Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mission : Financial Organization

So it's no secret that I find soo many things online that inspire me and then I just HAVE to try them out! I've made too many new recipes to count, filled my attics with wreaths for all seasons, and now I'm committing to becoming more organized! 

This month I'm trying my hand at financial organization! My desire to get a firmer hold on my family's finance has sprung recently as a matter of necessity. Ya'll I have got to get all of our baby making medical bills paid!!

Now I realize that just because I'm setting up a little thing to get my act more together it will NOT magically produce more money in my budget. But, I am hoping that in planing out how, when, and where our money goes out I can budget more to go towards medical bills thus eliminating them faster! Sounds like a good plan right? :)

So in lieu of my usual bill paying organizational system (a proud pile on my kitchen counter top that I shuffle through a couple of times a month) I have started this! 

Before I forget, I found my inspiration here. :)

To honor my budget, I only spent around $10 for these supplies.

I found the most perfect little calendar sheets! They are the perfect size for the binder because they are the size of a standard sheet of paper. I'm not sure why but these are sometimes hard to find. I was really excited when I did find them :).

For a brief description of this highly complicated (HA!) bill paying system I hole punched the calendar and added it to the binder. I then added the dividers labeled according to whom I was paying. 

Bills that come in the mail are added to the front pocket and the due date is quickly notated on the calendar. Once the bill is paid it is hole punched and added behind the appropriate divider. Easy right??

I can't believe that I'll have all my bills stored in one little one and half inch binder for the entire year! If this works out, I'll have more bills paid off sooner and I can get rid of a large bulky filing cabinet!

And because who wants to read a post only about a bill paying organizer... here are some pictures of my cuties from this past weekend at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo!

My sweet boys had such a good time!

Silly Grady :)

Ya'll wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Love Language

Have you ever stopped to think about why you are with the person that you are with? Often I ponder why I'm with my hubby and how different (and worse :) my life would be without him. I often hear from friends that their spouse said this or did that and I just have to thank God every day that I'm not in their place.

Bobby and I have by no means "the perfect marriage". We have our tiffs but they are pretty few and far between. I am so thankful for this. I'm grateful that I have a wonderful hubby that comes home to me day in day out, love me and our boys unconditionally, and would do just about anything that we asked of him (within reason of course!).

I love that Bobby knows my love language and he keeps my love tank filled to the top!

Don't know what "A Love Language" is?

In a nutshell a love language is a primary way in which love is interpreted and expressed. There are 5!  They are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

If you read Gary Chapmans Book, "The 5 Love Languages" he says that each person has primarily one love language and that interestingly enough their significant other does not share the same one.

I was pretty surprised to read this. When reading through the 5 love languages I identified myself significantly with 3 of them. I find that I need to hear "I love you" probably more than most people. I also need to be with Bobby as much as possible! He's my best friend and there are tons of times that I will be out with other people and find myself thinking "I wish Bobby were here too...". The last one is acts of service. I find it soo wonderful when he does silly stuff like empty the dishwasher for me. Just the thought of him sacrificing his morning time to do that for me before he rushes off to work just makes my heart sing!

If I had to guess Bobby would probably pick the same 3 as me! (haha, if I was to ask him he'd probably say physical touch :)

Because of our personalities I end up doing things like this for him...

I tend to try and reciprocate all that he does for me with Acts of Service of my own. I love to make him special meals that I know he loves especially if I know that he's had a long and difficult day. 

I know how much we appreciate each other and I'm hoping that our boys are witnessing our tangible love for each other. My hope for them is a future with wonderful wives who share their love to the fullest!

What is your love language??

Friday, February 24, 2012

For Daddy!

I know, watch out now, two posts in one day! :)

This is a post for the best Daddy in the whole world!

We miss him so much when he's at work and we count down the hours, minutes (and sometimes with the boys are bad, seconds) until he gets back home to us!

Bobby, I know that pretty much only you will get the significance of Griffin's outfit... :)

Love you!

House Proud??

So I have an old friend from High School coming over to hang out tonight at my house. I haven't seen her in at least 3 years so I'm super excited! Of course I have spent the better part of the morning trying my best to tidy up the house (that she will be seeing for the first time...). I realize that this is a some-what futile thing to be doing as my 3 boys pretty much are the equivalent of an F-5 tornado these days. But still, I feel obligated to try. Dang-it! I like to at least try to impress people the first time around!

