Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Nap

After all the fits and screams on the way home from church to not take naps today, we gave in and said they could stay up. We came home, put on a Monster Truck show, and within 5 minutes, we had this:

Friday, June 27, 2008

I like it that way

Abigail loves to destroy things. We buy her toys, books, clothes, shoes, and she destroys them. Rips them, breaks them, tears them into shreds, then carts around all the little pieces in a bag of some sort.

It drives me crazy. I want her to take care of things. Have respect for them. Be able to play with them more than once. But she won't (or can't) stop.

Then I had a little light bulb moment one day. We had a friend over for a play date. A sweet, timid, shy little girl. I have no idea how she and Abigail are in any way friends, but whatever. The mom said that this little girl loved Abigail, and we invited them over. In the course of the play date conversation, I was apologizing for all of her broken and in-pieces toys. Sweet Girl's mom said "Oh, Sweet Girl hates it when things break. She gets really upset, and it bothers her for days". And when she said that, I realized a few things.
  • Not all kids destroy things. I think it is pretty normal, but only normal for some. Before this, I just thought that all kids rip things up, but I now realize that only some do.
  • Abigail is not at all bothered by things being broken. She still plays with the broken toys, she carries the pieces around with her all day, and when she gets something new, she pulls and bends and rips it until it breaks.
  • I think she just likes to break things. It is fun or interesting for her.

So since realizing those things, I have tried to let it go a little. They are her toys, and while I would prefer her to play with them in a non-destructive way, I am willing to back off a little. I have tried to just let her wear her shoes with all the decorations ripped off, read the books that are torn and taped more times than I can count, and play with the toys that are in pieces.

But it still drives me absolutely crazy.

In the process of destroying a cute little foam puzzle book that was supposed to entertain them at church. But look how happy she is.

And I have to admit that as a child, I was banned from scissors for many years because I was just fascinated by the way they cut things. Like blankets. And hair. And couches. So maybe this is my due.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Twenty years in the making

I got tagged by Kori! It is my first official tag- how fun! :)

20 Years ago...
1. I was 11 years old, and in the 5th grade
2. My teacher was Mr. Wardell- I think the first time I had a 'boy' teacher. I thought it was so cool!
3. I had really good friends all around the neighborhood, and we used to play outside ALL the time.
4. I had an awesome cat named Boots.
5. Wow, I really can't remember much from 20 years ago. :)

10 Years ago...
1. I had just graduated from Auburn University School of Nursing!
2. I was finally done with commuting from Atlanta where Kydon and I lived to Auburn, where I sort-of lived. Driving 1,000 miles a week wasn't as much fun as it sounds!
3. We were just starting to 'try' to have kids..... such hope and blissfull ignorance! :)
4. We didn't own anything that hadn't been given to us. Except maybe a few clothing items. All furniture, tv's, kitchen stuff, everything. We used to look around our apartment and name who had given us everything! What--- we didn't have money for entertainment, either, LOL!
5. I started my job at CHOA Scottish Rite- was there this whole time until last year!

5 Years ago...
1. We were matched with our first adoption, spent 4th of July in DC meeting out birthmom. The adoption later fell through, and we dealt with a huge letdown.
2. Luckily just a couple months later, we were matched with Abigail's birthmom.
3. We were living in our 'first home'- a 3 bedroom townhouse. We loved it!
4. Awesome vacation to Outer Banks, NC.
5. I tried to think of other things, but that year was all about adoption! Getting our homestudy done, working overtime and saving money, a match that didn't happen, and a match that did happen! That is a LOT for one year!!

3 Years ago...
1. We were matched with Angela, who was expecting twin boys!
2. The twins were born, and Abigail was 15 months old.
3. After a looooong two months, we found out we would be able to keep the boys!
4. We didn't sleep for 9 months.
5. I think that was the year I lost all sanity. I can't say for certain, since I also lost all memory and reason. But, like my bloggy friend said, I also lost my lonely. :)

1 Year ago...
1. We decided very quickly to rent our house to some friends, and packed, bought a new house and moved all in about a month.
2. Kydon tricked me into agreeing to let him go to graduate school.
3. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary, and I got a really beautiful diamond ring!
4. We had a 3 year old and two 2 year olds! Now that was crazy!
5. I unpacked our entire house in ONE week. Including all the books and things you don't really need for a long time. Including hanging all the pictures on the walls, shelf paper in all the drawers and cabinets, and taking care of 3 kids. How did I do it? Well, we didn't have cable tv or internet for a week..... oh boy, what a reminder of all I could get done if I just didn't have all my emails to check!

So Far This Year...
1. Super Awesome Vacation to Argentina. And Disney World.
2. I started blogging!
3. Uncle Dane came to live with us. And Camille got married.
4. Home improvement continues! And shows no sign of ending!
5. We traded our double stroller for a wagon- a sign of growing kids!

