Endless Pee, a Busy Weekend and a Sharpie...

So I have been having nearly a week of those “you've got to be kidding” days. Ya know, those days where things keep happening and you just think to yourself, "Seriously???? I mean, come on now." Well, that has been occurring nearly every day since last Wednesday. Let me begin.

It all started last week when I was husbandless. The week was long. The week was rough. The week seemed NEVER-ENDING. Wednesday is the day I drive carpool for Layla's preschool. She had her pumpkin patch field trip that day (it was conveniently located at the front of her school/church), so I dropped her off and prepped me and Livi to go back by 10:15. Livi and I arrived on time (huge feat), and Layla sprinted over to greet us. All happiness so far. First up was a hayride around the church which was glorious times. Next was your choice of picking your pumpkin, a baby pool filled with corn kernels (sensory situation), a mini moonbounce, a maze, and face/hand painting. Now normally I would have enjoyed each one to the fullest... but oh wait, I have a psychotic child that decides that 22 months old is the perfect time to practice for those terrible twos. Now I have never dealt with that child with the blood-curdling scream, arched back, straight-up bitterness and anger. Well. I can check that one off the list. I have now. Olivia decided that whatever she wanted to do was exactly what was going to occur, and if that didn't happen... well, watch out. I was that mom. The one that you pity, assess how she handles it, and feel so so SO happy that it is not your child. Yep. That was me at the pumpkin patch. I was so involved in dealing with Olivia that I got one lone picture of Layla the entire time. 

I know. She still looks adorable. But ONE picture? I am semi-heartbroken. So to deal with Olivia's wrath I just had to remove her from the situation and take her home. I just couldn't. 

Wednesday evening arrived and a wonderful girlfriend came over to drink wine and catch up. My focus was that it was the last night I would be alone. I let Summer and Layla fall asleep in my bed, thinking it would be an easier process. Sidenote... I just need to remind myself that it is NEVER easier and just do it the normal way every night. After a schmillion times of hearing "Mom, I have something to tell you." Or "Mom, Layla is kicking me." Or "Mom, we are telling each other just one more story." (okay that one is cute), those two FINALLY fell asleep in my bed. I go up to bed, SO excited this will be the last night I am alone, and transfer Summer to her bed and Layla to hers. I go back to my room ready to dive into my nice comfy bed when I lie down in fully soaked sheets. Obviously Layla peed through her pull-up. So not only are my sheets peed through, but now hers are dirty because I didn't realize it until now. Awesome. I have to awkwardly wake her up to not only strip her sheets but change and clean her as well. Ehh whatever, all she really needs is blankie to sleep so I put a random blanket down over her mattress and she is out. I strip my sheets, but decide to wait until morning to wash everything. I am far too tired. I put a random top sheet down on top of the mattress, grab an extra blanket, and fall dead asleep.  

At last it was Thursday, finally the day Matt would be home. He was driving home from North Carolina so I knew he wouldn't be around until the evening. The morning was the usual chaos of breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, doing hair, making lunch, packing Summer’s backpack, getting her to the bus stop (with the other two still in pajamas of course). I finally was able to wash both my sheets and Layla’s sheets and remake the beds. So Matt's aunt and cousin were visiting from out of town so they brought over his grandma (and his cousin's new baby son) for lunch. We had a great afternoon of catching up and enjoying each other's company. Summer was taking her first Spanish class after school (she can roll her r's like a true native speaker, I swear) so instead of her coming home on the bus I had to pick her up at 4:15. Everyone left around 4 (after bringing us lunch, cleaning my kitchen and folding my laundry… Can they come over more often?), and I went and got Summer. Her big words from the day that she learned were “no” (what am I paying for???) and “grey” in Spanish. Hmm. Anyways, I finally addressed my gas light (which had essentially been screaming at me) and decided that the seven miles I had left just wasn't going to cut it. I went to get gas, and finally got home around 4:30. 

Now last week a dear, wonderful friend passed away suddenly, and the viewing was Thursday evening. She was the mother of friends who are basically family and “Grandma Pat” was truly one of the best. This is something we would never dream of missing. I was going to get a sitter, but my mother-in-law and brother-in-law were going to come with me so I figured that would be enough help. It actually worked out that Matt was going to meet us there. Of course my plan for the day just was not thought through. I didn't shower in the morning or even think about outfits for me or the girls. I am in theory supposed to have us all ready by around 5:15... and it is currently 4:30. I frantically jump in the shower while racking my brain about what to wear. I am a mom or a nurse, so viewing-appropriate clothing is just not something I have. I find a pair of black pants that must be from college that I throw on with a random top. Of course the belt that would bring the outfit into this decade was absolutely nowhere to be found, due to my stupid reorganization projects. A different one that is supposed to go around the waist (not hips) is the only one I can find. I can make it work but I need another hole in it. Not to worry, Ben (brother-in-law) can do that. I grab random outfits for the girls, start getting them dressed, allow my mother-in-law to take over that job. I grab a few snacks, thank Ben for the new hole in the belt, and voila, we are on our way. Traffic, of course. Now in my rush and not thinking properly, I hadn't really processed how long this ride would be. Ben drove my car (yay), but it took no less than an hour. If you remember previous blogs, you will have learned something about one of my dear, adorable daughters. I did a mommy fail in a major way. I forgot dramamine. Just MINUTES before we were to arrive, Layla got carsick and threw up everywhere. Here is my text to/from Matt, when I was sort of in awe of what just happened.

