Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Things You Do: February 2013

Am I the only one that is ecstatic that this month is over?  Man...for being the shortest month of the year it felt endless.

We kicked off this month with a 10 day trip to Florida, some of which was spent on our first big road trip with both of the boys (Jack had done the trip three times previously!)  Honestly - it was a ton of fun for me, but then I am one of those people that loves road trips.  We took our time, went to fun stops along the way, and just enjoyed our time together.  I am going to put some pictures from our trip in this post...just so we have them here somewhere!

But anyway...on to the things they are doing now...

Jack: You are starting to show a lot of interest in reading.  You have always loved being read to, and now you are starting to point to words and signs to ask what they say.  This is both very exciting to me - and very intimidating.  I am not really sure where to go from here!
Jumping on the bed at the first hotel after a long day of road-trippin'
Luke: You have learned that you really love to make people laugh.  You do this by making faces, dancing, and putting various things on your head.  It's pretty darn cute.
Venice Beach
Jack: You are defiant right now.  I don't know if it is from being cooped up from the weather, or the age that you are, or something else...but it is hard right now.  You go from being super sweet and kind to being absolutely unmanageable...and then when I correct you, you start to scream for your dad.  It's rough - but we will work through it to figure out what works for you.
The water was cooooold!
Luke: You have GOT to start sleeping through the night.  Enough said on that one.
Superbowl Sunday - hence the SF gear my husband is sporting.
Jack:  We told you that we are moving - and you are all kinds of confused about it.  You have visited the house we are moving to one time, but you seem to think that we will be moving in with your Mimi (my mom).  Hah! No dude.  Been there - done that. 

Luke:You talk so much! Sure - I am the only one who understands what you are saying, but still! You are talking! You even said "no car" the other day when I tried to strap you in to your car seat.
Jack: You caught your first fish with Daddy in Florida! It was the dearest thing!
Luke: You got your first haircut this month! Since then we have had trim the back - since you were starting to look a bit like a cast member from the Mighty Ducks. 

Boys: You go between being best buddies to flat out fighting in no time at all.  Still - I am so glad you have each other.  I also can't wait until we can get outside a little more to run off some of your energy!

Another month down...looking forward to spring!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Winter Edition

Well...I have never participated in one of these before, BUT I have gleaned oodles of inspiration from Pinterest, so I figured it was time.
I first saw this cute pin ages ago when I first 'found' Pinterest, pinned it, and promptly forgot about it.  It is from a nursery featured on Elements of Style.

I had the boys adorable little bowties that they sported to my little sister's wedding last August just sitting in my nightstand, waiting for their moment to shine. 
I gathered up a few empty frames, an old drop cloth, and my scissors.  It was seriously a five minute craft.
I slid the alligator clips out of the back of the bow ties, cut the canvas to fit, popped them all together, and bam! Adorable little momentos preserved for all time (well...for a while anyway).
 I didn't need to glue them in place, since the glass pressed them tight enough that they wouldn't budge. 
I like the texture that the canvas provides as the backdrop, and man, do I love seeing those dear little bowties!
 The polka dot one was Jack's, and if you look closely you can see little red stains where he dribbled juice down his chest...typical two year old stuff! I love that I can remember that exact moment when I see this little piece.

This is the part where I would show you a cute shot of them hung up on the wall..but since we are moving in 33 days (!!), you will just have to use your imagination!

Did you join in the challenge this year?

Head on over to the hosts of the challenge to find more great projects!

Monday, February 25, 2013

More on Moving

I have gotten a lot of questions about our move - both online and in person, so I thought I would share a bit more about the motivation behind the move. 

1. Where are you moving? We are moving a little farther south.  Not exceptionally far - but down closer to where we used to live.  It is where we had really established our lives - and frankly, we really really miss that.  We miss our church, we miss our friends, and the boys miss their friends too. 

2. Why? We were going to move out of this house (the farmhouse) at the earliest possible date anyway.  It is not a good place for us.  Sure, we have made some nice changes, but in the long run this place is bad for us.  I didn't blog about it, because frankly it just really upset me - but in December we noticed that Jacks front teeth looked a little funny.  The just looked darker than normal, and after talking to a few dental hygienist friends, we were thinking maybe he had damaged the pulp in his teeth in one of his many falls.  We took him to a dentist, and it turns out - no...his teeth weren't damaged in a fall - they were stained from something in the water.  Now...we asked the landlord on our first walkthrough how the water was here - and she told us it was perfectly fine.  After we moved in, we found that it stained our clothes in the washing machine.  But still...we always filtered our water through a Brita filter anyway - so we thought it was fine to drink.  Turned out that was not the case - and our three year old now had stained teeth.  I was so upset - I can't even explain it. Her response? " only have to deal with it for six more months"

Awesome.  Needless to say - we buy all of our drinking water at the grocery store now...and we don't wash our light laundry here at all.  Jack's teeth are looking much better since we stopped letting him have any water from the house - filtered or not.   

