Two lil’ monsters, jumping on the bed…

Two little monsters, jumping on the bed.

Two little reasons for mom’s pounding head.

Mama took some aspirin, smiled and said,

“PPPLEEEAASSEEE just go to sleep!”

monstercollage2a

It’s been a little over a month since we welcomed our sweet boy into the family. We are now even, two men and two ladies in the house! For those of you who might have wondered what our life now looks like with two kids, here’s a glimpse of a day in the life:

It was evening.  I swooped up my son and carried him to his room.  I sat down in our rocking chair, started quietly singing a hymn, and gazed into his sleepy eyes. I stroked his forehead, and watched his eyelids get heavier and heavier, until he finally drifted off to sleep.  I stopped singing and listened to his little squeaks, each inhale and exhale in rhythm with the to and fro of the rocking chair.  I felt happy, but also sad, thinking of this same routine I used to do with my baby girl, whose independent footsteps I can now hear, prancing on the creaky hardwood floor in the next room.  I smiled, and thanked God for the two little gifts He so graciously bestowed upon me.  Motherhood is… beautiful.

And there you have it! This is what it’s been like having two kids…. The En….

monstercollage1a

Ok fine, here’s what happened before and after:

After one too many sleepless nights with a baby who is ALWAYS hungry, and one too many tiresome days with a needy toddler and newborn… this mama needed this baby to sleep, and this mama needed some wine…

I was desperate for a moment to myself, without tiny humans constantly touching me, and I couldn’t wait any longer.

As I tried to rock him to sleep, my daughter ran in the room, yelling and trying to “help” rock the rocking chair, until my husband gently coaxed her out.  Once he was asleep, in the middle of transferring him to his cradle, my daughter started screaming and crying because she didn’t want to go to sleep.  My husband took her to her room and started her bedtime routine.  After I laid down the boy, I went to help out my hubby with the girl.  She was refusing to brush teeth, with much kicking and whining, so I told her we’d sing some songs together before lights out. That worked (at least this time), and she happily let me brush her teeth.  We sang about the moon, she was happy.  I shut the door, she started screaming again.  I let out a sigh and walked into the next room, where I locked eyes with my equally tired hubby, who let out the same sigh, because the boy was also awake, and screaming.

And there was my glass of wine, just sitting there… so close, yet so far…

And that’s what it’s really been like having two kids…. The En….

Ok fine, here’s the real truth:

Both those scenarios are true and happened within minutes of each other, and that’s what it’s REALLY been like having two kids. I’m tired out of my mind, so full of joy and love that I could cry (and DO cry) at any moment, so frustrated to point that I could scream, and so content and grateful for the blessings of children God has given me.

Getting used to two kiddos (ages two and under) has not been easy.  We are learning, and slowly getting better at it, but man, it’s been a ride already…

I really never thought I’d utter the words, “Hey! Don’t put your quesadilla on your brother’s face!”, but sentences like that are just normal now.  I’ll add it to the list with, “Hey, don’t take out the pillow fluff and throw it behind the couch!”, and “NNOOOOO, please put down mommy’s cup of coffee… Ok, walk slowly. Ok, just put it there. Not on the cou… ok, it’s on the couch… Ok, just set it down. Good.  Hey, you didn’t spill! Nice, kid!”

(all words spoken while feeding Bear and no arms available to stop Joy from doing anything)

I never thought that within the first two hours of me being at home by myself with the kids, that a large, seriously possessed squirrel would run inside the house! (Yes, this happened).  As it leaped and bounded around the den, knocking over plants and running into walls, I frantically ran and carried the kids to another room, praying that no one would get rabies on my first day on the job… That would be an epic mom fail!  I didn’t have time to google animal control, so I called my husband, and when he answered, all I could blurt out was, “There’s a #%@^&!* squirrel in the houssseee!!!!” He quickly googled for me 🙂

After the nice animal control man took care of the squirrel, I called my husband back and cried, and then burst out laughing. This would, in fact, happen to me… especially after expressing my nervousness about being outnumbered by the kids. I’m still waiting to hear from God about what the heck happened there… Was there a reason that squirrel looked me straight in the eye and booked it in the house?? I’d like to know the answer…

Anyway, I digress….

