Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blitz-It Friday

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Here's what I accomplished in 45 minutes yesterday:

-emptied the dishwasher

-loaded and started the dishwasher

-409'd the counter

-folded and put away the towels that were in the dryer

-moved clothes from washer to dryer

-swept under T's highchair

-washed L's plate and T's highchair tray and the pan we used at breakfast

-sorted the paper pile on the kitchen table and put stuff where it belonged

-409'd the table

Later, over the course of the afternoon and evening, in spits and spurts, I was able to get all the photos out of my camera (140+ pictures from the last month or so), onto my computer, deleted the red eye, and uploaded to the internet. I still need to make a slideshow for friends and relatives, but I'm getting closer to checking that off my list (and moving on to taking Christmas photos, and making photo calendar gifts, and so on!).

For more blitzing and organizing, head to Organized Everyday. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

TILT--Melamine Plates

A few years ago, I realized I wasn't getting much use out of my various serving trays. I have several, most were wedding gifts, but they were big and I never entertain or if I do, it's just a small group, and never formal (so the really nice silver trays have never been used). So for casual entertaining or just celebrating at home, I love melamine plates. Melamine is just a sturdy plastic, I think it looks nice (more substantial than cheap plastic) and I don't worry about it breaking. It comes in tons of pretty patterns and colors--I can always find them on display at Target for all the different seasons etc. And the dinner plate size is much more useful for me than a big tray, not to mention cheaper--I generally find them for $3 or less. Love that! So here's my collection so far: I bought the black and red ones at the same time, the turquise plate and bowl together (I know this is a post about plates, but I couldn't leave out my matching bowl), and then just the other day I picked up the round one at Target--I couldn't resist the colors. And not pictured is a "cookies for Santa" plate we use on Christmas Eve.

I think I've used the turquise stuff every Easter since I bought them, the colors go well with the spring pastels of the season. I used the round leafy plate the other day to put my birthday cake on. So even though I don't do much entertaining, these plates are nice for family celebrations. And they make me happy. :-)

For more things people love, check out The Diaper Diaries. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

For the first time ever, I am joining in MPM on because a) I planned my meals this week and b) I would love to win the slow-cooker book. Just a note: you may have noticed I have a food-allergic son, he does not eat these meals. I cook for my husband and me, L eats his own approved foods and T, well she's a baby and eats mostly finger foods. So here's what hubby and I are having this week.........

Sunday: sausage pasta bake

Monday: steak

Tuesday: burritos

Wednesday: curry chicken crockpot

Thursday: burgers

Friday: leftovers or brats

Saturday: Mexican grilled chicken

Sunday: roast chicken

It's possible the steak won't be defrosted in time for tonight's dinner, in which case we'll switch with Thursday and do burgers.

Thanks for stopping by. To see what others are eating this week, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie. You can also click around my little (work-in-progress) blog here. To learn more about my family, you can try this post. Or you can see more of my organizing efforts by clicking on the "organizing" label in my sidebar. Thanks!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blitz-It Friday

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I did one of my typical housework blitzes today. In 20 minutes, I:

-started the laundry
-emptied the dishwasher and put away clean pots/pans
-loaded the dishwasher
-washed pots and pans
-409'd the kitchen counter

Now to blitz this 3-day (woohoo!) weekend:

-The theme is family time and relaxation. But...
-I am inspired by upcoming houseguests (my parents coming on the 12th), to try to get some things done.
-Tasks: my hubby wants to buy and hang curtains in the kids' rooms; I want to hang photos and art in various places; and hang the "Cars" shelves in the living room. Any progress on these projects would be awesome.
-Food: honestly I've drawn a blank, we're in such a rut. Tonight (Friday) was teriyaki chicken on the grill. Tomorrow will probably be fish/pizza night (hubby makes himself some fish, I make a frozen pizza for myself). Sunday and Labor Day remain a mystery. How does one celebrate Labor Day?!
-Treats: another mystery. Maybe the library, I need something new to read. Maybe rent a movie.

For more blitzes, head to Organized Everyday. This weekend she's having a giveaway, so don't miss out! Thanks for stopping by!

Command Central

Today I am joining Organizing Junkie's Monthly Round-Up--this month's challenge is the command central area. I love, but this is my first time participating in a Round-Up. Yes, my command center needed a cleanup, but mostly I just wanna win the goodies. This is, after all, my "year to get organized" (though, at the rate I'm going, it's more likely to take a decade), so I need all the tools I can get. ;-) So here goes....
I set up this area a couple of years ago and it still works very nicely, but as you can see, it got a bit overgrown and needed a good de-cluttering. BEFORE:
Ah, that's better! I sorted through everything and purged a ton, I even ended up with an empty slot. So here's more about how my command center works....
First, the two organizers are from Pottery Barn. I never buy from PB because it's so expensive (instead I just drool over the catalogs), but when my generous sister gave us a gift card a few years ago, these are what we chose. Organizer on the left: top drawer has stamps and a variety of note cards, bottom drawer has several lists, addresses, computer passwords. On top are my envelopes and that box is full of broken Christmas ornaments, not really a part of my command center, but whatever.
Organizer on the right: the three front cubbies hold (1) notepads and checkbook, (2) pens, pencils, highlighter, sharpie, and (3) return address labels and church tithing envelopes. Behind that, the middle slot holds coupons on the left and bills-to-be-paid on the right. The back slot ended up empty(!), so I'll leave it for papers from preschool that need action.
The stuff that had been piled by the phone included things I didn't want to lose track of, but I didn't like having a pile there--it was ugly and also made it difficult to open the bottom drawer of the organizer. So I threw the stuff I was keeping into a picnic silverware sorter behind the pretty organizer--the stuff is easy to find, but hard to see.

