Archive for the ‘the kids’ Category

Ok, so I realize that the fact that the kids’ bedroom is FINALLY done is not a big deal to anyone but me (including my husband and my kids).  But it’s done and it’s consumed my life since Mother’s Day weekend when we put up the bunk beds and moved the kids in together.  I had all these ideas, mostly thanks to Pinterest, and I learned a lot of fun new things.  For example, I LOVE adhesive spray.  LOVE IT.  It’s fabulous.  If you have never used it, find a reason to use it and buy some.  Recovering boring white lamp shades is simple with a little adhesive spray.  I also learned how to make lined curtains.  Not a fun project but I’m glad I know how to do it (and using $5 Walmart flat white sheets makes a great and cheap lining for the curtains).

Ok…time for some pictures.  Here’s the view from the door:

Figuring out a color scheme for a shared boy/girl room was tricky.  I didn’t want it to be too girly or too masculine.  I found this geometric elephant fabric at fabrics.com (love this website for fabric…great prices, great selection) and loved it.  I was really into the chartreuse green and candy pink that seems to be a lot of places this year.  Target was really into green and white chevron strip this year and made my dream of having cute under the bed baskets a reality.  The toys are now confined to two baskets under the bed per kid.  Heaven!  (I hate toy clutter.)  The brown quilts and shams were tricky to find.  I searched EVERYWHERE for brown quilts with matching shams and finally ended up finding them online at Walmart of all places!

Next…wall art fun!  A Pinterest idea…silhouettes of elephants (found online) cut out of scrapbook paper, mounted on more scrapbook paper, and then framed.  Easy peasy.

On to the art wall.  I wanted to give the kids a place to hang their creations but wasn’t sure I had room for a corkboard.  I found these wood plaques at JoAnn’s for under $2 each, painted them, glued a clip onto them, and VOILA!  And the little shelves under the art wall make me so happy.  Molly’s basket is pink, Owen’s is green, and they each get to put whatever little toys they’d like to keep in their room in the basket.  No more toy clutter in this room!  And the lampshade…remember when I mentioned adhesive spray?  Love the stuff.

I’d also been wanting to do something fun with embroidery hoops and colorful fabric.  Owen’s wall above his dresser needed a little more life, and the embroidery hoops made it more exciting.  I’m now obsessed with embroidery hoops on the wall and want to put them all over my house.

I needed a place in the room to hang the kids’ baby pictures, and I think they work over the bookshelf.  When our kids were born, I’ve had our visitors sign the frame’s mat.   I always love reading back over who visited us in the hospital.

One more pic…Molly’s dresser.  You can’t see very well in this picture, but I was so excited when I found these knobs for the dresser at Hobby Lobby.  They are black with hot pink dots, and black with bright green dots.  Perfect for this room.  And it’s fun seeing my little girl using the dresser I used in college.  Great Goodwill find all those years ago.

And that’s pretty much it!  It was fun to do, but with only 9 weeks left until the baby arrives, it’s time to get started on the nursery.  It’s been over three years since our last baby was born and I barely even remember what we have.  But I’m so glad that my big kids have a fun room to call their own since their lives are about to change forever!


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telling the kids

So…it’s been 2 months since my last post.  I’ve never done that in all my blogging life.  And there are reasons…the main one being that growing another human being is exhausting, especially when you’re chasing around two other crazy, wild children all day long.  So if you didn’t already know…we are having another baby!!  We are so super excited about this little nugget that is supposed to arrive around September 7.  The kids cannot wait.  Telling them was super special…and we caught it on video.

I’m so glad we captured this on video.  It’s been a couple of months since we told the kids and I’d already forgotten how sweet their reactions were.  I love that their reactions reflect their personalities…Owen is thoughtful and quiet, while Molly is excitable and loud.  I love that Owen wants to name the baby Prince Phillip (Molly has recently told us that she wants to name the baby Phil Collins…she has a serious obsession with Tarzan).  I love that Molly wants see the baby right then.  And I love that Owen asks if we are going to pray.  He has such a sweet, sensitive heart.

As soon as we were done with our little talk, the kids immediately started stuffing their bellies with stuffed animals and pretending to give birth.  There’s been a lot of this kind of play going on over the last few months.

It’s been fun having kids old enough to “get” what’s going on with this pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with Molly, Owen wasn’t even 2 and he really didn’t get it.  But now they do get it and they have lots of questions.  Molly frequently asks me if I can take the baby out of my belly so she can hold it.  One day she lifted up my shirt and started pulling on my belly button.  When I asked her what she was doing she told me she was trying to look at the baby.  To say she has a baby obsession would be putting it mildly.  Can you tell by her crazy eyes in this next picture how much she is loving every second of holding baby Eliot (my friend, Abbey’s, newest baby)?

But the thing they’re most excited about will be making it’s debut in a couple of weeks… So now that I’m feeling better and don’t spend my days on the couch watching episode after episode of Brothers & Sisters, I’m in full room decorating mode.  They can’t wait to sleep in the same room, and I can’t wait to transform it into a fun shared space for both of them. Maybe sometime before #3 comes along I’ll get around to posting pictures of their new bedroom.  No promises.  During the very small bits of time during the day that I have to myself, sleep sounds a whole lot more enticing then turning on the old computer.  But I’ll try!


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Yesterday the kids and I made a birthday cake for Jesus.  My little chefs were involved from start to finish.  They measured, cracked eggs, licked the beaters, watched the oven, iced the cake (more like poked holes in the cake with their knives), and then they sprinkled.  And boy did they sprinkle.  I had written “Happy Birthday Jesus!” on the cake, but by the time they were done all that could be seen was “Bir J”.  But they were oh so proud.

They were abnormally happy to pose for pictures with their cake.  They were simply thrilled about their creation and couldn’t wait to taste the sprinkled goodness.

After dinner we had a full on birthday party.  We sang to Jesus and then the kids blew out his candles.  (Molly liked it that Jesus got to have her leftover pink candles from her birthday party.)

The kids loved every minute of the cake.  Trav and me?  Not so much.  I looked over at Travis after my first bite and said, “Well, it sure is crunchy.”.  Owen and Molly, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed it.  Owen even told me that this was the best cake he’d ever eaten and asked to have it for his birthday.  I guess I should stop putting so much effort into fun shaped cakes for him and just give him loads of sprinkles instead.  Here’s Owen post-cake…he looks like he had some fun with red lipstick.

And Molly looks like she’s straight off the set of Twilight…with a little gangsta flair.

All the sugar made the kids crazy animals.  They ran around like wild banshees during the whole first half of the Mizzou/Illinois basketball game until Trav and I corraled them into bed.

We’ve done the whole Santa thing with the kids this year.  We visited him at the mall, we’ve read books about him, and the kids are excited about getting presents from him on Christmas morning.  But I want my kids to understand that Christmas isn’t about Santa, Rudolph, or the presents.  Christmas is about the precious gift of Jesus.  We give gifts to people we love because God gave us the best gift ever…Jesus, his Son, and the promise of eternal life.  My prayer is that, as we start these next two days of Christmas fun, Owen and Molly will remember the birthday party that we had last night and know that Santa is a fun tradition, but Jesus is the reason we celebrate.

Merry Christmas!

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Last Thursday over Trav’s lunch hour we took the kids to see Santa.  First things first…mid-day is the BEST time to go visit Santa.  At least at Plaza Frontenac.  No line at all!  There was one kid in front of us but he was already with Santa so we waited a whopping 2 minutes.  Awesome.  Right before it was our turn, Santa came over and told the kids he had to take a quick break and he’d be back in a couple of minutes.  The kids were instantly curious and asked us a million questions about where he had gone.  The reality is that he had to take a bathroom break, but my kids would peg him with questions about this the minute he returned (they’re all about the questions these days).  We told him that he had to go feed his reindeer…which they bought and pegged us with loads of questions about the kinds of foods they eat and whether or not Rudolph was out there.  We also had time to remind them of proper Santa etiquette…sit, smile, tell him what you want, and so on.  Here they are getting prepped and ready for the big guy.

