Sunday, September 30, 2012


I'm so sick of all the facebook posts about fall, pumpkin spice lattes, drives through the mountains, sweaters, etc... If I see one more post like this I might punch a puppy.

And then there are all the beautiful pictures of changing leaves, and suggestions to go for a drive up big cottonwood canyon. BAH!!!  Will someone please mail me a box of fall leaves?!?

Also, if you're reading this and you posted on FB about fall and pumpkins and stuff, I really enjoyed reading it and I think you're great. :)

I guess I just feel like I've been kicked in the gut by California this week.  The barren wasteland that is California...  And by barren wasteland, I mean warm breezes, beautiful palm trees, green grass, flowers, sandy beaches, and crashing ocean waves... Poor me...

The weather, I hear, will soon become tolerable.  We've had less humidity, and are right around high 90's to low 100's. (104 today) No need yet for sweaters.  And flip flops and swim suits are still in full force.  I'm sure when you are all posting about shoveling snow, scraping ice off your cars, and cabin fever, I'll be thankful that all me and the kids need for a morning walk to the park are long sleeve shirts and maybe a hat.

But let me get to my point for this post.  I decided over the summer of humidity and triple digits that there would be no oven use between the hours of 8AM and 8PM from June until October.  So, as you can guess, I haven't baked in months.  Except for cupcakes for work, and that always happened after the kids were in bed, so after 8PM.

But Friday I broke my rule.  Thursday night while grocery shopping, I came upon a great meat sale.  Practically free.  I bought 30 pounds of chicken, beef, and pork.  By the time I got home I didn't want to deal with it so it all went in the fridge.  Early Friday morning I got up and planned to separate all the meat into family sized portions and freeze it.  But for some reason I decided to crock pot a roast and bake some chicken.

Fast forward 9 hours.

I had 2 crock pots, at least 2 burners, and the oven going ALL DAY LONG.  This was not my plan, but somehow it happened and I pulled it off.  The kids did great.  Played well, and took great naps.  (They may have faked like they were asleep because it was so dang hot outside of their rooms.)

But by the time Paul got home, there were 5 meals ready for us, and 16 meals going in the deep freeze that I'm going to ice pack in a cooler and drive to St. George when my nephew is born. Pasta sauce and meatballs, General Tsao's chicken and vegetables, Sweet baby ray's crockpot chicken and rice, several baked chicken marinades, taco meat, roasts with vegis, casseroles... My sister in law has had a rough pregnancy, and is on strict bed rest and has been for a few weeks and will be until William is born.  He's due on Addie's birthday (Nov. 15th) but the docs are giving her steroid shots and trying to keep the baby in until Oct. 25th.  He really wants to get out sooner than that, so we'll see.  Anyway, I'd go crazy.  And she obviously can't do much prep work, so that's why I decided to give most of the meals to them.  Preparing like this before Addie came was a life saver for us.  I love freezer meals!  So yesterday I went and bought 20 more pounds of meat to do it all again for my freezer.  I'd love to give individual credit to all the pinners and their recipes but I'm too lazy.  Just search my 'Plan Ahead' and 'Crockpot' boards for some good easy meals.

While things were cooking, Garrett and I invented a coffee table/couch jumping game.  It was mostly safe.
Addie was her smiley self and spent most of the day trying to take all of Garrett's toys.  So, the usual.
Can you see her onesie?  It has sports buttons on it and it says, 'Just Playin' the Field'.  Paul made it for her before she was born.

Anyway, I felt so productive!

And that evening I finished up a couple projects for Art or Archer.  I can't remember how I found Archer's mom.  I think she's a friend of a friend's friend or something.  But anyway, we're blog friends now.  Her little 2 year old boy has Infantile Refsum disease. There's no treatment or cure and it's a fatal disease. Adjusting to life post diagnosis has been extremely hard on Ashley and her family, and her creativity has been a good outlet for her.  She's having a fund raiser event on October 20th called Art for Archer, and all the money raised will go to the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders.  She lives in Mississippi but is also selling stuff on the Art for Archer facebook page.  I was quite a procrastinator, but finally got all of my stuff finished and packaged to send.
And then I got all the way up to the doors of the post office with Addie in one arm and these two ridiculously heavy boxes in the other, only to discover that our dinky little uptown post office is closed on Saturdays.
But first thing tomorrow morning they'll be on their way.  Bless you little Archer.  Keep fighting!  You can read his diagnosis story HERE.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Before and After: Big Boy Room

I mentioned that I wasn't ready to ditch the 'transportation' theme in Garrett's room, but I did want to 'big boy' it up a bit.

