Monday, June 30, 2014

7 Quick Takes: This is Post Number 1000!

Holy. Moly.

I have been blogging for a while, huh? Post number 1000?! Sweet.

How about we go back in time for this post? Here are the TOP 7 Posts of All Time!


Freezer Cooking Extravaganza!
1652 Pageviews


GO PACK GO!!!!!!!!!!
(getting ready for a Super Bowl Party!)
1381 Pageviews


A Clean Oven Door
1130 Pageviews


Lightning McQueen Birthday Party (this might be my favorite post, too!)
789 Pageviews


Back-to-School Command Center
716 Pageviews

Fabulous Weekend Project Day 2 
(or how to hang a TV over a fireplace when you can't drill through the firewall)
593 Pageviews


DIY I Spy Bottle
516 Pageviews

Here's to the next 1000 posts!!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

3 Brothers

These guys.

They just make me so happy.

Sure there are those days when I'm ready to run away, pull out my hair, or ship them in a crate to Australia.

And, then, there are these days.

Thankfully, there are many of these days.

Days when there are smiles all around.

Days when laughter is all over the house.

These guys are definitely the best of friends. I hope down the road this will continue and grow stronger.  I hope they continue to take care of each other the way that they do.

I just love days like these!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy {3 Mommy Moments}

Well, it is official! Summer is really here now, according to the handy dandy calendar. Yay!


Friday morning we had to head out to get our grocery shopping done. Typically, I handle all this on Saturdays with one of my littles to get in some one-on-one time with whoever's turn it is that day. But, this Saturday was going to be overrun by those flocking the neighborhood for the Annual Yard Sale. So...we planned accordingly.

Thankfully, I truly planned well. We started off with breakfast at Chick-Fil-A - and also talked Jason into coming along before heading to work. After all, he had been leaving early for work this week. It's only fair, right? And, of course, I let these guys play until Aldi was open. After getting a good 20 minutes of playtime in before errands, they were much easier to wrangle at the store.

Andrew can be found in the wheel of the cow car ~ Alex coming out of the slide

Once we got all of the errands taken care of and lunch out of the way, we headed out for a walk.

Austin is loving those sunglasses!

It did end up raining just a bit, so the chalk was wet where it was left out. But the boys thought it was cool and made a bunch of rainbows since they couldn't find any real ones.


Saturday was officially the start of summer - the longest day of the year. So, of course, we spent most of it outside. It was great!

A little after breakfast and already enjoying a snack and a drink under the umbrella
Water fun after lunch and Austin's nap - he LOVED the water. And this mama is very thankful for that Ear Band-It!!


It was such a great weekend and an even better way of kicking off my last year in my 20s! We headed to Mass Sunday morning, then had a yummy birthday lunch at P.F. Chang's. So happy the boys love that place because it is one of my favorites! They boys actually call it "Chicken Mulan" haha!

Here's a funny story...

It was a rough start to this day. See, Alex is still in the learning process of how to behave at Mass. Andrew does pretty well, but it hasn't rubbed off on Alex just yet. So, I - again - had to get up and hang out in the vestibule with Mr. Man until Communion. Not even sure what Father M. was talking about - something about Corpus Christi Sunday (but that is cheating since I got the Homily notes from Father J's blog earlier that morning).

Then, we head to lunch where Andrew was mad that his ear was starting to hurt. Alex was way too much (in my opinion) with his knee jumping on the booth seat. Austin was my sweet one as he was napping in the car seat next to my spot on the booth. I was getting annoyed because, well, it is my birthday - my day, sheesh! Is it too much to ask for good listeners on my birthday?

Well, just as I finished telling Jason that God wasn't playing fair or something to that aspect... THREE different people - the bar manager (behind our booth), the floor manager/hostess, and another waiter - all said how cute the boys were. All said how well-behaved they were. All talked to them and asked them different little kid questions.

Well played, God.

Complaints ended. Smiles and laughter started.

Happy birthday to me!!

