You can’t get pinkeye from someone farting on your pillow. Probably.

Poor Matt.  He had a rough last day of school.  He came home looking worn out and kind of sad.  I asked what was wrong and he just broke down.  His two very best buddies are moving away to a different school districts.  At 10 years old, that is pretty much the end of the world.  I remember that sucky feeling.

Later that evening, he complained that his eyes were sore.  I assumed they were dry from crying and told him he would be fine.  He persisted, so I gave him some eye drops.

By bedtime, it was unmistakable.  He had pinkeye.

Blech.

And the very first case of pinkeye in our 10 years of parenting.  Weird.

His eyes were glued shut with crust this morning, and as you can see, he is very swollen and just kind of pathetic looking.  He will see the doctor today and hopefully get some eye drops to ease the pain.  Meanwhile he is oh so very quarantined.

 

DIY Hair Clip Holder

I have a baby cousin that is about the same age as my Saraphina.  We just celebrated her birthday this past weekend, which was super fun.  I knew months ago that I wanted to make her a hair bow holder, even though, as I have come to recently find out she doesn’t like to keep things on her head.  D’oh!  But babies can be trained.  Mine are.  And some day, she will wear them.  And she will have a spiffy place to store them, because I am awesome.  And modest.  Very modest.

I started with a wooden plaque from Michaels.  I drilled a hole in it for the ribbon to hang it, and sanded it very smoothly.  Then I added a few layers of paint.

I chose some pretty scrap book paper and cut it just slightly smaller than the inside oval and then used Mod Podge to hold it in place.  (Note I use Mod Podge, not Modge Podge.  There is a difference.  Crazy, anal crafters never use Modge Podge.)

I added letters for her name, and then I added several more coats of Mod Podge.  Once dry, I added the cutie patootie little owl and flower as embellishments.  Her birthday party was owl themed, so it was a perfect fit!

I glued a ribbon to the back of the plaque for the hair clips to get clipped to and I also added a ribbon to the top for hanging purposes.

I think it turned out super cute!  I also made the little flower hair clips, including one with a “C” for Celia, and the others had pretty jewels.  The flower clips are super easy, I’ll have to put up a tutorial for them soon.  My girls wear them all the time.  With Sara, I just clip them to her head bands, because her hair isn’t quite long enough to hold the clips yet.  It will get there soon enough.

Pretty simple, but a nice little decorative way to store those hair clips.  I had fun making it, I hope little Celia enjoys it!

New Bed!

English: Interior of a Sam's Club in California.

Four pregnancies and many years later, our bed right now is, to put it nicely, extremely uncomfortable.  Lumpy, bumpy, uneven, just a general hot mess.  During my latest pregnancy I bought a memory foam mattress topper, which made a huge difference.  The pain and pressure in my hips from the pregnancy induced relaxin overdose was greatly reduced.

As much as it may have helped, I think the mattress is just no longer our friend.  Too many mornings are spent creaking and cracking as we climb out of bed, complaining of aches and pains.  Not a great way to start the day.  Something had to be done.  So I bought a bed.  Online.

Since the memory foam was so kind to my aches and pains in the form of a mattress topper, I decided it would be worthwhile to test out a full memory foam mattress.  We did a lot of research.  (I say we, but I mean me.  Abe, the IT professional, sucks at Googling things and research in general.  Go figure.)  While Tempur-pedic sounded luxurious and wonderful, the prices were also very luxurious and not so wonderful for a family who is pinching pennies for the dream home.

So I turned to Sam’s Club.  Why not?

They have a huge selection of memory foam mattresses, along with a lot of reviews from very satisfied customers.  Many who said that they could not tell the difference between the Sam’s Club mattress and the official Tempur-pedic model.  Lets see, $6,000.00 for a mattress or $600.00?  Yeah, I’m gonna have to go with the $600, thanks.

After ordering last week, and tracking that baby ever since, it is officially on the truck to be delivered today.  I am excited!  Waiting right now for the delivery guy to show up.  My impatience will most definitely have me ripping into the boxes, trying to assemble everything myself before Abe even comes home from work.  That’s how I roll, patience may be a virtue, but it is a foreign concept to me.

