Friday, August 29, 2014

5 on Friday

August is always a crazy month for us and I'm  feeling a bit behind in every aspect of my life, so I thought I would do a little blog catch-up.

1) The primary reason August is so crazy is because of football camp. The players have arrived and practice is in full swing. This also translates into Kyle being gone all the time. Thankfully, the very difficult 1st 2 weeks of football has finished and now we can get into a routine.

I was a little apprehensive about the 2 weeks of football camp since this would be my first time experiencing camp with 3 kids. Thankfully, it went pretty smoothly. Kyle was indeed gone from 5 am - 12 am most days, but I  kept the kids pretty busy with activities. We went to several football practices, park visits with friends, play group, etc. And most evenings we would eat supper with Daddy at the cafeteria. I tried to keep everything low key and non-stressful and it seemed to work.

We are so happy to have Daddy home more now…though it is taking some extra communication as we readjust our roles…Kyle getting back into Daddy mode and me learning I don't have to be responsible and in control of 3 kids all the time :)

2) This past Sunday our church hosted their annual Family Fun Day. It's an outreach event on the church lawn and they provide lunch, bounce houses, a petting zoo, horse rides, a rock climbing wall, face painting and the worlds largest slip'n'slide. It's a free event and I great way to bring in new community members. The kids had a blast!

Nora got her face painted for the 1st time. After perusing the cat and butterfly pictures she chose to be a pirate. The face painter decided she needed to be a girl pirate so she used pink paint and added flowers. She also gave her a hear eye patch :)

Sawyer spent most of his time sliding down the slip'n'slide and running back up the hill. He could have done that all day!

He also had a 1st…he rode a horse for the 1st time. He was a little hesitant at first but once he was on he was all smiles. After the ride I asked him if he had fun. His response, "mom, I was a little bit scared, but I was also a little bit brave." :) If you know Sawyer and his fear of animals you know this was a pretty big feat and he was indeed brave!

3) I don't know why, but there has been a lot of snuggle time lately. I think it's because we love one another :)

4) I stopped using deodorant. I read a few studies about the effects of aluminum used in antiperspirants and decided the risks outweigh the rewards. So I quit cold turkey and tried going with no deodorant. Considering it was summer the experiment went much better than I thought. Sure I sweat a bit more, but it's not horrible (i.e. I don't constantly have sweat rings on my shirt). While I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of sweat I did encounter a few situations where I needed some sweat protection (i.e. work, going to an appointment after working out, etc). I've seen many diy deodorant tutorials, but I wasn't quite ready to try my hand at that so I researched natural deodorant options and chose Lavanila (grapefruit/vanilla). It is a bit pricey, but I plan to only use it in specific situations so it should last a while. I've been using it for about a week and I love it! The family fun day I mentioned above was super hot and I was wearing jeans so I was sweating, but the deodorant stood up to the test and I never smelled even a hint of body odor. So far so good!

5) I know what I'm about to say is a controversial topic and I don't really want to start a debate, but this is a journal of our life and I want to make sure and document this experience.

Since Kolter was born he has spit-up a lot (15-20) times a day. It does not upset him and sometimes he even smiles through it, but it was a major annoyance. He would have to be changed multiple times a day or sit in his own stink. Plus anyone who held him also had to change clothes regularly (mostly me). So, I decided to give chiropractic care a try. I had never been to a chiropractor so I was a little skeptical. His 1st visit was by far the strangest…first they did a spine scan that showed some irregularity. Then I laid on the table with Kolter on top of me (on his stomach and then his back) and the chiro placed my hands on different areas of his back, stomach and neck. Then she would take my leg and push it in while I tried to push it out. If I had weak resistance she would work on the area of his body where my hand was located (very strange!). The 1st visit she worked on Kolter's neck, stomach, diaphragm and iliac.

Since birth Kolter has preferred to turn his head to one side most likely because that is the way he looked in the womb. After working on his neck at the 1st appointment he can now easily look both directions.

The reflux issue has taken more work. We have been going twice a week for 3 weeks. His spitting up has decreased from approximately 15 times a day to 2-5 times a day. So there has been a significant decrease. Each visit she checks him again and typically works on his back and stomach. It does seem to have helped Kolter and his annoying spit-up sessions have decreased, but taking 3 kids to the chiropractor twice a week is also annoying. With that said I think we are going to give Kolter a break and see if his ability to keep food down continues :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kids Krafts

A couple of new creations:

Onesie cardigan: tutorial at Make It Love It

Kolter spits up a LOT! One day I was so fed up with him getting it all over me and his clothes I decided the only thing that would make me feel better was to have some new, cute burp clothes. Granted after having 2 other kids I had plenty of burp clothes, but I just needed something new and cheerful to make me feel better when I was mopping up the regurgitated milk. So I ran to the store and purchased some cute flannel and created these hedgehog/gray and bow tie/houndstooth burp clothes. I LOVE them even though they did not miraculously make Kolter stop spitting up.

