Wednesday, June 29

Nothing Says Home Like 200 Beanie Babies

Good thing I still have all these Beanie Babies!  They must be worth a FORTUNE!

Monday, June 27

Tube Time

We're in Little Rock for a few days visiting my family (yes, they moved to Little Rock) before we head off to what promises to be a very exciting wedding in Wichita.  Today we went to a lovely lake and tubed.

Finley whimpered and whined the first time he saw someone tube--he was nervous about what was going on.  Eventually he warmed up to it and was willing to ride on the tube very slowly with us.

He thought it was very fun--both to sit in the tube with dad and to ride behind the boat.

And he took his job as boat captain very seriously.  I could barely get him to look up at me!

Also Braden was there and he liked getting kisses from grandma more than this picture shows.  He really was good on the boat.  He sat in his seat most of the time and enjoyed the rocking of the boat and the breeze.

And this--THIS is what makes me nervous about having two boys.  My two silly brothers fighting on the tube together and trying to knock each other off.  Oh dear.  What have I done to myself?

Good thing they have their good looks to get them by.

Thursday, June 23

Large Baby

Dear Braden,

Stop growing or you will have a baby sibling a lot faster than you would like.  I ordered a newborn and I got a rapidly growing baby.  Also, why are you so hungry all the time?

You are cute and I love you.

Love, Mom

Wednesday, June 22

Fingerpainting for Father

Last week, I let go of my Type A-ness a little more than usual and let Finley fingerpaint.  I really didn't want to be cleaning paint off the floor, out of his hair and dealing with it being smeared all over the place.  But being a kid is supposed to be fun and be about making messes, so I relented.

I should have known how it would turn out.

For the most part, Finley used one finger to dip in the paint and smear over the paper.

Eventually he started using both hands and somehow got his feet a little messy too.

He didn't get any on the floor.  Because he is tidy like that.  And eventually he requested to "wash your hands" and then wanted to do nothing but dip one finger in paint and wash it off.  Of course.  Then he wanted to wash out all the little bowls in the pool.

Silly clean boy.

I cut up his sweet artwork and put it in a little frame to give to Sol for Father's Day.  I saw this idea on my new bestie, Pinterest, and thought it was cute.  I was going to make Braden make a hand print or something too, but then I decided that was too much work.

Monday, June 20

Win a Plate (With Tad Hamilton!)

Just kidding, no Tad Hamilton.

As you know, I like to design things.  My latest adventure has been designing some darling melamine plates.  To kick-off my newest venture, I'm giving away a plate on my pal Jenae's blog today!  Not only should you go over and enter to win, you should also follow her blog if you have little ones at home to entertain and teach.  She has amazing ideas.

Here are a few pictures of what you could win...

A plate for your favorite kid? Yes, you'll have to pick which kid you like the best.  It will be a hard decision.

Or maybe for some newlyweds?

Many many options to choose from!  Go over and enter to win!  Or just go to my Etsy shop and buy one.

Friday, June 17

I Have Never Been So Proud

Confession time.

I've been cutting coupons. The scene from Gilmore Girls keeps playing through my mind--the one where Rory chides Lorelai for cutting coupons in secret.  A few months ago I subscribed to the Sunday paper, solely for the coupons.  I'm mostly using them at CVS or at the double coupon day at my fave grocery store.  A couple of my friends here introduced me to the wonderful world of Extra Care Bucks (or ECBS) at CVS.  Have you heard of them?  Let me try to explain it...

Every week, CVS has a few super bargains that you can buy and when your receipt prints you get ECBs to use in the next month at CVS.  I feel like it's normally for toothpaste--we have like 8 tubes of toothpaste in the bathroom that I paid like $.22 for.  It's kind of awesome.

For example, this week a 5 ct box of Zyrtec is on sale for $5.99. Your receipt will print with a $5.99 ECB, making the Zyrtec FREE!!!  But better yet, you can go sign up for a $5 coupon here, meaning you give CVS $.99 and you get $5.99 back.  So you make $5!  Win!!!!!

Yesterday I had my proudest moment.  I bought a razor for Sol and some Motrin PM (because it ended up being free.)

Can you see what my total was?


The Motrin was on sale for $4 and I had a $1 coupon from the paper, and I got $3 ECB... FREE!

The razor was supposed to be $8 and I had a $4 coupon, and I got $4 ECB... FREE!

So, I got $7 in ECB for my next purchase (which will be the Zyrtec) and used a $10 ECB to bring my total down.  (Although I just realized the razor rang up $2.49 more than it should have, grrr.)  So in essence, I spent $3.01 (because I gave them $10 ECB and got $7 ECB back).  And it would have been only spending $.52 if had rang up right.  Which is a pretty big victory.