Also, you may notice in the before picture that there were folders along the left side of this area. I have folders for bills/budget/tax docs, moms club, "refrigerator stuff" (these are notes, recipes etc, that I would've posted on my fridge, but it's stainless steel so not magnetic) and extra return address labels. I moved those into a magazine file, further reducing my command center clutter.
To see more of the command central Round-Up, go here. Or you can stay here and click around, I have an "organizing" tab on the sidebar, or you can learn more about me and my kids with the "about" label. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blitz It Friday

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I had a really great blitz today I feel like sharing. It has been a super-busy week of running around, so it was nice to just be domestic today and get stuff done. I initially set my timer for 30 minutes, but in the end I worked an hour. Yea! Here's what I did:

-started laundry
-changed into comfy clothes
-prayer time (I know it's pathetic that I have to put this on my chore list, otherwise I don't do it)
-put clean dishes away
-changed a poopy diaper
-loaded dishwasher
-scrubbed pots and pans
-browned ground beef
-folded towels out of the dryer and put them away
-moved laundry from washer to dryer

As long as I'm here, I'll do a quick rundown on our weekend plans. The theme, as always, is family time and relaxation. I scheduled L a haircut for Sunday morning. We might go to Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow (we're in Phoenix so it's too hot for the park; the mouse house is an inexpensive indoor stand-in). I really need to clean the upstairs bathroom and I'd love to inventory L's clothes. For my "me" time, I'll probably hit Walmart on Sunday for 15-cent notebooks (one can never have too many notebooks!). And we rented a movie. For food: enchiladas friday night, leftovers Saturday, and either pork tenderloin or steak on Sunday (I better get something defrosting).

For more blitzing, go to Organized Everyday.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blitz It Friday

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I have two housework blitzes to report this week. First, on Friday (7/10), I did a 30 minute blitz. I set the timer for 25 minutes and accomplished the following:
-load and start the dishwasher
-409 the countertop
-scrub pots and pans
-fold and put away towels (the timer rang during the folding, I continued 5 more minutes till done)

On Monday, I set the timer for 30 minutes: started dinner (put chicken on to boil), loaded the dishwasher, and started organizing a dumping-ground area of my kitchen counter. I wasn't able to complete that project during this blitz, but I came back to it later and finished. To see more on that "tackle," see this post.

Sadly, I didn't work on my official project this week. However, that was because I've been working on a different task this week: packing up three boxes of hand-me-downs to send to friends/family. That too remains a work-in-progress, but the girl box is nearly ready to ship!

As of this writing, I can't see a Linky thing on Organized Everyday. I don't know if it's my technical difficulty or hers. Anyway, I wanted to report my progress. I'll keep checking and hopefully link up soon. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday--messy counter

I'm really excited about what I tackled yesterday. It's this area of my kitchen counter that has been a messy dumping ground for as long as I can remember. I was inspired by a 3-drawer organizer I saw in a Walmart mailer (I actually didn't buy the one in the ad but found another one that's a bigger size at an even better price) and got to work. Here's the area before:

A lot of the stuff was just trash! We had several bottles of expired prescription medicines that I tossed. I moved the silver bar set into the Cupboard of Randomness, it was just gathering dust. A few other things were relocated. Then, once I was down to what I was keeping, I cleared the area, 409'd the counter, and filled my containers. Here's the after:

Inside the 3-drawer organizer: top drawer is a package of straws, middle drawer is adult meds (cough drops, Airborne), bottom drawer is kid stuff (yeast cream, saline nose drops, thermometer, nail clipper). In the purple container: tall meds like Tylenol and Chloroseptic. I kept the bubble machine there for lack of a better place to put it--maybe when the rest of my house is organized it will find a new home. (The lap pad and A&D ointment remain in their old home in the front corner of the counter because they are used at every diaper change.)

In case you're wondering, the 3-drawer organizer was $6.50 at Walmart and the purple container was $1 at Dollar Tree. Gotta love cheap organizing! For more tackles, go to 5 Minutes For Mom. Thanks!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Blitz It Friday--Big Project cont...

