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Friday, July 22, 2011


Luckily for you *I* am not the one who is angry.

Nathan however, is just not having a good day.

From the outside it looks like he hates his brother, hates his parents, and is looking for a good way to express this, so he screams at the top of his lungs "I AM SO ANGRY!" If you saw him in  a grocery store you would assume I don't know how to handle my kids and he is a spoiled brat used to getting whatever he wants.

In reality, here is what is going on inside of Nathan's head

"I have this AWESOME idea! I'm going to build a house, I have tents, I have blankets, I have rocking chairs! Best. Idea. Ever."

Then Noah enters the picture, he just wants to help, but darn it if he doesn't have his own opinion on how things should be done. He is completely RUINING Nathan's plans for the perfect house. He wants to get inside, but obviously there is only room for one person, why can't he see that? He wants to put blankets on top to make a roof, doesn't he know that the blankets are for the inside to make a comfy bed?

And telling him to stop doing these things only makes him want to help out more...and it's ticking Nathan off.

Enter mom

I try to explain to Nathan that he needs to play with his brother, but he can't get past the fact that Noah is the reason for his failing plan. I tell Noah he can't break Nathan's tent, but he's not breaking it, he's just helping build it mom.

Finally, Noah knocks the whole thing over in an attempt to get inside (remember there is only room for one!) with Nathan. And that is the last straw. This once perfect plan has literally fallen down around him and it seems that not a single person in this house understands what he is going through.

I feel his pain, but screaming at your brother is not alright, so off to the bedroom to calm down. Noah is completely oblivious to what is going on, he's just playing with Nathan. So he runs after him yelling "I want a time out too!" (yes those words were just actually spoken in my house)

3 minutes and a cup of water later Noah has sneaked into the bedroom with Nathan. The timer goes off and Nathan doesn't even want to leave his room. I can hear them pretend talking on the phone with the pizza man so they can order themselves a pizza.

All is right with the world again...until Noah knocks on the door the wrong way when delivering the pizza and everything falls apart again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm melting

I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West right after the bucket of water was thrown on her. We are slowly melting this week in this extreme heat, and it's been sort of a challenge to do...anything.

And to make things even more fun our car is in the shop leaving us stranded at home without air conditioning. Like I said. Melting.

So what are we doing to keep cool?

Drinking lots of water, lots of nice cool ice water
playing in the sprinkler
laying as still as we can under the fan while watching a movie
cutting back on the snuggle time (it's hard, but man are little children sweaty!)
cooking only in the crockpot or in the skillet, turning on the oven may just kill us
perfecting our fan placement for optimal airflow
playing with ice cubes (see yesterday's post)
painting with water (post to come tomorrow!)

Tomorrow we are supposed to reach the highest temps since 1995, what do you do to keep cool?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

47. Do lots of crafts with the boys

We've done a few different things this summer, but this one so far is my favorite! And it is the perfect warm weather craft since playing with the ice cubes helps you forget that you are literally melting from the heat!

I first saw this activity on Pinterest (a new addiction of mine) and after looking over this blog I just had to give it a try with the boys!

They used liquid watercolors, but since we didn't have those we gave food coloring a try. I figured at the very least they would have colorful ice cubes to play with even if they didn't paint very well.

All you need is an ice cube tray, something to color your water, water, a freezer and something to paint. I had a large piece of fabric that I wasn't using for anything, and I didn't have to worry about paper getting to wet and ripping.

I wasn't sure how much food coloring to put in, 4 drops is WAY more than enough. I'm sure we could have gotten pretty vibrant colors with half of that. But now we know :)
So excited to make some paint cubes!

I put the coloring into the ice cube tray first, so it would mix itself when I added the water. Then using a measuring cup, I poured a little water into each cube. If you are careful you could just use the sink, but I was nervous about the trays overflowing and colors mixing, so I did it this way.

Pop in the freezer and wait a few hours. We made ours in the morning with the promise that after a good nap, they would be frozen. They were too excited to nap, but by they time they *should* have gotten up from a nap they were done.

We popped them out and split them up between the boys so they wouldn't have to share cubes.. I threw a couple of old t-shirts on them so they wouldn't stain their clothes (this is a must, I just pulled the shirts out of the washer and they are definitely stained), laid out their canvas outside and let them go! (this is DEFINITELY an outdoor activity unless you want to cover everything and watch very carefully that they don't get it on your table or furniture. I just wanted them to have fun.

It took about 15 minutes for the ice to fully melt, plenty of time for the boys to really enjoy the project, and not enough that they got bored or starting doing anything crazy. Though Noah did enjoy sucking on a few of the yellow ice cubes near the end. If you have a younger child you will want to watch out for choking.

