Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Three Amigos

Our weather, as of lately, has been absolutely beautiful! And we have spent the past week outside soaking in every ray of sunshine. I LOVE  the fact that we have a yard to play in this year. Our boys desperately needed this last year. They love playing with balls in the backyard, jumping in the swiming pool, and digging up the dirt. In the front yard they love riding bikes, pushing toy lawnmowers, playing with sidewalk chalk, and racing in the grass. 

This place is divine after spending all those years cooped up in an apartment. Boys are pre-destined to be busy, oh what kind of torture it is when you don't have a space for them to get their wiggles out?

This picture of these three cracks me up. Quincy in rainboots and sunglasses? He loves that he can slip them on and he doesn't have to worry about keeping them clean... ha ha
Little Z is anxious to be like the big boys. He can climb on this fourwheeler by himself, but can't push it along yet. I give him til the end of summer to figure it out. He sure keeps up for being so little. 
Braxton has inherited Quincy's old bike and has been EXTREMELY motivated (I promised he could get some ice cream if he learned to pedal by himself) to ride it like a big boy. This picture was right before he biffed it. Notice the wheels off the ground?? 
We got Quincy this spiderman bike at Salvation army for ten bucks. It's definitely more suited to his height. He sure has grown a lot lately. 
My three amigos. 
After his crash, he kept going... 

To be a little child...

Is anyone else baffled when you buy your littles a new toy and instead of playing with said new toy they are more interested in the big box it came in? My boys loves playing with sticks and riding their bikes around the driveway giving each other "tickets" for going too fast which are made of leaves from the bushes. My sister in-law says her daughter loves playing with an empty container filled with rocks. What is it about bubbles that erupts pure joy from any child at any age? It's just soap and water. And yet it's just the simple things in life that our children enjoy. The other day Tyler went outside to spray off the sliding glass windows (the stupid neighbors cats like to spray on it-- gross!) Our boys, especially Zayden, had SO much fun playing on the other side of the glass while Dad was hosing it down. Z was crazy and squealing to his little hearts delight... 

If only we were able to find joy in the little things, as much as they do. 

Making Memories

There were times, much simpler times, when we first got married and had no money. It was a blessing and a curse. We didn't have much, but we had each other which I suppose in some ways made things sweeter. We were able to have fun doing things that were free... we made the most of being poor newly weds. We learned not to take anything for granted. Whenever we had a few extra bucks to spend on something fun, it meant that much more. 

I suppose it all started there for me. When we were first married and money was tight I learned to cut WAY back on spending. I wouldn't say I was a frivolous girl in the spending department, but I did indulge in the new shirt every now and then-- at ROSS..... on sale-- I could justify it at one time. Tyler was the saver. To this day I distinctly remember him flipping out (after we were married a month of two) because I went and got like 3 things off the dollar menu at Wendy's because I had forgotten my lunch that day. You wouldn't know he's the same guy these days (Mr. I don't want to pack a lunch because it's easier to walk over to McDonald's and get a burger or two). 

I know there was a path I took from being the spender of our family to the saver....but sometimes I forget at what point I started on it.

These days it kills me to spend money on fast food or eating out. Sure it's quick food, that's relatively delicious, and you get to have someone else pick up your trash... but I hate the fact that during our fast food excursions as a family all I can think about is 'I could have made food better than this, from scratch, for less!' The second thought that always pops into my head is that our money spent on cheap, easy, greasy, food is only going to be pooped out. Seems like a waste of money... and then my brain starts calculating all the other things that I could do with that "wasted money". Like buy new hand towels for the bathrooms, or cookie sheets, or heaven knows we need new knives... etc etc.

The past few years Tyler has forced me into taking little anniversary getaways. I'm not joking, I seriously tried to talk him out of it... who have AM I? But I was doing the same thing, having a hard time justifying spending all that money on something that would be a one time thing. Something that we couldn't tangibly keep. Something we couldn't look at. Something we couldn't own. He pointed out that we had the money to do it, that I didn't have to worry so much. He told me that what was more important was being able to make memories together. Looking back... I was hesitant at first, but it was TOTALLY worth every penny. We hardly go on dates, they are a rarity with three children, and so there have been many times that I rely on those memories of doing things together to get me through a rough day. (I should note that this year I'm a little sad that we, as of yet, have no plans for a little getaway for the two of us.) BUT The memories are still there... 

Which brings me to my point, Tyler was right... making memories is important. It's not about how much money we could have saved by making a meal at home from scratch (because let's be honest doing that is EXHAUSTING!--- uh and then you have the clean it all up) it's about being spontaneous with our children and letting them choose something fun to do. And of course I should appreciate that they are satisfied with cheap burgers and fries from dollar menus... that an 50 cent ice cream cone from Burger King is the highlight of a day... because there will come a time when they expect, or want a lot, LOT more. I whole-heartedly believe having home cooked meals at home is important, and vital to growing children; I believe it's important to sit around a dinner table and have conversations with your children, demonstrating how much you love them. 

