Saturday, March 31, 2012

Our Garden

Our landlords left us a garden full of beautiful worm-filled soil. Originally, we were supposed to have T-ball at 10, but once practice got moved to 530 I decided today was THE day! Here's what I started out with...

Here's the final result. I "tilled" this all by hand! I went through and used a spade to lift up the weeds by the roots, continued to "spade" the rest of the dirt and used one of those garden rakes to spread the soil evenly. It would have gone MUCH faster with a gas powered tiller, but that's not near the workout! Notice our baby sitters, Jade and Rena sitting on the other side of the fence!!!

One of the main reasons I wanted to wait until Monday was that I didn't want to deal with the crowds at Home Depot today. We made it in and out with little frustration.

We bought...
Cherry Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes
Green Bell Peppers
Red Bell Peppers
Potting Soil (for our Topsy Turvey Strawberry planter)
Bird Seed

I realized, once I got all the way out the car, that my bird seed slid off the bottom of my cart and fell into the parking lot. There was a guy loading his car right next to me and asked if I was the one who lost the bird seed. He said it was by the front of the store. He proceeded to go all the way back and bring it back for me. HOLY COW there ARE still some super nice people out there. That saved me a trip through the busy parking lot with Ding and Dong.

We got home, and starting planting away!

While planting, B started screaming that something was in his ear. He was down right freaking out! I looked in it, and there sure was a little gnat or bug of some kind. The sound of the bug in his ear was really loud and scared him, but my neighbor was standing right there and got it out while I ran inside to get some q-tips and peroxide. It's all good...bug is dead...and B was ok! Very typical of our family's always something!

I'm going to return 1 package of cucumbers and 1 package of Romas. I didn't read the little stick thingy before buying them. Once I started planting, I didn't NEED that many cukes and maters.

I'm pooped from the day's festivities, so the Topsy Turvey Strawberries will have to wait until Sunday or Monday. I also need to pick up some more tomato cages. Hopefully the $50 investment we made will MORE than pay off! I'd really like to can some cukes and turn them into pickles. I wouldn't mind making some of my own tomato sauce. That would require these green things to grow! Do I have a green thumb deep down??? I'm slightly doubtful, but I did manage to keep a Poinsettia alive from December through March! I'm guardedly optimistic.

Happy Spring Everyone!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Aunt Bridget was here

My sis came in town last Friday and stayed through Tuesday. She was here to present her proposal for her dissertation, and stayed with us! We are close to the metro, so it was very easy for her to get to and from Maryland State. We thoroughly enjoyed having her here, and already miss her. FYI, her proposal was accepted...WAY TO GO SIS.

When Bri used to live up in this area, and I'd come visit, she would do such fun things for me. Now, it was my turn to reciprocate.

Up first, towel animals! If you've been on a cruise, you know what I'm talking about. Thanks to this YouTube video, I figured out how to make some myself!

I decided to go with the duck and the turtle. The turtle was my FAVE!

She would also put together a little welcome basket for me. I made her a "Dissertation Proposal Survival Kit"

Hot Tamales, Nerds, Gummy Worms, Fiddle Faddle, pens, highlighters, bath loofah, note pad, clip board, razors, face wash, hair bands, and mini cans of Mt Dew!

On Sunday, we went to see The Hunger Games. GREAT movie! If you haven't read the book yet, GO READ IT and then go see the movie. It doesn't matter that the book is written for Young Adults. I read it, my teen age cousins have read it, and my 60+ year old parents have read it. It's definitely not the Young Adult books of MY young Sweet Valley High and The Babysitter's Club, but it's a GREAT series.

Thank you for coming to visit Aunt Bridget! We love you and miss you already:) Bring the Baby Sydney with you next time!!!!!!

Spray Chalk

Another Pinterest find...


This was a very cool activity to do with the kiddos! All you need is cornstarch, water, spray bottles, and tempura paint.

I found colored water bottles in the sample aisle at Walmart by the pharmacy. I only spent about $10 for this activity and we got 2 whole uses out of that. The cornstarch is the only thing you'll need to keep purchasing, and at only $1.25 per container!!! I love cheap things that make my kids happy. The boys had a GREAT time with this, as did the neighborhood kids. Spray bottles are a good activity for B to strengthen his fine motor skills too!

