Saturday, April 28, 2012

InstaFriday. Phone photo drop. Whatever.

Oh my goodness. This week has kicked my butt. I'm currently on my couch, in my pajamas, trying not to fall asleep. So let's do a blog post and wake me up, why don't we? 

The main reason that I was stressed out this week was because we were buying a new (to us) car. So I spent many a day pouring over car reviews, ads, etc. We finally found the van I wanted. Traded in my 2011 Kia Sorento for a 2010 Town and Country. Would I sound completely old if I said I loved it? So much room, and the kids are way in the back, and I can barely hear them when they bicker. It's wonderful.

Miss Arielle got the game ball at their Friday night game. They got completely creamed at the game, but they are improving as a team. She had a great hit and earned the ball. The other team caught it and she got out, but who's counting.

When the baby comes, the two older girls are sharing a room, Ava is moving into Jasmin's old room, and the baby will move into Ava's. So I'm making Ava a puff quilt for her "big girl" room. Three guesses what the color scheme is going to be. 


Apparently Ava was upset with the overpriced sequin tiara. Don't worry, I took it off right after I snapped a pic. No babies were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Ummm, when did my baby get big enough for pigtails? I know I'm biased, but I think she's adorable. 

 I had a craving for a spicy crispy chicken sandwich from Wendy's. Usually I just feed Ava off of my plate, but splurged and bought her a 99 cent burger. 

Best. Decision. Ever. She was occupied, and I was actually able to eat my burger, in peace and drool free. 

Arielle had Ava "help" her put away laundry. I call it "pawning off my chores on the baby" but whatever. 

How can you tell when someone has been playing with your phone? 

Jasmin did an extra book at Awana and earned a special pin. I may have already posted this pic at some point. I'm too tired and lazy to check.

We took them out for frozen yogurt earlier today. 

Do you see how much yogurt Jasmin has? That ding dong child had the nerve to ask me for money for the ice cream truck not an hour later. 

Lost her mind. 

So, that's it folks!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Updates and Going-ons

My goodness, I am so far behind on blogging. I seriously don't know how people blog every single day. 

Things are good, I'm 17 weeks pregnant today. Starting to feel movement daily, but Jake has only felt it once. At our last OB appt, the dr said that baby girl is facing my back and kicking my placenta, which is why I don't feel movement all the time. 

I'm stoked that we're having another girl. I know that after having three girls, I'm "supposed" to want a boy. But we have a crap ton of girl things. I know girls. I can make pretty girl things. I'm happy to be having a girl. We haven't talked names yet. I have one that I love and that Jake likes, but we still have about a million to go through before we finalize. 

Lily, our new rescue dog, is doing well. A few accidents in the house, but we expected that. She hasn't figured out to go to the door when she wants out, but as long as I put her outside every couple of hours, she's been doing great. I think she's claimed me as "her" person, and will growl at Titan if she's in my lap and he comes close. But all that earns her is a "NO" and a seat on the ground. She's getting better at it. Not that I'm worried about her biting. She had dental work done last Wednesday. She had 28 teeth pulled, so right now she only has 3 canine teeth remaining (dogs have 40 teeth, so she already had quite a few missing). But she seems to be much happier, and it's nice to be able to be near her without gagging from her breath. 

Hubby worked from home all last week, and staring this week, he's doing some time at the workplace. He'll be doing full time freelance, so he'll be at home half of the time, and at the job site half of the time. It's fun having him at home, but I have to make sure that Ava isn't bugging him. She loves her daddy. 

Lover and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary last Thursday. If I had thought about it, I would have done a post. Bad blogger! On Saturday, my mom took the girls for the night, and we went out and ate at the local Hibachi place. Super yummy! We were the only ones there, and at one point, Canon in D by Pachelbel came on their stereo. That's the song I walked out to at our wedding. :)

Right now we're trying to trade in my SUV for a minivan. I think that means I'm officially a "mom". Trying to find a used car in great condition with low miles in our price range that wouldn't embarrass me to drive is harder than it seems. 

