"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bulletin board re-do

$1 corkboard from yardsale.

J cut it in two pieces for me. He says I'm not power-tool certified. I have to agree with him. :) I have another frame I will use for the other half.

A flashy gold frame from a picture I'm no longer using. I didn't have glass for it but held on to it anyway. Glad I did!

A little light sanding and a few coats of white spray paint we already had on hand.

BigBoy helped me cover it with leftover fabric from my bar project. I just used tacks on the back so I can replace the fabric when I find some I like better. I roughed up the frame a bit but not too much because I forgot gold was underneath. :)

I've had this "love" sign I spray-painted white (originally black) to hang over it. I hung the board lower than normal because I wanted children to be able to see it easily. Now they have a place of honor to hang their crafts. I'm mighty happy it only cost me 50 cents, too! (I don't count costs of materials that were bought for another project.)

I forgot to mention this before but it was the bulletin board Miss Rachel put up for Biz and Ladybug that inspired the idea. Thanks Rachel!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Yesterday afternoon we did a little yard work. Nothing crazy just mowing, weed-eating, and some weed-pulling. In the process J came across a big frog and he and BigBoy put it in a jar (with air holes of course) for a while. As soon as they came out front with it to show me I of course freaked over the big nasty frog. J knows I HATE frogs. Unfortunately when I started saying "oh gross, get that away from me!" or whatever I squealed, BigBoy did too. Until that moment he was happy with his "Froggy" but I had to go and put my irrational fear on him. As soon as he did this I knew what I had to do. I grabbed the jar and said "No, Sweetie, you just surprised me. Wow, look at that great frog, etc." We took it over to show the neighbor kids who were playing in the cul de sac. They weren't as impressed as we thought they would be. :) The rest of the evening I had to put on a happy face with Froggy and try my hardest to make sure BigBoy wasn't scared when in reality I wanted to cry and puke. Yes, I know that makes me the biggest baby in the world but I HATE HATE HATE frogs!!! At least my maternal instincts took over and kept me from scarring my child.

BigBoy with his weed-eater helping us. He's actually a really good helper. After we sweep the grass along the sidewalk and driveway into piles, he gets the little brush and dust pan and takes it to the pile on the road. Very efficiently, too.

BabyCakes was supervising. She had just woken up from her long afternoon nap and then ate "dinner" so she was content to just chill and keep and eye on us. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today was BabyCakes' 4 month well-baby check. My suspicions were confirmed: she weighed 17 whoppin pounds! I just knew it would be 17. Well, she was 17 lbs 0.5 ozs, to be exact. Of course this is above the curve (>97%). She was 25.5 in long which is the 90th percentile for length. Actually, I think she got gypped (did you know that's how you spell that?) a bit on that because I saw the nurse measuring and she's really more like 26 full inches. Her head was in the 75th. As J would say, "My big girl!"
The doctor said she looked "fantastic" and "nobody told her she is only 4 months old!" She's so big and strong she really seems like an older baby. We got the green light on solids and I'm sure she'll be a fan of food in any composition. :)
Here's a camera-phone pic at the doc before her shots. Funny how she has a bit of a deer-in-headlights thing going even though she has no clue what's coming.

She had a shot and an oral vaccine and was a trooper through it all. Not a tear.
She even napped during a trip to Lowe's and Kroger afterward. By the time we finished all this it was time to pick up BigBoy from school. I LOOOOVE picking him up from school because I get the BEST greeting in the world. He runs from across the classroom straight out the door and only has eyes for me! "Mommy!" That sweet-faced, cowlick-having, Star Wars-loving little boy drops everything and runs open-armed to me. It makes me feel so special. Mrs. Alice doesn't even get that kind of greeting. :) I wonder if he'll still do this when he's 14? haha.

If only we could all love as purely, freely, and completely as a child.
1 Peter 4:8 says "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
Love. It's so easy a child can do it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Hi Mama!"

"Sure, let's play!"

