Getting Organized

Why is it I can only seem to focus on one area of my life at a time? I’m not complaining, just noticing this to be true.

I have been on a decluttering kick the last couple of weeks and have made some great progress on a couple of areas (not that you can tell from a quick peek inside my home, but I know it’s happening under the surface).

My son and I have actually been through every single thing in his room and he has given up a ton of stuff that he no longer uses or plays with. The gentleman that picked up his old toy organizer and small trampoline today actually has a three year old son who was born three and a half months early and has a trach, along with some other medical issues. It’s great to know that someone else will be getting a lot of use out of them!

Anyway, I got Michael a new cube organizer shelf with some colorful fabric drawers and helped him display some of the items that are more collections than toys, and he loves it! I love walking in his room and feeling the space. Sorry for the lack of photos – my hubby is really the photographer in the family. :)

Because of all this time spent on organization, I haven’t been on the computer much the last few days and was greeted with almost 200 blog posts in my Google Reader when I checked in this afternoon! Although there are many I would love to visit and comment on, I’m not sure whether I will make it through them all. I’m hoping to have a bit of time tomorrow to catch up on my blogging, but we’ll see how it goes, I guess.

Michael is loving being back at the same babysitter he had last summer and is continuing to show so much flexibility and organization of thought that Bob & I are blown away almost daily by the things he is coming up with. It is such a wonderful thing, and I am determined to enjoy it as long as it lasts (hopefully forever!)

What a weekend! Did you ever notice that doing something different on Friday night makes the weekend seem longer?

We had a special service at church on Friday night to hear from our pastor’s son, who has just finished his first year at the American Film Institute in Hollywood. He shared some wonderful stories and a great message, but the best part of all was that Michael sat through an entire church service for the first time in his life!

Now, granted, this was with the help of the itouch (at zero volume) and a pen and paper to draw on, but it was an absolutely surreal experience for both me & Bob.

On Saturday, I went into work to do the reports that I usually do on Monday morning, since my boss will be at a funeral and asked if I could do them over the weekend. Bob took Michael to an outreach ministry event, another first, which went very well.

Later on, they went to Hersheypark for a few hours. Michael is now tall enough to ride all the coasters, so he went on the Great Bear for the first time (lots of firsts this weekend!). He called me right afterwards and said it was terrifying but he loved it! They ended up not riding any other coasters because it started raining, but they did get a couple of other rides in before they had to leave.

I got on a bit of a organizing and decluttering kick today and straightened up my bedroom closet. I also brought up the Christmas wrapping paper that had ended up in the basement last year and put it in the closet with the rest of the gift wrapping supplies. I also cleaned out one small drawer and got the big bag of Campbell’s labels prepped to send in – and good thing since the bonus offer ends June 15th!

What did you do this weekend?

My husband and son went away to Virginia this weekend. They do this every few weeks and it is wonderful. It gives me some much-needed down time without anyone asking for my attention

Sometimes I am able to use this time very well and other times it doesn’t feel like it was helpful at all, and then I end up even more frustrated.

Feeling like I used the time well doesn’t seem to directly relate to how much I got done, but rather to how my mental state is during and at the end of it. If my mind is clear, I can choose whether to relax or to plow through my to do list and feel good about either one. If I am avoiding thinking through the things that are worrying me or that I “should” be doing, it doesn’t matter what I do – I end up feeling miserable.

About a year or so ago, I read the book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen and it really spoke to me. I have attempted to follow his principles with varying degrees of success depending on the day or week.

Today I saw that he had posted a video of a talk he did at The Do Lectures in Wales, and it was quite good. It only touches on the GTD principles but is a nice introduction to him for anyone unfamiliar with his ideas. Here it is for anyone who may be interested:

If the video doesn’t show up here, you can also see it on the GTD website. One of the comments that jumped out at me was, “Once you pay attention to what has your attention, you’ll find out what has your attention.” I think this is so true for me; until I make some decisions about what I want to happen and what I need to do about the things that are bothering me, I can’t move forward on anything.

I’m not sure what time they are coming home, but I am planning to use the next couple of hours to write down everything that is on my mind and see if I can’t make a bit of clear space in my head. I did manage to do some cleaning up this morning, so at least I feel that I have provided a relatively nice environment for the guys to come home to. I did not get to the writing/blogging I had planned but am hoping that I can set the stage for the rest of the week to be a bit more freeflowing and creative.

I’m wondering if anyone can relate to this and what you do to get yourself organized mentally when you feel stressed out or how things weighing on your mind that you don’t really want to deal with. Anyone care to share?

Last night we had our new Life Group leaders over to the house for dinner. We started going to this group back in March and have felt so welcomed there, even with the huge ups and down Michael had this spring.

I am not very experienced at entertaining and have trouble figuring out what to cook for us for dinner, let alone making things for guests, but I decided to make my mom’s chicken teriyaki. I haven’t made it in a while, partly because it takes a while to cook and partly because I finished my bottle of sake the last time I made it and hadn’t replaced it yet.

It had been so long since I bought sake that the liquor store I had gone to before is now closed and I had to look one up online to find out where to buy it! But I found one, and it turned out pretty well. Unfortunately, I couldn’t eat much because my esophagus wasn’t cooperating last night. I started my steroids this morning, though, so hopefully they will start doing their job quickly so I can eat the leftovers. :)

Anyway, I thought I would share the recipe for anyone who wants to try it. This was always a favorite growing up and has always been well-received when I’ve made it for people.

Chicken Teriyaki

1 small chicken deboned (I use chicken breasts)

Batter
2 eggs
2 tblsp sake
2 tblsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
4 tblsp flour

Sauce
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
4 tblsp corn starch

Optional
2 medium green peppers

Mix batter with whisk. Roll/dip cut-up chicken in batter and brown in large frying pan with oil. Remove chicken and saute cut-up green pepper in frying pan.

Turn heat to low and replace chicken. Mix sauce and add to chicken once pan is cooler. Cook very low heat, 1 hr. Baste often. Serve w/rice.

Enjoy!

This is a quick list because our desktop computer is on the fritz, and my hubby needs to check his email on my laptop, but anyway, here’s my list for this week:

My To Do List

Check ASD HOPE voice mail daily and return calls as needed. (I only checked it twice over the past week, so I need to be more consistent on this one.)
Find summer childcare for before and after STAP.
Follow up on OT referral so I can make first appointment.
Writing up my “parental concerns” for Michael’s annual IEP meeting. (I have a few disjointed notes, but need to get this organized.)

I’m curious for any of you with kids on the spectrum who work – what are you doing for summer childcare?

To-Do Tuesday was started by Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting for the purpose of attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable.