Yesterday was great. I mean, minus the cranberry/marshmallow fiasco. Got the tree up and decorated, got the other Christmas stuff put out, did some house cleaning, didn’t cook AT ALL. Generally awesome. 

But then I wasn’t tired at my usual bedtime, (10 pm because I’m an old lady) so I didn’t fall asleep until around 11:30. And then Lydia got up at midnight. And you know, she’s LYDIA, so of course she wouldn’t go back to sleep. Around 12:30 I brought her to bed with me where she proceeded to keep us both up until 2 am. And of course everyone was up for the day by 5:30. Not a great start. Then I got to take Daniel to the pediatrician’s office for a Saturday sick-visit! His right ear has had some drainage and despite his tubes it hasn’t cleared up, so to the doctor we go! Or went, I guess. Pediatrician took a look, told me it was too goopy to see anything (couldn’t even tell me if the tube was in place!) and that while they normally just do ear-drops for kiddos with tubes, he thought with how small Daniel’s ear canals are, and how much goop he’s got in there, ear drops wouldn’t even get far enough into his ear to work. So! Oral antibiotics for Mr. Daniel. 

Then I spent all afternoon with a migraine due to last night’s non-sleep shenanigans. Point is- today? LESS GREAT. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. 

The milestones and the mess

Let’s hear the saga of Daniel’s new levels of destructiveness shall we? Here goes. 

I have been saying for a LONG time now that I was dreading the day Daniel started climbing out of his crib and also the day he learned to work doorknobs. LIVING IN FEAR even. Well friends, that day has come. 

A month ago, after a couple days of refusing to stay in his crib, we transitioned it to a toddler bed. And then took this picture. Actual bedtime was a disaster. 

Then, within a week, he learned to work doorknobs. So he started escaping his room and I primed some childproof door locks. We also had to: 

  1. Remove everything but beds from the boys’ room. 
  2. Put the dresser in the closet so he didn’t empty it every day.
  3. Order closet door locks. Obviously.
  4. Take Will’s mattress off his loft bed and put it on the floor, so that we could take the ladder off and keep Daniel from climbing up there.
  5. Insist that Will not keep anything paper in his room. 

So that’s been fun. Also, no crib has resulted in NO NAPS on non-school days and UGH. Daniel gets super cranky when he’s tired. It was bad enough when he didn’t nap on the 4 days a week he’s at school during nap time. 

But! There’s more! He also learned how to climb over the gate we had around the TV/DVD player area. And work the child locks on the cabinet holding the DVD player. AND! He got tall enough to reach the ledge that goes all around the basement. The ledge that I used to set anything I wanted to keep out of his reach. *cue me crazy laugh-crying*
Of course I have photographic evidence of the destruction. 

Emptied DVD cabinet. And took a whole bunch of DVDs out of cases. Also ruined the cases.

Ate some markers during “nap time” before we completely emptied the boys’ room.

Got into the laundry room and loaded the washer with toys and DVDs. You know, from the cabinet he emptied. Thankfully he didn’t turn the water on. 

It’s been quite an experience. 

Mad hatter

Lydia loves hats. It’s pretty great. Yesterday I went to get her from her nap and she had managed to snag a knitted penguin beanie off the floor and was wearing it. (Sadly I didn’t get a picture of that.) So how about some other pictures of her in hats? Here you go.

Alright that last one is headphones, not a hat, but COME ON. Look how cute she is.

Relatively good

Around 1 am Brian and I were both woken up by noises. They did not sound good. I mean, probably no noise waking you at 1 am sounds GOOD, but some noises are less bad than others. This was the kind of noise that makes you think, “uh oh. Somebody just threw up.” So we were both pleasantly surprised to find that nobody was puking, it was just Will coughing a very croup-y sounding cough. 
This is what parenting does to you, y’all. PLEASANTLY SURPRISED to find a kid with a nasty cough. I kept him home today, not for the cough since those can go on forever, but because he was running a fever. I’m a pretty strict follower of the 24 hour rule- no fever/vomiting for 24 hours before I’ll send a kid back to school. (I really don’t want my kid to be the one getting everyone sick. Also I hate when people send sick kids to school to get MY KIDS SICK. Anyway.) And that is how I ended up with a kid home from school today and will have one again tomorrow, because he is STILL running a fever. He doesn’t feel bad enough to sleep all day, so he just wants to talk my ear off about Pokémon. 

Monday: oven fire

Tuesday: sick kid

Not real excited about Wednesday.
P.S. I’m sure I jinxed myself by saying nobody was throwing up. I’ll let you know how that goes. 


In 2013 we carved pumpkins. Kalena gagged every time she touched the innards, so I had to scoop her pumpkin. And Will was not quite 4, so I also had to scoop his. Then I also had to carve both pumpkins, because I’m the lady who thought carving pumpkins with a 3 year old & a 5 year old was a good idea. (Actually, I think I carved Will’s and someone else carved Kalena’s.)