I know parents of any number of kids, 1 to 100,  have similar stories, similar frustrations, and similar feelings of love and fulfillment.  I just hope the moms of two, three, four kids and beyond don’t judge me too harshly for being a newbie. I know I’ll get to where they are, and maybe one day I’ll be able to say, “Once you have two, you can have a ton more and it won’t be as hard”.

I’m not there yet, but I do know that I love these little monsters…. The End.

monsterfeeta

 

Advertisements

Vintage Car Nursery

While mama has been quickly expanding around the mid-section (and other areas), we have been getting everything prepared for our quickly expanding family!

It took a while to get around to it (this is, of course, the 2nd kid), but we finally finished the nursery!  Luckily, big sister was so excited to move to her purple, big girl room, that she willingly gave up her old room to her little bro… No drama for this mama!

Since my hubby’s first car was a vintage ’67 mustang, we decided that a car themed nursery would fit us just right!  We even framed a couple pics of my hubby’s first car to hang in the room.

Nursery Collage

Luckily, we had enough time in advance to refurb at least one piece in the nursery.  My mom found this “well-loved” dresser at a garage sale.  We just taped off a few areas and painted it with matte gray-blue paint.

Nursery B-A

We found a plastic grill at a local swap meet, and decided to “faux” it to make it look like rusted metal.  This is seriously so easy, and you can do it on cardboard letters or anything you want to look like old metal.

All you need:

  • Metal colored spray paint (or just acrylic paint)
  • Paintbrush or sponge brush
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Spray or paint your item. While it’s still wet, sprinkle cinnamon on the paint, heavier on some parts, lighter on others.
  • Take a paint brush or sponge and lightly press in the cinnamon.
  • Layer with paint and cinnamon as you see fit
  • You should probably seal it after… I haven’t done that yet…

No before pic, but it was shiny silver plastic…

Nursery Rust

Lastly, as a very special present, my mom made a custom cross-stitch pillow that says our boy’s name! (big sister also had a custom g-ma pillow in her nursery too!)

Nursery Bear Pillow

We are happy to get this checked off the list! Next item…. labor I guess….

Custom Coloring Books

C Book Crayons

My first born is about to turn 2.  This year has flown by.  I really wanted to throw a party, but with so many other events and preparing for Baby #2, we decided to nix the b-day party and go to Disneyland at the end of the month instead! Let’s be honest, she’ll have way more fun riding rides and seeing Minnie Mouse…

But, since I still had to do something for her and her little friends, I decided to make cupcakes for our Life Group that meets during the week, and do a little impromptu early birthday singing.

Along with the cupcakes, I made these super fun and simple party favors:

CUSTOM COLORING BOOKS!

I absolutely love this idea and how the books turned out! What made them super special was that all the coloring pages were actual pictures of all the kids in the group!  It’s so fun to color your friend’s hair green!

C Book Collage

There are a lot of tutorials out there for this kind of thing using various softwares and methods (some that can even make a coloring page for you!).  I used Photoshop.

Instructions:

  • Open a new doc with the picture you want to turn into a coloring page
  • Double check and make sure your colors are set to black and white (the squares in the bottom left of your toolbar)
  • The go to the “Filter” menu and click on “Filter Gallery” and then click “Sketch”
  • Select the option “Photocopy”
  • You will have slide bars where you can change the detail and darkness of the picture
  • To clean up or erase unwanted black splotches (like on the face, clothes, or background), take your paint brush, set to white, and brush over what you don’t want.
  • Boom.  Custom coloring page.

(After that, I created a new 8.5×11 doc and copied over the picture on one half, and added the kid’s name and fun shapes on the other half)

coloring pages

To assemble:

  • Print out your coloring pages. Again, I used 8.5×11 paper, one half of the page with the kid’s name and some shapes, the other half with the picture of the kid.  That way I could just fold the pages down the middle.

