Thursday, August 30, 2012

No Daycare, No Work, No Problem

Daycare was closed on Tuesday ...which I found out about after 20 minutes of waiting for someone to show up.*Sigh* I admit to feeling pretty hot under the collar about the whole thing.  But it was just a mix-up, something must be goofy with my voicemail because I was left a message.

With an unexpected day home with the kids it was like a mini-vacation though.  Why it is that I get more joy, more done, and more everything out of one day at home than in an entire weekend?  I feel like I am a better parent, more attentive, and do a better job of keeping up on the house and cooking.  It's an odd phenomenon.  Every time it happens I have the SAHM dream. (My mantra comes into play..."maybe after this deployment is over we can re-evaluate" the idea growing on you yet Hubby?)

While the boys were down for naps (At.The.Same.Time! It was amazing!) I had a crafty/DIY day.  A few little changes really can make a big impact on a room.  I focused on the living-room for the day.  Going on 2 years its about time I got into decorate and make it our home mode.

Project #1: DIY Curtain Rods (progress)
  • I have been talking about and planning doing this for so long! Last time I was in the big city I picked up some conduit (10ft~$2/piece), spray paint and primer (~$3-4/can) and some double curtain rod hardware (~$10/2 pieces)
  • Did you do the math?  About $20 for a double curtain rod (less if you have stuff on hand or budget shop better).  What is brilliant is that if it doesn't work out as well as I am hoping, I'm not out that much! (The idea came from here)
  • Anyway I hung up the first set of homemade rods and added the curtains (bought on sale and/or clearance) on Wednesday over my lunch hour...because I decided to wait for the kids to go to sleep for this part and then I didn't get it done.  I should have thrown my new curtains in the dryer to get out the creases and wrinkles...but I didn't.  I was too excited to see the results!
  • I have one more set to make for the living-room...this set will require the use of a pipe-cutter....I am also scheming about replacing the Kitchen ones too!
Proof why something needed done
(Rusty, missing, falling apart track system)
Upgraded to a double rod setup.  Sheers and Curtains.
I like the layered look, and I think it was $20-ish bucks well spent.

The next window on my to my To Do List
(Sad looking guy huh?)

Project #2: Wall Art/Pinterest Inspiration
  • I started this little project quite a while ago.  As far as I got was ordering a barnwood frame from Hobby Lobby and cutting a piece of cardboard from a diaper box and covering it in burlap.
  • The original plan was to stencil a quote on it.
    • "Unless you are God or George Straight Take Off Your Boots"
    • Total planned ripoff from Pinterest
  • I traced out the letters on a blank piece of paper the same size and they ended up not fitting the way I would have liked.
  • Then I remembered I had a decorative key picked up a while back (I am obsessed with skeleton keys, I can't help it: I love them!) and had been playing around with ideas for what to do with it.
  • Out came the hot glue gun, and I gotta say I love the finished product!  It now lives on my living-room wall.

Project #3: Bookshelf Pegs

  • I removed the bottom few shelves from the bookshelf earlier to keep the Big D from climbing up.  It wasn't working for us though.  I needed the storage...however I lost some of the metal pegs.
  • I had gone to our local Hardware Hank to buy new ones...but they didn't have the right size.  Apparently our bookshelf has oddball hardware.  
  • I picked up a piece of wooden dowel that was the same diameter (aka - tiny) and broke out my permanent marker.  I made tick marks to match the same length of the original metal pegs and cut new ones using my handy dandy kitchen shears (I am absolutely certain other tools would work a small saw)
  • In the end fix.  Cost me under $1 and 5 minutes of my time :)

Bonus Project: Wall Art/Monogram
  • I ordered a monogram from Southern Proper Monograms in July and it finally came mid-August.  The custom monogram comes in unfinished birch.
  • My original plan was to paint it white and get/make a grapevine wreath and add a few more decorations for a nice piece for the door.
  • I ended up just spray painting it black and hanging it up in our living room.

