November Projects

As usual we have been busy working on projects in and around the house.

For this past month, I wanted to take on painting the doors to all the bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets. All of these doors were the original wood color. The rest of the house has white doors. While we painted the doors, we updated the knobs and hinges from the gold plated previous ones to silver. It brings the rooms into this decade and gives a final freshness to the house.

Another small thing we did was update the half bathroom. We stained a small vanity to replace the utility sink that was previously in the half bathroom. We also updated the mirror to a larger mirror with a wooden frame that matched the vanity. With the fresh new look, this bathroom no longer resembles a dingy old utility bathroom, but a nice bathroom for guests to use.

These projects being finished just means that the house is one step closer to being finished. I can’t wait!

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Why I Broke Our Rule about Christmas

Growing up my family had a rule that nothing Christmas related was to appear until after Thanksgiving Day. We would shop for Christmas ahead of time but we did not wrap gifts, no decorating the house, no Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. When I married my husband, we followed the same rule in our home. No Christmas until after Thanksgiving! This year I broke that rule.
This year I wrapped the gifts as soon as they came in or I purchased them. I had a large box stuffed in my closet and as the gifts arrived, I would wrap them and place them in that closet. About a week before Thanksgiving, some of the larger gifts were wrapped and placed in the living room where the tree goes to wait for the tree. I had run out of room in my closet and had to resort to the living room.
Another first for this year was that we decorated earlier. The girls and I decorated their playroom with Christmas décor the day before Thanksgiving. I put wreaths up on their playroom French doors. We put up their mini Christmas tree and decorated it with ornaments. Thanksgiving Day we pulled out the Christmas décor and decorated the outside of the house during the day. We put up our stockings and decorated the mantle. Thanksgiving night we decorated the Christmas tree and placed the wrapped presents under and around the tree.
This year by Thanksgiving night we were geared up for Christmas. I broke our family rule and decorated early.
Why? 
Why did I go against what my family had taught me for so many years? Why did I not stick to my own beliefs that Christmas came after the blessings of Thanksgiving? 
My reason for breaking this rule is because I am 34 weeks pregnant with our third child. 34 weeks was the week that I gave birth to my twin girls. So my mind is already in labor and delivery mode, or at least preparing for it. Another reason is that my baby boy is measuring big, could be on his own or could be that I have borderline gestational diabetes. My entire mind set right now is getting ready for the baby. So preparing our home for the holidays was something I wanted to get done early so that I could actually decorate. At 34 weeks pregnant, I am already restricted in the tasks I can complete. I wanted to have our house decorated as nice as we do each year, despite the fact that I am pregnant. I know that I have a few more weeks before we enter baby watch mode. So for 2015, we broke our family rule and prepared for Christmas early.

In the future we will most likely go back to decorating the day after Thanksgiving. My belief is to value the holiday of Thanks-giving but this is a rule that I think can be broken from time to time with good reason.

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Preparing the Playroom for a Baby

Preparing for Baby…In the Playroom

For three years the playroom has been designed specifically for our girls. Everything in there is for them. So in preparation for Baby M, we had to pull out the baby toys, swing, play mats, etc… and make room for them in the playroom.

The first thing we did was go through the girls’ baby toys and clean them. I had cleaned them before I put them away but I think it is important to reclean them. Then I got a few canvas tubs for storing the baby toys. I made sure that these tubs were a different color than the other ones that currently are in the playroom. That way the toys are specified for the baby. During this process I explained to the girls that these toys are baby toys. That they can play with them but they need to always put them back. I also explained that Baby M would play with these once he was big enough. Since that conversation they have brought up that those are the toys that Baby M can play with. I also made sure to explain to them that they have toys he can’t play with. Some of those toys will go to their room once he is here or just before so that there are no choking hazards laying around.

Another thing we did was remove the current recliner, we are using it in his room, and replaced it with a loveseat under the window. I wanted something to sit on that would hold more than just an adult in that room. We found a loveseat on wayfair.com that was perfect for the space. It will hold two adults and a child (sometimes two if one sits in an adults lap). The girls love having their “couch” in the playroom. They tell me that I am allowed to sit on it because I’m mommy but it is there couch.

After the recliner was removed and the loveseat was in, I brought in his swing, play mat, and bouncer. I wanted to have somethings in there to occupy him when I am in there with the girls.

