Archives for May 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend. Ours was filled with relaxation, friends, and fam.

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But I hope you didn’t forget that Memorial Day Weekend isn’t about getting sloshed and your backyard BBQ’s.

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It’s about the men and women who have and still do serve for the United States Armed Forces. For those who gave their lives for our freedom. For those who gave up everything. It’s a day to respect their bravery and sacrifice for the nation.

It was originally called Decoration Day after the Civil War. Then, later the name was changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day. Just a tad bit of American history for you :)

Please take some time out of your busy day to remember and think of all of them. And think about them often. It doesn’t just have to be during the dedicated holiday. :)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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{Not sure why this didn’t post yesterday… like it was supposed to… so I apologize it’s a day late!}

 

14 Lessons Learned from One Mama to Another

There are quite a few things that I wish someone would have filled me in on when I was pregnant for the first time and preparing for my gorgeous babe Kensli. But as most parents, we have to learn things the hard way. Which isn’t a bad thing. But… why work through all that if I can give you some advice to shed some days off of that lesson?

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After having three children and running a daycare for over a year, I have learned a few tricks of the trade. Some tips for just after birth, some for later on in life. Some are just about cheaper items I have found that are just as good as the big name brands. Some are not so pleasant. Some are difficult to follow through with, and some test your patience. Either way, I just thought I would put a list together to help new or old parents who are having a hard time.

By no way does this mean “It’s the bible, follow this list!” But more so what Jason and I have learned and has helped us. So please, don’t email me with hate mail because I’m slowly killing my children or you don’t agree with some of my tactics. If you don’t like it, stop reading and change the URL.

1) Target Brand Diapers and Walmart Brand Wipes. Through my daycare, I was lucky enough to see all sorts of different wipes and diapers come into my home without having to personally buy them myself. All my parents have to bring their own diapers, and one package of wipes, per child, per month. And I personally love Huggies and Pampers for diapers and Huggies for wipes. However, that shit is expensive!!! Of course it is, it’s the name brand crap. Well, have no fear! Target Diapers are very comparable!! They hold just as much if not more than the name brands, the sticky stuff lasts longer and feels like a better grip. And they don’t disintegrate like Luvs {don’t even get me started on that pitiful brand} Parent’s Choice wipes (purple box) are super cheap and awesome!! They are not flimsy and actually stay in your hand as you wipe. They are exactly like Huggies wipes. Love them!

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2) Food. This is probably something a lot of parents are very strict about… but we’re not. Unfortunately, I couldn’t breast feed…. I wanted to, but was only producing half of one child’s feeding, and I had two babies to feed. Even with Kensli… I couldn’t do it, although with her, I didn’t try as hard. This time, however, I tried, and I tried, and I tried. Formula was going to stretch us thin financially, and I really wanted to be able to provide for my children in that special way. And I couldn’t. And it was hard to finally just throw in the towel. But that’s for another post. This is for formula fed babes. Put one more ounce of formula in the bottle then they are eating. Whatever they don’t drink, put back in the fridge and use within 24 hours. This way, you know they are filling their little bellies completely, and once they are ready to move up in quantities, you’ll know… and are prepared that very moment. It avoids learning the hard way. Wondering why they are now only sleeping 1 ½ – 2 hours, instead of the 3-4 they were just doing last week. And wondering about this deb ogle for a week straight. You’ll notice immediately there’s less and less formula left in the bottle, know to up the quantity an ounce, and they will continue to be a happy babe for 3-4 hours.

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3) Speaking of quantities of food, here is a little tip for you. Their soft spot on top of their head indicates if a baby is getting enough food or not. If the skin is sunken into the soft spot, they are dehydrated. If the skin is level with the soft spot, they are perfect, and if it’s swollen over the soft spot, they’re getting too much food. More than they can handle. My pediatrician informed me of that, and it makes total sense now that I think of it.

4) If you know you are going somewhere for a while, or have newborn pictures coming up. Bathe and then feed your child before you go. It. Wipes. Them. Out. And they are out for hours. Wanna go to Applebee’s? Perfect! You don’t have to be there by a certain time, so bath them and feed them and you’ll have a dinner without a peep! Really, don’t be afraid to get out there with your babies~ it’s good for them to grow up going out in public. It teaches them how to act when they are out in society as they grow.

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This was Kensli getting a bath when she was just a wee little one

5) One place you don’t want to take them- Your bed! Don’t start it. Don’t even think it. At our house, our bed is my husband and I’s time. We don’t even let the dogs up there. In fact, Kensli wasn’t even allowed in our bed for months, then as she got older and understood more, we skimmed down to only when it was dark outside or if we, or one of us, were laying in bed relaxing. We didn’t want her to ever get the idea that she could sleep there. We bit the bullet and got out of bed to tend to our babies needs. Yeeees, even with the twins. I agree with the argument that it’s just easier, they fall asleep faster, which in turns mean you can go back to sleep. But, if you start that when they are young, it will continue until they’re 5. It’s incredibly hard to break once they are used to sleeping with mom and dad. Incredibly hard. So don’t ever start. Put the work and effort in when they are new, and you can sleep like a baby can be lazy later. They won’t know what they are missing if they never get the opportunity to know.

