Monday, January 30, 2012

This Week at the House {and some hospital tips}

This week there is only 1 goal:

Get my Andrew well again! I am so sick of him being sick. He has a pediatric viral syndrome - which only means that there are no meds and we have to just deal while it runs it's course.We hung out at Children's Hospital Sunday evening from 6pm until 1:30am - I know, right?! I really cannot complain to much. The staff was awesome, the waiting room was awesome, and the doctor was awesome. They even had snacks/drinks for the kids.

He had a high fever over the weekend that just would not go away (and a cough, too...ugh). Finally, I just had to call our pediatrician and they recommended we take him to the after hours clinic. We got an appointment and headed over after having some dinner. If you have kids - always call the pediatrician (even when they are closed)! I refuse to go to the ER with children. The doctors who work there are too quick with you. The waiting room is full of idiots it seems - like the guy who wondered how jumping off a roof onto a trampoline would work out for him. The staff at the check-in are so NOT people-persons. So, moms/dads - call YOUR pediatrician before busting a move to the local ER. It's just not worth the wait time there... Now if you have a serious life-threatening issue, that is a completely different situation. However, if your city/town is lucky enough to have a Children's hospital, then please choose that over the regular hospital.

Anyhoo, I just want him to feel better. He was fine all day today, but fevers spike at night...so we have a fever again.We may go to the park or library if he feels up to it towards the end of the week.


I do have a menu to share, though :)

Monday - Pork Chops and Rice
Tuesday - Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, and Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker
Wednesday - Skinny Italian Spinach Meatballs
Thursday - Chicken Fried Rice
Friday -  Leftovers
Saturday - Grilled Chicken
Sunday  -  Pan Fried Pork Chops


What are you doing this week? Do you make menus for the week?

The Simple Things

Tunnels. How simple is that?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

DIY Wall Art - Boys' Room

I've been trying to get lazy in getting some frames for a few items of Andrew's that I wanted for his side of the room.

On Alex's side, there is a map of the USA over his bed.

On Andrew side, he does have a growth chart and a vintage airplane sign but it is off to the side. So above his crib there is nothing really. Yes, he does have his little project holder, but there is just this big empty wall screaming for something.

So here is what I did:


Over the summer, we did the reading program at a local library and this was the post from it. How cool is that? Then, the pilot's glasses are from his birthday party - they were a fun photo prop for our guests :) The pilot's wings are from his very first airplane flight. We visited family up in Wisconsin 2 summers ago. Lots of fun!

I just added all that to some frames from Target and stuck em up on the wall with my trusty 3M stickies. Easy peasy wall art :) The frames were about $4 total.

Do you ever use random posters and things for your child(ren)'s room(s)?


**Linking up with** 

Here in My Car

I feel safest of all. :) Come on. You know you love that song. I found a fun remix to it:


Anyway, when Andrew turned 1 year old, we bought him his first car. Which, by the way, is the devil! Have you ever put together the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe?! It is HORRIBLE! Why the heck don't they come pre-assembled? Darn you, Little Tykes... Ugh.

Well here is Andrew on the actual date of his 1st birthday:




And here he is now with his car. Man, he had GROWN!!



He is getting so big. Isn't it amazing how time flies? Funny thing is that it didn't seem go near as fast as it is now that I have 2 kids. Guess we need to figure out how to slow it down... Any suggestions? 




Home Goals 2012 - update

Remember when I posted about the updates we want to do with our home? Well, I thought I would give an end-of-the-month update :)

January To-Dos:
1. Clean glass between oven door Done! Go here to read about it if you missed that post.
2. DIY dishwasher tune-up/clean
3. Add Velcro to kitchen towels - Doing that this weekend :)
4. Make a casserole carrier - I cannot decide on fabric! How lame is that?
5. Homemade sugar scrubs
6. Rug for under kitchen table - I found it...I just have to buy it.
7. Paint touch-up - Doing that this weekend :)




Now, January got a little side-tracked due to our living room extravaganza, so a few thing of January's will be taken care of in February. Thank goodness for that extra day, eh? But exciting news for February - We are getting our fence!!! We are waiting on one more quote and then we will decide on fence date. I'm super excited! The boys are going to be so happy - and by boys, I also mean Max! He love being outside but he is semi-limited due to the yard leash. Poor guy. He loves to roam, but can only go so far (like the middle of the yard. Not even to the end.). He will LOVE it!

