The Mess in the Meltdown

Fifteen layers of clothing, cabin fever and little boys bouncing off the living room walls… it’s Winter in NJ! The past few weeks have been especially frigid, so we’ve had loads of inside time. It’s been fun, but hanging inside was getting old. (Seriously, how many sofa pillow castles build before losing your mind?!) So when temp hit a balmy 54°F yesterday, we headed straight for the nearest playground after school. That’s when I remembered that it had rained last night. No problem though. I’m 5 years into this mom gig, so a little mud doesn’t scare me. Besides, the boys were finally jumping off something other than my dining room table, so we were staying. Five slides, two swing sets and a rock wall and what does Loey play with?

ImageImage Loey’s List of Favorite Things:

  • Dirt
  • Water
  • Any combination of the above

He was soaked up to his knees and had the time of his life! Confession: As we ran out the house this morning, I realized he had on big bro’s 5T pants! Sigh. We were mobilized – there was no turning back.

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Luke asked to wear “the shoes that like to get messy” to the playground. Gotta love a guy who recognizes practical footwear.

Meanwhile, back at the playground… Big Brother Luke slid down into a ginormous puddle. Naturally, that’s when I remembered the towel in the stroller and my intent to wipe down pre-play. The towel was Luke’s favorite thing. He happily spent the rest of the afternoon playing Park Ranger – wiping down benches, play equipment and little bro.

Mess rating for the day (1-5 scale): 2 rolls of Bounty

Let’s yarn awhile

Much to the delight of my cat, Hazelnut, I’ve started crocheting again. A former colleague of mine formed a crochet circle at the office and was more than happy to take me on as a padawan and show me the ropes… or yarn, as it were. I managed to complete a couple of projects and then hung up my hooks to finish my degree and bear several children. Now that I have a baby girl to crochet for (and a Pinterest board full of ideas), I’m back. I’ve recently finished several projects, including 3 hats. The cool thing is that while the finished products are very different, all 3 hats were made from the same beanie pattern. Sarah over at Repeat Crafter Me is a crochet genius and super generous in sharing her easy-to-read patterns (newborn – adult). Here’s a link to the beanie pattern I used for these little numbers.

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This hat is the root of my new obsession with all things owl.

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And now for a much angrier bird

Again, I reused my favorite beanie pattern for the hat. The pattern for the bird features can be found here.

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Luke is super into Avengers at the moment and decided he really needed a Captain America hat. Mission accomplished. My gauge was a little off, so it’s not quite long enough. I really need to go back and crochet and extra row or 2.

Same basic pattern and then I found the pattern for the wings and stuff here.

I am so thankful that so many crocheters are willing to share their awesome patterns for free. The craft world has such a fabulous community. Enjoy the patterns and I’d love to see the finished product if you make any of these projects!

Handprints on My Heart

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Luke’s 2013 hand print creation (why can’t I make myself toss this thing?!)

I spend my days wiping foreign substances from appliances and walls, so you would think that I would have an aversion to hand prints. The truth is, I can’t get enough of them. My fondness isn’t for the gooey tracks leading from the counter to the couch, but to the crafty kind immortalized on construction paper. Out of necessity I’ve been making feeble attempts to cut clutter in our house. We’re just running out of places to stuff things we don’t need. But while I can easily part with many of the kids’ ‘masterpieces,’ anything with a hand, finger, or foot print is generally safe from elimination. My print obsession stared with Luke’s first Christmas when we pressed his chubby foot in clay and proudly displayed it on our tree. We’ve done the same for each subsequent baby. Each December we crowd around the ornament box excited to compare how much they’ve grown since their first Christmas. (I wish I could post a picture of all 3 ornaments, but they’ve been once more relegated to the attic. Lest you think I have it all together, we’ll probably still be using our Christmas dishes on Loey’s birthday… which is in July.)

