Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Floating Candle Jars

I wanted to make some floating candle jars like I’d been seeing on Pinterest, so yesterday when I made a trip to Michaels I grabbed the supplies I’d need.

Zoe and I set to work on them as soon as the babies were in bed.

First we put in the sand:

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Then we added crushed seashells:

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Then we added some whole seashells on top:

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Tied some twine and something representative of summer to the tops:

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And finally filled them with water and a floating candle:

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I absolutely love how they turned out!

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Pool Time!!!

Yesterday Tony and I had to take Dakota to Johns Hopkins to have her hearing re-evaluated. Her hearing test was at 11am and we were seen right away, but after that we had to see the doctor and we ended up waiting just under an hour and a half for that. By the time the doctor finally saw us we were beyond irritated…

But, her hearing has remained at the same level as before and she is doing wonderfully. It gives us hope that her hearing will remain near normal and not get worse any time soon. We were lucky that Mema was able to come over and watch Harper for us while we took her because I can’t imagine how much more fun that trip would have been if we’d had him in tow as well.

When we got home Harper was napping and we settled Dakota down for a nap as well. Once they both woke up and Landon got home from school we all headed down to the pool.

Dakota floated around in that little toy for about half an hour. She was so content. Harper was totally thrilled being about to run around and play with al the water toys, he especially loved playing with the watering can. There were a few of Landon’s friends there so he had fun hanging out with them…it was such a nice relaxing way to end the day. I sure hope we’ll be able to use our pool often this summer!

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Funny Harper story:

As you know Harper has been battling a stomach virus for the past several days (more than a week now, actually). Last night he passed gas while Tony was giving him a bath and Tony had to pull him out of the tub because he accidentally passed more than gas…if you know what I mean…when Harper asked why he had to get out Tony said “because you pooped in the friggen’ tub”.

A few minutes later Zoe brought Tony some cleaning supplies to clean up the tub and Zoe stopped to ask Harper if his tummy still hurt. His reply “No, I just friggen’ pooped in the tub!” Hahaha!

Then, as Tony was walking him down the hallway to our bathroom to finish the job, Harper (completely nude and hobbling) said “Now I have to go take a friggen’ shower!”

That kid kills me! I don’t know how we’re going to handle his “language” when he goes to preschool…I really hope he’ll just stop saying everything he hears!

*Zoe has finally finished training at the Silver Diner and got her hours for the next couple days. They put her on opening shift, 4:30am to 1pm. She is absolutely freaking out about it! She’s going to have to get up at 3:20am to have enough time to get up and dressed, drive to the airport and catch the shuttle in to work. Yikes! Last night she was in bed by 10 something and made herself get up at 6am this morning so she’d be tired enough to go to bed extra early tonight! She may not be happy about the hours she’s received, but she sure is doing whatever it takes to make sure she gets up and there on time!

Around the Yard

Tony and I bought a bunch of flowers for the yard this weekend. I bought some flowers for the beds in the front yard while Tony concentrated on things that would work around the mailbox. We also bought 2 Crape Myrtles, one for the side of the house and one for the backyard. We managed to get everything in the ground except one little clematis because we don’t know where to put it! I’ll make sure it gets in the ground this weekend though!


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Blue Riding Hood Beard Tongue

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Red Riding Hood Beard Tongue

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Goldcrest Foxglove

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

4 Photos

*I’ve been a terrible blogger this month, but I’ve got a four cute photo’s that I wanna share, so here ya go! 

After pulling this dress over Dakota’s head, Harper said “There. Now you’re a princess.” That little boy is just the sweetest thing sometimes…

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This photo was taken pre injury (obviously) but I’m almost 100% sure he’ll be doing these crazy stunts again as soon as his foot is feeling better. (His foot really is getting better and he’s even standing and walking on it a little bit as of today, but it’s still painful and he’s still mostly crawling to get around on his own.)

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Something about this next one tugs at my heart strings. I was holding her and rocking back and forth and all of a sudden her head just dropped and she was out like a light. It breaks my heart to see my usual spunky girl so sick. (She’s better now though and back to her usual spunky ways!)