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Okay, after three weeks of not accomplishing my project goals, I realized the problem: I was putting it off till later in the week and then life happens and nothing gets done. So this week, I aimed to work on the project early in the week, to make sure it got done. I put it on the to-do-list for Monday, it didn't get done. I put it on the to-do-list for Tuesday, there wasn't an opportunity. I put it on the to-do-list for Wednesday and I succeeded! I set the timer for 30 minutes, dragged all my stuff to the living room, and filed. Here's a DURING photo (notice T's legs in the exersaucer, she was my "companion" during the blitz):
I was worried about starting up where I left off, but it was satisfying to come across things and think, I have a file for that! Here are my AFTER photos. See how little is left in the basket?! (Keep in mind though, I have another basket to sort, plus another box and basket to file.)
And here's what the box of files looks like now:

Once again, this coming week's goal is 30 more minutes of filing and sorting.

I had an unconventional blitz yesterday that I also wanted to share. It wasn't officially a blitz because I didn't set a timer, I briefly checked email, and I was constantly checking on T, but in 45 minutes I made brownies (from a mix), browned ground beef, and assembled enchiladas for dinner. By my standards, that was a lot of cooking time in a row. Of course the payoff was a delicious dinner and dessert. :-)

For more blitzing, check out Organized Everyday. Thanks!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Blitz It Friday

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Well, I thought I wouldn't be posting this week (again) because I didn't manage to work on my project this week (again). In my defense, I got everything assembled in the living room on Wednesday around 5pm, but then T woke up and hubby came home. So no "big project edition" today.

I did however do an awesome (by my standards) blitz this morning. One hour and I cleared a cluttered corner in my master bedroom. Yea! First, I put things that had a place back where they belonged, like games into the closet. Then the piles of CDs went into the rack (tedious). That cleared space for me to move the plastic storage drawer thing against the wall to multitask as a nightstand. Moved books, clothes, trash, recycling etc. till I found a path to the bed and a place to sleep. Woohoo! In the final minutes, I folded the towels from the dryer and moved clothes from washer to dryer.

For more blitzing, head to Organized Everyday. Thanks!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blitz It Friday--Big Project Part 3

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It was a busy week around here, some extra appointments and very few overlapping naps. Therefore, I'm sad to report I did not work on my big project. I did manage a 15 minute blitz yesterday to pick up toys in my living room. And for your viewing pleasure I have "before" photos:{Ugh, I have no end of frustration trying to get my photos on here and where I want them, I give up!} Anyway, the second picture is my foyer table. You can see the three baskets, on the left is yet to be sorted, the middle is for recycling and the basket on the right is the "to file" pile that I'm supposed to be working on. You can see the closeup of that basket in the top picture. The pile of junk on the far left of the picture also needs to be sorted. So now you can see what I'm working with and why it feels like I'm emptying the ocean with a spoon. ;-)

My goal for the coming week, again, is to spend at least 30 minutes filing the papers in the "to file" basket. Thanks for hanging with me even though I'm always a day late and a dollar short! For more blitzing, go to Organized Everyday.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Blitz It Friday--Big Project Part 2

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Once again I'm late to the party. It took me till Saturday just to do my blitz then another two days to write about it. In the words of my cousin, a new mom, "Motherhood is busy." Here's what I accomplished last week.

Big Project
So my project is my foyer table and my goal was to spend 30 minutes going through the paper crap. Saturday, I gathered the "to file" basket, my new manila folders, and a stapler and sprawled out on the living room floor while the kids slept and hubby worked. Because my filing cabinet is a project in and of itself, I just made new folders for all the different topics as they came up. I went about 15 minutes past the timer for a 45 minute blitz. It felt like I was trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon. I'm so aggravated that my house is a disaster area and I have no time to deal with it.

This is a busy week ahead, but I will try to do another 30 minute blitz. Also, I'll try to upload my "before" picture.

Weekly Blitz
Sunday morning I blitzed my kitchen table for 25 minutes. And I didn't even finish, that's how messy it was! I need a new system, everything gets dumped there. I managed to get through all but two pieces of mail, made a much smaller paper pile, and wiped down the surface.

For more blitzes, check out Organized Everyday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Big Birthday Bash

So Diaper Diaries is having a birthday bash where we get to link up and tell you about our favorite charities. What a great idea! Well, you could probably guess that as mom to a kid with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, I'm gonna point you to APFED--the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders.

Their mission statement:
"American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is a non-profit organization dedicated to patients and their families coping with eosinophilic disorders. APFED strives to expand education, create awareness, and support research while promoting advocacy among its members."

What they do:
"Create a credible source of information for physicians and patients.
Reach out, find and support those who feel alone with their pain (patients and families).
Unite the physician and patient communities in an effort to empower both sides with a better understanding of one another.
Teach the general public to understand what 'eosinophilic' means to affected families.
Promote and support research into the cause and cure of eosinophilic disorders."

What the heck is EE?
"Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) is an allergic inflammatory disease characterized by elevated eosinophils in the esophagus. EE is a newly recognized disease that over the past decade has been increasingly diagnosed in children and adults.... Eosinophilic esophagitis is characterized by a large number of eosinophils and inflammation in the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach). These eosinophils persist despite treatment with acid blocking medicines.... In certain families, there may be an inherited (genetic) tendency. In individuals with EE, the eosinophils cause injury to the tissue in the esophagus. EE can be driven by food allergy or intolerance: most patients who eliminate food proteins from their diet (by drinking only an amino-acid based formula) improve."