(I didn’t have time to double side the coloring pages, but feel free to get as fancy as you want)

  • I folded each page in half, and stacked them together to form a book.
  • Made a simple cover page
  • Hole-punched two holes on the folded sides and tied them all together with butcher’s twine
  • Then I tied on a couple crayons with each book.

They are so fun, and the kids (and parents) loved to see themselves and all their buddies! (and scribble on their faces, of course)

(I might have made another coloring page of grandpa’s face for my daughter to color for his birthday present from her! So easy and he loved it! And my daughter loved coloring Papa’s beard!)

Happy early birthday, my sweetie-bug! Can’t believe you are almost 2!!

cupcakes

 

Beauty and The Beast Bridal Shower

Sing it with me… “Both a little scared, neither one prepared, Jessica and John…
Luckily, this past weekend we were able to help this lovely couple get a little more “prepared” for marriage at Jessica’s, “ Beauty and the Beast” themed bridal shower!
For the games, we kept them short and sweet!
Game#1: Who Has the Groom?!

Summer Strawberry Crafts

Strawberry collage

I don’t even like strawberries….

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to “craft” them!!

My mom’s birthday was right around the corner, and I got it in my head to make her a tea towel.  I don’t know why, but I decided that nothing else would do.  And it should be strawberry related, because… sure.

So I created a little design, and thought that I would try the super cheap “print on wax paper” way to print on fabric.  All I can say is that it requires many tries and a lot of… ehemm….patience.

You basically mirror flip your image, and print it out on wax paper.  The ink doesn’t dry, allowing you to press it on to your fabric.  Sounds fantastic!! The problem is that wax paper wrinkles really easily (even when you tape it down to card stock!!!). You anxiously wait as your wax paper prints, eyes getting wider as it starts to come out looking perfect, and just when you are at the end, about to rejoice, it smudges. Ruined.

And after a few too many let downs, someone (not ME) might have said out loud, “Eff this!!” and stormed off to the kitchen to preheat the oven for a pizza pity party.

I documented a couple attempts.  You might call these “pinterest failures”…

Too light….

image-20

Too wet…..

image-201

Too much work…. Over it.

Since I don’t have the ability to screen print at the moment, and time was not on my side to cut out an intricate stencil, I broke down and bought image transfer paper and ironed my design on the towel….

Yes, it’s a little shiny, and yes it bugs me a little bit…. but all that aside, I think it did turn out pretty cute. I added some trim to glam it up a bit for mom’s sake…

What you need:

  • Flour sack tea towel (from your local craft/fabric store)
  • Iron on transfer paper for light fabrics
  • Ribbon or trim (if you want)
  • Fabric glue (for those who don’t have time to sew!)

Instructions:

  • Create your image – you can create your own in photoshop, or even use clipart in Word, or find some free graphics online
  • Once your image is created, mirror flip your image (this is VERY important!)
  • Print out your image on your transfer paper following the package instructions
  • Cut around your design
  • Iron on to your fabric following the package instructions
  • Add trim if desired

Done! A quick and easy way to dress up your oven! Also could be a fun way to display your little one’s artwork!

Strawberry towel copy

For the rest of the present, I found a little berry container, filled it with shredded paper, and stuck in some fancy strawberry jam and a matching mini notepad.

Strawberry present

Since I had extra transfer paper, I saw online that you can use transfer paper on wood too! (It’s supposed to be just for fabric).  I thought, “What the heck, might as well try”.

I found an old wooden box lid, and ironed that sucker on.  It went….ok.

You know…. there’s a fine line between “crappy” and “rustic”.  For my sanity, I’m calling the sign rustic.  It’s all in the staging, people….

Strawberry sign

Probably the cutest berry craft goes to my lil’ toddler who made Nana a card for her birthday.

I printed out a little saying that matched the present theme.

I squished a toilet paper roll into the shape of a heart and held it in shape with a hair band.

Then I let her, “dip! dip! dip!” in her paint.

The perfect way to paint with certain little lady who does NOT like paint on her hands!

image-21

After she was done, I added the little seeds and stems to make the hearts look like berries.

