Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Clean - Little One's Bathroom

I have been working on my Spring Cleaning, but have not been very diligent about posting my progress. So, I'll see what I can post throughout the day. I also have not been very good about taking before pictures. But, many of the rooms do not look that different from before.

Okay - so here is Little One's Bathroom. Here is what was accomplished:

  • Hung his footprint/hand prints and a picture of him in his Daddy's arms when three days old. This is one of my favorites sets of pictures - as the hand and foot prints are a family tradition. My Grandmother has a set for everyone of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren hanging on her wall. When Little One was born, we made a lot of sets - as they are such great heirlooms. The picture has a piece of velum over it and has the following verse printed on it:
I Samuel 1:26-28
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.
So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord. And she worshiped the Lord there.

Little One
1:29 AM
8 lbs 10 oz

This was given to us at Little One's baby dedication. And, you know, this verse was a verse that I prayed before I was married and so desired children. The family that gave it to us didn't know that - making this little picture more of a treasure. Back to the list...
  • Cleaned and scrubbed bath, toilet, sink and mirror
  • Washed all towels and rugs
  • Put all the bath tub toys in the dishwasher
  • Organized cupboard - Cleaned out medicine/first aid box
  • Scrubbed floor
Here are pictures of the end result. Look how much room I have in the cupboard! Ha, it's not that empty any more. I found some other things to fill it with. :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Like the library, but not really....

This morning Little One and I headed to this place for some fun. We spent the morning in the children's section and had a blast. There was a Thomas the Train track and trains for him to play with, along with a little stage that was so fun! This was a first time intro to the Thomas deal, and he thought it was super cool to let the little cars (one at a time) go down the little hills "very fast!" and scoot them through the "yunnels". We then explored the little stage for story time, and looked at lots of different books. I noticed that they have an official story time a couple times a week, which we'll have to check out.

Coming from a mom's point of view, I loved it because it was a whole lot less stressful than the library experience. There were no computers to distract him, and it was whole lot cleaner than a library. Now, don't get me wrong, I love libraries and we will definitely be patrons of our local one. However, in this stage, it is so frustrating to go to the library because Little One would much rather explore (ie find every kid-size computer and try to get them to work and then be frustrated because they don't and then dump all the puzzles out and move on to what ever else he can find - probably another computer) and he really cares very little about the actual books. Not to mention the whole voice-keep-it-to-a-whisper deal. Phew. Those are all good things, but we're not ready for all of that yet. I know this is just a season, and I figure if we make trips to B and N he'll get the idea of the books without all the distractions, and then we can graduate to the library and actually take the books home. Another part I liked, is seeing all the displays of children's books. It reminded me of books that will definitely go on our library list but the displays made making that list a whole lot easier. Going to the library you have to search the books down, and is very time consuming and next to impossible with a toddler at bay.

As far as the spending part goes, we didn't drop a dime today. Little One hasn't figured out that when you go to the store you can actually take the things home with you - it's just all for looking at. I love that! However, it did get Mom thinking about purchasing a Thomas the Train track in the future, and how it would be so easy and enjoyable to grab a cup of chai at the in-house Starbucks and enjoy it while he plays with the tracks. Not to mention all of the sections of books we had to walk through in order to get to the children's section. Don't worry, B and N - I am sure your generosity of the train track use will pay off in the long run. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Make New Friends

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18&19

This verse is one of those verses that keeps surfacing throughout the major experiences of my life. I recall holding on to it especially when my sweet husband came into my life after having years of singleness. I grasped it when my son was born and I transitioned from working full time to being a stay at home mother - and a new bride.(Little one was born exactly nine months after we were married.) And now, I cling to it as I am in new physical location - away from all that I know and love dearly. I love the encouragement my heart finds every time I read "forget the former things" and "I am doing a new thing!"

