Monday, January 26, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vacation Projects

Last week Donna took a weeks vacation from work to get a few things done around the house. Originally it was going to be some boring things like put up more shelves in the closets so we could unload the last of the boxes in the garage & organize the garage but on a whim we decided to work on a couple of fun projects that we really wanted to get done. Those boxes aren't going anywhere & it's just the garage afterall... Donna would so beg to differ! lol It will get done, just not last week ;)

So, I had already started painting the boys play/art/school room. Really it's the room where all things messy can happen, painting, chalkboards, playdough... & we aren't going to freak out about the carpet. We had 3 cans of different leftover teal paint that I decided to use on the lower portion of the room, painting a slightly different shade on each of the walls. Above the teal I decided on a yellow paint we had tested out in another room & decided against. It contrasted perfectly with the teal. I did have to get another quart to finish the job & a couple sample jars of red for the trim but that was it as far as cost for paint. We hung a fire engine red trim around the room diving the teal & yellow & plan to put a picture/book ledge on it on one wall to display (keep out of reach) the majority of the boys' books. 

Garren helping paint

Once the walls were painted & the trim was up, Donna put up the chalkboards I made for each of the boys. Our walls are textured & wouldn't make good chalkboard walls which is what we originally wanted but this turned out great & I think much better for cleaning purposes. The boys know how to put down some chalk! We used 2'x4' sheets of hardboard & painted them with chalkboard paint, then Donna simply screwed them to the wall, with anchors of course. We had a picture ledge that worked perfect for a chalk tray, we just need a trip to ikea to get 2 more :)

I'm not a huge fan of decals but the boys have asked for them every time we have walked past them at Target, so they each got to pick a package & we put them up around their room. Olaf next to 2 of the chalkboards, Thomas & Freinds above each chalkboard & Lightning McQueen & friends above the moulding & window.

The boys LOVE their room & I'm sure they enjoy playing & creating without me nagging them to keep it on the table or to wipe up drips. They spend a lot of time in there already & sometimes go straight in there when they wake up. A little extra quiet time is always welcome!

Next project up was a wall feature in place of a headboard above our bed. I bought a piece of pallet art right before we moved into the house, when it arrived I thought it would be really fun to have a pallet wall. After telling Donna about my idea we came up with a couple plans about where to incorporate it. Then I set out collecting pallets each time I saw a spare sitting outside any of the new houses under construction in our neighborhood, which didn't turn out to be a lot because most of them get picked back up by the companies to be reused. Well it is no secret that Donna is not the most patient person in the world, when she has an idea she typically wants to execute it quickly. She didn't think we'd be able to collect enough pallets soon enough to get our projects done so we started looking not alternatives, unfinished woods, rough cut wood, barn wood, antique wood & so on...
We both really liked the look of cedar, it had a little variation for me but was uniform enough for Donna, so it was a good compromise & we went for it in our bedroom.

A project that we know could have been done in a few hours took us ALL DAY LONG with the 3 sets of extra helping hands we had, but the finished product was well worth it & the whole family loves it 😄

Kellan & Caden passed out watching a movie in our room

Kellan & Caden hanging out after their bath

I felt pretty good that we got a couple projects done, the play room still needs shelves & a lock on the closet doors & our room needs a little desk & to be painted but overall, good progress!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

One Last Santa Delivery

Even though Santa delivered before Christmas his elves were super busy leading up to Christmas & even for a week or so after, this weekend their schedules were all clear & they were well rested from the busy season & finally ready to tackle the BIG surprise awaiting the boys.

...Or rather I ordered the play set & it came & I didn't realize until our fence was being installed that we needed HOA approval, oops! By the time I figured it out it was too close to Christmas & Donna was swamped at work & was no way going to have time to put it together.
This weekend I was able to get our brother in law & my bonus dad to come help with the construction.

