Tuesday, January 26, 2010

cleaning machine

I decided that January was the month I was going to better my life.  Most people make all these New Year Resolutions about losing weight and eating healthier and then after two weeks quit.  As much as I would like to do those things I decided I would focus on de-cluttering my home and work towards making it more organized.

My hopes are that by becoming organized and clutter free, I will have more time in the day to work on other things I have wanted to start doing, like walking on my treadmill.  I decided that the kitchen is the center of this house and the real problem area.  Since we do not have a office, papers end up all over my island or counter.  We have a den where we keep the computer, but it is a small area that is consumed with toys.  I have been searching bloggyland for a blogger who is organized.  Then I found her.... This lady may have changed my life and that is no joke.  She is a mother of 8 and a grandmother of 3 and a lover of organizing while decorating. I think I may have just meet my new best friend, and it may be love at first sight. 

Her are some things I have learned from her.  These pictures are my newly organized kitchen. 

She suggested using a pretty box and turning it into a daily file organizer.  I found these cute box on sale a craft store for $5.00, and the file folders on clearance.  A pack of 4 crazy print folders for 20 cents.  I spent about $8.00 and bought every last one they had.   I already had a label maker because deep down I am a want to be anal organizer, but I have never been able to find a method that everyone could help with. 

I love it!

There are no excuses for lost papers or counter top clutter.  This is a daily system and I have found a routine that works for me.  I use it about 3 times a day, but anyone who can read can use it as well.

I found an empty space on my island that needed sprucing up....

The best part of this project, is that the rest of my kitchen now looks like this......

It's been 2 weeks and it still looks like this!

My new best friend, also taught me about a clipboard system.  AMAZING is all I can say about these puppies.  Each child now has a decorated clipboard where all school papers can go. 

This project was great because it was FREE! I had all the supplies holed up in my basement/craftroom.

They turned out awesome.

Here is Gabby's....

Here is Bella's.....

And here is Gia's....

3 kids, 2 schools = way to much paper work!  Now below the car key holding dock is this awesome organzing system.  Plus my kids love there clipboards.

Now the door to the garage can be seen and full used.

I am on a mission.  I have begun to clean and declutter everything.  Junk drawers done. Laundry room done....Watch out treadmill, this girl just found some extra time in her day to give you a run for your money. 

And in case you are wondering.....Yes I am in LOVE!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Guess who has braces???

When I was in 4th grade, I got braces. I was ahead of my time, back then. My teeth were so bad I wore them for 4 years. The nice part was by time I hit high school my teeth were straight and I was only in a retainer.  My teeth were nice till about 3 years ago.  During my pregnancy with Gia, one of my fillings broke while eating an Oreo cookie.  I ended up needing a crown.  When the crown went in, it caused some spacing issues with my perfectly aligned teeth.  Now my bottom row has become slightly crowed.  Little by little my teeth are turning, fighting for space.  I think by time Gabby is in phase 2 I will be side by side her having my bottom teeth re aligned. 

Orthodontist do things differently now. My 2nd grader, just got braces. Her orthodontist says this is phase 1 of 2 maybe 3phases.   Phase 2 will begin at the age of 10, when all her adult molars are present.

Here is the last look at Gabby's teeth pre-braces.

Back in May a jaw expended was put in.  Her teeth have greatly improved in just 7 months.  This is the after the expander picture and the pre braces picture. 

Here is my 8 year old trooper, proudly sporting her new pink and blue brackets.  Pain free as of now.  Feeling like such a big girl and making her momma feeling so old.

I can't wait to watch this transformation unfold.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

fog freeze?

This is the post I was working on the day Picasa would not load my pictures.  It has taken 2 days, and Picasa has a new update and so now I can upload pictures into my blog.  Enjoy....

Ever so often the midwest has a nice wintertime appearance that just takes your breathe away.  Monday was one of those rare times.  It was just another ordinary day, I was taking Gabby to the lung doctor for an asthma check and I couldn't help but notice all the trees and bushes had this white coating.  It was actually quite pretty.  It is hard to explain.  Everywhere you looked stuff was covered in white, but it wasn't a snowfall white, the kind after a fresh snow storm.  It was quite different.  Like things were frozen white. 

Everwhere you looked it was wintertime white.  Even Gabby noticed. 

The pictures do not really give it justice. 

For being around 20 degrees. It was one of those weird days were it didn't feel so cold. 

The weather man on the news called it a fog freeze.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  We have so much snow that when it warmed up on Sunday it started to melt.  As nightfall approached it got colder.  Jared and I were driving home from a work get together and at 10pm it was so foggy.  The kids had no school because of Martin Luther Kings Day, but by morning you couldn't see the house across the street because the fog was so heavy.  Had there not been school already we most definitely would have had a 2 hour delay. As the fog rose off the ground it apparently froze. 

This is not fresh snow on the bushes, it is frozen frost, and it was on everything.  Making a beautiful white coating.  A wonderful wintertime surprise.

