Friday, April 30, 2010

More "green" cleanin'

I took a little trip to Target today and had a chance to browse around which isn't something I get to do very often.  I stumbled upon two really great tunics for myself and a wonderful cleaning product.  Many of you may already know about this line, but it is new to me.  If you don't know about it, you need to get in your car and go to Target as soon as you finish reading this!
The cleaning product is made by The Caldrea Company.  (My mother loves their kitchen soap and you can usually find them in boutiques and gift shops.)  The name is Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day was made specially for Target.  In their line, they offer laundry detergent, dish soap, shower cleaner, countertop spray, and an all-purpose cleaner.  There were three different scents to choose from:  basil, lemon verbena, and lavender.  I couldn't decide between basil and lemon verbena so I purchased both!  The cleaners are made  with naturally occurring ingredients and are biodegradable and the smell is absolutely amazing!  The countertop spray did the job and my whole house smelled so nice and fresh.  Even my dear husband asked what smelled so good when he walked in the door.

There has not been alot going on this week.  My sweet T had an overnight camp out with his class.  They are leaning about Westward Expansion and the pioneers.  They had to dress like the pioneers and spent the night in a covered wagon.  He had a wonderful time and was exhausted when he returned. 

School is winding down and we are busy with end of the year activities.  Our school fundraiser is tomorrow night and it should be lots of fun.  I am proud to say that my two items I donated to the school raised $135 for the cause.  One lucky person will have Christmas gifts wrapped by yours truly.  The other lucky winner will have a "paint your own canvas" party with me as the instructor.

Check back later for more.  I am busy with projects around the nest and promise to get more pictures up.  If you like what you are seeing or if you have any helpful advise, please feel free to leave a comment or become a follower!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Viruses, Projects and Emergency Rooms...Just a typical day at our nest

Ok, first let me say this week put me to the test as a mother and made me realize that I married a saint.  God knew what he was doing when He put us together.  This is how the week began...

  • Monday, nothing unusual.  Go to school...come home...J had to fly to Missouri.
  • Tuesday morning, 3:00 a.m.- O is violently vomiting and I am trying not to wake the baby.
  • Tuesday, later that morning- I stay home with O and notice my chest and face are very flushed.
  • Wednesday morning- J back home...O still sick...the rest of us go to school. (Now my ears are swollen and  itchy!)
  • Wednesday at noon- I am very flushed and itchy so I go see the doctor who tells me it is just a virus.
  • Wednesday afternoon- J has to go to a business dinner but gets a babysitter for me so I can rest.  By now   my head is splitting, and I am itchy and swollen and just miserable.
  • Wednesday night-  I think this might just be the end.  I think I need to go to the doctor again because I don't think I have a virus.  I call J to come home and take me to the ER.  He comes home and we are off to the ER.  The ER doctor says, "yes, you are having some kind of allergic reaction.  We will start an IV and get you some medications to make you feel better.

In walks Mr. Happy Nurse who is here to help out my assigned nurse because she is busy.  I think fine, just make my head stop hurting.  He says, "Oh, where are we going to put the IV in?"  I then tell him where others have put the needle in the past.  However, my veins were not wanting to cooperate or I was just that swollen. 

After three failed attempts of trying to start the IV, he decides he will just let the other nurse do it.  At least now my head is not hurting because my hands and arms are throbbing.  Mrs. Happy Nurse enters the room to start the IV.  I beg for just a shot and she replies, "Oh, I would hate for all these meds to go to waste.  I just got through mixing the IV bag for you.  Just let me try to start the IV this time."  I think sure! God forbid the medicine goes to waste!  It is not like I wouldn't have to pay for it anyway.  Let's just make me cry somemore.  Thankfully, she was able to start the IV this time and I got my much needed medicine.

The rest of my week is spent taking care of O, trying to help my class get ready for their big play on Friday, and get the two older boys ready for their play on Friday too.  Oh yes, I am also trying not to scratch myself to death too. 

I want to give a BIG thank you to J!  I would not have survived this week without you.  You are my hero and I love you!!!

Sorry for the long saga above!  Just a typical week at my house!  Here are some pictures of things happening outside our nest.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Embracing your inner domestic goddess

I have been experimenting with natural cleaners for the house lately. OK Mom, you can stop laughing now. I don't know what will tickle her more, the fact that I am cleaning or that I excited about trying different cleaners. But seriously, since baby M has a skin sensitivity to soap, it has made me think about other cleaning agents I use around the house. Could these also be contributing to his skin problem?

