Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Wheels

Anthony and I have been debating for awhile over whether or not we should replace our Honda Civic with a minivan. I love the civic and the gas mileage but it can get to be a tight squeeze as Rett gets bigger. Any kind of traveling can be difficult too with fitting all of the stuff in, especially since we always have to make room for all of the fishing stuff :) We've had to do some minor repair work on the civic more frequently, it seems like, which made us think that it was time. It has served us well for five years, but we decided it was time to move on!

Since we weren't in a rush, we have been checking around craigslist and autotrader to see what was out there. It got a little disheartening! We had a budget we wanted to stick to and we just couldn't seem to find what we wanted in our price range. If we did find something, by the time we called or emailed about it, it would be sold already. I tried to keep telling myself that if it is supposed to work out, it will. And it totally did!

Memorial day Anthony had off of work, so he got up early to go fishing with his Dad. I got up in the morning and checked craigslist just to see if there was anything new. Right away I saw a new post, not even an hour old. It was perfect! It had amazing miles, a good price, and it was only in Orlando a short drive away. I am a totally chicken when it comes to calling people about stuff like that, so I decided to wait for Anthony to come home to call the guy about it. All morning I kept thinking about that van and getting this anxious/excited feeling in my stomach that we needed to call the guy about soon. I just knew that someone was going to snap it up before we could get to it!

A few hours later I got a hold of Anthony and told him about the van. He came home early from fishing and gave the guy a call. He was really nice and friendly and he told Anthony that he already had two people come buy to look at the car. However, since he was selling it for his elderly father-in-law the title wasn't in his name, so he couldn't officially sell it until the next day when he could go to the dmv and get the title changed to his name (Memorial day so dmv was closed). He was asking for a small deposit to hold the car if you wanted to buy it and the first two people didn't have cash on hand for a deposit, so we were next in line! We decided to all jump in the car and drive over to see it and *hopefully* put a deposit down to buy it if everything checked out. When we got there, he showed us everything about the car, we test drove it and we were sold! He was really nice and he said he was glad he got to sell it to a nice family. We were glad too!

It is a 2004 Honda Odyssey with only 71,000  miles on it. We paid a little less than what we budgeted for it, so I am a happy camper! Anthony's parents helped him pick it up yesterday, so today was my first day driving around in it. I am still getting used to where everything is and how it all works, but I am loving all the room we have! It is weird to not have everyone all on top of each other when we are in the car. Some space between the boys isn't bad either :)

James has been telling everyone we meet about "our new minivan with magic doors" (since it has the automatic power doors). It has definitely been the talk of our house this past week. We are officially a minivan family now!

End of Spring Soccer

The spring soccer season is officially over! James had his last game a few weeks ago and his team had a pizza party at a park a few days ago to celebrate. James had been looking forward to it for a long time, but he fell asleep at nap time and woke up right before the party with a 101 fever! The poor kid was so tired, he didn't want to get off of the couch. I don't think I have ever seen him with that little energy before :( I offered to let him go just to get his soccer pictures and his medal or for us to go without him and bring it home to him. He said we should go without him, so we did. Everyone missed him and we brought him home a cupcake, but he didn't want it. You know he really doesn't feel good if he is turning down cupcakes! Luckily he felt better the next day. I have no idea what it was, it was so random!

I'm not sure if we are going to do fall soccer in September. His coach said he was looking forward to having him again, so it made me want to sign him up. I guess we will see how he is handling preschool and if it will be too much at once. Can you believe it? Three more months until preschool for our big boy!

Saturday, May 23, 2015


I have been crafting up a storm lately! My sewing machine is getting quite the workout. I decided to try out making little boy bow ties for fun and I loved it so much I decided to start selling them online! I have been having fun testing out different things I like or don't like, perfecting the sizing and the features. Rett and James have been my little models and now they both wear bow ties to church all the time. James has refused to wear any kind of tie to church for awhile now, but he agreed to wear a bow tie if I made him a green one. I think he tolerates it because it goes around the outside of his shirt instead of a clip on that touches the front of his neck.

 I haven't officially put these online yet, I am working on building up an inventory before I start selling. I am having fun picking out different fabrics, though! I definitely bought a lot of Gator material for Gator bow ties :)

I decided that I couldn't leave little girls out, so I decided to add a headband option. They are so stinkin' cute!

Since I don't have a little girl to try the headbands on, I improvised on the boys. Anthony said he was surprised how much more Rett looks like a girl with the headband on. I think the curls help :)

James didn't want to be left out, so he had to try it on too. Such a pretty boy :)

A friend from church came over for a play date so that we could do some sewing. She made a felt quiet book for her daughter, but she wanted the pages to be back to back. We decided to sew the pages together and I had fun showing her how the sewing machine works and she even did the last page all by herself! It looked so cute, it made me want to do one for the boys.

It has been about a month since we started cloth diapering Rett and it has been going really well! We've got our washing and folding routine down, and it gave me an excuse to make a few wet bags (zipper pouches with waterproof lining) for the diaper bag since we take diapers home to wash them instead of throwing them out.

