Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Guys...

GUYS!!

I have so much to say. I mean, it's been a time. I don't know why/have no excuses/no answers/per usual. A sampling of the things I've got on my mind are: how much I hate NFP, Tracy Anderson, do I need surgery on my belly button, how much I hate NFP, what are we going to do in Vegas next weekend, etc. Boy, just you wait...

For now, can we just talk about the weird spam I am getting in my comments NON-STOP? A sampling...






Ummm, what? Jelqing?

Seriously, a few weeks back I had like 100 spam comments a single post and I had to go dark and start monitoring comments. Sorry if that annoys anyone but this annoys me more. Also, I realize my battery situation might make most people anxious but this is the reality of my life. #mybestself

What else have we missed? Mary turned 9! Francis starting taking the bottle like a profesh which immediately sent Kirby to bookmyvacaystat.com and we leave for Las Vegas on Thursday. A few friends were like Vegas? What? and while I admit it is mostly 97% trash we have so much fun there. We just hide in our hotel, and sleep, and eat delicious food, and migrate from pool to restaurant to room to restaurant and it's the best. Plus, Britney Spears may or may not be on my personal agenda. 

Anyway, I will have a drink in all ya'lls honor.

Oh, and Jenny Uebbing is coming over to my house Friday. Sha-wing!

MORE IMPORTANT THINGS: 

May is a big month in my blogging periphery when it comes to little tiny sick hearts. Please, please keep sweet tiny Regina in your prayers and she will undergo open heart surgery later this month. And pray for Bonnie's daughter Lydia, who goes in tomorrow for open heart bypass surgery. Sylvia and Bonnie- we love you guys!

What's new with you guys? Besides spells that reunited you with your wife? -_- More soon xoxo

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

When you aren't ready yet // Easter version

This post is not to much for you as it is for me bc here we are, the Tuesday before Easter, and I have zero things for my children's baskets. Rolling my dice on Amazon prime to hook a sister up. Here is what is in my cart right now click click!

To sprinkle through the littles' baskets: Chalk Easter eggs

A few sweet/cheap books:
MarshmallowThe Golden Egg Book + Our Friends the SaintsOur Blessed Mother

For the older girls:
Beeswax crayonsSpring Garden: Colouring Bookgel pens (these are on super sale!)

For Clemmy + John: new water bottles

For the little boys to share: Green Toys watering can

For bb: these Gnome dolls are suppper cute and so are these cutie wooden baby spoons (not sure how generous I am feeling yet, tbh)

For everyone: healthy-ish lollipops that I could use anyway for bribes and such.

K??? Is that good? I like to plan n' prep if you didn't realize. I usually break open any packages of whatever (pen, crayons, chalk) and give everyone a few of each so a couple items spread far and no one is screaming about what's minnnnneee!!! Not interested in creating candy-frothing Easter monsters, thx.

Need supplies?? Me too.

I like these products A LOT - eco eggs and eco grass (bc I try to be nice to the planet as much as possible) and I like, nay love, Robin Eggs because what else are you gonna put in those plastic eggs?

Another sweet touch I like to add is a prayer card or two in each basket from our local parish bookstore. And dat...

is dat.

Off to purchase I go! Bye!

**unrelated but cutie/let's hope I can get their looks together by Sunday**


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Werk it out

Yesterday, I posted this amaze image of my guns (wow so much joking happening here, hope you realize) and a few of you asked what/how I am doing so I thought I would give you the current exercise low.


Admittedly, I am a fan of Gwyneth. I mean, more so a fan of her age + looks than anything else but I digress. With that said, it may come as a surprise that I haven't dabbled in the Tracy Anderson Method as of yet. Until recently, I had been committed to a mixture of Hot Yoga once or twice a week and then kicking my own butt in whatever way I could think of that day... a HIIT youtube video, or sprinting up our driveway a bunch of times, or just getting in 100 squats if the day was busy. But I wasn't in love with anything I could do from home.

Then, I thought... why not Tracy? What's stopping me? I mean, Gwyneth?!! So, I went out on a limb and rented her Beginner's DVD to give it a whirl for a whopping $2.99. And, guys, I am SO INTO IT. So into it that I bought the DVD after my rental expired and bought all the gear, too. I'm kinddddda in love w/ Tracy. I love way she talks about body sculpting and feminine lines. She is a super clear instructor and uses really good imagery to help you figure out how to do the movements. She's been makin' me all like take me to your leader... except she IS the leader. And even after the first few workouts when I didn't have the weights, I felt so thoroughly worked out. Sore muscles in places that haven't been sore... ever... like along my hips?? What? I think she really knows what she's doing.

And it's definitely a "method" for a reason - it's clearly very calculated and unlike any exercise style I've experienced. I want to do it everyday and I am feeling it, and seeing changes already, so... sold! Sold, sold, sold.