Fortunately I learned my lesson and we skipped jack-o-lanterns for the next 2 years. This year I decided to try again. I told them I was not doing the work and if they didn’t want to we could skip the whole thing next year. 

They were still disgusted by the insides, but did a pretty good job scooping. In the end I helped a little, but they did all the carving themselves!

So. Jack-o-lantern success! Of course, October was still crazy warm, so they lasted about 3 days before the molded but they lasted through Halloween because I procrastinated. As I tend to do. WOO! 

Slogging through

Between Daniel learning all kinds of new escaping skills, and Lydia’s sleep going all to hell (AGAIN) I feel exhausted all the time. On top of that, life has been busier than usual, for…weeks. Too long. I need a break and I just don’t know when I can get one. 

The other day I heated leftover spaghetti for Lydia and Daniel to eat for lunch. And then getting it out of the microwave I dropped both plates of it. 

I sighed, and cleaned it up, because there’s no use crying over spilled spaghetti. Or something like that. Then I heated up some more noodles (without sauce because that was all on the floor) and sat the babies down to eat. Daniel took one bite and immediately threw the rest of his plate on the floor. 

That’s basically my life right now. Just go straight from one mess to the next. It’s not my favorite. 

(Maybe instead of NaBloPoMo I should have just titled this month: 30 days of complaining.)


Last year for Halloween Lydia & Daniel wore their costumes for approximately 6 minutes, so this year (even though I thought of some CUTE STUFF) I opted not to buy them new costumes. This worked well because in the end we took them to zero events. Daniel had a Halloween party at school so he wore the Yoda costume from last year. (Lydia wore it last year. Not the point.) 

Kalena & Will discussed about a million costumes each, but in the end Kalena was a witch and Will was Pikachu. By the time they decided it was too late to order a Pikachu costume but I thought- no worries, I’ll buy the Pikachu sweatshirt I’ve seen at Target, & find some yellow sweatpants to go with. You know what nobody sells? Yellow sweatpants. I *did* find some online. They would have arrived in time for Thanksgiving! So I busted out my super awesome sewing skills (if by super awesome I mean barely passable) and made Will some yellow fleece pants. (I was very impressed with myself. I told Brian he was not impressed enough.)

Brian took them to our church Halloween party, and his work Halloween party, and, of course, trick or treating. (All on different days. We aren’t crazy.) During all those events I kept the babies home so they could sleep. Better all around! Also I WAY over purchased candy. We had about 20 trick or treaters & about 300 pieces of candy. My mouth is happy. My pants are not. 

Lydia, still with the not talking or sleeping

I was going to write about Daniel first, but there is sooooo much to say & I’m on my phone. I’m going to need a real keyboard for his shenanigans. So today you get to hear about Lydia. She’s been doing speech about once a week since January, and she IS making progress, but it’s slow. Slow because she is stubborn as a mule. She CAN talk, she just WON’T. Still. 

She can imitate words (when she feels like it) and all the sounds are there. She can say whole sentences “where did it go?” “Oh! What is that?” But again, only when she feels like it. And almost all her speech is imitating, not spontaneous. Anyway. The point is she is still FAR behind what is developmentally appropriate and she will be 3 in 4 months (😳 HOW) so that means it’s time to transition to preschool! She’ll be in the same program as Daniel and I’m very excited, because I love them. (Before the speech stuff started, I wanted to apply to see if she could be a peer model.) So YAY! Likely she’ll start sometime in January. I really think being around kids her age who talk will do the trick. 

Sleep. Yeah, she still doesn’t like it. It’s okay sometimes. It’s crap a lot. She’s awake right now, even though she is exhausted from being awake from 11 to 2 am. But you know, at least it was happy times! 

P.S. In the time I was typing this, Daniel escaped his bedroom like a dozen times. Childproof door locks get here tomorrow!! 

My Real Life cleaning list

I decided I should write a more realist cleaning list after all those Pinterest list shenanigans. Here are some things my Real Life cleaning list would include: 

