Monday, November 24, 2014

Let's catch up and remember life.

Let me just recap the past few weeks... We went to L.A., tons of fun, came home and were attacked by the flu (despite Brian being forced to get the flu shot 2 weeks earlier), I was the last man standing so pretty thankful I felt good enough to take care of everyone. Finished the bathroom floor (finally),  gearing up for Thanksgiving, my sister coming to visit, and more work on the bathroom.


But enough about me. Let's talk about something fun that I was just thinking about last night.

Before kids
  • Time it takes to watch a 2 hour movie: 2 hours 
  • Saturday nights: Go out to dinner, maybe catch a movie, relax at home with some dessert before calling it a night around midnight.
  • Shopping: Grab your purse, head to the mall. Browse for a few hours, taking your time to try things on, before making a few purchases and finally coming home, happy that you got what you came for. 
  • Spare time: craft, bake, crochet, exercise (because you have a gym membership, of course), watch TV/movies, read blogs, keep up with the world
After kids
  • Time it takes to watch a 2 hour movie: 3.5 hours pausing for potty breaks, rewinding to hear what happened because you can't hear over the toddler/baby chatter, pausing to get snacks every 10 minutes
  • Saturday nights: Pile everyone in the car to get pizza, after 45 minutes, arrive home with pizza, find the latest Tinkerbell movie on Netflix, watch until kid's bedtime, clean up pizza off the kid, high-chair, floor. Bath kids, pj's on, brush teeth, put kids to bed, try to watch a grown-up movie but end up falling asleep on the couch. At 8:45 pm. Forget about dessert.
  • Shopping: Load up the diaper bag (including diapers, extra outfits, snacks, sippy cup), purse (make sure you have extra wipes in there), stroller (don't forget the 2nd seat attachment), and kids. Drive to the mall. Unload and set-up stroller, get everything into the stroller (including children) and set off. Hit up Nordstroms first to see the fish and get a free balloon. Stop at the bathrooms for toddler potty break and baby nursing session. Finally head to the stores you want. Quickly browse, grabbing several things to try on. Head to the dressing room and try things on for 30 seconds. Spend 5 minutes trying to keep your toddler from opening the door and flashing the dressing room attendants your stretch marks. Spend 10 minutes trying to calm fussy baby. Second nursing session. Leave the dressing room with nothing you want because everything you grabbed was the wrong size and you're too tired to try again. Head to the Disney store and spend the rest of the time recuperating while your toddler watches cartoons. Decide you've had enough shopping for the year and head home. When the kids inevitably fall asleep in the car, sit there and do some online shopping on your phone and give thanks to God that such an option exists.
  • Spare time: Sleep. 
Then when Brian watches the girls and I head out on my own, it feels like a vacation. "You mean I get to browse Target without worrying about keeping Allie preoccupied or making sure she doesn't grab everything off the shelves? Yes please!" And then I miss them. "Aww what a nice display of Christmas ornaments. If Allie were here, they'd be on the floor. I should bring her. She'd love it."

Yep. That's parenting. Only for the masochists.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Allie's Play Kitchen

Phew. That about sums up this whole process. But the moment is finally here. Allie's kitchen reveal...

I'm going to spare you the long gory details of how this all came to be and hopefully let the pictures talk for themselves. It still needs some paint touch-up but this poor girl has had to wait long enough so maybe if I get in the mood one day, I'll do it. Most likely not. Also, I tried to link as much as I could in the lists below, but it's been so long that some of the stuff isn't even sold anymore.

Free cabinets from Craigslist

Cutting the cabinets down

Butcher block slab that Brian brought home from a house they demo'd.

Used leftover trim/baseboard paint from our old house

This was the Christmas Eve picture I took. We stayed up until 1 am and decided it wasn't going to get done. It basically sat untouched for 10 months until...

The small trash can came with our trash can that we use in the kitchen. The toaster was a gift from my sister.

The faucet was from Habitat for Humanity, mixing bowl from Marshall's, small whisk and spatulas from Target, other utensils came with Allie's cookie set (linked below).