However, I have to remind myself that it's OKAY to let loose, drop 20 bucks on a pizza (which barely lasts one meal with these three little bottomless pits) and just enjoy making memories together

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's April, so it must be time for...

...Trips to the dentist! 
Don't you just love B's "smile"? 
While daddy was getting the car seats out of the garage, somebody was loving sitting like a big boy in the back seat. 
And Standing up so he could see everything. 
I have to say, our boys do SO great at the dentist. I have never seen them shed a tear, express any fears, or complain in any sort of way. If anything, they're so EXCITED  to go. I attribute that to the wonderful staff, the sweet dental assistants, and their kind dentist.

(Now there have been other kids there freaking out while my boys have been in for their cleanings, but not once have they joined in on the melt downs.) 

They just sit back, open wide, and kick up their feet til the cleanings are done. Happy to hop down and retrieve their prizes. Quincy even does so well they let him to the "big kid" fluoride trays. 
Braxton is always a little shy, but he does really great, too! 
And this little guy, too few of teeth to go in for an official cleaning just yet, did SO well waiting for his brothers to get their teeth cleaned. He just sat by me, playing with his books, and randomly grunting to me about various things he could see out the windows. 
How did I get so lucky? 

Oh, and NO cavities! Yay! 

DIY Project #3

When Tyler and I were planning on getting married I made a conscious decision to use silk flowers for my wedding. It made it FAR less stressful-- our wedding was in May and my flowers were done in March-- and seeing as how we were having two receptions in two different states it made it awfully convenient for reusing the flowers. I mean, if you're gonna spend the money you might as well get to use it more than once, right? With that being said I have used some our wedding reception decor in our home, but never had a "use" for my bridal bouquet. My mom, being more of the sentimental one, kept it at her house for me. 
I finally came up with a great way that I could recycle my bouquet. I started to dissemble it (boy was it made well, after almost 7 years it was holding up quite well-- **pat on the back**--) and carefully took parts that I thought I could use again and the parts that weren't really falling into the look I was going for got stashed for another project. :) 

Waste not, want not.... 
Tyler gave me a hard time about tearing apart my wedding bouquet, but I reasoned that I planned to get  married once and had no use for a bridal bouquet anymore. Besides, I don't have daughters to pass it onto ... not that it would necessarily be to their taste either. 

Instead of just tossing it out, or keeping it stashed away in a closet, I made it into our front door wreath. I have to admit, I'm NOT particularly sentimental (I throw "thoughtful" stuff away all the time. A good purge makes me SO happy. In fact, I think Tyler's more sentimental than I am) but I LOVE the fact that every time I walk through our front door I see those flowers and it reminds me of my wonderful husband and the special day we were sealed together forever. 

 In my opinion it's a far better use of those flowers than preserving them in their useless bridal bouquet state. 
What do you think? 

DIY Project #2

So..... after almost a year of Tyler telling me he wanted to throw out that chair on the left. I decided I should finally get around to reupholstering it. Sadly, I didn't take official BEFORE pictures, again. So these two are the only ones I've got: 

Tyler isn't really big into doing "projects", but if he HAS  to be involved then his most favorite part is the "demolition". For this chair it required removing LOTS of staples. He told me after he was done removing most all of them he would be a happy man if he NEVER saw another staple again in his ENTIRE life. 
I sort of chuckled and said, well we have to staple the new fabric on, but I'm sure that putting them in will be much more exhilarating than taking them out. If there's one thing we've learned about DIY projects it's that it's SO much better when you have the right tools! Lucky for us, my parent's have all sorts of tools so we went to their house and used my Dad's air compressor staple gun. Man-- that thing has some umph behind it! Tyler definitely was more satisfied during that part of the project. 

This was half way through... with all the previous fabric removed and the wood sanded down a bit. 
Finally, the AFTER! 
I thought it would look really cool to have a nail head trim covering the staples right along the wood, however from what I read online it is VERY time consuming, unless you buy them in the pre-fastened long ropes. Tyler informed me we could try that out next time...... :) I found some really inexpensive base tape (?) I think it what it was called, at Walmart for $1.44 and it easily covered the staples. If we learned anything during this project-- it being our first piece of furniture we've ever done-- it's that it's learn as you go. If  (when we do it again) I'll staple the bottom first and then stretch up towards the top. It was a little looser than I would have liked in that one spot where your behind butts up the back part.  
All in all I spent $28 for supplies and  I think I only paid $5.00 for the chair originally. Not too bad. I love how it turned out and of course the experience we gained in the process was quite valuable as well. :)