Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2012 (free) Halloween Costumes

Have you seen how expensive Halloween costumes are?!  In years past my family has found us costumes at Goodwill and we also bought one, new, two years ago.  This year I went looking for costumes for the kids and I was amazed at the cost.  To me, $30 for an outfit they'll wear once is just too much.

We had a costume party with friends tonight and tomorrow we are taking Amelia trick-or-treating for the first time.  So, I shopped my house and came up with costumes for the kids - for free.

Ewok Joe

Joe was easy.  He is wearing the costume Jason and I got Amelia two years ago - an Ewok from Star Wars.  We decided we would not re-use costumes for the kids but this one was the exception and luckyily it fits him perfect this year! 

Amelia actually has three costume options.  Tonight for the costume party she was a blue princess.

Amelia the blue princess

We've had this dress in a dress-up box (along with a pink one - costume option #2) for awhile now.  She's never really taken to playing dress-up so the dress is basically new.  The tights are from the holidays last year and the shoes are from her closet.  The crown and wand are toys that get played with almost daily.  Voila - a blue princess.

*Her third option is a doctor costume my sister got her at Goodwill because she loves the doctor (thanks to Elmo Goes to the Doctor) and because Kim is going to school for medical assistant.

There you have it - Halloween costumes at no cost!  I have saved at least $50 in (new) costume costs this year and we won't have two outfits laying around after the holiday is over.  Oh, and both kids look great so this is definitely a win-win situation!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Best Friends

Tonight, Amelia said, "Mama, Ko-Key i my beh fuh-wen."

That's right - Joey is her best friend.  Melts my heart.

And to think, I was itching to find something to do to get us out of the house tonight.  Had we not been at home playing she probably wouldn't have said that.  Simple nights at home really are the best :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

She Did It!

It took 377 days but Amelia has now officially held her brother for the first time.  Sort of...

It was more like she tried to pick him up and fell backwards with him.  

(And, yes, I am serious when I say this is literally the first time she has held him.  This has been a long time coming and she picked the perfect day to do it - I needed it!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tired Kids

Amelia has been extremely tired this week.  So tired that she has napped the past two days - a rare occurrence.  Today, after getting up from her nap, she proceeded to "rest" in our bed.

Joe has also been pretty tired.  Today his nap lasted four hours before I went in there to wake him up for dinner!  Not even two hours later he was rubbing his eyes but I made him hold out a bit longer before it was bedtime.  Towards the end the only thing that made him happy was his football.

They both had flu shots on Monday afternoon - is it possible they are still feeling off from that two days later?  I sure hope so because they have not been their usual selves!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Left Out

Over the weekend we had a little incident with Amelia and her little friends.  Here at the apartment complex she has three main friends.  She plays the most with S and they also play with sisters, T and T.  

Sunday morning Amelia was asked out to play.  We let her go to S's house to play with S, T and T.  Jason went down and checked in several times and the report was they were all having a good time.  Early afternoon there was a knock on the door.  I heard Jason talking to the girls (S, T and T) and I went to the door.  They were telling Jason that Amelia had to come home because they were going to T and T's house and their room was clean and Amelia would take out toys and make it messy.  I looked down and saw my daughter, with her head down, walking home saying, "I wanna puh-way (play.)"

I lost it.  I asked the three girls what they thought happened when they played at our house several times a week.  I pointed out that they take out every toy we own and refuse to pick up, leaving me (and Amelia) to clean up their mess when I finally get them to go.  I asked them if they thought it was fair to say a friend couldn't play because they might take out toys when that is exactly what they do at their friends' houses.  

We brought Amelia inside and told the girls that our house would no longer be the hangout - at least for awhile.  I said I would no longer be willing to let them destroy our house and leave me and Amelia to clean up after them when they left to go to the next person's house because we have an earlier (normal) bedtime.  

Not long after we came in, T and T's mom came down to see what had happened.  What I told her mostly lined up with what the girls had said happened.  She told me that Amelia is always welcome to come over and she has no idea why they tried to exclude her.  I apologized for scolding her children but she thanked me for doing it.  She said so many parents let her kids get away with everything because they are afraid to scold them.

I still can't decide if I did the right thing.  I know it was right to stand up for my daughter.  I also think it was probably right to stand up for our home and the way we do things here.  We clean up - it's as simple as that.  That rule will need to be respected from here on out.  What I am worried about is that I will now have this "mean" image to the other kids and that Amelia's friendships with them will suffer.  I know from my own childhood that people get left out, kids don't always get along all of the time and that people's feelings will be hurt - I don't live in some fantasy-land where things are always picture perfect.  It just seems so different when it is your kid being hurt - especially for the first time.

Amelia is only three.  We have plenty of long years of hurt ahead of us.  I'm going to need to thicken my skin a bit - I hope it comes with experience of being a mom ;)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Joey at One-Year

Last weekend, our little man celebrated his first birthday!  He is a busy little guy.

Last week I weighed him and he was just about 28 pounds.  We go in Monday for his well-visit so I will get his "official" stats then.

He wears mostly 18-month clothes with some 24-month/2T.  A few 12-month things still fit.

Ten months

He is still in a size 4 diaper but I am thinking we will be going up to 5 soon!

He almost has 6 teeth.  That sixth one is taking it's sweet time to cut all the way through!

Ten Months

At ten-months he switched to formula.  I am thankful for almost making it to one-year nursing him!

He loves his wormy.  He goes to sleep with it and when he gets tired he grabs it from his crib and drags it around.

He sleeps amazingly.  He goes to bed around 7:30 or 8 and sleeps about 10-12 hours a night!

