Tuesday, September 28, 2010

taking a break

Taking a break this week... lots going on, no extra time, see ya soon

Monday, September 20, 2010

I guess it's official

The view from our front step

I guess it's official, fall is here. See our Bloodgood Japanese Maple tree is turning colors and the ornamental grass has its tassles. Sigh. Why, I certainly love, love, love all the colors and smells and events of fall, I dread the upcoming cool days and nights and the inevitable, snow. I am such a summer person. I am sad it is over. :(

happy Fall y'all

I can't believe it is officially the first day of fall and it is 96 degrees outside our house! Wow! I have been getting a few fallish decorations out for around the home, of course you all know I am addicted to cute hand towels. I think these are reminiscent of my teaching days when I had to make bulletin boards.

Parker is dying for me to get out Halloween stuff, he is so into creepy things but I told him he has to wait until October. We have made several trips to Walgreens just so he can look at all those gross decorations and masks.

Every day we go collect acorns that have fallen from our neighbor's giant oak. (I already asked them if they care, they don't, it is a lot of acorns, definitely should take a picture.) The poor people have been out there three times with rakes and brooms trying to clean them up, even with my kids collecting them, there is a carpet of acorns on the ground.

I am itching to wear some jean capris with cute cardigans because my tan (what little one I had) is fading fast but it is still too hot for those.
I made some pumpkin spice dip that was sooooo good for my mom's birthday party. It has me wanting some more pumpkin goodies like cookies, bread, pies, no wonder I need weight watchers!

I hope everyone out there in blogland is having a nice first official full day of fall.

watchin' my weight Wednesday

Here is what it looks like when you have your children decorate for a party... baby on the table, throwing the streamers over the chandelier
tentacle streamers are the best
more streamer throwing
baby climbing on the table again...homemade birthday signs, the best decoration ever.
The tablespoon rule:

Do parties throw you off your healthy habits? They do for me. I cannot resist appetizers and "finger foods" (as my grandma calls them). In fact, besides fair food and Cincinnati Reds games food (i.e. nachos and funnel cakes), party food is my favorite. I love, love, love it. Forget about steak and potatoes, give me cheese ball and crackers any day.

This past weekend we hosted my mom's birthday party. I did make some yummy appetizers and dessert. We also had a really big dinner that included pork and ribs (my mom's favorite, definitely not mine!). To prep, I ate a really tiny breakfast and lunch, enough to keep me going, but not enough to really sustain me, I knew those phillo brie thingys were just waiting for me in the fridge! And I ran about 3 1/2 miles that morning.

When it came time for the party, I did not want to focus on counting my Weight Watchers points, I wanted to eat by golly! I observed the tablespoon rule. I took a tablespoon of all the things I wanted to eat and ignored the rest (the pork and ribs, ick! sorry to my hubby that made them, everyone said they were the best ever, just not my thing). I felt pretty good until I finished dessert. Then I felt pretty full. Wow, stone fruit trifle with whipped cream and lemon curd is filling! (I know, I was so channeling Martha, it was her recipe!) I sent home leftovers with my family and then the next day I ran 3+ miles again.

And guess what, I do not feel guilty about not watching my points (or calories, or carbs, or fat, or whatever you monitor) because I felt like it was important to enjoy.

Some more pics from the party... Tanner, looking like he has some mysterious thing in his mouth

Zoe helps my mom blow out her candle, ignore how all the yummy curd and whipped cream sank to the bottom of my dessert, I was not happy
Note to self and all blog buddies, do not bend over for a picture wearing an empire waist dress, not pretty
My cutie pie cousin Travis and his girlfriend Hope, ah, young love

Three lovely ladies I truly admire, my mom (center) and her two sisters, my aunts Diane and Desi, aren't they all so cute!?
You can find the dessert recipe here:

living room- in progress

In honor of my new seating, I made this cute tag for my flower frog that sits right by my sink... it says, "Have a chairful day." It's the little things that make my day sometimes... (the stamp is an old one from Stampin' Up, man do I miss the days of going to stamping parties, sigh)

Here is my in progress living room. I finished the painting in one day and well into the night, but it is done. The photo does not do it justice. I love the color. It is kind of sage/gray. It's called "cityscape" by Martha Stewart. The drapes are from Bed Bath and Beyond. I used my year's worth of coupons (they never expire despite what the coupon says, I stash them in my car for those last minute stops) to save $45. I had to buy the rods and everything. I am very proud that I hung everything myself, i.e. drilled, measured, installed, all of it. (Hubby has been working a lot.) The trunk we have had forever. It is from Hubby's grandparents' house, though we don't think it was actually used by anyone in his family for luggage. The fern, hubby bought me because I said I wanted one. He'll take any excuse to run to the nursery on his scooter! He loves that place kind of like I love antique stores.
I have a big mirror and some pictures to hang (from storage in my basement) but hubby has to help with those because they are heavy. I am also shopping for a (cheap) end table and lamp, maybe something I can paint since I blew the budget on the seating.

