Monday, January 31, 2011

Unruly Boys

I don't have too many rules around the house.  I find the more rules we have, the more arguing, talking back, and bad attitudes we have.  I do ask a few things of my boys, that I'm sure are standard in most homes:

Respect others (especially your parents)
Take care of our possessions
Clean up after yourself
Help others when you are asked
Homework before play
Don't eat Daddy's junk food

Now there is one rule I made for a few good reasons - it helps me keep the house neater, it helps keep the noise level three boys can make from overtaking the entire house, and it keeps me sane.  See, the rule is 
KEEP THE TOYS UPSTAIRS.  
Seems simple, right?  They each have their *own* room AND a game room in between!  They have tons of room to run upstairs; there is storage for their toys - it's just better to have everything up there!  There are a few exceptions to this rule - when we have a playdate with little ones who aren't good with stairs yet, when Monkey-Man needs some play time just with mama, and when we are all playing together.  But for the most part the kid stuff stays upstairs.  I cleaned up before bed last night.  Today a hurricane came through - this is what accumulated downstairs:


The collection is so random, that it almost looks like a picture from one of those I Spy books!

Guess what everyone's doing when school is out today!

Fun with boys

In my house, we love anything LEGO!  I mean, love love love!  All three of my guys can spend hours building all sorts of different creations!  Are your guys the same way?  Do you have a LEGO store near you?

LEGO Stores have a special day every month when they let kids (ages 6-14) come in and do a mini model build!  Just visit the store on the 1st Tuesday of every month and you get to build your own mini model and take it home - all for free!  Each model has a theme that corresponds to the month it's available. 

For February, the Mini Model is a cool little skier!  

Guess you know where you can find us tomorrow evening, huh?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Imaginative Fun!

Yesterday while going through some of my favorite blogs, I ran across this beauty at Roots And Wings Co:

I was so stinking excited to see this!  We moved about 6 months ago.  When we started packing, we had NO boxes.  So I borrowed, begged and bought tons of cardboard moving boxes.  When I got to the new house and unpacked, I swore I'd save every good box we had so I didn't have to stress if/when we ever move again.  Then I realized I was taking up pretty good storage space in the guest bedroom for EMPTY boxes!  Even flat, they take up space!

When I saw that castle, I knew it would be perfect for my little guys!  I started immediately.  All I needed was a box cutter, old boxes, and tape.  Lots of tape!

I didn't mean to copy their castle tower by tower, but it did end up looking really similar.  I did totally mean to copy her windows, though - those are awesome!
Here's what I came up with:
 See those cute little piggies entering the tower with Cookie Monster?  <3

When the older boys came home from school, they insisted I add rooms to the back - with a roof!  So I spent another 30 minutes or so adding another room.  Each tower on the ends have a door - one with a fabric flap, one with a cardboard cutout and ribbon to serve as a door knob.  The tower in the middle has both the drawbridge and a back door so they can go through to the rooms in the back.  

So far, the kids have had their snacks in there, played knights fighting a dragon, and used the castle to hide during a big Nerf gun war!  It's a ton of fun, even for me.  I'm really tempted to paint the whole thing - a bit over the top, right?  Convince me not to. lol  

Oh, and FYI - this is in our formal dining room, right off our entry way.  This is the only room we don't have furniture in, so it was a perfect spot for a castle!

Find me here:




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Let me introduce myself...

I'm a butt-face.  

Apparently, my once sweet, angelic 3 year old has picked up a few bad words from somewhere.  I hate to blame his older brothers since I don't usually hear those words from them, but where else would he get it?!  

Monkey Man's favorite word now is butt-face.  That's what everyone looks like and acts like.  But most importantly, it's my new name.

Let's break it down: Butt.  Face.  "Butt" is already a funny word to boys, much like "panties," "boobies," "boogers," and "wiener."  But add "face" to the end - well, that's just art!  Right?  I mean, I don't find the value in a word like butt-face, but I'm guessing I'm in the wrong age demographic.  Well, that and all the horrible dirty looks I have to endure when he screams my new name in public.  That's not fun.  

And playdates?  Oh, I cringe at the thought.  I would LOVE to get out more and visit with other moms while our kiddos play.  But the thought of Monkey Man teaching his buddies his new vocabulary?  YIKES!  I don't want to be *that* mom!  Honestly, I just want my sweet baby back!

