Thursday, December 8, 2011

Right Now...

(Stole this idea because I thought it sounded fun.)

Right now I am:

watching: America's Next Top Model (should I even be admitting this? probably not.)

eating: nothing right now but contemplating some chocolate chip ice cream.

drinking: should be drinking more water.

wearing: blue plaid pajama pants, short sleeve v-neck w/ a pink sweater over.

avoiding: cleaning. house is a mess, but when is it not? lots of dirty dishes that need to be washed. but i just want to sit and veg.

feeling: a little anxious about all the things that need to get done in the next few weeks: Christmas pics need to be taken and designed and most of all, all our gifts still need to be made. oh, did i mention Tim and I made a decision to hand make all our gifts this year. for everyone. crazy. we were supposed to start in March but just started in November. still a long way to go and not very much time left.

missing: my husband, who fell asleep with the kids while putting them to bed. but he does this most every night. unfortunately he's not a night person and i am.

thankful: for many things but right now for my sister who has done so much for my family, watching the kids whenever I need her and loving them and caring for them like they were her own.

weather: google says it's 41 right now but that there will be a low of 34. brrrr.

praying: for lots of things. but need to be doing more of it consistently for specific things.

needing: a break from having to chase clara around stuffing food in her mouth everyday. I spend literally hours in a day trying to get her to eat. frustrating and stressful.

thinking: about how to try to style my hair for Tim's work Christmas party tomorrow night. it's always a pretty fancy affair and I always feel under dressed. i think i'll go to pinterest for some inspiration.

loving: the christmas season. love the smells, the traditions, the music, the time with family and everything that christmas is about.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's that time of year...

for writing and sending Christmas cards! This year I am vowing to actually get the cards out before Christmas. So next weekend our family is going to head over to The Gibson House in Woodland (an historical mansion turned museum) to take some cute pictures of the kids and maybe some of mom and dad too. And this year Tim and I are going to use the sewing machine he bought me last year for Christmas to make the kids some matching Christmas outfits so they will be extra cute.

We are going to use Tiny Prints for our Christmas cards this year. I have used them several times in the past for things like party invitations, birthday and Mother's Day cards, etc. and have always loved their designs, their quality and their service. They are reasonably priced as well so they can be an affordable option for cute cards even if you don't have a lot of money to spend.

They have a lot of neat features on their website and one of the things that I love is their "favorites" feature. They allow you to check the cards that you like so that you can easily remember and acess them later. It saves so much time and all you have to do is click on the favorites bar at the bottom of the page and it will bring up all of your stored favorites lined up in a row so that you can easily compare.

Tiny Prints also has an easy to use guide that allows you to narrow your search (because they have lots of pretty designs to choose from). And you can choose from eight different design styles, including contemporary, vintage, whimsy, classic and more to help you search and find just the right card for you.

Here are some of my favorites:

Christmas Cards Simply Merry - Front : Tomato I love the simple design and rounded corners of this one.

Christmas Cards Blessings Be Yours - Front : MossIt's always nice to be able to include the real reason for the season.

Christmas Cards Family of Trees - Front : Bright RedThis one is a little more playful.
Tri-Fold Holiday Cards Swirly Plates - Front : WinterberryAnd this one is kind of unique because it's a trifold and I like that I can add more pictures that way.

Tiny Prints also has a few DIY cards that you can design yourself. You can easily personalize any of their cards as well by changing text, format, etc. to get a customizable card.

I'm excited about taking our Christmas pictures and just hope the kids cooperate so that we can get some good ones. And all we have to do is finish sewing the outfits, find more fabric since we didn't buy enough, wait until Saturday after all of the kids are rested and fed, and hope for some nice pictures! And then we just have to pick out one card from all of the hundreds available from Tiny Prints, upload our pictures, order them and wait for them to arrive. Piece of cake!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

DIY reupholstered small target storage ottoman

Here is a not-so-quick (but really is just not w/ three kids) DIY project that Tim and I finally completed not too long ago. I've slowly been trying to update and pretty up our family room and thought that putting some new fabric on our small ottoman would be a nice change and something that wouldn't be too hard to do. I picked out some pretty Amy Butler fabric that has colors that will coordinate with the room eventually.

