Wednesday, June 30, 2010


The weather was cool enough for me to tolerate this morning so Jocelyn and I decided to get the playroom in order. Can't say it'll last long but nothing a snow shovel can't fix! lol! This room will be constantly evolving since the wee ones interests are sure to change but this it it for now.
We had previously divided the room with the yard gates but ditched that idea since it wasn't keeping the toys or the tots contained. Plus it was needed for the outside play area.
The grand tour... Originally this room was the enclosed side porch and the "main" entrance to the house but our plans are the finish the room for the tots and make the actually front door accessible. Mind you the money has to be there to get this project started but you can't help but dream. So one day it'll happen. Right now we can only use the "playroom" during nice weather. Too hot or too cold and it's useless since it needs proper insulation and a regular outside door. So for now early morning and late afternoon is the only time it's comfortable out there. Hopefully we can get it mostly completed by winter so we can still use it.
So anyway onto the fun stuff...
We have the floor covered with the playmat except where the main path is to the door. This give the tots some designated toy dumping space and keeps dirty foot traffic off their play area.
For the organizing junkies out there...
Pappy built the custom cubby for the Ikea bins so the smaller toys are all neatly organized. We've got some more labeling to do but they work like a charm!
I added a rectangular shelf that James made in highschool since they needed more space for odd toys.
An Easter bucket works perfect for the sidewalk chalk
Dollar store bucket for bubbles
A wire trash bin for bat and balls 
A large clear bin for building blocks
Clear storage boxes with individual slots for matchbox cars
Huggies wipes containers for crayons & markers
Then the stray bookshelf works great for books, puzzles, coloring books, lacing cards, etc.
Baby doll accessories are stacked in the corner
Riding toys slide under the bookshelf
 We leave the picnic table inside since it makes for a great place for the kiddies to color and serve each other yummy pretend kitchen treats! On rainy days or when I just can't watch them outside I bring the small slide in, too.
For the time being baby gear has to occupy a corner but it doesn't seem to be in the way yet.

I love having a designated place for the kids to play. Having all their toys in the bedroom was out of the question since I am a firm believer that a room full of toys reeks havoc on a restful room meant for sleep. They are only permitted to have a small bin of quiet toys in the bedroom and a hanging net with stuffed animals. I didn't care for all the toys in the livingroom either. But we do have a toy box in the livingroom that doubles as extra seating with misc and baby toys. That keeps livingroom toy clean up a breeze. Jocelyn so far has shown that she can sort playroom toys from the livingroom toys when it's time to clean up, which makes my life easier!
As far as the school stuff, we inherited a beautiful antique ice box that originally I wanted to use for storing linens and kitchen wares but Jocelyn had other plans! It's not organized yet but it will house our school supplies. I figured placing it in the diningroom will make for quick access for school and easy clean up for meals. Of course this plan could change too since my organizing tends to revolve around the space and pieces I have. So who knows! More blogging about that another time!
So that's the start of letting you into my house one organized corner at a time. No promises on how long it'll take before the next corner is presentable!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Teaching them the world!

So the dishes and laundry are piled high and here I sit blogging. Yep I would rather share my latest adventures than conquer the massive mess that is creeping through the house. My neatly organized diapers stash has been toppled buy the tots, a trail of cherrios follows everywhere Ariana has been, and toys that I swear were cleaned up 5 minutes ago are back on the floor for me to trip over. Yet here I sit in my own little world laying out ramblings of nothingness.
So we've started Jocelyns official "preschool" days a week or so ago and I've been searching blogs for ideas and curriculums to expand our horizons. I've come across tons of info, so much that in fact it's become a bit overwhelming. I need to just get the school stuff organized, get some ink for my helpless printer, and create my own curriculum. I guess I'm just to picky. I find fault or something lacking in nearly everything I come across. I know one of the best perks of homeschooling is being able to pick from here and there and teach what you want. I guess I'm the type who likes it all organized and layed out in front of me well in advance. Like I need to mentally see "the future" before I begin. I don't care for not knowing in advance what's going on. Thus I foresee I'll be sitting on Sunday nights planning the weeks lessons and activities just so I can feel some sort of control. Mind you I can be flexible and have no problem with seizing a moment for learning but I want our foundation curriculum and objectives lined up. So maybe I'm a bit controlling and obsessive!

