Sunday, December 16, 2012


I know I'm not alone in being absolutely heartsick at the events that happened at Sandy Hook on Friday morning.  I cried several times Friday night and as I sang lullabies to my two little boys, snugged in big brothers bed, I couldn't stop the tears.  Ben asked me "you sad, mommy?" and I had to be honest and tell him I was a little bit.  When he asked me why, I told him I was just so very thankful for all I had.

We take a lot for granted in our lives.  We all assume there's going to be a tomorrow.  And you know, I think that's good.  I certainly wouldn't want to live like every day could be my last.  That sounds exhausting.  But I don't want to ever forget to tell my guys I love them.  And when I start to get frustrated because my nearly 3 year old clamps his lips tight so I can't get the toothbrush in and insists on swallowing that mouthful of toothpaste, instead of spitting it in the sink - I want to gently remind myself that he's just a little boy and there are so many parents out there that would gladly take a night time tooth brushing battle over the absence of their child.

I can't imagine how those parents feel.  I can't imagine hearing there's been a shooting at the school and racing down to gather my child close, breathe in the sweet smell from the top of their head and cry blissful tears of relief... only to not have that child greet you.  My heart breaks even thinking it.

I want to raise my boys with open minds and open hearts.
I hope my kids know it's okay to be different.
I hope my kids can be okay with not being cool, if it means they're still alive.
I hope they stand up for what's right and are mostly kind (because, let's be real: we're human, we're not kind all the time).
Saying 'please', 'thank you', 'I'm sorry' and 'I love you' are important phrases in our home.
Being respectful, even if we disagree.

And from my humble little slice of the internet, may the souls of those little babes and their brave teachers be at peace.  May their family find some measure of comfort in knowing the world mourns with them.  And may those lucky enough to still have our children, gather them close and show them they're loved.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

4 Months!

So let's pretend this picture is of him looking very cute on the next calendar image for November, sintead of my dirty carpet.


Because guess who completely let this slip by?  It's not like I forgot about it.  I kept remembering and then getting way too involved with other things and pushing this off to the back burner and the next thing I knew, he'd turned 5 months and it was too late to do it (and no, I haven't yet done it for 5 months... ugh).

Anyway, at Matthew's 4 month check up he weighed 14 lbs, 12 oz (which put him in the 48th percentile), he was 25" long (55th percentile) and his head was 42 cm (43rd percentile).

I kept thinking (and still do think) that he's SO BIG.

And then I went back on the old blog here and looked up Ben's 4 month stats.

Nearly identical.

Ben was 14 lbs, 6.3 oz (which was, oddly, the 53rd percentile) and 25.5" long (which was the 72nd percentile).  So funny how a few ounces or a half an inch can make such a huge difference on the growth chart...

Doctor gave the okay to start rice cereal but we decided to wait for now (I've actually started him on solids but I'll save that for the 5 month update I'll get around to posting some time next February, ha ha).

At 4 months, Matthew's favorite things:

  • Eating
  • watching Ben
  • Eating
  • smiling at everything
  • being cuddled
He dislikes:
  • the car seat, still
  • being swaddled
  • tummy time
He can roll from back to tummy and back again but he doesn't do it often.  

And that's it!  


So let's pretend that I'm not blogging about something that happened over a month ago.... ;)

Halloween kicked off the start of the crazies at our house.  First, we had the trunk or treat I organized for my mommy group.  It turned out so much cooler than I could have imagined - the mom's that donated their trunks did such amazing jobs.

And here begins the craziness.  The day of our trunk or treat, I received a phone call from the hospital saying they had my grandma as a patient - she'd fallen earlier in the day and broken her hip.  She was due to go in for surgery in a few hours and the nurse finally convinced my granny that some one (family) should be there for her.  This made me late to the trunk or treat (my own event - UGH) and because of my panic/stress over granny, being late and frustrated with myself, my mood was less than ideal.  Ben must have picked up on that because we only got to stay for the event for like 15-20 minutes before we entered melt down and multiple time outs.  And this started our downward spiral of the yucky behavior we'd nearly gotten rid of back in April.