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They just love looking out the windows and seeing what’s going on. He’s always curious what she’s looking at and he just has to go see what it could be.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sick and Wounded

It’s been interesting here as of late. As you know, Dakota was sick this past week with some sort of nasty stomach bug. She finally got over the worst of it so we went out to dinner Friday night without worrying she’d explode in one way or the other. Dinner went smoothly and we even made a pit stop at Hobby Lobby before making our way back home.

About 2 minutes away from the house I looked back at Harper because he was so quiet and asked him if he was okay. He told me he really wanted to go home and I knew in that instant that he was sick and that he was about to get sick in my car…and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. So, that sucked. We got home just in time to clean out the van and give him a much needed bath.

Zoe and Landon both spent the night at friends’ houses Friday night, but when I got up Saturday morning, Zoe’s car was in the driveway. She’d texted me at 5 something in the morning telling me she was heading home because she’d been sick. Damn.

Harper woke up feeling better on Saturday morning. So much better that he decided it’d be fun to jump on the couch, which he promptly fell off of and hurt his foot. He screamed and screamed that his foot hurt and then started asking me to just put him in his bed so he could take a nap and that’s exactly when we started to really worry. I called Righttime Pediatrics and got him an appointment. He cried and cried that he didn’t want to see the doctor all the way there and during the time I was checking him in. He refused any kind of bribery they offered (stickers and balloons) and was just a miserable, scared little mess. We weren’t there 5 minutes before they took us back to x-ray his foot.

He was very interested in seeing his skeleton on the screen and finally calmed down. The x-ray showed that the bones were just fine but his foot was very swollen and bruised and he’s unable to walk on it so they wrapped it up in a little bandage and sent us on our way.

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We were barely in the door when the phone rang and it was Landon telling me that he was on his way home. Sick.

So, we’re up to two sickies and one with a bruised foot. I told Harper he had a bum foot and he corrected me with “No, it’s a bum tootsie”.

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Harper ended up spending the rest of the day on the couch. He watched TV then cried then played my iPad then cried then watched more TV and cried some more…bath and bedtime just couldn’t come fast enough.

Landon and Zoe spent their afternoon holed up in my bedroom watching TV. I don’t know what it is about my room, but when they’re sick, that’s where they want to be.

Today, things are looking up. Zoe is better, and after another full day in bed, Landon too is on the mend. Harper isn’t walking or putting any pressure on his foot, but he realized he could crawl so he’s happy with that. Dakota was doing fine all day yesterday and today until about 4pm when she threw up all over the living room floor, coffee table and Harper’s foot.

What this means for tomorrow I cannot even guess but I’m really hoping it was just some weird thing and that she’s not getting sick again.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Milk Magic

As I was scrolling through my boards on Pinterest the other day I came across an activity to try with Harper.

The only ingredients necessary were milk, food coloring, dish soap and toothpicks. Easy right?

First you pour some milk into a shallow container (we used a lid to a bowl). Next, you add a few drops of food coloring to the milk. Then you take your toothpick and dip it in the dish soap and start running it through the food coloring…and then you see the magic!

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The dish soap breaks the surface tension of the milk and forces the food coloring to move around the dish…it’s pretty neat. We could have used the colors to paint, but Harper had had enough of painting and sitting by the time we were done, so we just tossed it, but I see us doing this one again sometime soon!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sick Baby

My little Koko has been sick since Monday. I’m not sure what’s going on with her but I’m really hoping it’s almost done…for her sake and mine.

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I always know my kids are really sick when they fall asleep on my shoulder. Especially Kota who really loves her freedom and independence.

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She does feel well enough to play most of the time though, and we even managed to get out in the water for a little bit the other day. She just loves being outside and even more, playing in the water.

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Harper seemed to be getting a bit bored of playing out on the deck in the water though, so the next day I pulled out the water mat in the front yard. He told me “Oh, I just love this!” and they were both out there on that mat for a good hour. It’s nice that they can both enjoy the same toys since they’re close in age.

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Harper still loves to pull out his chalk every once in awhile.