Happy summer, everyone!!
Linking up with Catholic Moms Cafe this week! 
If you are looking for a way to find a moment of peace in your day, get her book
I have it and LOVE it!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

7 Quick Takes


I must say...mornings rock! Ever since I gave up playing the whole nap game, mornings have become even more awesome than before. Yes, I still get up around 6 am to just be me for a moment. But, now? Andrew and Alex are now sleeping in! Alex still gets up about 7 used to be like 6 and he would wake up the rest of the house. Andrew sleeps until 730 or 8, people. 8. Eight o'clock was the other day. I maybe just get Saturday mornings back for my birthday this year!!

Watching the sunrise with my little sunshine!

Coffee is great. It is even better when it is your second cup! And, I mean an actual second cup. Not the second cup you have poured and forgotten where the first one was or if you you even drank that one. And not the second time you nuked it either. I mean...SECOND CUP. Awesome.

Love listening to these two play together. This was the day Andrew was sleeping in until 8.

Bugs. Any kind of bugs that fall into the category of cute and tiny. Andrew and Alex are on a bug catching adventure. Every. Single. Day. Those skinny little centipede things...the little black ones. And those little roly poly bugs...pill bugs, I think they are called. All of them and any of them. They live in the boys dump trucks until it is time to come inside. Then they go back out and play hide and seek with these creatures. Hilarious!

Andrew and Roly Poly
Alex trying to catch a dragonfly
Andrew was on the dragonfly hunt, too

This little guy LOVES being outside! He loves watching the big boys run around. He loves to sit and listen to the birds. He loves the cool breeze in the shade. He loves the warm sun. He just loves it all.

Spinning around is quite fun these days

Guess what movie we saw this week...about 3 times...and are going to see it for a $1 next week on the big screen??

THE LEGO MOVIE!!! And, OH. MY. GOSH. That was seriously the cutest movie ever. The ending...just wonderful. You must go see this movie. Find a way and GO SEE IT. Andrew and Alex loved it (4 years and 3 years old). Jason and I laughed a lot at it. And, I don't know about Jason, but being a parent...I was totally tearing up. That is all I will say. Just go watch it with your kids - big or small. You won't regret it.


Legos! Legos! Legos!  Of course, because we finally saw this movie, we picked up a bunch of Lego-related books from the library. These guys were super excited to see that I found Lego Movie books!


Finally came! Now, we can get back to hitting up the pool with friends! Playing in the baby pool outside! Getting in the bathtub... If you have a little with some ear issues, like Austin, get this. It is pretty awesome! Yay for Ear Band-It Ultra!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Gave Up on Naps...and it is AMAZING!

NOTE: Please understand that what works for one family may not work for another family. What I think is best for my kids/me/my sanity/etc may not be ideal for yours/you/your sanity.


A friend of mine, who is also a mother of 4, said something quite interesting a few weeks ago:

"I gave up on naps a long time ago. Too stressful."

Of course I thought, "Whaaaa???" I mean, how do you quit naps? How am I suppose to get anything done when I lose that chunk of time? What about enough sleep? And, this and that and blah, blah, blah???

Let's rewind the story a bit...

Andrew has gotten to the point where he is done with naps. He reads (books on cd/mp3/etc), plays puzzles, or Legos. Alex has reached that stage where he is starting to fight me on taking naps. And, Austin, well, he is still in the can-take-a-nap-any-place stage.

Catching a nap at the zoo

Because of the crazy weeks that we have had going on between finishing school, play dates all over the place, Vacation Bible School, etc, naps just weren't in the cards anyway. And, what would I do? Get so stressed out that they weren't going to be home to take a nap or that I wouldn't be able to get the house tidy before Jason got home. I wouldn't have my me time! Ahhhh!!

This is where my friend's words of wisdom popped into my head:

"I gave up on naps a long time ago. Too stressful."

She is right. They are too stressful.

So, I quit naps. 

And, let me just say this: It is quite a freeing feeling.

No more "Oh, we can't do/see/play ____ because that is nap time."

