Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Catching up...Gotcha...I caught you..up...I dunno"

Couldn't think of what to title this post, so I asked Kennedy. That title was his contribution. I love that guy.

BREAKING NEWS: 5 minutes ago, I deleted Candy Crush from my phone. I read this blog post from Lil Blue Boo and was like, yeah, Candy Crush is literally wasting hours of my life. Eff it! I'm gonna delete it. Then I did it right then and there before I could talk myself out of it.

Miracle of all miracles, here I am blogging again. Coincidence? I think not!

I actually have a lot of things to share as of late, in the form of multiple blog posts, but I've been completely unmotivated. Now I have one less excuse to not do anything.

First of all, we found out the gender of our baby on Monday. See if you can guess what the baby is by the end of this blog post!

Kennedy took C-buddy to the trampoline park on Friday morning. He took the day off for this. He was EXCITED. Then, when they got there, Campbell hurt his leg during a jump and they had to leave. It was devastating for Kennedy, because their fun plans got ruined. Then, devastating because C would no longer walk, and it appeared bearing any weight on his leg was extremely painful. So, our pediatrician referred us to an orthopedic clinic. An X-ray later, C is now rockin' a little blue boot.

Sad.

He's adjusting well, especially since we started referring to it as his Cookie Monster foot. He'll stomp his cast and say "Cookie foot! Cookie foot!" Oh, how I love that kid.

In other news, I've been spending my time hunched over my sewing machine this past week, in preparation for Halloween. Campbell will be a robot. Here's a sneak peek:

This is from earlier today. I wanted him to try it on to make sure it fit over his cast, and he wouldn't take it off. He even has the robot arm movements down.

I plan to write a separate blog post about his little costume and what I used to make it. Plus maybe some action shots. The whole thing cost a little under $10 which was a MAJOR plus to me.

ALSO, more stuff came up on my sewing to-do list, including, but not limited to, many many things for the new baby. I bought my first few yards of fabric for the little banana-sized fetus this week, so I can make some flannel receiving blankets. These are the only pieces I could find that didn't have ice skating penguins on them. I'm ready for the winter seasonal items to GO.

I'm obsessed with that science lab fabric up top.

This morning, my little family and I trekked out to Old Navy to begin buying ridiculous amounts of clothes for the baby. Clearance section HOLLA!

I'm also excited to learn how to make a lot of baby clothes. Maybe Santa will bring me a serger for Christmas? Maybe not, he was kind of a creep last year.


Normally, I highly protest infants wearing shoes. But then I saw those little gold sandals and I thought, "Self, it would be a sin not to buy these." And thou shalt not sin, amiright?

Can you guess what kind of baby I'm having?

Monday, September 23, 2013

5 Things About My Life Right Now

It's not that I don't care about my blog, I do. But there hasn't been much to blog about. We are kind of at a stopping point as far as house projects go (at least, until it's time to start on the new nursery.) So maybe I'll try to ease back into this by talking about my daily life. I promise, it's kind of boring. But maybe I need to do this in order to dispel the myth that I get to nap every day and do nothing the rest of the time.

Here's a fun list!

1. Still pregnant. (16 weeks on Wednesday, and we find out the gender in 4 weeks!)


Campbell knows what a baby is, and calls my belly "Baby," although I'm not sure if he has put the two together. I think he is going to have an adjustment period when it's time to share attention full time (and my heart will break into a million pieces over this.)

We spent this past weekend in DFW visiting my new niece (plus the rest of the family), and Campbell spent some significant time sharing attention with family babies (his cousin Olivia and cousin Graham.)

With cousin Graham

His reaction to the babies? Ignore them and maybe they'll go away. Or rather, ignore the person holding/caring for the baby. Apparently holding a baby renders one invisible in his eyes. He did give baby Olivia an unsolicited head-cuddle (putting his head down next to hers,) but it only happened once and he didn't want attention for it. Almost as if to say, "It's not you, it's them, Baby."

I got to hold sweet baby Olivia a BUNCH

Also, what is up with people not freaking out enough on my behalf that we are going to have 2 kids instead of just 1 in a few months?!?! I appreciate the vote of confidence (that's what I'll take it as, not that having a 2nd child is just considered old hat,) but DO YOU REALIZE WHAT WE ARE STEPPING IN TO HERE???

But seriously, thank you for not making a big deal about that aspect of having baby #2. It would probably only agitate me further. And by agitate me further, I mean, irritability is sure rearing its ugly head. I won't go into it, so as to keep that dragon chained up.

2. Grocery Shopping

Why do I wait until Monday morning to do my grocery shopping? Everything is in the process of being stocked, so I inevitably have to go back. Also, why do I wait until Monday morning to plan out our meals for the week? Oh yeah, because I'm a procrastinator and self-punisher.

BUT, this is the first week in many weeks months that I have made a menu and bought for it. Kennedy's going to be excited that we aren't having PBJs for dinner. That is, if I get around to cooking what I planned.

Campbell has a love/hate relationship with the grocery store. He loves it until he hates it, and then I have to run around with the cart like I'm a contestant on Supermarket Sweep.


He has figured out how to climb out of the cart seat and stand up. And homeboy has STRONG quad muscles, so there's no holding him down. Today I had to pull the cart over next to the "hispanic food" shelf while he stood up.

This kid is smart. He knows he's not supposed to stand in the cart, so in order to manipulate me into not forcing his little legs down, he reached over, put his arms around my head and started kissing my neck. Then I said, "You need to sit down," but he could tell I was crumbling, so he grabbed my head in his hands and started kissing my face. Then we just stood there for a couple of minutes while he smiled at me and gave me kisses so he could stand up in the cart. And of course I let him, because he refused to even look at me the whole weekend (see above: Baby Jealousy) so I'll take whatever I can get.

WHERE DID HE LEARN THIS TACTIC? He can have whatever he wants. What. Ever. He. Wants.

Skeleton tantrum

I finally got him to sit with no tears by bribing him with a mini light-saber flashlight that was on clearance. So I win? Uhhh...

3. Pulling Weeds

Our entire front yard is full of weeds. I have spent a few hours over the course of a few days pulling weeds. I'm still not done. But I pulled a bunch today. The End.


4. I'm a handy-woman!

I don't know about you, but I hate our sliding glass door. It's heavy and it gets stuck in the track and I have to use all my might to close it. The kind of might that causes a hernia.

I miss all our french doors at our old house (along with the rest of our old house, but we won't dwell.)

I fixed it today though. Wanna know how? Cooking spray. BOOYAH, WD40. You couldn't get the job done, but Olive Oil in an aerosol can could! Put that on Pinterest. Somebody.

5. Baby Monitor and Baby Daddy

Yesterday when we got home from Dallas, Kennedy plugged the baby monitor in and "the adapter started smoking and it was burning hot." Then all of a sudden, the monitor wouldn't charge and wasn't getting any power from the outlet.

I had a mini-meltdown in which I calmly stated that I couldn't properly care for our son if I couldn't see him while he was sleeping. Kennedy ignored my panic, which infuriated me further. But we finally decided to try just exchanging it at Buy Buy Baby, where we bought it almost a year ago.

I called them and said we didn't have a receipt, but that the monitor didn't work. They said, come on in, we'll give you an even exchange. Who does that? Buy Buy Baby does that. That's not the first time I've been impressed with their customer service, but it is worth mentioning that if you have one near you, you should shop there for all your baby needs.

I made Kennedy go in and do the exchange while C and I waited in the car because I'm a chicken. He's my hero.

Then we went to Target and Kennedy picked out adorable fall clothes for Campbell because he loves spoiling him. Then later, right after Kennedy did Campbell's bath and put him down for bed, he sat on the couch and watched videos of Campbell on his phone over and over because he missed him.

My point is not to show that Kennedy pretty much did everything for Campbell yesterday while I laid on the couch with a headache. It's to brag about how much my Baby Daddy loves C. And I hope one day Campbell will read my blog and see this and know that his Dada is obsessed with him.


6. That's all

See? Nothing to blog about.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

News News News!