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Last night, while I had Dakota in the tub, Tony was letting him play outside. Harper was practicing writing the letter “H”, and I found evidence of it this morning on my window. I didn’t even know chalk would mark on a window…

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It’s great that it’s warm out now and Landon can go outside to play soccer with his friend. When I was out there they were pretty much just battling for the ball the entire time, and it was a pretty even match.

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After waiting and waiting, my peonies finally bloomed!

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I forgot how massive these flowers are!

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For some reason there are only a few buds on the pink bush, but tons on the white. I brought some in because they smell awesome and only after getting them in the house remembered that ants were attracted to them.


New Mall Aquarium

This past Sunday, after Landon’s final soccer game, we went to Annapolis mall. We just walked around a bit and discovered that they’ve redone a part of it. There is now a huge fish tank in the center of the walkway and a new food court where there were once just stores. It’s a nice area and the kids really liked looking at the fish tank.

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Have you ever seen the show Tanked on Animal Planet? They’re the ones who put this in the mall…

After we watched the fish for awhile we ended up in Build-a-Bear. I’m not sure how that happened, but Harper ended up making his first stuffed bear. It sure has changed since the last time I was there!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

He’ll just be 5…

Harper can really say some pretty funny stuff these days.

Just a few days ago we were on our way to dinner when we had to cross a busy street. I had the two little’s by myself, so as I was unbuckling them I was telling Harper that I really needed him to be a big boy and hold my hand while we crossed the street. He thought about it a second and then said “Ok, I’m gonna be 5”. Smile I suppose to a two year old five is a “big boy”! He did hold my hand though and if I didn’t know better he could have passed for 5!

Then, on the way home from the restaurant, just as I got everyone in the car and buckled in, Harper tells me he needs to potty. Of course. When he saw the worried look on my face (I was just thinking how I’d have to get everyone back out of the car and back across the street, blah, blah, blah) he said “Oh, don’t worry mama, I’m big and I won’t potty in my pants!”

Wouldn’t you know that we got stuck in traffic and a trip that usually only takes 15 minutes turned into a 45 minute ride. But, my big boy held it the whole way and made it to the potty, just like he said he would!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother’s Day

I took pictures of myself and the kids over the course of the week last week. I’m not usually in pictures so I made sure to get some with the kiddies. I love how each picture came out.

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Zoe asked me if she could take me to breakfast this morning, and before we knew it, both her brothers were along for the ride! Initially we were headed for Dunkin Donuts, but then I remembered Burger King had those french toast sticks and we ended up there instead. Then, when I really started to think about it, I thought about all the mornings Zoe and I would stop at BK before heading into work/daycare in the mornings. I remembered that she’d always get those mini cinnamon rolls and I’d get some sort of breakfast sandwich. Hard to believe that was already almost 15 years ago…weird that I have such fond memories of a fast food restaurant…

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We stopped by Mema’s house to give her some Mother’s Day love too. We didn’t stay long because they were expecting company but I did make them pose for this shot and I just love it! She’s such a great grandma to the kids and friend to me, and I love her for giving me an amazing husband.

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Tony bought me the most incredible gift. He knows how I love my kids and how I love great big pictures of them all over the place, so he got me this beautiful canvas.

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The words read:

You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow, they’ll be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Breather and notice. Smell and touch them; Study their faces and little feet and pay attention. RELISH THE CHARMS OF THE PRESENT. Enjoy today, mama. It will be over before you know it.  -Jen Hatmaker

Every time I read those words, my eyes tear and my nose burns just a little. They bring such happiness and sorrow all at once. Their truth is nearly unbearable.

I may have to set up a table beneath this just for a box of tissues…

PS. I haven’t forgotten about my dear mother. I don’t have photos to share because we just aren’t close enough (in distance) to have any on this day, but she was with me all day today. Really though, it doesn’t take the calendar to remind me what a gem of a mother I have. I know this every day. She is the best mother and friend I could ever ask for.

I love you, Mom. Happy Mothers Day.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Being “Mom”

Being “Mom” is tough.