Anyway, I dressed by boys in matching costumes.  Instead of going to the consignment store and getting a barely used costume for $5, I went to Target and was looking at their $20+ costumes and I could not make myself pay $30 for a really poorly constructed, nearly sheer costume tat would surely be ruined by the end of Halloween.  Since I needed Ben in his costumes for about 4 events, I wanted something that would last.  I discovered Ben could still wear the fluff, designed for babies costumes (they went up to size 2T, I think, but he was able to fit in it, so it's a generous 2T).  I decided I'd rather pay $20 on a fluffy costume that would keep him warm and last through multiple events than $20 on a cruddy one.  So Ben was a monkey and his little brother was his banana.

We went trick our treating in our subdivision.  Ben had so much fun.  He said "trick or treat" and "thank you" at each door, loved ringing the bell and only got scared/worried at a few houses.  We just did our best to remind him that it's just decorations and none of it was real and that seemed to help a little.  He was super accepting that his bucket of candy went up on top of the fridge and he could only have a little bit of candy each day.  We're still working on it.  ;)  I'd wager 30-40% of his candy got dumped into our candy bucket and the rest he's been getting a piece each every other day or so (basically as he asks) since.

And that was our Halloween!  You know, over a month later... ;)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dear Ben.

Dear Ben,

Today your behavior helped mommy feel like an awful mommy.  I felt like the second half of the day was full of disobedience and a lot of shouting by mommy.

I don't want to shout at you.

I don't want to feel like the only way to get you to listen is by me shouting.

We are struggling with night time potty training and you're taking advantage of free trips to the bathroom as an excuse to delay bed time and that's making mommy very angry with you.  I don't want to tell you "no, you may not go to the bathroom" because what if (that time) you really have to go?  What if I say "no, you may not go to the bathroom" and you pee your pants?

However, going 5 different times within 10 minutes of bed time is not okay.  Especially when you didn't actually go to the bathroom ANY of those times.

Delaying bed time is one of your new favorite passtimes.  You used to sit and listen and actively participate in bed time stories.  Lately, you insist I read a story while you say you're listening and instead jump around the room, run down the hall and generally NOT listen to stories.

Then bed time comes and we do our routine: music on, lights off, mommy hugs, tell daddy good night and in to bed you get.

And then the requests roll in.

Can I see the clouds?
I want a couple sips of milk.
Can I have a quick cuddle?
I want to play with your hair.
I'm scared of the dragon.

And now we add "I have to pee" or "I have to poop" - neither of which you actually do.

I'm tired of shouting.

I'm tired of your attitude.

I'm tired of you not listening.

I'm tired of your sass.

I'm tired of feeling tired and like a bad mom.

Let's stop the nonsense, shall we?

Potty Training: Part 2, The Overnight Adventure

disclaimer: this is a super old picture
We did it.

We bit the bullet.

We went (forgive the expression) balls to the wall (what does that even mean?  You know what, never mind.  I don't want to know).

Monday afternoon, I looked in Ben's closet and noticed we had one diaper left.  I realized that Ben waits to go poop til nap time and goes in his diaper.  That would mean I'd need two diapers to get us through nap.  I only had one.

So I said "we're doing big boy night-night's.  no more diapers"

and then we did.

It's been hit & miss.  That first nap, we had a few trips to the bathroom before he finally fell asleep.  He woke up an hour & a half into his nap (Ben usually does a solid 2.5-3 hours for naps) and peed & pooped in his pants and then refused to go back to sleep.  That night, we did the same - a few trips to the bathroom before he fell asleep.  He woke up once or twice (complaining that his blanket wasn't on) and I asked him each time if he had to pee and he said no.  Stayed dry all night - wahoo!

The next day, he peed his pants at nap and at bed time.  Yesterday, again accidents at nap but a dry night.

