April 10, 2014

TBT

The video from this blog post I wrote, almost 4 years ago, just kills me every time I see it.

It's really ridiculously adorable. Check it out here.





Here is that same cutie now - a month from being 7 - all grown up and knowing his ABC's and such. #itsgoingtoofast

April 5, 2014

The third child

Our first two children are a respectable 2 1/2 years apart.  One girl, one boy.  We were in our early 30's when we had them.  Life was good and all Beaver Cleaver-y.

Right about the time we were prepping our youngest for kindergarten we said, "Heck, who needs freedom? We should have ANOTHER baby. Yessss, let's do that! Free time is for sissies!"

Don't get me wrong, we adore this child.  I mean who wouldn't want to look at this face daily?

And clearly Baby Alex was meant to be part of our family.  The first two were a bit difficult to get.  Several years of trying and some very minor medical intervention finally brought them into our lives. This kid? One conversation and a bottle of wine later - voila! A month shy of 8 years after our daughter and 5.5 years after our son, we welcomed bambino #3.

Looking back, before polishing off that bottle we should have thought about a few things - and in all fairness to you, babykins, before you clambered into my womb we should have had you read/sign/date the rules about taking the 3rd place child position in this family.

On our end:

1) In many cases in order to have another baby you have to be pregnant again.  Maybe you out there in blog land are those people who had rosy cheeks and a darling little round belly when you were pregnant. If so, please keep that to yourself. I wasn't. I'm pregnant everywhere. Even my earlobes looked like they were expecting and that all happened within 20 or 30 minutes of conception.

2) I'm not particularly looking forward to that awkward moment at Kindergarten Round Up when the regular aged moms will have this dialogue in their heads "Hmmm I wonder if that little boy lives with his grandparents? Or maybe his parents work and his grandmother watches him during the day? Wait, no, hold on mayyybeee that's his mom? Hmmmm, can't tell what is going on there."

Since this will be my third time through Kindy Round Up, instead of listening, I will be drunk busily scanning the room for a parent I could have not given birth to. 

3) I predict having a child in each of the schools around town (elementary, middle and high school) at the same time won't be quite as glamorous as it sounds. 

On your end:

1) Dora the Explorer, Barney and Thomas the Train are out. Love you oodles buddy but I physically CANNOT hear "Swiper NO swiping!" one more time. It's been years since I've heard that phrase first hand and I just cannot envision a world in which I go back to it.

Since you are third you are dead last in line for the remote.  Your viewing choices will lie somewhere in between teen angst shows with your brother and sister that will be way over your head, Real Housewives of somewhere that is probably under your head and sports with dad.  I'd say the last option is your best. Just know we usually banish daddy to the dingy basement so your viewing experience might not be the most pleasurable.

2) On that note, Pump it Up birthday parties and Gymboree music classes are also a no go.  Sorry, been there/done that/not doing it again.

3) I suggest you get really interested in Spiderman and Lego Star Wars. We have spent enough money to buy a small Volkswagen on those toys and I can't see myself excited about purchasing/housing new stuff. They are all boxed up and anxiously awaiting your enjoyment. If you have an issue with this, I'd recommend taking it up with Santa Claus. (NOTE: Disregard if golf is your thing.  There is literally no cap on what dad will spend on golf equipment. I've seen it with my own eyes.)

Luckily for you I don't push gender stereotypes on my kids so feel free to have a thing for My Little Pony and American Girl dolls because I have a bunch of that crap boxed up as well.

4) Lastly, I realize you aren't yet 2 and that you currently aren't even walking (what is up with that by the way?) but you need to go ahead and decide which sport you plan to focus on.  None of this testing every sport known to mankind from soccer to skeet shooting over the course of 4 years to make a decision.  Let's get this show on the road. (NOTE: Sadly, baseball won't be your thing. This is based on extensive scientific research that has proven that the baseball fields are just too damn far away for me to drive to.)

