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Friday, January 9, 2009

7 Quick Takes: Jan 9th

Jen's 7 Quick Takes is up for this week! There is just something satisfying about getting quick, bite-sized bits from bloggers. This week's quick takes seemed to get longer and longer as I went along....

Our adoption court date didn't happen this week. I don't know why exactly, but suspect it might have something to do with the elections not being finalized until this past weekend. Also, our facilitator's wife just had a baby! So, we hear from him that we are "all set for court next week". TIA (this is Africa), so sometimes things get delayed.

I've had a request from a blog reader (her second request, actually) to post about how we schedule our days, specifically with Classical Conversations work. Perhaps a Mr. Linky would be in order so other CCers can add their schedules, too.

Got a new planner - you know, new year, new planner. Actually, the truth is that I switched back to an old planner. For many years I used a "Classic" sized planner and loved it, but started to feel it didn't give me enough space. So, last year decided to make the switch to the full-sized "Monarch" planner. I didn't really love that. It was just too big. I keep my planner out on my kitchen counter and that Monarch just took up too much space. So, back the the Classic and I am really happy! Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I suppose.

About that planner - one thing that has made the difference is that I switched back to Franklin Planner products. I don't know why, but they really are worth the price difference. So, if you've tried a planner and never tried Franklin Planner, I highly suggest you consider taking one of their classes and making the switch.

Meal planning - a friend recently asked me about how we plan meals. I promised to share with her a great 5 week rotation of meals I put together for my family. If anyone is interested I'll probably share it at my food blog. Check on Monday - I'll try to have it up for "Menu Plan Monday". Do you have a monthly rotation plan for your menu? I'd love to link to you if you do!

My new interest is "babywearing". Now, I don't think I'll ever be as hardcore as some of the ladies in these circles are, but I did use and enjoy a sling with my three bio kids. With the adopted little one on the way (she'll be about 6 months when she gets home), I'm beginning to get back into it. Since I gave away all my baby stuff, including the sling, I've launched myself into the world of baby wraps.

DN (dear neighbor) used one in China for her adopted daughter and she's passed that one on to me, but I've also purchased another one (Storchenwiege Inka - if you are interested). DN's was a stretchy one - great for little babies, but the other one I purchased is a woven one. These are better for bigger babies (so I read). It is very long (like 12') and good for many different carries. When we get to Ghana, I think I will also purchase fabric to make a smaller one, good for simple carries. Between the three I should be covered for the next couple of years!

I've been spending oodles of time reading about and trying out different carries. It is like a whole subculture: Front wrap cross carry, rucksack carry, poppins rebozo carry, strap carry, etc. My DD (6) has been my guinea pig for the carries and helping me "break in" my wrap.

This is really the year for change...and you'll think this is odd. but somehow our kitchen applicance always seem to be the "canary in the coal" mine. Something in the kitchen goes and major change is on its way (or has just happened.

Now this is weird...for 15 years we had a great little black&decker toaster oven that chugged away almost daily and then it had a little fire and died. We replaced it with another black&decker which didn't last long at all. In fact, the knobs broke off (we could still use it by using a pair of pliers to set the timer) and then this week it stopped working altogether.

So, I started looking to replace it...but all I could find were super-cheap toaster ovens or super expensive ($75 and up!). There were some inbetween models but they did not get good reviews. Well, in thinking about how we use a toaster oven these days (really only for toast) we decided that it might be wise to go back to just a plain toaster. You can get a decent one for $25 and we did!

It is just so strange afer 16+ years of a toaster oven, we are back to a basic toaster. Hubby has doubts that we won't miss our toaster oven (and we might). But with the size of our family growing, we really can't use the toaster oven to fix small meals (we don't fix small meals!), it makes less sense to invest in technology we won't use. Long live the TOASTER!

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Jessica said...

I love babywearing! It's been especially helpful with the twins. I've found I can do just about every carry I want between a ring sling and a mei-tei (or two). And a framed backpack for hikes when they're older.

I meant to respond to an earlier post of yours about baby food and sadly never got to it. I wanted to say: I've had great success in making my own. And, mostly, I haven't had to prepare anything separately from the rest of our family's food. We use a little hand-operated food mill (easy and inexpensive) and just grind up a portion of whatever we're eating. I'm also a big fan of dicing whatever we're eating once they're on finger food. And, for that brief period of time between when they start solids and start finger food, I'll cook and puree a few veggies (squash, sweet potatoes, peas) and freeze them in individual portions (I use a silicone muffin tray, because it's easy to get the portions out once frozen) and store them in a freezer bag. Also, there's not much difference between normal applesauce and baby applesauce, and it's much less expensive to just buy the normal kind.

Anyway, I'm sure you know most of that, but I recall you pondering it awhile ago, so I thought I'd add my two cents. Hope your next court date works the way it's supposed to!