So my mother-in-law was sitting in the way back with Summer so she was frantically trying to clean her up with the wipes I was frantically throwing at her. In order to keep the smell down, I put down my window which was directly in front of Olivia who was laughing HYSTERICALLY at the wind whipping her hair everywhere. I hadn't realized that she took her pigtails out (which are tiny clear elastics and could never be found again). Awesome. So we get to the funeral home with one covered in puke and the other with hair literally sticking straight out on both sides. AKA, a totally hot mess. I had an extra t-shirt and leggings in the diaper bag so we cleaned Layla up and put that on her, then put her coat over buttoned up so it didn't look like she was completely underdressed for the occasion. I then thought to myself, if these little girls can make at least one person smile here tonight, it will be worth it. And it was. They can make people smile despite smelling like vomit or having psychotic hair. We supported our friends, I was FINALLY reunited with my hubby, and we paid our respects to Grandma Pat. Now of course I hadn't fed them dinner so we all went to a restaurant nearby, which happened to be Mexican/Italian. I know, I have never been to a place like that either. Thankfully we were the only ones in the place (shocker) and had a reasonably uneventful meal. Drove home, put the girls to bed, and collapsed ourselves.

Friday was some teacher planning day or something, so Summer was off school. Layla was up all night long and woke up with a fever and some respiratory thing so I kept her home from school. Olivia peed through her diaper and woke up totally soaked. Ahhh pee. Stripped her bed, washed her sheets. Feels like my daily routine. So I thought it would be easier with Summer home. Yeahhhh not so much. Now that she is in school and occupied all day long, she required constant attention from me... while I was attempting to work on my friend’s baby shower gift, bake a pumpkin-related dessert for the baby shower, hold Layla essentially the entire day because she felt so miserable and that was all she wanted, find time to go to the store for the other ingredients, go to the toy store for birthday presents for Summer’s birthday parties that weekend, wrap both, etc. They occupied themselves for approximately 3.7 minutes. 

That night we put the girls to bed very early and I finally got to sit down for more than 13 seconds and be with my hubby. We talked, caught up on our TV shows, and stayed up later than we should have. I will not apologize for that one. I had missed him and we needed it.

So Saturday morning I slept later than I intended and I had to kick it into gear. The baby shower in DC was adorable. My gift was a “hospital essentials kit” that included socks, shower shoes, a mini toiletry kit, vending machine money, hair ties, lip balm, my fav comfy nursing bra, a mini bottle of wine, gel pads for breastfeeding, and then the most adorable little sparkly Toms for her daughter. Miniature Toms are just stupid cute. 

I wrote why each item was necessary (first I hand wrote each, cut them out and glued to cute paper. Then I kept getting annoying with my handwriting and typed them up, had to cut them out with a paper cutter, then glued each onto super adorable paper and wrapped each individually with tissue paper and twine... do you see what that was taking me so long on Friday??) The pumpkin cheesecake chocolate bars were delish. Summer got to her birthday parties successfully. Layla appeared to be feeling better. We had made plans FOREVER ago to go to a Caps game with some good friends. It was a great game and good company. While we were at the game I got a text from our babysitter that Layla had peed our bed. Of course she did. So when we got home, I stripped our bed for what felt like the bagillionth time this week. This time she went above and beyond though, because she was able to pee not only all over our sheets (and obviously mattress pad), but on the comforter (which is actually a duvet and duvet cover), AND multiple pillows (mine, of course). So I was far too exhausted to do anything about it so I just stripped the bed (again), and repeated the same thing I did just nights before. Now I do have another set of sheets but I just don't like them as much. I am going to wash the other ones immediately anyways, so it just seems like a wasted step to put the other ones on. Anyways, we dropped dead from exhaustion that night.

Sunday mornings when we are trying to get to a Redskins 1pm game are always hectic. I am always running around getting ready, packing stuff up, etc. Matt is cooking and prepping food. Summer had slept at my mom’s house the previous night after her birthday party but we decided/she begged to come to the game with us, so I was running around attempting to find her clothes (which was more difficult than I anticipated both due to my stupid closet reorganization and the fact that I am behind on laundry). The game was fun and intense but in all honesty I was just exhausted. Summer was a total champ and had a great time. 