While the play set was being built my mom & I took the boys to meet up with my sister, niece & nephew to play for the day. We met up at a bounce house place & all the boys ran & bounced & slid & played!!! They had a lunch counter so when the kids got hungry we ordered up some junk food, feasted on that, then they all played some more. 

When all the boys were all good & worn out & it was near time for Nadia's afternoon nap, we all headed home. I had promised 'the elves' t-bones for their hard work so when we got back my mom & I started on dinner. My sister & the kids met back up with us at our house & we had a little Birthday dinner for Donna's birthday coming up this week.

I was really lame about taking photos! I didn't take any Saturday, not of the playhouse going up, the kids bouncing, not even the beautiful birthday cake I got. However I took a bunch Sunday morning as my bonus dad & Donna finished up the play set & the boys played on it for the first time.

Papa & MomMom putting the roof on

Play kitchen

I searched long & hard until I found a play set that I felt had everything the boys would want. I didn't want to get a separate playhouse or swing set, I wanted this one structure to have it all & I feel like this one does. The bottom is a playhouse with built in kitchen & picnic table. It has swings & a glider. there is a ladder & a rock wall leading to the upper level & a 10' slide to get back down. It is plenty big enough for all 3 boys to in with room for friends :)
The base of the playhouse can also serve as a sandbox, we're going to fill it with something but i'm not sure if it will be sand. We are thinking maybe that small mulch that they use on playgrounds? something they can still push around with their dump trucks but not something that they will track into the house.

More of the roof

The swingset

Papa testing out the slide

We all thought that the 2 giant boxes that the play set came in contained pre assembled sections that would just need put together. Boy were we all wrong! The boxes were full of nothing but boards, screws, nuts & bolts. Every single bit of the playset had to be built but Donna, my bonus dad & brother in law did a fantastic job & had it up in a day & a half.

Garren trying out the rock wall

MomMom & Garren testing the swings & glider

The boys were super excited when the slide finally went up!!!

A huge Thank You to Nana & Papa, Aunt Mindy, Uncle Chris & Aliyah, & Grandma & Grandpa Tilyou for chipping in on the playset & to Papa & Uncle Steven for helping Donna get it built!!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Snow In Florida!!!

Ok, it was just snow flurries but still... SNOW in Florida!!!
It wasn't even 2 AM, it was the middle of the day, in broad daylight! LOL...
We have lived in northern, snowy climates, Connecticut & North Carolina but snow in Florida is still pretty exciting for us Florida native girls :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Midnight Trip to the ER

Monday night Kellan woke up around midnight Gasping for air. All he was doing was making a youbarking noise every time he inhaled, he was trying to cry & begging mommy/MomMom help in the scariest, wheezing, gasping for air voice I've ever heard. His color wasn't good, a sort of grayish-blue so we decided he needed to go to the hospital. We didn't want to wake the other 2 boys so I took him while Donna stayed home with Caden & Garren & tried to get some sleep.

It's actually been a little while since any of us have been sick. We had a rough start to the Fall & have a history of staying sick through the Fall & Winter. We all suffer seasonal allergies & have had constant colds, sinus & ear infections the past few years. This year I decided something had to give & while researching essential oils for something else I learned it has great immune boosting effects too! I didn't need much convincing since none of the allergy medications were doing the trick & I was spending what the start-up kit cost every month on over the counter medications & prescriptions trying to keep us well.

We were all still sick when our start-up kit arrived & I immediately set up the diffuser & added some theives essential oil to it while I read up on what else we could use & what benefits they would have. The bugs we had had to run their course while the oils went to work boosting our immune systems but since then, early September, we have been bug free here, well until now.

I've seen a lot of friends posting on fb about them or their children having the flu or pneumonia or just reoccurring coughs & colds. I have to say, Kellan having croup was kind of a surprise. He had a fever over the weekend but no other symptoms, he just woke up Monday night in a bad way & since being treated at the hospital with steroids & an epinephrine breathing treatment he's been fine other than a croup cough, not that it's any fun.

