Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Spice" it up. (Lame title, great results)

My efforts for organization are slowly being noticed. I was sick and tired of my kitchen cabinets yesterday, so I took everything out and started over.

A couple of weeks ago, Brian and I went through our MANY cookbooks, and decided to put the ones we use a lot back up on the shelf. All the others went into a storage container and are downstairs in the basement. It's nice to have a little bit more shelf space when the entire top row of my cabinets used to hold books!!!

I didn't spend any more money on baskets or Lazy Susan's for the cabinets. It was all stuff I already had around the house. I purchased the white baskets thinking I'd use them for sewing stuff, but since working on the sewing room, I need something a bit different. So, I moved them all up the the kitchen.

Every thing's labeled and in order. I'm way happy with it. I didn't, however, alphabetize my spices because there is NO WAY I could keep them that way.

I've got SO much more to do around the house in the way of organizing, but progress is being made, so I have to be happy about that. ;)

The kids are well... they have dentist appointments today.

Taylor's spelling words are getting harder. He has words like Orchestra to learn. He craves it though, and loves learning. I think he's read 6 or 7 books this month.

Jordan is "changing" and is starting to be more serious about learning. He wants to be a "5 year old that can read". He's actually been pretty helpful around the house this past week or so which is a nice change for him.

Madison is WELL on her way to being diaper free. (HOORAY!) We didn't have any accidents yesterday. I can't tell you how happy this makes me!

Reagan is great. Sleeps great (when I'm holding her), is pleasant (when I'm holding her), smiles a lot at others (as long as I'm holding her.... notice a theme???) She's tolerating her Dad a lot better recently and I can almost make it through an entire shower without hearing her fussing. She even sat and helped Brian on the computer the other day. She's realizing that he's "okay people" and he PLAYS with her. Hopefully it will just get better and better... maybe sometime soon I'll be able to go to the grocery store KID FREE!!! ;) The picture of them turned out fuzzy, darn it all!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Just a load of "scrap"

One of my "goals" for January (and believe me, there are MANY and we'll be lucky if any ONE of them get completed...) is to get my laundry/sewing room organized. This is no easy task, because I have a small fabric addiction.

Lucky for me, our budget doesn't allow for a full on fabric addiction, otherwise we'd be using piles of calico as our couch. (yummy!!!)

The PROBLEM with this addiction is: I don't USE any of my "special" fabric. Most of it's been kickin' around the house since before I had kids. Then, the stuff I *do* use leaves me with another dilemma. Fabric scraps. You know... those pieces of fabric that are too small to really do any sort of "big" project with, but big enough that you just can't get rid of it.

I went through my "fabric scrap" box today and tried to fold/arrange it. The stuff in baggies are "little" scraps, while the stuff in the big purple tote are possibly big enough to make doll dresses or something else cleaver that I haven't thought of yet.

I filled up a dresser with my fabric. Then I put the boys old "little" dresser on top of it because I needed more drawer space, but I don't have space in my room. I'm FAR from done, and methinks I have another fabric scrap box somewhere...

What do YOU do with fabric scraps?!?!?

Reagan has been awful fussy today. It's a wonder I got anything done. The older kids have pretty much sat in front of the TV. Sad but true. I just didn't need them "under foot" while trying to accomplish something.

We did manage to try a bit of "tummy time" with Reagan though. (She hates it.) It didn't last long, but long enough to snap a picture of her.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More Bread

You asked for it, you get it. Since two whole people wanted to know how I make my bread "pretty", I'll dedicate almost an entire blog entry. ;)

For the record, I LIKE my bread this way, but I don't think it's anything to squawk about... but, the bishops wife thought it was pretty too, so maybe it is a little more "special" than a traditional loaf...

Step One: Two blobs of dough.

Step Two: Roll the "blobs" into "logs"

Step Three: One log over the other

Step Four: Lather, rinse, repeat

Step Five: One more time now

Step Six: Pan it up

Step Seven: Let it rise, bake it up

Step Eight: Brush with a bit of butter... and then have a piece already!!! ;)

Okay, so happy breadmaking all.

Tonight for dinner we had stuffed peppers. YUM! The boys weren't to keen on the pepper part, but the *guts* of it were mighty tasty. Madison has yet to try hers (the picky little stink...) Here are the peppers just after being put in the oven.