On our way home I pretty much looked just like Summer did. 

We got home and unpacked the car. I felt a raging headache coming on, then my body began to ache and my skin hurt. I started to think… if both Matt and I are getting sick at the same time, this will not be good. We put everything away, put on a movie for the girls and went up to bed to lie down. It was 5:30ish. I have a vague memory of hearing Matt feed them dinner and put the girls to bed. Another random moment of Layla coming into bed with me. All I know is that I was still wearing my jersey at 4am but I just wasn't able to move. It was like my body was saying, “Just lie here. Sleep. I am not allowing you to get up so don't even try.” And I didn’t.

The next morning (Monday) I woke up in a panicked haze. I had forgotten to set an alarm, not really thinking I was going to bed for the night. I have Layla in bed with me and she still feels warm/feverish. Crap. I suddenly remember we never did Summer’s homework that is always due on Mondays. The poem book! Her reading! I leapt out of bed, and ran to wake her up. I frantically ran downstairs where I am met with dog poop on the rug. Awesome. I'm not even mad at Emmie because we went to bed so ridiculously early. I go start making Summer breakfast and packing her lunch while she starts on her poem book homework. Of course it is more time-consuming and detailed than it is every other week. She finally finishes it while I am stuffing breakfast down her face and she reads her book in record speed. During all of this mania, Layla comes downstairs. She took a turn for the worse, so no school again for her. I always think to myself when making those decisions, “If someone else sent their kid to school like this, would I be irritated?” The answer was a definite yes, so sobby, clingy, sick Layla was home all day again. I waited for Matt to come downstairs to clean up the poop (Yes, I did. Sue me). We get Summer off to school while Olivia is making her way down the stairs. Oh, she peed through her diaper again. And she seems like she is getting whatever sickness Layla has. Fantastic. I mean, this is getting ridiculous. So I start on the daunting task of our mattress pad, sheets, duvet, duvet cover, pillows, Olivia’s sheets, blanket, pillow. While I am doing all of this, I still just feel like I still smell urine. But it is like nasty smelling urine. Oh wait, it is stronger over in the breakfast area. Oh wait, Emmie PEED IN A GIANT CIRCLE ALL AROUND THE TABLE. Oh wait, it is really awesome we are out of paper towels. And I have cramps. So I am holding two sobbing, sick children, smell urine at every turn, and now I have to somehow clean up dog pee without paper towels. Par for the course. At one point Layla fell asleep on the couch and I had a minute to try to clean up the dog pee a little more thorough. The next thing I know, Layla is standing there sobbing because her pull-up had pulled apart and she had peed while she was sleeping and it was streaming down her legs. Of course it was. I cleaned her up, and barely make it through the rest of the day, but I did finally get everyone’s sheets back on their bed. And I showered and scoured myself from pee smell. I let Layla play some totally random makeup game on my iPad that played R & B music while she 'assisted' this girl into looking better. I mean, this person needed some help. Definite skin issues. 

My wonderful sister made us dinner after she heard of my lovely day. I really don't know what I would do without her. So Monday night we snuggle into our fresh sheets. Around 1:30am, I start hearing little cries of “Mommy!” Layla still feels like crap. I bring her into bed with us but her coughing is out of control. In attempt to help me get ANY sleep, Matt took her downstairs on the couch (I love him)... But I could still hear her hacking up a lung all night.

Tuesday morning arrives and guess who peed through her diaper again? Yup. Olivia. Now I am betting you are thinking like I am thinking. Their diapers/pull-ups suck and I clearly need to limit their evening beverage intake BECAUSE I AM SICK OF WASHING SHEETS!!!! Layla is still not feeling great. She just wants to be held all.day.long. So I set them up with a TV show (literally it is all they have been doing lately) and attempt to clean up and wash more sheets. During that very short window of opportunity, Olivia somehow found herself a PERMANENT marker. Yeap.

Yes, she attempted to keep it on her paper... but most definitely got it on the rug. At that point, I didn't even look elsewhere. I didn't want to know. I didn't even bathe her. I took a deep breath, told myself that it would all be okay, and put her down for a nap. It was the best I could do... and ya know what? It sucked. I sucked. I have pretty much sucked for the past week. But they know I love them. And that is as good as it gets right now. 

Nashville for the weekend with my hubby in T-minus two days. I know I haven't mentioned it... I have been a little busy washing sheets. 

Happy Wednesday! 


Death by IKEA and a Happy Laundry Room...

I have a true love/hate relationship with IKEA. I mean, it is so cheap, has a trillion things, is so colorful and happy... but yet it can feel like the devil's playground when you are overstimulated and suddenly feel frozen with indecision when you swear you knew exactly what you were coming for just mere moments before. 