Exploring the Botanical Gardens a few weeks ago
And, I love it! It is great!

Of course there is a something you need to know. In order for this to work well for everyone, I need to have my act together. That means I need to be up when I am supposed to be awake. Which in turn means I need to go to bed at a normal time. I need to have the bulk of my "mommy work" done in the mornings. The typical stuff. Basically, I need to manage my time wisely.

Once all this falls into place, I have more time for my boys. And, really, that's what matters the most: that I am present in their lives. I don't want to be the mom who is too busy for her kids. I want to be the mom that makes time for her kids.

Right now, as I'm writing this, the boys are playing a game on the floor. We were together almost all day at the zoo having a blast. We went all out, too! Splash pad, picnic, train ride, checked out every animal (some twice!). It was great. And they are happy playing together while I switch loads of laundry between emails/uploading pictures/etc. And, Austin (if you are wondering) is taking his nap. He is only 7 months. I know when he is tired. As soon as I laid him down, he was out.

Awesome zoo day today!

The point is something had to change. I was getting all worked up over "the schedule" and blew over my kids' happiness (and my sanity!). And, don't worry... Just like Baby Austin, I can tell when the other two need to recharge their batteries. Luckily, that just means letting the sleep in the mornings for now. Alex has had to take a nap to get out of whatever mood he was in the other day... But, even so. It isn't a scheduled thing anymore.

And there it is... it isn't a scheduled thing anymore. Because of that one tiny fact, I get to catch things like this happening:

I get to watch the rain with my little guy. He was completely amazed at what was happening outside. He stayed there for about 10 minutes...just watching the puddles form. Because I had finally learned to slow down and just let things fall as they may (for the most part), I was able to catch this moment with him. It was so sweet. And so wonderful.

And that's exactly how this life should be.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Recap

What a great weekend!Well, minus the ear infection...third ear infection, mind you... Ugh. So over those. However, I'm in the search for a non-surgical solution. And, based on what I have been reading (here, here, and here) those ear tubes are over-prescribed. So, we (Jason, our awesome pediatrician, and I) are working on a solution. Don't get me wrong, if he needs them, then we will get the procedure done. Austin's problem is that he just keeps getting these ear infections then moves quickly into perforation of the ear drum. But, then he heals perfectly fine. His ear just don't like the water. For now, our little guy will use the Ear Band-It System as our solution (well, as soon as Mr. UPS brings it). Until then, no pools for him...

Other than that little boo-hoo over the weekend and little sleep... We had a great one!

Jason and the bigger boys had a day out together on Saturday! They we to Lowe's to build a dragon. specifically to build Toothless the Night Fury. Awesome! 

While they were doing all of that, Austin and I got our grocery shopping and a few projects done around the house.

I finally recovered - ahem - child-proofed my chairs. I saw this post a while back and finally tackled it. Only spent $24 and 2 hours to make sure my chairs are no longer trashed.

Insert happy mama dance!

Now this... I cannot explain... Do you have a room in your house that just doesn't want to stay clean no matter what??? Just me?? It's really getting on my nerves. So now I have on my calendar (I use this one - it is awesome) to do a pick up of this spot every week. Seriously. Maybe that will help. Everything just gets thrown in there. You come in from the garage, and this is where it all goes?? I really can't stand this room. Next house I WILL have a separate mudroom and laundry room. Not doing this again.

I still can't stand those cardboard boxes. But, at least I know what is in there now...

Of course once all that was done and everyone was back home, it was time for some major snacking.

What's better than having a icy pop?  Having your big brother help you get the rest of it out, of course!

Oh, and watching the big boys have an icy pop is pretty fun, too. Yes, he likes to stand. Everywhere.

And, we can't forget what yesterday was...Father's Day! This guy is one amazing dad...a super dad, of course! We love you!!

We hope everyone had a great weekend and a great Father's Day!