6) Skip the bassinet. No, I’m not kidding. We came home with the twins, and they started out in their cribs by themselves at 37 weeks gestational age. (They were 6 weeks early.) So trust me when I say, it can be done. We did the bassinet thing with Kensli, and I made it 6 days before I said F this. I couldn’t sleep. Every single sound I heard from her, I woke up making sure she wasn’t crawling and falling out of her bassinet and to ensure no one had broke in to kidnap her. I got no sleep. And for what? She couldn’t move. She couldn’t physically crawl, or rollover at that matter. And turns out, babies make a lot of noise when they sleep. So we weren’t making that same mistake twice. When the twins came home, they went straight to their cribs, in their own room. And I slept great that night. Aside from the hour I was up to feed them.

7) Keep your night routine different from your day routine. And stay consistant! Again, this is easy to fold and throw the cards in, but don’t. During the day, we cuddle, I feed them and play with them, they sleep in their swings without being swaddled, I talk to them, the lights are on, it’s noisy, and I love on them. Night time, on the contrary, I mean business. And that business is how fast I can get back to bed. I already have bottles with the water in them, that I made before going to bed, with the container of formula next to it. When I hear one is ready to eat, I get up, dump the appopriate formula in both bottles, get the wide awake one in position, and then go get the other and slide her next to the first one. I feed them, burp them, change them, and re-swaddle them tight and put them back down. I keep it dark in the room and only turn the hallway light on for a tiny bit of light to be able to see. They get swaddled at night time only. I do not talk to them. I don’t ooooo and ahhhh over them. It’s a slam, bam, thank you mom, type of situation. It helps them to grow up associating one routine for sleepy time and the other routine for wide awake time. And the more they realize night time is for sleep… the more they sleep. And the more they sleep, the more you sleep!! In fact, the twinnies have already slept thru the night twice… and their due date was 4 weeks ago. I say that’s pretty damn good. And it’s only going to get better!

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Ready for their first night home in their own cribs.

8) Schedules are so important. I can’t stress to you enough, keeping the same schedule makes your life sooooo much easier. This is another one that is easy to jump off that band wagon, but having 4 children and running a daycare, scheduling is what’s kept me sane. And trust me when I say, I don’t venture far from that schedule. Ask any of my daycare parents. They aren’t even there during the day, and they know. It helps babies and toddlers know what to expect. Which keeps them from wanting something and whining about it throughout the day, because they know they aren’t going to get it until X point in time. It also helps when leaving your kiddos with a sitter. It keeps that child reassured that everything is alright when the sitter follows the routine. Although all pediatricians differ on when it’s time to start a routine… I think 6-10 weeks after term date, is a pretty decent time to start. Will it be exact at that point? No. But at least starting is 3/4 of the battle. And as you mold them into the routine that fits both your needs and the child’s, you’ll notice a difference. A child’s sleeping and feeding habits become more consistent starting at about 6 weeks post due date and you might as well jump on that opportunity while they are opening the door for it. Now in no way am I telling you, “Don’t feed your baby if it’s not time!” If your child is rooting around and fussy, and you can clearly tell she’s hungry, give her a bottle! For crying out loud she’s growing like a little weed! And eventually, you’ll up her quantity and she’ll be back on her schedule. But you’ll figure all that out. It’s a trial and error, learn-as-you-go thing. Just keep at it!

9) Let your babies cry. Please, please, please calm down…. I don’t neglect any of my children. However, babies learn at a real young age, real young, that they can start to manipulate you. And it starts with seeing how fast you run to their aid when they cry. (The only time, I don’t recommend this, only because I don’t know these types of situations, is if you have an acid reflux or colicky baby) No one wants to think they were outsmarted by their 10 week old. But believe me, it happens. If you have fed them all they can take, change their diaper, burp them, make sure they are warm, and put in a safe place {such as their crib}, and they are still crying; that is them trying to manipulate you. Let them cry. They are fine. They have every need taken care of. And at this point, they are testing you. And if they are still crying after X amount of time, check their diaper to make sure nothing explosive happened in there. See if they are still rooting around or acting hungry. If either one of those options seem to be the issue, you know how to fix them. Yes, sometimes we parents want to snuggle- fine, I’m not saying you can never hold your baby! But try to pick them up when they are not crying. ‘Reward’ them for their content-ness with some snuggles. The problem is, as they grow, they start to put 2 and 2 together that if “I cry, they will come”. And it only gets worse from there. Well, I want more cheerios; if I cry, they will come. I want that forbidden item on the counter; if I cry, they will come. I don’t want to go to bed yet; if I cry, they will come. Then next thing you know, they are two, and you spend half your night rocking them to sleep. Hold your ground! You are the boss, not them. Teach them that as soon as they exit the womb.

10) Do not hold them all the time. And I am speaking for every single Daycare provider out there. The two weeks before you go back to work, start working with them on being left alone. Start training them to be content with being by themselves. Because no provider loves listening to your baby cry the entire day because they just ‘need’ to be held for 10 hours. It will not happen. Your baby is not the only child in their care. And you are not the only parent paying for child care to have your child get special one on one attention. It will make life so much easier for both you and your provider if your child can hang out by themselves for longer than 20 minutes. As they grow, it also teaches them to play by themselves. Which means better imaginations for your future 3, 4, or 5+ year old. Nothing is more sweet, more precious, and more innocent than to watch your child pretend she is fighting off pirates on her couch-ship and trying not to fall into the alligator pillow’d infested carpet water.

11) Do not hold them every single time they fall asleep. Let them fall asleep in their crib or the swing on their own. Don’t hold them and rock them to fall asleep every time it’s time for a nap. Because guess what, they’ll require it 24/7 and your daycare provider’s skin will crawl every time you walk in the door. {Thankfully, I have not had to deal with that at my daycare. But even if I did, they wouldn’t be getting special treatment and they would learn real quick they have to fall asleep on their on.} Seriously… guess where you’ll be at night if your child depends on you to fall asleep, and for some reason that night, can’t fall asleep for hours. You won’t be in your own bed… that’s for damn sure.

12) Don’t depend on that damn paci. My daycare parents know how much I hate them. I would get so angry if a child grows to depend on them and then I couldn’t find one, and then listen to a child scream for hours on end because all they want is a damn paci. Not in my house hold. That does not happen. I, maybe unlike most, can listen to a child cry for a long while. And I will only insert a paci unless they truly need it or if they’re putting their thumb in their mouth. Naptime, I am more relaxed about. But if they are not sleeping, I’m pretty tough. I don’t let my kids get used to having it all day long. But I do replace a thumb with a paci, because it’s easier to break an object in a child’s mouth than a body part that’s attached to their hand! As your child gets older, it’s harder to break them of the paci, and not to mention it is horrible for their teeth! And once a certain age is reached, and they still have a paci, lets be honest, it’s for the parents at that point. It’s easier to shove that in there than listen to them cry. Be tough. I highly recommend throwing it out cold turkey, but I know a lot of parents like to keep it around for nap time. With Kensli, the paci’s and bottle’s were shipped out the day she turned one. She never saw them again… well, eventually she did when I started daycare. But I’m hoping you’re catching what I’m throwing. I didn’t bring them out if she was having a terrible tantrum, or just… would… not… fall… asleep…without… that… damn… paci. Too bad, so sad. We dealt with it. If you only give the paci when truly necessary, breaking them of the habit is a breeze. I’m seriously tempted to create a rule for the daycare: no paci after 18 or 24 months. But… I’m still playing around with the idea.

The only time I don’t follow that rule is with preemies. It actually helps and teaches them to suck, which helps with the bottle and/or breastfeeding. NICU nurses actually put them in every chance they got. And if you think about it, it makes sense.

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13) Let your kids get dirty. Just because she’s splashing around in a mud puddle doesn’t mean you need to rush her inside and bath her immediately. Let her continue to play outside. It doesn’t hurt them. And it actually builds their immune system to be much stronger. If you let your children be messy and dirty children, then their immune system learns how to attack bacteria, thus making it stronger. Didn’t you ever notice in high school growing up, that the same city kids were sick all the time, while the farmers kids never missed a day?

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14) Use ‘No’ as early as 6 months. I have read that babies can start to understand very simple words such as no, yes, their name, mom, and dad as early as 6 months old. Maybe that’s not true, but I wasn’t going to chance it. Obviously it’s nothing to freak out on your babe for if they do something wrong. But if she grabs your hair and pulls, kindly say “Kensli, no”. And as you say it, take her hand off your hair. Not only does it help her vocabulary, but it’s a good start to the process of ‘right and wrong’, and ‘I’m the boss, and you’re not’ lessons. It eventually teaches her in a non-abusive/screaming manner that pulling hair is a no-no.

As my pediatrician told me, as long as they are fed, diaper changed, and not dropped, you can’t go too wrong. You know your child better than any pediatrician, survey, or professional guideline out there.. Do what you feel is right. And just because you are supposed to do this at this time, doesn’t mean your child is ready for it at that time. Go with your gut. It’s usually right. And hang in there. You are doing great, even if you feel like you’re failing miserably. Hold your ground and I promise you, it’ll get easier.

