Friday, September 9, 2016

Anniversary Part 2!

Jacob had an extra day off work Tuesday (after Labor Day) so we decided to go off for our anniversary. We figured crowds would be better then, and we had plans for Monday. His sister (she's single and great, people!) watched after Aaron and Chloe all day so he and I could get away. We had an amazing day! We went to Bowling Green (couple hours away) since we hadn't been there in a while. We decided to do the boat tour at Lost River Cave. I'd been there before but never took the boat tour. It was a lot of fun! 

We really couldn't get many decent pictures since it was dark inside. 

My ever-attached accessory 😏

And us! 

We hit Cabelas, a pawn shop, got a snack at Chikfila, and walked through the mall too. I got a bad case of sticker shock. I mean, I was upset when goodwill started charging $5 for pants and skirts instead of $3. The mall is crazy! There's this one brand of jeans I've been wanting to get to turn into a skirt...I've been looking at them on eBay but they're still like $50. I saw them in person for the first time in a store in the mall...$105!!! I think I'll just keep looking. I decided after everything, we should have just went to the Goodwill store in Bowling Green! 

We ate wings for supper. It wasn't a fancy anniversary supper but it's what we wanted, which is what matters. I've been wanting wings for a while and we can't really get them out with the kids, so it was a good time. They were SO GOOD! 

We got there and looked over the menu (we'd never been to a Buffalo Wild Wings) and I asked a couple questions and then the waitress told us that on Tuesdays, wings were half off! So, we got drinks, wings, potato wedges, and dessert and it was $30, including the tip! 

We were gone from about 9am Tuesday to 8pm. It was so nice for the both of us to get away and be alone (relatively lol...I don't leave the baby til they can go long enough between nursing) for a while. And if you need just a little more's our cute tag along. 

Oh, and here's Jacob's coffee mug I got him. ☺️


This was written Sept. didn't publish when I tried to publish it, apparently! The joys of phone internet... 

Yesterday was our fourth anniversary. Somehow it doesn't seem near that long ago that we got married. Time flies when you're having fun, right? Here's one of my favorite pictures from our big day. He's so cute. 

We didn't do anything yesterday...Jacob went to work and I did housework and laundry and fed and cleaned and took care of kids and extremely ordinary day, really. (We may go off somewhere for the day over the weekend) I did splurge on supper (seriously...have you bought a block of Parmesan lately?!) and I made Shrimp Tortellini Alfredo, Creamed Spinach, and Stuffed Mushrooms, with a Chocolate Cream Pie for dessert. We ate and watched Little House on the Prairie with the kids. Romantic! 😏  My pie crust turned out ugly but it sure tasted good. 😎

We had time together after the kids went to bed, but that wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I figured out a long time ago that kids going to bed the same time we did was not going to work for us. Now at least Aaron and Chloe are in the bed at 8pm and most of the time Oliver goes to sleep shortly after that. That leaves Jacob and me a couple hours together alone every night. 

Jacob bought me a bracelet as an anniversary gift. I got him a cheesy coffee mug that says "hello there handsome" My bracelet is just has opals! (And yes, that's his ring on my thumb. He asked if I wanted it back and we were being goofy)

So, here we are. Four years later and more in love than ever. Here's to many many more! 😍

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Diaper Clutch

My pretty new notepad holder got a friend. 😍

A while back, I was experimenting with the idea of a diaper clutch...something small enough to go in a purse (at least a rather large one like I have) and big enough to hold a couple diapers and some wipes. I didn't buy extra fabric for this idea, so I just used what I had at the time. It wasn't my favorite, but it was a good idea and very functional and I use it ALL OF THE TIME. Who wants to carry a diaper bag in all the time? My packed diaper bag stays in the van (with extra clothes and such) but my diaper clutch goes with me everywhere, stashed away in my purse. The old one got lots of use and the elastic wasn't even elasticy (I know...totally made that one up) anymore. 

Cute enough, I guess...but...ugh. 

I had some fabric leftover when I made my new notepad holder and I thought it sure would look nice if everything in my purse matched. Actually, I thought it would be really stinkin' cute. I's right. 😎

Sorry for the sideways pic

I don't have a button for it yet...I'll have to run in JoAnns again sometime. Unless I can get Jacob to run in after work one day. πŸ˜‚ I was just too impatient to wait til I got a button to show it off. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Five Months!

Oliver is five months old today! Still not quite sure how that happened, but it seems to happen a lot around here. All the sudden they're a lot older than they were yesterday. Here are a few pictures of his adorable self... 

