Thursday, April 29, 2010

Therapy Thursday

Tyson has now been doing his new therapy for one week. So far, I think we might be seeing some improvements, though I'm not sure I can attribute anything we've seen to the therapy so far. But, this has been week one of what will be approximately 12 weeks of treatment.

The new therapy is called therapeutic listening. Basically, Tyson listens to electronically modulated music for 30 minutes, twice each day through these big ginormous special headphones.

 The music on the CD is modulated, but the headphones further modulate the music, controlling some of the right-left stereo effects.
I think Tyson has been more relaxed. He still tries to get out of doing homework, but I think it's partly out of habit. And it does seem that once he resigns himself to doing it, he is sometimes getting it completed in a reasonable amount of time (not counting sensory breaks every 30-45 minutes).

I guess time will tell if this therapy will work for Ty. So far, I have to say that I'm glad that he doesn't seem to mind it. In fact, I think he actually enjoys it!
Click here for more information on Sensory Processing Disorder.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WFMW - The Basket

This is "The Basket." It comes out whenever either of our boys are sick. And since Riley (2yo) just had a two week, double flare-up of strep throat, I though I would share this little convenience.

It began when Tyson (the older) was a few weeks old. Then it wasn't the sick basket; it was the baby basket. Babies need stuff. Lots of stuff. And I realized when I was still on maternity leave that I felt like I was constantly roaming the house to get this or that or whatever Ty needed at the moment.

When we were upstairs, his bulb syringe was downstairs. When we were downstairs, his extra socks were upstairs. We ended up with burp cloths everywhere, and rarely had a clean backup binkie handy when he needed one. I decided to corral all of the baby stuff into one portable place. We kept the baby nail files, extra socks, binkies, burp cloths, etc. in one place. Thus, The Basket was born. It went everywhere the baby went.

Eventually, he grew up a bit and we didn't need it any more.

And then he had his first bout of the flu, and I realized another valuable lesson:

Kids need stuff. Sick kids need lots of stuff. Pretty much now.

So I dug the basket out of the closet and put it to work again. And that's what we do any time either of the boys gets sick. We take the basket out of the closet and fill it with sick kid stuff:
  • thermometer
  • Motrin
  • lip balm
  • hand sanitizer
  • pad of paper + pen (to record fever, time & dose of meds, etc.)
  • lotion (for giving massages to aching little backs & shoulders)
  • doctor's card with phone numbers (just in case)
  • anything else we might need 
We just keep the basket with the kid. This way there is no need to stumble down the stairs for more Motrin in the middle of the night. That definitely works for me!

Click here for more great tips!

What is SPD?

Last week, I mentioned that Tyson has started a new therapy. I've had a couple of emails about him and his sensory stuff, so I decided that a blogpost is in order.

First of all, please let me say that I'm writing this as a mom. Yes, I'm a pretty informed mom, given that I have degrees in music therapy and psychology (specializing in applied behavior analysis), but this is about my little boy. My LilMan. The boy who made me a mom.

In many ways, my education, training and professional experience hasn't been all that helpful with Ty anyway. My emotions blur my vision when it comes to him. My love and concern for him muddy the waters of what I know. And what I see. This is why he is 7 years old, and we are only now beginning to figure out what is going on with him. We hope.

We think Tyson might have SPD, or Sensory Processing Disorder. We are in the process of finding someone who can either confirm or deny SPD as an appropriate diagnosis for him. It's a difficult and complicated task. So, what is SPD? In a nutshell, it is a neurological disorder wherein the brain does not receive and/or process messages from the five senses correctly.

The sensory system is always changing, which makes kids with SPD hard to identify, and even harder to figure out. Some days, everything seems to be functioning normally and there are few snags. Other days everything is out of whack and nothing happens without arguments, tantrums or tears. Kids with SPD often appear to simply be behaving badly when they are reacting (or not reacting) to stimuli around them. They are frequently misdiagnosed as being "hyperactive," or as having ADHD. They can also be mislabeled by teachers, parents and caregivers as "lazy," "moody," and "unmotivated."

Some kids with SPD are hypersensitive to certain forms of stimuli. These are kids who have meltdowns when they have to get dressed in the morning because things like stiff fabrics, seams of socks and clothing tags make them crazy or actually cause them pain. These are kids who react with intense emotion and behavior to sounds like box fans, lawnmowers and even the hum of fluorescent lights. These are kids who have hypersensitive gag reflexes and reject certain types of food textures (usually mushy) or flavors. The list goes on...

