May 31, 2011

Cheap and Easy

Well, it was a long fun weekend:) I'll hopefully post pictures and stories later in the week if I don't get distracted by newer, awesome(er) stuff.

2 easy things that have made my life simpler and cheaper:

Castile soap!! Just fill your foaming soap dispenser 1/4 the way with castile soap, then fill the rest with water. VIOLA!!! Exciting foamy soap!! And castile soap costs about $6-7 a bottle!!! When you only use 3-4 tablespoons for each soap dispenser refill, this is a cheap and easy soap source that is natural and happy!! And foamy!!! The bad thing about this is that there aren't any pretty and affordable foamy soap dispensers out there. Sad:( My bathrooms are all brought to you by Wal-Mart or Meijer brand soap bottles.

Why is that a kid would rather play with household objects, kitchen utensils, and random unedible things THAN THEIR TOYS???? Here's what I do when C gets bored with me and life:
  1. run around and grab anything that is not tiny,
  2. throw it in a container,
  3. and set in front of baby.
In this situation, my baby recently loves opening drawers. So that's where his special toys are "hidden" instead of being in a container. Containers are sooooo for 8 month olds. C is 9 WHOLE MONTHS NOW. He's TOTALLY beyond containers.

Other toys hidden in the open: our shoes (specifically the soles), onions, wine bottles in the now unused wine rack, the indoor compost trash can, the regular kitchen trash can, a giant seed we found in C's mouth that we have NOOOO idea where he got it, the remote control, drywall clumps (without trim covering it) (at floor level) that can be easily eaten. FUN!!!

Also, Our Art Art Hour and The Rural Juror are awesome things.

May 28, 2011

Link Love:)

I've got a few tabs open in Chrome that I thought I would share!

I want to make one of these! I've always thought an emergency container would be a good idea so I've started collecting water and food for it. I'll add a jump bag to my list too (or instead?).

A few different ways to have a nice lawn without using chemicals.

Until we save enough moola for granite countertops, I wonder if we could make these?

Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter and oatmeal? And they taste so yummmm too:)

Check out what these parents are doing. I understand the concept but ~wow~.....

That's all for now. Watching Panyo with the nephews, husband, and brother in law after working all day. Relaxing tomorrow!!

May 25, 2011

Weekend Goals

While C was contentedly napping on our flight home Tuesday, J and I revisited our home schedule (or lack thereof). Like I've mentioned before, we really don't know how to stop when it comes to working on our house. It's seriously going to take us YEARS to get this place looking like we want it. Yep, years.... Coming from someone who throws herself into a project 150% (possible?) until it is done, this is hard for me to accept. Take it slow? Take our time? REALLY??? Can't we just bury ourselves in house fixin' for 5 years and then bask in the glowing beauty for 30 years? WHY NOT???

Oh, because there's a baby here now. And he's generally more demanding than the house. And he's pretty loud and insistent. And dang cute and appealing to play with:)

And then there's that tension that creeps in if hubby and I don't relax, go on occasional date afternoons, or cuddle on the couch with a movie once in a while.

And our extended family wants to see us once in a while;)

And reading books, playing games, and watching high quality TV shows like 30 Rock, Community, and Modern Family are very important;)

Yeah, lots of things are more important than perfecting our Estate THIS VERY MINUTE. We need to be slackers. Our vacation proved that. While vacationing, I was surfing the Interwebs one night and looked over to see my hubby playing a computer game. I haven't seen him doing that since last fall and that's pretty sad. J loves independent and well made games as much as I love reading books but neither of us have been "indulging" in those hobbies much lately.

Long story short: New Schedule says:
  1. We will NOT do housework in the evening (other than cooking and cleaning up dinner).
  2. We will only work on the house for 4-5 hours each weekend day. 8-10 hours the whole weekend sounds good!
  3. We'll loan our kid to grandparents every other weekend to go on a date.
  4. I will focus more on playing/teaching my kid when he's awake since that is MY JOB. Oddly, not painting/weeding/constantly working makes me feel guilty and I HATE that. It's like I don't value my child. I value my house more?
  5. We're going to try to let things go, i.e. cleanliness standards. I'll have to work on this since J is already pretty good at overlooking messes;)

So our goals for this weekend are:
  1. Plant strawberry and raspberry plants. Somewhere. Probably involves prepping said area.
  2. Weed the front flowerbed! Oh it's soo big:( (That's what she said).
  3. Pressure wash the deck and gross exterior parts of the house.
  4. Buy sealant and begin sealing the deck.
We can DOOOOOO it!!!

CSA Food for May 26

Just a quick post about our current local food sources. Taking a hint from the SIL that I seemingly spend all my time visiting and reading.