Today... well, we'll see.  I'm bribing him with our Halloween candy.  Today's bribe is: if he can go all nap with no accidents, he can have a big peanut butter cup AND we get to call Nana and tell her how great we're doing (we'll still call nana and tell her how great he's doing even if he has an accident, but no candy). 

I'm hoping this takes off pretty easily!  I'm hoping for a few days (a week?) of some adjustment and accidents and then I'm hoping for smooth sailing after that.  We'll see!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Patch: 2012

I haven't blogged in forever.  Instead of one massive brain dump, I think I'll attempt to break it up into a few, more easily digestible posts.

First - the pumpkin patch!

We headed out to Linder Farms last Saturday and had the best time.  There were a few "uh oh" moments out in the pumpkin fields where Ben lost his cool a few times (kept tripping, wanted to do the wagon all by himself even though he really needed help, wasn't get his way, typical almost-3-year-old stuff), but mostly it was the best day ever.

First we met a friend from my mom's group and her son & Ben went through the hay maze.  Then we took a hay ride out through the corn fields and into the pumpkin patch where our options were sadly picked over.  We took home the smallest pumpkins in our pumpkin carving history (Ben & I are the only one with carved pumpkins (dad & Matthew haven't done theirs yet) and they're already shlumped). Then we took the hay ride back to the farm, did the barrel train, the swings and the pony ride.  A great day all in all.

Peek a boo

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday.

Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

I was busy today.

The Mommy Taxi Service took Ben to school, husband to work, Matthew & mommy to the baby book club play date, then to the grocery store, then we picked up daddy from work, Benny from school and came home.  That was my out and about day before noon.

My in and around day included getting kids to bed, balancing check books, paying bills, bringing in garbage cans, preparing dinner, working (did you know I got a job?  I'm sewing for a living - isn't that a hoot??? I'll post more about that later), entertaining Matthew who was in a fantastic mood and not at all interested in napping...

I'm exhausted.


Here's what we're making this week:
Monday: Taco Potato Skins with Corn
Tuesday: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken with Rice
Wednesday: Penne Pizza Bake with French Bred and Green Beans
Thursday: Sloppy Joe's with Steamed Broccoli
Friday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA!!!): Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan with Bread Sticks and Salad
Saturday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Glazed Carrots and Baked Beans
Sunday: Hot Dogs with Steamed Cauliflower and Mac & Cheese

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Here's what's cooking at our house this week:
Monday: Tortellini Soup + french bread
Tuesday: BBQ Baked Chicken + Mashed Potatoes with gravy + corn
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup OR the risotto from last week that didn't get made
Thursday: Crock Pot Mexican Lasagna
Friday: Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki
Saturday: Quick & Easy Pasta Primavera
Sunday: Dinner at Lisa's

Last week I ended up grocery shopping for 2 weeks of groceries and I spent $166.  Today I ran up to the store (I went to Fred Meyer instead of my regular WinCo because it was closer and I only needed a few items) and I spent $50 supplementing the fresh items we ran out of.  I probably would have spent closer to $30 by going to WinCo, so an extra $20 saved me about 20 minutes of extra driving time.  Worth it?  Maybe.  Matthew is teething (he cut his first tooth over the weekend - yowza's) and grouchy so minimizing driving time was a consideration. 

Where I stash my recipe inspiration:
 Follow me on Pinterest for more meal ideas!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Big Boy Bed.


Tonight you're spending your first night in your converted big boy bed.  Mommy & daddy planned ahead when we found out we were expecting you and purchased a bed that can grow with you.  It converts from a crib to a day bed with toddler rail and finally to a full bed.

We've been putting off converting your bed.  We watch friend after friend move from a crib to a big kid bed and we say "he's happy in his crib, there's no need to move him".  And that's the truth.

trying to climb in, but never out...