Some kids with SPD are hyposensitive to certain forms of stimuli. These are kids who may have freakishly high tolerance for pain. They fall down or bump their heads and don't seem to notice. These are kids who are clumsy because they don't know where their body is in space. They can't feel the chair under them, so they wiggle so much that they fall off the chair. These are kids who seem to be hearing impaired because their brains don't register all the sounds around them. Again, the list goes on...

Some kids are a mixture of both. Tyson is a mixture of both. When he was little, we called them "quirks." The way he cried if we asked him to play in dry oats or sand. The way he refused to take his shoes off, even for bed. The way he refused to walk in the grass until he was three years old, even with shoes on. The way he ate everything - and I mean everything - we presented. Hot, spicy, bitter...

You know how when kids are just beginning to eat real solid foods, and parents give them a lemon wedge or a dill pickle, and then the kid screws up his face in that reflexive pucker, and there is a funny uncertainty in their eyes, and it's just the cutest thing ever? Tyson never did that.

When he was little, they were harmless (sometimes amusing) quirks. The way he would eat salsa so spicy that his cheeks would turn red and his nose would run. The way he would insist on covering his entire face with a blanket to sleep.

Sometimes his quirks worried us. His speech was severely delayed. We had to teach him to cry whenever he fell or bumped his head, or whenever another child behaved aggressively toward him. We did this because we were afraid he would become injured and we wouldn't know it. We did this when he was 14 months old because a child at his daycare bit him on the face and he never cried or fussed and nobody knew that it happened until I asked why his cheek was red and then later saw the perfect oval of teeth-mark bruises appear. It worried us that he never slowed down for illness. He could run a fever, and wouldn't show any symptoms until it was near or above 103.

You would think that a kid who had such a high tolerance for pain would be fearless, but Tyson was (and still is) a very cautious child. He hates to fall down. He hates ot take risks. He absolutely hates new and unfamiliar experiences. He is picky about his clothing, and Halloween is a hugely stressful time for him. I secretly cannot wait until he grows too old to dress up because we will have fewer tears for something that should be so much fun.

When he was younger it was cute and mildly frustrating. Now that he is older it is seriously impacting his ability to function in a school setting. He is generally hyposensitive. In SPD language, we would say that his engine runs low. Constantly. His teachers always think he is lazy and unmotivated, that he doesn't care about succeeding or learning. They believe he must have ADHD and (although they cannot legally suggest it) they wonder why we haven't just medicated him already. The fact is that his central nervous system cannot regulate his state of mental arousal correctly. This means that seat work (especially writing and reading) is super challenging for him. It's confusing for his teacher. It's frustrating for him. It's infuriating for me.Homework time is a battle (think General Washington) In first grade my son has about two hours of homework a night. (This is usually about two worksheets + 30 minutes of reading). By the time he reaches third grade I will have to lobby God to add more hours to the day.

So, there it is. SPD in a nutshell. I'll be posting more about this part of our journey as we go.

If you would like more information about SPD, please click here for a great resource.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

Tyson brought home a new book from school last week. It is called "The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin," by Beatrix Potter. It's part of a new springtime literacy unit in his first grade class.

Now, I know this will shock you, but I am not all that familiar with Beatrix Potter's work. I know she wrote in the early 1900's, and I think we maybe read "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" when I was in elementary school (probably around Easter time... when the word "Easter" was still allowed to be uttered in public schools), but that's it. I knew she wrote a series of tales about cute woodland creatures, but I never read any of them. Until this Nutkin character came into our home and stirred up some discussion.

The book has quite a few pages, with quite a few words. Tyson has some... difficulty in school, and it's definitely too long for him. Plus, some of the words aren't American-English as much as they are British-English, so we have to keep stopping to explain what those words mean. Tyson is definitely not crazy about this assignment, so it's controversial for that reason.

But there is another reason it's a bit on the controversial side as far as Matt & I are concerned. Have you read this story?

Well, it starts by introducing the squirrels, who live in the woods at the edge of a lake. In the middle of the lake is an island that is just loaded with trees and nut bushes, so the island is to these squirrels what Death by Chocolate is to me. They make little squirrel-sized rafts and sail across the lake to the island.

I know. "Wow," you're thinking at this point. "This is such a hugely controversial story. Squirrels. Building rafts. Yikes."

Hold on... I'm getting to the questionable part.

So. In the middle of the island is a hollow tree. And in the hollow tree lives an old owl. And I guess since he lives in the middle of the island (and probably also eats little creatures - like squirrels) he has jurisdiction over the whole island (and all the nuts on said island).