So, cat's outta the bag if you follow me on Instagram or are a Facebook friend (or real friend/family member) of mine.


I will say that this is the main reason I have been away from the blog so much this summer. Also, because travel. And busy. But mostly, because I was exhausted at the end of June and then found out on July 1 the real reason why (and it wasn't because of busy!)

I can't tell if this pregnancy is different from the first, because my life was different then. For one, I wasn't chasing a toddler around during the first pregnancy, which could explain why I've been feeling like I was hit by a truck for the past 3 months. (I think that stage is mostly over with now, thank goodness for the 2nd trimester!)

I was teaching back then also, so I think I was more mentally distracted from my exhaustion. So who knows? At this point, I am starting to feel like a real human being again, and that is the same.

Other similarities: Mood swings, general irritability, queasiness/nausea for about 6-7 weeks. (Other than the nausea, Kennedy says how is that a pregnancy symptom for you? Hilarious.) But Kennedy's been every bit as helpful, if not more this time around. I'm lucky he married me. No one else would put up with this crap.

Last week was my first week to feel almost 100% myself again, and then we got hit with a freight train of a stomach bug. First Kennedy, then Campbell. I think I've avoided it, but I do have a cold/scratchy throat now, so maybe it's a virus from the future that manifests itself differently in different people. I don't know, I'm not a microbiologist.

I realize I'm going out of order here, but it is worth mentioning that I doubled my collection of nieces a couple of weeks ago!

From the KC Zoo: C on the left, Niece #1 Audrey on the right lookin' all cute.

Niece #2: Olivia!

My nieces are the cutest. I still haven't had a chance to meet Olivia, but the time is nigh. We'll be flying down to meet her soon. Very soon.

THEN, at the end of September, my collection of nephews will double (again, from 1 to 2.) So basically, we're experiencing a baby boom in this family. I wonder who's pregnant right now and I don't know it yet? There's probably at least one of you out there reading this...

MEANWHILE (said in Fran Drescher's voice from The Nanny), I believe C is in my favorite and least favorite stage at this point. 

Right now he is the dirtiest, smelliest, whiniest, and sneakiest he's ever been. I am assuming it comes with the age.

He's also hilarious, and it's been amazing to learn more and more about him as a person every day. He's communicating better with his increased vocabulary, which has made things easier in many ways. However, now he knows how to say what he wants, and he's got a double dose of stubborn from his parents. So that's not always enjoyable.

But his smile continues to be the best; I live for that.

At any rate, I love that boy, and I'm lucky to be his Mama. I can't wait to see him as a big brother. (Well, actually I can wait a little bit; I have some prep to do before a baby is here...)

Today, I made this:


First craft in a while. *Pats self on back.*

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

IKEA HACK: My new kitchen table!

When Kennedy and I first got married, he literally had an antique wooden box full of hand-me-down tools. I don't think a single one of them required a battery or power cord. He had also never painted a wall before. (??? What?)

And now here we are, and he's a full-blown carpenter (in my loving eyes.) He spent the last two weekends building me a kitchen table and bench. How could I not brag about it on my blog? Especially since I haven't blogged in like, 5 weeks, and I can't think of anything else to write about at the moment.


I've been wanting a stainless steel-top table for a while now, but you know me. I'm unwilling to pay retail value for anything. So when I saw that IKEA had this table top, I knew Kennedy would jump at the chance to build it for me. It also meant he got to get a new power tool (a table saw), so he was more than happy to oblige.

Peek a boo! I spy our old kitchen table in the background. Someone needs to buy that thing on Craigslist.

Then he built me this bench, which I love. And apparently so does Campbell, because I've already caught him using it to parlay himself onto the table itself. So, parent fail for not recognizing that potential hazard upfront.

The chairs are from World Market, and you can find them here.

Campbell also likes to climb on those chairs, which means I will be investing in some scotch guard spray this week. Homeboy rarely is without dirt/food/crayons in his hands.

In other (more depressing) news, Kennedy cancelled our cable and it went off today. (See how I made him seem like the villain in this situation? I guess I agreed to it. Kind of.) So I bet I'll be spending a lot more time on the blog now. 