I finally made it to wiping down the kitchen table that I so lovingly restored all by myself. Guess what I found that wouldn't wipe up??

It now looks like we celebrate Mardi Gras year round...

I could have SWORN that the paint we were using the other day was that really good kid-friendly, wipe right up kind.

I was soo soo wrong. Grrr.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Randoms

  • Here's a post for you random person who "unfollowed" me because I haven't blogged in days! Sorry I don't mean to sound bitter today but stuff like that hurts my feelings... 

  • I had a whole post planned out that was going to be called Overwhelmed. Then I read Brittany's post today and I made the choice to give up on my pity-party. It was the kick in the pants that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself today. Ya'll stop by and give this woman of God some love, she's amazing!

  • Griffin has been doing pretty good with the sleep training! Up until the past couple of nights he was only waking up once or twice to take his Paci but then going right back to sleep with out crying. Poor thing has since gotten a yicky cough which was making him choke and gag when he did cry at night from not feeling all that great. He has regressed a little bit but hopefully by next week he'll be back on track!
I love how blond his hair is coming in!

  • Graham started on a new baseball team this week. They are The Dodgers! They are going to be practicing 3 times a week and having a game one other day of the week. It seems that we will be doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and pretty much living baseball for the foreseeable future!  Who knew that 9 and 10 year old boys needed baseball to be that serious...

  • Yesterday Grady, Griffin, and myself escaped outside to the beautiful warmth and sunshine! Grady rode his scooter up and down the street and once we got tired we picked some fresh fruit from out front yard!  The lemons are soo fragrant! My kitchen smells delish right now! Plus, there is just something so awesome about picking your own fruit and then adding it to your plate at mealtime that is so wonderfully self-sufficient feeling! 

  • Bobby and I decided last night that we are closing up the laptop on Friday night and not opening it again until Monday morning. We realized that we were randomly sucking time that could be better spent on like 1000 other things (namely, our family!). I'll have a lot to catch up on with everyone come Monday mornings :).

  • We have our shirts done for the March of Dimes walk! 

Didn't Fran do an amazing job!! It was pretty important to me to have the t-shirt designer really get where I was coming from and what I wanted.  Fran lost a daughter too so I know she can relate to how important having this t-shirt made for Caroline was to me. 

  • I finished painting Grady's room this weekend! Who knew painting one small bedroom would take soo long! It looks great and I can't wait to get his big-kid furniture in there!
This is the room almost done!
  • I can't remember if I mentioned before but Griffin has started eating cereal every night. He loves it!! He has stopped pushing it out with his tongue and is opening his mouth every time he sees his spoon coming. I'm so proud of him!

Friday, February 17, 2012

He Slept Until 1!

When he woke up I went to him after the required 10 minutes of fussing, put his paci back in and left the room. I started to get my pillow and blankets together to start my dreaded hallway camp out when I realized that he never cried after I left the room!


He woke up again at 4:30 and we went through the same steps again and once again he was just fine once the paci was back in place. He was up for good though starting at 5:30 am but that's ok by me! If he keeps this up I might just be a normal, non-crying,non- bitter,non- angry, mother that I need to be!


Time to send out the announcements :)

Thank God I'm cute...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sleep Or Lack Thereof

I have finally reached the end of my rope.

My rope has turned into a thread and I'm hanging by it. :)

It is time for Griffin to learn to sleep and I am bound and determined that we start this week on it. You see, I have yet to be blessed with a child that has ever really slept through the night with out some very firm persuasion on my part. Oh yes, maybe once or twice they all did it, sleep though the night I mean. But, looking back now, I'm fairly certain those were accidents :). My children would never mean to fall asleep and sleep until 4 or 5 am. That would just be wrong! To go soo many hours with out filling their little tummies and then socializing with Momma until the wee hours of the morning... the HORROR! :)

So, last night was the first night that I got serious. I realized that I was providing tons of little things that I thought would help Griffin sleep better. He slept in a Halo sleep sack swaddler, he had a positioner (because he liked to sleep just a little on his side), and of course he liked nourishment every hour.and.a.half. I was wrong.

Last night, we went cold turkey on all of it.

By providing so many crutches all I was really doing was hurting him and neither of us was getting good quality sleep. He is now old enough (gah! he's getting soo close to being 5 months old!), weighs enough, and is socially aware enough to sleep train.

Last night I layed him down as usual. I did put his sleep sack on him but I didn't use the swaddling portion. Those little "wing" things I just velcroed around his waist. He fell asleep after his night night bottle and surprisingly stayed asleep until 11 pm! Usually once he senses that his arms are free he starts to have a little baby panic attack. :/.

I had pre-planned my attack on this situation and had gone to bed at 8 pm (thanks Bobby!). When  I went upstairs to Griffin's room I took 2 blankets, 1 pillow, and a travel alarm clock. I briefly went into Griffin's room and soothed him for a moment and then left.

Cue hysterics.

I felt really bad. You could hear how mad and confused he was after I had left the room. I was prepared though and litterally camped outside him room and timed out 10 minutes and then went in there again (and again and again and again and again).

Griffin said that he had his doubts this would work...

Around 12:40 am I could tell that he was getting more sleepy and less agitated. I finally stopped going in there because he was less upset when I didn't go in there than the times that I would go in there to comfort him and then leave. By 1 am, he was out!

He woke up again at 4 am but I let him cry for the required 10 minutes before I went in and replaced his paci and he fell right back asleep with out crying again and slept until 5:30! 

I did it!!

I know that this "cry it out" or "Ferber" method isn't for everyone. I'm not even sure I could completely define what I did last night as either of those because frankly I have not read Dr. Ferber's book on the subject. I merely took some of his main ideals and added in what felt comfortable to me. 

I'm ready to try it again tonight!

I know that nap times will still be rough for us and I'm sure that Griffin and I still have a while to go before he is comfortably sleeping through the night with out any aid from me. But, I'm committed to his sleeping success. It can only make him a happier, healthier baby and in turn that makes me a better Momma!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

That's My Boy!

Today was Pine Wood Derby Day for Graham's cub scout group! Every year we all look forward to the new design and paint schemes that Bobby and Graham come up with .

This is the car for this year! Graham came up with the shape and did a lot of the cutting himself. (They come as one little block of wood.) He also applied the camo "skin" himself.

Bobby and Graham headed out early to help set up and I followed later with the two little boys.

Graham's car raced awesome and he came in first in his Den!

Overall for the entire pack (of God-knows how many little boys) we figure he came in 4th.  Not too shabby I'd say!

Griffin was sooo excited to be there. Can you tell? :)
As a treat for the boys one of the leaders arranged for a local race car driver to stop by with his car for boys to check out. 

They were soo excited!

We all had such a great day as a family!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons...

Make lemon aid!

Or, in my case, a Valentine's Day wreath. :)

I know I have soo much stuff around the house that I should be doing (ya'll the laundry and dishes are out of control right now...) but I just couldn't help myself. Crafting is my stress reliever! When ever I'm down in the dumps or worried I always find that using my hands and mind are the best tools for me to use to process whatever I need to be thinking about or planning out. Plus, it's just all-around a better idea than eating which is my other terrible go-to when I'm upset.

I headed out to my favorite place, Hobby Lobby and I grabbed up the stuff I needed to make 2 separate wreaths. The bigger one, I'm proud to say, is all done!

I wish that I had remembered to take more step by step pictures, but this took me almost a week to complete. I was only able to get just a little done at a time when either the boys were sleeping or being really quiet and good. Can you imagine how often that happens around my house! HAHA!

I started out by cutting 6 different types of ribbon into 5 inch lengths. I bagged each group individually because it took me a while to get them all cut. I was interrupted 4000 times while doing the cutting and I didn't want any of my boys running off with all I'd had previously cut. :)

I then fold each piece in half and hot glued about a 1/4" up from the bottom of each of them. I then hot glued  all the little "tags" I had made onto the straw wreath I had purchased. I attached a fun dangling heart and glued a trio of bows to the top. 


Not too shabby for my first attempt I don't think! I probably should have started out with a less industrious sized wreath. This one measures around 24 " in diameter. 

I would love to be able to hang this on my front door but I'm a tad bit worried that the elements will get to it. :( So for now it will hang up inside my house!