Are you ready? Because here is where I start to think this story maybe isn't so cool.

The squirrels bring offerings to the owl. Offerings in the form of mice and fat moles, among other things. Offerings to appease the owl. So he will let them gather nuts from the island.

And, cue idolatry music. (Is there such a thing as "idolatry music?")

They reverently gather in a semi-circle around the owl who sits in his doorway. And they place three mice on the stone at his feet. And he takes the mice inside and the squirrels gather nuts and go home.

And this happens for six days.

And where is Nutkin in all this? Well, he's a very rude little squirrel who, if you ask me, needs to have his back porch turned red. If ya know what I'm saying.

He does not treat the owl with reverence or respect. He skitters around singing weird songs and asking riddles (which are ignored by the owl). Nutkin gets progressively worse each day, until the last day when he jumps onto the owl's head. The owl grabs him and sticks him in his waistcoat pocket. Then he takes him inside, holding him by his tail to "skin him," but Nutkin pulls so hard that his tale breaks in two and the little stinker gets away.

And how does the story end? Does Nutkin learn his lesson? Does he repent or apologize or teach the younger squirrels about proper manners?

He does not.

The book ends by telling us that to this day, if anyone asks Nutkin a riddle, he will turn around and have a little temper tantrum and bark at the animal asking the riddle.

Well then.

"The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin" is a tail of animal sacrifice, idolatry and a little squirrel with no manners, who ends up with post traumatic stress and rage issues.

Yes, these are just the underlying theme of the book. But we are diligent parents, and are concerned with those subtle, underlying messages that sneak in under the radar.

Thank goodness Tyson doesn't really like this book... he doesn't really pay attention to what is being read. He just wants to get through it, and in this instance I'm okay with that.

Have you read the Tale of Squirrel Nutkin?" What did you think of it?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This and That

1) I absolutely LOVED this week's episode of Glee. If your DVR missed part of it (because of AI) you can go to and watch it. It's totally worth it; the last number was awesome.

2) Speaking of our boys, Tyson brought home a new project from school. Since he is nearing the end of first grade, they are beginning to work on project-type assignments. Each student in the class has been assigned a different Beatrix Potter book to read. They will then be making watercolor stick puppets of the main character and doing an oral book report for the class. The book that Ty has been assigned is called, "A Squirrel Called Nutkin." I would like to know if anyone else has read this book, or if anyone's kids have read the book. I would love to hear what you have to say about it... because I'll be posting my thoughts on the story later this weekend. If you are familiar with the story, will you please leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it? If you haven't read it and would like to, it's public domain and is available on several internet sites. It's a quick read.

3) Speaking of Tyson, he started therapeutic listening today. I can't begin to explain how it works in this scatter-brained short post, but basically, he listens to electronically modified music through these ginormous bulbous rather large headphones which further alter the music. He does this for 30 minutes, two times each day. It is meant to better organize his cochlear-vestibular system. I will post more about this later, too. But I had to mention it because I am cautiously hopeful and praying that this will be just what he needs to get him on track. He listened this afternoon, and I'm not really sure if I saw a difference... but it was only the first time. So I guess we'll see.

4) The garden is planted! And is struggling to remain alive whilst the plants figure out how to grow in the terrible soil I have. It is seriously. bad. If we ever need to go back to making clay pots or bowls or houses, my garden is full of the stuff we'll need. I still need to get the corn, spinach and a few other things planted, but for now I'm very tense about the whole thing. These first couple of weeks are what will determine how much produce we harvest later this summer. I got the soaker hose put out tonight... just in time for the rain! (And please, don't ever tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor. I'm quite sure he chuckles over me often.)

5)There are only FIVE MORE WEEKS OF SCHOOL!!!!! (Yes, for the record, when you were in school, counting down the days and fighting off spring fever... the teachers were much, much worse than you. That's the dirty little secret of school faculty: when it comes to snow days and vacations, they are far worse than the students!)

6) I do appreciate that you stopped by! And I hope you have a blessed day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

B90Days Check In - Day 109

I'm still here! I'm still reading!

I'm like the Little Engine that Could. Chug-chug-chug...

Today I began the book of Acts. I can hardly put this thing down now. It's really riveting stuff.

