Friday, August 31, 2012

We're working on it

As Nick and I get older and deeper into our marriage, one thing is also true: the children are getting older.  Meaning they have more activities, have to be at more places, study more things and just overall need more of our time. 

For some reason I thought that this would be backwards by now and we would be savoring more marital time together.  However that seems to be the opposite. 

This often time makes me upset. 
Grumpy. 
I feel like our marriage is failing.
We aren't putting enough work into it. 
We aren't trying hard enough. 
Our marriage is in the crapper.
We are failing. 

Nick it totally a "if we're sitting still, we are doing okay" kind of guy.  I am completely a "if we aren't moving forward, then we are sliding backward" kind of girl. 

These two do not mesh well together. 

At all. 

Today was undoubtedly a hard day for us.  We were blessed with an entire day of just the two of us.  True, we had errands to run, but we had plenty of time for fun together too.  We started the morning fighting.  Ugh. 

Do you ever have these days too?  It's nothing that Nick did.  It's nothing that I did (okay it probably was me!) But somehow we were just grating on our nerves.  I kept telling myself "stop, stop, stop.  Just stop fighting with him!" But somehow did not.  I was annoying and a jerk and a big meanie. 

Finally we had it all out, we talked and we got it out. 

I tell him I scared we're growing apart. We don't have time alone like we used to.  I hate that.  We're going to end up like old people who order meals and then read to themselves until the salads arrive. 

I don't want that. 

I won't stand for it. 

We stopped today to get a shaved ice.  We sat on a glider picnic table. 

Nick brought it up. 

I love you more than you know.  just because the kids are older doesn't change that.  we aren't going to fall apart because we won't let that happen.  we're going to be okay.  Okay?

He made it okay.  He calmed my fears. 

Because whether we are going out of town to work on it or going on our monthly grocery shopping trip together to work on it, we're going to work on it.  This isn't the fairy tale version of love.  This isn't mushy love.  This is the real love.  The love of two people for one another who aren't going to let the life stuff get in the way.  We're going to work on it. 
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Homeschool Planner: I made my own

Huge confession here:
 
I have quite the obsession with planners. 
 
I love the possibilities a new planner posesses.  Ah.  I love the crispness.  All of the neat places and slots to fill in. 
 
Last school year I used an amazing Christian Mom planner that Nick's cousin had given me for a Mother's Day gift.  I love her.  Her name is Jodee and somehow she always knows how to make people's day.  I shouldn't say "somehow" because I know how...it's a God thing, totally. 
 
Anyway, I loved it but I was also using a lesson planner and between the two I felt like I was always flipping between the one and the other.  Carrying them around with nothing else felt like I was going to class.  Not to Panera to schedule over chai. 
 
So this year I made my own. 
 
Shocking, I know.  I gotta tell you, it was WAY more frustrating than I thought it would  be.  Figuring out which goes on the front of the page and what will be on the back when  you turn the page was just about enough to put me in a straitjacket.  Fo' real. 
 
Here's a little tour of my planner...come inside:
 
 Here's the front cover!  LOVE it!  I want to eventually put a picture of the kids below the letters, I just haven't found "the one" yet.  I will though.  The front has a clear sleeve on it, so it will just slide in there nicely.  I had it bound at Staples.  Cheap!!!  I couldn't believe it.  I think it cost me $3.00. 
 Here's a close-up of my cover.  Proverbs 31 is my mantra in life.  I want to show the kids how to be a mom and wife for Christ.  I read it often.  Very, very often.
 I went through figuring out how to print off labels for my tags and I am SOOOO glad I did.  Now I have cute font on there!
 LOVE these planner pages I found at Artsy, Fartsy Mama!  She even has different color schemes to use!  
 Up until now I have always printed off my chore charts on a weekly basis.  I use Motivated Mom's lists and I HIGHLY recommend them!  I am such a chart and checker girl.  I get joy from the satisfaction of checking off my to-do's and feeling like I am actually getting stuff done.  So I printed off my sheets so I no longer have to remember to print them off!
 I slipped this sheet of tabs onto one of the tabbed dividers.  Now I can slip them on to something I need to remember...so handy!
 A few months ago I sprained ankle and after weeks of not being able to find EXACTLY what I wanted for my lesson plans, I made it myself.  I was couch-ridden and used the old ruler and pencil method to hack out what I wanted.  Sometime I'll try to enhance it so you can see what all I included.  Above is my first week of school...look at how planned it is. 
 And then we skip to week 5...nary a lesson has been planned.  Eek.  I know it seems lame-o but I can't plan too far ahead lest Emma gets behind and then I am in hot water with the planning ahead. 
 This section makes me the most excited...eek!  It's all together in all of it's glory.  The days of planning on the back of a starbucks napkin are over. 
 Here's what I like to see the most...being organized, I have been recording what I have been buying and need to send, wrap, etc.  I like being able to write "done" next to what I have already accomplished this early in the year. 
 I know it's dumb but I like to make goofy names for my sheets and lists.  That way when I am on the phone, stressed out and trying to find where the dumb post office lost all of my gifts, I can smile when I am writing on my "odd-ball" Christmas list. 

