Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yippie Yay Thursday

I have no idea how I did it. I just poked around on the circuit board. Now the ride-on's buttons and the bubble maker is working. This is the only toy they enjoy together, right now. It's so nice (heartwarming) to see them playing together.

Ela and I started the classes at Merry Music Makers yesterday. It's a part of Music Together program. I love these classes. I like them better than Gymboree's gym classes. Not that anything is wrong with those but I like the interactivity of the music, the rhythm and, finger and body play better.

Ela is so different from Burak. She started to shake and wiggle right from the start. It had taken Burak I-don't-know-how-many classes to get warmed up the the class. I knew he liked the music, because he was doing everything back at home. But he would just sit and watch others for 35 minutes, then in the last 10 minutes he would start to join in. Then the class would end.

Preschool is helping him to be a part of a group I think. In the mornings, when I leave him to his class, he immediately finds his friends and forget about me (or even his father, when he leaves Burak). He has his own little - or maybe bigger than mine, who knows - world. It's amazing.

In the meantime, he's having hard time letting us go during bedtime in the last few days. I am guessing - from few hints he's given us - he is scared of something in the room or the wardrobe. He didn't tell us exactly why. I hope we can figure out soon.

Final good news is, I started reading again. (see Craving) Of course, the books are about child development. I will post some of my reviews here soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

This Winnie Pooh Ride-on has been broken for sometime. The buttons don't work. The sound is off. I though I could fix it. So I opened it up, which was easy. Now I'm thinking.... what was I thinking?

Red cable or the blue cable?

What do you think?

I think it already blew up.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - October 20

I am not sure if I'll be able to blog tomorrow. I will be recovering from a weekend-long yard sale that I hosted alone, by myself, only with all the junk in our house. In addition, I will be working towards my promotion to be a "soccer mom", instead of a plain stay-at-home-mom (rookie sahm, right?), by starting the Music Together classes in the neighborhood with Ela and squeezing a 45 min. soccer class in the park (Chicago Park District) for Burak.

Here is my menu for the week. I found an orphan red cabbage - which I did not buy - in the fridge and I found crazy cheap arthichokes in the grocery last week. So I incorporated them into my menu.

Monday: Tomato soup with Semolina, Stuffed Arthichokes

Tuesday: Red Cabbage meal with chestnuts, ">Green beans in olive oil (green beans from the garden)

Wednesday: Mixed Vegetable Soup - Mini burritos w/ chicken and ground beef

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Noodle soup with green lentils - Meatballs with vegetables (repeat menu from last week. we went out last Thursday and ate leftovers on Friday)

Saturday: Salmon - Noodles - Salad

Sunday: Peas with ground beef - Rice

You can find other menu planners' menus on "Organizing Junkie" for the week of October 13.

First Yard Sale Ever

I hosted my very first Yard Sale. It was fun and it was a great success for me. It was tiring as well, since I did everything from arranging the items for sale, pricing, setting up shop and carrying them in and out. My husband took care of the kids while I attended the customers. Got rid of most of the junk, which was mostly my maternity clothes, clothes that I cannot fit in anymore, baby clothers and baby gear. I also had many unused gifts (with my apologies to friends who had given those). I still have a lot of stuff left though. I am not sure if people brought stuff as much as they had taken away. I met all the neighbors on our street, which we have not met in the last year - since we moved here. I was able to deplete my Avon stock as well as take new orders and meet potential customers.
Below are few tips and tricks for rookie yard sellers like me.

1. Don't forget to put your flyers in the stores around the neighborhood. They really work. Do this 4-5 days in advance.

2. Don't forget to put posters at the corners of the closest main streets. But... do this in the morning of the sale(especially for spring and fall) for you might not know when it's going to rain. All of my 4 greatly designed and executed yard sale posters were wasted by the rain which had supposedly moved away from the area. :(

3. Be ready for early birds. Be nice to them. Be aware of the types, who ask you "how much is this box? everything in it?No, no just give me a price. Tell me now, don't go through." as you're trying to setup and figure out what might be in that box. Say $10 or $15 more than the first number comes to your mind.