For 1 month. I give it 1 month.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

redbox Etiquette

Kennedy and I rented a redbox DVD last night, (or "got a RedBox" for all you redbox veterans out there,) and had the normal conversation that usually follows. If you have been redboxing for a while now, you know the conversation.

"OMG, there was a person in front of me who was soooo slow. He went through the entire 30 pages of rentals, even the grayed out pages." (Because we now say OMG out loud in addition to typing it.)

or

"OMG, this lady read every synopsis in the romantic comedies before deciding, and then kept scanning her debit card upside down."


Yeah, nothankyou

This frustrates me usually, but last night I had an epiphany. I realized that the worst redbox offenders that I have come across are from the Block Buster generation. And this was how you rented movies 5-10 years ago.

We used to have a family tradition of going to Block Buster on a weekend night (usually after Braum's Ice Cream or something) and everyone went their separate ways to browse the rental selection. It was a great time, and it worked well for Block Buster.

Well, redbox ain't Block Buster, my friends! I have decided to compile a short quiz to help you determine whether or not you're a redbox amateur.

1. Do you know what movie you want to rent before you get to the front of the redbox line? (Yes/No)

2. Do you have the redbox app on your smartphone? (Yes/No)

3. Did you know that you can check availability/reserve a DVD before you even get to the kiosk? (Yes/No)

If you answered NO to any of these 3 questions, then you need to keep reading. If you answered YES to all, then you need to forward this blog post on to at least 5 people or you will be eaten alive after unknowingly stepping in a ground nest full of a rare wasp/hornet/ant hybrid species.

Now let's talk about redbox Etiquette. Follow these 3 easy steps and you will be a redbox Pro in no time! Membership benefits include getting hours of your life back, and feeling superior in the redbox line.


1. a) If you have a smartphone, download the redbox app. If you don't know what the 3 underlined words in that last sentence mean, take your cell phone to the nearest redbox kiosk and stand next to it. Wait for the next person who takes 1 minute or less to rent a video and they will help you download it. Trust me, they will be more than happy to help, as it is mutually beneficial to both of you.

b) If you do not have a smartphone, I'm almost positive you have a computer with internet, otherwise, how are you reading this right now? Go to the redbox website and browse to your heart's content.

2. When you decide you are in the mood to "get a redbox," open the app from Step 1 and take allllll the time you want looking at every movie that piques your interest. You can even search for specific movies! Or look at only their newest releases! And you can read plot synopses AND watch trailers! The major plus is that no one is behind you "coughing and squeaking [their] shoes so [you] know" they're there. (A direct quote from Kennedy yesterday, by the way.) And I may have completely butchered the punctuation in that quote, but I don't have time for correct punctuation! I am on a cultural mission!

3. Find/Reserve a DVD. For this, you will need to enter your credit card information. I know this makes you nervous, but it eliminates the risk of driving allllll the way over to the redbox kiosk only to find that the guy in front of you wearing a towel around his waist just rented the last copy.
Here is how you reserve from the iPhone app:

  • Touch the shopping cart icon near the upper right hand corner
  • Touch the button that says "Add a Movie" (or if you're renting a game, "Add a Game".)
  • Touch the picture of the movie you want to add
  • Touch the blue "Reserve at Kiosk" button at the bottom of the screen.
  • Touch the shopping cart icon again and then the blue "Go to Checkout" button
  • Proceed to checkout and the DVD will be waiting for you at whatever kiosk you chose!
Take the credit card that you reserved the DVD with to the kiosk, touch "Pick up Reservation" button, slide that card and DONE.

And THAT'S how you get a redbox in 30 seconds or less.

**I was not compensated by redbox for this blog post in any way. This is simply a Public Service Announcement from me to the world in order to make redbox lines run more quickly and smoothly.**

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Upcycling TOMS + other random things that are consuming my life

It's summer time and that apparently equals BUSY over here! But unfortunately, that hasn't stopped me from downloading Dots and Candy Crush Saga onto my iPhone and wasting every free second bent over that thing/cursing like a sailor. Those games are HARD, but I can't quit now! 


