Saturday night is family night, we watch a movie and get to camp out downstairs in the living room with Mommy and Daddy. We get to sleep in our sleeping bags on the floor. We love camping out and want to do it every night. It doesn’t matter how far apart we start out I always end up snuggled up to Georgie.

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camping out

door stopperWinter is quickly approaching so its time to start thinking about winterizing the house and trying to save money on heating bills. Last year our gas bills were horrendous and my bank account is still living in fear from them. I’ve started the process of sealing up windows, baseboards, caulking and using insulation foam on any crack I find. Last year I bought two expensive “draft stoppers” from a well known home store and they turned out to be useless. They are so light that a breeze could blow them away from the door. I went searching for a better ones and decided to make my own. I am not about to pay over $20 for stuffed cloth that just lays in front of my door five months out of the year. Since sewing is not on my list of skills I had to find the simplest solution available.

To make two draft stoppers you will need:

1 Pair of woman’s tights
1 10 pound bag of beans
1 Spool of ribbon

Step one
Cut the panty and toe caps off of the tights

Step two
Tie one side off with ribbon

Step 3
Fill with half bag of beans. To make this easier I took the sides off the ribbon spool and inserted it into the open end to keep the tights open

Step 4
Tie off open end

Voila!!! A beautiful and functional door stopper at a cost of a $6.50 each.

doorstop no sew

Geometric dome climber In early spring I bought the Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber for my two and three year old children. I had wonderful memories of playing on similar structures when I was a young kid and have to admit, I couldn’t wait to play on it myself! The search for a dome at first left me frustrated with similar structures costing well over six hundred dollars. All my searches eventually lead to Amazon and as usual they never disappoint. The Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber is available on Amazon for $199 and is eligible for Amazon Prime. I ordered the climber on a Wednesday afternoon and it showed up Friday morning.

I couldn’t wait to get this thing built and being the stubborn person I am decided to do it on my own despite the directions saying that it was a two person job. I’ve always said I can do the work of two people, now I have proof! The instructions for setting the dome up were very clear and it made the process fairly easy. It took me about two and a half hours to build, not bad considering the instructions say that it takes two hours for two people.

I have been extremely impressed with this dome and my kids are in love with it. The specs say that it will hold up to 1,200 pounds and I believe it. My husband and I have been on it with both kids and it didn’t budge one bit. The dome itself is large, it stands around 5′ tall and is 6′ in diameter. It is the perfect size for backyard play and its usefulness goes beyond just being a climbing dome. I have thrown a tarp over it and my kids pretended it was a cave. The kids have pretended its a jail and they have just sat inside it playing with the shadows. In the six months we have owned the dome I feel like I already have my monies worth out of it and couldn’t be any more impressed with it.

When I first set the dome up my son’s head was level with the lower bar and I thought it would be ages before he could climb it. He proved me wrong that very day. He scales this thing like a pro and I can tell a huge difference in his strength. His favorite thing to do is to climb up, hang and swing off of one of the bars. When he first started doing this he would swing off and drop. Now he uses his legs to keep swinging and can hang up there for over a minute. This has given him confidence and that confidence has spilled over into his gymnastics class as well. Overall I highly recommend the Lifetime Geometric Dome , the whole family loves to play on it and I know with the endless play options it will be a fixture in our backyard for a long time to come.

Here’s a few shots of my little Monkey on his favorite outdoor toy.

geometric dome climber

dome climber review

My first dance recital was last week. I loved getting ready for it. Mommy put my hair in hot rollers and I got to wear makeup! I loved my dress until we got to the recital; there were girls there with tutu’s and I love tutu’s and wanted their costume, not mine. I did get over it eventually but when we left I was still saying “I love tutu’s”. I did a good job on stage and I had a lot of fun. We danced to the Chipettes singing Single Ladies.

georgie dance recital

I recently put a chain link dog kennel in my backyard to keep the deer, possums and squirrels out of my garden. Once I had it put together it stuck out like a sore thumb. When I looked out in my backyard all I could see was this huge galvanized steel structure glaring out at me. I decided to paint it black and wow what a difference, with it being painted black you see straight through it and it doesn’t interrupt our views.

I had my entire structure put together when I decided to paint so I chose to use spray paint on the support bars and roll the chain link fence. Make sure you choose a paint that is suitable for metal, I used RustOleum. When choosing a roller to paint the chain link make sure you get one with a really thick nap, this will save you a lot of time since it will get into all the little areas.

