Remembering Robyn

Today is the one year anniversary of the death of my friend Robyn and her daughter. I think of her and her family every time I hear this song. Praying that her family's wounds will one day heal.

Sissy’s Song – Alan Jackson Music Code

Coup d'├ętat in the name of "Happy Birthday Katie"

I'm overthrowing the rightful owner of this blog for one day to honor her on her birthday. What would our lives be without Katie anyway? She adds so much kindness, warmth, and happiness to so many people near and far. Katie is one of those rare people who can make everyone around her a better person. We are blessed to her her in our lives.

Have a great 33rd birthday!

We all love you so much.


Hank's Birthday

What could be better than cake batter for breakfast?
Hank is really into construction vehicles so we made him a "digger cake." He was really excited when he woke up from his nap to find this.
Crumbled up Oreo made edible dirt.
The cake is eggless chocolate with cream cheese frosting.
Jelly Beans as rocks.
Hank blew out his candles on his own! Then he went for the digger and started licking the "dirt" out.

Hmmm? Play or eat?

I guess it wouldn't hurt to eat.
Forks are for babies.
Hank spent a little time snuggling with his Great Papa. Grandpa came over and helped fix Max's riding lawn mower and well, that pretty much sealed the deal for Hank. Grandpa is a pretty cool guy in his book!
Hank got a bean bag of his own that served as the king chair while he opened presents.
At this age one present is more than enough. After his first gift he was done. We had to keep encouraging him to open more. With each one he would get serious about playing with it just in time to open another one. All the kids wanted the koosh ball and he didn't want to share.
Grammy and Papa got him a lawn mower. Hank has been mowing nonstop since then. He just loves being outside.
When the kids turn one Aunt Anna makes them a special little pillow to sleep with. When they turn two they get a full size pillow. I made Hank a Thomas the train and tractor pillow cases for his new big boy pillow. I think he was pleased. :) Pretty nice day in the life of a two year old.

Happy 2nd Birthday Hank!

Happy Birthday Hank!
This was such a worrisome time two years ago. Today my only worries were how much of a mess you could make in one day.
As I look back at the events that transpired, I see how many times God blessed your life. If you were not breech, I wouldn't have been in the hospital to try to turn you and we would have never known I had no amniotic fluid left. You were so sick, it is a miracle you were not still born. I hate to think what one more day would have meant.

If I hadn't worked in a high risk Labor and Delivery unit in the best hospital in Denver, I wouldn't have had some of the best doctors in Colorado taking care of you. There would not be a team of nurses and doctors that cared so deeply for you. We were given the very best they had.

I also would not have been able to stay with you for your entire stay. They allowed me to stay in empty rooms so that I could be there for every feed and be at your side as much as possible. I may not have had the ability to nurse you without the expertise of the Lactation nurses in the NICU. The same nurse that guided me through problems with Hailey made it possible for a baby with oral trauma from the ventilator to nurse like a pro. Since the day you were born the angels have been watching over you.

It is as if little bits of heaven shines in you. You are a beautiful child who holds his mom's heart in the palm of his little hand. I thank God for giving you to us and for the angels that are watching over you. Now if they can just let me know when you are up to no good!

Pop Chips

We all have our guilty pleasures. Mine happens to be chips. I hoard them. I hide them from the kids. I make them have gold fish and grapes while I hand over fist shove Doritos in my mouth. Every day I look forward to lunch. Forget Miller time. It's Doritos time! I try to ignore my bright orange fingers and all the carcinogens I am happily devouring. I love them.

I am embarrassed to say I eat an entire bag of chips myself a week. Can you be addicted to chips? I set boundaries. Only two (huge) handfuls and only once a day. Every time I open the pantry they call to me like a sweet Siren. I have tired to do Pirates Booty and it is OK in a pinch, but my first love will always be Doritos.

Then I met PopChips. They are not fired or baked. The are pressure popped potatoes. So far I have eaten the Salt and Vinegar and the Barbecue. It makes my mouth water thinking about these. Twenty chips are 120 calories with no Saturated fat and only 6% of my daily fat. However my beloved Doritos are 140 calories with 63 of them being from fat. They also have saturated fat and 11% of total fat calories for the day. So you know what that means? I can eat twice as many PopChips!

