Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ten on Wednesday.

1. I am writing this tonight, because I needed today to recover from yesterday. It was a rough one. I'm not even sure how to describe it other than to say this, the entire day was one major patience tester for me as a mother. The boys couldn't be away from each other, but when they were together all they did was bicker and fight. Also, their listening ears were turned down low for most of the day when I needed them turned up high. By mid-afternoon to let my brain rest and regroup, I had them separated in their rooms to play by themselves. To fight back my tears of failure, I sat at the counter eating Thin Mints dipped in chocolate pudding while perusing Pinterest. After my pity party, we headed outside to play which helped us all make it through the next three hours before bedtime.

2. Later on at bedtime, Jack had the hiccups making it impossible for him to sleep. I got him a cracker and a glass of water, in hopes that this would help cure him of those darn hiccups. It worked instantly. Jack's eyes lit up and he said to me, "Mommy, my hiccups are're a genius...I love you so much". And those sweet words helped me not cry myself to sleep in my quest for a worthless continued pity party.

3.  I whipped up a moss monogram this afternoon to help Springify my mantle.

This was sooo easy and it probably only took me 15 minutes. 
I was inspired by this tutorial.

Please excuse my picture as I was in a hurry.  And please excuse my wonky ribbon and bow as my mom is my ribbon and bow beautifier and she is out of town all week. I was trying to get a feel for it just as I needed to leave to get Jack from school. I'm not sure I will hang it this way, but I like it..a lot.

4. A sweet memory from my childhood is movie nights with popcorn and Orange Juliuses. We have popcorn in this house at least 3-4 times every week because Pat loves this as a nightly snack. However, I don't think I have made an Orange Julius since I was living under my parent's roof. But, when I came across this recipe, I had to try it out! I used half the amount of sugar (and next time, I would use even less) and it was deeeeelicious!

5. We planted wheat grass and it grew unbelievably fast.

Last week....

This week....

6. Tonight, Owen fell in the shower just as I was about to get him out. He cracked the side of his head on the tile pretty hard. And due to the looks of the mark/goose egg that resulted, if it had been just a smidge harder we would have made a trip to the E.R. tonight. He recovered surprisingly quickly, but of course, I have been mildly freaking out all night. Head injuries freak me out.
 Jack gave Owen a big hug and kissed his head. He told him, "Owen, whoever hurt their head tonight gets to pick out all the books Mommy is going to read to us". Hearing this makes me feel a little less of a failure and maybe, just maybe I am doing a few things right with my boys.

7. I am loving this wall decal/bookshelf as a potential addition to the baby's room.

8. Oh and plush owls. Oh.My.Goodness. Could they be any cuter!?!? For example, these, this and these.

9. Pat and I braved the crowds (serious crowds who were actually running into the theatre) and ventured out to an opening night showing of the movie The Hunger Games. We both loved it! Pat read the trilogy last year and he has been eagerly awaiting the release of the movie. To be honest, after I finished the books a couple months ago, so was I. The movie closely followed the book with a few minor exceptions, which I find to be rare in movie adaptations of books. But, if your debating on reading before seeing, I recommend reading first as it will make it all that much better. Basically, read the book as it's awesome and then see the movie as it's almost as awesome.

10. You would think that with this being my third baby, that I would be baby storied out. Oh no, not me..I can't get enough of them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

How do you brighten a gloomy day?

Family time, zoo animals and beautiful flowers.
Today, we had a rare weekday family outing (all 4.5 of us) that we spent at the zoo. Brrrr, it was cold, rainy and gloomy out! We forged on though to enjoy this quality time together. It was one of the best times I have had at the zoo as the boys could run around freely (very few peeps at the zoo on a Monday morning) and they were really into the animals. Also, there was a ton of animal activity going on, for example, a baby Orangutan and playful Polar Bears.

And The Conservatory...I could have sat in there for a few hours with a book and a cup of coffee smelling the aromas of these beautiful flowers.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Week 34

Week 34
Picture by Jack

Holy Man..I am at 34 weeks! I still feel great, but some of the most basic things are getting harder to do, for example, sleep, bend over and chase after my boys. That's what an extra 30 pounds will do to a girl! I still have not had any cravings, but I may have  (just may have) eaten a doughnut, a cookie and some ice cream today.....and that's how you gain those 30 extra l.b.'s. 

This baby is a mover and a shaker and a kicker and a puncher. In the busyness of raising my boys, these acrobatics are some of our bonding moments, so I love it. I thought I had my maternity clothes situation figured out until this unseasonably, beautiful weather kicked in and threw me for a loop! I'm trying to make due with what I have, which includes these and these in various colors although, I sure miss my thick, chunky sweaters I can hide under

We started prepping the nursery as it has been a guest room/dump space for the past year. I have already accumulated another bag of garbage, 500 more unused picture frames, and my DSL camera manual that I have been in search of for 2 years! It's unbelievable how the Nesting Bug grabs a tight hold and won't let go until every inch/room/closet of your house is cleaned and organized. We have made some major progress around here because of it! But, most importantly, I have been scheming lots of cute decorating ideas.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Flashback.

