Friday, September 30, 2011

Of birthdays and stuff

Yesterday was Spence’s birthday.  Thirty-three.  Can I just say that he is the coolest thirty-three year old, ever.  We celebrated with doughnuts for breakfast {our tradition} and an insane amount of Little Caesar’s BBQ chicken wings - the birthday boy’s favorite.  We opted against cake and he blew out candles on a Chocolate Éclair instead.  It was such a fun day, just like a birthday should be.

The kids picked out their very own gifts for daddy this year.  Brynlee chose an ISU shirt and beanie.  Go Bengals.  I can honestly say that in all our years of being ISU students we have never owned any ISU paraphernalia.  But Brynlee thought it a good idea, so alas.  And while we were at it I picked up a shirt for both the kids.  They will sport them at the Homecoming Parade tomorrow morning.  Again, Go Bengals!

Jace gifted him a ridiculous amount of candy.  I think something like 4 bags of Halloween candy + a bag of peanut M&M’s + an Almond Snickers candy bar.  I called Spence shortly after we’d picked up the birthday gifts and Jace yelled to him, “Daddy, me got you lots of treats!”  He was so proud.  I think because he knows that daddy’s always share.   

I got him some sort of nerdy, computer-y something or another.  I have absolutely no clue what it actually is, or what it actually does, but he told me where to find it and that it would be a good birthday gift so I delivered.  And now I sit on the couch next to him while he does some sort of nerdy, computer-y something or another on his new nerdy, computer-y something or another.  I’ve suggested we go to bed about 32 times so far, but he is engrossed entirely in whatever it is he is doing – so I wait.  And fold the laundry.  And I don’t complain because he is willingly sharing a bag of his {birthday} Halloween candy with me.    

Earlier this evening when he got the bag of candy out of the cupboard he suggested that tomorrow during general conference we use his birthday candy to play "one of those drinkin’ games".  Say, huh?!  He continued . . . “you know - the drinking game - where every time a certain thing happens you have to take a shot.”  Yeah, I know those games.  “Well tomorrow we’re going to play that during general conference.  Here’s the rules - every time we hear the word pornography we have to eat a candy bar!”

Oh my heck.  He is absolutely hilarious – even at thirty-three.

Oh, and speaking of pornography.

The other day while Brynlee was at school, Jace and I met up with Spencer for lunch.  While driving into town we passed a big ole’ black truck that had one of those bumper stickers in its rear window.  You know the ones I’m talking about, right?  Silhouette of a nekkid lady.  This certain one was all pink.  I think it was silhouette of a nekkid lady meets breast cancer awareness, or something.  Anyway, Jace spots the bumper sticker then says to me “Mommy!  Look at that mama on that big black truck.”  Me:  Oh.  Ohhhhhh.  Oh, yup.  Then Jace answers, “It’s cute, huh?”

Oh ho.  Needless to say, our house will be tuning into general conference over the weekend.  We could all use a little spiritual enlightenment I’m afraid. 

Also on this weekend’s agenda:  Brynlee and I will be working on her ALL ABOUT ME poster, she’s the VIP in Kindergarten next week.  I’ll be turning a plain black pillow into a Batman pillow for Jace’s room.  Nothing fancy, just a little wonder under and some yellow fabric.  And we will be getting the kid’s Halloween costumes started.  Brynlee has decided that she wants to be a rainbow monster this year.  What in the world is that?!  We’ve been brainstorming some ideas though, and she seems to know exactly what she wants.  Oh, and I’ve got to type up the minutes from our PTA meeting.  Somehow I got suckered into being the PTA Secretary.  I know, right.  And I need to write Jace’s birthday letter. 

And then on Saturday night while Spencer is at the priesthood session, Brynlee, Jace and I will be rockin’ it at The Standards concert.  I love me some a cappella.  Especially The Standards, because they remind me of my middle school days almost as much as permed hair and Dr. Martins.  It should be fun.  I think I will sneak in a bag of the {birthday} Halloween candy just in case Jace gets bored and needs something to occupy him.

