Friday, July 6, 2012

The important things in life

I have a confession to make. I have been neglecting the most important part of my life - being in the Word on a daily basis. I have a million and one excuses, but not one of them seem relevant when you get down to it. Yes, I have an almost 22-month-old. Yes, I have an almost two-month-old.  Yes, I have household chores. Yes, I am wife, mother, sister, and friend. No, I don't have that much extra time on my hands. But none of that really matters if I'm not maintaining the one relationship that makes all the rest work. Isn't it amazing that while most of the time we (okay, well maybe just me - I won't lump everyone else in there with me) make God the last priority in our daily routine, while He makes us His first priority? I can't imagine many earthly relationships that contain that amount of dedication and love without reciprocation.

    1 Peter 2:2-3 - Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

I've been attending a women's Bible study and this past week we discussed how we make time for our devotionals and how important it is, not only for our personal relationships with God, but also the example we're setting for our children. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't think Ian's ever seen me pick up a real paper Bible. Having YouVersion on my phone is fabulous and everything, but to Ian, I'm probably just getting ready to take his picture (might be why he says "cheese"...).

I have been trying to carve out time in the afternoon once the kids take naps (it's so nice when they actually nap at the same time!), but now it's equally important that I make time for a devotional while they are awake, too - even if it's only for a couple of minutes. Kid's learn from their parents - I still have very vivid memories of my dad being in his office every morning reading his Bible and having his quiet time. I figure it's about time I start setting the same example for my kids.

     2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I think it might be time to dust off that old Bible that's been setting on my bookshelf...

    Romans 12:2 -  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My little Monet...

So, I do NOT like messes. I avoid them. Like the plague. Especially when it involves a toddler. But this summer heat has made me absolutely desperate for something fun and creative for Ian to do indoors. I've seen multiple ideas on Pinterest but I bypass them, cringing, as I go on to the next idea. Well, I'm happy (I guess) to say that I finally gave in. Sort of.

I eased myself into the world of messy by making shaving cream paint for Ian to play with in the bathtub.

As long as you're okay with water going from it's normal clear color, to a murky green, you should be okay.
The paint itself was super simple to make. Just buy cheap foam shaving cream (I got the sensitive skin type for less than $2 at Target), squirt some in a disposable bowl, add a couple drops of food coloring, mix, and voila - you have instant "paint". As a side note, a lot of people used silicone cupcake pans, but I found using disposable bowls made for a super easy clean up AND they floated in the bath water.

Ian really loved it. He's run into my bathroom every day and asked to paint. And while it was messy, it was only briefly messy. Since it's shaving cream I just rinsed the "artwork" off the walls once he was finished and threw Ian in the shower to rinse off.

Okay, so maybe he's more like my little Picasso...

Friday, June 15, 2012

If only I could think like a toddler...

Today has been one of those days that Ian has me rolling my eyes and laughing...I mean, what on earth goes through a 21-month-old's mind?? I would pay good money to be able to know not only what they're thinking, but also what they're saying. I can catch a decent amount of what Ian says, but when he really gets going, not much is intelligible except for the stuff about cars, balls, grandparents, shoes (why the obsession with shoes, I don't know), turtles, etc. He is such a chatty little kid - he can go on for five minutes without taking a breath. Case in point - today the kid woke up and the first thing we heard through the monitor was "golf". Seriously? It was quickly seconded by another "golf" and then "papa, golf". Not that this is out of the norm. Most mornings he wakes up and is talking about "cars", or "Papa and Gaga", or "balls", or "Su-Papa's car". He must have some really sweet dreams...

I decided to go to Sam's today with both of the kiddos (success, by the way!). When we got home I was getting Blythe out of her carseat and I asked Ian to take off his shoes and put them in the laundry room. After I helped him get them off, I saw him take off for the laundry room. I turned around and this is what I saw...
Umm...ok. I guess I asked for that one. They are technically in the laundry room, and he did make sure he put them down nicely, too...

Next, after getting everyone and everything unloaded from the car, I fed Blythe, put her in her bouncer seat and proceeded to the kitchen to fix Ian's lunch. I looked up after what could not have been more than two minutes and found Blythe was not where I put her. She had moved from being next to the couch to here...

Apparently big brother wanted sissy right in the middle of his toys so that they could both play. He is quite the navigator to be able to get her through all those toys and chairs. Oh, and please ignore the messiness...if you can.

What can I say? Life is always an adventure with an active 21-month-old boy and I wouldn't have it any other way (as long as we can keep Blythe alive)!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Searching for some indoor fun

Summer seems to have invaded Oklahoma early this year and with a newborn, I have been on the search for some fun activities for Ian to do indoors at home. I just don't have the time, or energy, to get out and do something, or to spend long periods of time outdoors (despite Ian's desperate pleas for "ball ball").  So, with that in mind I turned to the ever wonderful Pinterest and this is what I came up with. Sensory bins.

I had never really heard of sensory bins - maybe because I was homeschooled - but came across the idea on this fun blog for toddlers. I thought I'd give it a try and see how Ian liked it. I started with her idea of an ocean aquarium. Everything I used either came from Wal-Mart (plastic bin, blue rocks, plants, and coral), or I had at the house (turtle, whale, sea shells, and boat).