Sweet baby, lest you think I'm sounding a bit negative I'd like to point out that birthing you really close to an age that begins with a 4 vs. one that starts with a 2 or 3 wasn't all bad.  Aside from the fact that you are unnaturally adorable, there are some other positives I found when having my later in life baby:

1) Being pregnant at an AMA (Advanced Maternal Age for you pups out there who had kids before you were middle aged) is kind of awesome.  You get test after test, ultrasound after ultrasound, doctor appointment after doctor appointment.  That, coupled with seriously in-depth genetic counseling that led to discussions about my uncle twice removed's proclivity to in-grown toe nails, gave us a pretty good idea that you weren't going to be born with an arm protruding out of your ear.

2) The day will come when your brother and sister realize we aren't as hilarious/brilliant/cool as they originally thought we were (I'm beginning to get signals that that day is reeeallly close) - but you will still think we are awesome.  Then right about the time you don't find it amazing that I car dance in front of your friends, the older two will have looped back around to liking us again. It's actually kind of genius on our part.

3) Finally, when my friends are crying that their babies are in college and they are sad empty nesters, your dad and I will still have many, many, many (sigh) years with a little one at home.

In conclusion, to make up for all the "no's" you will hear along the way because I might be completely uninterested in doing what it is that you asked, I do promise you more love than you can imagine, hundreds of family dog piles on dad, snuggles galore and a boatload of laughs.


Tell me, what did you get lazy about as you had more kids?

April 2, 2014

Rhea Lana addict

Hi, my name is Robin and I am a Rhea Lana addict.

In the beginning it was pretty harmless. My first time, I just happened upon the Rhea Lana sale in the old Macy's Home Store in the Prairie Village shops.  I got some great bargains, ran into a few friends - a good time was had by all.

Over the next few years I continued to shop the sale as it got bigger and bigger and I always left pleased with the great stuff I scored.  All was kosher, life was good. I was naive.

About a year and a half ago my friend Alisha convinced me to become a consignor and that is when things took a serious turn.

My addiction starts out innocently enough each time. Throughout the year as I put laundry away no one really notices the shirt or two I nonchalantly stick into the Rhea Lana labeled bucket at the back of their closet.  About a month ahead of the sale is when things really start to ramp up.  Those buckets come out, our living room is taken hostage by me and I iron/tag/bundle/ziploc items like a mad woman.  Drop off day is my super bowl and I feel like I've lost ten pounds when I drive out of the warehouse free of boat loads of Polly Pockets and girls dresses size 4 - 6.

Life actually resumes as normal for a day or so

and then

ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE

Rhea Lana Opening Day
Phone must be 1,000% charged (yes I do know that is impossible) at noon on Day 1 of the sale. Oh how I will have a love/hate relationship with my phone over the next few days.

This is pretty typical of how it goes each sale:

12:03 PM - Check my phone for instant update on sales.  At this point I do realize there in 0% chance I have sold anything considering the sale has been open for only 3 minutes but what if???  Nope. Nada. My account is in the red $9.00.

12:17 - Check again.  Nothing.  Make a vow to myself not to be so ridiculously obsessive this time about checking my sales.  After all, I do have 3 kids and other things to do with my time.

12:38 - Fail at said vow.  Still nothing.  What the heck??? Why have I not made eleventy million dollars yet?

12:39 - 1:30 - Busy myself with silly things like laundry and mopping the floor.

1:31 - Steal a look at my phone. I'm about to have a melt down, why has no one purchased that adorable striped H&M dress?  There HAS got to be a little girl out there who seriously needs a Hello Kitty cell phone and matching sunglasses set. Apparently the boys in this town do not like Legos anymore?

2:11 - Refresh phone.  Still zilch.  We are at a level orange threat here.  What if I screwed something up and there was a computer glitch and ALL my stuff really wasn't entered? Is this a dream??                                                                                                   I. CANNOT. HANDLE. THIS.

I need to get a grip.

The next few hours are a blur of picking the baby up from Mother's Day Out, getting the big kids from school, running various children around town to soccer practices at two different locations, distractedly talking to other parents about who knows what (I sort of remember someone one saying something about world hunger, blah, blah, blah - people do you not understand that I have 6 Old Navy bathing suits that will not be sold if I do not check my phone at this precise moment? This is a real problem.) Amazingly I hold strong in not peeking at my sales. There are two reasons for this:

1) It is seriously unsafe to be engross myself in my phone when I'm driving like 80 children in my car 

2) I know the pay off will be huge if I can just hold off for a few hours and let the sales pile up

4:22 - I'm home, older children are where they need to be, baby is munching on veggie straws. Time to check. I'm trembling as I swipe the green bar across my phone.