Here are some more updates on the list:

Living Room:
1. Media storage Yay! It is so pretty! I love our living room so much more now that everything is fabulous!
2. Updated gallery wall (hallway) with DIY photo canvases - just ordered some prints for the wall.

Master Bed/Bath:
1. Framed bathroom mirror
2. Better storage
3. DIY headboard
4. Bedframe

Boys' Room:
1. Wall art on Andrew's side - I made a few things last week for this, I have a post coming up soon!
2. Toddler bed for Alex (this will be sometime next Fall - wow!)
3. Book sling & reading area
4. DIY curtains (the ones we currently have are fine, but the two monkeys who live there are a little wild with them...)

Office/Playroom:
1. Window treatment
2. Lamp

Hall Bathroom:
1. Framed mirror

Linen Closet (formerly the hall closet):
1. Add shelving to closet for towels and bedding (there is a sad hanging shelf in there now that doesn't do anything except annoy me)

Front Yard:
1. Planters by front door
2. Brick/stone bordered beds
3. Touch-up mailbox and fix the flag

Now for February's To-Dos (there wont be too much going on since the fence is a BIG ticket item)
1. FENCE!!
2. DIY dishwasher tune-up/cleaning
3. Make a casserole carrier
4. Homemade sugar scrubs
5. Rug for under kitchen table
6. Gallery wall in hallway
7. DIY Chalkboard tray for kitchen

How are your home goals moving along?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Story Time

I started a new routine with the boys' story time. Why I didn't do this sooner, I have no clue. But it is amazing. I always did story time with them before bed, but lately it has gotten chaotic. Both of them are sillies and don't want to chill out for a second. Wears. Me. Out.

But!! I tried something out before nap time. After they had lunch, I let them play and watch 2 shows like always. But that 1pm time until 2 (their nap time) it is like the world is coming to an end. They are wild and crazy. I'm partly to blame especially when I think breaking out a tunnel will help. Um, no. Not really. That makes things crazier. It's ok. They are pretty cute in that tunnel :)

So, anyway, once it was 1-ish, the TV was off and we did what we do at bedtime. Quiet story time. We read for like 40 minutes and they loved it! They were both starting to fall asleep! So, I asked them (yep, both) to help put the books away and the pillows back. Alex tries to help - it is pretty cute. Andrew even shows him how to put the books back into the basket.

Then the dreaded words came: "Ok, guys. Let's get our babies and go take a nap."

Not one fuss from either of them!

AND!! They were both sound asleep in about 5 minutes or so. Awesome.

So, tonight, I did the same thing for bedtime. TV off, toys picked up and everything cleaned up while Andrew took a shower. Alex and I looked at a little book together. He was "talking" to all the pictures - so cute! Once Andrew was in his pajamas and everyone was ready (meaning, for whatever reason, all the pillows from the sofa are on the floor for a story - whatever works I guess!), we read our stories. Here's what we read:

Tonight's story "The Rabbit's Apprentice" 
I found this book in the bargain section for $5 at Books-A-Million :)

Super cute story!
Nana gave this book to Andrew when we visited after Christmas. 
She found it at 2nd & Charles

And, finally this one! We are on Chapter 6 now. Andrew has really started to get into it more. He asks to see the pictures that are drawn here and there. Tonight we read the story about "When Piglet Meets a Heffalump." I found this book for $2 in the bargain section at BAM, too.

After those stories were all done, the pillows were put back and there was a little bit of fussing, but not near as much as nights before. And!! They are BOTH sound asleep. Now it is time for me to do my reading. I really want to finish my books before February!

What are you reading? Do you have a story time routine?


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Puzzles Time

Over Christmas, Andrew got this awesome puzzle from his friends, Zach and Grace. He loves this! He is so awesome at his letters, too. He knows all of them, just not in any particular order just yet. Hopefully, this train puzzle and repeating the ABC's over and over again on the way to school (or some outing) will help with that.


