Monday, March 30, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Well, our guest has left us. The girls have asked for her a few times already. I have told them about our crazy next couple of months to distract them (visitors and trips and birthday...).
Now we have to get back into our regular routine. Kendall is getting ready to go to school and Kate and I have our list of errands to run. I'm beginning to think about our Spring garage sale, trying to decide which weekend will be best then I can start the 'fun' of pricing. The hard part will be finding tables and clothing racks to put it all on!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Kendall loves to show how she can jump on one foot. I encouraged her to try jumping on her non-dominant foot. Wait until the end, Kate says something really funny.

Then Kate wanted to try too, it's a bit more like prancing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When it Poos it Pours

Today was Donuts with Dad's Day at Kendall's preschool. Sadly, Brian wasn't able to get any pictures. I'm going to make them pose together when he gets home from work though :)
We had a fun day yesterday starting out at the library story time and ending at the outdoor playground at the gym. In the middle we did lots of reading and puzzles.

I just have to say that I LOVE girlfriends! I am so blessed with the best ones on the planet too. I've started to make a few new ones here at the new house but my day to day is full of talks and emails with my friends from my last city (and a new friend from my last city too--hi Melissa).

Today I was emailing with Karin about the poo incident we had today (don't ask, you don't want to know) and she was able to talk me down from my Crazy Mommy ledge. I think sometimes it's easy to set your expectations of mommyness way too high. I told her how I have this vision in my head of our day to day life being very 'organic' and fun and nice calm voices but too often it is Easy Mac and chaotic and whiny cries. Sometimes I also wonder if the blogosphere helps to create this unrealistic Mommy vision in my head. We all blog about the organic perfectness of our existence and leave out the 'poo incidents' that so often riddle our days. We have to be realistic though, poo happens.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Anti Clutter Toy Organizing

Those that know me know that I'm anti clutter. One thing that kids are good at is accumulating stuff. After every Christmas and birthday I go through our toys and get rid of the things that we don't use or have grown out of to make room for the new things. I have found that when there are too many toys out or if the toys are disorganized then the kids wont play with them. I think that we currently have too many toys but we have a big space so they are all spread out. Here is the system that works for us.

In the family room we have these three boxes (that can be used as seats when we have a large gathering). On top is the US puzzle, this color/shape/size puzzle and one other favorite toy that gets rotated from a small group of things that I have stored away. One box contains the Lego's, and the other two have various animals, electronic games, lacing and threading toys. On the other side of the room is their table and chair set that always has crayons and coloring papers. The desk area actually is the messiest area in the house (but you have all seen my desk before) with papers and crayons all over the place.

In the kitchen we have one cabinet full of toys that the girls can get into: playdoh, stamps, coloring books, Hullabaloo, foam ABC and animal stickers, puzzles. These things they are able to get to and use whenever they want but they are in the cabinet because I want to know when they are using them.
In the drawer above this are the things that they can use but that I have to get out: large stamp pads, markers, painting. This is also where I keep their 'boxed' puzzles. Kendall and Kate love puzzles but the boxed ones just take up too much room. Now as soon as we get a new one we place the pieces in a zip up bag and cut out the picture from the box to store inside as well.

Just to the right of that is the drawer that has supplies for them but it is my drawer that holds 'school' supplies. Supplies that I have gathered for that week's art projects, activity books....Just knowing that this drawer is only for me to open makes it that much more interesting to them. They are always ready to do whatever I pull out of here. On our cookbook shelf I keep all of our library books from that week; anytime I'm working in the kitchen the girls end up sitting here and reading together.

The girls are starting to play in their rooms a little more. They each have age appropriate toys that get rotated into their rooms. Kate's are stored on the bottom shelf of her changing table and there are a few books and big items in her closet (I'm going to buy a canvas box to put those items in.) She also has two small crates under her crib that she can pull out to play with (blocks and other small items). The dollhouse is currently here in Kate's room as well as her small reading chair.
Kendall usually reads when she is in her room but there are baskets with her toys in the closet (two larger ones on the floor not shown--Blocks & small beanie animals). I just noticed that there is a sippy cup in that basket, better go get that, ha.

