Friday, August 31, 2012

InstaFriday #15 - around the house

Other than the fair, not a lot has been going on this week. Basically I've been at home with Collin trying to get him to poop on the potty. Don't you wish you were me?!

But I have been able to get a few things done around the house while I've been mulling around in my yoga pants and greasy hair.

Liking the colors pops in my dining nook.

Added some family rules from Alexander Creative
(Trendy, but cute all the same)

Made some soup for my neighbors. 
Just another reason why holding on to fabric scraps is a good idea.

Fixed up a yard sale book case and added a little reading corner to the playroom.
Collin spends a lot of time just in his skivvies. 

I finished up the study bookcases. I love love having a place for all my books. 
Not to mention my Pendleton Blankets.

Someplace where trinkets look intentional instead of cluttered.

And you really can't have too many books can you? That and old milk jugs.

life rearranged


The winner of the Back to School Giveaway is Mandy who said "Favorite teacher: Mrs. Hale, my third grade teacher. There is something magical about 3rd grade!"

The winner of the First Day of School giveaway is Sara who said "We have started out the school year with a family breakfast and devotionals. We are also starting a Kindness Journal with our girls to go along with our devotional. A 3rd grader and a Kindergartener. Fun and special times!"

Congrats ladies! Email me and I will get you your prize packs!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A good mother

A couple days before Lydia headed back to school, I took the kids for a Costco run. We stock up on milk, eggs and rotisserie chicken and grab a cheap lunch while we're at it. We do it at least twice a month.

On this occasion, we had a great time. The kids were in good moods. We looked at all the fun things in the store and we picked out the prettiest apples. We laughed at little inside jokes as we ate our hot dogs and lemonade. I had thought ahead and packed cut carrots and cucumbers and grapes. The kids gobbled them up. We took a photo to send to Daddy. It was a good time.

As we cleaned away the garbage and I started searching for my receipt, a nice older woman came up to me.

"Your kids are darling. They were so well behaved. I can tell you're a good mother." She smiled and went her way.

I just stared at her with a trickle of fear creeping over me.

Do people think I'm a good mother because my children are well behaved?

What do they think of me the rest of the time?

Let's think back a few months to another Costco visit.........

We were completely out of toilet paper and diapers. The combination would not have been pretty so I made a quick decision to head to Costco. 

The kids were not happy to go. They wanted to stay home.

I dashed through the aisles as Lydia whined and Collin tried to smack her every time she tried to grab hold of the cart. 

"PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can't we buy that huge gallon of chocolate milk?"

"No sweetie, I'll just make it at home. STOP getting in your brother's face. Collin STOP licking the cart!"

"Mom PLEASE can I get that yellow dress?!?! It's so pretty!!!!!!!!!!"

"What? Oh, um, no, it looks like a quinceaƱera dress on crack. Collin stop yelling!"

"MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! When are we eating? OWWWWWWWW, Collin just hit me!"

"Widia is touching me!"

"Lydia, stop teasing him!"Collin keep your hands to YOURSELF!!!!!!!!" 

Young mother with a newborn strapped to her chest covers her babies ears.

Finally we make it to the checkout line. Both children subdued with a promise of a treat drink with lunch.

I have enough cash for two hot dog meals and two "berry smoothies".

I crush through the masses to deliver lunch to my apparently starving children.

"MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! I wanted PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" screams Lydia at the top of her lungs.

"Lydia shut your mouth NOW and eat your hot dog".

"You shouldn't be so MEAN to me!!!!!!!!!"

"Collin, let me cut up your hot dog for you"


 I want it BIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Old couple glares at us for interrupting their discussion on the pros and cons of generic denture adhesive.

"Geez, whatever. Just eat it"

Kids eat food and poke one another as I try to gain serenity by ignoring them and looking at Pinterest on my phone. There are no cut veggies and no photos taken.

I look up just in time to see Collin start to spill his entire smoothie onto his lap.

"Collin!!!!! STOP!!!!!!! You can't take the lid off".

He calmly watches me put the lid back on. 

He then starts to SCREAM.

I honestly have no idea what happened, except that there must have been an actual demon inside that smoothie.

He then chucks said demonic smoothie at me. 

I see at that time that every single face in the Costco cafe is turned looking at us. Some are watching the flow of the smoothie down my shirt. Some are looking at my screaming 3 year old. A few are noticing my 6 year old with tears streaming down her face at the injustice of getting a hot dog instead of a pizza.

I grab the hot dogs, roll them in the foil and throw them in my purse. 

"Lydia, get your drink"

I grab Collin and host him over my shoulders and bolt for the door. He is still screaming and now Lydia is yelling "WHY can't we finish eating!!!!!!!"

I leave the smoothie on the floor. 

I make eye contact with no one as I flee to the parking lot.

