Saturday, July 31, 2010

Someone stole my laundry

I got sick last week. Bleh. You know you are a mom when you get sick, and the first thing you think of is laundry.

I remember laying on the couch on the first day of illness thinking "oh no- I haven't done laundry for 2 days! This is going to be horrible!"

I ended up being out of commission for 3 days. One of the days I did stumble around enough to wash and dry 2 loads. My first day of feeling back to normal, my first priority was laundry.

But, to my amazement, there wasn't any there. I did 2 loads, and for the second load I had to go around looking for stuff to wash. Seriously? I usually wash 1 or 2 loads a day. Lately we are washing a lot of sheets and blankets on a regular basis, which just increases the laundry load. Usually if I skip laundry 2 days in a row, I just pull the top layer off the floor and throw it in the machine. This was 5 days, and there was almost nothing!

I am still confused by it.

I think someone stole our laundry while I was delirious.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Play Tent

The play tent for the kids is finito completo! This was one of the easiest projects I've done in a long time! I didn't really follow the directions from the link above, I made mine a little easier. :)

I just sewed my two sheets together long-ways, then folded the top edge over to make a casing (think curtain rod). Using the hula hoop as a guide, I cut a big circle out of some extra fabric I had, then sewed the circle to the top of the casing on the sheets.

Then I just threaded the hula hoop on, and wah-lah! Done! I did sew on some ties- I just used my pinking shears to cut some strips, then sewed them in place for the top tie and the closure ties.

This took less than two hours- and that includes ironing the sheets! I have a feeling I won't be seeing two little boys for quite a while!

The day turned around!

Monday morning started out not-so-happy. The kids were whining and crying over every.little.thing. I was starting to simply dread the day ahead. However, I saw some little projects online, and it sort of gave me the pep I needed to get going. I got the kids to do their morning work, and then we settled at the table for some school work.

I was amazed at how they all went from crying, fit throwing little ones to happy and centered. Maybe they crave the routine? I was feeling tired and worn out, and was ready to just let the routine slide. I'm so glad I didn't, because it was exactly what we all needed to get on track.

Once the work was done, I was able to sneak into the sewing room and make my mini wallets:
They turned out pretty cute!

I was a little confused as to which fabric would end up where- what I thought was the accent fabric ended up as the main fabric, and vice-versa.
But, that's okay! I will still enjoy them! I then took a trip to the store and bought the supplies to make the little play tent. I was all set to come home and get started, but Aidan really wanted to make cookies... sugar cookies... where they get to roll the dough and cut the cookies and frost it and sprinkle it all themselves. We took a vote- cookies vs. tent, and it was 2-1 for the cookies. (Abigail wanted the tent)
So, cookies it was! The play tent is on the list for tomorrow. I finished up the day by doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, and getting dinner ready (a previously frozen lasagna, fresh rolls and a salad from the garden).

Monday, July 26, 2010

Laundry Soap

I started making my own laundry soap more than a year ago. I found the original recipe on the Little Birdie Secrets blog.

I pretty much just follow that recipe, but I have a few changes. I couldn't find the Fels-Naptha soap they used, but I found this in the laundry isle:

And I like it just fine! I also like the smell, so I didn't add any oils. The steps are pretty simple:
  1. Grate your soap and heat it on the stove with 1/2 gallon of water to dissolve it.
  2. Once the soap is dissolved, add 1 c. borax powder and 1 c. Arm and Hammer washing powder. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Add 4 1/2 gallons of hot water (1 at a time) to the concentrate, stirring well.
  4. Let it sit for 24 hours, then use 1/2 cup per load.

This makes a somewhat gloopy gel. It also does not really make a lot of suds, so don't be surprised the first few times you use it. The first time I made it, it took me about an hour and a half, but now I have it down to about 20 min.

I also had a little difficulty with the packaging. I first tried to save my old laundry soap containers, but the home made soap is a little too thick to work well. I also tried a few rounds of milk jugs, but I gave that up after one disintegrated on me. I finally broke down and spent $12 at Sam's to buy 3 of these:

And, actually, now I don't bother mixing the liquid all together- once I have the concentrate, I just measure it evenly between my 3 containers, then add the water into each container. I find it is much easier than trying to mix the 5 gallons all at once.

The only weird thing I found was that when I wash my towels, I always put bleach in them. Well, some strange thing when I used this soap and bleach together, it made the towels non-absorbent. I would go to wipe up a spill, and the towel would just sit on top of the liquid. It was rather strange, and annoying. So, now we do buy a regular laundry soap that I only use for towels. Everything else we use this, and it works wonderfully.

Total cost breakdown: $10 for borax and Arm and Hammer, which will last for 10-20 batches of this soap. The Zote soap is $1 per bar, and you use one per batch.