My boys willingly posed (nicely) for a 5 second photo-op and I was actually able to capture a few good ones. The only way to get them to smile naturally is to make them laugh and to make them laugh means Jack will inevitably have his mouth wide open. Anywho, this picture reminded me of another photo I took long ago, but not that long know?!

Owen @ 3 years old and Jack @ 5 years old
Stillwater, MN

Owen @ 5 months old and Jack @ 2.5 years old
Kalamazoo, MI

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pinterest Challenge: Kiddo Rack

As I hinted yesterday (I'm sure you were dying to know..wink-wink), I finally created something with my Martha Stewart stencils. Last week, my friend Sara pinned this adorable DIY coat rack and I immediately felt the need to make my own. I knew I had just the place for it too!

We have a very functional mudroom with a lot of storage and dump space, but it has been needing something. This something relates to the fact that my boys are old enough to hang up their coats, sweatshirts and backpacks by themselves, but they are not quite big enough to reach our hooks. A majority of the time, all of their things are laying on the floor of the mudroom and then I am constantly picking them up. Not fun.They needed a cute and functional rack that was just the right size for them.

This Pinterest Challenge inspired me to get going on actually creating something I have pinned while also solving a small organizational quirk in my home.

Disclaimer: These photos are awful. This space has no natural light and it's too tight of a space for me to take an accurate picture of how the space is laid out.

Here is our mudroom...
On the exact opposite wall from the built-in is a closet door and an empty wall. This empty wall was just the place for my kiddo rack.

This chevron coat rack was my pinspiration.

I bought an inexpensive piece of MDF from Lowes had them cut it down to the exact width of my wall. To add a pop of color to this space as well as continue on with my goal of adding yellow to every room in my house, I painted the board Pale Butter by Valspar. I had a random sample of this from another project so it was perfect and no added cost.
I then added my stencil with Martha Stewart acrylic paint in the color Wedding Cake. Now this was my very first time stenciling, so it is no where near perfect. You learn!
After the painted dried, I gave it a good sanding to distress it. I had some knobs laying around that were to be used on a different project, but I had changed my mind. I bought them at Hobby Lobby probably one year ago on a trip to Green Bay. Please Hobby Lobby come back to Minneapolis/St. Paul!. Anyway, I thought they would work great, but I was dreaming of Anthropologie knobs for this project. The boys and I even went to Anthropologie (a feet in itself..not the best place for small children, but they actually were totally into the knob search) and I purchased some. But, when I got home I had major buyers remorse over the fact that I spent $12/knob when I had perfectly fine knobs at home that cost me $1.25/knob. So, I returned the knobs and went with the ones I had. The beauty of this project, is that I can change it up down the road if I want to..knobs included.

Anyway, here is what I came up with. Oh and please disregard my disgustingly dirty walls. They are G-ross as the boys have managed to touch every wall in this house with their sticky, dirty fingers. What can I do/say...we live here.

I like it and I'm happy with it. 
Most importantly, to see my boys hang up their things makes me ecstatic!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


1. In just this last week, complete strangers have started making comments to me on the fact that I'm pregnant. When I say, "making comments", I mean one of two scenarios....1. they either congratulate me or 2. they ask the standard triple question..."how far along are you?, when is your due date?, do you know what you're having?". I don't mind this at all because it finally means that I actually look pregnant and that I'm not just carrying around a growing beer belly. Also, being that this is my last time, I may be reveling in it a little ; )

 32.5 weeks!

2. Strangely enough, in just this last week while I have been out and about with my boys, I have noticed an increase in this following comment as well from complete strangers, "You sure do have your hands full!" I'm not too sure how to respond to this or if it's even worth it for me to do so. But, I always politely smile.

Yes, I know they are a hand-full, but they are little boys! My two little boys who are super outgoing, rambunctious, lovers of life and interested in everything and how it works. They are a lot of work, but the best kind of hard work. I'm not willing to not take them places as they need to experience life and learn how to be when we are around other people or running errands or eating at restaurants. Before I know it, this precious time will be gone and they will be all grown up. A sweet older couple came up to me after church on Sunday and commented on how cute they thought the boys were. They told me that they also have two boys, who are all grown up now. They said that seeing our boys reminded them so much of their own children and they reminded me about the fact that it goes by so fast. It was heartwarming listening to them.

I have also read this blog post a few times as it makes me feel as though I am not alone in this adventure we call raising children!

Okay, moving on!

3.  If you are a mushroom lover like muaw, then you must make this soup! I made it last week and we all enjoyed it. Yes, even my boys...well, Owen loved it and Jack liked it. I doubled the recipe to make four servings and we still had enough for leftovers, which I ate right up the next day for lunch. It was even better the second day.

4. Do you watch The Walking Dead? Pat got me hooked on this show season one-episode one, simply because he could not bring himself to watch it alone. I never thought I would watch a show like this let alone actually enjoy it. Now here I am two seasons in and loving it. I may cover my eyes a few times (those zombies are creepy), but it's sooo good. 