So basically, it's like the most fun part of my week. Because I get to do math and feel like the ultimate bargain shopper. It's become a pretty exciting game where I feel like I beat CVS every week.

Stay tuned for the next coupon post, when Victoria and I go to Bloom on double coupon Tuesday and try to take stealth pictures of the extreme couponers and their binders of coupons and 80 bottles of ketchup.

Wednesday, June 15

Prayers from Finley

Finley is a very sweet pray-er.

He used to do the same prayer everytime, "Dear Jesus, Mama, Daddy, Bradem AMEN."  As you can see in the video below, his standard prayer has been abbreviated to "Mama, Daddy AMEN."  I'm not sure why Jesus and Braden haven't made the cut... but we are working on it.  The first part of the video below has a very long, gibberish prayer that he, judging by his smirk, thinks is very funny.

Sometimes his prayers are very silly.  He often prays for milk, dump trucks, hot dogs and all sorts of nonsense.  You can see in the second clip his prayer for counting.  Silly kid.

Tuesday, June 14

Two Months

Well, I can't believe Braden has been around for two whole months.  Based on his size, it feels like it has been 8 months.

He certainly doesn't feel like a teeny newborn anymore.  I look at pictures of other people's newborns and am bewildered at why I don't have one of those.  He started giving us a few sweet smiles and makes gurgly noises and coos.  Finley is showing a little more interest in him and will even give him kisses occasionally.

He nurses every 2 to 3 hours during the day and less during the night.  From time to time he'll sleep up to 6 hours at the beginning of the night, and then wake up again after 3.  His main sleeping struggle is that he'll wake up every hour or two in the early AM just to say hi.  He doesn't necessarily want to eat, he normally will fall asleep as soon as I pick him up or after he nurses for about a minute.  So I'd really like it if he could just wait a little longer before missing me like crazy.  He's sleeping in a bassinet beside our bed and it's working really well.  As soon as he's consistently nursing a little less, I will start transitioning him to his never been used nursery.

Here are the stats:

Height: 25.5in (off the charts--like 100 percentile)
Weight: 14lbs 12oz (95 percentile)
Head:15.75in (50 percentile)

The doctor said he looked good... although the left side of his little head is getting a little flat.  I am no good at doing tummy time, so I need to do that for closer to 30 minutes a day.  It makes me feel a little like a bad mommy, but I don't think I've done any irreparable damage.  He just needs to do some baby push-ups.

Finley also had to go to the doctor--he was getting his blood redrawn to check his cholesterol.  Sure enough, he is cursed with the Grimmer genes and has high cholesterol.  Poor baby.  I'm supposed to cut out whole milk, sugary foods and things with high saturated fat.  I feel like he eats a pretty healthy diet (he had THREE servings of SALAD last night) but I do try to give him lots of whole milk and yogurt because he's so little.  Our epic battle has been getting him to eat enough to keep gaining weight.  They want us to switch him to skim milk, but after checking his weight (he's lost a few ounces since two months ago) they decided to have us switch to 2% and bring him back in a month to make sure he hasn't lost weight.


I'm currently taking recommendations on high calorie, healthy food for Mr. Finley.  One of the blessings of getting to be home with him is that I can take the time to prepare awesome meals for him.  If anyone has suggestions, please pass them my way!

Monday, June 13

Finley's Favorites

There's a lot of things Finley loves right now.  Here are a few of his favorites:

His monkey, which he lovingly calls "Ee ee ah ah," even though I'm confident he could say "monkey."  We have two of these monkeys for when one is lost or dirty--and for awhile he had possession of both.  I think he forgot about the second one and we are back down to just one.

He loves trucks and cars.  We like to try to figure out how little boys learn to love things like trucks and helicopters and ambulances--he loves to drive them and points them out obsessively in the car.  His favorites are steam shovels, bulldozers, school bus, mail trucks, dump trucks, mixer trucks, trash trucks, police cars, helicopters, fire trucks, ambulances and taxis.  That's just about everything, right?  Sometime I need to record him saying all their names because it's funny.  This dump truck in particular he insists on sleeping with occasionally--the way he cries for his "dump truuuuuuuuuck" is precious.

He loves singing while he runs around.  It's so fun to watch him learn and be able to sing songs and figure out how to work all his limbs.  He's starting to climb things and have some pretty fancy footwork.

And here is a trifecta of favorites--his race cars, his tiger shirt covered in Exxon tiger stickers, and his curls.  Wait--it's me who loves his curls... not him.

Friday, June 10

How Much I Love Pinterest

One of my favorite things to do is to love things.

Right now, I really love Pinterest.  I first loved it because it's exclusive--you have to be invited to join.  Just like Gmail in 2005... I thought my gmail address was pretty chic back then.  Who am I kidding, it's still chic.

