Friday, December 14, 2012

Avon Advent Christmas Calendar

If you are here searching for the Avon Advent Christmas Calendar, welcome! I was just looking over my blog stats, and I am getting a ton of traffic from my post 4 years when I first bought my very own 1987 Avon Advent Calendar. I grew up with one of those to count down to Christmas every year, and somehow our mouse even survived all those years, 4 kids, and countless moves (my dad was in the Army)! My husband also grew up with one (sadly their mouse did not survive), and so after we were married we bought our very own. Then, my mom decided she didn't want hers anymore, so she gave it to us, and I gave the one we had bought to my little sister-in-law. Turns out those things must be in high demand right now! Looks like they are going on ebay for $30 for ones with no mouse up to $100 for ones with the mouse! I always loved ours growing up and am glad that I get to carry on this tradition with my own family. It is currently the 14th of December (by the time I publish this post) and so far I have moved the mouse every day! It's always been a contest to see who would wake up and move the mouse first each day, and I know that with another sister-in-law who also has one, it has been the same way in her house. Even before she had kids, it was a contest with her husband to see who would move the mouse first. (Although rumor has it that he would go to bed after she did and move it the night before so it would already be moved when she woke up in the morning- Cheater!) I'm afraid my blog may not be the most exciting thing to see, but we enjoy being able to document the happenings of our family, and if you stick around and check back in after the new year, I'm going to be starting a new blog where I do a sketch every day and once a week will post the weeks worth of sketches on my blog! Should be interesting to see what kinds of things I come up with to draw and share with the world. Stay posted!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Quick Update

I have been wanting to publish a new post on here for a while, but haven't really known what to put or say. I also spend most of my internet time on my Kindle Fire, and honestly, I am horrible at typing on a touchscreen and could never do a full post on that thing. But I was just online paying some bills, the boys are in bed, Steve is at work, and I am sitting here at the computer enjoying the glow of the lights on the Christmas tree and listening to Simon read stories to himself in bed. I can't believe the last time I posted was in May! So much has happened since then, and sometimes it feels not much as all. The most exciting thing is that we bought a house! We bought our first house at the end of July right around the time of my golden birthday! (For the many people who don't seem to know what a Golden Birthday is, it's when you turn the age of the date of your birthday, so this year I turned 27 on July 27th, I've been waiting my whole life for this to happen!)
Having a house has been wonderful. We live in a culdesac, have some great neighbors, a small fully fenced backyard, grass instead of concrete, parks close by, even a picturesque oak tree in the front yard. I feel like all that is missing is the picket fence and the tire swing hanging from the tree, and an American flag hanging up. Our next door neighbors have quickly become family friends, and we enjoyed many days this summer just hanging out on the front lawn watching the kids running around and playing and eating girl scout cookies. The kids are girl 10 and boy 13, but they love Simon and Desi (who doesn't!) and they are amazing kids, and play really well with my boys. They also mow our front lawn! Like I said, awesome neighbors and I feel so blessed to have them.
Having a new (for us) house has been fun. I've realized that decorating ones own home is much harder than decorating a furniture store or home decor store. We've only decorated the front room (mostly) so far, and have no clue what to do with our family room. Plus decorating can be expensive, and the cheap projects I have seen on pinterest typically require a lot of time, and my boys keep me on my toes.
I feel like I have gotten a good handle on being a mom lately, which has been nice. I have been staying pretty much on top of keeping the house picked up and just organized the boys toy room again. I know there are some things I will always be behing on (laundry) but that's okay, we wear clean clothes, sometimes they are a little wrinkly, and I stay on top of washing Desi's diapers, so life is good. I am still breastfeeding Desmond. He turned 1 in September. We are also still doing the cloth diapers, and still love them. Simon just turned 4 and he is such an amazing boy. He will get up in the morning, sneak downstairs and get himself breakfast and turn on cartoons. Even when I try to listen for him he sneaks down. Desi is a wild child and I have realized is really just a very normal kid, I got kind of spoiled by Simon because he is such a calm sweet boy, I had no idea until Desi what most kids acted like, I thought they were all supposed to act like Simon did!
We have stayed pretty busy since May with buying the house, painting and moving, Steve working nights, Club Tahoe, swimming at the lake, football season and going to all the Wolfpack games, a trip to Idaho to see one of my sisters and her family and my parents, having all of them come here the week before, went to Elko for Thanksgiving, and have had lots of birthdays and parties. My birthday party, housewarming/jewelry party, first football game of the year party, Steve and Renee's birthday party, Desi-boo's first birthday (cowboy themed for our Buckaroo), Halloween party, Simon's birthday party (superhero themed)... A lot of parties! We love having people over and hosting dinners, parties, and just company in general. It's a lot of fun and a lot of work, but we enjoy it.
So, just a little bit of catch-up about what we have been up to. We also just bought a camcorder, so I look forward to posting some videos of the boys on here soon too. I ought to go now though, Christmas is coming and we are making wooden blocks for the boys, and since it's a Christmas present and a surprise I can only work on it while they are asleep, so I am off to sand blocks now! Here's a few pictures for fun though! Enjoy!