You never once tried to climb out of your bed.  You never once fell out of your bed.  You have always enjoyed your bed (and in fact, it's one of the few beds you've ever slept in - you spent your first night home from the hospital in your own bed while mommy tried to sleep in her own bed, with the monitor clutched in my hands all night long).

One month old
Your bed is your safe place.  You have Teddy and Pooh and your baby (Glow Worm).  You have your yellow bucket of toys that you entertain yourself with in the mornings when you wake up before mommy & daddy.

2nd birthday wake up, Teddy & baby keep your bed safe

You've always needed your "wake up time".  After you wake from your nap or first thing in the morning, you require a good half hour to 45 minutes (or longer) of play time by yourself in your bed before you're ready to get up.  If we're rushing to get to something and I have to go get you before you're ready - it's not pleasant.  Your "wake up time" is mommy's cup of coffee.  It's essential to your day.  I'm interested to see if you'll keep that quiet alone time now that you're able to get in and out of your bed.

Right now you're delaying sleep.  Mommy has been in several times already this evening, chasing away the dragon, giving extra cuddles, more sips of milk, showing you the clouds... now I can hear you playing with toys instead of sleeping.  Daddy thinks you'll be fine til morning when you decide to get up and out of your room.  Mommy fully expects to see you wander out to the living room at any moment.  I guess we'll have to see!


10/07 update:
the night went very well!  It took you a while to fall asleep but you didn't get out of your bed (as far as I know).  At about 6:00ish this morning you fell out and that made you cry.  I can't convince you to sleep the other way.  All your life you've slept with your head at the left end of your bed.  This crib only allows the rail to attach on the right end of your bed.  Mommy & daddy asked you several times to move your pillow to the other end but you don't want to.  I thought after you fell out that you might be more willing to move... nope.  So we'll see how it goes.  If you keep falling out, daddy will add holes to the other end of your bed so he can swap the rail to the other end.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


So I was doing really good at posting several times a week and then I stopped.

It happens.

Last time I really did an update, I posted about Ben's 1st day of preschool.  He is LOVING it.  He is not pleased to see me when I come to pick him up after lunch.  I'm so glad we made the choice to send him, I think it's working very well for him.

They did an assessment on him and he did very well.  According to their worksheet, by the end of 36 months (3 years) he should be able to recognize:
  • shapes: circle, oval, square, triangle, rectangle, diamond, star & heart.  According to them, he's mastered all but circle, triangle, rectangle & diamond (which, I don't agree with - Ben knows circle, triangle and diamond.  I'm not sure how the assessment is performed, so I don't know why he didn't get it correct when they asked him)
  • colors: brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white, black.  He is still working on purple (he often calls it pink) and black (which he often calls brown)
They also say by the end of 36 months he should be able to:
  • count out loud to 10
  • sing the ABC's
  • walk up stairs with alternating feet
  • put on shoes
  • open door by twisting knob
  • turn pages in a book one page at a time
  • play with other children for a few minutes
  • repeat common rhymes
  • use 3-5 word sentences
  • use the toilet
  • express affection openly
  • express a wide range of emotions
  • jump up
  • name 6 body parts
  • build a tower of 4 blocks
  • wash & dry hands
  • sit for a story
  • sing songs and participate in finger play
  • put together simple puzzles
  • hold a crayon and make marks
The only one of those that he can't do is put on his shoes... and to be fair - what shoes? ;) He can put on his boots just fine.  His sneakers he can't.  So those are things we'll work on, help him nail down those shapes, figure out what colors purple & black are and start practicing with shoes.

Hannah & Emma stayed the night - they had fun covering themselves in every available burp rag they could find...

Other than that, things are mostly the same around here.  Nick hasn't been asked to travel again, so my fingers are crossed that he doesn't.  I really dislike it when he's gone (and I know he does, too).  It's hard on Ben - before he was clueless but now he knows and he doesn't like it.  I got an opportunity to make some money from home that I'm really excited by.  A mom in my mommy group has an Etsy business and since the birth of her 2nd baby, she hasn't been able to keep up with her shop.  She hired me and another mama to help her with some sewing prep work.  I'm really excited and kind of nervous - excited for the extra cash but nervous that she'll think I suck and not want to use me any more.  Hopefully that doesn't happen!  I'm going over tomorrow to talk about the work and get started.  Wahoo!

