Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Saturday, January 31

GIVEAWAY: Extended Deadline!

My most recent giveaway has not been as popular as the first. Not sure why that is. But I really think the prize is awesome and I want more people to get a chance to enter. Annarianna really makes a very cute hair clip and I want her to get the publicity she deserves. So...if you'd like some extra entries into the giveaway here's how to get them (other than the ways already outlined).

E-mail, call, Facebook message, or [insert form of communication here] your friends/family. Tell them about the giveaway. If they enter the giveaway and mention your name (first name with middle and last initial) in the entry comment you'll get an additional entry (for each person who mentions you). You have until the 5th. The winner will be announced on the 6th. Good luck!

Ready, set, GO!

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Thursday, January 29

Fail!

Ooops...seems I missed a day or two of NaBloPoMo whilst in my catatonic state brought on by excessive crying (Lucy's, not mine). I'd say more but not only is my computer misbehaving but I only have one hand available for typing as the other is holding a sleeping (for now) baby.

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Monday, January 26

WIN FREE STUFF!

Don't miss the current giveaway which ends January 31st!

Bum Genius 3.0 Tutorial and Review

The Bum Genius 3.0 is an adjustable pocket diaper (simply by using a few snaps you can change the size to fit an 8 pound baby and up). Here are some (poorly lit) photos to show you the basics of how to use one.

Each dipe comes with an inner liner (bottom), as well as a newborn insert (top). Since Lucy is in fact a newborn I'll be using both.

Simply stuff the liners inside the pocket of the dipe (opening is in the back).

Then unfasten the Velcro tabs from the laundry tabs (keeps the Velcro from ruining the dipes in the wash).

And voila! You're ready to diaper your baby. No folding, no pinning. Works just like a 'sposie as far as getting it on and off your wee little one's bum.

But when was the last time you saw sposies in colors like these? I also have a few plain white ones.

And what's a post about diapers without a shot of the cutest little bum in southern Alberta, nay...in all of Canada!


Thus far, I'm pleased with the BG 3.0. The microfiber inserts seem to be absorbing well. And the soft lining of the dipe pulls the wetness away from Lucy's skin. I like to have the diapers stuffed ahead of time. That way, during the middle of a change I just pull a diaper out of the drawer and it's already ready to go. These dipes also fit much trimmer than our other cloth diapers. A review after a day of use is hardly a review. So I'll try to do another in the future when I've got a better idea of how I like 'em.
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Sunday, January 25

Because I Love Kamis

This one's for you, Kamis!

CLOTH DIAPERING FOR BEGINNERS

The modern world of cloth diapering is quite different from that of our grandparents. There's no need to fold, or pin (unless you want to). Moms nowadays choose cloth for a number of different reasons: environmental, health, and financial being the most common. Some added bonuses to cloth diapering (CD) are the cuteness factor and (often) earlier potty training. But when delving into the world of CD for the first time the differences between diaper styles, the laundering questions, and the lingo overwhelms. Fortunately, it's not nearly as complicated as it seems.

For a really thorough (but quick and easy) beginner's guide I'd go here.

Some things you ought to know about cloth diapering:

  • Do NOT use fabric softener (unless you want diapers that are not absorbent and I can't imagine why you would).
  • Do NOT use too much detergent. You don't need much (in fact...if you use this method you don't need any real detergent). Like fabric softener too much detergent can screw up the absorbency of your dipes and is terribly difficult to rinse out (which means it'll be sitting against baby's sensitive skin).
  • Be careful with diaper rash creams. If diaper rash shows up make sure to use something meant for cloth (again, it's an absorbency issue). Some options that are supposed to be CD-firendly include this (although pricey), Aveeno, Burt's Bees, or breastmilk (also great for cuts/scrapes, acne, etc.).
  • As for baby poop...exclusively breastfed babies don't have "poop" like we normally think of it. Their dipes can just be thrown in the wash (rinse, then wash, then rinse). For babies with more solid poop just shake the dipe out over the toilet (or swirl it in the clean water). Many moms like to get a diaper sprayer but it's not required.
  • Consider WAHMs (work at home moms). There are plenty of women out there making and selling cloth dipes. Etsy is an excellent place to find them. In fact, the cutest dipes and covers available are usually made by business-moms (like this one). You can also find lots of patterns and tutorials online for making your own.
  • Consider cloth wipes. If you're going to be washing dirty diapers anyway there's no reason you can't use soft baby washcloths (or old cut-up t-shirts) as baby wipes. You can find recipes for wipes solutions (such as these) all over the internet. However, I personally would avoid using lavendar oil (especially on little baby boys) as there are still concerns as to it's long term effects (better safe than sorry!).
  • Do what works for you. If that means using 'sposies when going out and about then go for it! Maybe you'll want to do prefolds during the day and all-in-one's or fitteds at night to make midnight changes easier. The trick is to figure out what is best for you and your family.
And if you want some serious "crunchy" bragging rights with your hippy friends there's always elimination communication.

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Saturday, January 24

Let The Cloth Diapering Begin!

I've previously mentioned our plans to cloth diaper our little geeklette. Since her birth she's been in disposables pretty much all of the time for a few reasons. We only had a few cloth diapers (that were given to us) which certainly weren't enough to get her through the day. Plus the ones we had were a wee bit big on her...so big in fact that when lying on a flat service her butt was elevated above her head (no that is not hyperbole). And until recently we didn't have the cash on hand to buy all the dipes we'd need (cloth diapers will save you big (about $2,000 per child)...but you have to drop all your money at once instead of spreading it over time).

Well, today we did it! We've got enough diapers to get her through about a day and a half (for now...she'll use fewer each day the older she gets). It'll mean more laundry, sure. But it'll also mean we don't have to spend fifteen bucks a week on 'sposies.

We got the Bum Genius 3.0 diapers (one size/adjustable pocket diaper). We picked them up downtown at Bumbleboo. I'd suggest all you readers in Medicine Hat with little ones to diaper go try them out. But, well...unless you want blue ones we pretty much emptied the shelves. Well...there are some green ones left as well. But seriously, we bought a lot of dipes! Thankfully my oh-so-smart-smart husband thought to ask for a discount...seeing as we were "buying in bulk."

And, as unimportant as this may be in the grand scheme of things, the cloth dipes are WAY cuter than the "baby Garfield" 'sposies. They have to be washed a few times to make them absorbant. So I can't get a picture of Lucy in them just yet. But within the next day or two my little girl will have the cutest butt in all of southern Alberta.

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Friday, January 23

Check It Out!

I've launched the new blog! Go check it out! And be sure to take advantage of the interactivity! Adam already has!

HAIKyoU

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Come On Now

I'm surprised dear readers. Why haven't more of you entered the excellent giveaway? I imagine those of you without daughters might think you have no reason to, but surely you have sisters, nieces, cousins, neighbors, etc. who will need a birthday or Christmas gift this year? You can't get a cuter gift! If you haven't yet entered, what are you waiting for?

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Thursday, January 22

Coming Attractions

I'm preparing to launch a new blog (don't worry, I'm not retiring this one). I don't want to reveal too many details at this point. But I will say this, it will be interactive and (in my opinion) very fun. While I'm getting it up and running my entries here may be of the short and simple variety. So please be patient with me.

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Wednesday, January 21

GIVEAWAY!

I recently discovered Sweet Pea Creations (by annarianna) on Etsy. She makes some really stinkin' cute hair clips for little girls (though I might be tempted to wear some of the seasonal ones myself - just for fun). Don't believe me? Check out this turkey, and these elephants. And here is the really cool news (for those in the US and Canada)...you can win one! That's right, as made obvious my the post title, there is a new giveway!

This time to enter all you need to do is visit her shop and leave a comment about which item you'd like to win. If you'd like an additional entry then mention the giveaway on your blog and link here; then leave a second comment telling me you mentioned the giveaway and link to your blog.