Yesterday...
1. Got another reminder of why I REALLY need to potty train the boys.
2. Went out with my awesome friend Vonae. We meet sometimes after the kids are in bed and just talk for hours! I love it!
3. Did 3 loads of laundry to make up for skipping a couple days.
4. Gave the boys haircuts. I started to have a little rebellion, and think "I shouldn't have to do EVERYTHING in this entire house! I am going to take them somewhere and let someone ELSE cut their hair! I should get a break from all this work!" Then I thought about loading them all in the car, keeping 2 entertained in a salon, giving detailed instructions to the haircutter, and probably being annoyed at the results..... I decided it was actually less work to just do it myself. So I did. And then gave them snacks, then baths. What a good mom I am!
5. Celebrated hitting my goal weight! And no, I didn't celebrate with food! :)

Today...
1. Went to the garden center and bought a bunch of plants and ground cover, and totally dug out and planted a huge flower bed in the front yard that has needed some serious help.
2. Turned my back for one minute and Abigail got the hatchet I was using to chop tree roots. Next thing I know, Aidan is saying "Mommy, Abigail chopping the car". I have never been so happy to see 'just' a 2 inch scratch in all my life.
3. Talked to my sister on the phone. It is a fundamental part of every.single.day.
4. Ordered pizza for dinner. You didn't think I was going to do yardwork ALL day and then fix dinner, did you??
5. Did a babysitting swap with a friend. Today she watched mine.

Tomorrow... (boy, this is getting long)
1. I might go to the puppet show. Or I might not.
2. Start to sew a skirt for Abigail and Caroline to wear in the annual cousins picture. Hmmm, better make that 2 skirts. They probably don't want to share.
3. Kydon's parents are coming to visit.
4. I need to buy some pants.
5. Will watch my friends kids, for the swap.

Next Year... (last one, I promise)
1. Abigail will start kindergarten. Jack and Aidan will start pre-school.
2. Kydon will be done with grad school.
3. I will go back to work.
4. We will take some really good vacations!
5. Home improvement projects will continue!

I now tag Melinda, Kelly, and Mary Kate!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My replacement


So Sunday at the family dinner, I was talking about having to go to court this week. I was in an accident about a month ago, and they could never find my ticket information to have me pay my fine ahead of time, so I had to go to the court date. Anyway, my 7 year old niece overheard me talking, and started asking about it. Never one to miss an opportunity to tease, I told her that I had to go talk to a judge and he was going to decide if I would go to jail or not. She and I had a good laugh, and I didn't think any more about it.

Until that night when I was laying next to Jack to help him go to sleep. He started saying that he didn't want me to leave in the morning, that he loved me, and he would miss me if I was in jail. I realized he must have overheard my conversation with Caroline! So, being the reassuring mommy that I am, I explained that I wouldn't go to jail, I just had to go pay some money (and when I explained that, it seemed a little off- just pay money and you don't have to go to jail. But it is true). But it didn't seem to make him feel any better.


He was still upset, and very worried. He started working through the scenario.

"Mommy go to jail"
"Mommy go to jail, me sad"
"Mommy go to jail, me sad, me no have no mommy"
"Mommy go to jail, me sad, me no have no mommy, have to find new mommy"


Then he came up with the rest of the story. His solution made everything all better, he was happy and fell right to sleep.


"Mommy go to jail, me sad, me no have no mommy, have to find new mommy, Unco Dane be my mommy!"


Nice to know they have it covered if anything happens to me!


And when I went to court the next day, they still couldn't find my ticket and I didn't have to pay. Thank you, Officer Friendly! He was very apologetic when he gave me the ticket, and I can't help but wonder if he lost it on purpose!

The writing is on the wall!


Yay! I finally got my vinyl letters on my wall! This is the reason I started all that painting in ther first place back in November- I wanted to get this quote put on the wall, but I didn't want to have to take it down to paint, so I had to do the painting first.

The quote is "And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee" Deut. 26:11

I love this scripture. Not only does it remind me to not take my blessings for granted, and to have joy with all I have been given, but it has special significance because we used it on Abigail's birth announcement.


I am so happy to have it up on the wall where I can remind myself all day to give thanks and rejoice in my life- I usually think of it in relation to the kids. I need to spend more time rejoicing in them and less time allowing myself to be annoyed by things!
I ordered it from this website: http://www.allysattic.net/Site/Home.html

Monday, June 23, 2008

Well, since you asked...


I guess I can brag on myself a little! My friend Kayleen asked me to post a pic of my most ambitious quilt project- Many trips around the world. This quilt has over 5,000 1" squares (for you quilters, they are 1" finished, I cut them 1.5") It is a king size quilt, and I did all the piecing and quilting on my machine. I did have a little help with some of the block composition, but most of them are laid out and designed by me.

The pattern is a take off from a traditional "trip around the world", which usually looks something like this:
This pattern shrinks down the size into 'mini trips', then ties them together with a bold, solid color fabric. For mine, I chose a distinctive green. The pattern I had used orange. I think it needs to be something that stands out from the other fabrics, and is distinctive. I also think it is important not to have too many prints or distractions on that fabric. I just went to the quilt store and found a fabric in the clearance bin that would have enough fabric and fit the other requirements.

The blocks are very scrappy- some more than others. I think there is one block for each holiday, one for each color scheme I could think of, I tried to make some that would be very coordinated and symmetrical, and some that were very scrappy and didn't match. I chose not to put a border on it, and used the solid "tie together" fabric for the binding.

This quilt took a long time and a lot of work to put together. I love it, and love that I did it. I have fond memories of Kydon reading "Gone with the Wind" out loud to me while I would sew. I finished it after Abigail was born, and I remember her playing on a blanket while I was sewing and working.



Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm totally lame

I haven't had much to post about lately. Actually, I have, but just haven't done it!! Kayleen, I promise my next post will be about that quilt, complete with pictures!! I had forgotton, I am so sorry! Anyway, just so I don't lose all my readers before coming up with some good posts, I will steal this tag, and give you all something to read. And no, I wasn't really tagged, I'm just doing it- I told you I was lame!