I forgot to take a before picture so here is one from the world wide web:Ours was dirty and stained so it definitely needed an update!

And here is the after:

Tim did most of the hard work, like the stapling and I think it turned out pretty nice: a small change for a big impact.

Family Vacation 2011 (to SLO) part One

We drove down to San Luis Obispo for the first part of family vacation since it'd been so long since we've been there. Nearly two years I think. We were going to be going down to Disneyland for a few days so we decided to add on a few days and stop in SLO to break up the trip a little. We got to visit with old friends and go to the beach and just bum around in my old home town. It was certainly nice to be there again but we were both a bit surprised at the number of college kids around because Poly hadn't even started yet. We agreed that there were just too many young kids running around for our taste. I think we must be getting old! Exploring downtown. Showing the kids Bubblegum Alley and trying to explain why they shouldn't touch the walls of gum (it actually took a bit of convincing!).

At Morro Bay

Enjoying some ice cream

Not liking the life vest on the tour boat ride in Morro Bay

This is the first time we've done this tour since we both had spent so much time here in the past. But the kids loved it (well not Clara) and it was fun to get out into the water and explore a bit.

At Avila Valley Barn

Feeding the animals

Apple picking

Avila Beach. Clara's first trip to the beach.

I think she liked it!

Playing in the waves.

Family shot.

A visit with my good friend, Julie.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dylan turns 3!

My boy turned three about two weeks ago and again I am behind on posting about it. Oops. Another year ending and beginning with my little man. I hope the third year has a few less meltdowns from my emotional boy than his second year had. But he's got me wrapped around his little finger no matter what and I love him to pieces. He makes me laugh and is pretty compliant when he wants to be. He really just goes with the flow most of the time. I can tell he is excited about growing up so that he can do all the things that his big sister does. But please, not too fast, Dylan.
Showing me how old he is the day he tuned three.

 We took the birthday boy to his version of heaven: the tractor museum.

Blowing out three candles in his cupcake

Hiding behind his very large present from his Grammi and Grandpa at his party at the park. (It was a ride on tractor!)

Enjoying some cake off of the candle

Thomas the Train pinata! The end of his second year has ushered in the new obsession with Thomas.

Thomas the Train cake

Opening more gifts and wearing his party hat that I made him.
Happy third birthday Dylan! I love you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Year Already!

Happy first birthday to my littlest little one! So I know this is really late but I still wanted to write a post commemorating Clara's first year.

The year has gone by rapidly, as do most now with three little ones to care for. And now my youngest is a baby no more and is on the cusp of toddler hood and walking and talking and everything else that is non-baby. Clara is such a sweet little (emphasis on little) thing, curious and bright, active and smiley. She loves to dance to any beat (even if it's not music, such as the breast pump) and is learning to wave goodbye (and sometimes even say it). She loves looking at books, particularly the ones with babies or animals. She loves dollies and babies and loves to poke and prod at her younger cousin, Noah. Clara right after she was born.

I love seeing her laugh with her big brother and sister as she is learning to play with them. I will remember putting her into clothes that were much too big for her or how she had to wear clothes for a 6 month old at a year.
I remember her first smiles and laughter. How she took so long to roll over that I got worried. How she spit up so much that we had to change her three or four times a day when she was really little. I remember how she cried during her first bath and how proud I was of her when she sat up by herself for the first time. I remember singing patty cake to her to get her to lie still enough so that I could change her diaper. How Kaylin and Dylan could make her giggle by making faces at her. I remember how she hated baby food (so different from her brother and sister in that way.) And I will remember how she always had to hold something in her hands, especially while nursing.
3 months

6 months

I will always remember how we spent her first birthday (first at the splash park because she loves water so much, but later out in our backyard for two hours because the carbon monoxide alarm went off.)
9 months

