Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fire Station Field Trip

One of my FAVORITE things about being a stay-at-home mama is that I get to go on all the field trips with my boys. The four-year-olds go on field trips ALL the time. We had our first one today and we have THREE in the month of October - and they're FUN.

Today James' class and the other four-year-old class headed to the fire station.

They watched a video about how to get out of a fire (if you were a child of the late 80s/early 90s you, too, might have seen that video...they're still playing the Little Richard video from way back when...) and then they put on their fire gear and let the kids climb into the truck. James had a GREAT time. Looking forward to many more fun field trips this year! Eating UP this time with him.

Monday, September 29, 2014

We Survived!

The weekend has turned into the week and we are still here and trucking along. It was a BIG, busy, much-anticipated weekend around these parts and I am SO excited to share that it's done, we're in, and the house already feels like "ours."

Friday afternoon after school the boys ate lunch and napped, Eddie and a friend moved our washer and dryer and some other large things, and Mom and Kayla cleaned at our house. I hadn't anticipated cleaning on Friday before move-in day but the workers just weren't finished in time for me to get in sooner than that.

Late, late, late on Friday night (around 11:30pm) Eddie and I packed my SUV and headed north to Perry to spend the night one last time in our first house and meet the movers there bright and early on Saturday. They arrived around 7:30am and got right to work. In about 4 hours they had the entire house (sans curtains and a few little things here and there) packed into two moving trucks and were headed back to our new home.

Saturday afternoon was spent unloading trucks and deciding where to put things. I had a plan in my head for most of our things, but you know that doesn't always work out. MOST things in my plan fit. We're still working on arranging the den and my college sofa that was going in the boys' playroom doesn't work there so we're back to the drawing board on those things. However, MOST things work so I'm pleased with that.

Mom and Kayla worked all afternoon and unpacked the ENTIRE dining room. That is no small feat. I have a ton of serving pieces. I've been working pretty steadily on the kitchen. Unload a box, wash everything in it, put it away, repeat.

Sunday we made it to Sunday School and James had a birthday party so that ate into part of our day, but we still managed a little. Eddie has gotten the washer and dryer hooked up so we're cranking out load of laundry after load of laundry as well.

BIG thanks to Mrs. Bobby, Mr. Tommy, and Kelly. The boys spent the WHOLE weekend with them which was AWESOME since we didn't have to worry about them a bit. James stopped by for a visit on Saturday to check on the progress, but other than that we didn't see them. They were busy. They went to a movie night at the church on Friday and ran in a race (of course!) on Saturday. And I'm sure they kept Grandmama hopping with demands the rest of the time. Grandmamas do anything little boys want to do.

Eddie and I have stayed two nights in the new house. The boys joined us last night for their first night in a shared room! James said he slept GREAT! "Better than at the other house!" Hopefully that trend will continue. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do about napping, but nights are more important anyway.

We have a BUSY week ahead. I've tried to say NO to most commitments this week but there are a few that have to be done. Otherwise I'll be here trying to get things organized!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Random Updates.

I'm making an effort to blog every day this week and I have EIGHHHHHHT MINUTES to get those posted. These pictures are all from the last few weeks that I just don't ever think made the blog.

Eddie pumps my gas. He ALWAYS has. I never, ever, ever go to the gas station. And this is totally embarrassing for ME, but he's even gone to the gas station - my car at one pump, his at the other - and I've sat in the car. He is an acts of service man FOR SURE and this is one of those things. A handful of times in our marriage I have experienced the "FIFTY MILES TO EMPTY" ding from my car. I will admit that ONCE several years ago it went off and I PANICKED. Eddie wasn't with me and WHAT THE HECK DO I DO? And then I reminded myself that for 10 years of my life I pumped my gas by my own little self (okay, not ten years...) and I knew how to do it. So my sister makes SO MUCH FUN of me about that. So the other day when I climbed into my car and saw this, I texted her:

Her response was "WHAT WILL YOU DO? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN????" So I texted her this:

And she responded that, CLEARLY, divorce is the only option. I mean...clearly. I put one hundred million dollars in it and made it to church and home without breaking down on the side of the road. The WORST part was that I was NOT wearing clothes that I wanted to be seen in. My fault.

My sweet co-teacher recommended the Crab and Lobster Bisque at a local restaurant. It was 98* outside but I ate every bite. It was delicious.

James, Grandmama, Nancy, and Kelly ran in their second annual Color Run a few weeks ago!

And the boys went to the Homecoming parade last week! They are LOVING their jerseys and going to the football games this year.