The final thing we did to prepare the playroom for a new baby was to remove some of the big girl toys that had small pieces. We moved those special toys to the girls room. They have been told that they can play with those toys in their room during quiet time but that they have to pick up all pieces after they finish playing.

I also took this time to update some of the decor. Everything had been geared towards girls and now I want gender neutral. The biggest thing was to change the alphabet letters from flowers and pink to something that boys and girls can like. I bought a scrapbook woodland retreat packet so I could recover their letters. I added their names into the playroom. These were the major changes that I made to the room. I left some room for his baby pictures to come into the playroom after he is born.

Original Letters for Girls Only
Updated Letters for a gender neutral room

**Pictures will come later.

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Thanksgiving Blessings

Normally I will post on Facebook blessings during the month of November. This year I decided to post my blessings here on my blog. Many people have a blessing for each day of the month leading up to Thanksgiving. 
Family
My first blessing is my family. This blessing is the most important to me and something I am thankful for each day of the year. My husband and my children are at the top of this list. I love them with all of my heart. 
My husband is such an amazing, strong, honest man whom I love dearly. I cannot imagine my life without him, and don’t want to ever find out what that would be like. He stands by me each and every day, supports our family, gives his all to our children, marriage, and home. He amazes me each and every day! 
My sweet girls are another blessing that I cannot imagine my life without. I will admit that days are hard and long, that they test my patience as much as they can. Some days are harder than others but I wouldn’t change how they are in the slightest bit. Bailey is my princess. She loves to dress up, wear tiaras, jewelry, “makeup”, etc… But in the same sense, she loves to play in the sand, dirt, mud whatever she can find. Brooke also loves the dress up time but also loves to throw a ball and play games. Her favorite thing is to dance with her daddy. 🙂 Spending each day with them is a blessing, a blessing that I can’t imagine doing anything else. 
My sweet baby boy is another blessing. This is a more recent blessing in my life because I have only grown to know him through his kicks and movement in my belly. I cherish each movement that I feel. I cannot wait to meet him in a few short months. 
I came from a really big family with a lot of brothers and sisters. Since marrying Joel, my family has just grown more. I am thankful for each person in my family. I love my big family! 
My home
Although this home wasn’t my first choice, I am thankful that we have a place to call home. As times get hard throughout the country, I am thankful for a place to raise my children. It has been a long three years of remodeling and updating but we have a house that is a warm and cozy home for all of us. 
My Health
Throughout my life, my health has been a struggle for me. From around 10 years old until post-college, I have faced illnesses that have altered my life. Some more than others. Some of the illnesses have caused other issues for me that still affect me today. But my health is something that I am thankful for. My illnesses are either gone or in remission and have remained in remission. I am healthy enough to carry my baby boy, hopefully to full term. I was recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes but I do not think of this as a bad event. It enlightens me on the way I should be eating and how I need to improve my eating habits to make my life healthier. 
I hope that this holiday season, you find many things to feel blessed about, for, or because of. 

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Baby Showers

For Baby M I had two baby showers. One in Houston and one in Kilgore.

Houston Baby Shower

Theme: The theme was Little Pumpkin with a fall theme.

Outfit: I wore a shirt that said pumpkin smuggler that went with our Little Pumpkin theme.

Hosted By: This shower was hosted by my mom, step mom, three of my sisters, and my sister-in-law. There were so many cute decorations.

Decorations: My mom’s house was decorated so cute. They had pumpkins every where and the rooms were decorated in beautiful fall colors.

Unfortunately it was raining due to the hurricane that hit Mexico the previous days, so some friends and family were not able to attend. The family and friends that did make it, had fun playing games and looking at all the baby items that Baby M received.

Gifts: He received clothes, bath stuff, books, and bedding. The girls also received a few big sister gifts. We all wanted to make sure that they had something to make them feel important in this whole process.

Kilgore Baby Shower

Theme: The theme was chevron, baby boy.

Hosted By: This shower was hosted by my mother-in-law and two of Joel’s aunts.

Outfit: I wore a cute black and white maternity top with maternity jeggings and boots.

Decorations: Mason’s name in wooden letters, cute baby bath toys, and chevron print.