We laid it out in the sun to dry while they took a nice long bath to soak their rainbow hands, and in the 91+ temperatures yesterday it was nearly dry by the time they were out of the tub.
Rainbow hands! 90% of it came off in the bath, they are just a tiny bit pink now.

They love it! The next step is going to be a way to display it in their playroom so they can see it. It is not washable based on how much dye came out of the shirts they were wearing. I'm thinking of cutting it up to make some sort of garland or bunting to hang in the playroom. We'll see what they help me come up with!
All done!
Nathan's painting
Noah's painting

Monday, July 18, 2011

2. Eat ice cream

While I've eaten ice cream this summer, I'm always too worried about actually eating my ice cream than taking a picture of it, and a post without a picture of me saying I ate some cookies and cream ice cream from a whale of a pail would be pretty boring, so instead I'm writing about Nathan's new ice cream shop.

For the last week or so, Nathan has been waking up and getting straight to work on his *play*. I shouldn't really be surprised, he has been this way since he was a baby. Playing is a very serious thing, it needs to be done in specific ways, with very specific goals in mind. Sometimes it takes all day getting ready to play just to be able to actually play what he had in mind. He's very lucky Noah is so easy going when it comes to things like that and just sort of goes along with Nathan's elaborate ideas.

It started with taking our tents and turning our couch into a treehouse. The first few days were a lot of trial and error, blankets being taken off the beds and pulled in, cushions moved around until they were just so. Testing it out by napping in the treehouse to make sure it wasn't going to fall down on him. But after a few days he got it just right. Yesterday I woke up and the treehouse had already been completely assembled in the living room before he even bothered to tell me he was awake.
The treehouse and ice cream shop

Where he takes his naps. He says it is comfy because of all of the blankets.
But then that got sort of boring, it needed something else. So he added and ice cream shop to the front. Who doesn't want an ice cream shop adjacent to their treehouse? Sounds like a dream come true!
And the ice cream shop. This is where he sits when he is scooping ice cream

Everyday Nathan asks me if I would like some ice cream. He gives me a bit of money so that I can purchase myself some ice cream and then runs to sit in his shop and wait. I come and pay and he gives me a huge ice cream cone and lets me know what flavor it is. So far I've been able to taste red, strawberry banana pepper, strawberry banana sugar pepper, and today's special flavor of blue sugar blue strawberry and blue peppers.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

40. Buy new shoes

Once again when I put this on my list I was envisioning something totally different than what really happened. I envisioned some cute dressy shoes to know...all of those fun places I go, like the library and the grocery store. Okay, so it wasn't really a realistic thing to put on my list for someone with a limited budget such as mine. But I DID get new shoes. New running shoes!
I had my eye on some cute purple shoes, but they were just didn't support my super high arches at all. So I settled for the blue

And can I just say I love the outlet mall? Like a lot. These shoes and this cute little zip up hoody were regularly $145 and instead I walked away with both for $63 (including tax!)
It is 87 degrees in this picture, oh the things I go through to add pictures to my blog

Like I said I love the outlet mall. Plus as a treat for the kids after behaving so well while I tried on shoe after shoe trying to find something to fit my super narrow foot and even more narrow heel, we all rode the train afterwards. Kids 3 and under are free, so it's still a fun cheap ride for all 5 of us.

Never has a child been more excited for anything
Sleepy girl

Best friends <3

I got new shoes! Picture

I got new shoes! Picture coming later

Friday, July 15, 2011

49. Work out so that I fit into my summer clothes!

I couldn't decide when I wanted to write this post. It's really sort of a work in progress. So while I'm in no way "done", I have achieved fitting back into my summer clothes. So I guess now is as good a time as any!

My goal started off simple, lose the baby weight, plus the 9lbs I gained when Noah stopped nursing and before I got pregnant. And since then it's transformed into something completely different.

I've posted before about running, how much I hate it, how I am not a runner, how I am in no way good at running...but then something funny happened this week. I sort of started to like it.

Before Tuesday I was just sort of making myself do it because I knew I should, and because I knew I could eat more junk without feeling guilty about it if I did. It was definitely a chore. I "ran" 2 miles, but 90% of the time "run" meant to run for about a mile and then take a little break and walk, and then run a bit more.

I decided that I am running a 5k in the beginning of August. And not just any 5k, a 5k with a beastly hill that takes up a huge chunk of the 2nd mile. I'm not going to lie. I am scared. So I decided the best way to train for this so I don't end up walking the last 2 miles is just to start running 3 miles a day even if I have to walk a lot. You have to start somewhere, so that seemed like a good plan for me.

So I mapped out where I was going to go, got my ipod all ready with some great tunes and started on my way. I noticed the battery looked a little low, but I was sure it would last the 40ish minutes I thought it would take me to run/walk 3 miles. And then right at the start of mile 2 as if on cue it just died.