4. Be ready for antique hunters, and disappointed faces, when they see only baby stuff and irrelevant gift items. Be nice to them.

5. Yard Sales are for bargainers. Even though you mark your items with ridiculosly cheap prices, the pleasure of the yard buyer comes from the bargain. Thus, mark your prices a little bit higher and offer them discounts. Make them happy. Make yourself happy.

6. You might want to ask your neighbors to join. I actually had three "why didn't you tell us? we have lots of junk to sell." comments. I don't know if it would kill your own business, but sitting outside on a nice fall day with neighbors makes it easier to pass the time.

7. Leave sifters alone. Some ladies who sifted through ALL my clothes, folded them back and left them even in a nicer display than they've found.

8. Be ready for pastors in the neighborhood for a nice chat :) Especially if you're new in the neighborhood.

9. Have someone around for help- if nothing else, just for a restroom break. All in all, I was able to handle multiple buyers by myself.

10. Sundays might be lighter than Saturdays in the Fall. If you're going for a one day sale, pick Saturday. People go to church and watch Sunday football - I guess.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Laundry day - Yep! I need wash, dry and fold all of those.

"That's me" Tuesday

Ay, ay ay...

I am getting my daily life back on track. I was reading "Not me Monday" posts yesterday. Vow! If you believe in the "Secret" mentality, there is two options.

a. Two negatives makes a positive i.e. rewriting your negative experiences with negative (not) turns things positive.
b. "Secret" does not work, because after reading all that gloomy stuff, I couldn't have the day I had today.

The weather was gorgeous. My son went to the door, when I told him the holiday was over and we were going to go to school. Since Menu Plan Monday saved the day and my life, the food was ready. I delivered my Avon sales, made another sale at the playground. Got another order call from one of my friends. Got lots of nice pictures.

And to top it off, we just met the nicest garbage men.

Our paths crossed with the garbage truck as I was parking our car in the garage. My son stood there mesmerized as he is a fanatic garbage truck lover. The first thing he goes and finds in any store, in the toy department is the garbage truck, then big wheels. Then the garbage man came by and asked if he wanted to operate the truck as he was emptying our garbage bins.

Burak, being very prudent, did not seem to be very willing at first. Then I carried him and helped him. Lucky for him I don't get disgusted by it. He pulled and pushed the handle and all the world was his at that second.

Man, did he tell that he operated the garbage truck 100 times today - after I disinfected dhis hands and clothes? He told the story to everyone he spoke over the phone. It made my day as well. Because he was late for his nap and he mellowed down like a Persian cat instead of going hyper.

I am getting ready for a big big big yard sale this weekend. I am not going to act as if I don't know "how we accumulated this junk". I am praying we can get rid of them and raise some funds for the basement drain tiles. I am putting my maternity clothes, some small baby clothes and baby gear/gadgets on sale. This officially seals to closed shop doors. Good luck to me as I am the only one running this yard sale show.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - October 13


I can post my first weekly menu plan on my blog. Although I have been doing the planning for the last few weeks I couldn't find time to blog.

Our menu is mostly Mediterranean dishes. I like to have a soup as starters in fall and winter, then dessert on some days. I still cook separate little dishes for Ela, but Burak is eating what we are having. That's why I pay special attention that I cook lots of vegetables, legumes and balanced meat.

Monday: Red Lentil Soup, Stuffed Zucchini

Tuesday: Vegetable Stew, Bulghur Pilaf, Semolina Dessert

Wednesday: Sunchoke Soup - Vegetable Chicken au Gratin

Thursday: Leftovers - Pudding

Friday: Noodle soup with green lentils - Meatballs with vegetables

Saturday: Broiled Rainbow Trout - Pasta - Salad

Sunday: Eggplant with ground beef - Rice

You can find other menu planners' menus on "Organizing Junkie" for the week of October 13.