A few days before his first birthday he said his first, true word!  The neighbor was over and was putting her shoes on to leave and he started waving and, very loudly, said, "bye bye!"  It was clear as day and not prompted.

The day after talking he started taking his first steps!  Usually he only can do about 6-8 steps before he falls but last night he walked from one end of the living room to the other without falling!

He loves music.  Whenever there is music on he starts rocking, bobbing his head or bouncing!  Amelia got him a neat dog guitar for his birthday and everyone in the house loves to play with it - including daddy.

He is a monkey.  He is up on everything.  One night I asked Amelia to stop flicking the lights on and off but she said, "mama, it not me!"  I turned around and saw that Joe had scaled the Poang chair we have and was halfway up the back, playing with the lights.

He knows no.  Whenever he is into something he is not supposed to be into and you say, "Joe, no" he will turn and look at you and shake his head no.  

He can open the front door.  One day I was doing the dishes, heard the front door open and I looked into the living room to see him sitting there.  I told him "no" and he smiled at me over his shoulder and went right out the front door giggling.  We keep it locked at all times now.

He self-feeds almost exclusively.  We still feed him things like yogurt or applesauce but otherwise he does it himself!  He is to the point he wants big pieces of stuff.  He gets frustrated at little, bite-size pieces.  Yesterday I ripped up a breadstick for him and he protested and kept reaching for a whole one.  I gave him half of one and he ate the whole thing happily.

He can't really figure out sippy-cups yet so we are still working with that.  He has several varieties but so far nothing has "clicked" with him.

He is not a fan of cow's milk.  We have tried it cold and warmed up but he just doesn't want it.  He prefers his formula.

He still takes two naps but the morning one is getting shorter and shorter I'm told.  I don't think it will be long until we are down to just one, long afternoon nap.

He loves to play.  It is a lot of fun watching him figure things out.  It is not as much fun to see the wake of mess he leaves behind him but I am learning to just embrace it and enjoy the playing and learning he is doing!

We love our little Joe-Joe!  He is a happy little guy and is a joy!  I still can't believe that he is one already.  Time really does go way too fast when you have little ones.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I came home from work to this:

Yep - illness plagues our home.  Jason is the only one sick so far but I think he is sick enough for us all...  

I'm sleeping on the couch until further notice!  One parent sick and missing work is bad enough, no need to make it two ;)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Joe's First Birthday

Yesterday we had a small party with family for Joe.  His aunties, grandparents as well as great-grandparents were there!  We kept it simple - presents, lunch and cake.
The majority of the pictures I took were during cake...

Joey got so many great new toys and clothes.  We are very blessed that so many people love our sweet boy.

Little man had a blast.  He protested naps and partied hard.  

I still can't believe he is already ONE!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

One Year

Somehow our little Joey went from this:

to this:

Happy FIRST Birthday, sweet boy! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012


Yesterday afternoon we went to Fawn-Doe-Rosa with my parents and family that I have in town from California and Indiana.  It is a wildlife education center about thirty minutes north of where Jason and I live.  They have lots of deer, elk, raccoons, skunks, bobcats, mountain lions, timber wolf, foxes, beaver, farm animals and more.  

The deer are loose in the park and will walk right up to you, eat from your hand and let you pet them!  The farm animals they have are penned in but you can still feed them and pet them.  Amelia had a b-a-l-l.  She loved being so close to all the animals. 

My favorite picture of the day:

You can see how much she adores horses/ponies in this picture.  

We had a fun time and look forward to visiting Fawn-Doe-Rosa again soon!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Simplified Kitchen

A read a blog called "Intentionally Simple" and for the month of October Rachel is doing "31 Days to Living Intentionally Simple."  I'm following along and working on the projects she posts each day!

The first four days of October were dedicated to the kitchen.  This week I have gone through every cabinet (except the spice cabinet...that one is Jason's and I am hands off in there!) and every drawer.  I eliminated so many things from our kitchen that we just don't use/need.  We use the same pots and pans over and over but we had a few "spare" ones included in our collection - they went!  In the silverware drawer there were 23 plastic utensil sets (you know, the ones you get with your take-out) that we were saving, I assume, for that one day when we would need them.  That day has never come since we both bring actual silverware in our lunch bags to work with us - so into the trash they went!

With all the space I was able to make in the cabinets and drawers I was also able to move our flour and sugar containers underneath into a cabinet.  I realized they were just taking up valuable space and I honestly haven't used flour since we've lived here - except the one time a neighbor asked to borrow a cup a few weeks ago.  To me, that indicates very little need for it to be taking up space on the already crowded counter-top!

I cleared off the top of the refrigerator as well as cleaning it out of questionable food items.  I went through the pantry and got it all cleaned out very thoroughly and organized.  I went through all the things we had up on our refrigerator with magnets and decided it was time for a lot of it to come down. 

I was a machine this week in the kitchen.  The best part?  With it being broken up into several days of smaller tasks it was much easier to achieve this goal and having others participating kept me motivated!

Our simplified kitchen

The next room to be worked on this month is the master bedroom! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

PSA from Amelia

Yesterday Amelia informed me of something and I thought you all might want the reminder too...

"Mama, wee-ko ih com-een.  We nee guy-ee.  Wee-ko ih coh."

Translation - "Winter is coming.  We need scarves.  Winter is cold"

So family and friends, there you have it.  Winter is cold so be sure to get yourselves some scarves.

Monday, October 1, 2012

80 Years

Yesterday afternoon we celebrated Jason's grandma's 80th birthday!  His sister made lasagna and had everyone over for lunch and cake.

We tried for a nice picture of Great-Grandma and her Great-Grandchildren but, alas, it was not meant to be.  Joe was the only one paying attention - he's such a ham!  

More pretty fall colors on our way home last night :)