I love to hear her constant babbling as she talks to herself or to us. I love how she crawls over and sits herself down right smack in your lap and leans back to get comfy. I love her pretty green eyes (the only one of us without brown.) and how her ears curl. I love how every time we go to the doctors office she screams in excitement and almost leaps out of my arms to look at all the fishies in the big fish tank. I love how she points and points and points at everything. And how she kicks and kicks her legs every time she is excited. 
I know there are a million little things that I am forgetting to put in here but I hope that I will always be able to remember my sweet baby's first year with fondness and recall all the things she learned to do and all of her ways and the things that made her who she is.
10 months~learning to pull up

One year party

Her first birthday (outside, because of the carbon monoxide detector)

Just being cute

I love you Clara Lou and happy birthday!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Progress: 30 before Thirty

Here is an update to my 30 things to do before turning thirty. The big day is approaching fast with two weeks to go. I feel like I have done an adequate job on the list but many of these things will have to be done during my thirtieth year, mostly because I still have a full-time nursing little one. (More about her to come.)

But here is my progress so far:
  1. Lose twenty pounds: I can't cross this off completely yet, but I am happy to say that I've lost almost ten pounds since I posted this. And that is without going to the gym (guess that answers #9). So another reason why nursing is a wonderful thing!
  2. Dye my hair myself with hair dye from the store (maybe brown?)  I bought a hair dye online, from because of a daily deal, and died my hair as close to blond as I could get. I didn't take pictures, I guess I should have, but it turned out kind of golden. Not great but not bad either. I will probably continue to do this for a little while to save money. Although the process was quite a bit of work, I must say.
  3. Cancel cable: Okay, I can't totally cross this one off either because I ended up downgrading instead of canceling. I just love the DVR too much to get rid of it completely right now. But because I called (initially) to cancel, they offered a package that is less than what we were paying before, but with better (and I think more) channels, like HGTV. (Oh how I love HGTV!)
  4. Learn to sew and/or complete one sewing project So I can't call myself an expert by any means, but I did complete a small project and have been practicing more with sewing.
  5. Teach Kaylin to read: Another half cross off. She is definitely not reading even that much yet, but we did get about half way through this book and she can read a little bit, when she tries.
  6. Run in a race (this still hasn't happened yet): And it remains "unhappened."
  7. Get Clara to sleep in her crib: We're getting slightly closer and plan to really work on it after we get back from our vacation.
  8. Get up at 6:30 on a regular basis: Nope
  9. Go to the gym at least three times a week (on a regular basis): Again, nope (although I have a legitimate reason right now that involves my youngest daughter who doesn't seem to want to gain weight).
  10. Put up pictures on the walls in the house (I'm so afraid to put any nails/holes in the walls--it's so final!) Only a few so far, but making progress.
  11. Paint a picture on my large canvas that I bought years ago and put up in the kitchen: I'm going to cross this off even though i'm not quite done yet. But I'm close. So i'm going to count it, especially since I haven't been able to cross off that much on here.
  12. Potty train Dylan: Almost. (I'm beginning to see a pattern here.) (Also, I seem to like parenthesis.) He's definitely close but again, I want to wait until we get back from our vacation to really finish it.
  13. Plant a vegetable garden: Tim did most of the work though. But we have sweet peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, watermelon and strawberry. We didn't do too much because it was getting too late in the season. But we've still had lots of growth and right now have lots of tomatoes and several bell peppers that are almost ready to be picked and the watermelon plant is growing like crazy! So fun! In a few more weeks we'll start planting the cool season crops.
  14. Read through the Bible: To be honest, not even close. Really need to work on this area.
  15. Refinish/repaint a piece of furniture: Spray painted a plant stand and a side table. So easy. Love spray paint!
  16. Build something, with Tim's help: not yet.
  17. Cook a gourmet meal from start to finish, without Tim's help: Honestly, I probably couldn't call any of it "gourmet" but I have been cooking more and trying a lot more recipes and I have to say, most of them have turned out pretty well. And Tim's only helped most of the time. He's just so much faster than I am and we're usually rushing to feed our starving, cranky children so he swoops in and finishes up. A few times I did do it all myself though.
  18. Go on a trip with just Tim: Won't be able to do this until I'm done nursing.
  19. Get my nails done with Kaylin: I've been meaning to do this the last few weekends. Hopefully soon though.
  20. Write our will: Completely forgot about this one.
  21. Spend a whole day playing with my kids without cleaning/using the computer/interruptions (and start doing this more): Sadly, not yet.
  22. Complete the set up of my craft room/office: Nope.
  23. Start redecorating my bedroom: This changed to redocarate the family room. We've done some, but still a work in progress.
  24. Redecorate the kid's room: Just don't have the money/energy/time right now.
  25. Start serving at church: Tim's been doing well at this and I'm just starting, but again, i'll be able to do a lot more once Clara's not nursing.
  26. Figure out a way to serve our community as a family and then start doing it: No; ideas anyone?
  27. Go on a hike as a family: No
  28. Take a family portrait: I think this may be in the works, but I would like to lose a bit more weight first. Call me vain, but professional portraits can be expensive and I want to be happy with the way I look after spending a good amount of money and not be afraid to hang it on the wall.
  29. Get portraits of Clara: Does it count if I do them? No? Okay, we still need to do this.
  30. Visit SLO: I crossed this off because we'll be in slo before my birthday, even though it hasn't happened yet.

