Monday, July 23, 2012

Bree Who?

So it's been fairly close to a year since my last blog post and here I am to ask a favor of the readers I've neglected for so long. Shameful... I know. But you see it's purely out of desperation!

I've entered one of those annoying "Vote for me, vote for me, pleeease pleeease pleeease vote for me" contest in an attempt to win the stroller of my dreams. It ends tonight at midnight (TX time!) and though I've been in the ranks to win one these beautiful babies from Mountain Buggy, I've been bumped out on the last day. Have you seen Mountain Buggy's latest wonder?

It really is a thing of beauty. It's a side by side double stroller but it's the same width as their single!

It includes hammock style seats that fully recline for use from the newborn stage all the way up to 4-5 yr olds! It has separate canopies for each kiddo, air tires, an adjustable handle and this thing can be pushed with two fingers if need be (and as a soon to be mommy of six, I know my hands are full more often then not!)

They really have thought of everything here (they even include a bag to take the place of one seat when you no longer need a double!!) and I want one so stinking bad I can almost hear the postman ringing my doorbell with a giant box just for me.

So anyhow, I entered this competition and I need your help, your votes, your comments on my belly pic. If you've got a sec will you click on this link and leave a comment under my giant belly?

You don't have to sign up for anything, or "like" anything (you can "like" if you want but they don't count, only the comments do!) or anything else like that... Just leave me a comment telling me I'm a giant dufus for entering one of these things!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bad Blogger

I just don't know if I'll ever get the hang of this blogging thing.

I have so many things I want to blog about.  Several times a day I think about a new post. Sometimes I even commit to a new post and tell you guys it coming and then totally flake.  I think I still owe you picnic wedding photos, my 31 days to clean challenge progress and Halloween pictures!

Sometimes I get the whole thing typed up before it's time to upload the pics and I can't find my camera... or the cord... or the battery is dead.  Sometimes I don't get more than two sentences in before someone comes in screaming because they are hungry, hurt or just plain mad.

I'm still sewing up bunches and bunches of pretty little things and trying my hand at pattern making... I just haven't had time to share them with you guys.  I'm just a crummy blogger.

And I wish I could say it was going to get better and that I'm going to get the hang of this soon or that my schedule was going to ease up on me somehow... but the truth is I don't see why it would.

I need to implement some hardcore structure in my home and I'm just too lazy overwhelmed to do it!!

How do you busy blogging mommy's do it?  


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hot Wheels Customs...Hot or Not?

So far I have steered clear of reviews on my blog.  I've seen them on other blogs and the perks seem great but I'm not a big fan of reading them.  Is it just me or does everyone seem to love everything they review?

I promised to just avoid them all together, but when I was contacted about doing a review for the new Hot Wheels cars you can customize with your own photos, I got really excited and broke that promise in an attempt to check it out for free!

My oldest son's birthday was about a month away and I thought it would be a cool gift for him that I could include the younger boy in.  So my 3 and 5 year old and I hopped on the website and got to work.

The boys were instantly in heaven as I explained what we were going to do.  We looked through the very small selection and finally decide on "Passion" even though it was purple because it was the only car they had... the rest were all trucks and buses. 

We then decided on a picture of the birthday boy and uploaded and cropped to get it just right.  Then it was time to choose our message.  They boys really wanted it to say "Happy Birthday Mikey" but we were only allotted 17 characters on this particular car so the most we could get was "Happy Birthday Mi". 

We decided to try another car to see if we could get more letters (honestly I think they just realized that we were almost done and weren't ready for the fun to be up). So we started all over and this time we went with the HiWay Hauler. We also could have gone with the school bus that would have gotten us 36 letters but the boys would have no part in that.  "Who want's to play with a school bus?" Elijah asked!  They were kind enough to hang onto our photo so all we had to do was recrop and move on to the message. 


We finally had enough characters to write our happy birthday message and the boys decided that it should say Mikey's whole name so we went with that instead... goofy kids.

Next we moved onto the packaging. We were super excited to find one that read "Happy Birthday"! Perfect!

We accepted the long list of terms and aggreements and checked out! The car would arrive in about 4 weeks!

Fast forward 30 or so days to Mikey's birthday.  We were getting ready to head to his party and the package arrived!  We had completely forgotten about it by then. But the younger guys were so excited to see it and wrap it up.