Have you done any fun/simple/cheap little projects that made a big impact lately?
Do you find that an unexpected day home is more enjoyable than a planned one?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Did I Give Birth to a Spider Monkey?

The Big D today has got on to the kitchen table FOUR times today! I am at my wits end, I can't keep this boy down...and we still need chairs for the kitchen table, so getting rid of them isn't an option.  They were all pushed in after the first time he crawled up, I can't figure out how he managed to get back up again.  Usually he is so hardheaded that after putting him back on the floor he is immediately retracing his steps to get back. So its easy to see how he does it....not today.  I'm stumped...and a little ticked.  I dried the roses the Hubby sent me for my birthday and had them on the table in a vase as a center piece and found my little deviant whacking at them.  He smushed and crushed a lot of the petals and heartlessly beheaded several of the roses. (He obviously isn't as sentimental as his mother)

Of course he also climbed up onto the computer desk multiple times (my own fault for not pushing in the chair).  Then at one point he crawled up and was standing on top of the printer swatting at pictures on the wall...and learned another method of getting on top of the desk. 

The Big D's Mission Impossible Game Plan:
  • First climb up on chair and spin it (the chair is located there to keep you away from the outlet and abruptly killing power to the computer-use that against the enemy)
  • From there climb up on the filing cabinet,
  • Knock over the lamp and any pictures in your way,
  • Push buttons on the printer and remove everything that can be removed (try and have the foresight to jam some crayons in any openings)
  • From there you can shimmy and step over to the desk (you may also decide at this point to head dive off...just to give your Mother a heart-attack and to get her to try to hold her bladder until nap time)
  • Throw the mouse and keyboard as far as you can
  • Sweep everything else off, pay special attention to if a cellphone is there, with the right moves you should be able to get it to fall behind the file cabinet or drop into the toy box
  • Try and see if the monitor will support your weight
  • Repeat through out the day
Can you hear me pulling out my hair?

Really?  I need some help people?  Are ball and chains frowned upon these days?  How do I keep him on the ground?  I have the bookshelf blocked off so he can't impersonate King Kong anymore, but I am also now wondering how much longer his crib is going to hold him. Or I guess we could just get rid of all furtniture and use only floor pillows...

**PS- Dear Hubby, somehow this is your fault!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Step By Step

Dear Hubby,

Tonight we had some visitors stop by to drop off the pallet of bricks that was on order.  I must not have been paying attention (imagine that) because I hadn't even noticed them working out in the yard until the boys started waving out the window.  We really do have the nicest neighbors.  Sunday they stopped by to mow our yard and then came back that same evening to fix the soffit. I mentioned that I had noticed it was starting to sag down in a couple places while I was cleaning out the gutters.  I wasn't able to push it back in and was more asking what I needed to do to fix it.  Apparently just mention it, they came back armed with power tools and screwed it back up.

The boys loved watching our new front steps being built stacked.  They filled and dumped a bucket full of rocks and packed it around with pride, running around in their pajamas.  Until I noticed the time, then I put the Big D to bed.  I let the Toddler stay up a little bit later to "help".  He wasn't too interested in laying anything down, just transporting the goods...and never took his hand off his bucket of rocks.

They leveled and packed down sand and then stacked up the bricks.  Apparently the brothers had scouted out the houses around to come up with a design for the steps.  They took into consideration where the door was centered compared to the windows and actually ended up making about the same dimension of steps that we had removed when we dug up the basement last fall.

They are planning to come back tomorrow with more sand and add the remaining bricks for another step in the front.  I definitely think it is an improvement to our curb appeal...and functionality.  I can use our front door again!  I am feeling so grateful and just wanted to let you know that everyone is sure watching out for us here at home.

They [the bricks] so big and heavy!

Now I just need to figure out:
What is the best way to thank selfless volunteers?
 Did you notice they laid down boards to protect the grass?

 The Toddler in Full-Swing-Helper-Mode and dashing off for the next load!

