Thursday, March 31, 2011

There’s a Road in Our Family Room


Today, while I was reading through my many blogs, I found this post at The Mother Huddle that showed what a mom did with masking tape and floor space for her kiddos.  I fell in love!  I knew Jack would absolutely LOVE to have a road in our family room.  He ‘draws’ roads every time he puts crayon to paper.  He loves to ‘go for drives’ with me in my van (which is great because he usually falls asleep for a nap on these drives!)

So I went to the store today and bought some painter’s tape.  With my floor being the color of dirty-beige, I didn’t think regular masking tape would have as much of an impact as blue painter’s tape would have. 


I LOVE how this road turned out!  I started putting the dotted lines down the middle, but he didn’t like them and made me take them off.  No problem.  That saved me some time and tape.


It’s big enough for him to drive his ride-on car, push his big haulers, or play with his matchbox cars.  I ended up making a road go by or end at every destination you’d need to go to in the room – the couch, front door, stairs, or kitchen.  We find ourselves walking on the road when we are just walking out to the kitchen now.  It’s so fun!


We’ve been working with left and right while driving in the van –because Jack’s bossy and always says “Go diss way!!”  Now, with the intersections and turns in our roads, Rick was giving Jack directions tonight saying “now go left.” It’s going to be a good learning tool for sure. 

p.s. Thank you for not judging me and continuing to follow my blog even though I just showed you how stinkin’ dirty my floor is.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring, Please Come Back

Okay, I thought spring was here.  We had temperatures in the high 60’s and even low 70’s just a little while ago. 

But today?  SNOW!


What is going on?  I know the old saying that says “three more snows after the forsythia blooms,” but I’m pretty sure this is snow #4. 

I love winter.  LOVE snow and cold temperatures.  I would move to Alaska in a heartbeat.  Or maybe the U.P (Michigan).  Every winter I complain about how little snow my particular town gets.  My sister (who lives an hour north of me) gets ALL the snow, and I complain because we get NONE of the snow.


But this?  I don’t like this.  It’s time for the snow to go away and spring weather to officially get here and STAY!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Down 15, Up 2

Well, my diet is working well for me so far.  Since January, I have lost 15 pounds.  Unfortunately, I’ve gained 2 of them back.  But 2 isn’t that big of a deal, right?  For women, that’s simply water gain.  Right?

In case you don’t remember, weren’t here, or never read my blog (what are you doing here now?), I’m trying the Atkins Diet.  My sister lost around 50lbs and my brother-in-law lost around 60lbs on this diet.  I wrote about their success when I first mentioned going on this diet. 

So, what’s working for me?  Is it the One Plate Wonder?  Is it not eating carbs except for one time a day?  Is it exercise? 

Let’s just clear something up right now.  I haven’t started exercising.  I want to.  Well, okay, so I don’t WANT to, but I know I SHOULD.  Maybe when this weather decides to stay spring-like I’ll get out with Jack and go for walks.  For now, there isn’t any exercise happening in my life.

The One Plate Wonder (where I put everything I’m going to eat for my hour on one plate – including the dessert)  has worked sometimes, but other times I just forget about it or simply don’t take the 5 extra minutes it takes to plan out my meal to have it all in front of me at one time.  Those are the days where I spend my hour grazing.  Not pretty.

Not eating carbs except once a day has really helped a lot.  I don’t crave sugar nearly as much as I used to.  Now, we have entered into the season of Reeses peanut butter eggs, so the sugar I’m eating in my hour has increased 10-fold.  But other than my hour, I have not snacked throughout the day on sugary treats like I used to. 

You know what worked the best for losing weight?  Getting sick.  I was so sick that I lost 5lbs in one week.  I just simply stayed in bed and didn’t eat anything.  After I stepped on the scale that week, I had to say I was a little happy about being so sick. 

Let’s be reminded of the ‘before’ picture:


And now for a really bad, but shows some weight loss in the face picture:


The joys of loosing weight so far:

My pants are loose and I can fit into more clothes in my closet!!! 

