Monday, September 30, 2013

Dosage help

My friend Molly the ER doc gave such great advice in her comment to my post last week that I thought I'd share again and link to the charts she recommended.  I wanted to embed the pictures but I don't think I can.
Here's the acetaminophen chart.

Here's the ibuprofen chart.

And here's what Dr. Molly says:

In general, you can give children 15 mg/kg of acetaminophen every 4-6 hours (that's KG, not pounds, mind you.). 

And...even cooler...the dosage of ibuprophen is 10 mg/kg. And the concentration in the bottles (100 mg/tsp) is such that it usually works out that whatever the dosage of acetaminophen is, it's the same dose of ibuprophen! (i.e. 1 tsp of acetaminophen means they'll likely get 1 tsp of ibuprophen...GENIUS!!) 

***You can only give ibuprophen to babies over 6 months of age. 

And if you're going to give both, put a piece of paper on the kitchen counter or the fridge and write down what you gave and when, so you don't accidentally overdose them on either. (Both dangerous, but acetaminophen overdose particularly so.)

I printed and laminated the charts and put them back in the bathroom where the sad and taped up chart was.  Hooray for progress!  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Oddly Soothing: Sippy Cups

One of my favorite books in the world is Papa's Wife by Thyra Ferre Bjorn.  There's a scene from the book that I often think of.  The Mama is polishing the shoes of all of the children, and they ask her why she smiles, and she says that it is her favorite chore, because she thinks of each child as she shines the shoes, and prays for each, and is thankful for each.  (My mom read it because I recommended it and she didn't like it too much, saying "Betsy-NOTHING bad happens!  How realistic is that?  A big immigrant family and NOTHING BAD happens to them?"  So you can see why I love it)

I've been trying to pay attention to the funny little things in my days that I really enjoy.  

This one that I found really made me laugh.  I love putting together the sippy cups.  They all have different lids and parts and it's like a bunch of super easy puzzles and all the pieces are right there and when you're done you're prepared for the next day!  Because there's not much worse (except the millions of things that are ACTUALLY worse) than a whiny child who is pulling on your leg for a drink and the cupboard is bare of cups and you have to WASH one first.  Horrible.

Hooray for clean cups!  What chores do you find oddly soothing?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall 2013

Hey!   Fall started!  I don't think I've looked at my summer list in months.  Let's see what was on it.

1.  Keep moving photos to new albums
2.  Finish Abby's blanket
3.  All the 4H everything and the Fair
4.  Run away with the kiddos.  Nope, that still never happened.
5.  Get rid of my Gall Bladder.
6.  Swim swim swim   Sad.  We didn't even use up our one book of passes this year.  
7.  Take more videos of cute kids.   I did take a few more videos, but not as many as I would like.  
8.  Finish LIBR 857.
9.  Rearrange Library at School.   I'm STILL waiting on the shelves I was supposed to get this summer!
10.  Think about the future of photo albums and best use of time.  

Okey doke.  That's not bad!  What shall we do this season?

1.  Make Christian's Quilt 
2.  MIT 805  Instructional Technology Theory and Practice
3.  Finish Jimmy's baby book.
4.  Make as many Christmas presents as possible, spending as little as possible. 
5.  Work the garden through the end, and winterize.    There was much harvest that was wasted, because of that sadness in October, but it's put to bed now for another year.  
6.  Make another postage stamp block.
7.  Finish Jairus' skunk.
8.  Help Anna make some gifts. 
9.  Make Cosette costume and find something for Jimmy.
10.  ENJOY Thanksgiving and Advent.  Slow down, worry less, look around more.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Something for Susu

I finally made something for Susan out of some of her wedding fabrics!  The hardest part was finding a capital M that looked like what I had in my head.  I used the font "Action Is" but I can't remember where I downloaded it from.  One of the font places gave me a malicious warning, so I don't want to link to one and have it be the wrong one.  But I have downloaded free fonts before and not had any trouble.  