What else.... had a photoshoot on Saturday with a great make up artist and a photographer friend. He's newer, but I always love my photos with him. They're the same ones who did the pic that I used on my profile pic on the top right of my blog. I can't wait to see the pics. I've gained a whopping 5 lbs since I got pregnant, but still, I feel frumpy most of the time. It was a nice change to feel pretty and get dolled up. 

So I think that's it, folks. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And it's a........

So, on Tuesday, we had our 16 week OB appointment, and found out what we were having. I had already set up a photo session with a local photographer, Jill Cornelius and she asked if we'd like to do a gender reveal photo. Ummm, yes please! 

I went to Party City and picked up 8 balloons, half of which didn't fit in the box anyway. :) The box was easy to make. A cardboard box, covered with brown packing paper. I cut out a bunch of vinyl with my Silhouette (do you know how hard it is to find a good font for a question mark?? I ended up using "georgia" I believe) and then stuck those on there. 

Jake and I knew what we were having, of course, and we told my parents, Jake's dad and sister, and his aunt. But besides that, no one knew, including the girls. Despite all the texts and emails, begging me to tell them with promises that they can keep a secret, we still wouldn't tell. We told everyone that they had to wait :) 

All of our friends knew that we were having the gender reveal pics done on Wednesday, so there were a lot of posts like this on my facebook wall yesterday. 


I told everyone that it just depended on when the photographer sent me a pic. Jill was wonderful, and not long after we got home, she emailed me this. 

Wanna see it? Want to know what we're having????

We're adding another princess to the family! I can't wait to meet her!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Baby and dog updates

So, thank you to those who commented on my new adoption of Lily. She is settling in well, just wants to be loved on or petted. Constantly. The minute I stop petting her, she'll nudge my hand or try and crawl under it. Silly dog. Ding dong is still figuring out the whole house breaking thing, but as long as I put her outside every hour or so, she's been successful.

I took her to our wonderful vet on Monday for an exam. The rescue said she was 4 years old, but Dr Albers said she's closer to 6-8 years old (which I already figured). He said her heart and lungs sound great. She did have a bacterial ear infection, which he gave me drops for. And she needs to lose about 3 lbs (she's 15.6 lbs, should be around 12). He did check her teeth, and said that we can only possibly save 3 canines. All the rest of her teeth are either already missing, or are so decayed that they need to be pulled. I'm glad that she'll be happier (her poor gums are so red and puffy from the bad teeth) and glad that she'll finally be rid of the God awful breath. But financially it was a bit of a blow. A $200 adoption fee paid for her, and I guess I didn't think I'd need to spend another $300 on dental work/exam/meds. BUT, what can you do. It's just money, right? Besides, how can you worry about money when she's so stinkin' happy to be in a home?

I did have an OB appointment yesterday, I'm 16 weeks. And yes, I know what I'm having. :) But you, along with everyone that isn't my mom or father in law, has to wait. We're doing picture tonight with an amazing photographer, and we'll do a gender reveal pic with the girls. :) I'll post it as soon as I get it. 

Baby looked good, it was so stinkin' active! Legs going everywhere, arms moving around, head turning and mouth opening. You'd think I'd be able to feel all of that, but the dr said that the baby is facing my back and is kicking my placenta. It was pretty cool to see. I got spoiled with seeing Ava on a sonogram twice a week, so this once a month sonogram thing amazes you with how much it's grown every time. 

We declined the Quad 4 screening. Yes, that screening is what diagnosed Ava's gastroschisis, but we would have eventually found that on a sonogram. Besides, there are so many false positives with that test that I don't want to needlessly worry about anything. Plus, this is my baby, and termination is out of the question, and we'll handle whatever issues God throws our way. 

The dr said that the organs look good, same with the spine, head and heart. We didn't get a great face shot, since Baby is facing away. So this predator looking picture is actually a shot of the face through the skull. Crazy, huh?