This is one of those times, again,where I am so glad it is done and so mad at the same time that we didn't do it sooner. Oh well, it's done (sort of ) and we are all enjoying a new place to relax. Well everyone but me, I am still the C.O.O. around here, someone has to get things done.

On another note (s)...
I am so watching "Dancing With the Stars" this season. I love a lot of the contestants, it's hard to pick a fave! I may have to wimp out and pick Florence Henderson since we are from the same sorority. Although, I do love the Situation, and I thought Bristol did a good job considering she is not a performer, Kyle Massey was so cute, and Jennifer Grey, come on, who doesn't love her? Watching this last night made my treadmill time fly by!

Glee starts tonight! Woo, hopefully hubby will let me watch it, you know he doesn't like to watch shows about school. DVR is set, just in case.

Did you see Kate Gosselin on People magazine? She is rockin' a bikini, go on Kate! I broke down and bought one, she says she runs about five miles a day. I wish my body looked like that... sigh...

Keeping busy

Wow, is it Monday already?

I have been a busy bee. Mostly doing things like this...
Taping particularly stinks this time, because our ceilings are really high and I am really short. Did I mention I hate ladders, not phobia hate them, just really don't like them.


Here is the best prepainting tools you'll ever need.

This spackling is the best stuff. I got this at Target a couple years ago and it is so awesome. It goes on pink and when it is dry and ready to be sanded, it turns white. So easy, even I can do it. Yes, that is a Pampered Chef pan scrubber. It is my spackling-putter-oner. I don't use a trowel, I feel like I could do a whole post on those pan scrubbers. They rock. Someone in blog land probably has. And the blue tape, I could not paint without it. I have no patience for trying to paint near trim and not blobbing it all over, so tape is a must.

I will share some more photos of the living room tomorrow. It has been like a marathon for me last week and weekend. I feel like I haven't even sat down. So busy with the living room, having a birthday party, laundry, kids, you know, all the good stuff. I even went to bed early, not finishing "Mad Men" last night, you know I was tired if I left Don Draper!

Things to do this week:
hang up big mirror and pictures in living room
go to a Weight Watchers meeting, have to weigh in for September
begin (and hopefully finish) a cushion for our parson's bench
plan Parker's birthday party
design Christmas cards and buy supplies (50% off sale at Hobby Lobby this week!)

My menus for this week:
spaghetti (seriously we have this every week- maybe I shouldn't include it!)
tiny french beans and sausage (left from last week- didn't get to make it)
veggie chili and sandwiches
pizza (at my friend Kristin's house :)
grilled chicken salads, nuggets for kids

Monday, September 13, 2010

trying to be innovative and thoughtful all at the same time

Zoe's first grade teacher from last year and her second grade teacher from this year have their birthdays on the same day! Can you believe it? I only know of two other people who have my birthday, one was this boy named Darren from elementary school (I am totally Facebooking him after I post this!) and the other was a student I taught my first year of teaching, I think he would be driving by now. Holy cow, is that right?! Anyway, we wanted to give them both little somethings to say "happy day."

Here is the candy for her 1st grade teacher.
We made a new wrapper to personalize it. (I remember those really expensive ones you could order for your wedding or birth announcements- this was way easier.) We just used adhesive to put this one over the real wrapper.
A plain oatmeal container...
Becomes a gift holder for Zoe's current 2nd grade teacher- after adhering scrapbook paper to the outside and lid.
I swear we all fight over the oatmeal containers at my house, I think the possibilities are endless for these guys. Parker wants them to make drums, Zoe wants them for crafty stuff, I want them too, we really need to start eating more oatmeal!

I was originally going to put cookies in this for her teacher. I don't know what happened but the cookies all mushed together into a gooey bar-type cookie, I think maybe the butter was too soft. Good to eat but not good to give as a gift. We had to run out and get some chocolates for the container. I don't think her teacher minded, he is pretty laid back and seemed very appreciative.

another one of my brilliant inventions

Now if you've seen (or done) this one before, just let me bask in my ignorance, pretending to be the best organizer/inventor in the world for a little bit, OK? Looky look at the pure genius way I hang my kids' outfits.