And I forgot to take a picture of them all pretty baked in the pan, but grabbed the last one and put it on a plate to snap a quick shot. The "white stuff" on top is cheese. The flash kind of makes it look weird, but oh well.

Man, am I domestic or WHAT?!?!? *winks*

PS... AMANDA! Heck yeah, I like *totally* want your wheat sugar cookie recipe... *Pretty Please*???

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Distant cousins NOT welcome.

Oh... I'll clarify. Distant cousins of "Mickey" not welcome. That is: If you're a mouse and your name is not Mickey (or, okay... Minnie too...) the rules CLEARLY state that you are not welcome in my home.

I found a "distant cousin" in my house a few days ago. (Really? You didn't hear me screaming??? WOW.) I've just gotten over it now to actually write about it. (shudder) The visiting vermin seem to like peanut butter. Okay... I'm going back to NOT talking about this. eeks!!!

So I decided for dinner tonight I'd whip out the old pasta maker. No really... it's getting old. I haven't used it in several years actually. There's a nice crack down the middle of the machine, but it seemed to pump out some wheat pasta just beautifully! I made a shrimp tomato sauce to go on top of it. The kids chowed down on it like it was going out of style... either it was really good and they loved it, or they were shoveling it in because they were running late for Martial Arts...

Oh, and the other day I decided to take my straight iron to Madison's curly hair. It resulted in this:

There's more from today, but I'm tired and I don't want to remember the toilet paper finish line mess in my living room.

More adventures tomorrow! *winks*

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

All Things Genetic

Lets talk genes.

When taking into account all things genetic, generally speaking we think of things like: eye color. Or, hair color. Or, maybe certain facial features that, no matter how horrid, seem to be past down through the blood line. (Here I'm talking about a certain *nose* issue that some family members have. It is affectionately known as: "the Banham Beak". Or, we could talk about Grandma Frankie's bust line that others of us inherit... or not. Let's not talk about that one...)

Madison possess one of her Daddy's traits however that would not really be thought of as a "normal hereditary trait". It's something like this. When Brian was a little boy, I've been told he enjoyed "chewing shapes out of bologna" and then placing the bitten pieces on the walls. Well, Madison's genes were almost overlooked since I don't buy bologna. But, the instinct was too strong so she made due with what was available, and used smoked turkey lunch meat on my cabinets. I was a little sad when I couldn't find the camera in time, and smoked turkey doesn't have the long lasting sticky effect that bologna does - but no sooner had I called Brian's mom to tell her about the passed on trait, Madison had promptly placed two new pieces of chewed up turkey meat on my cabinet doors. I snapped a photo straight away. Here they are for your viewing pleasure. *winks*

On a different note, I've decided that if giving up eating warm homemade wheat bread all day long is the only way to make me skinny, I'd rather be fat. DANG this stuff is good. I can't seem to keep my paws out of it. It's not that fancy of a recipe or anything - pretty basic actually... but it's a hit here at home. (Made from white wheat, not red as I found Brian will even eat the white wheat where the red is not his style. Progress!!!)

And one last thing. I took Reagan in to a follow up appointment today for her RSV. I suspected that she was developing an ear infection last night because she was rather grumpy and wasn't eating near as well as she has been all week. It was confirmed, but lucky for us it isn't bad. She's been put on an antibiotic, and I've been told that she should be feeling a lot better tomorrow morning. As for the RSV: It's GONE! Can you believe it? She isn't wheezing anymore, and while she still coughs and snots like crazy, it's considered a "bad cold" and all things RSV have gone away. She also GAINED weight since last Wednesday, and is now a chunky (for her at least) 11 lbs 1 oz. Hooray! Maybe some "not so sleepless nights" are in our future!

Monday, January 22, 2007

From zero to snot in 15 seconds.

I decided to try and do something "domestic" around the house this morning since I've done *SQUAT* since Reagan has been sick. I put Reagan in her Bumbo Seat and proceeded to unload the dishwasher. I cleaned her all up before I put her in - and 15 seconds later, her little mug is covered again in baby snot. UGH. How can something so tiny produce so much *gross stuff*?