Wire baskets from Ikea, play food from Ikea or Amazon (gifts from my parents and sisters), red wash cloth from my kitchen, wooden eggs and crate from Michael's.

Rolling pin from Old Navy, metal pans from Brian's grandma, pans, pots, and oven mitts from my parents (linked below)

Cookie set from Brian's parents, metal cooling rack from Marshall's

Towels (Bed Bath & Beyond)
Pots and Pans (Melissa & Doug)
Wooden food (Melissa & Doug)
Wooden cookies (Melissa & Doug)
Toaster (Land of Nod - discontinued)
Fabric fruits and veggies (Ikea)
Rolling pin (Old Navy)

I guess it's not really fair to do an accurate cost break down because a lot of the stuff was what we had lying around but here it is anyway.

Everything from Michaels, Home Depot and Marshall's, we bought with gift cards so it changes the final price a bit. I also bought the Michael's stuff with coupons.

Paint (white and gray): $0 (leftover from other projects)
Wood to fill cabinets and for countertop: $0 (scraps that Brian has collected)
Butcher block counter: $0 (Scrap that Brian brought home from a house they demo'd)
Wooden circles: $4 (Michael's)
Magnetic paint: $3 (Michael's)
Pre-cut plexiglass: $2 (Home Depot)
Metallic gray paint: $4 (Home Depot)
Bowl used for sink: $4 (Marshall's)
Cooling rack used for oven rack: $2 (Marshall's)
Faucet: $10 (Habitat for Humanity)
Handles: $14 (Ikea)
Wire baskets: $12 (Ikea)
Total spent: $36 ($54 if you count the gift card stuff)

So there you have it. We probably could've finished a lot sooner if we didn't move, take on an entire home renovation and have a new baby but what are you gonna do...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday list

Friday list!
  • I was talking to my mom and she said she and my dad read my blog and thought I was so funny, I should write a book. Although I don't recall my humor being as appreciated when I lived at home...
  • Brian went out of town this week. He had a training seminar in Anaheim. Of all the places he could go, it had to be Disneyland. Well, near Disneyland. So not only was my husband leaving me for 3 days, he was going to Anaheim where he would literally be a short driving distance from the happiest place on earth. I thought my head was going to explode when he told me. Obviously we would've all gone if last minute tickets weren't $1,000 but even I have to draw the line somewhere. *Sigh...
  • I've been working on Allie's kitchen... It's basically done so expect a post detailing how we did it in 6-9 months. Because that's probably when I'll be putting the final touches on it. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Poor kid.
  • We leave for my 30th birthday trip in 10 days. I've been so excited about this trip that I've kind of forgotten that I actually have a birthday before then. But don't worry, I've already bought myself a birthday present. Several, actually. 
  • Ooh... fall. The weather is finally turning brisk and I'm making a mental list of all the scarves/hats/sweaters I'm never going to crochet. See, I have this problem. I refuse to buy any kind of knit/crochet item at a store because I always think "I know I can make that for much, MUCH cheaper." And then I never make it and one day, I'll be getting dressed and think "A cream scarf would go perfect with this outfit. I should just buy one because I'll never make one." Then I go to the store, see the price and then it's the same vicious cycle all over again.
  • We get that missing hour back tomorrow! I think I'll celebrate by going to bed even earlier. 
  • Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Motherhood and other serious things

Motherhood. It's a strange thing...

What is the measure of it? That's what I've been thinking a lot lately. We've been stretched between Brian working overtime, working on the bathroom remodel, keeping up with various activities, all these extracurricular things that have me wondering... what's the point?

Is my goal to get everything checked off my to-do list? Or to spend as much time with my daughters as possible? Do I ignore the state of my home to make sure I'm putting in valuable time with them? Or even more, do I pop in a movie for Allie so I can have a normal, uninterrupted adult conversation with Brian? Or does that make me a bad mom? Is it okay for her to know the words to "Let It Go" as long as she also knows the words to "Trust and Obey"?