The giveaway will close at the end of the month and the winner will be announced Febraury 1st.

Good luck!

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Tuesday, January 20

Thank Goodness for Adam!

I would write more today...but I'm mentally worn out. Dealing with a fussy baby all day long tends to sap one's creative energy. All I can say is I'm glad I've had Adam here during Lucy's worst screaming sessions to tag team soothing her (or...attempting to soothe her).

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Monday, January 19

More Haiku

I had a desire to do another haiku. So, here goes:

Shopping at the store

Ack! There's someone to avoid.

Hide in the next aisle.

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Sunday, January 18

It's Not So Bad

For all my talk about being a geeky family I have to admit, it could be much worse. Check out these cakes. The last one is a wedding cake...and yes, the entire wedding followed this theme, decorations, clothing and all (there's a link to see more pictures from the wedding). So while I can take pride in the fact that I'm not as geeky as all that...I do have to concede that I think those cakes are really stinkin' awesome!

Here are some more geeky cakes and geeky weddings for your amusement.

Weddings/Cakes

Cakes

More Cakes

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Saturday, January 17

And Now For Something Funny

funny pictures of cats with captions

more animals

And that's all you're getting from me today, folks! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Friday, January 16

Trouser Coughs

We don't really talk about it in mixed company, but you know, we all fart (except me...I don't fart, and I don't sweat - I'm far too lady-like for that...hah!). Some people try to blame the dog, or "barking spiders*," or even their babies. Based on recent observations I think the baby is the most believable scape-goat.

Lucy farts, loudly.

And boy can she drag those suckers on and on and on.

Adam and I have found ourselves, after an impressive windy display from Lucy, looking at each other in amazement. "Was that you?" we ask (and of course the answer as it pertains to me is "no" because, like I said, I don't fart). How that much sound can come from such a tiny little tuckus I will never know. Is it our fault? Have we failed to burp her sufficiently? If so, does that make us bad parents?

I suppose the last question doesn't matter much because, I'm sure, when Lucy is 14 or so, if she finds out I wrote about her prolific farts on the internet she'll be convinced I'm a bad parent.


UPDATE: A little bit after I posted this I looked down at Lucy (who I was holding) and I swear she was giving me a "Mom, you are such a jerk. How could you write that about me?" look. Then she farted.

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*You have Adam to thank for that particular phrase...Adam; the man who calls his little brother up when he thinks of a great new term for farts. Adam; the man I love (in spite of or because of his odd sense of humor, I don't know).

Friday Fill-Ins

ffi

1. Enough with the snow and cold and bad roads already!.

2. The Middle East conflict causes me to be conflicted.

3. I've been craving chocolate milk.

4. Jen makes me laugh.

5. I wish I could go to Ohio next week.

6. Motherhood has been on my mind lately.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having Adam home all day, tomorrow my plans include being a hermit and Sunday, I want to remember to call my friend Nora like I promised so I'm not a total flake!

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Thursday, January 15

Can I Do The Past Month Over Again?


You know how everyone always talks about how children grow up too quickly; one minute you're changing their diapers the next they're off to college? Well...Lucy isn't off to college or anything (I bet she's smart, but not that smart) yet I can assure you that those sentiments are absolutely dead on. You see, the calendar tells me that Lucy is one month old today.

The calendar lies.

The calendar must be lying, right?

Please tell me the calendar is lying.

One month? Already!? Say it ain't so! She's grown almost 2 inches and has passed the eight pound mark. She is most certainly growing too quickly. I've willed her to stop. I've told her to stop. I've even begged her to stop. "Slow down" I say, "take your time!"

She isn't listening.

Despite my displeasure at how speedily she's changing, the past month has been wonderful, beautiful, educational, miraculous, and any number of other positive adjectives. But two thoughts in particular keep coming back to me: my mother, and my birthday.

When I look at my baby girl I think of my mom doing the same. When I think about how much I love this little fussy bug (her most recent nick-name) I'm awed knowing my mother loves me that much (and how incredibly patient a woman she is because I was most certainly a bigger fussy bug than Lucy*). Knowing my mother will be reading this I would just like to say: Mom, I love you. Thank you for loving me that much.