It's the little things.  Am I wrong? 
I like planning for this event...gotta be prepared, right?  Do you have an Ugly Sweater Party too?
 
I absolutely could not have done this without this website.  She explained how to arrange your pages and had oodles and oodles of templates to use.  Love this lady and I don't even know her! 

Do you make your own planner too?  Do you have any other ideas? I'd love to hear them!
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dirty Old Pee Mattress

I got some question as to how I clean a mattress when it has been peed on.  It took me a while to figure out how to do this.  Thankfully our mattresses have never stunk after accidents but I never felt thoroughly satisfied with how clean they were after mishaps...
 
until the joy of Pinterest found it's way into my life and I found this method. 
 
So sorry but I have no idea where I found this technique/method or I would totally credit that angel of a mother for helping a brother out. 
 
If that mom is you, please let me know and I will lift your name high on a pedestal and we will all celebrate you! 
 
Anyway, here's what I do...
 
 
 First strip the bed of the grossness.  Then I thoroughly spray the mattress with Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products.  I highly recommend Mrs. Meyers because it smells amazing and is a natural product.  But you can use whatever...
 Then toss on a few towels.  There aren't your fancy towels.  These aren't your guest towels.  These are your hardworking everyday towels.  They'll get washed and will be okay.  I promise. 
 Next you need to toss something on there that is weighty enough to smoosh the towels into the mattress.  Otherwise the liquid loveliness will just soak deeper into the mattress rather than up into the towels.  I have found that laundry baskets of clothes seem to work well.  I tried books but ended up with some throw-away books as the liquid (let's just say it, pee) soaked through the blankets.  With the baskets if the towels get soaked through you can just clorox wipe the bottoms of the baskets and be good to go. 
*Couple of notes: look at all of those clean clothes!   I promise they are clean!  I am SOOOO bad about getting those folded. And two smooshy is totally a real word...moving on.
 After the baskets have been flowerpressing the towels for an adequate time (I waited about 6 hours), I then sprinkle on Baking Soda or this lovely product seen above.  It's basically baking soda with a nice smell.  I then vacuum it all up.  I then sprinkle a little more on the mattress before I put the protector back on.  Just a little factoid...bedbugs hate baking soda!  If you are a spaz like me who is terrified of getting bedbugs you can sprinkle it on your bed, or around your bed when you stay at a hotel.  No, I don't do that...that would be insane! 

And where were the children while I was doing all of this? 
 Well, right here of course!
 And here!
And here!  Together!  Having a grand old sleeping party! 

If fairy tales converged this would be "Sleeping Beauties" and "Cinderella" combined!

Hope you now can feel better about cleaning your mattresses too when you have little oops moments in life!
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

5x7 Folded Card

Birthday Colors Blue Birthday Card
Shutterfly offers custom St. Patrick's Day cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

I love this card, don't you?  One of the ways  that I try to help my husband is to be a good steward of the money he works so hard to make.  And one of the ways that I do that is to look for free promo codes.  So far this week I've made two free cards and a free magnet.  I should note though that many times there is tax and shipping still charged.  No biggie as long as the amount is less than you would pay for a card at the store in my opinion.  If shipping ends up being $5.00 and you would only have spend $3.00 at target on a card, keep walking.  Personalized cards are neat and all, but they aren't worth it if you are spending oodles. 

So anyway, that is one way that I am doing my part to save money.  With an average of 3 birthdays per month to send cards out for, we spend $9-$12 each month on cards.  That's $108-144 a year, just on cards!  Anyway I can minimize those types of costs helps us in the long run.  It may not seem like much at the time, but everything adds up. 
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Wetting the Bed

These days, as my blog name suggests, I am "Super Busy at Home".  Lately it's been..."Super Busy at Home Changing Calvin's Sheets". 

Ugh. 

He is only 4 years old.  I know that's still little. 

In the last weeks we have taking to having nightly accidents. 

And once in a while would be okay. 

But did I mention they are almost every night?

Ugh. 

So this morning I just cringed when I heard his little feet hit the floor upstairs at 4:20 a.m.

Lord, give me mercy on him. 

Help me not to kill him.

Help me, help me, help me...

Just kidding...I wouldn't kill him. 

It was just that ideal moment, ya know...first cup of coffee in hand. It was after all 4:20 in THE MORNING

So Mommy put the coffee down (put the coffee down and no one will get hurt just echoed through my head).  And went to get the little dearie. 