Then I just used the fusible web and ironed it on and stitched around with my machine!  Easy and fun.  I had trouble with the binding because I was trying to get by with using just this one little scrap so it's a little odd, and I didn't use a big enough piece of fusible fleece for the back so it looks pretty rough on the underneath side, but luckily it's not meant for a window!

Wedding fabric + scrap fusible web + scrap fusible fleece + old piece of jeans + time = free and fun present!

Happy Birthday Susu!  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


A month or so ago I read this post about getting rid of all of the toys.  I was very intrigued.  I'm always concerned about the children, and their imaginations, and creativity, and entitlement, and spoilage, and etc etc etc.  But MJL just raised his eyebrows at me and I thought I was probably being crazy.

Then a week ago, I saw another post about it, that linked to the same post I had read.  I did a quick search for "No more toys" and found a blog post here, and an article here, and I'm wondering two things-

1.  How long until this is a real internet fad, and how interesting is it that Pinterest and blogs now spread Mommy fads instead of the local neighborhood (or is that just me and my isolated farm life)?

But really

2.  Can I do this?  I'm thinking we'd keep the legos, the big wooden blocks, a few cars, and a ball or two.  I thinned down the kitchen toys once already, but I could do it again.  Just a couple of pans and the felt food that I made ought to be plenty...  What do you think?  I love the idea of not tripping over toys, and of the little darlings being more creative, and of not tripping over toys, I like that part a lot.

What do you think, internet neighborhood?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ridiculous Dilemmas: Powder edition

I have this wonderful old tin of powder.  It's a lovely pink (took these pictures at night in the bathroom, so that doesn't come through...)

And it's BRAND NEW.  The paper is still over the powder.

This is a ridiculous thing to love.  What on earth do I do with it?  How does this play into my grand plan of only keeping things in the house that we NEED or LOVE?

But I do love this powder for some odd reason.  I put it up on the shelf in my bathroom with the other strange pink Paris-y things that I also love.   I just couldn't bring myself to let it go.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Our most important paper

When Anna was almost one, 3 days after my Mom's first Chemo treatment, and on Good Friday, Anna spiked a high fever.  I called the Dr. on call (who was not Koko) and they told me to take her to the E.R.   

I was frustrated by that, and even more when they told us in the E.R. to give her a lukewarm bath and give her some more medicine.  

But they did give us this magical paper that tells the ACTUAL safe doses of medicine for children.  Not like the bottles which just tell you to consult a doctor, which is the most annoying thing ever.  I think this paper has been worth the $200 we had to pay for it.  

But it has clearly seen better days.  Does anyone have any idea how to get another one?  Friendly neighborhood ER doc, can you hook me up?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bossy Betsy: Time it!

I just remembered one of my favorite tricks for making myself do things I don't want to do.  It's a magical trick.

Just time yourself.

It works on three levels.

1.  You are motivated to do the thing to find out how long it takes you to do it.
2.  You are motivated to stay on task so that you have an accurate time.
3.  You can tell yourself next time-but it only takes blah blah minutes!

I learned this trick when we moved here and I didn't want to vacuum.  I timed myself and discovered it really only took 12 minutes to do all the vacuuming.  (Obviously I'm not super thorough).  I still tell myself that when it's time to vacuum.  (But really, now it's Anna's job-ha ha!)

I remembered this trick the other night when I wanted strawberries and yogurt for dessert but didn't want to cut them up.  Do you know how long it takes to cut up a pint of strawberries?  3 minutes!  Shocking!  I should never have trouble doing that again.

What's your favorite trick?

(Anna does not buy this trick one bit.  I'm hoping some of your tricks are more her style.)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

After School Snacks

After school is a crazy time around here.  Both babies wake up from naps when Anna gets home from school, or are woken up in order to pick up Anna from school, so at 3:15, I have a house full of hangry children (you know, angry because they're hungry)

I have tried looking on Pinterest for after school snacks, but these are way beyond my abilities.