Another friend from church invited the boys to her son's 3 year superhero party. I offered to make capes for everyone, thinking about sewing something quickly. She said she would love it, but that there might be 25-30 kids there! Luckily, I found a tutorial online for making capes out of plastic tablecloths that you get from the dollar store. It takes no sewing and almost no time, just tape, elastic, printed superhero logos, and the tablecloths. They turned out so cute and the kids at the party loved them! We ended up with a lot left over so we have a bunch for dress up now.

It has been fun finding creative things to do!

Monday, May 11, 2015

More birthday fun and Mother's Day

 James got invited to his first birthday party at the bouncy house place (our second of three birthday parties this month) and we were both really excited for him to go. He was excited to bounce and play and I was anxious to see firsthand if doing a birthday party there was worth the price. I considered it for James' 3rd birthday, but he didn't really have enough friends to invite (it is a minimum of 10). Next year he will have friends from preschool, so it would make more sense.

I had him write Owen's name and his own name on the birthday card. I was so proud of him for writing his name all by himself! I helped him a little bit on "Owen" by turning his "m" into a "w" and doing the "n" for him since for some reason he refused to try. He also informed me that I wrote the "a" wrong in Happy Birthday, that I needed to start above the round part and draw straight down instead of making a curve :)

The party started at 11am and they bounced and played for about 2 hours nonstop. They had so much fun! Rett really wanted to go down the slides, so I went with him for awhile. Then I had to cut him off because I was tired :)
 Around 1pm, we all went into one of the party rooms for pizza, cake, and presents. The pizza, drinks, plates, and napkins are all included in the price of the party. All you have to do is bring your own cake and any other decorations you want. One of the perks of having the kids jump around for two hours before eating lunch is that they all were so still and quiet while they were eating. I couldn't believe it! I don't think I have ever seen a calmer bunch of 4 year olds at a birthday party.

They had chocolate cake and vanilla cupcakes. Rett got a cupcake and only ate the frosting. Luckily he didn't get too messy.
 Attitude face!

I asked James to smile for me and this is what I got. He is such a goofball!

This is kind of unrelated to anything else, but I am so happy about it I just had to share! We finally got Rett to drink out of something other than a bottle!! I was getting so tired of losing bottles, having them leak everywhere, and having to clean all the different pieces. Since Rett will sometimes drink out of our straws, we thought a straw cup would be good for him. We already had a few, but every time we have tried before he would just throw it and get upset. Now he likes it! He hasn't had a bottle since last Thursday.

Mother's Day was wonderful this year! Anthony did such a good job making the day special, that now I have to plan something amazing for Father's day :) He set his alarm so that he could get up early and make me breakfast in bed. Then I got to lounge around and just worry about getting myself ready for church. It was so relaxing! Before we left Anthony surprised me with a present: a sodastream soda maker! He had talked to me about it a few days earlier as a sneaky way to see if I would like one, then he went to Walmart the next day saying he needed to buy something for his aquarium (which I always believe) and got it for me. So thoughtful!

Anthony's parents came up to go to church with us and we had to make sure to be on time because Anthony was giving a talk. He had been preparing it all week and I know he was ready to be done with it. It was a wonderful talk about mother's and everyone really enjoyed it. I was in charge of sharing time this week and I had asked a few moms to come and visit for a "guess the mom" game. They stood behind the bulletin board and we had disguises for their feet and skirts so that their own kids wouldn't recognize them. The kids loved it! Then we made lollipop flowers for the moms out of tootsie roll pops and cupcake liners.

After church, Anthony got to work grilling hamburgers and I put Rett down for a nap. James decided to stay out of everyone's way by going outside and playing in the dirt. He spent a good hour out there, and I didn't have to clean him up, so it was ok with me :)
After yummy hamburgers and salad we had a good time visiting and relaxing. Poor Anthony had a headache and had to rest for a little bit. I told him that I usually have a headache Sunday afternoons, but since he did all the things I usually do he got it instead of me :) It was a very happy Mother's day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Beginning of May

Anthony and James found a bunch of grasshoppers in our backyard, so of course they decided to catch as many as they could and put them in a spare aquarium! Can I just say, these things seriously gross me out. They look and move a little too much like cockroaches to me. I am counting down the days until these things die and we can clean out the cage, but James loves them. They like to gather at the top of the aquarium and hang upside down with their little insect feet (gross!), and James' favorite thing to do is to run up to it and bang on the lid until they all fall to the bottom.

For some reason, James has been talking a lot about roasting marshmallows and even pointed them out to me at the grocery store. It doesn't really get dark until after bedtime, so we decided to just go ahead and do it in the middle of the afternoon. We figured, why not? Roasted marshmallows taste good at any time of the day! James decided that he didn't like his with "fire on it", so he would take one, put it on a skewer and eat it off of that like a Popsicle. 