I was in a video for my church worship team and wasn’t as scared to see myself as I would have been 15lbs ago!

I feel better about myself!

I really hope to keep going with this.  I think it’s going to take exercise to really start dropping the pounds, but that’s to be expected.  Wish me luck!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Progressive Dinner (a.k.a. February Date Night)

Since we missed our February Date Night because of being sick for the second half of the month, we needed to make it up in March.  Unfortunately, we’ve been sick most of March as well, so we had to make do with a planned church group outing as our date night. 

Our date night was a progressive dinner with 6 other couples.  We didn’t have to plan or fix any food, but rather four couples from the church hosted us for 4 parts of the dinner that night.  It was a way for the ‘older generation’ to connect with the ‘middle generation’.  We are a group of 30-somethings who just started getting together for fun monthly activities.  It gives us a way to get connected in the church. 

We traveled as a big caravan from house to house that evening.  We started with an appetizer at the first home, soup and salad at the next, the main course at the third, and desserts at the final home.  Boy was the food good!  All of our hosts were gracious and great cooks!  I forgot to get pictures of some of the food (I was too busy eating), and I couldn’t get a house shot of the final home (it was too dark by then), but here are the highlights of our Progressive Dinner/February Date Night.

 (you may have to click on the image to view it larger)

ACTS '11

Joan had fixed (yummy) meatballs, a dip served in a bread bowl, and veggies, crackers and cheese.  It was yummy!  Jay collected Royal Doulton mugs, which I had never seen before.  He also brought out some of his vintage model cars that he collects.

ACTS '111

Ruth served an (yummy) arugula and pear salad with a nice vinaigrette.  The arugula was a bit peppery, but the pear was a nice pair for it. HA!  The mushroom bisque had a lot of parsley in it, so it almost looked like pea soup, but it was very good.  Not a very strong mushroom flavor at all, even though I don’t mind mushrooms. Ruth collected frogs, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, and I’m sure lots of other things. 

ACTS '112

Our pastor and his wife served us the main course.  Diane made (yummy) individual meatloaves, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, and rolls.  MAN was that good food!  Later, I asked for the recipe for the meatloaf.  I tried it with some ingredient substitutions and it wasn’t nearly as good as hers.  I will try that recipe again for sure!

ACTS '113

Betty is an amazing dessert maker.  She is famous among the church members for her desserts.  I wish I was brave enough to have tried a little of it all, but I was on my good-girl behavior so I only had the (yummy) coconut cream cake and (yummy) cheesecake with strawberry topping.  She also had oatmeal pie, apple pie, blueberry pie, cherry pie, chocolate cream pie, and another pie I can’t remember.  All reports were glowing!

If you ever get a chance to participate in a progressive dinner, I say go for it!  Though, I know this was not the ‘normal’ way they work, since we didn’t have to cook any part of the meal.  That was such a nice treat! 

Our actual March date night will be this week!  We’re going to try out a Bistro downtown that has a farm out by our place where they grow their own food.  It looks yummy and I can’t wait to go out again with my hubby.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Can Clean!

The other day I was going into my laundry room to start a load of laundry.  I love that it’s on the first floor, but I hate that it’s right off the kitchen and where everyone can see it if the door is left open.

WARNING!!!  Here is a picture of what my laundry room looked like this day.  It was no worse than any other day before – that’s the problem.  It’s a MESS!!!!!!


(The door is open as far as it will go because of *stuff* cluttered behind the door.)

I was so annoyed with how cluttered it was that I couldn’t even do that load of laundry.  I spent the next hour or so organizing the mess.  I brought in a kitchen chair and went through all the stuff on the shelf – I had no idea what was up there!  I went through all the hangers and hunting gear and found a place for it all.  I sorted all the *crap* that was on the dryer keeping me from easily reaching the controls.

I went to Big Lots on a big sale day (everything in the store was 20% off) and bought some clear tubs. I cam aggravated because I can’t find my label maker anywhere, and I desperately want to label my tubs!  I can be such a nerd when it comes to labels.  I love them!