Remember that I have trouble feeding my family regular MEALS, let alone elaborate snacks, and that nap time is MAMA time, not time to be creating elaborate snacks, and it is possible that at 3:15 I'm a bit hangry myself, and not in the mood for making elaborate snacks.

So I'm looking for some real world ideas that take less than 1 minute to throw on a plate.

Whatcha got?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Systems for Anna

Yesterday Katie yelled "Focus!" at Anna, which gives you some idea of our constant battle with distraction
(and the little sister's innate ability to push buttons).  It's not the worst problem in the world-Anna loves to read.  We have a hard time pulling her out of a book to do anything else, and while it is hard not to just love that she loves reading, there are other things that have to be done in life!

This fall, to cut down on the nagging, we made these lists.  One for the morning, one for after school, and one for before bed.  She can't read until these things are done.  We worked on the lists together, and then she made the stickers and put them on and I cut the folders.  We used sticky magnets cut into little pieces for the closure, with bigger sticky magnets on the back to keep them on the fridge.  

Mornings have been going about a million times better, and we've been mostly on time to school every day!

After school is a bit more of a battle, because sometimes reading is a part of her homework, and then she gets stuck in the book and really hates to come out.  But we're getting there.

Evenings are a bit better, I think, though we forgot to make the sticker for "Lay out clothes" and so she forgets that EVERY NIGHT and has to be reminded.  Maybe we'll get that sticker made this afternoon while I'm thinking about it.  

Any other tips?

Monday, September 16, 2013

In the Library

This year we had inservice in one of the libraries in town and it was all cute with lots of decorations and I started to feel bad.  I don't have any room at all in our library, since it is also used for Science and Art, with library squeezed in the middle, but I thought I could at least decorate the ceiling so I strung a bunch of pom poms on fishing line and hung them from the ceiling.  It looks fun and happy and the kids like it.

I've been wanting a poster like this for the library since I saw it last year, and I finally made us one.  I used some cardboard we got with a shipment of posters, traced and painted the letters, and then glittered the Be the Good letters.  I didn't realize the glitter would completely cover the blue, or I wouldn't have spent all the time painting the letters blue under there!  It doesn't look as good as I would like, but I still have grand dreams that it will inspire all of the children to "be the good".

That's how many books come back to the library each morning.  That box goes all the way down.  It's the third week of school, so I'm slowly coming out of the back to school panic that hits every year, and especially this year with so many changes.  I'm on my own in the library this year, with a new principal and the new job of also being head teacher when she's not there (that's mostly just discipline-yuck).  But I had a lot of parents come to my volunteer meeting and I think I'm going to have some really great help in the afternoons with shelving and having someone there to check out before the end of the day.  The shelving really is a huge deal.  Look at all those books!

This month in the library we're focusing on The Constitution and American History.  The kids are all going to learn the preamble, and the reading challenge is to read 10 books on the topic, and we'll be listening to John Phillip Sousa during check out.  The part of the job where you make the library into a different kind of theme party every month is my favorite.  :)

I'm so thankful for this job-even on the panic days.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Katie Language-the answers

1.  Chocolate Milk
2.  Girl
3.  Golden Dragon (her restaurant of choice)
4.  Draw (with) chalk
5.  Horse
6.  Cereal
7.  Purple
8.  M&M's
9.  Phone
10.  The name she calls herself.  If you ask her what her name is, she answers "Bubba".  Sometimes she corrects us- "My a Bubba!".  This started at the cabin, but I really don't know how or why.

Extra Credit:

A:  Ball, or Throw.  If he's holding a ball or looking for a ball, it means ball.  If he's throwing pancakes at Daddy, it means throw.  He really likes balls.  And throwing.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Katie Language

We've been working on phonetic representations of Katie's language for you.  Can you guess what these words are?