You can read L's EE story here. Even if you are like me and don't have the money to donate right now, I hope you will go to and learn more about this strange illness and spread the word to anyone you know whose kids are having mysterious GI symptoms that no one can figure out. The only way to diagnose an EGID is by biopsy during endoscopy.

Two of my other favorite charities:
Phoenix Children's Hospital. They literally saved L's life.
March of Dimes

To read about others' favorite charities, check out the Big Birthday Bash at Diaper Diaries.

At Long Last....L's Story

I apologize that up until now I have talked bits and pieces about our life with EE without writing a good background post on how we got here and where we are. So without further ado, the short version of L's story.

L was born a month early at 35 weeks and 3 days gestation--so just a little pre-term. He had, we were told, "typical preemie problems"--hypoglycemia, difficulty maintaining his temperature, suck-swallow-breathe problems, and then jaundice, so he was in the NICU for 5 days. He was an unhappy colicky baby, but he ate well (almost exclusively breastfed after being supplemented with formula while in NICU), didn't spit up much, just cried a lot. We thought the colic passed when he was 4 months old. He had a quieter two weeks or so, then got fussy again. We attributed it to teething. He spat up more and had some diarrhea, but thought it was teething and all the extra drool.

At 6 months old, he had several episodes of screaming followed by vomiting. His pediatrician saw him twice during this 10-day stretch and called it a stomach virus. "Don't worry unless the vomit is green (bile) or projectile." Then on Dec. 30, 2005, in the evening hours he started screaming again. This time we knew what was coming--scream scream scream and vomit. When he finally threw up, it shot 3 feet in front of him and was distinctly green. We headed to the ER and I put the white towel with green vomit on it into my backpack, determined to be taken seriously, this was no stomach bug.

We headed to our favorite hospital at the time, SHS. When we were in triage we were describing the vomiting and the nurses asked, "Is he always this pale?" We said "yes, that's his normal skin color, he's very white." We were always getting compliments on his porcelain skin. Little did we know....

The doctors cared little about the vomiting. They were concerned he was so pale and then with how difficult it was to get blood. It took several people and pricks and a loooong time to get enough blood to send to the lab. At some point I nervously chuckled, "well he must have some blood somewhere because he's alive." I'll cut to the chase, it was horrible and several hours and lots of waiting until finally a doctor told us what he thought was happening--he thought L was very anemic and if the numbers are as bad as he thinks, we'll need to go to Children's Hospital for transfusions.

In the end, he had a hemoglobin of 3. As it was described to me, 13 is normal, 9 gets you a blood transfusion, 6 you're in so much pain you can't move, and L was at a 3! Anemia has nothing to do with skin color (L is very white), but cheeks should be rosy and lips should be red. I had noticed L's "cute" pale pink lips weeks before, but I didn't know that was a bad thing. :-(

With an IV sticking out of his head, L and I were taken by ambulance to Phoenix Children's Hospital (PCH). The paramedic riding with us summed up the situation better than most that night. Blood transfusions will fix the anemia, he said, and he'll be fine. The tough part will be figuring out how he became anemic in the first place. He was pretty much dead on.

Hubby followed behind us in our van. We checked into the Pediatric ICU (PICU) and it was a long night of doctors and tests and I don't remember what all, and then he started having the transfusions. He was in the PICU two nights, then moved up to the hem-onc (hematology/oncology) floor for one more night.

He came home a new kid, happy, energetic. But he still had these screaming vomiting episodes. After about a month, the hematologist declared that GI must be the root of the problem and we started seeing our gastroenterologist. We also got a new pediatrician since clearly our first one was a total idiot--we'd been in her office twice while L's hemoglobin was critically low and she had no clue! I can't remember everything we did, lots of tests, at one point the docs suspected Meckel's Diverticulum and he had a nuclear medicine scan--awful. Then they did upper and lower endoscopies. After the procedure, the GI pointed to a picture of his colon and said it looked like allergic colitis. Since I was breastfeeding, she suggested I take dairy and beef out of my diet. After 10 days without dairy or beef (wow, that was tough!) we got The Call.

The diagnosis was Eosinophilic Esophagitis. The theory was that L was allergic to foods in my diet, probably milk protein, and eosinophils were attacking L's esophagus and he was bleeding microscopically for months, not visible in his poop. I had to wean him immediately and put him on a special formula (Neocate, an amino-acid-based medical food), that was his only food for 6 weeks, they then scoped him again and the number of eosinophils was greatly reduced, the treatment was working! At this point, L started sleeping better and was a happy kid without screaming vomiting episodes. We started seeing an allergist as well and doing food trials to see if he had safe foods. Allergy prick testing showed no allergies (his is not a histamine reaction, no hives or anything), patch testing revealed allergies to corn, wheat and soy. Milk and eggs came up negative but we were still to avoid those. Food trials picked up blood in his poop for green beans, strawberries, blueberries, oats, chicken, turkey and a bunch of other foods.