At the party Mikey unwrapped it and his brothers showed him his face and name plastered all over it.  Mikey was pretty excited and went around showing his friends and family.

In short the process was fun, easy and pretty quick... even if the boys did drag it out as long as possible! I wish they would have had more selections and make it even more customizable with colors and fonts and frames (I hear they're working on it!) But the end result was still a pretty cool, one-of-a-kind gift.  

The car is actually pretty affordable at $7.99 but then with $4.95 shipping and sales tax tacked on it comes to $13.75.  Kinda much for one car (and the cheapskate in me cringes when I say this) but totally worth it for any boy who can't seem to cram enough hot wheels in his pockets every time he leaves the house!

Oh and right now you can score one for the price of the shipping and handling!! 

Just, purchase any of these specially marked products at Walmart:
  • Hot Wheels Sky Jump Track Set
  • Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Assortment
  • Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Starter Set
  • Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders Assortment
  • Hot Wheels Video Racer Micro Camera Car

Each specially marked package contains a coupon with a unique code. This offer expires December 31, 2011.

Okay my mini commercial is over... stay tuned for some DIY Halloween Costumes coming soon!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Busy Mama

I've been a crazy busy mama and have neglected my blog again but I've noticed a bit of a trend here... when my husband, who works a crummy, bleh schedule, works the night shift... I disappear!

My days look something like this:

6:30AM Wake up and get the 5 kids dressed, find the missing shoe and rush out the door for school.

8:00AM Back home for cereal and Dora and Diego with the 3 little ones.

8:30AM More cereal. Seriously. These kids could eat their weight in cereal.

9:00AM Find the kids trying to pour more cereal into cups so they can carry it to the living room (that or feeding the rest of the box to the dog!)

9:30AM Start watching the clock, begging it to move faster and trying desperately to justify laying them down for a nap early.

10:00AM Daily chores: laundry, dishes, floors, hotspots... etc.

10:15AM Take the toilet paper (or marker, or cup of dirt from outside, or bag of popsicles from the freezer) away from the kids, clean up the giant mess.
10:30AM Take the toilet paper (or marker, or cup of dirt from outside, or bag of popsicles from the freezer) away from the kids, clean up the giant mess and rip out wads of my hair in frustration.  

11:30AM Lunch time! Almost there!!
 Noon I made it!  I survived the morning and can now lay the kids down for nap guilt free!  

12:30PM The kids are down and it's time for some me time!  Grab a coke and veg out on Pinterest!! 

12:34PM Kids are screaming... must intervene before they wake up daddy.

12:40PM Back to Pinterest.

12:46PM Kids are screaming again...

12:55PM Back to Pinterest.

12:59PM You guessed it... more screaming.
NOTE: This could make for a really long boring blog post if I keep this up so in the interest of time I'll stop now.  But know that this continues until about 2:45PM

3:00PM Time to pick up the kids and wait in the 30minute pickup line.  Do not consider getting out of your car to pick up your kids quicker.  They will hold your children hostage and make you go to the end of the line for being so stupid.

3:30PM Finally back home where the big kids wake up daddy and the little kids within 10 minutes despite the 5 minute lecture and 3 reminders to be quiet.

4:00PM Dad takes the kids outside for baseball practice and I stay inside cooking up dinner.

5:00PM A frantic rush to get dinner on the table and Dad out the door!

5:30PM Clean up dinner and send the kids outside to run and scream and throw dirt.

6:00PM After breaking up several fights and banishing a couple  whiney kids from the kitchen I declare "movie night" and we all veg out in front of the TV together.

7:30PM Time to get ready for bed!  Sometimes I'm a good mom and we do baths and brush teeth... and sometimes I throw their PJs in the room and say prayers while I'm shutting the door.
Repeat the naptime situation here until about 9PM

It's all so very exhausting. 

But when he goes back to days, I wake up super early with him and send him off to work. The mornings are quiet and peaceful before the kids wake up and I have time to sit down in front of the computer or sewing machine.  

I really enjoy these mornings and unrushed dinners and having someone to crash with at the end of the day.  

So here's to a month of the day shift!  

Hopefully I can get back to my blog. I really do love it here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why Clean?

Homemakers Challenge

It's time to start the 31 Days to Clean Homemakers Challenge and the girls have us asking ourselves... Why clean? 

So why do I want a clean house?

I started thinking about my house, the state it's in now.  I thought about what it is for my family and what it should be.

