Thursday, January 31, 2013

Today I Made a Snowman. Girl.

We live in Iceburg.  The snow has been on the ground for years, like Narnia during the rule of the White Witch.  Well, it feels like it.  And yet, this is our first snowman of the year.  A little slow, I know.  :)

(their funny, little poses crack me up)

Ash and Britt were surprisingly successful in the making of our, girl.  I asked Ash if it was a boy or a girl and she said girl.  Works out well since all of our winter accessories are pretty gender specific.

(pom-pom tasting)

Elle was not very impressed.  Her snow boots are stupid.  I'm pretty certain her feet weren't all the way down in them, even though they are two sizes two big.  The fun ended when she decided to fall face forward onto the concrete during the two seconds that I looked away from her.  **face palm**

She got a cute, heart shaped scrape on her nose from it. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today I Thought About My Dream (One of Them).

Do you have a dream?  Or several dreams?  Obviously I am the momma of a Rapunzel-obsessed preschooler because just typing out those questions hits the play button in my head and now "I've got a dream, I've got a dream, I just want to see the floating lanterns gleam!  And with every passing hour, I'm so glad I left my tower.  Like all you lovely folks, I've got a dream!" bouncing around in my brain.



Anyways, I have several dreams.  But I'm talking about one in particular.  I dream of living in a tiny house.  Yep.  You read that right.  A couple weeks ago I read, "You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too" by Tammy Strobel.  I highly recommend it.  I was immediately enlightened and realized that she was telling me about something I'd wanted for years without even knowing it. 

In her book, Tammy talks about how she pared down her possessions to only the necessities.  It was a long process, and then she and her husband built and moved into their own tiny house on wheels.  They also got rid of both of their cars, joined a car sharing service, but mostly ride their bikes.  **swoon**

Can you imagine not having car payments?  Or a huge house to clean?  Or millions of items to organize and store?  Or a ginormous mortgage?  I'm in love with the idea of minimalist living.  I'm in love with the idea of living in a tiny house.  I'm in love with the idea of not having to waste hours everyday cleaning and organizing things that ultimately don't make me or my family any happier (or feeling guilty because I didn't clean or organize said items). 

I actually got rid of over 10 garbage bags full of things, before the kids and I got sick.  And I can't even tell.  My house is not any easier to keep up.  So - I have a lot more to do.  But it feels good.  I feel great when donating items.  I feel awesome selling my stuff too, because I'm making some pocket money and still helping others out with my killer deals.  ;)


And someday, we're going to live in a tiny house (not on wheels) with a 5 foot tall, finished crawl space for food storage and seasonal items.  We'll have enough land for a garden, a couple fruit trees, and space for the girls to run and play their imaginative games.  I'll never talk Tony into giving up our car but maybe I can talk him into remaining a one vehicle family. 

That is my dream.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Today I Celebrated My Baby's Birthday.

Elle is a year!  We had a fun snowman-themed party for her with some friends.  Let the photo dump commence!  :D

(this was taken on elle's actual birthday.  we always do a candle in a muffin for breakfast and sing happy birthday, then open presents.)

(at her party. yes, i dressed her as a snowman.  her sash kept covering her button.)

(the decorations that i made.  "snow" out of pom-poms strung on thick thread and a banner out fabric and bias tape.  quick and easy.)

(we decorated little snowmen with toilet paper and winter accessories.  i had thought the older kids would like to decorate the younger kids, but the older ones wanted to be the snowmen!)

(elle was super excited about the toilet paper.  i usually take it away from her.)

(ash, the snowman)

(elle wasn't a big fan of her top hat headband.)

(i like big bows and i cannot lie.)

(we also made snowmen out of marshmallows, pretzel sticks, frosting, toothpicks, chocolate chips and orange tictacs.  the ones made with three marshmallows didn't stay standing for very long.)

(the food.  i really wanted the bagels to look like this but we ran out of time.  that snowman cake looked better in my head...)

(ash enjoying her snacks.)

(i think this was elle's first time eating pretzels.)

(she was so excited about everyone singing to her.  britt blew her candle out for her.)

(opening presents.)

(one of her presents was a hooded towel.  she loves it.)

 (i had a lot of fun putting the favors together.  i drew faces on the candy bar, lollipop, and gum.   tony made the labels for the play-doh, bubbles and tictacs.  and i glued shapes on the juice boxes to make faces.)

(seriously?  where did the time go??  it didn't feel long enough to be a year.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Today I Sniffled Less.

Whatever this is, influenza or other viral illness, it has been kicking our bootays! 

I'm just grateful that the first part of it, for me, occurred before the girls came down with it. 

Now it appears that Ash has it the worst (fever, cough, congestion) and Britt only has the occasional sniffle.  Elle is in between.  She only has a booger nose (and a LOT of grumpy to go with it!).  Say a little prayer for my girls though, please.  Especially Ash. 

(life saver)

This stuff has been my best friend.  Basically the only way I could sleep at night!  Tastes worse than anything else I've ever put in my mouth before though!

Yesterday and today are the first time in almost two weeks that I had any energy to do more than basic house upkeep. 

Have you ever tried housecleaning tips from Pinterest?  I've certainly pinned my fair share but I finally got around to trying one out.  I was so done with the way our microwave looked (my husband's job) that I thought I'd give boiling vinegar a try.