Strawberry Art

“Oh no!!” (for the twentieth time)

Me: “Yes yes, let me get the wipes…”

image-22

A “berry” happy crafting day to you all!!! Enjoy both the failures and triumphs and just call it… “RUSTIC“.

“It’s Just a Season”

It was one of those moments, an out of body experience….

After a long day of me being home with the kid, and the hubby’s long day at work, we were all sitting in the den quietly watching “Daniel Tiger” while the kiddo played with her toys.

We were just laying on the couch, not moving, not saying anything, and all of a sudden, my hubby turns to me very seriously and says, “I feel like I’m Tigee.” (Daniel Tiger’s beloved stuffed animal) and in that moment, I looked around the room, toys everywhere, exhausted, me in frumpy clothes and 6 months pregnant, crazy toddler, and the realization that maybe we watch too many cartoons…. I thought to myself… “Something terrible has happened here! What happened to us?” And then I errupted in laughter. How could you not, when after Tigee finished singing “I’m Tigee, that’s me, I’m silly! Woo Hoo!” your husband has a deep moment and decides to proclaim that’s who he is… and it’s basically true.

It was one of those moments when we both went “Wow, it has come to this…”  We are truly and completely immersed into toddler parenthood…

This specific parenting season has been tough.  The amount of times I hear “No!” and say “No!” is too many to count.  Getting the toddler to eat is exhausting, two year old molars make everyone miserable, and the floor tantrums while I’m trying to use the bathroom are something I could live without.  I’m a little terrified that we are bringing another minion into the world in just a few months!….   But it’s our season.  I’m trying not to pout about it, which is hard. Every season has difficulties, some worse than others, but there’s always refining to be done, lessons to be learned, and finding joy in all circumstances. (So I hear….)

So for all ya’ll in the same season, I cry with you! Here’s a little peak into a day in the life of: JUST GETTING MY DAUGHTER TO EAT WITHOUT THROWING A HISSY FIT!!!!

1.  All beverages must have ice in them.  But you can’t just put ice in the sippy cup, she must hold the ice cube for as long as she chooses and will then plop it into her cup herself.  Tantrum averted.

2.  Applesauce is a must. But you can’t just hand over an applesauce pouch. No way! First, you must put the whole box of applesauces on the floor, then she will choose her pouch, run around with it until she asks for help. At this point, I will break the seal of the pouch and let her, of course, unscrew the cap herself, let her throw away the cap, and then finally…. applesauce time.  (will usually repeat this twice, since one pouch is not enough) Hooray, no crying.

3. Singing while eating.  My kid LOVES to sing. So in order to get her to eat another bite, sometimes we will sing “The Wheels on the Bus” as a reward.  The problem is it’s after every. single. bite. The wipers on the bus part is her favorite, but that’s verse 2… out of 3.  Each time. No pouty faces here!

4.  Pretending that her food is my food.  It’s stupid, but it works.  She will basically eat anything off of my plate, especially if I say “Do you want anymore of mommy’s chicken?”  The problem is that when I’m actually trying to eat myself, I don’t want to share my food… the nerve, mommy! So there’s usually a tantrum, but whatever kid… deal!

I think my husband’s face says it all…. On this particular day, she didn’t want to eat on a plate, but rather wanted to eat individual grains of rice off of the table.  We were there for a while…..

photo-4

We don’t let the toddler run the whole show, but sometimes, you pick your battles… and when there’s tantrums at every turn, you do what you can to survive, and repeat out loud, “it’s only a season, it’s only a season”….  and then turn on some dang cartoons!

Our Gender Reveals: Baby 1 vs. Baby 2

Seems like yesterday we just found out our daughter was, in fact, a girl… and here we are again… with an almost 2 year-old, and Baby: Round Two!!!

To my dismay, what everyone says is true, and to be honest, I feel some mom guilt about it, but it just is what it is: You pull out all the stops for Baby 1, and Baby 2… not so much.

BUT we do what we can, ok Baby 2?? Give me a break, will ya?!! I can tell you care so much, while you’re all comfy-cozy in there. You’re probably more concerned about growing all your internal organs, but alas, the mom guilt remains… I digress…

I thought it’d be fun to document our preggo announcements and gender reveals. One reveal is more elaborate than the other, but we covered this already!! Go away, mom guilt!!!

