Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Night Out ALONE {and Goodwill Finds}

Last Thursday night I had a complete mental breakdown when Chris came home.  I mean, the ugly cry and everything.  I was stressed out from potty training, from the demands of a newborn, from a house that never seems to get clean anymore and from the feeling that my days are so unproductive lately.  And then I started crying because I had been crying every night when he came home and who wants to come home to that?!  Lovely.  haha!

He calmly talked me down off the ledge and reminded me of my word for the year (“Survive” – practical and all, but how boring is that, seriously?!) and gave me an awesome, encouraging pep talk that seriously swung me in the other direction. And then he told me to go out. 

But by this time it was 5:50 and I don’t think I’d showered that day and there was no way I was using up my free night out card when it was going to be at least 6:30 by the time I left the house.  lol  So I went out on Friday.  And boy was I ready by the time he came home!  I was outta there. ;)

First I went to Panera and got a Greek salad (one of my faves!).  I’m pretty sure as soon as I sat down, my blood pressure dropped about 20 points.  lol  This was my status update when I got there:

“Currently at Panera - BY MYSELF!!!! Because my husband rocks. And also because after 3 weeks of potty training and getting up at night with a newborn, it was either this or Mommy was taking a nice long trip to Mexico. Til Christmas.” LOL 

I sat and ate my salad and checked my favorite blogs on the tablet and just took as long as I wanted!  It was fabulous.  Our local Panera is in a shopping mall with the grocery store and when I finished I contemplated going and getting groceries since we really needed some and I should be responsible…but then I decided to truly relax and take a night out for real and do just fun things.  So it was awesome.  I walked around Kohl’s because I still had a birthday gift card from my MIL, and then I headed down to Goodwill.  I had some really fun finds that night! 


Here’s what I got:

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I couldn’t pass up these girly little lamp bases for Livi’s room.  They need bulbs and shades but for $3.98 for the pair they had to come home with me!

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Her room is gray and white with pops of light pink and navy.  This is the third plate in this color I’ve found at this Goodwill!  So random – there’s no markings on the back of any of them.  I’m going to do a plate wall with them.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with the cup yet in her room, but I’ll think of something!  They were 99 cents each. 

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My best friend, Lindsay, totally got me started a year or two ago looking for vintage Pyrex.  It is SO fun to hunt for them.  It’s like a bizarre magnetic pull or something – if they’re in good shape and reasonably priced, I just have to snatch them up because finding them is so rare!  lol The juice pitcher was $2.99 and the little teacup was 99 cents. 

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A little close-up on the vintage teacup pattern:

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These two beauties were 99 cents each and they came home with me because their smooth, flat surface is perfect for doing-over with chalkboard paint!  They have hooks on the back for hanging and I’m totally going to make them beautiful again. ;)

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And lastly, these were just for fun.  Chris and I love the “Awkward Family Photos” website and oh my gosh, this book will make you laugh til you cry!  The magnets were only 99 cents and we’ve already had a lot of fun making crazy, ridiculous sentences on our fridge using cooking words.  haha

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It was a wonderful night out and I came home feeling so relaxed and refreshed.  It was seriously just what I needed!  I think it’s a necessity when you’re a mom, don’t you agree?! 

Anyone been thrifting lately and found something they love?  Anyone else collect vintage Pyrex?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Thinking About Blog Re-Design: Please Share!

Blogging is a funny thing, isn’t it?  I mean, it’s real, and it isn’t “real” all at the same time – you know what I mean?  I mean seriously – try telling an older person about your blog and how you write about your life on the internet and then how complete strangers comment on it except some of them aren’t complete strangers anymore because you’ve actually developed a friendship with some of them and may have even met some of them in person.  Awwwwwwkward!  I’ve definitely gotten a few glazed-over looks. haha!

But blogging IS a real part of life now and there are real people making livings off their blogs and getting book deals and it provides a real source of friendship, encouragement, and inspiration for those who do it (at least it does for me, anyway!). 

So since I do spend a lot of my time in this invisible-but-very-real world, something I’ve been wanting to do for months now (okay actually years) is get a new design for my blog.  Sometime back in 2010 I paid to have a designer revamp my site and give it an updated look from the standard Blogger template. 