Should she be able to count to 5? Rattle off her ABC's? Is she supposed to be eating 3 square meals a day with healthy snacks in between? What if all she's had are refried beans and chips? And what about Maddie? She's obviously not getting as much attention as Allie did. Should I be spending more time playing and interacting with her? Should she be rolling over? Walking? Potty-trained?

I don't feel like I have everything together. There's stuff strewn about the floors, which haven't been cleaned in ages (although to be fair, concrete sub-floors can never really be that clean). The laundry pile seems to be growing even if I've just done 16 loads of laundry. Sometimes dinner burns. Sometimes the fridge has leftovers that have turned into science experiments.

Sometimes I realize minutes before Brian comes home that I haven't brushed my teeth yet. I've learned to ignore the stack of tools and building equipment that have taken over one side of our living room. And that's without even comparing myself to others (which is a deep, dark hole that once you fall into is nearly impossible to climb out of). It's a funny thing living in the internet age where everyone can plaster pictures of their homes all over the place. I don't think my mom ever took pictures of her home to show others. But in our world, this is normal. Comparing ourselves has become SO incredibly easy to do.

I know my goal as a Christian is to bring God glory. But what does that look like? It has to be different for each person, right? Because we're all different. So what's a woman to do?

Keep your head down. Live a quiet life. Work with your hands. Love God and others and do what you've been called to do. And it's okay if it looks different than other people. Because ultimately we are to compare ourselves to Christ and when we see how much we fall short, we rejoice in His gracious work on the cross.

Can I get an amen? Now excuse me while I tackle that laundry pile once again. 

Just kidding, I'm gonna go eat some chocolate cake.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Her Mother's Daughter

Sunday's are so quiet around here. The girls usually take one long nap at the same time so after some half-hearted tidying up, I'm usually free to do whatever I want. Within reason, of course. I mean, I'm not like some crazed teenager who's just discovered the freedom of college. It's more like "Hey, let's bust out the cookie dough while I crochet and watch Persuasion." And usually I say this to Brian, who's either like "Zzzzzz..." or "No."

Anyway, this time I decided to blog a bit before I jump right into the never-ending blanket project. Don't worry, dear sister, I'm sure I'll have it done before I die. Hopefully before you die too.

I've realized that Allie is abnormally loud. I never gave much thought to it until I observed her around other normal children and noticed that she was the only one running in circles, screaming at the top of her lungs. I usually think..."Who is this child? She must get it from Brian. His mom said he was pretty much her worst kid and she's had 6 so..." (I'm obviously paraphrasing here because, while Brian's mom loves to tell stories of the shenanigans he would get into, she thinks he's just the most wonderful son a woman could ask for.) But I digress... Allie. Loud. Obnoxiously loud. Crazy. Wild. Hyper.

Where does this all come from? I really had no idea until... the other day. We were cleaning and of course cleaning calls for a good musical soundtrack. And as I belted out Whitney Houston's How will I know at the top of my lungs in the loudest operatic voice I could manage, it hit me.


Who else is she around all day? Brian doesn't come home and start yell/singing at the top of his lungs. Maddie certainly doesn't give Allie any ideas about screaming (although I'm certain it's beginning to happen the other way around.)


It's me.

Her mother.

The loudest human being on the planet.

Okay, fine that's an exaggeration but all things considered, she must get her mannerisms from me. Is that okay? We don't sit quietly and have dainty tea parties and say things like "Oh your dress looks lovely today, darling."

When we have tea parties, Allie hits my cup as hard as possible when we're toasting. We do some amazing mother/daughter dances around the house while we clean that I think could be viewed as a ballet/kick boxing mix. When I'm telling her not to do something (like touch the stove), sometimes I'll sing loudly "Mootheerrrrrrrr knows best!!!" Except the 'best' word is sung like that note in Phantom of the Opera where Christine goes so high you think the chandelier is going to shatter.