Monday, April 16, 2012

Welcome Home, Lily

So, we added a new member to the family on Saturday. No worries, I'm still pregnant. 

Ever since we had to put Jasper down in October, I've really missed having a dachshund. Yes, we have Titan, and I love him and he's wonderful, but there is something about a dachshund that is like no other dog. So I've been talking to Jake about it, and he finally said that we could get one. But I knew that I wasn't going to get a puppy, or a dog off of Craigslist. I knew I wanted to adopt one and save it from a life in a shelter. 

After pouring through Petfinder, I narrowed it down to three dogs. Jeter (6 year old male black and tan smooth), Penny (same coloring as Jeter but a 1 year old girl) or Pamela (4 year old long haired dapple dachshund). 

I filled out the application online for Jeter, and heard back from them later that my vet reference checked out with flying colors. They wanted me to come meet him that night, since someone was coming to see him on Saturday and they thought I'd be a better home. So we took the kids and Titan to go meet him. Unfortunately, it was a no go. He was very stand offish (no big deal) but after a few minutes, he growled at Titan and nipped at Arielle, so we said good bye to Jeter. 

On Saturday, we planned on meeting Penny and Pamela. But I got an email from Penny's shelter that she went on a home visit and wouldn't be back until Monday. So off we went to go visit Pamela. 

The adoption center was crazy with barking dogs, but I soon spotted Pamela. We met her and another dachshund, a smooth coat dapple. Both were sweet, but Pamela really was interested in us. There was a red long haired dachshund that melted my heart, but he looked so much like Jasper that I knew I'd never be able to separate the two, and each dog needs to be it's own, not a replacement. 

So they bathed her, we signed the papers, and she came home with us. I gave her another bath when we got home. I originally thought she was all black hair on her body, but after a good bath and shampoo, the prettiest patches of gray showed up. I brushed her out, gave her a trim, and she settled right in. 

I do have an appointment for her today at 2:30 at our vet. She has an ear infection or something going on with her ear. And her breath is awful. I looked at her teeth, and she's missing most of them. All four across the top are gone, and almost everything from the canines back are missing. The couple she does have in the back are gray and horrible. The rescue said she was about 4 years old, but I'm interested to see what the vet thinks. Usually it's much older dogs that have this much decay.

But, she's so sweet. Financially it probably would have been a better decision to pick the other dapple (who was only a year old). But this one was older and needs to lose some weight. I just felt like the other one, being a puppy, had a better chance of being adopted by someone else. My heart still breaks for the red dachshund, the Jasper look alike. I'm praying he finds a home soon. 

We've renamed her Lily. She's so sweet, just wants to be in a lap at all times, or sitting right next to you. Let's hope the vet doesn't tell me it's going to cost a bazillion dollars to get her healthy and perfect. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Distressed sign board

So, I saw this sign a billion years ago, and have always loved it. The colors, the size, the distressing. So gorgeous! So I finally decided to do my own version.

I started off with two boards from Home Depot. I went with 1x12x6 boards, which cost me $11 each. I knew I was going to distress them, but still had hubby pull practically every board off the shelf so I could find perfectly straight (and pretty) ones. 

First step? Let's distress these bad boys. 

 I took a hammer and a screwdriver, and went to work banging these up. Well, I did the screwdriver part, since Ava refused to give me back the hammer. I have no idea what kind of wood it is, but it was soft enough for Ava to mark them up with a hammer. Who knew?

Next, I aged them with vinegar and steel wool. You grab a bowl, dump some vinegar and a steel wool pad in it, something magic happens between the two, and after a while, you rub the liquid on the boards. Some say to leave the steel wool mix sitting in the bowl for 24 hours, some say half an hour. I think I let mine sit for an hour or two. Long enough to go satisfy my Taco Bell pregnancy craving. So, however long that takes. Then rub it on (wear gloves!), give it some time, and voila! I used white vinegar mixed with balsamic, only cause that's what I had on hand.