In my silly overambitiousness, my recent quest has become to promote independence with the girls. I want them to be able to get their own clothes out, put them away, get their own coats or jackets, etc. I figure I can't expect them to do things if 1. They can't even reach it. 2. There isn't an actual place to put things. Herein started my quest for uber-organization. So obviously I started 15 projects and have yet to finish one. Sometimes I just don't know why I do things. 

My first ambition was to make the laundry room a fun, happy place to be in. I mean, no one likes to do laundry... I might as well make it random and awesome. I wanted fun bins to bring in a bright color that I was going to paint one of the walls. Quest accomplished at Home Goods where I found these orange and grey bins to go on the shelves. 

So I went with an orange wall, did a grey chevron roman shade, pulled out a mason jar and put on a chalkboard label for items left in pockets, ordered a decal from Etsy, and hung a framed "Martha Stewart stain guide." 

I hung an old shelf with hooks on a lower level so the girls could have a place for their main jackets, backpack, my purse, etc. Put up a hook for items that need to be hung up immediately, an ironing board hook and also a broom/swiffer caddie thing behind the door: 

Here is a random 'before' picture: 

Here is the after: 

Laundry is miserable. This needs to be a happy room. End of story. 

So that project is mostly finished (the cabinets need to be organized... they are ginormous but I am not utilizing them, perhaps because I would always need a ladder). My other project is redoing the closet in Summer and Layla's room. I had previously gotten some drawer units and whatnot, but the high shelves and place to hang their dresses just didn't work. They couldn't really hang up their own clothes, and I just thought it was a ton of wasted space in the closet. I found an idea that would work from iheart organizing that looks something like this: 

I wanted to get additional shelves to hang above the lower rods for smaller bins for hair things, belts, etc. Their closet currently had the one builder-grade wire-ish shelf that hung across the top. Not good. 

So I planned ahead for this IKEA trip. I even got someone to watch the girls. We had dinner plans with friends that night, but I had what I thought was a good amount of time to gloriously shop without children. I thought I was being smart about this. I know I do plenty of stupid things, but taking multiple children to IKEA when I need a large item is something I never want to do (again). I had a list... expedit shelves, bins for the shelves, and three frames. I also wanted to look at wall shelves. That's it. 

It was a rainy afternoon, but no one was on the ICC per usual so I made it there in good time. I smartly parked at the exit, proud of myself for thinking ahead. I brought my list, notebook of measurements (just in case), and purse. So my first mistake was not grabbing a cart by the entrance. I hesitated but thought, "No. All the stuff I'm getting is on the lower level." I ride up the escalator and am met with the happy, modern, bright patterns and adorable setups. It's this joyful land filled with things that are so cheap but they make look so good. I snag a yellow bag and put my annoying notebook in it, grab a brochure and pencil. My trip officially commences. 

Almost immediately I see curtains that look like a perfect color for our bedroom AND they have the grommets at the top... oh wait, miracle upon miracle, they are long enough (I have absurdly long windows in EVERY room)!!! And they are only $27.99 a pair! I can't believe it! I put two sets in my yellow bag and it is already awkwardly heavy. I'm not even through the Living Room showroom. Oh well, I usually have three kids with me. I can carry a bag no problem. I continue on my way, stopping to look at the different wall shelves. There are so many of them, and they are everywhere... and when I think I like one I end up running over to another set-up thinking I like different ones and low and behold they are the same exact wall shelves. I plow through sofa-beds and get to the wall units and media storage. Here I write down the article number, aisle and bin for my expedit shelves like a pro. But then... wait, there are cute inserts with drawers that I could get for these shelves. Oh no, there are multiple types of bins in slightly different colors. Crap. What do I need. Losing focus. I jot down the insert article number and the names of the different bins. I can make the official decision later. I can't think right now. My arm and back are throbbing from this awkward bag. I start second guessing the curtains but I know if I put them down I am never finding them again. I see more wall shelves that look good. Ugh, those are the shelves they put products on. I run through Kitchen and Dining trying to get back on track. In Workspaces I slow down when I see all of the fantastic looking organizational stuff. Our office needs a better system... I could get this stuff to help that out.... no no no, stop, focus. I am continually seeing different shelves with different bins and fabulousness and my mind is whirling over what I actually need. Ohhhh the closet systems in bedroom are amazing, I want all of it. I somehow blow through children's IKEA with the sheer motivation being my back is aching from these stupid curtains and I make my way downstairs. Alright, I only have 30 minutes to find all of the stuff down here and get on the road. Crap. Here is where it went majorly downhill. I grab a cart to appease my back. Ohhh a trashcan would be fantastic to hold wrapping paper in. Hmmmm these $3.99 spice racks are all over pinterest for their book holding qualities, I should get a few. Bins. Oh these bins. I agonize for several minutes, finally grabbing two in turquoise (??? I need five). I get to curtains and I am now met with another set that I think I like the fabric better but they don't have grommets. Decisions. This woman won't get out of my way. I hate her. I think I like the grommets. Ugh do I really need these right now? No, I don't. These can wait. I put them back twice before I put them back in my cart. I get to the frames section with mere minutes left before I am supposed to leave. I can't find the ones I want. Wait which ones do I want? I liked it best when it was a bigger mat, right? Aghhh I have no idea. None of these look like the ones that I want. Ten minutes later I frantically grab several and nearly sprint to the massive warehouse area. 

