big boy underwear!

Probably the highlight of my day has been that I got to take Excedrin for my headache. I have weened TB! For the past month I have been nursing him only in the wee hours of the morning because it is so much easier to pull him into bed with me at 5:00 AM and lift up my shirt and go back to bed than to make a bottle. A little sad to lose that bond with my baby, but he is 13 months now. I had it easy with both kids. They were good nursers, but would also take bottles. It is nice to have a baby cuddle up with you.
I also got to play a bit of wii. Justin begs to play the monkey game (Donkey Kong Jungle Beat) which means he wants to watch me play it. Ryan likes to think he plays too.
Rob will come home after a long day at work and have a surprise waiting for him. There is a millipede either resting or dead behind the curtains in the kitchen. I have saved it for him. I picked one up once with a little too much firmness and the crunch sound and feel was really gross. I don't like to touch them if I can help it. Rob was also in charge of catching a beetle this morning. I have gotten better about bugs, but I am not a fan.
Maybe the rain will stop soon and we can go outside and play.