Well, unfortunately it was a total disaster.  This girl took MONTHS to do my design, didn’t listen to what I asked for, and was overall horrible to work with.  In the end she actually apologized to me and offered me some work for free in the future (nooooo thank you!), so I’ll give her some credit for at least admitting she didn’t do a good job.   I mean, at least by the end we were in agreement together that she pooped out on me! haha 

{Thankfully I just checked out her personal blog and it looks like she doesn’t do design work anymore – so there’s no need for me to warn anyone else about her – whew!}

Anyway, I’m itching for a fresh new look!  I’d love something crisp and clean and white and a place where I feel like I can breathe, not feel claustrophobic.  God has been very gracious and I’ve been steadily earning a little bit of money each month through my Google ads on the sidebar, so I’d like to put a little of that money back into my blog design now.   We’ve been putting my ad money aside toward our “new car” fund  (aka “used car” fund, lol) since both of our cars could die at any second, but I talked it over with Chris and he is ok with me rolling a little of my blog money back into the blog.  Yay!

My blog is getting a makeover!  SHUT UP.  {A little Stacy London for ya ;) }

So my question is: have any of you had good success with a blog designer?  I’m just looking for someone reasonably priced and ethical – that’s not too much to ask, is it?!  lol  I have about 10 websites saved on my Pinterest board so I have a pretty clear vision of what I’d like.  Anyway please share if you have someone you know!  Thanks guys!

And happy Saturday!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Day in My New Life {Picture Post}

Oh. my. gosh you guys.  I’m just going to cut right to the chase here:  two kids is HARD!  (Moms of more than 2, I know you’re laughing at me right now, and that’s okay…I’m laughing at all the moms of 1 who think – like I used to – that their life is hard!  lol} 

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I mean seriously.  One blog post in February?  Because all I do all day is take care of the kids (aka make sure they both survive), then Chris comes home, we eat, I do housework like a crazy woman while he spends time with them, we put Luke to bed, we both do a little housework together while one of us tries to hold Olivia and then we basically crash…before getting up to feed her in the middle of the night, of course.


Did I mention that Luke decided he wanted to wear big boy underwear last Saturday?  When Livi was 4 weeks old?  So that means I’ve been potty training for the past 11 days with a newborn?  And that my baby girl happens to have pretty bad acid reflux and is on a prescription and needs to eat more often than she had been (but a little less at each feeding so her stomach can handle it better) and needs to be held upright for at LEAST a solid hour after she eats or else she will projectile vomit and/or scream bloody murder but that sometimes she does those things regardless?  Did I mention any of that?!  lol

Anyway, I end most days feeling like I got absolutely nothing accomplished except that nobody ended up in the ER and Mommy didn’t and up as the crazy lady on the 6:00 news.  (haha)  So I randomly woke up this morning and decided this morning to record my day – boring as it might be - in photos.  Because somehow I already have a 6- week-old so even though the days draaaaaag on and on the weeks really are flying by. 


So for better or for worse, here’s a visual diary of my day today:


Basically, most of my days now consist of watching Luke play and verbally interacting with him (rather than getting on the ground as much)while I hold Olivia upright so she’ll stop screaming bloody murder be comfortable and happy.  ;)

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Morning activity that lasted about 10 minutes:  letting Luke use one of my canvases to make “art” with the blue dot marker.  It actually turned out really neat – I think I’m going to hang it in the playroom when we re-do it this summer.

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Bought a bag of Easter M&Ms for Luke’s potty rewards; gave him 3 and he gagged on them and spit them out.  I think he was afraid of the pastel colors since they’re different than the regulars?  (Seriously, people don’t always take me seriously when I tell them my kiddo has serious food issues – but that’s whole other post for a different day!)  Since it’s basically a sin in my world to throw out perfectly good chocolate, they now sit on my counter and I spent my day today trying NOT to eat this entire jar. 

Good news: I didn’t! But I wanted to.

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I remember at 10:00 that I haven’t given Livi her morning dose of medicine yet.  I cringe when I have to administer it because she hates it and usually cries. (Ummmm, because bless her heart, it smells like Listerine strips!)  But I do love seeing my girl’s name in print, regardless of the reason! It just makes me so excited that she's a real person and she’s really here with us.  I am a total dork, I know.  (I kept this photo blurry on purpose.) 

