Monday, January 23, 2012

A List...

Because that's all the time, energy and brainpower I have.

*The boys asked to go outside, so I bundled them up and sent them out with a few instructions: no playing in the water, no playing in the mud, no climbing the fence, no playing in the dog or rabbit food.

*It didn't take them long at all to violate every single one of those rules.

*But since they're muddy now, I'm taking the easy way out and letting them stay outside, as opposed to punishing them both (and me) by making them come inside and take a bath.

*In just a few days, I'll be halfway through this pregnancy. That's CRAZY.

*The first half has passed very quickly.

*We still have not poured the foundation on our house.

*I've given up hope that it is finished by the time the baby is born, and am now just hoping it is started by the time the baby is born.

*I really hate it when a kind convenience store clerk asks how you're doing, and you decide to show them, by completely breaking down in tears. For no reason.

*I really love kind convenience store clerks.

*I found a really cute desk at a flea market (more like a giant, perpetual garage sale) last week. Hubs stopped by on Saturday and picked it up for me. We put it in Christian's room. Now I just have to find a chair for it. I'll have to take a picture. Seriously cute desk. I'd like to paint it turquoise; it's currently white. The paint job is just fine; I just want it turquoise. We'll see. I want to redo her room in turquoise, black and white, but she's balking at the black. I hate when they get opinions of their own. I could do some ridiculously cute stuff in her room, if she'd just suspend her dadgum opinion. ;)

*I have been having REALLY BAD migraines quite often lately. REALLY. BAAAAAAAAAD. I finally gave in and called my doctor. At first, he said I needed to go to the emergency room. Ha. That will never happen. NEV. ER. HAPPEN. I will deal with a headache until the day I die before I will show up at a hospital emergency room whining about it. After I relayed that message, he called in a prescription for Tylenol with codeine. I think the pharmacy goofed and gave me Smartees though, because these "pills" don't do a bit of good. Which really stinks.

*The baby is moving around more and more. Hubs felt her kick two nights ago. Which made him really excited. He loves seeing me pregnant. I hate it. I feel like such a goober.

*I'm just now wearing maternity clothes. Five months in. I think this is the latest I've ever gone. One day I looked perfectly normal, and the next? POOF. The belly had arrived. I might try putting on regular jeans today, just to see if I'm imagining this belly or not. I really think I'm not, though. So I guess I'll skip the wardrobe change. I'm not really up for it anyway. Wow. That was a complete waste of your time and mine. Sorry about that.

*I'm so unbelievably sick of the mangy, disgusting, flea-bitten stray cats that overrun this town. Seriously.  The lady next door (Crazy Cat Lady #1 {Should towns even be allowed to have more than one???}) had FORTY cats in her front yard the other morning. Crazy Cat Lady #2 just opens bags of cat food and pours them down her sidewalk for a morning buffet. Unfortunately, both Crazy Cat Ladies live next to us. One is right next door, and one is on the other side of the street, but still. We have cats on our porch all. the. time. Which maybe wouldn't bother me so much if we weren't allergic. Or if they weren't defecating all over the dang place. Or if they weren't completely covered in fleas and just NASTY, NASTY, NASTY. They hold conventions under our house at night, and get into LOUD disagreements during the breakout sessions, apparently. It's HIGHLY annoying when it happens at 2am. And again at 4. And then they hold the final voting at 5, I'm guessing. Judging from all the growling, screeching and screaming.

*I have a pain in my neck that is radiating all the way down my arm to my wrist. I thought I slept wrong a couple nights ago, but I can't imagine that causing this much pain. Or lasting this long. I bought a heating pad and massager last night. I "slept" with the heating pad all night. And by "slept," I mean I laid there throughout the night, trying not to roll to either side, since that immediately caused lightning bolts of pain to shoot down my arm and up my neck. Fun, huh?

*I took a hot bath and a Tylenol (with codeine) before I went to bed, hoping the bath, massager, heating pad and "medication" would beat the pain. No luck. I seriously think they're 100% sugar.

*A friend "hired" me to help with the party supplies for her husband's grandmother's 91st birthday party this coming weekend. So I will be busy making favors and tags this week. They will be so beautiful. She has impeccable taste. I can't wait to see it all come together. I love doing stuff like this.

