Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Well that's new...

I titled this post as such because, well, that is Logan's new saying.  That has got to be the best thing about three-year-olds. the newness. Right? Everything is so new to them.  They are learning to be kids, people, and learning the good and the bad of the world.

But even in the harshest of worlds you need a little Patty Cake. And bacon.

This is the song I heard Logan singing to the babies:

Patty cake, patty cake, baker's man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Roll it. Pat it.
Put bacon on it. Lots of bacon. And cheese and some avocado and perhaps some spinach.
but not chairs. Don't put any chairs in it.
And put it in the oven for Parker and Cooper and me.

Yep, that's new.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Good for the soul

This weekend we hosted some Besties. Stacey and I have been friends for *cough* decades... plural.  Wow.  Her boy Jack, and my boy Logan fell in love this weekend and, hopefully, will follow in their Mommies footsteps of friendship.  I decided this morning that having a best friend with me, the kind that feels like a cozy old blanket that you have had forever, is good for the soul.  for my soul.

Upon noticing this, I came to a realization that I need to slow down.  Not worry about the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the baking. just absorb.

So after a lunch with said Besties (SUSHI!), Logan and I headed out for some much needed Mommy-Logan time.  My poor kid could barely see anymore with his shaggy hair, so first stop was a haircut.  Logan takes after his pampering-loving Mama and highly enjoys every aspect of the hair salon... the shampooing... the chatter... looking and feeling awesome when you leave... my boy was soaking it up.

After some wandering, post-haircut, we found ourselves needing a little snack, so we decided on some ice cream, my treat. And not just any ice cream - Whitey's Ice Cream - and not just any Whitey's Ice Cream, but one scoop of Pumpkin and one scoop of Graham Central Station. Smoosh these together and you get a party in your mouth that tastes like pumpkin pie. hello Thanksgiving.

We took our one bowl and two spoons and found a bench near the ice rink to watch the ice skaters. Logan had about 348 questions, as usual, mostly about ice skating, but also about pumpkins, wheel chairs, cowboy boots, and spoons. Love the learning.

I was soaking in every ounce of my boy (and our ice cream) when this older Gentleman approached and said, "excuse me", and this is how the rest of the conversation went:

Me: "Yes?"
Man: "I just needed to stop and tell you how wonderful it is to see you sharing a bowl of ice cream so quietly and sweetly with your son".
Me: "Awwww, thank you!"
Man: "I had to say something because one of the best memories I have of my mother is sitting on a bench with her, sharing a cup of ice cream. It really touched me to see you doing this, and you need to know that these are the times that matter and the things he is going to remember forever."

His eyes started to fill with tears, as did mine, and I thanked him once again for stopping, and I really think that it meant as much to him as it did to me.

I wept on the car ride home. I wept with sadness for this nice man who clearly is missing his mom.  I wept with complete overwhelming feeling about how I love my boys with every cell of who I am that I feel that I could crumble to pieces.  I wept because my boys are growing, and will grow up, and I wish hope pray that they will be kind, grown men who will have tender memories.

So, breathe.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

8 Months

Yea, I am that far behind. The past month has brought a lot of time-consuming activity such as crawling babies, let me say this again slowly... crawling...babies. two of them. in different directions.  We have had to get quite crafty as to how we keep them in a safe place and decided, against my previous parenting choices, to purchase a baby jail.  It was necessary for safety purposes.

We don't put them in the jail, but use the jail to keep them in a specified "safety zone" in the living room.  God bless things made of adjustable plastic. 

The big man Cooper got himself some chompers! Two cute little bottom teeth. 

Parker, as to not be left in Cooper's shadow, started saying yelling "Dada!". You know, since he is with MAMA twenty-seven hours a day, it makes sense that "Dada" would be his first word.  sure. I believe I may have heard a "Mama" in there somewhere, but "Dada" seems to be the babble of choice for Brian's Mini-me. 

Their 8-Month "photo shoot" went... well... they went. as in they went in opposite directions and didn't stop moving.  

I decided it was time to move to the floor. My babies are no longer lumps. 

In case you didn't notice, the babies are in a "grabby" stage. Yea... 

And not to be outdone by his brothers, Logan stunned us with his skills. Ha. 

The Wonder Twins are doing so amazingly well that I swear they went from infants to big 'ol babies just this past month.  Parker weighs 18 lbs and Cooper is 19.5 lbs! They both love to eat and enjoy a variety of super yummy, mommy made fruits and veggie purees, as well as the trusty spinach puffs.  Both babies have boycotted the bottle all together. Swell. So, sigh... mommy doesn't go away for too long . I am okay with this, since usually just a couple of hours is all I need to recharge my Mommy-batteries. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pintastic Homemade Laundry Detergent

There are a couple of household products I hate spending money on.  Dishwasher detergent.  Paper towels. Garbage bags. You know, the stuff that is pricey, pretty boring, but a complete necessity.  I do about 654 loads of laundry a week in this house with a night-time potty-training preschooler, two infants with reflux and who wear cloth diapers, a 65 lbs dog, a husband who throws clothes on the floor whether they are dirty or not, and two extra toddlers who spend Monday - Friday toddling through my house.  Trying to find the right balance between economical and eco-friendly when it comes to a laundry detergent can be a challenge... especially when you are in laundry hell like me.