How did he go from this little sweetie:

To this little devil:


So what do I do?  I've told him we don't say words like this.  I've sent him to time out.  I've done ever reasonable punishment possible for a 3 year old.  Except vinegar...I made my older boys drink a tsp of vinegar when they said nasty words.  Maybe I should do that?!  I just hate the crying and spitting that comes when they have to have even a drop of vinegar.  But maybe it works where time out isn't?  

Oh, and before anyone thinks I'm a mean mama for the vinegar - it's healthy!  It's better than poisoning them with soap, right?

What great suggestions and words of wisdom do you have for this tired, frustrated butt-face of a mama?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun Valentine's Day Shirts!

Last week sometime, I told my boys that I wanted to make some Valentine's Day shirts.  I figured it would be a fun craft to do with them and since t-shirts are cheap, I wouldn't care if they didn't actually want to wear them.  I worried that they'd protest, since obviously hearts would be involved and they are super macho boys.  But, surprisingly, all three kiddos were excited and ready to help!  

The first thing we did was think about our designs.  The Chief and Con-man actually came up with their own designs!  They sketched them out for me, told me exactly how to do it and then supervised as I drew everything out larger.  I decided on Monkey Man's shirt design because, well he's 3 so I still have some say!

We made these shirts using the freezer paper stenciling technique.  First you draw out your design, then cut it out with a utility or craft knife.  Monkey Man's design was a little tricky for me to figure out because I wanted the white heart and red ribbon.  I somehow managed to get it in one try, but I wasn't sure it was coming out right until I stuck the freezer paper to the shirt.  Here's what it looked like with the stencil:

I just used white craft paint and painted all over the design.  Make sure you have something between the layers of t-shirt first - the paint will go through!  It takes at least two coats before you get good coverage. Here is what it looked like right after I removed the stencil (allow to dry first):

You can see some of the lines aren't very crisp.  That's because a bit of the paint sticks to the stencil as you pull it up.  Just touch up any areas that really bother you with a small brush.

Here are all three finished products:

Awe, so I have a mama's boy, a rocker, and a boy that thinks girls and love are icky!  
I think I'll keep them!



Find me here!













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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Chief!

Yesterday was my oldest son's birthday!  He is now 8 years old, but wishes he was 10.  Crazy how they wish away their childhood when we wish we could just get it back, right?!  The Chief is pretty true to his nickname.  As the oldest, he's definitely a leader in this house.  His little brothers follow his every move - good and bad.  They love him and look up to him in ways he'll never know.  And he can never understand how proud he makes me every day - even in the moments that he's driving me completely insane!


We had The Chief's birthday party this past weekend.  I will probably always question my sanity when thinking back on this party in particular.  I let him invite 15 boys total to have a sleepover.  WHAT?!?!  Yes, I realize I must be crazy!  I guess I'm lucky that only 5 kids actually showed up.  My husband somehow didn't realize until 2 hours before the party that kids would actually be spending the night.  I think he tends to block out information when it's something he doesn't like.  

We really went into the party without a plan, which works for us.  If I put too much thought into a party, something will go wrong, I will totally spaz and stress out, which makes my husband grumpy.  Disaster!  So instead, we just let the kids kind of run wild.  

We had some play basketball outside (the goal was his big gift this year), some have a Nerf gun war inside, and sometimes they jumped on the trampoline or wrestled in my living room.

{This is a few of the boys taking cover under a baby gate so they wouldn't take fire from the kids upstairs!}

The only thing I did plan was the food.  Boys need food and lots of it.  Pizza is a good choice - cheap, delicious and feeds a crowd.  Chips, and the like are good to have on hand.  Soda and juice pouches, too.  Most people have cake at a birthday party, right?  Well, that was going to be a problem for us.  See, The Chief doesn't like cake any more.  Seriously.  Not store bought or homemade.  He doesn't like the cake or the icing.  Surely this is a phase, right?  Anyway, when I saw this Popcorn Cake at Cookies and Cups, I knew it would be perfect for us!


{This is the birthday boy with his goodies.  Here you can tell a few things about us: 1 - we love junk food. 2 - we drink cheap margaritas.  3 - we drink even cheaper pop.}


Overall, I'd say The Chief's party was a success.  We didn't have any injuries, fights were kept to a minimum and everyone had fun!  The hubby has put a ban on future sleepovers, though.  We'll see!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Great Valentine's Day Finds!