The expedit shelves are on aisle 1, bin 24. I find it promptly but I am met with an extremely large box. I mean, I know how big these shelves are (they are the ones I made my bench from). But are they really this big? And heavy? Over six feet long and 50lbs? My cart won't do, I need to get one of those other flat-bottom-big-things. I backtrack to the front of the warehouse to grab one of them, and push both carts over to the shelves. While holding the back of the cart with my foot, I try to finagle the huge shelves onto my cart. Profusely sweating and running severely late, I must have looked like I needed help because a woman came over to hold my cart in place while I maneuvered the shelves. I thanked her, then loaded my stuff up on top of the new cart and shelves. These curtains. I mean, they can wait. I take them out and set them aside. NOOOO I forgot to write down where that adorable pink insert with drawers was. The computers are all occupied. And I never did find the correct shelves or decide on anything. Oh well, whatever, I have to leave. I am so late. I am running to get in line. Finally grab one that doesn't look too long and try to look like I am not utterly frazzled and sweaty and irritated that I have no idea what I bought or what I even need anymore. No, checkout woman, I have no idea where my IKEA family card is. Clearly you have to scan it before you start scanning my things because you are standing there waiting for me to find it. Ah YES here it is. Did it even do anything? No. I paid and left, thinking to myself how I was going to get these shelves into my car by myself. Determination presided. Despite the awesome pouring rain, I lifted them up and pushed them partly in, then ran around the other side to lift it over the console. Went around back again and pushed it in fully. Success! At least it is raining so my profuse sweating isn't too noticeable. I packed everything else in, already regretting not getting the curtains. Ahhh rainy traffic. I can feel a migraine coming on. I finally get home and throw on some clothes. My hair and makeup is a lost cause. The entire ride to dinner I sat in the way back between Summer and Layla. Neither of them shut their mouths the entire ride and all Summer wanted to teach me was some 'Avocado' song/game she learned with her friends at school. I barely did it one time when I decided the 'quiet game' was essential. That didn't last, but we finally did get there and I had TWO lemon drop martinis and prime rib. I'm pretty sure most things can be solved with two lemon drop martinis. 

So I got the shelves but only two bins. The frames were the wrong size. I wish I bought the curtains. I never found the wall shelves. And I keep thinking, that trip could have been MUCH worse. I could have had children with me! I have since made an updated list with EXACT items (along with article numbers) and I may just go straight to the lower level and get the things I need. That was just out of control. 

So I am now mid-23498 projects (I am also moving their old drawer units into our closet and reorganizing), with none of them completed. Which kills me. Oh and did I mention we drove to North Carolina for a wedding last weekend?? A total of 17.5 hours on the road between Friday and Sunday. (I knew we were going to be driving to NC, but in my head that meant like 4-5 hours. I didn't process that it was Charlotte which is significantly farther. Geography lesson learned the hard way). It was Matt's cousin who was getting married and it was actually perfectly amazing. A GORG venue and tons of fun people. The girls were invited and considering we are going to Nashville without them in two weeks, we figured we would bring them. While they struggled a little (Livi fell asleep during the ceremony which I was THRILLED about but then she started snoring...) we all had an amazing time. All of them were on the dance floor until they dropped. 

They were also big fans of the photo booth: 

Weddings are just so happy, especially when the couple is flat-out adorable and their love is SO obvious. Next time we'll fly and it will be even better. 

And lastly, did I mention Matt is out of town?? He had to be in Virginia on Sunday afternoon (we dropped his car off there on the way), and yesterday he had to go back down to North Carolina until Thursday. Sorry, there has been no "Girls Only Weekend of Fun"  this time... it has been pretty rough. Counting down the minutes until tomorrow night.... 

Happy Wednesday! 


Pinterest Projects I have actually accomplished: Part 1...