This is necessary because my hubby (who rarely gets the kids dressed) has a difficult time finding their clothes. Sometimes his choices are really "interesting."

Here is a matching outfit (I love little boys in orange, well big boys too, not sure why, just do)...

Lay the shirt bottom even with the shorts top and use a clip hanger.
So easy. I know the shirt is upside down. But since I rarely iron anything, I don't mind. Kids clothes are usually a little wrinkly anyway. I'd rather have them matching, in season appropriate, clothes instead of perfectly starched shirts anyway.

watchin' my weight Wednesday

My boy and his shovel. He loves this thing. So much so, that there are holes all over the yard. Not the big ones that you bury stuff in, but the small enough ones that you don't see until after you've stepped in them and flung yourself all crazy like Saturday Night live actor doing a skit.

How, you say, does this have anything to do with watching my weight? Well, according to my good friends at Weight Watchers any and all activity counts towards weight loss and maintaining weight. So with that being said, I try not to dread yard work (although, I don't have my very own shovel that my mommy bought just for me! That might make it easier to tackle a big project.), house work, heavy lifting, one more trip up or down the stairs, taking out the dog for the twelfth time today.... I look at it as, burning calories, or more specifically for me, chocolate or cookies.

Now, please excuse me, I have to prep my living room for a paint job (burning calories into the wee hours tonight while everyone else sleeping- yahoo!).

What the he** did I just do?

Do you ever have buyer's remorse? I rarely do. Now back in the day, when I was a shoe-aholic, I did lots, especially if I had blisters and sore feet after wearing a particularly gorgeous "bargain." But now, I am a frugal, coupon clipping, practical, mom.

I mentioned how I wanted to decorate my empty living room using some furniture we had already, getting chair recovered, moving a couch from another room, maybe buying a small table. Well, I went a little crazy yesterday.

I went to a local furniture store that was going out of business to find a coffee table or ottoman for our family room. I found instead a couch and love seat for our living room (the one I was trying to decorate inexpensively). Since the store was going out of business, everything was priced to move and move quick. I talked it over with big tall hubby and he said we should do it. I thought about it all night, losing sleep over it. I mean I am so ridiculous. Big tall hubby did not get to look at the pieces because he had classes last night until late. I was afraid to wait to buy them because the store was pretty bare, I was worried they'd just be gone in a couple days. I felt like I had to get them, the pressure was on, the pressure I put on myself anyway. I mean, I was all set to put my cheapo-decorating plan into action. What the heck was I thinking?

So, I bought them. What do you think? I am feeling like I just went nuts temporarily. I never make big purchases fast, it takes me forever to mull things over. I drive myself and hubby crazy taking forever, just not this time. Now I am contemplating paint colors, still repurposing furniture, and shopping for drapes or material to make some.
Why does furniture look so much bigger when you get it home?
The kids love them, calling them "king and queen" chairs.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Umm, you know I have technical challenges so today's post is under my last post "boo boo kit." Oops, can't figure out how to rearrange them. Sorry gals.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Boo boo kits

Thought I'd share an organizing tip for you since that's what I call myself. Jeez, all this moaning and groaning about my kids going back to school is depressing!

It is boo boo season around here. Well it has been for the whole summer but with the cooler temps and Tanner getting older and more adventurous (i.e. climbing everywhere) the boo boos are popping up at least once a day.

Now you gals know I am a couponing maniac. One of the things I always get on sale with coupons is band aids and Neosporin. Seriously, I have a drawer full of extras, speaking of which, my supply is getting low... gotta look for a sale soon.

Anyway, I buy the cute ones. What kid wants a plain old brown band aid? And since I have boys and a girl, we have corresponding band aids for each of course. Heaven forbid I give Parker a Jonas Brother band aid! That makes him cry worse than the injury. I have boo boo kits all over the house, again, not kidding. I have one in the garage, one in the kitchen and one in each bathroom upstairs. No, that is not too many, we use them all. I have two in my car and one in my purse and one in my diaper bag. Maybe there is such a thing as too prepared?