When I dropped Donna Rene off at the airport - I cried deep tears. The kind of tears that roll off your cheeks and fall down with a splatter - because they are coming from such a deep place within your heart and there is no chance in stopping them. In the hours that followed her departure, I have never ever felt so lonely. It's as if she poured into my very thirsty heart love and friendship - which I had no idea was so dry. What was I going to do now? I didn't have a friend here to call, and I just wanted a friend to be with.

As I sat in my lonely funk Tuesday morning, my phone rang. It was a local number - and I picked it up. On the other line was the director of a local MOPS program. I had contacted her months ago, and we have played phone tag since. Yesterday was the first time we talked - and it was the day I needed it most. She informed me that the next meeting was today - and that I should show up at 9:00. Then, an hour later, I received another phone call - another local number - it was the small group leader of the group I was going to be in. While talking to both of these ladies I heard "welcome friend!" and "I can't wait to meet you!" When I arrived this morning, I was greeted with hugs and introductions. Again, those deep tears came - and resurfaced throughout the morning.

I sat there listening to other moms talk about how hard it is to get everything done during nap, and how it's been hard to leave family and friends behind in another state, and how one lady keeps telling her husband that she needs to get GPS because she keeps getting lost! Oh, I am not alone! There are only three more meetings this spring, but I will go to those last three meetings and hopefully find some ladies to connect with during the summer.

And again, I hear the Lord say, "See, I am doing a new thing - Now it springs up do you not perceive it?"

I am reminded of the little song that we used to sing in Brownies:
Make new friends
Keep the old
Some are Silver and the other gold...

I am looking forward to the Silver and Gold I will find in this new place.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Made Me Smile...

Check out this post. It made me smile - and gave my heart a dose of encouragement. I hope it does the same for you.

Easter Weekend

I have no idea how to turn off this underline feature. Any tips or suggestions? I have spent about ten minutes trying to turn it off and give up.

I hope everyone had a great Easter! Ours was a tad different, but oh so good. Our friend Donna Rene came and visited. We had a great time. On Saturday we attempted to do an Easter Egg hunt with a local church we have been attending - however, we got there too late and the eggs were all gone. Instead, we explored the park. We then had lunch at one of our favorite places, and then proceeded to a new area of town that had a wonderful gelato (Italian Ice Cream) shop. Outside the gelato shop there was a park with rows of small stone walls. Daddy taught little one how to jump! Oh boy, was that fun! Here are some of the pictures from the day.

The wall Little One learned to jump from
Ready, set, jump!
Family picture in the park
Momma and Little One watching a clown make balloon animals
Eating Gelato! Mmmmm
Playing the xylophones in the park. Little one loved this!
So did Hubs and Donna Rene! :)
Little One's first time to wade in the water - He wasn't too sure what to think about it.

We played so hard on Saturday - that on Sunday we were pretty wiped out. The original plan was that Hubs was going to fry some chicken - and we were going to pack a picnic, head to church, and then see where we could spend an afternoon outdoors. Well, the clouds came in and it was about 30 degrees cooler and damp. Little One was running a slight temp and had a cough (which meant no church anyway) and it was really too cold for him to be outside. So we just had an indoor picnic and took it very easy. It was a really nice day.

Today Donna Rene, Little One and I met Hubs for lunch at a local bar-b-que joint and then we hit the Ikea store before Donna Rene caught her plane. We had so much fun. When I dropped her off at the airport I couldn't stop crying - I didn't realize how much I miss my friends!

But, on the bright side, we have a lot of company coming in the next month - my parents one week, my sister, and then another friend will be visiting. Knowing they will be here, all at different times, helps me tremendously this evening.

I know I haven't been too consistent with my posts - I have a lot I would like to write about this week and it looks like it's going to be a pretty mellow week - so hopefully my blog will be a little more interesting! :)

Have a great week!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Productive Weekend... Spring Clean Dining Room and Backyard

Well, this is the room that I am most glad about finishing - and the room that needed it the most!We have never had a house with a formal dining room. And we don't use (not yet anyway) the one we have now. It is so much easier to eat at the kitchen table - so that's what we do. As a result, our formal dining room became our second garage serving as storage for all the boxes of stuff we didn't know what to do with or want to unpack. Yuck!