Three Joys: My new vinyl lettering I just got in the mail, diet coke, cute kids

Three Fears: Being alone with the kids (ha ha) (sort of), that once Kydon finally graduates he will change jobs and still be gone all the time, that the pile of laundry will consume me and everyone will wonder where I have gone.

Three Goals: Finish home improvement painting projects, potty train the twins, keep eating right and excersizing.

Three Current Obsessions/Collections: Diet Coke, preparing healthy food, doing crafty things with the kids.

Three Random Facts: I will have to refer you to the previous post, where I listed 100 random facts! :)

That's it for today!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

100

In honor of my 100th post, I thought I would tell you 100 things about me! And don't expect another post for a while, LOL!


1. I love country music
2. I hate strong, minty gum or mints
3. My favorite TV show is The Office
4. In college I loved Lucky Charms. I used to eat them and watch “The Price is Right”. I don’t like them at all now.
5. I don’t really have a “most embarrassing moment” that I can think of.
6. I like to eat raw potatoes


7. My first job was working at Wendy’s
8. While there, I was the only ‘girl’ that could work the grill station- flipping all the hamburgers
9. But I usually had to do the register, since I was also one of the few who spoke English
10. I always knew I would adopt, from when I was a little kid
11. My second toe is longer than my big toe. Someone once told me that was a sign of intelligence, and I have found that to be very true. ;)
12. I love to paint my fingernails
13. I finally got rid of my coin collection. I turned it into the bank and threw away the folders.
14. I *hated* any kind of sewing when I was a kid. My mom would try and teach me every summer, and I steadfastly refused to learn.
15. As soon as I got married, I developed a strong desire to learn how to sew, and every time I called my mom for an over-the-phone tutorial, I kicked myself for not learning when she was right there to teach me.
16. Kydon and I took ‘turns’ getting our dream cars. He had a Saab 900 convertible. When it was my turn, I got the cheapest car I could find and spent the rest on my dream sewing machine. It is beautiful.
17. I have been to 6 countries- US, Canada, Mexico, France, Netherlands, and Argentina. I have also passed through a few others, but I don’t count them since I didn’t get off the train.
18. Except for the US, the only country I think I could live in (out of those I have visited) was Argentina. I loved it.
19. I have never been on a cruise, but I think we will within the next year.
20. I LOVE to bake pies. My favorites are Apple, Cherry, and Pumpkin.
21. I hated all those kinds of pies when I was younger.
22. Chaos and noise and crying doesn’t usually bother me (a blessing with my current life).
23. One of my favorite things in the whole world is a really nice pen. When I was working a lot, I was obsessive about it. My Christmas stocking always had a new pen in it.
24. I secretly would love to adopt a special needs child from Ethiopia or China.
25. I cannot resist chocolate licorice.
26. I love to camp and hike.
27. My first car was a Nissan Sentra.
28. I have naturally really strong, healthy nails.
29. Scary movies almost never scare me. They just seem so unlikely, and I usually end up laughing.
30. I have no idea what kind of makeup I should wear, or how to make my hair look nice. I am over 30, and should know this stuff by now, but I don’t.
31. When I was turning 29, I thought I was turning 30. I said something to Kydon about turning 30, and he laughed and showed me I was only 29! I really did feel younger that year!
32. I once accepted a date from a guy who was really creepy. I then conveniently went on a long walk, and my parents had to get rid of him for me. In my defense, I was only 16, and had no idea what I should have said to him.
33. I lived in Utah for 15 years, and have visited many times since, but have never been skiing.
34. I graduated college in 4 years, with the same major I started with.
35. When I was in college, my roommate got me hooked on “Days of our Lives”. I watched it for almost 2 years before I finally gave it up.
36. My parents named me after a nurse.
37. The first car I drove was a stick-shift mini-van. You don’t see many of those! :)
38. I love fresh tomatoes on pizza.
39. I would rather be hot than cold.
40. I am usually cold.
41. I have never broken a bone.
42. I love to eat just about every kind of fish.
43. I used to babysit 4 kids for $1 an hour. It was horrible. I now make sure to pay babysitters VERY well.
44. I love to buy purses, but I hate to carry them around.
45. I don’t like cantaloupe. If a fruit bowl has cantaloupe in it, I won’t eat it, because all the fruit takes on the cantaloupe taste.
46. I like bananas, but I hate them in smoothies.
47. I love smoothies.
48. I have to read to go to sleep.
49. I love working all night and sleeping all day.
50. I don’t have a middle name.
51. My favorite fruit is peaches. I love them crunchy, soft, and everything in between. Growing up, we had 2 peach trees in the backyard. I used to pick them and eat them until I was literally sick to my stomach.
52. I am very crafty.
53. I simply cannot make bread of any kind, no matter how hard I try or how many different recipes I try.
54. After we adopted Abigail, I started getting “baby hungry” within just a few weeks. I was constantly scanning websites, agencies, everywhere I could think of trying to adopt another. I used to babysit friends kids and pretend they were mine!
55. 15 months after we adopted Abigail, we were blessed with twin boys! That cured all baby hunger, LOL!
56. Now when I see people with tiny babies I think “Glad it isn’t me!”
57. I never thought I would EVER get to the point of *not* wanting a baby!
58. I have only had one speeding ticket in my whole life.
59. I once got out of a ticket because I was a nurse at a children’s hospital. 60. I once caused an accident that was a 6-car pile up.
61. I was married before turning 21.
62. I am totally addicted to Diet Coke.
63. I wish I had pierced Abigail’s ears as a baby, but now I feel like I have to wait.
64. All of my babies were totally bald until after age 1.
65. I moved to GA when I was 15, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. And it totally was.
66. I have knocked out my front permanent teeth twice. Once I was riding my bike and ran into a parked truck. The second time I was riding a skateboard and got WAY too close to the sidewalk. I have also had numerous caps, crowns, rebuilding, root canals, I could go on. I hate the dentist.
67. I hated nursing school, but I love being a nurse.
68. I prefer patients who are unconscious.
69. My grandparents got married when they were 16. My grandma won’t admit this. If you ask her how old she was when she got married, she will only say “too young”. I have never been able to get her to actually tell me.
70. My mom’s sister married my dad’s brother. So we have 4 cousins that share both families! And we are really similar in personality to these cousins. Go figure!
71. I have frequent nightmares, but I always know that I am dreaming, and can do one of two things- I can wake myself up to end it, or I can manipulate events in the dream to come up with a better not-so-scary ending.
72. I hate gardening. Our new house had a great garden spot that I turned into a sandbox.
73. When we first started the adoption process, I was super worried about having an open adoption. Now I wish we could see our birth families more than we do!
74. My favorite church calling that I’ve ever had is RS teacher.
75. I was in the nursery for over 3 years in 3 different wards. It was fun the 1st year, tolerable the second, and torture the 3rd.
76. Partly the reason I hated nursery is because we were desperate to have kids and couldn’t, and it just hurt my heart to be around all those sweet kids.
77. I secretly love the show “America’s Next Top Model”. It is totally like Junk food for the brain. I love how Tyra makes it so dhra-maatic. Is it still a secret if I post it on my blog? :)


