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Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I finally feel like this circus is coming under control. Having a baby throws you through a loop, and it being the 4th- it's a #hurricanetornadoapocalypse. In the white rabbit's hole. He's almost 4 months, Harlow is almost 3, Lauren almost 7, and Taylor almost 12 (gasp!). Helpers in their own right, and destructive in their own ways. There are definitely pro's and con's to having them gaped as they are. They're all in different stages of life, with each stage it's blessings and curses. For me, if the house is a hot mess- guess who else is a hot mess?? To try to think of everything I want to do, need to do, and have to do.. it makes me want to scream in to a pillow. You seriously will wish Mary Poppins was real. I tell ya, that first 2ish months is hard work. To survive it, make lists. Cheap meals, easy meals, freezer/crockpot meals, daily must have done's, do 1 load of laundry a day and what each day it will be of (clean, dry, put away), a daily schedule of house chores (so hubby knows what you need done), and try to schedule the big stuff on the weekends (or his day off), eat dinner late (after the bigger kids are in bed) once a week if you can. I seriously could go on. What calms you? For me I LOVE liquid Ivory body wash. One sniff and I swear I relax.
 #1 Use that time (bath time) to be alone. Make sure he understands you want to be alone and not bothered every night for 30 minutes to unwind. The other rats don't follow him to the bathroom all day long like they do to you. You NEED 30 minutes alone. 
#2 Wind machine. Get one. Walmart $30 (also on amazon). Kids are loud. Can't get around it. There's one in Jason's room, and ours. We all sleep like husbands. When I'm feeding him in his room, I can't hear the TV and playing going on right outside his door in the loft. Only unless someone is crying hard, and even then it's not loud enough to make him jump/wake. It's amazing and lifesaving. One small pound of weight off your shouldersI've got some tips for the ladies that are having their 2nd, 3rd, 4th...of the litter.
In the AM, pour 4 glasses of water (no ice). Place them around the house. I put mine: in his bedroom, mine, kitchen, and bathroom. The most important requirement of BEING is drinking water. You will forget. It's inevitable. Something is always needing to be done, someone is always in need of help or to be dealt with. It's. A. Circus. #YouAreNotTheHeadmaster.  They are all fighting for that position. But lets face it. The smallest one is the leader ;o)

Get that fan! Everyone should have one. Buy one a month until you are all set. Nobody will be waking anyone else up. Start with the baby's room of course.

Buy double of whatever. Cans.. Can't have enough of those. Fruit, cream of whatever, soup... You will forget a lot of things. If you have doubled something then you won't run out so much.

Make muffins on Sunday, double batch of course. You will be hungry, and every time you THINK about eating..the baby will want to eat. Handheld food is LIFESAVING. Plan accordingly.

Let him hold the baby, and you clean the tub. Yeah he could just do everything for you..but you just spent 9 months off and on feeling ok. And then you had a baby. And now you feel 30% back to normal. Do something that isn't baby related. It'll take 10 minutes. 10 minutes of you focusing and physically moving and doing something "normal".

If you don't put the others in bed by a certain time every night, START. You need to have that time without the constant game -on repeat- of "follow the leader" (the leader being YOU!). Plus even if it's just 30-60 minutes of time with your hubby, it's adult conversation time. You're surrounded by midgets all day. Talk to someone your own size. 

You have a smart phone (most), download kindle and get books. While you're feeding the baby, read. It's a way for you to escape- without really leaving ha ha. I get an email everyday with a list of free books to download from amazon to my kindle app. OHFB ->subscribe.

If the baby needs to nap, and the hubby is home- strap the baby to you, put on some headphones and go about the house doing chores while listening to YOUR music. Let him mind the chillin's. Be sure to do the dance move, "That's nice! Now go find your father!". It will involve slight bouncing (for the baby), smiling while nodding with a thumbs up, and then pointing in the direction of said Husband. 
I think you're now prepped and ready. These are my few tips that can really make a day seem not as bad as it looks. And I've had some bad days. But it gets better my friend. Then it will get bad. But then it gets better again. Now, tips for when he's TDY.. that's a whole other post. Bottle of wine anyone?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The past 3 months

I can't believe that title. Has he been here for that long all ready? Jason, it's time to slow the time down mister. Well, let's recap:

May 22nd, 2014 I was induced. Didn't take long at all. Pitocin at 630am, Epidural at 1130am, water popped at 1230pm, and born at 2:04pm. No pain, because they chose when to give me the epidural instead of me usually waiting until I'm in pain. I felt jipt, I'm not gonna lie. The birth was fast (one push, yo!), and recovery crazy easy. And then we were hit with 12 solid days of COLIC... I wouldn't wish that on my worse enemy! 3pm-11pm of crying. Couldn't make my baby boy happy. It must be because he's the fourth, last one, only boy, or I'm older (pick one lol) that instead of getting bitter/mad/insane...(again, pick one!) I just felt sad.. Sad I couldn't help him, and I cried along with him most nights. I was just so happy he was here, even though he was screaming his head off. Turns out he had reflux too. The minute he had the meds, there was HALF the amount of crying. It trickled off too. He was 2 weeks when it started and it was gone by 10 weeks. The "baby jesus" move, also known as the elevator would make him instantly stop crying. We held one hand under his neck and the other under his butt. Up down, up down, up...down.......up......down. I think I can...I think I can.. I can't. "Honey your turn!" Thank God CJ got 10 days paternity leave, and then we went to AZ (his moms) for 3 weeks. If he had been gone..I dunno.. I may have lost my mind!
So now everything is going pretty darn good. Let's start with the first kid:

Taylor Rae

She has been... *sigh*..*tear...The BEST! A part of me is sad how big of a gap there is between Jason and her, but then again- she will remember EVERYTHING. What a nice thing that is. Such a big help too, even when she isn't asked. She started 6th grade this year. I cannot wrap my head around it, yet I'm just as excited as her. Middle school was my favorite honestly. She's super happy and just eager to get out the door every morning. Hope it lasts lol. The school did assessments on all the kids, and right away we found out that she's reading at 8 grade level, go Taylor! Little smarty pants. And shout out to Grandma Cindi for sending her clarinet for Tay Tay to use! She loves it!!