This one is in the kitchen. It is a jar with the band aids in it and a tube of Neo. Nothing fancy. I always take things out of the regular packages because it saves space and then I can monitor when the supply is low, can you say, my hubby puts the milk carton in the fridge almost empty?! (Please ignore my stove that needed cleaning when I took the picture, oops, didn't notice that!)
Now the problem was finding the right band aids for the right gender. When they are screaming and snotting and bleeding all over me, usually on my white shirt, I was panicking and saying "stop crying, does it really matter if you have Dora?" Well, then I thought, yeah, it does matter. Dangit, those kids are hurt and crying and if they want a Scooby band aid, by golly, I'm getting them one. So, I decided to label the boy band aids with a "B" and the girl band aids with a "G." Rocket science. I know, I missed my calling. Don't laugh, this saves me so much frustration. And I am the band aid hero. Yep, I rock around here.

Have a great boo boo free weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Emmy's/Glee's rendition of Born To Run

I just discovered this Youtube clip and it has all kinds of things I love in it...

I love, love, love, "Mad Men" and John Hamm, he is so freakin' hot, my husband is jealous I think. When I watch the show on Sunday nights, I swear I am blushing and smiling, even when his character, Don, is being really bad.

Anyway, I also rediscovered "Glee". I know, everyone loves it. I watched it the very first episode and hubby said, "I'm not watching that, it's like watching my work." I can't really blame him. OK, so I watched it a couple times this summer and I love it. Set the DVR to record them all, searching for the DVDs at the library so I can "catch up.

I did not even know the Emmys were on a couple weeks ago, I really don't watch a lot of tv but someone told me Kate Gosselin was on so that made me check this out. (You know I am proKate!)

Love Tina Fey, love the guy from Lost, love how the Project Runway guy fixed Jimmy's outfit. I love it when people just bust out singing and dancing, I do all the time, seriously, ask my kids! Just watch, you'll like it too!
The only thing missing is Martha!


Becky Higgins (one of my favorite scrapbooker/bloggers) posed a challenge to take a picture of your desk/counter/work area from the tabletop view. Here is my kitchen island: my laptop, piles of school papers, coupons, my paper trimmer to cut recent photos of the kiddos, a glass of water, probably some cookie crumbs too, nothing too exciting.

I remember when I used to read articles (this was before my obsessive blog reading days, I probably had never heard of a blog then) about kids going back to school and parents having to stay super organized from the start and how to handle the influx of paperwork. Then Zoe started preschool (way back when) and I thought, "this isn't too bad." Fast forward to now, and two kids in two different schools with two different schedules added on to my hubby's school schedule, and a baby who is learning to climb onto kitchen counters, and well, I'm overwhelmed. Those articles were right. Holy cow, this is insane! I know it will only get crazier as the kids get older and more involved in activities. So forgive me for the lame post today, I am being buried alive by calendars, snack schedules, homework folders, permission slips, tuition bills, and artwork.

Talk to you tomorrow, I hope!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

first day for Parker

OK, I am having a really tough time with this guy going to preschool. Jeez, I need to get over it already. I know. I also know he doesn't have to go, it was a choice, but boy does it feel terrible to see him walk away. Does anyone else feel like their heart gets ripped out of them on days like this? Or am I the only mush-mom out there?

Look at him, he went and sat on the "P" on the carpet, all by himself, he just wanted to. He is not looking very excited at this point...
Before we left, he was all smiles and happy
new shoes, of course
OMG, he is breaking my heart
OK, I am crying now.
I won't post a "Watchin' my weight Wednesday" post this week, since it is Wednesday already. Dang, three day weekends always mess me up! Anyway, I am going to go wander around my house keeping busy until I can go grab my boy and give him about a million kisses and hugs.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

breakfast of champions

I am not sure how pretzels became breakfast.
But they did.
Pug comes for a crumb or two.
Tanner says, "no Ma!" (no Max!)
Life happens.

Things to Do this week:

I have no big projects/things this week because Zoe starts dance on the big girl team so it is a two hour practice (instead of one) AND Parker starts preschool tomorrow, I think that will be a huge adjustment for me, driving to and from school in between naps (Tanner, not me!) and don't get me started on my emotions... see no big projects for me, nope,not possible.

My menu for this week:

chili and sandwiches (didn't make last week)

cheeseburgers and fries

french beans and sausage

chicken soup and homemade bread

baked eggs in tomatoes with salads

spaghetti and salad

Friday, September 3, 2010

little funny guy

I thought I'd share some funny Parker stuff. He is one of (if not, the) funniest kids I have ever encountered. I promise I am not just saying that because he is mine, I had some funny ones as a teacher, but he just kills me sometimes.