I ran hot water in the sink to wash him down, frankly because I was too lazy to run a bath. 

And do you know what he said to me? 

Don't wipe off my tatoo.

Classy.  Totally Calvin. 

Okay, baby boy.  Momma won't rub off the tatoo on your forearm.  Don't worry...not going all gangbangers on the scrubbing or anything. 

I've got the moves like Jagger, moves like Jagger...Oh sorry, sometimes I sing those things to myself while scrubbing down peed boys and it makes me feel all stealth...surely Mick Jagger's doing this fun stuff too, right?  :)

So tonight I gotta tell ya.  I was too sleepy to even remake his bed and track down another matress protector gizmo (what is that even called? Work brain, work!) I know.  I am a lame mom.

So I threw the kid in our bed. 

Emma's "not fair-o meter" has been recalibrated lately, letting her sense even the slightest discrepencies.  So she woke up too. 

She wants to sleep in our bed too. 

Yeah! 

So that's been my morning.  Anyone have any suggestions on how to get this kid to not pee? Or bodily functions I'm down with, but maybe he could do it in the toilet...novel idea!  In my wonderful parenting moves I've even threatened not taking him to Disney.  I think I said something like "Mickey doesn't want you peeing in his beds either" or something of the sort.  He just echoed back the glassy, sleepy stare that I am sure I have and didn't say anything. 

How come my best mom moves no longer work?   Why can't I make kids cry anymore? 

Ugh.  I'm so lame at my job. 

Now if you'll excuse me, me and my Jagger moves are going to go work on making a matress not smell like urine. 

Yeah! I've got the moves like Jagger!
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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer Fest

Today was our neighborhood's summer party.  Every summer the neighborhood comes together in front of our house; we roast hot dogs, have water balloon fights, and just get reaquainted all over again. 
 
I love our neighborhood...have I mentioned to ya before? 
 
It has it's faults.  Granted.  But here are some things I love...
 
 
 
Brick lined streets!  Yes we live on a street that is still paved with bricks and I absolutely adore that!  This is Emma devouring a piece of cake that the neighbor across the street made.  Yum!
 
 
 
 

 Cal liked it too!  In case you hadn't figured that out ;)

 Here's the cake that is being devoured in the previous pictures which brings me to something else that I love...the lady that lives right across the street, her name is Diana, and she makes the most phenomenal cakes!  I love that !  Frequently she'll send over samples to try.  Her husband works with Nick and they keep an eye on our house and the kiddos.  Love the neighborly feeling around here.
 I love that Emma's about to deck Cal with a water balloon.  I love it's a neighborhood where our kids can just be themselves and have fun. 
 Cal being crazy.  All of the kids seem pretty used to it.  There's no pretext or need to explain the kid to everyone...we all have our own Calvin's in our family's and it's cool.  I have to say, I love Emma's little smirk in this picture!
 Big mature trees and old houses...what is not to love!  In this picture they told the kids to "pick out a partner" so that's what Emma did!
 Calvin decided to grace us with his presence as Spiderman.  Love it!
 You never know when a good old fashioned sword fight is going to break out!
 Our neighbor's being, well, neighborly!   I love it!
 I threw Nick in the mix by volunteering him to grille.  He grunted and grumbled but once we got there I think he really enjoyed himself!
 The water balloon committee hard at work!
And we had Spiderman so for our next act...Darth Vader!  I think he had to be in costume to play with the big boys.

All in all we love our neighborhood and these events remind us why we are where we are.  We really are enjoying ourselves!
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A New Me, Technelogically Speaking

This weekend Nick did something weird. 

Out of the ordinary. 

For him at least. 

Phenomenal. 

Can you tell I am still a little shocked? 

This weekend he went out and bought me a new laptop!  Eek! 

And not just a new laptop, but a new camera too! 

A Canon Rebel t3i to be exact. 

I am in love!  With Nick and with the fun new products! 

I have to feel bad about getting such nice new things, but they were definitely needed.  Our laptop is about 5 years old and was progressing to go down hill...fast!  It was taking me half an hour to get to one website...needless to say, if you have bee wondering why I haven't blogged much in the previous months, this is your reason right here. 

Our camera has always been a point and shoot.  And I've always felt kind of weird not having a better camera.  I could take the kids pictures for so many things if I had a nicer camera.  My pictures from here would look so much better.  But I never could justify it...in a way I still am having a hard time with it.  But it was a gift and our point and shoot has just died.  Of course it is right outside of the warranty period but the camera has a lovely dark grey blur in the picture.  Nice.  The repair on it was going to be more than just buying a new camera.  So Nick decided to upgrade me. 