That is, unless the word pornography is used more than 179 times during the Saturday conference sessions and we’re all out of candy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Excuse me while I pretend I’m FlyLady

Okay, so here’s the thing . . . this is loooonnnng, and boooooring aaaannnnd about cleaning and most of it is extremely unnecessary and for that I apologize.  Don’t blame me; blame the people that requested my monthly house cleaning list in the first place.  They should have known I’d get carried away.

So, first things first, I have two house cleaning lists {well, and a seasonal house to-do list, but I’m trying not to scare you}.  I rotate between the two of them depending on my mood.  One is set up in a daily format with a few things to do every day and the other is set up in a monthly format with a weekly cleaning breakdown.  I go through house cleaning phases.  For the last eight months{ish} I have been using my monthly format and setting aside one morning each week for house cleaning + laundry.  But for a long time before that I used my weekly cleaning list and did a little bit of cleaning every day. 

Again loooonnnng, and boooooring and I don’t know why I’m telling you this.

I guess to say that I’m attaching my monthly house cleaning list because it is what I’m using right now {and because I made it cute} but if you like more of a daily cleaning schedule and want me to post that one as a reference let me know.  And I cross my heart, hope to die that I will make that post way shorter.

Anyway, the chart. 

Oh but first, I’m attaching it in a read only file, but I realize that every household has different cleaning needs.  If you would like me to email you the Microsoft Word Document of my chart so you can edit it and make it your own {Jami?} leave me a comment and I will send it your way.  Alrighty?  Okay, the chart:

And in case you’re wondering here is what it means to me: 

I think it’s important to note that I don’t actually do every single thing on my monthly list every single month or every single thing on my weekly list every single week.  I might decide that the upstairs doesn’t need dusted that week or that I dusted blinds last month {or like three months ago} so they don’t need done this month.  My cleaning list is basically a reminder of things to-do.  And it serves the ever important purpose of giving me something to cross off in permanent black marker when I get something done.  Because that’s how I roll.

Speaking of how I roll, I also have a tendency to beat a dead horse deader {or whatever}.  So come back later to read a few cleaning tips that work for me.  {Talking about cleaning should not make me this happy}.  I was planning on posting them now, but the formatting was wrong.  And this post is already long.  And I'm tired.  And it's bedtime.  And tomorrow is Wednesday.  And Wednesday's are busy.  So for now, I'm off to bed.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting My {Clean} Freak On

So.  Let’s talk about cleaning, shall we?

Back on the 12th I posted a snapshot of my weekly cleaning list.  Twelve snapshots from the day and one of them is my cleaning list.  Lame, much?  I’m not afraid to admit that my life is awesome - obviously glorious and glamorous and something that you should be insanely jealous of.

Moving on. 

The post was a precursor to an uproar of requests for me to share my house cleaning list.  Three requests actually.  But honestly that means approximately 75% of my readers would like to see a copy of my weekly house cleaning list.  So, a relative uproar indeed.

Anyway. here’s my dilemma: Messes are alive and well at my house.  I live with little people.  Jace has a tendency to dump out every.single.toybin in search of his {quote, unquote} favorite Spiderman.  Only to find the prized toy sitting on the couch right next to his seven other “favorite” Spidermans.  But it doesn’t matter because he is already busy pulling off the bookshelf to stack next to every.single.tupperware that he has emptied from the kitchen drawer onto every.single.pillow that he’s pulled off of all the beds and piled next to the couch for jumping purposes.  And Brynlee thinks she is now of age to make her own sandwich.  Which, great.  But one of the sandwich making requirements is that you need to figure out how to put the lid back on the mayo?  And why does the dirty knife have to go on the seat of the barstool?  Seriously, what’s wrong with the sink?  Or, at very least, the kitchen counter?  And no matter how many times I remind my husband he still can’t figure out how to put his shoes in the shoe closet.  Bless his heart.  He can write computer code and talk nerd like it’s his job {literally} but he can’t seem to master the elementary task of putting his Adidas sandals back in the shoe bin when he’s done with them.

I guess my dilemma is:  My house gets messy.  We live here. 