4th of July 


Desmond's first birthday

Dad and sister walking down the Boardwalk in Virginia City after a nightime ghost tour
 Desmond at the pumpkin patch
 Simon at the pumpkin patch
 Simon riding a horse at Apple Hill
 Simon at Apple Hill
 The boys with their Halloween loot
 New house with changing leaves on the tree


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Simon sleeping

Simon falls asleep in the strangest places. Seriously. Places like the bathroom sink, a kitchen chair (not sitting up), the stairs, inside a yoga mat, standing up leaning on the sofa. Strange places. In my quest to post pictures of him in all these places I looked through all the pictures from the past year and a half. My Simon-son is so cute! I ended up with a picture folder in my computer with 74 pictures of him asleep in various places. Granted, some are multiple angles of the same thing, but still, I managed to take 74 pictures of him, just sleeping, in the past year and a half! Here are a few of my favorites...
P.S.- I am very, very, very grateful for his ability to fall asleep in various places and positions and not having to sleep only in his bed at certain times. It has definitely made some of our trips a lot more easy and flexible, and given us some funny memories to look back on.

at Glacier National Park 08/16/2010

                          our sofa 08/05/2011            San Francisco after getting Ben and Jerry's 06/19/2011
 yoga mat on the stairs 08/26/2011
 bathroom sink 09/13/2011
standing up! 03/18/2011

Great Grandma's floor Christmas 2011

Baby brother's swing 02/17/2012

with dad's iPhone 12/18/2011

 kitchen chair 03/15/2012
 in the stroller 05/10/2012
 close-up, love those long lashes!
Like I said there were 74 to choose from, narrowing them down was hard, there were a few classic in the carseat after a long day ones, some other stroller ones, more at the kitchen table, on the sofa, on dad's lap, on the stairs, etc. One of these days I'll make a facebook album for those who really want to see them all.

Friday, March 23, 2012

We are still alive!

Wow, I haven't posted since the beginning of December. I would like to say we have been super busy, and we definitely were for the end of last year.
Somehow it seems like we are always busy when we really don't do a whole lot. I feel like I am always trying to get into the groove of things, and should probably accept the fact that things are always changing and so our family dynamics are always going to be changing. Every time we get into a nice routine something always happens and changes things. Our latest changes, Desi is rolling both ways now, and is all over the place. I don't know if he is having a growth spurt or what but I feel like he is always nursing and sleeping.
Other things our family (or mostly just me) is up to:
-Making "green" home cleaners. I now use vinegar and baking soda for everything. I have one cleaner that is vinegar, baking soda, borax, and water, and another one that is vinegar with orange peels in it so that it smells yummy and fresh.
(insert picture of our cleaners in spray bottles with borax, baking soda from Costco, and vinegar in background)
-Using cloth diapers. I have several different brands that we are using and I love it- more about that in my posts on my Karimom blog. My next step with that is to start using cloth wipes too. I have a bunch that I have cut out already (and 4 more burp rags I have ready to cut up) I just need to hem or serge around the edges so they will be ready and make a solution for them and buy the ingredients for the solution.