I’m sure I’ll do a second part to this post as I think of more items.  So ya never know, you may see another post similar to this! Full of priceless information!

Murals Painted by Muah

Hello my fellow peeps! I hope you had an awesome-sauce weekend. Ours was busy. Broden had a soccer tournament all weekend and we fit other things in between the games. He kicked ass. Scored goals all over the place, blocked numerous shots when he played goalie… even though he was the little guy on the team, followed through with shots, just kicked ass. He is an awesome player.. and I’m not just saying that because he’s my step-son.

So as I mentioned in my last post, I love painting murals. On the contrary, I hate painting walls. Hate painting them. In fact, I usually recruit someone to help so I don’t have to go at it alone. But nursery murals are great! They are so fun and I love giving expectant moms something no one else has. I am not capable of doing the real life stuff, which is what makes nursery murals so perfect. Most stuff is somewhat animated and much easier for me to do!

So I’ll start first with Kensli’s first mural at our old house. I love animals and decided I wanted a jungle baby animals theme. I had two prints picked out, depending on whether she was a girl or boy. And once we found out she was going to be a beautiful girl, I got to work. And this was the outcome:

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The animals were actually on the bedding. So that’s how I came up with them.

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And as you saw previously, her new room at the new house:

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One of my old and great friends, Holly, and her husband, Virason, were expecting a little boy and their theme was monkeys. So I looked at the pattern of the bedding and worked this out on their wall:

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They look like such fun little monkeys that cause all sorts of mischief!

One of my favorite murals I have ever painted was for a girl I danced with in high school on our drill team, Heather, and her high school sweetheart, Cory! Sweetest couple ever, honestly! They also did a jungle theme, but there’s turned out waaay better than my real animated baby jungle animals!

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I love this monkey. If I could have cut him out of their dry wall and take him home with me, I would have. I would have kept him. Really… I surprised myself with that banana flingin’ little guy.

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Another friend of mine, Mandi, whom I actually met thru Holly {the monkey mural} years ago because they are cousins, asked for a beautiful tree with owls. It was so simple, but elegant. And her husband, Ben, is such a hoot! {hehe} They are such a fun couple and it was a blast bullshittin’ with both of them when I painted.

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Another painting I did was actually on a dresser that Jason and I got to give new life too. Actually, I would have totally kept the dresser~ I loved it! However, it was passed down and had been in the family, so I thought maybe it was a bad idea to steal it.

But my friend Anna was moving and asked to keep it and the bedside table that made up the set, in our garage until she’s moved into her new place. Then she would come work on restoring it at our place since she didn’t have a garage. Well she had been going through a real bad time, so Jason and I decided to surprise her with the set already done. I fished around for what she wanted and went from there. However, I decided to add her favorite flower on top… I found this design that was so gorgeous, almost tattoo worthy! And since she loves lilies, I decided to add my own twist to things.

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The flower was painted white, but the lighting made the pics turn out yellow. Sorry bout that.

I am also working on a few canvases for another friend Jillian, that I am really excited about as well! And if I ever finish the two murals in my living room, I’ll throw those in a post as well.

I love doing them for people, but my fault is I’m incredibly slow. I think it will take X amount of time, but multiply that times two and that’s how long it actually takes. I don’t mean too, but I haven’t done enough to know my speed or to get faster. So I apologize to my past friends for the lengthy work!

Hope you enjoy! I just thought I would put all my work into one post.

Love and Toodle-os!

 

 

Kensli’s Room Part 2

Hello my peeps! I know I kept promising this post… but! There’s good reason it took so long! First of all- the twinnies. Duh! It takes awhile to get them both changed and fed. Then during nap time when I do all my projects/chores that get done faster without children, Kensli is napping… in her room, where I needed to paint. So. It didn’t happen as fast as I needed. I just needed a couple hours to finish, but just didn’t have that all at the same time.

So then I realized, I could move her to my bed during nap time and then I’m golden. So while I was painting, this was going on in my bed:

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Isn’t she so precious? Especially when she’s sleeping :)

Do you remember this post showing the paint job we did? Well I thought I would touch base on that a little and show the update thus far. It’s still not done completely, there will be a part 3… but knowing how long it took between part 1 to part 2.. know it may be awhile.

Well, we have finally moved on from just paint on the walls. But I wanted to show you what the before looked like. Are you ready? It’s glorious and you maybe overly jealous. Try to contain your envy.

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Do you see why it was hard to give this room a makeover?

But we fought the urge and did something to it when we decided to move Kensli into it.

And this was step one. Removing the ugly wall paper border and painting:

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My cool cat cousin helped :) Along with my handsome husband! It’s nice having handy helpingtons.