So it's my fault she's loud. My fault she's a crazy nutter. But you know what? I'm okay with that. It'll be great when she's older and we can sing duets while we twirl around with our tiaras, mops, and feather boas kick-dancing to some classic 80's music.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eggs are sides for bacon.

I have been so frustrated with my weight loss. I know, I know "Eat better and exercise." I know what I have to do, it's actually doing it that's the problem. Since Brian's brother moved out and left us with a treadmill, I really have NO excuse for not exercising. But after a few weeks of sort of consistently walking/running on the treadmill, I still don't fit into my regular pants.

Yeah, yeah, it's supposed to take at least 6 weeks to see results. I KNOW. It just doesn't make it easier to do it. I told Brian that if I literally saw the fat falling off while I ran, it'd be so much more motivating. Gross, but think how much faster and longer you'd run if that happened! Okay, don't think too much. It'll make you queasy.

At any rate, I figured out what motivates me: clothes. Right? I mean is this a surprise to anyone? Having cute leggings to run in or flashy shoes to look down at when I think I'm going to pass out and face plant on the treadmill makes things so much better.

I'm not usually a fan of shirts with writing on them but for exercising, I thought it would be cool to have something Biblical and motivating while I exercise. Added to my birthday list (you know, in case you were frantically wondering what you should buy me.)


Monday, October 13, 2014

A Friday List. On Monday.

Well my Friday list is actually going to be a Monday list, but eh, you know how it goes...
  • I've started running on the treadmill again because I'm still 20 lbs over my original weight (which was 10 lbs over what I'd like to be). And by running, I mean walking quickly with short bursts of sprinting in between. It usually goes like this "I'll sprint for 1 minute when the timer reaches 3:00. (10 seconds of sprinting go by)... "I'll sprint for 15 seconds." But hey, I have to start somewhere and I'm motivated by the many pairs of pants in my closet just begging to be worn this winter. It's still debatable if leggings qualify as pants so I really need to fit into my normal jeans again.
  •  My 30th birthday is in 4 weeks. It happens to land on a Sunday which is nice because there's not much else I'd like to do on my birthday than go to church, worship the One who's kept me alive this long and then spend the day relaxing. But I won't say no to a lunch date at my favorite sushi restaurant.... too bad Brian doesn't read my blog. I'm going to have to drop some subtle hints like "Hey, take me to Blue Nami for my birthday lunch. Please."
  • If you're going to surprise me with a present, please let it be fat-free cheesecake that tastes EXACTLY like the fatty kind. What's that? It doesn't exist? Well, it wouldn't be a surprise then, now would it?
  • One wall of the girls' bathroom shower is tiled! We went with a perpendicular herringbone pattern and I LOVE it. I think we've finally gotten back into our work groove so here's hoping we'll have 2 functioning bathrooms soon! (I tried to post my Instagram pic of it here but it won't let me and I'm too lazy to do it from my phone so.... follow me on Instagram. :)
  • Allie is still figuring out going #2 in the toilet. Long story short, her Cinderella underwear ended up in the sink needing to be washed. After we finished up in the bathroom, I grabbed the underwear to go toss in the washing machine and she points at it and says matter-of-factedly "I pooped on Cinderella." Yes. Yes you did. Try not to be so proud of yourself, huh?
  • Another less gross Allie story, she is quite the chatterbox these days. The other day, Maddie was starting to squeal in her chair and Allie says "Maddie's singing." I agreed and suggested she teach her a song. So she starts "Trust and obey... way, no, no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. Pray, Maddie? God... loves Allie. Bed. Eat. Amen!" I wish I could say I got this recorded on my phone but as soon as she sees the phone out, she stops everything and does her squishy face. It's only cute after the first 100,000 times. 
  • It is pretty cool seeing Allie and Maddie interact more. Maddie is such a happy baby and Allie loves to make her laugh. But Allie also loves to smother her in kisses and hugs so we're working on that. Poor Maddie. She gets smothered in kisses from everyone though. It's her fault for being so darn cute and kissable!! 
  • Happy Monday!