I’ve noticed that while the minutes of each day at home can be loooong (like when all 3 kids are super sad at the same time), each year really does move faster than the previous one. I suppose hording hand prints is my way of freezing time – if only on paper. I’ve recently become a late-night Pinterest fanatic – because who can sleep when there are fantastic craft/food/party/random ideas to be discovered and never attempted! As a tribute to my love of kid prints, I created a hand print craft board on Pinterest (lots of repinning – not my ideas!). I see a hand print tutu in Miss Em’s future! :)

 

A Farewell to Frosting

This is one of those good news/bad news posts. The good news is that I’m back to my pre-pre-pre-pregnancy number on the scale! Before offering a hearty “woo-hoo”… the bad news is that number is still waaaay higher than it should be for a person of my height. At 36, I’m not expecting a vertical growth spurt any time soon, so it’s time to eat less and move more. The trouble is that I have always looked at food like this: Homebaked goods = Love on a plate. Douse pretty much anything in strawberry frosting and I’ll happily gobble it down. On the other hand… Veggies = Blech!  But the scale doesn’t lie and something’s gotta give before my pants do (and there’s no way I’m tapping into my stash of maternity pants!). So out of a need to introduce more green stuff into my family’s diet and a collective love of finding new ways to trash the kitchen, the Hubs and I decided to start juicing.

After spending a hot 5 minutes researching juicers, we jumped on eBay and ordered a Breville Juice Fountain. Since its arrive on Tuesday, we’ve been playing “Will it Juice?” with pretty much everything. We started small with juicing a pineapple (or as Loey calls it
‘Pie Apple’ – Baked goodies? Yes, please!) and that was an easy hit with all. Next, we tried a sweet potato/carrot blend which received mixed reviews.

By last night we were feeling bold enough to try the mother of all juice recipes: Mean Green. The following produce was harmed in the making of this drink:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 inch of ginger root
  • 4 kale leaves
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 Granny Smith green apples
  • 2 cup assorted greens

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Luke vs. The Machine

This was definitely a group effort. I chopped, Luke washed, Em gnawed on a celery stalk and Loey hunted for ice cream. I was really surprised at how into juicing Luke was! It must be a man vs. power tool thing. He loved sending the healthy stuff down the shoot and watching the juice squirt out. But that was where the fun ended – Mean Green is serious stuff. Serious stuff that tastes like grass and lemons duking it out in a cup.

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Em obviously gagging at the sight of Luke trying the Mean Green. Some infants are soooo dramatic…

I definitely overdid it on the ginger and really thought it could use at least 5 cups of sugar. Tom held his nose and chugged it. Luke, obviously blinded by pride in his creation, took one sip and said matter-of-factly, “I like it.” His taste buds quickly betrayed him though and he told me I could have all the rest. Loey, our toddler culinary expert, took a sip, sucked in some air and rolled it around his mouth for awhile like he was tasting a fine wine. He then pushed the cup away and declared, “No yike it!” We’re still allergy testing Em, so she got a pass and looked as relieved as a 9-month-old possibly can.

So Mean Green was sent back to the I-Team Test Kitchen for tweaking. Overall, we’re really having fun with juicer and I’m enjoying the ease of primarily only shopping the produce aisle.

I’ll end this post by introducing my mess rating system. It’s on a 1-5 scale as follows:

1 Roll of Paper Towels = Can be done in a house with white carpeting

5 Rolls of Paper Towels = Just move out

I give juicing a 3 roll rating – 4 rolls if kiddos are helping.

Introducing… My Mess Makers

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Loey splashing in his favorite goo

Whether you’re a friend, family or just passing though… welcome to my blog! Hi ya, I’m Lindy I., mom to three and wife to my high school sweetheart. As I was puttering around the kitchen today cleaning and brainstorming blog ideas, something caught my eye – the paper towel holder. It was then that I decided to write about everything from our messy crafts to the messes in life that can’t be wiped clean with a square of Bounty. Most of what I write will center around my journey as a mom and things I’ve observed/learned/messed up/cleaned up along the way. I’m currently a crochet fanatic, so I’ll probably be sharing a few of those and other projects as well. Now to introduce my band of babes:

Luke (5 years old) is our big guy and comes up with the best ideas. He can often be heard saying things like, “Let’s paint with our feet!” and “I’ll get the food coloring!” As the first-born, Luke is the Mischief Police and lets me know what has gone awry and by whom. It should also be noted that Luke is the least messy member of the I-Team… including me. (My equilibrium still seems off after pregnancy #3, so I have a tendency to spill and drop stuff… often.)

Loey (2 years old) is my sweet and happy bundle of fun. Usually found with a smile on his lips and glitter in his hair, he is the ninja of mess makers – the quieter he is, the bigger the mess.

Em (9 months old) is our adorable newbie. Her hobbies include snuggling, scouting for dropped snacks and clearing bookshelves.

So that’s my gang! It’s a lot of work (as any parent can attest!), but there’s no one I’d rather chase around with a baby wipe.