Today was a day I didn't mind living were it is cold, and that is something I hardly ever say.

Rumor has it we will see high 40's this weekend!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Please Mr. Sunshine can you make an appearance?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

bX-l1gck6 ?????? WTF!!!!!!

So today, I was actually going to blog.  Yep had the pictures loaded in Picasa and hit blog this.  It has now been over an hour and I have nothing but error after error.  Hate it, Hate it, Hate it!!!!  I then thought well I will upload from my phone into blogger, same thing error after error.  I am starting to lose my cool.  I have limited amount of time and my computer skills are not so hot.  I just want to rip the computer out of the desk and throw it in the snow! 

Help???  Anyone having problems today? 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There is cold and then there is colder.......

Well, when you live in the Midwest you in a way are choosing to live with the good the bad and the ugly. It is a given that we have 4 full seasons.  Yes, it is true and we just happen to be in the ugly as we speak.  I'm not sure how it is possible, but each day it seems darker and colder.  Yes it is certainly the freeze your ass off season.

Spring has always been my favorite because the days are starting to get longer and warmer and everything is beginning to become alive and full of life again. Yes it is a known fact, I dislike winter. It isn't the snow or the cold, but it is the lack of good old Mr. Sunshine. Unfortunately I am stuck here. So what else is a family of 5 who hates being locked  indoors all day long to do?

You guessed it.....


It was cold, real cold.  15 degrees to be exact, but that didn't stop this crew!

Bella is the speed demon of the family.  She has no fear.  This girl can sled and sled fast.  Not to mention she has the energy of  a bunny.  She sprinted her way up the hill just as fast as she flew down it.   

Even Gia Pia had fun.

Speed was not quite her forte, but she still liked the motion of going downhill.  She gets an A+ for effort. 

Gabby on the other hand was more cautious.  She like her mother, got a little scared when she picked up speed.  She had a blast, don't get me wrong, but she wanted nothing to do with speed or bumps. 

I think this house of five on cambridge drive may just have a future with winter sports.  I see skiing in our future when Gia gets a tad bit older.  The cold didn't bother any of us.  Then again when you have to carry a sled and walk up a hill it is pretty easy to break a sweat.
After 2 hours of sledding mommy and daddy were begging to go home.  I think I may have bruised my tailbone and well my legs are a little tired today.  Shoot, I am getting old!  When will my mind learn that I no longer own the body of a twenty year old?

While fixing dinner Gia, I mean Al Bundy, decided she was going to rest her eyes for a moment.  I mean how else are you going to warm your hand up after 2+ hours of sledding. 

Oh to be a kid again.....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Swim-a-thon Weekend

Gabby's swim club just completed the second and final fundraiser of the swim seasons.  It was a USA swimming sponsored swim-a-thon.  The guidelines are 200 laps or 2 hours maximum time limit or which ever happens first.

Last year was Gabby's first year on swim team and the goal was 100 laps in 2 hours.  She completed 115.  This years goal was 150 laps in 2 hours.  Under normal circumstances I think she could have easily completed the 150, however this year she got sick two weeks before we left for Christmas in Florida.

When I say sick, I mean Really Sick!  Almost hospital bond sick...lung capacity 30% sick......she missed 4 weeks of practice.  So needless to say, she had only been back to one week of practice before the swim-a-thon.  Our goal was just to complete the full 2 hour time.  

Here she is at the end of the 2 hours.  Still standing and yes still smiling!

And here she is when we told her she completed 170 laps!  Yep, that's right, 170 laps, that is over 2.5 miles.

I'm so proud of my little fish.  I know that there is know way I could have swam 200 laps in 2 hours!

Good Job Gabriella....

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it". - Lou Holtz


Friday, January 8, 2010


So it is still snowing, I think we may have around 14 inches. The actual temperature is actually not so horrible. The other day Bella wanted to play outside, so I went to find her snowpants. Since we were in Florida when all the snow hit I had yet to get them out. All I could find were last years and they were a 4T. She is only 5 but wears a 7/8 because she is so tall. Now I know that Gabby has an old pair of 8/10 somewhere in this house, but do you think I could find them?

It has snowed all day long, so after driving the preschoolers this morning I thought I would head to good old Target to buy Bella a pair of snow pants. No luck. So then I went to Kohl's, they had 2 pair left! Now I was starting to lose my patients a tad. I mean it was icey, cold, snowy, slushy, just nasty out, the last thing I wanted to do was track all around town looking for snow pants.

I finally gave up and thought Bella would just have to wear the 4T because at least that was better than nothing at all.

Here is what I find very annoying about today's shopping experience.
~We live in the Midwest where there is snow until March sometimes middle of April.
~Today is only the 1st full week of January.
~We unfortunately are only at the beginning of this snow season.
~No, I do not want to buy a swimsuit now or in Feb. because I really won't need one until June or if it is like 2009 July.
~If I don't buy a swimsuit by Valentines Day, when June rolls around and I need one I won't be able to buy one because they will only have winter coats available for purchase in the month of June.
~Retail stores are a pain in the ass!

