Sunday, February 28, 2010

Starting Soccer

We have had a busy weekend. Kanin had his last weekend hockey session for the season and his first soccer practice. He decided a while back that he wanted to play soccer so I called and got him into it.

Although it was a little windy, he had a really great day for first practice.

Getting soccer shoes and shinguards on.



Meeting his first teammate.

Kanin-the soccer player



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blog Tutorial

I wanted to pass on 2 awesome sites that I have come across. I love, love, love the lady at Clover Lane. She is from St. Louis and she has some great ideas.

From the Clover Lane lady, she just posted this site, Sneaky Mommy Blog Design with all types of tutorials on how to fix up your blog.

Hope you enjoy.

Coupons and Free Stuff

So I had to put a quick post and thank my friend, Nickie, for getting me to even think about coupons. Of course, I always liked a good deal but I wouldn't go out of my way to clip coupons, look for sales or match coupons with sales.

After reading her posts and some of the sites that she sent me to, I started clipping and looking for deals.

This is what I got at Walgreen's today:


There was a FREE coupon for an 8x10 at Walgreens today litsed on STL Mommy. They also were offering 30 4x6 prints for $3.00.

Here are my other deals:

Cover Girl was offering buy 1, get 1 50% off:
--Cover Girl Eye Shadow for Green Eyes $7.99
--Cover Girl Wet Slick $4.99
**I had $2.50 off of 2 products.

Revlon was offering a $2.00 off on their lipsticks
--Revlon Lipstick $6.99
**I had $2.00 off of 1 Revlon product.

I saved $2.50 in Walgreens savings.
I saved $6.50 in Manufacturer's Coupons.

SAVINGS: $9.00

1 8x10 is normally $5.28 (but I had a free code)
2 cans of Pringles were on sale for 2/$3.00 and I had a $0.50 coupon off of 2.
30 prints for $3.00 regular price would have been $5.70

SAVINGS: $7.19

TOTAL SAVINGS: $16.19!

PROJECT: CLEAN HOUSE, Day 2-Refrigerator/Freezer

Today I decided to tackle the refrigerator and freezer as my cleaning project. Although it may not look like it, I do this about every 2-3 months. Usually when I empty out the refrigerator I throw away tons of to go boxes so even though it looks messy, I'm proud of it. It's a mess full of food that I have been actually cooking for my family.

BEFORE-Fridge


BEFORE-Door


This is everything that was in the door.


AFTER-Door


This is everything that was in the fridge.

AFTER-The Fridge

Items that were either expired or empty.

I ended up with 2 bags of recycled stuff and then these leftover items.



BEFORE-Freezer

BEFORE-Door

I can't believe that all of this stuff fit into that freezer. All of the junk food is Scott's!

AFTER-Freezer

AFTER-Door

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Songs for My Babies

Music has always been a big part of my life. A lot of my earliest memories revolve around music. My Grandma Hendrix used to have this big record player and I remember listening to LP's on it. I remember that we borrowed a record from her, Conway Twitty, and when I was about 4 years old I remember my mom calling down the hall for me to play "Hello Darling" over and over again. I also remember the first "real" record that I ever got, "Take The Long Way Home" by Supertramp that I got from our friends, Howard and Pauline. My first concert was Randy Travis at the Show-Me Center when I was about 14 years old. Since then I have seen tons of other concerts and I still get excited for every one.

KANIN JOSHUA RILEY

I guess, then, it is no surprise that when I started to have children that I wanted music to be a part of their lives, too. While pregnant with Kanin I used to drive back and forth across the state from Kansas City to St. Louis and I swear that he would always kick like crazy whenever I played "A Pirate Looks At 40" by Jimmy Buffet and "Simple Man" by Lynard Skynard, so I would play those songs over and over for him. At the time that I was pregnant with Kanin, I was really, really into Kenny Chesney and almost had Chesney be one of his middle names. Thank God I didn't do that because, as it turns out, Kenny Chesney isn't the nicest guy on the block (I can get more into that story later).

Anyway, when trying to buy a baby blanket, sheets, etc for his bed I came across this really sweet one that said "You Are My Sunshine" and I instantly knew that it would be his song. After he was finally here, I sang that song to him everyday of his life until he was probably 5 or 6 years old. Now, he doesn't necessarily want me to lay in bed with him and sing it to him every night like I used to but every once in a while he lets me. He is, however, very protective of that song and if he hears it out anywhere he always tells me that he heard "our song".