Lauren. Riley. Coles.

 LoLo... She has changed so much, and for the better, over these last 3-5 months. Taylor has "played" less and less. And that has been hard for Lolo. But what she didn't realize is that Harlow is closer in age than Taylor. It's taken her some time, but now she willingly plays with Harlow and 50% of the time it's pleasant. They actually share a room now. I know before I said Taylor volunteered to share with Harlow, but while family was visiting for Jason's birth and after- all the girls shared Lauren's room. So after they all left for good, we sent Taylor back to her room, and rearranged the room for Harlow's stuff and bed. Lauren asked after a week, "Hey when is Harlow going back into Taylor's room?" Never.... HA! You should have SEEN her face! Priceless. We pointed out how well it's been going, and how she loves to play. I think she may have bought it. She started school today. Last year was half days, and so this is her first year of all day school. THANK YOU JESUS! She required a lot, I think she just needed to be challenged instead of being challenging because she's bored. This summer she learned to tell time on the second hand clock, addition, and to count money.

Harlow Renee. 

Has turned into a string bean. Not that she was ever a chunk butt, but she's shaped like her Daddy, no ass! She was so sad watching her sisters go to school. This morning we walked Lolo to her first day and Harlow had her own "pack pack" too.. It's pitiful. BUT she's starting preschool early. Birthday is in December, but friends of mine run it out of their house. They said they think she'd be fine! She's just freaky awesome at listening, applying, following directions.. her comprehension is ridiculous. Counts to 16 (I think Taylor didn't start counting that high until 6 months from now), has known her abc's since 2, and her vocabulary is pretty darn big. Her main issue is she has a high palate and can't say certain words correctly. Stawberry, spicy is ficy..."S" with a secondary starting sound (make sense?) comes out wrong. So maybe 3 years of preschool (could be less?? If they test her and allow her in at 4 3/4 years old) would help with that. Excited to see her blossom!

Jason..my sweet, squishy, cuddly, handsome boy. 

His smile is just so sweet. He's teetering on 6-9 month clothing, in size 2 diapers, and EATS like a champ. Naps like a pro. Right now, the current family favorite HA! I need to get that onesie from Target..

Me? I'm good. 

Dropped 35 of the 45 gained so far. Just tracking calories now, having the breastfeeding WORK for me. #MomOf4WithA3MonthOld RUNNING?? #Ain'tNobodyGotTimeForDat! Eventually I'll have time when he has a more predictable schedule.

Just passing time while CJ is at continued training in New Jersey for the month of September (BOO!). Us girls just started watching "Once Upon A Time" on Netflix- we love it! Trying to watch it all so we can record the NEW season with Frozen characters. #PassingTimeWhileDaddyIsGone

Have great week y'all!

Monday, May 12, 2014

When will he be here?

Every mother-to-be goes just about nuts wondering "When?". When will he be here? When is it time? when whEN WHEN! 

This baby boy is packing on an ounce a day, by the time he comes out he should be 8-9 pounds I think. Last night, I started getting PGP (pelvic girdle pain). It's where the attachments for the groin muscle become too lax and anytime you go to move (getting out of bed at night) those muscles give you shooting sharp stinging pain. I had it with Lauren for the last 8 weeks..THAT sucked. It just means you're preparing for labor plus the baby low and getting heavy. YAY. Just a week-ish left. 

I can't believe it. I'll be planning boy birthdays now. I've looked at tons upon tons of cakes thinking "Oh I wish I had someone to make that for.." Oh. Wait. I do! 

Two days until my mom-in-law gets here, and we will have a night out to eat before all the shenanigans get goin'. 

My baby boy...I can't wait to meet you. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Today's Scoop


Today is Lolo's first field trip ever, to the puppet theater. She's so excited. She got to bring a lunch with her, it was so cute. Can't wait to hear all about when she gets home!

Taylor had been learning the high jump in gym class, and today is the Track and Field Day for the local schools. She was one of the three chosen from her class (top 3 selected) to compete in the event today. I'm so proud of her! She's changed so much over the last year or two..she's growing into a beautiful, strong, confident young woman. I'm just as excited as she is that she's going to be starting middle school. AND she's decided to join band. I played the sax from 3rd grade to 7th, loved it. I'm so happy/excited/proud that she decided to be brave and try something new! Her choices are of this order: flute, clarinet, and percussion/drums (she's never played ANY of those). The teacher will take all the enrollment forms, and decide who will play what instrument. I'm hoping for clarinet, but it obviously is up to the teacher and her. She also has the choice between spring soccer or track. She hasn't played soccer in a quite a few years, and with this high jump stuff..I think she's going to choose track. Now I will have a running partner. I told her once I was cleared to workout, she could start with me- but she will obviously be quicker lol. My motivation ;o)

So today it's just me and Harlow from the morning until 1 pm. Normally Lolo is gone from 12:30-3:45, so I've got some extra hours! I went and picked up an Americano from Starbucks, because no one was with me to say "Ooh ooo can I have something?! Can I get a.." the little mooches...lol

I think I should tackle a project today while I still have the energy. My closet...ugh.