*I think my dream job would have to be party planning.

*Except the part where I'd have to work weekends, when Hubs is off. That wouldn't be much fun at all.

*I just found a piece of bacon on the kitchen floor. Which is pretty disgusting, considering we had bacon cheeseburgers for dinner... TWO NIGHTS AGO. Ugh. Might be time to step up the housekeeping standards just a notch. Or let our "outside" dog become an "inside" dog.

*A friend of a friend invited me to her annual Valentine's Day party. Except it's not on V-day. Which is perfect for me. It's pretty elaborate, and everybody votes on the best valentine, best-dressed guest, best homemade valentine box, and this year, the best hat. I'm. SO. EXCITED. I already made my hat, and it's ADORABLE! I'm working on my valentines now, and I think they're going to turn out cute, too. A friend helped me with an idea for my box, and Hubs and I are brainstorming ways to build it. I think it's going to be really cool. I also had an idea for a t-shirt... but I haven't really decided on that one yet. I don't want to... how do I put this? Cross any lines, I guess. I've run it by a few people, and they love the idea, but I'm pretty conservative, and am just not 100% sure yet.

*I've also decided on valentines for Christian's class. They will also be quite adorable. She wants fairly elaborate ones for her teachers, too. I'm starting on them.

*My to-do list is starting to overwhelm me.

*One of my favorite families is moving away. They live in the house next door to our old house. So I can't really blame them for moving away, since I did it first, but I'm so going to miss them. They're heading to Colorado, to her hometown, which is PERFECT for them. But still. Sad for me. I made them a ruler growth chart on Friday as a birthday present, since her birthday was Friday, and his is next week. We went to a birthday party at their house last night, and stuffed ourselves silly. Seriously, they have some awesome parties. Always amazing food, and the company can't be beat. Going. To. MISS. Them.

*Cavan just got a hamburger bun from the pantry and is running outside with it. I asked him why he had it, and he told me "So Bo tan [can] eat it." I told him that Bo didn't need a hamburger bun. "Otay." And then he ran outside with it anyway.

*So my time on the computer has come to an abrupt end.

Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ruler Growth Chart

We didn't make it to Home Depot and home again yesterday in enough time for me to make another sign, so I thought I'd post the other project I made on Friday. 

I saw it on Pinterest, and in Pottery Barn Kids a few years ago, and I've wanted one ever since.

I thought it would be a great way to record all the kids' heights in the same place. When Christian was a baby I bought a pink canvas growth chart from PBK. But I never bought one for the boys, or recorded their heights on hers. Plus, now that she's growing up on me, it's a little babyish for her room.

I think this is just perfect for all of them, and neutral enough to display anywhere in the house.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I've Been A Little Busy Today...

I've been wanting to use my Cameo to make a vinyl sign for quite some time. I've made a few things for others as gifts, but nothing for myself yet. Today turned out to be my big day.

I'm a bad, bad blogger, and didn't take photos of the steps, but hopefully I can rectify that tomorrow.

I started with this:

Well, actually, that's not really how it looked when I started.

Let me back up a bit. I bought a cull board (I think it's a 1x6) at Home Depot for $1.01, and they cut it twice for me for free, giving me three sign-size boards for a dollar. Go me!

I spray-painted 3,826 coats (approximately) of Krylon gloss white onto my board, and let them all dry. All. Freaking. Day.

I lightly sanded the edges, then dabbed some Minwax stain (in Provencial) on the edges, and immediately wiped it off. Now I'm kind of wishing I hadn't done that. Up close it just looks a little dirty. From farther away it looks great, so I'll just have to tell my guests to back the heck off if they're all up on it.

I used the "Circus" font, and cut the word "LOVE" out of hot pink vinyl. Applying the vinyl to the wood was probably my easiest project so far; weeding the vinyl? Not so much. That part will make you want to poke an ice pick through your eye socket. But don't do that. You'd have trouble finishing your project.

I also bought a 1 foot by 6 foot by 1 inch board from HD. I wasn't in love with the super-sharp edges, so I sanded them like crazy to round off all the edges and corners. I also sanded all the knots and ugly spots so I'd have a nice, smooth surface to work on.

