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 real...like, 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 jalapeño 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. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Yard Saling

We live really close to the 127 yard sale they have annually (I think they say it's the longest yard sale in the country or something?) so we usually stop at a few of the bigger ones when it's going on. It was this past weekend so we decided to go yard saling (is that the correct usage of the word? Lol) Saturday when Jacob was home. We ended up leaving around 11am or so and stayed gone all day long. It was SO HOT! I love to yard sale but between the heat (it was like 90*) and getting everyone in and out of the car, I was pretty yard saled out by the time we were done...and we only stopped at maybe four of the bigger ones. (Bigger ones being defined as fields set up with a million or so different sales.) I carried Oliver in my Ergo and we put Chloe in a stroller. Before we stopped at any sales, we went to the store and stocked our cooler with ice, waters, and gatorades. Jacob bought a retractable dog leash for Aaron. I always talked about people who did that, because they couldn't control their kids and make them walk beside them. Well...whatever. Lol! We were in and out of the car all day long, pulled off of the highway no less, and once we looped the leash around Aaron's belt loops, he could walk by us without having to hold our hands and yet wouldn't wander too far off. And no one would steal him, which would be a plus. Honestly, what three year wouldn't want to go to all the toys at multiple yard sales?! I had to eat yet more parenting advice from my younger self, listen to my smart hubby, and everything worked out wonderfully. 

I actually spent $3 at yard sales. 🙄 There was tons of stuff but I really couldn't (and just plain didn't want to) go through the piles of stuff. I bought Chloe a toy and bought a soap dispenser for my bathroom. Big spender. 

We started in Russell Springs and drove all the way to Danville, where we hit Walmart and Hobby Lobby as well. Now that store...man, I love it! That's where I spent my money. I bought a clock...

A wind chime...

And a little stand for my kitchen. I had been looking for a glass cake plate for this purpose but I think I like this better. And I couldn't find a plate like I was looking for. 

We recently replaced some windows so that's why my windowsill isn't finished. It'll be done soon. We're slowly replacing windows and siding on our house. It's looking good so far! I'll have to get an updated picture sometime soon when we get it done. 

Kids are all napping and I've got to find some lunch so I'll talk to y'all later! 


Friday, August 5, 2016

Getting Up Early

This post showed up in my Facebook feed this morning as I drank my coffee and scrolled through the new stuff people had to say. I started composing a post to share this article there, but it was getting a bit long-winded, so I figured I'd bring it over here instead. I miss blogging regularly, and I find myself "writing" posts in my head all the time, but they rarely make it here. Maybe I'll change that. Anyway, here's the post:


Everything this post points out is so true for me. I mentioned before that I like quiet, and truth is, it's hard to come by these days. I love my kids and I wouldn't trade them and this life for anything, but the noise is nonstop! Naptime is nice, but it's not every day that I can get everyone sleeping at the same time, and Aaron doesn't end up going to sleep most of the time. I guess he's outgrowing naptime, which is sad. Very sad. Like really, VERY SAD. As of right now, I still have him lay down at naptime and he lays there quietly for an hour or so. Sometimes he falls asleep, sometimes he doesn't, but it's quiet time nonetheless. 

I love to sleep. But I also love some quiet time for myself. At this point in my life, I'm thinking I'm just going to have to learn to like getting up early, for the sole purpose of quiet. Like this blogger said, my attitude is much better when I have half an hour to myself before anyone else gets up. I just need to wake up quietly, and as I said before, Aaron never stops talking. So if he's up, it's not quiet. 

I'm not talking about getting up super early, because at this point I'm still up two or three (or four or five) times a night. But if I could make myself get up at say, 6:30, I'd have at least an hour alone! (Or just with Oliver and he's pretty quiet) I'd be a lot happier when Aaron gets up and we all know that would be good. I HATE feeling dread when I hear him get out of bed and I think having my own quiet time beforehand would really help guard against that. 

Another thing is, if I get up early-ish all week, I could sleep til 7:30 or 8 on the weekend and feel like I was getting to sleep in. It's all in your head, right?! I try to keep everything as quiet as possible on the weekend mornings so that Jacob can sleep in, and in all honestly, I struggle with a bit of bitterness in that area at times. Because I never, ever really get to sleep in. Jacob works super hard all week and I want him to be able to sleep in on the weekends, but it is hard because sometimes I do just want a break. And please don't comment that he should let me sleep in. The feminists can shoot me but I'm a firm believer in taking care of one's man and letting him sleep in (which he really loves to do) is just one of the ways I can do that. Kinda like I try to keep the house clean so he doesn't feel like he has to clean when he gets home from work. But, I digress.... So, I'm thinking, if I would be disciplined enough to get up at 6:30 during the week, sleeping til 8 on the weekend would feel special. 