On a side note, I think Jason has dropped a little. On Sunday I was feeling "funny", a little TMI stuff that you don't wanna know :o) but my belly dropped around 2 inches. Not all the way, but he's starting to descend! I called May 21st, CJ called May 23rd (due date is May 29th- but the other three came between 38w 5days and 39w 1day.) I just dilate too far, and they admit me. Once the water is popped, these babies have come faster and faster! With Harlow, between the water popping and her coming out was 25 minutes. I think I sat a full dilation for 20 of that, because the pain level never changed after the first 5 minutes. AND she came out in ONE contraction! At least I know that if my water popped at home (I would have to be pretty far dilated without realizing it) the hospital is only an 11 minute drive..but we would most likely call the ambulance- no accidents please! Let's just pray that this labor will be no different, and I leisurely drive to the hospital to be admitted just like with the others lol.

So that's the scoop for this week. 36 weeks and counting.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

4 years ago

In 2009, we decided that 5 3/4 years in Florida was long enough. When you enter the military, you're told that 3-4 years on station is normal- be prepared to move. However, what we didn't realize is every time he deployed, that time clock restarted. He deployed 3 times (6.5 months or more gone each time) from 2005-2008. Every military member makes a "dream sheet". A list of 8 bases they would like to go to or be near. We had just had our second child, Lauren, and desperately wanted to be closer to his family who were just starting to get married and have children. So he volunteered for a year to Korea, in return they would send us somewhere else after. We packed up and moved to Arizona for the year. The girls and I stayed with his parents.
Christmas 2009, right before he left for Korea
He left January 11th, 2010, with a 3 week leave from Korea to come home for my brothers wedding and R & R in September. That was the longest we've ever been apart by far to date. It was easier yet hard this deployment. Easier because I was with family. Harder because Lauren at 2 years old was a #dowhateveriwantdontcareaboutpottytrainingNOnapactlikearottenegg24/7toddler. AT LEAST 3 nights a week, it ended with a 2-3 finger glass of wild turkey. It was his dad's bottle, and it was 90% full if not brand new. By the time CJ came home I had it down to 1/4 full maybe less.. Soooo many stories that year that I fully intend to use it against her in the future when need be :o) 

That April, CJ and a few friends went in the DMZ tour (demilitarized zone located on the border (ish) of North and South Korea). You take a bus up there, and he said on the way he didn't drink a lot of fluids. Restrooms were..less than desirable. He came back from that, he had had a good time, and then had flu like symptoms within a day or two. I knew he wasn't feeling good, he had gone to the clinic on base and was seen. He went back a second time, not getting any better- more intense really. By the third time, the DR had gone on leave and left a note "If this guy comes back- send him downtown immediately. I don't know what's wrong."

He was sweaty, delirious, feverish, not right..way off for a normal flu or cold.  Last I had heard, he was at work feeling crappy, going home early. Within an hour of that communication, his health took a dive. The clinic had the ambulance come and take him to the local hospital. From that point it was about 2-2.5 days before I heard from him. Not our routine at all. I got a call from him at 2 am Arizona time. 

First thing I said was "Where the hell have you been?! Freaking out over here." 

"I'm in the hospital, they're not sure what's wrong." 


Information was hard to get from him. He was still incoherent, so I talked to whoever the Air Force assigned to stay with him at all times. Tests were being run, at that time they weren't sure what he had. The Doctor's were foreign and barely spoke English. A day later we got a call from the Chief over there. He was being prepped for a spinal tap, they thought it could be meningitis. My poor baby... Here he is across the world, lying in a bed made for a short Korean person (CJ is 6'4"), being poked and proded- and I can't get to him (no passport). From what I understand, there was some hours there where..it was REALLY bad. We just stayed by the phone 24/7. I held it together until I found out he would live, they had figured it out- started to treat him and was all ready getting better. I thank God for that trait. Otherwise I'd have be sedated. This isn't his first time putting the family through a life threatening ordeal (because it's all his fault lol!). 
September, on our way to my brother's wedding, look! He's alive!!
When he was around 11-12, he contracted strep throat 9 times in a year. He'd get better for a 1-2 weeks, then sick again. The meds just wouldn't kill it. The Doctor argued with his mom as to what it was half the time and neglecting to do a strep culture, wasting time. He became septic, and organ failure started. He was medi-vac'd to Phoenix Children's Hospital. They were told the next day after it was figured out and he was being treated, that last night if they asked- he had a slim chance of survival. 

So you see, God had plans for this man's life. I think he's pretty special myself, and we have a lot to be thankful for. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

3rd Trimester Blues

"What to Expect when Expecting"
The third trimester

During week 34 of pregnancy a baby boy's testicles start their downward journey from abdomen to scrotum (bon voyage!). A baby's noggin turns southward too, settling into a heads-down, bottom-up position. By week 36, you've got about a six-pounder in there, with fat continuing to accumulate (Look Mom, I'm gaining too!). Two weeks to go in week 38 as your baby sheds his vernix (the waxy substance that protects his skin from your amniotic fluid) and lanugo (the hairy coat that keeps him warm in there). All's pretty quiet through week 39, though you may find yourself waddling as your little bundle drops even lower in your pelvis. 

Belly Big..CHECK!
Getting Sleepy..CHECK!

They forgot to add, baby gets the hiccups like ALL THE TIME. I get a "tick" in my belly 2-3 times in 24 hours. It's super awesome when you get up in the night to use the bathroom to then lay down and can't sleep because SOMEBODY has the hiccups. I always disliked this time, you can't eat until you are full because he's getting bigger thus my "stomach" is getting less space. Which then gives you extreme heart burn. And then he gets the hiccups. 

