Freezer Board

I think I mentioned here that I was planning to hang a dry erase board to keep track of where I had stored all of our refrigerated/frozen foods as we have 2 freezers and 2 refrigerators that we are currently using.

Well, I did manage to get the board hung up on Saturday but the sticky hooks weren’t strong enough and it soon fell down. Today I went to Walmart and picked up a couple of command hooks:

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And a pack of small sawtooth hangers:

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The plan was to attach the hangers to the back of the dry erase board and then use the hooks to hang it on the wall. First problem was getting those hangers attached because the nails were so darn tiny!

Then I remembered a trick I had seen somewhere before:

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The picture is a little blurry but I used a comb to hold the nail in place so I could hammer it in without smashing my fingers.

Voila! A few minutes later I had them both attached.

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Next was to place the hooks on the wall. I just eyeballed this… sometimes my OCD kicks in and I will spend a few hours measuring and checking the level but not this time.

I then used some alcohol to prep the area.

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While I was in the bathroom grabbing the alcohol and cotton balls Mr. Coffee Connoisseur decided he would ‘fix’ himself a hot chocolate but luckily he can’t reach the power button. He insisted he was ‘just getting it ready’ so Momma could finish it.

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We talked about how the new coffee maker was not a toy and then I told him we would all enjoy a nice hot chocolate after we finished this project.

Then I got the hooks ready:

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The hooks came with three sticky pieces. Each side is labeled so it makes it pretty easy. (They also remove very easily, if needed.) Once the hooks were ready I put them on the wall:

Once the second one was attached I hung up the dry erase board:

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I attached some sticky back velcro to the board and to my dry erase marker. (I thought about attaching the eraser too but I would probably use my finger anyway.)

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And the board was complete. Well almost….

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Mr. Coffee, who loves to practice writing his name, had added his own little touches to the board while I was attaching the hooks… never a dull moment here. Then I let my OCD have its way, just a little, when I rewrote the bottom half of the board.

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I wrote the items in order as you can find them in the porch freezer. The other freezer is a chest freezer and it is fairly organized as well as the outside fridge.

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Now the board is finished… I am still thinking of a catchy name for it other than ‘Freezer Board’ though. I am hoping this will be a handy addition to help with managing our grocery shopping and meal planning. This allows not only me but my oldest daughter to be able see what we have on hand, where to find it, and what we may need to get or add to the grocery list.

Mr. Coffee was happy to see it finished and he asked if he could write his name on it again but I explained to him that this was Momma’s board and reminded him that he has his own. Then we made some hot cocoa, (Momma had some Twinings Earl Grey tea) and had some powdered donuts for a snack. (A special little treat, Just Because.)

 

 

The Right Way vs The Wrong Way

I think everyone knows by now that I have a special needs child. He is 14 years old. Where has time gone? He can be the sweetest most loving child on most days. On other days he can be the most irritating and annoying child on the planet. He will test your patience to the limits and then some. So life can be a little crazy here especially when it comes to the toilet paper!

We quickly learned that routines were a must! He thrives on routines and schedules. He likes to know what is to be expected and when to expect it. He does not, I repeat DOES NOT, like changes. As we all know there are many changes in life and especially with this many people in our house things are constantly changing.

So what do we do? How do we handle the changes? How do we keep our sanity?

Well, we have our basic routines. We have routines for mornings, for afternoons, and for bedtimes. We also have our school routines and certain routines that we follow for extra activities. We try our best to stick to these as much as possible and give him something ‘constant’ that he can count on. By trying to keep things as normal as possible, even when we are away from the house, it helps him to stay balanced.

When there are changes we know to keep an extra eye out for him and they way he acts. He will usually give some kind of warning behaviors before he hits complete melt down stage. His older siblings have learned some of these signs are able to help me intercept when needed. We can redirect his attention and focus onto something that doesn’t upset him or we can try to explain what is going on to him depending on the situation.

There are times, like the holidays, when meltdowns are almost inevitable. We try to watch and listen for clues that one is approaching but sometimes a melt down will come out of nowhere. Once we get him through it then all is well again until the next time. The younger kids have learned that this just part of life. They know to give him space and to give him some quiet time so he can calm down and unwind. They have developed and understanding and show a lot of empathy towards him when he is struggling.

Some of the warning signs are in the picture above. I had not made it into the bathroom to do my morning Swish & Swipe and apparently the toilet paper was on the ‘wrong way’ and which was enough to send him over the edge a couple of days ago. He then proceeded to shred the toilet paper all over the bathroom, unfold all of the towels, and turn everything around backwards. Why? I don’t really understand why but I’m sure it made sense to him in some way.

After spending a few minutes in the bathroom he came out and went to his room and shut the door. This wasn’t normal and when I opened the door he was folding his socks and lining them up. He just kept saying something about ‘the wrong way’. It wasn’t long before someone found the mess in the bathroom.

After this event his older sister had me show her how to ‘properly’ fold the towels so that she can help to put them away right. She also had me show her a couple of other ‘tricks’ to cleaning and tidying up the bathroom to help keep it the ‘right way’. She is also displaying empathy towards him and towards me by trying to help with this.

 

Being a Momma of many can be tough. There are some days that are tougher than others. This day was no exception but I also know it could’ve been worse if we didn’t have our routines in place to help him. By helping him we are also helping each other. When one family member is struggling it causes the rest of us to struggle as well.

Something as little as the toilet paper roll can trigger a meltdown which can lead to a ‘bad day’. I know there are so many people who argue about what the right way is for the toilet paper. In our house it is the picture on the left, no exceptions!

I encourage you to look for things that you can do to help others in your house, no arguing about what is the right way or the wrong way, just do it.