I felt the need to share about these great chips since I ate an entire bag in one day. You can find them at Target, Safeway and Whole Foods. Target has them on sale for $2.50 right now. I think I will run over and get the Original, and the Slat & Pepper. Oh maybe the Parmesan Garlic, and then there is the Cheddar and the oh so lovely Sour Cream & Onion too! Think it is time to form a support group? :0)

Little Girls' Extreme Room Makeover

This is how their room has looked since we moved in. We split the bunk bed set up with one bed for Karlie and one for Hailey. Kaitlin has been in her toddler bed for nearly two years and has been asking for a "big girl bed" since Christmas. So I decided for her birthday we would do a surprise room make over with a big girl bed. I have been buying bits and pieces and planning the room out over the last three months.

About two weeks ago we bought a bed set off craigslist for Hailey to allow us to put the original bunk bed set back together. But we continued to make Kaitlin sleep on the crib mattress to add to the surprise of a big girl bed on her birthday.
Here is the room at 8 am. After we had breakfast, I took the kids to school as any normal day. Kaitlin thought Daddy was just going in late, she had no idea that he was staying home to redo her room! As soon as I left, Max began moving furniture and taping.
Here is the room at 3 p.m. My mom picked the little girls up from school and took them to lunch and the park so we could secretly keep working. Hank was very instrumental in this make over. :0)
He went with me to Costco to buy the mattress and everyone thought he was the one getting a big boy bed as he jumped and bounced on the bed as I tried to hold onto him so he wouldn't crack his head open. Five little monkeys jumping on the bed kept playing through my mind. Hopefully he won't be jumping out of his crib anytime soon!
We changed the play area around and made it the reading nook. The kids all love to read, so I wanted to create a comfortable place for them to enjoy their books. They have been begging for bean bags, so I incorporated those in. You can't see it very well, but there is a pink and white polka dot rug too.
I could not decide how to put Kaitlin's request for a purple room, Karlie's request for a green room and both of them wanting pink polka dots. Visions of Easter Eggs were all I could think of. At one point I was going to do pink and green walls with purple accents. Then It was pink and purple walls. Finally I decided on lavender and green walls with pink polka accents.
My favorite part of this was the bedding. Kaitlin kept talking about wanting pink and purple polka dots. Meanwhile Karlie loves green and she wanted the room to be green with pink polka dots. I jumped for joy when I found the perfect bedding at Home Goods.
The only problem was they had the green in a twin but not the purple. The purple sheets were a twin but the comforter was a full. So I cut it down and sewed some pillows with the extra. While at the fabric store getting the fabric to recover the desk chair and toy chest, I ran into a lady that does embroidery and she put the girls' names on the shams for me! With every Pottery Barn Kids catalog Karlie would beg me to put her name on her pillow. I am really happy with how they turned out. It was the first time the lady had ever done it and I think she did a fabulous job.

We had the white wood letters from before we moved but never put them up because we knew we wanted to paint the room. Who knew it would be 10 months before we actually painted. LOL

The toy box didn't go as well as I had hoped. It is still a work in progress, but you get the idea. We were running out of time, so hopefully it will get officially done this weekend.

I found 77 cent knobs at Lowe's to transform Hailey's horse themed dresser into Kaitlin's own dresser. This dresser was mine in high school. I think this is the fourth set of knobs it has seen.

Hailey's desk and chair got an update for Karlie. I am just crazy about polka dots!
I found some baskets for their Barbies and dolls that went with the polka dot theme too!! Walmart is the place to go for a room makeover on a budget. The bookshelves were only 15 bucks each! I had planned to repaint my black ones from college, but Max said I would spend close to that in paint. So Max now has some fancy black shelves for the garage.
Some special touches I had been secretly working on was putting each of their names on their bean bag. I did this using iron on letters from Michael's. I loved the beanbags from Pottery Barn Kids, but I could get each of the kids one from Target for the price of one theirs. Target has them in pink, lavender, red, and navy for $20. Can you guess what Hank is getting for his birthday?

I used the left over fabric from the toy box and the chair to make this sweet picture for the wall. Their hands are the same size. Kaitlin is going to be one big girl. I was thrilled with the way her big girl room turned out.
I think she liked it. :0)
Karlie lucked out on this deal and got a pretty cool un-birthday gift.
Best buds.