And after I posted a picture of the buckle toy I made I received a custom order request to make a girly buckle toy. The customer requested a mix of light purple, light green and dark  pink so that's what I created :)

Monday, August 25, 2014


Nora in her birthday rainbow dress
(this post is late, but mommy running a bit behind, sorry)

Nora you are 3! On one level I can't believe you are already 3 because time has flown by. On another level I can't believe you are only 3 because you grew up a lot in year 2 and you act so much older (for better or worse :)

At your well child appointment you were 30 lbs (50%) and 36.5 inches (27%).

You eat well and will at least try everything...except milk.

You are a social butterfly! You make a friend where ever we go. You also rely on your brother for companionship. He may not always want to talk as much as you but you are certainly best of friends.

You are a talker. In the car you talk non-stop. If a person will not engage in conversation with you you are always up for talking to your stuffed animals.

You have a great imagination. You are so adamant about your stories I often can't tell if they are true or make believe.

You love to color. You are getting pretty good at staying in the lines.
you are in a phase where you will pose for pictures, but refuse to look at the camera for more than .0000245 seconds
You are left handed. We never taught you to write, but you instinctively pick up crayons in the proper way with your left hand.

You love clothes. You change outfits all the time and you are good at choosing tops and bottoms that match.

You consistently put your shoes on the wrong feet.

You are a daddy's girl through and through. This also applies to Papa's. You can't get enough of the men in your life. However, you are very timid around men or boys who are strangers.

Buzz Lightyear and Jessie are still your favorite toys, but Doc McStuffins is a close 2nd.

You love to have your nails painted.

You are an early bird! You are consistently the 1st person out of bed every morning (typically around 6:30 am).

You love your stuffed animals. Buzz and Jessie are still your favorites. Though you have at least 15 animals in bed with you every night. And even in the pitch black of night you know if one is missing.

Your typical schedule is awake at 6:30 am, eat breakfast, play, eat lunch, nap 1-3:30 pm, play, eat supper,  play, in bed at 8:30 pm.

You are a little spit fire. You don't let that older brother of yours push you around.

If you see a piece of clothing you like you will run to that person, stroke their clothes and tell them how beautiful they are.

Your favorite colors are pink and purple.

You love to color and paint.

Your favorite shows are Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First.

We also had one more birthday celebration for Nora. When we returned home from vacation we celebrated with Uncle Cliff and Aunt Jess.

She was excited about her Frozen movie
She was jumping for joy about her Sofia the First gifts
and she loved her new doll house so much she gave it a hug

Friday, August 22, 2014

Backward Girl

Nora you are backward. Since the day you were born we knew there was something different about our little lady.

Nora, you were a constant spitter-upper, but after every spit-up you offered a smile

You learned how to stand up unassisted before you could sit

You are left handed (Mommy, doesn't think this is backward, but most of the world does :)

You consistently put your shoes on the wrong feet

You put your clothes on backward, even your underwear

You aren't very interested in your letters or counting, but you can name every color under the sun

You remember people's name, but you quickly forget what you're doing in the middle of a task

You wear your bike helmet backward

You are a girly girl, but still love to tackle your brother and wear a superhero cape

Your backwardness makes us smile.

Your backwardness makes us cringe.

Your backward ways induce laughter.

Your backward ways make us want to pull our hair out.

But in the end your backward ways are going to be what makes you great!

God created you to be a unique, special person and we can't wait to see how your backwardness makes you great!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pedaling Faster

One skill Sawyer learned this summer was riding his bike on 2 wheels!

We took off his training wheels in June while we were camping with church friends. At the time he was a little unstable and there were far too many onlookers and he got nervous. When we got home Kyle removed the pedals from Sawyer's bike to simulate a balance bike. For a few weeks he practiced on the "balance bike" but he didn't like it because he couldn't go fast. But he persevered and continued to practice.

In July when we visited our friends in Wisconsin their daughter received a new bike from the neighbor. She was so excited rode all over. The minute she started riding I could see in his eyes he was going to want a turn. So I offered him the other bike they had, but the catch was this bike didn't have training wheels. He wanted to ride along with his friend so bad he didn't care about the lack of training wheels. He jumped right on. I gave him a push and off he went. He hasn't looked back sense. He's always up for a bike ride!

I didn't get the 1st ride on video, but we went inside and got Daddy we captured his 2nd 2 wheel ride. Sorry there is no helmet…he always wears one at home and honestly when he got on the bike I didn't really think he would go anywhere.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Crafts {Baby Beach Towels}

Several years ago I made poncho towels for the kids in my family. They are just now really benefiting from the poncho towel and we constantly get compliments, so I thought I would let you know about them.

I purchased a beach towel. Cut a hole (large enough for their head) in the middle and attached cotton ribbing fabric. This easily a 20 minute project.

