Sep 30, 2010

Our Thursday

We've been home all day today!

Our Parents as Teachers educator, Chris, came to call.
Both kids are right on track. Always refreshing and encouraging to hear. If you don't participate in Parents as Teachers I encourage you to check it out!

Story and I had some bonding time in her new Sleepy Wrap. It is awesome!! I have nothing but good things to say about it. Who knew a long piece of stretchy fabric could hold my baby close to my heart? It's amazing. It could hold Wilder's weight too. No joke.
Wilder and I made nature bracelets. Just put a piece of tape, sticky side out, around wrist. Go on a nature hunt and find things to stick on the bracelet.
Aside from one mommy mini-meltdown (from food being thrown off highchair) it's been a lovely day. What are you doing to enjoy the fall weather/people you love?

Sep 29, 2010

Mi amor

image via
I love:

the high after a run
twix bars
date night
succulent plants
cool nights
baby wearing
toddler kissing
estate saleing
vintage toys
pretty paper
take charge people
blogger friends
doing life friends
faraway friends

On a day like today, when Wilder threw a full-fledged tantrum on the floor of Old Navy (their Halloween costumes are a hoot if you don't want/know how to sew) and I just stood there, frozen, it is VITAL to remember the things I love. The little things that add lilt to my voice and a jig to my step.

It will be ok. Everything will always be ok.

But I still have a question: what's a girl to do about toddler tantrums in public? I literally just froze and let him throw the tantrum. I was shell-shocked and felt very much not-in-charge. Sometimes I walk around my house saying, repeatedly, "I'm in charge, I'm in charge, I'm. in. charge!!"

Sep 28, 2010

Save the boobies

Can I get an awwwwww???

First kiss at age two. With an older woman.

Each day's an adventure around here.

I've been especially touched in my friendships lately. Very grateful that my friends are willing to cut time out of their busy lives to spend time with me/the kids. Sometimes I feel like a high-maintenance friend because I value face to face time, and think that it's really vital for the development of heart friendships.

Which leads me to a strong lesson I'm learning: how am I to know Jesus if I'm not spending time with Him? There's still areas in my life that need healing, and I should be on my knees in prayer about them. On my knees for my kids. Praying for their hearts. Their future spouses (picture above reminds me of this). So much to pray for. I am asking Him for discipline to carve out time for Him each day, just as I do for Shawn, for my kids, for me.

Praying you will be determined to make Christ a priority this week, and always. Praying you will not be overwhelmed by the sometimes sheer seriousness of life.

We are blessed to walk it.

Or in my case, run.

Here are some pictures to prove I did it!
I was really proud of myself for running this 4 months post-partum, and for disciplining myself to get on the treadmill at 10pm 4 nights a week when really I would've rather watched American Pickers. :-)

Let's not talk about the fact that I lost my car key after the race. Thank God someone found a SINGLE car key. Oddly enough I didn't freak out; I have take-charge friends who talked to the people in charge and found it.

I run around with 2 kids and have never lost them!

Sep 26, 2010

Homemade laundry detergent

How's your weekend been? I ran the Komen 5K on Saturday and have been phasing out the kids' summer clothes today...

I also made laundry detergent! Having a family of four means having scads of laundry to do. Which means spending a pretty penny on laundry detergent. I decided it was time to make our own detergent; it was much easier than I'd anticipated. The hardest part was scouring the town for ingredients.

Found the recipe on this blog (very cute mommy blog by the way) but will re-post it here.

You will need:
--1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated (amounts to approx 2 cups)-use smallest grater size so it's super fine (found bar at Ace Hardware for $1.29)

--1 cup Borax (found box at Ace Hardware for $5.49)

--1 cup Washing Soda (found box at Dillon's for $2.85)

--1/4 cup OxyClean (not necessary, but can be added) *I didn't use it*

Mix all of it together with a spoon; will look bumpy, granular, and probably not all-mixed (that's ok).

Use 1T for a light load and 2T for a large or really dirty load.

Drea has some helpful notes on her blog about the cost-effectiveness of homemade versus store-purchased laundry soap. She makes a strong case!

The smallest grater hole on my grater caused the soap to stick. I had to use the next largest size, and the soap came out in little curlie-cues. I'm not too worried about it because it's still pretty fine. I've heard food processors can grate soap down pretty fine as well, but I don't have one.
I doubled the recipe to make the effort worth it (Drea mentions a double-recipe lasts up to 6 months!!), and used Ivory as the second bar of soap. For storage I used a GladWare reusable storage container (8-cup size).

I feel very productive and Suzie-Homemaker-ish! The soap smells so fresh and I can't wait to use it.

Sep 24, 2010

Estate sale report, letter A drawings

Thank you for your feedback this week. Very encouraging. I write the blog to satiate my creative hunger but I write it for you, too. It is gratifying to know what you think!

Anyway, just wanted to get that out before I forgot.

Here is my sweet stinky girl. She refused the bottle last night for Daddy when I was out with friends...stinker.
I had a flower pin in my hair this morning and Wilder said, "look Mommy, a big flower. That's beautiful!" And it sure was pretty but not nearly as pretty as this boys curls or eye lashes.
Found some goodies at an estate sale yesterday.

Wood-handled silverware: $2 (enough to set 3 place settings and 1/2 of another)
Sunglasses: $0.50
Owl pendant: $2
Mint condition red vintage clutch purse: $2
I also bought a chair for $5. I will have to post a picture of it later then ask for instructions on how to reupholster...

Here are some of our "A" chalk drawings. I am not sure how good of a job I am doing at reiterating the letter of the week as "A." I've been asking Wilder, "what's the letter of the week?" His response: D!