So far we have established for our preschool and kindergarten years................
Reading / English... We want to do a weekly "letter" study.
Language studies... Sign language and I've already chosen a Latin program that will takes us from preschool to high school.
Math... As far as math I don't know what I want to use but I do know what I don't want (so okay I hate saxon!). Granted right now it's just number recognition and such.
World Studies... We've already started doing cultural themed projects, wrapping in music, arts, language, etc
The rest is still on the table. A lot of late night web searching yet to figure out Science, History, Music and the Arts but most of that will be combined studies.

You've gotta admit taking on the task of teaching children everything from basic life skills to advanced math it can be a bit daunting.
So maybe I seem a bit over the top with just teaching preschoolers but honestly I want them to have it all! It's my job as their mother to give them what they need and prepare them for the world. Have ya looked outside lately? That's one big and scary world out there. It'll eat you up and spit you out if you're not prepared!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crayon Puzzles...HORRAY!

Trying to find something to occupy two tots on a miserably hot day inside can prove to be a challenge! Not to mention when Momma is sleep deprived and baby is needy. So break out a box of crayons and start peeling! Yep...we peeled crayons and took some time to test them out before breaking them up. I had bought a silicone puzzle mold from IKEA ages ago and still hadn't used it so in went the crayons. 300 degree oven until they melted, didn't watch the clock but only took about 15-20 minutes. After being nagged every few seconds if they were done, we took them out to cool for about a half hour. Gentle removed them, only broke one and puzzle piece crayons that really fit together!
The tots think they are awesome and Jocelyn says "beautiful!"

Oh and another goodie of news.....
ARIANA is walking by herself!!!! She decided to grace us with her new Independence on Father's Day and has been toddling about ever since! YEAAAAAA!!!!

Highchair projects???

So I was hitting up our local freecycle and didn't think twice the other morning when I saw someone getting rid of two wooden highchairs. Mind you most of the time with freecycle you never really know what your getting until you pick it up but I couldn't resist. Classic old wooden highchairs are hard to find, let alone FREE!  We have one of our own very similar to the Jenny Lind style I picked up  and thought maybe one of these would be in better condition. But it gets better!!! All the highchairs have obviously old crappy hardware and safety belts are nonexistent so I found a website that sells the hardware and the belts. So for about $22 I can replace the belts and hardware and whether or not I restain or paint them, I can upcycle these babies for less then $30 a piece. The Jenny Linda sells for $90+ on amazon!
Now if only I could find the time to do it! Hopefully they won't sit and be forgotten about. Perhaps I can make this one of my "Mommy alone time" projects.
What to do with them afterwards, who knows???? Maybe gift for a new baby or sell them? OH FUN!

This is the link for the hardware...

The Jenny Lind chair I think I'll just lightly touch up and refinish, add new hardware and such. The second one I'm not sure, maybe a funky repaint or stain? Any ideas????

Saturday, June 19, 2010


So how many diaper do you need for a tot and newborn?
Honestly, it all boils down to how often you wash and change.

My current stash with Ariana (15months) & Bella (2weeks)...
15 covers and pockets for tot
16 "bar" terry towels as inserts
8 bamboo fleece flats (double layer)
12 covers & pockets for newborn
3 small gdiapers (converting them to snaps, hate the velcro!)
Misc bamboo doublers, washclothes, birdseyes, flats, etc.
15 Premium Regular size unbleached cotton indian prefolds
15 Infant size unbleached cotton indian prefolds
15 Preemie size unbleached cotton indian prefolds (use as lay-in inserts)
3 shorty woolies & 3 longie woolies for tot
4 shorty woolies & 2 longie woolies for newborn
2 snappis for prefolds

I wash every 2-3 days depending on fast we go thru them and the weather. The sun has successfully bleached out stains everytime!
Will be hitting the machine in the near future since Ariana is finally outgrowing the original covers I made her. Hopefully we'll have her potty trained sooner than later!