Here are the before pictures:

And here are the little changes that I made:
He's looking at the race car board.  I knew he'd love it.  The blue night stand was a weathered plant stand on our front porch that I spray painted.  Paul gave him the alarm clock because he uses him phone over the clock anyway.  And I got the lamp on clearance for $8.00 at World Market.  The lamp shade had a black and gold New York skyline on it, but a little fabric fixed that.  

I never got a picture of the magnet board without him in front of it.  But I just covered the frame in wrapping paper.  Cut some vinyl to make the roads and parking spaces.  And cut 'beep' 'honk' and 'zoom' with my cricut and glued magnets to the backs of the cars and he's got his own little race track that doesn't take up floor space!
 I also re-hung the book shelf that he pulled off the wall by hanging on it.
I bought the bed sheet at babies-r-us.  It has little cars and trucks on it.  I wanted a plain red one, but this was the best I could find.  I made the quilt by cutting squares of fabrics I had and sewing them together, then my mom tied it and sewed the binding.  I love how it turned out.  And I had enough left for a pillow case and a couple throw pillows.  This was my first time sewing a round pillow cover.  I think I wanted it to look like a tire or something.  Don't look too close...
 And we decided to wait a while on the toddler bed.  I'm just not ready!
I added a strip of car/truck paper to the picture of Paul and I in front of an old fashioned gas pump.  This was taken in Midway a couple weeks before Garrett was born.  And I made a couple pennant banners with fabric scraps.

I sanded the old paper off the GPW, then spray painted them all black and put new matchy paper on them.  (If you even plan to re-craft something that has paper glued on it, get it wet first, then sand it.  SO much easier.)

I took the 'BABY' blocks off his shelf, and replaced it with 'Beep!' (His favorite car related word.)  I also added a picture of him.  I painted a frame I already had and then put car/truck/train paper on it.

This is maybe my favorite new addition.  I was garage sale shopping one morning a couple of months ago and came across a house that was selling one of everything.  Including one, just ONE of EVERY hubcap ever made.  She must have had 200 and I promise you, no two were alike.  I found three that I thought had character and kind of matched. She wanted $5.00 each.  How she thinks she can sell that many unmatched hubcaps, I'll never know.  But by the dirt, spiders, and cob webs I endured during my hunt through them, I'm likely the first person to ever buy any.  I offered $5.00 for all three and she gladly accepted my offer.  A little warm water and a rag, then some spray paint, and this is the end result.  A stop light.  Garrett likes it.

 The changes really make it look like a new room.  And it was inexpensive, and easy.  Happy 2nd Birthday, Garrett!  Speaking of his birthday, that post will hopefully be up in the next few days.  Just waiting on some pictures from the party!

Family Fun Day

Lunch at Ruby's Diner and flu shots for the kids.

I'm gonna need to step it up if I plan to keep calling Family Fun Day 'fun'.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"I need to run to Utah real quick."

I said that to Paul tonight on our way home from visiting some friends.  I've become slightly obsessed with re-doing some things around the house without spending much money.  Like, all I'm allowing myself to buy are things like thread, spray paint, sand paper, etc.  And once in a while a little 'accent decor' if the space really needs it, but I'm talking 5 maybe 10 dollars at the most.

Sunday night I realized that my boy would be 2 in a week and I hadn't thought of a gift yet.  I'd entertained the idea a few months ago of making his room a 'big boy' room but sticking with the vintage transportation theme that I spent a lot of time and money on when he was a baby.  I'd bought a few random pieces of car/truck/train fabric on sale back in June and then forgot about it.  And I also forgot that I'd thought of doing  this project.  Sunday night I made a list of things I wanted to make/re-do/take out/add, etc.  There were 15 things on the list as of Sunday night, and tonight there are 2 things left to do!  I'm so excited for the changes.  So far I've spent $2.50 on a pillow.  $5.96 on a couple more yards of fabric.  $0.96 on spray paint.  $6.99 on quilt batting.  $6.99 for a few race cars. (He's gonna love this part.) And I have something coming from The Wood Connection in Utah that will set me back $7.00.  Everything else I had on hand (so it doesn't count towards the total cost ;)).  Not a bad birthday for about $30.00.  And that's all he's getting.  Oh, and maybe a toddler potty.  I'd love someone to potty train him for me...I think this'll be a long process...

Also, I'm this close to converting the crib to a toddler bed, but I already feel like I'll regret it.  I want him in his crib till he's like 10.