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I bought a great old cast-iron skillet for $3 back in November at the Salvation Army.  It’s been under my dresser for the past three months (story of my life, people!) and today I decided it was getting ridiculous and it was high time to clean it.  After a good scouring and rubbing with oil and baking at 500 degrees (my house smelled horrible like smoke afterwards, even with the windows open), it came out looking tons better but it still needed to go back in for round 2 of seasoning. 

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Quick standing-up lunch/snack:  amazing restaurant salsa leftover from girls’ night out with friends on Saturday night.  I have eaten entirely way too many carbs since having Olivia…but what can I say?  I eat standing up these days and they are fast and easy. 

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This picture was technically taken the other day, but it pretty much represents how I spent most of today, and the day before that, and the day before that…and you get the picture:  hanging out with Luke by the potty, with Olivia hanging out in the sling. 

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Back to today:  the time stamp on this photo is 1:44.  Because someone in my home is apparently always having a crisis, I don’t get to drink many hot sips of coffee in a row. Hence the “reheating rings” – I count 5 and it’s not even 2:00 yet!  I specifically picked my “Today” show mug this morning because it reminded me of a happy day in my life (visiting the “Today” show live with Lindsay).  The memory of that makes me smile and also simultaneously miss my best friend all day long. 

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(Somewhere about this time two friends dropped by separately for a short time each – praise the Lord for adult conversation!)

Little Miss Thing spits up a ton, bless her heart, and we go through a lot of clothes here (she’s had two more outfits on today - for a total of 6! - since this photo was taken).  Clorox stain remover is my new best friend!

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Time for an afternoon sensory activity!  We traced letters in kosher salt on the tray and then buried objects under it.   (And no I didn’t do that to his hair {it’s seriously been standing up like that for days} but I am loving his little faux-hawk!)

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Miss Liv took a nap on me while Luke and I played with the salt:

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P.S. Salt activity came to an abrupt halt when Luke decided to repeatedly dump it all over his head.  After being told not to.  Like 3 times.  But…YAY for my kiddo being totally cool with touching salt!  I mean, still a win, right?! haha


Right about this point in the day I am super thankful I actually had 10 free minutes this morning to pop a chicken in the crockpot for dinner!  It’s starting to smell really good!

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I somehow manage to grab another 10 peaceful minutes (I heard the angels singing when it happened) and throw together these no-bake energy bars that my sister recommended.  Verdict:  I love the clean ingredients but they don’t come together all that well.  Next time I will add more peanut butter {I ran out after I made the recipe}. I think I still prefer my morning cookie. :)


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{Loving my “new” aka vintage Pyrex bowl that I got recently for $2.50!  Perfect for mixing!}


Not long after this Chris came home (Haaaaallelujuah, thank you Jesus), so the pictures stopped.  But just think more potty breaks (including where Luke accidentally peed on his face – yup, think that one through with me! haha), bath time, playtime, clean-up time, bedtime routine, dishes, 2 loads of laundry, and me and Chris talking about our days and singing out loud to Bruno Mars’ “Marry Me” on Pandora (best part of my day!).  

It’s 9:32 and I’m about to help Chris give Livi a bath and then head to bed! 

I’m not going to lie to you – these are some of the most emotionally draining days of my life.  The days are long and hard and demanding. (There are no pictures of me today because there was no shower for me today!  I chose sleep instead this morning, which I don’t regret one bit!)

Between having shingles in December and being stuck at home for two weeks, then staying home a lot in January to avoid getting the flu while pregnant, then having a newborn and being at home to keep her healthy and learn her routine, then having a little boy potty training who has max 5 seconds to make it to the toilet right now (so going out with him is not really an option for a while), and I don’t get out a lot.  I love my home and my kids but it’s hard for me mentally to be stuck at home and feel like I don’t have my freedom.

But then I think about all the people who would just love to be able to have babies and be home with them…and I try to change my bummed-out attitude and cherish the good parts of my day: the baby smell and snuggles, kisses from Luke, tickling him, sharing his joy when we make it a day without accidents.

Let’s just say I live for 5:00 when my relief pitcher walks through that door. 

Oh and weekends…when I can take a nap!  Don’t even get me started. ;)

Goodnight all!  This mama is POOPED OUT – LITERALLY!  haha