At first he wasn't too impressed, other than the fact that it had a sea turtle in it. But then, I added this..

Don't shovels just make everything better?

He liked it so much once I added the shovel that we had a hard time getting him to leave it alone to come eat dinner (and it was one of his favorite meals!). He ran right to it after dinner, too, and played with for another 30 minutes. Success.
And I haven't even added water to it yet...but, we'll save that for another day.

Next I think we'll try a construction themed bin...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cars, cars, and more cars...

So last fall I started throwing around ideas for Ian's "big boy" room. When Blythe moves out of our room, she will be taking the room Ian is currently in. Mostly because I'm too lazy to move the crib...again. Ian will be transitioning to a big boy bed so I wanted to make the transition fun for him and hopefully easy for us.

I originally wanted to do some sort of baseball theme (daddy's request), but the only bedding I could find was from Pottery Barn Kids and it was more than what I paid for the quilt on my own king sized bed, so I refused. What I found instead was this cute construction themed quilt from Ian received it as his Christmas present from Grandma, Papa, and the Super Grandparents.

I had planned on just painting his room a soft shade of green to go with the quilt, but I happened upon a paint-by-number mural on that I couldn't resist. It was like it was made for Ian's room! I really thought I had bit off more than I could handle, but thanks to Steve and Patty Cotten, and my wonderful husband, we were able to finally get the mural complete two weeks before Blythe made her arrival. Nothing like waiting till the last minute...

This is the wall directly across from Ian's bed - now he'll be able to wake up to his cars and trucks!

I found all the accessories at Target (dump truck pillow and painting above the train table) or at the Tulsa JBF sale (nightlight and table lamp).

I made his name myself...and as you can see, still needs to be put up on the wall above his bed. It was done by using modge podge to adhere scrapbook paper to blank canvases I bought at Hobby Lobby. I bought wooden letters and painted them and then glued them to the paper.

All in all, I think it turned out pretty well. The mural could have been slightly better - I didn't realize how difficult it was to paint on textured walls!

Hopefully Ian will love it for many years to come!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Life's busy...but not too busy for the simple things

I have been absent from my blog for so long that I can't even remember the last thing I posted...yes, I know I have plenty of reasons. Most of them named Blythe :). I have a ton of catching up to do, but this post is really the reason I started blogging in the first place - a place for me to record moments in time that I want to remember forever. For me, one of those moments happened last week while I was home with both kids by myself for the first time.

Blythe was laying down for a nap and Ian and were playing outside. All the sudden my sweet little boy ran up to me and said "hug, mommy?". As he climbed in my lap and threw his arms around my neck, I thought to myself - this is what life is all about. I wouldn't trade one minute of my mommy life for anything I previously had before children. A simple act and simple words from a 20-month old completely melted my heart.

Who wouldn't want hugs from this little guy?? He might be the sweetest thing there ever was...sissy sure does think so!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The search for the perfect stroller

Well, it's that time. Time to hang up my single stroller days and venture out into the double stroller world. I, of course, cannot do that without an extensive amount of research.

There are sooooo many strollers out there these days. Tandem, side-by-side, and the relatively new in-line. From what I can tell, a double stroller will cost you anywhere from about $275-$1000+. That's quite a swing and a very hefty price tag.

After my initial preliminary research I had pretty much made up my mind that I wanted a side by side - and a Baby Jogger at that (pricey - but not $1000+). That is, until, I was asking stroller advice from my mommy friend Dawn, who just had her third baby. She ended up selling her Bob Dualie and buying a Phil and Teds inline stroller. I really hadn't heard much about the inline strollers so I was intrigued. I especially liked the idea that most of them can be converted back into a single stroller and therefore eliminating the need for me to store my current stroller until Ian is too independent to need the "help" of a stroller.

Taking into account my kids will be 20 months apart, the price of a new stroller, the the functionality of and options available on the stroller, and, of course, the countless hours researching and reading reviews, I finally decided. (I have to admit this decision process began shortly after I found out I was pregnant in mid-September and has continued up until a few weeks ago.)

Drum roll please....

The Britax B-Ready!!!

I love the fourteen different configurations that you can use. I love that it is a single and a double. I love that is relatively light weight (for a double). I love that when we tested it out in the store my 18-month-old loved it and didn't want to get out. I love many other of the small features that Britax really thought through (no-rethread harness, large canopy, huge storage basket, etc).

The thing I didn't love? The tires. My current single stroller has all-terrain air-filled tires. I love them. They make for an excellent smooth ride. Britax, however, must have read my mind. I was set to make my purchase after my baby shower at the beginning of March, but decided to hold off for just a couple more days (hoping and praying Britax would announce their Free Ride event). In that time period, Britax announced that the 2012 model they would be releasing at the end of April would have new and improved wheels. Yay! I think Brett thought I was crazy for being so excited over a press release talking about wheels on tires, but, hey, that's what mamas get excited about. Strollers.

You know what has this mom even more excited?!?! The chance to WIN it! is an amazing resource for mom's and mommy-to-bes. They do video and blog reviews of all the cool baby stuff out there and for the next couple of weeks are giving away some awesome prizes. Today's giveaway happens to be my dream stroller (check it out here:

Sigh. Here's to praying!