So I have never been one of those crafty, creative people that tries projects and arty things. It just isn't me. I am a perfectionist, so the whole DIY stuff can drive me insane with my quest for precision. Then I entered the world of Pinterest. Talk about feeling utterly inadequate in every decorating, cooking, mommy, craft, organizational way. I am half-relieved, half-jealous that it wasn't around when I got married. It can seem so vast and ridiculous that these people actually DO these things. I mean, who actually has time for this stuff? People have absolutely amazing ideas, and tutorials on how to attempt them are fantastic. A lot of these projects really aren't that bad, and when it comes down to it, most people are trying to take the easy way out in any way they can. 

So, my sister was telling me about some article she read about how things don't HAVE to be perfect. They can be perfectly imperfect, which can be just as fabulous... and no one really notices the teeny place that fabric is misaligned in the corner of one window. I do. But I need to get over it. After we moved, I finally decided to attempt some of these projects... with some success! Here are two of the many I have done (mostly at 1am when the girls are sleeping, of course). More to come in future posts. 

Storage Bench 

This bench has been an utter lifesaver in the kitchen. You have absolutely no idea how many shoes these little girls somehow accrue and leave EVERYWHERE. I did it the weekend of that massive storm last fall (Sandy??). I went to Home Depot and everyone was getting batteries, generators, flashlights, bottled water, etc... ya know, things to survive. Here I am getting supplies for a Pinterest project. I got the instructions here at IHeart Organizing (I'm literally obsessed with this woman. I mean, she has amazeballs colorful labels on EVERYTHING.), and I will tell you how I did it. My apologies for not having step-by-step pics. I wasn't doing this blog yet so documentation didn't really happen. 

-IKEA Expedit Shelves $59.99
-MDF board at Home Depot  $6.27. I brought the exact measurements of the shelves and I had them cut it for me there. 
-2" foam sheet-- $58.99 but I got it from Joanne fabrics with a 40% off coupon so it was around $35
-Fabric of your choice (I have gotten tons of adorbs prints from fabric.com. I ordered 2 1/2 yards for this and it was beyond plenty). All of the stuff I have ever gotten has run from $6-$8 per yard.  
-Fabric glue (see pic below. I got it from Michael's or on Amazon) usually anywhere from $7-$10. 
-Velcro- (to eliminate the cushion from sliding off when someone sits down) I got a pack from Michael's but you could get this from Amazon for $5-$6. 
-Baskets/Bins-- I recommend getting them from IKEA so they fit perfectly in the shelving. I got these for $16.99 each but there are some cheaper options. You could also order extra fabric and do these amazing DIY bins (I plan on doing them myself very soon for other parts of my house). 
-Knife (for cutting foam to size. Much easier than scissors). 

  • Build the shelves per lovely IKEA instructions (fortunately these are super easy).
  • Lay the foam out on the floor and put the cut MDF board over. Use a sharpie to mark and then cut (a knife because it was SO much easier than scissors). 
  • Decide how you are going to have the pattern (if you have one of course) appear on the cushion. (I recommend ironing your fabric before. Possibly wash it if that is what is recommended for your particular fabric). Lay the foam and MDF board on top of the fabric. Cut your fabric leaving several inches around the edges to allow you to glue it to the MDF board. 
  • Spray the fabric glue and pull as tight as you can (the fabric may stretch over time when people constantly are sitting on it). 
  • Apply the velcro by adhering it to the bench itself, then carefully lay the covered cushion on top (make sure it is lined up how you want it to be). 

Extremely easy and it can somewhat contain some of the chaos that is constantly everywhere. Each girl has their own drawer and I use the others for hair stuff, rain boots, etc. It also has provided great additional seating in the kitchen since we always seem to hang out there. The only other thing I would recommend is to scotchguard it if it is in a high-traffic area or in the way of grubby hands. 

No-Sew Roman Shades

Let me preface this by saying if you can sew, you are amazing. I most definitely cannot, which is why I chose this fake-me-out window treatments option. They are not functional (aka can't go up or down) so they aren't the best in a place where you need privacy. They are super easy and inexpensive. I found several different tutorials, but I ended up using a combo of a few.  

I did these for both the windows in our breakfast area as well as the window in my laundry room (hence the different fabrics in the pictures). If you are making a bagillion (I have six windows in the breakfast area), it can get tedious. The one I did in the laundry room took me just 20-30 minutes. 