***

My birthday has always been a big deal to me, really big. It didn't always turn out how I'd like (being sick on your birthday is no fun, just FYI) but that never stopped me from having high hopes that each birthday would be awesome. As I've gotten a little older I've had somewhat more realistic expectations for my birthday. But this year, I'm not sure how exited I will be when December 5th rolls around.

You see, I learned something in the past month. December 5th isn't my birthday.

My birthday is December 15th.

December 15th is the day I was "born" as a mother. My life changed that day. It became a brand new life. But more importantly, I changed that day. I became a brand new person. I've been amazed at times by the changes in myself. I'm finding pools of patience, confidence, discipline, selflessness, and love within me that I don't think were there before. Maybe part of that is a result of labor and childbirth. As my doula put it on our final visit "once you go do that you can do anything." But it seems like something more, something magical. I'm not the same Holly I was. I'm Holly 2.0. And I was born December 15th, 2008.

Which means when I hit forty I'll actually only be seventeen. ;)

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*I, the baby who would not sleep unless in a swing and swinging...and it wasn't one of those battery operated swings like the one I have the luxury of owning.

Wednesday, January 14

Homebody

I haven't been out much since Lucy was born. It being cold and snowy, and the roads being what they are it hasn't seemed desirable to go outside. This is compounded by the fact that we (thinking we were being oh-so-smart and saving money) bought a 3-in-1 car seat instead of a "bucket." Learn from our experience...if you have a winter baby, invest in a bucket.

There's also the "babymoon" factor. I haven't had much desire to be with people (other than my hubby and baby). I've been mostly content to just stay home (where it's warm) and enjoy my family. But even so...after a while we all get cabin fever. So today I ventured out.

Actually...I ventured out purely because I had to because Lucy had a Dr.'s appointment* - given the choice I probably would have stayed home, again. But I did choose to stay out. We stopped at Wal-Mart to get a mouse (mine has been broken for months). And when I say "we stopped" I mean we parked and Adam ran in to buy the cheapest mouse to suit our needs. Then we went to Montana's (we had a coupon for a free appetizer) where I nursed in public for the first time. And we ended the day with a trip to the library where I grabbed a huge stack of books to check out.

It felt good to see views other than the same view I've been staring at day in and day out. And the best part was that Lucy slept almost the entire time we were out. Now if we could only get her to sleep like that at night...

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*Her appointment went well. The doc continues to be impressed by her weight gain. Mama's milk: it does a baby good.

Tuesday, January 13

Doomed

Judging by the results of The Geek Test (I am a geek, Adam is a "major geek") our daughter is doomed. It shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, this is the child to which Tolkien was read while still in the womb. Then again, perhaps she will hit her teen years, rebel against all that her parents embrace and become uber-cool. That's fine. I'm sure we'll be so embarrassing as parents that she'll be viewed as geeky by association.

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Monday, January 12

And We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to The Giveaway Diva. She won her choice of a Motivated Moms planner in the giveaway!

If you're disappointed you didn't win, never fear. I have a new giveaway lined up. Keep checking back to see what you can win this time!

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Sunday, January 11

Less Is More?


Things I've gotten less (or fewer for you grammar fans) of since December 15th:

  • sleep
  • showers
  • time out of the house
  • personal time

Things I've gotten more of:

  • spit up
  • dirty diapers
  • loud crying
But I've also gotten more:
  • cuddles
  • smiles
and

more love.

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Saturday, January 10

Motivated Mom: Final Review

Well, my two week trial of the Motivated Moms planner is just about up. So tonight I'm giving you my final review.

Definitely worth 8 bucks.

I'm positive I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again: I'm ADD. Like many adults with ADD I have tried a million different things to organize the different aspects of my life, homemaking being no exception. I flunked FlyLady. I've read books on housekeeping and seen no improvement. I've tried making my own chore charts. Most things I tried were just too complex to mantain without getting overwhelmed.

