Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dana Point

We went away for the weekend with the White family.  We went to Dana Point.  When we were deciding where to go, I said to Paul, "Remember that little town we drove through a couple years ago after camping, and I said, 'People who have never been to California think this is what all California beaches look like.'?"  That town was Dana Point.  It's beautiful and did not disappoint.

We (7 people) rented a 6 bedroom, 4 bathroom, HUGE home.  It was beautiful.  And it's actually bigger than that because the owners live in the basement, and the rental portion is the top 3 floors.  Who knows how big the basement apartment is.  I definitely had house envy.

Blowing bubbles and relaxin' on the balcony.

Garrett and I shared a room.  He slept on a pad on the floor, but spent most of the night off the pad.  He asked if he could sleep with me, but having this kid in your bed is like sleeping with a ninja.
We went to the Farmers Market.  Garrett loved puppy watching.  And he got to help pick names for a giveaway.

Addie was a little super hero all day.
We did a little shopping.  Then the men and kids went home for naps.  And my MIL, SIL, and I shopped and shopped and shopped, then stopped for lunch, then shopped some more.

I'd seen a flower nursery/farm-like place (called Farm to Market) while we were out and  I knew the kids would love it, so we took them to see it.

Hanging out at the house...

Annie bought us all dino tattoos.
I was a sucker and paid six bucks for a tiny bag of colorful rocks for a little tractor dig box I'm making for Garrett.  Oh, and, this is two tiny bags worth, so, 12 bucks.  Vacation money is different than real life money.
Garrett loved the cherries.  I don't buy them often and realized he's never had them, (I don't think) but he was an instant pro at de-stemming them and spitting out the seeds.
The beach was Garrett's favorite part.  I wish all California beaches had Dana Point sand.  It was whiter than any I've seen here.  And so soft and clean.  Addie, my little sand-a-phobe, even couldn't get enough.  I may have taken a little bit in our sand buckets, just to play with on the porch.

 And...then we were home.  Laundry, baths, and our own beds.  But first, a little fresh air on the porch.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Project 365: 105-114

April 15- Recovery day from our whirlwind weekend in St. George.  The kids and I slept in until 9:30. then we stayed in our pj's on the couch until lunch time.
April 16- The kids' art table got a new home with a little more space.  This is what I did to the wall above it. And I already had everything around the house to out it all together.
April 17- Knott's Berry Farm.  Just me and my boys.  Addie was with Grandma White.  Paul was loving this because G usually defaults to me, and A usually defaults to him.
April 18- A puppet show!  More lke a peek-a-boo show, but close enough, and still entertaining.
April 19- These happy kids + sun, food, and music turned this day around.
April 20- Paul was at work so I took the kids to have lunch at the Whitwood fountain, a visit to the pet store, and we finished it off with fro-yo.  Paul's Grandpa really wants us to have a lefty.  Maybe Addie's his lucky charm??
April 21- Paul's grandpa loves roses and has tons of rose bushes around his yard.  He picked me a big bouquet of these beauties today.
April 22- It was impossible to get a good picture of all of my hard work, but I cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom.  5+ hours of scrubbing, going through drawers and cabinets, reorganizing stuff and getting rid of stuff.  And as you can see in my message to Paul, I planned to keep it clean for a whole day!
April 23- I bought a water noodle and cut it in half to make a marble track for each kid.  Paul and I needed to have a big Great Strides planning meeting and I thought this would be a good distraction.  This picture was taken during the two seconds that Addie left Garrett alone.  She loves her brother, and it sometimes drives us all crazy!
April 24- Three nights in a row now of horrible sleep for no good reason.  I gave up trying at 4:30 this morning and got up and made cupcakes for Paul to take to work.  By 7am I was ready to go to sleep!  To bad toddlers don't understand that.

Monday, April 22, 2013

My simple little world.