Molly never stopped grinning the whole time we were there.  Actually, grin is probably and understatement.  She smiled so big that I’m sure her face hurt.  She couldn’t help herself…she just couldn’t wait to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas.  But before they told him what they wished for, they smiled their little faces off so we could get a few pictures.

This Santa visit was a drastic improvement upon last year’s visit.  In 2010, we had to wait in line for at least a half hour to see Santa, and then Molly screamed the whole time she sat on Santa’s lap.   These pictures are evidence that Molly harbored no remaining fear of jolly old St. Nick…in fact she kept looking at us while she was sitting on his lap saying, “I not crying!”.  It proved to be a much better year for the photo op.  Moving on…after smiling for pictures the kids moved on to sharing their wish lists with Santa.  Owen told Santa that he wanted Optimus Prime, and Molly asked for Belle and the Beast.  Might I just add that my children own BOTH of the gifts they requested…I’m seriously considering rewrapping their own toys and letting them reopen them under the tree.  Budget-friendly Christmas in this house!  Here’s a shot of Owen as he chats up Santa…

And before we left, Santa gave the kids a big squeeze…which was awfully generous of him to do considering we were those cheap parents who didn’t buy any of the overly priced professional pictures they offered.

And that was 2011’s visit with Santa.  Lots of smiles, no tears, requests for presents already owned, and no line.  Success.

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Our kids were trick or treat FANATICS this year!  They couldn’t get enough.  I think we trick or treated for an hour and a half.  But let’s back up…here are some pre-trick or treat pictures in this year’s Halloween shirts.

After eating pizza with my parents, we got the kids dressed and ready to go.  The picture is a little blurry, but Owen was a very serious Storm Trooper fully equipped with a Clone Trooper Blaster.  And Molly was a soft and cuddly Simba.  They were supposed to look like this when we hit the neighborhood:

…but Little Miss Particular absolutely REFUSED to wear the Simba head hood.  She told me (and I quote), “Mommy, I not wear Simba’s head.  It’s not cute.”  This girl is gonna make me crazy!  I’d been talking with my friend, Bri, earlier in the day and she’d suggested putting lion ears on a headband if she wouldn’t wear the Simba hood.  Fantastic idea.  The costume was saved…mostly.  We had a couple people ask if she was a mouse.  Oh well.

The kids loved the trick or treating part.  It was hilarious though…they’d get up to the door of the house and forget what they were supposed to say.  Sometimes Owen would say, “Can I have some candy, please?” or Molly would chime in with a “Thank you!” before the candy was even in the bag.  We had to prompt them each time to remember to say “Trick or Treat!”.  After an hour and a half we STILL had to prompt them to say it.  Molly definitely wasn’t shy about the candy and often asked if she could have more than one piece.  Greedy little thing.

By the end of the night they still couldn’t remember to say “Trick or treat” but Molly had decided that wearing the hood might not be a bad idea.  I think she’d gotten pretty chilly, which was probably the only reason we could c0nvince her to put it on.  We snapped a picture on a neighbor’s front porch the minute she put it on…and forget about velcro-ing it under her chin.  Out of the question.

When the bags got too heavy for the kids, we headed home.  The kids loved dumping out their bags and checking out their loot.  And they sure did get a lot of it.  I hope it lasts a long time…because if it doesn’t it means I’m sneaking too many pieces during naptime.

And one more because she’s just so cute and those little whiskers are too much.

Happy Halloween!

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Lots has happened around here lately, and I’ve been a blogging slacker.  Rather than devoting a whole post to each…let’s play a little catch up.  Here are some things we’ve been up to.

1.  We went to Oklahoma to see my cousins.  We hadn’t seen them since my Grandma’s funeral two years ago.  It was great to see everyone again.

2.  I turned 31.  Yikes.

3.  We’ve been watching a lot of Cardinals baseball around here.  (And even more so now that we’re in the playoffs!)  We even took Molly to her first Cards game.  We lasted through 5 innings…with lots of help from popcorn and peanuts.

4.  We’ve been having fun with our playgroup friends.  First at Rombach’s pumpkin patch:

Then at the Science Center:

And at Chick-Fil-A:

I think that pretty much brings the old blog up to date!