We've always saved our baby stuff, even though being military doesn't really give you a lot of space to store. People may walk in and think, "There's a lot of stuff in here.." We just knew that in the long run..you save money by not having to replace things you sold/got rid of. Jason's going to use Lauren's baby bedding, with baseball decor splashed around. 

I'm not using the bumper, because SOMEBODY ripped 2-3 of the tie downs off.. I am not using the valances, mobile, or the square trio wall decor either. I need to get a lamp base, crib sheets, some kind of baseball mobile...I think. I have a cylinder clear vase that I'm displaying CJ's baseballs he's had since forever and a day ago. I got another sign from Hobby Lobby that has baseball stitching and says "Hey Batter Batter". I have a few other things I'd like to do, pics will come soon! I still can't believe I'm putting together a BOY ROOM. I guess I'll believe it when I see it ;o) I know we'll be an emotional wreck during delivery day. I can't imagine if we had stuck with "not finding out" what the big day would have been like... I'd probably keep checking his diaper to make sure "things" were still there lol. I'm sure every parent that has had multiple of one kind, suddenly gets the other kind knows how I'm feeling. It's just as exciting as having that first child all over again, plus he'll be our last. Bitter sweet. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Harlow and the pistachio

I grew up snacking on nuts of all kind, and a lot of my side of the family does too. So I didn't have a second thought about sharing Lauren's pistachio bag, knowing that Harlow is old enough to have nuts/made with nuts things. Of course I only gave her one at first. She liked it, asked for another. I gave it to her, and thought, "Oh she eats so well. Nuts, fruits, greens, yogurt. So proud of her." Then 5 minutes went by, and she asked to spit out the second nut. Ok, she changed her mind. No biggie.

Then I noticed her cheeks were puffy, tongue swollen, her eyes went darkish, upper throat glands swelled..and she started to cry "It hurts, it hurts!" 

Immediately I gave her the zrytec, two minutes later she doubled over yelling out. She was figgity, crying, face flushed..NOT A GOOD SIGN. And also not one that I've seen before. 

"Taylor!! Get the Benedryl, and the big pasta pot!"

Gave that to her, 10 minutes later she threw up. Emergency room- here we come! So from the moment she ate the nut, to the moment I walked into the ER- it was a 25 time frame. On the way there, a 10 minute drive, she started to talk less. I asked her, "Harlow are you ok? Does it hurt?" She always answers me with her words. I got no answer so I asked again- also with no reply. I slammed on me brakes, and as I turned around I asked her again...She was nodding her head the whole time. Of course now that I'm looking at her she answers, and I notice her speech is better. One heart attack a day please Harlow! 

We were immediately taken to a room. Vitals checked, they said her breathing is perfect, heart is up because she's now nervous- but overall she looks good. We stayed for about 2 hours beginning to end, got a prescription for an epi pen for her. Then next day I called and got her in to our clinic (military has their own doctors, labs, pharmacy- at most locations). He ordered a blood test that would test for particular nuts. YAY. ME. But it's to save my baby's life. She was such a trooper. Daddy held her, plus she had seen me have blood taken before- and knew I didn't cry..but she did :o( She held still though, didn't squirm or fight back, poor little baby. They had to stick both arms and came up short to test for all nuts. So we chose peanut and pistachio. Turns out they had enough to cover some more, so here's her findings:

PEANUT: LOW positive
BRAZIL NUT: LOW positive
ALMOND: LOW positive

We will now be reading our nutrition labels more thoroughly!
Pistachio...was obvious lol. The other's he said she could totally grow out of by 4-5 years old. I bake, and she has had almond extract in cake/frosting with no signs of a reaction, never had a brazil nut (not even me lol) and she can eat peanut butter things with no reaction..just JIF pb caused her at 1 years old to have hives, and threw up in the night (just like your body, your stomach produces histamine- so it expels it when you start to try to digest it) but she eats actual peanuts with no reaction and eats ALL NATURAL peanut butter with no signs either. So for the next year or two, she doesn't eat all the other stuff regularly- just on occasion, we'll slow down her intake of peanut stuff until she's older. BUT NO PISTACHIO'S!!! Now I need to get her one of those special bracelet/necklaces. Good thing she likes to wear jewelry :o) 

Nope, I'm fine.

That is Harlow's most common response. "Nope. I'm fine." That has been attached to many questions I've asked her haha..

Lauren's most common response: "There's this (toy) I don't have.." Yeah, because that's what I expect to hear when I ask you to go put your shoes away.

Taylor's most common response: "I didn't hear that." Oh. Sooo you didn't hear the second half of EVERY. SINGLE. SENTENCE. I. SAID. ALL. DAY. LONG. It's getting old lady..

At least one kid is "fine." Ha ha ha..

And the fourth one is just growin' every day.

The more we've had, the more you see that every kid truly is different from the other. They all go through the same physical and mental stages, but their responses to each one have been different from the one before. Not dramatic, but just different. Crazy as it sounds, they all so far have come out looking different from the others. So what the heck will Jason look like?? Lauren was night and day compared to Taylor. She came out and I thought, "That's my baby?" She was so big, and had so much more hair (I had crazy heartburn with her!) compared to Taylor. Dark complexion too. Harlow came out with dark hair like Lauren, but around three months it lightened. I was really hoping she would have blue eyes with the brown hair. I think that is so strikingly beautiful. She's the only one with blue eyes too. What will Jason have..
Taylor around 2-3 weeks
Lauren at 1 week
Harlow at 1 week
Lauren and Harlow looked alike, don't ya think? Personality wise, much different from the get-go. 