So. What would that nice old lady have thought of me then? When my kids are tired and whinny and horrible. Would the thought have actually gone through her mind that I was a bad mother?

My mom told me once that she always assumed that kids who threw tempter tantrums in super markets must be abused at home. That was until she was around Lydia as a toddler. Lydia could not be taken ANYWHERE. She just loved to scream. (Kristi, you remember right? Trying to take her to run an errand? From 3 to 18 months she could go no where.)

Am I a bad mother? No way. I have young kids. Sometimes they are total brats. But the mass majority of the time they're wonderful. Lydia is the most amazing big sister and Collin is usually pure sunshine. Just not all the time. Do I lose my temper? Sure! But not a lot. 

But do other people know that sometimes even well behaved, loved children have really bad days? Does the rest of the populous who are not in the midst of raising young kids know that a child who acts out doesn't always mean the parents are negligent? 

Ha!! Of course not!  I feel super judged just like every other young mother out there! Isn't it grand to be a mom???

But I like to remember one little fact. Opinions of people who have never had children, or who are old enough to be Grandparents don't really count. They either don't know or can't remember. Your best bet is to look for the mom in the crowd who will give you a sympathetic smile and a spare napkin.

So thanks to the old lady who told me I was a great mom. But you want to know when I'm the very best mom? When I take my very tired, smoothie sodden children home from a horrible lunch at Costso, lovingly give them a bath, hold them close and tell them how much I love them. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

The fair! The place where your husband will fall in love with you all over again. After you get in a big fight of course.

We hit the State Fair this weekend. I love the fair. The smell of corn dogs, onion rings and caramel. 
Some of the best people watching in the world.

I did not like that my GPS showed that we were one minute away from the fair for 20 minutes. 
It took us 90 minutes to drive the 7 miles from our house. 

I was unaware that Styx was playing.

I now hate Styx. 

I also kind of hated Shane during that last 20 minutes of driving cause I had asked him to get home from work early so we could leave before rush hour. 

He kind of hated me for bringing it up a bunch of times.

That was super fun.

But then after forever, we finally made it. 

Funnel cakes, a couple rides and one game that won Lydia a teeny tiny dog.
All for $50! What a bargain!

That's okay. It's the fair! 
One of the only places I can wear my straw cowboy hat and a denim shirt besides the rodeo!
I know. It still doesn't really work.


When we finally made our way out of the fair it was 10:30. Unfortunately that was the same time that Styx stopped playing. I hate Styx.

We were in the worst possible part of the parking lot. The traffic was at a total standstill. 
We were looking at probably an hour just to get out of the lot.

That's when I spied the pad locked gate blocking us from freedom.

"Shane. Go get the car and drive this direction this very slowly."

I then somehow convinced a couple guys to help me break open said gate and cut off the rope blocking our way to the street.

Yep. I did that. 

I enjoyed lots of screams of joy from nearby cars.

But my favorite was the look of awe from my admiring husband.

Yea. The fair rocks.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Instafriday #14 - Potty Training 101

This past week has been all about one thing. Potty Training!
I read lots of articles and heard lots of advice and then just kind of did what worked for us. 

My two cents with potty training: you really need to let your child let you know when he is ready. I don't care how much you want to get your kid trained before a certain time, if they aren't ready, it will be a nightmare.

Collin just recently started showing signs he was ready to start, and he turned 3 in May. Instead of making it a slow gradual thing, we went the "Boot Camp" method.

NO pants and no leaving the house for 3 days. Diaper only at night and during naps.

Potty right in the kitchen. Lots and lots of liquids. Lots of potty treats.
LOTS of celebrating.

When we finally did have to go somewhere, we brought the potty with us.

The whole family was on board.

Lydia is explaining why Collin really does need to poop in the potty. And why she is sorry that she can't read to him while he is in the bathroom, because she has to go to first grade. 
Where all the kids poop in the potty.

In just 36 hour Collin had filled up his Potty Chart.
Only two accidents!

Guess who's in underwear now!!!!! 
And girl rain boots just to finish off the look.

So so proud of my little baby boy.

We did a lot of painting during our stay at home boot camp.
It was tough not to leave the house.

I tried my hand at some watercolors.
I'm not good.

Collin earned himself a trip to the local water park with Daddy!

In other news, our NYC recently turned SLC family came to visit.

SUPER COUSINS! (who have a hide out in the back of Shane's truck)

Backyard fireworks and a s'more pit for the cousins. And it's not even 4th of July. 
Shane and I are the best Dad/Mom - Uncle/Aunt ever.

My basil is doing very very well.

My parsley is totally dead.

That's okay, basil is more fun.

Went on a late night bike ride with my friend Robyn. "Bring some cash for a treat", she said. I thought she meant a Slurpee. Somehow we ended up riding to the best italian restaurant in town for spumoni and marionberry tort on the patio. I wish all exercise was this fun!