I finished Ben's little 1st year scrapbook and I heart it a bunch.  :)  Now I'm working on a regular sized (12x12) book for his 2nd year but I'm slightly stumped.  Before I started the mini book, I had already scrapped his first birthday on to 12x12 layouts.... obviously I didn't include those in his 8.5x8.5 book but I'm not sure what to do with those pages.  Stick them at the beginning of his 2011 book?

why, yes, those are bat jammie pants... Ben's new thing is insisting on jammie pants at nap time
I'm still struggling to find that balance between the "job" and then "fun" - if I make time to do the "fun" (like scrap or read or whatever) it seems the "job" (or... house work ha ha) suffers.  If I spend my time doing the job, the fun stuff doesn't happen.  With Ben in school, I'm starting to find a routine a little bit but mostly my mornings go by in a blur.  Especially Monday's - Monday is grocery shopping day, so I take Ben to school, go shopping, come home, feed Matthew, put away the groceries and it's about time to go pick up Ben from school again.

So there you go.  An  update.  Of sorts.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

3 Months!

Hey Matthew!

You're 3 months old!  Holy cow!  I feel like we're in the movie Click and life is stuck on fast forward.  With Ben, things seemed to go by quickly because we were so anxious to hit every milestone and get him to that next phase.  With you, it just feels like we blinked and it's 3 months later.  I can hardly believe that in about a month it'll have been one year since we found out you were coming into our lives....

There's no 3 month doctor appointment stats here, but I know you're huge.  You wear anything from 3 months to 6-9 month clothes.  Insanity!  You're in a size 3 diaper and long out grew the newborn inserts for your car seat.

Speaking of your car seat, you hate it.  Like the plague.  Like we're killing you the entire time you're in it.  You, my sweet, sweet little boy, make for very stressful car rides.  You get so worked up, you get all sweaty and just miserable.  I sure hope you outgrow that soon!

You're awake more and more.  You still give us great sleeps at night, which I love!  You still eat about every 2 hours during the day, but your nursing times are starting to dip.  Instead of 15-20 minutes, you might go 8-10 minutes... but not every time.  You keep it fresh.  ;)  At night you go anywhere for 7 to 9 hours (last night you went 9 hours.  Glory!), so I'll take the every 2 hours if that means mama gets to sleep all night.

You laugh now and it's so very fun.  There's a few things that we can count on to tickle your funny bone: shirts going over your head crack you up every. single. time.  and if I put my hand on your ribs and lightly shake you back and forth, you think that's pretty funny.  Tiny tosses in the air delight you as well.

You're so very chatty and boy, do you let us know if you're dirty.  You do not like to be poopy (and I can't blame you).  Another one of those things that make you smile is a fresh diaper.  ;)

You've grown since last month!  Here's a September vs October for ya to prove it:
We're starting to think about the holidays and I can't wait to watch you with Ben this Christmas!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Menu Plan Monday.

Playing along with Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Woo hoo!  It's fall!  It's soup weather!  It's casserole weather!  It's yummy in my crock pot weather!  I don't care if the weather here is stubbornly getting into the 80's several times a week.  I'm ready for fall and fall food. 

Monday: Beef & Bean Burritos with mexi corn & spanish rice
Tuesday: Crispy Cheddar Chicken with glazed carrots & rolls
Wednesday: Baked Ravioli with green beans & salad
Thursday: Meatloaf with mashed potatoes & gravy
Friday: Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings
Saturday: Italian Sausage Risotto with salad
Sunday: Waffles with sausage & fresh fruit

Where I stash my recipe inspiration:
 Follow me on Pinterest for more meal ideas!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Menu Plan Monday.

Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday

So guess which meals still didn't get cooked last week?  If you guessed Fried Rice (we had left overs instead), Pineapple Chicken (my brother cooked us dinner) & Burgers (a gal in my mommy group brought us dinner), you win the big prize!

So guess which meals are just scrapped and won't be coming back?  If you guessed Fried Rice, Pineapple Chicken & Burgers, you are on a roll!  ;)

Monday: Burritos with Spanish Rice
Tuesday: Honey Sesame Chicken with Rice
Wednesday: Breakfast Burritos (scrambled egg, ground breakfast sausage, hash browns & cheese)
Thursday: BBQ Cowboy Beans with biscuits & corn
Friday: Chicken Enchiladas
Saturday: Pioneer Woman's Pasta Carbonara
Sunday: BBQ with the mommy group.  I need to decide what to bring - I'm thinking about these super yummy scalloped potatoes

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Scrappin' Saturday.

A simple thank you that took me about 20 minutes to do (I made 4, otherwise it probably would have taken closer to 5ish total).  A 4x6 card with a chalkboard label & a cute flower - the labels are actually ones I had ordered from a GroopDealz a long time ago and never used.  I thought this would be a perfect and easy embellishment for the card. 

I used my Simply Sweet cartridge to cut the dark pink flower at 2" and then the shadow feature for the light pink at 1", layering the middle of the dark pink flower on top and then a big fat glue dot to raise it slightly.

This is (clearly) another thank you card I sent out (we've been getting a lot of meal deliveries from my mommy group since Matthew arrived - lots of little thank you's to send out!).  This is another 4x6" card.  The interior scallops are cut using the Storybrook cartridge.  The brown is cut at 5" and the white is 4 & 1/2".  The "thanks" is from my SCAL using font Digs My Hart (free to download here). 

I love the glitter detail on this plaid paper!
This one took longer to make (I made 6 + there's a ton of cutting for the card, the white mat, the plaid mat, the brown scallop & the white scallop, so it uses a lot of paper, too), maybe an hour or two.

This is the kind of thing I'm considering making to sell on Etsy.  Embellishments, cards, premade scrapbook layouts, etc.  I know there's a lot of shops with this kind of stuff already out there, which is one of the reasons I haven't moved on this idea yet....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Completely Random Rant.

I started to type this three different times as a status on Facebook and decided it was too long for a status and should be a mini blog rant instead.

I have a love/hate with gmail.  Here's one of the reasons for the hate.

Last night I listed an item on Freecycle.  I got a few replies last night and a few more this morning.  In the end, a couple came and picked up my item this afternoon around 4:30ish.

Then, I'm at the library with Ben & Matthew and I get this scathing email from another lady, confused as to why I'd lead her to believe she was first in line for my item and wanting to know why she saw another couple loading up the item she came to get as she pulled in my cul de sac.

I frantically scroll through the message that I thought I was sending to one lady.  It turns out I was emailing FOUR DIFFERENT PEOPLE in ONE email thread because gmail combined all the messages into one, since they all shared the same subject line. 

Between quickly replying on my phone or doing a fast reply from my computer while Ben screeched at me to come play with him, I never noticed the different names on the email.  It all made sense in the stream of the conversations, so I was completely clueless that I was replying to so many people.

Not to mention, I felt awful.  I never meant to give two people permission to come get the same item (it's not like they were paying me for it and I was hoping to give it to the highest bidder - it was FREE).  I apologized all over myself to the lady who called me on it but I'm sure she thinks I'm just making crap up.

I just had to share my random gmail rant.

The end.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Ben started preschool this morning!  I was nervous he wouldn't be able to go - he spent most of Sunday saying he didn't feel well.  I don't know how much if it was truly not feeling well (he had some tummy troubles through out the day and a low fever that evening) and how much of it was being nervous about today.  We even went and had a picnic lunch that day and he spent more time voluntarily laying down on the blanket than playing at the park. 