So, do I hold my feather duster high and post my cleaning list like a proud clean freak should - knowing full well that tomorrow when you unexpectedly stop by my house there is a high possibility that you will be welcomed by a sink full of dirty dishes.  And possibly a pair of dirty socks on the living room sofa.  Right next to the Adidas sandals.

I mean, of course I’m going to post my cleaning list.  Because those people that won’t share their recipes because it’s a “secret” drive me craaaaazzzy.  Plus, THREE PEOPLE asked for it.  A virtual uproar, you guys.  A virtual uproar.  {ahem, one of which is my lil’ sister}

I just need to make a few confessions because it will help me feel less hypocritical when you show up at my house unannounced.  1) My house gets messy.  2)  My house gets messy.  And 3) my house gets messy.  And also, I don’t even own a feather duster.

Anyway, I’m jotting down a few of my “what works for me” cleaning tips and I will be posting it along with my house cleaning list sometime in the next day or two.  So, I guess this whole post is a ridiculously long answer to Karalynn’s facebook comment, Angie’s blog reminder and Jami’s second request while she was at my house over the weekend:  It’s in the works, my friends.  I haven’t forgotten you.

And also, in case you skipped over it earlier.  My house get’s messy.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I’m happiest {but}

I’m happiest with the mountains as my backdrop.
But a vacation elsewhere makes me happy too.
I’m happiest when we’re loud: laughing, wrestling, joking.
But my soul needs moments fueled with silence for sanity.
I’m happiest where I am right now.
But I love an occasional escape into my memory.
I’m happiest with those I’m most comfortable with.
But successfully engaging with the unfamiliar boosts my self-confidence.
I’m happiest when my heart is laughing.
But know the healing power of a good cry.
I’m happiest with both feet on the ground.
But can enjoy an afternoon with my head in the clouds.
I’m happiest in sunshine.
But know there is nothing like dancing in the rain.
I’m happiest with them as continuous companions.
But am recharged by that rare moment of solitude.
I am happiest when things feel constant,
But I know when there’s change – I can be happy there too.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On Jace's Birthday :: A Poem

'Twas the day of Jace’s birthday, the day he turned three;
There was reason to rejoice, to celebrate, to party.

We ate doughnuts for breakfast with chocolate and a candle;
because birthdays are for eating all the sugar you can handle.

There were presents, a movie theater, and dollar store finds;
And quarter machines, and kid’s meals, and superheroes of all kinds.

We decorated the party room with streamer and balloon;
And celebrated Jace all morning, evening and afternoon.

We ate Spiderman cupcakes with frosting bright red;
And played ‘heavy, heavy hangs over thy poor head’.

We gifted him with Mater and superhero’s galore;
Plus, the Spiderman bike the birthday boy had prayed for.

The evening was spent putting miles on his new wheels;
Plus excitement, laughter, and plenty of squeals.

It was a good day – a fun day – a day enjoyed by all;
But most importantly, a day where the birthday boy had a ball.

Jace, you’re our superhero, we’re so excited you’ve turned three.
We love you so much! - from Dad, Mom and Brynlee

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oh My Quotable Friday: Something New

::Brynlee on her first day of Kindergarten::

Thursday, September 15, 2011

12 on the 12th [The September Chapter]

01.   Weighing in.  The kids had their well child check-ups.  The stats:  Brynlee / Age: 5½ / Weight: 41 {42 percentile} / Height 43” {32 percentile} :: Jace / Age: 3 / Weight: 32lbs. {53 percentile} / Height 37¼’ {43 percentile}
02.   Ouch.  A Spiderman band-aid automatically made shots cool.  No tears.  Atta kid.
03.    Arctic Circle.  Awarding good doctor appointment behavior with lunch out at their choice.  Kids meals and ice-cream.
04.    My Everythings.  When and how did my babies get so big?
05.   The Men’s Room.  Because sometimes when they have to go ‘really, really, really bad’ we break the rules.
06.    My Weekly Chore List.  Spent the afternoon cleaning house.  A freshly cleaned house is my fav.
07.    In the Rain.  It started to sprinkle rain.  Under Brynlee’s direction the kids and I ran outside and did a “rain dance” begging for more rain to come. 
08.    Downspout.  And came it did.  We had a downpour.  Brynlee was certain that our rain dance was solely responsible for it.
09.    In process.  The fabric I chose for a reupholster project that’s in the works. 
10.    Pandora.  The kids {in fresh, dry clothes} love to watch the album list when we listen to Pandora.  It’s “just like watching a tiny t.v.”  What’s playing?  Our favorite station: Laurie Berkner.  Thanks Mandy for sharing.
11.    Peaches.  Fruits of my canning labor.
12.    Stencil Monster.  I hadn’t prepared a craft for our Monday night Family Home Evening.  My craft loving five-year-old was not okay with that.  She ran to the toy room and grabbed paper and her crayon box and insisted that we all draw a picture to give to somebody else in the family.  Spencer created his art exclusively out of stencils.  Also, Jace was in charge of choosing the song.  We sang the Iron Man theme song – He’s a man on a mission. In armour of Hi-Tech ammunition. Trapped on the edge of an endless game. His teenage life will never be the same . . Thanks to their dad my kids know all the words. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This very minute.