I bought a sample-size jar of paint from Lowe's (Valspar; Hematite) and painted the entire board with three coats. The jars cost less than $3 each, and I had about a half jar left after painting the board.

I bought another sample-size jar of paint (Valspar; Elephant Gray) and stenciled the foreground using the "Iron Lattice" stencil from Hobby Lobby. I have just about a whole jar left.

This is what it looked like at this point:

I worked all day arranging the verse from 1 Corinthians 13. Changing fonts and sizes and playing with placement. I fed some white vinyl into the Cameo, and let'er'rip.

After applying the verse, I hung my "LOVE" plaque on my subway art using Command strips.

I do believe she could use some crown molding, so Hubs is going to cut some for me. I'll paint it the same dark gray as the background, and put it at the top and bottom. When I do, I'll update with a new picture.

I just love my subway art! I've been wanting a piece for a looooong time, but never thought I'd actually make it.

I put it in the hall to take a picture, and it looks so good with the spotlights on it, that I'm going to make another one tomorrow. The wall on the other side of the doorway needs one, too.

I plan to take step-by-step pictures of the process, and post the how-to as soon as I can.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Family Christmas #3

Our third, and final, Christmas celebration of 2011 was at our home. It began on Christmas Eve. We got the three yayhoos together for a rare shot... and ever rarer still? 

ALL THREE WERE LOOKING AT THE CAMERA AND SMILING. AT. THE SAME. TIME. I'm not sure that has ever happened before. So I wanted to record this holy grail of photographic achievement so I have proof in the future that it actually occurred.

We got them bathed and into comfy jammies, then my mom read the boys the Christmas classic, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Christian said she'd "heard it before," and wasn't interested. Twerp.

But the boys really enjoyed it.

Ooooh! Big yawn, right at the end of the story. I think it's working! After she finished reading, we put them all to bed. Shortly after, we put out the gifts we had bought. I never put gifts under the tree until after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve, for two reasons: 1. I have two little mischievous little boys who I believe would unwrap/smash/break/steal the gifts while I'm not looking, and 2. I think it makes Christmas morning even more magical to wake up and see tons of gifts under the tree that was naked when they went to bed the night before. 

While we were taking showers and getting ready for bed, Santa sneaked in, so I got a shot of the tree with all his stuff under it, too.

Christmas morning came waaaay too early. Especially for my mom, who wanted to sleep on the couch. The boys' room is right next to the Christmas tree, and she said they woke up around 2 am, and opened the door to look at all their stuff! She told them to go back to bed, and they did, but they were up every hour after that, giggling and opening the door.

Christian also got up, but she waited until 4am. Mom sent them all back to bed, but they kept coming back. Hubs and I had NO IDEA any of this was going on. We were dead to the world.

When they couldn't stand it any longer, Christian worked up the nerve to wake us up. I think it was around 7:30.

Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast is homemade cinnamon rolls (PUKE!!!). I make them every year, for us and about 38 other families. I LOATHE cinnamon rolls, but Hubs and the kids (and the 38 other families) go nuts for them, so whaddaryagonnado? Usually I make apple turnovers for myself, but I didn't have the extra energy, so I just drank hot chocolate this year.


We were mean and horrible and awful and made them sit in front of the tree and take pictures before we let them get after it.

With the smell of the buttery cinnamon rolls in the oven (I love the smell; hate the taste) and no gifts in their hands, I'm surprised I got this many.

We finally gave in and turned them loose.

They wanted to start with their stockings.

Those stockings were STUFFED. I was actually a little worried that all the gifts wouldn't fit in them, but we forced it. I mean, SANTA, forced it.

Then they went to town on all the packages under the tree.

Hubs wore the Christmas jammies I gave him last year, depicting his favorite Christmas movie ever.

Cullen would pull just enough paper off a gift to figure out what it was, then he was on to the next one. The kid doesn't waste time.

My mom will probably kill me for posting a picture of her in the morning, with no make-up, having SEVERELY interrupted sleep all night long. Poor thing. She flew in from Nashville, and got pink-eye on the plane. She drove the three hours from Houston in the middle of the night, not able to read any street or highway signs. It's a miracle she got here at all, much less safe and sound. I etched her initials on a glass trifle. I was really proud of it, but apparently didn't have the foresight to take a close-up of it.

