Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Dining Room

Ever since we moved in to our rental (a year and a month ago already!), our dining room has been totally geared towards our boys. In other words, the table was as small as we could make it, the chairs were kept in the garage so the boys couldn't fall off of them, and the only thing we really used the room for was feeding the boys in their highchairs.

But that has all changed since switching the boys to their boosters seats. I bundled Levi and Asher into the car one morning, zipped out to Walmart, and snatched up a great area rug to center the dining room table over since our chandelier makes a horrible center to the room. I love actually having a dining room! Now I just need to find/make some thing to put on the wall to the right of the sliding door. I'm tired of not decorating just because we don't own the place.

Then it was off to Dollar Tree to get supplies for a centerpiece my friend Carly had shown me on this blog. I did a slightly different, more colorful version of the bottom piece, and I haven't hot glued it yet, but I love the effect...all for only $3!!! I'm sure you will recognize the fabric underneath as being scrap from my diaper bag extravaganza; as soon as a cute place mat or table runner catches my eye, this scrap will be going to better use, but it works for now! Then I just went outside to the tree in front of our place and grabbed a couple bunches of leaves to go between the hurricane vase and the candle. For free!

Again, it's a work in progress, but that's half the fun! I love the little hands you can see trying to reach the extra leaves in the corner of the's the story of my life these days. One eye on the project, one eye on the tiny hands trying to steal scraps of the project.

Speaking of tiny mom bought the boys some clothes and brought them over after Weight Watchers this morning. Both Levi and Asher are obsessed with trying to put clothes on themselves; problem is, they think everything goes on their legs, including shirts. It's awfully cute to watch them try so hard, though!

Asher putting on jeans.

Asher trying on the pants.

Levi just being darn cute.

I have a couple of very handsome boys, don't you think? They need haircuts, though. And I'm fighting the idea the whole way. But Levi's starting to look like he has a mullet, and I'm just not that devoted to my Eastern Oregon upbringing to support the comeback of the 'business in front, party in back' look.

And speaking of Weight Watchers...I weighed myself yesterday afternoon and I was exactly 128.0 lbs! My goal weight! This morning I weighed myself without any clothes on and was at 127.8...unfortunately, there's a pesky law regarding nudity in public, so even my lightest dress put my 0.2 lbs above my goal weight at weigh-in this morning. 0.2 lbs! ZERO POINT TWO! Isn't there a mercy rule for this sort of thing? You know, where they say, "You've been working so hard for so long, 0.2 lbs really is nothing so we're just going to say you're at goal weight!" Wishful thinking, I guess. So now I have to be SUPER good for another week, because my body just does not like to stay right at 128 lbs. Thankfully, after I reach goal I just have to stay within two pounds of 128, which I can easily do. So...keep me in your prayers, your fingers crossed, send good juju my way, whatever works for you. Cause I'm ready to be there, for pity sake!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Big Step

Up until now (as in, this very morning), we have been allowing the boys to eat breakfast in the living room while watching their morning OPB cartoons. Also up until now, breakfast has been fed to the boys by Daddy or Mommy's hands, as it consists of oatmeal and bananas...not exactly the most toddler + carpet friendly meal around. We've let this continue so long simply because they hadn't yet started fighting us on eating lunch and dinner in their highchairs.

Until now.

All the sudden, Asher was throwing fits and refusing to eat every time we stuck him in a high chair or booster seat. Every meal was beginning to feel like a battle. It wasn't until last night - when I took him out of his high chair to switch him to a booster seat, and he immediately ate the forkful of food he was refusing only 30 seconds earlier - that I realized maybe he was refusing to eat simply because he was confined to a chair.

Sure enough, as soon as he was in the booter seat, he was refusing to eat again. An ear-splitting 30 minute tantrum followed, as we tried to get him to feed himself while in the booster seat. It was painful. We ended up leaving him alone downstairs to cool off (nothing we were doing was stopping the screaming and crying), then giving him his sippy of milk and putting him to bed at 6:45 without dinner. Before you start thinking of us as terrible parents, let me remind you that this boy eats a TON of food throughout the day, and was flat refusing to eat dinner. He wasn't going to starve and is no worse for wear this morning.

