Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roughin' It

For Memorial Day weekend we took the fam-damily camping in Indiana Beach. But hold-up, wait a minute, before you go handing out my wilderness badge I might want to mention it was for one night only. The perfect amount of time, really. Just when I was about to lose my ever lovin' mind from washing ourselves for the 900th time with BABY WIPES, we were on the road heading home. Perfection.

Rather than bore you with the details, I'll let the pictures tell our story.

ya know, just the essentials.


Dinner time

How I got through it all
Dude, she smiles and tilts her head for EVERY picture!

Sleepy heads!

Good Morning!

Eugene's homemade hash browns

Come Christmastime, remind me to get Chance a tree stump.

Rock, Paper Scissors

Happy Memorial Day

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I can think of several things that may have been better than taking three kids under the age of 6 mini golfing. All of which cause slow and steady excrutiating pain.  

The first hole was cute. And family friendly. As seen below, we were all having a jolly, great time as we listened to the rules, waited patiently for eachother's turn, and sure as shit even encouraged one another.   

I remember sharing a couple glances with my husband, alerting eachother with a smile that says yes indeedy, we love our family and that this may just be the best Friday Family Fun Night Ever! 

However, my adoring glance toward my husband was interruped by a bone crushing 
whack to the knee. 


The fondness for mini-golf lasted two, maybe three holes.  Mia moaned that it wasn't fancy enough and outright refused to hit the ball. Chance made a beeline north towards the pirate bridge like 14 times and poor Bella, who surprisingly enjoyed it, was forced to rush through all 18 holes. Remind me to take her there on our next date together. She's actually got some pretty good aim.

Chance found it just as enjoyable to drop the ball in the hole.  Sooooo.... we watched him drop the ball into the hole over and over and-areyoufreakin'kiddingmekid- over again.

They cared more about the gushing water fountains and the miniature castles, which yeah--come to think of it, to a 6 and under child, that must be pretty badass.  

I swear Mia would have paid rent to live in one of those castles, either that or barter her way into one. 

Though I'm not too sure what she'd offer them, unless of course the golf management is looking for a part-time Whiner McWhinerson. Which in that case? Hired. 

I'll even provide a referral.

The key is not having any expectations. After getting the clubs and laughing when the attendant handed  us a score card--AS IF, we knew what we were in store for. And in the end, we actually had a fun time. Now, had there been any other families on the course, it would have been my worst nightmare. So I recommend going when NO ONE ELSE is around. 

For safety reasons, of course.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Big Man On Campus!

My "feed Bella-finish homework-pack snack-brush hair-match socks-wait for bus-place child on bus-wave to child on bus" routine just got five more minutes added to it. Can you hear that? Oh, don't worry, that's just the sound of me BANGING MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL.

Chance, in his very best non-verbal communication skills, has made it crystal clear that he wants to be included in every aspect of this already rushed and chaotic schedule. Every single day.

I'll admit, most days it's a pain in the ass. He wants his shoes on. He wants to wear a backpack. He wants to carry a jacket. It's especially frustrating on those days when he leaves me a secret present in his diaper RIGHT at the moment we are all packed and ready to go outside--making me quadruple the speed at which I change, gag, wipe and re-dress him. All for a moment to look and act like his big sister. Which, okay, I'll admit is also freakin' adorable. But still.

Today though, I was wearing my soft spot, apparently on my sleeve because when he gestured for me to get his backpack, I instantly got choked up. He wants so badly to be included, and we make it a rule that no matter what the girls are doing, Chance has to be right there with them. There is no exclusion in our home. Which I'm sure annoys the girls sometimes, but look at the effect it's having. He admires them so much and it has made their bond that much better.

Despite his pint-size stature, he repeats everything that the girls do and even tries 
to outdo them sometimes. Which, yeah, isn't always safe and or smart, but this is how he's learning.

My mom-dar went off immediately once I saw this picture. 
Isn't it just the cutest picture ever?

Bella's bus driver is quite literally THE SWEETEST PERSON ON EARTH because every day she too includes Chance into this new ritual. 

He gets to walk up the steps on his own, like Bella. Turn around and wave by himself, just like Bella.

 And her kind heart and enthusiasm never waivers. No doubt this puts her route behind a minute or two, but she still encourages it, making him the happiest boy. 

And me the proudest Mama.

And then she pulls away. And immediately Chance loses his shit. I'll then proceed to spend the next ten minutes calming him down and distracting him with some sort of bullshit Thomas the Train story.

Worth it?

You betcha!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Furniture Botox!