Preschool update: I haven't given any update in a while...but Andrew is doing so great in school. Both his teachers tell me that he is a wonderful helper and he is amazing with the flash cards. He knows all his colors, letters, shapes, and most of the numbers 1-10. On the shapes, he isn't too good with saying the words, but he cant point out and try his best as saying which one is the octagon or the rectangle (those do seem like tough words for an almost 2.5 year old!). He loves to sing the "Clean Up" song at home (but still does not like to clean up when it is time for nap...go figure lol) and he loves singing "Jesus Loves Me Know Know." LOL! How cute! That is what he told me the song was. I asked if he meant, "Jesus loves me this I know" and he said, "Oh. Ok, mama."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tummy Hurt

Everyone says that being a mom is the hardest job in the world. 

It is very hard. I would love to say that I spend the majority of my day laying on the floor playing with my kids in some action-packed, car-crashing adventure or watching the latest architectural wonder being built with Legos. I would have taken that over the last two days of my Andrew saying, "Tummy hurt, mommy." I hate it when my kids are sick. I hate it even more when I can't do a thing about it. I wanted to cry for him while he was trying (with no luck...) to get the "bad fings" out of his tummy (he has some little stomach virus - I told him that he just has some bad things in his tummy that was making him sick). I held him once he was calm after last night's drama and prayed and prayed that God would just make it go away and that he could get the sleep he needed. We played for a little bit with his trains, but the poor little guy was just laying there with his James train (the red #5 train from Thomas and Friends) and saying, "tummy hurt." He finally went to bed a little bit later and, thankfully, he (and his brother!) both slept until 8:30 the next morning.

Everyone says that being a mom is the most rewarding job in the world.

While we were running a few errands and picking up some much needed meds, Andrew said, "Mommy love Andrew." Yes, baby, yes I do. More than you could possibly imagine.

 Andrew and I, September 2009 (He was born at 2:41 am that day...so this is sometime that afternoon)

*Hopefully, tonight will be much better. However, Alex has been having tummy trouble, too. But of another kind... We may be headed to the doc in the morning.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This Week at the House

Today was the day of rest here. After this weekend, Jason and I were exhausted! The living room looks great, but it was a lot of work - especially for our first REAL diy project. But it was really fun to just be with each other without the interruption of - gasp! - football. Yep, the Packers are out. Oh, well. It's just a game, right?

Anyway, here are in a new week! Did you check out the menu? It's pretty easy and fabulous, I think :)

Andrew has been such an AMAZING helper lately! I have yet to make the chore cards...I'm getting the laminating stuff tomorrow. I have some cute mini clip boards that I'm going to modpodge some boyish paper on. I got those at the Dollar Store - they are really cute and the perfect size.

The toys have finally been cleaned out. Now it is just a matter of adding to the consignment sale, ebay, or donation lists. And speaking of ebay! I made a few sales, so I am sending out some shipments tomorrow. Awesome.

Book Update! Woot! I am so close to finishing The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks! YAY! I think I will actually get it "read" by Thursday's school pickup. And my other read, The Innocence of Father Brown by GK Chesterton is almost done, too. I'm thinking this weekend on that one.

Other book updates: The boys are back in their routine of having a story before bed. We finished The Adventures of Little Bear and have been reading a Dr. Seuss book each night. I'm going to finish reading Winnie-the-Pooh this week, too. Once we finish the book, we will watch the movie!

OUTINGS:
Maybe a zoo day if the weather is nice (without the wacky tornado weather...)
Picnic in the park
Barnes & Noble Story Time
Afternoon at the Library

READING TIME:
Winnie-the-Pooh
Finish reading the boys' library books
The Best of Me - audio book (free is you sign up for a 14 day trial with audible.com)
The Innocence of Father Brown - free on kindle!

TO DO:
Finish adding items to consignment sale, ebay/craigslist, and donation listings
DIY Chalkboard tray for the kitchen
Get picture printed for awesome but empty frame in kitchen
Schedule posts for this week
Craft with the boys :)

Learning to Walk Part 2

I posted a few pics of Alex with his walker and a video of Andrew learning to walk around the same age. I finally have that video of Alex to share with you! :)

video

This Week's Menu Plan

Thanks to having a few magazine subscriptions, I completely copied the menu from the February issue of All You. Which, if you are a coupon lover, you need this magazine. Almost every page has amazing coupons!


