March 29, 2011


If you had asked me a year ago to describe how messy my house would be after having a child, I would've given you a veeeery modest answer.  I feel like I have a messy house all.the.time. Anyone else? I knew it would be different, since I'd be home most of the time, but I didn't even consider exhaustion, or feeling like a forgetful space-case most of the time.

"Where did I put my keys?"
"Did I not bring the diaper bag in from the car...?"
"Sure Liv has clean jammies; they're still in the dryer. I think."

I will never forget the day I sat in my cubicle at work, close to my due date, and Rhonda, who worked across from me, came over to see how I and baby were doing. "I used to be sharp," she told me. "Before my twin boys, I was as sharp as a tack." I thought she was joking. Nope. She was right on. But that's a topic for another day!

I've spent the last few days helping my parents move and settle into their apartment, and after helping them downsize from a townhome into a cozy 1,000 sq. ft place, I am spent. They are spent. All of us are spent. Stuff is just exhausting, isn't it? I keep thinking to myself, "Oh brother, what if we had to move? Where would I even begin?" Moving is overwhelming, no matter how much stuff you have I'm sure, but the more there is the merrier the worse it is. By far. Thankfully they've purged a lot, and are now in the settling process. Soon it will all be tidy and shiny and organized. Because my mom has the organizing gene I missed out on...

So once I recover from purgeville at my folks, I hope I can tackle some things at home. I think I just feel overwhelmed and then nothing gets done. So how do I overcome the overwhelmed feelings?

Getting out of the house for a walk has been the best solution to cleaning lately. You may call it avoidance; I call it getting some fresh air and a fresh perspective. So that's what we did today--Dex, Liv, and I went for a nice long walk, then stopped by the playground on the way home and swung on the swings and played in the dirt. Dex was tied to a metal pole of the swing set, and jumped around like a maniac whining for most of the time... isn't it amazing what you learn to tune out?

Now we're back, and ready to sort and fold some laundry.

Some messes are cuter than others.

March 23, 2011

granola parfait.

With all of the sunshiney mornings we've been having lately, I can't help but think of all the lovely fruit that's on its way this summer... and that made me think of yogurt parfaits, which made me think of homemade granola, which I haven't made in  As soon as I woke up this morning, I knew I had to make this yummy munchy stuff for breakfast.

Super-easy recipe:


1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup water
4 t. pure vanilla extract {i actually used almond extract today}
1 t. salt
8 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups chopped walnuts {optional; I opted out of these today}

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Combine brown sugar and water in microwavable bowl, and microwave for 3 minutes. Remove and stir; add vanilla and salt. Add oats and nuts to the mixture, and stir thoroughly, until all oats/nuts are covered. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake 45-60 minutes until golden and crunchy. Let cool before putting in an airtight container.


So I made Liv and I yogurt parfaits for breakfast--hers sans granola as the girl only has two teeth--and we "yummed" together and enjoyed the morning.

Livigirl loves fruit now, particularly green grapes. I love watching her light up when you get some of her favorite foods out {yogurt, graham crackers, milk, green beans, string cheese}, maybe because I'm easily exciteable when it comes to favorites too--something R always teases me about. ;) I'm glad she liked the fruit with the yogurt; I promised her we'd make more soon. And as soon as those teeth come in, I'll add some granola.

March 17, 2011

Project #2: Coat Closet


Slowly but surely, the organizing continues... This time I tackled our coat closet by the front door. Not horrendous, but certainly not great, either. One of my favorite parts of this before photo is the lovely kitty litter box, compliments of Costco, holding our winter gloves:

How classy. :) Believe it or not, most of the coats in this closet aren't mine--they're R's. I think we can pare it down, but I'll let him do that.

As with the linen closet, I took everything out {coats aside} and made a pile for what to keep, toss, and give to Goodwill. We typically store scarves, hats, gloves, shoes, coats, and purses in here, but I decided to move my purses to our bedroom closet, and may move my shoes too, but it's so convenient to have them at the ready. I'll probably just keep some flip flops and gym shoes here.


I found these cute wire baskets at Target awhile ago, and had them in another room; thought they'd be better utilized here. The basket on the far left holds umbrellas; the middle basket holds R's stuff, and the basket on the right holds mine. I'm still looking for ideas on how to store scarfs--they're too fun to just roll up and put away, but it works for now. :)

Now we have room for guest's shoes--not so much for their coats {yet}. But that's what the coat rack is for. :)

March 8, 2011

first birthday.

We had Livi's party on Saturday, full of family, a few friends, smiley babies, balloons, cupcakes, and a happy new one-year-old.  Liv even took some of her first steps that day, in front of everyone as they cheered her on! {Well--technically, she had taken "first steps" prior, but she took something like 8 or 9 steps all by herself! I need to watch the birthday video to confirm.}

I made lotsa colorful cupcakes with little picks that said "hip hip" on one side, and "horray" on the other--I finally splurged a whole 6 bucks and bought the little alphabet stamp set from JoAnns to do so. I've been eyeing this set for awhile, and I was glad to finally have a specific purpose for it. :)

The paper I used for the picks is what I also used for her name banner, which will soon be hung in her room:

The "happy first birthday" was printed on regular ole cardstock {I chose the font I wanted and selected "outline" under the format tab so the cardstock color would show} and cut them out while watching movies or the news.

I love this picture with Nana, and R and Carlos smiling in the background. I wish I had taken soooo many more pictures that day--like, with a million o's kind of wish. Now of course, I have a running list of what I should've snapped. I didn't take nearly enough. Next time, I really think I will make a list!

Liv had TWO cupcakes during her birthday week. TWO! The girl likes her sweets. We tested the waters on her actual birthday, and there wasn't one iota of hesitation. When she saw one again on Saturday, she was ready to dig in. Well--dig in in Livi terms, which means taking her time, little bite by little bite, enjoying every second. I love it.