So here are my two boards. They are attached in the back with metal brackets that I bought from Walmart. Think I spent $6 on 3 of them? And get the long ones, don't get the short ones like I originally did. These boards are heavy.

Now, I had a LOT of trial and error on this project. Luckily it all worked out in the end, but if I can save you some headache and hassle, then of course I'm going to share my mistakes. 

I took a pizza stone and drew on my sun circle. Originally, I made a mark along the circle every 4 inches, and from the center of the sun, across that mark, and to the edge of the board, drew the sun rays out. You remember how you did perspective in art class, right? Now, unless you WANT a ton of the same color, then don't do that. Does that make sense? Here is a crappy, 5 minute photoshop job of what I'm talking about. 

A mark every 4 inches around the circle = too much color on the longer rays.

So, of course, I didn't realize that until I drew out all of my lines in a red sharpie (don't use a sharpie, it'll show through your paint if you change your layout later. Use a pencil)

So, instead of the 4 inch marks, I did some marks an inch apart, some two inches, some 3, some 4. I just eye balled it. I didn't want to get confused with my old marks, so I squiggled those out. Again, don't use a sharpie. It'll show through your paint. Luckily I was able to cover all of those with my red rays later, but it limited me on where I had to put them.

Next, it was time to paint. I didn't have a pattern I followed, just placed the colors where I thought they looked pretty. 

I did a combination of blues, greens and yellows. Ignore the blue painters tape on the board in the pic.

While my reference pic had the red lines the same width from beginning to end and made it look fabulous, it didn't look right on my board. So, again, no pattern, just put some tape on there and tried to keep a good angle from thin to thick. 

I painted white paint on the lines before I did the red. The red just wasn't covering up the color transitions. And it worked out, since when I sanded it down, some of the white showed through the red, and I really liked it. After I painted it, I then taped off the center and painted that too. 

And here we are after it's painted.

I sucked at making this tutorial, and forgot to take pics of the next step. I sanded it down to wear down some of the paint. I also white washed it (mix white paint and water, smack it on your board, rub it around and wipe it off) and then did some stain in the hammer marks and wood knots to really bring those out. Just did that over and over until I was happy with it. 

I will say that when you sand it, don't do circles or back and forth like you'd normally do. Sand in the direction of the rays. It really brings them out and accents them nicely. 

If you don't have access to a projector like I do (ask your church, your child's school, the library), it shows on the original blog how he got around that. Print the words out, shade the back with a pencil, trace the words on the board, and the pencil shading on the back will transfer the words to your board.

Then I painted those in with white paint. Don't put it on too thickly, as you'll be sanding these down too. The font I used is called miserably lose. I didn't want a font that I'd have to be super worried about straight lines and perfection.

Here is before and after I sanded the letters. At first, I just sanded down the whole thing, but it was taking down my sun ray paint too much. So I tore off little pieces of sandpaper, and sanded just the letters themselves.

Once you're happy with it, add some hangers on it (I wanted mine to show), have your hubby hang it up, and voila! I love how it looks old and sun faded.

Hope you like it! I've been wanting something to go above the couch for a long time, and now I have the perfect piece. 

Let's party

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Need help with your green thumb? Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro planting mix giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.

So, am I the only one who does NOT have a green thumb? You'd think I would. My mom's backyard looks like a botanical garden. A koi pond, fountains, gorgeous plants everywhere. I, unfortunately, did not inherit that from her. I've been known to kill a cactus by forgetting to water it. Ever. Oops.

This year, I want to start caring about my lawn. Not just making sure it's mowed so we don't get in trouble with the HOA, but actually caring about it. Which basically means that I need all the help I can get.

I know you've heard of Miracle Gro, right? Even with my lack of gardening knowledge, I've even heard of it. One thing I'm excited to try is their Expand ‘n Gro™.

Why is it different?

  • Up to 3X the Flowers and Vegetables!* *versus native soil
  • Significantly improves soil for multiple years
  • Concentrated planting mix expands up to 3X when water is added
  • Feeds for up to 6 months
  • All natural fibers hold up to 50% more water than basic potting soil.