I know. Yummy, right?!And because it is from that magazine, these dinners are pretty cheap per person. Tonight's dinner was about $2.80/person. And it was all good and healthy. So, it is possible to eat awesome and still be healthy on a budget. Which, after our living room project, we need to work on LOL.

What are you cooking this week?


Fabulous Weekend Project - Day 2

Click here if you missed the post on Day 1 :)

This morning, I went to teach a Growing with God class at our church, so my AWESOME hubby ran to Lowe's to pick up the paint and a few other supplies, spending $48. So, if you remember from the last post, we spent $213, bringing us to $261 total for this weekend project! Awesome. I still say I win. Jason said we would spend $300. I said, "No way. Molding is cheap." So, see? Technically, I win. Though, the decorative case molding was a whopping $16 for 7 feet - ouch.

Anyhoo! To the pictures!

 Getting the top (since I'm a shorty...) while I take 500 more pictures.

 Everyone say, "Oooh! Aahhh!" Oh, and look to the right! A bit of a sneak peek at some new kitchen decor. A post on that is coming...we got a little sidetracked with this project (you can read about why we started this adventure here - I can't make that kind of story up...)

 Oooohh, another view! So pretty! 

Seriously, I may be in love with my living room :)

If it hadn't been for the paint being slow to dry, we would have been done much earlier. But at 1:45 am, we were completely done!! TV up and powered! :)

 Before the clean up - oh my gosh, so pretty!!

Everything is all hooked up and ready to go :)
 Enjoying the morning after 1 crazy night!

So, what do you think?

Linking up with:
Skip To My Lou
I Heart Nap Time 
Today's Creative Blog
Home Stories A to Z
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Homemaker in Heels
Tatertots & Jello
Lil Luna
Tip Junkie
Creatively Living
French Country Cottage 
Thifty Decor Chick 



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fabulous Weekend Project - Day 1

Whew! We are almost finished with the mantle/fireplace makeover! The 2nd coat of paint is drying right now. So I have a bit of time to share some pictures with you.

Friday night until...I have no idea. It was really late... We worked on measurements and the layout of where everything was going to be placed. We were worried that this "weekend project" was going to turn out to be much longer than that. But not at all! We are so happy with how it is coming along!


Here is the icky before. See those nasty wires??? Ew. So messing up the feel of the living room. But soon they will be gone!! Remember, you can enlarge the pictures just by clicking on them :)



Saturday morning we headed out to Lowe's - my new favorite store! Andrew's, too. He kept asking to go to Lowe's...too funny. We got all of the molding that was needed, LOTS of nails, caulk, wood putty, and a few other things. We spent $214 on Saturday's supplies. We had lunch and since we have our 2 little guys, we played with them until naptime. And yes! They must have been tired! They slept a full 3 hrs! Awesome work time for us. So, here we go:

Obnoxious wire mess

Lots of sawing...I really want a table saw. Jason says no.  

The first pieces cut and ready for nailing. And, the last time we see Mr. 55 until the project is complete. 

Lots of leveling and double checking

Check out that little miter job :) Jason wanted to add that in so there would be less bending on the wires. He bought some crazy awesome wires for the Wii and HD stuff going on. He sort of attached to them. Lol, I kid (only a little)

 
So at this point, naptime is over and the little guys are ready to come out. Only...there are things ALL over the floor in the living room. Lucky for us they were ready for a snack and some games at the table. 

Andrew saw what we had done and was like, "whoa!" And then added, "Lowe's?" So silly! The colored and had some juice and goldfish while we finished the rest of the base molding. AND while I was also getting dinner going. Lots of multitasking going on at this house!