You are my sunshine. My only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away.

GracieAnn Elaine

When I found out that I was pregnant for the second time I really, really, really wanted a girl. Kanin had become Scott's "buddy" and I can tell you that there were many times that I kind of felt left out. I know that might kind of silly but it is true. Most kids want their Mommies when they get hurt or are sad but not Kanin. He has always wanted Gaga for everything.

I remember laying on the table waiting to find out whether we were going to be having a boy or a girl. Scott wanted another boy but I think that for my sake he was hoping that it was a girl, too. When the sonogram tech told us it was a girl I burst into tears. I can't even begin to tell you how elated I was. I could envision little pink dresses and bows, babydolls and purses. Looking into the future, I knew that I would have someone to get pedicures with, go shopping with and just have some good old-fashioned girl talk.

Naming Gracie wasn't the easiest thing to do. I really wanted to name her Avery but Scott wasn't really fond of that name. Gracie was a name that we had kind of thrown around but we hadn't really committed to it. Scott really wanted to name her Gracie but I just couldn't commit. So one day I was on Rhapsody listening to various artists and I ran across a Ben Folds song called "Gracie" and I knew that it was over. I knew that Gracie would definitely have to be our little girl's name. Listening to that song just made me imagine holding her for the first time, watching her grow up and, later, becoming my friend.

I have always said that all of my children will have 3 names because I have 3 names. Well, we compromised on Gracie. We ended up giving her our moms' middle names but combined two of them to make one name out of it. The "Ann" in GracieAnn is Scott's mom's middle name and Elaine is my mom's.

Even though I really wanted an Avery, I can't picture her as anything else than my Gracie Girl.


You can't fool me, I saw you when you came out
You got your momma's taste but you got my mouth
And you will always have a part of me
Nobody else is ever going to see
Gracie girl

With your cards to your chest walking on your toes
What you got in the box only Gracie knows
And I would never try to make you be
Anything you didn't really want to be
Gracie girl

Life flies by in seconds
You're not a baby Gracie, you're my friend
You'll be a lady soon but until then
You gotta do what I say

You nodded off in my arms watching TV
I won't move you an inch even thought my arm's asleep

One day you're gonna want to go
I hope we taught you everything you need to know
Gracie girl

And there will always be a part of me
Nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me
My little girl
My Gracie girl
Caleb Scott James

My Sweet Baby Caleb was my somewhat of a surprise baby. We had talked about possibly, down the road, in the future (get it) have another baby but we were not trying to get pregnant so it was a surprise to us and to our families when we found out that another little one was on the way.

Somehow with this pregnancy, though, I automatically knew that it was a boy. The entire time I was pregnant I just kept saying that it was a boy. I could just tell by the way that I felt, the way that I was carrying him, my hormones--pretty much everything. To be honest, though, I really wanted another girl. I know that sounds incredibly selfish but I was and am so in love with Gracie that I just thought it would be fun to have 2 little girls to dress up. Plus, I figured since they were so close in age that they would grow up being great friends.

I knew, however, that Scott wanted a boy. Kanin wanted a boy so that he could teach him to play hockey and Gracie . . . well, Gracie had no clue what she was getting into. So, the day that we found out that it was a boy, I was a little numb. I know that sounds horrible but in my mind I kept thinking about the relationship that Scott and Kanin have and how, as I said before, that I sometimes felt left out. Then, I looked at Gracie and how she always wanted me and I just got incredibly selfish. I wanted the baby to want me. How horrible is that?

Anyway, we started thinking about names for our baby and I have always loved the name Caleb. Scott liked it right away, too, so that was settled. I wanted to incorporate Scott's name into it somehow and his middle name is Eric so we went with Caleb Scott. But wait, remember how I said all of my babies had to have 3 names. What were we going to do? I racked my brain trying to think of a name that would go with Caleb Scott and then one day one of my favorite songs came on the radio by James Taylor, Sweet Baby James. I was singing along and when it got to the chorus, I knew that I had found my third name-James.