Recently the power went out at our house and HOLY COW at the drama over that. It was SO SCARY. Lol. And neither boy could understand that when the power went out, that meant we couldn't use anything. "Mama, I'm so hooooooot. Turn on the fan." "Why is the air out?" "Why can't you just turn on my lamp?" Ohhh, the drama. Thankfully our daddy made it home from Publix and made us feel better.

I think I shared this already. My newest door hanger. It's going to be getting a Lori makeover asap.

My Jams this week. LOVING the sparkling solids. Oh, the glittery ones are my favorites!

We've been painting in the baby room. Isn't that hilarious? They've "painted" three pictures so far. This one is our tiniest babe.

Some afternoons the only thing you can do is buckle the boys in their carseats and ride. They can't touch each other like this.

Book Club selection for September!

Today's temperature - note that it was SIXTY-SIX DEGREES - called for a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Sadly, my little one who came home with a possible stomach virus, sipped it before I could stop him so it got thrown out. On the upside, I LOVE my Keurig coffee + Coffeemate Pumpkin Spice BETTER than Starbucks.

{Naked nails because I took my Jams off at lunch and I take them off with oil doesn't bode will for applying new ones.}

The bookshelves are IN. WOOOHOOOOO. Carpet tomorrow and then we're MOVING IN!

And the boys enjoyed relaxing in the AWESOME weather on the screened porch. Ahhhh. This is the life!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Before...And During.

Here we are! T-minus 4 days from moving!!! Can you tell I'm a tiny bit excited? I packed up the boys' toys (well, some of them) this morning and hauled them over to the new house. One load down, one million to go! I'll haul another few loads this week by myself when I have time, Eddie's going to take BIG stuff on Friday - the sofa, the recliner, the washer and dryer, the boys' beds and mattresses, the freezer - and the movers will be there Saturday. Shockingly, I'm not at all stressed, just anxious to get started...hence the hauling by myself today.

Painters are almost done with their painting (they'll come back and spray my mantle and built-ins in the den once the builders finish those today), carpet is going in one day this week (I'm not in charge here), and the house will be a MESS come Saturday so I thought I'd share the "during" photos for you. Whew! It's come a LONG way. The paint didn't look so bad when we first bought the house, but it looks CRAZY now that we've toned it down. I'll do the afters in a few weeks when everything is in and unpacked. Maybe James will give you a VLOG tour. ;)

Before on left, After on right.
We went with Porter Paint in Almond Cream on the main living areas (I think...sheesh I tried a million). It looks DARK in the after, but it is the same color as the dining room in the next photo.

Dining Room
Before on left, After on right.
See ya, RED. Whew. I have never been so happy about a neutral paint color.

Before on left, After on right.
This room still needs the most work for me. We'll re-do counters, sink, and backsplash in a few years. It's definitely livable. It isn't like the previous kitchen (holy COW....I'll post that below), but it's not my favorite and it looks dated. The paint made a big difference, though! The first paint I picked the painter said, "I like how it picks up the orange/terra-cotta color in the backsplash." And I said, "Well, then that is NOT the paint we'll use." Ha!

Whew! White walls, white cabinets, we rearranged the stove/fridge layout, PURPLE counter tops, YELLOW floor. We've come a long way. See the whole re-do HERE.

Master Bathroom
Before on left, After on right.
WOW. That crazy wallpaper gave me a headache. It is PLAIN JANE, but that's ok. I may change out light fixtures and faucets. There's no color consistency there. Some are nickel, some are chrome, some are both...it just doesn't make any sense. Porter Paint Colonial White.

Boys' Bathroom
Before on left, After on right.
Simple, easy fix here! We took off the stickers on the walls and painted it Colonial White. Easy, peasy!

Boys' Bedroom.
Before on left, After on right.
They are THRILLED to no longer have a pink room. Now to take the butterflies off the ceiling fan. :)

So there you have it! So far, so good! The next few days will bring GREAT things. Can't wait to share them with you!

Just for future reference for me...
Porter Paint "Almond Cream" (or Almond Paste???) in kitchen, den, dining room, foyer, and halls.
Porter Paint "Real Simple" in master bedroom and boys' bedroom.
Porter Paint "Colonial White" in all three bathrooms, playroom, and office.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Do Yourself a Favor...

I am GOING TO BLOG every day this week. And it's moving week. I think I can, I think I can.

I have a few updates, I have some pictures of the boys, I owe a company a review of their fun product, but tonight you get a yummy recipe so you don't have to wonder what's for dinner tomorrow. This is simmering on my stove as I type. The first day of Fall is sometime this week...tomorrow, maybe? You NEED to make this recipe. (And you may have everything you need on hand!)