I will either be successful and proudly show off my DIY skills when hubby comes home, or it will be an epic fail, leaving me crabby and spilling colorful words until hubby comes home to rescue me from the chaos I created for myself.

I much prefer the happy ending that makes me look good.  We shall see how the day goes.  Send your good DIY vibes my way.

I AM The Stair Master.

This weekend was Bella’s dance recital.  She was AWESOME, of course.  And no, I’m not just saying that because I am parentally obligated to do so.  This kid just rocks.

You know what does not rock?  Climbing stairs.  Lots of them.  Steep ones.  Roughly 28 times.  Ibuprofen has been my dearest, closest friend after all of those treks up and down the stairs to the dressing room and to our balcony seats.  Mama had a workout.  A forced workout, the very worst kind.  I think I was more tired and sweaty than all the little dancers combined.  Seriously.  That sucked.

Anyway.

This year Bella performed “Coppelia” with her ballet class.

Is that not the cutest little ballerina you ever saw?!

And her tap class performed “Land of 1000 Dances“.

Her dance team performed their competition dance, and at the end of the show was the grand finale where everyone was on stage together, dancing and having a great time.

Bella did both the afternoon and evening shows this year.  As you will recall, I was all whiny and complaining about having to do the four different hair styles.  Well, I did them.  For the first show.  For the second show, I did them, mostly.  After all that stair climbing, Mama was done.  I don’t think it took away from the performance at all, and by the 7th hair style change, poor Bella was done as well.  We agreed it was good enough and enjoyed the rest of the show.

Today she gets her studio photos done and then the costumes will be packed away in anticipation for the coming year’s costumes and routines.

I am so proud of my Bella Ballerina!!  We have watched her dance since she was in diapers.  We watch her dancing improve every year and we are constantly amazed at her ability to just get more and more awesome.

Talented kids, I gots ’em.

The End Is Near!

It is that magical, albeit stressful, time of year when the kids activities are finally coming to an end.  They only have a few days of school left, the last Girl Scout and Cub Scout meetings are now behind us, and Isabella’s dance recital is this weekend.

As everything is winding down, it’s the rushed chaos at the end that always seems to get me especially stretched thin.  This year, because Isabella is on the dance team, she has three dances to perform, along with the grand finale at the end.  And also, because she is on the dance team, she will be performing in both shows, the afternoon and the evening.

She is super excited, dancing is her life.  She loves the stage, and the stage certainly seems to enjoy her company as well.  Mama is…..not super excited, and that is a bummer.  I don’t get to sit and enjoy the show so much this year, because I will be running back stage for costume changes.  Four of them.  She is even supposed to have different hair styles for each dance.  I don’t know if I will do that.  I may rebel.  It’s not competition, it’s the end of year recital.  It should be stress free and enjoyable.  Right?  Right?

Recital day is going to be a very long day.  After dance pictures next week, I will be very happy to put the dance gear away until next season.  Well, she will have some summer classes.  Three weeks of technique classes for the dance team.  But then, then we will put away the dance gear and relax.

Matt wants to pick up Tae Kwan Do classes again this summer.  I suppose that will take the place of dance for a while, but he gets himself ready for that, and there is no crazy required this that and the other thing to dread at the end of session.

I didn’t mean for this post to sound so whiny and woe is me.  Honestly.  I guess my stress if spilling through because of the hectic schedule both today and tomorrow.  I love watching Isabella dance.  I love watching the recital.  I think the dance school expects too much from the parents that have kids in several different dances.  One hair style should suffice.  There is so much hair spray and bobby pins to keep one hair style in place, it would be a hot mess trying to unglue one style and make a new one for each dance.  Not to mention, doing that for each dance twice because of doing both shows.

See, I think that is what is really annoying me about the whole thing.  I think I need to just stick to my guns, do the one and only hairstyle and just enjoy the show.

Yes.  Yes, I will do that.

Probably.

Maybe.

We’ll see.

May Citrus Lane Box!

It’s another month, and time for another Citrus Lane box!  I’m telling you, it’s like Christmas when that sunny little box shows up on our door step!

This month’s theme is “Fun In The Sun.”