She's beautiful and a bundle of cuteness!!!! So I promised our "labor" day story and here it is....
Well start with May 25th Doctors appt... The plan for this appt was to stir things up and head to the hospital but change of plans, we were 3-4cm, 80% effaced, -1 and decided to go home and wait for nature to take it's course with no idea we'd make it to our next weeks appt. We spent the week doing last minute tidying and I of course had to get bossy about every little thing.
Tuesday June 1st 2010....I knew for sure this was it. There was no way in hell I was coming home after this appt. I was determined to have this baby even if it meant hitting the local ER! So after getting my appt time screwed up we arrived for our appt after a McD's lunch. (I just had a chicken salad & Iced tea) The In-Laws meet us there. Despite the doc being a bit shall we say an "ass" about going to the hospital, he finally agreed after seeing that we were now 6cm, 100% effaced, & +1. So we scooted over to the hospital, thankfully finding out the doc I want (Abbruzzi) would be doing our delivery. YEA! Seriously her tiny hands didn't scare me like the other docs "baseball" glove sized hands! Plus she connected on a momma level much better.
Okay so we settled into our room, checked our progress and apparently I had been contracting every 2 minutes and they were pretty strong. Water was broken at 4pm and we were off! See I've got this crazy pain tolerance that amazes all the staff. "You're seriously okay with that pain?" So we did two rounds thru the halls and came back to the room to sit on the birthing ball (those big exercise balls) After what seemed like only 15 minutes, I assume that was it since I only made it thru 3 songs on my Mp3 player. (All the while giving orders and trying to maintain control over what cameras we needed, kids drinks, etc.)Yes music while contracting at this point was great as a distraction atleast until the last few were so strong I had to focus. Oh music choices would make the older generation cringe....Hinder and Godsmack rocked me thru those contractions. Anyway those last few contractions had me hanging onto James and burying my face in his shirt, I should admit here I think I may of bit him and nearly pulled his shorts down...LOL! I recall hearing my Mom say something about, "we need you to move now, right now!" and suddenly a half a dozen arms drug me up onto the bed, while James I believe stated, "Um, I see hair!" Yea so that hair was Bella crowning, if it wasn't for sitting on that birthing ball she would of just birthed her way onto the floor! Hum? That explains alot! So the rest went so fast I had to refer to the video James cousin JeNell was taking.
Once I hit the bed, I reached up for the squatting bar, stupid thing by the way since it was nearly impossible to reach with a huge belly in the way! After another strong contraction, Mom got in my face and told me to get on top of the contractions and focus. I vividly remember her calm but very stern voice, "Look at my eyes, Listen!" coaching a  "Yes Mom" out of me. With my younger sister Sarah at my back and James over my shoulder, Mom at my side....another contraction my crazy self yelling  "I can't do it"....we all knew on those very words that baby was coming out! I've muttered that same line with both of the other girls and seconds later they were born. So with two majorly focused pushes ...bam....woop... there she was.... all 8lbs 10oz of baby girl!!!! Yea it really was that fast, like holy crap! 7:17pm she made her lovely entrance leaving me a bit shall we say amazed and sore but with only one tiny tear needing a few stitches. YEAAA!!!!
So while I was being tended to and Bella was attempting her first meal I demanded dinner....Sonic cheese burger, banana shake, and fries! (hospital food sucks!) OH YA!
That's basically drugs or epidural, just the wonderful pain of old school labor! So it's been just over 2 weeks and baby Bella is growing beautifully and I'm surviving. Needless to say Jocelyn and Ariana are doing a fine job at driving me nuts but that's to be expected. Now officially a family of 5....weee!