  • Use a long stick to scoop the stuff out from behind the headboard of the guest bed. (Our guest bed is in our basement/playroom. Daniel loves to drop stuff back there.)
  • Pick up hardened macaroni noodles off the stairs. Try not to think about how long it’s been since we had macaroni. 
  • Rewash the load of clothes in the washer. Hope I don’t forget about it a 2nd (uh, or 3rd) time.
  • Wipe toothpaste off various surfaces in the kids’ bathroom. This is beyond regular bathroom cleaning and includes places like the light switch, the step stool, the baseboards, and the inside or drawers. 
  • Pick up 800 pairs (ish) of shoes from the living room. Wonder how the kids can own SO many shoes but can’t ever find ANY OF THEM.
  • Put a pillowcase on Will’s pillow and/or a sheet on Daniel’s crib. Apparently these boys are anti-bed-linens. 
  • Put 1 million kids cups in the sink. The dishwasher is already running (OF COURSE) and these cups seem to spontaneously generate. 
  • Scrub doorknob/light switch/railing/table edge within reach of the babies high chairs. Consider using a screw driver to chisel that crap off.
  • Move all basement furniture to get to toys underneath. Wonder how the K from the foam alphabet can STILL BE MISSING.
  • Go room to room picking up and throwing away toys that are broken/missing pieces/have bites take out of them.
  • Clear papers off the bookshelves/mantle/windowsill. All stuff I put there to “deal with when I had more time”
  • Create at LEAST one load of laundry from clothing outside of bedrooms. (Forget laundry baskets. Those might as well not exist.)
  • Clear expired coupons out of the coupon drawer. Yay! Empty drawer! 
  • Pick up shreds of paper. It’s like magic indoor snow. Courtesy of Daniel. 

I’m sure there are more, but that’s all I’ve got for now. What’s on your list?

LEGOS! Finally organized

To say we have a lot of Legos is…an understatement. The kids love them, and Brian and I love them, and SOMEHOW we ended up with a lot of them! Such a mystery. Anyway, it got to the point where the kids couldn’t really play with them, because the whole surface of the Lego table (a train table that we use for Legos) was covered, and it was impossible to find anything in our super tidy storage system (giant storage tupperware filled with Legos.) Something had to be done. I looked on Pinterest, (because I never learn) but almost everything on there has Legos organized by COLOR and y’all. DON’T DO THAT. It may look nice, but if you want Legos to be usable to actually BUILD THINGS USING INSTRUCTIONS, you need to sort them by piece type. We made a half hearted attempt to do this once in the past, but we had no system for actually KEEPING them sorted, so they all ended up back in a giant mess of stuff. I was determined this summer to get them sorted for good. (Key point in my plan was the kids being gone for 3 weeks.)

So! I started by ordering one of these.

I knew it would take more than one, but I didn’t really have a good idea how many Legos it would hold, or if I’d want more small drawers or big ones, or what. I figured as I sorted I’d have a better idea what we needed. In the end, I bought 3 of that first cabinet, and one like this, with just the larger size drawers. I started by sorting out smallest pieces first, and I won’t lie, this is a giant pain. Tedious and time consuming, like sorting piece by piece through a 1000 piece puzzle to find the edges. I don’t actually mind doing this kind of stuff, but seriously, HOURS AND HOURS. I worked on this project pretty much daily for the 3 weeks my kids were visiting my parents. But I’m sure you don’t want a blow by blow of the sorting, so how about a look at the end product, eh? (Not my best pictures. Sorry about that.) These 4 cases are probably only about 1/2 of our Legos, volume-wise, but they keep all the teeny tiny pieces sorted and easy to find.IMG_2238IMG_2239

By the way, if it’s at all possible, I recommend keeping Legos in a room with a hard floor. Sweeping them up is far easier than picking them up one by one to keep them out of the vacuum. Also, you can see them on a wood floor, which lowers the chances that you’ll accidentally step on one and want to die.

The labeling system is Brian’s genius idea. I was wondering aloud how to name each individual piece and he said, “just glue one on the front.” BOOM. Brilliant. Especially since my kids have made up ridiculous names for various pieces that only they use. I just used a hot glue gun. Easy and, if it needs to be, reversible. (Hot glue is pretty easy to peel off plastic.)


As you can see, some drawers have more than one piece glued on the front, because the drawer holds more than one type of Lego. Other drawers only have one piece glued on the front even if they have more than that inside (generally if it has the same piece type in varying sizes.) Some drawers aren’t labeled because either they have a whole mess of stuff (drawer with all the rubber-band/string pieces) or because there are only 2 or 3 of a particular piece and I didn’t want to waste one by gluing it on the front. Honestly I was sort of winging it here. I figured I could change things if it wasn’t working. (So far it’s working.)


This is just to give you an idea of the size of the small drawers.


For the bigger pieces I used some bins we already had, because sorting these into drawers would have taken like 2 more of those cabinets. Those bins each have multiple sizes of the same kind. No specialty pieces. Bigger legos are considerably easier to sort through and find what you need. It’s those dang tiny bits that are the trouble makers.


And last, a little spaceship that I built, using the instructions from a set from 1987! (Yes, I have some very old Legos. That spaceship has like 4 different pieces that Lego doesn’t even make anymore.)

We tested the organized system by building some sets. Kalena picked a set that we own, using the paper instruction booklet, Will picked a set from, not one we own, but that we figured we had all the pieces for. I’d guess they took slightly longer than opening a new set and building just with those pieces in front of you, but only slightly! Things were easy to find, the kids didn’t get frustrated, and Will enjoyed being able to pick different colors than the instructions showed. (We did have to sub a couple pieces on his- he picked a star wars set with a couple speciality pieces we don’t have.)