So this past weekend hubs and I tackled it together. I forgot to take a picture at the beginning - so you get to see mid-project. Yikes! I took three pictures - but I think one gets the point across.

Here is the finished product.

I apologize for lighting of the photos - I have tried everything I could think of so you could see the colors in the room, but it's just not working. My photography skills...are not. ;) I won't bore you with the list of things that got done. I think the proof is in the pictures!

This room literally took two days and two people to finish. However, it's done. You should have seen our trash pile for the garbage man this morning. I am sure he loved us. Because in addition to all the cardboard boxes that we emptied, there were also about 10 bags of grass. This is a picture of Hubs threatening the grass is now tackled. Look how tall it is!!

His "tackling" devise is the tool I planned to use to sweep and clean the patio while he mowed. :)
To see other's progress in Spring Cleaning - or to join in on the fun, check it out here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Clean - The Pantry

Sesame Street has become a really good friend of mine. I have tried to take out random TV watching out of our schedule - and one of the times that is alloted for TV watching is Sesame Street. That hour is a precious time for me - I become a busy bee! I owe a word of thanks to Sesame Street for entertaining my toddler and helping me accomplish my pantry cleaning in a timely and efficient mannor!

When we moved in I never really ordered the pantry. We just would get things and put them on the shelves. A couple of months of this madness and this is the result:

This is what I did during Sesame Street:
Took everything out
Washed down the shelves
Wiped down containers/storage bins
Put everything back in categories that make a little more sense!

Here is the end result:

Nothing to get too excited about - but it does bring a sense of completion to the kitchen.
Thanks Monica for the inspiration!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What a Wonder...

At bed time I sing to him "Jesus, what a wonder you are" and the second time around I substitute Little One's name instead of Jesus.

Here are the lyrics if you aren't familiar:
Jesus, what a wonder you are
You are so gentle
So pure and so kind
You shine like a bright morning star
Jesus, what a wonder you are.

Tonight as I began to sing, he totally pipped up and sang along with me!

Here's Little One's version:
Little One wonder are!
you yentle kind!
shine star
Wonder are!

He is always quiet as a mouse when I sing this song. I was so surprised - it was so sweet and genuine. It's a moment I'll always remember. Life is good.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Well, it seems that the transition to the big boy bed has not been near as bad as I had feared. We began the first nap time by looking at the broken bed and explaining that he couldn't sleep in it anymore. "Bed broke" is what he kept saying. Then, we "talked" to all of his favorite things in his room and told them that they were going to sleep in the big boy bed with Little One. Little one was totally into this. "mome on animal s yets go.." With that, it seemed to be a done deal. Nap time was no problem. Then, bed time came. It took about four hours for him to go to sleep - but he finally fell asleep due to pure exhaustion. We really worked on expressing that he had to stay in the bed. There were lots of tears and "can't do it"s and "yes, you can do it"s.

Since the four hour deal, bed time has gotten easier. Some nights he just goes right to sleep, and other nights I have found him up exploring his new room. This is becoming more and more common - and tonight he figured out how to open his door! Bummer. There was a sense of security for me knowing he couldn't get out - Ha! Not so anymore. Such is motherhood - right?

But, really - all is well. He loves his big boy bed - and doesn't even make mention of his old room and crib. Thank you so much for the comments and support! :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Hard Day's Work

Okay - here is the latest of my Spring Cleaning venture. First of all, my "schedule" has totally not happened. I've discovered that it's very difficult to do deep cleaning with 1.) a toddler whose mommy is his #1 playmate 2.) my own goal and desire to give myself a rest/quiet time during his nap time. Thus, my planning the way I thought it would go just hasn't happened. Oh well.

Today, however, I decided that I had to conquer the kitchen. It is now 2:48 and I started at 8:30 this morning. I didn't even touch the pantry - that will have to be tomorrow. Now, not all that time was spent cleaning - cleaning was done in between making lunch, transitioning to the big bed for nap time, blowing bubbles, playing basketball, etc. Today I decided that cleaning needed to be done instead of rest. So now we have a very clean kitchen and a tired momma.