Here are some of my recent thoughts:
  • I love the difference in tone & writing style between Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. Reading some of the same events through the various perspectives kept me captivated.
  • My favorite, I think, was John. I absolutely love the way this book begins. I kept flipping back and reading the first chapter again & again. Maybe it's because it's such a simple truth. Maybe it's because I never really though about Christ being there at the beginning. Whatever the reason... I just went back & read it again, in the middle of writing this sentence. I also liked the way it ended. That remark about there not being enough room in the world for all the books... it made me chuckle.
  • I cried every time I read about the crucifixion & the things Christ endured. For me. For us. When I read the account in Luke, I think I actually blubbered. 
  • I have struggled with a few of the verses. I have grown to almost resent certain verses because these were verses that the Ministry latched onto and... well... pardon me for saying so, but... latched onto & bastardized. Twisted. In order to control and lay on the guilt. Reading them in context has been incredibly educational and enlightening to me. Maybe I dislike those verses a little less now.
  • I really don't like Judas. Even though he had to do what he did, in order to fulfill the prophesies. I still don't like him.
  • I love it when the Bible quotes itself. I just think it's cool when anybody in the NT quotes a Psalm or one of Isaiah's prophesies.  Every time, I think to myself, "Hey! I just read that two months ago!" 
  • I am getting so much more out of the new testament now that I have read the entire old testament. (All in the same year!) It's helpful to know the back story. I think I understand more fully how significant Christ was, given what I now know about the history of Israel. But I really don't understand how anyone living during that time could not believe Him.
  • John the Baptist got the shaft. Totally. I had no idea the guy got beheaded! That just stinks. I guess I thought he ended up retiring to a villa in the hills of Judah. Nope! The guy did exactly what he was supposed to do, and then got his head chopped off because of some stupid woman who didn't like having her own sin pointed out. That stinks like yesterday's dirty diapers!
I am really happy that I didn't give up when everything came crashing down on me. I have really found a rhythm. I'm setting daily goals (which include fewer than 12 pages a day), but I'm usually surpassing them. I really can't put it down. I actually considered calling in sick to work this morning just so that I could lay around and read my Bible all day! (I didn't, of course. That would not be responsible. But still. I really wanted to.)

And, here's a really awesome thing: Because I can't stop reading the Bible, I can't stop talking about it. And because I can't stop talking about it, my husband was moved to find the Bible on audio... I think he's going to listen to the whole thing while he drives to/from work each day! This whole experience has moved us both to really examine how we have organized our family. We're asking difficult questions... and maybe not liking the answers we find.

How about you? Have you read the whole Bible? Are you reading it now? Where are you & what is your favorite part so far?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


(Think Niel Diamond here:)

Hello, my friend(s), hello. 
Just called to say, Hello....

Can you tell that Glee is back on? I think it might be just the best show on TV right now! (This from a former show choir dork who never really outgrew the title... seriously, why can't we just burst into song like that every day?)

Anyway, I am just popping in on my lunch break to say that I'm taking a few days off from the blog. I have lots of post ideas swirling around in my head...

...but my job is putting a serious damper on my knitting reading having any kind of fun blogging activities this week. Here in Missouri we have MAP testing (which has thrown my schedule into a blender), and it's the beginning of the spring IEP season (which also throws my schedule into a blender, and has the added curse bonus of TONS of paperwork. Yay me.)

Anyway, I hope to be back next week. Here are some post ideas I'm thinking about:

  • Summer break is coming up! This means our summer [home]school begins soon!
  • Chaos & general hi-jinx have invaded our house, along with pollen & dust.
  • The garden is growing already! (Although it's currently not growing IN the garden... it's still on my kitchen counter.)
  • I'm in the book of Luke of the Bible in 90 Days (I think today is approximately Day 105 for me). 
  • more KidSpeak
  • .....
Anyway, the rest of the month is crazy (I think I have five IEP's next week!) but I miss the blog & I miss all of you, and I will be back very soon!


Friday, April 9, 2010

This and That

Hi, Ya'll! It's Friday, and I have just a couple of quick things to share.

If you're a knitter, be sure to stop by my other blog to check out photos of my new FO (Finished Object). I did some fingerless mitts that turned out great. Also, I'm looking for some advice on making these lovely wool mitts less like a torture device scratchy. So if anyone has any ideas, I am completely open to hearing them!
I'm still reading along through the Bible in 90 Days. I have left the OT behind. It's nice to be out of there. I mean, don't get me wrong, I know there is really important stuff in the Old Testament. But the end of it is just such a downer. Also, if it was a movie, it would be rated R for violent content. I have to admit that I was a little uncomfortable with reading so much about God's anger toward Isreal and the nations... and what he did to Jerusalem. I wasn't raised with those stories, or with that "side" of God. I mean, He definitely gave them chance after chance after chance... and I just think that if I had seen all those miracles and wonders that He did I would have been a little more devout in my faith. I am still confused about why His chosen people just couldn't seem to get it together and keep it together. I mean, I know that they couldn't keep the Law absolutely. The broken and sinful nature of man would never allow that. (Plus, it was a lot of rules to remember.) But, really. I do not have any idea how it is that after they witnessed the plagues and were delivered out of Egypt, that first generation went off & made a golden idol just because Moses was gone a little longer than they expected.