Have you seen all the cute things people are coming up with for Valentine's Day this year?  There are so many great ideas - I just have to share a few of my favorites with you guys!  Just click on the pictures to get more information!

Amy at LivingLocurto.com designed these awesome, 
FREE printables to attach to 1oz boxes of conversation hearts!


Melissa at The Polkadot Chair used freezerpaper to make a stencil for this shirt!


I found these GREAT candy holding hearts over at Made.  
You'll love all her tutorials!

Tomorrow I'll share a cute Valentine's Day idea I'm making for my own boys!





New Sponsor Spotlight!

I am so excited to tell you all about our new sponsor, 


My friend Elizabeth started Izzy B Creations as a way to tap into her creative side while giving others SUPER cute clothing and accessories!  She specializes in pillow case dresses, adorable embellished flip flops, appliqued t-shirts and hairbows!  Elizabeth is an amazing woman with two adorable daughters who are her inspiration!  She has an etsy shop featuring a few of her items, but if you want something a little different, definitely convo with her - she's very accommodating!  Any item she sells is customizable with a large variety of fabrics and embellishments.  You will be extremely pleased with your order!



Izzy B Creations has offered to do a fantastic giveaway through Fabulously Domestic, so head on over and enter - you don't want to miss out on her fabulous creations!!


Monday, January 17, 2011

TABASCO - So much more than hot!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.
The Super Bowl is right around the corner - which for me means preparing LOTS of game food for my hubby and boys!  That's one of the days that we really splurge on our diets and eat lots of fun stuff.  Our menu always includes pizza, party mix, chips and dips, hot wings, and more.  
My hubby is a HUGE fan of TABASCO® Original Red; he seriously uses it on almost everything - eggs, casseroles, burritos, chicken, and especially pizza.  I have always been a little scared to try it - until last week.  Hubby finally convinced me that it's more than hot - it really has a good flavor.  I put some on my pizza and holy cow, I love it!  I usually just order the cheapest pizza I can find, and while it's ok I've always thought it needed something.  The TABASCO really brings out the flavor of the pepperoni and the sauce.  I don't think I'll ever go without it now.  When I went to the Pizza Perfected part of the website, I couldn't believe the ideas they have for pizza!  I'll have to try a couple of them and post again.  Especially the Pesto and Salad Pizzas!!!
For our Super Bowl Party, I'm also going to try some of the recipes I found on the Game-Day Party Menu.  This one is definitely on my menu now:

Hot & Spicy Party Mix

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons Original TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons seasoned salt 
  • 8 cups of your favorite Chex® brand cereals (corn, rice and/or wheat) 
  • 1 cup mixed nuts 
  • 1 cup pretzels 
  • 1 cup bite-size cheese crackers 
Combine butter, Worcestershire sauce, TABASCO®Sauce, and seasoned salt in a small bowl and mix well. Pour cereals, nuts, pretzels and cheese crackers into a large plastic zip-top bag. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture inside Zipper Bag. Seal top of bag securely. Shake bag until all pieces are evenly coated.
To prepare in microwave oven:
Pour contents of bag into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 5 to 6 minutes, stirring thoroughly every 2 minutes and scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Spread on absorbent paper to cool. Store in airtight container.
To prepare in conventional oven:
Pour contents of bag into an open roasting pan. Bake in a 250°F oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and store as directed above.
Makes 11 cups.
Note: Due to differences in microwave ovens, cooking time may need adjustment. These directions were developed using 625- to 700-watt ovens.

Nutritional information per serving: 242 calories, 5g protein, 29g carbohydrate, 12g fat, 1mg cholesterol, 655mg sodium
I also have a recipe for a great buffalo chicken dip - I'm thinking I'll substitute the TABASCO for the old sauce I used.  It'll add a lot more flavor that even the kids will like!  
So what about you?  Do you have any great recipes to share for the big game day?  
Visit Sponsor's Site

Real Homes, Real Messes, Real Life - I'm linking up!

Decor Chick is doing a link up today.  Real Homes, Real Messes, Real Life.

This is the kind of link up that makes me want to hide my head in the sand. lol  I am so nosey, that I can't WAIT to see other people's homes and what they think is messy.  But if I didn't provide my own pics, then I'd just feel guilty.  So here it is - and there is tons more, but I'm not ready to expose everything!