Baby 1: GIRL

We went with the “Bun in the Oven” theme, which I quite enjoyed. Not at the time, while I was barfing between pictures, but the results were great! I hand-made announcements (that took forever) and we sent out to family and friends! So fun!

Inside the oven was a picture of the ultrasound.

IMG_0795

IMG_0366

IMG_0726

image(21)

What a little bean in there!

GENDER REVEAL: TEAM PINK OR TEAM BLUE!

We had so much fun with our football theme reveal! We had all the game day food fixins’ and I bought sweatbands for everyone to wear, in support of their gender guess!

IMG_5028

IMG_0217

IMG_5062

For the actual reveal, we decided on having our friends spray us with silly string! That way, everyone could be involved! It was seriously the best being covered in PINK!

Silly String

IMG_5086

IMG_5091

BABY 2: BOY

We decided to keep the “Bun in the Oven” theme for baby #2 as well! Again, came out super cute, but lots of running around and nausea and repeating “Joy, come here, look at your kitchen!”

Nothin’ says loving’ like…
Bun #2 copy

GENDER REVEAL: LITTLE CUPCAKE OR STUD MUFFIN!

Welp, this go around, the hubby and I already knew the gender. I just couldn’t look away at the ultrasound and well, when you see “IT” you see it! All to say, we are SUPER excited to add a boy into the family mix!

We still wanted to do something fun with our friends, so hours before meeting our Life Group,  I ran to the store and bought gift boxes and mini muffins and created a little label on Photoshop. We took them over to our friend’s house and passed out the boxes and opened them up together. It happened so fast, I didn’t even get pictures or video of the boxes being opened and all the “hoorays!”……    Baby #2 people!!

EasyGenderReveal

A little sad, that these are literally the only pics I was able to snap, but I had an hour and a screaming toddler, who, to be totally honest, I stuck in her playroom and turned on Daniel Tiger… otherwise, there would have been no gender reveal at all!!!!

And soon there will be two of them… two. But that can wait for a different post.

GIANT Marquee Tutorial

Giant Marquee

Marquee Signs: all the rage, and ragin’ expensive.

I’ll admit it.  I LOVE them.  I’m on the band wagon and I don’t care!

For those of you who want to join me, here’s my DIY: LOVE Marquee Tutorial

I created this sign for THIS SWANKY SOIREE.  Check out all the other party fixins’! 

OOOOkkkk…. here we go.

Disclaimer: I’m still getting used to mapping out detailed tutorials and I’m incredibly impatient when it comes to making stuff, so my “process” pics aren’t the best.  Just deal 🙂

Supplies Needed:

  • 4’x2′ piece of thin plywood
  • A total of 4 1x4s – 2 pieces cut at 4′ and 2 pieces cut at 2’2″
  • Drill and a 3/4″ “Hole Saw” drill bit attachment (we bought a “Hole Saw” kit)  (size of your hole will vary on the size of lights you choose)
  • Nail gun
  • Strands of old fashioned (or any kind) of lights
  • Acrylic Paint (any color you want) (you could even stain the wood first… I would have if I wasn’t lazy)
  • Painters Tape

Step One: Paint plywood

I chose to do a very simple white wash: White Acrylic Paint and water to thin it out.

image-11

image-13

Step 2: Once your board is dry, stencil or tape off your letters. I just free-handed it for time’s sake, but usually I would print enlarged letters and cut out my own stencil

image-19

image-12

Step 3: Paint inside your letters.  Paint THIN layers, as to decrease your chances of paint bleed.  It’s no good.

image-18

image-17

Step 4: Let paint dry and then remove tape.  Step back and marvel at your crisp edges.

image-16

Step 6: Take a pencil and map out where each light will go

image-15

Ok, the next few steps I don’t really have pics for, because my husband and I were either working against the clock (i.e – a napping baby) or working in the garage in the dead of night.