As of right now, I am cleaning the floors with a vinegar and water solution, and I added some essential oils to hide the vinegar smell. However, the vinegar acts as a wonderful odor neutralizer and usually goes away after a couple of hours. I have been amazed at how well the vinegar cleans my floors! The regular mop and pine smelling solution never cleaned the floors like this!

I found the article below from Real Simple and I think I will try some of them. I will let you know how this works out. BTW, making your own cleaning products is also great for you pocketbook! My husband will be so proud. :)

All-Natural Cleaning Solutions Real Simple

Monday, April 19, 2010

Baptisms, Pollen, and Soap

one more added to the flock

This was a very busy and special weekend for us.  Our little M was baptised on Sunday, and our good friends, K and R and their children, were there to help us celebrate.  K and R graciously agreed to be little M's Godparents, and after the service we enjoyed a great afternoon outside eating and watching the children play.

Before the service began, a man from the church asked if M would cry during the service.  My reply was "most definatly". (M is very attached to his momma and doesn't like to go to anyone until he has spent a few hours with them.)  The man said, "Oh, he will be fine!  We haven't had a baby cry in years!"  So of course you know what happened!  I had to hold the baby while Father Matt poured the water over his head.  Little M screamed when he annointed him with oil.  Finally, at the end of the service, he was sucking his paci so hard that I thought he might swallow it.  So much for the church record!

In other news....
This weekend we also took a trip to a town not too far away to buy goat milk soap.  The lady who makes the soap is so nice and she said we could come pet the baby goats when we come back.  I am a true believer in goat milk "magic".  It has worked wonders for baby M's skin and mine.  I will post more about the wonderful soap and share pictures with you too.

Pollen, pollen everywhere!  We are hurting here at our nest!  It is beautiful outside, however, our allergies have kicked in.  I took a couple of picture of the culprits who have been the cause of our headaches lately.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Little Azaleas That Could

We planted these azalea bushes in the courtyard last spring.  I was afraid that they would not make it through the winter and at one point they looked terrible.  But I will have to say they are looking better!  They are still small but give us a couple of years.  The azaleas are about to pop so I will post more pictures later.

This is one of my favorite plants for spring.  It is called bocopa and it will trail down the container.  It think it is just the sweetest little flower.  It would make a great addition to your containers, but be sure to water it every day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Girl Can Dream Can't She

I can smell the ocean air and hear the waves from here!  Even thought this house is not on the beach, I love absolutey everthing about it...the colors, the landscaping, the architecture.  Here are just a few pictures to get you in the mood for summer! Click here if you would like to read the article from Southern Living.

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn , Article: Robert Martin

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn , Article: Robert Martin

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn , Article: Robert Martin

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn , Article: Robert Martin

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn , Article: Robert Martin


You walk out the front door and you hear a buzz, buzzzzzz! You walk out the back door and you hear a buzz, buzzzzz! I am afraid The Grumpy Gardener will be showing my house next year on his blog! 

It is that time of year again and the carpenter bees are enjoying the warm sunshine and fresh pollen. I found The Grumpy' Gardener's blog last night and I thought his plan off attack would be better than my husband swinging my tennis racket at the bees. However, at this point I am willing to find the other racket and join him no matter how silly we may look!

We will be making a trip to Home Depot very soon to look for Bayer Advanced Carpenter Ant and Termite Killer. Wish us luck!  40-Love...the bees are winning.  Please click on The Grumpy Gardener's article below to see what he suggests to do if you should find some buzy bees outside your front door.

Killer Bees Destroy House - The Grumpy Gardener -

Monday, April 12, 2010

Front yard, Part Deux

We are almost finished with the new landing for the front yard.  We still need to do a little tweaking here and there before we pour the sand but you can see the shape it will be.  We will also be adding a new fence and landscaping.  One thing leads to another!

Daddy's little helper!

 While we were out working in the yard, our next door neighbor invited me into his back yard to see his rose bush in full bloom.  I believe he said it was a Lady Bank's rose.  This thing was huge!  It was cover with tiny roses and it loves to climb on fences and arbors.  The best part of the day was when he said he would give me a clipping for my yard.  Now I just need to find a place for it!

Oh, my aching back...

