Saturday, April 30, 2011

Naked Toolbench Baby

Sam is such a character. He loves to be naked and he loves his tools. This is the toolbench Santa brought him last Christmas. It sits right next to my writing desk. I love to watch him play, and he always makes me laugh.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Bucket Kid from Parenthood

Remember that movie Parenthood? Remember that kid who liked to put a bucket on his head and ram into things? That was Eva one day, and I had to get a photo. Parenthood is truly like a roller coaster. This is what I love about having a big family ... life is always fun and challenging and rewarding and crazy and chaotic. I don't think it's for everyone, but it definitely works for us.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Frugality Tip: Do It Yourself

Generally we play it safe around our house because we aren't sure if we'll be moving someday. We love our house but live on a busy corner. So our other rooms are pale green, pale brown, etc. We did get crazy with "the baby's" room in 2001 and made it shocking lime green with a beach mural on one wall painted by my husband. Then the girls' room is a cool turquoise and purple. Anyway, we went nutty and chose the color POINSETTIA for our upstairs hallway. I highly recommend it, even at 3 coats.

We save a lot of money by doing our own house projects. Don't forget May is Frugality Month ... coming up!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We Love Jordan

One night I went to a baby shower. Eva got sleepy early, so Jordan held her while she fell asleep.

Jordan loves Sam in onesies and convinced me to buy him a few at $1.50 each at a used kid clothes store. This one is like a nametag that says his name is Mr. Adorable.

Jordan always has fun with the kids, and we love her so much! Sam likes her piggyback rides!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Matchy Matchy

Eva, me and Callie, with Sam's head poking out.

Callie and Mommy ... lately she wants to try to dress like me.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kids and Toy Guns Yes or No?

Sammy is all boy, that's for sure. He loves stealing his brother's Nerf gun. My husband (who has 3 brothers) wasn't allowed to play with guns when he was growing up. He just used sticks instead. What do you think about kids and toy guns? And if you love this picture, you'll really dig this guest post by Sam himself, around age 2.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

I Hate Clothes Shopping

I know, my son tells me most girls like to shop. I, however, would rather get a root canal or clean the bathroom toilet with my own toothbrush. And then brush my teeth with it.

When I grocery shop, I know I will come out of the store with what I went in for. Same at the homeschool store.

Clothes shopping is not a sure thing. First you have to find something you like. Then you have to find it in a size that fits. Spending quality time in a dressing room is not my idea of fun. Wait, there’s a step for me that comes BEFORE first. That step is called: Secure a person at home to watch the other kids while you go shopping for the kid in question or for yourself.

Don’t get me started on bathing suit shopping, which is something I need to do since I’m not pregnant this year and won’t need a nursing suit because I’m hoping Sam can get through a couple of hours at the pool without nursing. Or maybe I should look at tankinis? Flowy ones. Maybe I’ll hunt down a maternity nursing suit. What a mess.

My dream closet at this point in my life would consist of 7 T-shirts in the same size in different colors that show off my waist and minimize my tummy and chest. Then throw in 7 of those in long-sleeved, plus some jeans and shorts and you’ve got a deal.

Thank you Jesus for hand-me-downs (clothes, shoes, bathing suits for the kids plus all the clothes for me personally) from my friends. Without them my husband would not have a boat, for sure. So if you’ve ever given us your kids’ old clothes, you may call my husband for a ride in his fishing boat.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Starbuck’s Via Instant Coffee

I’m not normally a fan of instant coffee, but a friend who works at Starbuck’s gave me some of the “markout” (meaning past or almost past the expiration date; Starbuck’s are sticklers for freshness) Via instant coffee packets. My friend cringed when I told her how I make my Via because apparently microwaving kills something in the milk and I should STEAM it (yeah, right), but here’s my “recipe” anyway:

Pour 1 cup milk and 1 cup water into a 2 cup container.

Microwave until smokin’ hot (which is like 3 minutes on my microwave since it’s literally from 1990).

Pour Via packet into milk/water mixture and stir.

Add cream and sugar to taste (for me, it’s about a cup of sugar and 19 tablespoons of powdered creamer) and stir.

Pour into a coffee mug and enjoy. Nuke the rest later and pour it into your mug, as well.

*This recipe is for coffee lightweights like myself who have never had a cup of black coffee.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Undie Hats

Poor Sam. He is Child #5. And as such he has to wear Hannah Montana underwear on his head like a little French beret. And then he is made to say "Cheese" or fromage or queso or whatever. Such a good sport.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Don’t Own a Crib

Don’t freak out on me here. Stay with me. Hear me out.