True story, while waiting for my pictures to upload to this blog post, I played 20 rounds of Candy Crush. I only stopped because I just lost all my lives. This is a problem.

I keep overhearing people (OK, I'm an eavesdropper. Secret's out.) saying "I can't believe it's mid-June already! And I totally agree with them. Where does the time go in the summer? You'd think since we have more daylight, the days would feel longer. No such luck!

I've been trying to have some sort of activity planned for me and C to do each day so we don't go crazy or sit inside staring out the windows like we did all winter. I mean, come on. I'm over that. How depressing. Hence, my lack of blogging/returning phone calls/cleaning. Me and my baby-buddy are busy, y'all!
Like, busy riding around on this tractor toy I dug out of the neighbor's trash.

This also means that when C is down for a nap, I am having down time. And down time = Candy Crush Saga this week. 

BUT, before I got Candy Crush, I actually did a little upcycle to my black TOMS. They're one of the first pair I got, and they've had holes in the toes for a couple of years now. I stopped wearing them for a while when I was pregnant and my feet grew. And it's taken a while for them to get back to normal.



Ok. Honestly, they didn't go all the way back to normal. I think they're wider than before. So that makes these TOMS a liiiiiiittle snug, and the holes started to get more and more noticeable.

Then I remembered I had some fun black fabric in my stash with white stitching across it and thought it'd be PERFECT for my hole-y TOMS.


And also, I guess I drag my left foot behind me in some weird way, because there was this hole on the back heel only. So that needed to be spruced up as well.

The first thing I did was make the holes bigger by cutting them open. I did this because I thought it might help the shoes not feel so tight with an extra layer of fabric. (I've covered another pair of TOMS before and unfortunately, after they were covered, I couldn't fit my giant feet into them.)
Cut the toes open a little bit for more room. Cut more than this for more room, then stuff the toes to the brim while gluing the fabric down,

Also, I know I should have washed them before I did this, but I didn't. I wore them to the splash pad one day, so maybe that is good enough? 

Basically, I just cut some fabric to size and glued it down, tucking it in as I went.

Then I did a bad job taking pictures along the way, but here are a few bullet points of tips to successfully up-cycling your TOMS:
  • Choose a cotton fabric and make sure it is pre-washed before you glue it on. That way, if you want to wash your TOMS later, the fabric doesn't warp and peel off.
  • Hem the fabric piece along one side for the toe piece and measure and hem 3 sides for the back heel patch (this helps it look more finished, and keeps the edges from fraying.)
  • Stuff a bunch of toilet paper in the toes to help them keep shape while you're gluing the fabric down.
  • Use masking tape or painters tape to hold the fabric in place for a few hours while it's drying. I mean, REALLY TAPE THOSE SUCKERS UP.
  • For the back heel, cut a little piece from the middle to show the TOMS label, and slowly cut away more until you are showing the whole label. If you try to do this all at once, you will probably end up getting it crooked.
  • After it is all glued down and dry, trim away the excess fabric with small, sharp scissors. Then, go back along the edges and add extra glue where needed, and tape it down again for a few more hours.
  • Remove tape and wear!


ta-da!

The good news is, these fit this time! The bad news is, there is no bad news.

The other good news is, did anyone see this week's episode of Real Housewives of Orange County? How is it possible for me to love people who I've never met so much?

I bet anyone reading this blog post who doesn't really know me probably thinks I'm white trash.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Do you have a chalkboard wall? (How to dress it up!)

Title sung to the tune of 'Do You Know the Muffin Man?' Commence singing it in your head all day. You're welcome!

Today during nap time (Campbell's, not mine), I pried myself off the couch long enough to spruce up our chalkboard wall. Not that it needed sprucing up, but more is more in my humble opinion.

This little update was so freakin' easy, any child with lower-level scissor skills could do it. That's why I'm sharing it. For all the low-level scissor-smiths that read my blog.

DIY Contact Paper Frames
Shout out to my iPhone 4s. Thanks for taking such professional looking photos!

Materials: Scissors. Sharpie. Contact paper.