 Making sure everything is square and level. 

A very nice improvement I think, and you can't even tell where they had fixed the soffit!

At least the Toddler likes it!

 He was so happy and excited he danced :)

PS - I am thinking about ordering a new front door.  The screen door is pretty much shot and now that we have steps and will be using the front door I think it is time to upgrade.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Photo Bomb 17

Dear Hubby,

Another week down right?  And boy what a week.  I do apologize for causing you to lose sleep, but I am thankful our little medical scare turned out to be nothing serious.  Your brother's wedding was nice, and the boys enjoyed seeing 5 out of 7 grandmas. (My mom came up to go with me to my doctor appointments and of course they saw 4 out of 5 grandmas on your side for the wedding)

I have been trying to focus on a schedule to keep up on the housework, regular work, and keep up with the kids.  Some no brainer stuff coming back to me and making a huge difference.  After about a week of the Toddler going to bed without supper because he was refusing to eat I tweaked my routine.  Once again we are sitting down and eating all together at the table, instead of me dishing up the Big D, then fixing the Toddler a plate and trying to get them to eat while switching loads and laundry/vacuuming/assorted other chores.  It has made a huge impact and everyone is eating better.

Still trying to figure out the perfect balance of keeping up on housework throughout the week so I am not trying to fit everything in on the weekend.  So far I pick a different room every-night and put in 15-20 minutes cleaning and run the dishwasher before bed.  On a smooth running week I can get a load of laundry in over my lunch break and get everything folded when I get home.  

Of course most weeks don't run smoothly.  There are these two little boys running around that reek havoc on schedules and instead we go to the park or play in the backyard a lot.  Which leads to nightly baths instead of every other night.  Question, why don't they make towels that are worn like a poncho and two sided?  Like a raincoat/terry cloth material.  I think we should work on inventing that....just need to figure out how to make it machine washable.

As always we love and miss you bunches and bunches.  Be safe :)

 Aaahhhh...don't worry Scoop Tractor will save you....Aaaahhh Lightening McQueen falling again....Tractor save you...rinse and repeat

 For those always asking in reference to the Big D: Is he always so smiley and happy?  
No, no he isn't

Being a Monkey (really this is his impersonation, its too bad I didn't record the sound effects)
At first he was trying to scoop up toys with his shovel, I came into the room from doing dishes when I heard "I can't reach it!"  (Because apparently this is what monkeys do....before getting in trouble for not sitting on the couch nicely)

Coming to a care package near you Summer 2012
 This little turkey not only says "UP" he lives it!  
The longer my back is turned the higher he climbs.
You see nothing!

Grandma took us for ice cream and playtime at the park!

 He is now feeding himself with a fork....and quite proud of it!
 The Toddler got a hold of the camera 
(as you will note we are also doing great with regular teeth brushing!)

Not the First, but Still the Best

I mentioned yesterday being a big day for uncles.  From my side of the family we had one turn the big 3-0!  The Toddler has a great love of singing Happy Birthday (ever since perfecting the tune for Grandpa back in March)  At first I was dreading that he learned it,  but I gotta give him something.  He can make The World's Most Embarrassing/Annoying Song tolerable. How you ask?

He whispers the song.  If you breathe too loud you might miss it.  He practiced on the way to town and after the wedding and before the reception we stopped in at my sister's house to give Uncle D that much anticipated performance.

Sort of practiced.  What I overhead on the way to town from the Toddler who suddenly looks out the window:
I love Dinosaurs....and apples....and trees....and motorcycles.  Mommy I see {Uncle D}, I sing him.  And then we repeated the lyrics of the song we knew like a broken record.