At that point, we immediately resolved to not allow them to eat anywhere except at the table. It was time to nip this in the bud.

We've also decided to move the boys' lunch to just before their nap. For some reason, the boys' schedule had ended up being as follows: 8:00 wake up, breakfast, 12:00-3:00 nap, lunch, 5:30 dinner, 8:00 bed. This results in a space of only an hour and a half between lunch and dinner. Up until now (notice a theme?), that short amount of time hadn't been a problem. But we're hoping that by moving lunch to before their nap, they will be more hungry for dinner when it rolls around.

Well, this morning was my morning to get up with the boys, and I was determined to start the new eating rules. It worked like a dream! I'm sure some of you aren't all that surprised, as your almost-two year olds have already mastered the oatmeal on their own. Just let me remind you, we have twins. Twin boys, no less. Who are obsessed with throwing things on the floor. Oatmeal + twin boys = HUGE MESS! But not this morning!

I set up the booster seats, made two bowls of oatmeal, put two place mats down on the table, and let the boys go at it. They immediately dug in, and dig a great job. No mess! Ok, there was a little mess, but just right around their mouths. This is a huge deal, and an even bigger relief.

Levi (left) and Asher (right).



One of the best parts? It's officially time to retire the high chairs! My tiny dining room is heaving a sigh of relief. Now if only I could figure out how to convince the boys not to push the dining room chairs all over the place. Area rug? We also need to invest in some vinyl place mats that will stay in place and keep the boys' dishes from scooting all around the table.

Unfortunately, the chandelier in our dining room (you know, the one you would logically center your dining room table under?) is in an absolutely ridiculous spot. They put it smack dab in the middle of the room, rather than taking the breakfast bar into consideration. So when you center the table under the chandelier, the breakfast bar feels crowded. Sigh. Oh well, at least we don't own the place! Again, I'm thinking maybe an area rug? Maybe that would help create a new "center" to the room.

Or maybe I'm just too OCD.

Yeah. That could be it.

The Never-Ending Diaper Bag

Y'see, there was a pattern sale at Joann's last week. Any Butterick pattern for only 99 cents each; normally, patterns range anywhere from $8-$12. I was all over it. Surprised? I didn't think so. Three dress patterns, one short sleeved jacket, and...the diaper bag. I've been considering making diaper bags to sell, but wasn't sure if it would make sense...time-wise.

Let me tell you...time-wise, this pattern doesn't make ANY SENSE!!! Don't get me wrong, the actual sewing part is super duper easy and the pattern directions are a breeze to follow. But there are SO MANY PIECES! It took forever to cut out all the pieces. For-ev-er. I also had to change a couple of things - for example, I shortened the strap a good six inches on each side because otherwise the bag hung down to my knees. No joke. The other really annoying thing was that the pattern didn't tell you to add the velcro to the flap until the very end...which requires you to hand stitch three strips on. Sewing thick velcro by hand is NOT easy. Or comfortable. My thumb still hurts. Instead, I would move that step to just before sewing the flap front to the flap lining, which would mean being able to sew the velcro on by machine.

Thing is, I absolutely love this bag! It has a ton of pockets (three on the outside, five on the inside), is very sturdy, the main pocket is HUGE, and the long strap is a definite step up from the double short straps on our current diaper bag. Whenever we lean over to hold the boys' hands, the short straps immediately slip off our shoulders. Very annoying. This new one can be hung from one shoulder, or across your chest.

Oh, and have I mentioned how much I absolutely love love LOVE the fabric I found? Seriously? Who could say no to this fabric? I want to buy up Joann's entire stock. THAT is how much I love this fabric. Okay, maybe that's a little excessive, but I am considering buying more of the fabric to make a matching clutch and key fob.

The fabric. Love the little birds!

The whole bag.

The large front pocket.