I should add that we were fortunate that L would drink the Neocate from bottles, he has never (knock on wood) needed a feeding tube, as is often the case for kids like L who can eat so few foods and need so much formula.

Where we are now:
L has 13 approved foods including most recently his first proteins, beef and eggs. He still needs the formula for all his nutrition--he drinks, from bottles (yes, he's nearly 4 years old), about 42 ounces of Neocate Jr. per day, mixed with a couple ounces of orange Pedialyte for flavor (I'll spare you that long story). He is a very picky eater (of the 13 approved foods, he eats about 8) with a strong gag reflex. We sit him down for 3 meals a day, but he eats so little and mostly fruits and vegetables, that it doesn't make much dent in the calories and nutrition he needs. We are on a waiting list to start feeding therapy to help introduce more foods and textures and to move him off the bottle.

Otherwise, he's a very healthy kid--99th percentile in height and at his last checkup 90th percentile in weight--woohoo!--prompting his GI to finally let us try to move him off the bottle, since 42 oz a day is way more than necessary. Yea!

So he's a healthy happy kid. Our struggles are mostly that he can't eat what other kids do. And he won't drink a bottle when we're on-the-go, he has to be lying down and watching tv (hey, ya do what ya gotta do when this keeps your kid alive), so long outings or travel are very tough. But we count our blessings--his EE was caught very young and he doesn't need a tube--very lucky in the EGID world. Praise the Lord.

Thanks for reading, I'm sure I'm leaving out a lot of stuff, but those are the "highlights." You can poke around other posts labeled "ee" and "about" for more of our story.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

TILT--baking stuff

I was baking brownies the other day and T was in the highchair so I was narrating what I was doing... and I realized that I was using two of my favorite things and this blog post was born.

I've had that metal bowl since college (making it roughly 16 years old, I'm 34) and it's my favorite for baking. It's big, indestructible and works well with my mixer (I have a handheld electric mixer, oh to one day have a Kitchenaid stand mixer). All my other mixing bowls are glass and perfectly fine, but this cheap nostalgic metal one is my go-to bowl for baking.

The other thing I love and use nearly every time I bake is a spoonula. I "discovered" these while watching "30 Minute Meals" with Rachael Ray. The ones I have are Pyrex and came from Target. True to their name, they are a cross between a spoon and a spatula. When I'm baking from a mix (cookie or brownie), I don't even need my mixer, just a spoonula to blend the ingredients and then scrape the bowl. These spoonulas are the best thing I've found for scraping bowls. You can see from my picture how little batter is left in the bowl and I probably could have scraped more but I like to eat the batter. :-) So instead of blending with a spoon and scraping with a rubber spatula, you've only dirtied one utensil. Love it!

I use the spoonulas for all sorts of other things, like stirring gravy on the stove (they are silicone, I believe, and heatproof to a high temp) or I'll use it for cooking when I'm out of regular spatulas. Totally versatile, I highly recommend them.

Makes me want to bake more brownies. For more things people love, check out Diaper Diaries. Thanks!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Blitz It Friday--Big Project Part 1

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Weekly Blitz
This week my only blitz was on Monday. I set the timer for 30 minutes and did the following:
-changed the laundry
-cleaned the downstairs (half) bathroom (toilet, sink, mirror)
-scrubbed pots and pans
Very productive and no interruptions. Shocking ;-)

Big Project
Okay, so we're supposed to name a big project to work on this summer. Well my house is brimming with projects. It took having a second child to kick me in the pants and make me want to get organized. I've named 2009 my Year to Get Organized, but with so little "free" time, I'm not likely to finish by Dec. 31. It's June 5th already--eek! But a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (that's a quote, but I can't remember who said it, sorry). So for my summer blitz project, I choose my foyer table (or, more specifically, the top shelf of my foyer table).

Identify the Problem:
Historically it's been a dumping ground, lots of mail to be filed or shredded. I've made my first step toward organizing by putting out three matching baskets. Eventually they will be: one to file, one to recycle, one to shred (we're quite anal about not throwing out mail that could aid identity theft, but that creates a huge pile of crap waiting to be shredded). Right now one box is to file and one is to recycle, but the 3rd basket is full of stuff to sort. So in order to complete this project, I need to finish sorting the sort pile (that will leave the basket free to become the shred pile), and file the file pile. I also bought some $1 cardboard magazine files so that once the space is cleared I can set those up and stand up my various binders and folders. My goal is that between the baskets and magazine files that my foyer table will become an organized area of my home for sorting mail and finding the things I need.

Plan for the Week:
Between two kids and my struggles with time-management, my goal will have to be modest. I will try to do a 30-minute blitz of this area this week. The "to file" basket is pretty full, that's probably where I should start.

Start and End Dates:
I'll start this week (June 5) and give myself the whole summer. How about August 31 for a potential end date? I'd love to finish sooner and move on to another area, but let's be realistic.

Before Picture:
I'll try to post a picture next week.