78. I am secretly glad that I never had to experience pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Most adoptive mothers I know regret never experiencing that, but I feel like I got lucky!
79. This list is easier than I thought, mostly because I looked at Mary Kate and Erika’s blogs, and got ideas from them!
80. I love to talk about adoption. If you ever want to ask me a question about it, please do, because it is one of my favorite subjects.
81. I have one year and 3 months before I have to go back to work.
82. Sometimes I want to go back right now, and sometimes I hope I never go back.
83. I hate taking naps. I either sleep less than an hour and feel tired and mad the rest of the day, or I sleep for 4 hours and can’t sleep at all that night.
84. Kydon and I have had one argument our entire 11 years of marriage. When you are washing the dishes, and the hot water is running, and you need to fill the ice cube trays (yes, we had to wash our own dishes and fill our own ice cube trays in our first apartment), Kydon says you should turn off the water, turn it to cold and then fill up the trays. I say you should just fill it up and not worry about it. Luckily we now have an ice maker, but if it ever comes up, we still argue about it.

(Editor's note: after reading the comments, I realized I didn't explain this very well. We have had WAY more than one argument in 11 years! I meant to say that there is one thing that we has not been resolved in the entire 11 years!)

85. I love, love, love living close to family.
86. I would rather spend holidays with friends instead of family. Maybe because we see our family so much already? I’m not really sure, but I love taking vacations with friends at holiday times.
87. I hate coupons.
88. I had to use my CPR skills once. It was at the hospital, but still.
89. My favorite place to work is the Neonatal ICU.
90. I get really happy if I can make kids laugh. It is the best.
91. I LOVE to eat fried rice. I will eat all that is there, and wish I had more.
92. The worst advice I ever got was to not go crazy with my hair and makeup for my wedding day. She told me to just look like my normal self. BAD idea!! I hate that my wedding pictures have dumb hair, nothing special makeup, and really big 80’s glasses.
93. And yes, the glasses are actually green. WHAT was I thinking??
94. I once bought a metal pig on a whim. I love it. Kydon hates it. My anniversary present one year was that he would allow me to display it. Thanks, honey!


95. When Kydon and I were dating, and for the first year or so of our marriage, we called each other “Baby”. It seems corny now, but we loved it.
96. We started talking about getting married after knowing each other just 3 weeks. We then dated for about a year before getting married.
97. I had professional pictures taken of my kids every month for the first year. I have them all in books, and I LOVE them. Actually, I think I took Abigail a little more than once a month.
98. My favorite city is Charleston, South Carolina.
99. I would love to visit Germany one day. And Italy. And Africa. Ok, this could be a long list…. :)
100. I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined all the twists and turns my life has taken so far, but I think I would have chosen it, if I had known.

Adorable Pic

For your viewing pleasure....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another fun project!

We did another fun project today. Yes, you may call me Martha. And Miss Kim (Abigail's name for any adult who she thinks is a preschool teacher. Not that she has ever had a teacher named Miss Kim, but apparently it is the ideal preschool teacher name).

These are called Beanbag Balls- very easy to make with a funnel, some balloons, and beans (I used split peas- otherwise that bean would be completely useless in my kitchen). Instructions are here.