Velcro side pocket.

Elastic side pocket.

HUUUUGE main pocket!

All the interior pockets, plus the key lanyard.

I think my favorite part of each project is showing the finished product to Nathan. His reactions are always gratifying, especially when he says things like, "This looks like something you would buy in a store." Thanks babe!

So, final conclusion? I would definitely make this bag to order, but the price would kind of need to make all the cutting worth my time! Ha ha ha!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thoughts From Yesterday

I had these random thoughts while driving around town yesterday, but completely ran out of time to post them...until now. At 6:55 am. The morning after getting off work at 1:00 am. After going on a 2 mile run. I need a nap.

  • I saw a man driving a beautiful red classic car, while dressed in sailor whites. Complete with the sailor cap. I felt like I had stepped back into another era and it made me smile.
  • Running a 5k in 85 degree weather is never comfortable. Or advisable.
  • I'm only 0.8 lbs away from my goal weight.
  • That's after getting up to 5 lbs above goal weight due to a friend's birthday party last Sunday that involved a little bit of splurging. Just a little. Ok, a lot.
  • Night before last I looked at pictures of the boys' delivery. I don't remember much of the delivery. I had been up for over 24 hours and was on magnesium. The pictures hurt my heart to see how absolutely tiny the boys were. I had to go in their room and snuggle Levi, just to remind myself that they're big and strong now. This was at 2:30 am. Thankfully, Levi didn't get mad at me.
  • Why do people think it's ok to take their very young kids on a walk at 11 pm? You would be amazed at how often I see people pushing strollers past the police department when I get off shift.
  • I bought a potty training seat yesterday.
  • Just the idea of potty training twin boys makes me shudder.
  • So does the idea of moving the same twins from cribs to real beds. Please no?
  • I am ridiculously excited about switching to day shift next month.
  • It's almost August.
  • Where did summer go?
Ok, it's shower time now, then off to Weight Watchers. Then it's nap time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Boys and Craftiness

As promised, I will try to post photos of the boys every time I post photos of projects I've done. I haven't felt particularly crafty or motivated lately - my job is kind of pushing me to the mental/emotional limit, but what's new? - thus the lack of posts. I prefer to keep things positive and happy on this blog, especially after how many ups and downs we've had over the past couple of years. But tonight, after my nightly browse through the craft blogs, I was inspired. But first, pictures of the boys that Nathan has taken with his phone!

Asher (left) and Levi (right) laughing at the birds at my parents' place.

Asher playing with the "mower" at our small group's bbq.

Levi sat in this swing and plucked at the ukulele for half an hour, completely content. That's our musical boy.

This is a "remember when" shot...the boys passed out back in August 2009, when they were only 11 months old! Where did time go?!

Yeah, my boys are pretty darn cute!

And now the crafty half of the blog. I've been wanting to make a fabric rosette headband for a while now, and finally got motivated to do it. The best part? I can wear it three different ways!

As a headband...

As a brooch to dress up a boring tank or tee...

Or as a fun necklace, unflatteringly referred to as a 'bib necklace' these days...

Btw, I decided to give myself a haircut the other night. I'm waiting to meet my goal weight before I use the gift card my mom gave me for the local salon, at which point I'll get a trim and some highlights. But this was just to get rid of some of the excess bulk at the back of my neck, where my hair grows the fastest. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

And let's not talk about the weight loss thing. Ok, fine, let's talk about it. I'm hovering right around 130 lbs...2 lbs away from my stupid goal weight. I'm frustrated. Annoyed. Tired of hovering. And missing running...but running in 90 degree weather is no fun, and my current schedule doesn't lend itself well to hitting the trails in the late evenings or early mornings when it's actually cool out. And forget being able to afford a gym. Ok, I'm done venting now.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sweet Baby James

I finally finished editing the photos I took of my sweet, adorable nephew James. They came out a lot better than I expected...and Pioneer Woman's photo shop actions rock my world! Here is a sample!

He's positively edible, and I can't wait to see him again!