The only thing to be aware of is that when cornstarch dries, it gets hard. So, as soon as the spray bottle is empty, take the pump out and let it soak in super hot water. If not, then it will get clogged up and will make the kids unhappy and the mommy frustrated!

This project is definitely going in our "Summer Box-O-fun"

These are the colors I started out with...

This is what the chalk looks like once it dried...
We have a black top driveway, which made the colors look SUPER bright and vivid once it dried!

The boys and I did all of this with just ONE of the batches of spray chalk!

I just sprayed the driveway down with the hose, and it all washed right off.

Try it...your kids will LOVE it!

Update on Jade Girl

Here's a little update on our Jade girl. We had an ugly looking mass removed from her front right doggie elbow about 2 weeks ago. The biopsy came back that it was, in fact, malignant cancer. Insert sad face here :( The positive side of the biopsy is that the vet got 100% of the tumor! This form of cancer is rated on a scale of 1 to 3...1 being NOT likely to spread, and 3 meaning it WILL spread or IS spreading. Jade's is a 2.

I took Jade back a few days after this diagnosis to have a lump on her ribs needle biopsied. Dr. Parker, our vet, was pretty sure it was just a Lipoma which is basically a pocket of fat that can come and go. Lipomas are very common in labs. Thankfully, that lump was exactly that! She now has 3 other lumps on her other side. Insert another sad face :(

Jade is 10 and has lived a great life with us. We aren't exactly sure what this cancer is going to do to her or NOT do to her. So, we're going to keep an eye on lumps, watch for any strange behavior especially towards the kids, and keep her as comfortable as possible for however long her life may be. She could live 3 or 4 more years for all we know!!!

Since her mass was on her arm right by a joint, it's taking FOREVER to heal up! 2 and 1/2 weeks later, and she still has to keep the cone on her head. I had to take her back to get staples in it since it kept splitting open. Then the NEXT day, I had to take her back yet AGAIN since she ripped one of the staples out and had pulled the other one off the wound itself. I'm not sure how she managed to do that with the cone on her head, but I suspect Rena helped her.

The boys decided to "sticker up" her cone to make her happy...

Here's the end result!

Jade was the most popular pooch at the park on Sunday with her super stylish Halloween and Mickey Mouse themed cone:)

Here's a cute little pic of Jade "smiling" on the couch with me one morning. I took off her cone to give her a little break! You can see the red scabby looking wound on her arm.

Just say a few prayers for our Jade girl that she can live a great life with us...however long that may be!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Elephant Toothpaste

More Pinterest fun!

Click here for the specifics on how to do this experiment!

We had to do the experiment a second time to get a better reaction, but it was so worth it!

Cherry Blossoms

Saturday, I decided to take the boys into the city to see the Cherry Blossoms. I've never seen the Cherry Blossoms in "almost" full bloom, but let me tell ya...they were beautiful! Click HERE for the link to the Cherry Blossom website for more information. The weather was perfect, the Metro was fun and PACKED, and the boys did a lot of walking with me with minimal complaining! What I learned MOST from this trip...I now know where the public bathrooms are:)

We hopped on the Vienna Metro Stop...

Got off at the Smithsonian stop....along with what seemed like HUNDREDS of other people....

This is our view as we started the LONG trek to the Jefferson Memorial. Beautiful day, huh?

After we hit the restrooms, we started walking around the Cherry Blossoms...

We just kept walking...and snapping pictures with my phone and you might see some repeats!

The sidewalk that surrounds the Tidal Basin was just plain gorgeous. I didn't get too many pictures because there were people everywhere, and it was really hard to stop and snap a picture and keep my eyes on the boys at the same time. I can multitask like any mom, but I was slightly concerned for the boys' safety!

The boys really wanted to go out on the paddle boats, but the line was incredibly long! Plus, Eric wasn't with us, and I think taking 2 kids who can't swim on a paddle boat by myself is a little outside of my comfort zone. Maybe another time!

Here's a view of the Jefferson Memorial from the wall around the Tidal Basin

Then we continued to walk some more...

Once we made it to the memorial, the boys raced up the steps!

And then C decided he needed to take a break!

These pillars were HUGE. Look at silly B...he was "being a statue"

Jefferson's Statue...

It makes B look so small!!!

Check out the view from the Memorial...

