Archive for July, 2010

A few days ago, we had an “off” morning.  Some of us hadn’t slept well, others weren’t feeling good, and we were all just grumpy.  I knew I needed to get dinner in the crockpot and needed the kids to not hang on me for just fifteen minutes.  IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?

So I dumped all the playdough stuff out on the dining room table and told them to go for it.  (Sorry for the horrible picture quality)

I’d gotten some new playdough on sale recently and that made it even better.  For some reason, brand new cans of playdough keep them entertained way longer than cans that have been played with before.  Go figure.

Anyway, this kept them busy for at least 45+ minutes.  It was awesome.  A definite mood-lifter for a tough morning.  Of course, this helps too.

While we were in Wisconsin last week, my grandparents took the kids and I on a train ride!  My grandpa is very interested in trains and had been showing the kids some videos of trains, so they were really excited.

We got there early and went through the train museum.  I don’t think my grandpa is used to going through museums with kids.  They charged right past everything, barely noticing what was in there, and left Grandpa in their dust!

Next it was time to get on the train.  It was pretty hot outside, so it was hot in the train too (it was an old train….no modern furniture or air conditioning in there).  Luckily all the windows were open so it was more bearable once the train started moving.  Ava entertained our entire car by yelling “All aboard!” after the conductor.

I’m not sure that Kelvin even realized we were on a train.  He was busy jumping back and forth from seat to seat.

Halfway into the trip, the train had to turn around so everyone got off to walk around while the engine drove around to the other side of the train.  In the picture, that’s my grandpa talking to the conductor before he turned the engine around.

The ride lasted about 50 minutes, which was just about the perfect amount of time for the kids.  They were ready to get off, but not crazy from being cooped up in their seats.

That’s right….our family grew this week!  We decided it was time to add a pet to our household.  We’ve had dogs before and with our lifestyle, dogs are just too hard.  So we settled on something a little smaller….a guinea pig!

Meet Sammy!

Before we got him, I was a little nervous.  I was worried about how he’d react to the kids, if the kids would even be willing to hold him, how much work he’d be, how guilty I’d feel if we had a day where we couldn’t spend much time holding him, if his food would attract mice, etc.  Yeah, I worry a lot.

Luckily, it seems that all that worry was for nothing!  The kids are crazy about him.  They want to hold him all the time and he’s completely fine with it.  He’s not hard to take care of.  I have to change his food and make sure he has enough water every day, and clean his cage once a week.  I can handle that!  He’s low-maintenance when it comes to attention.  The kids hold him 3 or 4 times a day and he’s totally happy with that.  He spends the majority of the rest of the time hiding in his igloo because that’s his “special spot” and they can’t get him out when he’s in there.  And I got a rubbermaid container for all his food and bedding, so that should keep the mice away.

In addition, he has a great temperament.  He never tries to bite anybody, even when Ava holds him a little too tightly to protect him from Kelvin.  The kids do have to be wearing protective clothing (nothing special, just regular clothes) just in case he gets nervous and needs to hold on tight.  But he never scratches to be mean.

And the best part of this is that Ava has finally stopped asking for a baby cow, baby buffalo and baby coyote!  She’s got her Sammy and she calls him her “baby”.  It so cute.  🙂

The kids and I are still in the middle of our visit to my grandparents house, but I’m popping in for a quick update.  This is actually the first time I’ve been on the computer this trip and it’s been kind of nice to take a step back.  I have tons of computer work waiting for me when I get home (and it doesn’t include reading nuphedragen reviews), but I’m enjoying the break for now.

We’ve been staying really busy here.  We got here on Sunday night and Chad drove home through the night.  He ended up getting home at 5 am.  Needless to say, I did not sleep well that night.

On Monday, Daniel and Jessica came and we went to the zoo and then my grandma watched the kids while the rest of us went to a late movie.  Grandpa and Daniel saw Inception and Jessica and I saw Eclipse (my second time seeing it).  I was afraid Kelvin would wake up and give Grandma trouble while I was gone, but it was Ava!  She woke up at 11:45 and didn’t go back to sleep until we got home at 12:30 am!

