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Monday, March 28, 2011

Chatty Boy

Bruiser was full of words this may have had something to do with us driving 30 minutes to the Y that had the bouncy house and the yoga class I love...or not!


"I love the hot planet.  I love the sun.  You know, Mama, the sun is in outer space.  The sun is a star!  I learned it on Bubble Guppies!"


And now I can't remember the rest!  ARGH!!!!


It was a project kind of weekend around here. 

Daddy and I spent some time shopping, minus children, on Saturday and making decisions about what we need to do around our house.  We filled the van with some fun purchases and decided to let some other "wants" make way for the "needs".  One of our best purchases was a new storm door for the front door - originally $359, paid $122!  Now Daddy just needs to install it!  We also have plans for a new patio out in the backyard so we can enjoy summer family dinners outside.  But all that must wait for warmer weather...which seems to be taking its good-old-time getting here!

Then Sunday was spent installing a few new purchases and adding paint to a few things we already owned.  Anyone that knows me knows I get bored quickly and things are always changing around here!

First I repainted the little table and chairs that were passed on to us by the kids' cousins.  It had seen its fair share of wear and tear and needed some freshening up!
 Here are the spring decorations on my mantle...the hanging tiles say "SUNSHINE."  Even if it's not warm outside, at least I can make it springy inside!
 I painted this small cabinet to match the tower I had painted and that sits underneath it.  Not sure what I'll put in it but it looks fresh and new!  Now that I think about it, what a great spot for bubbles and sunglasses as the weather gets nicer (sensing a theme?)
 This large world map was added to our hallway for the kids to enjoy.  They like to look at maps and talk about traveling with Daddy.
 I brought home a pocket chart from school and added it to our kitchen for Tater.  We are working hard to help her learn her sight words...when she feels like it!  Such a stubborn child of a teacher!
 These are the new bar stools Daddy and I picked out on Saturday during our "date night."  Our old stools were heavy, swiveled, and had lots of nooks and crannies...a bad combination with 3 little children!  These have much cleaner lines and no swivel.
 This is a small but needed project...a new transition piece!  We had planned on getting a new floor in the kitchen but the odds were stacked against us and that isn't happening.  The floor did get a deep cleaning...on my hands and knees, thank you very much!...and Daddy added this piece to finish it off.  It's okay.  I can live with it...I think.  Sassy was so excited to see this addition that she said "Mama, no more my socks ouch!" - her socks kept getting stuck on the rough edge that was underneath!  I sent her to thank Daddy and she rushed right off!
 And how cool is this?!?!  It's a track for our garbage can that attaches to the cabinet door and the whole thing pulls out!  Oh, the things I get excited about!!!!
Daddy also built Sassy a play fridge to go with her kitchen set but isn't painted yet and needs some final pictures to follow!

Whew!  What a busy weekend!  Can someone tell me what happened to weekends being for sleeping in and rest????

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Here Are The Pictures To Prove...

...that our children are still alive!

It's been a bit since I have posted pictures of the kids and I admit it was just pure laziness!  Our computer was sooooooooooo slow that I couldn't be bothered.  But the newest addition to our electronics collection arrived on Thursday and is super speedy and made uploading photos a breeze!  So enjoy a bit of a catch up with our kids!

 Crazy Head!
(Don't worry...she got a haircut today!)
 Bruiser showing off his new ball pit.
(Clearance at Target - $7!!!  Score!!)
 That's my 6-year-old!
Poor Bruiser!
He had just had a run-in with the glider swing on the swing set and had a banged up mouth and  tongue.
Bedtime is the hurts too much for him to suck his thumb and the screaming goes on forever!
It might be harder on the tired Mommy and Daddy!


 Trying to catch the crew watching the clouds...not all were cooperating!

 Baby F having a lollipop like the big kids.

It's starting to feel like spring around here!

Friday, March 25, 2011

March Read-Along: Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom!

Today I'm joining Polly over at Helping Little Hands for her March Read-Along in honor of Reading Month.

One of my all-time favorite books is Bill Martin, Jr's Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom!  I am a huge fan of all alphabet books and the language and rhythm of this particular one is truly captivating for children of all ages.  It's great for read-alouds and for dramatic play.  During the first trip through the alphabet, the letters all race to the top of the coconut tree.  When "z" reaches the top, the tree topples and all the letters fall!  My children (ages 6, 4 & 2) love to act out the things that happen to the letters as they fall out of the coconut tree!

A told B and B told C,
“I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.”

“Whee,” said D to E, F, G,
“I’ll beat you to the top of the coconut tree.”

Chicka chicka boom boom,
Will there be enough room?