Trisha Yearwood's Tortilla Chicken Soup can be found HERE

The best part is that it makes a BIG batch so I'm freezing half and will pull it (and Jamie Deen's chili!) out next week when we're moving and unpacking and I won't be cooking!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Progress, Planes, Pumpkins, and Painting.

Thanks so much for your kind words the other day! I got a handful of comments, emails, and Facebook messages reminding me that Will and James are COMPLETELY different (you don't have to tell me!) and that rearing them is never going to take the same ingredients. James' sweet teacher from last year (whom I ADORE) emailed last night to tell me NOT TO WORRY about Will. She has already asked to have him in her class next year (and I warned her that he and James are not cut from the same pattern) - although that was before he'd made a "name" for himself. She mentioned that she has been there, done that with boys who are rule-followers and those who are not. We just have to let each child forge their own paths and shine in their own ways. (And I've really, really, really tried not to compare the two out loud in front of them. Really, I have.) She also mentioned that he is so charming that I will never know about half of the things he gets in trouble for because he'll bat his eyelashes and get out of it. God made him cute for a reason. Yesterday and today were MUCH better. He got TWO stamps both days (out of three...lost one for hitting a kid in the face with a train...seriously) and we were told to CELEBRATE big time for the two (that were generous gifts, apparently) in hopes that he'll enjoy the positive rewards enough to continue. We shall see...

Whew! On another note, we are in full-out party planning mode for James' birthday party. It is in exactly one month and I'm trying to get everything taken care of ahead of time. It is going to be interesting trying to pull that off while also trying to organize and unpack. SO thankful I decided not to have it at our house this year. The really tricky part is going to be remembering where all the party supplies are during and after the move. ;) We're going with a Planes Fire and Rescue theme and there isn't much out there in the way of party supplies. Hopefully it will all come together.

I got the cutest wooden monogrammed pumpkin in the mail the other day. I painted it a very fall-ish orange (NOT to be confused with Florida, Tennesse, or Auburn orange...) and put it on our front door tonight. It's so cute! It may wind up being my only Halloween decoration this year. :P It needs a wire hanger on the back and a burlap bow (and I may get Lori to fancy it up more than my little brown brushstrokes did), but here it is for now. Now it just needs to move to my NEW FRONT DOOR!!!

Our painters are DONE with the house. Hallelujah. That was quite a job! We still lack the built-in in the den but they'll put that in next week and then spray paint in, the mantle, and one cabinet in the kitchen (and maybe something in the bathroom, too). Overall, though, they are GONE. Carpet goes in Wednesday or Thursday next week and then movers come on Saturday!!!!!! My goal is to be IN the house (and out of our rental) by September 30th. I took off work October 1st and 3rd to work on getting everything unpacked. We have a *few* things going on that week, but mostly my attention will be on moving, moving, moving and unpacking, unpacking, unpacking. Yipppeeeeee!

My boys are off at the high school football game and I am going to try my best to finish Gone Girl tonight. (Y'all. I love it. Read it if you haven't. And let me know what you thought if you have!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Perfectionist and the Fun Kid.

In every group of friends there is the one that follows the rules and tries to keep the others out of trouble. He is the one that tows the line, is his own worst critic, and is a pleaser. He doesn't want to disappoint anyone.

And then there's the kid who is always shouting, "Hey, y'all! Watch this!"

We have one of each in our family.

At the boys' school they have a system for discipline that produces a positive reinforcement for good behavior. Each class is different in how they carry this out. Last year, the talk was all about "bugs" for James. Each child had a bug jar and if you misbehaved a bug was removed from your bug jar and you lost a stamp on your hand at the end of the day. I proudly bragged that James only lost TWO all year long. And one of those two produced such crying that you would have thought someone had died.

Will's class has implemented the same system this year, but I think they use monsters. The first few weeks his teachers have taught them how to sit quietly at circle time, how to behave around friends, and how to walk quietly in the hallway. It isn't a perfect system, but it does give them some guidelines for behaving at school.

So here's where the Perfectionist and the Fun Kid come in. Do you think you can guess who is who?

There's James, who only lost two bugs the WHOLE YEAR last year. And then there's Will who by September 16th (a mere MONTH into school) has already lost EIGHT monsters/stamps/whatever. EIGHT.

Last week as I laid him down for his nap after he'd lost all three in one morning (he did that again today), he looked at me and BATTED HIS EYELASHES as he said, "Mama, you yike me?" Batted his eyelashes. He KNOWS.

If you need me, I'll be covering up my gray hair and looking for new wrinkle cream. I fear that this is only the beginning for the "Fun Kid" and his schemes. Maybe I should bake cookies and brownies for the office staff in school at the beginning of each year, huh?