This whole project can be traced back to the moment I walked out of the Marshall's bathroom and noticed a pair of pillows calling my name. Hey Gina, get the hell over here and take us home. 

I loved the color combos, I loved their vintage-y look and I really dug the pattern. And then I looked at the price, the large one was on clearance for $7 and the smaller one was $4.50. I think I screamed out loud. I tend to do that.

So I brought them home and immediately swapped out our previous came-with-the-couch pillows and was smitten. My husband, who can totally suck sometimes, hated them. He mutterred something under his breath about a Grandma and them being too quilty but frankly, I was too giddy over my pillows to even care. They were mine. All mine!

With orange colored curtains everywhere in our family room I knew that I wanted to introduce this teal-ish color somewhere else. But where? As evidenced in the picture below, our television is clearly too big for our little tv stand, so maybe a teal colored media console would be really cool.

Please note that we had several toy baskets on each side of the tv stand to try and cover up the 84 different cords that stuck out of the damn thing. 

But I digress, I oogled over media consoles like these

But they came with a $1000 price tag. So I went hunting and sure enough I scored this amazing dresser at my local thrift store for $80. I take that back, I paid $79.50 since we discovered a half dollar behind a drawer. Who said I wasn't lucky? It's solid wood, has tons of storage and really, really great bones. 

Here it is in our family room.

and yes, it came with a glass top too!

The hardware is pretty rad, huh?!

Now for the makeover part. I sanded the sucker down and added some pops of red paint in case I want to let it show through later on. Still not sure.

Next, I painted it with Benjamin Moore's Slate Teal

That picture does it an injustice, it's a little more teal than how it looks. But still, I wanted more age to it. So I busted out the espresso stain, and did a "paint on rub off" trick with a rag, allowing the stain to catch inside the grooves. I also spray painted the hardware an oil rubbed bronze color.

Finally, I removed the top drawers on each side, painted the insides the same color 
and drilled a hole in the back for cord access. 

And that my friends, is how you create a full media console in UNDER $100!!!

Random sidenote, Ted Talks are streaming on Netflix and we are totally hooked. 

Back to the console. 

Here's a close-up of the stain effect.

See how easy it is to give old furniture a makeover. What do you think? Should I sand down some of the grooves to let the red paint show through? Should I do even more distressing?

He's tougher than he looks, don't let the diaper throw you.

You can find inspiration anywhere. 

Give it a try!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The best, Mommy!

Let this go down as one of the greatest Mother's Day EVER. Well technically, I've only had 6 of them, but dammit this one was best. At 6:30 this morning while I lay peacefully sleeping, I was tapped awake by Bella, who in my foggy one eyed stare I could tell was not only smiling from cheek-to-cheek but also holding two things in her hand.

Her homemade Kindergarten Mother's Day gift and card.

Instantly my heart was filled with love. She remembered. She woke up on her own, recognized the significance of the day and while the rest of the family slept she retrieved her Mother's Day gift that she very "cleverly" hid behind the family room curtains.

Man, this girl knows how to love.

My gut says that this excitement to give me homemade gifts will probably end some time when she's 11 so I'm going to soak. it. in! And how could I not when she presents me with this super cute, super orginal fancy new purse.

My favortie part of our moment together was when she very specifically explained that there was an imaginary comma and it should be read  you are the best (pause) Mommy. Not  you are the best Mommy. 

Oh, bless my heart, her words have her own little emphasis. And she knows what a comma is! Right on!

We held eachother and snuggled for about three great minutes. Just enough time for me to register the amont of happiness I was feeling. And then it multiplied by four when the rest of the family woke up. There's something about this day that's different than the other 364 days. There's a different feeling of adoration I have towards my family--it's hard to explain but it's something I feel, just major pride at being their mom.

Eugene snuck all three kids out of our room and let me sleep in a little late. About thirty minutes later they all arrived with BREAKFAST IN BED!

Here was their menu, croissants filled with Nutella and some with orange marmalade, a delicious strawberry smoothie in the "special" cup and and egg omelette accompanied with a fresh flower garnish. It was beyond cute. The five of us enjoyed our breakfast and the kids were blown away by the coolness factor of a location change! I always forget that trick, eat somewhere in an unexpected location and they'll go bonkers.

I think Chance is under Mia. Doh!

But he didn't mind! 

We laughed and dog piled eachother for a good half hour. 

The rest of my day was perfect too. Sunday mass, a great luncheon with my family and some children-free shopping time with my sister, dad and mom----perfection!

What was your Mother's Day like? What was your favorite moment? 


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