Four kids.Why so many you ask? Well. I guess we just kept feeling like someone was missing every time we added another. It's not about the number. It's not about our age. (Although I always said I'd "like" to be done by 30, I'm sliding in to HOME PLATE with 2 months to go till I'm 31.) And it's not about keeping that "baby" feeling going. Someone was missing. Simple as that.

and "I'm fine" with four. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

There's no switch

So for a month now we've been dealing with a stubborn, do what I want, sneaky 6 year girl. A month ago, Lauren was caught with the Nintendo DS in bed after lights out. I took it away, told her no electronics for the next day. Stuck with it all day that Friday, and that night I went to my Bunco group. This next part surprises me..

So I get a text from CJ at 9 o'clock.

CJ "You won't believe who I just caught doing something they weren't supposed to do" (I don't remember the exact text- but that's close)
ME "You've got to be kidding me.."
CJ "Nope"

SMH. Where was the DS you ask? In my room on MY dresser. So when CJ told her it was time for bed, she went up stairs and got the DS from our room. He thought, "you know what, I'm going to go check on everybody." Would you EVER as a child have gone in to your parents room to look for something that was taken from you? Me? NOOOOOO. Not unless I wanted to die from a lonely, secluded, boring, pathetic death in my bedroom from being grounded for 2 weeks. When I came home, we literally sat dumbfounded on the couch for a good 30 minutes. Just discussing as to how to proceed, and what thought process she must have had to complete her "mission". It's not like I left it in the loft/kitchen/her room. It was it the "you do not enter" domain. That sounded more serious then it really is lol. They can come in anytime...just not to secretly take things.

So this time she was "grounded" from electronics for quite a few days instead of just one. Did it work? For a bit..Then this past Sunday night, CJ went to her room to tell her again that it was bed time. While she was gathering what stuffed animal she wanted, he walked to her bed to "straighten" it and snuck his hand under her pillow...to pull out the DS that he suspected to be there. SOH (smack our heads). She just doesn't give up or get it. She had full intentions of playing on it after lights out, AGAIN. So we didn't say anything. Every day this week when she asked for specific electronics, I just answered no followed by because. It's now Thursday, and she finally noticed every day has been "no" and asked whhhhyyy??

Because my child who refuses to obey, you have not earned our trust back. So no you may not induldge like your sisters have been.
I'm just tired of letting it get me all riled up. Because this one- does. Maybe because she's like me..WAIT! who said that...CJ said she has "no switch". Doesn't know when she's pushing the boundaries, there's nothing in her mind warning her with loud flashing lights and sirens "YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT DO THIS." Maybe our punishment just didn't stick out in her mind? I mean she's 6, so we're not talking about 2 weeks here. BUT I did warn her that next time she was caught, she had to sell her pillow pets DS game. Technically..she wasn't caught, but she had intent. So we didn't do that. I sure as heck reminded her "what did I say will happen if you're caught again at night with it?" That got a big response :o) And hopefully remind her that she should be thankful for all that she has, that you have to obey the rules, and that we do not "have to" let you play every day on the things that were so generously given to you. They are a privilege. Here's hopping!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Go Team Coles

I LOVE how Harlow's toddler bed came out! So as you can see, we changed some things. We added 6" to the height of the legs, made a nice paneled headboard, put thicker and less cross bars (sturdier IMO), made guard rails so that it didn't matter which side was against the wall, and then added a plank to the foot board so there wasn't a gap. So proud of CJ! I helped hold and hand stuff, directed how I wanted the changes, and was a second pair of eyes to check levels and straightness. Go Team Coles!!

Next we painted it a pretty white to go with the rest of the room. Harlow was so excited, every time she see's it she says "it's Harlow's? Mine." My little baby is starting to be too heavy for me to lift in to her crib, so I hope she really likes her new bed her Daddy and I made her! 
Panoramic of the beds and wall. Not done yet, I have a few things to make and pics to print and put in frames. I just love their room, fits Taylor and Harlow so perfectly. They are a ray of sunshine! I have a wrought iron white twin bed waiting in the wings for Harlow, so I went ahead and bought the coordinating bedding. So you see a pink twin size set on Harlow's bed there, I just folded the blanket under the mattress. She was sooo excited..until bedtime. She was in bed for around 25 minutes, came out- and when I told her to get back in bed..she cried. "I want my crrriiib". Daddy had to sing a couple songs and explain how everyone slept in big beds. That's all it took. 

I can't believe March is gone. Just *POOF*. Haven't gotten to other projects we wanted to get done, but we still have time. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

And so it begins

This past weekend was packed, and the next few will be exactly the same- but we had fun! For Saturday, I had the pleasure of making a Minecraft cake for Tanya's son Christopher who turned 10! Check it out:
That's faux fondant pieces there. It's buttercream with hardly any of the liquid and a ton of powdered sugar so it keeps it's form. That was my first time using that recipe (I pulled "Duff's" fondant out of the cabinet and it was BLUE not white- and no time to run to the store!). Christopher picked out a couple cakes we saw on Pinterest, and we came up with this. I made berry blue jello jigglers for the "water" and homemade rice Krispy treats for the border. I think it came out cute what do you think?! 

Funny ending to the night: Lauren blurts out "Hey- Taylor needs glasses because she's half blind!!" while walking past the eye place inside Walmart. Taylor normally says how she needs glasses (she's going soon) when she passes ANY eye place. I guess Lauren is her new advocate. 