I love that it expands. Which means no more buying bags and bags of potting soil. And if you have a huge front flower bed like I do, that's a huge benefit.

With it being spring and the time that everyone is getting their gardens ready, I know you want to try it too. Want to? Would you be excited if I said that you could try  Expand ‘n Gro™?

EnG Product Shot.png

If you'd like to win (and you're have to be a follower), tell me what you'd like to try planting this year. Veggies? Flowers? Shrubs?


That's it! A super easy way to enter so you can try it! Whether you're an experienced gardener or a fellow plant killer like myself, who doesn't want something to make our lives easier?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tornadoes, hail, rain? Thanking God today.

So, unless you live under a rock, I'm sure you heard about the crazy weather in Dallas/Fort Worth yesterday. So, if you stalk me properly, then you know I live just outside of Dallas, right?

Yesterday was a normal day, I played with Ava and worked on pillow orders. I didn't even know that anything was going on until my friend Ryan texted me to ask if I was okay. Okay about what? So I went on FB (am I the only one who gets my news from FB?) and I saw people posting about the weather coming our way. 

We're a one car family, and hubby had the car yesterday, so I was worried about the two older girls getting home from school. So I texted my friend Christy at 2pm (who always drives the girls when it's raining) and asked if she would get Arielle and Jasmin when she picked up her kids. Turns out, she had just picked up her kids (they don't get out of school until 3pm), so she went back inside to get mine. I asked "Are you the only crazy mom up there?" and she said no, the office was packed with parents. The girls were home 5 minutes later. I was so thankful, since the schools went on lock down soon after and they wouldn't release any kids due to the weather. 

So, me, the girl who never turns on the news (it tends to be too depressing), and on every channel was the weather news. 

I mean, seriously, does it not look like someone just threw a bunch of paint on the map? I live between Rockwall and Royse City, which is just to the right of the center of the map. Everything was moving northeast, so we were keeping an eye on the stuff below Dallas.

Hubby had been evacuated to the first floor at his work (he works on the 3rd floor). They were going to hold them there until it was all over. But during a break in the weather, he left and drove the 7 miles home. I was never so thankful than when I heard the garage door open. 

And then the reports of tornadoes started coming in. Two simultaneous tornadoes on the ground. One east of Fort Worth in Arlington, and one south of Dallas in Lancaster. The one in Dallas so was strong that it was picking up ten ton trucks and throwing them hundreds of feet into the air.

So, while that was scary, it was still 45 minutes from us. At that point, we were just getting some bad hail and rain. 

And then this popped up on the news. A tornado touched down in Forney, expected to move northeast towards Rockwall/Fate/Royse City. WHERE I LIVE. The two circles to the left never amounted to anything, thank you God, since that's where my parents live.

So I already had the bathroom stocked with blankets, snacks, drinks, etc. The girls were just hanging out in the bathroom, eating all of the snacks. I kept up with it on Facebook, and thank you God we never got any tornado action. 

So after a bit, it cleared up, I made dinner, the girls played on the Wii. The sky was the weirdest shade of yellow.

On the news and FB this morning, people are posting pics of the damage in Forney. Homes destroyed, but somehow, no deaths. Just minor injuries.

I mean, that's just twenty miles from us. Twenty miles. THIS was twenty miles from us. 

So, this morning, I'm thankful. Thankful that my family went unscathed. Our house went untouched. All of our friends are okay. My parents are okay. 