On a sweet side note, while I was making this, Graham wandered up to me and asked me if I was making something for Caroline. I love love love that he sees pink and thinks of her :). I do too! I explained that no, it was just for Valentines Day but that maybe soon we could think of something to make for her.  

I can't wait to start the second one! I'll be thrilled to death if it gets done before Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Would Ya'll Pray?

We had some upsetting news yesterday about our oldest son Graham. Don't worry, he's not sick, not in trouble, and didn't do anything wrong. I'm not really ready yet in my heart to share. (I probably will one of these days as I wrap my head more around what's going on.)

Needless to say, I've been crying buckets of tears in frustration, fear, and worry for his present and future.

Would you please pray for him and for us? We would covet prayers for guidance and peace with what we'll be facing.

Preschool Days!

We are all so excited around here these days because Grady started Preschool! I really should have started him sooner but between everything we had going on around here last year (pregnancy, bed rest, having a brand new baby) we are just now getting around to it. I'm glad that we waited a little longer than normal. He was soo excited to start and now is almost 100% potty trained so he was able to start in an age appropriate class.

Grady was super excited to show off his new lunchbox! 

Sweet boy smiling in the bright sunshine

"Not one more picture Momma."

We found a wonderful place close by that he can go 2 days a week. So far he seems to LOVE it! He asks everyday if he can go to school. This makes my heart so happy and so thankful that he is ready to make new friends and learn a lot!

Once we got to school on the first day it was soo hard to get a good picture of him. He was so excited to get started that he could not stay still for one second! That is a sure sign of a good time being had.  I love this! There is one extra optional day a week that he can go where they do more "fun" things than just their regular preschool program does (i.e. tumbling class). This is what he was doing on his first school day. We decided to get his feet wet first before starting school.

I'm not sure that this will be the place that he will stay until he goes into Kinder but for right now it seems to really suit him! I would like to see him in an environment that is just a little bit more structured. That being said, I have been very impressed so far with how on top of things they seem. After only the first day I was receiving emails for the entire next months curriculum.  We will see how it goes though. 

Wish us luck :)!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Griffin Is 4 Months!

As usual, I'm late with posting :). Ah the life of a Momma with 3 boys. Whatcha gonna do!

So last week Griffin turned 4 months old! I can't believe how fast time is going! I keep saying "I want him to stay this age forever" and then I follow that up by saying "but only if he would sleep like a 6 month old or be able to play outside with his brothers like an 18 month old". I guess every month has a new fun stage to it. While I would love for him to stay so little and sweet forever I can't wait for all the milestones that he is soon to hit. Both his older brothers got their first teeth around 6 months, I wonder if Griffin will too... I guess that's the next big thing in store for us!!

Sorry for the picture overload :). I love all my pictures of my kids so much. Even the bad ones. :) This month was hard to get a good picture of him. When I finally got him propped up nicely the only wanted to look at all the fun things in his bed or chew on the sticky on his shirt! Maybe next month will be better. Right??

This past Monday I took Griffin in for his 4 month check up. He was awesome! The doctor said that everything looked great with him! He received 3 shots and 1 oral vaccine for a total of 5 vaccines. (I think they double up two of them?) I hate how bad they make him feel the next day (oh Lord the crying...) but I like to know that my kids won't have to worry about contracting Polio.

His stats were :

Height - 26" (85 percentile)
Weight - 17.5 pounds (87 percentile)
Head circumference - 41.5 (25 percentile)

Dr. S. said that we were able to start feeding him rice cereal off a spoon now. We have already (super-secretly) been putting it in his night-time bottle in hopes that it helps him sleep better. But, it nice to know that we now have permission to do it :) 

Time for Daddy to get the highchair back down from the attic!

In other exciting developmental news, I had to pull all the cute cute bumpers out of Griffin's crib at 4 AM this  morning. Around 3 AM  I went in Griffin's room to check on him because he hadn't woken up to eat yet (soo unlike him) and he was fast asleep all squished up next to him side bumper WITH HIS FACE PRESSED INTO THE FABRIC. Oh my Lord Ladies. I nearly had a fit. I yanked him out of the crib (he was just fine Praise God) and rocked him in my arms for a moment and then laid him back down. I went back up to check on him again about 30 minutes later because I couldn't stop thinking about him scooting around in his crib (this is a pretty new development for him because we still swaddle him)  and HE WAS DOING IT AGAIN. Enough of that I told myself and I spent 20 minutes untying all the ties in the dark. Poor baby, you could tell he was soo confused being able to see out the bars of his crib for the first time.

