Friday, November 30, 2012

"C" is for Craft (Holiday Wreath Edition)

I've enjoyed making wreaths for our front door this year.  I did one for summer and then changed out the flowers for fall.  Since I already have a lighted Christmas wreath, I didn't need anything new for my house this month.  But a friend recently bought a new home, so I decided a front door holiday wreath would be a nice housewarming gift.  It's definitely my favorite so far, and the possibilities for these are endless.  Original inspiration and instructions here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"C" is for Can

In September, the city issued new trash cans that are huge.  Ours is 64 gallons, and that's not even the largest one they offer.  Previously we kept our small, 32-gallon, trash can in the garage, but there's no room for a bigger one in there.  We needed to keep the new trash can in a reasonably accessible place, since we take all dirty diapers to the outside trash immediately, but our HOA prohibits the storage of trash cans that are visible from the street.  I asked John if he could build a little fence on the side of the house that would block the view of the trash can.  Then I also asked if he could put down pavers, so I didn't have to walk through any grass or mud to get there.  Last request--sit the can on pavers too.

He laid the pavers with sand and paver base at a slight angle so water drains away from the house.  They are perfectly level with the ground, and he even managed to work around the downspout drain coming off the house.  Then he measured for the fence that was just high enough to conceal the trash can but short enough for me to reach over.  What's even more impressive is that he completed most of the work on the weekends with Tully "helping".  If you've ever had help from a toddler, you know it usually involves more searching for misplaced tools and hidden hardware than actual productivity.

I should also mention that our neighbor paid nearly $500 for the little walkway outside her gate, and ours looks just as fabulous!  Now I can ignore all of the nasty-grams from our HOA about visible trash cans too.  Thanks, John!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"C" is for College

I've been wanting to hang a nice Texas A&M flag outside of our house for years now.  Half of the people in our neighborhood have OU or OSU flags up each weekend, and I've even seen one t.u. flag.  No bueno.  I felt like we needed bring some maroon and white to the area.  The previous home-owners had already installed a flag bracket near the garage, so I just needed the flag and a pole.  The flag part actually took a little thought and research because one-sided flags read from left to right and most are double-sided with the caveat that one side is the reverse of the other.  This would mean the flag text would face our house instead of out towards the street, and those driving by would see a backward image.  I figured out banner-style flags were smaller and usually came in double-sided versions that read correctly on both sides.  My other criteria was that the flag be embroidered and not screen printed, so the letters wouldn't peel off.  After I got the flag, we picked up a wooden flag pole at Lowes.

I was super proud and happy until John walked into the house that evening holding the flag telling me  the bracket snapped.  Our glorious flag lasted all of 6 hours.  Now we need to take down the old bracket and intall a new one.  I'm not sure how one installs a bracket on brick, but John is pretty handy, so hopefully we're flying our Aggie colors again soon...especially for the bowl game AND our Heisman candidate quarterback, "Johnny Football".  Gig 'Em, Ags!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"C" is for Craft (Thanks)

A friend on Facebook posted this little project, and I thought it would be perfect for Tully's teachers at Lake Hills Montessori.  They have been fantastic to create work specifically for him, since he is younger than the two and three year olds, and they were great to talk with us about Tully's poor behavior (See "C" is for Conference) and work towards a solution.

Original link for this project on Pinterest here.

items needed:
  • 5x7 thanks a latte print
  • card stock
  • coffee sleeves
  • stapler
  • double sided tape
  • gift card from starbucks or other coffee house
  • twine
I needed six cards, so I wanted two printed per page.  I quickly created a collage on and printed the image below.  (Double latte, anyone?  I'm so funny.)  I have a black and white laser printer, so I used orange card stock for color.

After trimming the edges with a paper cutter, I mostly followed the original directions, except I switched the last two steps, so I could staple the twine in place at the same time I attached the coffee sleeves to the paper.
  • trim the coffee sleeve to the appropriate width for your print cutting along the corrugated lines
  • place a piece of double sided tape to the very bottom of sleeve and attach to print
  • tie some fun twine around your gift
  • staple sides of the sleeve and twine
  • insert card
Ta da!