And later, when Jeremiah (now I know why they call him the Weeping Prophet) was telling them about the destruction and all the death and disease that would come to them.... I don't understand why they didn't get it together. He was pretty clear and explicit in his prophesies.

Now I'm in the book of Mark, and the reading is flying by. Although I have read bits & pieces of the new Testament, I've never actually read it through. The religious group I was raised in had its favorite verses, and pretty well stuck to them exclusively. But really, is there anything better than reading the Gospel? I mean, I can't put it down! I love reading all those red words, and I think I got all teary eyed about 23 times in Matthew. Jesus is just so awesome! (Yes, I'm a dork --> Goooo Jesus!!!! *Does a hurky*) A few of His parables have confused me, but He usually explained them, so I usually figure it out. I've still got a few question marks, but I'm trying not to get hung up on them.
*Don't know what a "hurky" is? You could ask Smockity. She sent me a great picture of one!*
We had a sick little boy this week. I got to take off work on Wednesday to take care of him. I was bummed that he was sick, but it was really nice to spend the whole day with my "baby." He spent the entire day snuggling me, Nani-Bear and his "Foofy." Doesn't he look so pitiful?

He's better now, and back to tearing up life (and my house) at breakneck speed!

All About Ty

This post is all about Ty. He is growing up so quickly... I can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday that he was running around our house on those pudgy little feet with his woobie not far away.

Now he's a big first grader who is finding all kinds of independence.

-He can make his own sandwiches.
-He insists on walking to the bus stop "on his own" (which means that I drive or walk several feet   
       behind him).
-He can identify his own sensory needs & initiate supports some of the time.
-He can do real chores around the house that are actually helpful (though I have to remind him)
-He is a master at the art of negotiation
-He can now beat me (fair & square!) at several different games

And, he's a Cub Scout. Two weeks ago he got his Tiger Cub badge.
And he knows where it goes!

And he recently had some of his artwork displayed in the Board Room of his school district's administration offices!
 It's a paint-collaged alligator.
He loves art. My wonderful, creative, independent boy.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's a Party!

 We had Riley's birthday party the last Saturday of March. (I know, I'm a terrible blogger to be so far behind...)

Anyway, Riley turned two! We had a small family party (well, as small as we can have since this kids have lots of aunts & uncles). We struggled to find a theme. He's not into any one type of toy. He doesn't have a favorite movie (he's never even sat still long enough to see a whole movie!). He doesn't watch TV or play video games, so he doesn't have any favorite characters. His nickname is "Wild Thing," but we did a "Where the Wild Things Are" party last year.

We finally settled on "Riley's Favorite Foods." The funny thing about Riley is that he is a bit of a picky eater (which seems funny to us because his older brother literally eats EVERYTHING). This child survives mostly on fruit and crackers. We always offer a variety of healthy foods, but he picks & chooses what he wants. On some days he will eat all kinds of foods, and on other days... well, it's all fruit & crackers, all day long.

So, I posted a snack menu on the front door. The items?

-Animal crackers
-Crackers and cheese
-Crackers and cheese with mini peperoni's
-Crackers and peanut butter
-Crackers and peanut butter with banans

And the cake? I made an angel food cake & filled it with fruit.
It was a great party, with food, family and friends.

Oh, and Tyson totally got into snuggling with the newest member of the F. Family - his cousin Claire!
Aren't they so cute?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bible in 90 Days Update - Day 95

I'm still reading. And I'm still so very thankful for the wonderful support I received from everyone who commented and emailed and prayed for me when I thought I had failed completely.

Yesterday I finished the Old Testament and began reading Matthew. So far it's been awesome to read all those words printed in red. I have found myself teary eyed more than once since beginning the New Testament.

I learned some important things from all those wonderful women who offered their support and wisdom when I was ready to quit the whole thing.