I learned a few lessons from my little project. The first was paint the chain link first and then go back and spray the support bars. If you paint the support bars first the movement of the chain link when your rolling it will remove the wet paint you previously sprayed on. The second is painting the chain link is MESSY! I had paint splashes all over my hands and arms. If you are using an oil based paint the most natural and easiest way I found to remove it is using olive oil. The third is paint the chain link diagonally one direction and then the other. The time spent painting a chain link fence is well worth it, it gives it a whole new look and makes it look more expensive than a cheap chain link fence.

You can see the before picture here.

My painted chain link fence
painting a chain link fence

I have a new job as Mommy’s gardening helper. I water the flowers while Mommy does the weeding. She has to be careful, occasionally I like to be silly and splash mommy with the water hose. I am so proud of myself when I am done with the watering. I normally wouldn’t help mommy but when it comes to being outside and playing with a water hose how could I say no?

Ethan watering the garden
watering the garden

My sweet angelic little son decided overnight that he is now a kicking, screaming, temper tantrum throwing brat. We were able to avoid the “terrible two’s” for seven months, it sure was nice while it lasted. In the past week we have had a tantrum over leaving Red Robin, multiple tantrums over being put in a shopping cart and today the mother of all tantrums and we have no idea what it is over. We’ve been trying all the methods the experts recommend and here’s where we’re at.

Ignoring the child
We have tried ignoring him but after thirty minutes of tantrum from a kid that won’t back down he is hard to ignore. I might as well be standing underneath a landing airplane, once he gets going he is louder than any jet engine.

Give your child some space
Another failing method for dealing with my son. He follows you around so he makes sure you know how ticked off he is. Today we tried giving him space in his room and I write this listening to twenty minutes of non stop screaming.

Create a Diversion
All I can say is hahaha! The diversion is met with screams of no or the diversion being hurled across the room.

Hugs
All I’m going to say is two busted lips from a hard headed little boy

Offer Food
Ummm OK, let him learn from an early age if I throw a fit Mommy is going to give me a cookie. No thanks.

Speak Calmly
We have tried the calm approach and talking to him in a soothing voice to find it is a waste of time, he is screaming too loud for him to hear us.

Remove the child from the situation
We tried taking the approach of removing him from the situation, who thought of this? Seriously, the kid has started throwing fits because he knows that he gets his own way by doing so. He is out of the cart, in the car and usually on his way back home.

My daughter had her moments but her tantrums were nothing compared to whatever takes over my son when he has his. The joys of raising kids!

maddie Maddie is getting big really fast. We spend a lot of time saying “Maddie no” and Maddie down”. She listens sometimes but not enough. We’ve learned that when she is out of her crate nothing is safe from her. Yesterday she grabbed my Micky Mouse blanket and tried dragging it outside through her doggie door. We like having Maddie in the house, she gets in to more trouble than Georgie and I!

watching the rainThis morning I had go run to Lowes to get a new vent cover for the dryer that the dog chewed up. In the ten minutes from our house to Lowe’s a huge storm rolled in and dumped several inches of rain and hail. We got to the Lowes parking lot and between the rain and hail there was no way I could get two kids out of the car and get in without drowning or being knocked out.

I choose to sit in the parking lot with thunder rattling the car, lightning bolts striking in the distance and the torrential downpour. I thought that it would roll through quickly, 30 minutes we were still there. My son started getting cranky after the first five minutes so I let the kids out of their car seats and they ran rampant around the back of the Yukon for five minutes before they got bored.

I’m not Supermom, I never have the necessary essentials on hand to keep the kids happy in situations like this. I had no snacks, no drinks and no toys. I didn’t even have a pen in my purse so my daughter could draw. There was lightning around us so I didn’t want to go handing the kids electronic devices. Then it hit me, I Spy! Yes, my daughter loves this game and Ethan always tries to chime in. I start off “I spy with my little”, that’s when my daughter interrupted me, hands on hips, “I can’t spy through the rain Mommy”. I was waiting for the “duh” following that. In the end we ending up singing twenty minutes of “Rain Rain go Away”. I really need to start that whole good mommy being prepared thing, I’ll probably drink less if I do.

little miss bossy I am the girl formally known as Georgie, right now I’m called Little Miss Bossy. I spend my days bossing around my little brother. This morning I was telling him how to eat his breakfast, he didn’t like that and started yelling at me. I got mad at him but Mommy took his side and said that she’d get mad too if I bossed her around like that.

I like things done my way and only my way, what’s so wrong with that? I tell Ethan what toys he can play with and how to play with them, I tell him what to do and what room of the house he should be in. My favorite show is Max and Ruby and Mommy blames Ruby for teaching me how to be bossy. I love Max and Ruby, I think Ruby is great, she is bossy just like me!

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