Archive for January, 2011

This week we are due to get a huge snowstorm, which pretty much means we’ll be snowed in all week.  Between Monday and Tuesday, we are supposed to get 8-12 inches, so you’d think we’d probably be able to get out by Thursday at the latest, right?  Wrong.  Topeka is horrible at clearing their roads (in fact, they flat-out refuse to plow residential roads at all) so we’re usually snowed in long after the last snowflake falls.  Unless we want to take our life in our hands, in which case we’re glad we have a health insurance plan similar to BCBSNC!

Anyway, all that to say that we’re eating lots of comfort foods like soups and stews this week!  It probably doesn’t look like very much variety on this menu, but I doubt I’ll have any complaints about it!

Monday: Cheddar Cheese Soup with Zucchini, Broccoli and Carrots/French Bread/Fruit
Tuesday: Chicken Rotini Toss/Green Beans/Bread
Wednesday: Hearty Beef Stew/French Bread/Fruit
Thursday: Skillet Lemon Chicken/Corn
Friday: Beef and Potato Skillet/Green Beans
Saturday: Church potluck – still deciding what to bring

To view hundreds of other menu plans, please visit I’m an Organizing Junkie!

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a device called the Eardoc. Since my children are prone to ear infections, I was very interested in giving this a try. Most winters, at least one of them is on antibiotics for ear infections every few weeks, so I’d really love to reduce the amount of medication they have to take.

Of course, now that I had a new product I wanted to try, they haven’t gotten an ear infection since I received it. I’m sure one will be along soon, though, so I’ll update this post then and let all of you know how it works.

So how does the Eardoc work? Basically, you place it behind your ear and turn it on. It vibrates, which opens the ear tube and allows fluid to drain out. Not only does it work on ear infections, but it works on ear pain associated with air travel and swimmer’s ear. Pretty cool, huh?

What I love about the Eardoc is that it’s very simple to use and you know right away that it’s working because the pain relief is immediate. But don’t get me wrong — it’s actually remedying the problem, not just relieving the pain.

Here is a little video I did with Eardoc that shows exactly how it works. Please excuse the quality….I was holding the camera myself and my little model didn’t seem to want to stay still. He sat so nicely on the chair next to me while I was doing my first couple of takes, but by the time I had everything ready to go, he’d lost interest!

Disclaimer: I was provided with an Eardoc to review in exchange for this post and video, but all opinions are mine.

After drooling over steam mops and obsessively reading reviews for over a year, I finally bought one last week.  There are so many options out there and I had such a hard time deciding which one I wanted and what would work best for our family/house.  I was almost certain I wanted a Bissell, but at the last minute ended up buying a Eureka 313A Enviro Hard-Surface Floor Steamer. And I’m so glad I did!

My favorite features of the Eureka:

  1. It gets really hot.  It heats up to to 210 degrees, while Bissell and Shark steam mops only heat to 115-125 degrees.  The instructions on the Bissell said that to sanitize the floors, you had to hold the mop over each spot for 15 seconds.  Can you imagine how long it would take to clean a room that way?!
  2. It’s easy to use.  It has a swivel head and it’s lightweight so it’s really easy to push around and carry up and down stairs.  But it’s also heavy enough that I don’t feel like I have to push really hard to get spots off the floor.  I mean, I probably need a workout anyway (to avoid having to look at things like apidexin reviews), but not when I’m cleaning the floors!  LOL
  3. It holds a lot of water.  Twenty ounces to be exact.  I can clean several rooms before having to stop to refill.
  4. I love the cleaning cloths that come with it.  I haven’t seen the ones that come with other mops so I can’t compare, but these have waffle-weave fabric that traps dirt, plus it looks really durable.
  5. There is no trigger that needs to be held down to keep steam coming.  If it’s plugged in and turned on, it’s steaming.

Things I don’t like so much:

  1. The cord is pretty short.  Our living room is big and I have to unplug it and plug it in on the other side of the room to do the whole thing.
  2. The first two times I used it, water just poured out of it.  I had to dry the floor off afterward because it was so wet.  Many other reviews said the same thing, though, and after those two initial uses it worked perfectly.  Because I knew to watch for this, I used it on my kitchen (laminate) floor the first two times and only used it on my hardwoods after it was working properly.

Even though I’ve only had it a week, I am totally in love with this steam mop and if I had it to do over, I’d buy it again.  I love how easy it is to keep up with the floors now and I’m looking forward to never scrubbing them on my hands and knees ever again…at least the wood floors.  I will probably still scrub the kitchen and bathroom floors.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for writing this review. However, the links are affiliate links and if you buy through them, I will receive a percentage back. Thank you!

…than when you’re already staying home to quarantine a sick kid.

Kelvin has some sort of bug right now. Last night, he had two bouts of diarrhea that blew out of his diaper all the way up his clothes. Do you want to know how serious that is? We use cloth diapers and I never once had a newborn blow-out (i.e. up the back). For him to poop so much that it went up his shirt almost to his neck? That’s pretty bad. Luckily I wasn’t home and Chad got to take care of that incident.

He’s eating OK today, but he has a low fever, so he must still be fighting something. It would probably help if he’d take a nap, but right now he’s escaped from his room into Ava’s room and I’m pretending I don’t know. Anything to give me 30 minutes of relative quiet!

Now I’m just hoping no one else gets it. Stomach bugs are the worst. They’re probably as effective as thermogenic fat burners , but far more unpleasant!