In my other job (being Mommy is first!), I teach half-day kindergarten.  One year we actually acted out the book for the parents, wearing "sandwich boards" with each of the letters.  If the video was digital (now I'm dating myself!), I'd load it to show you!  The thing I really love about this book, as a teacher, is how the author and illustrator used lowercase letters throughout.  Many children learn to write using all uppercase, or capital, letters and then struggle to transition to conventional writing (using the appropriate mix of upper and lowercase letters).  This book is a great introduction for that skill!

Isn't this a super cute tree to practice letter identification with?  I'm not the best seamstress so I've had adapt my activities to work with my creative talents!  I have added a paper coconut tree to the wall and then we've attached the letters as they climb up.  I've also used an inflatable coconut tree from Oriental Trading.  Finally, I've attached a small paper coconut tree to a cookie sheet and had my children practice with magnetic letters on the metal sheet.  The possibilities are endless!

Here's one to try at home!  Print out a picture of a coconut tree similar to the one in the book.  Then, using alphabet stamps, have your child stamp their name going up the coconut tree.  It's a fabulous way to get little ones thinking about their name!

If you enjoy this book, be sure to check out some other Bill Martin, Jr. books for more rhyming and word play!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: God's Wisdom for Mothers

Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
         And with Your glory all the day.
                                                        Psalm 71:8

Booksneeze gave me the opportunity to review this perfect little gift book for mothers...and just in time to start planning Mother's Day gifts!  I struggle to find a quality chunk of time each day to spend in the study of God's children always seem to have more immediate needs.  This collection provides the perfect boost for even my worst day!  When I'm having a down moment, it's a quick resource to turn to as a quick reminder that I am not in this alone. 

I have also found the collection to provide an excellent resource for those times when you are look for that perfect verse to include in a note, card, or blog post.  The variety of verses meets the needs of multiple purposes.

So as you think ahead to Mother's Day, I recommend checking out this resource!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


...we're still here...drifting along...between meltdowns and snuggles!

It seems that I hit a blogging lull every spring.  It's not that we aren't doing lots of things.  And it's not that my kids aren't being super-cute or super-funny.  It's just that I am SO busy and SO entertained by those super kids that I find it hard to find the time to sit and write and post pictures!

We are mid-home projects.  The next few weeks are bringing a new kitchen floor and a new stove...yeah!  There might be an up-coming visit from Papa and Mimi which is sure to result in lots of pictures.  Easter isn't far off and that always requires more of the obligatory photo shoots.  So there is hope for the blog!

For now, I'm off to clean up the kitchen, start some laundry, do a few other random chores, and settle down with some school work and watch a bit of TV.  The kids are already cuddled in bed with heavy eyes and I am longing to enjoy my alone time!  Maybe...just maybe!...I'll post a few snapshots of the munchkins tomorrow!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

We're Not Irish...

...but we like to celebrate ALL holidays!

Monday, March 14, 2011

So I was feeling a bit crafty this weekend...and a good friend sparked this idea!  How cute is this little bunk bed tent?  Sassy is loving it!  Once I got my head around the idea, I was amazed at how quickly I was able to sew it all together.  I should clarify that it is almost finished!  I still have three-dimensional flowers to fill and sew shut that will go on the stems in the window box and on the tree...but I could only accomplish so much!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Slow Lent Movement

This idea was shared last night at a church meeting as our devotional.  I connected with the concept on two levels.  First, I find it impossible to stick with the "giving something up" part of Lent...I have no dedication!  Plus, really what does it mean when you give up chocolate or swearing?  As a matter of fact, last year I jokingly gave up listening to whining children...and I'll let you imagine how long that lasted!  Secondly, I'm finding that I am living my life at full-speed...and there is never enough time for everything.  So, after a brief introduction to the concept of "Slow Lent," I quickly bought in!


There are five basic principles or disciplines for a Slow Lent.  Each discipline first introduces the traditional thought and then adapts it to the new way of thinking.  Enjoy!

#1.  Traditional:  repentance
       Slow:  speak less, listen more

So often we listen to someone talk while already thinking about how we will respond, never really hearing what the other person was saying.  This discipline asks you to listen more carefully with your full attention.

#2.  Traditional:  forgiveness
       Slow:  let go of one grudge and one "should"

Oh, the grudge thing is hard for me!  It's just how I operate!  And I love the "should" thought.  There is so much that we feel we "should" do but don't really need to.  I'll have to chose carefully to decide what "should" I'm going to let go!

#3  Traditional:  catechesis (explained to me as preparation     
                                               for religious service)
      Slow:  re-learn one basic of the faith

This could be as simple as focusing on prayer or rereading a section of the Bible.  Make it work for you to help you build your understanding of your faith.