Yesterday we went down to see my family and especially Miss Rachel in Brodhead.  Kelvin and Ava both held her again and I got some super-cute pictures, but I’m pretty certain I forgot my camera there!  Luckily we’re going back tomorrow and I can get it then.

Today Grandma and I took the kids to the butterfly gardens and then to lunch with Uncle Gary.  We really wore them out…Kelvin still resisted his nap, but Ava fell asleep while he was still fussing!

I probably will not be on again until early next week, but I’ll be sure to have another update and some pictures then!

Tomorrow we’re leaving on our last trip for this summer.  We don’t have anywhere to go until we go to Daytona Beach, FL at the end of September!  That I know of anyway.  There’s always the chance we’ll end up going up to Wisconsin one more time in the next couple months.

I love having the opportunity to travel so much and be able to see all of our family so often, but seriously?  It gets tiring to unpack and then immediately turn around and start making plans to start packing again.  I’m looking forward to a little break.  I have a lot of things that I need to catch up on, I need to start working out again (to reduce belly fat of course LOL), I want to take the kids to the pool a few times, and we’re hoping to take a day trip to the Omaha Zoo before the summer is over.

Anyway, even though we’ll be gone for 11 days, I will have the laptop and I’m sure I’ll be doing a fair amount of blogging.  So you won’t get to miss me too much, OK?  😉

I wanted to be sure my mom had a chance to share her happy news on Facebook and wherever else she wanted before I stole her thunder.  No one announces the births of new babies with  Cohiba cigars anymore (do they?)…they announce them with blog posts, so here I am.  LOL

I’m very excited to share that she had her baby on July 7 at 9:14 pm!  Rachel was 7 lbs 14 oz and 21 inches long.

We’re really looking forward to going up to meet her later this week.  The kids are really excited to be able to hold her, but I’m a little nervous about making sure they’re not too rough with her.  I’m sure I’ll have lots of pictures to share once we get home!

If you’ve spent much time reading this blog, you know I’m a die-hard cloth diaper addict.  I’ve even begun traveling with cloth diapers instead of breaking out the disposables.

Well, next week we’re going to be on a longer trip.  The kids and I will be gone for a total of 10-11 days and I thought I should just suck it up and use disposable diapers.  I don’t like imposing on people any more than necessary and it felt awkward to ask to use people’s washers/dryers for diapers.  I convinced myself that it’s just a few days and it’s not that big of a deal.

But last night I realized I just couldn’t do it.  Sometimes it feels like ignorance really is bliss (and maybe it is when it comes to treatment for adult acne LOL)….because I found myself cringing at the thought of putting Mr. Kelvin in chemical-laden Huggies.

So I emailed my grandma and asked if she’d mind if I washed just my Flip covers and liners in her washer and I’d use the chemical-free Flip disposable inserts so there wouldn’t be anything that’s actually absorbing pee in her washer.  She emailed back and said I can use both her washer and dryer and clothesline for anything I need to.  🙂

I’m very excited and relieved to be able to pack cloth again for this trip and be able to avoid disposables once again!

I realized I haven’t updated everyone on my little container garden recently.

It’s growing great!  Everything is getting so huge that I had to move all the containers around to make sure everything was getting adequate sun.  If only the people who manufacture hair loss treatment for men could get hair to grow as fast as these plants!  LOL

Yesterday we picked our first 5 cherry tomatoes!  The plants are getting really tall…I already staked them once, but I think I’m going to have to tie them to the stake a little farther up, too.  This is what happens when you wait too long to buy tomato cages and everyone has already bought them all!

The beans are not doing as great.  I strongly suspect that I did not get bush beans in my bush bean seed packet.  They’re looking very tall and not very bush-like.  There are already tiny beans on them, though….I can’t wait to start harvesting them!

