Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kid-Free Zone (sort of)

When we had our first child, I'm pretty sure my living room looked like a daycare.  Everything he played with ended up out there, we even had a toy box that we kept under the window.  We had a Little Tikes basketball goal next to the tv, a John Deere mini gater next to that.

But at some point, I decided that I didn't want all that stuff out there.  I didn't mind if the kids brought something out to play with, but I didn't want the designated location of such things to be the living room.  I just wanted the living room to look like a grown up place when it was all picked up, not like it was owned by the children.

Don't get me wrong...right now with a baby in the house, we have a baby swing out here.  And when the kids got an inside trampoline, we left it out in the living room.  For the most part, though, if we have a grown up gathering, everything has another place to go.  When my husband had his fantasy football draft for example, they could feel like manly men in our living room, no Winnie the Pooh anything!

My kid-free zone...when it's picked up anyway!

 But...there is one thing I can't seem to avoid having out here...

That is...

The Legos...

Above the china hutch.  No, there is no china...we already packed it when we thought we were moving. :)

On top of our china hutch is the designated location of the Legos.  It's good because it's up high, and since Caleb works hard on some creations, I really have to keep it out of Gabriel's reach.  I trust Caleb to get on a chair to get the stuff down.  That might sound bad, but I've seen him do it countelss times, and it works.

When our house was on the market, and I knew I needed a spot for the stuff if the house was shown, I did make a spot in the boys' closet.  But on a daily basis, it just wasn't practical.  Above the china is what works for now.  And since we have an open floor plan, the living room looks into the dining room.  So it's not my favorite place for Legos, but it will have to do.

Other than that, we are free of kid stuff in the living area if need be!  It's a miracle, actually.  But I work at it to keep it that way.

What do you do with kid stuff?  Do you have a kid-free zone?  Or do you like their things in the living room?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Misc. Monday - 20 Items or Less (and some stuff about the kids)

Haven't done a Misc. Monday in a while.  It felt like the right prompt for today!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

 1.  I've been noticing that sometimes the red color between Leah's eyebrows is dark, and sometimes it's not.  Gabriel had the same thing, and I remember the doctor telling me it would go away.  Most days I didn't notice it at all on him, and I guess the same is true for Leah.  Maybe it's the weather?  Maybe it's the lighting?  Maybe it's what she's wearing?  Not sure.

I see it more in the first picture, not as much in the second picture.  But when I first took the second picture, I didn't notice it at all until I went back and looked at it today for this blog post.

I think she's gorgeous no. matter. what.

2.  Gabriel and I are sure having fun with it just being me and him and Leah during the day.  The first week or so, I think he felt lost with out his big sister.  He plays with both Caleb and Sarah, but especially Sarah since Caleb has already been in school for two years.

He loves when I give a horsey-back ride!  And...when we go outside, there's always our dog Abby to keep him company. :)

He starts pre-k tomorrow, and I'm very excited for him.

3.  As I mentioned in my last post, Sarah turned 6 on Saturday.  We had a pretty calm day since we already celebrated with family on the 12th.  But she did get a new bike, so she got to ride it around the block several times.

New bike...happy girl!

4.  Caleb love Legos.  I just had to post this pic of him.

5.  During a recent Walmart trip, my husband about lost it when he saw a woman with 55 items in a 20 item or less line.  Ok, we don't really know how many items she had, but it was a lot!  And yes, I had the nerve to take a picture. :)

If you can tell, the cashier has a full bag in her hands, that's not counting the full bags that are already on the bag holder thingy.  Then the conveyor belt was full, and she had more still in the cart.  This doesn't tend to bother me all that much, but I do understand why it is frustrating to others.  I mean, I'm not sure why they have the line if people aren't going to abide by the 20 or less rule?

Yeah...I know...quite the first-world problem. :)

6.  Did you know that if you see words in bold green/pink within a post, it means I've linked it to another post?

Happy last week of August.