So no worries, folks. Your super favorite blogger is still around to post mindless dribble for ya. :) 

Thanking God today. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Highs and Lows 4.2.2012

Life, Crafts and Whatever

  • Ava has decided that instead of crying normally, she needs to cry and scream "mom" over and over. And over. And over. It partly drives me batty, and mostly just makes me want to give her whatever she's crying about. 
  • My tattoos are driving me insane. No, not in the "Oh my gosh, why did I get these things? I'll regret it when I'm 80." way. But they're so itchy all the damn time. Like, I want to scratch my skin off. I did some reading in Google, and apparently when you're pregnant, you can become "allergic" to the ink in your tattoos. Something about the different hormones in your body. Luckily, it's not all of my tattoos, just my back piece and my half sleeve. So of course, the two largest tattoos. 
  • We had a fabulous weekend. Long, but fabulous. 
First there was an Easter Egg Hunt. I was a little irritated about how it was run though. They had three sections divided into ages 0-3, 4-8, and 9-12, which is great. But then they had all ages go at the same time. Meaning I didn't get a single pic of Jasmin and Arielle getting eggs, since I was helping Lover and Ava. Whoever was running the hunt obviously didn't have more than one kid. Plus, the egg hunt said it started at 10. Luckily we got there at 9:30 because the hunt started exactly at 10:05. Usually they start at like 10:20 or so, to let everyone get in place and so the stragglers can get there. We were finished at 10:15, and we saw some very unhappy kids and parents still walking up from the parking lot when we were leaving. 

Then we went to bloggy buddy Julie's daughter's birthday party. Ava LOVED the bounce house. My girls loved all the sugar. Arielle didn't get to get her face painted, since she's still getting over poison ivy, and I didn't want to possibly contaminate the face painters brushes. I'm not quite sure how it works. But she was totally fine with it. Luckily she seems to have gotten over her attitude issues from last week.

The girls spent the night at Grandma's house, so Lover and I went to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, and Chiloso for breakfast. Then my mom's friend was throwing a party for her husband, so we went to that. Thank goodness for heated pools.

  • Got the green light from Lover on a few house DIY's that I want to do. Make a light cover for the ugly light we have in the kitchen. Redo our coffee table. Paint the front door. Finally make a starburst mirror. He tends to like things how they are, I always get bored and want to change things. I can't count the number of times I rearranged my room as a teen. You'd be amazed at how many arrangements you can come up with with just a bed, nightstand, desk and dresser.
  • After 4 years of working there, Lover put in his two weeks at his work, and will be doing freelance full time. He has one main freelance client that he will be working with, and then he still has a bunch of repeat clients. Working at a church, even as a graphic/web designer, you just don't make what you should. But, with the lack of money, you do get the perks of the family friendly environment, like he's always able to come to OB appts with me, and they were INVALUABLE during our Ava/NICU ordeal. But it's hard for him to work there. Besides the money, there just isn't room for advancement. You have the worker bees, the two managers, and the head honcho. And unless one of the managers quits, you just can't move up. And he's too young in his career to be stuck. It'll be a change to have him home all the time, and I'm curious how Ava will do with him being home but not "available", but I'm excited for him.  
  • One of my close friends, Candace, asked me if she could throw me a "Baby Sprinkle" this summer. I know, I know. Some people say that you can only have a baby shower with the first baby. I'm in the camp that says that each baby should be celebrated, but perhaps not as big as the first one. This time we're thinking just some girlfriends and a potluck. Any excuse for a party, right? So sweet of her to offer. She co-hosted my last shower.
  • Took my mom to the Botanical Gardens on Tuesday. She has such a green thumb, her backyard seriously looks like a botanical garden. Meanwhile, I can't keep a cactus alive. We had fun, but Ava was not feeling it. Only wanted me to carry her, wouldn't get in the stroller. Butthead. I didn't realize the Botanical Gardens were so expensive? $15 per adult, plus $10 for parking. Luckily, Capital One Bank has a coupon for BOGO on Tuesdays. Then my mom took me out to Red Lobster. YUM!
  • Pillow orders are still going good. I'm happy with 1-2 a week. I was really happy to have some money in my Paypal account so I could buy him some stuff without him getting any hints. Lover's birthday is on the 12th, and I hate when I have to buy him a present with the credit card. It really kills the surprise when he sees that I spent $xx at whatever place. 
I think that's it, dolls.