1.  kakatil
2.  gore
3.  gogan gragon
4.  gra kak
5.  forsy
6.  oweeowee
7.  poorper
8.  nem
9.  bone
10.  bubba

For extra credit, this word of Jimmy's has two meanings.  Can you guess them?

A.  ba

Answers tomorow!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Photo systems

I've been having a small mental crisis about what to do about pictures.

Ever since Anna was born, on Tuesdays I take all the pictures off of the cameras, upload the good ones to Wal-Mart, have the prints made (it used to be cheaper to have them delivered to the store but now it's cheaper to have them mailed to the house!) and then I put them into the albums the very day they come in the mail.  It's not too hard to stay caught up and it's worked well.

But now with all of the new cool photo book options and with the inevitable decay that goes along with little fingers looking at standard photo albums, I'm wondering if I need to adjust my system but every time I start to think about it I get all flustered.  Which company?  How often do you make a book?  What is going to last long term?  Which option is cost effective?  How important is it to have prints quickly?  How important is it to have prints that we can grab out of a book at the last minute for a school thing?


I make a blurb book of the Lobmeyer League emails that I send out every week, but I only print those books once every three years and they only have a few pictures per week.

But is that enough?  Is anything else just overkill and a waste of time?  Or should I keep printing more pictures than just the few that get sent out in the email?  Or what if the company goes out of business and I've wasted years of work?

You see the problem.

Does anyone have any answers?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chelsea and Jim's Quilt

I made this for Chelsea and Jim for their wedding.  It was in 2011.  They just got it this past Spring.  

I can't believe this is the only picture I took!  It's queen size, so it's a little harder to hold up.  I had this colored fabric set in my stash, I got it sometime on clearance.  I don't usually make things exactly like the pattern, but I saw the Organic Elements quilt pattern and thought of Chelsea.  This was my first applique project and it was so much fun and so easy!  I definitely want to do more with that technique.

This was a fun quilt, and I loved making it and thinking and praying for my dear friend.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Fortunate Fall--Audrey Assad

Our new favorite has a new album and it's just as good  even better than we hoped for.


I put all my hope in the truth of Your promise
and I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness
When I'm bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

because You are good to me, good to me

I lift my eyes to the hills where my help is found
Your voice fills the night--raise my head up and hear the sound
Though fires burn all around me I will praise You, my God
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

because You are good to me, good to me

Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all my life
I will trust in Your promise

© 2013 Audrey Assad Inc (BMI)

Just the thing for good days, hard days, and everything in between.  I give it my highest recommendation.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Blueberries and raspberries and chocolate, oh my!

Blueberries were on sale at Dillons for $1 a pint and I just got excited and bought four and decided to make jam.  I used this recipe (and chose it because of the lovely pictures) and Linda made it with me one Monday night and even though we forgot to add the pectin at first and had to dump out some jars back into the pot and stir in the pectin and then re-sterilize the jars and start again it was really fun and the jam is yummy.  

Then the next week raspberries were on sale!  I bought 6 and made some more jam.  Raspberry jam is lovely because the seeds have pectin so you don't have to buy it-hooray!  I didn't exactly follow directions but I used this recipe and it all turned out delicious.  

I can't ever bring myself to taste the jam on regular old sandwich bread so the day after I make jam I have to make french bread.  These two loaves were the prettiest I've made yet, maybe closer to Mom's standards.  I have a question about the kneading though.  I didn't knead these very long at all, maybe a couple of minutes, and I knew it wasn't "smooth and elastic" like the recipe called for and like I remember Mom's being, but I was afraid of the bread turning out tough.  I was reading recipes today and it sounds like I ought to be kneading it (in my mixer) for about 8 minutes.  These loaves taste yummy.  What will the extra kneading do?