Anyway. Moving on.

So that was the first part.

The second part was actually getting her bed and dresser redone so she had somewhere to sleep. Yes, I know. Most kids are in a big girl bed by the time they are 2 anymore…

But A) I wasn’t pushing it. I enjoyed her living in a jail cell crib because she stayed there and couldn’t get up and wonder the house or her room when she wasn’t supposed to. I also knew there wasn’t going to be any toddler eye balls looking me in the eyeballs that very moment I woke up in the morning. That can give a lady a heart attack! Yes, she could climb out the last few months of being in the crib… but just never did. And for that very selfish reason, I kept her there until she was 3 1/2. And it brought her no harm.

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B) We re-did her dresser and bed so it would match and look like a set. I just never got it done in a timely manner. So until at least her bed was done, she had no where to sleep if I moved her out of the crib, except for the floor.

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But she was so incredibly happy on that cold December day we moved her. She actually had bed sheets and a comforter. Much warmer. :)

The next step was to get her closet done. Seriously… it was needed. The spare room was the smallest bedroom in the house and also had the smallest closet.  Which made for no storage. So we went from this:

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Before

To This:

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After

See, much better.

{I’m posting a follow-up post to this one on where I got all the supplies and the how-to’s on the bed. Sometime… So look for that post hopefully in the near future.}

Then my final surprise. The reveal that I was making you all wait for!

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I love to paint murals. They take a lot of time so I don’t do very many often, but I still love painting them. It’s kinda therapeutic for me. I love just painting away on a wall or a canvas and letting my thoughts run wild. I have done a few in my day… and decided my children should have some in their rooms to make their room different from anyone else! And since Kensli’s mom loves animal print.. that’s the theme of her room.

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I found this picture on Pinterest from this webpage and it was my inspiration. I love it, everything about it. And I decided I wanted Kensli to have something similar on her walls.

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Do you want a cheetah print wall? Well, let me fill you in on the how-to!

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First, I started out by drawing cheetah prints on the wall in the pattern I wanted. If you look closely, you can see the pencil drawings. It doesn’t have to be perfect at all. Once it’s painted, I promise, it’ll look like cheetah spots.

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Then, you fill in the spots with black paint.

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I loved the look, however, I wanted it to look more ‘furry’ if that’s possible. So I decided to blur out the edges. All I did was took a round sponge brush and tapped that ass wall.

Unfortunately, I was put on bed rest just after I stenciled half the room out. So my amazing brother and future-sister-in-law {September Cowboy wedding-can’t wait!} helped out and got what was stenciled painted in black! It was a huge start to the room and I couldn’t have been happier with the work they did! Thank you both!!!

Once you’re done painting in the lines and blurring out the edges with the black paint, it should look something like this. I love it! Exactly what I was going for… except I just didn’t feel it was finished. I felt it was missing something.

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So I decide to make it real girly. I went and grabbed my silver glitter and mod podge and headed back to her room. I bought both at JoAnn’s, and I’m pretty sure any glitter will work for this project.

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I mix about 1 part mod podge to 2 parts glitter in a bowl. And I use it as my glitter bowl. This isn’t my first rodeo at glittering things up!

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It looks kinda ‘glue-y’ but you want it to look like that. That means it’s mixed in pretty well. You do not want any lose glitter. Trust me when I say that, and for good measure. I’m going to repeat it. You DO NOT want any lose glitter. Or it will be everywhere for weeks following your project.

Once it’s mixed, I took another round sponge brush, dipped it in the bowl, and patted away in the middle of random spots.

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Once I was satisfied with the glitter spots, I decided to add splashes of pink. And that was exactly what was missing. I poured a little bit of pink on a plate and this time just painted pink in the middle of other random spots. So as you can see, there was a hard line with the pink where it met the black. And that was what I didn’t want.

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So back to the black, I took the round sponge brush I was using before, and went around the spots where the pink met the black. And I realized I forgot to blur a few spots completely , like the spot on the right in the above picture, so I went back and did some touch ups.

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And that was exactly what I wanted! I loved the outcome as did Kensli. She kept telling me “This is so beautiful mommy!” “I love this paint, it’s so pretty!” “The glitter is gorgeous, mommy!”

So easy to impress her!

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My Aunt Tammy sent her this cute sticker and a frame to add to her new room and it goes perfectly! So I put the sticker on some white paper, and then cut the paper to fit in the frame. Smacked that bad boy on the wall, and voila!

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I love how it turned out, and it matches her personality to a T. I can’t wait to show you the completely finished room. I have a few more decorations to add and it will finally be completely completed! Sooooo close I can almost taste it!!

I’ll be done… only to move on to finishing the next two kiddos’ rooms.

Loves and Toodle-os!

Word to Ya Motha

Good afternoon my fellow peeps! Did you all have a fantastic Mother’s Day? I hope you made a Mom feel fabulous on their one day of the year!