-fabric (once again, fabric.com). How much to order depends on your window size and how many folds you want. The width of the fabric is typically around 56". For the smaller window in my laundry room (25"), one yard was plenty. For the six windows (33"), I got 10 yards and I have tons, TONS leftover. 
-tension rods (a few dollars at Target. I got three per window and so I have two folds in each shade. You can do whatever you think looks best). 
-Stitch Witchery (from Michael's, see picture below). This stuff is magical. 
-towel (white is best so you don't transfer any color to your fabric, and don't use one that is nice and you want to use again).
-bowl of water
-ironing board (or some other hard surface... but I don't recommend doing it on your new kitchen table even if you do put like 20 towels down. It WILL make marks on the wood and you will be extremely angry with yourself. Good news is after six months, the marks will eventually fade). 
-wooden dowels (Michael's. I got the ones with the red on top. Around 50-75 cents each)
-hand saw 
-measuring tape 

  • Measure window width from the inside of the window where the tension rods will go. Add one inch to this measurement so you can make 1/2 inch creases on either side.  
  • Iron the 1/2 inch creases on either side. I did one side first, then measured the fabric to the width of my window (no more than 1/8 inch smaller). Continue to re-measure as you go. 

***Sidenote- geometric fabric is great because you can line it up, but you can also see if it is off at all***
  • Unroll the stitch witchery and place it underneath the crease. Spread a wet towel (not soaking, but definitely wet) over the crease carefully (make sure the stitch witchery doesn't move from underneath the crease). Place a hot iron over the towel (it will hiss) for 10 seconds. Voila! You have a non-sewn hem. Repeat for both sides of the shade. 

  • Take one tension rod and place it at the top and pull the material over it to create a loop for it to hang on. 

  • Repeat the stitch witchery process. You can also do this on the bottom (but make sure you know the length you want before you do that). 
  • Adjust the tension rods to fit your window width. Place one at the top with the material looped through. Place the others below, maybe 12-16 inches lower (you can readjust until you like the look). 
  • Use a handsaw to cut the wooden dowels just slightly less than the width of the shade. 
  • Insert a tension rod through the loop you created and place at the top of your window. Let the material hang in front of the other tension rods. Several inches below the next rod down, fold the fabric back up so it goes over and behind the rod, creating your first fold. Put the dowel inside the fold/pocket to weigh the fold down. The rest of the fabric should be hanging down in front of the next tension rod below. Repeat the same process for how many folds/tension rods you have/want. 

As I mentioned before, you can create another pocket with the stitch witchery for your final fold to keep the material on the last tension rod. I did that for some of the window, then I got ghetto and sort of just taped it to the tension rods. Readjust the fabric, distance between rods, folds, etc until you love it. 

I have gotten SO many compliments on these, and while I tell people not to look too close, they have been the perfect addition to the windows. 

You will see a picture of the laundry room chevron ones when I post my laundry room transformation (coming soon). 

All-in-all, I am so happy I have attempted to adopt the 'perfectly imperfect' thought process. It is far better to have all of these awesome things in my house that I did myself than to just daydream or attempt (and fail) to save endlessly for everything (since everything seems to cost a schmillion dollars). Hopefully these instructions make some sort of sense. I promise, it really isn't as hard as you think. 

Happy Tuesday!! 


A Fourth Kid and Selfies...

This was an actual conversation I had with my sister the other day. She had some insightful comments about Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. 

"I feel like Daisy has a really strange relationship with Mickey. I mean, she is supposed to like Donald but I feel like she really doesn't. Then she is all awkward and like 'Hey Mickey, watch my dance.' And then she is supposed to be BFFs with Minnie but it kind of seems like she is hitting on her man. I just don't understand it." 

These can be legit conversations with other adults when you have toddlers. And sidenote, I think the people who write/produce Yo Gabba Gabba are on acid or something. It is so trippy. Picture Jack Black (guest star for an episode) in an orange spandex singing about friends. Scary. 

So you may have seen that we transitioned Olivia to a 'big girl bed'... 

I think 'transition' is a funny word to use, because we pretty much just switched the crib side to the rail thingy and told her to stay in bed. We have our video monitor that we can also talk to her through, so if she ever started to get out, I could just be this booming voice from above and say, "Olivia. STAY IN BED." Back in she goes. I think random voices coming from a camera are scarier than mommy herself. She discovered long ago that the voice actually comes from the camera. She picks it up sometimes to talk back to it. 

So it was definitely time for this "transition." Disregarding the fact that her climbing out of her crib was constantly dangerous, I went in to put her back in bed last Saturday and I discovered her lamp on the floor, the rug rolled up, all of her drawers open and she was standing on the rocking chair. Awesome. 

