Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Recently, I think I hit "Phase I" of nesting. It could just be that I was excited for the new room to be finished, but I think it was more than that. As things were getting close to done, I started to realize that there are so many areas of our house that are unorganized! It's really sad!

Last week, I was really heavy into getting the attic organized. The problem with the attic is that so much has to go and it's hard to go through every box and rubbermaid and get either find a place for it, determine that is too sentimental to toss, donate, repair, re-purpose...or whatever! I will be the first to admit that we have a lot of stuff. We have childhood memories coming out the ying-yang and then wedding stuff, baby stuff, teaching stuff, holiday stuff, and electronics....just all TOO much! It really does get frustrating! It's so hard to find anything and even if you get started on one thing, you are doing it at the expense of time that could be spent on something else (by working up in the attic on 3 different days, I was not able to get all of the regular housework done).

What's been really cool about all of this for me has been watching the globs and globs of stuff go away. There is an amazing feeling of relief when you realize that you aren't going to be bogged down by as much stuff as you were a couple days ago.

So, that attic is all kinds of halfway organized and halfway not even touched. That's a project that will continue to need work. I knew that, but I still started on another one.

With the new room being finished and Scott moving his "man-cave" upstairs, I was super excited to move the playroom into the back room. It will be out of the way, but when we have parties, it will add another room that kids can play in while staying on the first floor. It will also allow me to having my dining room back AND I will be able to shut the door on the room and pretend that whatever mess is behind there is not! I'm really excited about this project, but I wanted to make some improvements on the room first.

I wanted to fix up the baseboards in that room. They have chipped paint coming off of them everywhere you look. It's horrible!! We decided to take off the old baseboards and replace them. That seems like a simple job, but it's turning into something that is unfamiliar to me and I am learning as I go.

Right now, we have the baseboards off of the wall, but there's different heights to the baseboards. Three walls had baseboards that were 7 and half inches. The 4th wall had a baseboard that was over 9 inches. To even them out, we have to take joint compound and go over the area to bring it back down to 7 inches. After that, we'll have to sand the area and paint the walls. The painting was something that I wanted to do anyway, so I'm not so worried about that, but I don't know much about joint compound and I'm not looking forward to learning.

I'll keep you posted....

Hopefully, this project won't be one that I am interested in, but the interest dies off. We'll see though...I HAVE to finish now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jake and the Neverland Pirates vest!

If you were on facebook last night, you saw my updates while I was working on a pirate vest for Matthew. He LOVES "Jake and the Neverland Pirates", so I decided that this vest would be awesome for him! It turned out great and he loves it!!!

If you are interested in making your own vest, I used a tutorial on the MADE website. If you have never visited there, you will find a ton of great projects! Some are really simple and some are a little more involved. This vest was basically done from her pattern, but I chose my own colors of felt and then added my really simply made buttons. For the buttons, I just cut out 4 rectangles of yellow, folded them in half and used my machine to sew a free handed circle. Then, I cut out around the stitches. I decided that doing it freehand isn't perfect, but it makes it seem more "Pirate-like".

There's Matthew in his new vest! Very excited!!! He said "I Jake, Mommy! I Jake!"

And...I just happened to think up this little trick for breakfast! He loved it too!!

See what I mean??

Room overhaul pictures!!!

Here are the room pictures...

There's my very bright, free fan from Home Depot!

The walls are the same color as Matthew's room. Sort of a light mint green. I love the contrast of the white trim!

This is the new little closet that holds an awesome surprise inside!!!
Can you guess......

Any thoughts?

This is the new home for my AWESOME stockpile!!!! I love it!!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

WAHOO! Room complete!!!

I'm very excited! Today, the carpet was put down in the extra bedroom. That was the last thing that needed to be done. I took my camera up to take a picture or two, but ended up just laying on the floor and smiling! I promise that I will take some pictures and you will be totally impressed!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Trying times with boys....VENTING the embarrassment!

Oh blog if you will!?!

How many of you have boys?

How many of you have very active boys?

How many of you have very active boys that do not do well with kids that are their own age or younger?

How many of you have very active boys that do not do well with kids that are their own age or younger...AND especially girls?????

Yesterday, started off like any over exciting day... We all got ready, checked everything off the list, and packed up the car to be gone for the day. Our first stop...a 2nd birthday for sweet little Addison.

My son spent the whole car ride going "Happy Birthday candles!" "Happy Birthday, Addy!" I was excited for him, because he's starting to remember his friends and gets excited when we go to certain places (Pap Bob's House, Bungie's House, Rissy's House, O-Libia's House, and now Addy's).

I, on the other hand, start to get nervous. My son is now two and half and he just gets too excited when we are with other kids! Which is fine when we are places like, at the house of the kids that I nanny for, because they range from 7-12, so he can be a little rough on them or fight over toys and not really hurt them and they understand not to hurt him. The problem is when are with kids that are his age or younger, he is just WAY TOO ROUGH! Forget the fact that he doesn't like to share (that's normal for the age), but he will literally run up to, even the youngest kid, and just take whatever they are playing with. For whatever reason (something in the water that year or just my bad luck) it always seems to happen with little girls. My son takes their toy (sometimes a little roughly), runs away, and the girl if left shocked and crying her eyes out!

