Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh, that Grant man

First of all...I just saw Grant today and realized that he's not all that little anymore. Do you ever look at your "baby" and realize that they're not really a "baby" anymore? Well, he is only 14 months old...but it seems like he's been here forever...and he's a big one. I mean big! Like wearing size 5 diapers and 2T clothes kind of big! But something about his facial expressions and contour is changing from baby to toddler...and Mama's not ready for that!!!! This is our last one (like 99.9% probably our last one)....and I want to keep him a baby forever. And ever. And ever. Only for a little while longer will those fat chunky legs be adorable!

Grant is into everything these days...keeping us on our toes. Today he played in the dishwasher while I cooked dinner. I was trying to keep him occupied so that I could put together a nice meal for everyone before I had to dash into the rain for a church meeting (which I was late for despite leaving with plenty of time to spare). When it rains in Memphis, people forget how to drive, so you need to add like an hour to your drive time. The interstate was a nightmare!

I digress. He entertained himself by putting a Little People girl into the dishwasher several times and then rescuing her. Put her in danger. Rescue her. Put her in danger. Rescue her. This was working very well for him for a while until he decided that he needed to climb up my leg while I was working at the stove. Not the best idea. So brilliant mom that I am...I put him in a walker so that he can roam the house without destroying everything in sight. Wrong!

Grant literally made his way from our living room back to the stove in less than a minute with his walker flying skills. It was insane! The girls never flew around the house in that thing. I don't even use it often...just in times like these when I need a few minutes. How he's gotten this good so fast I don't know. Boys are just different. Very different. I'm in for some surprises I think in the upcoming years for sure!

Maybe tomorrow I'll carve out 10 minutes to upload a picture of my handsome man to go with this post. He is one very handsome little guy for sure! Those blonde curls make your heart melt!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sometimes You Just Give Up

Don't know why...but today was one of those days. The kids were irritable ALL DAY LONG. I should have been a smarter mom and cancelled our afternoon playdate based on the morning's behavior. But I thought a nap would cure everything. I found us this afternoon ruining what could have been such a fun playdate. We invited some friends from church over....friends that Abby and Bella usually love to play with. But my girls were so whiny, irritable, cranky, etc....that they just wouldn't brush it off and play. We wanted to go to the Redbirds game with some friends, but we just had to give them a light dinner and send them off to bed (early, like 7:00 early). Their bedtime is around 8:30....but they just couldn't function any longer.

And I'm really praying that a good night's sleep cures it all! I want this to be a fun week!

On a much better note, we began the process today gathering information on getting Abby a continuous blood glucose monitor. Pray along with us that everything will line up so that we can get her on one of these. I just wanted to do cartwheels when I read about how this technology works. It would be a huge blessing for her to be able to be on one! I'm excited about the possibility of having this extra safeguard in place for her (especially with her going off to school).

Oh, and I also have to praise my dear Matt. This weekend he went crazy and literally kept the washer and dryer going non-stop both Saturday and after church Sunday. Let me say that Matt may in a normal month do 2 loads of laundry if that. So I thought he was losing it! But he really worked hard to help me get ahead at home, and I appreciated it so much!! Much praise to him for doing those 5,092 pieces of laundry (my guess but probably close!!).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Real life pictures

So sometimes I know it's hard to see an image on the screen and translate that to reality. I am horrible at visualizing pieces of furniture or decor in my home until I actually bring it in the house! Pitiful I know. But true!

So I thought I'd take this chance to show a few of my recent orders. I took this picture at night (and I'm not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination)...but you can get a great idea of my finished products by looking at these photos. Enjoy!

And be on the lookout for new fall and holiday designs as they are gradually added to our site!

Oh, how we spent the weekend of the 4th!

Matt and I got a wild hair (well, really Matt did) that we'd shake things up a bit in the Stine house. Ali Kate and Isabella have always shared a room since AK was born. Always. But lately they've been having MAJOR problems sharing a room because (imagine this) they keep each other awake laughing, playing dolls, talking....I mean big, serious offenses here!! (oh, so kidding) Oh, my goodness to be a little girl again. Anyway, it began to take a toll on them as they went week after week with no nap (and a toll on Mommy too who counts on nap time to be her productive time). So Matt suggested we move Abby and Isabella together. And while our new home is much larger than our old one, the kids' bedroooms are still not large enough to spaciously accomodate two preschoolers and all their stuff!

So we made the decision to give up having a playroom. Now I can already hear mamas near and far lamenting this. Oh, no, not the playroom. But kids had one of the best playrooms ever and didn't really actually go play in it all that often. I had visions of me having to scrape them off the playroom floor to come down to dinner once we moved in our house...didn't happen. I sometimes actually begged them to go play in the playroom while I cooked or cleaned. Didn't happen. Only when I was up there engaging them would they play we figured that giving it up wasn't really much of a sacrifice.