I did end up "bribing" the boys just a little bit...I know...bad mommy. However, the walk to the Jefferson Memorial from the Smithsonian Metro stop and then BACK was a very long walk for 2 little ones. There was a Refreshment stand right by the paddle boats. So, I told the boys if we could make it all the way to the Jefferson Memorial and back, I'd buy them a hot dog. It worked;)

Hot dog, chips, popcorn and a drink...$9...not bad in my opinion! Ball parks charge way more than that.

On our way back, we passed the Tulip Library that was already in bloom!

So pretty!

We finally made it back to the Metro, and hopped on for the 30 minute ride home. The boys wanted to "ride like big boys" by standing and holding onto the pole the entire time!

All in all, it was a very fun day! Boys were happy to be outside, the weather was beautiful, and the scenery was gorgeous!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

HOLY Pinterest!

I am totally enjoying Pinterest. I feel like I can exhaust my creative ADHD personality by cruising through that site, and seeing what my friends "Pin." I have a whole basket of summer activities for the boys that are both educational and fun. Here's one!


What the heck is Cloud Dough? You got me! I found it on Pinterest and thought I'd give it a try. I love simple homemade activities for the kids. I love them even more when they are CHEAP! For under $7, I made this...

All you need is 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil. Mix it together and VOILA...moldable, smooth, yummy smelling Cloud Dough. One regular sized bottle of baby oil made enough for 2 1/2 batches of Cloud Dough. So I had 2 1/2 cups of baby oil and 20 cups of all purpose flour. I just dumped it all in an under the bed storage container I had in the garage and mixed it thoroughly with my hands. I added some plastic bugs I bought in the dollar aisle at Target. These kind of "sensory" activities are GREAT fine motor skill enhancers!

The boys LOVED it! It's incredibly smooth...I liked it too:) Once we were done with it, I just put the lid on the top and stored it in my garage. The boys did get flour all over their clothes, but that's what I get for walking into the house to get a Diet Root Beer and leaving them unattended. It's only flour, and washes off could totally be worse!

My other obsession on Pinterest are all of the recipes. OH MY GOODNESS I could spend hours looking at them all! I made the Pinterest Trifecta Dinner tonight. Three different recipes...all of which were delicious, easy, and DEVOURED by my kids.

All of these recipes were very easy and DELICIOUS! The broccoli and chicken recipes will definitely be on my menu rotation...FOR SURE. Brandon and I enjoyed the tomatoes...Eric and Connor don't like tomatoes unless they are in "sauce" form. Fine with me...more for me and B!

Hey Kids...GO FLY A KITE!

Today was GORGEOUS, and the rest of the week should be as gorgeous as today! After I ran my errands, I went home, packed us a lunch, grabbed Rena Bena, picked up the boys and hauled butt to the park to enjoy this beautiful day.

I tossed one of Eric's old kites in the trunk in the event that the day would be windy. I'm SO glad I did! The boys took turns flying their first kite!!!

Here's B taking his turn!

C taking his turn

Rena seemed to be bored with the day's festivities. Either that, or she's just being her plain old lazy self.

When we got home, and played in the back's what she was doing...

Her name fits her so well. When we rescued her, she was so serene! "Serena" as a dog's name seemed too long. So, we shortened it to Rena! She sure does bring serenity into our lives with her sweet gentile personality and grotesque snoring abilities. Gosh, I love this dog!

Now, here's Jade:(

She's had a really rough couple of days! I took her in for a dental cleaning on Monday, and ended up having the vet remove a very suspicious cyst on her front right doggie elbow. We noticed it around when we moved here, and it was only about the size of a pencil top eraser. Now, it was closer to the size of a nickle or even quarter and bright red! Since she was already under anesthesia, we agreed to have it removed. We sent it off to get a biopsy on it, and should know those results in a few days. She HATES that cone thing!!!

I didn't make her wear the cone when I put her to sleep last night because I wanted her to get some good rest. This was her when I got up this morning...

She didn't move. She didn't even look up at me. She just laid there. For those of you who know Jade...she NEVER "just lays there." Usually, she's trampling me down as soon as my feet hit the front entry way floor. I laid now by her and just rubbed her ears and chin for a little while. The fur around both of her eyes was all wet...I'm sure she was crying in pain:( She perked up a little once the boys got up, but instantly went back to being sad as I put the cone back on her when we left. Poor Jade...she's our first "baby" I hate seeing her so down and out. I hope she gets back to her normal, obnoxiously annoying, forever greeting self in a few days. I felt kind of lonely today without her all up in my business all day long!