But up and off we went this morning.  He was a little unsure at first, I could tell he wasn't that interested in going but I got him excited to wear his back pack and showed him the sign (free printable from I Heart Nap Time) I printed off for him and he was excited to run out and take pictures before we left.

I was afraid one or both of us would cry when it was time for mommy to leave (he had said "I want mommy to go" before we left the house), but he did great.  We found his cubby and put his backpack away and then the teacher led him outside where they were playing while they waited for the rest of the class to show up.  I barely got a hug out of him before he was off and playing - which is great!

They have cameras in the room and I peeked in a few times.  I grabbed a screen shot of him having snack - it's not the best quality so I circled him in red.  I'm so weird, I know.  The other times I looked in, he was playing and then they were having story time while another teacher set out lunch.

The teacher told me what a good boy he was - no potty accidents (YAY!) and she was impressed by how polite he was, how well he listened, how well he took turns & shared and how smart he was.  I'm so proud of my little boy (and us!  we worked hard to get him to have good manners and good listening).

He's excited to go back on Wednesday and I'm excited for him!  What fun this will be!!

Menu Plan Monday!

It's Menu Plan Monday again at Org Junkie!
So there are three meals we just aren't making.  I moved them to this week again (Pineapple Chicken Bites & burgers & the fried rice) and if another week comes and goes where we haven't yet made them, they won't be back again.  We're out of propane for our grill, which is why I haven't done these yet.  I could do them on our George in the kitchen, but I really prefer the outdoor grill.

Nick's out of town a few nights this week, so quick & easy is the name of the game for Ben & I.  Of course, buying two packages of hamburger buns when you really needed 1 burger and 1 hot dog doesn't work out so great... but...  oh well.

Monday: Chicken Fajitas with corn bread & spanish rice
Tuesday: Hot Dogs with peas & mac & cheese
Wednesday:  Ravioli with green beans & rolls
Thursday: Fried Rice with steamed veggies
Friday: Creamy Baked Ziti with green beans
Saturday: Burgers with Mac & Cheese and steamed carrots
Sunday: Pineapple Chicken Bites with mashed sweet potatoes & rolls

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Scrappin' Saturday.

Here's another layout from the mini book I'm making for Ben.  This book is 8.5" by 8.5" which is some times a challenge to fill up each page - there's often more I want to do but I don't have space for.

Some times, though, it works out just perfect.  I had a few pictures from fall that I wanted to share - I only ended up taking one photo of Ben's first Thanksgiving and I wish I'd had more - I didn't realize at the time it would be the only Thanksgiving Ben would get to celebrate with my mom (she passed the following January).

I love those pictures of Ben crawling through the leaves in our front yard.  I remember that day - he soon lost interest in the leaves and started to try to crawl away.  He made it all the way down the driveway 3 times (after being picked up and set back on the grass) before we finally went back inside.  :)

I had the basket of leaves forEVER without knowing what to do with it.  I found it online last year (here) and pretty much copied it, step by step as a card.  I didn't want to part with it because I put so much work into it and I loved the way it turned out.  When I was searching for some way to make that one Thanksgiving photo pop out, I remembered that card.  I separated the pieces making it a card and just mounted the photo on front (I actually hand cut the photo into that shape - I just traced the shape onto the back of the photo and then cut with scissors).

Looking at this page in the book makes me incredibly happy every time.  And makes me wish for fall!

(Cartridges used in this layout: Designers Calendar for the "give thanks" cut on the left side and Doodlecharms for the basket & leaves on the right side)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Random Friday.