For more blitzing, check out Organized Everyday. Thanks!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blitz It Friday

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I know, I know, it's Saturday not Friday. Sorry it took me an extra day to post about this week's blitz! Once again, I was interrupted throughout the blitz but I persevered. In roughly 30 minutes, I:

-emptied the dryer
-folded towels and put them away
-moved sheets from washer to dryer and started it up
-loaded and started the dishwasher
-409'd the kitchen counter

I think there was more but I can't remember. That was Thursday. Today I set the timer for 30 minutes to tackle a project loooong procrastinated--setting up the Quicken software we bought over a year ago. It took more like 45 minutes but I entered all the info. Great, except now I have no idea how to use the thing. I think it was a big ole waste of money. Maybe hubby can make sense of it. Anyway, got that project off my list.

To see more blitzes, go to Organized Everyday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blitz It Friday

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Yesterday, I set the timer for 30 minutes. I gathered up a load of dark clothes for the laundry and started the washer. I cleared the drying rack to make room for the new batch of clothes. Then I hand-washed an underwire bra. At that point the phone rang and it was my BFF I never get to talk to so I cut the blitz short and answered the call. So it was only a 20 minute blitz.

Today I set the timer for 30 minutes and went to work on a very messy corner of our master bedroom that is currently holding bags and piles of L's outgrown clothes. I was able to sort several bags of clothes into boxes by size and threw out some stained clothes and made a small pile for donation. I wish I could've kept going all day, but I had kids to get back to. Still, it was a great start!

To see what others are blitzing, check out Organized Everyday. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

National Eosinophilic Awareness Week

The third week of May is National Eosinophilic Awareness Week so I am going to try to blog every day this week about EE. Today, some basic info about the condition. American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is the organization for people with EGIDs (eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders). Check out their website for more info. Below are some highlights, taken directly from the website [my added thoughts are in italics]. What is an Eosinophil? Eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, are an important part of the immune system, helping us fight off certain types of infections, such as parasites. What is EE? Eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) is an allergic inflammatory disease characterized by elevated eosinophils in the esophagus. EE is a newly recognized disease that over the past decade has been increasingly diagnosed in children and adults.... Eosinophilic esophagitis is characterized by a large number of eosinophils and inflammation in the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach). These eosinophils persist despite treatment with acid blocking medicines.... In certain families, there may be an inherited (genetic) tendency. In individuals with EE, the eosinophils cause injury to the tissue in the esophagus. EE can be driven by food allergy or intolerance: most patients who eliminate food proteins from their diet (by drinking only an amino-acid based formula) improve. [Basically, when L eats a food he's allergic to, eosinophils attack the food and his esophagus, causing inflammation and bleeding. This is how he became anemic at 6 months old, from the prolonged, microscopic blood loss caused by this attack on his esophagus.] Elemental diets, in which all sources of protein are removed from the diet, are another dietary therapy. An elemental diet includes only an amino acid formula (building blocks of protein), with no whole or partial proteins. Simple sugars, salt and oils are permitted on an elemental diet. Because these formulas are not palatable, the use of a strict elemental diet may require a feeding tube. Amino-acid based formulas are very expensive and are only sometimes covered by health insurance. Elemental diets are effective in treating most people with EE. [L is a rare case in that he can drink the formula without a tube, possibly because he was introduced to the nasty flavor at such a young age, 8 months old.] Check out for more info.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Blitz It Friday

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I had another busy week, that's two weeks in a row of a bunch of extra stressors, but we are done, finished, finito--yea! After preschool yesterday, I was done for the week. But housework waits for no man, so before I could rest, I convinced myself to do a quick blitz. I set the timer for 20 minutes and here's what I accomplished:

-loaded and started dishwasher
-went through annoying pile on the bathtub that's been staring at me since January
-cleared foyer of the mess from last week's trips to the pool
-threw away a dust bunny
-organized the bottled water and Coke cans in the kitchen that were jutting out and waiting to be tripped over
-moved last week's party trays from a bag in the bedroom (what were they doing there? just dumped with the rest of the clutter) into the sink

The timer rang and I 409'd the kitchen counter--the end. It was nice to conquer some of the messes that I pass by every day and say "I've gotta do something about that" but never do.

With preschool over for the summer, my weeks should be ever so slightly less chaotic, so stay tuned to see if I find more time to blitz. For more, head over to Organized Everyday. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Blitz It Friday

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I don't know about you, but for me, there's no better motivation to clean than expecting a guest. Well, last weekend my sister was in town and the house had to be moderately clean by Sunday afternoon. Thankfully, Hubby did most of the heavy duty kitchen cleaning, so that room was looking pretty good. Here's how I did the rest....

Saturday, I did a 15 minute blitz of the upstairs bathroom. I was able to accomplish the tub and toilet. When the timer rang, I considered persevering through to the end, but T had other ideas--she woke up from her nap, probably from the noise of me cleaning. Ugh!

Sunday, I did a 10 minute blitz of the half bath downstairs. That was all the time it needed to be sparkling and inviting. ;-)

Later, when there was approximately 20 minutes before Hubby and Sis got home from the airport, I set the timer for 20 and blitzed again. I loaded and started the dishwasher, then ran upstairs to finish that bathroom--counter, sink and mirror. Those chores filled the 20 minutes but I kept cleaning, wiping down some more counterspace in the kitchen for all of two minutes before the guest arrived. Phew! Overall, I was pleased with how the house looked for her visit.