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Because really, we mothers are as super as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And that’s no lie.

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While driving to and from places yesterday, I was thinking about all the different types of moms out there. How some hearts are so full they could burst and some are broken hearted for numerous reasons.

And all of them should be celebrated. The ‘Mom’ title is a hard one to uphold. There is no vacation time, you don’t get to call in sick because the weekend came too soon, and it’s 168 hours a week. Moms aren’t always thanked, often not appreciated for their hard work, get a lot of sas from their little ‘bosses’, and quite frankly tend to be the negative nancy when a bad idea is debuting.

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But the love we give and receive is true and unconditional. To hold your child for the first time, when their little hand wraps around your index finger, to see your child smile at you, when they run up and give you the biggest hug and kiss when you walk in the door, to hear the words “I love you mommy” makes it all worth it.

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It is the most selfless job on this planet and is also the most rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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So whether you are a mom to children you birthed, to someone else’s children, to angels, to future children, to our four legged friends, or to children you are praying God blesses you with, Happy Mother’s Day.

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I must say.. aside from my children’s mom, I have the best mommy ever. She has always been there for me, always. She helps with my kids and loves them as I do. She is always a phone call away and I trust her with all my little secrets! She makes my kids feel like they are her whole world because they are. She helps in anyway she can. She is the most self-less woman I have ever met. Always thinking of everyone else. And if I could afford to buy her her convertible Ford Mustang that she has always secretly wanted, I would. Someday mom… someday. And that would never come close to everything you have ever done for me and my family.

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Mom, we need updated pictures!

My Mother’s Day was exhausting… but only because Jason was gone the entire week before in the Netherlands for work, so I had 4 children to myself, trying to keep all of us alive, while not burning down the house was a huge task in itself. He got back Saturday night about 11-ish, so come Sunday, we were all exhausted. But it was still a great day!!

Saturday, my cousin and myself had the kiddos make their grandma’s and Broden’s mom these cute little plants! I kinda wanted to buy one for myself… but I didn’t. Kensli of course loved playing in the dirt, so she’s all about this gardening thing. Which is good, because we want to build a salsa garden and a daycare flower garden.

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Mother’s Day started with Broden getting picked up by his sister to go see his mom for the day and we got the 3 girls bathed and ready.

The first big event was Kensli dropped her first F bomb. Jason wasn’t moving fast enough to open the back door so she could go out and play. And finally, she calmly said “Dad. Please. Go. Open. The. F***in. Door.” Oh boy. Jason and I couldn’t look at each other because if we would have, we would have died laughing… but I thought we did well surpressing the laughter. I did let him correct her. But amongst all this crazy talk, I did note two things: A) She did say please and B) She even used it correctly. I can see how her teenage years are going to be already…

We started out the events by heading to my mother in laws for the afternoon. It is always a nice and relaxing time when we visit there. Have a few beers, Kensli plays with her grandparents, Jason and I bullshit with his dad, and it’s a good time had by all. Kensli even talked Grandma into taking a nap with her. Although no nap was really had, she thought it was cool Grandma was pretending with her! I’m telling you, I lucked out big time when it comes to the in-laws!

We then headed home to get Broden back and took off in the other direction to my cousins Jess and Brett’s place for our awesome family BBQs.   We all brought our own meat and Jess’s boyfriend, Nate, and Uncle Scott grilled and Brett made the most fabulous margaritas… or maybe it was the giant 1″ diameter straw they gave me to drink it with that helped it go down so quickly? Thank goodness my husband was there to drive me home!

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The twinnies were passed around and loved by all, while Kensli and Broden played soccer with Brett {really, Kensli was trying to have a full conversation with Brett and give him kisses while the boys played… It was interesting to watch!} and laid in the hammock.

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At one point, Kensli hopped off rather quickly which sent Broden flying off in the other direction. I about died… it was so funny! Thankfully, Broden thought it was pretty funny as well!

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Our day finished with a tornado warning. The kids were in bed and my phone alarm went off and then seconds later, the big tornado siren went off in town. I hung out outside for a little while because I didn’t want to have to wake up the kids if I didn’t have to. And at first, I thought ‘Well this is silly.’ There was no wind, no huge clouds, no nothing. Just a lightening storm over yonder.

However, 2 minutes after I said that, the wind picked up. Big time. My trees were bending over and it was hard to keep my balance {or maybe that was the margs?}.

Regardless, I decided then it was time to head for the basement.

I went and got Broden and Kensli up, which by the way, waking kids who were dead asleep… almost impossible. But can be done.

I got them downstairs, and came back up to get the twinnies. Laid them in their carseats with a blanket and went downstairs to drop them off. They were getting hungry, so I quickly went upstairs to make two bottles. Ha… good thing the tornado didn’t touch down right then. I would have had hungry babies stuck in a basement!!!

