Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's all right there in Black & White!

It's amazing what a white sheet and a little editing can do.

For less than $20 (thanks to The Canvas People and their wonderful sale!) I made Lars quite the nice whimsical canvas for his bedroom.    

Ahhhh...   being cheap is fun!

Monday, May 23, 2011

5 kids and I'm still inexperienced. Go figure!

     There are plenty of days when I feel I've finally got life tamed if you will.  Like when I realize that lining up a weeks worth of pull-ups, diapers, & pj's by the tub will make life so much easier every night after bath time.  Or when I make the bedtime bottles (GASP!  Yes... I give my 2 littlest ones bottles at bedtime) during our breakfast routine which saves time and effort later in the day.  While being a mom for 13 years has taught me quite a few things - I'm still left empty handed in many cases!

     Take for instance last night.  After dinner, we decide it would be nice to take the kids outside for 4-wheeler rides.  HUGE parenting faux pas!   It had just rained quite a lot... puddles were everywhere... and unfortunately, all 3 little kids were everywhere too.  After 15 minutes of chasing and loading and re-loading the kids into the 4-wheeler cart, I had to take a break and go inside to do dishes.  Utter chaos and I do NOT get along late in the day.

     Another example of my lack of common sense would be the many times I get GENIUS ideas to load up the kids and go somewhere as a family.  Obviously I'm feeling brave to start, but after a carsick child has had her way with me once more, I'm defeated yet again.  I decide lunch might help her tummy and we end up feeling bad for the wait staff at TGI Friday's - left behind to clean up 11 pounds of crackers, napkins, spilled smoothie & chicken nuggets on the floor under our table.  The mall is our next stop because apparently I've forgotten how easy it is for ALL our children to escape from the buckles of any shopping cart or fire truck looking stroller.  One might think Houdini was their father.

     We return home several hours after our adventure begun feeling like we truly accomplished something - yet at the same time - feeling like total failures... because, really... everyone else does this and it can't be that hard for them.  Right? 

     Experiences like this are cause for the ENORMOUS pit in my stomach today.  In 9 days - we'll be taking all 7 of us on the biggest adventure our whole family has gone on to date:  Wisconsin Dells.  It's time for this - We've spent the last 5 years being pregnant & on bed rest, in the hospital with preemies, at home with preemies, and not doing very many fun family-like activities.  But as much as it IS time, I'm still left unprepared. 

     We FINALLY have Lars sleeping through the night (at 18 months of age!) in his own room.  Will 4 days of sharing a room with his sisters change that?  What about the drive?  Our 2 year old gets car sick even on short 5 mile drives.  Zofran has a 50/50 chance of working based on past trials with her... and since we're taking 2 vehicles how does 1 parent drive AND hold a bucket???  Add to this the anxiety of our 13 yr old babysitting in an unfamiliar condo when we have our dinner banquet to attend and the constant sunscreen application rotation + snack dispensing + sippy cup re-filling.

     I'm VERY VERY open for suggestions and ideas and helpful hints from ANY Mom or Dad out there!   I'm sure that either way, our first entire family vacation will be full of memories and laughter that will be recalled for years to come!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In search of a bench...

     We all have something specific in mind when it comes to decorating our homes.  A "theme" if you will.  My Moms "theme" was:  De-Clutter.  Really it was.  Growing up we had a couch, a chair (all on one wall) a recliner on the other wall, one end table, and a tv.  The layout only changed once or twice over the years and even then, the changes weren't anything profound.

     I think that's why I have always dreamed of having a comfortable, cozy, country-like HOME.  One people love to visit.  A home where anyone and everyone is always welcome, never needing an invitation and always having one.  I wanted a house we could grow into a home.  This house would grow roots over time (and it already has started!) - and would develope a personality of it's own. 

     We were finally blessed to be able to purchase our own home this past winter.  Long story short - the house we bought had slipped from our hands several times over the past 3 years and we had wondered many times if God was telling us it wasn't meant to be, or if he was seeing how long and how hard we'd fight for it.   We fought (and prayed) and waited (and prayed) and cried (well at least I cried) (and prayed) and it happened. 

     Sorry for the winter picture.  Time for a new summer one SOON!

     And since that day, I've been slowly getting ideas, finding new pictures, mirrors, and ways to decorate - all within a very tight "budget" if you will...   (thrift stores, garage sales, and by painting old furniture).  

     But - I'm stuck on a bench.   I thought I found it once - but when I saw the price tag I KNEW I hadn't!  It will live in the main floor hallway up against the wall beneath the mirror with the coat hooks - it will be a shallow bench - but it will be a tall bench - with a back - and maybe the seat will lift up and I can store things under it.  It will be barn red and NOT new looking.

     So if anyone out there has one for sale...  I'm interested!!   

     I'm learning so much about myself even after being a homeowner for such a short time and can't wait to see where we're at this time next year!  Heck - I wonder if I'll have my bench!?!?!?!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Adventures in babysitting.

     I remember babysitting for a local family when I was only 11 years old.   They would pick me up at 4 or 5pm - then head for dinner & drinks (typically a LOT of drinks), returning home at 1 or 2 am.  My mom never drank - my dad would have a beer or two after work when it was hot out - and I didn't know just how scared I should have been each time I was driven home.

    Later today, I'm having my 13 yr old babysit for the younger kids.  She'll have her 11 year old sister alongside her as a "helper" and she'll be in charge of her 3 youngest siblings:  Ages 4, 2 1/2, 1 1/2.   I've left Meg in charge before - but only when I'm a 10 minute drive from home... and only for a couple hours tops... and most of the time it's after the youngest 3 are asleep.

     BUT... today... it's from 4:30pm until approx 8:30pm... I'll be an hour drive from home... it's while they are awake... she'll be feeding them dinner (I'm ordering pizza)... AND she'll have to put them to bed.  So I'm a teeny bit nervous.   Okay - maybe a lot nervous.

     Thoughts run through my head just like any good  mom:   What if someone burglarizes the house? (yeah - I know this doesn't happen often during daytime hours)... What if she falls asleep while she's watching the kids (Again - it's daytime - I know)...  What if one of the kids gets through the locks and gets through the closed/locked gate on the top deck - and gets over the baby gate and gets into the pool???  (WHAT?!?!?!?  That's not so farfetched.  I believe I've read about that very same thing happening in some parenting magazine a few years back!!!).

     So... while I'm dining with the finance company our company uses - and while I'm supposed to be enjoying myself this evening during what's supposed to be a nice dinner and having what SHOULD be a relaxing drink - I'll be a wreck.  I'm sure.

     I repeatedly remind myself today that I also should be sure I'll return home to soundly sleeping children - a fairly clean house - and a VERY excited teenager eagerly awaiting her payment!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

1st Storm of the Season

 I love spring storms.  The smell in the air.  The humidity.  The wind.  I love spring storms.