This is definetly something I'll have to work on, as getting up early does NOT come natural to me, but I really feel like if would be beneficial to everyone in my family if I could get in this habit. And if something I can do will make my family better, that's something I need to work on. Catch y'all later. 😁

Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Day

I planned all week to go to town yesterday. I spent a couple days working on my Kroger list, organizing coupons, matching coupons with sales, adding details to my list...such as how much my coupon was for, how many of which items I needed to get the special pricing, etc. Yesterday morning, Oliver woke up at 6 so I laid in bed and fed him but it was pretty apparent he wasn't going back to sleep, so we got up at 6:30. I ended up being all ready to go before the other kids woke up and I was jut going to have to feed them and get them cleaned up and out the door. I'd be out of the house before 10am and we'd be able to get our shopping done before having lunch with Jacob in town, and we'd be home in time for naps. Soooo very perfect. Ahem. 

Chloe woke up crying, which was weird, because she's typically pretty happy when she first wakes up. We weren't five bites into breakfast when she gave everything back she just ate. I thought maybe she'd drank her smoothie too fast so I tried a couple more bites. Bad idea, stupid. I sat and rocked her for a while and after she got sick yet again it was pretty obvious I shouldn't be taking this kid to town today. Sigh. So much for my picture perfect morning. She ended up sleeping pretty much all day and was herself by evening. 

So, this morning, things didn't come along quite as well as yesterday, but it was fine and we were out the door by 10:30. There were Kroger coupons...nearly all for things that were on my list...in my mailbox. Go figure. We were in town by 11 and I had time to go to Goodwill (where I found two skirts and a pair of project jeans...it's all fun and games til you have to try stuff on wearing an Ergo) and Joanns before lunch. Met Jacob for lunch and we had our hour together and took him back to work. We drive to Kroger and as soon as I parked, it started POURING. We sat there for a few minutes and it did stop, for which I was so very thankful. It's quite the process getting everyone out of the car and I didn't want to get soaked. Anyway, I got all my new coupons added to the ones I already had and we were off. 

Most of my Kroger trips turn out just fine. This one...well, it was less fine. The buggy was wet and Aaron's really too big anyway, so he walked beside me. And we are so not prepared for that...experience. He touches everything. He's not bad, as in he doesn't throw fits and scream (knock on wood) but he's so very inquisitive and energetic...and I'm over here pushing the buggy with Ollie strapped in his carrier on me with my paper list and pen and my phone so I can check my digital coupons and my paper coupons. 😳 Aaron is really a big help, but he is challenging at the same time. I tell him I'll give him a treat when we get to the car if he behaves. Somehow today, between poking a random stranger's derrière...(SERIOUSLY.) and trying to steal a thing of tic tacs in line (I really didn't expect to see a mouthful of orange tic tacs when I checked on him. I asked where they came from and he pulled the container out of his pocket) he forfeited his treat. 

So, random stranger, I am so very sorry my three year old poked your rear. To the very kind lady who stayed after paying for her groceries to help me unload my cart, thank you so much. 

I did see someone who used to know my mom. I smiled at her and she looked confused for a minute and then said "oh, I know you. I just saw a busy mom and I didn't recognize you." I guess that's about it...I'm not who I used to be. I AM the busy mom instead. 

Aaron never. Ever. Stops talking. Ever. I'm a pretty quiet person. I like quiet. Aaron talked non-stop the whole way home. 

"Mama?" 
What buddy? 
"Mama did you bring new underwear?" 
Did you wet your underwear? 
"No. Did you bring new underwear?" 
Do you need to go potty? 
"No I already went potty" 
(At Joanns two hours ago) 
Do you need to go potty?
"I *already* went potty!" 
Fast forward to three minutes later...
"Mama I gotta go potty"
????????????
Thankfully we did make it home with dry clothes. 

He just went on and on, talking and talking and making random noises. I guess at some point I just zoned out and wasn't paying attention. We'd almost made it home (30 min later) when he says 
"Mama are you asleep?" 
Haha...no, buddy, I'm not asleep...I'm driving. 
"Mama! I thought you asleep." Laughing 
"I thought you asleep mama!" 
"Mama! I thought you asleep!" 
"I thought you asleep mama!" 

Now I'm going to pull out what remains of my hair. 😬

Not really...most of time I enjoy our trips to town. I figure they've got to learn and heck, for that matter, I've got to learn too. Today was trying but we got it done. And I'm exhausted and I have a headache. Lol