Step 7: Attached the hole saw attachment on the your drill (pick the size you need to snuggly fit the size of your lights) and begin drilling your holes

You can kind of see the holes in this pic….

image-14

Step 8: Measure and cut your 1x4s to sizes listed above, and nail gun them to your board to create a frame.  Sorry… no pic of the process 😦

image-14

Step 9. I painted the outside of the frame black, and went back and painted the inside the holes we drilled for the lights

Step 10: Unscrew the light bulb, and insert the back of the light (what is attached to the cord) through the hole, and re-attach the bulb. Continue with all the lights.  Tape down excess cord

Plug in and say YAY! That was hard, but it looks awesome! (deer head optional, but pretty rad.)

image-11

Bridal Showe dessert

Easy Kid Craft for Valentine’s Day

Valentine Craft

Crafting with little ones is fun! Well, sometimes.

Sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating, but you fake it and pretend it was fun.

That was the case on this particular crafting day, when my “particular” little one, decided she didn’t want her hands messy….  Um, hello… you’re a kid, right???

Luckily, the craft turned out super cute! And for all who don’t know the “craziness” that happened behind the picture, will hopefully think it’s cute too and try it with your own kin.

EASY FINGER PAINT PICTURE FRAME:

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Non toxic paints
  • Printer and Scanner (not totally necessary)
  • Picture frame of your choosing
  • and a WILLING child!! ha…

Instructions:

  • Let your little one loose on some awesome finger painting
  • Let their creation dry
  • Because I wanted to KEEP the original art piece and not cut it (and make copies for the grandparents), I scanned in the picture on my computer
  • After I scanned, I moved the pic in to an art program where I was able to type over the picture (I chose “X” “O” for Valentine’s Day)
  • Print the pics of the finger painting and the “process pic” to the size of your frame

I think what makes kid’s artwork cute is seeing pics of them creating their masterpiece!

Here’s the little artist before the meltdown and the final product!

IMG_1008

Valentine Craft

What great about this is you get to be super creative and can make any holiday (or not even a holiday) you want!

And since I mentioned that this craft was less than perfect….Here’s how it REALLY went down! G-ma doesn’t have to know!

After taking out my camera and realizing this was going down hill:

IMG_1015

After pretending to sneeze to make her laugh:

IMG_1014

One second later:

IMG_1010

Ahhhh the art of faking a fun time.  Us moms are pretty good at it.

 

“Winter Glam” Bridal Shower with a Twist!

Unique parties are the best kind!

This one happened to be a bridal shower, planned with love by my mom, aunts, and myself,  for my wonderful cousin, a unique and edgy girl herself!

We wanted to do a nod to her wedding theme, a  “winter glam” mostly white wedding,  but didn’t want it to be christmasy.  Oh and we had to add the element of line dancing for the after party, but didn’t want it to be western-y…. an easy task. Ha!

Here was the result.  A little edgy. A few “snowy” elements, and a whole mess of old fashioned lights and DIY marquee signs for the dance floor!

(Linens, chairs, lights, etc. provided by Party Plus Rentals)

Bridal Shower Table 1

My mom created all the flower arrangements, and coffee filter flower votives.

Bridal Shower Round Table

bridal shower head table

My favorite part… the dessert table!

My “LOVE” marquee DIY coming soon!

Bridal Showe dessert

To add a wintery touch, we DIYed these simple snow globe cookie bags made from CD sleeves.

Bridal Shower Sugar Cookie

Snowball Martinis” aka doughnut holes, dipped in white chocolate, and rolled in coconut…

Bridal Shower Snow Balls

 

Bridal Shower Dance Sign

For the dance floor, I made this super easy marquee sign from a store bought canvas!

To make your own, all you need is the following:

  • A canvas of any size
  • a strand of christmas lights
  • paint
  • a pencil
  • a skewer or sharp pointy object

Instructions:

  • Paint your canvas with your desired word
  • take your pencil and mark out where you will be punching your lights through the word
  • poke the holes with your skewer
  • pop your christmas lights through the holes
  • Marvel at how easy that was!

Such a fun night!

Big shout out my to fam who helped plan, coordinate, cook, and rock the shower! It’s nice being apart of such a creative family!!