Here's the list of our CSA food coming tomorrow. Apparently they switched their delivery date from Tuesdays to Thursdays. Okay. I will move my weekly grocery trip from Wednesday to Friday maybe? I plan a week's worth of meals and grocery shop after I know what we will be getting from the CSA. Oh, here's the CSA list:

Lettuce mix for salads and sandwiches
Snow peas- either in salads or cooked
Pea shoots to put on sandwiches and in salads
Tatsoi cooked with green garlic
drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper then grilled

Also, I'm buying today's Groupon for meat from Engleking Country Beef Shop for grilling burgers sometime soon. I'll get $40 worth of local happy meat for only $20. Nice!! This shop delivers to my town and is at my local farmer's market.

Speaking of that, Saturday is farmer's market and maybe I can find some strawberries to make strawberry rhubarb crisp? Sure hope so!!

May 24, 2011

NC Monday:(

We're home....

And I guess that's all well and good and nice and wonderful. But it's also kind of sad. As in no caps or exclamation marks. Probably because I'm pretty tired too. And tomorrow I have to go to the grocery store. After I plan meals for the week and make a grocery list. Then I'll unpack and cook dinner. How's that for reality? Suck.

Today we went to North Carolina Botanical Garden and we ended up leaving after less than 1 hour due to mosquitoes. Lots of them. But here is some of what we saw:

Pretty sure my brother took the lower right corner picture. PS- Christine- Tell Micah THANKS for helping me understand Photo Shop better!

C was pretty tired and ready for his nap but we forced him to stay awake for the gardens and lunch:) We played around some at the gardens and Charlotte tried to feed the cat rocks.

After lunch and naps, Micah, Christine, and Charlotte took us to the airport. And we left our delightful vacation behind:( The flight home went well and we were on a bigger plane than last time. C looked around, played with his wipes water bottle, grinned at people, and then slept for about an hour.

Baby boy nursing to sleep and J and I relaxing. Flying ain't half bad with our kid at this phase in his life! Right now he's happily snoozing in his own crib and tomorrow I think he'll miss Charlotte and all her wonderful toys:)

Ps- THANKS MICAH, CHRISTINE, AND CHARLOTTE FOR A PERFECTLY AMAZING TRIP!!!! And thanks for letting us steal your room for 6 days Charlotte:)

May 23, 2011

Oh Twinkie

Hot and crisp Twinkies with warm homemade chocolate syrup. My brother and sister in law have opened my eyes:)

Well tonight I had my very first deep fried Twinkie. And I have to say, it was the most amazing thing I've eaten in a while. Why have I been so stuck up about deep fried food?? How could I have been so ignorant all these years? It's a good thing I've got about 50 years left to enjoy catching up on Twinkies. And that's something I NEVER thought I would say:)

Well, tomorrow we head back home. And back to normal food that I have to cook. Sad.

In closing: here's a fuzzy picture of my boy being happyish and sweet on a walk:) C seems to have a little fever which could be caused by: his first tooth? (Acceptable) Or the beginning of a sickness? (NO!!!!) C has NEVER had a fever in his 9 month life so far.... It resulted in a fussy afternoon helping me realize I have had an easy 9 months. TOMORROW MY BABY WILL BE BACK TO NORMAL.

And yes, C is wearing the same clothes as yesterday. At least his marvelous dad and mum changed his diaper and bib, right?

Ps- J has a sore throat. :( The males in my family caught a bug:( THE FEMALE TRIUMPHS AND RULES THE WORLD. Please don't let pride come before a fall.

May 22, 2011

NC Sunday

Today was Day 5 of our vacation and it's all been so fun:) This morning though our alarm clock decided to unexpectedly blare the radio at 5:00 AM. This confused C and he thought it meant he needed to wake up and stay awake. FUN!!! J and I went back to bed 1.5 hours later but. still. Early morning.

We all woke up later, packed and cleaned, ate, packed and cleaned, drove to Wilmington, explored a bit, drove to Chapel Hill, explored a bit, drove home, unloaded, played, babies to sleep, relax:)

Me, J, and not-sooooo-tiny-anymore C.

Christine, Micah, and Charlotte. It's harder to take a picture with an almost 2 year old than it is a 9 month old. She wanted to run and watch boats, airplanes, and pretty much everything in sight.

What we saw in Wilmington. It's harder to take pictures of scenery with a 9 month old than with NO baby.

Us in Wilmington.

All the babies loaded in strollers as we make our way to the car for naps and a few hours of driving.

BTW- Happy 9 months to my baby boy:)

If you want to see cuteness: watch my happy niece Charlotte the first night we arrived at her house. She is so sweet!

May 21, 2011

NC Saturday

Today marked the start of the "I Have Lost Track of What Day of the Week It Is" part of our vacation. Since I tend to do this at home occasionally, I suppose it's really not a big deal.....