I have people asking how she's doing. To be honest? I don't know. She's coughing like mad still, and as mentioned has entirely too much mucus, but I don't think she's wheezing as much. I'd say we're in the middle of the RSV. It can last anywhere from 1 week to 3 weeks, and I'd rather we were over it in ONE... so if she's in the middle of all this junk, then we only have until Wednesday/Thursday left... I can dream, right?

Taylor had a Baptism fireside last night since he'll be baptised in May. I've looked forward to going with him for about a month now. I felt so bad that I needed to stay home with Reagan. Brian took him and they had a great time - I feel like I'm missing out on all sorts of stuff right now though. *I* want to be the one taking him to things like that! *I* want to co-op at preschool with Jordan. I hope my kids don't look back later and say "well, she spent time with me until the baby came along". UGH.

So, a few days ago at breakfast, Madison was BORED and made this lovely creation. We're calling it "Loch Ness Pancake". She doesn't know what the Loch Ness Monster is, but got a kick out of us laughing at the likeness of it.

Okay. I'm putting Reagan down and taking out the trash now. I haven't stepped foot out of this house since Wednesday, and a trip over to the garbage can almost sounds like heaven. Hopefully I don't get too much of a taste of freedom... I may just run screaming and jumping for joy down the street to be out of the house for a moment. Don't worry. I'll come back.

I think.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Brian sleeps in another room

Nope. We're not fighting. (yeah... I know you all were worried... we fight so often... lol)

Reagan has RSV. She's getting a bit worse too. I can't tell you how much I want to avoid a hospital stay. It is the saddest thing to hear a little baby cough and wheeze at 3 months old!

Anyway, with all the coughing and hacking and fussing, Brian decided to sleep with Madison and HER coughing and hacking and fussing. I think I have the better end of the deal - king size bed with a 3 month old while he shares a twin size bed with a 3 year old... ;)

I'm worried about Reagan, but she's been a trooper. I'm not sure how many more days I can go with 2 hours of sleep at night, but I'll do whatever it takes to keep her comfy and feeling better. Besides, my mom is taking the three oldest kids tonight for the weekend, so I should be able to fall asleep whenever Reagan does during the day on Saturday.

So - kind of icky that she ends up with this. The first thing our dr said was "she won't sleep well". Duh. She doesn't sleep well anyway. He says: "Keep her elevated while she sleeps - put her mattress on an incline". Duh. She co-sleeps with us. My mattress doesn't "prop up". He says "let her sleep in her car seat then". DUH! She *hates* the car seat (to put it mildly). She screams whenever we put her in it to go anywhere. He says: "She'll stop breastfeeding well". GREAT. After MONTHS of persuading her to eat and FINALLY having her not fall asleep after 2 seconds, she's going to stop eating and will be back in all her old habits. She's even been gaining weight! She's up to 10 lbs 12 oz. Anyway, we'll see how this all goes this weekend.

(And pardon the ramblings... it *is* 4:30 in the AM and I'm just a tad bit sleep deprived. SLEEPING with the 3 year old on a small mattress is starting to sound okay.... )

Thursday, January 11, 2007

We're lacking in art appreciation.

At least according to Madison. Apparently, our walls are sort of... well... *blah*. So she took matters into her own hands, and painted a lovely mural to the side of our couch, right at eye level. (And she's good people... she used a PAINT pen, not just a normal "marker".)

Click to enlarge if you dare.

When asked "why" (after an extended time out stay), her reply: "I did it just to make me happy".


And just a little side note to her for *next time* (because we ALL know there's going to be a next time...) - use a little more color. Brown on brown, while making a statement, just isn't "colorful" enough. (grrrrrrr)

Other than that, it's quite cold outside today. It's snowing. Here's what it looks like right outside my front door.

The kids are convinced that Brian is going to come home and re-build the igloo they started last snow storm. (Jordan calls it a "snow globe" LOL)

And finally today, Madison wanted me to take a picture of her with her sister. So - here are some quick Reagan/Madison photos. (See? Madison is really happy in these... proof that I kept my cool and didn't beat the tar out of her for the *art* on my walls....) *winks*

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Kristen's NOT a Monkey.

Ohh! Ohh! I have to post again today!