Here is what I did:
  • Dusted and washed the objects on top of the cabinets
  • Cleaned out refrigerator and took all shelves/compartments out and washed them
  • Wiped down the outside of the refrigerator
  • Wiped down all appliances
  • Cleaned out microwave
  • Took care of excess clutter - mostly
  • Washed down counter tops /table
  • Washed trash can
  • Scrubbed high chair
  • Cleaned light fixture
  • Swept and mopped floor
Now to really be done I need to pick up a feather duster at the store and dust the blinds - and I need to purchase special light bulbs. Then the job will be officially done.

Here are my before pictures - I don't really know if you can tell a difference ... it's kinda a hard room to photograph.

Here are the after:
And I thought you might like to see a picture of my two helpers. That's right I said two. First is my dear son. He just figured out how to trigger a spray bottle. Here he is spraying the inside of the fridge. The second is the mop "pail" that we invested in a couple of weeks ago. When you have a whole floor that's tile, I gave up mopping on my hands and knees. This guy works wonders!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Any Advice?

This morning we awoke to Little One crying in his bed - "kicx it! Kicx It!" (fix it, fix it) as one of the corners of his crib totally caved in towards the floor - the crib is broken. We have been wanting to make the transition from crib to bed - and it looks like today is the day. We have a "Big boy room" (complete with a twin bed) all set up for him - and he loves to be in there and play - but will have nothing to do with it when it comes to sleeping. He is very attached to his crib. Every time we have tried taking a nap in the big boy bed - he ends up crying if I'm not there with him. If I leave him in there and shut the door, he stands at the door and cries and screams "Mama"!I don't want him to get attached with me lying down with him, and I don't want the transition to be a traumatic experience. Right now, bed time is one of our most pleasant times of the day, and don't really want to lose that.

Does anyone have some advice? How have you made the transition from the crib to the big bed?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Science Bottles

When I was a preschool teacher, I had a co-teacher who was crazy about making science bottles. Essentially, they are bottles with some sort of liquid in them that the kids could carry around, shake and see what happens. She was so creative and came up with the best ideas. I wish I would have written them down!

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot of those science bottles and have created some for Little one. He is learning his colors and I thought this would be a great way to get some practice. I took six water bottles and filled them with water, a different color of tempra paint, and either 1.) dish soap or 2.) baby oil/canola oil. The effect is that when you shake them you get some kind of bubbles. I then hot glued the lid on. I also created two that have water, oil, buttons in one and beads in the other. It's fun to watch the objects float around in the water and bubbles created by the oil.

While I was doing this I was wishing I had some sort of container for them, and remembered that Hubs had purchased wine at Whole Foods - and had brought home this groovy little carrier for the wine bottles. I covered each slot with a coordinating bottle color and wrote the name of the color. That way we can practice putting the bottles where they belong and matching the colors. I then covered the pictures of the wine bottles at the top of the box with the long strips of paper.

I know you can do many things with this concept - use glitter, yarn, corn syrup, really the ideas are limitless. I did notice that the tempra paint made a very thick color and if I were to put any other objects in the bottle, you couldn't see them. Next time I might use food color.

Now my question for you is - do you have any ideas, or have you done this before? If so, what would you do or what did you use?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spring Clean 2008 - Office Area

Now in our home, we don't have an official office. The upstairs has a big open area where there is space for a desk and filing cabinet. This is where my "office" is. It's really nice because I can look over and have full view of the play area - when Little One is playing I am right here. A disadvantage is that there is no door to shut. That means, when it's messy, it's sitting in the middle of everything and I have to walk by it to get into my room. That also means that there is a toddler who loves to draw, push buttons and climb who lives at this house. He beelines it to this area of the house to climb up on my desk to find whatever he can to draw on or buttons (IE keyboard and mouse) he can push. Grrr. There are days when I think I'm going to tear my hair out because it really is his favorite place to be - and he has scribbled on things I didn't really want scribbled on. I've disciplined, done everything I know to do, he just keeps persisting. I know it's just a season...but man it's certainly stretching me.