Step 1: Fold contact paper in half.
Step 2: Draw a doodly-dad in whatever shape you want your contact paper frame to be.

I call this shape "Bumps and Spikes."

Step 3: Draw the inner part of your frame. I used an oval on this one, and squares/rectangles in others.


Step 4: Cut. It. Out. (This step was brought to you by Uncle Joey.)




Step 5: Peel off the back of the contact paper and stick it up on the wall.

Ta-da!

I think it dresses it up a little/organizes the chalkboard chaos. For a while there, Kennedy was listing out new compliments to me every day. I finally had to say, "Enough, enough, I get it! You love me. Now can we just stick to one compliment at a time already?" I know. But don't feel sorry for me, he has other great qualities. :-)

My point is, now he has a designated area where he can tell me how great I am (See: bottom frame.) And I have a place/places for him, too! The bottom of the wall is still designated for C-buddy's scribbles, which, I don't think I can bring myself to ever erase. So I don't know how he plans on adding to his section.

Do you have contact paper? I have this huge-A roll of white contact paper that I got for lining drawers and shelves. I don't think I'll ever run out of it. But if I do, maybe I'll head on down to Home Depot or Lowe's and pick up some more in a funky color/pattern. 

The great thing about this contact paper being stuck to your wall is that it peels of rather easily if you get sick of it, and it leaves absolutely no residue behind. How's that for non-committal decor?

Do you have a chalkboard wall?
A chalkboard wall?
A chalkboard wall.
Do you have a chalkboard wall?
Well let's go dress it up!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Things That Are Wrong With Me

Holy Crap. I can't believe it has been one full month since I blogged, and the last thing I talked about included calling small children really ugly names. I'm sorry that was the first thing anyone saw when they visited my blog this month of May. I don't take back what I said about that kid, though.

This month has been ca-ra-zy. We've been all over the place, and I've done some things around the house and I simply have not had time and/or energy to share.

Then I started to blog last weekend and in the middle of that, I closed my laptop and took a nap. Then, when I woke up, I found out I was needed for an emergency babysitting situation 500 miles away THE NEXT MORNING. So there are my excuses!

You're probably like, alright, big deal, Sara. Now go ahead and tell me what things are wrong with you so I can feel a little better about myself.

I'll try, but I might have forgotten some of them since I first intended to write this.

1. Addicted to TV.  Addicted to bad TV.


Specifically, Ready For Love, which aired maybe 3 episodes before it was cancelled. Sad day for me. Followed by a happy day when I found out all the episodes would still be uploaded to NBC.com.

What do I love about this show? I really couldn't tell you. It's pretty damn terrible. But I'm in it til the end. I'm emotionally invested, maybe even more than the contestants, at this point. So that's one thing.

2. I can't stop painting things

(Grainy sneak peek at one of our guest rooms.)

I painted the final room that is going to be painted in our current house. GLORY HALLELUJAH. I hate painting walls. I went back and forth for WEEKS about what color I should paint this room, and finally landed on a custom paint color -- The main reason? It was FREE. The other reason? I was influenced by Nate Berkus. More on that in another post, hopefully not a month from now.

Anyway, as much as I hate painting walls, I have become obsessed with spray painting things. Here's my list of things I have recently spray-painted: This dresser in our front entry, an antique iron bed frame (for our other guest room, and that's another post, too), 2 bar stools, a bunch of mason jars...

And I'm not done, either. I still have a bunch of other things in a running list in my mind. It has gotten to the point that I am literally walking from room to room in our house thinking to myself, "would that look good with gold metallic spray paint?" and "What if that was hot pink?"

You can try and stop me, but it would be a waste of your time. I'm a spray-paint-aholic.

3a. Kennedy and I went to Costa Rica


3b. And I held a giant snake


Ain't nothing wrong with 3a, but I feel like you needed to know that I got to go to Costa Rica. Does it make you feel less jealous if I tell you I got a 24-hour stomach bug while I was there that made me miss a catamaran-and-snorkeling trip?