That was our biggest beef with this place, but other issues are that the electricity is spotty, the heat does not work well (which she somehow blames us for?), and so on and so on...

3. A question I get frequently is 'do you regret putting all of that work into the house, only to leave?' and honestly?  No.  Not at all.  The point of making this place feel and look like home has always been for the benefit of our family.  So that my kids and husband have a nice place to relax, and a comfortable place to call home.  And to take it to a spiritual level - God calls us to be good stewards of that which he has given to us.  And for this period in time, whether we like it or not, God has given us this farmhouse to call home. 

4. Where is Matt going to work? is another question that we get pretty frequently.  Well..Matt is going to keep working where he is working.  He has the opportunity to work from home a few days a week, and he says that he is fine with the longer commute in order to have our family where we feel it is the best place to raise our boys. 

5. What about gymnastics?  It cracks me up how often this question gets asked.  For now - we are going to keep Jack in gymnastics up here.  It is not an exceptionally long drive, and it will ensure that the boys get to see Matt's parents frequently.  A huge benefit of living up here has been building a closer relationship for the boys (and me to be honest) with Matt's parents.  They are wonderful grandparents, and I am more than happy to make the drive once a week to make sure that the boys get to spend time with them (the gymnastics class is sort of a bonus thing for us to do up here in this case).  As Jack gets older - we will see if he even wants to keep doing gymnastics, but as of right now he loves it.

Those are some of the most frequently asked questions, at least regarding the motivation behind the move.  So hopefully my answers have helped clear up a few questions.  If you have any more - feel free to ask them!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

On Being a Mom

I think we all (well - those of us that are mothers anyway) need to be reminded of this sometimes...
And in honor of that - I would like to tell you about a day that I had a few months ago. 

Matt was gone for the day - I can't remember where - it was some work thing that had him gone from early in the morning and getting home late at night.  As a little surprise to him (and mostly because I didn't want to wait) I decided that I would revamp our kitchen.  I had gotten most of the painting and such done at naptime, and I excitedly hung up the plates for our plate wall.  

As I prepared dinner for my little boys, Luke was SUPER clingy, so I held him on my hip as I made something super healthy sticks.  As I got out our plates, Luke reached out and grabbed one of the new plates right off of the wall.  He dropped it onto my foot, shattering it into several pieces, cutting open my toes in the process.  So there I am - bleeding all over my kitchen, trying not to yell at my baby.  I put him in his high chair, gave him his juice, and got to cleaning up the blood/broken dishes in the kitchen.  

When I finally sat down on the floor to bandage my foot, I heard laughter from both of the boys.  I went into the dining room to see that Luke had opened his cup, spilled his juice onto his tray, and was happily splashing it all over the dining room - WHILE JACK DANCED IN THE SPRAY OF JUICE - arms held over his head as the sticky liquid ran down the walls.  

I lost my shit.  There is just no other way to say it.  I did.  I was SO ANGRY.  Later at dinner Jack said 'These are really good fish sticks Mommy' and I believe my response was something like...'let's just eat our fish and not talk'. 

After I got them into bed for the night I sat on the floor for a while thinking 'Man...I blew it today'.  

So there you go...some honest motherhood for ya.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Adventure Artwork - and a New Place!

SO.  If you follow me on instagram - you probably saw a little announcement I made earlier this week.  No...I am not pregnant! The big news is that we are once again packing up our belongings and moving to a new house in April. 39 short days...not that I am counting or anything.  There are really so many reasons we are moving - and it is a total God thing that we have been given the opportunity to make this adorable little place our own...
...Cute right?  It is a two bedroom house - so that means our little dudes will be sharing a room for the first time.  While I know that a lot of people think that having two kids share a room is not ideal - I am honestly very excited for them to share a space!

Of course I have already started decorating their room in my head - and I actually made a good start on a tangible decoration as well! One of the many things I want to teach my dudes is that this world is an amazing place - all they have to do is get out there and find some adventures.

I started with this vintage-looking world map poster that I got on Amazon for $.20.  Yep...that is CENTS people!
Next I played around with the 'adventure is out there' slogan from the movie up, and when I was happy with the fonts I ordered a poster sized engineer print from Staples for a little over $3. 
I layered the print over the map, and put them both on top of a towel that I spread on the dining room table.
 I then traced the outline of the letters - being careful enough to use enough pressure to mark the map, but not to tear through.  It's tough to see - but you can just seen the indentations that I traced in the picture below...
...see it? I filled in the outlines with white paint. could do this with a paintbrush, but I happened to have a paint pen on hand, and I found that it worked really well.  Two coats later (give LOTS of drying time between coats - especially if you use a high gloss poster like I did), and it was finished...