Given the fact that this is my youngest and we no longer technically have a crib in the house, I was forced to deal with all of these emotions that I no longer have a 'baby.' That is a concept that is hard for me to understand, because I really have had or was expecting one nonstop for the last six years. This obviously brought up thoughts of having a fourth, which sort of makes me want one/throw up in my mouth. We are finally getting to the point where we can do things again, and I am thinking about starting all over?? Am I nuts? I do think part of it is the fact that I am only 29, and the theory of being done with that phase of my life is hard. I was 23 with my first, 26 with my second, 27 with my third... and that is just not the norm in this day and age (yes, I just wrote 'day and age.' I think that makes me older than 29). Most people are barely even STARTING to have kids at my age. I made a meal yesterday for my cousin and his wife who just had their first baby, I went last week to see my best friend's first baby at the hospital, my other best friend is due next month with her first, and I went out for another friend's 30th and his wife is due in December with their first. I am surrounded!!!! But I am the weirdo who spent essentially my entire 20's knocked up and breastfeeding. I don't regret it for a second, but it does feel strange to close the door on that. So many people say, "Oh you are so young wait a couple years and you may want another." But I was always of the thought process that I wanted to have them closer together in age and then be done. No big age gaps. (Sidenote... Layla and Olivia were most definitely not supposed to be a mere 17 months apart. A shocking, yet wonderful surprise she was).  

So, I'm having all these daydreams about a teeny little perfect baby... and then the last two days occurred. While changing probably the schmillionth poopy diaper of my mommy career on the kitchen floor with another one sobbing over some stupid little thing, I looked up at Matt as he was walking out the door to go to work and said, "Honey. I'm good with three." A table for five is far easier to get than a table for six. So I'm like 93% sure we are done. 

Then there are plenty of days that I sit down and think, "Wow. My the three kids I have are just flat-out bad. I am completely failing at this. Why would I even consider a fourth?" I took Summer to ballet the other day (she begged for years to be signed up and absolutely loves it every week). Right before class started, she just started sobbing and gripping onto my neck and would not let go. We ended up having to leave because she was crying and said she just wanted me. Her teacher was extremely sweet and said it was very unlike her. I agreed, lamely saying she must not feel well. Now this was something that I just didn't know how to handle. No freaking idea. She obviously cannot act that way, but what was causing it?? She was quite aware that I was unhappy with her. But I was just confused. I know she has had a hard time being away from me all day, every day at school... but she can't act like that. I had previously told her she could go to the store with me that night for some one-on-one time. I told her if she wasn't feeling up to ballet than she couldn't go to the store with me. The epic sobbing continued, and I had her go up to her room by herself and read some books until she got herself together. All I could hear in between sobs was, "What was I thinking? [Sob, sniffle, sob] I just don't know why I would act like that!! [Sob, sniffle, sob] I'm ready to accept my consequences! [Sob, sniffle, sob]." I mean, talk about drama queen. It's not like I want to push her to do something she doesn't want to do, but we discussed activities for the fall and she wanted to do ballet. And she LOVES it. It was just a weird day. I truly had absolutely no idea what the best way was to handle it. She is only five... but those of you who know Summer are aware she isn't the typical five year old. Her maturity and wisdom can be far beyond mine. But I don't want to hold her to that. She is obviously allowed to act like a five year old... just not a five year old brat. Fast-forward to the grocery store with Olivia and Layla which started out on a positive note (we got the cart with the pink car on the front. Bonus!). It ended with a random woman asking me if I had anyone with pink crocs that she found randomly in the middle of an aisle, both girls whining for candy, scratching each other, and sobbing. I'm telling you, don't ever take for granted the blissfulness of a grocery store trip by yourself. You just don't understand the peace and ease that it once was until it is too late. It got to the point yesterday that I set them up with a movie in the car. I'm talking I had to strap them in to keep them contained while I finished things up for the meal I was making. 

(Sidenote... We got The Little Mermaid in the mail yesterday (which I was beyond thrilled about and quoted pretty much every line and sang every song), so in the DVD player it went. You do what you gotta do sometimes). 

So between the seemingly constant whining, disobedience, fighting, etc... they always seem to do something so stinkin cute. And my kids really aren't THAT bad. It just feels like it sometimes. Whenever I want to strangle them or myself the most, I always tend to find random selfies on my phone. And they are hilarious. Here are just a few over the last few weeks (you may be able to figure out who is the selfie queen in our house):

I always just laugh when I find stuff like this. Or random/horrific pics of myself that I had no idea where taken (I try to delete those asap but usually they have already automatically synced to facebook and I just can't ever really get rid of them). One of the funniest things that has happened in a while was last night, when Summer was doing her homework. I know many of you saw it, but it deserves an additional look... Because I essentially peed myself laughing so hard. She told me that she was supposed to try to sound out different fruits and write them out. She requested to use one of my favorite pens, and of course I said yes. When she showed me her results, I'm pretty sure I choked on my own spit. Here is what it looked like: 

Apparently, the middle letter is an "h" and she forgot the "c." What she was TRYING to spell was PEACHES. PEACHES. So after I literally cried from laughing so hard and tried to not let on to Summer that I was laughing at her, I explained what I think she needed to add. This was her "adjusted" homework: 

I was texting with my mother-in-law and she said, "Love life with kids! They make a bad day a good day with humor when they don't even mean it!" How true that is. 

Happy Wednesday!!!