Friday, August 24, 2012

In Honor of Her Birthday

Sarah turns six tomorrow, and I usually have a sweet, sappy post all lined up for my kids when they have a birthday.  But instead, I want to share a funny with you that happened about 2 1/2 years ago.  I sumbled upon this old entry recently, and it really made me smile.

I love you, Sarah!  Even when you embarrass me...happy 6th birthday! :)

Mother/Daughter Bonding Time - original post date January 12, 2010

When she would have looked like this:

My trips to the store are often with my three small children. Unless it's my bi-monthly, big
grocery trip, then I just go on my own. But occasionally, I take just one of my kiddos, usually Caleb or Sarah because they are good listeners at this point and don't fuss like Gabriel does in the cart.

One afternoon, right after Josh got home from work, I said I needed to make a run to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. I said I would gladly take Sarah because I really felt like some mommy/daughter bonding time! So we put on our coats, walked out to the garage, and climbed into our van for our trip to Rolla.

When we arrived, I needed to make a quick stop to the restroom, so we went there first. I didn't notice if any of the "normal" stalls were taken, but I went to the handicapped one because it's bigger and easier to have a little 3-year-old girl in it with me.

"Sarah, just stay here with mommy and I'll be done in a second," I explained to her.

"MOMMY! DO YOU HAVE TO GO POOPY OR POTTY?" she said in her bold, little girl voice.

I thought to myself what answer will keep her from elaborating about my current trip to the restroom? I softly whispered, "Just potty, Sarah."

"OH, MOMMY...NO...YOU'RE GOING POOPY!" she exclaimed once again in her bold, little girl voice. "GOOD JOB, MOMMY! GOOD JOB!"

Dear Lord, please do not let anyone else be in here right now I quickly prayed.

But I could hear someone, and they were holding back laughter. Perhaps if I waited long enough they would exit the facilities and I would not have to look them in the eye?

Before I could get myself together, Sarah decided that she wanted to open the door to the stall. "Mommy isn't done, Sarah! Please, just wait for mommy!" But her eagerness prevailed, so as quickly as I could I composed myself, chased my daughter, and kept her from opening the restroom door. I needed to wash my hands before we went on to do our shopping, and of course, there was the lady who was in the stall next to me. She just gave me a smile, and I wondered if this was her comic relief for the day.

I do enjoy the time I spend with Sarah when it's just the two of us. I will not, however, use the restroom with her ever again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In the morning with Sarah...

Sometimes she wears it down, which means I've used a straightener...

 Or a tiny bit pulled up in front...

Or I do double braids...

Or try something new...

I have no idea why this is so important to me.  It's not that she looks perfect every day.  I'm not really all that girly after all.  But every day, if it's a school day or church day, I will do something with her hair.

No matter how tired I am, even if baby Leah and sweet Gabriel are fast asleep on a school day while Sarah and Caleb get ready, which means I could sleep in a bit, I will get up and do something.  Maybe it's the time with her.  Maybe it's so she knows I care and want to help her feel pretty.  I'm not sure.

Is this just what girl moms do?  Or some girl moms?  Would she look fine if I just said, "Put a brush through it, you'll look great."  Yes.  She's adorable after all.  But there's just something about doing this for her.

What do you think about spending time with daughters to help them look nice?   
What do you do with your daughter?
What did your mom do with you?

Monday, August 20, 2012

When Your Dream House Doesn't Work Out

Back in June, I wrote a post about having a big year, and in it I included our housing situation:

Then, exactly one month later in June, we decided to put our house on the market.

Two weeks after that, we accepted an offer and it was under contract.

One week after that, we found a house we love and the owner accepted our offer.

We close on both houses on July 20th.  

Guess what?  We did not close on July 20th.  We had to move our closing date to August 20th - that's today.  But we're not closing today.  The couple who wanted to buy our house didn't work out, and the owner of the house we wanted decided he didn't want to wait for us.  So we lost a buyer and lost the house we wanted.

