Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Operation: Let's Get This House Organized/Clean/Less Cluttered is underway!

I'm thinking if maybe I blog my progress that I will get more accomplished? Hold myself accountable, per say? (I don't know how to spell per say.) I just know that I'm tired of trying (and failing) to control this cluttered mess and I'm in a weird spring cleaning/nesting phase so I'm going to go with it while I can!

I'm working on a post for toys and will get to one on clothing. Then we'll see where this goes.

**Renee, you better make me stick to this!**


Monday, March 25, 2013

Homemade Stuffed Animal 'Chain Gang'

If you have children, you have stuffed animals. They start to get them as gifts before they're even born. And then they multiply in your children's rooms until you want to pull your hair out! No, maybe not. But when you have a husband who thinks the claw machines are the ultimate challenge and plays them anytime he's out with the kids, then they seem to multiply. And Heaven forbid that you try to get rid of one. Your kid will know exactly where it came from, what he was doing when he received it (or Daddy won it) and then proceed to tell you all the memories associated with the animal.

Really, I guess my kids don't have too many, not for three boys anyways, but I was just not finding a way to store them that suited us. I had them in a tote. But the kids would throw them all around the room and play in the tote. Then Daddy took the tote for something else. We had them in the toy box, but they took up too much valuable space. Most of the time they just floated around the room and I was tired of seeing them strewn everywhere. So I started researching my options.

Toy hammock 
Okay, I had one when I was a kid. I remember wanting a toy, climbing to get it, deciding to dump the whole thing, then not wanting to get them back to the ceiling so I didn't utilize the hammock, rendering it useless. I saw the ideas where people hang them lower on the walls, but I needed something more vertical since we'll have two kids in each room soon and we'll need all the space we can get.

The Animal Zoo
THE ZOO Stuffed Animal Storage by Littlezookeepers
Honestly, the idea is good, but I think it's tacky. It takes up quite a bit of floor space and I wonder how sturdy it is.

Bean bags

 Product Image
I found some bean bag type chairs that you can put the stuffed animals in, but right now I really don't know what color I want. I'm still deciding how to decorate this room. I know, what a problem.

Then I found the Stuffed Animal Chain Gang. When I think of a chain gang, I think of the prisoners back in the day that were assigned various work duties outside of their bars, working together in a long line, connected by chains.
I'd never heard of a chain gang for stuffed animals. I'm sure you can imagine the mental picture I got when I saw those words, right? But this was exactly what I was looking for! I found it on amazon for $9.99, but when I went back to show it to Ronnie, the price had increased. Being the hopeful DIYers that we are, we schemed about the items we could buy to make it ourselves.

This is what I came home with: a 15' dog chain (I couldn't find a plastic chain at my Wal-Mart and this was actually the cheaper, sturdier option.) and some multi-purpose hanger clips I found in the laundry section. The original idea was clothespins and some sort of hook to connect the pin to the chain. These clips worked for both items.

The chain was $5.97 and the clips were $2.97 per bag. So I spent about $12, but we can cut the chain in two and have one for each room, but I'd probably buy another bag or two of clips so it'd be $18 for two chain gangs. I also used an eye hook to attach it to the ceiling. Actually Ronnie did that, but that's all I had him do since I didn't need to balance on the table he did to attach it. I'm a little "front heavy" these days.

Our final project! I'm pretty proud of it! The animals are off the floor, they are visible and they don't take up much space! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Are we there yet?

You know how annoying it is when you're going anywhere and all you hear from the backseat is, "Are we there yet?" Apparently we can be going somewhere five minutes from home and yet, to the kid in the backseat, it seems like we'll never arrive.

I'm that kid. Inside my head I'm screaming, "Are we freakin' there yet?" Except we're not going anywhere. We're holed up at home because everyone is sick.

Let me preface this by saying that when I worked in a school with germ-ridden teens everyday we were a pretty healthy family. I guess my immune system was pretty tough and I brought home just enough grossness to build up the immunities of the boys and we were good to go. Quit my job and all of a sudden my family turns into some of the sickest people I know. (Don't quote my science there because, well, it's probably not very factual.)

So a couple of weeks ago Ezra started throwing up out of the blue at an ungodly hour in the morning. Great. I did the loving mama thing and he was all better when he woke up later in the morning. But then the next day, it hit me. I was so sick I couldn't function - and I had three kids to take care of alone. Not an hour later, Elijah got it too. We were a hot mess. And Bless Ethan's heart, he was doing his best to take care of us. Everyone finally made it to bed and it hit Ethan. I was sick and taking care of sick boys and one wild toddler.

No problem. I'm a tough chick. I can handle it.


This past Saturday was beautiful! We ran all of our errands together with the windows down, we played at a park while we waited to meet someone, we even grilled out for supper.

While he was cooking, Ronnie started to feel "not quite right." Hmmmm. By early morning I could hear him in the bathroom and it didn't sound pleasant. His fever would go up and then break just to go back up again. He was achy, he slept a lot and he looked like crud. This went on all day. Monday he got up and left for work. Soon after the sun came up I heard a truck outside and there was my husband, looking worse than before. He ended up staying in bed all day Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday he moved to the recliner. I hated him being sick, but it was manageable.