Now what?

I am sort of an overthinker, especially when it comes to running. Anthony tells me I should just day dream, or think about how awesome I am at running (this is what he does) but the problem is I am not awesome at running, so I just start to think about how much left I have to do, and how tired I am and I start to convince myself that I can't do it. Having my mind unoccupied is a huge mistake when it comes to running. I need to distract it so I forget how much I hate what I am doing and focus on other things.

So I tried to think about something fun I could do when I got home, but that just led to wanting to be done with this faster. I thought about knitting, but that got boring fast, the more I tried to think about other things, the more it came back to how all of those things were better than what I was doing and I wish I could stop. In all of this thinking I had only gone about 1/8 of a mile. It was not looking good.

So I decided to pray.

I started with my daily rosary, and thought about my prayer intentions as I went (the biggest one right then sadly would be that I would live through this run) and after a while I was thinking so much about praying, that I almost forgot that I was still running.

My breathing evened out and I didn't feel like I was going to die anymore (this is one of those "I told you so moments" for Anthony. He has been telling me for years that if I just ran long enough that I am going to die feeling would go away. I didn't believe him) My legs got tried, but I could make them keep going. It was hard, but it was not impossible like I had felt it was in the past.

I told myself that as long as I was still praying I could not stop, and I wanted to finish that rosary. As I finished I could see my ending spot, giving up that close to the end would be silly, so I sped up, prayer one last "Memorare" and finished my first ever 3 mile run in 31 minutes and 30 seconds. I actually smiled standing on that trail as I ran past the bench that marks my start and stop.

Since then I ran 3 miles on Wednesday, and 3 miles again last night. Each time stopping my music at the 2nd mile and starting the rosary. Last nights time was 29:40.

Since March (right before I started running) I've lost 11 lbs in addition to the babyweight, I've lost almost 9" and my clothes fit again! Some of them are even a bit too loose.

More importantly though, I look forward to my runs now. Not only for what I have accomplished, but for that quiet strengthening time with God. Where it's just the two of us and the wooded trail. I'm still nervous about the race in a few weeks, but now I know I can do it, and that I don't have to do it alone.

My sad duct taped excuse for running shoes. They're not even actually running shoes. I really need new shoes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

22. Dance

When I first put this on my list I envisioned a night out downtown with my BIL and SIL, or maybe some sort of adult dance class, perhaps picking up ballroom again for a date night with Anthony.

Then I remembered we have 3 small children.

Crazy how that slips my mind sometimes when I get these ideas in my head. After 4 years you would think I'd have it down by now!

You see, sometimes I want to be the super mommy who stays at home, does crafts, plays on the floor, visits the library several times a week and does absolutely nothing without thinking of the kids first. And others the mom who isn't letting the fact that she had kids change who she is by continuing to have an identity outside of "mommy" and keep up social interactions with other adults.

The reality is I'm sort of in between. Having kids DID change me. A lot. Those of you who are parents know what I mean. One day you are 9 months pregnant staying up late watching movies, sleeping in on Saturday's until 11. Going out to movies with friends at the drop of a hat. And the next day your world sort of shifts. Not in a bad way, just a very very different way that is hard to explain unless you've been through it. There is no taking a break when you feel tired, or putting everything off until later so you can run off and do something fun with friends. Every single thing you do now has an added element you have to think about, your child(ren).

For example, taking a shower

Before kids: take a shower

After kids:
Option 1: put on a movie and pray they don't notice you are gone.

Option 1: Wait until naptime, make sure all 3 kids are REALLY asleep. Not the sort of sleep where they are going to wake up 5 minutes after you get in the shower and empty the contents of the fridge, or run outside, or write with marker all over your walls, or decide to join you in the shower only to realize they hate showers and run naked and wet into your living room. They have to be out. Then you have to be fast, because even though they are really asleep, they have a sort of radar for when you are preoccupied doing something else that immediately wakes them up.

Or Option 2: Wait until there is another adult in the house and schedule your shower at weird times of the day.

And that's just taking a shower.

But back to the real point of this post. I haven't been to a club with other adults, as much as a want to. The logistics are almost enough for me to say it's just not worth it. I'll keep trying though and maybe by the end of the summer I'll have some real kid free social interaction. At least for an hour or 2.

So I settled for second best (and really almost more fun). A dance party with Noah. I've posted before about our dance parties. They are the best! We find some good tunes, crank up the music and just go crazy. The best part is Noah thinks I am pretty awesome. I mean, I AM awesome. But it's fun when someone actually acknowledges it as well as a 2 year old.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

11. Go fishing

Did I tell you about my fish?!