Kellan in the ER

Compared to the previous 3 years Sept to January is a pretty good run for our family. There isn't a medication for croup as its a virus & they only treat breathing difficulties if they present so since being in the ER, I've been running the diffuser with oils to help breathing, healing & keep our immune systems up. Obviously essential oils don't keep us from ever getting sick but they sure have cut down on the frequency we do & have kept us from passing stuff around & around between us.
Considering the ineffectiveness of this years flu vaccines & the severity of the flu, I feel good knowing we have the added protection on essential oils.

Kellan relaxing the day after his late night excursion

If you're interested in essential oils or would like to chat about them feel free to shoot me an email, I'd love to chat & even share some samples :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year's Rambling

We didn't do anything spectacular New Years Eve. Donna got home from work about 6:30, we ordered some pizzas & let the boys stay up a little past their normal bedtime. The boys are those kids you hear or read about that only wake up earlier when they stay up later, so we don't go down that road very often.

Donna & I both ended up falling asleep with the boys when we put them down. Donna woke up about 10 & got me up but I fell back to sleep on the couch while she watched TV.
At 10 til midnight she started hollering at me to get up while she popped open a bottle of champagne, we toasted the New Year & sadly the first thing that went through my head is 'it's no longer the year my dad died.'

I will admit that the Holidays were hard. I thought I would be ok, I'm taking a pretty good dose of an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication, that paired with some essential oils had kept my emotions from running overboard but the week of Thanksgiving the tears started flowing & it's been difficult to keep them at bay since. Holidays were always special times & everything about any holiday reminds me of my dad & I just really, REALLY miss him a lot.

Losing my dad unexpectedly most definitely made 2014 the worst year of my life! It made us reconsider everything we thought we knew we wanted, like choosing a place (city & state) to settle down & raise the boys. After my dad died we wanted to be closer to my bonus mom to be able to help her out. We wanted a fresh start someplace unfamiliar to forget all our woes, I wanted to be as far from everything that reminded me of my dad as possible. Any of these possibilities also had to coincide with there being a position for Donna to transfer too. None of the options we thought we wanted panned out, which was good since we were making emotional decisions. In the end we stuck to what we had originally decided before our lives were turned upside down & we signed a contract on a new house here, central to all our parents & close enough to visit frequently.

Building a new house was a good distraction from my heartache. It kept my mind busy for several months & gave us all something to look forward to. At the end of the day my heart was still crushed though & when it was time to move, I just missed my dad that much more. It's hard to make big changes or plan special events knowing he's not here to be apart of it.

2015 will bring the hurdle of getting past the first anniversary of losing my dad. It also holds in store some great possibilities for Donna, myself & our boys. I expect it to be a good year with positive changes for our future & I'm excited for the growing, learning & changing the boys will do this year, especially starting school!

I'm not really making resolutions but would just like to overall be better. Handle my grief better, be better organized, have better follow through, eat better, be healthier, better my time management, live better. 

I hope you all had a good 2014 & I hope that your 2015 is even better :) Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Project 52, Week 1

I enjoyed participating in Project 52 so much over the past year that I'm going to commit to it again this year. 

Kellan & Caden

Our self proclaimed "Good Helper" Garren

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I Forgot To Mention...

With still getting settled in & taking breaks for holiday planning & entertaining plus keeping up with 3, 3.5 year olds I never thought or remembered to write about any of the little holiday details. They may not be interesting to anyone but me but since this blog will someday serve as my memory, I want to write it down & have it to remember.

I was hesitant to put the Christmas tree up this year. Last year we put up a small tree & the boys decorated it with their toys and umm... Underwear, lol. I put up our gorgeous new tree but held off on decorating it. I bought the boys some little wooden decorations that they could color & paint before hanging them on the tree & thought if that went well we would try some more. Well they couldn't leave the tree alone let alone the ornaments so I didn't think more ornaments would happen...