When those were finally done, I came back down only to find Kensli was not down there. She snuck back upstairs to go back to bed. Child! Does she not know the severity of this wind! Jiminy Crickets girlfriend! Ran back upstairs to the main floor, and then to the up upstairs to get her. Ran back down… Let me tell you, I was not in shape enough for all those stairs in that short period of time.

But as you can tell, there was no tornado, and we were all safe and sound. The kids were clearly concerned… as they fell asleep on the loft downstairs. They had found a pillow and a blanket and hit the hay.

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Aren’t they so precious?

Well, that was my day in a nutshell! I hope yours was as fabulous as mine. Did you end your day in a basement?

Hopefully you had a nice comfy bed in the basement!

Loves and toodle-os!

 

A Great Ending, to a Great Week

Last week, my mom took off work to come stay with me during the day and help out where needed. And where I needed the most help was deep cleaning my house and reorganizing certain things.  It was hard for me to keep the place clean with 3 girls, one of which is a walking tornado, and so deep cleaning is almost impossible when I was starting with an extremely dirty slate.

So each day, we picked a room or two and got started. Even Kensli helped when she could. {And even when she couldn’t.} That room got revamped! Everything got put in it’s place, random things found homes, windows got squeaky clean, and carpets got vacuumed.

We literally took every room by storm. And then it was Broden’s rooms turn. I wish I would have gotten before pictures. It was a disaster. We did not want to work on it nor had motivation to clean it, but knew out of the entire house, that was the room that needed it the most.

We first went through every piece of clothing in that boys room. We got rid of almost 50% of his clothes because they were too small, and some so big it’ll be years before he fits into them. His drawers wouldn’t close before.. and worse, he just shoved every top he owned into the same two drawers, so he had no clue what he had in there, because he only wore the top few shirts anyway. It was too much work to dig through the rest.

We started by sorting out all clothes by sizes, and winter or summer clothes. Everything that was smaller than his current size he’s wearing, got tossed to the donate pile. All tops that fit got hung up into two sections. Short sleeves and long sleeves. All bottoms, pjs, and socks/undies went in his dresser. Separated by shorts, jeans, pjs, and of course, socks and undies.

We figured that made it super easy for a 10 year old boy. Tops = hung up in closet. Bottoms = dresser.

After that, we hit his toys. There was so much junk. He’s not one to use his imagination, so therefore, action figures and anything that requires an imagination doesn’t get played with. Put all those in a pile. All those stupid McDonald happy meal toys got tossed. Anything broken or missing pieces went straight to the garbage.

Everything left found a home somewhere other than the floor in that room. We finished by making his bed with fresh clean sheets, and vacuuming the floor.

It’s a completely different room. When he got home from school that day, we sat him down, explained where everything went, clothes included, and explained there is no reason this can’t stay this way, every day. His excuse before was he had no where to put it, or he wasn’t done playing with his legos and didn’t want to move the almost finished project, or he was ‘charging’ his video game system… but forgot to plug it into the wall… nice try Mr.

No more. His lego container is pretty big and can hold all his finished lego projects at once. So I explained those can still all be put away, even if he’s not done. The ‘charging’ video game must be put away before he goes anywhere or goes to bed that night. Clean clothes must be put away correctly as soon as he gets home from school, or when I’m done doing laundry.

His room looks nice damn it, and it’s going to stay that way. We worked on it for almost a full day.

Anyway. We got the entire house done by Thursday afternoon and decided since it had been so gloomy out all week, and Kensli had been so wonderful all week, that we would take her to The Playground on Friday. No, not the park playground. But a bouncy house playground. She loves it. And it’s literally a place they can burn energy for as many hours as the parents want to stay there.

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We worked so hard all week that we just wanted one day to relax and let Kensli have fun. So The Playground was our first trip. Kensli had a blast! As do all kids. It’s great! You should really look into it! Kinda pricey, but worth it considering they are worn out in 1-2 hours!

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Varah

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Zuri

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We then went to Applebees to enjoy a sit down meal that wasn’t fast food, because I can’t eat that crap anymore!! I am so sick of that stuff! All of them!

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We gave baths to the twinnies just before we left, so they were out like a light the entire time we were gone! Awesome-sauce!

Friday was ended with our cousins Travis and Beth coming over, BBQ’in and having a bonfire! It was so relaxing! And what BBQ and bonfire isn’t complete without drinks?

Saturday we kept pretty low. Jason left for the Netherlands today, so we wanted to hang out with our giant family and relax. We walked to the park and it was so much fun watching her. And we had the playground to ourselves, which was kind of nice.

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To get her home we said we were going to eat lunch on the deck outside like a picnic! She was on board with that!