We took a break during dinner and played with those cuties for another hour until it was bedtime. Once they were down, the clock was ticking away. We really wanted to get to the point were we would just need to sand and paint on Sunday. And, we did it! Here are the rest of the pics:

 Getting the last of the base pieces up

 Time for me to caulk it like it's hot. LOL I know, lame. But it was late and we had the music going. It's amazing that the boys slept wonderfully WITHOUT their humidifier buffering any noise. 

 
 All the base molding is up!

Now time for the sneaky wire trick! 

Ready???

Sneaky wires!

 Finally! At 11:47 pm, we had everything nailed up, caulked, and puttied to be ready for tomorrow. Sweet :)





The Simple Things


The smell of the lumber section at Lowe's :)
(I will have a few updated posts very soon on our living room!!)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Learning to Walk

Alex entered the "I'm-going-to-learn-how-to-walk" stage about a month ago. He cruises those sofas as if he were on some sort of mission! We broke out the walker toy we bought for Andrew when he started at about 8-9 months, too. And I found that video of him!! He's a bit younger in his video than Alex is now. Andrew was almost 9 months old and Alex just turned 9 months old. Enjoy the pictures and movie :) I wil get one of Alex soon!

























Can you believe it? My little man is starting to get the hang of it. He does walk around the house with me (holding my hands). Luckily, I am short enough (five foot NOTHIN') that it doesn't hurt my back - no bending for me! Lol, ah another joy of being short :)

And here is Andrew at almost 9 months old:

video

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Living Room Adventures

To read about the crazy beginning to this adventure, click here and here.

Everyone say, "Ooooh! Ahhhh!"


That's right, I'm watching HGTV. Jason calls that my "no-no" channel. I apparently get too many amazing ideas from it. Na-uh. If only I could get Genevieve to come over and help us out. Oh, and then we can have Ahmed from Yard Crashers... and David Bromstad, please...and maybe some others - Oh, getting off track here.

Our tv is up and really not as big as I felt it was when it was just sitting over there on that media cabinet/stand. Maybe because it was blocking my window.

No worries! We do have track molding to hide those nasty cords and such.

I do want to point out a few things that my hubby and I did not know and I'm wondering how many others out there were confused as well:

1. If you do not have an outlet or coax  ALREADY installed above a WORKING fireplace, then you CANNOT have them installed due to a fire wall.

2. If you are building a house and would like the option, get those things installed in the pre-construction stages. Meaning, BEFORE the drywall and firewall go up.

3. There are about a MILLION pictures on Pinterest, magazines, tv, everywhere that show these tvs above the fireplace and NOT a single electronic box or wire in sight (not even track molding!)...how do they do that????

  • See number 2
    • Have Harmony installed in your home. I still dont get how it works. But basically, you can have all those things (cable box, game system, dvd player, etc) all set up on the opposite side of your room (or in a completely different room!!!) and still be able to control it due to radio frequency. How awesome?! It's all very magical to me. 
  • If you aren't building a house anytime soon, well, you are like us. Getcha some track molding to hide the wires and paint it the color of your wall. Ours will be going along the seam of the fireplace and wall. 
Now I have told you how the magic works, I gotta get to waving my wand here.

By the way, if you have used Geek Squad before...aren't they AWESOME?! If not, you totally should for your next Best Buy purchase. Love them!


Disclosure: I just loved the customer service of Geek Squad and wanted to share :)



Master Closet Makeover UPDATE!

If you want to see the first part of this post, click here
 
I hung the mirror finally!! YAY! And, I would like to point out that I am very excited that I know how to use a stud finder LOL. Only, when I was smacking that nail into the stud...it felt like that entire wall was shaking... Odd... Anyway, it's up!


LOVE IT!!! 




Now does anyone know how/where to get the mirror glass fixed? It is really old and needs to be "re-mirror-ized" - Clearly, I have no clue what that would be called. So, anything? DIY? Places to go?

Stuffed Pizzas Rolls {Whole Wheat!}


These are so yummy!! And the perfect thing for toddler lunchtime! I got the idea from Our Best Bites and used a whole wheat pizza dough recipe from Nurture Baby. I used all the pizza dough, which made about 30 or so golf ball-sized rolls.