Finally is their corner of the basement. This is where the majority of the toys (and all of the loud or noisy toys) are kept. This room is often a mess because I usually wont step foot down here. Eventually I'll wander down and get the girls to help get it all put back in place. A lot of the time the toys stretch clear across to the other side of the basement near Brian's work out equipment and his office. It is in this toy explosion that you will find the basket of dress up clothes, the puzzle table, the pretend play area, art easel, train and truck table, music corner and other large plastic colorful toys. We also have a small trampoline for those pent up energy days.
It helps to maintain my sanity and the girls actually play with all of it much more with everything organized and put away. I like that you aren't overwhelmed by kid stuff when you walk in the door. We generally clean up one thing before we move on to the next and my one rule is that the toys remain on the right level of the house (upstairs toys don't come down and basement toys don't come up).

Sissy Lou's Party

The party went very smoothly and I think that the girls had a fun time. Everyone was so generous and the girls have been staying so busy today trying first one new toy then the next. (By the way I'm putting together a "How I Organize Massive Amounts of Toys" post soon). I took pictures before the party started and then I didn't touch the camera all day. Here are some of the photos I found on the camera card thanks to Brian! We went out today and tried out Kate's new bike, she loved it!
(Here you can see the new paint color in the living room)
This is the spread: veggies with dip, fruit kabobs, grown up mac n cheese, and pigs in the blanket, of course (for the farm theme) the grown ups had sausages in puff pastry with sesame seeds (thanks for the idea Kristy!)
Kendall was dressed appropriately in her barn dress.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Calm Before the Storm

The guests are due to arrive at 3pm. Both girls are (amazingly) napping--wait a minute, scratch that, Kate is trying to sleep. Gram and Brian made a run out to Home Depot and then to pick up balloons. The girls are so excited :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

At Least I'm Upright

I've been so very sick. Really it was just about 24 hours of the bad stuff but some other time spent knowing it was coming on and then just recovering (myself and the house). There is so much that I want to do lately that I just can't bring myself to blog. I think it's knowing that the winter is running out, I want to get all the indoor stuff done so that by the time the weather warms up we can spend all the time out side. I haven't even started the quilt, haven't even purchased the fabric. I started a little album for Kate's 2nd year that I haven't been able to finish. I'm not ready for her birthday that is happening next weekend. I did do some spring cleaning and finally listed a few things on eBay. We had a nice family weekend with breakfast at Panera's one day, lunch at Chuck-E-Cheeses and a little car wash. The girls had their own little toy car wash and then we went outside to clean out my car and then went to the drive through car wash.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hello Officer

Obey all traffic laws kids!

Last night I went to the gym to meet a friend for a Sculpting class. The class was awesome and worked us out really hard, I'm excited to have found it! When I left home Kendall was so utterly sad and I was just a little frantic thinking about her crying so hard. I was heading down the road, no music on, no cell phone usage, just me and my thoughts, silence. I saw a police man coming towards me, I glanced down at the speedometer, whoa, oops. He turned into a driveway and started to turn around. I just started shaking my head because I heart started racing.

He told me how fast I was going and asked me if I had a reason.
Me: No, (doing my best to appear apologetic) Not a good one. (I decided a very long time ago that if/when I was pulled over I would not make excuses. Really, I know that there is no excuse and I know that they don't really want to hear one either).
Him: Where are you going?
Me: To the gym
Him: Which one?
Me: (I told him, is this normal, why do they need to know specifics?)
Him: Where are you coming from?
Me: (I told him)
Him: Is that where you live?
Me: Yes
Him: What is your driving record like?
Me: I’ve never gotten a ticket and I haven’t been pulled over in over 10 years! (Yes, I did fail to mention bumping into Jennie's Lexus and backing into the garage door...really I don't think he wanted to hear my WHOLE driving history you know....that would have just bored him, right?)
Him: What did you get pulled over for.
Me: (smiling) um, speeding…in college
He kind of smiled too and took my stuff to his car and came back just a couple minutes later and just told me to slow down please.

On the way home from class I was kind of hoping that I would pass him again just so I could wave and he could see that I was obeying all laws.

At first I thought that I wouldn't even mention this little incident to Brian. I know that I would just hear endless teasing about this and maybe even a lecture or two. He was already asleep when I got home and left before I woke up this morning. He called at about 8:00 and what was the very first thing I said? "I got pulled over". I just can't keep anything from that man.

Oh one more thing. Did you know that Brian once got a ticket while riding a bike?!?! He still has it, under 'model' it says "Huffy" or "Trek" or something like that. He's a good driver, I'm just saying....he got a ticket, you know...on a bike.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My head is starting to get fuzzy.