A sweet morning scene at our house.

Wow. What a loving mother to make her children from scratch muffins with fruit on a picnic blanket. What a lovely way to catch the early hour cool air. Either that or mother is hosting a brunch later and doesn't want said children's grubby little fingers and crumbs all over the freshly mopped floor and the china dishes.

Brunch! One of those joys of being a girl. 

life rearranged

Make sure to scroll down to enter a fantastic back to school pack!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Wicked Awesome Random Happening!

Look at my cute new chair! I found a set of two with a "free" sign on the side of the road. 
You can tell they were recently "shabby chic refinished". Not sure who thought they'd pass up Craigslisting them, but whatever, my gain! I love that it actually works with my yucky kitchen wall color. Still trying to choose a new kitchen color. I'm thinking robin's egg blue. It would go with all my yellow. And some nice hardwood on the floor. Oh and some bead board. But let's not think of all that and just be happy with my free chairs.
Pillow from Persnickety Home.

Other things I'm loving this week:

We bought tickets for a family beach vacation in Florida! Can't wait. I have beaches on the brain, and I'm pretty much OBSESSED with this beach house. Hoping to walk past it and see another "Free" sign.

I uploaded some videos from my camera to my other blog. Check out the second one to see just how cute Collin is in a pretty dress. (Lydia is ruining him.)

Lydia's favorite meal right now is "midnight pasta" which is pretty much the easiest and cheapest thing in the world. I make it just like my friend Melanie's Lemon Pasta, except I don't use Basil and I add red pepper flakes and fresh garlic. 

Have you tried Ina Garten's roasted broccoli? As her biggest fan, I'm ashamed to say that until last night I hadn't. It rocked my world. Lydia and the friend she had over to eat went crazy for it. I added cauliflower too since it was in my bountiful basket. 

The yellow stockholm tote from Anthropologie that I've had my eye on is finally for sale. To go with these Mary-Janes perhaps? And my birthday is less than a month away.....

Reading "Bossypants" by Tina Fey. Actually Shane and I are fighting over it in our down time. 
So ridiculously hilarious. 

Speaking of hilarious......

You really need to keep a sense of humor during potty training.

Nothing like picking up junk on the side of the road and pooping in the trunk 
to make you feel really classy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

First day of school and a giveaway!

Liddy Bitty had her first day of 1st grade! It was a crazy week. We had one day after getting back from our 3 week vacation to get her ready. I was just a touch stressed. I did get real first day photos on my actual camera, but it's just so much work downloading them. So here's the instagram pic of the day. 
It was 102 degrees. It's still very much summer here. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Art imitates thrift.

I've been wanting to start out my next photo book with the above quote, so I thought I would fancy it up with a pretty snapshot I took. It's just so cute, I may have to frame it for my photo wall. (It's in pretty hi-res in case you want to too. I don't mind.)

Isn't my new little Starflash camera darling? I picked in up yard saling while on vacation. $3 in the box. Still has a unused bulb and unopened film! Serious score. Thrifting is so much more fun when you are searching for specific things.

Personally I look for....

  • Home decor in great shades of yellow and turquoise.
  • Vintage Brooches 
  • Vintage cameras
  • Vintage embroidered handkerchiefs and tableclothes (like the one photographed above that my mom won't give me.)

What do you look for?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Here goes. Instafriday #13. An entire month worth.

Welcome to the LONGEST post in the world. Pretty sure I set the record with this one. It just makes it so much easier when I get around to printing my blog if I keep all of the photos in one post. And it's more fun for me to look back and relive our great vacation this way.

If you make it to the end, let me know. I'll be impressed.

 Lydia begged to have a lemonade stand with her friend Maya before we left. You know what is way easier and cheaper than selling lemonade? 
Otter pops!!! Come and get them while the day is hot!!!

Like the sign? I let the girls make it with my stencils and paint. They said it was the best day ever. 

Had to wear her Popsicle jammies.
Such pretty little girls.

Collin found the best shade at the stand.
 I'm pretty sure each of my kids had over a dozen pops.

That's okay, its vacation time!!!

My sisters Molly and Emily and I decided to head over to Spokane to stay with our parents for three weeks. My brother goes to law school there too. The only person who couldn't make it was my sister Abby who was in the process of moving cross country.

(I didn't take my camera with me, so all my photos are from my phone. 
The iPhone really does take some nice photos.)

The kids and I drove the 7 hours to Greenacres, WA. They were champs.
 I love it here. 

Can you blame me?

There is never a reason to leave my parents house. We have a trampoline to play on....
(This is my favorite photo of the trip.)

The most darling baby to cuddle with....
(This is my nephew Grant. They call him Granny Panny. Not even kidding.)

and tons of good food to eat. Not a bad view either.

We did try to take the kids shopping. Once.
This is the Nordstrom Rack dressing room.