I'll have to do another update post in a few more months and see if I can cross off more of these. I blame my kids though. Can't get anything done with them around! ;)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Clara's milestones

Clara clapped today and learned to wave about a week ago! She's growing up too fast! I'll have to try to get some pictures soon. I also need to do an update on her weight. Just wanted to remember these little steps and growth.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kindergarten here we come!

I posted some of these pictures on Facebook already, so sorry if some of this is a repeat, but as I've said before this is a record for me too. And I know I've said this before also, but I can't believe we're already at this stage. It's hard to believe that I have a school aged child. Thankfully she's so easygoing that she did not have a problem with this transition. Dylan actually had a harder time the first day than she did. And I missed her as well. The house is much more quiet and I miss her personality and voice throughout my day.

Although now that we're two weeks into school starting I have noticed that each day seems to go by quicker and it's been helping me get up and get dressed everyday (I was one of those moms who like to spend all day in her pjs.) So I know the school year will probably fly by.

I also have to start looking into homeschooling next year because I wanted to try one of each, public school and school at home.
Kaylin on her way out the door on the very first day of school!

Walking to school (from the car).

She's excited!

Waiting in line to go into her classroom.

 I tried to make her first day special. We picked her up and brought her a balloon and had flowers waiting on her seat in the car. I drew her a little picture that said, "welcome home Kaylin!" I think she felt special.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some updates in pictures

I don't feel like doing a long post on what we've been up to these last few months, especially since I haven't posted in a while and only have about three readers anyway, so here is a look at our lives in snapshot (the pictures are out of order, so the most recent are at the top):

 My handsome nephew Noah

Clara LOVES her cousin. She seems so taken with babies in general.

Of course he's almost the same size as her, even though she's nine months older.

Dylan seems to like him and pays attention to him every once in a while. We're hoping they'll be close even with the age difference.

Clara began pulling up last month.

We took a trip to Ocean Beach in San Fran a few weekends ago and despite the dreary weather we had a nice time being together and exploring new places.

Water babies!

Best buds!

Family shot

It was cold as we walked on the Embarcadero and we weren't as prepared as we should've been (it's August, you'd think it would be warm!). So we made a makeshift beanie for Clara to combat the cold winds. She kind of looked like a little old lady. But in a good way.

 Just hanging out...being cute.

Helping mom make pizza. This is right before Dylan dumped the whole bag of cheese on the floor. Not sure if I'm going to ask if they want to help next time! Plus they were eating more than they were actually putting on the pizza.

Playing with the neighborhood kitties.

Slip-n-Slide on the 4th of July

Action shot

This is the best group shot of the kids; before fireworks.

 Clara's first 4th of July! She loved watching the fireworks and wasn't scared by the loud noises.