Today was beach day! We managed to get to the beach (3 blocks from our rented house) at 9:30ish and were back home with fussy kids at 11:00. Shower, naps, lunch, more family arriving, then back to the beach around 2:00! Done swimming a couple hours later, showered, ordered seafood and Thai for dinner (from 2 different restaurants), watched Monsters Inc., said good byes and bedtime.

C and Charlotte breakfasting on their favorite: Cheerios!! Actually, C was swiping some from the ones I gave Charlotte....

Beach fun:) My brother Micah, his wife Christine, their girlie Charlotte. J and C both contemplating life and the fine view. C's chubby legs that I love:)

My kid's hands and legs while on the beach. Biggest deal?? HE DIDN'T MIND BEING COATED IN SAND! Truly his father's son. C loved crawling and digging in the sand!

Eating sand was so yum!! Especially sand recently moistened with seawater! Maybe my baby has a sodium deficiency? Or it could just be because he chews ANYTHING he can touch....

My happy but serious baby:) Like I said yesterday, amazing sites knock him speechless but afterwards he babbles up a storm!

J's sister Jessica and her hubby Marc came down for a visit! Along came Levi (who LOVED the water!), Grace (she HATED the water and sand so she and I got along quite well), and little baby Isaac.

BTW, that put the kid total at 5 and adults at 6. In Jessica's family, kids always outnumber adults. And the kids are 3, 1.5, and 4 months. Whoa.... I think J and I should only have 2 kids:) Seemed quite challenging!!

PS- I still keep expecting my dog to clean the floor when C eats and bark when people come in the front door.

May 20, 2011

NC Friday

We made it to North Carolina on Wednesday! C played, nursed, and slept on the short flight here. Thursday we went to a Durham Museum of Life and Science and a barbecue restaurant for dinner. Today we took a long morning walk to a farm and later drove to the beach. No pictures from today yet but here are some from yesterday's adventure!

C got very quiet and stared at everything at the museum.

My sister-in-law Christine carrying her nearly 2 year old Charlotte and me carrying C.

Charlotte's reaction to the butterflies in the greenhouse area. She was so delighted by everything!!

C's reaction. As mentioned before, he just got very serious and stared. He tends to do this when he's amazed by life:)

We (Micah, Jeremy, and I) played with my camera.

C cheesing for his daddy while looking at the animals. Yep, this museum even had farm animals:)

Admiring the pigs.

What Charlotte did on the way home from the museum.

What C did on the way home. Yeah, different babies, different sleep habits:)

Tomorrow the BEACH!!! Btw, watching both babies see the ocean and sand tonight was very fun. Will try to post video of it tomorrow:)

May 18, 2011

Longer Out Than In and DINNER

Well, C has now been living in the World of Air and Sounds longer than he lived in the World of Fluid and Mumbles. Yep. Wow:) During his 38.5 weeks inside he grew from a speck to 7 pounds 14 ounces. And so far during his 38.5 weeks outside he's grown from 7 pounds 14 ounces to 21 pounds. AMAZING!!!

Moving on.

Here's how we spent yesterday evening.


I scored this free for us: local, grass fed, happy filet mignon!! And we grilled it last night, along with asparagus from our CSA and sweet potatoes from Green B.E.A.N. Delivery. We also had a yummy salad from our CSA. I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to REAL food again. Real as in: fresh produce that has been grown responsibly and picked just days before I eat it. Free of chemicals, delicious and delightful! Plus we're supporting farmers we know personally!!
Oh so nice:)

Lucky for us our grill is next to one of the kitchen window. How nice is that for handing things in and out? :)

It was raining! But the trees (and my rain boots) protected me while I grilled.

C enjoys his first steak. Prior to steak he had eaten an appetizer of asparagus, followed by a side dish of sweet potato.

Gnawing on his chunk of filet mingon. When it got soft, we cut it into smaller bites for him to pick up and enjoy. For about 1-2 months now, C has pretty much fed himself at mealtime. Very easy for us!

Star of the show: THE GREENS!!!

And my plate: happy foods happy to be eaten by my happy stomach. And yup, when I eat at home with my tiny family, I grab that asparagus with my fingers and ignore the fork. I feel that is what the asparagus prefers:)

PS- C was on my sister's blog. Check out his chubby feet and hands!! Love to cover them in kisses:)

May 15, 2011

The Guest Room

I searched high and low for pictures of our guest room before we tore out the built in shelving. I guess it was so awful to look at that we never actually photographed it?!?!? Kinda sad because now you won't appreciate the true hideousness of it:(

Let's just say one big corner was covered in very bizarre, oddly shaped, oddly painted shelving, complete with tiny drawers that would have held maybe 6 pairs of socks each. Yep. So: I GIVE YOU: THE GUEST ROOM.