Herein lies the beauty of Motivated Moms: it's simply a checklist. If, like me, you love lists and checking things off motivates you to do more then it can't get much better than Motivated Moms. Well, a full time maid and cook might be better but that's gonna cost a whole heck of a lot more than 8 bucks.

Actually, I like to think of it as a "mom" in paper version. "She" knows all there is about keeping the house under control. "She" knows what needs done and when. And "she" tells you without nagging or guilt tripping.

I have noticed that not everything applies to me (so I just ignore those items). And (as some have commented on other posts) the frequency with which certain tasks are listed might seem strange. Here's what Deann at Motivated Moms had to say:

"I did notice on the comments about the hand towels (LOL). It's funny that I've read where people are like, "Ewwww, only change them every other day? I change mine daily!" Then others who say, "Every other day? That's crazy! We change ours once a week!" So I thought I'd explain....I'm home (was a SAHM and homeschooling and now a WAHM) all day and wash my hands after every bathroom trip (and after handling dirty laundry and before and after handling food/cooking) and I drink a lot of water and tea every day so bathroom trips are numerous! LOL So every other day is how often it turns out I needed to change the bathroom hand towels out so they aren't a soggy mess hanging on the rack.
"If I was at a job all day where we were only here dressing in the morning and then a few hours in the evening before bed I probably wouldn't change them quite so often (although I still would probably every 3 days or so just because there's no use smearing germs around).
"Then the kitchen cloth/towel - it just gets soppy a lot and the dishcloth will smell 'sour' if I don't change it every other day. I grew up having to SMELL the dishcloth before using it because my Mom didn't change it often enough. Ewwwwwww. LOL But trust me, we don't live in a germ free environment that looks like a museum. We live here, it's not a show place, so there are things that get laid down "just for now" and right now there's dishes in the sink because I made homemade pizza for lunch and haven't gotten in there to clean up yet (hey, at least I put everything in the sink and wiped all the sauce and cheese splatters off the counter and stove, that counts, right?). I think most people would be surprised at how normal (sometimes messy, sometimes clean) my house is but with the planner and keeping up with bits and pieces as I go through each day helps it to be at a reasonable level of tidiness at all times. There's still messes but they are reasonably contained and I know I'll get to them eventually as things come up on the planner."
Makes sense to me!

I hope you paid particular attention to that last paragraph. The planner is not meant to be a tool for perfectionism. If you don't check everything off, oh well. It'll be listed again another day. If something doesn't apply to you then you change things up. You do what works best for your family.

Of course...I think the strongest praise I can give the Motivated Moms Planner is that its motivated me (a total domestic dork) to actually clean.

And it's not too late to win a copy of your own!

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Friday, January 9

Haiku

I love Haiku. Could there be a more fun format to write poetry in? The Shakespearean sonnet is great...but a lot of work, trust me - I've written a few. Free verse is OK. But Haiku just rocks my socks! so when I stumbled upon this meme I had to do it.

This Friday's theme: dentists/teeth.

No cavities? Great!

But that means no N2O?

Can you check again?

And if you haven't seen it yet, I'm doing a giveaway!

And that's all for today folks! I'll be sure to do posts Saturday and Sunday (since I'm doing NaBloPoMo) but I'll be taking a little breather this weekend so don't expect too much. ;)

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Thursday, January 8

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Pictures of me:



(I'm the baby, the little girl is my sister.)

Pictures of Lucy:



(This was one of my baby sleepers...oh how I wish I had a picture or me wearing it.)

So...does this baby look at all like me? Yay or nay? Tell me what you think in the comments.

On a completely unrelated note: win a free planner!


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Wednesday, January 7

Yum

Today I tried this recipe for egg popovers from Meal Planning Mommies. I made mine with whole wheat flour, ham, onion, and green pepper. Adam had his with cheese on top. I didn't because I'm cutting out dairy for the present to see if that's why Lucy has been throwing up, and fussy. But Adam says the cheese was good (it's OK, we can trust him). I have to say I'm quite pleased and will definitely make them again (next time I want to add spinach). They're yummy, healthy (if you add veggies and use whole wheat), and most importantly they're really easy to make.