I've thought a lot about this blogging thing and how it's all about my family and day to day life.  I sometimes wonder if I should keep update on current events, so years down the road if my kids or grand kids read something I wrote like, "After all the horrible stuff that happened in Connecticut right before Christmas..." or "All these unbelievable events that have happened in Boston this past week, I've been feeling so scared/sad/overwhelmed/devastated..."  But then I think, if I kept up on current events, I wouldn't have time to talk about anything else.  And, I would get depressed keeping up on all of it.  When it comes to my knowledge on politics, the government, current events, the wars we're fighting, I feel like I 'know enough'.  I don't want to be uneducated, but I wouldn't do well if I spent much more time than I currently do keeping up on it all.

I had a whole post all ready to publish about election day this past November.  My thoughts on Romney, and how I was generally impressed with him.  My thoughts on Obama, and my complaints about him from the left.  But I never posted it because it really doesn't matter.

I had another post all ready to publish after the shooting in Newtown this past December.  How heartbroken I was for those families.  How I imagined that one of those lost was my own.  Like, forcing myself to hurt, would somehow take away some of the hurt of those actually waking up the next day without their child.

I went on with my thoughts and anger about how quickly we saw gun control laws being pushed.  And how there's not much being done about mental illnesses, and how overlooked this problem has always been.

I'm extremely conservative on my views about gun control.  I come from a gun owning family, I married into a gun owning family, and I own a gun myself.  Gun laws will not protect us.  And if there are people in this country that are stupid enough to think that 'guns kill people' is a more accurate statement than 'people kill people', then I should be even more concerned about the fate of our nation than I thought I should be. (And I'm getting there.)

All this to say, I kept up way too much with the events in Boston this past week.  What I was watching and hearing didn't even seem like real life.  This was the event that put me over the edge, in a sense.  It was the first time ever, that I truly hoped that Jesus would come back soon.  I was terrified for my babies and the world they'll grow up in.  It made me really question if I would ever consider bringing more kids into it.

We went out Friday night, after my day of news overload, to a big outdoor mall, just to walk around and have dinner. I kept my kids closer to me than I would normally.  I looked at people differently.  I was kind of scared.  I reminded myself a few times that I don't want to live in fear.  I watched my kids play and laugh.  I really haven't been able to get enough of them these past few days.  And I couldn't stop thinking about how innocent they are, how safe they feel, and how they have no idea what scary things are going on all around us.  And I couldn't help think about how badly I want to protect them from it all.  How I would do anything to keep them safe.

People were posting this Mr. Rogers quote all over IG and FB last week.
It's simple and helpful.  I read it several times throughout the day on Friday and reminded myself that there are good people everywhere, they're just usually not as loud and noticeable as the bad ones.  I'm kind of glad my kids aren't old enough yet to have to explain anything like this to them.  But on the flip side, I can't help but wonder what I'll be explaining when they are old enough.  But until then, I'm going to try and just let my kids' smiles, excitement about life, and positive energy, get me through the heartbreaking days.

These next few are from our Friday night family date.  The kids started giving us 'noodle kisses'.

There was loud happy music in the food court.  The kids couldn't help but stand on their seats and dance.  Notice Addie watching Garrett and copying his moves.

 I posted this collage of Addie on IG tonight and mentioned that Paul was telling me about the bombing attempt on the train from Canada to NYC that almost happened today.  As he was telling me about it, Addie was doing this.  Making loud fake burp sounds to go along with her funny faces.  I decided to pay more attention to her, because it made me smile.
 And while Paul was talking, and Addie was fake burping, Garrett was standing on his seat pretending like he was falling.  "Woah...woah...woah..." he'd say, as he 'almost' fell.  Then he'd lunge toward me, and grab my arm with both hands, and announce, "Safe!"  ..."Woah, woah, woah...SAFE!"
I hope I'm always strong enough to make my kids feel safe.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stir crazy/Spring Cleaning/Keeping Depression at Bay???