Inside these yummy pizza rolls you will find 1/2 package of Publix brand pepperoni, 1 cup of 2% mozzarella (also Publix brand) and 1 jar of L.E. Roselli's All Natural Pizza Sauce. That pizza sauce is so good! It is the only one that has the lowest possible amount of sodium. It's about $4 for a 16 oz jar at Publix. I added some Parmesan and Italian seasoning to the top and voile! All done! YUM!

If you have toddlers, MAKE THESE!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tunnel Full of Fun

I promise this is the best $15 (it's normally $20, but I got it on a price cut) I ever spent. And it was on a tunnel from Target. I got this tunnel when Andrew was about the same age (8 months old or so) that Alex started to play with it. So much fun and a GREAT way to burn off the crazy mega-energy that these two have in-between lunch and nap time. WHEW!

By the way...if you don't have a tunnel for your crawler and older...GET ONE!


Andrew gets a little wild with the tunnel - like, he gets in and then rolls around in it ALL OVER THE LIVING ROOM...which is why the coffee table has been moved out of the way. LOL They are so funny. I love just watching them play! Andrew helps Alex go into the tunnel. He plays peek-a-boo in the tunnel with him. It's hilarious! I got a little movie out of our fun afternoon, too. Enjoy!

video


And just for fun! Here is a blast from the past! Here is a picture of Andrew in the tunnel at 9 months old. Alex is now 9 months old! I love comparing their pictures like this - too cute!


Isn't that cool?! Love it!! Wait until you see the next post with "learning to walk pictures!" FUN!!

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, January 16, 2012

This Week at the House

I've been cleaning like a mad woman. I swear since Andrew's birthday began the toys multiplied like CRAZY! There are little people everywhere, and I don't just my 2 little people. There is ALWAYS a lego minefield that I have to be on the lookout for, as well. And, there is just not enough coffee in the world.

This week will be the week that the TV situation is completed (I hope).

I plan on getting Mr. Andrew's "chore cards" laminated this week so we can check off things with his favorite color dry erase marker.

And, while Andrew is at preschool, I am also going to clean out the toys. Oh, the toys. Why there is a need for 6 of the same dinosaur...I don't know. I think 2 is enough. Noah was fine with keeping 2 of each... Just sayin'

 Ok, so these aren't dinosaurs...but there are too many toys is basically all I'm pointing out. 

After that is all taken care of, everything that needs to go will be added to ebay, craigslist the consignment sale at a local church, or donated. Sweet. 

Aside from the boring stuff, we are going to a story time in honor of AA Milne's birthday. Plus, Andrew loves Winnie the Pooh, too!

Exciting book update: I am 1/2 way through the audio book The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks (squeal!). Listening to it during laundry folding, picking up Andrew, going out by myself, etc.. it has really helped! Oh, and it's gotten REALLY good. IF you haven't read it yet - GO GET IT!! Also, I got stuck waiting for forever and a day at the doc's office last week (thankfully without kids - thanks, honey!) and had my kindle with me. So, I am 1/2 way through The Innocence of Father Brown by GK Chesterton. That is also really good, too!! Still showing as FREE on Kindle by the way :)

Make sure you check out this week's menu plan! How does your week look?



Command Center

Ok, I can share our command center now. I have had this place of information all over the kitchen... In a cabinet over here, a cabinet over there, the laundry room, the skinny kitchen wall... It never found a home.

Until now :)

Meet the House Command Center - located conveniently on back of the pantry doors. A place where every one always goes. A place near the trash can. Very nice.

The left side:

Menu Plan, Blank Spot for grocery/items needed or notes, and Files

I love that my files match my recipe binder, don't you? These files include 1 for each member of the family (yep, including Max!), a tax folder (since we are starting to get those things in the mail now), giving folder, church folder, bills paid, and a few blank ones that will be given names as needed. These are just the ones we need to have on hand for the moment.

The right side:

Our calendar from Church - notes all the Holy Days and items of importance. Below is a to-do list...which I erase every week (happily!) but I need to add the item for this week. They are on my phone right now.

There you have it! Easy peasy and convenient command center! Do you have one in your house?


**Linking up with**
Tip Junkie
Today's Creative Blog
Skip to my Lou
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Home Stories A to Z 
Creatively Living


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