In every aspect, the house we wanted was our dream house.  It had 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.  It had a fireplace and a basement.  It had a beautiful back yard and was close to everything we do.  It was in a pretty and safe neighborhood.  And most importantly, it fit in our budget, which is a crazy good find considering we're a one-income family.

But, it's hard not to feel like God is speaking directly through the realtor when she says, "Chrissy, I just don't think this is supposed to happen for you guys for whatever reason!"  I mean...she's the one who makes money off of the sale...and even she thinks it's not supposed to happen.  We had TONS of roadblocks, so many that she said it was the strangest thing she's seen in 29 years of being in real estate.

And it's also strange that I am not a frazzled mess about this.  In fact, I think my husband didn't understand why I wasn't visibly upset after the call from our realtor about all of this.  I mean, yes, I was disappointed.  I think it took about a day to really process the fact that we're not moving - even after we had packed our entire kitchen and had started to clear out other rooms via decluttering and donating things.

I'll just cling to what my friend Maegan said: "See, I was right!  I knew you were content where you were!  Otherwise, you'd be all upset!"

It's true.  Even last night, as I watched my kids kick a football in the street...or ride their bikes down the road, I was thinking about how much I do love where I am.  Do we need more room?  Sometimes it sure feels like it!  I'm not saying we'll never move, but I'm thankful to be in a place that I love in the meantime.

Because afterall...home is where the heart is, right?  And my heart is with these people...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Favorite Things - Walmart Birthday Cakes

I must confess that I am horrible at planning ahead for my kids' birthdays. It's probably because I really have a hard time with the presents thing (which I've written about before), and every year I don't know if I should have a family-only party or let them have friends over or what.

So this puts me in a weird spot when it comes to their birthday cakes! If I don't plan ahead, I obviously can't find some amazing cake decorator to do one for me. And my mom has been known to make some adorable cakes for the kids, but if I don't make up my mind until the week of their birthdays, that's a little too late to find a cake pan for her.

It's a good thing Walmart only requires 24 hours to make a cake!

I was reluctant to get one because I thought it wouldn't look anything like the picture. But they were even cuter in real life - I'm not sure if my pictures even do them justice. And more importantly...the kids LOVED them.

My two August birthdays!

Caleb's Phineas and Ferb cake.  He turned 8 on August 5th.

Sarah's My Little Pony cake.  She turns 6 on August 25th.

We had a family-only party at Chuck E. Cheese's yesterday, and I brought these cakes with us. It was a lot of fun, and the cakes were soooooooo yummy.

So if you need a cute cake, you can utilize the Walmart bakery! Chrissy approved! :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Lifelong Friend

Do you have someone in your life you've known since you were a baby?

These two had their first day of kindergarten this week. I did not cry when I droppped off Sarah...she was just so excited to be there, and I was so glad she was feeling that way!

But then my friend posted this sweet picture of Hannah and Sarah today...and it made me teary eyed. How quickly the years go by.

I'm thankful for this lifelong friend in Sarah's life.

Monday, August 6, 2012

He Still Holds My Hand

Yesterday my first born turned eight.

It's hard to believe that eight years have gone by since I became a mom.

My most favorite picture of Caleb

Yesterday Caleb wanted to join us for "big church" instead of going to children's church.  I'm not sure why, I guess he just wanted to see what it was like, and I know he has seen a few of his friends in there, so maybe he felt that he was old enough now?

He sang with us (some of those contemporary songs are done during his children's service so I knew he'd know them), and he was somewhat attentive through the message (as much as an eight-year-old can be when talking about Americanized Christianity - as the message was basically about).

But what I will hold dear to my heart is the fact that when we sat to listen, he put his head on my shoulder...

And then reached for my hand...

He put his hand in mine...

As we sat there, my heart filled with joy.  I didn't think I'd be having these moments anymore with him to be honest.

But I did.

I will not forget it.

Because my sweet little boy is too close to being a big boy.

I love you, Caleb!  Hope you had a great day turning 8!