"Taking pictures is fun!"

"You're so silly, Mama!"

"Okay seriously. If you take one more picture..."

Good Morning

Unfortunately I don't have anything exciting to write about today. Monday is always a very domestic day for me. We had a nice weekend. My boys even surprised me with a bouquet of pink tulips! :) XOX

Both the kids must have been worn out because it is 9:00 and they are asleep. BigBoy woke up at 5 and fell back asleep on the couch around 7:00, and BabyCakes woke up around 6:30 and fell asleep while I was feeding her so I put her back to bed. She slept 11 hours straight and then went BACK to sleep after "breakfast"! How is this possible??!!?? Don't worry, I KNOW I'm lucky!

Back to my yardsale find for a sec.. this is the current elephant rug Pottery Barn has for sale. It's $199 and I think the styles are similar and I know the size is the same. I know mine is used but it's going to intentionally be walked on. Yep, I think my $30 was spent well.

Whoop! Sounds like both kids are awake! Have to run! Have a great day!

Friday, April 23, 2010

My finds

I headed out this morning to a yard sale advertising Star Wars toys. I got some great stuff there for BigBoy (it's all in his room or I would have pics of my great finds) and then moved on to a community yard sale in town. We rarely have Friday ones here so it was a treat.

Here are a few of today's treats:

This is my favorite buy of the day. It is a large (I think 5 ft or more in diameter) round two-tone pink elephant rug for BabyCakes' room. I saw the woman putting it out and knew I wanted it but she wanted $45 and I didn't want to give that. It was early so I understood her not wanting to come down yet. I went to a few more sales and then I realized just how much I wanted this whimsical little rug for Baby's room. I went back for it and ended up getting the rug, 2 cute flannel crib sheets, and a tinkerbell outfit (see below) for Biz for $30. There were a few places on the rug that needed spot cleaning but it looks great now. The rug might be Pottery Barn but I can't seem to find a listing for one matching the description anywhere online. It sure looks cute to me, whether it is Pottery Barn or not, though.

This cork board I got for $1. It was marked $5 and I wasn't sure I wanted it but when I turned to leave the sale the woman said "I'll give it to you for a dollar." Into the Element it went. I have a plans for its makeover already.

This swing will be perfect on the great magnolia tree in Papa's backyard. It was $5 and only used one year.

The mini-fridge is J's favorite find of the morning. He's been wanting one for his office for some time now but if they're ever for sale they go really fast. One just like it is listed at $180 at Target right now. I got this one for $40 because I was brave. I didn't see anything at this yard sale and was about to leave when I saw the fridge out of the corner of my eye. It had a big sign on it advertising cold drinks for 50 cents apiece so I assumed it wasn't for sale and only for holding cokes. (yes, I say "cokes" instead of sodas. haha....hush.) The old me would have just thought nothing of it and gotten back in the car but instead I said "I know it's not priced but since this IS a yard sale I thought I'd see if you'd like to sell that mini fridge." They said "Oh yes, it's for sale," and pointed to the tiniest $50 sticker you could imagine. I asked if they would take forty and that was that. I'm so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone.

These never-been-used hair trimmers/clippers I got for $4. J cuts his hair with (un)help from me (I do the back semi-decently) and he's been wanting a new set. We also do BigBoy's most of the time. It doesn't always go well when I get in there, though.

A pic of BigBoy for his fans, aka grandparents.

One of two ski bibs I got for $1 each.

Snow boots for Biz that were $1.

The Tinkerbell costume.

Someone also had Krispy Kremes and coffee for sale and they gave me 2 chocolate iced ones for a quarter! BigBoy was thrilled! He was also a saint. It helped that he had some of his new Star Wars toys to play with but we were gone for over 2 hours. He and Katie were soooo good.

