My Birthday

Yesterday I turned 31. 

To me, it seems like more of a milestone than 30 was. I think it’s because last year we really celebrated my birthday, for like a month. We went on shopping sprees, ate out at restaurants, I had my hair dyed and we had meals with family and friends. It was extended slightly by Mother’s Day the very next day, and a baby shower in June. This all made it feel more immature and irresponsible, like being 30 was just another excuse to spend a lot, eat a lot and party. 

Thirty-one, however, has passed with a cheery wave and a sigh. We ate at Lupe’s on Saturday with my inlaws, then Kabob Korner for lunch yesterday with the grand-inlaws, and today I’m back to doing laundry, sweeping and being an adult. 

Although! I did have a great time last night playing board games with Josh, I also had my first alcoholic drink in, well over, a year which added a silly haze to everything. 

In fact, I think we might start recording our board game sessions for YouTube, maybe try to build an online following before putting our plans into action in a few years time. I’ll keep you updated. 

Honestly, 31 feels fine. I’m fine, Josh is fine, the boys are fine. Everything is pretty good. 

Until next time,

Laura x

I’ll just leave this here x

UPDATE!

I just got a notification that my traffic is a lot higher than normal and then realized that I hadn’t posted in anything in a good long while! So, here’s an update:

Both the boys have just gotten over a bout of croup and are doing much better.

J2 is almost speaking in full sentences, and has discovered a love of Moana! He has made great progress with his letters, numbers, colors and shapes too.
J3 is so close to walking independently, he can walk while holding on to something, and will take a step or two to transfer himself from the futon to the coffee table. He has his two bottom teeth, and I’m pretty sure his top ones are coming in too because he is so grumbly!
The boys love playing together, and have walked around holding hands a few times!

Josh and I have had some serious discussions about our future and we have made some awesome plans. They will be about five years in the making though, so we’re not going public until we have some things set in concrete.

As always there are new designs in the Threadless Store – Crafty in Katy.

I’m sure more has happened, and if I think of it I promise I’ll tell y’all.

Until next time,

Laura x

Wasting Food

We are absolutely terrible with food. 

A couple of days ago I threw out a large container’s worth of Taco Soup, along with another, smaller, container of pulled pork and two heads of romaine lettuce. That food could have been four to six more meals, with some additions to the lettuce. We have a bowl of cold cooked pasta in the fridge too that will probably be thrown out tomorrow, in total I’d say it was a waste of about $40. 

This might not seem like much, but our food budget is $400 a month, so that is one tenth of our food in the bin. 

What did we do instead of eat these meals, you ask? We got take-out or fast food or we went to a restaurant, ultimately spending at least $20 each time, which is $80 – $120 spent on meals that we already had in the fridge!

After giving it lots of thought, here is my solution:


By having a handy reference page we can make a meal plan based on the food we already have, and try to get ingredients that can be used for multiple meals. 

So, instead of having a bag of salad slowly wilt and turn to soup, we can have lasagne (we already have the pasta sheets) and burgers (we already have the buns) using the same 2lb, $10, serving of ground beef.

Ground beef $10 + Salad $3 + Lasagne sauce $3 = $16

Which makes it only $3.66 each, per meal!

We have some serious planning and grocery shopping to do this weekend,

Wish us luck!

Until next time,

Laura x

Frustrations of a Stay-at-home-Mum

I have been very lazy in the past month.

By ‘lazy’ I actually mean busy, too busy to put some time aside to write even a single blog post.

The annoying thing is that I can’t even remember what I’ve been busy doing. I know that an awful lot of my time is spent being a responsible adult and parent, which sadly doesn’t leave time for ‘frivolous’ things like writing.

One thing that I know I have been spending time on is getting new designs in the store.


Not having any time for myself is having a detrimental effect on my relationship with my boys, J2 is now 2, and J3 is coming up to 9 months.

J2 is independent, he likes to pick out his own clothes, he loves playing with the trucks and trains that he got for his birthday, and he never sits still.
Nothing in that previous sentence should indicate to you the amount of frustration and stress I’ve been feeling on a daily basis. Even reading it back to myself I can’t see how I get so angry that I regularly need to step into my bedroom to calm down.

Let’s break it down:

  • Independent But still acts like a baby when his brother is getting attention!
    I know that this is a developmental and social thing but it drives me insane.
  • ClothesSometimes decides not to wear clothes at all.
    This isn’t actually usually a problem, and he will change his clothes if I pull some different ones out, but on the days when we have to go out and he is throwing a fit because he doesn’t want to wear pants I do not have the patience or time to deal with him.
  • Trucks & Trains They are so loud!
    We have mostly wooden floors in this apartment, only our bedrooms are carpeted, and, not only do the trucks have buttons on that when pressed sound sirens and warnings, they crash and clatter in a way that I thought wasn’t possible!
  • Can’t sit stillHe even falls off his chair from a sitting position for no reason.
    It’s pretty much self-explanatory, and I know that this is a developmental thing, and he is getting better at it, but at those times when Josh and I finally sit down so we’re all eating dinner together and then J2 just randomly falls off his chair, or decides that he needs to see what we’re eating, I just lose it.

