Thursday, March 31, 2011

Friends Come To Play

Actual Date: Friday, March 4, 2011

We were all very excited around here because our friends were coming to play.  My friend Jami had a meeting so she asked if I could watch her two youngest for her.  Of course I said yes because I know this sounds weird but sometimes the more kids you have, the less kids you have... You know what I mean?  

They stay busy playing together and they bug you a lot less.  

Here's Brooke and Elli doing a puzzle.  They also had fun with the coffee pot the girls got for Christmas.  They filled up their cups with "coffee" (it was just water) and then they asked me if they could have the Carmel coffee creamer in it.  I gave each of them a tiny bit and they LOVED it.  It was so cute.

Here's another thing that both Jami and I were excited about.  Her son Gatlin is about 7 months older than Parker so we knew they were going to love playing together.  We were glad that they would have another boy to play with since Parker spends most of his days being a baby doll for his older sisters and Gatlin is closer to his sisters age than he is his older brother.

The boys played together, but just not how I thought they would...

They spent most of their time brushing each others hair,

and playing with the girls Barbies...

Oh well.  At least they had fun.  

Ever since that day Parker cries every time Gatlin leaves after coming over for Bible Study on Sunday nights.  He runs to the door and cries "Ga-lin! Ga-lin!"  It's so sweet.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dance Dance Revolution

Actual Date: Thursday, March 3, 2011

We have daily dance parties in this house.

They get a little wild...

I love these pictures of my monsters.  

I had to get the one of Parker and Ava because they were cracking me up.  That boy LOVES his sisters.  While they were whirling and twirling around in the living room Parker ran up to Ava, held out his hands and said "Me!  Me!"  She took his little chubby hands and they danced around in circles together.  

It was the cutest thing ever.

Sunbutter and Brian's B-Day

Actual Date: Tuesday, March 2, 2011
Is the salsa a little to spicy for Ava?

No.  She loves it!

Ava helped me make a new -throw it all in the blender- type of salsa and it turned out delish!

Oh and look what we got in the mail...

Can I get an Amen?

Two 5 pound tubs of Sunbutter.  My life has never been more complete.  

Ok maybe I'm taking it a little over board but I'm extremely excited about this.  Because of Brooke's Peanut allergy none of us can eat Peanut Butter.  We've tried Soy Butter but we couldn't choke it down.  It was not very yummy at all.  

Then we found Sunbutter and the clouds parted and the Angels sang.  It is a Peanut Butter replacement made with Sunflower seeds.  You can use it in any way you would use Peanut Butter.  Although if you cook with it you have to adjust something with the baking soda or baking powder or it will turn green or something like that.  

We love us some Sunbutter in this house.  Imagine not being able to run to the cupboard and make your kid a Peanut Butter sandwich on any given day.  It's a staple for kids.  Sunbutter allows that to happen in our house.

Best part of the whole thing, "Processed in a peanut and tree nut free facility."

Ok wait.  Maybe this is the best part of the whole thing.  

I just wanna dip a spoon in there and eat it!  

It was Brian's Birthday this day so we had one of his favorite dinners and then he opened his presents.

I had to get a picture of this.  Brian has been obsessed with BBQ sauce lately.  Seriously, I think it's a problem.  

Maybe he's pregnant?  

I have had to start buying it in bulk at Costco.  For reals...

Is there some kind of 12 step program for this because I'm pretty sure he needs it?

It was Dr. Seuss' Birthday too!  So Brooke's class made special hats to celebrate.

After presents we at cake.  Well, frozen Oreo Cupcakes for the kids and Olive Garden's White Chocolate Raspberry Cheese Cake.  Brian's favorite.  I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he said "White Chocolate Raspberry Cheese Cake!"

I felt bad because apparently it's processed in a place with peanuts so Brooke couldn't have it.... Long story but I called ahead to order it to go and I specifically asked the guy if it had or may contain peanuts and he told me "No, no nuts."  I asked him again and told him it was important to know because my daughter is allergic to peanuts and again he told me "It's fine.  No nuts."

He didn't speak very good English and I could tell he didn't understand the importance of the question so when I got to Olive Garden I made it a point to ask for the allergen statement for it.  The lady at the front said she would check with the Manager.  20 minutes later... after trying to contain my two little ones  all that time, who were beyond hungry and tired... the Manager comes out and says in fact it was processed in a plant with peanuts.  Good thing I double checked huh?

Anyways, here's the birthday boy blowing out his candles.

And Parker man singing "Happy Birthday" at the top of his lungs.

Look how sweet he is holding that baby.  He's going to be a good Daddy someday.

Happy Birthday Humblies!  We love you.  Thank you for everything you do for me and our family.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One Of Each Please!

I just stumbled across this give away on Bakerella.  