IMG_3040There is an apple under there!

Then she helped dad do some outside work which of course she had a blast with. She tried hand picking all the weeks herself… but that lasted a whoopin’ 30 seconds.

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She followed him around as he picked up the dog poo. And her favorite was mowing the lawn. She loves riding the mower. Which is good, I’m sure it’ll be her job one day!

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We ended the day with super with his family at the Machine Shed. Which is usually pretty awesome for us. However, last night we got there at 7:20 and left at almost 10… it was pretty bad. And for a 3 year old… that’s a long time. She was pretty restless by the time we left. Everything took forever… from getting seated to drinks, to leaving. But at least the food was good?

This following week is going to be pretty bitter sweet. As I said earlier, Jason left for the Netherlands today, and won’t get back until next Saturday. But that means shits getting done around here. I always plan for a surprise home project for him while he’s away. But you’ll have to wait until next weekend to see… just incase he decides to take a peek on here before he returns! I also am revealing Kensli’s room Part 2 this week! It’s going to be awesome!

In case you don’t follow me on Facebook, here is the sneak peek to her reveal!

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May Day! May Day!

Hello to all my peeps! Did ya’ll have a wonderful May Day on that dreary and crappy day? We had 70’s and 80’s… why did it leave and when is it coming back?!

Does anyone partake in the May Day festivities? Ya know, the basket making and the ding & ditching? Because… apparently this is a central Iowa thing? I feel sorry for those who do not know it’s a ‘thing’.

We always did May Day baskets for all our neighbors when we were little. And the one time I remember, will be the time I never forget. There was one particular neighbor who had 3 kids around my brother and I’s age, so we made 3 baskets for them, sat their baskets down and rang the door bell and rang. And their oldest, Cole, who must have been waiting for us, ran out screaming “I get to kiss you!”

I. Was. Terrified. My mom forgot to fill me in on what happens when the Ding & Ditcher gets caught! I remember looking at my mom for some kind of help {probably with the most terrified look on my face} and she was laughing at me! Laughing!! And for a first grader… who needed her mom more than ever at that moment… the world was going to end. I was going to never make it past that moment in my so short life.

Thankfully, Cole must have seen the tears coming, or maybe I was crying by that point, but he didn’t kiss me. Maybe his mom saw me and realized what was going on, and made him stop. I don’t remember. All I remember was having something just short of a heart attack.

So. With that said, this is about the funniest thing to watch your kids go through. I now, 23 years later, understand why my mom was laughing hysterically at me.

Here’s how it goes!

You create a list of those you want to make baskets for.

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Then make the baskets at home. Which can be anything from popcorn and candy in a cup to a little flower in a tiny pot. Once your baskets are made, the fun really begins!

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Like how Moose is reeeally trying to sneak in a bite?

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You gather all those baskets and take them to your neighbors, family, and friends. But. You can’t get caught. So you put the baskets in front of the door, ring the door bell and RUN LIKE HELL!!!! Because…. if said people catch you… THEY GET TO KISS YOU!!! AHHHHH!!!!

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Step One: Sneak up to front door

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Step Two: Put baskets on porch or inside glass door. Then, once those are placed, ring the doorbell.

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Step Three: Run like the Wind, Bullseye!

And to a 10 year old boy… that is a big freakin’ deal. But to the three year old… she was okay with kisses.

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Broden knew to run like hell, and after a house or two, Kensli figured it out also. She’s not dumb, she watched her brother to really comprehend what to do. But I tell you what, her figuring it out was flippin’ hilarious!

When she saw Broden running at faster-than-normal speeds, she ran waaay faster than I have ever seen her run! But the look on her face was priceless!

Her face had the most fearful look with an accompanying gaping mouth as if she wanted to scream. Her eyes were wide and she kept looking around as if looking for the scary monster that was chasing them! When she didn’t see anyone or anything, the fearful look changed to extremely scared and super confused.  She continued looking around and behind her as she ran until she got to the vehicle.

She got back to me and screamed “I ran…!” But her sentenced kinda tapered off as if she wanted to follow with a question.. but decided against it. So I asked if she was ready to do it again at the next house.

Her scared look immediately turned to the most mischievous grin you’ve ever seen and said “Oh ya!” Thatta girl Kensli. I knew she would love this slightly-rebellious-but-approved-for-today activity.

They did get busted by our cousins Travis and Beth. {They may have been tipped off…} Travis waited around the back of the house, while Beth sat behind the front door video taping. And when the doorbell rang, Travis ran out to the truck and Beth opened the door to record the catch!

{I’ll post the video later, I have to get it from Beth}

Broden was lucky Travis forgot to kiss the caught ding & ditcher, but Beth reminded him for Kensli, who ate it up anyway.

Please tell me you know of this mini holiday game?? Because kids love the thrill of the catch!