Anyways, Pinterest.  If you spend any amount of time on the internet looking for things--clothes, recipes, decorating ideas, party planning, crafting--then Pinterest is for you.  It allows you to collect images of things you like and "pin" them to virtual bulletin boards.  When you are on a page that has something you want to save, you click a little button on your toolbar and it will ask you to save it to a bulletin board.  AND it saves with the link so that you can go back and find it anytime you want.  

Here is a screenshot of some of my boards... I've been saving recipes, ideas for birthday parties, things to do with Finley, crafts and all sorts of fun things.

The other fun part of it is following other people.  You can pin their pins also search for ideas within Pinterest.  I really wanted to make a pillow with a bow on it and when I searched I found alllll these options:

Cool huh?  

It really is so fun.  And it can either save you lots of time by categorizing and keeping all your ideas in one place... or it can waste massive amounts of time if you obsessively look for crazy things on it.

Let me know if you are on Pinterest so I can follow you!

And let me know if you would like to be on Pinterest so I can invite you.  More pinners = more fun.

Thursday, June 9

Dancing the ABCs

Somehow, all of the sudden, Finley could kind of sing the ABCs.  Sort of.  I think he picked it up from the toys that sing it, watching some YouTube videos and us singing it occasionally to him.  He performed it for us a few weeks ago, and it was hilarious.  He would sing it before he went to bed and would have moves to go with it both times.

The first night he had to rock back and forth and hold some embroidery hoops--the second night he needed to run in circles.  He's improved even more since we took this video--even though he still misses J and K and says "no X" instead of "double U X."  It's SO fun to watch him learn.

As teachers we talk a lot about learning styles and how kids take in information--visual, auditory, tactile or kinesthetic.  At this point, Finley seems to do well when he gets to move his body!  He did this over and over... such an energetic little fellow.  He cracks us up.

And a picture of sweet Braden, to keep things fair.  Love this chubby, cuddly boy.

Wednesday, June 8

Backyard Waterpark

We got Finley a sand and water table for his birthday.  We finally got around to setting it up last week--and Finley really enjoys it.  Sol and I tried to get him to not mix the sand and water--and that lasted about 15 seconds.  I'm having to let go of my type A, orderly, neat freak tendency and let him PLAY and enjoy making a huge mess.  At this point, both sides are equal parts sand and water. Ugh.

The sand and water table was quickly upstaged by this pool we got at a yard sale--and by the slide the Sol put into the pool.  Finley is really enjoying his deck water park.  I did catch him dipping his cars in sand and rinsing them in the pool--he told me it was a "car wash."  So now the pool has a lot of sand in it--and I'm almost ok with that.

It's fun to watch him learn about sinking and floating, about pouring and gravity.  I'm not sure what we will do when there is no more summer.  I have the feeling that we'll be spending most days out on the deck!

Don't you want to come over and play in the pool?

Monday, June 6

Like my New Look?

I impulsively redesigned my blog this morning.  You know, in between running 3 miles with a huge stroller, laundry, making lunch for my small boy, nursing my tiny boy and sitting on the deck watching Finley make a mess in his pool.

If you are reading this in Google Reader, you should go click over and check it out.

If you aren't reading this in Google Reader, you should be.  It's 2011.

If you don't know what Google Reader is, let me know and I will help you.

There's a Bulldozer in my Backyard

Our house backs up to some power lines, which backs up to the highway.  We were very grateful that the power lines did not cause either of our children to be born with three arms or glowing hair or something.  The county has decided to put a water main under the power station thing (which sounds dangerous) and this means that there are construction vehicles driving behind our fence quite frequently.

I do not like this because they are loud and disrupt my sleeping.

Finley really likes this because HE LOVES TRUCKS.  We took this picture early in the morning, so he is still a little clingy to his monkey and unwilling to smile for me.  You can't really tell but he is wearing his dump truck shirt to watch the bulldozer drive back and forth (thanks Aunt Summer!)  He calls bulldozers "bull bull bulls" and it is so cute.

Braden is so cute too.  He is such a content little fellow--he's happy to sit in his swing for a lot longer than I like to go without holding him. He is so tough and strong and handsome too--just like the cute cop in Bridesmaids.

We are having a lot of fun being home together.

Wednesday, June 1

Many Kids on a Couch

On Saturday we traveled to Baltimore to spend the day with our good pals, Riley and Julia.  Finley and Olivia are close in age, and Braden and Benjamin are even closer!  We walked almost 5 miles around Baltimore in the heat and had a blast.  The kids held up so well--no one had a meltdown even though we skipped naptime!

Which looks like more fun?  Swinging with dad...

Or napping with mom...

I pick nap.

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