Like I said, adorable. He gets up on his hand and knees and rocks back and forth, and he also does his planks, like you see in the picture. Looks like he'll be crawling soon. 😳 His first tooth just came through, too. Way too early for that, if you ask me. His mother...his food source. Yeah. Not a fan of teeth over here. 😬 

The more Ollie does, the more obvious it is how far behind Chloe really is, and it is heartbreaking. She is getting stronger and her balance is getting better, but she still isn't walking by herself. She will walk beside me (albeit slowly and awkwardly) when I hold her hand, but she'd much rather crawl...I guess since she's so much better and faster at that. She still doesn't talk, but she does respond when you ask her questions and she tries to conversate. You can ask her where her toys are and she grunts and looks towards her room (where they stay...most of the time) and then she'll do a "where" motion with her hands. I'm trying to teach her some basic signs and she'll sign "more" when we're eating sometimes. We have an appointment with a neurologist in September and I've sent an application in to get an appointment with a geneticist. Her state genetic screen didn't show anything wrong/out of the ordinary but I guess a geneticist will do more involved testing for more rare conditions. It's my understanding that the state screen tests for the most common/dangerous conditions. We're on a waiting list for physical therapy and she should be getting in there any time. I think they will do an evaluation and also put her on the waiting list for occupational and speech therapies as well. We're going with a private kids' therapy center (instead of the state program) and there are long waiting lists. 

Anyway, we're just doing what we can and still trying to get conclusive answers. I have her on several vitamins/supplements and she is getting better, but I don't know if it's due to the supplements or just the fact that she is slowly improving on her own timetable. I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing for the time being. I don't know what else to do. 

She's the prettiest thing and the most loving and cuddly girlie ever. We like her a lot. 😊 She REALLY loves me an awful lot too. 

Well, the kids are all sleeping still and I need to get busy. I'm thinking I'll run to the grocery store in a little while so I can be back before naptime. So, I need to get me ready so I can work on breakfast and kids when they get up. Talk to y'all later! 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Notepad Holder

Call me old-fashioned (as I type on my Blogger app on my iPhone...) but I love a paper list. Years ago, I designed a notepad holder so I could always have a list handy. I keep it in my purse and have lots of papers stuck in the pockets...everything from old receipts (for comparing prices) to budgeting papers to coupons. My coupons are forever getting pushed down in the pocket and I've been having trouble keeping them accessible. (As I grocery shop, I compare prices between the coupons for brand names and generic brands to find the cheapest option.) So I've been wishing I had another pocket for my coupons, but I figured I'd just make do. This notepad holder is essential to my existence. Just ask Jacob...I freak out if I forget it. It's my scratch pad for everything...lists, menu plans, recipes...ok, so everything to do with food. Ha! 

One day last week, my inlaws kept Aaron and Chloe so I could go to town alone (ish...I took Oliver) for a few hours. It was a lot of fun...I think I've only ever been somewhere once alone (ish) since Oliver was born, and that was about an hour just down the road. So, I got all fixed up, hit some thrift/consignment stores, met Jacob for a lunch date, and got to liesurely stroll through JoAnns. It was fun. :)

I found a lovely fabric remnant that jumped out at me. I didn't have a plan for it, but it was just so pretty! I love turquoise these days and the remnant was turquoise and silver chevron...

I noticed a few days later that the ribbon closure on my notepad holder was about to come off. Guess I've opened and closed it too much. So it hit me that I should just make me a new one. (Brilliant, I know.) I needed a coordinating fabric to go with the chevron, and a way to close it so the kids and I went back to JoAnns a few days ago. I found just the thing and I made me a new notepad holder yesterday. I am totally in love with it. 

Seriously. In. Love. 😍 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Our Garden

When Jacob and I got married, we said "we sure don't want a garden, and definitely not animals!" I think we both had been gardened and animaled out growing up, and the first thing we were going to do with our newfound freedom was NOT garden. 

Then we went grocery shopping. For, with OUR money. Uh huh. It wasn't too long before we said "you know, we should really have a garden! Just a small one, but big enough to grow a few things." :) Now we also wish we had more room/land for a few chickens. 

We have two 4x14 ft raised garden beds, that I section off into square foot sections when we plant in the spring. So not very big. One of the beds is half green beans and half tomatoes. I'm not doing very well growing tomatoes and I have a weird amount of tomatoes...not nearly enough to put up and way too many to just eat. My green beans are about played out...I've picked three or four times already and I just get enough for us to have for a meal. I'd like to plant more to can but we'll have to find somewhere to put them next year. 

I picked everything yesterday. I am NOT doing very good at staying on top of this stuff. Apparently. See the okra? I have THREE okra "trees" and I picked 42 okra yesterday. I was kinda ignoring them because we're tired of fried okra and that's the only way we eat it. I threw out 24 that were too big, sent some to my in-laws and still have too many left for us. The jalapenos? We also have three jalapeΓ±o plants. Also been putting those off, simply because I don't know what to do with them! I still have canned jalapenos from last year and I'm the only one that eats those. We planted jalapenos because Jacob said he wanted to make poppers. That's a whole lot of poppers, honey. I need to do a little research and see if I can freeze them for poppers in December. 