So when I found a pin to homemade laundry soap, I skedaddled to my nearest grocer to snatch up the fixin's.   I ended up having to go to two different places, as Fareway didn't carry the Fels Naptha, but it was a small price to pay for the prize of under $2 for 40 loads. Yep, you read that right.

This was another project that took under 15 minutes, looks pretty when complete, and BONUS! - makes my kitchen smell like lemons and clean. Two of my favorite smells next to right-outta-the-bath baby and mojitos.

This process was insanely easy. Grate the Fels Naptha, mix together with a cup of Borax and a cup of Washing Soda (not to be confused with Baking Soda). I doubled the batch and got this beauty.

She's so pretty, she found herself a spot on my kitchen counter. I have used this for almost a week now, and  our laundry has been fresh smelling, clean, and fluffy - with only a teaspoon of detergent used. I would consider that a total win. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

May I Pintrest you in some DIY art?

See, I told you.  I have a whole slew of titles like this.  You know you love it.

If you were to come knock on our door, you would be greeted with this guy:

Hello gorgeous. I still love my plum door.
Although it's no Beyonce, the giant metal chicken.

I also love my 20 minute, DIY yarn and t-shirt wreath.

Wire wreath frame, cheap brown yarn, Rosette's made from old t-shirts, hot glue. Bam.

Open the Plum Princess and you will be greeted with this!

I used to have a Matisse print in this frame (and the frame used to be silver) but I figured that my houseful of pint-sized painters deserved some fun and inspiring art.  Better yet, the insanely generous and creative Katy Brown gave me that kick-ass art board on which to hang said Masterpieces.  The best part about this project is that the frame was already hanging there (holla for not having to get out the hammer!), and all it needed was a fresh, glossy coat of black spray paint.  The "art" is nothing more than paint swatches laid wherever my crazy mind decided to lay them. Super fun. So for a grand total of $8, I was able to completely transform the front entry of our house. I wish I had a "before" picture.  But alas, I do not.

Have you ever made art out of paint swatches? Seriously, the interwebz (specifically Pintrest) has about 6897897 different ideas for this colorful fun cards. Go get to DIY'ing!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pintrestingly Fantastic

I have an arsenal of titles such as this one, so you might as well just get used to them.

I am in this house pretty much 24 hours a day (unless you count the drives to and from preschool... which I do not).  Suffice it to say, I can get a wee bit bored with my surroundings. But since we have to be frugal, I can't just be passing out my credit card number for every item at Pottery Barn that catches my eye!  So I do what any determined, impatient, semi-crafty person would do.  I make shit out of other shit.  Yep.  I use the stuff I have to make new stuff. Boo-yah!

Re-purposing can be super gratifying, especially when the item you are re-purposing was purchased at IKEA for $0.19.  I love the Swedish.

I purchased this cabinet door a few years back, not knowing what I would ever do with it.  Well, with 4 boys in the house, the need for a hat-rack was great, and I wanted something that resembled the idea of a mudroom, sans a mudroom.

I took the already white cabinet door, spray-painted it white for extra gloss, attached $2 ORB hooks from Le Lowes, and decoupaged some brown ribbon to the edges on two sides to tie it in to the leather chairs at the dining table.  Oh, and my husband attached it to the wall with some sort of freakishly strong fasteners that hold like a gazillion pounds.  Score.  I am sure at some point in time I will find a child hanging from one of these hooks like a rogue gorilla, so I am glad it will at least be able to hold him.

In the meantime, this nifty little rack holds some baseball caps, soon to be winter hats.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Very Pintrest-ing.

I recently became obsessed with Pintrest. It is the cure to the end of the internet. I kid you not. There is always something to look at. Like shopping without having to give anyone your credit card number or explaining the charges to your husband! What?

I was into quite the Pintrest-groove when the Geek Squad repaired stole my computer.  While on hiatus, I decided to put some one of my "pinned" items into action!

I love homemade items that can turn into great family heirlooms.  That is how this growth chart found a giant spot in my heart.. and kitchen.  I found the wood in my garage thanks to my husband and our ridiculously crap-packed garage.  This project was insanely simple and required the wood, a yard stick, wooden numbers (purchased at Michael's), wood stain, Sharpie Paint Pen, and black spray paint. With a little secret inscription on the back to my 3 little cherubs, and some heavy duty bolts, we have one stellar growth chart for the McGowan boys to mark-up over the years. Love it to the moon and back.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Punching the Geeks

A month. An ENTIRE MONTH. The Geeks at Best Buy broke my computer, then continued to hold it hostage for a lengthy period of time. In fact, they still have it.  I am typing on a computer that I marched into Best Buy and demanded they give me.  Also, I took and arsenal of five young, energetic, not-napped children with me.  They gave me that free computer faster than you can say kid-leash... 

So, I am back.  I have a considerable amount of catching up to do!  I also have about 10-15  blogs posts on deck, so stay tuned, and get your reading glasses on.