Friday, December 18, 2009

Thanks to Librivox I have finally finished the two crochet blankets that I've been working on forever. It feels very good to have them done! Just in time to give to two little boys for x-mas :)

The green and blue one is for Jesse. He has been watching me work on this and knows that it's a present for him. He hasn't seen it all done and I know he will be happy to get it on Christmas morning. I think it's so sweet how much he likes it when I make him things!

This blanket is for Leo and it is very soft and fuzzy. Leo likes texture a lot more than Jesse ever did. I do expect him to open this up on Christmas morning and toss it aside with the appreciation for a blanket that most 2 year olds would have.

I'm trying to keep gifts very simple this year. I know my boys are pretty easy to please at this age and they don't need a ton of new toys and I very much want to leave a smaller footprint on our planet.

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Too much reading

I said I was going to stop reading when I finished my last pile of books, but I just have no will power. However, I am too lazy to go to the library and too poor to buy more books. So I have discovered two fun online options. and are two of my new favorites.

Readprint has over 8,000 online books to read and librivox contains audio recordings of books in the public domain (according to their site this is generally things published before 1923). Librivox is a really cool idea, anyone can volunteer to do recordings and it adds to the fun of listening in my opinion. The books I've listened to are broken into chapters read by different people all done well and some very well. I really enjoy different people's accents ;) So if you are in the mood for some classics, here are some free easy options!

So I decided to read Jane Austen since I had only read Pride and Prejudice and Emma before. I started with Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park and lastly, Northanger Abbey. For some parts I sat way too long in front of my computer reading and other parts I listened to audio recordings while I crocheted.

Northanger Abbey really surprised me, I had no idea that it would be so different from her other books. It was by far my favorite. I was laughing out loud the whole way through and Jacob thought I was nuts. It is kind of a parody of the Gothic novels- horror stories that were popular at the time which I am not at all familiar with. The main character is really into these books and it influences the way she sees things. Nearly every line in the book is funny!

Hmm.. what to read next? Enjoy some classics with me!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm back! It's been awhile since I've posted anything new, I've just been taking a bit of a break from the computer lately. That should mean that I've accomplished all kinds of wonderful things, but of course that's not so. :)

I've been playing a lot with these two sweetie pies of course. They are doing good by the way. Leo has to go for his booster (regular) flu shot this afternoon. Right in the middle of nap time naturally! I can't believe how many shots these poor kiddos have had this fall, and they are both still due for their booster swine flu shot in a couple weeks. Ughh!

Jesse has been sick the past few days with a fever. Today he seems to be doing much much better so I'm hopeful that we will still make it up to my parents' for Thanksgiving, we'll see.

This is what I've really been doing lately. Reading way too much! I love to read except that I just get so sucked in and I can't put the book down and I get nothing else done. So I'm done with my little pile of books and I'm done reading for awhile.

So here are my book reviews :)
I've read quite a few books by Nicholas Sparks and usually enjoy them, but The Choice disappointed me. I liked the falling in love story that most of the book is about, but I had a hard time appreciating the conflict of sorts that it built up to. I guess I didn't like his 'choice'.

The Lovely Bones was really good. I'm not very into horror/crime/murder mystery kinda stuff and I was skeptical this book would be along those lines. It is after all a story of a dead girl after she dies. This is a really beautiful story though more about the lasting effects her passing had on the people around her.

And lastly the Twilight Saga. Yeah this one is kinda embarrassing, but I enjoyed them so much that I'll own up to reading them ;) I was searching for anything decent from the grocery store book selection and saw Twilight. I really had no idea what it was, I thought it was a TV show. Anyway these books really pulled me in and I could barely wait to run out and get the next one. The books reminded me a little of the romance between Buffy and Angel in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show (yes, I liked that show ;) The idea is similar, Bella is a high school girl and Edward is a vampire- although in her eyes he is more of an angel. It is of course very silly, but such a fun story. There is a lot of humor in this very powerful love story along with the vampires, werewolves and supernatural.
I made one big mistake and rented the first twilight movie after finishing the books. The trailer looked awful, but I held out hope. It was so terrible I had to go back and re-read half of the last book just to reset the characters in my head. Don't judge these books by the movies.

Jacob and I are working on painting the kitchen, I will put up pictures when It's done. And this old toy box belonged to Jacob and his mom before him. I just got a new coat of paint and I still need to do the lid, but it's already getting used. I really like this color. It reminds me of the walls of my ancient elementary school.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Adventures in Thumb Sucking: My Novel

If you have seen Jesse over the past few weeks you may have noticed his little thumbnails have been painted. I'm pretty sure our little experiment has worked, so I'm ready to tell about it. Jesse has sucked his thumb for the past four years. One time I took him to the after hours clinic because I though he might have an ear infection. For some reason I was always paranoid about this but neither of my boys have ever had one, thankfully. Anyway, while we were there Jesse who was only one was of course sucking his thumb. The nurse felt the need to share the great advice she had received from the doctor that helped her son stop sucking his thumb.