All that to say, I'm itching to start my next project with supplies I already have.  I'm planning on making a play kitchen for the kids for Christmas, as well as a mini play market.  I can see it all in my head, and it's going to be so cool, and I have everything I need. The only problem is that I planned to do it in Utah last month, so I packed my free night stands and my $2.50 garage sale bookcase that I'm converting, into the van.  Then the Utah trip went different than planned, and here I sit with nothing to do, and my next project sits in my parents garage.  So, "I need to run to Utah real quick."

I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon.  So, if any Utah friends would like to join me as a little helper elf, I'll be freezing to death the week of Thanksgiving in my parents' garage with some paint and tools.

...Freezing to death doesn't sound half bad right now.  California has been having record breaking heat and humidity this summer.  I feel like I live in someones mouth...

Anyway, the friends I mentioned that we visited tonight just had their first baby, so we took them dinner.  Their baby is so tiny and cute!  And she doesn't throw coasters, or smash food into the place mats, or knock over the Wii, or throw things at other kids...  Oh babies...  I've been teasing lately with Paul that we should throw caution to the wind and just have another baby soon and finish up this whole pregnancy phase of life.  I'm not serious, but I think he thinks I am.  When we got in the car to come home, the first thing Paul said was, "I really don't think I'm ready for another one yet."  And before he could finish the sentence, I said, "Yeah, me either."  Our friends baby was not the problem.  I could have stayed and held her for hours.  It was the other two that happen to belong to me, who may or may not have been throwing coasters, smashing food into the place mats, knocking over the Wii, and throwing things at each other...they were the kicker.  I love my 2 free spirits, and they will remain just the 2 of them for a while longer. :)

The proud new dad.

The dads and the kids.

Garrett trying to escape.  He wasn't so sure about that tiny little one who wouldn't fight back.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

play-time, paint, projects, parties,

It's nice to feel like I'm back in my routine. (I use the word 'routine' loosely.)  A better way of saying it would probably be, It's nice to feel like I'm back in my chaos.  At least when I'm home with all of my stuff in my space, and more importantly all of the kids' stuff, it feels a little more like controlled chaos.

So here's a little of this and that that's going on here in our corner.

Garrett and Addie are learning to play together better everyday.  And what I mean by 'play' is, Garrett is learning more patience, and Addie is adjusting well to life as a little sister.  Garrett's new thing, that happens all too often throughout the day, is trying to ride on her back while she crawls.  And when she stops crawling or gets pinned by him, it turns into kind of a bear hug/head lock/tackle move.  I'm working on saying 'no' less to G when he's 'playing' with Addie, because I don't want him to think I don't want them to play together.  I just say, be soft and be careful more often.  Garrett will be 2 in a week, and Addie is 10 months today.  Addie does a great job at keeping up with her brother.  She crawls super fast.  Pulls herself up to standing on everything and cruising along furniture pretty quick, too.  She says 'mmm' when she eats.  And she'll also say mama, dada, yeah, and uh-oh, all on queue.

 I know it looks rough, but she was laughing and fighting back, so what's a mom to do?

Last Sunday we went to Pasadena to help our friend, Robyn, work on her mom's dining room.  Her mom had a brain aneurysm 3 months ago and has been in the hospital and in rehab since.  It was a pretty tragic situation, but she's a strong women and is making great progress and amazes her therapists everyday.  Robyn wanted to re-do her moms dining room for when she gets to come home.  We had high hopes of getting a lot done, but have you every stripped wall paper?  We were there for about 7 hours and only got about three forths of it off the walls.  I felt bad leaving them in such a mess!  The kids did well and let us all work most of the time.  It was good to spend time with Robyn.  (We met her in Utah and now she lives in Idaho.)

I also made this for Robyn.  She asked me to help her with a Spring decoration almost a year ago.  And I'm a loser and never got around to it so I finally just made one for her.  I only took a picture because hers is cuter than the one I made myself a few years ago and I want to re-do mine to look more like hers.

I've been working on birthday parties and other projects when I can.  Garrett wasn't going to get a party this year, but I'm a party planning ninja, and even hope to someday make a little money at it.  So long story short, I had a very simple idea for a family party for Garrett, (like, 6 or 7 people). I told my mother-in-law about it, our wheels started turning, and now, a week from today we'll be celebrating with 50-60 of our friends and family.  Addie is getting a little over-shadowed I feel, and we may just celebrate her in Utah the week of Thanksgiving, instead of another party here with a lot of the same people, just 6 weeks later.  I never want people to feel obligated to come, and especially not to bring gifts!  But I love a good party, so I'll probably throw them more often than not.

And Paul's birthday is just 4 days before Addie's.  So last year, he got nothing. And the year before that we had a 6 week old we were getting used to, so also, nothing. So I want to do a little something for him this year, too.