I am in LOVE with those cake stands.  Actually I'm in love with just about everything on the online store.

Make sure you enter to win.  

If you do win though I think you should be a good friend and give the pedestals to me. 

They match my kitchen and it would make my life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I'll Tell You Mine If You Tell Me Yours

So here we are at the cusp of a new week and I've got a major case of the Mondays.  This past weekend was one of those none stop fun filled, jam packed kinda weekends.   Don't get me wrong, it was a blast but now I'm left feeling like I need another weekend so I can recoup! 

As I sit here looking around I wish there was a way to bibbidi bobbidi boo and everything that needs to be done would get done.  But that's not reality.  But it got me thinking.  Is there an easier way?

So I was thinking maybe us Mama's could help each other out.  If I tell you my short cut secrets that save me time, will you tell me  yours? 


My nemesis is laundry.  Try as I may, I can never seem to get ahead in the laundry department.  Awhile ago I came across this poem by an anonymous writer.  I swear whoever wrote it stole the words right out of my mouth.

My Laundry...

I am so sorry.
Yet another stain.
I know I feel your pain.

My son filled his diaper and peed right thru.
I am sorry he let it get to you.
You are now soaked and stink and no one wants you  near.
I am so sorry... can you see my tear?

Now I must wash you and make you fade some more.
Oh you were so beautiful when I bought you at the store.
Now you have experienced poo and pee.
For the KoolAide stain I am truly sorry.

Now hold your breath as I spray you with this stuff.
It will remove the stain... it won't be too rough.
To my laundry I am so sorry.

What the heck am I saying?!  You are laundry, my biggest headache!
Na na na na na you got another stain!
Now sit in that basket you big ole pain.

Ok here's my first one.  See that hook there on the left?  My Handsome Hubby put it in for me.  My girls have a ridiculous amount of clothes.  So many that the hangers were forever getting lost.  Then the hook came into our lives and made it so much easier.  As soon as I take something off of a hanger it goes right on the hook.  There's no more searching for hangers.  It makes life so pleasant. 

I love it so much that I had Brian put one in our closet too!

Another great thing my Hubby (and my Father In Love) did is put a second bar in my girls closet.  They share a room and there is NO WAY we could fit both girls in one closet without it.  I put Ava's clothes on the top and Brooke's on the bottom so she can reach them.

Oh and see those pink bins on the top?  Those are full of clothes that Brooke has outgrown.  We're saving them for Ava.  It's nice to have it handy there since we all know kids grow like weeds.

Days of the Week Closet Organizer


Another thing I do to make our lives simpler in the morning is every night I get the kids clothes ready for the next day.  This has revolutionized out mornings.  Before it always seemed like we were rushed and it would take me 10 years to decide what I wanted them to wear.  But now when they are done eating they know to just go in and grab their clothes and get dressed.  

It helps eliminate the fights too.  Usually they just know that those outfits are already out so there's no negotiating. 

I really wish I had those hanging bins though.  They're on my to do list.  I would love to be able to do it for the whole week at one time! 

Ok so what I need help with is: Getting the laundry folded and put away.  What's your secret girls?

I am usually running all day long.  When I am home I usually just have time to grab a bite to eat and switch the laundry.  Then I am left with 5 baskets FULL of clean laundry.  That usually leaves me having to force myself to stay home and fold and iron for day.  By the time I get it all put away, it's time to do it all over again!

Help please!

 Oh and here's one little secret.  I was just talking with some friends about this the other day.  Sometimes when Ava outgrows a dress I will save it for Brooke to wear as a shirt.  The picture above shows an example of that.  It's a size 18 month dress but it fits my 4 year old perfectly as a shirt.  It's super cute to pair it with a pair of skinny jeans or some sassy leggings.


Or any other meal of the day for that matter.  What tips or tricks do you have in this area?

These are the ones I use:

1. Never underestimate the power of a pizza cutter.  

We use that baby for everything.  When you have three kids that need their food cut up at every meal you know how important it is to get that food to them ASAP.  That's where the pizza cutter comes in.  We use it to cut tons of things like waffles, hamburgers, lasagna, sandwiches, our toe nails... ok not that last one but you get the point.  You can use it on just about anything.

2. Cooking up ground beef or turkey ahead of time.  

I'm a bulk shopper.  I buy huge packs of ground beef and turkey at Costco and when we get home I fry it all up and put in baggies or Tupperware.  Each bag or Tupperware I put enough for a full meal.  After the meat has cooled I put it in the freezer.  That way when I decide I am going to make a meal with ground beef or turkey, all I have to do is put it in the fridge the night before to defrost, or zap it in the microwave.  It saves me a lot of time and money since I buy it all in bulk.