3b, on the other hand: what the bleep is wrong with me? That thing almost wrapped itself around my neck and torso in order to sever my spinal cord. I made it out alive this time. This time.

4. I have been wearing my hair in a french braid a la 6th grade about 85-90% of the time lately.

And no, I'm not going to share a picture.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In Which I Rant About Playground Etiquette

Finally.

FINALLY!

Hello, Sun. Nice to finally see you. Didn't think you'd make it to this part of the country...ever.

Campbell and I have finally been able to consistently enjoy time outside. Poor thing, he has my fair skin. So even though I slathered him in SPF 50 today and put a hat on him, he still got a little pink.


We went to a nearby park, which was hoppin'. There weren't really any kids his own age there, but it's nice to just go somewhere. And not spend money on it. He's finally to a point that he is walking pretty steadily/trying to run, and homeboy is obsessed with being outside.

But the more I expose him to playing in public settings with unknown children, the more tense I get. Studies show that you can tell if someone is a dick-head by age 2. (Ok, maybe I made that up.)

This isn't to be a cynic and say that kids are cruel, because for the most part, kids are adorable and sweet. But I can spot a jerk child from 1 mile away. And that kid's jerk parents usually aren't even that close. (I generalize, I know.)

I've spent my fair share of time with kids of different age groups (what with being a teacher/preschool caretaker/volunteer/swim lesson instructor/etc), so I feel like I have a handle on what is a stage of growing up (i.e. tantrums and not sharing,) vs. what is just someone being a not nice person.

Example: Girl in sandbox yelling "NO!" at Campbell when he tried to play with some sand toys next to her - developmental stage.

Boy in sandbox shoveling sand through his legs without looking where it was going (right into Campbell's face) - Aloof?

Side note: his mom was right there and told him to stop, AND I QUOTE "because you're going to get sand in your shoes." Um, really, Mom? Not because he needs to not throw sand -- period. Because it could get in someone's eyes/mouth/nose?

As Campbell was climbing out of the sandbox, he tripped and fell on his hands and knees. We're still working on the steadiness. Anyway, he started to half-cry...not sure why, maybe he came down a little too hard on his hands, maybe the pavement was hot. At any rate, he wasn't really hurt that bad.

Then, out of nowhere, this little 7- or 8-year-old DH runs up, looks at Campbell and says "Ha-ha!" As if he was saying, "Hey little baby, I saw you fall down when you were trying to walk, and I found joy in the fact that you probably got hurt and that's why you're crying."

I gave him the dirtiest close-range* look I could muster and he quickly ran away. (*It's important to keep the dirty look close-range, so that any parents that are close-by can't see the look you just gave their child. But who am I kidding? They're probably one of the ones on their cell phone the whole time their kids are playing, anyway.) I don't know why, but I wanted to trip that kid as he ran away.

I was reminded of a scene from This is 40, where Leslie Mann's character confronts her daughter's bully. Here is the best quality video I could find for now, if you haven't seen it. WARNING: Foul (but hilarious) language ahead.


Guess what? This will be me. I will do this. If anyone, ANYONE, ever tries to hurt my child and he is not able to defend himself, you will see the Mama Bear come out. I know it's not the most mature thing to do, but I'm only human. And I know some things after being a teacher AND a Mom.

When I was just a teacher, but not a Mom yet, I had this very optimistic attitude about children. Even (and especially) the bad kids. I loved bad kids as a teacher. They were challenging, endearing, and dying for a positive connection with an adult. 

I thought, every kid has a chance to be a good person. And every kid deserves a chance to do something good. 

I still believe that to an extent, and that is largely a part of what teachers do for your children. That's for another post, but go hug a teacher (or don't, many of us enjoy our personal space,) but at least give them a kind word.

But what I also know is that kids don't just do whatever some random adult tells them to do. They need to have a relationship with that adult. They need to trust that adult. So for someone to think they can politely tell some random kid what to do at a playground, uhyeahgoodluck. Best case scenario, that kid will run off without responding in any way to your request. (As they should - Stranger Danger!)