I just received this picture in my inbox... it's of my niece Kristen who broke her arm falling from a bunk-bed! (OUCH!!!)

I made her a Monkey neck pillow and sent a note talking about how "no more monkeys" should "jump on the bed"... (Thank goodness it wasn't your head!!!)

Anyway, I guess she liked it by the grin on her face!


Up to something.

I've been trying to be up to something. Here's a run down of what's been going on while I've neglected my blog.

I've been hanging out here. It's an online place that I can keep track of all the crap I put in my mouth. I'm FAT people. I saw myself in the mirror and then confirmed that fact by reading my scale. I thought the scale was lying, but the zipper on my pants proves it's not, so I'm being a "good girl" and keeping track of what I eat. It's not weight watchers (even though I had success with that after Jordan)... so NO MEETINGS. Much nicer.

The other thing going on is some major orginization of my house. Nothing and I mean NOTHING is in it's "home" here at home. I'm taking one room at a time this week. Monday I was able to get the living room done. We're talking coat closet cleaned out, fireplace washed down, and my china put back in the china cabinet after being put away for 2 years. Yes, the china hutch sat empty for 2 years!!! How sad is that? I took a picture of the other side of the room, but the light from the window was too bright. There's a big empty spot for a PIANO! One of our neighbors happens to have an extra one just kickin' around their basement and they said we could have it. It's not the most beautiful thing ever, but it'll be good for the kids to learn on. I'm excited about it. So is Taylor. And good grief, I've got to get him into paino while he's actually EXCITED about it.

Tuesday I was shooting to clean my tv room, but I started with the playroom and it took all day long to sort, organize and make somewhat functional. As you can see, the "up top" part needs a little bit of help. I just don't really know how to keep all the "Little People" stuff looking nice up on that shelf... and then, we have a bunch of cars/tractors up there too... Maybe I'll move the remote control cars somewhere OUTSIDE since I'd rather them used out there anyway. But everything in here is clean and in it's "home", so I'm happy about Tuesday's project.

I'm still working on "Wednesday". My desk is almost clean and I've filed a bunch of paperwork that's been kickin' around here for awhile... but that's not really a "room", so I don't feel that accomplished.

Also, Madison has been POTTY LEARNING! Oh, I can't tell you how happy I'd be to get that kid out of diapers. She's doing it all on her own because her personality isn't the type to take orders from me on something like this. In fact, when I first asked her if she wanted to start going on the potty, she said "Yes, but DAD will take me". That sort of doesn't work when he's gone all day. She's done really well the last couple of days.

Finally, I've been dealing with Reagan. Good grief she's a high needs baby. My arms ache because she doesn't let me put her down. She sleeps on my bed just fine.... if I lay next to her. I'm getting pretty good at cleaning one handed. It's a good thing she's cute. And is it just me, or can anyone else see a bit of RED in her whispy little hairs?
Here's to a clean house so I can "update" more.

Monday, January 08, 2007

5 Things you don't know about me

Meadow has brought me out of hiding with this one.

5 things you don't know about me (but might, just pretend you don't).

#1 - I still have 2 baby teeth. Yup, I'm 31 and teeth at the sides of my two front teeth are still my baby ones. Hopefully they don't fall out until we have insurance. If they come out, nothing will grow in to replace them.

#2 - I'm obsessed with what time the mail gets to my house. We have a different mailman on Tuesdays and it gets here later than "normal" days and it drives me totally batty. If the mail carrier is late, I feel like I wait ALL DAY until they finally come. (Ahhh... I hear the mail truck now...)

#3 - I've made the kids stay really quiet if someone comes to the door and I feel like the house is too messy to let anyone in. More than once. Like, alot.

#4 - I have an obsession for fabric and all things centered around sewing. (But not very often do I have a chance to actually sit down and sew.) I can't pass up a fabric sale. I have a "stash" of fabric I bought 8 years ago from an estate sale, and it's my "special fabric" that I can't bring myself to make anything out of until I find the perfect "thing" for it. (I'm sick, I know.)

#5 - I feel almost the same way about having PINE around the house to make things out of that I do fabric. I get all excited to get a gift card to Home Depot because it means more pine boards for me!

I'll be back to "tag" people later...