The kids were very interested, and they played with them for soooo long! It was a great rainy day thing to do. Not that it rained today, but it would have been great if it had. ;)

Don't they look thrilled?? They were actually very confused, because I said for them to hold the balls where I could see them, but then it looked like they all sprouted breasts. So I was trying to be able to see the balls, but not have them in compromising positions. And I said they couldn't play with them until I got a good picture. This was the best we could do before they got frustrated with me and started pelting me with the balls. Then I thought maybe I shouldn't have filled them quite as full. Next time I want a good picture, I will fill the ball with something softer. Probably tomorrow they will discover the value of the Ball As A Weapon. Should be fun!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Random Updates

I've had several people ask me about different past posts lately, and I thought it would be good to update some of my past subjects

Potty Training: Lots of people have asked "how is the potty training going?" Here is my response:
Any questions? :) We have pretty much taken an extended break. I was going full force, doing underwear every time we were at home. They weren't having tons of accidents, but it was not in any way 'clicking', and I was tired of the endless battles to get them on the pot every few minutes. We will try again, just not sure when.

Mothers Day: I had the BEST mothers day! (When I was just typing best, it came out as "beast"- Freudian slip, maybe?) It was a pretty normal day- church, dinner at my mom's, tantrums, hugs, good times and bad. But the entire day I was just feeling overwhelming gratitude for being a mother! I was able to look at my kids and see the wonder that they are. It was amazing. I wish I could do it every day. My most perfect Mother's Day!

Dreams: I swear, it is like God has a plan for us! And is aware of our struggles. And wants us to be happy. To borrow a phrase from my Baptist friends, God is Awesome! After I wrote that post, so many things just fell into place that I know my Heavenly Father was blessing me. First, I was blessed with the knowledge that I can have peace not having a lot of dreams. If I put my own selfish desires on hold for a few years to raise my kids, I will be all the better for it. I can sometimes identify and see my self changing from being "Shanna" to being "Mother". I can feel an actual physical and emotional change within my psyche. This is a wonderful feeling, and one of my current dreams is to embrace my inner Mother. Become more selfless, more giving, more patient, more kind. Spend my time and energy giving these sweet kids more- more time, more fun, more learning, more of me.

And because of some changes to my lifestyle lately, I cannot deny that part of the discontent I was feeling was due to poor eating habits and no excersize. I have changed both of those the last few months, and have noticed vast improvements to my energy level and ability to control my moods.

In addition, a call came from out of the blue from LDS Family Services. This is the agency we used to adopt our daughter, and they assisted with our homestudy for the adoption of the boys. And no, they didn't have a baby for us! ;) They asked us to be on their advisory board. This is truly a blessing. First, it is something I am very passionate about and interested in, it won't take much time (one meeting once a quarter), and the best of all, it is something I can do with Kydon. It will be fantastic to have something that we 'overlap' in outside of the kids. I'm thinking the meetings will be date nights! A long (quiet) drive, free dinner (sandwich in a box, but still....), time for conversation, and being able to make an impact on something we both care a lot about. It might be a puppet role, but I don't care! I am so happy they asked us! Of course, our first meeting will be while Kydon is gone to India, but that is just the way it goes! I will go by myself the first time, then we can have our 'date' in October. :)

Beyond these two great things, I have really wanted to do some quilting. I had pretty much given it up, thinking I just didn't have time or energy right now. But as I was blog-surfing, I found about 4 or 5 people who seemed just as busy if not more busy than me, and they were posting about quilt projects. I don't think it was a coincidence. But I was still confused, because I had several requirements before I would go to all the work of getting all my stuff back out of all the boxes.
  1. It had to be a project I would care about, and would want to finish and do. I didn't just want to work on something meaningless.
  2. It had to be something that didn't have a deadline. No stress allowed!
  3. I can't spend any money. I have a significant fabic "stash", so I had to think of something that would use fabric I already had.
  4. Nothing complicated or confusing. Nothing with the potential that I would have to unpick or re-do something, or the points wouldn't match or whatever.

But I found it! The perfect (for me) idea. Our church has ongoing humanitarian projects, where they collect different things, and distribute them to the people who need them. I was looking at their list of needed items, and guess what? There is a priority need for twin and queen size quilts! I am cutting up my stash into 4" squares, and I'm going to make scrappy square quilts. No deadline, no rush, no stress at all. I have started it already (cutting the squares), and it is so fun! I forgot how much it soothes my soul to quilt! And getting out all the fabric of other projects is like a fun trip down memory lane!

Making progress!

It should look something like this when done, but with squares.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane! If you want to know about anything else I've previously posted, just let me know!!




Saturday, June 14, 2008

Muffin Tin Dinner

Food:
jumbo noodles, peas, flower noodles, cheese,
ham, alfredo sauce, spagetti sauce, noodles,
noodles, spinach, noodles, corn.
Last night we made a muffin tin dinner! Basically just take whatever food you have and put each different food in one of the muffin cups. I did have to borrow one tin so that I would have 3, but it was so fun! The kids absolutely loved it! And we don't have this problem, but it would be GREAT for kids who freak out if their food touches!


I should have take an "after" picture. It was way too much food, and we didn't eat with them, which means there was a HUGE mess. Ahhh well, all in the name of fun, right?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Twin Funnies

Aidan has a toe that keeps getting cracks and sores. The other day he said "I wish I was Jack. Then I no get cracks". That was the first time he'd ever said anything about wanting to be Jack.

I couldn't find Jack's shoes today, buy could find 3 pair of Aidans. I was trying to get him to just wear a pair of Aidans, and he steadfastly refused. "No, Mommy, den I look like Aidan". For some reason, they have no problem sharing clothes, diapers, everything else, but are very territorial about shoes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crafty Day

I had fun today! I love doing crafts, but lately they always seem like too much work. But today I felt very inspired! Mostly from reading this new blog I found!