My goal/what you're supposed to do is the beginner workout 4-6 times a week until you're super comfortable with it and then move onto Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis. I'm all about it!! Have any of you done TAM before?? Wanna do it with me??

Ok, here are links if you care...

1. Tracy Anderson: The Method for Beginners
2. Ankle weights (3 lbs, on sale!)
3. Wrist weights  (1 lb, same!)
4. 3 lb'ers

#gwyneth #jlo

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Constant Inconvenience

This Sunday I sat alongside Johnny in mass as he held baby Francis in his lap. Out of the corner of my eye I watched Francis flail and yell and spit up on the back of Johnny's hand and I watched Johnny bounce him and whisper in his ear and try to keep his eyes on the altar all at the same time like a veteran parent. No complaining, no wincing, no muffled objections. He held the baby, and he sat.

He's six.

I realized then like I have a hundred times how lucky my kids are to have so many siblings. I know I have said this before but it's too impossible to ignore when you absorb so many moments of total inconvenience met with total generosity. Of course my kids get annoyed at each other, of course. They fight, and hit, and pull hair, and yell, and spit. All of it.

But they also can have a conversation while a grubby baby hand is yanking their hair, and they can give with kid a saggy diaper a piggy back ride, and they can be interrupted, and drooled on, with a leaky bottle spilled on their comforter, and a shoe gone missing, and a crying baby in the middle of a movie.

I know you've heard all the common objections to a large family. We all have. How can you make time for them all? Won't they miss out on so much? Won't they got lost in the shuffle? Won't they be desperate for their own space?

I've given answers to those questions a thousand times in my head, but the only one worth hearing is this: they will know how to love, they will know how to love, they will know how to love.

They'll learn it in the chaos, and in the interruptions, and the inconveniences. They will learn it in the spit up, and the tears, and in helping little ones get into pajamas. They will learn in the waiting to be served, and needing to serve, and in all of it.

What amazes me is how beautifully they already live this way. It's not perfect but it's pretty damn good considering I'm still on the verge of tearing my hair out at any given moment. Their world is built-in sacrifice, whether they like it or not. They are born into sharing. They are born into disruption. And, trust me, they are better for it. They are the lucky ones.

If you ever find yourself in a moment of self-doubt because your kid's shower runs cold since the littles bathed too long, or because they missed out on the last of the milk, or because a baby spit up in their lap, remember how good every bit of it is. And how beautiful they are becoming in the middle of the mess.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Shoes 4 J: 2 dream the impossible dream

I realize not everybody has a Johnny, but I do... and I am desperate to figure out how to keep this kid shoed.

He trashes everything.

So, I am polling the masses. What brands are the best for this kind of kid?

I go back and forth between super cheap shoes that I can just buy many times a year or pricer shoes that I only have to buy once or twice. But, please if you will, peep J's current sitaution.

He is wearing these Cat & Jack sneaks for school right now but only because the office called as I was on my way to Target last week to let me know that the sole of one of shoes tore completely off. Those shoes happened to be his mass shoes which he was wearing because his other school shoes were wet or something weird typical. See below.


The sole-less shoes were Zara which I got for cheap last summer. As for dress shoes, these Land's End boots have been the only boy shoe hand-downable in this family, but I haven't had the same luck with the brand's regular sneaks. The boots are quality and worth the $$ if you're in the same spot as I am but I digress...

I thought a nice little photo pictorial would do you good.

Johnny's play shoes


Johnny's sneakers


Johnny's 3 month old school shoes


These slip-ons that lasted him from September to December


So, what's the verdict? Am I just being too optimistic? Should shoes only last a kid a few months? Converse seem to be the brand that wears the longest, provided they aren't caked in mud. (I realize that's asking alot -__-) But maybe there is a secret you know that I don't and if that be so... lay it on me.

Signed,
All Shoed Out/This Kid/Womp Womp


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Currently

Currently...

-Trying not to neglect my entire life reading through Lilac Girls. I just finished today and it was great. I think I can use a little break from all things concentration camp, but I've learned a lot and the realities of women in the war are sobering. I highly recommend the trifecta All the Light We Cannot See > The Nightingale > Lilac Girls. All different perspectives from different wartime experiences, all really wonderful reads.

-Working on refining my daily schedule with game-changer advice from a friend. Advice as follows: don't schedule according to time, order according to task. For example, instead of trying to sit down to do some reading everyday at 10, plan on doing it after the baby goes down for a nap (knowing that time with likely vary a bit every day), or plan on folding the laundry after lunch, instead of whenever the timer dings or at 11:05, etc etc infinity. I don't know about you but this is so genius to me. I am not naturally a scheduler but I thrive on plans. But, life, plans, LOL. I think that just giving myself a game plan of tasks I want to accomplish in succession vs time will be really, really helpful.

