Monthly Archives: August 2013

My Semi-organized Kitchen

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Let me be honest and say up front that I am nowhere near finished organizing my kitchen, but I have made some progress this week, and I wanted to share one thing I did because I am so excited about it.

When we were planning our house, we met with the owner of the cabinet company and told him what we wanted, and he showed us what he could do. We have been very pleased with our cabinets and drawers. They look nice and are completely functional. One thing we insisted on was a counter-level microwave. Our two older children are very independent and were caught climbing on the counter to access the microwave over the cooktop in our old house. So many safety hazards in that situation. Our microwave now sits at counter-height and is built into the cabinet with drawers below it, and this arrangement is perfect for our family. An added bonus are the deep cabinets above the microwave.

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In our last two houses, our children climbed on the counters to get themselves a cup when an adult was not present. {I don’t think independence and impatience are a good combination.} Therefore, we now have one drawer below the microwave that is full of the kids’ favorite cups. These wide and deep drawers are very nice, but they can be difficult for adults to keep organized, so you can imagine the state of disarray in the kids’ drawer. Monday I decided to do something about it. I have seen ideas on Pinterest using small tension rods in cabinets and drawers for other things, so I decided to try it with the kids’ cups. Granted it has only been two days, but the drawer has stayed organized even with the kids using it.

20130828-121037.jpgThese are just cheap ($2.17 each) metal tension rods from Walmart, but they are a sanity and time saver! When I’m unloading the dishwasher now, it is simple to see where to put the cups, and I don’t waste time digging through the drawer trying to match the same-sized cups or reorganizing every time. I had threatened to throw away several cups, but now they all fit nicely and neatly, so the kids can hang on to their souvenir cups and multiple water bottles and thermoses.

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Open Door Policy?

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We have been in our new house just over two months now, but we have had issues with three of our interior doors. Important doors. We usually sleep with our bedroom door open, but there are times when it would be nice to be able to close it. We have had a birthday party and a jewelry party in our home already, and my pantry was open for all to see. I tend to be organized, but the first party was less than a month after we moved in, and I had just two days’ notice that there would be no door on the day of the party. Yikes!

Here’s what happened. Someone at the trim and door company mistakenly cut the holes for our handles about an inch lower in the doors than the holes were cut in the jambs, so the handles wouldn’t latch and the doors would not stay closed. Normally this wouldn’t have been a huge ordeal, but the three doors that were cut incorrectly happened to be the only three that were stain grade. We wanted those three to be stained because they are the doors you see from our entry, living, and kitchen areas, so instead of our guests seeing our beautiful stained doors at the parties, they saw our cluttered study, our master bedroom with boxes of books, and our pantry. It could have been worse. We could have been missing bathroom doors!

New doors were ordered before we moved in, but they were special order, so it took a few weeks to get them. My husband took the old doors off right before the first party, and the new doors arrived the next week. We had to wait for our painter to finish his other jobs before he could come back out to stain our new doors. After they were stained, my husband tried to install the doors himself, but the hinges on each door were off just enough to prevent him from doing so. Our builder has been out of town for two weeks and just returned yesterday. He came out today and installed the doors and handles.

I have only been using the pantry door so far, but I am loving it! You don’t realize how important doors are until you don’t have them. I think the kitchen looks so much nicer when the open pantry isn’t the first thing you notice. As the babies become increasingly mobile, it will be nice to be able to keep the study door closed. And a little privacy in the master bedroom is always a good thing.

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On the Move

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With two older children who have a number of choking hazards (a.k.a. toys) lying around nearly all the time, it has been easier to keep the babies in their room for play time, but they have become increasingly mobile in the last couple of weeks. Sissy started crawling about a week before they turned six months old and pulled up to standing a couple days later. Big brother just happened to be in the room at the time and took this photo with my phone.

20130824-140951.jpgLittle sister started army crawling just a few days after their six month mark and pulled up a few days later. I think it is funny that both girls pulled up for the first time on my legs. No one else was around to document little sister’s milestone, so this is the best I could do.

20130824-144932.jpgThey are now crawling too quickly for me to run to the restroom or work in the kitchen and expect them to be in their room (or behaving) when I return. Sissy is the more dominant one and frequently pulls little sister’s hair and clothes. She isn’t being mean, just curious, but we have to watch her.