WOO HOO!  We're in the money! We're in the money!
The most beautiful words I've ever seen are before me: Congratulations! Your 70% share of Total Sales is $10.90!

You have never seen a human being so happy to have made $11.00. I have paid my $9 fee AND am in the black now.  It's smooth sailing from here people.  I'm elated and my blood pressure returns to a level that is no longer hospital worthy.

Dinner gets started and kids come home from soccer and I walk around with a stupid grin on my face. Homework is being worked on and the baby is contentedly playing with a soccer ball. With everyone preoccupied I get really lost in my phone at this point.

What items sold? Oh great the adorable sailor outfit is gone (hmmm maybe I'm sad about that.  Baby was so cute in it. Should I have sold that or should I have kept it for his kids?) - wait but why oh why has no one purchased the Spider Man computer?  Do they not know what a great deal it is? What is going on people???

A funky smell pulls me out of my spell.  Oh it's the baby. It would be a whole lot easier to feed my addiction if you could change yourself, kid.  Fine I will take a break and change your diaper.  There, done.  Now back to my phone - oh my gosh I made $4.70 during that diaper break. Awesome. Now what was it that sold?

Again, I'm lost in my Rhea Lana la la land...

What is that you say, children?  Our house is on fire?  Yes, we should call 911 and get out. Give me just one tiny second to refresh my browser. Score! The Barbie purse has sold! Alrighty, everyone stop, drop and roll. 

6:07 - Firemen let us back in the house, kids get fed, homework is completed, baths are taken and people go to bed (and let's be honest phone was checked no less than 346 times).

With everyone's needs taken care of I finally get a chance to really be one with my sales.  I decide to switch to my computer because the screen is bigger and I can really dig into what has/has not sold.

My husband gives up on me and goes downstairs to watch a movie as I spend my evening furiously texting back and forth with my friends Alisha and Lindsey. We feel the need to update one another every 7 1/2 minutes on what has sold, how much we have made and our predictions for what tomorrow will bring.

I go to bed at 10:00 and dream of the sales I will wake up to in the morning because I know the check out line is still long and every person in it has at least one of my items in their laundry basket turned shopping cart.

4:17 AM  - huge thunder clap! I'm up, might as well check my sales.  Oh yeah!! I made $6.30 while I slept! How productive were you while you were sleeping, huh?

Day 2
See Day 1 - same thing different day

Day 3, 4, 5
And so on and so forth

Alisha's husband suggested we go to Rhea Lana-hab so we can detox after this. Yeah, not gonna happen I'm too busy attacking those closets for Fall items.

My name is Robin and I'm a Rhea Lana addict and I'm okay with that.

March 31, 2014

Harry S. Truman 3rd grade report

My daughter has her very first report due tomorrow.

Check it out, it's quite informative. I think you will learn a lot.


March 28, 2014

My Chevron chair makeover is famous!

The chair makeover I showed you last week has been featured on Better After!  Yay! Go check it out.



Lindsey's hilarious blog features amazing furniture transformations. I love it and get lots of inspiration from it.

Thanks for writing about my chiar Lindsey!

March 27, 2014

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Rules Again

My daughter was in great need of a desk chair.  I wanted something cute but affordable.  I've looked a million times but everything I was finding (that I liked) cost more than I wanted to spend on a 9 year old's chair.

After about a year of this it occurred to me, last weekend, to make my own chair.  Um, hello remember how I just went on and on like 2 posts ago about how I have a million chairs lying around? Yeah I'm not really quick, I get that.

In addition to the 1,000 chairs we have from my parents old dining set, we have chairs from my in- laws old dining set, so I used one of those.  Apparently we are the chair dumping ground.

Below are the before and afters.  Note my arty photo in number 2, pretty cool, huh?   Okay the actual truth is that the baby took the phone from me at that point and took the photo.  When I looked at it I thought it looked arty so I told you I did it as I have sub par photography skills and I wanted to look cool. Apparently my 17 month old is better with a camera that me.  But he can't walk and I totally can, so ha!