First thing this morning, I made some super-cute hair flowers for Abigail. Instructions here. And while I usually don't even brush her hair (since it is so short, I tell myself it doesn't really need it), it was so fun today to get her all dolled up. And she only complained about it once! It only lasted until about noon, but I will definitely be doing it up again!


Isn't she adorable??

Then I made these charts for the kids allowance. We started two weeks ago giving them an allowance ($3/week for Abigail, $2/week for Jack and Aidan). I got a great idea from my sister to just keep track on a piece of paper, that way you don't have to keep track of the cash, remember to have exact change when handing it out, and remember to bring it when you are out and about. So we have been keeping track on paper, but I wanted something visual so that they could *see* how much money they have. Also it will be good for doing jobs to earn money. So I thought of these simple charts- just add a green square for every dollar earned, and cross them off when used. Easy and effective!




Then, while I was making this really easy and YUMMY bread, (recipe here), I was waiting for it to rise, and decided to paint my nails! I think it has been at least 2.5 years (maybe longer) since I have painted my fingernails! I love it!! I used to be SO obsessed with painted nails, and had this certain process I did, and they almost always looked great. It is such a boost to my spirits to have them painted!



Today was a fun day!! Oh, and in case you are wondering, I did some of these things while the kids were practicing sitting, some while they were watching TV, and some while they played in water on the deck with the kiddie pool.


And the bread turned out great! Not as pretty as the one on the recipe page, but sooooo tasty! Just like the bread at Macaroni Grill. :)


Sorry about the sideways picture- I forgot to rotate it before uploading. I could re-do it, but I don't feel like it! :)

Happy Feet

I have happy feet! I have been able to take some time the past couple days to do some serious shoe shopping. I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to find anything I liked, but I had some success!

A great pair of black sandals, a lovely pair of green sandals, and some great comfy-but-cute athletic style shoes. I have another pair of athletic style and I'm supposed to take them back. But there are some serious temptations to keep them. I might have to figure out how to do that.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Shoes

I have loved shoes for a long time. I used to buy super trendy, cute (cheap) shoes. I would replace them every few months for the newest trend. I could do that because they were cheap. And not very comfortable. And I wasn't picky, almost any cute shoe would do.


But now I'm getting older.

And more tired.


I find myself becoming so incredibly picky about shoes. I was looking for a pair of black heels. It took me almost 2 years to find the right pair. Heel had to be not too high, not too low. I wanted a skinny heel and a pointy toe. No straps or sling backs. The toe and heel had to both be covered. They had to be something I could run after a toddler in, but still look fierce. Something I could wear for years, since the last pair of black heels I bought was back in 2003. And nothing, I mean, absolutely nothing designed by Jessica Simpson. And after 2 years of causally looking, I found them. They are perfect. I love them.


But now I need more new shoes. I need some black sandals. And some shoes that might be similar to sneakers but much, much cuter and smaller. And another pair of sandals. And I am just as picky about each of these, and I cannot find the right ones. I normally would be content with waiting, but seriously I don't have any shoes to wear. My options of things that I will put on my feet are:
  1. My sneakers, which are way too big and hot for wearing anytime except for working out.
  2. My perfect heels, except I am so not wearing heels to Target or the park.
  3. Flip flops. Which I end up wearing everywhere because they seem like the best option.


I am not really sure how all of my good shoes I have bought over the years have all worn completely out within weeks of each other. And I don't have the time to shop that I used to. I have tried looking online, but it is so hard. How do I know how they feel? How do I know if they will support my high arches?


I need shoes that will be great for summer, look super cute and hip, be incredibly comfortable- so much that I could wear them all day walking around Stone Mountain and come home with happy feet. I would prefer not to wear socks. But it might be nice to have the option to wear socks if I wanted to. I am not opposed to a heel (but not too high), since sometimes heels are actually more comfortable with my high arch. But flats would be good too, if they had the right support. An open back would be great, as long as it doesn't fall off my foot. An extra bonus would be if they could match almost anything. Another bonus if they were off beat somehow (funky fabric, some cool decoration, etc). And they must be cool enough to wear in the Georgia summer heat, since I will be outside a lot this summer.


So do you have any shoes that you love? Any to recommend? Any stores you love, or brands, or websites? Should I just leave Kydon with the kids next weekend and do some serious retail therapy? Please help!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Money from the Sky


It worked!! We got money from the sky!! Ok, actually the mailman brought it, but the result is the same! I had forgotten about our State tax returns, and it showed up about 2 days ago! We do need to use it for Kydon's tuition and a few other bills, but about one day ago, I bought my wagon! Yay! We have used it twice. The first time was about 5 minutes around our house. The second was an hour walk on a paved greenway that I have been wanting to go to forever!

And all 3 fit (just barely, but they fit) onto the seats. And we were just as happy as the picture! And even though it was 4:00 in the afternoon heat (86 degrees and 75% humidity), we went and had a great, happy, glowing time. Until my arms started burning. Apparently the muscles used for pushing 3 kids are different than the muscles you use to pull 3 kids. And then the thigh burn. Lets just say if we do this a lot, I will have buns of steel. For real.

Even with all the burning, we still did great. I was getting a fabo workout and the kids were having fun happy quiet. They each got a stick, and were enjoying dragging them along the ground while we walked. Of course, they only enjoyed dragging them once I threatened to throw them out (the sticks, not the kids) if they were used for sword fights onemoretime. But we were doing great!