So July 3rd and 4th...we painted. Well, first we moved all of their belongings up their the week before (and casually made several playroom toys disappear into toy oblivion). We had to thin out lots of room. So many of our large items found their way into our (gasp here) garage. That's another blog entry for another day.

Anyway, the playroom was still this dark brown (not my favorite but very low on our list of rooms to repaint when we bought the house). So of course we had to change that IMMEDIATELY. We don't keep a house this messy I promise. I took this after we had moved all their stuff into the middle of the room to prep for painting.

And I have always wanted to paint a huge chalkboard wall for them. So here was my chance. My kids are allowed and ENCOURAGED to draw all over the wall. Since they already have shown interest in decorating our walls (see my main entrance hall where Ali Kate used a black Sharpee to draw Mommy a mural. We still can't find the exact shade the previous owners had this house painted after many, many phone calls. Here's Abby testing it out while it was still a work in progress.

After lots of painting during bedtimes, naptimes, and independent playtimes...we got the job finished. It was alot to paint since it was a big room and of course being dark brown meant that the whole thing had to be primed first (that equals painting twice). But we painted it together and knocked it out pretty fast!

And here's what it looked like once we got it all put back together!

Big thanks to Brian and Amanda Williams for giving us the color from Ella's room. We've had a couple of flops with doing an apple green, and I've just given up on apple green. But when I was at their house last, I fell in love with Ella's bedroom color and knew I would use it whenever we redid the girls' rooms. So Ella...thanks! We are loving this color!

And now my next project is to get their room super organized with cute labels on everything and then to paint their monograms above their headboards. And of course figure out what to do with their walls. I'm not 100% decided yet how I'm going to decorate (we eventually need to buy new comforters that match...these are the same color scheme but different I may wait a bit to decorate it all!).

And what do the girls think? They love it! It totally revitalized that space! They play in it tons every day and even let the babies play there too. We set up a grocery store in one area, a dollhouse in another, school in one...they love it!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Before and After

So I would desperately love to show you a "before and after" of me losing 60 pounds! But that's still being worked on....only 10 lost so far. So instead I'll share these pictures that my 5 year old took before I finished mowing the yard and after I finished. Matt has been SO busy lately, so one day a couple of weeks ago I decided that the best way I could show love to him was to mow the yard for him. The kids stood in the shade on this VERY HOT day and ate popsicles while I mowed the front. What should have taken 25 minutes took over an hour since I had to stop and be the popsicle police several times. I also learned how to bag the grass, restart the engine, and add gas.... several phone calls to Matt later I did finish the job.

And afterward, I got out the hose and sprayed it straight upward so that I would be soaked. It was at leat 95 that day. I'm sure the neighbors and passersby thought I was insane, but that water was so so necessary!
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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Not So Healthy

This morning we had to stay home from church because Grant had some horrible diapers yesterday. We'll leave it at that. We also wanted to avoid the hand-foot-mouth that seems to be plaguing his room at church.

So I had time to actually fix breakfast. Not just a cereal bar or Eggos or bowl of Cheerios....but actually flip some pancakes. (I do cook dinner but rarely cook breakfast!). Anyway, Isabella ate last because she slept in really late (like 8:30...that's what fireworks will do to you!). She ate her pancakes and then brought her cup of chocolate milk (2% mixed with sugar-free chocolate syrup) to me in the other room. She said, "I can't drink this because it's not healthy for me." I very seriously told her that she could put her cup in the sink then if she didn't want to drink that unhealthy stuff. But then I said, "What about the pancakes? They weren't healthy for you." She said, "But I love them. I can eat those!"

Gotta love it!! Four year olds rock!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Little Fish


I just have to thank my friend Kim Ball for recommending Melissa Brown to me! We've been taking swim lessons every day this week, and she has taught Abby so much. Abby can seriously swim across the pool now. She could already swim so-so, but this week has sharpened her skills. She can even drop into the water and then swim to the other side. We had a "show" today where the parents could go back and see what all they've done. I was very impressed at how far Abby had come! Melissa makes the lessons tons of fun (they've done things called pencil drops, monkey climbs, turtle faces...). She's incorporated play, games, and fun activities into teaching them the fundamentals of swim. Abby is going to go back in a couple of weeks to start working on strokes! How awesome!

We'll post more pics soon...Isabella does her lessons in two weeks. She's never taken any lessons before, so I'm eager to see how she'll do!
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lunch Boxes!!! Just in time for school!!

It's hot here, and that means school is around the corner! In only five weeks, my oldest will start school (can you believe that?!?). So we're in back to school mode at Duck Duck Goose Designs, and we've got these adorable metal lunch boxes to celebrate. Each old school metal lunch box is food-safe, lead-free, and ready for you to customize! You can pick any of our designs along with your favorite font to make it uniquely yours. I just opened a lunch box section on our site, and I'll be adding more designs daily (although you can always use any of our designs).
And in the month of July, buy a matching lunch box note with your lunch box for only $4 (usually $8). A great way to stay in touch during the school day with your child!
Hope you enjoy these and our lunch box notes that we'll be posting soon!