I woke up with a cold. Brian brought one back from Paris as a souvenir and unfortunately he gave it to me. We dressed in cozy clothes and have played at home all day. Puzzles, play doh, practicing writing and watching a couple new Leapfrog videos that Kendall is loving.
Last night we had company for dinner. After six years of marriage I finally found my 'company's company dinner'. I thought about sharing the recipe with all of you but then if you ever come visit it wouldn't be very exciting for you. It's spice rubbed flank steak that is so easy and delicious, my cheesy orzo, and steamed asparagus. I forgot the bread last night, did I mention that our guest is from Paris? Fortunately for me he is the only person from Paris that does not like bread, what luck right? We also had a tossed salad and a lemon meringue pie. Kendall and Kate both loved Seb (our guest) I think it was the accent :) He was so sweet with them and didn't hesitate to put the girls on his lap and look through Dora books. We had such a nice time talking with him. It was a fun evening. Tonight I'm meeting a new friend for a Sculpting class at the gym. I hope I do okay, this head cold has me feeling dizzy which is never a good start for a gym class!
Jennie--I know I can count on you to have caught the movie quote from the greatest movie of all time in this post.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Play Time

We've been staying busy, playing outside when we can. I've banned Internet usage (for myself) during the kid's waking hours so we have been doing lots of playing and crafts together.

I've also been tracking my calories and exercising for the past 5.5 days to get ready for swim suit weather and I've lost 2 pounds from it.

I've found the rest of the eBay clothes that I want to sell and hope to get to it this weekend by the latest.

That's about it for now we're just busy living life instead of blogging about it!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Little Bug Birthday

Kate's birthday is coming up soon. I've spent part of today giving some thought to her party. I've decided on the cake and the decorations and still have to work on the menu. I'm excited about getting her birthday gifts this year just because I know she will be excited to open them. For the big gift I'm debating between three things: a trike, a slide, or a kid size wooden picnic table. Today I also came up with a good gift that Kendall can work on to give her. We're going to make play doh together in various colors and get little containers for it and get a few little tools to go with it (rolling pin, small cookie cutters...).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fun Day

Yesterday turned out to be pretty fun. After nap we ran to the preschool for Kendall's parent/teacher conference. She had such a great report that we wanted to celebrate a little. We had an early dinner and playtime at Chick-fil-a and then ran over to $1 movies at a local theater. Both the girls were free so I paid $1 and Kate did surprisingly well, we lasted about 45 minutes (into Bolt) and then we decided to go. She could have lasted a little bit longer but she was getting restless. We picked up ice cream (really just a milkshake that I poured into bowls for the girls. They wanted to get every last drop of it out.

Brian, the girls are missing you. This one, as soon as you pick her up out of her crib she says, "Where's Daaa-deee?"

Oh, and in the theater before the movie actually started everything was quiet and Kate says quite loudly, "I toooot-ted."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Frigidity Frigid

As much as I would like to say that I'm able to stay up late into the night and get things done it's just not the case. I go to bed pretty early (usually around 9, yes it's true) but last night I was up until midnight or so. Around 2 Kate woke up, she has had a case of the stinky ear and the infection is flushing out (thanks to the tubes). Kendall decided that today she would be raring to go for the day at 4:45am. Needless to say I'm exhausted and a bit of what we call around here a "Grump-a-lumpagus." This morning I was having a hard time getting a move on the day and I was just feeling so cold. Usually I'm up and cooking and cleaning up the kitchen so I figured the chilliness was just due to my inactivity. But, I just couldn't warm up, I broke down and decided to pop up the thermostat one degree....but it wouldn't let me. The numbers wouldn't change and there was a little flame picture on the screen. Hmmm, pilot light? Do we even have a pilot light? Did I mention that Brian is out of the country? After a few phone calls to family members to ensure that I just wasn't missing something obvious I ended up calling a repair man to come out. It turns out that the thermostat was locked up because some heat sensor was dirty and since it couldn't detect the heat source to start up it wouldn't blow gas in the empty chamber and just shut the whole system down....or something like that. Anyway, we're nice and toasty now. Kendall and I worked on a bit of a self portrait today. I think that it will be fun to do one of these every year or so and see how it changes. The girls are both napping and I am thinking about catching a bit of sleep as well.