This was his advice. First you tell your child that if they don't stop sucking their thumb that it will turn black and then fall off. Yes you heard me right. So then you sneak into their room at night and color their thumb with a magic marker. So they wake up and are too scared to suck their thumb again. As she let me in on this marvelous idea, I'm pretty sure I was speechless. I probably managed to say "Oh wow, thanks. My son is only one, so I'm not too worried about it now." Of course then the nurse left and the doctor came in and saw Jesse sucking his thumb and began telling me his wonderful advice that always works...

At the boys last dentist appointment the dentist told me that the thumb sucking was beginning to effect Jesse's teeth. He asked me if I wanted to know about a way to help him quit. I said of course, but not if it was really mean. He said "Oh it's mean, but it will work." He wrote down the name of a product to buy called Mavala Stop. It goes on like clear fingernail polish and tastes terrible. I had been telling Jesse for quite awhile that eventually he would need to stop his thumb sucking habit, and that I would help him. I wanted to wait till after he had settled into preschool and after his birthday.

We discussed thumb sucking and how it is bad for your teeth when kids get bigger. I started telling him that when kids suck their thumbs, after awhile they begin to taste yucky. I felt bad lying to him, so sometimes I mentioned that we would put something on his thumb to make it taste bad to help him quit the habit. He would tell me that he liked to suck his thumb and would keep doing it. I proposed that we try it for a few days and then after that if he wanted to suck his thumb he could. He liked this compromise.

Finally one evening I told him it was time and got the Mavala Stop out. He changed his mind and didn't want to do it ;) So I put some on my thumb and tasted it and told him it was a little yucky but look how shiny and sparkly it is! He agreed to have some on his non-sucking thumb. Then, as he was admiring that I offered to put some colored polish on his sucking thumb. His eyes lit up and I put a dot of color on and then a dab of Mavala Stop and told him it would taste bad. He agreed to keep it out of his mouth and happily admired his pretty thumbs.

Jesse understood what was going on and why and that it was all just temporary. He never threw any fits about it. A few times he would come to me on the verge of tears because he had forgot and sucked his thumb. I would get him a drink of water and he was all better. I was really amazed at how well he did with this. Every couple days I put a new dot of color for him and added a dot of Mavala Stop with out telling him. I did this for 2 weeks. I haven't talked much to Jesse about it since then because I don't want to encourage him to start the habit again. It has been 3 weeks of no thumb sucking! Oh, and his ear flipping habit is gone too:)

I am so happy that I was able to help him do this before it became a problem, and that we were able to do it in such a positive and understanding way. So now I just need to figure out how to deal with Leo's pacifier habit :) He only uses it in his crib and I think I should probably just take it away and he would get over it after a night or two. I just haven't had the nerve to do it! Maybe today is the day, I'll let you know.


Thursday, October 22, 2009


Last weekend we went up to my parents house and on the way back we stopped at the covered bridge festival in Mansfield. It was the last day and I think the nicest weather they had all week. We found the perfect guitar for Leo. He loves guitars, it was one of his first words. It's super cheap and junky and perfect for a 2 year old!

Although I am not looking forward to winter, I do really love nice fall weather. We're getting in the mood for Halloween.

Jesse and I carved our pumpkin early. This is the first pumpkin I have carved in many years and the first time using a kit. Jesse picked out the design and kept close track of my mistakes. He kept telling me to let him know if I messed up because he wanted to see.

This is my latest project. I have way too many ongoing and forgotten projects in this house.
I think it takes me about an hour to do a square and I want to make a blanket. I don't know if I will be able to stick with it long enough.

Other random weirdness in my house.

Quesadillas with cake decorating pens. It is usually hard to get Jesse to eat, but he has always enjoyed eating things that don't want to be eaten. He finds this idea extremely amusing. Especially if his food is saying "no, no please don't eat me Jess..mmphh..." while entering his mouth. Leo loves to laugh with Jesse but doesn't seem interested in eating food with faces. So anyway, this is what I've been up to. You know you were curious ;)


Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Leo!

My sweet little Leo turned 2 on Saturday. We had a fun time celebrating with our family and Leo enjoyed his big day. It was fun seeing him excited about opening presents.

My friend Veronica made the perfect cake for Leo! He was very excited when he saw it and kept saying "woo woo!" Thanks Veronica!! It was very yummy and I still have a train car in my freezer :)

I didn't get very many pictures, but both boys loved having their family come to party with us. I was happy both of my sisters were here. This is Auntie Sarah checking out Leo's new drum machine. (Thanks Grandma!)

The boys also LOVED having Sarah's dog, Brownie, come to visit them!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Random Stuff

First of all I just wanted to say that on my last post I went on about how difficult it is to attach snaps to the front of Bumgenius diapers. Well I realized (after about 4 diapers) that once you get the snap pieces in place you can just clamp the pliers around all the layers of fabric there. Easy peasy.