-Speaking of tasks, Jenna pointed out my v v specific list on my laundry room chalkboard. You're welcome for allowing you into my refined world of utter perfection. I've been working towards assigning myself a special job of the day in the hope that as the weeks cycle through, I can at least give a little time to a lot of things. So... along with my laundry of the day, I mapped out a *thing* of the day. Here is a lil' reminder in case you forgot to get this tattooed on the back of your hands:


Allow me to translate. Monday's are for catching up on whatever, as we all know (why do I feel so much better just to write this down??) It's always dependent on whatever the weekend brings but if I know my goal is just to catch up in any way that's needed, I can saddle up with a bit more direction than I would if I don't plan for it. And by plan I just mean write it on my chalkboard. Hay!

Tuesday: Spend some time at the desk, pay bills, sort through mail, file something etc.
Wednesday: Organize something. Anything. A drawer, a cabinet, the unmatched sock pile, whatever.
Thursday: Garden in any way, shape, or form. Pull three weeds or uproot a tree, depending on my time and ambition.
Friday: Another something. This means just taking care of whatever random task I've been avoiding. Mailing a package, calling to make a doctors appt., responding to an email, cutting Pete's fingernails, buying dishwasher tabs... you know, all the super hard stuff.

Anyway, that's my list. Having parameters but lots of freedom helps me not pull the old "I don't have time I can't do annnnything (paralyzed, frozen, etc). Because I can always do a little bit, and even sometimes a lot.

-Being conscious of bringing outside beauty in. Mostly with big clusters of this earthy wild sage that grows on our hillside. I love it on our kitchen table. It makes the room smell like springtime and herbal tea. And cute, because Target vase. Speaking of Target, why is Target always killing it?


-Wanting to thrift some cute chairs for ^^^ table. We currently have an old rolling desk chair at it I can't handle the fug. Thinking something mismatch-y and cute like would be attainable for not too much $$

- Feeling defensive and kinda like a whiner. Last week a photo I posted on IG was deleted for, I assume, **inappropriate content**. After I ranted about it I felt a little silly, like I probably should have just let it go, but I also feel like HEY! Leave me alone.

Have you ever had a post deleted? It is creepy! Creepier than my kids bums, for sure.

- Wanting to kick Francis out of our room. He has started to be up so, so much and I think it's mostly because I am right there. My only hesitation is that I'm not ready to move Joe into the boy's room because he is such a good sleeper- still clocking 13 hour nights and 3 hour naps some days. I'm building my arsenal (sound machine + tequila) and searching for a random closet I can stick Francis in for now (just kidding! relax! not really).


- Kirby and I went to a local brewery on Saturday and started jonesing for summer traditions. Remembering that there is nothing better in the summertime than beers and taco trucks near the beach. Can't wait!!

See you soon xxoo

Friday, March 17, 2017

Quickie laundry room make-over

HOW'S THAT FOR A TITLE?

It is what it is, folks.

A few weeks ago I was hemming and hawing over our laundry room space and how to make it more functional. Remember? One day I even took an entire door off all by myself only to find out that you can't just flip doors around to swing the opposite direction. Who even knew??

Anyway, after one morning of spending hours researching shelving systems to fit our tiny space I realized we had an old IKEA shelving thingie we had used at the old house just sitting in our garage... and in an inspired 10 minutes or so, I got me a pretty functional laundry room sitch for free. I rifled through some old bins and baskets and badda bbbbbing. About $30 of IKEA later (two shelves for above the washer, a simple rug, and a few more baskets), I've got me the space of my v basic dreams. It's bright and airy and there is a place to put everything. Plus, cheap. Instead of laundry bins for each kid I keep two rotating baskets for whosever laundry day it is. That load gets folded and put in the basket > kids empty basket and replace > no laundry hanging out all over my house or the laundry room in weird piles. I also have a bin for outgrown clothes in need of storage or Goodwilling, a basket for dry clean stuff, and things that need to be stain treated/are too gross to put back in our drawers but I can't bring myself to toss them.

For the first time since we've lived here things are all tidy up in the laundry room. (Don't you love when things just come together??)

Taste *n see.













(no laundry room is complete without a salvaged bucket with the kid warning on it)

Since IKEA doesn't sell much online, I collected some links for your laundry room e-organization which you've all not asked me for. But, HEY, maybe a little sprucing up for springtime is in order (it feels good, ya'll). Some similar goods and must haves + things I would like...

Laundry soap / Similar runner / Smaller rug here

Cool shelves here... and here... and I kinda love you shelf here / Brackets tho (with these so prettay)

Storage (gah loving these!!) and here

Hamper / Cutie binsbasketscontainers, crates y mas

Dryer balls / Linen Spray / Clothespins / Chalkboard

And a gorgie little vase, for happiness.

Happy weekend, my beebs!