Sunday we went over to CJ's coworkers house for a #ripouthisslidingglassdoorandbuildawallBBQ. I made twice baked potato casserole, otherwise known as "crack". Sooo addictingly good! Normally I have a picture..but we ate it too fast before I thought to take one. I was feeding 4 grown men who had been working in the sun doing manly things with tools. So they had manly size portions, no leftovers. 

4 lbs of russet potatoes
Block of cream cheese
16 oz sour cream
Stick of butter
Around 8-10 pieces of cooked and crumbled BACON
Some Chives
16-24 oz of sharp cheddar cheese
A little Garlic powder
A little Thyme
Coarse black pepper 
A little Salt 

30 minutes before starting, set your butter and cream cheese out to soften. Peel and Boil for 20ish minutes or bake your potatoes for an hour at 400* (remove skins after baking). Either hand mash the cooked potatoes for chunks in your casserole, or toss everything (add bacon, cheese, chives, and seasonings last by hand) into a mixer. We like to use Wrights hickory smoked bacon. It's on the more expensive side, but it's ridonkulous! Only put half your cheese mixed in, other half on top. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes. You're welcome.  

Did anyone forget to change their clocks forward? I didn't, but this is the first time it affected any of us. We all have felt jet lagged for days. So weird. Anyhoo.. This coming weekend will consist of painting Harlow's bed, doing the brakes on the Expedition, and building a "faux" drawer front. Taylor's bottom dresser drawer broke before we moved to Colorado last year. So we are making a fake drawer by making a front with a knob and all, and attaching cabinet hinges to the dresser. It'll be a hidey hole for a couple pairs of shoes. Plus (maybe this weekend..) Adam (the coworker with a new wall) is single and his house came with a metal swing set- has offered it to us! So that may be happening this weekend too. OBVIOUSLY I will be feeding the helpers. It's going to be mexican, because I've been craving homemade salsa lately. Shredded beef enchiladas with red sauce, rice, beans, guacamole, chips & salsa. Kings Sooper's has My Nana's tortilla chips now!!! There isn't enough exclamation points to show my excitement...are you drooling? I am. It's gonna be good.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Winter Vortex Lasagna

I was loving the 50's and 60's this week. Then this BEACH, winter vortex, came and did a drive by dumping snow and cold air. Phishh..whatever. She'll be gone by tomorrow. So this weekend we are starting the toddler bed. It'll be painted white so Harlow and Jason can both use it.Thank goodness for having a two car garage. (Base housing doesn't always have A GARAGE.)
Remember this:

I'm also working on Harlow and Lauren's plank Letter wall piece. Remember Taylor's:

I'm putting those "extra" pieces from previous projects to make them. I'm hoping to make a "gallery" for Taylor and Harlow's room. Something like this:

My friend Tanya, who does Gallery on the Go, said I could come over some time and use her paints to make this for their room:

I also found this for Lauren's; those that know her will know this is perfect for her room!

This week the kids were GREAT at doing Friday chores. Everybody's workin' for the weekend. Ya know- the usual pick up/unload dishes/put away clean clothes/partial clean their bathroom. I was really proud. All done in 45 minutes. So after dinner of just us girls, CJ walked in late around 7ish to us braiding hair, listening to NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK, and about to paint nails. I had been telling them for ever that if they do their chores without me pulling MY hair out, then we can do stuff like that on a Friday night. After the youngest two went to bed, Taylor stayed up and CJ and I ran to Kings Sooper to get a few things so we wouldn't have to go out in snow today. This baby must be going through a growth spurt. You know how they say NOT to go grocery shopping when you're hungry? I didn't realize I was hungry until we got there.. CJ actually said next time he was leaving me at home. What? I didn't add that much extra to the cart..ice cream, popcorn, squeeze itz and white castle burgers for lunch today. It wasn't a spur buy, I was thinking about that stuff all week :o) So I came home and ate some Eggo waffles at 10 PM. I would have dug in to my Blue Bell Mocha Almond ice cream, but I was seriously hungry. No. I was hangry. How dare he say he'd leave me at home next time! Phishh.. *rolls eyes* There were signs leading up to shopping. I was reading "Dora Saves Christmas" and supposedly CJ says I called him SNIPER not Swiper..that would have been bad for doo doo doo doot da Dora! *snort* can you imagine him taking out his targets instead of swiping them? I bet there is a youtube version out there.

With projects getting made + snowy cold vortex= crockpot meal!
We hadn't made this one since we lived in Florida. I bought this cookbook, Fix it and forget it, back in like..2006? I should use it more lol.

So here's the recipe:

I added to it of course. Used only mild italian sausage (the 16oz package), added a drained can of diced italian seasoned tomatoes, 28 oz of chunky tomato sauce, the whole 16 oz block of mozzarella cheese, the whole 15 oz tub of ricotta, around a 1/2 cup of grated parmesean cheese, and extra of the seasonings plus some red pepper flakes, coarse black pepper, and a sprinkle of salt and fennel seed. I measured out all them- dumped them in with the meat while it browned. Then after I added all ingredients to the crockpot, I added another sprinkle of everything but salt. I cook it on HIGH for around 4-4 1/2 hours. Sometimes it over cooks by 4.5 hours, and then sometimes it doesn't. Just keep an eye on it. * DO NOT BOIL YOUR NOODLES, break them up in around 2x2 squares if you can. 