At the beginning of the year, I discovered a planner that has revolutionized my housework system.  After years of tweaking different systems and trying to find something that worked for me, I found it.  It’s called the Motivated Moms Planner.  Click here to visit Motivated Moms.

I’ve written reviews on it a couple of times before (here and here) to give you a basic overview of what this planner is.  I think the biggest reason this system works for me is because I didn’t design it.  All my chores for each day are laid out for me and I wasn’t the one who planned them out, so I don’t try to talk myself out of doing them.  Sounds weird, but whatever works, right?

If you weren’t quite sure you wanted to spend the money on a planner you had never used before and couldn’t see before buying it, here’s a great opportunity for you.  Since the year is half over, the 2010 planners have been marked down to only $4 for the full-year planner!  This is a great chance to try it out and see if you like it before you would pay full price for the 2011 planner.  It’s like getting samples of the best wrinkle cream before paying the full price!

This price only lasts until October, when they’ll put the 2011 planners up on their site and 2010 ones will be gone for good.

Disclaimer: I have not received any compensation or free products from Motivated Moms for this post.  It was written because I really like this product.  However, I am an affiliate of Motivated Moms and will receive a small percentage for every planner bought through the link above.


The weather in my neck of the woods:
Rainy!  It rained nearly all day yesterday, but luckily we were still able to do fireworks.  It’s raining even harder today than it was yesterday!

Things that make me happy:
Having a day “off” after the busy holiday weekend.  After two weekends in a row of running around, I feel like today is making up for them.

Book I’m reading:
Twilight.  And I’m loving it!  I actually watched the movie first and was wondering what all the hype was about.  It was an OK movie, but definitely not worthy of all the fuss everyone was making over it.  Now that I’m reading the book, I understand.  Even though I know what’s going to happen because I’ve seen the movie, I can’t put it down!  My eyes have to be closing against my will at night before I reluctantly turn off the light.  I love it though…it’s been a long time since I read a book that I’m this interested in.

What I’m enjoying on TV:
Reign Over Me
– we just got it from Netflix
New Moon – Chad just came back from Sam’s Club a little bit ago with this un-birthday gift!  I’ve seen it before, but now that I’m reading the books, I’m so excited to add the movie to my collection (I already have Twilight).
– I’ve been watching this series for several months…whenever I’m caught up on all my shows on Hulu, I turn on Greek.  Honestly, I’m not sure whether I love Friends or Greek more.  And if you know me, you know that’s saying something, because Friends is my absolute favorite TV series ever!

On the menu for dinner:
Eeks!  I have no idea!  We don’t even have any leftovers right now, so I’m going to have to figure something out quick!

On my To Do List:
Wash diapers
Upload all the pictures on my camera
Finish getting statements ready to send out
Update MOMS Club roster

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes from the Sneaky Chef cookbook.  That book rocks!

In the craft basket:
A wool soaker I’m knitting for Kelvin.  I’ve been knitting it for several months, though, and haven’t gotten very far!

Looking forward to this week:
MOMS Club activities and beginning to prepare for our extended trip to Wisconsin next week!

Tips and Tricks:
I just sat here for 5 minutes trying to think of something original to write here and I got nothing!  LOL

My favorite blog post this week:
Balancing The Happy Ending by The Gypsy Mama
This post is a must-read for parents….my favorite quote from it:
Parents as people seem to exist only in the fringe hours of the day. And those hours are frayed around the edges.”
So true!

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
I’ve been having such a hard time keeping up with my blog reading lately!  I d

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

Lesson learned the past few days:
Sometimes when I have a ton of things to do, I get really overwhelmed with trying to prioritize everything.  I’ve found that if I just dig in on the first thing in front of me, it all gets done in the end and I don’t waste so much time and mental energy trying to figure out what order to do them in.  Obviously there is a time and place for prioritizing, but sometimes it just doesn’t matter as long as it all gets done!

On my mind:
Everything I need to get done over the next week and a half before we leave for Wisconsin.  I think I need a to-do list (or document management system )…it’s all bouncing around in my head right now and driving me crazy!

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Matthew 6:28-29

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