Well come on, Mama!  Let’s get the party started!

Lots of fun goodies this month that will be put to good use!

We were immediately greeted with this cheery, pink sun hat!

This is the iPlay Sun Protection Hat which retails for $15.00.  It is nice and big so it offers extra protection to delicate baby skin, including their little shoulders.  It is made from UV-protective fabric rated 50SPF+.

Perfect timing because we have an outdoor birthday party this weekend!  Sara will be adorable and protected at the same time.  Mama likes.

What’s this?

Speaking of sun protection…

Those yummy looking bottles are travel size versions of Episencial Sunny Sunscreen, made with minerals instead of yucky, harsh chemicals, to protect baby’s skin.  The lotion is nice and creamy, not greasy, and with no weird after smell like some sunscreens have.

Sara says they look good enough to eat.  But, to her, all things look that way.

This is Green Toys Stacking Cups, retail price $10.99.  No BPA or PVC, and they are made completely from recycled milk jugs!  How cool is that?  We have their tugboat, also made from recycled milk jugs.  It is a bath time favorite and very well made.  One spiffy thing about these cups, they teach math!  They are numbered on the bottom and are volumetrically accurate.  For example, if you fill cups 1 and 2, they will equal the volume of cup 3.  Ummm, that’s cool.

She already looks smarter, just holding the box!  I love how she is seriously studying the package.

We got a yummy snack in our box this month as well.  This is Plum Organics Greek Yogurt Blends, which retails for $1.49.  Organic fruit and veggie blended with yogurt, I am sure it will be a hit with Little Miss Saraphina.

If she can wait for me to open it for her…

This is the Kooshies Beach Bag, which retails for $7.99.  It is a breathable, lightweight backpack, perfect for throwing swimsuits, toys, sunscreen, snacks, you name it inside.  I also like that you can see through it, so you can instantly see what is inside.  Or what you forgot to put inside.  Not that I would forget anything…

This month, we generously received yet another $15 giftcard, this time to Joyus.com.  Just an added little extra for a belated Mother’s Day gift.  Nice touch.

And as always, there was the insert from Citrus Lane describing the products, offering bonus coupon codes and handy little tips for moms.

Adding it all up, this month’s value was over $50!  And I didn’t have to leave my home to get all these great goodies, they were all delivered right to my door.  That is awesome in my book.

If you are interested in joining Citrus Lane, so you too can get these awesome goodies delivered right to your door, sign up HERE.  I wrote a review of last month’s box as well, along with more details on how the service works.  You can find that post HERE.

Dream Meanings

Purple-throated Carib hummingbird feeding phot...

I had a dream last night that a hummingbird landed on my lips.  It was so delicate and beautiful, I held my breath so it wouldn’t get scared and fly away.

What does that mean?  I like to delve into the meanings of my dreams, sometimes I just analyze it myself and sometimes I like to look in a book or online to get inspiration for what it may mean.  Heres what I found online when I looked up the meaning of the hummingbird in my dream:

Hummingbirds

You are searching for the
sweetness of life. You may be literally focusing on how
to work with flowers or aromatherapy. You are learning
to be flexible and adaptable, making the most of
new circumstances. Your body is sensitive and intense
now, and you are focusing on your fierce appetite for
life experience. You need to raise your energy level
and have freedom from restriction. You are
looking for joy, and need to spread love and happiness
to others. You need to find the beauty and good inside
yourself and others, going deep, beyond the outer
layers. You are focusing on how to
live in the present moment and maintain inner stillness
while in action. Small ideas and concepts possess
much power. You are trying to shift away from having
flighty thoughts and frivolous ideas. Hummingbird is a
magical messenger, bringing special messages from
high spiritual levels.
So, there are a lot of things in that paragraph that could be relevant to me right now.  Maybe all of them are, a little.  Maybe I just dream about things I love.  I do love hummingbirds.  I like to think dreams have a deeper meaning though.  I have found that for myself, when I am able to analyze my dreams and try and interpret what they might be telling me, I often come to some surprising and often eye opening realizations about myself.
I’m all deep like that.

Feliz Dia de Las Madres!