Basically, I filled a glass bowl half full of water, added 1/3 vinegar and heated it in the microwave until it was boiling.  Then I, carefully, removed it and wiped all the yucky stuff out!  Because it had been a while since our microwave had been cleaned, I had to dip the sponge into straight vinegar and go over a couple spots, but really?  Not bad.  I think that if I (or Tony) would just do this more often, it'll seriously be a cinch every time.  Putting a lid on cooking items would help a lot too.  :P

(like brand new!)

Oh, yeah, I got my hair done a couple days back.  I posted this on Facebook with the promise I'd post a better pic soon.  I'll go ahead and throw out that same vow here.  Hehe.

 (it's the color i'm showing off.  my cut was just a trim since i'm growing it out.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Today I Don't Feel So Great.

I don't know if I have the flu or a REALLY bad cold, but it hit me with a vengeance yesterday morning, let up this morning and just got worse again as the day progressed.  I've pretty much been in bed or on the sofa for the past two days.  This stuff is the pits.

But, what has been making me feel emotionally down is that this illness is drying me up.  Ellis may have to wean even though neither of us are ready.  Granted, she will be a year at the end of this month.  And she only nurses about 3 times a day max anyway.  But she doesn't like any of the milk substitutes I gave the other two when they weaned (almond, rice, oatmeal and coconut, we don't do soy). She definitely has an issue with cow dairy products. I tested them on her. The reaction was swift, red, ouchy, and itchy (all over her poor bum). I had Tony pick up some goat's milk tonight to try tomorrow. I'm feeling rather depressed about the whole thing. How am I going to get enough protein, calories, and calcium down her?  She likes water, but water has no calories. She doesn't even care for juice much. Just mommy milk and water.  She also won't eat vegetables unless they are in soup. She's the pickiest eater I've ever had.  She won't even eat bread!  I'm going to have Tony pick up a calcium supplement tomorrow, so I don't have to worry about that one anymore.


Any suggestions or words of wisdom would most appreciated right now.  

(as you can see, she will eat cookies.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Today I Ate Off of and Drank Out of Fine China.

Tony and I were married in '07.  That year, on my birthday, he bought me a china set that I had really wanted.  An 8 place set.  8 bowls, salad plates, dinner plates, tea cups, saucers, and 1 big serving bowl, platter, creamer, and sugar bowl.  A super nice set that I adored!  Still do.

I can remember using it once.  It was for an Easter brunch we had with two other couples.  The day after that brunch I got morning sickness for the first time in my life.  My first trimester with Ash was hard.  We moved during my second trimester and those china pieces have been nestles in a storage container ever since.

Today was the first time that I've used my china set in over four years!

I actually decided that not only would I get it out and serve my kids breakfast on it, I decided to donate and/or sell every other cup, plate, and bowl that we own (aside from the children-sized dishes we have).

I have wasted 5 years with my set.  It was never displayed and only used once.  I realized that it makes no sense to have so many dishes and keep saving the ones I like best for a special occasion that never happens.  Holidays come and go, and I either use disposable stuff or our everyday mismatched stuff.  Why?  We're supposed to treat each moment with our loved ones as special.  So - I'm doing that with my china, from now on. 

And, yes, I am letting my kids use my china too.  It's just STUFF.  And stuff can be replaced.  Skipping the feeling of eating everyday food on special day china?  Surrounding myself with a couple of pretty things that make me smile (instead of a lot of substandard items)? That can be missed, which is sad.  I'm not going skip out on another one of those moments!

I had some mint hot chocolate tonight.  Mmmmmmm.  And yes, it DID taste better in my beautiful tea cup!  :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Today I Made Pizza.

Today I tried out a King Arthur's Flour pizza recipe.  They have a LOT of pizza recipes I want to try.  Our dinner this evening was St. Louis-Style Pizza.  It was delish!  I didn't make it as thin crust as it called for (my personal preference is soft) and I still think this recipe was awesome! 

If you want to recreate this, I can definitely recommend it.  I must say that part of the reason why it was so good is because I used a homemade spaghetti sauce recipe that I had added hamburger to.  I think it made the pizza so much better than it would have been with a store bought jar of marina. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Today I Just Want to Say Happy New Year!

 (a year of unknown adventure!)

3 days into it.  How's it going?  Have you broken any resolutions?  Did you even make any?

Wanna know what my resolutions for 2013 are?  Of course you do.  :P

1. Be healthier.
This doesn't mean that I'm gonna go all crazy about weighing, measuring, calorie counting, etc.
I simply want to go to bed earlier, eat more fresh and homemade food, and make a habit out getting in some form of daily exercise.

2. I want to be more accepting of myself and those I love.  I tend to cut friends some slack but I hold myself and the ones closest to me up to some seriously high standards!  I think that expecting the best isn't bad, but being unrealistic, judgmental, and ugly when I fall short of the goal or when loved ones let me down just isn't healthy.

3.  I want to take every single class that BYU offers in their online independent studies series.   I should probably make this a goal to extend over 2013 and 2014.  We'll see.  Again, struggling with being realistic about what I can accomplish in a day.

4.  I want to attempt to be more connecting.  I'm a project person and I often brush others off when I'm in the middle of working on something.  I want to try harder to pull myself away from my activities long enough to give my husband a genuine hug and kiss good-bye and/or hello, to look my girls in the eyes when they interrupt to tell me something, and to think about how I can help when I friend texts me about their struggles.  Basically, I want to be more Christlike in my daily interactions with others.  I want to truly love people because those relationships are a million times more important than checking something off my to-do list. 

So - there they are.  Just 4, but I've still got my work cut out for me. 

Happy New Year!  Let's make 2013 the best yet!