Then they started begging to stop. Why did they want to stop? To rest, of course! You know, from all the difficult sitting in the wagon they had been doing. Then Abigail wanted to pull the wagon. Then someone drank the last of the water. Let's just say the last 10 minutes was me pulling a wagon full of screaming kids. I got some looks on that one, let me tell ya! Too bad I didn't have my camera. That might be a great post one day, to show all the looks I get when I am out and about with the munchkins. :)

But I don't care. I still enjoyed it. And I'm happy to have a way to go walking sometimes. I know we will use it to pieces. And I'm happy to have money fall from the mailbox when I wasn't expecting it!

This is fun!.... or This is fun?

Finally finished painting the family room today. Starting back in November, I started all this mess. Painted the family room, then started ripping wallpaper off the kitchen/ breakfast nook. It has taken WAY longer to do than I ever thought. Plus the first time I painted the family room, I cut a bunch of corners, and have just not been happy with it, so I had to repaint it.

Usually I love painting. By the time you get to the actual painting, it goes pretty fast and is pretty satisfying. But not today. Maybe because I've already painted this room once just a few months ago and I shouldn't have had to redo it? Maybe because it usually would take me an hour or two to paint that much space, and it took about 8 plus another 2 after the kids were in bed? (Took so long because I had to keep stopping to make food, change diapers, baths, you know- parent 3 small kids). Maybe because I have been in non-stop painting mode since November? Probably shouldn't have done it today, but I got a false sense of freedom with Abigail gone on a camp out with cousins and Grandpa. Silly me, I forgot I would still have 2 three year olds at home! Also, when Kydon is at school, I try to do things to distract myself. I should have just pulled out the ice cream! LOL.

Anywhoo.... now I have to decide what to do next. I already have the paint for the dining room, and the 1/2 bath is driving me crazy with all the ugly wallpaper and gold accessories. Yuck. So, what do I do? Do I just keep working and slaving with never ending home improvement projects? Do I take a break and let myself enjoy a project free house for a while?

Reasons to keep going: I really hate the paint and wallpaper, and I really am excited to have it all done and looking beautiful. And it is good to have projects and things to think about and work on. And even though I am super tired tonight, it is something I enjoy doing.

Reason to stop: I am tired! And the 'finishing touches' for what I've already done will probably take another month to actually finish. And my house finally looks all put together, even if it isn't the wallpaper and paint I like, at least it isn't all ripped up.

So I'm putting a poll on the right. What do you think I should do??

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Sneak

If Abigail is 'The Squirrel', then Jack is most definitely 'The Sneak'. Let me start by saying that this boy LOVES juice. We have 3 categories of drinks- milk, water, and juice. So anything that isn't milk or water is juice. And Jack loves it all. He likes milk, he will drink water, but he adores juice. He will ask for it all day, every day. And while I myself start having convulsions if I somehow end up with water instead of Diet Coke, I have been very healthy with the kids. We drink milk 2-3 times a day, and the rest is water, with only the occasional soda/juice/kool aid.



But Jack just loves it. He can't get enough of it. I generally use this to my advantage, by giving him small drinks, then demanding that he eat food before having more juice. And if I don't regulate, he will (and has) drink juice until he is literally sick to his stomach. He just loves it that much. And he is Crafty. And Sneaky. And patient. He has mastered the art of asking others. I can't tell you how many times we are at a family party, and he 'works the crowd', asking different people to help him reach the juice. It is like watching a master at work. I have gotten to the point of making an announcement at family gatherings:



"ATTENTION, everyone, Jack needs to eat his dinner before drinking any more juice. Please do not pour juice for him thinking you are helping him."



I thought that would work, until he became adept at finding the one person who came late, or was talking during the announcement, and getting them to give him juice. Please note, I am not against him having juice, I just want him to eat his food, and I don't want him to upchuck on the way home (again).



He will hang out near the drink station, quietly playing until an unsuspecting target comes along. He then very subtly checks me out, to see how close of attention I am paying. If he catches my eye, he simply keeps playing as if the thought has never entered his head. But if I seem distracted, he will whisper or point (asking out loud will usually alert me), and get his precious juice. It works almost every time.



The other scene is also a frequent occurance. I am doing the dishes, checking email, whatever. The kids are playing nicely. Pretty soon, here comes Jack with my empy Coke can. And an impish smile. "Mommy, I drink you drink". Usually before I even notice it missing. But today I caught him:


I can't help but just laugh. He loves his juice, and if sneaking it away and hiding under a table is what it takes, then gosh darn it, he will do it!! And I have *got* to be better at keeping track of my drinks! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Comment response

Based on some of the comments left on a previous post (and comments in real life), I feel the need to explain further the situation with Aidan. Before starting the clean-up, I had told the kids that the treat would be playing in the pool, so they knew what they were getting if they helped. Several times during clean-up, I specifically said to Aidan "You need to help clean up so you can play in the pool. If you don't clean up, you will be very sad when you don't get to play". He told me at least twice "me no want to swim". Then when the clean up was over, Abigail and Jack (who had helped the whole time) got on their swim suits, and Aidan started crying and saying "me do another job". To me, that would have totally gone against everything I had been telling him for the previous 30 min.

He was very sad the whole time they were out there. But he did get over it. It was hard for me to not let him go out, but I knew I needed to stick to what I had told him. Both for him and for the other two who did help.