Ben starts preschool on Monday and I'm so excited for him to go!  It's a little on the spendy side for an optional thing, so I hope we can keep affording to send him.  They bill weekly but I went ahead and paid for the rest of September.  I chose the preschool he's attending simply for these reasons:
  • I know where it was & I know the owner (sort of)
  • When I called, they were friendly, spoke good English (I tried a daycare with in walking distance of our house to see about just a few days a week, a few hours a day and the lady who answered didn't understand what I was asking and gave me an answer that made absolutely no sense) and had the flexibility in the hours I wanted
  • They're reasonably priced
He'll go 3 days a week for a few hours a day - his schedule is Monday, Wednesday & Friday.  I can drop him off any time after 7 am (but class curriculum starts at 9, so he needs to be there no later than 9) and have to pick him up no later than 12:15.  They'll serve him a snack and lunch - he'll get to play, to learn and to grow.  I'm so excited even if I feel a little silly sending him.  It's not a "needs" to go thing - I'm a stay at home mom and am completely able of helping him with all the things he'll learn at preschool - it's the experience I think he needs, rather than the actual learning, if you get what I'm saying.

This means no more Tumble Time, which bums me out.  He really loved going to Tumble Time and I liked taking him.  He's been in some sort of gymnastics program (either at the Little Gym or TT) since he was 5 months old.  It feels odd not to go each week and I'll miss our friends there.  I considered moving him from his Wednesday class to either Tuesday or Thursday but my pocketbook just doesn't stretch that far.

Toddler Fashion: flap cap & rain boots
In other Ben news, I fear he is giving up his naps.  He didn't nap at all yesterday (even though he was in his crib for a good 3 & 1/2 hours) and hasn't yet fallen asleep today.  I told him today he didn't have to nap if he didn't want to (read that as: I wish you would nap, but I cannot force you to sleep) but he did have to stay in his crib until I said it was time to get out and at least rest.  I guess if he gives up the nap, there's no reason to keep the crib.  If he can just have quiet time in his room for a few hours, we can convert him to a toddler bed sooner rather than later (and talk about making the move from diapers at sleep time to completely diaper free).


I've never shared pictures of Matthew's room because it's still not done (picture me shooting darts at Nick with my eyes right now), but here's a small sneak peek with a project I did last night.  I followed (sort of) a tutorial I found at one of my most favorite blogs ever, A Pretty Cool Life, and made some corresponding buntings for his room.  It looks a little plain/silly now because I still need to get some more pictures & art work up to fill up the space (and maybe make another bunting - I cut way more flags but ran out of binding).

Please ignore the trim that still needs painted...

Here's how my process differed than the one Cheryl provided: my flags aren't double sided, since mine was just going to be hung on the wall & I used store bought bias tape rather than twine.

I've been giving a lot of thought to opening up an Etsy store but I'm not sure.  I have some ideas for some hand crafted Cricut goodies I could sell but I'm not sure how successful I'd be and I'm terrified of failure (plus, this would be failure I'd have to PAY for...) so I don't know.  There's a completely random thought for you.  Ha!

That's all.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gallery Wall.

Last weekend I revamped the one big wall in our living room/great room.  For the longest time ever, three things graced this wall: a stick broom thingie, a big picture of Ben & a brown barn star.

That.  Was.  It.

Since the arrival of Matthew, we had some beautiful photos done by Kim Valadez Photography and then I bought a great canvas deal from Canvas People through Plum District.  Once that bad boy showed up, I got busy redoing that wall.

I laid everything out on the floor in a nice, tidy, square pattern and made Nick hang it up.  I immediately hated it.  It didn't look good at all.  After he & Ben left for the evening, I start playing around with the arrangement.  I didn't think to take a picture of the wall before or during, so I search through a zillion photos on my computer and this is the best "before" I could come up with:

So, in addition to the boring, mostly bare wall, we had a lovely toddler sized kitchen to deal with + a toy box.  A few days prior to the gallery wall change up, I moved the kitchen out to our front room (it's gradually coming together as a play/craft space for the boys & I to share). 

With out further ado, the new wall:

Awhile back, I pinned this idea from 365 Days of Pinterest Creations (original idea found here) where she showed a simple art project using important dates in your family.  I recreated that for our wall to balance out the light colored sign on the left:

I love our new gallery wall.  It makes me smile every time I see it.  :)