Over the course of the past 18 years I’ve learned a lot about being mom. I was barely old enough to really be a mom when I had Zoe and now I’m older than my mom was when I made her a grandma!

Crazy, right?

With Mother’s Day just two short days away, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned along the way.

  • Tuning out the sound of “whine” is a learned skill. It is necessary and important and imperative to being a successful parent.
  • Changing diapers is not for sissies. There are things in diapers that you just don’t see anywhere else. There are smells that could induce war. And god forbid it get out of the diaper.
  • Kissing boo boo’s is a requirement. When your child gets hurt and runs to you for a kiss, you kiss it, and nine times out of ten, that’s all it takes. It’s really doesn’t matter if the boo boo is on his or her butt, knee, hip or eye, it needs kissing.
  • Listening to the entire story before speaking is respectful and may save you from looking like an ass. If you interrupt, you may not get to the part where they fixed their own problem, got help elsewhere or found what they lost. It also teaches your child to listen without interrupting when you’re speaking to them.
  • Having your child do chores is healthy. Growing up in a house where everything is done for them just makes a kid stupid. Laundry is not fun, but nudity is way more uncomfortable. Picking up dog poop is gross, but it’s worse when it’s on your favorite shoes (or nude foot). Vacuuming takes awhile but picking the crap up off the carpet by hand takes longer.
  • “I said so” is an okay answer. Not great, but you can always use it in a pinch.
  • New ideas and thoughts can be interesting and may prove better than what you thought before. Being open minded never killed anyone…
  • Smiling at, hugging, kissing and telling your kids that you love them is enough. They don’t need any more proof than that. If you show them, they’ll believe you. 

That list could go on for days! I am still learning every day though and yesterday something happened that really struck a chord with me.

Yesterday morning the babies and I had been playing and playing when suddenly there was a meltdown. I don’t remember who, what or why, just that there was one. Soon, there were two meltdowns happening and I handled it in such a way that made me wish that someone was there to see it. Someone who could look at me and say “good job” you handled that like a pro! Someone who’d see how I was able to diffuse the tantrum(s), calm the tears with hugs and words, settle two little kids back into play…and then, it hit me. There was someone there. Actually, two people. I realized in that instant that the two people that needed to see me behaving the way I did most were sitting right in my lap, listening to me speak calmly to them, feeling my hugs, and now giggling at the tickles on their feet. I guess this is really something that I should have known and realized long ago, but I guess I’m just a slow learner.

As a mom, I’ve still got a lot to learn. When I look at my kids I see my own successes and failures and I know there is always room to improve. When I talk to Zoe, I know I need to listen more and try to be more thoughtful with my responses. Sometimes I say things and although I may mean well, she thinks I’m being judgmental and harsh (sometimes, she’s right). When I talk to Landon I need to practice patience. He likes to tell me things in a very longwinded, detailed way. I’m snappy about it and am always rushing him to the point. I’ve got to remember that those long stories and details are important and worthy listening to and very much a part of his character. When it comes to Harper and Dakota, I just do my best to be who they need: comforting mommy, silly playmate, gentle disciplinarian etc.

I’m not even close to perfect and I know that perfection isn’t even a real option, but I do want my children to know that they are cherished and loved and being their mom is truly an honor. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It’s Very, Very Big

Nothing much going on here today. Dakota acted like she felt better than yesterday and was happier too. She didn’t sleep great during her naps, but she did do well last night, so I can’t complain.

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I had a few errands to run this morning so once Harper got back from rolly pollies we headed out. Since the two littles were so good, they were treated to lunch and playtime at Chick-fil-a. Harper was up in the tunnels playing when all of a sudden he came down the steps with a look of panic on his face and told me he needed to go poop. I was so proud of him! I ran him to the bathroom to do his business and that was that! No more pull ups for him, I think he’s got this thing down now. Now I’ve just got to get him to go on his own…

After all the errands, both kids went right to sleep at 1pm, but for some reason they were both awake again at 2. Usually Harper will sleep for two hours but not today. I got them both out of bed and brought them downstairs where they both promptly began crying. For what, I have no idea. I’d put one down to cuddle the other and the other would cry and cry. I’d hold both and one would touch the other and they’d cry and cry. I couldn’t win, but luckily I could see the humor in it all. :) They did finally stop all the crying and then their daddy got home and I hightailed it out of there!