#4  Traditional:  fasting
      Slow:  choose one way to "unplug"

A technology fast as opposed to a food fast!  Could be as simple limiting your Facebook time to once a day or putting your phone in another room during dinner or *gasp* not blogging on the weekend.  Again, make it work for you!

#5  Traditional:  almsgiving  (tithing)
      Slow:  simplify

I think this is's that for simple?!?


See how applicable this is to today's life style?  Anyone interested in joining me on this challenge?  Drop me a comment if you are...I'd love to hear about your "Slow Lent"!

Borrowed from Bishop Margaret G. Payne of the NewEngland Lutheran Synod

Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, March 7, 2011

"They Say The Cutest Things!"

Tater to Daddy:  "Are marshmallows out of season?"


Bruiser to Momma (as he came running from the playroom):  "We're not doing what we're not supposed to be doing!"


Tater to Daddy (during dinner prep):  "Are you hunting cheese?"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just Maybe!!!!

The germs may have left the house!  There was a fever in the big one on Friday night but it was short-lived and all seemed to have lots of energy on Saturday. 

Tater lost her 4th tooth yesterday morning!
Love those gaps!

Then we headed out to the playground to run off some of that pent-up winter energy!

Hopefully the healthiness will last and we will have a "relaxing" and enjoyable week ahead!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm Trying... have positive thoughts, that is! 

Bruiser is still worn out and tired all the time.  Sassy is being a handful of sassiness.  Tater has had a tummy ache everyday after school this week.  And now Daddy says he's not feeling so great.  (Oh, it may have to do with lack of sleep from last night when he went to sit with our neighbor's children while the husband took the wife to ER for tummy pains.)


When will it all end?

This post may end in tears...I think I've reached the end of all that I am humanly possible of handling.  Really!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On the Mend? (Knock-on-Wood!!!)

Bruiser seems a bit better today.  Yesterday we headed to the doctor because I just didn't know what to do anymore!  So in I walked carrying my 4-year-old, who refused to walk because his legs were too weak, and calling for my 2-year-old to follow me.  Sassy did great!  Well, until we were sitting in the waiting room and she decided it was her turn to be held and insisted (in a VERY loud voice) that I should put Bruiser down and pick her up.  I proceeded to tell her that it was Bruiser's turn to be sick and she would have to deal with it...and then I ignored the looks from all the new mothers with only one infant...who just don't get the multiple children needing you thing!

The doctor checked Bruiser over and determined that he was good and dehydrated.  She prescribed an anti-nausea medicine and gave orders that he had to have a wet diaper before 8pm (this was at about 3:30pm) or we were to head for the ER and IV fluids.  We got the meds, sipped ginger ale and Powerade, had a blue Popsicle, watched Top Gear with Daddy and curled up in bed for a long night's sleep...after peeing in our diaper at about 6:00pm!  What a good little patient!

Bruiser spend most of today in bed.  This morning Daddy found him sitting in the fridge eating yogurt and made him mad by telling him he couldn't do that.  So Bruiser retreated to him room and slept all morning!  He came down when I got home and helped Sassy with her speech therapy.  Then both Bruiser and Sassy headed up for naps...and are still sleeping now (@5:15!).  Given this take on his day today, I'm thinking no school again tomorrow...he's just so weak and tired and not really eating much at all.  Poor sick boy!

Sassy is back to normal and full of sass!  Tater is hanging on...but sniffing away with a cold.  Daddy is stopping for some medicine to make her more comfortable.  And Mommy and Daddy?  We are just tired and exhausted and done-in.  February was a LOOOOOOOOOONG month and we've had enough.  I have high hopes for March...I really do!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Yes, we are still battling sickness!  I attempted to go to work this morning, only to receive a call from my sitter 15 minutes later that Bruiser had gotten sick all over my couch.  He had gone over 36 hours since his last now we head to the doctor.  He is too weak to walk and has no appetite.  His eyes are sunken in and he has a low-grade fever.  Whatever this bug is, it is kicking his little skinny bum!

I spent yesterday CLEANING!  I did about eight loads of laundry (both regular and puke-filled!) and scrubbed every surface I could think of.  I wiped down cabinet and drawer knobs, door handles, light switches, and appliance handles.  I Lysol-sprayed EVERYTHING.  I've washed my hands raw (they are actually bleeding on my knuckles!).  We've established new anti-germ procedures - hand washing every time we come in the house and before all meals, fresh kitchen and bath towels daily, laundry daily (until this ends), and no more crowded places!  I'm SO DONE with germs! 

It is so bad that I actually spent time yesterday researching ways to make my own laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, and all-purpose cleaner.  We are going to be germ-free if its the last thing I do!!!!

So, now I must go switch the latest load of laundry, was my hands, find a way to clean the couch, wash my hands, take Bruiser to the doctor, wash my hands...

Enjoy your night!