He also became slightly distracted with the prospect of playing with cousins, but then remembered our mission.  He crawled into his Uncle's lap, looked him in eyes and very softly belted squeaked out:
Happy Birthday to You 
Happy Birthday to You 
Happy Birthday to You 
Happy Birthday to You 
Happy Birthday to You 
 Ended with a great big hug for the Birthday Boy Uncle....and then hugs all the way around for everyone.  I do find it interesting that the warm-ups were louder than the grand finale...but still quiet.  Which if you have ever been around the Toddler would understand why this really does merit a post.  I was unaware prior to the performance he had an indoor voice.

Happy Birthday again Uncle D! (I will post embarrassing pictures after I get them from your wife)

A Nice Day for a Wedding

Yesterday was a big day for Uncles.  One turned 30 and One finally got to marry his beautiful bride...which I am pretty sure he had been counting down the days since laying eyes on her.

It was a really nice outdoor ceremony.  Simple but with so many special touches.  Everything seemed to hold special meaning for the couple.  Both are horse nuts, and I have to admit when I heard they were having a Ring/Flower Pony I didn't know what to expect.  I actually prepared myself for the whole wedding party to be on horse back.

The bride's grandfather is a minister and had the honor marrying them.  She had told me earlier,  that gramps had told her he was good luck, because he had married another couple over 20 years ago and they are still together.  I didn't think to ask at the time, but I am almost wondering now if that lucky couple isn't the Bride's parents.

The Groom  & Grandpa waiting impatiently to get the show on the road! 
(Notice the groom's foot tapping, I think he was getting anxious)
Hopefully my child wasn't voicing any meaningful concerns.  At the most inopportune moments of the wedding the Big D chimed in loudly with "NO!".  Throughout the vows, while the happy couple were pledging to make this union last as long as they are alive...I could hear "No!" Most anything meant to elicit a response from the almost Mr & Mrs garnered a cooing NO NO NO!

[...For richer or for poorer...]
Bride/Groom : I Do
the Big D: NO! NO!

I'm going to go with he really he only knows about 25 words...the one that gets a reaction is going to be repeated! So my official spin on the story is that he wasn't casting doubts he was performing for a captive audience.
I was sitting at the wrong angle to get the groomsman the picture.
The bouquet and boutonnieres were metal roses that my BIL made himself using his mad welding skills.  I loved all the special little touches, and I am sure I missed out on a lot of other details that were wrought with meaning.  I mentioned the Ring/Flower Pony.  The bride and all of her siblings grew up with Bella (the pony) and obviously have a soft spot in their hearts.  The bride had an uncle that is also a minister (who suffers from stage fright - the only reason he wasn't the officiant) He lead a beautiful prayer and blessing on the couple after the "I Dos".

Very unique flowers

Most of the special extra touches seemed to draw from the bride's side...but really, aren't us women the sentimental ones?  As much as the bride and groom have in common though, you really couldn't separate what was meaningful to which one.  The wedding was moved to her family's property (fire danger closed down the original location), the horses were saddled and visible in the background.  At one time the plan was they would ride after the wedding, but in the end they decided to just us the horses as props for the wedding pictures. I don't blame them, it would be a challenge getting mounted and riding in a wedding dress.

At the reception I was able to meet a set of grandparents that celebrated 50 years of marriage earlier this year.  Such a nice looking couple, truly an inspiration, and obviously still oh-so-in-love.  They told me the blue/turquoise (forgive me I am color blind) 1935 car that the bride's father drove his daughter up in was the reason they met.  I tried not to let me eyes leak as I smiled and heard the story of him breaking down (running out of gas) and stopping in for parts.  He said if it wasn't for that car he would never of found her, and gave his wife's hand a squeeze.  So sweet.

With possible meltdowns gearing up we slipped out of the reception about 9:00pm, so we missed the big party. But not before we got a chance to eat some yummy food, celebrate with family, play with friends, and get our dance on.

Dancing with the Aunties! 

Mother-Son Dance

Apparently I was feeling pretty serious here.

 Dear Hubby, hello from many members of your family!  Wish you could have been here to see your look-a-like get married and see all your family.  You were missed, it really didn't feel right celebrating without you.