I learned that I do not, in fact have to do  anything on my own. I have always understood my relationship with God as a parent-child relationship. He is my parent; I am His child. But I am also a parent, so I use my own experience to help me understand some of the things God does, some of the situations he lets me experience. And I know that in my role as a parent, I do not get my seven year old a glass of juice every time he wants one. I make him do it on his own. Because he can. Becuase I have given him experiences that have prepared him for a thirsty situation. I taught him to get his own glass of juice without any help from me. By this reasoning, I deduced that there should be some simple things (like reading the Bible, losing weight and doing my job) that I should be expected to do all by myself. Without any help from Him.

But someone who is really smart told me something that is, well... really smart. This is what she said:

Of course there are things your kids are expected to do all by themselves after you've taught them how. That's because your job as a parent is to prepare them for life without you. You won't always be there, so you have to be sure they are able to live when you're gone. But God isn't going anywhere. You're not expected to do things without His help because there will never be a time when He's not there for you. The point of your parenting is to make your kids independent; the point of His parenting is to make you dependent.

I also heard from more than one person that the Adversary will mess with people when we are on the right track. Could there be any righter track than committing to read the whole Bible, every word of the magnificent message God has given us, from cover to cover? Is there any righter track than spending at least a whole hour in His Word every day?

Someone else very wisely pointed out that God did not put the 90 Days expectation on us. We did that. I did that. God doesn't care how many days it takes to me to read His Word. He only cares that I read it. I haven't really failed if I am still reading... even on Day 95. I have much to learn from the words in that Book, and I won't really learn it if I am tearing through it at lightning speed in order to meet some self imposed deadline.

Finally, someone pointed out to me that we have seasons in our lives. We have to examine and evaluate each season to discover what this time is for. My life certainly has clearly defined seasons. Every year, in fact. Because I work full time from August to May, and I am home with my children from June to August. This season (the one in which I work full time and maintain my responsibilities as a wife/mom/homemaker) is a very busy one. Everything in my life right now is busy and fast paced. Maybe my time with God should be slower. Maybe every moment there should be savored.  Next year, during the summer season (the one in which I can slow down & focus completely on my family), I am planning to Read the Bible in 90 Days... in 90 days. When I will have an hour a day. When I've already read through it and savored all the words.When life is not passing me by at breakneck speeds while I limp along & try to keep up.

For now, I'm still reading. And I'm savoring. And I'm thinking I will end up reading the Bible in 90 Days... in around 110 (maybe 120) days. That's okay, isn't it? Because the important thing is that I read it.

WFMW: Coralling the Tub Toys

I mentioned in this post that I have a cheap, home-made, but totally functional bath toy keeper.

Today I'm going to share with you my super secret, totally complicated device, and instructions on how you can make one of your own.

Here are the materials you'll need:

1 small mesh garment bag
1 small plastic waste basket
   (both are available at Target, Walmart, even the dollar store!)

Be sure that the opening of your mesh bag will fit over the opening of your waste basket.

Okay, here are the really complicated assembly instructions:
1) put the mesh bag into the waste basket.
2) Turn the top edge of the bag over the rim of the wastebasket.
3) Secure with a binder clip or big rubberband if needed.

I always pull down on the edge of the bag so that the bottom of the bag is not sitting on the bottom of the waste basket. This allows space for everything to drip dry without the toys at the bottom sitting in stagnant water.

It cost me a only a few dollars, took about 45 seconds to assemble, and not only keeps the tub toys coralled in one place, but also allows for drying and super easy washing.

 And the washing? Well, I don't know about you, but we have hard water in these parts. This means that everything in the tub gets a buildup of soap scum (tasty!) and mineral deposits (exfoliant!) after a while. So, I try to wash the tub toys every so often.

When it's time for a wash, I zip the bag shut:

And then lift the whole thing out:

I then carry it to my washing machine and toss it in with my load of towels. I wash those on the hot setting to kill all the little germies, and I guess the agitation of the washer gets the film off because they always come out clean. (Of course, I do not run them through my dryer. I just put the whole thing back in the waste basket t drip dry.)

Oh, and let me say this:

I am absolutely not a domestic diva. (Seriously! I don't even know how to work our coffee maker!) I do not know if this is harmful to my washing machine. All of our tub toys are soft-ish plastic, and none contain small parts. And so far I haven't had any problems, although it does sometimes sound like someone put a bowling ball in the washer... I am not responsible for damage done to anyone else's washing machine if they run their tub toys through it. I'm just sharing with you the way that do it. It's not my fault if you're crazy enough to take me seriously...

Sunday, April 4, 2010


May you have love, family, friendship and peace on this Holy Day.

May you have a blessed Easter!