3. Getting kids to eat their dinner.

My trick for this actually comes from my friend Cindy.  For awhile Ava went through a phase where she did not want to eat any of her dinner.  Cindy has 4 kids so I figured she was a good resource to go to on this subject.  She said when her kids did this she would wrap it up and save it for them to eat for breakfast in the morning. 


After about two days of having her dinner for breakfast, Ava decided it was better to just eat her dinner the first time.  Worked like a charm.  Thanks Cindy!

Ok that's about all I can think of right now.  What about you?  What are  your tips for dealing with these things and other things such as dishes and keeping your car clean?

Oh and if you have any tips for keeping getting the kids to stay in bed once you've put them down for the night.  My girls are horrible at this.  I swear 501 times a night they are forever getting up saying they need to go potty- even though they just went, showing me their hang nails, needing to blow their noses and what ever other excuse they can drum up.

What's a Mama to do?!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This...

Disclamer: The second I got done typing this post, I heard Brooke scream "Ava stepped in dog poop!"  I look up and she has it on her shoe and has tracked it all over the porch.  While I am cleaning her up I send Brooke and Parker inside so they don't get it on them.  

After I got Ava cleaned up I look at Parker sitting on the couch and realize that he had stepped in it too and now it is all over my couch...

Oh and sometime this morning someone went around and turned all my plug ins upside down and the oil poured out everywhere.  Two of them were brand new.

In the name of all things Holy... It's not even 10:30 am yet...

So beware: Apparently this song was written for me.  It reminds me to have patience.  Even on crappy days like this. 

 Pun intended.

This is real life people!

Now if you will excuse me I am going to steam clean my carpets with Ammonia (like my Grammy taught me) and burn my couch.

Actual Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2011
When I woke up on this morning I had this song stuck in my head.  I posted it to my Facebook so I could share it with everyone and so I would have easy access to it since I knew I wanted to listen to it over and over again.

Without the test you wouldn't have a testimony.

Little did I know that this song would be the theme song for my day...  

I covered the first four lines of the song before 10 o'clock that morning!  I couldn't find my keys when it was time to take Brooke to school and then when it was time to take Parker to PT my phone was no where to be found.

After we picked Brookie up from school I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready and Ava came in and said she needed to go potty.  I told her to go ahead and let me know if she needed any help.  She had been doing really good on her own so I thought she could handle it.

A minute or two later Brooke says she needs to go potty and heads in to the bathroom that Ava was in.  Next thing I now she comes running out and tells me to get in there quick.  A million things ran through my head at that point.  

Not one of them was this...

 Someone had gotten into my makeup, found my pink powdered eye shadow, and decided to go to town with it.  It was EVERYWHERE.

 Parker had walked into the bathroom at the same time I did and he said "Uh oh!"  Then he disappeared. When he came back he had the kitchen towel in his hand and he made a bee-line for the mess. 

 What a good brother.

It was about that time that the doorbell rang.  It was my new friend Reni.  I had a present for her and she was stopping by to pick it up.  When I opened the door Ava came out into the hallway and when Reni saw her she said "What in the World happened?"  I had to take her in and show her the crime scene.  She's a Mom so I knew she would understand.  She just laughed and said "Good luck with the grout!"  

After Reni left I took both Ava and Parker to the bath tub because now they were both covered in the powdered mess.  Let me tell you, that stuff does not wash off easily.  Ava's feet and hands were stained for two days!

After her bath I made Ava sit in her bed until dinner was ready.  She wasn't too happy about it either.  I think she screamed "I'm NEVER going to sleep!" about a million times.  But she needed some time to sit and think about what she'd done.  And I needed some time to cool off.

A little bit later Brian got home and I met him at the door because I wasn't quite done cleaning up the bathroom mess and I didn't want him to see it without warning.  He took it better than I thought he would.  

At dinner we had a talk with Ava and she said she was sorry.  After we were done eating I checked my phone and I had missed a call from our neighbor.  Brian checked his phone at the same time and he had a message from the neighbors as well.  Apparently they were at the lake with a dead battery and needed someone to come jump start them.  Before Brian headed out he asked if I wanted him to take one or all of the kids with him.  I said "Can you take me?!" haha  He said "Seriously, is everyone going to be alive when I get home?"  lol I was beyond the point of getting mad.  All I could do was laugh at everything at this point.  I told him to go ahead and we'd all be fine when he got home.

After we got everyone tucked in bed Brian and I looked over the pictures from that day and had a good laugh.  Then we turned down the sheets ourselves and headed off to La La Land.  A few minutes later Brooke came in and said "It feels like there's something stuck in my nose."  I told her to blow it and go back to bed.  So she went into my bathroom and got a tissue and blew her nose.  Then she came back and said "I accidentally got something stuck up my nose."  At this point I was half asleep and I figured she was just trying to make excused so she could get out of bed.  I told her to get back in bed and stay there till the morning.  Then she got more serious and said "It's really starting to hurt though Mom!"