And guess what? After spending 3 plus hours driving around looking for pants. Mr. Hubby calls to see how the driveway is looking only to remind me he put Gabby's old 8/10 snow pants in Bella's bedroom closet In case I wanted to take the girls out to play and work on the driveway at the same time! MEN!

Believe me the day wasn't that stellar...Wait until I blog about the snow blower. Now that is a whole other story, one that will have to wait a few days.....

Try to stay warm....

Monday, January 4, 2010

A snowy return....

My vacation ended yesterday afternoon. It was a chilly day in south Florida. I think the high was 42. I guess it was a good preparation for the cold tundra we were about to be flying into. My vacation left me with the question of what makes a vacation a vacation. Is leaving your home considered a vacation when you travel to place that you do not have to pay to stay? It is a question I have been pondering around in my head for about 5 days. Here is an even better question, is it really considered a vacation when one of the spouses is only present for half of the time? I hate to be a complainer, because I just spent 14 days in a climate that super exceeds the one where I live; however, I am dragging today and am not really feeling super relaxed like I should after a 14 day get away.

Here is a list of reasons why I feel I didn’t get a true vacation:
•I cooked dinner probably 8 of the 14 nights.
•I did at least 10 loads of laundry.
•I made 3 children’s beds every morning and 1 adults.
•I potty trained a 2.5 year old toddler.  Thanks Santa for the Dora underwear.  This only added to the laundry pile ups. 
•No naps were taken and not much sleeping in occurred.

I am a lucky girl; I have a set of parents who have owned a condo in Florida for 13 years. They are very giving and generous with allowing me full rights to use the place.   These parents also tend to pay for my children’s plane tickets so I can travel more often with them, but the problem always arises that those wonderful parents of mine have yet to retire, so we always travel at the same time because my mom is a school teacher.  There are pros and cons to traveling with your parents. Some of the pros are: I can travel with my children even if my husband cannot take the time off. I often get a very inexpensive vacation, because they pay for food, and car rental. Some of the cons are: It is only a 2 bedroom condo, maybe 800sq ft? and since they are still working they want to do what they want to do, so often what I want to do sometimes never happens. Like I said, I am a lucky girl, but the questions I always have at the end of the trip, is, did I get a vacation? Since I am a stay at home mom, I never really get to go on a paid vacation. What I just did for the last 14 days was what I do every single day of my life, the only difference was the weather was 75 degrees instead of 10 degrees. In all actuality I think I spent more time with my children on my "vacation" then in my day to day life because my husband was only with us for 7 days and we only had 1 car. This therefor didn't allow me with a lot of just mommy time.

All in it was still a great trip filled with many long lasting memories. I have included some of my favorite pictorial moments for the trip along with my comments. So sit back, grab a warm coffee or hot coca and enjoy the picture show oh and if you live in the North, try not to get to jealous of the beach pictures….

Day number one of the trip.  The girls were so excited to be warm and barefoot.

I just love this picture of Gia Pia's cutie pattotiey.  Is there really anything cuter than a bare babies bottoms with sand stuck all over it?

Our gateway to paradise...Bonita Beach....

3 Little snow angels lying in the sand.... The beach got hot and one went BAMMM.....

Barefoot and free to roam...

Sand castle made with love and a little of Daddy's help.


Bella Boo and her Aunt KiKi, making "vegan" friendly pancakes for breakfast.  My sister, who lives in LA, California was also visiting. She is a vegan and has been teaching Bella all about this type of lifestyle.

New Years Day make over, staring Mommy and Gia.

Build-A-Bear Workshop.    Gabby made a high school musical bear, Bella made a bright pink and white bear and Gia made a monkey.  Funny how each one so fit their personality. 

A day of shopping at the outlet mall with mommy.  It was chilly about 60 degrees.  Don't you just love Gia's new hair bow?  It is as big as her head!

A day spent visiting my friend Amy from college.  She is a school teacher who lives in Ohio.  We live 2.5 hours away from one another, but only ever see each other in Florida.  Crazy.  Her family owns a condo about 10 minutes up the road.  Good times were had, but once the sun went down it got cold this day.  We are planning on meeting up again in the Spring.

Dear Santa, please enjoy the treats.  We hope you can still find us in Florida.  That santa sure is a smart one.  He left a note explaining that some of their gifts were to big to make the trip to Florida and that if they were on good behavior while vacationing, he would leave them a few in Florida and have the rest waiting for them at home.  Santa also suggested that some of his gifts be left in Florida so they would have more toys to play with when they returned in April. 

Now that we are home and there is 12 inches of snow, I am sure I will be posting sledding pictures soon.
Here's to a great start to a new year!