(insert picture of cute diapers)
(insert picture of some of my cut out wipes and the blankets I need to cut up)
-Being inspired by pinterest and having intentions of making some freezer meals (cook and prep ingredients beforehand so we all have to do on busy or hectic nights is heat and eat) and using my crockpot more, and making freezer crockpot meals. I just bought some great stuff grocery shopping this week to start on this but I sadly missed a great day of Wednesday only produce deals because I was just too tired to make it to the store with the boys.
-Staying up way way too late on Steve's days off playing video games. We are currently playing Lord of the Rings: War in the North and it is really, really fun. If you like LOTR it is really cool because you get to see another side of the story and see what other things were happening in Middle Earth besides the goings-on of the Fellowship, and we run into various members and get to meet all of them during the game. We have been renting it for two weeks and will probably just need to buy this one when the price for it used drops a little.
-Donating breastmilk. (If you haven't noticed I may be becoming just a little bit hippie/earthy/weird or whatever you want to call it) Desi doesn't really take a bottle on the days he goes to daycare (Vovo's house) when I work, so we were getting a lot of extra milk in the freezer that I knew we weren't ever going to use up so I looked into donating to a milk bank. There aren't any around but I found a group on facebook for Nevada called Human Milk for Human Babies, and they have pages for every state. I met up with a lady that lives somewhere in Northern Nevada and have been donating milk to her for her adopted baby that can't have formula because it makes her sick. I have been trying to pump every morning and sometimes in the evening as well as my breaks at work on days Desi goes to his Vovo's house to get a little extra milk to help out this family. When she came by last to pick up milk she left us this cute little Lovey for Desi. It's a little crocheted bunny, and is so adorable!
(insert picture of bunny lovey from Kat)
-Working at Graples. I am currently just working one day a week. Like I mentioned before Desi still isn't taking a bottle, so I am bringing him to work with me. On days that we get inventory I still send him to Vovo's house because it is kind of hard to open up boxes and do a lot of bending and moving things when you have an almost 20 lb baby in a front carrier. I am very lucky to have bosses who will let me bring my baby with me to work. Sadly I only get to set up the store, and don't actually get to work right now on the days we are open. I wish I could work Thursdays still but I just can't go to work and leave Desi with someone when he won't really eat. It is so frustrating too because he will eat rice cereal for me, but not for other people. He is very much a mama's boy and if he can see me, he wants me to be the one holding him.
-Working on not holding Desi so much. I am very much a believer in attachment parenting so this one is difficult for me. I love holding Desi and playing with him, but I also have another child who needs some undivided attention, a husband who needs my attention for the 20 minutes a day we have to spend together on the days he works, as well as a house to run. So logistically speaking, I can't hold him all the time. I would also like to be able to make it through one shower without him crying and maybe even him being happy with whatever he is doing while I am in the shower. We are slowly getting better at this. He is normally pretty happy in the Bumbo while I am cooking especially if I give him some form of food or a spoon to chew on, and he will sometimes last about 30 minutes playing on the floor which I normally spend playing with Simon.

-Getting organized. I have been watching a lot of hoarders and sometimes it frightens me, and I get scared that will be us one day. Really our main problem is laundry, I can just never keep up with it. Well, laundry and that fact that we are a family of four living in a tiny two-bedroom place. I can't wait til we can get a house (hopefully at the end of this year) and actually have space for us and all of our belongings. I currently don't really enjoy having people over just because it is so cramped in our tiny place and this is really sad because I love entertaining and having friends over for dinner, and whatnot, but we just don't have the space for it right now and I feel it is kind of uncomfortable for other people when they do come over. I don't want my house to be uncomfortable, I want to be nice and relaxing and enjoyable for people and them to want to just hang out and linger. Another getting organized project I have been gradually working on is going through my magazines, cutting out recipes and putting them into my recipe binder, not just sticking them on the shelf, and cutting out pictures and ideas from magazines that I like and making a binder of ideas for different things. 5 pages from a magazine is alot better than having stacks and stacks of magazines hanging around.
(insert picture of recipe binder, pages from magazines, magazines)
-Dreaming for the future and vacations (we want to get a truck and travel trailer maybe in a year or so, I also want a really nice DSLR camera). We also have a National Parks pass for the next year that we intend on using lots and lots this year. Places we have gone this year- Death Valley. Places we want to go- National Parks in Hawaii, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Redwoods. We are going to wait until after Desi turns one and then hopefully go on another trip with no boys to somewhere out of the country!
-Paying off student loans.
-Saving for a house downpayment.
Well I feel like that is a pretty good look at what we have going on right now. I currently can't figure out how to get my pictures off of my memory card and on to the computer. Normally the prompt comes up automatically when I put the card but it isn't doing it and I can't figure out how to do it without the automatic prompt. So hopefully I can figure that out soon and put up the pictures I want with this post. So check back again for the pictures that you already know the descriptions for!