Fly on the Wall: Beer is a Treat

Ever want to be a fly on the wall in someone else’s home? Today you can be a little fly!

14 fabulous bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d hear and see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house and check out the links below for more Fly posts.

Fly on the Wall Post

Valentine’s Day Cards

I encourage the kids to make Valentine’s Day cards for family. I love making these cards because they are so easy to throw together. Big sister told Daddy, “Well, you never make me any pictures (or cards).” Good point!! So Daddy O. and I had a craft night after the kids went to bed. Here’s what we made:

Valentine's Day Cards

Our Valentine’s Day Cards from top left – little brother, big sister, bottom left – my card to Daddy O. and Daddy O’s cards to our kids

The card that my hubby made for me had multiple meanings:

the valentines day card I received

Front: Happy Valentine! Inside: I only have crazy / googley eyes for you.

The crazy eyes fell off – one by one, so the meaning became, “I only have one eye for you,” and then “I only have a smile for you!”  At any rate, I love him for taking the time to craft for us all.  Big sister liked the card that he made so much that she had to copy it down to the exact snowflakes used. It was cute!

On the Road

To spite this cold winter, we have been staying active and doing fun things in the area. On the way to children’s museums or other activities, interesting comments always happen. Here are a few gems:

  • On the radio, the kids heard, “Boogie all night long,” so they started to giggle, saying boogie.  Daddy O. explained, “No, not boogie like booger, boogie like dance.” They kids weren’t buying it and just giggled away.
  • We were driving with our kids and their similar aged nephews, and they explained to us: “My dad doesn’t drink milk. His stomach wasn’t made for it. He only drinks orange juice and water.” The younger chap chimed in, “And beer.” Then the oldest jumped in, “but beer is only a treat.” Daddy O. and I were had to stifle our chuckles.
  • Earball – this is our daughter’s hilarious new term. Did you know we have an earball?

You know your kids are getting older when

While at a children’s museum with our kids, Daddy O. and I happily watched our kids climb all over the playland – similar to the type you see at McDonald’s with multiple levels, brightly colored plastic tunnels, and tube slides. I had a realization while standing there, saying, “Do you realize that now we don’t have to crawl up in that play-thing to rescue our kids?! They can manage that on their own now at age 3 and 5.”  This may not seem like a big deal, but after crawling into those numerous times for rescue extractions, it IS a big deal.  Those playlands smell like stinky feet and I’m sure are big germ-collectors. Ugh!  So yes, our kids are getting older!

Big sister has been lamenting, “When am going to lose my baby teeth? I’m TIRED of my baby teeth!”  After going to the dentist recently, she won’t have to wait much longer. Two of them are loose. She is getting older for sure!

When coloring a picture, little brother told me, “Mom, I made an explosion.”  My reply, “Wow – good! As long as it’s on paper and not in your pants.” I think my humor was lost on him…but yes, that is ANOTHER HUGE benefit of kids getting older: fewer bathroom accidents! Love that!

Old friends are the best friends

One of my dearest friends who has known me since elementary school came and visited last month. After putting the kids to bed, we were up chatting about everything, just catching up on what’s going on in our lives, hitting seemingly every topic under the sun. After a few yawns, my friend said, “Wow, what time is it? I bet it’s really late.” I got up and checked the time. “It’s 10:00 p.m. – wow, we ARE old.”  Spoken like two tired moms! Ha ha!

Later that same weekend, my friend was paging through a magazine and paused on an ad sponsored by a drug manufacturer. She read through some of the odd warnings, and mused, “Did you ever think that they have to write this stuff because someone has tried this before?” Ick.

What’s in a name?

Little brother has a little stuff kitty that is so little that it can fit in the palm of my hand. He has really clung to it and has given it various names. It started out as baby kitty. Then it became Pitty Kitty. When cousins were over, they enjoyed rhyming words with pitty, and yes, they came up with sh*tty!  More creative names for the kitty were la la French fry, gaga French fry, and bathroom sink.  I have no idea what baby kitty’s name is now!

We love jewels

Big sister randomly said, “Mom, you should buy Brewer earrings.” (as in the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team) I responded, “Okay. You sure want to buy a lot of things.” She explained, “I love jewels more than anything!!” Little does she know that professional baseball team earrings that she is thinking of have very little to do with jewels that are kept and cherished.  Until she knows the difference, I think she would enjoy a be-dazzler!

Thanks for stopping by! Now check out what’s going on in some other homes:                          Spatulas on Parade                          Follow me home           Stacy Sews and Schools                     Battered Hope                              Just A Little Nutty                                  The Momisodes                    Someone Else’s Genius    Eileen’s Perpetually Busy               Juicebox Confession                    Dinosaur Superhero Mommy          Menopausal Mother                        Disneyland in Kentucky

Baking in a Tornado

Last Minute, Easy Valentine’s Day Craft

Given the extreme cold and general winter-blahs (as I wrote about here), we had fun crafting today! Little brother made an awesome wax paper heart sun-catcher this morning, so naturally, when big sister came home and saw it, she wanted to make one too.  I loved this project because it only required materials that we already had at home. Take a look:

valentines craft supplies

Supplies needed: wax paper, glue, variety of tissue paper, and sparkly gems / buttons.