Friday, June 13, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Cute Convos, VBS, Outings & Growing Boys


I love listening to the conversations that take place during dinner. Typically, I ask Jason the daily, "How was work?" question or the "Boys, tell Daddy what you did today!" intro into the dinner chat. Well, Alex has really gotten into asking Jason about work and stuff. It is hilarious - so cute! 

"How's work, Daddy?"
"What you do today?"
"Did you play on the computer?"
"Do you play with your daddy friends?"
"Did you play soccer ball at work?"

 Adorable! Of course, Jason explains that he doesn't actually play on the computer...or that he gets to play at all really. Alex will ask why and everything, too. It is just too cute! Love it!


Vacation Bible School. Yes, this was Andrew's first year attending our church's VBS program! I had volunteered the past 2 years, but decided to just let Andrew take this one on his own without "mama interference" and whatnot. He said the first day was "so long" (yet it was only 3 hours instead of a regular school day of 6 hours...) but, he changed his mind about it as the days passed. He loved the "weird animals" and the crafts that taught bible verses and the music he would sing at home (but not at school, of course). He came home with some very cute dog tags that showed the animal of the day with the bible verse on the back. Very cute. 

Picture given to parents at the end of the week - so sweet :)

Outings with Mama. While Andrew was at VBS, Alex chose a bunch of things that he wanted to do with Austin and Mama. And, wow! We got a lot done in a short amount of time! I think we were at the library every day this week except Thursday when we were at a friends house. Actually, no. I take that back. Andrew asked to go to the library after VBS that day. Ok, so we were there every day this week! Crazy, but fun!

Tuesday was pretty cool. It is Dairy Month, in case you were wondering. So, the library had the Mobile Dairy Farm come teach the kids about cows and such. Awesome. I love cows! Alex and Austin were pretty impressed, too. Alex got a freebie - actually, two! - for attending this event. The first was a Dairy Farmers cup (which my sweet boy asked for another for Andrew because "he at school right now"), the other was super yummy ice cream. The best part of the cow, I hear!

On Wednesday Alex decided that the Art Museum was the next best thing to go see. And, we had a LOT of fun! We basically had the whole place to ourselves. Why more people don't go there, I have no idea... It is free. The parking is FREE. And, there is an amazing hands-on area for the littles in your life. That is enclosed. And, I believe sound-proofed... What more could a mom want?? 


7 months old. Yet, he thinks he is already 2 or something. Austin is now 100% a crawler... Oh, but wait - he is also a sofa cruiser. Are. You. Serious. Yes, Andrew and Alex both were walking at 10 months... But, they weren't doing this cruising business until, like 8 months - maybe 9. Ugh! 
Also, last month he was NOT a happy camper. At all. Screaming mad. Well, silly mama. Wanna know why? The child popped out 6 MORE teeth in about a week's time. Yes. My child now has 8 teeth. Oh, my. And, LOVES to eat with them, too!

Thinks he is a big kid, this one... :)


When did he grow up? I'm trying to figure it out. Time. I am trying to figure out time. Why does it fly by? It is NOT entirely true that time flies when you are having fun. That is only part of it. Time flies when you also a busy mama of 3 busy boys. Or a mama in any sense of the word... Andrew will be 5 years old in the fall. Really?? He is growing up to be such an amazing kid.  Everything he does amazes me (Yes, even when he is grouchy. I just don't see it at that current moment...). His new thing is reading. Yep. He can spot out all kids of words. I am reading the Tree House books to both big boys now and he stopped me to say, "Hey! I know that word!" before I even got to that sentence. I'm guessing he will be reading by the time he starts K4. Reading those Level 1 readers and such, of course. 

Listening to come read-along stories


Rainbows. It was sunshiny in the kitchen and all of a sudden it was pouring! I ran to the boys room to tell them to be on the lookout for a rainbow because of the sunny rain. About 5 minutes later, they were giggling and squealing from their room. They found their rainbow! And, of course, when you find a rainbow, that means there is treasure. Well, they believe that there is the gold at the end of the rainbow. I'll let them keep on believing that for now. I mean, we will all find the treasure soon enough. Mine just comes in the form of 3 tiny boys.


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