Christian got lots of adorable clothes. And she wasn't exactly excited about it.

Cullen mostly got toys. Which he was quite happy with.

I also made my mom a set of silhouettes of the kids. Which I also neglected to photograph.

After the gifts and stockings were opened, we cleaned up the gigantic mess and got lunch on the table. It was a traditional Christmas dinner with roasted turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, green beans, corn casserole, and parker house rolls. Homemade pecan pie was dessert. It was delicious, if I do say so myself.

Right after that, Mom had to head back to Nashville, so we said good-bye. And immediately fell into a four-hour coma.

It was heavenly.

We had an amazing Christmas, from start to finish, and hope you did, too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family Christmas #2

This one was at my parents' house on Christmas Eve. We started out by gobbling up yummy appetizers. Well... most of us did. I was ready to puke, so I didn't eat very much.

Then we tried to get a picture of the three yayhoos.

Which is not an easy task.

Since they're constantly looking around, and playing, and wiggling, and laughing and messing with stuff...

Then Cullen noticed the seven stockings my stepmom made, labeled with the grandkids' names, hanging in the family room. They appeared to have things inside them.

And he was ready to find out exactly what might be inside them!

Cavvie was more interested in this Santa.

It rode a tricycle around in a circle while it played music.

He thought it was pretty cool.

Then my nieces and nephews arrived...

And it was time for the obligatory picture of all the grandchildren.

Which is even harder to get than with just my three babies.

Seven faces, constantly looking in different directions...

And Cavan playing with the cat's toys...

But we kept at it....

And then confiscated the cat toy so there would be one less distraction.

Jaxsyn wandered up...

But didn't really feel like sitting down for a few thousand pictures.

Then they started getting really silly.

Soon after that, SANTA STOPPED BY!!!

The kids went nuts!

He had what appeared to be a bag of something... but what?

Caylee was up first. She got a wrapped gift and a candy cane full of m&ms.

Who's next?

It's Cullen!

Cullen climbed up on Santa's lap...

Where he also received a gift...

And a candy cane.

I was really proud of him. I didn't think he would sit in Santa's lap, but he seemed really excited about it.

Colton was next.

He also got a gift and candy.

Then Santa pulled Cavvie's gift out of his sack.

And my sweet baby boy climbed on Santa's lap...

And listened while Santa asked if he had been a good boy this year.

I'm not sure what he said, but I hope he told the truth! ;)

Santa must not have kept great records this year, because Cavvie got a gift and candy as well.

Cayden was next.

Finally, he called out Christian's name.

 She was so excited to meet him!

Jaxsyn got something, too.

Courtlyn was last.

She wasn't too crazy about the idea of sitting on a perfect stranger's lap... and I can't say that I blame her.

But she did great! After that, Santa said he had to get going, but he'd be back to their houses later that night, so they all should make sure to get to bed early!

And with that, the chaos began!

All the kids tore into their gifts with gusto!

But Cavvie was really more interested in the candy cane full of m&ms that Santa left!

My dad really loved the vice we got him. Apparently he really needed one.

See BabyChocolateFace?

Holding a half-eaten lollipop?

Sweet Cayden said he had some battle scars from a run-in with a fence.

He liked the spurs we got him, and asked us to put them on his boots right then! I'm happy he likes them.

Cullen decided Grandma needed help opening his her gifts.

He believes if it is gift-wrapped, it must be for him, no matter what the tag says.

Christian made Grandpa a sun-catcher.

He loved it. Or so he said.

I love this picture. I just wish it were actually in focus.

Each year I make a calendar for my dad. It has all the dates he should remember, but never does.

It started out as a joke several years ago, but now he says it's his most-anticipated gift each year.

Which really makes my heart smile.

Cullen is still trying to steal help Grandma open her gifts.

I etched her initials in a glass bowl... which I never even got a picture of!

But that didn't bother Cullen. He said it was his anyway. I guess he really needs a footed glass bowl with someone else's initials on it.

After all the gifts were opened, we ate a little more, then hurried home to bed so Santa could come.

More coming later...