I love growing bell peppers. I cook with them fairly often and they get so expensive, especially colored ones. (Is that politically correct?) the colored ones are my favorite but I can't get them to grow very well. I grow green ones just fine but it seems like they always start to rot before the turn. The red ones in the picture are about like those mini sweet peppers you get at the store and I'm treating them like bells. My plants are loaded with green peppers but I'm giving them a little more time to see if they'll turn. I just slice and freeze them as I pick them and I think I already have a couple gallon bags full in the freezer. 

Oh...and the thing on the far right in the picture is a bag of frozen chicken broth. I was cooking black beans yesterday. 

So there's a bit about my tiny, over productive garden. Maybe one of the yeas I'll get good at it. You'd think I'd be too busy or something... 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Cleaning Schedule!

Soooo, what kind of cleaning schedule works for you? I can't figure this one out. I keep going from doing one thing every day, to just doing what needs to be done as I see it, then back again. Right now, it's cleaning one thing every day. 

I just don't like laundry. And that's sort of a bad thing because we have a lot of it. I *really* procrastinate when it comes to folding and putting it up, so I'm trying out a new method. I used to just do ALL the laundry one or two days a week and that left me with like five loads, and inevitably one (or more) would end up sitting in a basket unfolded for an undetermined period of time. I'd have stacks of clothes sitting on dressers (seriously, how long would it take to actually put it up??? It's a few inches away!) So, there's my housekeeping secret...I don't care for laundry. Anyway, the new "method" I'm trying...I'm shooting for doing a load COMPLETELY Monday through Friday. Sometime two, depending on what needs to be done. For instance, I wash sheets every Monday, and I've been doing another load as well, just because it gets backed up over the weekend and needs doing. I'm working hard at getting it folded and put up...I don't do it all the time yet but I'm getting there. Silly, the things we put off. It's a ten minute chore, folding and putting up a load of clothes! I've been folding on the kitchen table, so that it has to be moved to eat. I used to fold on our bed, but it would get left there until bedtime, and the kids would be asleep so I couldn't put it in their room and we'd be tired so stacks would just get moved somewhere else. 

As of right now, in addition to a load of clothes every day, I have another thing to clean every day. Currently, Monday is floors (vacuuming the rug, sweeping, and maaaaybe mopping,) Tuesday is bathroom, Wednesday is dusting and straightening surfaces, Thursday is floors again, and Friday I clean out the van. I try (ha) to make up whatever day I go to town, because that's never the same and I don't always get my cleaning done before we go to town. And after we get home...ha! 

This past week was the first week I didn't clean the van since we've gotten it, and I'm pretty proud of that. (Not that I didn't clean it, but that I've only missed once. Jacob worked on some construction stuff Friday and was using the extension cord all day, so I couldn't plug up the shop vac.) I used to only clean cars out when you couldn't get in them, or when you were greeted by an avalanche when you opened the door. However, I've made it a point to always keep an empty grocery bag (actually a few in the glovebox) in the van and I fill it up with trash as it accumulates. (Even little stuff...unwrap a piece of gum and the wrapper goes in the bag.) Every time we get out of the van, I make sure Aaron doesn't have any trash in the back seat...he brings it all to me to put in the trash bag. Toys do build up but they all come in on Fridays, as does the trash bag. So, on Fridays, I get everything out of the van that doesn't belong (a packed diaper bag, my Ergo baby carrier, and sunglasses are the only things that stay in the van. Oh, and a small cooler, a couple folding chairs,and the stroller stay in the back/trunk) I wipe the dash/steering wheel/radio down and wipe the windows down, and I vacuum. Sometimes I'll wash the outside but not always. I use Armor All stuff on the dash every other week or so. I don't think that the van *has* to be dirty just because we have kids. I'm trying to teach Aaron to clean up after ourselves as we go, and he's done really great, even trying to get me to take trash from him as we drive. We do eat in the van occasionally but again, all trash gets cleaned up immediately, and little food bits that may have been dropped get vacuumed up no more than a few days later. (If I see Aaron has dropped noticeable pieces of food, I throw them out when I get the kids out) My van has stayed cleaner than ever and it only takes 15-20 minutes (if I don't wash the outside) once a week! Jacob even opened the door the other day and said something about the van sure was staying pretty clean. It never gets bad if you do it every week. Right now we still don't go a lot (grocery once a week or so) so it would probably be worse if we went more. 

I'm still a work in progress with efficient housekeeping. And I keep finding that it changes as schedules change. So, what worked for me a few month ago isn't necessarily the best method for me anymore. I guess it's neither here nor there, so long as everything stays clean and picked up. ;) 

Aaron helps me clean up and he really loves drying and putting dishes up.