We had a crazy busy weekend!  Matthew had his bowling birthday party on Friday night, followed by a sleepover with his cousin.  Saturday was filled with odds and ends, getting things done that needed to be done, and then there was Mother’s Day!  I love Mother’s Day.  I’d like to say I spent it doing absolutely nothing, but that would be a lie.  There’s always something that needs to be done, and Mama can’t rest until it’s done.  Correctly.  I’m OCD like that.

But one awesomely fun thing that I did, that I love to do, is work in my garden.  And now I have these gorgeous new tools to garden with:

Those beautiful tools were a Mother’s Day gift from my cousin.  They are almost too pretty to use!  Almost.  I love them.  I was not expecting a gift from her at all, but along with these awesome tools and super awesome seeds that I can not wait to plant, she gave me the sweetest, nicest card that literally made me cry.  It made me feel very loved, very appreciated, and very, very special.  I love her to pieces.

This Mother’s Day was also the day I got two, count them, two Keurig Coffee Makers.

Allow me to explain.  I have wanted a Keuring for quite awhile now.  They are nice, but they are definitely a luxury, not a necessity.  I would never buy one for myself, and I would certainly not ask or expect to get one as a gift.  Especially right now, when we are pinching pennies to buy our dream house next year!  Well, I am spoiled.  I really am.  Abe bought me a Keurig for Mother’s Day this year.  He originally bought me the machine on the right, the Elite model.

Now here’s where I may sound ungrateful, but let me assure you that I am not.  Abe works his butt off providing for this ever growing family of ours, and I try to always get the very best deals for our money to make it go that much further.  As it turns out, the machine on the left, the Signature model was only $10 more at Sam’s, and not only was it the deluxe, upgraded model, but being from a club store, it also came with a lot of extras that the original did not.  It came with the water filter, the My K cup for using your own coffee, and 36 K cups, compared to the 12 that the original came with.  It was just a much better value for the money, sooooo…… We went out and grabbed the Signature and ended up returning the Elite.

It was just too good of a deal to pass up, and I love my Keurig!  It is spiffy!  And having every single cup fresh brewed, mmmm, I definitely can appreciate the difference!

I told you I was spoiled!

We dropped by my Mom’s for a short visit yesterday.  We usually spend several hours together on Mother’s Day, but she is still recovering from surgery, so I didn’t want to stay too long.

I had this idea for a craft a few weeks ago when my lemonade pitcher broke.  It was plastic, and full of candy when it broke, thank goodness.  But the handle fell right off.  I have since decided to replace it with a glass pitcher, but not wanting to throw away the old one….

I decided to paint it, epoxy the handle back on, and use it as a vase for a Mother’s Day bouquet for my mom.  I don’t have the inbetween steps or even a good after picture, but I do have a picture of my mom with the kiddos and the vase.

You get the general idea.  Isn’t it pretty?  I liked how it turned out so much, I wanted to keep it for myself.  I figure that’s a pretty good gauge on if the gift you are giving is awesome.  If it’s so cool you want to keep it for yourself, good gift.  The flowers are silk.  My mama does not have the greenest of thumbs, and it’s kind of depressing when a pretty bouquet of flowers dies, don’t you think?

Anyway, that’s my Mom and her nasty surgery scar.  She is doing better every day, but is still feeling kind of worn out from the whole stress and ordeal of it all.

And here she is with the whole crew, Sara, Noah, Matt and Bella.  The kids are all looking at me, but Mom is looking at my Dad who is also taking a picture at the same time.  It’s still a good picture though.

So my Mother’s Day was awesome.  I was spoiled, I felt loved and appreciated, I spent the weekend with extended family and just having fun.  Yes, it was busy, but that is the life of a crazy person with four kids.  The craziness continues this week with dance class, dress rehearsals, recital, a sleepover, a birthday party, last full week of school, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, etc.  May is such an insane month for our family.  I will be welcoming June with open arms!

2 Liter Soda Bottle Doll Project

Mattman is in fourth grade this year, and was recently assigned his first “big” school project.  He brought home a list of famous Missouri people and was to write a paragraph about what made them famous and then, and here comes the fun part, make a doll of said famous person out of a 2 liter soda bottle.