I just used random tissue paper that we had left over with our gift wrapping supplies and cut it into shapes per my daughter’s request. I also traced the heart on wax paper, using little brother’s as a template. I cut it out myself instead of letting big sister do it, since the paper is so thin and delicate. Our glue sticks tend to dry-out too quickly, so I just squirt some glue into a cap of a recycled container (I think this is from a spice jar) for my kids to dip the paper into. Voila! That’s all you need! Here’s our finished product:

heart shaped sun-catcher craft

Cute, colorful wax paper sun-catcher decor brightening up our view

This is what my dining room table looked like after our major crafting:

craft supply mess

one big creative, crafty mess

You can see a scrapbook type box in the middle of the table, which we use for holding my kids craft supplies.  It all jams in there nicely and cleaned up pretty easily.  All in all this was a fun, last minute, and easy Valentine’s Day craft.

Surviving the Winter Doldrums

Winter – bleh! Haven’t we all had enough of it?! It’s tough to get through the entire season without feeling a bit stir-crazy or blue at times. It’s just SO cold! This morning it was below zero with a wind chill, so I put on my big girl (long) undies under my pants & braved it to the bus stop with my kids.  As I’ve said before, you just have to get out in spite of the cold!

A few other saving graces to make it easier to survive the winter doldrums are:

  • Spring cleaning / organizing in winter – It does feel so good to go through various parts of our house and review what we really use and need. I had a visit from a dear friend inspire me to get organized. You can read more about that here.
  • Enjoy a stay-cation – we went to local nature center(s) / parks, headed to a children’s museum / bouncy house place, and enjoyed an indoor waterpark.
  • Talk with friends – I was feeling a bit blah, but an actual phone conversation with a dear friend really brightened my spirits.
  • PLAN something – a getaway, next year’s winter vacation, a date night, play date, kid’s activities, or girls’ night – anything! I’m a big planner, so this is totally in my wheelhouse!
  • Get outside, weather permitting – my kids are less crazy when they get some fresh air. Likewise Daddy O. and I did some snowshoeing recently, and it DID feel nice to get some exercise and actually feel warm when in the snow.

    My kids sure love playing in and eating the snow!

    My kids sure love playing in and eating the snow!

  • Get crafty – I’m loving some Valentine’s crafting right now. Soon I’ll attack some scrapbook pages that I’ve been meaning to make too.
  • Curl up with a good book. I just read Unbroken – a little too quickly because I’m now in search of another fantastic read.
  • Read other blogs – commiserate with them & get ideas on fun things to try!

Here are some of a few blogs I follow that seemed so relevant to surviving winter:

Momma Blogs A Lot – What’s Saving My Life Right Now

The Pinterested Parent – Toddler Science Made Easy (and so many more fun ideas)

When the Kids Go to Bed – Snow Fortresses Aren’t Just for Kids

Mom Turned Mum – Make: Snow Ice Cream (hey, my kids are eating it already anyway!)

How are you getting through winter? I’d love to hear your tips & tricks!

Forget Spring Cleaning – Winter Organizing 101

Winter has us cooped up inside for most days, though Wisconsin weather HAS been quite kind to us as of late, so we’ve been able to enjoy playing in the snow. Still with all the indoor time it is a prime opportunity to get organized!!

A visit from one of my dearest friends, who has know me since 5th grade, was exactly what I needed to get inspired and start organizing.  Here’s how she helped me attack at least one room – our living room:

  1. Dump out one bin or focus on one area at a time. We have a lot of wicker and cloth bins, so we just dumped out their contents to see what toys were where.
  2. Start sorting like items. By doing this, we identified “themes” of play-things. We planned out bins for cars / trains, pretend-play, games, books, technology / music, dolls, blocks and one miscellaneous.
  3. Ask yourself – does this item need to be in this room? We had this conversation about my daughter’s hair-things. They were stored in a bag in the living room. “Why are they in the living room?” my friend asked. “Because I often do her hair in the living room,” I explained. “Why can’t they go in the bathroom?” she inquired. I thought about this, and realized, oh yeah, they CAN go in the bathroom closet instead. Good call, my friend!  You should also ask yourself, “Should this item be kept, sold or donated?” Build a pile each for keep, sell, and donate.
  4. Decide what fits where. Once we took some items out of the room to be placed elsewhere in our house, we started filling up my existing bins.  Before doing so, my friend (who is also a neat-freak) vacuumed out the cloth bins. We filled up bins and she found spots to place them that I didn’t think of before.  It was genius!
  5. Find “homes” for the remaining items. This meant I had a list of bins and plastic tubs to buy. I searched my own home first, so I could make the most of what I already had. Just shifting toys around a bit helped me find similar patterned cloth bins.
  6. Buy said bins / organizers & finalize the room.  It’s amazing what you can fit into bins that are more accessible for kids than a toy’s original packaging! Now I am ready to rotate my kids’ toys more often to keep them entertained this winter. Already, I feel like everything has its place, and we’re picking up before getting something new out.  Clean, organized house = one happy mama!

Here is my new & improved tv stand converted into toy storage:

organized toy storage

With a little help from my friend – the final result of my organization!

At my going rate, I hope to keep on organizing this winter, so come springtime I can be outside with my family!

How do you keep your home organized? Let me know if you have any tips that work well for you!