So I took her in the bathroom so I could see better in the light and tilted her head back.  Sure enough, there was something sparkly blue up there.  And I mean WAY up there.  

Are you kidding me child?!

I had Brian come in and look at it and we had her try to blow it out about a million times.  It just wouldn't budge.  So then Brian got one of my tools out of my makeup bag and had her lay down on the bed so he could try to dig it out.  This freaked me out because I was worried he would push it up further.  

It gave me flash backs to my Teacher days.  Once a little boy fell down and got a rock stuck up his nose and there was blood everywhere.  We had to call 911 because we couldn't get it out and they told us to get him to stop crying because he could suck the rock up and choke! 

That's all I could think about when Brooke started screaming the second Brian tried to get near her nose. After Brian tried a few times he told me to just go ahead and take her to the ER.  So off we headed.  Luckily it wasn't too far away.

We got in a room pretty quick and soon after our hero came in.  He took a peek at the damage and he said "Oh wow.  That's really up there huh?"  Brooke said that she was trying to "dig" it out and she must have just been pushing it further up.  

The nurse asked "You did try to have her blow it out right?"  I looked at him like are you serious?  Gee I hadn't thought of that...

He got a sheet and wrapped Brooke up in it so she couldn't it or kick while he was doing his thing.  He didn't need it though.  She never moved a muscle.  She was so brave.  A few times she let out a squeal and a few tears streamed down but not once did she freak out.

He dug around for awhile and then he said ok, I'm going to have to get a different tool.  The gem that was stuck up there had beveled edges and the tweezers were just slipping off.  He came back in with some more tools and probed at it a little more.  At one point he got it to rotate a little bit and he had her sit up and try to blow it out again.  After a few big blows the heart shaped gem flew out and onto the sheet!

What a relief! 

Brooke and her Knight in shinning armor.  He made her promise to never do this again.

 There's the gem.  At least it was something cute right?   

The worst part of the whole thing was that I had asked Brooke to clean up the Princess game that this heart shaped gem came from because I had caught Parker in it; I was worried what he would do with the pieces.  I never thought to be worried about what my 4 (almost 5) year old would do!

 When we got home I had to post a picture about how we finished out our crazy day.  Here are some of the comments from that.

  • Vanessa Braico At least she's wearing her heart up her nose and not on her :) Glad they got it out!! haha.
    March 1 at 10:30pm ·  ·  2 people

  • Lindsay Croteau Kyla your kids are too much for me today!
    March 1 at 10:34pm · 

  • Kyla Billingsley Very true Nessa!

    You're telling me

    March 1 at 10:36pm · 

  • Denice Powers Castillo Oh man!!! Trevor did that one time with those stupid foam growing! Hang in there! You're a great momma!!
    March 1 at 10:38pm · 

  • Kyla Billingsley Are you serious Denice? Did it start to swell up?
    March 1 at 10:41pm · 

  • Kyla Billingsley I must add though, I LOVE living in a small town. We left the house at 9:11 and we pulled in the driveway at 10:14. Not bad for a trip to the ER.
    March 1 at 10:42pm · 

  • Denice Powers Castillo He did it after it had "grown" so it was just a matter of getting the foam out of his nose...with tweezers!
    March 1 at 10:43pm · 

  • Anarely Velasquez Oh Brooke LOL
    March 1 at 10:43pm · 

  • Kyla Billingsley LOL ok. Too funny. What are these kids thinking? Brooke's was hard to grab, they tried a few different things. He finally got it to move a little and she was able to blow it out.
    March 1 at 10:45pm · 

  • Jennifer Billingsley My brother shoved Fun Fruits up his nose when he was three or four. Apparently he didn't learn his lesson. He shoved a rock up his nose weeks later. Two of many trips to the ER my mom had to make for that boy.
    March 1 at 11:18pm · 

  • Anarely Velasquez When My cousin was little I remember her putting beans and one time a screw, that was crazy we talk about it all the time and shes 21 now LOL
    March 1 at 11:21pm · 

  • Dawnalea Robinson Hahaha!!! 5 grand later for the gem. Love ya best.
    March 2 at 12:44am · 

  • Kyla Billingsley For real huh best. I was thinking that too. Too bad it wasn't a real gem!
    March 2 at 7:04am · 

  • Misty Alejo You had quite the day yesterday! I second your nomination for Mother of the Year.
    March 2 at 8:30am · 

  • Sean Stern No fair! How come your kids get cute things stuck up their nose!
    March 2 at 11:02pm · 

  • Leslie Chaffin Cabe an experince all will remember....hope you and Brooke are ok
    March 3 at 6:53am · 

  • Kyla Billingsley That's what I said Sean, at least it was something sparkly and cute!
    March 3 at 7:10am ·