So, basically, including the containers, I've spent about $25 for more than a year of laundry soap, and I can easily go another year only spending about $5! I do about 7-8 loads per week, so if you did less laundry, your cost would be even less!

Rebecca, I hope I answered all your questions! Let me know if you have any more!

Unfair Monday

Today is so Unfair! (said in a whiny, loud voice)

Breakfast is all wrong. Cereal is yucky. We never make pancakes. The milk is too cold. We never do anything good.

Morning work is too hard. I am so mean. They hate workbooks and getting dressed is so bad.

Every once in a while, I look at the clock. I see "8:07", and think "wow, it might be a really long day today!"

I think we had too much fun last week. It has set them up for the unfairness of a normal day! :)

But, I did find two little lovelies in my google reader this morning....

Maybe if I make this it will all be better? Play Tent

And something for myself, of course! A mini wallet

Maybe today won't be so bad after all! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Garden Pizza

Well, no picture...but we had a yummy dinner tonight! I've had tomatoes covering every spare surface in my kitchen, so the last couple of days I've been making big pots of spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce.

Tonight I used my pizza sauce and made... pizza! Surprising, I know! But it was delicious... everything from the garden- sauce, fresh tomatoes on top, and I picked our one and only somewhat small green pepper.

Friday, July 23, 2010

So much fun I can't stand it

Ah, thanks for the post ideas. It is like a breath of fresh air!

Valeni was first, so here goes. Yesterday and today have been chock-full-o-fun. Yesterday Kydon's mom was here, so we not only had the awesomeness that is Granny, but we did a bunch of fun things as well.

We started off at the puppet show. Our city brings puppet shows to the cultural arts center every year, and we have been greatly enjoying them this year. I'm sure that part of it is that the kids are at the magical age where they can sit through a show and enjoy it. This was the last week of shows, so we had to make sure and see it... it didn't disappoint!

From there we had a picnic at the park, and then I had a church meeting. The kids didn't mind, because there were 20! kids there. I brought doughnuts, just to add a little sugar to the mix of crazy!

We left the meeting and met my sister and the cousins at a local sprayground. I thought it would be the perfect thing on a Hu-OT summer day, but the kids were none too happy. Maybe just having done so much all day? I'm not sure, but they were whiny and begging to leave from the minute we got there. Aidan got so mad that he threw his towel into the water, then filled his mouth up and tried to spit at me. I love these little glimpses into our life. Of course I saw him coming and deflected the spray right back at him. Lucky for him, Granny was there. She took him under her wing and helped him enjoy the last few minutes. We toughed it out for an hour, then gave up and went home.

We had a fabulous dinner of homemade pizza (my first in the oven... and I was able to cook both pizzas at the same time!). With sauce made from fresh garden tomatos, more fresh tomatoes on top, and our one and only green pepper got picked as well to be roasted into yummy goodness.

Today, we were up and at it again- we left the house at 8:30 am to visit a sort-of (1 hour away) local indoor playground. We had never been before, and it was well worth the drive! Very fun, completely geared to kids, and tons of different things to do. We left in the afternoon, and I decided we needed just one more thing, so I took a little detour on the way home to Dahlonega, which is like an old-fashioned miners town. The kids loved the general store there as much as I do, and we ate ice cream and cookies and I bought them each a toy. (I was a VERY cool mom for once- I normally would never even dream of that kind of detour! And treats and toys!) I don't know what got into me!

Of course, they all fell asleep on the way home, so I knew bedtime wouldn't work anyway. And, since there was no dinner, we went to a pizza place, ate some yummy food, then stopped at the dollar movie to watch Marmaduke. (the perfect movie for 5 year old boys who love dogs and fart jokes).

We didn't get home until 9:30!! PM!!! I promise, I am going to search for the cause of this crazy, abberant behavior I am exhibiting. Also, what is the explanation for a blogger who does all this fun stuff and leaves the camera at home? It must be the Diet Coke. I quit drinking them in April, but I had one yesterday and one today. I blame it all on that.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I got nothin'

I had a goal to blog every single day this week. I missed yesterday, and tonight I have been sitting in front of the computer for almost an hour now, and I can't seem to come up with anything.

Unless you want to know what I had for dinner.... pizza, so not all that interesting.

So, I thought I would ask all y'all for some help. Leave a comment with a topic... it can be anything you want- something you are curious about, or something you remember from a previous post and want an update on, or something completely random. I will then blog about each topic!

Thanks! I look forward to seeing what you all come up with!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Progress is being made!

My house is showing signs of progress!

Thanks to my wonderfully talented and motivated father, we have 3 cabinets! This is a little spice shelf- to be installed next to the microwave that will go above the oven.