As for the gospel being about repentance and forgiveness, that is true. But it is also about consequences. And in my view, this situation isn't about repentance or forgiveness. He didn't do anything *wrong* to repent for, he simply made a choice. He chose to play instead of help, and therefore also chose to stay inside while the others played. I don't need to *forgive* him, because I'm not mad or upset in any way. Not being able to go outside was just a consequence of a choice he made.

I blogged about it because it was something dramatic that happened. I wasn't trying to make fun of Aidan or mock him, I was just trying to have something to do while he was throwing a fit, and that is what I came up with. And part of the reason I blog is to remember these moments that I will surely forget. This was something I thought would be good to remember. Of course I felt bad for him. Of course I wanted to just let him play. Of course I wanted to just give him another job. But being a parent isn’t always about what you want to do.

Oh, and thanks for all of you who said I was doing the right thing- it was what I needed to hear! :)

more about poop

Conversation while changing a diaper this morning:

Me: Oh

Aidan: What you talking bout?

Me: You have poop in your diaper

Aidan: Oooooh, what kind is it?

Me: What kind of poop?

Abigail: (very excited) I want to see!

Aidan: Ya, what kind is it?

Me: Messy poop

Aidan: Oh. Me had dat last time! (Very happy about this)

Aidan: Mommy, why you laughing?

Just add water

My new cleaning machine! I love it! It is a steam cleaner, so you just use plain old every day tap water, fill the tank, and go crazy. I can use it on my floors, my sinks, countertops, tile, glass, pretty much everything I want to clean. And you should see what it does with grout. The other day I used it to clean the carpets, and it was amazing! And I love the fact that I don't have to buy a lot of chemicals and cleaning products anymore. And I don't have to worry about the kids following me around. The steam gets hot, but I don't have to worry about them grabbing the bottle and spraying their eye (ahem,Abigail,ahem).

Just add water, heat, spray, wipe, done. It really is easy. And fun. (I'm trying to convince myself to stop blogging and go clean the bathrooms, LOL)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hard lessons to learn


Every day (almost) we do "4 o'clock cleanup". Basically we just go through each room in the house and pick up toys, clothes and whatever else is laying around on the floor. Not deep cleaning, just basic pick up. In order to prevent me spending the entire time convincing them to help and them ignoring me, there is a 'treat' for anyone who helps. Usually it is a tv show, sometimes a piece of candy, sometimes something else. If they don't help with the clean up, the rule is they don't get to participate in the treat.

Today the treat was swimming in the kiddie pool in the backyard.

And today Aidan didn't participate.

And now he is really sad.
I came so close to caving and letting him do another job so he could go and have fun. But I stuck to my guns and I'm making him stick it out. It is hard to watch him be so sad! So I decided to blog about it. :) Even though my heart is breaking for him right now, I know it is a good lesson to learn. At least that is what I am telling myself to help me be strong.

In search of a new friend

We must bid a fond farewell to our old friend. A friend that I have been very fond of, and spent a lot of time with. It has been my companion almost everywhere I have gone for almost 3 years now. However, it is the type of friend that wears out after a while. And the kids are really tired of the restrictive nature of my friend. And I did run my friend over with the car, and had to drive back over it for the rescue.


Now I need a new friend. Most of the time we go friend-less, because the kids like to run away get into everything walk. But there are times it would be pretty nice to have a friend. We live right across the street from a great park. But we have to walk all the way through the neighborhood, and then about .5 mi into the park before getting to the playground. Living so close, and with gas being so expensive, I hate to drive there. The kids do fine walking, but after walking there, and playing hard, getting home can be quite a nightmare, with me trying to carry/cajole/terrorize them into walking home. And there are a few other times when it would be nice to have something.

So here is my new idea:

And it seats two, but I can add this:



Look how happy they are!! The kids are comfortable, smiling, they have a drink and a snack and are not kicking, poking or annyoing each other. They don't seem to be fighting over who gets what seat, and who had that seat last time. And the mom is positively glowing! No lugging that heavy backpack, no negotiations over who is too tired to walk, no trying to hold the backpack, somehow carry two kids and pull a third by the arm. No stopping every 3 steps to whine rest. This might just be the answer to all my problems.

Ok, maybe that is a little much, but it does look cool, and fun, and I think it will fill the gap left by my old friend. Now if only the money would drop from the sky! :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy it's over


Stone Mountain, for those not familiar, is a HUGE chunk of granite rock sticking up out of the ground. (I thought I would explain it a little, since I blog about it so much) On this huge chunk of rock, they have carved a profile of Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Thus it is a confederate memorial.
They have made it into a really fun 'destination' type place. They have an indoor playground, paddle boats, ferry boat, skylift (to the top of the mountain), train, 'old south' town, 4D theater, tons of hiking trails, etc. etc. Most of the attraction stuff is pretty recent, but for years and years the main attraction has been a Laser Show. Basically they wait until dark then shoot a bunch of lasers at the big rock and play music to make a show. The past few years they have added fireworks, and it is getting pretty cool.


It is something we do several times a year, even before we got our annual pass and started going several times a week. :) So the kids always want to stay for the Laser show, and watch the fireworks. It is a subject of DAILY conversation. And last night we finally went. Packed our picnic dinner, and played on the huge lawn, and watched the laser show. Didn't get home until 11, and just had a rip-roaring time.

This morning at breakfast, I asked each of the kids what their favorite part of the laser show was.

Abigail: When it was over
Aidan: Me like to go home
Jack: I tired.

Nothing like making childhood memories!