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back to school

The school year has officially started around here.  Last Friday was Owen’s first day of Pre-K. 

Owen is going to preschool this year at Kirk Day School, our church’s school.  He goes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 to 11:30.  We’re all having to get used to getting up and out of the house three days a week…and we’re also having to get used to not seeing Owen as often.  I miss having my little buddy around everyday…summer spoiled me!  We were super excited to find out that Owen has Mrs. Hauser for a teacher this year.  She’s wonderful and will be such a great teacher for Owen. 

Owen was excited that a lot of his friends from school last year are in his class.  We were also excited to find out that there are a total of 4 boys in his class this year!  Double the amount of boys as last year!  He was also thrilled that his buddy, Ella, is in his class again this year.  Here they are with Mrs. Hauser learning how to put their stickers on the attendance chart.

I was wondering if I’d be the weird mom with the camera…definitely not.  Every single parent had a camera.  Some even brought video cameras.  Dads were there.  Siblings were there.  We all stood around and watched as the kids had their first circle time.  My little boy is getting so big!

Then it was time to go.  I didn’t cry…but I can guarantee I will next year.  At least I still get him home with me two days a week this year.  Kindergarten will be a whole different ball game!  After the first day, I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say about it.  He told me a few things (he’s not really into recapping what he did while away from me…to my frustration!), but his question to me was, “Mommy, how was your day?  What did you do while I was gone?”.  Sweet boy.

Then today…my baby girl started school.  I can’t believe she’s old enough.  But she is.  I have her in the Toddler Time program at our church, the same program we started Owen with.  She’s just going on Mondays.  One day a week is enough for me. 

She was so excited.  She was supposed to wear red today because it is the color of the week.  When we got to school she ran in and started to play with the puzzles.  Then I noticed that she needed to go to the bathroom so I went in her room to take her…big mistake.  She realized I was leaving and then started crying.  Owen never cares when I drop him off…in fact, I can barely get him to say goodbye to me.  Different story with my little gal.  I heard she calmed down pretty quickly, but it still made me sad to leave her when she was so upset.

Her teachers, Miss Jennifer and Miss Lisa, are great.  They told us at the open house that they wanted to fully support the efforts of parents who are potty training.  I asked if it was ok if I sent Molly in underwear or if she needed to wear a pull-up and they insisted I send her in underwear.  They said they’d make sure to take her to the bathroom as often as I wanted them to.  I am so thankful for this so we don’t have to worry about her regressing in her potty training.

Speaking of…Molly has been doing great with potty training.  She rarely has accidents, tells me when she needs to go (or I can tell by her body language), and hasn’t had a wet diaper during naps in about a week!  She also will finally go both ways in the potty!  With Owen, I waited a full month while he pooped his diaper at naps and pooped his pants because he was scared of going in the potty.  Then I went out and bought him a bag of incentive toys.  With Molly, the first time she went and hid in her room and pooped her pants I told her that pooping her pants is yucky and poop goes in the potty.  We went to Target and she picked out some little toys that she is getting every time she goes in the potty.  And it’s working for her!  Yay!  (I know that it’s not like this with every kid so don’t think I’m trying to sound high and mighty because Molly has caught on to this quickly.  Potty training was definitely a challenge for Owen even after we got the bag of toys…well, a challenge is maybe an understatement.  I don’t ever want to relive a potty training experience like Owen’s.  I didn’t even blog about all of it…some of it was just not blog appropriate material.  Trust me!)  

Back to her school day…when I picked her up she was really excited to see us.  She came running out of the classroom singing her school songs.  Her teachers told me she went potty 3 times and had no accidents!  Overall it was a great day! 

Having both kids in school one day a week is a treat for me.  I got to run errands and spent a full hour wandering around World Market deciding how to spend my $10 off coupon.  I also grocery shopped faster than I have in years.  It’s amazing how fast you can do things when you don’t have to buckle kids into car seats (and when I’m not running Molly to the bathroom in every store we go!).  It was fantastic.  I missed the kids like crazy and couldn’t wait to see them, but I will definitely look forward to my time on Monday mornings!

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