Oh yes, and we’re currently getting 5-9 inches of snow.  So it’s not like we’d be leaving the house even if he wasn’t sick.  Someone send coffee!

So my last post about Kelvin giving up his naps was a relatively calm post. At least compared to what I’m feeling right now. After a week of no naps from either kid, I’m about to have a nervous breakdown. Which, incidentally is a great appétit control tool….not even kidding.

The whole quiet time in their room thing? Not happening. They figure that since they’re awake, they should be able to interact with each other and me and anyone else who may be able to hear them.  Which does not work for me at all.  All I want is just an hour of quiet.  Apparently that’s too much to ask.

Today I’m insisting that they nap.  I have posts to catch up on and taxes to do and none of that is happening if they don’t nap.  We’ll see how this goes….

I am not ready to be typing that title yet.  Kelvin is only two years old and has absolutely no business giving his naps up yet.  Yes, this is the baby who went from two naps down to one nap at three months old.  But I thought that was a fluke!  Ava still even naps some days, so I have no idea why this boy thinks he doesn’t need to nap!  Even if he doesn’t, Mommy needs him to!  Especially during this time of year when I’m already going crazy from being cooped up in the house!

*OK, deep breaths*

So I decided that even if he doesn’t sleep, we are still having quiet time for at least an hour every afternoon.  Both kids are still awake in their rooms, so it actually isn’t that quiet and I don’t actually get that much done because they’re yelling to me to ask if quiet time is over yet (I can’t even concentrate enough to read reviews on online degree programs, much less anything relevant to me!).  But it’s still better than nothing.

During quiet time, Ava plays her Leapster which keeps her occupied the entire time.  Kelvin has a Leapster too, but doesn’t really care that much about it yet, so I had to get a little more creative for him.  I ended up taking all the “baby” toys out of his room and replacing them with other toys from the playroom that will keep his interest.  It was a little tricky, though, because he’s such an independent perfectionist and I had to make sure to choose toys that would challenge him enough to keep him busy, but not frustrate him and trigger a meltdown.  To start out with, I put in a shape sorter, blocks, cars/trucks, puzzles, books and a couple other toys.  I figure I’ll rotate through different toys as he gets bored with them.

So how is all this working?  It’s hard to say.  The first day, it went great.  He was relatively quiet in there and stayed busy the entire time (giving me almost enough concentration to read about online degree programs).  Today?  Not so much.  I made the mistake of peeking in there to see how he was doing, and of course then he wanted to get out.  So I won’t be doing that again and we’ll see how tomorrow goes.

I saw this cool idea to interview your toddlers/preschoolers every year and decided to try it out with Ava (thanks to Tot School)!  I also tried it with Kelvin, but he was not interested at all.  Maybe I’ll try it again with him in a few months.  And maybe next time we do it, I’ll use a camcorder instead of writing all their answers down.  That way it would be easier to go through a transcribe it later rather than trying to keep their interest while I’m writing down their answers.

What is your name?  Ava

How old are you?  Three.

When is your birthday?  March.

Who is your mom?  You.

What does your mom do during the day?  Doing school.

Who is your daddy?  Out there.  Upstairs.

What does Daddy do during the day?  Playing with me.

What is your favorite color?  Black.

What is your favorite song?  ABC

What do you want to do when you are a grown up?  Play with Kelvin.

Where do you want to live when you grow up?  With you guys.

What is your favorite food?  Jelly sandwich.  I love corn.

What is your least favorite food?  Green stuff.  And I love broccoli.

What is your favorite animal?  Rhinoceros.

What do mama and daddy do when you go to bed?  Play games together.

Who does our family love the most?  Mommy.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?  I love popsicles that have that stick to keep them safe.

Where do you like to eat?  HuHot

What is your favorite book?  That animal one with a lion on the back of it.

What is your favorite toy?  That farm one with letters and animals.

How do you like to spend your time?  I like to lay on the couch and watch TV like I’m sick.  Just kidding!

What is your favorite thing that happened last year?  Play in the snow.

Please note that it is only Sunday and I’m already getting Menu Plan Monday up!  I know, I know, I’m just so on top of things, right?!

I’ve already done some bargain shopping this morning….at 9 am on a Sunday morning with two kids and only half a cup of coffee.  It wasn’t incredibly enjoyable, but I saved a ton of money and I don’t think I need to shop again this week!  Which is awesome because we’re supposed to get dumped on tonight and I hate driving in the snow.  If I feel like shopping later this week, I have a short list of things I need like personalized note cards and lotion, but I don’t need them rightthisveryminute, so we might just hibernate all week!

Ahem….anyway…..

Sunday: Taco Salad, Spanish Rice
Monday: Beef Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Tuesday: Baked Turkey Sausage Stew, Biscuits (doubled for a friend who just had a baby)
Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Thursday: Tuna Melts, Green Beans, Fruit
Friday: Cowboy Pie, Frozen Vegetables
Saturday: Leftovers

Here is my tentative menu plan for this week.  Kelvin just started running a 103* fever, so I have no idea when/if I’ll be able to get out and grocery shop.  It could end up being an “eat from our pantry and freezer” kind of week.  We’ll see!

Monday: Breaded Chicken, Parsley Potatoes, Frozen Veggies
Tuesday: {Turkey}Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit
Wednesday: Taco Salad, Spanish Rice
Thursday: White Chicken Chili, Steamed Broccoli
Friday: Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Cauliflower
Saturday: Dinner with friends after church (not sure what I’m bringing yet)
Sunday: Homemade Pizza, Salad

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