Huh?

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “2 liter soda bottle doll”?  Something fugly, am I right?  Me too.  I groaned at the thought of the poor ugly thing before it was even made.  Also, what ever happened to just writing reports?  Or drawing a picture to go along with the report?

The name that stood out on the list, for obvious reasons, was Walt Disney.  Um, yeah.  We are Disney freaks in this house.  This was a no brainer.  No Daniel Boone, no George Washington Carver, we wanted to pay our respects the the man that created Mickey Mouse.

Last weekend we gathered supplies from Michaels, my regular supplier for all my crafting fixes.  We grabbed lots of felt, a big, way overpriced styrofoam ball for the head, and a tub of buttons that I had been wanting to get for various projects.  Two birds, one stone if you will.

I already had yarn and glue and lots of other things for inspiration.  I have to say, the fugly little doll, along with Matt’s awesome imagination, turned out….well, cute.  Really.  He decided to give it big button eyes, like a LalaLoopsy doll, and so of course it needed a stitched mouth.  Here’s what it turned out like:

We took artistic license, obviously.  But he has the dress pants, dress shirt and tie he was always seen in, along with Mickey Mouse ears and a folksy little stuffed Mickey in his arms. On the front of the hat, Matt made a Mickey Mouse Logo that Says Disney Land 1955, which is the year Disney Land opened.  On the back of the hat:

(sorry for the crappy, blurry picture) It says “Walt”, made with red yarn and glue, to look like the awesome personalized stitched ones that are so popular.

Okay, come on.  It’s not as fugly as you thought it would be, is it?  It’s even kind of cute.  Also, I learned a few things while helping with this project.

5 Things Mama Learned Whilst Assisting In The Fugly Doll Project:

1. Hot glue melts styrofoam.  Like, really, alot.  We’re talking massive craters.

2. Hot glue melts soda bottles.  Like, really, alot.  We’re talking crazy, warping.

3. Hot glue melts skin off of fingers.  Like, really, OWWWWWWWW!!!!  Holycrapballs!  I have only had my hot glue gun for a few short months, and I have always followed Martha Stewart’s advice of having a bowl of ice water handy, just in case.  Except this time.  The time I decided to get my very first hot glue gun burn.  And holy crap, does that hurt!!!  Alot!  Lesson learned.

4. Hot glue does not work well on felt.  Maybe I was just so annoyed and in pain from my burning flesh that I didn’t give it time to work well.  But we went to my old standby, E6000.  That glue is AWESOME.  And I have been using it for over 10 years without any injuries.  That’s the kind of track record I can appreciate.

5. Don’t doubt your kid.  I envisioned fugliness from the very beginning of this project and had tunnel vision, not able to even imagine a doll that didn’t suck.  But Matt amazed me with his creativity, as he always seems to do.  Sure, it’s not an exact replica of Mr Disney.  But who cares?  It was creative and it got the job done.  I love it.

So we survived the first “big” school project.  I’m sure as the years go by the projects will get harder and less fun.  But in the meantime, I enjoyed being proved wrong by my awesome kid.  He’s cool like that.

Fairy Gardens

I had mentioned before that we noticed some new construction in our fairy gardens, and wouldn’t you know it, it would appear that they moved into their new homes this weekend.

The house looks small, but they are magical beings, so they make it work.

Isabella named this fairy Violet.  She looks a bit shy, doesn’t she?  Abe said she isn’t a fairy because she doesn’t have wings.  Isabella and I know that fairies are magical and can hide their wings from buttheads that say they aren’t fairies.  Obviously, that is what happened in this case.  Obviously.

We named this fairy Azul.  Fitting since that does appear to be his favorite color.  Abe said that he is a gnome, not a fairy.  We know better.

This fairy garden is in a very sunny spot outside, so we picked plants that love full sun.  I just adore the teeny tiny little flowers!  So happy and pretty!

This fairy garden is in the back of the house, where it’s pretty shady, so we chose shade loving plants.

The shady fairies seem to be hiding in these pictures, but I’m sure we’ll catch them out and about in their garden soon.  They must have heard about the butthead that calls them gnomes and decided not to come out to play.