Here's what it looks like when it goes in:

Here's what it looks like when it comes out:

I forgot to take a pic until I was packing up the leftovers. Mmm MmM goood. Add delicious bread and a simple salad. Don't forget the iced tea! It's a touch "spicy" because of the italian sausage and the sprinkle of red pepper flakes. But not enough to down your drink. It's enough for 4-5 people depending on what you also serve with it. I've never doubled the recipe, so I'm not sure how well it works if you have more people to feed.

Tonight will probably include board games, since as I'm typing this the girls have been working on organizing their toys into the basement play area, we are cutting the wood then assembling Harlow's toddler bed, and I'm making the Letter plank wall pieces. Nothing but music, saw dust, wood glue and spray paint today! Love days like this.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Myself, I am.

Me, myself, and I.
JULY 2008
Always a work in progress. I'm none too happy with the way I look, but isn't that how most people view themselves? A little less here, a little more there. Little time, and little motivation seems to be the common denominator. I'm going to be 31 this year, and I've spent quite some time on the number roller coaster on the scale. This pregnancy I would have all ready gained around 25-30 lbs. I'm 7 months tomorrow (27 weeks), and I just hit 20 lbs. For the first time, and last pregnancy, I'm staying aware of what I'm doing to myself. Lauren and Harlow I gained 45 lbs. Yeah...I have over 8 pound babies, and Lauren was 9 1/2 lbs. BUT. I shouldn't have gained that much. 

I attribute it to lack of movement starting around the time the belly gets pretty heavy. Like most women, my lower back just quits and gives up. And so do I. This time I am moving more since the beginning. I have to walk Lauren to school everyday, I have stairs in the house, and I have been stretching regularly every week. I think it all really helps with my lower back. Although in the next month he'll gain a solid 1- 1 1/2 lbs (we're at 2ish lbs now), and from then on...it'll be a constant buffet binge for him. In the 8th month with all the kids I gained 7-10 lbs. I'm trying to avoid such a spike, but I know I have good size babies...and lets face it. He's a boy, have you seen my husband?? I'll be LUCKY if Jason turns out to be less then 8 1/2-9. I'm not stressing about all of this by any means. He'll be what he is, and I'll feel good from light exercise and choosing better foods for most of the time. So if it turns out I gain a little more than I was aiming for, at least I know I FEEL good and not like a whale that moves as fast as a turtle! 

I can't wait for breast feeding to work me back down slowly, and to get back into running. I'll MAKE the time. This time I'll also buy better running shoes. Last pair didn't work too well. Here's to a healthy happy momma!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Git Er' Done!

Shooo! Time to relax. This weekend went by fast. The zoo animals that live here had to be reminded that when Mom and Dad say clean up or else...you DON'T want to find out what the or else is! But oh my goodness, the house is CLEAN. Sometimes in the chaos of producing and running a herd, things get messy. That's ok, as long as we can try to keep some order every once in a while ;o)

Saturday morning we treated the kids to breakfast at Chick- fil-A. They played while CJ and I figured the math on the amount of wood we needed to build this:
We'll paint it white, so Harlow and Jason will be able to both use it. We're adding another plank to the headboard, making the legs taller by 6 inches, and instead of those skinny cross planks- we bought wider wood so that it will be sturdier and less of them. All that took 2 hours to eat breakfast and plus figure out and buy the wood. Lauren said she would be soooo bored walking around HD, and wanted to know if she could go down the toy aisle at Target (right by Home Depot). I said I'd be soooo bored standing there while she looked at toys. You should have seen the look she gave me. Home Depot isn't a toy store, she said. I bet you know CJ's reply!

By the time we made it home, it was lunchtime and a light one at that. Then we told the girls to "Git Er' Done", so the girls worked on the play area in the basement after lunch. Seriously? Who grabbed the room and shook it? THAT took some time. While that was going on, CJ and I worked on the clutter and vacuuming. Wasn't too bad all around, because I've been following my clean/pick up/laundry schedule on my massive marker board all week long. I've changed a few bits and pieces over the past month, I noticed trends that weren't working on certain days. Plus..my belly is getting bigger and I'm picking up less and less that falls to the floor lol. 26 1/2 weeks people, this baby is starting to pack on the weight! No more cleaning bath tubs for a while.

We managed to get finished without breaking a sweat, then we had to go to the store for a few things. We were having our friends and their kids for dinner. I'm making Tanya's boy Christopher his 10th Birthday "Minecraft Cake" in March. So we had details to discuss. Dinner menu included: Atomic burgers (pico de gallo under the cheese), SOUTHERN baked beans (with molasses, bacon, and liquid smoke), and the usual culprit- french fries. Tanya and Mike were the ones that offered to help us unload our trucks when we moved to Colorado back in August. I had posted help wanted on the Buckley AFB page, and she saw it and wanted to help! If she hadn't done that, I would have never met her probably, and CJ would have just walked past Mike 15 times by now between the gym and other places. Ended a productive day with good food, good people, and good fun.

