Sunday, January 9

Organization, safety...... and fun

I finally got the bug to get organized. 
Well, I'm still not. 
But at least I've gotten a few steps in the right direction. 
 And would LOVE anyone's ideas on how they keep organized. 

Here is the view from our front door/hallway toward the kitchen and our dining room/homework area is to the right.  Each of our four kids has a drawer (this has happened for a few years now) and keeps their school related items there.  On the shelves of this open cabinet are board games, card games and learning toys for the smaller crowd.  The drawers at the very bottom have stacked board books, some soft cover books and at the very bottom two drawers are Tommy's most favorite "lights" and "strings" and "gears" to play with. 
I keep the dynamic duo's favorite items on the bottom so they can self pace their play.  But the items that need my help are 'special request' and stored out of reach to prevent frustrations.  Tommy and Liam's coats and backpacks are hung from the side of this cabinet which keeps stuff up off the floor and clean.

The gate between the kitchen and dining room is convenient when we are watching a movie in the living room and I want Tommy to stay a bit closer to me for safety.  But it's hard when I do laundry for six of us and have to hop over the gate and still make sure my little "runner" is where he needs to be and not escaping.  The gate below is new and it's at the base of the staircase to prevent him from getting upstairs and into things.  Both gates seem to be good "physical boundaries" that he respects.  Hopefully soon he will just hear the words "no stairs" and be able to follow that direction, but for now, the gates are needed. 

We have also had hinges at the top of some of our key outside doors and pantry because Tommy will randomly leave the house or rummage thru the pantry.  The handles of most of our doors have safety knobs to prevent him from leaving also.  Of course our acreage is fenced, but none the less I have seen his little half clothed body running to the pasture more than once so I'm trying to keep his little gypsy self inside the house with physical restrictions until his "following directions" improves and he can understand that we stay inside (until we have at least clothes on). 

All of our safety stuff is more for my peace of mind in keeping Tommy and Liam safe.  Liam can follow directions fairly well now, but Tommy still has a wandering foot and needs some of the physical boundaries to keep him safe.  I would love ideas for a little gps unit that we could use on Tommy while camping because we still haven't convinced him that our campsite is where he stays and boy can this little guy run.  Of course nothing ever replaces my watchful eye, but the gps would help just in case he slipped out of my sight while camping. 

Another step toward organization was my van.  We finally purchased two taller car seats.  These were a fraction of the costs from ToysRUs, recommended by my friend, at Costco they were $85.  Alpha Omega Elites.  We wrote each of the boys' name on the red adjustable head rests at the top so we knew whose was adjusted for whom. 

And in action, they are terrific!  I loved saving the money, having something safe and comfy for the boys.  Car seats that are easy for me to use and keep their heads from 'flopping' over when they sleep.  When we traveled to our cousin's Andrew party, one captain chair was folded so Nate could use the top for his laptop.  Hannah is in the passenger seat gabbing at me the whole way :)

My sister Tami, her hubby Jason and their now 5 year old son Andrew.  My sista is very pregnant and due in April with her second boy!  We had a blast at their "Tom and Jerry" themed party, so fun.

 Hannah did face painting of cats on the kids (Liam, Andrew, cousin Maddy)

Here is a blurry picture of all five of us, yes I was painted up to for the fun!

Liam LOVED the fun at the party.

 Grandma and cousin Andrew got a snuggle.  My dad is having open heart surgery on Monday so he made the wise decision to stay out of the germs.  We missed him though.

Random picture from our children's church.  I'm making a new 2011 resolution to volunteer once a month in children's church.  I haven't shared that with anyone else, just because I'm worried Tommy will get sick and I can't serve, but I'm trying and for the last few months we have REALLY enjoyed it.

Tommy Adventures