Gifts: He received clothes, bath stuff, blankets, and a few toys. Every thing was perfect for the upcoming months when he is finally here. The girls also received a few big sister gifts at this shower. They received big sister shirts that match Mason’s baby brother onesie that they will give him at birth. There were also books on how to be a big sister.

Both showers were on the rainiest of days. It was ironic that both of them were that rainy. We all enjoyed both of the showers that celebrated our sweet baby boy.

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Sneak Peek At Baby M’s Nursery

For Baby M’s nursery we are using the colors gray, white, and navy blue. The room was a lavender color because of the girls’ nursery colors, so we painted it a light gray to go with his colors.

His Crib
For baby M’s nursery we have chosen to re-use one of the girls cribs. The girls currently are in their twin beds so they do not need the full size beds, we have converter cribs, for a while. So until he is ready to be in his own twin size bed, we will use one of the cribs. We updated his mattress with an organic mattress from Amazon.

His bedding includes gray, white, and navy sheets. Instead of purchasing or making a bedspread, I asked my mother-in-law to crochet him a navy and white blanket. We had a bedspread for both girls in the beginning but they did not use it until after they were a year old. The first few months they were swaddled. After that they used crochet blankets. The crochet blankets were safer in my opinion because they had all the holes that allowed them to breathe.

I made him a teething crib rail that you can find here at Teething Crib Rail.

Furniture
I have a small amount of furniture in his room. It includes his crib, a recliner for me, his dresser, and a small book shelf. His room is very small so there is a limited amount of space. I never used a changing table with my girls so I chose not to use one again with him. This time I am using his dresser top for a changing table. It works so much better and makes more sense when you lack the space. His dresser is somewhat of a family heirloom. Baby M will be the third generation to use this dresser, so it makes it special.

Wall Decor
Like I stated before, his nursery walls are painted a light gray color. For decor we used a few things that were in Joel’s room as a child. He had a cross stitched prayer, a cross stitched letter from a mother to her son, and horses poster that Joel really wanted to use in Baby M’s room. I found a measuring board that was a stained piece of wood from hobby lobby that I loved for his room.

I also created a wall decor with this name. I created two signs in Microsoft Word. The first one says Dream Big, Little One. The second one is the lyrics to “You are My Sunshine.” Both are in Gray and Navy. I have one additional framed art that will come in after he is born. It will have the details of his birth (weight, length, time, date, etc…). You can see those above his bed in the above picture.

For each of our children we have their name hanging above their bed or somewhere in their room. For the girls, Joel created a shadow box that stores their name. For Baby M, we have his name in wood letters above his bed. These were painted blue and gray with animal stickers. They were made by an aunt of Joel’s that had them at one of my baby showers for me.

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Weekends in Review (Months of September and October)

I have been trying to write a weekend in review each week but have been so busy the last two months and unable to write a review each weekend. So I thought I would do a recap of the past two months.

Weekends in September

September started out with the girls’ birthday party the first weekend in September. You can read about their party here at 3rd Birthday Party.

The next weekend was our first weekend off in months. So we just relaxed the entire weekend. It was such a nice weekend to relax and not worry about parties or house remodeling or anything else.

The third weekend was my family reunion. This took place about 5 hours from here so we left mid day Friday to make it early that evening. We really enjoyed visiting with family both Friday and Saturday. I was in charge of games along with my sister and cousin’s wife. The games were a success but also taught us of some things to change up for next year. We drove home that Sunday morning.

The last weekend in September was back to remodeling the house. It was finally time to repaint the nursery. For the girls we painted it lavender so we needed to change the color.

Weekends in October

The first weekend in October, Joel’s parents came to visit. We took the girls’ to the local farm that weekend. The farm has a pumpkin patch, cow train, farm animals, slides, etc… that the kids love playing on. We really had fun at the farm and the girls’ love visits from grandparents. It makes the weekend very special.

The second weekend in October was back to remodeling. We worked on the half bathroom, which is the final bathroom to finish. We retiled the floor two years ago when we did the kitchen but never upgraded the sink from a utility sink to a vanity. So this weekend was staining the vanity, updating the mirrior, and light fixture. The location of the bathroom is off of the laundry room which makes it a utility bathroom, which is why the utility sink was acceptable. I really wanted to make the bathroom nicer because it is the one most of our guests use. This finished all the bathroom projects.