Again, I have only listed four things that seem innocuous enough, minor issues that can be dealt with using a calm voice and a good example, but I don’t have time for that.

Take into consideration the fact that I also have a 9 month old who is also independent, has started walking while holding onto things, likes to feed himself, doesn’t like getting his diaper or clothes changed, and is as busy as his brother, and you may see where most of my time and patience goes.

J3 is like a greyhound, as soon as he is on the ground he will army crawl his way to the nearest vertical surface and work his way up so he’s standing, he will either then make his way to something more interesting, or stand there until he gets tired and starts whining. This wasn’t an issue with J2 in our previous almost completely carpeted apartment, but these wooden floors hurt when he falls down.

He is also like a bloodhound, but for food and drink he’s not supposed to have yet, he will army crawl his way to J2’s table, pull himself up, and if necessary climb up, and grab whatever his little baby arms can reach.

He is just a baby. He wants mummy’s attention, he wants brother’s attention, he wants hugs, he wants freedom, he wants to be fed, he wants to feed himself.

I know what you’re thinking,

You’re doing it wrong.

You just need to calm down.

You should appreciate this time with your children more.

You need to stop being selfish.

You’re the adult, just deal with it and move on.

You should try to do activities that they will both enjoy.

You just need to have a set schedule.

You need help.

You’re not being a good mother.

I know that’s what you’re thinking because that’s what my inner voice is screaming at me while my outer self is getting more and more riled up.

The real problem here is rest.

I don’t get enough.

I don’t give my body and brain enough time to process the stress of the day before, so the next day it just piles on top.

I need to go to bed early to rest, and to get up early to energize.

I know that’s what I need to do, but how do I do that and still have enough time for blogging, designing, playing video games, hanging out with friends, having quality time with Josh, cleaning, crafting, writing, journaling, painting my nails, exercising, grocery shopping, meal planning…

I know that’s what I need to do.

Wish me, and my boys, luck,

Until next time,

Laura x

Party Prep – Cleaning House & Operation: Marker Rescue

I’ve decided that I’m going to either sweep up messes as soon as they’re made, or just not sweep again until Saturday morning because I’ve discovered J2’s special talent, he can make crumbs out of anything.

He’s eating cookies, I expect crumbs; he’s eating a sandwich, again I expect crumbs. He’s eating tomatoes, hotdogs, grapes, I don’t expect crumbs, and yet somehow there they are!

The constant crumb trail means that I’m going to leave the Swiffering until Saturday morning, so that’s one thing off my plate for the rest of the week. 

Job #2 for today was to clean up J2’s coloring area and sort his markers. 

After throwing out the trashy paper.


I ordered some nappies from amazon a few months ago and I expected them to come just as they were, but with an address label on. Instead they turned up together in this huge box, that I had to pick up from the main office of our apartment complex and transport home, and it was the solution to a problem I’d had for a few weeks. 

I needed a place that J2 could color where I wouldn’t be too concerned about our deposit.

I used a box cutter to take off the flaps, then carved a rounded entryway to make it look slightly more than just a box with a hole cut in the side. 

As you can see from the photos above, there is crayon and marker all over that box, but none on the walls around it!

So, I used the tried and tested method of scribbling on a piece of paper to check the markers, and I found five that were drying up. 


One of them is a Color Wonder marker, so I needed the special paper to test it out. 

When I was younger we would lick the marker to get it work for a few seconds, bleurgh, goodness knows what they were made of back then. 

Not wanting to do that, I checked out Pinterest, my ‘go-to’ for ‘How-Tos’, which told me that rubbing alcohol was the answer.

I needed to dip the markers in rubbing alcohol until just a bit of ink seeped out, then leave them for an hour with the cap on. So, I gathered my supplies and I was ready to go. 

After soaking them, I ended up leaving the markers with their caps on for a lot longer than necessary, the end of nap time coincided with the last cap being replaced.
Sadly, I was disappointed when I eventually got around to seeing the results. 


Although there is a definite improvement in the regular markers, they faded quickly and needed a ‘rest’ before coloring again. 

It is hard to see, but the Color Wonder marker actually got worse, to the point where I threw it away. It didn’t color anymore and even started taking the black ink off of the page. Obviously the special ink they use wasn’t compatible with the rubbing alcohol. 

In conclusion, if you’re using a particular marker for a project and it dries up, this method is good for a quick fix, until you can replace it. Or, it’s fine to make your kids markers last a little bit longer.

Have you tried a different method for rescuing dried up markers?

Until next time,

Laura x

J2 is turning 2!

This week is going to be all about cleaning and preparing for J2’s birthday party this weekend. 

My to do list:

  • Sweep floors
  • Swiffer floors
  • Vacuum boys’ room
  • Organize toys (every day task)
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean kitchen
  • Sweep patio
  • Dust
  • Rearrange furniture so 18 people can fit comfortably in our two bedroom apartment. 
  • Order cake
  • Order fruit tray
  • Order veggie tray
  • Buy soft drinks
  • Buy paper plates / plastic cups
  • Make his birthday shirt
  • Make decorations
  • Make, print and frame J2’s stats
  • And, on the day, order pizza. 