See, here's the thing about me and cooking: I don't like it. Until fairly recently Adam has been the cook around here because I hated cooking so much. But if I can find more recipes like this I can see myself learning to maybe, possibly, theoretically like cooking. It's getting easier now that I'm working on establishing a regular meal plan (something I've tried to do many a time). However I think the real trick will be to remind myself (while I'm working in the kitchen) of two things:

  1. Hot, healthy meals are a gift for my family and
  2. It feels really good to successfully create something from a mishmash of raw ingredients.
It's nice when one's work is appreciated.


And here is yet another reminder about the giveaway!

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Tuesday, January 6

Word of the Year



Laurie at Tip Junkie (a blog I'm fond of) is challenging her readers to pick a word of the year: one word defining what one wants for herself in 2009. She's even hosting a giveaway in relation to the challenge. I think it's a great idea. One can make all the resolutions one desires but it's a whole lot easier to remember a single word and allow it to mold your everyday actions (and it is, after all, the little things we do each day that lead us to achieve our larger goals). So, what's my word?

Stretch.

2008 was a year of big changes for our family. Adam graduated. We moved to Canada. We set out on a new life path (med school here we come)! And our precious Lucy was born. It is in 2009 that we must rise to meet the challenge these new developments will include. My body stretched in 2008 (and my stomach has the marks to prove it). But in 2009 it is my inner self that needs to stretch.

I want to grow in 2009. I want to be harder working, more organized, more centered, and serve my family. I want to stretch myself to the limits of my abilities to make our house a home and then I want to stretch a little further.

So here's to 2009, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g!

(And here's another reminder about the giveaway!)

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No Sense In Reinventing The Wheel

I'm a firm supporter of a baby's right to eat anyplace his or her mama is allowed to be. Baby's should not have to eat in nasty public bathroom stalls. And women should not be condemned for feeding their hungry babies (whether they cover themselves with a blanket or not). I could get on my soapbox and let loose a string of thoughts, arguments, and snarky remarks...but since TopHat said it so well I'll just link you to her post on modesty and breastfeeding.

And, lest you forget, here's a link to my current giveaway.

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Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Here's what I'm going to tackle: my family room. It needs some picking up, and a vacuuming session. Technically if I was following my Motivated Moms schedule more precisely I would have vacuumed it yesterday. But there were many things in the way (the Christmas tree had not yet been taken down) and by the time those things were out of the way it was kind of late to be vacuuming.

Check out my before pictures (to the right). I'm going use my timer and spend 15 minutes picking up. Then I'll spend 15 minutes vacuuming. Whatever isn't done in that time will remain undone for the present.

Ready.

Set.

GO!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Ta da!

It may not look like a huge change (especially since pictures can't really show the difference between a floor serving as dust bunny breeding grounds and a floor that is clean) but it for 30 minutes worth of work it's absolutely acceptable.

You may have noticed the red chair not only changed locations, but colors! Well, actually just locations. We (and by "we" I mean "Adam") brought down the glider from Lucy's room because it never gets used up there. I always end up nursing her in the family room or the bedroom.

I'd also like to take a moment to reflect on the bliss of owning a computer armoire. It can get messier than should be physically possible and all I have to do to "clean it up" is close it! The same goes for my desk (the secretary on the other side of the room). Pure joy! Truly, part of having a tidy home is simply a matter of knowing where to hide your messes (I've heard the dryer works in a pinch if you've got company coming).

The family room had been awfully messy since bringing Lucy home. But now that it's squared away again (and we're adjusted to the new person in our house) it should stay pretty nice. Every day I set my timer for 15 minutes and pick up whatever needs picked up (a tip I got from Flylady). It's a super easy way to maintain order. Try it yourself and see! It's amazing what a kitchen timer can inspire you to get done.

And don't forget to enter the giveaway!
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