They hated us there.

My dad took my sister Molly and I out to ice cream at a little hole in the wall place we like. 
In his 1962 Thunderbird. :) 

We used to do that when I was a little girl when he had a 1960 corvette. 

He taught me how to be "cool" while riding in that car.

The lemon custard ice cream at Mary Lou's is incredible.

My dad said we were being very "uncool" taking photos the whole time.

Tough dad, that's just who we are.

We traveled down to Pendleton Oregen for a family member's funeral.
It was very sad, but wonderful seeing family I hadn't seen in a decade.
I realize I missed a lot while living in the South for so long.  

Yes, you are seeing this right. Carrots in jello. This is funeral food gold! I thought it was just legend. No, I didn't try it. I filled my plate with ham and funeral potatoes.

Thank you so very much to the LDS church in Pendleton who put together such an amazing lunch for our family. Even the jello. :)

I only had my phone to take photos, so my sisters have all the good ones of the family, but I got a couple shots.

My brother Zac and Collin are planning something sneaky, you can tell.

Yum! Funeral potatoes.

My pretty Liddy.


A little cousin bonding later that night.

To a gathering crowd, Collin read a soliloquy and Thomas danced a jig.

Thats pretty indicative of their personalities.

Before we left town, we, of course, went shopping at the Pendleton Woolen Mills. 

But more on that adventure later.

I wear a lot of turquoise when in Pendleton. It's to pay homage to my cowboy roots.

My large turquoise collection is pretty much the only cowboy thing about me.
Well, I have a hat too.

We were very ready to get back to Spokane. 5 kids in a car is a lot.
You road trip junkies are nuts.

Back to the country of Greenacres Washington, we enjoyed our delivery of fresh eggs from the neighbors.

Looks lots of long walks.
(My sisters and I have been fighting over who will get to buy this neighbor's home for years. As the oldest, I'm pretty sure I should have first dibs.)

And enjoyed the summer wild flowers.

We look the kids to Riverfront park.

The Carousal there is famous.

As is the gynormous radio flyer slide. 
Can you see Lydia waving?

Snow cones of course. 

Spokane really is a fun place.

Back at the homestead we busied ourselves with a weenie roast.

Collin's going to be a scout some day. :)

Movie night when it finally got dark. I told the kids that after the movie we would lay out and watch the real stars on the "big screen" of the night sky.

Meanwhile, the grownups played chat around the fire.

Ah, Summer.

We were totally shocked and thrilled when my sister Abby surprised us by driving over from her brand new home of Whidbey Island.

Um, I'm thinking that's where we will be vacationing next summer!

She brought her sweetie pie, Paige

And beautiful Lexi.

They arrived just in time to join us in celebrating Zac's birthday.
There was a shot of my entire family, but it was pretty much the worst photo ever (of Molly), so it will remain in the trash bin. 

It was incredible to have every single sibling and grandchild home at the same time.
 I think that's what heaven will be like.
(Shane and the rest of the brothers in law can come too.)

Stole this photo from my Brother in Law Greg's instagram.

"Playing tag with a PowerWheels and a golfcart. Is that white trash, or richie rich?"

Greg- I'm thinking more white trash, but it was still fun to watch you guys doing it.

Pow Pow Power Wheels!

Mr. Tree sees all.

My dad built the most amazing swings.

Poor Uncle Greg. He had a lot of "playtime".
i.e. watching the kids when the girls ran out for a bit.

A trip to the playground.

Picnics with Grandma.

I attempted to crochet. 

I'm better at cards. 

Lots of treats.
(I crocheted that headband!)

A competitive game of croquet. 

Collin wasn't a fan.
(Still in his jammies at 7 at night.)

He preferred the huge kiddie pool.

(I just about died when I looked up from my book to see these little cutie patooties and their tiny cracks.) 

Oh dear! Where are the children?

Spent the day up at Greenbluff Orchards picking raspberries.

Lydia and Grandma are best friends.

Ordered some peach pie for lunch at the Harvest House.

Emily made us a raspberry crisp for dinner. 

To go with steaks of course!

Finally Shane was able to fly over from Boise to join us. 

Good thing, cause Greg needed a break.

I love seeing "Uncle Shane".

And "Daddy Shane".

Of course "my Shane" is my favorite. 
We took a mini vacation without the kids. Bliss.

Al fresco dinner by firelight.

Starbucks hot chocolate and doughnuts for breakfast. The words neurosis, ensconced and magniloquent were used. Adult language returns! Mini vacation a success!

(I had no idea what magniloquent meant. I had to look it up.)

Took the car out for some yard sales.
Kids left at home.

Spent a lovely morning at the temple

Cause families are the most important thing.

I'm going to miss my family so much. Love to you all!

Wow! You made it to the end! Congrats!!!
Hope everyone's summer is turning out as wonderful as ours.
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