Well, spring break is over and I did not finish all of the projects I had on my list.  I did finish half of them...maybe.  My dear sweet in-laws were here this weekend for their "grandchild-fix" tour.  They stopped by our house for the weekend to visit with our children and will be on their way to the next state to visit the other grandkids.

While they were here, my father-in-law helped with the front yard and my mother-in-law watched the kiddos.  This was such a huge help, but I  hope we didn't scare them away!  Our children were so excited to see them, and I thought O would explode before they arrived.  I enjoy their visits and it makes me wish we all lived closer to one another.  Maybe one day...

I will post pictures of our progress later today.  For now, back to reality and my other job!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Backyard Before and After

Our house is over 100 years old, and when we moved in, the backyard was a mess to say the least.  The huge oak trees were beautiful, but they did not allow any sunlight to get through.  Therefore, we had no grass...just mud and weeds.  Previous owners had planted different things here and there, but the only plant that was surviving was ivy.  We had ivy everywhere!  The ivy had even covered the 6' fence in the backyard.

When we moved into the house, we had two small boys so it was imperative that we get the backyard in shape.  My husband and I are proud DIYers, but this project was WAY over our heads.  We attempted to get it done, but it was just taking too long.  We also learned that I was pregnant with our third child so I could not longer help my husband with the project. (Lucky me!)  We waited a few months and when we could no longer take it, we decided call in the professionals. They completed the project in three days!  It was amazing!  We had a retaining wall built, trees trimmed, concrete poured and sod laid down.  It was silly how excited I was over our grass!  I just wanted to roll around on it everyday even though it was early February!  The boys we so excited too!  They now had somewhere to ride their bikes and did not have to worry about the mud anymore. 

We also created a courtyard beside the house that included a fountain and fire pit.  I orginally wanted to use brick, but we opted to flagstone instead.  We have enjoyed it so much, and the whole project was worth every penny!  Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Ivy once covered this entire fence and hill.

The boys loved watching the construction.

This was our first attempted at the courtyard. 

This was also our attempt for a driveway.

This was right before a party we had during the spring.  Please excuse the ladder.  It was removed before the guest arrived.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's not sew easy!

Ok, for those of you that know me, you know I love to make things.  I thought I would make M a few jon jons for spring.  I have tried to sew before when T was first born, but I became frustrated and stopped.  I do not like to admit defeat, therefore, I dusted off the sewing machine (8 years later) and tried again.

I have a new found respect for people who sew, or for that matter, for anyone who can follow a pattern.  I have tried for 3 days to make a very simple (according to the pattern description) jon jon with lining.  Nothing lined up and I must admit that I am now an expert at ripping out seams.  I finally ditched the pattern for the jon jon and thought I would make M a pair of shorts.  I did a little better, but still could not follow the pattern.  I finally made my own pattern from a pair of shorts he already owned. And I thought this was suppose to be easy and only take a couple of hours!

I will not give up and I will let you know how it ends up.  I may have to call in a professional to help me finish at least one jon jon.  I have posted a couple of pictures to let you see how my THIRD attempted is coming.  Hopefully, I will have the outfit completed before he outgrows it!  I will also keep my fingers crossed when it is time to put in the washer and dryer! :)

In other news...
J has decided to redo our front yard.  We are removing one brick walkway to enlarge the landing leading to our front porch.  We are trying to save as many bricks as we can, but some of them just crumble when you try to pick them up.  We were told by one of the previous owners that some of the bricks came from the streets downtown around the square.  I think they must be the ones that are staying entact even through all the freezing weather we had this winter.  Here are some pictures of J in progress.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

And so it begins...

I have wanted to start a blog for some time now.  I am a huge fan of blogs and have my favorites that I read daily.  The purpose of this blog is to share what is happening in our everyday lives with our friends and family who live far away.  I am hoping to also use it "cyber" scrapbook for our three growing boys who, in my opinion, are the funniest things on Earth.  However, what mother wouldn't say that about their own children!

My husband J and I bought an old Victorian home about three years ago.  It is a great house in a great neighborhood, but it just needs a little sprucing up.  Along the way I will share some of the many projects I get myself into on a daily basis.  I am thinking that if I post about them I will be more likely to finish them.  There will be more stories about why we chose this house at a later date.  For now, I will just say welcome and I hope this is the beginning of a wonderful journey!