20130824-142145.jpgFortunately, big brother and big sister enjoy playing with them and can be trusted to watch them for a few minutes. We also have an exersaucer and a jumperoo (thanks to a sweet friend) that we can use when we need the babies to stay safe and happy without constant supervision or when the older ones are playing with toys or games with small pieces.

20130824-141424.jpgFor the past few days, we have started letting the babies crawl out of their room into the game room. It’s more work but a necessary step, and we need to develop the habit of keeping choking hazards out of reach because it won’t be long before the babies are walking all over the house.

20130824-134700.jpgI had hoped that these two would develop a little slower than average because they are twins, but so far they have kept up with big brother’s crazy-fast development. He was walking by nine months, and I’m sure sissy will be walking by then with little sister shortly after. Ready or not, here they come!

Teeth

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One reason I haven’t blogged much lately is we are in the throes of teeth coming in and falling out. Cutting teeth can mean fussiness, waking during the night, lots of drooling, and runny noses. I don’t recall big sister having any of those problems. I never knew when her teeth were coming in. Big brother would always have cold symptoms: coughing, runny nose, etc. I would wait a week and then take him to the doctor just in case. They would tell me it must be a virus, and then he would cut a tooth the next day, and his symptoms would clear up. It has been seven years since I had to deal with teething pains, and I certainly didn’t know what to expect with two babies teething at the same time, but here we are with fussiness, wakefulness, drooling, and biting. At least they are teething at the same time, so maybe we can have a break before the next teeth come in.

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Little sister actually cut the first tooth on July 27th with Sissy’s first tooth coming in August 7th, but then Sissy’s second tooth came in August 19th with little sister’s on the 20th. The photo above shows little sister’s first tooth and the second one almost in. It cut through later that day.

In the midst of the babies’ teeth coming in, big brother has been losing his teeth. He has lost the four front ones with three of those having grown back in at least most of the way. On August 11th, big brother was eating corn on the cob at dinner and stopped midway through because his tooth was hurting. After that, he became determined that that tooth would be out that night. Have I mentioned that he is strong willed? He worked on that tooth all evening, and he finally got it out just before going to bed. He has pulled three of his teeth by himself. The other one had to be pulled by our dentist because his permanent tooth had already come in behind the baby tooth, and the baby tooth still wasn’t loose. He was so proud of himself!

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First Day of School (a few days later!)

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Big Sister started kindergarten Monday and loved it. Her teacher is wonderful and sweet, and I love this photo she sent me. What a great idea!
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Big Brother and Big Sister are attending a university-model, Christian school three days a week, and they complete assignments at home two days a week. We have some good friends whose children have been attending this school for several years, and we are so excited to have our boys in the same second grade class. Here is a photo our friend took of all of our school-aged children on their first day. (In a few years all of our children will be in school, and this group will double in size!)
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One of Big Brother’s assignments for today was to review his spelling words and to practice them in a fun way, so the kids wrote (and played) in shaving cream on the table. Big Sister said this was “the best day ever!”
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After homeschooling last year, I am thoroughly enjoying this. I’m not spending countless hours planning lessons, and I get to spend some time with my babies while the older two are at school. The kids love seeing friends and making new ones.

Busy times

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Wow! A lot has happened this summer. I know I originally promised to post at least once a week, and I have failed to do so since we moved into our new house. We were without Internet for over a week when we first moved in, but I can only blame busy-ness beyond that. I’m planning to post a few times this week to catch up on all that has happened. First, I must share some wonderful news. My babies, who are already six months old, are wearing purple here in honor of their new cousin who was born yesterday.
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Grammy and PaPa held my babies so I could hold my new niece. She is just beautiful.

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Here’s a close up of our little cousin–in purple of course. My sister’s favorite color has been purple for as long as I can remember, and now she finally has a baby girl, so naturally the baby’s room has been tastefully decorated in shades of purple, and I’m sure she will have a plethora of purple clothing. We will definitely pass these onesies down to her in a few months.

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Welcome to the family, sweet baby! We are so glad you are here.