Anyway - back to the subject at hand. Here are the before pictures of our office.

And here are the after.

Ahhh. So much better. Hubs gave me a big kiss when he came home and saw my completed project!
Things I did:
  • filed, filed and filed papers
  • washed down surface of desk and filing cabinet
  • dusted off computer and printer
  • cleaned keyboard with a Q-tip (glad that's done - it needed a good scrub!)
  • finished putting desk-back together (file holders on left and magnetic white board on right)
  • Organized and cleaned out drawers
  • scrubbed down walls
  • and now, the last thing is to re-organize my coupons. They got all messed up in the move and I haven't sat down and made it right. I also have coupons to clip. So, I'm going to go watch my DVRed American Idol and get that last job done!

Spring is in the air!

I have been looking forward to this challenge hosted by my friend Monica at The Homespun Heart. She has challenged and given me the motivation to get the final details from our move taken care of. I have those last 15 ? or so boxes that need to be dealt with - pictures to hang - and just a little touching up that needs to be done in each area of our home. A good cleaning on top of all of that will make our home finally feel like Home Sweet Home! Plus, I believe in this post I promised to show you more pictures of my home. Well, you're really going to get to see it - because I will be posting before and after shots. I'm going to let it all hang out friends! Welcome! :)

So, here is the game plan:
March 6th - Office Area
March 7th - Laundry and Game Room
March 8th - Dining Room
March 11th - Kitchen
March 13th - Family Room and Downstairs Bath
March 14 & 15 - Garage (date may move going to need Hubs help with this one)
March 18th - Master Bed and Bath
March 20th - Kid's Rooms and bath

Now, the challenge is open until the 31st - but I would like to get my cleaning done before Easter. We are going to have our first official visitor - my sweet friend Donna Rene is coming to spend Easter weekend with us. I'd love to have all of this done before she arrives.

If you'd like to know more about Monica's Challenge and how you can join in just visit her site! Thanks so much Monica for providing the inspiration and accountability!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

last weekend...

Sorry for the long delay in posting. I've had some technical difficulties with the computer - I'm afraid we're going to need a new one before long. It's super slow and very frustrating to work with. Although, Hubs has been putting some great time and effort into making it work better - Thank you Sweetie!

Here is an update of last weekend:
  • We bought a second car! Yippee!
  • We took a drive and discovered that one of the inlets of a nearby lake is just 20 minutes from our house. Complete with camp ground, picnic area and boat dock! Living by the water is going to take this Colorado girl some getting use to. I couldn't believe it as we sat there and watched two boats take off.
I had more pictures to post - but this is all my slow computer would allow. Oh well, you get the idea. Isn't it beautiful? Come visit any time from now until fall and we can rent a boat and play in the water! Hubs is going to go within the next couple of weeks and scout out boat rental and the lake. I'm not too comfortable piling a pregnant lady and a toddler into a boat for two plus hours when none of us have any boating experience at all! But it is something we would like to eventually do as a family.
  • I went to blow bubbles for Little One and discovered a lizard had crawled into our bubble bucket. I have never done well with creepy crawly things, and didn't do well at all when I poked the bubble wand into the bucket and felt something hard. I peered into the little holes of the bubble container and could see portions of green reptile arms, a tail and an eye. I was left to my imagination what it was - and did a "oh my goodness I am so grossed out and that thing might come out and get me" dance in the back yard. Little One thought I was playing a new game a cracked up at my reaction. I did this same dance when I walked out of my bedroom and saw a huge winged bug creature flying around and then landed at my feet. I have no idea what kind of bug this was - but you could hear the wings flutter and it looked like a cross between a mosquito and a ??? I have no idea. Yuck! I like the warmth of Texas, however, I do not like the bugs and creatures that seem to abound. And this is only March!