Tuesday, again at some ungodly hour (I don't do interrupted sleep very well.), Ronnie brought Elijah to me. The child was on fire. Where's the thermometer? Nowhere to be found, of course. Tylenol it is. I've got this. All day long his fever would go up. I'd do Tylenol and a cool bath. Or Tylenol and a damp washcloth. Remind him not to bundle up in his blanket. All he did was lay around. I felt so helpless. Wednesday he woke and exclaimed, "Me feel gwate!" Awesome, kid. Why are you still running a fever?

By Thursday morning, I had had it with Elijah's fever. Got an appointment for him and off we went to the doctor. Lucky little guy had an ear infection, flu and strep. Gross. I felt bad for not taking him sooner, but he said he felt great. Oh well. Luckily, the doctor took mercy on me and when I mentioned that I'd be seeing her next week for a brother, she wrote prescriptions for Tamiflu for both of them! Awesome and thank you!

After hearing all this, Ronnie decided to go ahead and get an appointment. Yes, he suffered all week, but he knows how to use the phone as well as I do.

He went to the doctor Friday morning and got the same diagnosis, minus the ear infection.

But wait! There's more! When Ethan got home Thursday he told me his throat was hurting. Say what? Kid, you have got to be kidding me? I brushed it off until Friday morning when he woke up crying that it hurt so bad that I told him to go back to bed rather than go to school. I made him an appointment and he tested positive for strep too. Joy.

Needless to say, we've been on quarantine for a week now. And I'm going a little crazy. I keep wondering when the other shoe is going to drop and either Ezra or myself will be sick, but so far it hasn't happened.

Are we there yet? Are we all healthy enough to go out in public?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Parenting Scares

As a parent, I never really feel that I know exactly what I'm doing. Everything is an experiment. And it doesn't matter if it's your second or third kid, because each one of them is different causing your tried and true methods to mean nothing.

For us, Ezra has been the biggest challenge yet. He's the most curious and inquisitive. But he's also the least afraid to try something. A dangerous combination if you ask me. He's climbed more than the others. He's tested the limits more than his brothers. And he will try again if he's stopped the first time. He keeps us on our toes for sure.

Another thing about Ezra is that he explores the world with his mouth. Now I know that all young children do this. But he has been our worst. (Worst biter too, coincidence?) He has gotten in trouble numerous times for putting small toys or parts, money, candy, old food, dirt, and rocks, among other things, into his mouth. He even choked on three pennies one time. I was so glad Ronnie was there. (He doesn't panic and got them out quickly.)

But last night he topped himself. We had just gotten home from a benefit at church and all of us were in the living room before we went to bed. Ezra was on the couch, beside the diaper bag. I looked at him and he had blue stuff smeared across his face from his mouth. Ronnie asked me what it was. I said I didn't know. He said whatever it is it came from the diaper bag. Quickly racking my brain I couldn't think of a single edible item in there, nor could I think of a blue one. Then he held up his hand and in it was a prescription bottle. I flipped out as I realized my amoxicilan prescription had been in there so I could take it while we gone. Then I remember that they're half blue. I started talking loudly, telling Ronnie, while I checked the bottle and found it empty. I counted up and should have had five pills left and they were all gone. While I looked up the poison control center's number, Ronnie called a fellow firefighter for help. We called poison control and after giving bits of information, were assured that he should be okay. But given the fact that he may be allergic to antibiotics, we were told if he started breaking out in hives to give Benadryl and wait an hour before heading to the emergency department.

Thankfully, everything turned out well this time, but it could have been so much worse. Moral of the story: 1. "Child proof" bottles aren't always so child proof. 2. Memorize the number to poison control - you could need it at any time.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Gender Reveal

So many people have anxiously awaited the day when Ronnie and I would find out the sex of this child. Much to the disappointment of many, I had the tech put the money shots in an envelope while I closed my eyes so that Ronnie and I could find out together.

I wanted to know. It was my birthday after all  Shouldn't I get to look? Ronnie wanted to know. But by withholding the info it gave us something to look forward to all week. My mom was sick and insisted it would make her feel better if she could find out. My sister-in-law came after me as soon as she saw me that afternoon.

I'm glad we waited. Yes, it was almost torture to wait. I had the pictures locked in the car and parked further away from the house to keep myself honest, but it was worth it. When Ronnie got home Thursday I met him on the porch. It was freezing and I didn't even bother to put on shoes. I told him where to look and he got the envelope on his way in. 

While the boys ran around like the wild animals they are, Ronnie and I sneaked into our room. I asked him what he thought. He asked what I thought. Neither one of us would commit to boy or girl. I think we both knew that it would be boy. That's what we've always experienced. 

We were both in shock when we read the words "It's a girl!" I had to do double and triple takes just to be sure. I looked closely to make sure there wasn't a "turtle" in there that the tech missed. I can spot a boy on an ultrasound, but this looked completely different! 

So the Kidd family will be welcoming a little lady in July. We are surprised, but happy. Ethan says he's finally getting his sister. Elijah says we will make her a boy. And Ezra just walks around saying baby. She will be tough, but boy will she be loved.  

And I think Ronnie's pretty smitten with the idea too.