I'm heading back out in the morning by myself. Yard sale season doesn't last forever and there are more neighborhood ones (the best kind). Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The weather lately just cannot be beat. I love this time of year when the wisteria around my mailbox is in bloom. BigBoy, aka Spiderman, joined me outside to take a picture and he of course had to get in on the action. BabyCakes is currently taking a nap, otherwise we'd be outside enjoying this weather. (Ignore the dirty mailbox post.)

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I read a couple books to BigBoy's preschool class today. I thought he would be really happy to have me there but unfortunately that was NOT the case. I got an okay greeting from him but I think the whole thing just confused him. We don't always communicate easily but the impression I got was that this was "his" space and in this space Mrs. Alice was in charge. As we left, I asked him if he was happy I came to read and he said "No, I love Mrs. Alice." Yes, this did break my heart a bit but I'm a big girl. :) He's been his normal loving self this afternoon, though, so I can't complain if for 6 hours a week Mrs. Alice is #1 in his book.

They're so Unloved

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As I said before, I took hardly any pictures during our short visit in TN/KY. Here are a couple, though. First of BigBoy and his Gramps (my dad) and then of BabyCakes and Grandma Shelley (my future mother-in-law). You can use your imagination and know that both the children got lots of love from ALL the grandparents plus great-grandparents, aunt, uncles, and also friends. :) You get the picture. (haha)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We're home

We just got back from a whirlwind trip to TN/KY. Happy to see the ones we did, sorry not to see the ones we didn't. I barely touched my camera.
Just wanted to check in. The kids are still asleep-- I'm probably going to have to wake up BigBoy for school this morning. We didn't get in until late last night and we all just collapsed.
Off to conquer Mount Washmore...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This last week in between the normal routine of it all, we've managed to spend time with some of our sweet friends.

On Friday our 1 yr old neighbor Emma and her mommy came to play for a while. It was enlightening to see how many toys BigBoy has now that are NOT baby-friendly. Hmm...must figure out a solution for when BabyCakes is crawling... I don't want her choking on a miniature light saber.

On Monday we went to the park with neighbor James and his mom. The boys ran around for a good long while and had a ball. It was just TOO pretty to be inside. BabyCakes obliged me with a nap in her stroller, sweet thing.

Tuesday Miss Kelly graciously invited BigBoy to come play with James and his brother Noah for a while in the afternoon while BabyCakes napped. It was a nice reminder of how much you can get done without any distractions. BigBoy can entertain himself pretty well these days, but there are still the frequent "Mommy this and that" even if I only need a little while to accomplish a task.

Today Biz, Sweet Caroline and Miss Rachel came to visit. The babies napped and woke up at the same time and the older children played well together as always. I sure hope the baby girls get along as well as the older two! After they woke up and ate, I got to take some pictures of Caroline. Here are a couple of the girls when we were just hangin out. I made a second failed attempt at taking pictures of BabyCakes in her Easter dress earlier. She just wasn't having it. She told me she felt fat today. ;) Usually these two girls have footed sleepers on all day so these pictures aren't really representative of their "style." :) They still look cute, though.

I wish we were able to see our TN/KY friends more often but feel very lucky to have special people in our lives here in Carolina. I want my children to grow up with friendships to last a lifetime like I have.

Duke Collage

Thanksgiving weekend of last year we took visiting family for a little tour of Duke's campus. These were some pictures from that day.
I had been wanting a new large piece of wall art for over my couch. I found a piece I liked okay and after mentioning it to my friend, she suggested I try to make my own. I knew I wanted to make a collage somehow but wasn't sure how to go about doing it. I finally decided on using Walgreen's collage poster option. I chose the pictures I wanted to use, and it would shuffle them by size and placement until it got to a configuration I was happy with. After tax and shipping it was $30 for a 20 x 30.
To have it custom framed was going to be over $150 after coupon, so instead I bought a frame at 55% off for ~$30 and had a mat custom cut to fit it for ~$20. I am very pleased with how it came out. (By the way, the reflection on the glass of me taking the picture, and also the mantle, is making some of the images look a little off...and my walls are not THAT dark.)
What do you think?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Good Morning!