So here it is, the organized laundry room.  I have a place for everything and everything is in its place! And can you see?  The door is completely open! Since this day, I’ve added hooks on the wall and started using ‘vertical space’.  I use this room for laundry, recycling, and extra pantry storage (just my 25lb container of flour). 

Maybe I’ll get really bright paper and put big colorful labels on the tub to make it cuter.  It’s pretty white in there, isn’t it?

Anyway, I just wanted to prove to my husband, mom, and family (and close friends) that I can actually clean.  I know how.  I just don’t like doing it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Google Reader, I Blame You

I haven’t posted recently, because every time I get on the computer, I check my Google Reader.  (That’s where all my new blogs ready for reading are listed for those of you not familiar with Reader)

That dag-on full Reader!  I went through and deleted a bunch of blogs a while ago.  Maybe I need to do that again.  It doesn’t seem like much, but I have about 30-40 new blog posts to read every day.  You can imagine what happens when I miss even one day of reading.  BACKUP!

So, when I go to post something of my own, I say, “I’ll just take a minute and catch up on all those great blogs I follow. That won’t take long, right?” 

The next thing you know, Jack wakes from his nap, dinner needs started, and I lost my only window to blog during the day.


I have 5 posts in my drafts file just waiting to be written.  I need to get to them!

Oh, and I guess having a sick family for the past 4 weeks hasn’t helped the situation either.  We are anxiously awaiting spring when the winter ‘sickies’ finally LEAVE our house!  Of course, then we’ll be spending so much time outside that there will be no time to post then either. 

Why did I start up blogging? Maybe I should stick to reading them and not writing them.

Oh, I remember now.  It was to show of my cute boy.  Here ya go!


My boys were working on their trucks the other day.


My son loves to draw.  Evidently, he can double his fun by doubling his coloring.


Naps are not popular in this house, so we sneak them in whenever we can.  Sometimes he just crashes. Notice the box of tissues on the couch.  We’ve gone through 8 boxes in just two months.  It’s crazy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Growth Chart Moments

My little Jack is growing up.  I haven’t done one of these posts in a long time.  Way too long.  Jack is just growing way too fast, and saying and doing things new every day that I can’t keep up! 

At 25 months, he has the vocabulary of a 5 year old.  Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I’ve met 3 year olds who don’t speak as clearly and with as many words as Jack does.  He really is ahead of his age on language.  When his doctor asked if he's saying small sentences now that he’s 2, I said, “He’s talking in paragraphs!”

Here are a few things that have come out of my adorable, yet very ornery son lately.

Actually- He uses this correctly!  “Actually, this is blue, not green." I think I say this a lot, but I never thought he’d pick up on it and use it correctly like he does.

Not quite- He get’s a cute little thinker’s face going when he’s trying to get something to line up or to complete a task.  His head is cocked to one side, his eyebrows are frowning, and he says “Not quite…..There!  I did it!!”


Nice to see you today, Heather – When Heather, who had come over to work on a project the other day, was getting ready to leave, he said (with no prompting whatsoever), “Nice to see you today, Heather!”  Really!  It floored us.  Heather especially.  She also commented that day about how well he said her name.  Most kids say “Header” but Jack actually gets the ‘th’ blend in there.


They’re very similar- Daddy was working with him one night a while ago on using the word similar.  He just happened to have two red trucks out and Rick pointed out how they were very similar, but not exactly alike.  They pointed out what was similar and what was different.  Now, Jack will take two of his toys, look at them, and say ‘they’re verwee simiwar.’  Also with the same thinker’s face he has when he says “not quite.”

Counts objects up to 3- One day a while go, he dropped 3 paper bowls on the floor.  I just left them there (like I do with most things dropped on my floor), and just a few minutes later he counted them correctly.  That was awesome!


counts to 10, kind of- Every once in a while, while we’re driving in the van, he’ll count.  He usually says “one, two, sthree, five, four, five, FOUR!!!”  But every once in a while, when you can get him to say ‘six”, he will continue all the way to ten.  The last time he counted to thirteen, but he skipped twelve.