On a much more exciting front (and less scary) I pulled out Grady's old jumpy for Griffin to try out!

The first time we tried it he only liked it for about 3 minutes. Then the crying and the tears started. The past couple of time though have been much more successful! He will stay in there about 10 minutes and just coo at the little green frog!

I have a VERY hard time not biting these cheeks! :)
Griffin's has been sleeping marginally better at night. I hate to say anything at all because I'll jinx myself. :). I've been trying to read a book on children's sleep recommended to me by my pediatrician but its very slow going. I have almost no time to read these days and when I do I am so foggy brained! One key thing that I've picked up on (I'm only 1/4 of the way through so stay tuned for more sleep updates!!) is that I needed to try to put him down earlier before he got too tired. We scooched up his bedtime by almost an hour and that really has seemed to help! Griffin now goes to bed around 6:30, usually wakes up once, maybe twice to eat, and then gets up around 6 AM. I am hoping to get to the portion of the book that tells me how to cut out his nighttime feedings! I think that if he could get a solid 12 hours of sleep at night we would really be in business! KEY THING: SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP

Griffin has also started trying so hard to roll over onto his stomach! He has to find something pretty desirable to want to get first though! He can already roll from stomach to back when mad (usually about too much tummy time :)

I'm so proud of my sweet, precious little guy! He is the light of all of our lives! Bobby, myself, and my big boys just wouldn't know what to do without him!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Caroline's Name Has Been Hung!

I wish I could think of a more elegant title for this post. :) But, I guess it does the job describing what this post is about! Oh well, I'll never have trouble finding it if I go searching at a latter date...

Enough rambling, here it is! I had the hardest time adjusting the size so that it would fit the dimensions of Shutterfly's things. One of my besties, Amy, helped me do it! Love you girl! Thanks so much for all your weeks of help with this! I think that it turned out beautiful!

For right now it is hanging along our main hallway. I doubt it will stay in this exact location long, I mostly just needed to get it up and away from the boys :). When we first got it in the mail Grady was super curious and kept asking what it was. He now proudly announces that its "Cle-lo-line's name in the sand". Too cute!

We ended up ordering it on a canvas. I think it looks great as it is or maybe one day we can have it put into a really nice frame. It's a 16x20 and I think it will go great with all of our other wall hangings once we get the walls painted and other things hung. I'm super excited to get started now!!

I can't tell you all how happy my mother's heart is right now! Finally something of Caroline's that we can share with friends, family, and neighbors!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Crafting With Chalkboard Paint!

I have seen soo many cute ideas lately using old silver trays and a little chalkboard paint. I seriously have been about to die waiting to try this! Since I am a complete newbie at this I though I would go cheap just in case I really messed something up. :) I found an old silver tray in my mom's garage during Christmas and brought it back with me. I hope she doesn't mind once she sees what I've done to it! The other silver tray I painted was just one that I found at the dollar store. I can handle wasting a buck if it didn't work out!

The chalkboard paint was the most expensive thing that I purchased for this project. I was $7.99 but I used a 40% off coupon that I had to make much less expensive!

I then used blue painter's tape to tape off the area that I wanted to leave paint-free. I wish I had found a simpler tray to use for my first try. Trying to get around all those little twists and turn in the tray about drove me nuts! :)

Here it is after it was painted. Can you see that I also managed to use a tray that had some engraving in it? I had thought that I would be using enough paint to fill in those groves. Thank goodness it didn't change the effect!

Just for grins, here is the pattern! 

Here is the little tray that I purchased at the Dollar Store! This one was soo much easier! The straight lines made applying the tape fast and easy!

I am seriously in LOVE with how my big tray turned out!! I can't believe it went from being tarnished and hiding in a garage for years to now being proudly displayed on my dinner room table! I love that I can switch out messages on it as often as I'd like!

Here is how the little tray worked out. Not too bad for an investment of a little over a dollar! I can't wait to find a special place for this little guy! 

I still have a ton of paint left in the spray can. Nothing will be safe in my house now! :)

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