I think it's pretty cute and my daughter adores it! I'm just loving the Annie Sloan chalk paint.  It is so easy to use (no sanding, yay!!!) and it goes really far.  I've done two chairs thus far and I've used maybe 1/4 of the can.  Everything in my house is going to be light blue if I'm not careful.

My only issue with this paint is it is not easy to find.  You need to google it to find places near you that carry it.  The places in Kansas City aren't all that close to me so it is a trek to go get some. But I'd much rather be in my car singing my heart out to the radio for 20 minutes to get this glorious paint than have to sand a piece of furniture, so it's all good. I'm not mad at you Annie Sloan chalk paint.

March 22, 2014

The fist day of spring, Norman Rockwell kind of stuff here





Just a boy, his beer and his dog.





Note: No babies drank any beer in the making of this photo -  although he tried. Fortunately it was already happily sitting in mommy's tummy.

March 20, 2014

TBT

In this completely schizo blog I will discuss house decor at times.  I fancy myself an incredibly amateur (and let's be honest, incompetent) designer.   

Today, in honor of Throw Back Thursday, I am going to bring an old blog to back to life for like 7 minutes. It was a short lived diary about our money pit.  I learned that writing about decor costs money and I ran out of that quickly.

I'm a Throw Back Thursday virgin and decided to jump on the band wagon way after everyone else has.  I'm super cool like that. So if you are having trouble falling asleep, check out sad, old ignored blog and you can enjoy hard hitting stories like Blankets, a 2 part series and Inexpensive Window Covering Options

In honor of the old bloggy blog I also wanted to show you a chair makeover I recently did using Annie Sloan chalk paint for the first time.  OMG why have I never used this before?  Usually I buy all the materials for a project, sand for 8 minutes, get bored, pour a glass of wine and then purchase a new throw pillow online to make myself feel better about my failure.

But this stuff is the answer to my dreams - NO SANDING!  Pretty lame dreams, huh?

I have a bunch of these chairs. They were the chairs to my parents dining room table they had when I was growing up.  They have been recovered no less than 298 times by my mother but once I inherited them (much to my husband's dismay - where were we going to put like 10 chairs?) I knew that they would look really cute painted different colors (and recovered). I think this first attempt proved I was right. 

I've got several more to go.  I have visions of doing them in a rainbow of colors.  I have nowhere to put them though. Maybe I'll give them out as Christmas gifts to random people next year?



March 19, 2014

Madonna, who?

I risked my sanity last week and took my 3 children on a road trip BY MYSELF.  You know what?  We survived...barely.

5 hours and 9.2 million crumbs in my car later, we arrived in Oklahoma City for a visit with my family.  Surprisingly the only time I wanted to wrangle the necks of any of my children was during this conversation:

Scene: Imagine the most lovely singing voice on the planet. Sort of like an angel singing at the top of her lungs trying to regain her youth. (in case you couldn't tell, that was dripping with sarcasm.  I was blessed with my parents' singing voice.  It is NOT pretty)

Me: "You must be my Lucky Star
'Cause you shine on me wherever you are
I just think of you and I start to glow
And I need your light
And baby you know" 


Now imagine the snotty-iest, most obnoxiously pre-teen accusing voice you can think of. Very similar to nails on a chalkboard.

9 Year old daughter: "UM, WHO sings this song???"

Me: It's Madonna.

9 Year old daughter: Humph, never heard of her. Can we turn on some Taylor Swift?

SMACK!

Okay I didn't really smack her simply because that wouldn't be safe while driving 80 MPH down the highway.



March 17, 2014

Baby on the run, er crawl





You turn your back for 1 second...

I guess I should be glad that he is 17 months old and still crawls otherwise he would have been 1/2 way to Missouri by the time I caught him.

Note1: If you knew where I lived you would find that last comment hilariously funny - we live in Kansas but 5 houses from the State Line of Missouri.

Note2: If you can't find me for a few days, check the local jail.  A policeman drove by and looked at me very suspiciously as my baby was crawling dangerously close to the street and I stood there laughing & taking pictures.