Our stake put on a Father/Son campout for all ages last Friday and I convinced Anthony to take James. They only went for the evening and didn't sleepover since Anthony works Saturday, but they had a blast together! James was so excited, I told him that he could run around and collect sticks and play in the dirt. He thought it sounded amazing! He was very concerned that there might not be marshmallows there (which was very important to him), so I put a bag of them in their stuff just in case. Here they are, ready to go have some fun!
Rett was upset about being left inside the house while I took the picture and I think he didn't like them leaving without him because he had a few minutes of this after I came back inside.
He perked up after he realized he could play with all the toys without James taking any away from him. We played for a long time and ate a quiet dinner and had a quiet bath. It was amazing just how quiet it was without James in the house. I had almost forgotten what it used to be like before he learned how to talk.

Anthony texted me this picture while they were gone. Apparently James zonked out in the car almost immediately after they started driving. The campout was about an hour away, so he had a nice nap in the car before they got there.
They got home around 10:30pm and James could not stop talking, he was so excited to tell me about all the things that they did. He informed me that they helped set up tents, jumped over horse poo-poo, saw lots of ant piles, and he got lost at one point (!). When I asked Anthony to clarify, he said that after it was full dark, James ran away from him with a friend from church and then he lost track of where his friend was and ended up alone in the dark. It didn't take too long for Anthony to find him, thankfully. Of course, James wasn't worried at all. He said that he was having fun looking for ant piles.

Saturday afternoon we got to drive down to Cocoa to celebrate Dallas and Nevada's birthday! It was such a fun party, everyone had a great time. James spent a lot of time on the big inflatable water slide, although he insisted on sliding down cautiously so that he didn't splash in the water at the bottom. Kid is determined to never have water on his face. Ever.

Rett loved their homemade ring toss game. I definitely need to recreate this at home, it entertained him for at least 30 minutes! He would put the rings on, then take them off, then move the bottles, then put the rings on, then move a bottle, then get more rings, etc...

I completely spaced and forgot to put them in water clothes, so when Rett decided he wanted to play with the water, I just went ahead and took his clothes off. I love that cute belly!

After a break for a diaper change, Rett decided it was a good time to eat some popcorn. I had a bag for him to eat from, but he had other ideas. He ignored my bag, picked up a discarded bag on the ground and started filling it up with popcorn from the floor and then eating it. Sigh. I pretty much have given up on stopping my kids from eating things off the floor. It's not worth the hassle. They almost never get sick, so I figure if it was going to make them sick it would have done it by now.

When it was time for the party games, James half played and half observed. He wanted to play, but I think he was also a little intimated by how much older and bigger the other kids were. They were all really sweet and patient with him though, I was really impressed! They did a water-in-the-sponge relay race and a water balloon relay race. The water balloon was too heavy for James and he dropped it, but luckily Aunt Robin clapped for him and told him he won so he ended up excited about it :)

Then it was time for presents and cupcakes! The cupcakes were on the table, waiting for everyone to sing happy birthday after the presents, but this little stinker got past me and grabbed one before I could stop him. You can't come between Rett and his food!
Robin packed a special goody bag for James right before we left and he had so much fun going through it on the drive home. It was such a good time playing and visiting with family, we love celebrating with them!

We have been watching and waiting for the blueberry farm near us to open up for blueberry picking. I saw on their Facebook page that it looked like they would be ready soon, so we had to get serious with figuring out what to do with Rett. If we let him walk, we don't trust him to stay next to us and it is pretty easy to get lost in the tall bushes. We decided to try out this backpack carrier we bought for hiking with James and never used. I tested it out and it looked like it was going to work! (As a side note, when I was looking for shade to take this picture, Anthony insisted I get the boat in the background. Because priorities.)

Since Anthony has Monday mornings off, we drove down to do the first blueberry picking of the year. We used up the last of the ones from last year just a month or so ago, so we were ready to restock! When we walked up to get our buckets, the woman who works there said, "I remember you all from last year, those boys are getting big!". 

 I "let" Anthony be the one to carry Rett. That boy is heavy! I would also like to point out that Rett is picking his nose and James is making his pirate face in this picture.

There were so many blueberries, that it didn't take us long to fill our buckets. We didn't have to move around that much if we didn't want to, you could just stand in one spot and keep getting more and more from the bushes around you. Anthony decided he wanted to walk around and test out the different varieties of blueberries to see if he could tell a difference between them. There is a color coded pvc pipe at the beginning of each row that indicates what variety that row is. Since two of the three varieties they have are ones we have in our garden, Anthony wanted to see if the best tasting ones were the kind we have. They were!

While Anthony was exploring and taste testing, I was having fun just filling my bucket. 

James and I had fun comparing our hands afterwards to see how purple they were from the blueberry juice.

Rett loved the blueberries! At first we were handing them to him and after he would eat one, he would start yelling, "Mommmmmeeeee! Mommmmeeeee!" (which means more, but is just a weird sounding mommy) until someone gave him one. Then he realized that if he is close enough, he can just pick his own. So he did!

Now I need some great shrimp and blueberry recipes because we are going to be eating a lot of both for a long time!