Mommy's astronaut:
Daddy's accordion:Mommy's sketch of Wilder:

Have a blessed weekend. You made it!

Sep 22, 2010

A is for Angry Ardvaarks Advancing Along An Arrow (s. boynton)

This week I was called a defensive pessimist. I wholeheartedly, unagressively, non-defensively, disagree (!).

This week we are practicing the letter A. So applesauce and A-shaped bread for breakfast.
This week (Sunday) I ran the length of a small Kansas town, around their track, and back.

This week I am excited about the upcoming 5K Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I saw a lady at the grocers who volunteers and she said the number of participants is record-breaking this year. Awesome.

This week this came in the mail. I've already used it. Can't believe I have gone so long without one.

This week Shawn introduced me to the show American Pickers. I can't get enough of it. It is my dream. Who wouldn't want to go tooling around in old barns for treasures??!?!?! Not naming names...

This week I think back on special moments with family.
This week I am thankful for my little boy's spirit, that cannot be broken even when mommy is grouchy (I flunked at Motherhood 101 today).
This week I am delighted at Story and Wilder's sibling bond, budding so soon. So already.
This week I wish I didn't have zits.

Now that's something you won't be getting a picture of.

Sep 20, 2010

Goopy glue

I have been busy. But what's new. Phew. I sat on the couch for 1/2 second today and I realized how little I actually sit on my couch.

I have chosen to relish the time with my kids and my house has suffered in response. A walk across the dining room mat ensures a crunch or two underfoot. Drives me bonkers. But it's my own fault.

My friend Julie, a former teacher, does cool neat projects with her son, so I copied and made the same gooey easy paste stuff (see J's link for the recipe) for Wilder to test out.

He wasn't a fan of getting his hands dirty--"towel, towel, wipe it, wipe it, no like it...pleassseee," he kept saying.
Where or where does he get that from?
By the way, we were at the farm today! Here's Wilder workin' hard:
Wouldn't he make a darling ranch hand, the object of girls' fancies? I think so. But just be warned that he's not allowed to date until he's 32.

Make that 35. Ok scratch that. I want grandbabies.


Sep 17, 2010

Three Great Tastes Blond Brownies

It's recipe time, kids.

For my "decompressing" time I chose to bake Three Great Tastes Blond Brownies from my Hershey's Classic Recipes cookbook, given to me by Mommy.

And they were amazing. Very sweet. A little goes a long way, so have a glass of milk on-hand. And let it rolllll down. My MAPS friends liked them; I had to share because otherwise I would've eaten the entire pan.

You will need:
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (of each) semi-sweet chocolate chips, Reese's peanut butter chips, premier white chips
Chocolate Chip Drizzle (recipe follows at the end)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan.
2. Stir together brown sugar and butter in large bowl; beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add flour and salt, beating just until blended; stir in chocolate, peanut butter and white chips. Spread batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. With tines of fork, drizzle chocolate chip drizzle randomly over bars. Makes about 72 bars.

Chocolate Chip Drizzle: In small microwave-safe bowl, place 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/4 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread, or oil). Microwave at high 30 seconds to 1 minute; stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.
Also, look at my dolly!!! She is wonderful. I am proudly obsessed.
She is wearing some green pjs that Wilder wore and they are getting too small. We can't bear to box them up.
Lastly, be sure to hop on over to I Can Teach My Child! tomorrow for Wilder's mud-pie debut as part of their Show and Share Saturday.

Sep 15, 2010

iPhone picture post

this is one of my all time favorites

I've mentioned before that after the kids go down to bed, sometimes we watch videos of them on Shawn's iPhone, or look at their pictures. As if we don't get enough of them during the day?

We're just a little obsessed. Proud parents, I guess.

Here are some entertaining photos, all by Shawn.

"werkin'" on the shed:
my favorite store has mostly beautiful aprons, except for this kitschy one:
Story in her Dots dress/destroyed living room in background:
I can't keep up with my wooden floors. Isn't this dust bunny heinous? The size of a real bunny! I am awful:
Me with the princess, in a wrap borrowed from a friend. I sortof don't know how to work it because she showed me when I was really sick:
Wilder forgot about his ice cream. We did, too. Several hours later...

Sep 14, 2010

Bird's nest craft-toddler edition

I'm not sure I'm cut out for crafts with a toddler. No pun intended. I was reigning in some patience I'm pretty sure was supposed to be reserved for Wilder's teenage years. We'll get the hang of it, and it really was fun afterall.

I was inspired by her and her to do more crafty things with Wilder, as a way for us to bond over creativity and for him to learn. He was a good directions-follower and was so proud of the end result.

What is that? Is it a toupee, you say? Dirt? Chocolate?
(that face right there makes the mess worth it!)

No, it's a bird's nest with wee googly eyed birds inside (I should've bought larger pom poms or used a smaller plate--the nest is about to swallow them).
Click here to link to the project on Parents.com. You can see the pretty picture of what it's supposed to look like.

Bring the outdoors inside by creating a cozy new home for these adorable pom-pom birds.

Make it: Cut a paper plate in half and staple the rims together (leaving the top of the nest open). After your kids paint it brown, help them glue shredded brown paper onto the front to add texture. Create the birds by gluing three blue pom-poms to the ends of Popsicle sticks. Add googly eyes and orange paper beaks for a little personality. Have your kids slide the ends of the Popsicle sticks between the plates so the baby birds can rest inside their new nest -- and even pop up when they get hungry! source

Look at the tape on their eyes. I am a total cheater.

Either that or I have messy glue phobia.

What fun crafts are you doing with your babies?