The year was 2000, and my boss gave me a sweet bonus for Christmas. Seeing as how I was a whopping 2 months pregnant, I knew it was time to go baby shopping. But what to get? There was so much out there. I decided on a $100 double stroller which I still have (duct taped on the storage basket underneath, of course, because that’s just how I roll … cheap) and a crib.

I got a $400 crib and a $100 mattress. My kid would have to have the best, hardest, safest mattress and the prettiest crib. Dark wood with a storage drawer underneath.

Fast forward to our first night with a new baby at home. We tried, like normal people, to lay him in the crib once I nursed him to sleep. Lucky for me, I got me a husband who could not stand to hear our baby cry, and not just because he wanted some sleep. I nursed baby Joel in bed and we fell asleep and never looked back.

After that, the crib was kept for sentimental purposes and because we were maybe hoping to have a baby who would at least NAP in the darn thing, but crazy me always wanted to hold my babies for naps, so the crib sat all lonely.

When I was pregnant with my third, I tried to sell the crib. A first-time preggie came by with her husband wondering why I was selling it and I told her we sleep with our kids and they looked at me like I told her I’m a polygamist. They did not buy the crib.

A family friend ended up trading us the crib for a cool couch for our living room. This is the same couch on which Sam was almost born.

To answer your question in advance: no, we don’t sleep with all 5 of our kids. The oldest boys sleep in bunk beds in their own room and have for about 4 years. Callie just moved in to her own room after Aron got it all painted and pretty for her. Eva sleeps in her own twin bed pushed up to our bed. Sam snuggles with us every night and sleeps on me every day while I read to the kids, watch some TV, return phone calls, homeschool or whatever.

Thanks for listening. I'm not so crazy after all, am I? Don't answer that.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kids and Chores

Heck, yeah, we start 'em early at my house. The 1.5 year old can certainly earn his keep by vacuuming, am I wrong?

*Just kidding, sheesh!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby Junk You Don’t Need

Some of my biggest goals in life currently are to save money and to save space in my 1,327 square foot (gross living area) home. Here’s some stuff I don’t have or store most of the time or just never needed.

Some of this stuff costs a lot of money, and it floors me when broke people go further into debt (in addition to their freaking welfare and food stamps) to purchase stupid baby equipment at full price. As if the baby will care! Trust me, your kid cares a lot more that you were AROUND and that you were, I don’t know, maybe, LOVING and nurturing and caring.

High chair takes up too much space in my house, even if it folds up. I used one religiously for my first 4 kids as a feeding space AND as a place to park the baby. But Sam wasn’t havin’ it, so we put it back in the basement. We fed him on our laps or he stood in a chair (supervised, of course). Recently I got him a baby seat that straps onto a chair for $5 at a thrift store.

Boppy … unless you get this as a gift, just use pillows. I loved it with my first 3 kids until my first two pulled it apart tug-of-war style. I was too cheap and lazy to buy another so I just used pillows and built up my arm muscles or rested my arm on my Yoga-posed leg (just kidding!) when pillows weren’t available.

Playpen. My mom always says I needed one of these, and Lord knows enough people gave me their used “play yards.” But I was always holding my babies or else parking them in a stationary walker (is that an oxymoron or what?!) or in the bouncy seat. If they were on the floor, I was watching closely and yelling at my other kids to NOT STEP ON THE BABY OR I WILL STEP ON YOU.

Wipes warmer. Use the body heat on your hand, moron. My kids will probably not bring up in therapy that I wiped their butts with cold wipes in the middle of winter.

Shoes. Please don’t get me started. Moms, you know these are only for decoration and serve no purpose, kinda like a spleen or appendix.

A crib. We’ll visit this one in the next post.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sibling Torture

I'm sure when my child therapist friend brought over this tub full o' goodies she never thought the kids would use it to trap their baby brother.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wood Project: See-Through Birdhouse (Plans to Come!)

My husband strikes again: spending quality time with his son making a gorgeous birdhouse. Once again, my goal is to make millions as a writer so he can stay home doing woodworking.

UPDATED 12/20/13: Mr. Kerrie says he will work on plans for this birdhouse so he can get them to all you guys who have been pinning this photo! Stay tuned to my blog for updates and plans!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

“Her Fearful Symmetry” Book Review

“Her Fearful Symmetry” is by Audrey Niffenegger, the author of “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” “The Time Traveler’s Wife” was a great book.

“Her Fearful Symmetry” is a creepy, long book, but it’s good.

You should get it at the library and read it.

I know. I totally have a career as a book reviewer ahead of me. I’m very thorough and helpful.


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