We went to meet his preschool teacher Wednesday night. I could tell he was nervous but not going to admit it. I knew I had to show him something he'd think was cool so he wouldn't start preschool hating it... Blocks to the rescue! There sitting on the carpet, just waiting for tall tower building, was a giant laundry basket of blocks. The big wooden kind, he was in heaven. I sat down and said, "look at these buddy" and I swear he said, "mommy (all dramatic and breathy), this is my dream!" Score one for mommy. Preschool will be "cool" thanks to that big basket of wooden joy.

Then, yesterday I was wearing a summer dress, trying to get my wear out of it before the cold sets in. Now, let me just say, it is not low-cut, just a normal scoop neck, t-shirt style. Parker and I were reading books on the couch and I was sitting kind of sideways, leaning on the back, trying to keep my eyes open (every time I sit down, I swear I fall asleep!), when Parker said, "you know, mommy, that looks like a butt." Guess what he was pointing to? Yep, my girls, all squished together. How embarrassing! In his defense, they did kind of look like that. In my defense, I have had three kids and nursed them all for a year or so, probably, my 23 year old girls didn't look like that.

That's all I have for now, Mr. Funny guy and I are going to watch some Scooby Doo.

I want to share an "ewwwwww" moment I had earlier this week. OK, so I don't know where I heard this, but those reusuable grocery bags we all know and love and sometimes leave in the back of our vans instead of using them, oops, can carry food borne germs. "They" (again, not sure where I heard it) said to wash the bags after every couple uses. Am I the only one who never thought of this?! Before Scooby, I am washing those bags. Ewwwwww!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

His excitement cannot be contained

What does bliss look like for Tanner?
(Do you see the black spot on all my pictures? Help camera savvy friends! Please don't tell me I need another new lens, I already replaced this one once. The spot is on Tanner's upper lip in this photo, I tried to photo edit it a little, not very well, I might add.)
A plastic box from Ikea filled with stuffed animals. Tanner loves all animals, maybe he'll be the next Jack Hannah?
Here you can see, he is trying to figure out a way to get Max in there too.
Blankets always add more fun.
This is normally in Parker's room, not sure how it ended up in our undecorated, empty living room but it did. Maybe the kids were playing animal doctor? Anyway, he threw the biggest fit when I took it back upstairs. Every now and then, I find him in it again (in Parker's room) just sitting in there quietly, with all the animals stuffed inside. Funny.

watchin' my weight Wednesday

BLT's are killing my weight loss efforts. I know, you are thinking about those yummy sandwiches so good with all the tomatoes everyone is harvesting right now but I'm talking about another kind, Bites, Licks, and Tastes.

In Weight Watchers that's what we refer to as BLT's. It's all those bites of fries as you pass them back to the kids leaving the drive thrus. It's the licks of ice cream cones or licking the knife as you make a PB & J sandwich. It's a taste of the cookie dough you are making for your child's classroom party. They all add up. A lot. I know this. For goodness sake, I've been a "lifetimer" for a year now, yay me! AND let's not forget I work for Weight Watchers. Hello. I should totally get this and not have a problem with it... but alas it's things like this that lead me to BLT-ing...

Yes, that is our chandelier in our two-story foyer. Way up high. Parker has succeeded in throwing another toy up there (balls, a sock, and a spinning thing, have also made there way up here). This was from this morning. Poor parachute guy is probably thinking he can never get rescued. I am waiting for my big tall hubby to come home and risk his life dangling over the stair railing to save parachute guy from hanging to death.

What I have learned from WW is that BLT-ing is caused by emotional eating not true physical hunger. We have talked a lot about what signals true hunger and what is a craving. The best thing I heard regarding this topic is this, if you aren't hungry, food is not the answer. Hmm, well I guess I am going to have to repeat this to myself over and over as stress eating (BLT-ing) seems to be a big problem with me right now. I get it. I totally agree, most of the time, I am not even hungry. I eat super healthy meals and snacks and I love them but when the kids pull out some Pringles, by golly, I am eating a couple before I even know it. (It's not just Pringles, by the way, I will nosh on Goldfish, fruit snacks, whatever, stuff I don't even really like, so annoying!). I think it is really hard as a mom to be disciplined when it comes to mindless eating because kids EAT ALL THE TIME! (at least mine do) Food is all around. One day I told myself I'd work on sorting my coupons instead of eating snacks, well that worked, kind of, for that day. But seriously, does anyone else have this problem? If so, what do you do to stop the mindless munching?