Before back to school adventure

Thankfully we arrived at this past weekend with no illness (though not for J’s lack of trying!), and took the boys on a last hurrah trip before school begins. On a side note, J still does not like riding in the car. At all. Luckily our trip to the aquarium and children’s museum in Chattanooga was only about 2 hours each way, which limited the amount of times we had to restart Elmo the Musical and play Carly Rae Jepsen songs.

A was just as enamored with the butterflies as he was the first time we went, and that’s where we spent most of the time when we were at the aquarium.

IMG_2921His favorite was a big blue butterfly that kept swooping around him, which he ducked for cover each time, but then excitedly went looking for it again.

IMG_2930He also was excited about the flowers that he found that were similar to the ones he had picked out earlier this summer. “Yup, smells tasty” he stated.

The most hilarious part of the aquarium trip, my husband told me about after. While in the jellyfish area (which is dark), A and I were wandering around together and B was wandering around with J. J likes to pat things (like he will come over and give your shoulder a pat if you are sitting down, or he will pat the fridge to tell you he wants something), so naturally he was going around patting each of the large cylinder jellyfish containers to tell B he wanted up to see them. Apparently, J in his hurry ran up and patted a large man on the booty and then realized it was not a jellyfish container and ran off. The man whirled around and B said he pointed at J, saying “it was him not me, dude”. Seriously, hilarious. I really am disappointed I missed that!

IMG_2932J was pretty subdued overall at the aquarium, especially when he was in the stroller.

J’s favorite part of our trip was the water tables and cooking area at the children’s museum.

IMG_2943I honestly think he could have spent all day right here. Scooping water. Obviously I just need a big water tub and a fish net scoop for outside play.

I was so glad we got to make this trip before we returned to the hustle of work, school, and soccer. A was excited to have stories to tell about his adventures when he returned to school!

Continue Reading


On Friday we mentioned to A that we were going to take a surprise trip to the aquarium. So of course within eight hours of that mention he started running a weird fever with no other symptoms besides a headache. Unfortunately we had to postpone our trip and I spent Saturday morning with A at the doctor to make sure it wasn’t a sinus or ear infection (it wasn’t, huzzah!).

A was quite disappointed, until a pair of visitors showed up in our yard that pretty much made his day:

IMG_2835-001Meet Carrot and Pickles (A chose their names), two wriggly rabbits who made their way into our yard during the rain on Saturday.

IMG_2836J wasn’t quite sure what the fuss was all about, but he figured knocking on window would make them come closer (not so much).

IMG_2840A watched them for quite a while and then decided to go play Legos, while asking me to keep an eye on them.

IMG_2843Eventually Pickles moved on to the neighbors’ house, but Carrot stayed and nibbled on the grass awhile longer. Eventually he hopped on to greener pastures as well, but the boys loved seeing them! Rarely have we seen rabbits quite this big in the neighborhood, so it was quite a sight.

Continue Reading

Tales from tax free weekend shopping…

My sister and I headed out on Saturday to brave the “crowds” of tax free weekend. It really wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be! I think a lot of people had gone out on “Furlough Friday” (as many people have designated Friday in our city) because the school supply section was crazy that day (I had run up there to get groceries). Anyway, enough about my random outings.

So here is the add up of the tops and coats I purchased:

IMG_2802-001And here is everything laid out:

IMG_2801I tend to buy more for A now because I know that a lot of it is going to be passed down to J, so I don’t want it to be completely worn out. By far the buy I was most excited about was the new coat (from Costco! For 16 dollars! London Fog!). And A was most excited about the Ninja Turtles shirt, of course. The clothes shown are from Carters, H&M, Gap, and Crazy 8.

And here is the add up of pants and shorts I purchased:

IMG_2803-001I didn’t buy a lot of new shorts, because all of the tees A will wear into the fall with pants and a jacket or sweatshirt (or a long sleeve shirt underneath). He has quite a few pairs of shorts that still fit. The pants are from Gap. The athletic pants and shorts are from Target and Carters.

And here is what I purchased for J:

IMG_2804Just a couple of new shirts, a new sweatshirt, little exercise shorts for Little Gym, and a new hat. I was most excited about the sweatshirt (Target), J was most excited about the hat, of course!

And here were my non-clothes purchases:

IMG_2808A new lunchbox and snack container for A (his picks!), and a new notebook and note cards for me for work.

I saved quite a bit because I had coupons and I opened a Gap card that got me 45% off my entire purchase (I had a coupon that went with the discount when you open a card). That was probably my best deal of the day.

The one item I almost didn’t get was A’s lunchbox. A had specifically asked for it and when I went back to Target to get it, they were out. Luckily, they had more in the back and found me one.

I think A is now prepped (clothes-wise) for back to school! I am going to take the boys out for new shoes, but other than that I am done clothes shopping until much later in the fall when the boys will start needing more long sleeve shirts.

Oh and here is what the boys did while I was gone:

IMG_2798Their new favorite game. J brings A items, and A sets them up at the restaurant. It’s quite elaborate!

Continue Reading

Our farmers market haul and other updates

A and I took a trip to one of our local farmers markets this weekend. A wasn’t sure he wanted to go, but when he realized that they had popsicles and free samples he was all about it. My favorite part was when we went to one of the stands selling jams and A asked for a “plain”. The man replied, “well son, I don’t think we have a plain”, and A replied “a plain cracker will do”, and so the man gave him a plain ritz cracker and told A to let him know how the plain cracker tasted. I tried a blueberry lemon jam, and loved it! It was our splurge for the day:

blueberry lemon jamI don’t typically eat jams, but this one was excellent, not too sweet, not too chunky. And the addition of lemon is a great note.

We also picked out some fruits and vegetables:

farmers marketJ is loving peaches these days, and I’m planning to use the banana peppers and tomatoes on pizza and a salad this week. I also shared some with my sister because we bought quite and bit and what’s the fun of getting so much if you can’t share?!

One of the things that I’m working on with A this summer is food knowledge, where are we getting our food from? What are we eating? Why do we eat it? I have found that this is the best way to get him to try new and different foods. The more involved he is, the more interested he is in trying the foods we make.

In other updates B put up our new curtains this weekend in our bedroom:

CurtainsThe coloring is a bit off in the photo, but they are a deep navy blue. And doesn’t everyone have a stuffed bunny on a chair in their master bedroom? No? Hm. Anyway, now I am trying to figure out what color to paint the bedroom, to tie everything together. I have also discovered that I need more prints on the walls, they look a bit bare. I love the weight of the curtains, and we hung them high, so they make the room look bigger and elevated in a way.

And finally…

Cheesy grinHere’s a cheesy grin from A for your Monday. I love this kid!

Continue Reading

Laundry refresh and the simplest activity, EVER.

So, I didn’t get a chance to do Friday favorites because we started my second summer project this Friday:

Laundry refresh This is the before picture. I forgot to take a picture before we moved everything out to paint, but just picture lots of random stuff miss matched and piled about. It’s a teaser! I’ll post pictures when it’s completed. We got it painted and I re-painted the shoe boxes, but I am still working on some of the other projects for the room.

In other news…on Friday, J was bored. We had run out of activity ideas and then I started one of J’s favorites, which is roll all of his balls down the hall way. All you need is a long hallway. HA!

IMG_2713J likes to test each one with his foot. I don’t know where he gets that from (except I do, his Dad 🙂 ).

IMG_2715 J’s current favorite is, of course, the Elmo/Cookie Monster giggle ball.

IMG_2716Once I roll them each down one by one, I hand J a little bucket and he runs down and collects them all and brings them back and we start all over. Endless enjoyment! So simple. Happy Monday!

Continue Reading

Weekend updates

This weekend we got new library books:

Library booksAnd thankfully could renew Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide, A’s FAVORITE of the moment.

I also renewed the Agatha Christie book I’m reading and painted my nails:

IMG_2571You thought I was going to show a picture of my hand holding a bottle of nail polish, didn’t you? HA!

My Nannie used to carry around this little list in her pocket and whenever my Dad would go over she would casually peek at it and then tell him things she needed him to do…so I am carrying the torch and now doing that to B (and sometimes my Dad too…since he can’t seem to come over without me having him look at something, or help me with something). I just realized I have a yellow sticky note pad in my drawer right now with stuff written on it! AH!

Continuing on, I had a list of things I wanted B to help me with over the weekend; which included:

TV AnchorAnchoring our flat screen television because J can reach it and tries to turn it on and off.

And also helping me update our windows in the study from this:

Before curtains

To this:

Curtains AfterThe rod and curtains used to be in my parents’ dining room, but they are moving and didn’t have a place for them. It is amazing how it makes the room look so much bigger.

My Mom handmade the curtains and they are fabulous! Here is an up close view:

IMG_2577 IMG_2578

And I’m slowly turning the boys’ bathroom into the Winchester Mystery House of projects (if you don’t know the story, you should check it out!). Their old towel rod fell apart while I was putting it back together after painting, so I had to fill holes, paint over, etc. I also got their lettering up over the shower, which was no small feat! I can’t wait to share when I am completely finished!

Continue Reading

How was your weekend?

It’s Tuesday, isn’t it? Somehow this week seems to be hurrying by faster than I am prepped to keep up with it! I’ve got several different summer DIY projects, that I am trying to get done with the help of B, because apparently I shouldn’t balance on a ladder while holding a straight edge with a level on top and try to draw a line, and measure at the same time. You know, technicalities of doing things yourself.

Anyway, the boys are getting to the part of the summer that I am literally trying to wear them out (have you done this?). It’s a fine line that you walk because if they aren’t tired enough they are running around your house like a crazy person, and if they are overtired, watch out! Endless meltdowns.

Today, the boys and I made THREE trips to Wal-Mart for the same items because I forgot my wallet, then my credit card, ARGH. Seriously. I don’t need to go to Wal-Mart that much. A and I had a little popsicle stick craft we were doing and needed paint for, and I decided to upgrade the boys shower curtain rod when rust poured out of it when I took it down to paint their bathroom. Since I had that curtain rod since college, I figured I could make a 15 dollar upgrade. Off to Wal-Mart we went, and then went again, and then turned around and went again. By this point you may have thought I should give up, but now I was determined to get the items and there was a nice greeter at the front holding them for me. I didn’t want them standing there all day.

Soo…after that I decided to do a picnic lunch for the boys outside, got chased down by a bee (but did not get stung, yeah for me!), finished a picnic lunch inside, the boys soaked themselves in the sprinkler and ran the length of the yard for an hour (check out A’s crazy sprinkler transformation on instagram, it was hilarious!), then we went inside, did baths, smoothies, hallway lawn mower races, books, and finally naptime.

J would not settle down (overtired), and I caught him in his room taking his canvas off the wall…at this point I am wondering what he can’t reach. A wanted to stay up and play Legos and I found him sacked out on the floor holding a piece of a Ninja Turtle motorcycle (the right amount of tired). After messing with J for quite a while he finally let me pat his back until he fell asleep (this is SO rare, I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve done that). In consideration of that I stood there for a bit patting his back and took some deep Yoga breaths of calm…ahh silence in my house for a few minutes. We are definitely deep into summer and at the point where I am ready for the routine of school and work to start up again.

And of course, now that I have babbled on for a few paragraphs, I have a couple of pictures to share from our recent activities.

By far I have found puzzles are a great activity for the boys to do together. A gets really excited when he helps J put the pieces on the board:

Cupcakes and Commentary

I purchased a five dollar bucket of bubbles and wands for part of my project for the boys’ bathroom and then let them have at the rest outside, and by far this has been one of my best summer purchases:


I had completely forgotten about this type of bubble blower, until I found it in the tub, and A thought it was so cool (and is now hoarding them, of course.):


Continue Reading

Re-discovering the “big” library

Typically when we visit the library, we go to one of the smaller branches. In the past it was less crowded, however, due to the popularity of some of their programs and updates it is now pretty crowded on the weekends. Which means lots of hovering kids over puzzles, computers, etc. We decided to try the main library this weekend (or as A calls it “the big library”) and were really pleased to see that they had included lots of new books in their children section and had a discover technology display that A LOVED.

discovery They had astronaut gloves that he could try on and attempt to push buttons, flip switches, and zip zippers.

discovery1There was an electricity display where he could wind up the voltage and see how much wattage each type of bulb used.

discovery2And there was a question and answer quiz section where I read the questions to him and he attempted to punch in the correct answer.

In addition he and B found a very cool Star Wars: Ultimate Visual Guide that they have poured over since and lots of fun new books, including a book about Chopsticks that A finds hilarious and J managed to find Lllama, Llama Zippity Zoom and immediately added it to our stack. A had the best time swapping off reading the books with us in the big chairs, while the other of us chased J around as he toddled from aisle to aisle. Eventually J got tired of toddling and inviting himself to other people’s quiet coloring, and reading, and playing, and it was time to go. I was really glad that we ventured out of our usual library choice and headed to the “big” library for new things to see and do!

Continue Reading

Happy Memorial Day!

And happy birthday to my sweet sister! She’s the best!

We have eaten our weight in popsicles and cherry turnovers this weekend, made fireworks in a bottle, and thoroughly soaked ourselves in the sprinkler. And beaten the castle level on Mario. Obviously a weekend well spent!

IMG_2296 IMG_2299 IMG_2312

And as promised I will update this week with the recipes for everything! Coming soon!

Continue Reading