Isn't he so sweet? 

He's been laughing all weekend that he didn't buy me a new camera, he bought me a new hobby.  And I think he might be right! 

So watch out world...this lady' got a new camera and a new laptop...trouble is sure to ensue!
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Jade & Grey designs :)

Hi there friends!  My friend Brittany is having a giveaway on her facebook page.  You can sign up by clicking here!

 
She makes the most darling children's clothing and I LOVE everything!  Good luck!
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Little Lazy Bones


Yesterday there was a pretty huge disparity between our kiddos and everyone else's in the area as yesterday all of the Public Schools started.  This is what we were doing as you can see above. 

Yeah!

Rather than having to get the kiddos up and on the bus super early (7:26 is the bus time we were assigned if we went to school), we are lounging around savoring the last few chilly mornings of summer, taking our time waking up. 
Here's Cal.  He somehow always mangages to walk around with his waistband all twisted and tucked under...I have no idea how it doesn't drive him nuts.  Well, I do, he has sensory issues and can't even feel it, but it just seems it should drive him crazy like it does his Momma! 

Miss Kazoo with Baby Grace.  We switch back and forth on a daily basis who we are obsessed with: Kit or Baby Grace.  As you can see, yesterday was a Baby Grace (in ice skating pants or something?) kind of day. 
 
Yesterday they watched more television than normal.  This is NOT what a typical day looks like around here.  But there were two reasons this occured:
1) Emma had been grounded from watching television and had her grounding just lifted so she was content snuggling in to watch some toons.
2) Nick has started snoring  a lot!  Ugh.  But as a result I ended up not falling asleep until about 2:30 in the morning and that was downstairs on the couch.  So this Mommy was a leetle sleepy!  Sure kids, watch tv.  I'm going to take a nap...
 
So that is was our day!  We are starting school in a couple of weeks (the day after Labor Day!) And until then we are going to do a lot of snuggling, playing, bike riding, crafts, cookie making, and just plain 'ole having fun! 

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2 more weeks of summer

I swear, this summer has just flown by! 

We have had so much fun though.  And while we have definitely spent our fair share of time lounging around and recooping from our first year of homeschooling, we have also kept busy. 

We've visited new places, gone to the beach lots, had lots of science time, played in the pool and waterparks around oodles, and had tons of walks, trips to the local parks, and playdates with friends. 

All in all it's been a wonderful time around here! 

The picture above was taken at Nick's parent's house.  Every 4th of July their small town puts on a parade and we are blessed with having Nick's parent's live on the parade route.  So every year the kids are out on the curb to wave and get candy as it's thrown.  It's one of their favorite times of the summer! 

Hope you all have had a great summer!  We still have two more weeks until school starts and we are going to make sure to relish every minute! 
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mommy's Little Helpers


I'm going to start out by saying how BIG these kids are getting!  I simply cannot believe it!  It is amazing and sad all at the same overwhelming time.  I am still trying to process how I feel about it...

Over the summer we have done a lot of baking.  And cleaning, and craft projects, and experiments.  We are getting a tad more hands on and I've really spent the summer pushing them to see what they can and cannot handle.  To my surprise, these kids can do a lot of stuff and they love being little helpers! 

All I can say about these cuties is that we are going to definitely have our hands full! 
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

A month and a half


Well it's been a month and a half. 

A month and a half ago we started our son on medication. 

Prozac to be exact. 

Within that month and a half we've had the privelege of what feels like, meeting our son for the first time. 

We've learned that he doesn't like crusts on bread (typical kid)! 
Having the lights out at night makes him lonely. 
He doesn't like having Lucy sleep in his room.
He only likes pickles at room temperature.
He's not crazy about yellow cheese.
He thinks Emma's amazing. 
He's also called her his hero once or twice.
He thinks I'm "just Lovely"
He knows that God is with him.

The list goes on and on, but put by the doctor, when he's on the medicine, he's not acting Autistic. 

Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord, is all I can say! 

For whatever reason Cal is extremely sensitive to the TINY dosage of medicine that we've been giving him.  We've had to change the dosage size about 4 times and the time of day we give it to him has changed. 

But it has been amazing. 

He's talked more in the past month and a half than I have EVER heard him talk.  He's playing with others and having imaginative play.  He's dancing around the house almost every day!  He's telling me knock-knock jokes. 

It has been such a joy and such a blessing from God to see him grow and open up and share with us.  We are so in love with this little boy!  We practically hang on his every word to see what cute thing he's going to say with us or what he's going to share with us next.  He and Emma have bonded even more and the screaming and crying and having 38,000 tantrums a day has stopped.  Completely!

I am one happy Mama these days, and one very thankful Christian that the Lord has helped us so immensely with Cal. 
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