This is probably my favorite vacation moment from the whole week. Anthony really enjoys fishing, he's been having a great time since we moved and we have a pond in our backyard now. He takes the boys out several times a week and they fish together.

We happened to be vacationing right on the Sandusky river, perfect for fishing. So Anthony did some research about what you could catch in the Sandusky river. Turns out it's mostly full of channel catfish. So then he did some research about the best way to catch catfish, the best bait, the best time of day and so on. He was set.
Here is the backyard view from the house, see that little dock at the end of the path? That's where we went fishing.

We got there and he spent a few days trying to catch something, but nothing. He went out and even got some special catfish bait. It just wasn't working.

Thursday of our vacation was a particularly tiring day for the 2 of us, we spent the day with not only our 3 children, but also Anthony's 2 youngest brothers, and our 2 nieces, so 7 kids under the age of 10. They weren't too bad, it was just tiring. Very very tiring. And long. And did I mention tiring? So by the end of the day we were wiped out. We got the boys to bed, thankfully they were tired too and went right to sleep for the first time all week. Passed the baby off to some aunts (reason #394 why I love this baby, unlike the boys, she is completely content when people she doesn't know are holding her, as long as they focus their attention on her. Which isn't hard to do when she is so darn cute!) and headed down to the dock with a couple of beers.

It was perfect. The sun had just set, and you could still sort of see it's glow. There were large birds soaring across the river (probably and eagle or too, but it was too dark to tell). I saw a heron swoop down not too far from us and snatch a fish right out of the water. It was quiet. The first time we had *real* quiet the entire week. I wish someone would have snuck up (yes I realize this isn't a real word, I say it anyway) on us and taken a picture, because this is the moment that defines the vacation for me. So peaceful and perfect.

Anthony bated my hook and cast for me (I could have done it, but I haven't fished since I was probably 12 and I don't think he thinks I know how) and we sat in the quiet watching the birds and talking. I had a bite, but it got away. I teased Anthony that I would catch the first fish after sitting down for 10 minutes when he had been trying all week long. The words barely left my mouth when I felt a tug. A STRONG tug on my line and started to reel it in. The crazy fish was trying to swim under the dock, and he was HEAVY. We didn't even have a net with us, so we pulled it up onto the shore, and then Anthony helped me get it up on the dock. I caught a 5lb channel cat! (it looked so much bigger than 5lbs, but Anthony bought a scale the next morning so we know for sure)
He snapped the line while we were holding him up for a picture, and tried really hard to flop off the deck so Anthony had to hold him down with his foot.
The next morning Anthony went out bright and early and bought himself a fillet knife. We looked up how to fillet a catfish on youtube and Anthony filleted his first fish and cooked it up.

He still never caught anything the rest of vacation, though his mom caught a smaller catfish when fishing with him later.  Though to be fair, since he bated, cast, and filleted my fish...he practically caught it himself. I was just there to hold the pole and reel it in ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm just...

Noah says a lot of things that Nathan says, it's hard to have strictly "Noah sayings" because 99.9% of his vocabulary or way of speaking comes directly from his older brother. There is however one thing he says that Nathan never did "I just..." Right around the time Elise was born he would walk around saying "I just, I just...want noatmeal" (which of course is the proper way to say oatmeal) Here's Noah's newest "I just" moment.

I am finishing up cooking dinner, covering things up to keep them warm, putting away ingredients that I no longer need. I sat down for a minute to drink some water and Noah quietly crept around the corner thinking that I couldn't see him.

I heard him make some noise, then he got very very quiet...which is never good.

I quickly jumped up to see what he was doing, and as I rounded the corner I saw he was standing on a chair at the kitchen table, with a big bowl of rice eating it by the handful.

When I asked what he was doing he told me "I'm just eating some stir fry" and went back to shoveling rice into his mouth.What a silly question.

For such a tiny little guy he sure has a big stomach, and enjoys such a wide range of foods. Hopefully next time though he'll ask me for a plate.

*luckily this was left over rice, and not part of our dinner or maybe I wouldn't have thought it was quite so cute and funny

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vacation Hangover

No, not from drinking on vacation (though having a margarita in the hot tub was up there on my list of best ways to relax on vacation).

Anthony and I were talking when we got home, about how it's amazing that we can walk around for hours in the hot sun at Cedar Point yet that still doesn't make us as tired as getting in a car and driving an hour and a half home. I think really it's more like we were barely getting by these last few days, and now that we are home we have a real chance to just relax and our bodies (and minds) totally shut down.

After a week of resting, cleaning, unpacking, entertaining the kids (I am so not as exciting as their cousins and aunts and uncles who played with them all week) and just all around getting back to normal I think we're back on track!

Relaxing in Soak City