I still need to find a frame of sorts...I have been playing with the idea of trying to build one...but I am very happy with the way it came out(for $4 no less!), and I'm looking forward to hanging it in their NEW ROOM!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Easy Valentine's Day Craft : Potato Stamps

Yet another craft born of necessity...
I had gotten Matt's Valentines gift and stashed it in a closet, then kind of forgot about it for a day or so, then went to wrap it and realized that I only had Christmas wrapping paper.  He probably wouldn't have cared at all - but I did, so I whipped up some last minute homemade wrapping paper with some newspaper, a potato, and some red paint.

I remember using potato stamps with my mom, so this is definitely not a new idea, but they are cheap and they are easy for little hands to hold, so they are a fun afternoon craft!

The concept is simple.  Take a potato, chop it in half, and carefully carve whatever shape your little hear desires into the end that you just cut.
I let the boys stamp some paper as a craft that afternoon, and then when naptime rolled around I get creative with Matt's gift.  When you are finished with the stamp, you can just toss it in the garbage (or compost if you have it!).
The size and shape of the potato makes it very easy for little ones (even as young as Luke!) to hold, and they loved seeing the hearts that they were leaving behind.
So there you have it - a super cheap, easy way to make a stamp in whatever shape you need! Tell me...did you guys do this when you were little? 

Linking up (click the banner to go see oodles of V-day crafts):


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ch-ch-changes - in the Living Room

So there is this wall in the living room - and it kind of drives me batty.  It is on the side of the room with the door to the half-bath, and the laundry closet, so I can't put any furniture in front of it that would block access to those rooms.  I had put a little table there, which I liked the look of - especially when the house was decorated for fall - but the problem was that the bathroom door would swing open and hit it anytime Jack went to the bathroom (he doesn't close the door). The best picture I have of the space with the table is this one from the post about the lanterns.
I wanted to find something with a slimmer profile so that the door wouldn't be banging into it all the time, but there wasn't really a huge rush, so I took my time until I found the right piece (and the right price).

I finally found a leaning ladder-style bookshelf (when I was actually buying chairs for our dining room - more on that later) and I got to work setting it up.  The boys helped - and by helped I mean Jack jumped on the box while Luke made off with my screwdriver.
(The pictures on the bathroom door are vintage valentines)
In the end - I really like the way it fits the space - and the door stops before it hits it! Success all around!! I had fun trying to style the shelves.  I will be the first to admit that this is NOT my strong suit.  I tend to just jam as many books as I can on a bookshelf, but since you can actually see this as soon as you walk in the front door, I wanted to at least try!
Here we have our ever growing wine cork collection, atop books that totally show off the two different personalities in our marriage - flea market decorating and beers of the world.  I'll let you go ahead and guess whose is whose!
This shelf is the lowest - so it had to be kid-proof.  I popped in a picnic basket that I picked up at goodwill on the thrifting trip, and a few books.
A little higher up we find my Grandpa's camera acting as a bookend to a little Agatha Christie collection, along with a ceramic horse head - because why not?! (Sidenote - when I was debating my first DSLR purchase between Nikon and Canon - seeing that my Grandpa shot with a Canon was my deciding factor)
 Moving down another shelf we have a huge pinecone that we found at a gas station on our road trip to Florida earlier this month, a photo of my Poppy on his tractor on the farm where I grew up, and Jack's baby book.  
The top shelf is home to a cute little plant from Ikea, a fun mercury glass owl from my sister-in-law, and Luke's baby book

Over all, I am pretty happy with how it looks in the space, and for those safety conscious ones out there (hi mom!) I did bolt it to the wall with a small L-bracket (you can see it just above the owl in the above picture).  As with any furniture, but especially tall pieces, there is just no reason to take risks about things like this falling on little ones. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Luke's First Haircut

Phew! We are back from Florida, and I am at the point that I have SO much to write about that I don't know where to start, so I figured I would break in with a VERY important post. 

You may have noticed that a certain blue-eyed someone has been sporting some beautiful long locks these days.  I can't tell you how many people urged me to never cut his beautiful hair, and a part of me really didn't want to do it, but it was in his eyes all the time, and it clearly bothered him - had to be done!
We went to a really cute barber shop down in Florida, and all of the boys got a three-generational haircut! (Sidenote: when the barber asked Jack what he wanted jack said 'off the top!')

I ended up holding Luke for his trim, so there aren't too many pictures of that, but Matt did snap a few.  I told the barber that I was partial to Luke's curls, so if he could just trim the top and a little off of the back that would be great!
In a way...he sort of has a mullet now I guess - but the back is so curly that it does not look longer most of the time! Haha I guess we will evaluate at his next haircut whether we should trim the back more or not!

He really did great while he got his haircut, he just sat in my lap and looked at me for reassurance.  And the end result?

I saved a little baggie of his baby curls, and he got a sweet little certificate stating that he had 'bravely met the requirements of his first haircut and has now graduated from babyhood' which kind of killed me a little bit inside - but there you have it...

Luke's first haircut! He looks so much older to me...

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