The third weekend in October we hosted a couple’s bbq for some friends that are getting married next month. Other than the bbq, we spent a little time working on small projects around the house to finish anything that we haven’t completed.

The fourth weekend we were in Houston for my mom’s graduation. She received her Master’s Degree in August and the graduation ceremony was this weekend. While we were in Houston, my mom, three of my sisters, step mom, and sister-in-law threw me a baby shower for Baby M. It was a special weekend. We also had our first time out in several months. We went to a Halloween costume party Saturday night. Joel and I dressed as Mario and Luigi.

The last weekend in October was Halloween. We took the girls trick or treating around our neighborhood. This year they dressed up as Elsa and Anna from Frozen. You can read about our Halloween adventures here at Halloween 2015. This weekend we installed the fireplace doors and a few other small projects this weekend like painting bedroom doors and repairing things on that honey-do list of Joel’s. I worked a little in Baby M’s room trying to get things ready for the dresser to arrive. Joel also worked on a picture from for a horse poster that he loved and wanted in Baby M’s room.

Stay tuned to see how upcoming weekends in November are.

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Halloween 2015

We have celebrated Halloween over the past week at our house. It all started with Joel and I going to a friends Halloween party the Saturday we were in Houston visiting family. We had a lot of fun! It’s not very often that we can get together with old friends and this was one of those special occassions. Thank goodness that grandparents are the best baby sitters!

Joel and I dressed up as Mario and Luigi. This was a very special thing because Joel is not interested in dressing up for Halloween. Buying costumes and having to wear them to a costume party is not something he cares for. But for the sake of the costume party with old friends and making his pregnant wife happy, he agreed to dress up. Of course this meant that I had to find a costume that was easy to put together and something he would wear. I also did not like any of the maternity costumes available. So we chose to be simple. We had long sleeve solid green and red shirts. Mine was maternity. We had suspenders that I hot glued Mario stars to. Then I hot glued the M and L logos that I downloaded from the internet onto a red and green hat that we already had. I ordered some white marching band gloves that wore as well. This made a very simple but cute costume.

The girls dressed up as Elsa and Anna this year for Halloween. I was able to find their costumes for under $15 each on Amazon. They both loved their costumes this year.

Here is a collage of the four years of costumes. 

Halloween continued on that following Thursday. The girls shool puts on a Pumpkin parade that allows the children to parade in their costumes for all the parents to see. It is absolutely precious to watch all the children in their costumes. Most are terrified by all the parents staring at them. As they leave the parade, all the children go trick or treating around the church. This gives them a longer opportunity to show off their costumes.

Our final Halloween activity was trick or treating on Halloween night. Joel and I decided to take the girls into the neighborhood across from ours as our neighborhood doesn’t have many trick or treating houses. We walked over a few blocks and started the trick or treating just after 6:30. We thought this would make it less crowded and a little easier to get the girls through trick or treating. Boy were we wrong. It was almost as crowded and crazy as it was the year before. We were out there about an hour and 15 minutes, stopped at about 15 houses and were ready to go home. It was exhausting! We still had our walk back home. By this time it was dark and everyone was ready to go home. This is one holiday I am glad is over.

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Breakfast Casserole Muffins

Last week we traveled out of town very early in the morning. I wanted to make sure we had something healthy for breakfast on the road. My original thought was to make burritos but then I found a recipe which inspired me to make my own muffins.

The original recipe called for bread, eggs mixture, and ham. That did not sound appealing to me so I made it a little different.

Breakfast Casserole Muffins

9 eggs
hashbrowns
1 1/4 cup milk
Shredded cheese
5-6 slices crumbled cooked bacon (varies)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spray the muffin pan with oil. I used olive oil.
3. Put the hashbrowns in filling the cups.

 

Mix the eggs and milk together in a bowl to create an egg mixture.

4. Pour the egg mixture on top of the hashbrowns. I poured approximately 1/3 cup in each muffin cup. You want to make sure you pour an even amount.

5. Top the egg mixture with shredded cheese.
6. Add the bacon crumbles on top of the mixture. I only added bacon to a few of the cups because I do not like the bacon. You can add more or less depending on what you like. This would be a good place to supplement ground sausage or ham.

7. Bake the casserole for 15-18 minutes in the oven.

You can freeze the egg muffins for a later date. They are small for kids and perfect for breakfast on the go. Enjoy!

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