This week has been extra busy, lots of balls in the air, so cleaning took place catch-as-catch-can. Finally, yesterday I got some time during overlapping naps to do a blitz. There's a bit of a backstory--our HOA is going to paint the outside of our house so yesterday they power-washed it. Well, when they blasted our french doors in the living room, dirty water splashed through the crack between the two doors, and covered a variety of toys. Yuck! So in order to motivate the nasty-toy-clean-up, I set the timer for 15 minutes. (T and L were both napping, but T could wake up at any moment.) The toys didn't turn out to be too bad, most could be wiped down with disinfecting wipes. So with that accomplished and 3 minutes left on the clock, I headed into the living room and picked up toys. The timer rang but T was still asleep, so I plowed on. Picked up all the toys and books and moved things to their proper places--it looked great. At that point, I thought my blitz was done, but I had to change the laundry anyway so I thought, Keep Going. So I changed the laundry and folded some towels and when that was done it had been a 45-minute-blitz, my longest one yet. Yea!

I have to pat myself on the back, because overlapping naps are all too rare, and it's unusual for me to spend that precious time cleaning. I was left with only about 10 minutes of free time before I had to make T's next bottle. So kudos to me for being productive when I could've been relaxing.

To see more blitzes, head to Organized Everyday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Blitz It Friday

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Okay, this wasn't the best week for me but Wednesday was busy and productive--once I banned myself from the computer for 4 hours. Still I only managed one blitz that day and once again it was the pots and pans. I set the timer for 15 minutes, but there were a few interruptions (such is life with kids), so when the timer buzzed I kept going till everything was clean--only five minutes more.

Thursday I was ready for a real blitz, the kind where you gets lots done. I set the timer for 20 minutes (the time I had until I had to make T's bottle), but all I accomplished was to clean the high chair and wash a beanie baby that was puked on during the recent stomach bug. Yuck.

I know that was hardly worthy of a blog post, but I wanted you all to know I'm trying. Struggling, but trying. For more blitzing, head over here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

TILT--matching pajamas

Today I am joining in Things I Love Thursday (my apologies, I can't figure out how to add the button).

I've told you before that I am lazy, so it shouldn't surprise you that I usually throw on a big t-shirt and flannel pants and call it pajamas. I can count on one hand the number of matching PJs I've owned in my adult life. But for my last birthday, Hubby gave me a set of matching pajamas. Now, to the naked eye, they aren't that exciting--a soft cotton, cool blue color with subtle snowflakes on the pants, long sleeves--but here's why I love them. When I stumble bleary-eyed into the bathroom before sunrise after a too-short night and spot myself in the mirror wearing something coordinated, I smile (at least on the inside, moving facial muscles at this time of day requires too much effort) because I look put together, at 7 am. (!) It's just a little extra joy in my life, and who couldn't use some of that? So to all those t-shirt-and-flannel girls out there, I say go get some pajamas that match, I bet you'll be glad you did. As for me, I'm thinking of shopping for a set of summer PJs, so I can keep on matchin' when the weather gets hot.

For more things people love, visit Diaper Diaries.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blog Makeover

If you've been visiting in the last few days, you may have noticed I went through a little bit of an identity crisis. I'm doing a bit of a makeover here. The title of my blog has changed to reflect that I'm now a mom-of-2. And now that I'm inviting people over to my little site via memes and carnivals (or whatever they're called), I want to preserve my anonymity a little more so I've removed my kids' names, they are now just L and T. Meanwhile, I think the identity crisis has been resolved, I'm now "Eos Mom," a reference to living with L's Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

And look, I have a new background! Free from Delightful Dots, thank you very much.

In addition to sprucing up the place, I plan to write some posts in the next few days (fingers crossed) about us and L's EE so you can get to know us better. I'm also following along in ProBlogger's 31 Days to Build a Better Blog (thank you Full Nest for the heads-up ), so we'll see where that gets us. Finally, I have a button in my sidebar (how did I ever figure out that techno-thingy?!) for Compassion International. I'll be following the Compassion Bloggers' trip to India over at Pensieve and I hope you will too. Thanks!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Blitz It Friday

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First, thanks so much to Organizing Mommy for giving me extra motivation to clean my house--the chance to blog about it! Check out more blitzes at

I hate hand-washing pots and pans, that's probably my least favorite chore. Apparently, my husband hates it too, since our sink is always full of messy pots and pans.

I'm a believer in the principle that you can do anything for 15 minutes, which is why a 15-minute blitz is perfect for this task. On Monday, I set my timer and man, I checked the timer often, it felt like a loooong 15 minutes, but when there was 22 seconds left on the clock I only had two pans left and I filled them with soap and water to soak. And unbelievably, I returned later that afternoon and finished (totally unlike me)!