This is what I woke up to this morning and I thought I'd share some of her chubby gurgliness with you, too! I'm sooo thrilled to see that we are in for another BEAUTIFUL week of weather! Everything is green and growing... the wisteria around my mailbox is beginning to bloom... ah Spring.

I think about my grandmothers' flowers a lot this time of year. Personally, I run a plant hospice so if you know of any plants who would like a loving environment to live out their last days, send them my way. ;)
One of my earliest memories involves Spring flowers. My father's mother (GG to us) always had buttercups. I remember picking them by the handfuls and proudly bringing them in to be displayed. Now, my memories are a little foggy because it was so long ago, but if I remember correctly, we (my sister and I) would pick nearly every flower in her yard and she would always great our "gifts" of flowers with "Oh, how beautiful!" and proceed to find a glass or jar to display them in. I don't remember ever being scolded for balding her yard. Even after she passed when I was a small child and my grandfather re-married, buttercups were there. I would go spend a few days with him and our new, wonderful Miss Ruth, who would encourage me to pick as many of the flowers as I wanted from the hillside by their house.
My mother's mother (MeMe) has always had a green thumb. It's the flowers she didn't plant that I remember the most, though. I remember spending the night with her and my grandfather at the tinytiny house they lived in while building their current one. In the morning we would walk the path through their property, past the garden, to check on the progress of the house or just help the sun rise. On that walk I couldn't wait to see what color morning glories were bloomed. Morning glories felt so magical to me. You never knew if you would see them or if you did, what you would see.

I've often said that if I won the lottery I would always have a bouquet of fresh flowers in my house. I may not be able to grow them but I can still have them in my life. Right now my children are my flowers, I suppose. Beautiful and changing with the seasons... now that I think about it I did win the lottery.

Friday, April 9, 2010


"Oh Cwifford! Where are you?" This is what I heard BigBoy saying the other night when he couldn't find his halloween Clifford book we bought at a yard sale last weekend for 25 cents. We searched the house high and low, only to find the book between his bed and the wall (only a sliver of a space). He went all over the house saying "Cwifford, where are you?" and telling me "Cwifford ran away." How cute is that? He said that about a Star Wars toy today, too.
He's frustrated that we haven't found a Darth Vader action figure for his collection (his favorite character, of course). (Grandparents - be on the lookout for the 4-inch Darth Vader action figure at Target or WalMart if you want to move to the top of his list of favorite people.) I asked him what he was going to look for at yard sales in the morning with me, and he said Darth Vader because he's been "hiding from him" in the stores.
I think tomorrow when we go to yard sales I am going to have him bring his coin bank with him. I've tried to explain to him what money is, but maybe he'll understand better if he sees how it works first-hand. I always end up getting him something, anyway, so this should be a good chance for him to get something that doesn't cost much and learn about money at the same time. Of course in his Thomas the Train coin bank there are also rocks from the chuch parking lot, gold fish crackers, pretzel sticks, and a couple leaves off a bush -- you know, all his valuables. :) Wish us luck. Last weekend was a bit of a bust. It was still a gorgeous morning out with my boy, though, and that's never a waste. I know that one day too soon a used McDonald's toy won't quite make me the hero it does today.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Loving Spring with Biz

We had a great time at Biz's house this morning. Getting together with Biz, her mommy Miss Rachel, and her baby sister Sweet Caroline (who's only 2 weeks younger than BabyCakes!) is always a guaranteed hit. Sometimes a little too much because when it's time to leave BigBoy is less than thrilled and has no problem letting me know.

Sweet Angel is family to us and just melts my heart. I can't wait to get to know her sister, too! I don't know what I'd do without our precious friends.

a tease...

No time to write...feeding baby...check back in the morning for more!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


If you think your allergies are affecting you right now, imagine living in THIS! Ahhh -- make it go away! We're supposed to get some rain at the end of the week so hopefully that will help out. I love Spring but man I hate the pollen.