And the cookie sheet cupboard to fill the space next to the oven. And, no kitchen floor would be complete without the dishwasher pot! Still there for a little bit longer! :)

The men at work. I am so grateful for my dad helping Kydon with the assembly of these babies! Plus, not only did he help, but he would call and kick us into gear to get moving on it!


Now that they are hanging on the wall, we can get started on all the sanding, priming, and painting. (yay... or boo, whichever works).

Also, my bathroom is now beautiful!! I still need to finish the last little bit this week, but just the amount that I have done has made the biggest difference in the world! I love how the blue makes all the white in the room look balanced.

And the best part is that the color turned out EXACTLY how I was hoping it would! I had great success in my last house picking out colors, but this house everything I paint turns out looking off. I am really happy that this blue is just the exact color I had pictured!





Monday, July 19, 2010

The Mondays Keep Coming

I love my work, I like going to work, I really like the money from working. Recovering from work, however, is not so fun. Hopefully by today or tomorrow I will be back to (somewhat) normal.

As for today, I need to do some laundry. Preferrably in time for the kids to get dressed and before the pile comes to life and attacks me.

This week I need to finish painting the bathroom, and get some cleaning done, but mostly I need to have some fun with the kids! They sort of took a backseat last week with all the cleaning and painting and working, so this week we are going to have some fun. Not sure what form it will take, but as my dad used to say... "you will have fun weather you like it or not"!

And, to make up for my lack of blogging lately, I'm going to do my best to post every day this week!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Wedding Suits

When Uncle Dane got married last summer, we got Jack and Aidan these cute suits so they could be the ring bearers.

I've been trying for 62 weeks since to get them to wear them to church. I've offered money, bribes, and deals, all to no avail.

This week, they told me they had a surprise for me....

And they wore their suits! Aren't they adorable?
My 3 cute kids! Abigail, as always, is self styled- her adorable dress, cardigan, and very cute knee boots. She then directs her hairstyle... today she wanted pig tails with butterfly clips.
I love taking them to church looking so put together!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Painting

I am spending every available minute painting my little brains out. Yesterday I sanded all the mud work, cleaned up all the dust, and got all the priming done.


(I hate priming)


It took me most of the day, but at least it is done and I can now get to painting today.


You may be wondering what the kids were doing while I was so distracted...



Making a gigantic mess party, of course. "Mamma, we made a supwise for you".

I'm trying to tell myself that $20 in crepe paper, balloons, and various birthday decorations was relatively cheap childcare, since I was distracted most of the day.

Plus confetti! Yay! If you are sad that you missed it, just come on over- there are still bits of paper and balloons all over the upstairs!

This picture doesn't really do it all justice.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Unfinished

A few unfinished projects...

A table for the deck... bought at the thrift store, now in pieces in the basement.

A kitchen... waiting for some cabinets, paint, and wall work.

Two skirts... all cut out, waiting to be sewn together.

A quilt... the top is finished, just waiting for a back and to be sewn together.

What is a girl to do?

Start painting the bathroom, of course!

Today I decided that 3 years was too long to live with ugly wallpaper, so after a trip to the home store, I came home with mud, primer, and paint... and started yet another project! But, don't you agree that this wallpaper needs to go?
After 3 years, I just couldn't take blossoms bigger than my head even one week longer. I have to have my priorities.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Good Idea Gone Bad

A few weeks ago I was trying to decide on our schedule for the week, and I asked each of the kids what they wanted to do. There are tons of activities, but we can't do all of them each week, so I thought that if they were to each pick one activity, at least we would get to do the ones they wanted the most.

Thus was born the "1 favorite activity". Abigail especially plans all week what her "1 favorite activity" will be for the next week.

I suggest things like movies, Stone Mountain, puppet shows, swimming, train museum.

My problem is that they have started taking advantage of the situation. This week the requests were: Disney World, Six Flags, and North Carolina. I asked them to provide a backup request, and we ended up with Chattanooga, a backyard campout, and Trader Joes.

We actually had already talked about going to Chatt, since Kydon was off yesterday, so we did make that trip. We have reluctantly agreed to a backyard campout... in July... ugh. Maybe it will rain on Friday? And Trader Joes, while a lovely little store to visit and shop, is perhaps top of my list of places to avoid with 3 cute kids. (Just picture 3 wild children each with their own tiny adorable shopping cart careening through the isles, crashing into things and people). They want to go because if you find the bear they let you pick a piece of candy. Maybe I could buy a bag of candy and hide a bear at the house?

I think next week I will limit the choices to activities that are on the list!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just a day

I was trying to think of what I could blog about, and I realized that I should just take a few pictures of what we were doing throughout the day, and just blog about our summer.