Now that I'm a Mom, I see many children in the context of their family (i.e. look at their parents.) And what I think is that sometimes parents just SUCK. Sorry to be blunt and not completely encouraging, but sometimes, if a parent has no regard for other's feelings or existence, then their kids will easily follow suit.

And that's where that DH kid came from, I'm assuming. A big old DH family.

I hope as Campbell gets older, and people stop saying how cute he is (which, let's face it, is never gonna happen, because he will always be cute), that they will comment on his character. I hope they will tell me things like he was a friend to the friendless (I Love Lucy), and that he's a good helper. And that he pet their dog really gently. (We're working on not slapping, so I thought I'd throw that in with my wish-list.)


Basically, this was just one giant rant for me to say, even if your kid is old enough to play by themselves on the playground, watch them anyway. Look at how they interact with other children, and correct behaviors that need to be corrected. Don't assume just because there aren't any parents knocking on your door calling your kid an A-hole, that your kid isn't an A-hole. It starts young, people!

On the flip-side, if your kid is in the cross-hairs of someone who's a jerk, don't feel like it's your job to correct that child or anything. Just take your kid somewhere else, away from the rude brat. Especially if it's just some Rando' at the park who you'll never see again.

Have you dealt with playground jerks and your own kids? What's your way of dealing with them? OR is YOUR KID the jerk? 

Monday, April 29, 2013

My Chalkboard Wall and a Free Digital Print!

Free Art Mondays! I made it just in the nick of time!

But first.

Remember how last week I daydreamed about painting a large portion of my kitchen in chalkboard paint? Well, I did it.

Here's what it looked like before:


And here it is with actual chalkboard paint on it (not photoshopped):


I'm in love I'm in love I'm in love.

I told Kennedy that one day we're going to have a kitchen that's magazine-worthy and formal and perfect. But for now, it's gonna have chalk on everything.

And do you see that little doodle down by the floor?

Here's a close-up.

In between painting and priming with chalk (going over the whole surface with chalk before using it), little C-buddy walked in and put his cute little hands all over the wall. After I primed with the chalk, I noticed that it didn't cover his handprint, and now it's there forever.

I traced around it because it was too cute to stand, and now it looks like a little bear cub paw print. How appropriate.
I die.

And someone (ahem, Kennedy) has already started having some fun with the chalkboard wall.

Sounds appetizing.



I also used my new chalkboard to make some more free art that nobody wants.

Enjoy, Nobody!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bad Photoshop: My kitchen

I can't stop wanting to change things all. the. time. at my house. Which is weird because I fear change. But not really decor change, since I actually crave decor change, but fear life change.

Anyway, I know it's been done to death, but I am seriously considering painting a large portion of my kitchen with chalkboard paint. There isn't a lot of wall space anyway, and I'm not sure how it will look, so I decided to photoshop it.

Now, I will warn you, my photoshop skills are very, very good. It will be difficult for you to tell what is real and what isn't. Kind of like The Matrix. So be sure to read everything. Then you will know what is real and what is photoshopped.

Here. Let me give you a practice round.

Real.

Photoshopped.

I know it's hard to tell, but in the bottom one, I actually photoshopped Campbell's cute head onto a real baby bear. Because he couldn't actually climb a tree when that photo was taken. 

Another practice round? Sure!

What's real and what's photoshopped?

I know it's hard to tell, but the photoshopped part is actually where I put young Elvis Presley's face on Kennedy's body.

This is a real picture of Kennedy, for reference.

Ok, now on to the real stuff! Here are some photoshopped pictures of our kitchen to help me make a decision. And this is a rare moment where I will ask someone's opinion on something, so feel free to weigh in!



This pantry push-out is what I'm thinking about smothering with chalkboard paint. Why? Because I want to change something...


Here's what it might look like when I'm done and when we finally get around to tiling over that desk area...


And here it is from another angle...

For the record, I would probably move that framed picture somewhere else and just have the entire wall full of chalk art...Maybe a calendar or a menu? And C could use it color down near the bottom, since he's still under 32 inches tall.

So, thoughts? Is it too busy? For pictures of the rest of the kitchen, you can look here. It's best to have an informed decision. Please vote now.
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