Yesterday (Thursday), I did another 15-minute blitz. This time my task was to clean up Easter. First, I cleared the kitchen table and 409'd the tablecloth. (How do you clean your vinyl tablecloths, wipe them down or throw them in the wash?) Then I headed to the bedroom, where I had piled all the extra loot from the Easter Bunny and gifts, and found places for everything. I actually had to pause the timer when T woke up but I got her situated in the bouncy, restarted the timer, and pushed on. The last minutes were spent folding the now-clean-and-dry tablecloth and putting it in the closet. Voila, mission accomplished.

I'm loving this blitz thing, I wonder what I'll blitz today. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday--Office Space

I'm joining for Tackle it Tuesday. I'm thrilled to report that the hubby and I tackled a big fat pile of clutter that was the corner of our master bedroom and turned it into an office space. This is a before picture (or really a "middle" picture, as I'd already spent nearly an hour sorting paper clutter).
After I sorted the paper clutter, hubby moved the coffee table (not child-friendly) and tv into the garage (which recently gained space after hubby moved the trash and recycle bins out to the side of the house). Then he vacuumed and I dusted and he put the desk together (an old one we'd been storing in the garage). And Voila! a new office space. Yea!
To see what others have been tackling, check out 5 Minutes for Mom. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blitz-It Friday--Master Bath

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Haha, it's my first time posting a "button," let's hope it worked.

If you're coming over from, welcome to my little blog. It's a work-in-progress (like everything else in my life). ;-)

I set out yesterday to blitz my long-neglected and disgusting master bathroom. I thought I'd do 5 minutes sink, 5 minutes toilet, 5 minutes shower for a 15-minute blitz. I didn't set a timer because I was timing something else. (Yes, I know, I need a second timer.) In the end, however, the sink and mirror took 12 minutes, the toilet 7 minutes and the shower 8 minutes--so it turned out to be a nice 30-minute blitz (with the final 3 minutes spent putting supplies and garbage away and changing my yucky clothes). I knew this short time wouldn't get it perfect, but it was enough time to take the bathroom from disgusting to roughly clean. And the nastiness was really getting on my nerves so the blitz was a great way to tackle this job I'd been dreading. It will be much easier now to go back and make it guest-worthy.

I'm off to see what others have blitzed. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Things I Love Thursday--Eurobath Baby Tub

This is what I'm talking about today:

The Eurobath is the best baby tub ever! Okay, so it's the only one I've ever tried but L used it for two-and-a-half years and now T is using it, so I think it has proven itself.

It has two sides. The infant side keeps your baby at a nice angle--perfect for bathing and rinsing and she doesn't slide down. I like to keep a wet towel under baby for extra comfort, warmth and traction, and T stays in place. Don't ever leave baby unattended, but you can let go and soap up your washcloth without baby sliding into the water.

The second side is for kids who can sit up, this was the side L used till he was 2-and-a-half (I know the instructions say 24 months, I also added water beyond the max fill line--whatever, it worked for me). I felt he was safer and less likely to slide around in this than the real bathtub, plus it uses much less water and corrals his bath toys.

There's a little blue drain that I think is really dumb, but maybe you'd find helpful. I, however, just turn the tub over to dump the water. (I suppose I should mention that I use the Eurotub inside our regular tub, you could use it anywhere; when L was a newborn, we bathed him in the tub on top of our kitchen table, I don't remember why.)

Finally, the plastic is extremely easy to clean (very important for this lazy mom). So if you're in the market for a baby tub, or know someone who is, I give the Eurobath two thumbs up. For more things people love, visit

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Things I Love Thursday--Texas Toast in bulk

Once upon a time my husband brought home Pepperidge Farm Texas Toast from Sam's Club and I looked at the big box sceptically and thought, How will we ever eat this much texas toast? But it's genius, I tell you! One box comes with 4 bags of 8 slices each. You make as few or as many slices as you want at one time--throw them on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees, cooking time is 5 minutes. In my house it often happens that when I don't have anything planned for dinner, we end up making pasta, and it's been great to grab some texas toast from the freezer to complete the meal. Even when I do plan ahead, I've often forgotten to add garlic bread to my shopping list or I plan an entree but not the side dishes and texas toast saves the day.

This is what I'm talking about (though not the bulk size):

For more things people love, check out

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Things I Love Thursday--Shout Color Catcher

Let me begin by saying, I am the world's laziest person. Therefore, I am not the best laundry-sorter. Historically I've divided my clothes and my husbands' into three loads--lights, darks and the occasional red load. Then I had my son and I was NOT interested in dividing his laundry into different colors and I do wash his stuff separately in Dreft (a long story) so I was thrilled to discover Shout Color Catcher. You throw a sheet in the wash and if any dyes run, the sheet "catches" them so they don't redeposit on another item. And it does work!!! I throw all of L's clothes (and now T's too, except for reds) into one load and often the sheet comes out discolored but all the clothes look great. So whites, navy, pink, purple, all in one load. My mom was here helping out after T was born and was shocked I threw everything in together and I showed her my secret weapon, the Color Catcher. As a bonus, the sheet can go through the dryer, so no reason to go fishing for it as you transfer from washer to dryer. Thumbs up.

By the way, you can find it in the laundry aisle, by the Spray 'n' Wash.

For more things people love, head to