When we bought this house 3 years ago it was a foreclosure. The walls were dirty, the carpet had been ripped up and the stained concrete slab was all that was left, the doors were drawn all over and covered in stickers and everything reeked of horrible 70s decor.  Oh you should have seen some of the light fixtures and the kitchen cabinets... wow.

But we had high hopes.  We scooped it up and dove right in, ready to make it ours.  Our first home.

We scraped the popcorn ceiling, knocked down walls, painted, put down real maple floors (that were ripped up within a year thanks to the boys flooding the house!) and installed new light fixtures and hardware and we did it all ourselves.

But before long we ran out of money and energy and instead of completing tasks on our to do list we started settling for things the way they were.

 I like to decorate my kitchen with a hunky guy cooking breakfast

Three years later we have a million unfinished projects.  We knocked down walls but didn't finish trimming them.  We pulled up the baseboards and installed our new flooring (twice) but didn't put the baseboards back down.  When we painted we didn't cut in the edges because we knew we were going to install crown molding but then never got to it.

It's a mess.  No matter how clean I keep it, it still looks like a mess.

So I stopped trying.  Stopped cleaning.  Let the mess take over.

So why clean now?

We've all started to hate this place.

I noticed that when the kids come home from school they beg to go somewhere. When I go to the grocery store I cringe at the thought of going home. When Mike has the day off the last place he wants to be is in that house.

It makes me sad.

We've lost our haven, our refuge, our home and all we have left is a shelter.

So I guess that's my answer.

I'm cleaning to restore that place of peace for my family.

And that's definitely worth a little bit of elbow grease huh?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crisis Cleaning Anyone?

Is anyone planning to join me for the Homemaker's "31 Days to Clean" Challenge?

Homemakers Challenge

It kicks off Sept. 1st and I'm am getting myself ready to go!

I have done these sort of challenges and routines in the past (FlyLady anyone?) but I always seem to throw the plan out the window at some point and dive head first into a crazy, binge cleaning, manic episode.  Only to crash an hour later and curl into the fetal position and rock myself back to sanity with a giant tub of rocky road.

I know. I know. Scary.

So this time I thought I'd help curb those urges to binge by doing a day of crisis cleaning a la FlyLady.  I have tried FlyLady a couple of times and I really like her approach.  But if you've been to her website and got completely lost... you are not alone.  I just don't know where to start and it doesn't seem like an easy program to adapt for your lifestyle. 

But her crisis cleaning is so easy.

Basically you clean in 15 minute intervals and move from room to room. 

1st- clean the kitchen for 15 minutes

2nd- When the timer goes off, stop and clean your living room for 15 minutes

3rd- When the timer goes off, go back to the kitchen and clean for 15 more minutes

4th- Stop and take a 15 minute break

And then start up again and shift rooms as needed! 

I have to change mine up a bit and give myself 15 minutes in between each room to tend to the kids pleas for a glass of milk or a potty break or to clean up a spill or whatever. 

But it's the perfect approach  for someone like me who, given more than 15 minutes, would start rearranging the pots and pans!

One HUGE tip from me to you... make sure you set your timer for 15 minutes for EVERYTHING!  That means if you are taking a 15 minute break to check your email... set the timer or you'll never come back!

Try it out and see how it works for you!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Time to Clean Up.

Life is crazy.

I'm stuck again. Overwhelmed. Trying to find some sort of balance in providing all the wants and needs of my family.

Lately I feel like I'm lost. Like I've lost control and I've created a mess of things.

I have to get back to some sort of order.

Last week I stumbled across the ebook, 31 Days to Clean- Having a Martha House the Mary Way.

It was only $4.99 to download so I grabbed it (another freebie thanks to my Swagbucks!)

So far I've read the first week and participated in the Mary & Martha challenges at the end of every chapter. The chapters are short, easy reads that take me under 5 minutes to finish. The Mary challenges are simple and get my mind thinking about what & why I want what I do and how to go after it. The Martha challenges are super easy and very straight forward. She breaks down the entire kitchen over a week... one day you clean the outside of your cabinets and the next you clean your oven.

I think this could actually work for me.

On September 1st The Homemaker's Challenge is kicking off a challenge running through the book together.

Homemakers Challenge

And so I'm going to put my neck out on the line and commit to this... publicly!  

Maybe a challenge is just what I need!!

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