My dad ripped down the shelving for us. Very nice of him:) Such ugliness was left on the walls!


Pile of debris.

Pile was moved outside.

Pile of debris was reused as raised beds (built by J and our nephew Chris) (Chris earned $18 that weekend helping us).

Raised beds that now have soil and seeds in them:)


In April we found out J's brother, who was moving back home in search of a new job, was moving back sooner than we thought. And he was going to stay with us until he procured a job and an apartment. Thus began 2 weeks of WORK VERY HARD ALL THE TIME during which we worked evenings AND weekends. Got the room tip top, put 2 (3?) coats of drywall mud (thanks to my dad!) on the walls to patch up the shelving area. Sanded. Primed the walls. Painted. Painted another coat. Hired some guys to install carpet. Moved in furniture that my grandmother gave us when her condo sold. Moved up other furniture. Set up furniture. Hung curtains given by a friend. Put on lovely bedspread swiped from sister's garage sale.

TAH DAH!!!!!
Sadie is so proud of her contribution to the room: barking.

Bed. Duh:) Ps- that lamp does NOT work....

Dormer.... A long place to pace???

Closet #1.


Ah sigh:)

The day we celebrated the room being done:)

I really like our guest room now. Maybe better than my own bedroom??? Oh well:)

PS- I just found out from a neighbor that the people who built our house still live in our town! The other day I was driving through our town on a road I hadn't ever gone on and I saw another English Tudor. I wondered about it (as I do with all English Tudors now!) but didn't pay it much attention. IN FACT IT WAS BUILT BY THE SAME PEOPLE THAT BUILT OUR HOUSE!!!!! And they still live there!! Hmmmm.... Wonder why they abandoned my house? Was it the wasps? The millipedes? Spiders? Tiny ants? The multitude of work that comes with a 2.76 acre Estate such as ours?

May 13, 2011

House and Diapers

First: I am happy to report that THIS:
Is finally happening to our pond. Our excavator filling it in in February but since he's fitting us in between jobs, we got pushed aside until now. Or maybe he returned to us because I started calling/texting him and bugging him too much;) Hopefully it will be finished on Monday? Seems too good so I'll tell myself that by Wednesday it will be done. Because then we must away to North Carolina (isn't that how they said it in all the Jane Austin books? I must away?) for a vacation.

And then THIS:
mound of rocks/concrete/stuff/unuseable water feature in my front yard will also be gone. Yay!! Stay tuned for what we are going to do with our giant rocks. Cause I haven't 100% decided yet either! Ideas?

Also: I think having a few vases of dead flowers around gives any house a decidedly "Miss Havisham" look. Don't you? And isn't that what we ALL want for our homes???

So, while I work on my disorganized photos (that's what the current naptime has been reserved for), here's some cloth diaper pictures and info from The Jarvis Estate.

C uses Bum Genius 3.0 during the day. We have 12 of these diapers and all except 2 or 3 were bought used. We used to use GMD prefolds and Thirsties covers during the day too but those are too cumbersome to take on and off when C uses the toilet. Alas. This means they've been bagged up for the next baby or loaned out to friends.

This is our current nighttime diaper: Thirsties cover, Mother Ease one size, and a small GMD prefold. C NEVER leaks out of these!! His behind is kinda big in them though.... We used to add an extra liner to the combo but nowadays he seems to be peeing less at night so we don't really need it anymore.

So, those diapers go on this boy's butt. He mostly wears just a diaper and a shirt or onesie when we're at home. This way I can squeeze, kiss, and tickle his chunky legs all the time!!! And plop him on his toilet quicker:)

Diapers go from butt to diaper pail in tiny laundry room. Then every 2 days I wash them: one cold wash with tiny bit of Charlie's Soap and 1/4 cup Bac-Out, one hot wash with tiny bit of Charlie's Soap, and an extra rinse. PS- if C poops in his diaper (maybe 1 out of 7 days) we spray it with the diaper sprayer in the downstairs bathroom THEN stick it in the pail. Ah sweet breastmilk-only baby poop, how I miss you. Eating-solid-foods baby poop, GROSS, I'm glad you go in the toilet!!!

The diaper covers go on my drying rack (AKA dining room chairs) to dry (no clothesline at the new house yet, too busy!!) and the liners and cloth wipes go in the dryer.

Finally all diapers, covers, liners, and wipes go in the laundry basket to sit in the living room for a couple of days. And if we're lucky, they get put in the diaper bin in the playroom. But did I take a picture of that final step? NOOOO. Because I wanted to leave you hanging in suspense. There's no way I'll get anyone to read a word I write unless I keep dangling that DIAPER BIN IN THE PLAYROOM photo in front of them.

Maybe later?