Mom and Dad –This one makes me sad.  He went straight from calling me Mama, to MOM.  Right around the same time he switched to mom, he switched to Dad.  No Daddy anymore.  I’m not sure where he picked this up, since we refer to each other as Mommy and Daddy.  The funniest though, is when he calls me Mother.  “Can you pick me up, Muzzer?”   That one came out of the blue too.


Oh my goshess! – This last one make me laugh every time.  I often say “Oh my gosh!” and “oh my goodness!”   He has taken the two and mixed them up to form “Oh my GOSHESS!” 


Oh, and he also likes to eat lemons.  Just like his mommy mom Mother.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Have a WONDERFUL Husband!


(Oh, how I wish this was my bathroom!)

I don’t usually do gushy posts about my husband.  I’m not sure I ever have actually.  But tonight, he deserves more than just a mushy blog post.  He made my night!

We don’t always see eye to eye on things.  Sometimes we don’t get along so well.  We love each other profusely, and would like to be the perfect mate for the other, but sometimes, let’s face it, we stink at being the ‘perfect spouse’. 

Recently, we’ve come out of a ‘dry patch’ in our relationship.  A time when we were each being selfish and unintentionally hurting the other.  I love where we are right now.  We’re speaking each other’s love language and filling up our love tanks. (can I be any more gushy about this?)

Anyway, on to tonight.  I had a ROTTEN day.  It was a day that started out with Jack in Time Out before 7:30 a.m. We did have some nice patches throughout the day, like Story Time at our library, but other than that, it was a day to make me fee like a horrible mommy. 

Jack refused to nap, and then he refused to let me get any cooking or cleaning done before Rick was due to be home.  I was frustrated, to say the least.

I did manage to get dinner cooked and the house ‘red up’. (That’s my Pittsburg family roots showing) But after dinner, and after several phone calls, and after several attempts at keeping Jack from using the ketchup as finger paint, I gave up.

I walked out of the kitchen and said “I’m off duty.”

I asked Rick if he minded if I take a bath.  He wasn’t put off at that at all.  I was a little surprised at that.  I assumed he would be put off at having to watch Jack while I go enjoy a soak in the bath.  When he comes home from work, I like to give him some time to unwind, so this was a first for me – asking if I could leave him with the child when I know he wanted to get a little unwinding time in. 

Do you know what my wonderful husband did?  He not only didn’t have a problem with me leaving for a long soak in the tub, but he brought a boom-box up all the way from the basement and put my newest favorite CD on for me to relax to!


When he left the bathroom, I was glowing with the love I felt from him!

I couldn’t have asked for anything more. 

Except for the dishes to be magically washed and put away while I was soaking.  We can’t have it all, right?



Thank you, Rick.  I love you!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Date Night

There wasn’t one.

The last two weeks of February were pretty rough for us.  Jack got pretty sick, then since he’s learning how to share, he gave it to Mommy.  Then, being the good example to my son that I am, I shared it with Daddy.


(We watched a lot of Bob the Builder that week!)

We were supposed to visit Rick’s parents in Florida last week, and we REALLY could have used a warm, sunshiney vacation, but it was not in the cards for us.  19 hours in the van would not have been fun for these sickies.


So, we’re planning to have two date nights in March.  Yippee!!  We may try out a new Bistro I heard of recently.  They have a farm in my town and use whatever is in season for their menu each day.  It looks great, and we’re excited to try it out. (It also looks expensive, so we’ll need free babysitting that night. Hint! Hint!)

We also may go to a shooting range and shoot some stuff one day.  Rick loves shooting and since I’m a Woman in the Outdoors, I enjoy shooting a gun every now and then too.

I need to write these ideas down because there was a third idea that came to our minds the other day that I can’t remember now.  Shoot. (naaa, I already mentioned that one) :)

We’re off to IHOP tonight (with Jack) to enjoy some free pancakes.  Today is National Pancake Day, and since it’s one of the few foods Jack is sure to eat, we're going to celebrate it tonight for dinner.  I can’t wait!


(picture from Amanda’s blog I Am Baker)


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