5. Jack did get back on his bike sans training wheels today. He rode it for about 10 minutes up and down our street. I held his bike while he hopped on and as I pushed him off to pedal on his own, I could hear him saying under his breath, "I think I can...I think I can". So freak'n sweet! I love this little boy so very much!

6. I whipped out my Martha Stewart stencils, finally! It's only been like eight months since I bought them...sheesh! Here's a little sneak peak...

7. We played outside this afternoon for 3 bubbles, new bubble wands and a new pack of chalk can be quite entertaining! So can the neighbors you haven't seen since November.

8. I am absolutely LOVING my new TOMS. They are so comfortable almost like wearing slippers all day long! Now, what color to buy next or maybe a wedge for summer?

9. Looking at this picture makes my mouth water...
Rasberry Beer Cocktail
Source: ACupofMai via Nicole via Pinterest

In time.

10. I did watch bits and pieces of this latest The Bachelor. I could never bring myself to sit down and watch an entire episode as I found it to be quite boring. This however, it quite funny...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

An Awesome Start, A Crash Landing Middle and a Proud Finale.

As I watched Jack ride his bike yesterday, I realized how confident he had become over the last year. So today, I mentioned to him very nonchalantly that maybe we should take off his training wheels. Surprisingly, he was all for it! Before we all could give it a second thought, Pat was taking off the training wheels while Jack was grinning with excitement. Here we go...there's not turning back now!

We took him to a school park by our house that has a perfect place to teach a 5 year-old how to ride a bike sans training wheels...a soccer field.

Pat's advice to Jack was "just keep pedaling" and my advice to him was "just keep telling yourself, I think I can..I think I can..I think I can".

And he's off...

He got up on his first try!

He rode until he got to the soccer net and then wasn't sure what to do, so he hopped off his bike.

 But, he got right back on his bike and rode to the opposite soccer net with Pat, Owen and I cheering him on.

He was doing so well that we decided to move to the empty parking lot so he would have a harder surface to practice on. I watched him do a couple of loops and my confidence in him was souring, so I let Pat take over and I took Owen to play on the playground. 

But wait...

About 5 minutes later, I heard a crash and a loud, screaming cry. Jack's loud, screaming cry to be exact. He had turned a corner a little too sharp and ran right into the light post just hard enough that he fell off his bike and scrapped his elbow. He was upset, scared and D-O-N-E with the bike riding and there was no convincing him otherwise. Luckily, there was the playground to take his mind off the crash for awhile because we were standing by our, "you have to get back on after you fall off". He wiped his tears, played and laughed with Owen and quickly got over it. Ufta!

Then we bribed him (you just have to sometimes!) with anything he wanted from Dairy Queen if he rode his bike one more time. He took the bait happily and rode his bike all around the parking lot a couple of more times.

He regained his confidence in riding his bike and was able to enjoy his triple scoop ice cream cone with a cherry on top.
I'm so unbelievably proud of him!

Now, we will see how tomorrow goes...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Random: What we've been up to...

1. Pat left for a 10-day work trip to here:

 Although I was not looking forward to being alone with the boys for that long, I was super pumped for him to have such an amazing experience. And from the sounds of it, that is exactly what it was for him plus three new watches.

2. We checked out the Arboretum with friends. It was great to be outside watching our boys be one with nature, but maybe going there in the Spring/Summer/Fall would be a better idea. It was worth it though.

3. I kept uber busy while he was gone which made the 10 days just fly by. One of my best girlfriends, Sara and her kiddos came for a visit for a few nights. Two Mommas plus four kiddos made for a hectic yet kid-fun time with good heaping of girl talk in between. For example, we made a trip to the MOA and after rides, Build-A-Bear and lunch, we decided that us girls deserved a little treat for ourselves.  Our treat just happened to be these. Our kids may have destroyed the store, but as long as we were holding new shoes in our hands...we were okay with it.

Mr. Sully aka Best Baby Ever

They made the whoopie pies and we I snitched small bites of them.

4. I made these brownies and with the help of a few other peeps (okay-okay, mostly me), they were gone pretty quickly.

5. I struggled and continue to struggle in finding a way to cure Jack's chapped lower lip. He's constantly licking it which makes it red and chapped which causes him lots of pain. Any remedies?

6. After Owen painted me a few pictures, I finally got around to whipping these up with his watercolor masterpieces.

Idea and templates via here

7. I reached week 32 of being pregnant and I am at the peak of constant bathroom visits. This baby must be using my bladder as a pillow.

8. I have been laughing at Owen's cute antics! This boy is a dramatic yet goofy one. He's constantly telling me he's hungry, however, when I give him something to eat, he maybe will eat half of it and then get distracted by whatever Jack is doing. Then, 15 minutes later, he tells me he's "soooo hungry".
Just yesterday, he told me, "Mommy, I so tummy has a headache cause I sooo hungry".