I saw this great ornament project on Facebook that I loved & wanted to try out this year. It was pretty simple, I put broken pieces of crayons in clear glass ornaments & heated them, melting the wax & swirling it around the ornament. They turned out really cool but the boys couldn't really help out other than picking colors & dropping the crayon pieces in. The glass got pretty hot not to mention they were GLASS. The boys were pretty happy with just breaking crayons though :)
When we finished the project the boys were eager to hang them on the tree & did a pretty good job. This is when I got brave & decided to bring in a box of ornaments for them to hang. This is also when things got a little crazy & ornaments started to fly. So I very quickly put that box back out in the garage & crossed my fingers that what made it on the tree would survive through Christmas. I'd say about 75% survived. Garren is just destructive! I forgot to take pictures of these & they are packed up already now.

Cecil Cat

I never did attempt a tree skirt or wrapped gifts under the tree. Garren has already opened a wrapped package that he found that was not his, so I wasn't even going to tempt them. Our cats also make having a Christmas tree up a little worrisome. It wasn't too bad with just Murphee but with 2 cats it got a little shaky, literally. Both Cecil & Murphee climbed the tree, they also chased each other up & down the tree. Adding ornaments distracted them only momentarily before they started dive bombing the ornaments while chasing each other up & down the tree.

I had our stockings neatly hung but again Garren had other things in mind, like wearing the stockings & pulling the pom poms off of them. Have I mentioned his destructiveness??? Next year I think I would like to find or make a sign to hang them from. Command hooks have nothing on 3.5 year old triplets!!!

We made just a few salt dough ornaments again this year. I was going to use them to adorn the little jelly jars I made of Essential Oil infused body butter & salt scrubs, just one more thing I forgot to do. The jars did get adorable little curly bow ribbons but somehow, even with them sitting on the counter right next to the jars, I forgot to add the salt dough ornaments :/
The main reason for making salt dough this year though was to make a set of the boys handprints for all of the grandparents. My mom loved the handprints we made last year & mentioned they would be nice grandparent gifts, so I obliged this year & even let the boys paint them themselves. I did have to go back & outline the handprints themselves, they got a little lost in the multitude of paint colors & blobs. Everyone seemed to really like the handmade gift from each of the boys. I failed to take photos again before giving them all as gifts. I do think we may make another set to keep though. I loved the added touch of the boys painting them :)

I'm thinking next year will be the big decorating year. Maybe they will not throw glass ornaments across the family room them? Maybe the cats will be calmer? Maybe the boys won't rearrange my Christmas village over & over again? Who knows really, but a mom can hope!

I hope your Christmas memories are as sweet & comical as ours have been!
Happy New Year to you all!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas Weekend 2014

Saturday after Christmas we headed down to Donna's parents to celebrate Christmas with them. The boys were super excited to see Grandma & Grandpa & their pups Chucky & Julie too!

Traffic was horrible driving down. Normally from where we live now, we just take 301 all the way but it was too much stop & go this time so we jumped on the highway only to creep at a snails pace the rest of the way there. What normally takes 3 - 3.5 hours to drive took 5 hours :( we should have known though that people would be traveling over the weekend.

The boys were ready for presents pretty much as soon as we arrived. Why would we ever expect 3, 3.5 year olds to let presents stacked under a Christmas tree be? Lol...


Donna's mom, Kellan & Caden

Kellan with the coolest remote control car ever!

Kellan again

Caden playing in the leaves

Caden & Kellan

Kellan & MomMom pulling Garren & Caden

Love this view in their front yard!

The boys had a good time visiting & playing & our pups enjoyed running around with Chucky & Julie in the yard & chasing the boys on the tractor. It was another quick visit & we were headed back home Sunday. We left earlier than we originally planned in case the traffic was bad again & it took another 5 hours, we lucked out though & made it home in our usual time.

Caden is such a happy guy on a tractor!

Thursday, January 1, 2015


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