Goodnight you moonlight ladies. Rock-a-bye, Sweet Baby James.
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Won't you let me go down in my dreams.
And, rock-a-bye, Sweet Baby James
By the way, Caleb is my lover baby. He loves the Mommy. I eat up every moment of this because I'm sure that soon he won't want me singing this song to him every night anymore but until then rock-a-bye my Sweet Baby James.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

PROJECT: CLEAN HOUSE, Day 1-Laundy Room

After cleaning out the pantry, I was on a roll today so I decided to tackle the laundry room. Let me just start off by saying that the laundry room is the door that we enter in/out of on a daily basis since we come in/out through our garage. It is a multi-purpose room in that it holds our shoes, coats, washer, dryer, dog food and water and dog kennel. It is also the place that I stored the leftover paint from painting the office and the dining room, where we keep the vaccum and the steam cleaner, the stand to hang dry clothes and all of the diaper bags. Usually there is also a hockey bag or two and Kanin's backpack for school.

Since I do at least 3 loads of laundry a day, most of the time the laundry room floor is covered with dirty clothes because I will empty the laundry baskets from the bedrooms onto the floor so that I can fill them back up with clean clothes from the dryer. It is a never-ending circle in which I try to remind myself of how blessed we are to have so many clothes. "There are a lot of people in this world that only have one outfit to wear over and over" only makes me less annoyed with all of the dirty clothes for a few minutes.

So, this is going to be a no-holds-barred post in which I will literally "air out my dirty laundry" and show you what it has looked like.

Please excuse some of the pics. I have dedicated myself to not using the Auto-Function or the "P" function so that I can figure out how to actually use my camera.

This is where we kick off all of the shoes.

Notice the big container of winter coats, hats, etc. I brought that to the laundry room thinking that it would help organize all of the winter clothes.


Horrible picture but notice how the cabinet above the washer won't close?

This is where I stuck all of the left-over paint.







I am embarrassed to say that I had the most shoes in this pile: April-9, Scott-4, Kanin-4.5 and Gracie-1.

I removed all of the cleaning rags that were behind the laundry detergent on the bottom shelf and now the door closes.

I stacked all of the towels over on the bottom shelf of the other cabinet.

I hung up all of the coats that we wear on a routne basis, stacked all of the diaper bags up, took the excess paint and supplies down to the basement and lined up the paper towels.



I let each of us have 2 pairs of shoes in the laundry room and the rest were carried upstairs to our closets.
The Final Product:





PROJECT: CLEAN HOUSE, Day 1-Pantry

For any of you have seen my house you know a few things:

1) It is big.

2) It has little to no storage.

3) It is not the tidiest house on the block (I don't take offense to this. I DO have 3 children under the age of 6)

4) It has a lot of potential.

A few weeks ago I was led to a blog called Clover Lane by a girl that I met on Moms Like Me, Holly. Anyway, this Clover Lane writer seems like a really neat lady. She came up with this idea for Lent . . . 40 Bags in 40 Days. She broke her house up into 40 different sections and she is determined to go through each section over the course of Lent and either donate or throw away stuff that is no longer needed, used or is broken.

While I don't think that I have enough drawers, cubbies and cupboards to get rid of 40 bags of stuff, I definitely have room for improvement so I decided by cleaning out the pantry in the kitchen. The biggest thing that needed organized is the canned goods. I didn't realize that I had 6 cans of tomato sauce and while they definitely won't go to waste, I guess this means that I don't have to buy any for a bit.

Note for any of you who want to take on your pantry . . . be careful that you don't spill a half-opened bag of brown rice. I will be sweeping up little pieces of rice for the next year.

(Before)


(After)


(The trash bag)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Future Rock Star(s)

Lately we have realized how much Gracie really, really likes music. While riding in the car she always asks, "Who's that" when hearing the radio or "Turn it up" when any song comes on. Besides, the Fresh Beat Band's "Great Day" and "Friends Give Friends a Hand" she LOVES "Alright" by Darius Rucker and "Chicken Fried" by the Zac Brown Band.

Tonight our neighbor, Emily, was over and was putting on a "Fashion Show" with Gracie.

Here are some videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSPiWRd3VgY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dQZR6d49JM

The last "look" that she had on was a Rock Star. Here are a few pics from it: