Thursday, October 30, 2014


I'm a mom. I get overwhelmed. I get frustrated. I get stressed. I get cranky. I get tired. I get hopeless.  Sometimes I feel like there are so many things I'm trying to do and keep up with that I feel like I am drowning.  Swimming and swimming without rest and getting more and more exhausted.  We've all been there.  Lots of moms tell me they are in "survival mode" and it's a very real thing.

I've been feeling like this a lot lately.  All I can think about is getting out from under the dishes, laundry, diapers, sweeping, mopping, while I still do my daily mom duties like breakfast, lunch, dinner, kitchen cleaning, booger wiping, diaper changing, owie kissing, potty training, business running, email sending, phone calling, appointment making, and everything else that comes up.

I'm drowning in all of those things so much that I've forgotten to see the blessings in my life.  I've forgotten to enjoy the sound of small children in my house.  I've forgotten to take the time to snuggle with them.  I've forgotten so many things.

Yesterday I made a decision.  It's time to start remembering.  I read a chapter in my scriptures for the first time in a long time last night.  I didn't have a life changing spiritual experience.  I didn't even have an epiphany of any kind.  While I was reading, I noticed that everything Nephi wrote down was praising God and asking for His forgiveness and help in living righteously.

This morning, I stumbled across this picture and it stuck me right in my soul.
 I've been drowning, sinking, and not even thinking to just reach up and take his hand.  I lost my faith and fell.  He's been here the whole time and all I have to do is seek Him and take His hand.

I'm not ashamed to say that I lost faith because it happens.  A lot.  To everyone.  That's why we have a Savior and He will keep forgiving us and reaching for us.

Matthew 14
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dressers Facelift

Here's my latest little project.  I have been looking for Dressers for the kids for a while.  I'm cheap, and we don't get to throw our money around like parade candy, so I scoured the yard sale pages for months.  Finally I came across these gems.  A cute couple in the neighborhood with two boys were re- doing the bedroom and getting rid of two matching dressers.  My dream come true!  I love having the girl's things match.  Even though they aren't twins, they share a room and I'm a perfectionist so I want things to match.

Matching dressers for $40!!
I drove maybe 5 mins and got them all loaded into the back of my suburban.  I had originally planned on painting them, but noticed that they had a very glossy finish, which makes re-painting a lot more work and time than I wanted to put into them. 

Even came pre-decorated!
They were very loved
So they sat in the garage for a day or two while I thought about what to do with them.  The girls loved helping put their names in vinyl lettering on their bar stools, so I thought "well, I guess we could go get some super cut stickers and just deck 'em out in princesses and fairies".  On my way out the door, I talked to my BFF and neighbor about my LAME-O plan and she said she loved her daughter's dresser that she covered in fabric.(Similar to the Girly Dresser) http://myhouseinreallife.blogspot.com/2012/12/girly-dresser.html
So I decided to go to the fabric store istead.  

So glad I did...cause the fabric store was having a 50% off sale Woot Woot!  The girls helped pick out their fabrics with plenty of guidance from their Control Freak Interior Designer Mom. ;-)  Then we all went home and started on the process.  Scrubbing.  Lots of scrubbing.

Always have lots of help from the girls
They really put some elbow grease into it
Once the dressers were clean and ready for their makeover, I measured the fabrics and cut them just big enough to wrap the fabric around the face of the drawer. It turned out to be just wider than my finger. I used a cutting board and my rota-cutter, or rota-blade or whatever that thing is.  It was much easier and faster than scissors.  I found it was easier to use one piece as a pattern and cut all of my fabrics first.
So after everything was cut, I took the knobs off and kept them with the screws in a bowl so they would be found later. I needed the fabric to stay put while I stapled it to the drawer, so I mixed regular Elmer's glue and water not quite half and half. I had just a tad more glue than water.  I used a cheap paintbrush to spread it on the face of the drawer and then lined up the fabric on the glue while it was wet.  Smoothed it out and turned it over.
Painting the glue

Ready for fabric!
 Once the fabric was where I wanted it and straight, I laid it face down and smoothed the edges around the drawer and stapled them in place.  I used about two to three staples each side.  The corners took afew different strategies, all depending on which corner, so if you plan on doing something like this, you'll just have to experiment a little.
Stapled ends to back of drawer

 It didn't take too long once the kids were in bed and I could work without interruption.  One drawer at a time.  But I already had an idea of where to put each fabric before I started and that made the process faster, too.  But I'm super happy with how they turned out and the girls love them.  They were pretty excited to rearrange their room to make them look just right.  And of course, I love switching things up, too. So it was a perfect little project for the weekend.
Not exactly the same, but coordinating.

The spectacular thing about them is that the drawers are interchangeable so they can move them around if they want a new pattern.  I just hope when they decide to do that their Mommy will be able to let them.  I'll have to breathe deeply and tell myself it's okay that two florals  or two stripes are right next to each other.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

10 Minutes.

So my husband knows more than anyone (yes, even ME) how my moods can change at the drop of a hat.......but he also knows how I have moods that just seem to stick with me like honey sticks to my three year old's face.  The fun, slippery moods are here and gone so quick lately.  The sticky ones are lots of sad, grumpy, or just ... meh.... days all strung together.  I think that's why it's been so hard for me to get to writing this week.  I like making people laugh and feel relieved that they aren't the only crazies out there, and I can't do that when I'm in a Sticky mood.

Writing has gotten me through some troubling times. Writing is a type of therapy for me, so I'm hoping that this will give me a boost.  Whenever I put up a post it's like I'm putting it out there for everyone to see.  I'm exposed and vulnerable, wondering if anyone will read it, care, love it, hate it, call Child Protective Services.... or Heaven forbid, UN-friend me (oh well).

Writing about my life, my experiences, my opinions is one thing, but writing about my feelings? My thoughts, my reflections, my inner workings of what makes me...ME? Feels like quite another.

Well I guess I'll just do what I do and JUMP.

On the outside looking in I'm doing everything I normally do the way I normally do it.  I'm still the loving, caring, patient(to a point. Let's get real, here) mother I am.  True, I haven't showered in three days, but I still have a little mascara left on my lashes and my hair pinned back.  The kids have peanut butter from ear to ear, but they are smiling and playing "let's jump off of the stool and pretend to fly like Peter Pan and Wendy".  They only fight and pull each other's hair maybe 20% of the time, not all day long like it seems to me.  I'm run down not because I'm a bad mother, but because I've had two kids out of three waking up in the middle of the night with fevers and sore throats wanting ice water and to snuggle in bed, and "one more song, Mommy."  The laundry hasn't been done because I hate doing laundry.  I said let's get real, didn't I? 

On the inside of my twisted, chemically imbalanced, crazy brain I'm a failure as a wife and mother and daughter and sister and neighbor.......The house looks like an episode of Hoarders. The children are heathens. The dogs are starving. The upstairs closet is unorganized.  The laundry hasn't been done in three weeks and there's no clean underwear for ANYONE. The occupants of the refrigerator took first place at the county science fair. We ate potato chips and Gatorade for lunch and dinner was a complete and total PINTROCITY. (because I think my cooking is horrible, I have to find something on Pinterest only to ruin it because.....my cooking IS horrible.)  So I'm running around trying to keep up with everything while feeling like a complete utter failure in every way.........might explode soon, but I'm a passive aggressive person, so I just soldier on without saying anything and continue to suffer and go insane in silence.

So the tired, run down, and yes, cranky Sticky mood clings on.

But, something I've learned from cleaning lots of sticky faces.....it comes off with a little warm water and soap.

Into the shower I go.  Just 10 minutes is all I need.  The baby is fed, the girls have chocolate milk, and I have my Orange Ginger body wash.  10 minutes.  The kids will survive without me for 10 minutes.  Breathe. Close my eyes and listen to the water pitter pattering against the shower curtain,  let the warm water rain down and soak my tired hair.  Feel the sweat and tears rinse down the drain with a sigh. 10 minutes. Wash the worries away, scrub the depression off my skin, let it all go down with the suds in the drain. 

As the faucet screeches off I can hear the drip drip drip like a short epilogue to my escape.  When I pull back the wet curtain and the cold air prickles my skin, I step back into the world and hear the girls playing quietly with their toys.  After a deep breath and a mental re-set, I dress, dry my hair and slap on some mascara. Not because I plan on company, but because it feels good. With a little warm water and soap, the Sticky is gone for now.  Ready to start over, ready to try again.

I can look at my daughter's beautiful faces and adore them again.  Kiss their soft, crumb-covered cheeks.  Hold their dimpled little hands in mine.  Let the dishes wait because I'm snuggling with my girls while they watch Tinker Bell (again). Snuggle with my son as he wobbles his head and smiles up at me.

I'm a mother.  I'm not perfect.  I have limits.  Sometimes I need to re-set.  Sometimes I just need 10 minutes.

And that's My House in Real Life.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Scrub Bug

I'll have to start out by apologizing.  I recently set a goal to write a post every week.  Well, my last post was on a Friday......and it's Saturday.  I know there were dozens upon dozens of highly disappointed readers.  Haha. yeah, right.  Well better late than never.

I have an excuse.  And it's a pretty good one.  I couldn't think of anything to write about!!

Well, that's one reason, but the other reason (the bigger one) was that my two youngest kids were sucking me dry for love, attention, food, juice, formula, snuggles, and so on and so forth...... ALL. WEEK. LONG.  I barely had time to feed us all and keep us living and breathing.  Well when my sister-in-law offered to have the girls over for a sleepover, I was so excited for the break.  My hubster was on an overnight camp out trip with a handful of 11 year old boys, so it was just me and my little chubby cheeks boy.  I imagined myself lounging on the couch eating ice cream and watching my TV series all by myself without interruption and finishing up the night with a brilliantly funny blog post.

....................crickets chirping..............................okay maybe not.

Then I walked through the door and the condition of my home overcame me.  There was a faint aroma that was less than appealing, but not quite identifiable.  I couldn't tell if it was coming from a  week's worth of dishes in the sink, I don't know how many days of garbage, or when was the last time I cleaned out the fridge?  I tiptoed around the house like I was going to sneak up on the stink.  *Sniiiiifff*....*sniiiiiiiifffff* ing my way around like a bloodhound.  Maybe it was a mixture of the garbage and the diaper pail.  During my stench pursuit I tripped over toys, balls, stuffed rhino's, crayons, laundry, and books about birds that say "cheep, cheep" and "how many starfish can you count?"  Yes, the very toys, balls, stuffed rhino's, crayons, laundry, and books about birds that say "cheep, cheep" and "how many starfish can you count?"  that I asked the girls to pick up before going to their slumber party.  In my frustration I could feel it coming.....my nostrils flared, my breathing became faster, my blood pressure rose.....I was catching the fever.

The SCRUB BUG.  It happens. It's encompassing, and debilitating and there's nothing that can stop it.  Even bed rest.  I'm not proud to say I was caught scrubbing my base boards while eight months pregnant and bedridden.  That is just an example of how it snatches you. Takes no prisoners.

It all started with the rug.  My husband bought me a beautiful area rug for the TV room.  I love it. I love to look at it.  But where did it go?  It was being hidden under piles of toys, balls, stuffed rhino's, crayons, laundry, and books about birds that say "cheep, cheep" and "how many starfish can you count?" 

Fully infected, I went straight for the living room.  With a twitch in my eye and full tank of gas I found the beautiful area rug once lost and gone.  I cleared the toys, picked up the garbage, tossed the diapers, put MORE sippy cups that were hiding from the girls in the sink, and GOOD GREIF, has this sectional couch been here the whole time?!  I never would have guessed with all of the laundry concealing it.  Sneaky, sneaky. 

Because the house plan is somewhat open, my disease spilled over to the sitting room.  This shoe box hasn't been cleaned out in months, and only half of them fit the kids anymore.  OH. MY. PAW PRINTS!! LOOK AT THIS FLOOR!  Where's the broom?  After sweeping almost half of the hard floors, I passed the bathroom.  The virus morphed into Multi-Room Scrub Bug and I gave in.  On my way to get the dust pan, I grabbed a rag and spray bottle for the bathroom.  Once satisfied with the progress, I spilled over, yet again, to another room.  Perhaps the biggest parasite of the first floor. THE KITCHEN.  Dried Spaghettio's on the table, sidewalk chalk sprinkling the tile, more toys, soggy dish rags on the counter, stained rings on the glass top.  Yes.  It was a perfect host for the Scrub Bug.  And it was thriving.  In me. 

Once all of the obvious symptoms had passed, I suffered from the insanity-inducing side effects.  While bending to place a rug after mopping the floor, I spotted the door frame.  Dogs have been scratching.  Out comes the Magic Eraser.  While finishing up the door frame I noticed the side of the kitchen island.  Then the dishwasher, then the back door where the Newfie sleeps.  Horrific.  *Gasp!* Chocolate finger prints! Peanut butter! Cheetos dust! Brownies? When did we have brownies?  I circled the perimeter of the room with eraser in hand, working the grime off of the walls.  Suddenly, a tickle runs down my face.  What's this?  I blink my way back into consciousness and touch the sweat on my face.  I take a deep breath in, feeling my lungs fill with Lysol air. I exhale as I look over the main floor of our house.  It's gone. I'm cured. It's over.

The baby was ready for a bottle again.  Where did the time go?  I looked at the clock and realized it was time for bed.  Another symptom.  Time laps. 

I still sense a trace of Lysol when I enter the house today, but I like that better than the unidentifiable stench that it has now replaced. 

And that's My House in Real Life.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Confessions of a Real Mom

So I've been thinking.  Which is dangerous, I know.  But here's the thing. Over in my profile I mentioned how I don't live in a beautiful magazine house, and I'm okay with that.  Well, here's another one for ya. 

If you are a female, and you have one or more children, chances are you have subscribed, read, skimmed, or flipped through a parenting magazine; am I right? If not, I will take a moment to explain what I like to call........The Magazine Mom.

DISCLAIMER: This is my personal opinion.  If you love parenting magazines and study them like the Bible, Awesome. Rock on. Work it, sister. However, these are my thoughts.

In a parenting magazines, we moms are bombarded with expectations and suggestions.  Your child should be getting this much sleep, this many ounces of whole milk, water down their juice, only serve your toddler organic foods, make your own baby food cause you have oodles of time on your hands between feeding your child three healthy and balanced meals with two healthy snacks in between that are never accompanied by processed foods or Red dye #40 or GOOD HEAVENS, IS THAT HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!?  Buy this ridiculously expensive toy for them to drool on so their development will be 34% more on target. Your baby should weigh so much as this age, and spend this much time doing developmentally stimulating activities every day, oh and by the way, have you started the three day potty training method while you keep the grocery store tantrums completely under control?......  *PHEW*

This encompasses.......The Magazine Mom.  The moms that *appear to* spend a whole lot of time trying to keep up with all this crap! (excuse me)  They are all around us.  Making us "Real Moms" feel silly and inadequate.  I've hard them be referred to as  "Cute Moms" for their ability to always look like they just walked out of a photo shoot for a parenting magazine.  *Oy.*  Such high expectations that I have been feeling!  Feeling like if I'm a Magazine Mom, that means I'm a GOOD mom......and anything short of that is......well.....unacceptable.  Of course, this isn't the intent of the magazine people (I don't think it is, anyway) but like I said before.... these are my thoughts.  I feel like I'm expected to obtain all of these skyscraper levels of parenting.

I will admit, I was giddy when my sister gave me my first subscription to a parenting magazine for my birthday.  GIDDY, I tell you.  I did try to follow the experts and study the articles like there was going to be a test.  And yes, I admit, I made my own baby food.  It was terrible, and my daughter refused to eat it. LOL  I only had one child and already felt overwhelmed with all of the studies and statistics.  Was my daughter on target? Was she getting enough calories? Is it safe for her to be eating white bread? Should I be testing this food for three days to see if she's allergic?  So many things that I was not only thinking about, but WORRYING about.  My husband kept telling me I was being really silly worrying about these things.  Repeatedly. And I have something to say about my behavior.  I'm so sorry for worrying about silly things that don't really matter as much as I thought they did.

Now here's the thing.  CLEARLY.... I am not a Magazine Mom.  I am a Real Mom.  And here come my Confessions of a Real Mom:

My girls had Cheetos and chocolate milk for breakfast the other day,  I give them 100% NOT watered down apple juice *gasp* and 2% milk!! I also shared a bowl of brownies and ice cream with my three year old last night at 9pm. My girls have spent three straight days in the same pajamas because we didn't leave the house and I didn't want to do the extra laundry.  I have wiped their boogers with their shirts on numberless occasions, I RARELY sanitize a fallen pacifier,  I have no idea what time the baby had how many ounces.....he's hungry, feed him.  I let the dogs lick their faces, When my two girls start fighting.......I let them duke it out for a while before breaking it up.  And here comes a doozy...... I spank their little butts.  Their five basic food groups are peanut butter and nutella sandwiches, grilled cheese, hot dogs with Salt and Vinegar chips, pizza and Spaghettios (princess shapes) and I let them watch a whole lot of TV.

Sounds like a pretty lazy mom, doesn't it?  Wait. It gets better, I promise.

I am not a Magazine Mom.  Does that mean I'm a Bad Mom?  No.  And here comes the why:

My children (ages 3 and almost two) say "please" "thank you" "you're welcome" and "sorry" to my husband, myself, each other, and anybody else who comes in contact with them....(here it comes)....... with minimal prompts.  They have chores. I feel that if they can reach it, they can do it.....and if they can't reach it, they can go get their stool.  They help put clean dishes away, sweep, switch laundry and take the (small bags of) garbage out. They help pick up their toys, shoes, laundry, garbage, and know where each of those items belong.  My three year old is learning to go potty without any help (she still needs help with the wiping process) No, I don't expect them to know how to read or even know the alphabet. They are toddlers, for crying out loud. Let them enjoy being toddlers.

Now I sound like a slave driver, don't I?

 Well, here's the game changer.  Ready?  The girls are doing these chores and activities by their own free will and choice 90% of the time.  Why?  Because instead of spending my time measuring how many ounces of milk they've had in the past 24 hours, and trying to be a Magazine Mom, I'm TEACHING my children. Encouraging my children.  Praising my children. Playing with my children. Loving my children. I have no clue what percentile they are in, nor do I care. I have better things to concentrate on like kissing skinned knees, wiping crocodile tears, snuggling away the monsters, singing bedtime songs, dancing to the movie credits music, and nibbling soft lavender scented baby necks after bath time. Do you know what that makes me?

NOT a Magazine Mom.

 A Real Mom.

A Good Mom.

I am not a Magazine Mom.  And I'm okay with that.

And that's My House in Real Life.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Girly Dresser

This dresser has been passed around in my family for many many years.  I think I'm the third and fifth owner or something like that.  One of my older sisters used it when she was young, and at that time it was just plain wood without any paint or finish.  I could be wrong because when I saw it in that condition I was probably wearing training pants and princess jammies.

So it was passed on to another older sister (yes, there are 5 of us girls) and she was a crafty little kook.  She was always painting her room and stuff.  Anyway she gave this poor little dresser it's first white paint job and added some little cut outs from the wallpaper that had recently been put up to match her room.

It was then passed on to me, who did absolutely nothing with it because I thought the '90's roses and ribbons were the most beautiful things EVER!  And so it stayed for years and years.  Well, last year, Mom called and asked if I wanted "that little old dresser" and, about to have baby #2, I said that I did.

Here's what the old girl looks like now.  As you can see, there is laundry on top and miscellaneous items on the floor.  I told you, I'm real. just because I'm taking a picture doesn't mean I have to clean the entire room and vacuum and all that crap. The picture is fuzzy, the lighting is bad, and I believe that it's also crooked.  I'm no photographer.

Now I've turned into a crafty kook like my sister and wanted to give it a little bit more charm.  I scraped off the wall paper, (btw, sis, it was a chore. Ya really got it on there, didn'tcha?) and gave it a fresh coat of white.  Then, I cut some old brown sheets just big enough to wrap around the front panel of the drawer.  I used a very precise mixture of two different dangerous chemicals that you have to be super smart to mix.  Ok, it was half Elmer's Glue and half water.  And used it as a modge podge.  Next came the green ribbon stems, which I used hot glue just on the ends.  The ribbons are satin and I didn't want to see a squiggly line of glue underneath.  Wherever the stems would pass over the whole for the drawer pull, I cut the ribbons ends in a V shape to leave a whole for the screw.  I was afraid that the screw would....screw up my satin ribbons and fray them.  For the flowers I just cut out some really big circles and folded about two or three of them into fourths for each pedal.  The pink satin has scalloped edges.  I made the butterfly with some more satin ribbon and just stuck it on there with more hot glue, and then got some help from my Daddy-o to screw on some plain wood drawer pulls.  Easy peasy.  That's how I like it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Today's Project

Okay. so when we originally painted the living room at the front of the house, I wasn't really crazy about the color.  It's basically the color of hot chocolate.  Sounds delicious, I know, but the room is always dark because it has a tiny North facing window and another tiny East facing window with a beautiful view of my fence and my neighbor's siding.  It's dark in there.  I've been trying to think of a way to brighten things up in there for a while but didn't want to bring up re-painting to my hubster because Hot Chocolate was the SECOND color we painted.  Yes. Hot Chocolate went over Pumpkin Puke.  That wasn't the actual name of the color, but that's what we call it and that's what it looked like. 
 So this is what it looked like shortly after getting painted. Not terrible, but not that great either.  I've since added curtains and (random) a piano.

So I had been dealing with the dark and scary living room, and then I found this picture on Pinterest.

Loved it. I had been trying to get the circles in the rug incorporated  in the rest of the room. (The curtains have circles all over them but it just wasn't workin' for me)  When I saw this picture, I loved it.  So!  I'm a super cheap-o, and went to Lowe's and bought a little sample of paint for $3. Yes. $3.  And how ironic is it that the color is Cream in my Coffee?? So now we have Hot Chocolate and Coffee Creamer, and if you know my family, the two go together.

Pulled the furniture out, (sorry about the glare in the window. I'm not a photographer) nasty, ugly, plain wall.

My two year old was calling them big eggs.  yep. They do kinda look like big eggs. The first circle was ... I'll admit it... it was kinda scary, but after about this much, it was pretty darn fun. 

 The girls had their own paint brushes and oodles of desire to help. 

So after about an hour or two, we finished.  I had to barricade the kidd-os in the other room while I did the bottom half, which only took about 20 mins.  Don't worry, they had Cheeto's and a movie.

And a few hours later it was all dry and I could move the furniture back.

And here we are! You are lucky that I was able to get the naked child out of the shot. It's a rare occurrence to have one of them completely clothed.  Start to finish in about three hours. I'm not even joking. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I thought that I would be fighting with babies and kicking them out but it was actually a lot of fun.  I used my dining bench to stand on for the top half and you can see in the picture above that all three of us were standing in a row on it painting.  We had a great time.  I didn't tell my husband that I would be painting the wall that day and he was surprised to see the living room in all pushed to one side, but loved that paint. So that makes me double happy.  He even screwed the outlet covers back on for me. What a babe.

Well there you have it.  Our day project. I even had time to make some yummy dinner for my cute family. 

I had a few people tell me it looks like a lot of work, and ask me if it was hard.  I will say it one more time- THIS WAS SO EASY! AND FUN! If you are thinking about doing something like this, don't be scared, take pictures and let me see your awesomeness!!