I didn’t leave for any fun reason but to take Landon to get his allergy shots.

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He’s been doing this for 2 1/2 years now. We started with 2 shots once a week and have worked up to 2 shots once a month now. At the present his skin is in terrible shape because of all the spring pollens and I’m hoping this shot will give him some relief. I feel bad that he’s been getting these shots for so long and that he doesn’t have more relief than he does but I really don’t know where to go from here.

Here’s a cute video of the little miss doing her thing…man she’s adorable.

* Booked Landon’s 12th birthday party today. Can’t believe I’m already having to think of his b-day already…and the two littles gotta have their parties too! Yikes!

* Funny story: Harper found a measuring tape and was walking around “measuring” things in the house. He measured the fireplace and when I asked him how big it was he said “very big”! Then, he measured a few other things until he walked up to Mema and asked her if he could measure her booty. (She was standing right in front of him and it’s his eye level!) She said, “Well, I guess” and when he was finished she asked him how big it was. He said (with a serious expression and tone and raised eyebrows) “It’s VERY, very big!” She and I nearly died laughing at that one!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Little of This, Little of That

This little doll face got a haircut this weekend. He fought us about it but once he got there and got his lollipop, he was fine. He sat in the chair all by himself and did exactly what the hairdresser asked, just like a big boy.

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This little one isn’t feeling good at the moment. I’m not sure what’s going on but I may be taking her to see the doctor tomorrow if we have a repeat of today. She’s not sleeping well, she’s very fussy and just not herself. Hoping she wakes up in the morning feeling better, but we shall see.

The picture was from yesterday. I was feeding her some yogurt when Harper said “Hey mommy, her got a beard!” Haha!

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I am getting all kinds of things together for our yard sale this weekend and my house is kind of a disaster. A bigger disaster than usual that is. But, I’m hoping to unload a lot of this baby stuff. I have mixed feelings about it…sad that I won’t be needing any of it again, happy to be freeing up some space in the house. Harper, for some unknown reason, has decided he wants to ride in this old baby swing. He loved it when he was a baby but Dakota never really enjoyed it that much. It is something I’m letting go of this weekend…hoping another little baby will enjoy it.

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I got a much needed haircut today. I swore I was going to do something different this time but chickened out at the last minute. I want to go super short and easy but I need to work on my courage to do it. Someday…

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco De Mayo

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

I love any excuse to eat Mexican food so today was a good day in my book!

We had enchiladas, nachos and rice for dinner. I, for some reason, thought it’d be a good time to try making margarita’s. I’ve never had one before, so I figured what the heck.

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I have to say though that I didn’t really care for it. I don’t know if it’s the stuff I used to make it, how I made it or what, but it wasn’t my favorite. I may try making it again because I still have plenty of stuff, but we’ll see.

Dinner was fabulous though, so not all was lost. I also made a cream puff cake that I’d had once before at a Pampered Chef party many years ago. I got half way through making it and realized I was short an ingredient. Ughh! I hate when that happens! Luckily, Zoe was nice and when and picked it up for me. The dessert turned out wonderfully and was delicious!

We’ve had decent weather all weekend and spent a lot of time in and out doors. We took the kids to a park right around the corner last night to let them blow off some steam. We played on the swings and slides and then went to the field to kick soccer balls and run around. Harper was in heaven out there! Zoe and Landon enjoyed passing the ball and Dakota was fascinated with pulling the grass out of the ground and attempting to eat it. I didn’t feel like lugging my camera or even my phone around though, so there are no pictures…just the ones in my head…

The picture below is probably my favorite from the weekend though. I just love that Harper was out there helping his dada.

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A close second would be this one:

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Landon was sitting at the table working on math homework and Harper climbed up to do his “homework”. :)

Can’t believe the weekends over already…hope you had a good one!

Water Balloons

When my kids told me they didn't know what to do with themselves yesterday I suggested they go outside and play with the water balloons....