A 12 on the 12th preview:
The kids and I jumping on the trap in the rain.
Right now at our house:
Brynlee is loading every single toy we own into gift bags for her pretend birthday party.  She’s labeled them all To: Brynlee / From: Pretend Friend Brookie or To: Brynlee / From: Pretend Friend Livvie [in honor of her *real* cousins, I assume].  She even asked me how to spell To: Birthday Girl Brynlee / From: All the pretend friends in the whole entire world that want to be the birthday girl’s friend and come to her party and give her a present and sing her a song and eat birthday cake.  I abbreviated it to say From: Friends from the Party because quite frankly, she was requesting a whole lot of letters.
Jace is at the top of the stairs helping give his superhero action figures free rides on a Frisbee.  I overheard him tell Batman that he didn’t need to ride on the “shootplane” {Jace’s word for airplane} because he knew how to fly.  And then he proceeded to throw poor Batman down the stairs without a mode of transportation.  I think I saw Hulk say a quick prayer thanking the Superhero God that he wasn’t gifted with the superhero power of flight.
And I am debating if I should use this precious time while both my kids are occupied to 1) finishing canning the rest of the peaches that are sitting on my kitchen cabinet 2) work on my latest diy project knowing that I won’t be able to completely finish it until Breah gets here this weekend delivering the rest of my fabric 3) read the newspaper, or 4) work on my 12 on the 12th blog post.  Err. . . no, I think I’ll prepare my church lesson.  Right after I put away the laundry.  Or should I vacuum the van.  Lunch, I should probably start preparing lunch.  Oh the possiblities.  Or rather - Oh, the responsibilites. 
P.S.  Brynlee is requesting that I get down the party hats, balloons and streamers for her pretend birthday party.   I suggested using pretend party hats, balloons and streamers for her pretend party but she didn't agree. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