MJL loves chocolate milk but Hershey's syrup is so expensive, it's always hard to buy (and annoying, half of the time  you can't find it in the store).  My Dad sent me a recipe to make your own so I tried it out.  It's good and easy!  I just ran the bottle through the dishwasher to get it all clean and nice and poured my homemade syrup right in and everyone is happy.  Here's the recipe I used, though I used tap water, regular cocoa, regular sugar, and regular salt and vanilla instead of fancy organic everything, just in case you thought I had all of a sudden changed everything about myself.

What else is worth making yourself?  Any suggestions for me?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

More plans

For the past eight years or so I've had a daily plan which is the only way I get anything done.  I tend to get overwhelmed and jump from one thing to the next so knowing what I have to do on each day is really a wonderful thing for me.  I hadn't changed my plan for a couple of years, so I decided to update it this year.  I took off dusting because I only do that before I host major holidays at my house, and I just skipped it and felt bad every single week.  It occurs to me now that bathrooms are nowhere on the list.  That may need to be amended...but it probably won't be.  I usually just clean them about two weeks after they start to gross me out.  

Anyhoo-Monday has the tasks that I have to get done at the beginning of the week in order to feel like I can make it.  If the kitchen is messy on Monday, we might just not eat all week.  It's Anna's job to water the plants.  

Tuesdays are computer days, and the only day when I do my chores during naps, because I can't be on the computer at all when the cherubs are awake.  

Wednesdays are busy with piano and church, so there's not much to do there but take advantage of the trip to town and try to do anything that needs to be done.  

I love my new Thursdays!  Anna's vaccumming this year, and my job is to fill up a bag of stuff to get out of the house.  I've been through the kitchen and the living room so far and I just love it.   I usually do this during nap because it's fun for me.  

I tried to make Fridays fun days.  I do a little work on the giant photo album project, and then ideally write posts for the whole week so I can enjoy the online community all week long without trying to carve out computer time.   I guess that's during naps too.  That doesn't leave me much time to play crafts.  We'll have to see how it goes.  

Betsy’s Schedule 2013
Monday:   Tidy, Laundry, Water Plants, Kitchen
Tuesday:        Bills, Photos, Correspondence, LL, LLB
Wednesday:        Trash, Menu, Grocery List, Errands
Thursday:      Vacuum, Fill one bag to donate.
Friday:         Move pictures for 30 minutes, Blog

How do you organize your days?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Giggles for Wednesday

Jimmy touches water and doesn't cry!  Happy Wednesday.  :)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

High Hopes

The beginning of the school year is a time to have grand and beautiful plans about the way everything is going to go.  I'm going to be on time for work!  I'm going to go to bed on time!  

I made a plan.  So far we're doing well with the no snooze-ing, not so great with the going to bed-ing, and better with the eating.  And honestly absolutely terrible with the Mama quit working.  I don't know if I've ever done that one single time.  Here's to tomorrow!
Daily Schedule School Year 2013
6:00  Up, no snooze, morning prayers, shower, dress, eat breakfast.
11:30  Home, lunch.
12:00           K & J naps, Mama time, no chores!
2:45   Pick up Anna
3:00  Snacks, homework, chores, piano
4:00  Play outside
5:00 Dinner Prep
6:00  Eat, evening prayers together
7:00  Baths and showers, ready for bed
8:00 Lights out kiddos
9:00  Mama quit working

10:00 Lights out 

Monday, September 02, 2013

Ingleside 8/28/13

Not a single post for a month!  Sad.  

I have the chips hidden in my closet because I was tired of coming home from school to find chips EVERYWHERE.

Jimmy discovered the super fun game of grabbing handfuls of dirt out of the plants and rubbing them on the tea table.  Now the gate is off of Katie's bed and around the plants.  VICTORY!

I remembered to pull out Jimmy's banner!  Happy 1st Birthday, mister!

The garden is still chugging along.  I have a zillion green tomatoes, but not one of them has started to turn...

Some months are so busy, the cake plate is not only empty, it's covered in crumbs a month old. 

Here's hoping I'm back in bloggy land!