The living room - kids being lazy, toys, blankets and who knows what thrown around, bare mantel.  Ahh, home. 

The laundry room - all kinds of totally random items everywhere.  Our way-too-big collection of jackets.  I should probably just donate half of them - we are in Houston for goodness sakes!

Our master closet - UGH this looks worse than I thought in real life.  lol  I NEED to really spend some time in there sorting through my hubby's clothes.  To the right is other 2/3 of his clothes.  Yep, that tiny section to the far left and those few dresses in the back are mine.  I need to go shopping.

Monkey-man's room.  It actually doesn't look THIS bad today.  He went in and cleaned his room yesterday all by himself.  He just turned 3 - I think this may be a small miracle!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Luv Bug Magnets

This is the tutorial I shared over at Crystal's Craft Spot - I wanted to post it here, too for anyone who didn't happen to see it! 

I'd love to show you guys a little craft we just threw together with some items from our big craft box.  I'm sure the idea isn't new, but it's cute and fun!  AND, this is about the only time I've ever gotten my boys to use pink paint!


Luv Bug Magnets

You will need:
Clothes pins
Magnet strips
Paint
Glue
Ribbon
Googly Eyes
Pipe cleaners
Any other crafty items you like

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Protect your work surface.  Paint clothes pins with craft paint.  Don't worry about it being perfect - mostly just cover the sides.  The rest will be covered with ribbon.
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Let dry completely.  Glue ribbon to top of clothespin.
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Now glue to the inside half of where you pinch.  
I just pushed the ribbon down in there with the tip of my scissors.
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Now add any embellishments you like.  We used pipe cleaners, small pom poms and googly eyes.
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Here are our little Luv Bugs hard at work!
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Find me here:















NightOwlCrafting







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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Squeaky Clean

Ok, so I'm working on cleaning up - my office/craft/sewing room, my potty mouth, and yep - my blog appearance!  This will be a work in progress as I'm definitely NOT someone who knows my way around design, code, etc.  So bare with me.  If you have any ideas or tips for me, PLEASE feel free to comment or shoot me an email!  I'd love the help.  

In the meantime, to go with the theme of squeaky clean, how about some sure-to-embarrass pictures of my boys!






Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Man's Best Friend? Doubtful.

Last Thursday, as I was running around like a mad woman getting all five of us packed for a trip to Tulsa, my hubby called to tell me he rescued a puppy.  WHAT?!  1st, he's not the type to rescue any animal.  2nd, we were leaving town in 30 minutes.  And 3rd, I've told him a million times that we won't get a dog until the kids are grown - I just don't have time to devote to a dog.  He brought him home anyway.  

Over the course of our weekend out of town, the pup got loose.  A great friend was taking care of him for us, but a scared puppy in a new place is not a good combination.  So yesterday when we got back into town I had to rescue him again - this time from the animal shelter.  I'm thankful he was there, safe!  

The kids have named him Scruffy, because well, he IS scruffy.  They're real creative like that.  (Actually they named our kitten Princess Sophia Fluffy-Butt, so maybe they used all their pet-name-creativity for that.)  

He's a total mutt - some kind of terrier mix.  My sister in law actually has a dog that looks just like him and he's ugly as sin.  At least it won't be a surprise as he gets older!  

He's a very sweet pup - he loves to play with the ball, his silly piggy toy or pretty much anything you can throw.  He also thinks he's a lap dog.  Yesterday when I was walking him and a jogger was running towards us, he went NUTS barking and growling.  But normal walking people, he likes.  (No, sorry runners are not normal - who runs unless they are being chased?!)

The thing is, even though I didn't want a dog, and my hubby is the one that rescued him - who takes care of Scruffy?  Big surprise, huh?  Hubby seems to think the boys should take care of him.  And they will have their own responsibilities - The Chief takes him outside to potty, Con-man VOLUNTEERED to pick poop up???  And Monkey-man will feed him.  

Don't laugh, I'm under no illusions that those things will actually happen.  But I might be ok with it for this little guy.  I'm very happy to have someone who will make me go for walks, will protect me from crazy joggers, and will tilt his head all confused every time I whistle.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Find Me Over Here!

Today I'm super excited to be doing a guest post for Crystal over at Crystal's Craft Spot!  Come check out my quick little tutorial for some super cute 
Luv Bugs and show her some luv!

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