I’ll be doing a post every time I complete a task, so expect lots of updates this week!

Until next time,

Laura x

Back to Me

I’ve been very lax in blogging and doing pretty much anything creative lately, and it’s having a toll on my mood. I’ve been struggling with depression and have found that I’m easily irritated and frustrated.

However, I managed to find some downtime yesterday and instead of working on the laundry, I started designing a phone case for my new phone (thank you tax rebate), and the longer I worked on it, the more I felt myself unwind.

and-though-she-be-but-little-2

The boys are becoming more independent, we’re weaning J3 from breastfeeding so Josh is taking him off of my hands, and they’re more consistent with their naps, which is giving me more Time (yes, Time with a capital T). Recently I’ve been using it to do chores, but Josh is encouraging me to just leave them, and to work on stuff for myself.

So, today during naptime, I picked up the Surface, and with my new stylus in hand (thank you My Valentine) I got to work. This means that I’ve finally put some new designs on our Threadless store!

Go check it out and leave a comment if y’all want a custom design, or just have a cool idea for one!

I would also love to hear your strategies for coping with depression.

Until next time,

Laura x

Status

J2 just ‘shushed’ me!

It’s 1:20am, he gets out of bed, comes into our room and snuggles up with me. I notice that his diaper is a bit full so, better safe than sorry, I take him to change it before putting him back into bed. 

He fell asleep as soon as I put him on the change mat, but woke up again when that cold wipe went to work!

I carried him back to his room, put him in bed, pulled up his duvet, kissed him on the cheek, whispered goodnight and he put his hand on my head, pushed me away and said,

“Shhhhhh”

Little toot. 

Until next time,

Laura x

“Blessed” Expanded

We got home from PAX, then everyone got sick. Super Bowl Sunday was not the peak of the germ mountain, that didn’t come until Wednesday.

Literal side note:
Lady Gaga was amazing!

I had been doing everything I could to make the boys comfortable, we took cool baths to help with fevers, I used my fingers instead of harsh tissues when wiping noses (I used gallons of soap and hand sanitizer), I made sure they were both hydrated and J2 was allowed to eat whatever he wanted. The only thing that I couldn’t seem to help with was J3’s eyes, I wiped them with warm damp cloths, dripped breastmilk onto them and tried to keep them as clean as possible.

Alas, it was to no avail.

We woke up Wednesday morning and J3’s left eye was so swollen and inflamed that he could barely see out of it. If that wasn’t bad enough, it seemed that the medications Josh was on weren’t working as efficiently as they could. He woke up barely able to speak, and when he did it was followed by a coughing fit, we figured he probably needed time to actually rest. So, Josh stayed home and slept while I took the boys to the pediatrician.

Two hundred dollars later (we’re still paying the deductible) I find out that J2 is recovering well from his cold, we just have to be patient and wait for the cough to work itself out, but J3 has an eye and ear infection. He was prescribed a powerful antibiotic that tastes disgusting and would give him loose stools (bleurgh), so the doctor recommended that we give him half a sachet of a probiotic every day to keep things a bit firmer inside (double bleurgh). J3 does not like taking his medication.

I am very, very, pleased to say that he no longer looks like the worlds cutest pirate, and that he mostly retained his cheerful demeanor throughout the past week.

“Why was this week so bad?” You might be asking yourself. Remember how I said that Josh’s meds weren’t working as well as they could? Turns out they were doing the best they could, it’s just that this cold is a beast. J2 and J3 still have runny noses and coughs, which of course affected their sleeping.

Q: What’s worse than a husband and a couple of little boys with colds?
A: A husband and a couple of little boys with colds who can’t sleep because of the coughing and stuffy sinuses, and one who doesn’t just poop in his diaper, but explodes out of it.

Seriously, we moved J3 up two diaper sizes this week just to try to contain it, it was costing us a fortune in laundry detergent!

The worst part about this week has been the sleep deprivation. J3 has been sleeping in our room again so he didn’t disturb J2, which of course meant he disturbed us, and yet J2 turned up in our room every night. He would either crawl in between us and then push Josh out of bed, or climb directly on top of me. If anyone out there knows what that’s like, then you know how disruptive it is to one night’s sleep, now imagine that happening every night for over a week.

But, like I said here, there are a lot more things that I have to be thankful for, like my husband and wonderful kids. I just need to remember that the next time I complain about losing a few hours of sleep.

Until next time,
Laura x

Blessed (Originally titled: Nightmare Week)

We’ve had a super rough, tiring week. 

Typing that makes me feel like a bit of a fraud, we’re all okay, we have a roof over our heads, and food in the fridge. We have the love of our families and we have each other. We have a steady income and a great car. 
Hmm, who knew making a note of what you have, instead of focusing on what you don’t have, really helps to get your priorities straight!

Tomorrow I will share what has happened this past week, but right now I’m going to go to bed thinking of the future. 

Until next time,

Laura x