Monday, November 19, 2012

"C" is for Catalog

Does anyone else call customer service to be removed from the mailing list for every single unwanted catalog they get in the mail?  And why is it when I order something online companies automatically assume I'm going to become a catalog ordering customer?

I have a love-hate relationship with snail mail.  I hate junk mail, catalogs, flyers, etc., but I love personal cards and letters.  I keep all of them too.

I have notes from my mom that she would put in my lunch when I was in school and even the ones she mailed to me at college.  There are birthday cards, some pics of school friends and old boyfriends, some fun folders and items from my time as a Fish Camp counselor at Texas A&M, keepsakes from my wedding and honeymoon, and lots of holiday cards from friends and family.  Do I really need to keep all of it? Probably not.  I have no idea what I'll do with this stuff, but I managed to put it in some clear bins in an easily accessible location, so I can see everything and add to it, as needed.  I even started boxes for John and Tully.  John has an awesome scrapbook that his friends made when he was moving from Australia back to the U.S.  Apparently he was very popular with the ladies there!  There are also some great scrapbooks from one of his ex-girlfriends and his sister.  I love seeing how his life was before "us".  Maybe one day Tully or Clare will enjoy looking back through our things to see how we were when we were kids.  Until then, I'll keep stuffing memories into these bins and cataloging our lives.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"C" is for Child #2 (cont.)

I'm hoping to only take one more photo in this series.  Baby Clare is doing a number on this momma.  I feel HUGE, and Braxton Hicks contractions are in full effect, especially in the afternoons.  I'm also craving Hostess mini chocolate donuts and lemon water.  Related to the pregnancy?  Probably not.  I can down a bag of those donuts in one sitting with or without a baby in my belly.

I was getting ready for bed last night, and John asked me if I was OK.  I was totally fine, so I asked him why he asked me that.  He said I was huffing and puffing a lot and could hear me from the other room.  It's tough work hauling around this baby.  I even had to move a bar stool from our kitchen to the bathroom, so I could sit down while I got my pretty on.  (Notice the lack of toddler proofing on the cabinets?! Tully is finally staying out of them!)

I ordered Clare's crib sheets and picked up some newborn size diapers earlier this week, so I guess we're technically ready for her arrival.  Once the sheets are here and I get the furniture shuffled around how I want it, I can take pictures of the nursery.  It looks a lot like Tully's...but different...and pink! 

My Christmas shopping is 90% done too, so hopefully December goes smoothly and quickly.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"C" is for Conference

We frequently get Incident Reports from Tully's school.  They usually read something like "Tully tripped on another child's foot on the playground and scratched his arm" or "Tully fell out of his chair and bumped his head."  Last week I was at the Junior League Holiday Market helping my mom with a trade show when I got this in a text message from John.  (Click to enlarge)

He "hit, scratched, pinched, kicked and threw work at his friends and teachers" (UNPROVOKED?!) almost constantly for TWO HOURS!!!! What?  Proud mommy moment for sure.  Not.

He started napping at school last week, and it's been hit or miss (mostly miss).  His poor behavior was in the morning though, so it's not likely he was tired.  The only thing I can think is that I was gone Wednesday night and all day Thursday and Friday, so he was acting out.  He's been scratching the couch a lot recently, but his new scratching faces thing is getting out of hand.  I can only imagine what the scratching, pinching, and kicking combo looked like.  We are disciplining him for the scratching part very consistently at home with firm no's and timeouts.  A friend recently suggested making a "good boy" or "nice" book where he gets to put stickers on a page each time he does something good.  Sometimes he will fill Zach's dog bowl with food without us asking or help wipe up messes on the floor, so I could give him a sticker for that in hopes that he will seek out more positive attention from us.

We have a parent teacher conference scheduled for Thursday.  Here's to hoping they don't kick him out of school!
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