This, that and the other

Canna Lily from my flower garden
  • I planted some Canna Lily bulbs in my flowers beds this spring.  So glad I did.  That color burst of red is beautiful.  Might be my new favorite.
  • I realized while posting my ABC’s of August post that my kids eat the foam blocks.  No kidding.  When I looked at the pictures I realized there wasn’t a single block without teeth marks.  I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, kids are so weird!
  • My washer is dead.  Dead, dead.  That makes me sad.  Is it tacky to admit you are a bit sentimental about your washer machine?  No.  Well then, I’m a bit sentimental about my washing machine.  [Hint: My friends nicknamed it my promise ring.]  We’ve yet to go shopping for a new washing machine because I’m not quite ready to label the old one beyond repair.  But I’m starting to feel lame mooching off my newlywed lil’ sis so I’m certain a new washer/dryer is in our near future.  Any suggestions?
  • I’ve been feeling the need to create lately.  My mind is racing with ideas.  I love that feeling of idea overload.  Especially when you feel like you own the ideas.
  • I’m loving the group of Young Women in my Laurels class right now.  Such a good mix.  Such a fun group.  So lucky to be their leader.
  • Yesterday, four years ago, I experienced my first miscarriage.  Makes September 11th a double whammy.  Terrorists and miscarriages.  They both suck!
  • Spencer ended up taking a class for his master’s degree this semester, can’t remember if I mentioned that or not.  He’s taken a class at the college here in our town.  So far it’s proving to be a much easier class than his nightmare class that he took distant learning last semester.  Fingers crossed it stays that way.
  • I can’t believe my Jace buddy is three.
  • You know those days when you feel like you are discovering an entirely new level of ugly?  I’ve had an entire month of those days.
  • Sometimes I wonder why I blog.  I mean, it really is such a strange phenomenon.  Writing your thoughts down in such a public forum for others to read.  To judge.  To form opinions.  To comment on.  Or not to comment on, even, but rather to read without the writer ever knowing that you are a reader.  It’s a strange thing, right? 
  • Sometimes I think of quitting.  Possibly making my blog private and only allowing my own eyes to read.  Possibly writing in a more traditional journaling manner, with paper and pencil.  Possibly turning my blog into a place neglected - a place where somebody used to write. 
  • And then sometimes things happen.  Like some blonde clutz disguised as a mother {read: me} drops the external hard drive that holds every.single.picture I have ever taken.  Every.single.picture, you guys.  And the pictures are no longer accessible.  And the only comfort I can mull up is ‘well, at least I’ve written it all down . . . at least I have my blog’.  And that right there gives me motivation to continue jotting down my gibberish ramblings on my silly little blog.  Because most the things I write on here mean absolutely nothing to a reader.  But to me. . . well, to me they are quite literally my life.
  • One last thing.  Did you know that if you put an external hard drive that some blonde clutz disguised as a mother {read: me} has dropped and broken into the freezer {the freezer!} there is a very, very small chance that the external hard drive will be accessible long enough to get years of photo files off before it dies forever.  And that there is why Spencer’s bff, Troy, will always and forever be my bff.  Because between him and the deep freeze they saved all my photos.  I will never be able to repay him.  Or the deep freeze for that matter.
Enjoy your Monday.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Birthday Boy

Friday, September 9, 2011

Oh My Quotable Friday: My Sunshine

It was me and buddy again yesterday.  Something fun about Brynlee going to school is that Tuesday, Thursdays and every other Monday for six hours I get to focus all of my mothering attention on the little dude of the house.  Yesterday we read nearly every single book out of our toy room library, went birthday shopping ‘cause somebody’s about to turn three, and rode bikes around the neighborhood at his pace without having to keep up with big sister.  He asked me not to talk on the phone while we were driving in the car ‘cause ‘It’s not fun when you don’t talk to me’ and then right before it was time to pick up our kindergartener he said ‘I miss Brynlee’s face’.  Such a funny, witty and loving little bundle of boy.  A bundle of boy that has taken a liking to using the word ‘man’.  It cracks me up every single time.  Can I have peaches, man.  Can you read me a story, man.  Wait for me, man.  Oh how I love that little sunshine! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

She's a Real Class Act

Yesterday was Brynlee’s first real day of Kindergarten.  7:55 am to 2:12 pm.  Spence and I somehow survived.  Brynlee had an absolute ball.  And, Jace missed her like something terrible.  Sissy’s taken a loooonnnggg time he reminded me at least 15 times throughout the day.  So we ate a kid’s meal for lunch and ran a few errands to help the time go faster.  And when we picked her up she had a million stories to share.  Her excitement made me laugh.  She can’t wait to go back and can I just tell you how happy that makes me.  Like really, really happy.
Oh, and Jessica you owe me a million bucks!  This mama went tear free.  Huge accomplishment for a sap like me.  I think the fact that she was jumping off the walls with excitment helped me contain my tears.  There was nothing else to do but join in with all the excitment.  And the giggling.  And the talking really loud and fast.
*pictures taken last Thursday after Brynlee’s Kindergarten orientation.
Oh my.  She wouldn’t hold still for even a second + she had the slumber party giggles.
Goofy lil’ excited Kindergartener of mine.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Oh My Quotable Friday: Love, love, love

A love note written by my mom on my dirty car window.
We've spent most the day today outside enjoying the cooler weather.
I can’t believe it’s already September.
It's September!
And I love it.
XOXO and Happy Weekending.
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