Now when the kids get out of the water shivering they can throw the towel over their head and not have to worry about holding it up. It's also great for parents because you no longer have to carry their towel.

Beach towels will be going on sale soon and it would be a great time to pick some up to make for Christmas or birthday gifts.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nora's New House

Long before Nora's birthday we decided she would love a dollhouse. We mulled over several ideas everything from Kyle building one to buying one from a big box store. In the end I decided I really wanted to create a unique dollhouse for my little lady, but the reality was Kyle did not have time to build a dollhouse. So I turned to Craigslist to find a reasonably priced dollhouse that I could "renovate" myself. After searching for several months I came across this blank slate:

It was all wood and the perfect size, so it came home with us.

Then we proceeded to give this dollhouse a major renovation. Kyle made a set of stairs. I painted the outside and inside, added wallpaper, created some art, curtains and rugs. I purchased a few pieces of furniture and Nora received some furniture for her birthday then I painted the pieces to coordinate.

I really got into this project. One day while I was waiting for Kyle to finish the steps I even did some space planning for the entire house. Kyle jokes that he is not sure if this project was for Nora of myself :)

Here is the final result:

According to my plans the attic is a nursery/play room. The upstairs left room is a bathroom and the upstairs right room is a bedroom. The main level left room is a kitchen and the right room is the living room. It certainly still needs more furnishings but it turned out colorful and fun!

Now for some detail shots:

The bedroom complete with bunk beds, yellow mirror (used to be ugly gold color but I painted it), flower rug, pink chevron curtains, yellow clock. I even made some coordinating bedding using the fabric I used to wallpaper the living room.

The kitchen is pretty sparse, but I purchase a table and painted it yellow, made a valence curtain. The pictures in the house are all chalkboard ornaments. I cut off the hanging part of the ornament, painted and painted the frame. In the kitchen I left it a chalkboard. In the living room I printed off miniature pictures of art that actually hangs in our house and adhered the prints over the chalkboard. Perfect inexpensive way to create art for the mini house.

The living room with a rug, 2 pictures, and flower wallpaper (this fabric is what inspired the color scheme for the whole house), and stairs Kyle constructed.

The bathroom is also sparse but it features rainbow wallpaper, a Melissa and Doug bathtub I found I Goodwill and a red chair

The bright yellow nursery has a crib with blue chevron bedding I made and a toy box that I'm going to let Nora paint all by herself.

That's it for the tour of Nora's new house. I had so much fun creating it for my little lady and she loves it! It was also a lot more fun and less time consuming than renovating an actual house. Could I turn this into a career? Anyone need a designer for their child's doll house :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Lovin' {July 2014}

As I mentioned in my June post we are trying to do one fun family activity each week this summer. Here are our July acitivities (not including our week'o'fun in the Dells).

One week we visited our community pool, Dogwood Pool.
my fish
These pictures are a little deceiving. While Nora loved the water, Sawyer spent most of the time screaming about how cold he was. Even Kolter enjoyed the water fun.

Nora playing at the splash pad

Sawyer having a bad attitude and trying to get warm
Once a month in the summer our local library hosts family film Friday. This night the movie in the park was Despicable Me 2.
they made minion hats
then stood in line for balloons

After waiting in line for over an hour Sawyer chose a snake balloon, which I'm pretty sure he could have made himself :) Nora chose the more complex pink monkey.

Kolter was having fun on the blanket.

we met some of our friends at the movie and all the kids loved the show even though it was way past their bed time.
And to continue our annual family tradition we headed south to Tuscora park.

The kids with their shades on ready for some fun, checking out the duck pond

Nora loving the rides

This year Sawyer was tall enough for all the rides. So he got to ride the roller coaster and swings for the first time. I was a little nervous about him actually enjoying the roller coaster ride. As it began up a steep incline I was nervous for him, but instead of crying out in terror he raised his arms up and rode with no hands :) This boy loves an amusement ride!

On the ferris wheel. Both kids enjoyed the ride for the most part...Nora has a pouty face, because she was convinced we were stuck in a cage and very upset that we may never get out. Thankfully we were able to "escape."

Then we enjoyed our $.50 sno cones.

The boys

At end of July we always enjoy the Football Hall of Fame festivities. This year we missed the hot air balloon festival and fireworks while we were on vacation. However, we did start a new tradition, going to the HOF parade.

eating breakfast while waiting for the parade

while waiting for the parade a group of older kids started playing football in the street and our boy who is always up for a game really wanted to join the fun. He got very shy, but he eventually worked up the courage to ask if he could play

more waiting so we took a family selfie

party of 5

Kolter and Nora waiting patiently

finally the parade arrived and the kids loved the big balloons

Also part of the parade were HOF players, coaches and the current inductees. In the pictures are Mike Ditka and the one person I wanted to see in the whole 3 hour parade, Michael Strahan.