I don't mind where we live when it's cold outside.  I don't mind were we live when it's warm outside either.  But I definitely like it less in the spring because there's not enough windows, and it also reminds me of how hard it is to get outside, when I really want to be outside more.  I'm guessing what you're thinking is, "open your door and go outside!"  We have a cute kids picnic basket, tons of sidewalk chalk, remote control cars, a bike, squirt guns, bubbles, swim suits, a mini pool... everything you can think of for warm weather, we have.  And we're ready to use it.  But our 'yard' is a mortuary parking lot.  Not appropriate for two wild toddlers running around with bubbles, cars, snacks, etc.  We go on walks, we go to the park.  But it's still a bit of a production.  Especially since I can't quite get the kids to nap at the same time yet, so there's about 4 hours of our day that consists of overlapped sleeping.  I just want a yard to play in, where the kids are safe if I leave them alone for a few minutes, or where I can be with one and a monitor while the other one naps.  Ya know?  Anyway, this is the mood April has put me in for the past 3 springs.  All of this is an explanation of the title (or three titles) of this post.  I can't tell if it's the spring-time cooped up blues, or if spring really does make me want to clean and dejunk, or if I feel a crash coming on so I'm cleaning/creating/rearranging, to stay busy so I don't crash.  Maybe a combo of all three.  Whatever it is, I'm doing good, but also doing a lot of extra stuff these days to keep things looking fresh and clean.

Here's a couple of them:

We bought the kids a water table for the porch.  We re-potted some old plants, did a little cleaning and rearranging, and made enough room for it.

I cleaned the playroom and got rid of some stuff.  I found a lot of stuff, mostly from Christmas, that we've never played with.  These puzzle cards were among the new/old stuff I found and Garrett loves them and is really good at finding the other half matches.  I've decided to implement a new rule with toys: a new one comes in, an old one (or two or three) goes to Goodwill.  It's amazing how stuff accumulates!

Garrett's wanted to help with the organizing.  He called me to his room to "show you".  I'd put a pack of new diapers on his floor and I was going to stack them in his dresser when I got around to it.  When I got to his room he said, "Me stack dipes me self."  He'd opened the pack and 'stacked' them all on his own.  Sure, I should be potty training him, but I'm just going to be proud that he knows how to restock diapers for now.

 Addie 'helped' too.  I had little piles of stuff around during my cleaning process.  Addie had: 2 phones, a camera case, a bag of photo hangers, a receipt, and sunscreen.  She was determined to climb the step stool and dive onto the couch without dropping anything.

Speaking of Addie, she's getting stronger.  Here she is with Garrett pinned to the couch.  Him yelling, "Be NICEEEE!!"  and her squealing, "Tick! Tick! Tick!" as she tickled his neck.  Never a dull moment at our house!

The kids' little table has been in the playroom but it's never had enough room for both of them to sit at.  We have this unused wall between our bar stools and front door and it was a great fit.  So I moved it and it's been used more this week, than it has the months it's been in the playroom.  And  I couldn't resist decorating the wall.  The instagram collage with washi tape is my favorite part.  (Someday I'll get around to telling you how I printed them for cheap!)

 The kids were trying out the chairs at IKEA.  Garrett said with each one, "aww, me relax the beach!"

I made this puppet show curtain for the kids.  I was going to do a tutorial, but I'm really not good at step by step instructions, especially taking pictures.  So if you want to make one, here's the measurements.  It's 5' tall and 3' wide.  It's on an adjustable tension rod so I can move it to different doorways.  The opening is about 18" X 18".  I used quilt binding to finish off the opening.  (It would have been easier to just use one piece of fabric, but I didn't have one piece big enough and I didn't want to spend any money. So I just kept piecing it until it was long enough.)  There's 3 pockets on the front to store puppets.  And the banner was no-sew.  I just cut the triangles and glued them onto bakers twine.  I made a drawstring bag to tote the puppets around in.  And I found the puppets on clearance at IKEA for 99 cents.  Oh, and the bottom of the window was a little droopy, so I glued a dowel along it on the back and it fixed it right up.  

 (The picture below is the dowel, it's covered in washi tape.  I was gonna paint it, but I'm a little obsessed with washi tape right now so I went with it.)
 Super easy to make draw string bags, I did it from start to finish while Paul bathed the kids.  I think I'll make a few more just to store more crap.
The kids got half of the puppets for Christmas, but when we were at IKEA a few nights ago and I saw them in the 99 cents clearance bin, I decided to complete the set.
So that's a little look into our lives this spring.  I'm sure there's more DIY and cleaning projects to come before I'm over this phase, but we'll see what I come up with.