As I started taking pictures and making mental notes about all that we were doing, it suddenly dawned on me- no wonder I'm tired! I was actually quite surprised to start writing down all that I had done in a day, and it actually made me feel better to simply acknowledge what I was doing!

I think when the day ends and there are dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, and piles of laundry, it is easy to feel like nothing got done, or that I didn't accomplish anything. But, on a day that was a little busier than usual but pretty typical as well, I was able to realize that I do a lot of stuff every day! No wonder I sometimes feel a little frazzled!

6am: Abigail comes in, wakes us up. Jack and Aidan are not far behind. Attempt to "pillow parent" (give instructions and reprimands while trying to pretend that I am still sleeping).

6:30: Drag myself out of bed, reprimand anyone who hurt anyone else, comfort those who got hurt, walk into Abigail's room and start cleaning up the colossal mess that has accumulated over the past few days that I've been trying to pretend will just go away on its own.

7:00: Go downstairs, prepare 3 different breakfasts (waffles for Kydon, Jack and Aidan, cereal for Abigail, eggs for me). Negotiate numerous arguments and tantrums, including who got the wrong color of cup and the wrong amount of syrup and someone touched someone else. Start the dishes, start the laundry.

7:45: Sneak into my sewing room to whip up another notebook holder to keep in my purse. I made one yesterday morning, then sold it to a lady at the pool! Now I needed another one for myself.

8:00: Clean up breakfast, coerce the children into doing morning work (dressed, shoes, brush teeth), clean up new messes (you can't brush your teeth without smearing toothpaste all over your brother- hair, clothes, cheeks), finish cleaning Abigail's room, get myself dressed and ready for the day.


8:30: Make and pack a lunch, finish dishes.

9:00: Gather swimming stuff, welcome the dog we will be playing with for a few days, explain the "dog rules" to the kids, monitor arguments, pack the car with swimming stuff, lunch, etc. Head to the pool.

10:00: After getting all the stuff and all the kids to the pool, putting on sunscreen, goggles, towels, and taking off shoes, and clothes, I can breathe. For 45 minutes while they are in their swimming lessons, I get a small break. Of course, I can't just *sit*, so I read two chapters of a book, finish some hand stitching on a project, and plan a few blog posts.



10:45: Gather kids, gather stuff, dry, dress, lace, tie, carry everything to the car. Hand out some snacks and water. Drive to my sister's house for more swimming.

12:00: Swim, eat lunch, relax, talk to my sister, play with my kids, monitor who has had what for how long.
1:00: Gather, head home. Shower, get everyone dressed, change over the laundry. Check email.

2:00: Take the doggie for a walk. Unpack all the swimming stuff to dry out for tomorrow. Unpack the lunch before it starts to smell. Refill all the waters to keep in the car. Wrap birthday presents and make cards.

2:30: Leave again, get gas, stop in a store for a quick errand.

3:00: Arrive at Chuck E. Cheese. Play with the kids, talk to friends, marvel at the mayhem.

4:30: Corral the children, chase Aidan (who doesn't want to leave), negotiate who gets what prize, carry Aidan kicking and screaming out the door.

5:00: Get stuck in traffic. Ugh. Grudgingly turn on Junie B. Jones. She drives me crazy, but the kids will listen to the story without going nuts.

5:30: Arrive at Sam's Club. Welcome the sight of Kydon ready to help. Eat dinner- a family of 5 can eat for $12! It is our favorite place to go out for dinner! :) Chase Jack all over the place when he decides he wants to "look at stuff" and run away from us.
6:00: Shop at Sams. Kydon takes the kids to browse while I take the cart and enjoy shopping without fielding a million questions, instructions, and requests. Tell the kids to stop climbing in and out of boxes without success.
7:00: Drive home, get kids changed and in their pj's, read stories, help them get to sleep. Unpack the car and put away any frozen or refrigerator items.

7:30: Take my new shoes out for a 3.5 mile run. Yes, I said run in reference to something I was doing. I have no excuse, except that I blame it on my friend, who kept posting facebook updates on her progress doing the couch to 5k program, and it inspired me to run, and then I just kept at it, and now I am running about 3 miles several times a week (I have to walk a little). I would go more often, but my shins are not happy.
8:30: Come back, process and put away the rest of the groceries. Finish the remaining dishes, go outside with Kydon for a garden check, and pick a few veggies for dinner tomorrow.



9:00: Watch TV with Kydon, fold laundry, look through some new recipe books that arrived today, and start my blog post.

10:00: Bedtime!

Today did have a few extra things on our list, but I came to realize that being home with kids means that you are doing "something" just about every minute of the day! I think just the act of writing and recording all that I was doing gave me the peace I needed to get out of my funk! I feel much better today.