Continuing into Sunday, we cleaned up the garage. It really wasn't THAT bad. We've done worse ha ha. What can I say? You live and learn. We're much tidier with our garage/storage then we were 8 years ago. Next weekend we'll "Git Er' Done" and get the toddler bed made. I've got a few decor projects for Taylor and Harlow's room that I need to get done too. I want all the rooms and their "stuff" organized, clean, and tidy before spring break in 3ish weeks. That's when the big switcharoo is happening. Trying to avoid a headache (CJ..). Quick and easy me likey. Guess I better get off here and get my monthly menus done. We're entering our third month of doing it, and have done a pretty good job of sticking to it. Planning is a busy mom's best friend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

12 Months to a Year

Everyone owns a calendar of some sort. Whether you made it, photo shopped it, bought it with animals or flowers..everyone owns one. Every month has something to offer. Let's start with our current month:
It's sweet because Valentines Day is a day, in my opinion, to CELEBRATE your love for the people in your life. It's not to prove your love, but just a fun day to make someone feel special. The glory of it is, not every year has to be over the top. They know you love them, but every once in a while it's nice to knock them off their socks.
March and April.
Their celebrations and time off are different every year. St. Patty's Day, Spring break, and Easter. I like it when it's separated. This year the girls have spring break in March, but yet Easter is towards the end of April. I like it that way. This years spring break will be spent playing musical chairs with the kids bedrooms so that Jason's nursery can get put together. Oldest and youngest girls will share, do to personality compatibility. Where the middle girl will have a room to herself for a while. Easter is always fun. I love getting the girls nice dresses, going to church, delicious meal...but- we clash on Easter baskets all of a sudden. My thoughts: ALL their birthdays are are three weeks apart at the END of the year. We try not to buy a lot of toys and stuff in general. Special occasions omitted, and I like the Easter Bunny to put "something" in each basket. Less candy is my reasoning..His thoughts: all I got was candy. Valentines Day, Easter..that's it. Candy. Also, with three girls...we are up to our limit on stuffed animals. I have ideas for this year, we'll see how it goes.
The month of margaritas, flowers, and  final report cards. Cinco de Mayo..mmm mmm GOOD food! Then Mother's Day. I "think" it's my day off...not sure on that one ;o) I can't count how many Mother's Days I've spent with him gone. Friends and family have always been so nice and loving on that day when he's not here. Last year, our sweet friends Adam and Andrea treated me and the girls to lunch at Club Muroc (Edwards afb). That meant so much to me. Of course I paid them back with cupcakes!
Summer time and the living is easy..
CJ's birthday and Father's Day. Just like last month, we've spent quite a few of those apart too. As the kids get older, we are trying to make the ones when he's home more special. Two years ago, he was ambushed by silly string wielding girls. What to plan this year...
The hottest month of the year, and our anniversary is July 5th.  We got married in Arizona, and It. Was. Sweltering. I LOVE July. Fireworks, BBQ, Anniversary Cake, swimming, shopping, family time, and...MY BIRTHDAY!! "Christmas in July" I could care less about WHAT I get as long as there's cake. And I'm not picky. I don't "do" traditional cake, so every year I love it to be different. Last year, some of my closest friends at Edwards came with me to a Warner Brother tour in Burbank, lunch at California Pizza Kitchen, and sweet Kimmi made my lemon raspberry cake. For the love of all that is sugary, it was delicious! I had a blast. Memories like that make life all the better. Miss you beaches ;o)
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!! It's back to school..
New back packs, supplies, and friends. Prepping for college football season, GO GATORS, and putting my house back together after 2 or so months of every day being Saturday. This month isn't too bad. Not any major holidays. But I've always liked August. It's the calm before the storm..
In Cincinnati, Ohio Labor day weekend is soooo fun. WEBN fireworks are a must! If you've never been, and do travel there for family and what not- GO! Best fireworks show you will see. The family that runs it have been doing it for over 50 years. They plan all year for it. It's on the river between two bridges. GOOGLE IT. I want to take the kids when all of them are old enough to enjoy it. Maybe in 4-5 years we will come specifically over that weekend. I get sad that weekend every year, because I know what I'm missing. September is also "finalize your Halloween costume ideas". Have to be ready. It's the time to put out fall decor, plan scrumptious meals and treats.
How I love thee. It is my favorite month. In Ohio, the leaves turn. In Arizona/California, it's the start of nice cooler weather. Halloween.. So fun for the kids, and I just LOVE fall and Halloween decor. It's apple this, pumpkin that. Orange. I love the color orange. So happy and bright. So fire up the crock pots, bake a pie or two, and head to the pumpkin patch but grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte before the festivities!
Taylor and Lauren's birthdays (3 days apart..same due date!) plus Thanksgiving. Cakes, food, games, family time fun. I spend most of last month and this month thinking and looking for new things to make for this holiday. I love tradition, but I also love the tradition of making one thing new. And it's more like Thanksgiving "weekend" then Day. You always have leftover turkey or ham, so if there was a side or two I wanted to make but didn't on the main day..thus born the 2nd Thanksgiving. Half the work is all ready done for you! And gosh darn it, I'm tired of making what every body else wants to have. If I want something with mushrooms- then I'm gonna make it! So, at the Coles house- we have a 2nd Thanksgiving because the food it just so delicious! One of my favorite Thanksgivings as a married adult was back in 2009. We were at Eglin in Florida and as usual we had Thanksgiving with our best friends Sarah and JT. JT did his traditional cajun fried turkey, and we did pulled pork bbq and the fixin's. We had soooo much food...lots of people from his shop came by. Just a good ol' southern Thanksgiving. THAT was my favorite past time Thanksgiving.
Harlow's Birthday and Christmas. I tell you what. Having three kids at the end of the year plus CHRISTMAS is B-A-N-A-N-A-S. It sure is a happy time of year. Holiday baking, the lights and tree, planning surprises galore. Making traditions of our own, crafts, and parties. Busy, but fun. And they love it all.

Then we're back to January. The "IhaveNOspecialGardenFlagNorHolidayI'msoLame" month. I have nothing nice to say about you mister. The month of January means nothing to me. There's no fun fancy holidays, there's always of course someones birthday, but other then that..I could do without the month of January on the calendar. For us- we are packing away pretty decorations, and awaiting to file our tax return. So exciting right? I found no garden flag for January. Home and garden must have thought it sucked too.