I do realize that only about five people read this blog and none of them cloth diaper ;) But to continue on this topic anyway... If my last post was enough to turn someone away from ordering their first diapers, I would highly recommend FuzziBunz one size diapers. They are wonderful and have snaps!

Okay, on to new stuff. I've been doing a bit of crocheting. First I made this odd pumpkin with a very lopsided face. I wasn't going to give it to Jesse, but as soon as I finished it he snatched it and hugged it as though it were a long lost child. So now the 'puckin' is his.

Then I made him a snake which I was calling snakey. Jesse helped pick the pattern and kept calling him a pattern snake. Leo loves kissing this snake and making it kiss everyone else. Jesse told me very seriously "Mom, I'm going to name him... *very long thoughtful pause* Snake!" He looked really pleased with himself for coming up with such a great name!

I like this picture :)

Finally, I made this little spider who I think will be allowed to go to a new home. We'll see.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Converting Bumgenius to snaps

Yes, I'm writing another post about cloth diapers. Yes, I'm still in love with them. :)

So, originally I bought 6 Bumgenius one size diapers (from Kelly's Closet). I think when I was choosing my first diapers I was a little unsure about snaps. I thought the closer to disposables, the better they would work. So I chose velcro. Because I only had 6 diapers I washed them every day and it was winter so I dried them in the dryer. After a few months the velcro was looking worn and it wasn't long before the velcro was just falling apart. As I added more diapers to my stash I set these aside to repair some day. Well that day had finally come for these lucky diapers!

I found instructions here on how to convert Bumgenius to snaps. I got snap pliers and 200 snaps from for about $30. If you want them to look really nice, after you remove all the velcro you can use a sweater shaver to get rid of all the pilling and snags that the velcro caused. I know I'm nuts.

The tutorial shows how to make a little template to mark where to put the snaps. I didn't do that, I just laid my ruler over the diaper like in the picture above (after the velcro has been removed). I could center it really nicely this way and marked about 1 inch down every inch across.

Putting the snaps on the tabs is pretty easy with the pliers, but the snaps on the front are much harder. You can get to the snaps by starting at the pocket opening in the back and feeding all of the liner fabric into the pliers. This is definitely pushing the limit on how much fabric can fit into the pliers and it gets hard to maneuver the pliers and the snap pieces, but it is doable.

Update: You don't really have to feed all that fabric into the pliers, just get the snap pieces into place and clamp the pliers around all of it! Super easy, it just took me a few diapers to realize it!!

The end result is a great diaper that Leo can once again wear. I just hope that's a washable crayon ;)


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


We had octodogs for lunch today! I first learned about these on Lunch in a Box (a very fun site) and Jesse always enjoys it when I make them. Both boys have been grumpy today so I thought this would make them smile. Jesse temporarily cheered up, Leo threw his on the floor.

You cut the hot dogs in half, then slice little legs and boil them.

These guys got little seaweed faces :)

Jesse's ocotdogs enjoyed some fun little theater before being eaten.

Leo usually loves hot dogs and has eaten these in the past, but I think he must have forgotten. Anyway, for once, Jesse ate more than Leo.

Have a great day!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

To Jesse

Jesse Owen
September 23, 2005
8 lb, 6 oz

Happy 4th Birthday


Happy Birthday Jesse!

Jesse's 4th birthday is on Wednesday! We had a fun family celebration on Saturday. In the morning I fixed the boys pancakes with syrup (which they've both had many times) and they both got a little red break out on their cheeks?! Leo gets little rashes from many things that I haven't identified yet, but Jesse never does. They didn't seem bothered, so on to opening presents!

Jesse loves Geotrax!

My friend Veronica made this awesome cake and the little sidekick cake from the extras!
It was as delicious as it was cool!!

Jesse said he doesn't like wishes so he got straight to blowing out the candles.

I think he was just very eager to "clean" off the cars so he could play with them.

Jesse enjoyed the cake and ice cream, but he is fairly neat and reserved. You know, as far as kids and cake go. :)
Leo, on the other hand, never hesitates to dig in!

I know what this little cutie wants for his birthday next month!


Monday, September 14, 2009

More Carpet Gone :)

Well, I'm posting these out of order. Before we tackled the boys' room, we did ours. I don't have a before picture. Just imagine the same ugly carpet and red walls. And a giant mess! Again, I love wood floors!! We moved their book case into our room. I thought it would have better chances of getting straightened up regularly.

The bed on the floor is really nice for having the kids in our room. This makes a nice area for reading, already the kids have been more interested! I like that I don't have to be so worried about Leo's safety in here. The headboard and foot board were too large for this space and made it hard to arrange nicely with the windows. They also had sharp edges for little heads. Before we put the house up for sale, we will probably raise the bed up on a frame.

Apparently Jesse has the tongue rolling gene :)

And we also have new blinds for the windows that will get put up someday!

We have quite a large art collection in our basement, so it's fun when we re-decorate to select new art for the walls. I love that these pictures work in this room because they are watercolor paintings by my grandpa, Jene Burns. He passed away a couple years ago, and it makes me happy to look at these pictures :)