When we are out at playdates, I feel like he's just this big bully. I hate that!

So, yesterday, we're at this birthday party and it starts off with just us and another little 18 month old guest. When she starts playing with a ball that my son wants, he runs up and takes it from her. This little girl had her very sweet Grandmother by her side, who suggested that they move to another area and play. I let the first one go, because so many people say that this is "just the age, don't worry about it". Then, I took my son aside and told him that we were playing with kids that were smaller than him and he needed to be a nice boy, share, and be a good listener to Mommy and Daddy. I was hoping that by giving him my expectations he would have a better idea of what to expect.

He was okay for about 5 minutes before he basically bypassed this little cuties grandma and jumped into the ball put with the 18 month old. I looked over and saw grandma trying to get the little girl out and Matthew just creating ciaos! I got him out and we took a trip to time out, but time out is very tricky when you are not at home...and just doesn't seem like it works anywhere near as well. I hoped it would have some effect though. It didn't....

A little while later, my husband was "taking charge" and trying to keep my son and the birthday girl happy with a little game of basketball or something. I saw my kiddo take a ball and the next thing I knew, the birthday girl was bawling her eyes out! Hubby said that they bumped heads. While I checked out the birthday girl, my son, who did not shed a tear, was back on the slide and playing like nothing happened. that's probably the first 30-45 minutes of the party and we were there for two hours. But you get the idea of how the playing went.

The icing on the cake came about 15 minutes before we had to leave. My son had jumped into the ball pit and knocked it over from the inside. Ball EVERYWHERE...enter Host Mom and a look like..."AHHH! Who invited this kid!" I took Matthew out to time out again and told him that he needed to help me clean up the balls, which he did. But I looked around at that point and realized that all of the little messes around the room had come from my son! I had watched him pull out just about every box or bin or toys that he could and it WAS a mess! So, I decided that it was time for me to do a quick clean I needed a minute to regather my myself, because I was just starting to lose my mind!

While my family was all cleaning, the rest of the guests were singing Happy Birthday. We managed to get ourselves almost in vision of the cake right before the last line of Happy Birthday. After that, I went back to cleaning and took my little guy with him.

He was fine for a little while, and I saw his Daddy chatting with one of his pals. When my son ran out of the room, I was too worried, because he'd been doing donuts around their kitchen and back into playroom most of the morning and my husband was camped out in the kitchen. However, when a couple minutes passed and I did not see my son, I knew he was into trouble.

I ran out of the playroom and went for the cake. There was the birthday girl getting pictures and trying out her birthday cake...and my child with his hands all up in her business...eating the icing off of her bears. I grabbed him by the hands and took him out of the room and handed him to my husband...

Then I lost it! I don't know it was my pregnancy hormones or the feeling like "My son is uncontrollable!", but the waterworks opened up and I just couldn't stop! I ended up just sitting by a window for about five minutes thinking: "What is wrong with my mothering?", "What if my son just isn't a normal boy?", "What's going to happen when we have a new baby in the house!?", "How can this kid play so well at home, but act like this every time we are out?", "Why does he want to destroy EVERYTHING!", and "What the HELL did I do to deserve a child that acts like this?!".

I sat there for a while, just trying to pull myself together, but the tears just wouldn't stop. When they finally did, all I wanted to do was go. I was tired. No, I was exhausted! My intense emotions had just exhausted me.

Moms of boys, have you been there? I wonder if we just had more boys to play with, maybe I wouldn't fine my son to be so terrible with them, but constantly having girls around to compare him to makes me feel like just staying home.

Moms of boys, what do I do?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Making pasta from scratch!

It was about this time 2 years ago when I started making baby food for my son. I remember back then, I was excited for a new challenge, but nervous that I might feed him something that wouldn't be good for him.

I did not make him 100% organic food all the time, but I tried. I did feed him just about everything that I could find in local produce. At the time, vegetables and fruits were starting to come into season, so I used anything that my family and friends gave me out of their gardens as well as what I had in my own garden.

I had no idea how to start and was constantly worried that I would fine my self in a position where I didn't have food for my son. Bananas became our best friends! We could pack them without having to make them ahead of time and they could be ready with just the "mash" of a fork. The true test came when we were going to Disney for 9 days. My son was just turning 9 months and I had no idea how we were going to feed him. I took a ton of bananas from home for emergencies and everything turned out just fine.

At the time, I got really interested in making food from scratch. I started using a bread machine to make bread once a week. I also started looking up recipes for things that I was used to buying in the store. That was when I got my pasta machine from freecycle.

I had wanted to try making my own pasta for a long time, but I knew a pasta machine would be expensive and I had a feeling that it would be the kind of thing that I did once just to say that I did it, but never again. So, I waited to see one come up on freecycle. When it did, I was so excited! However, as days turned into weeks and then months, I realized having that thing in my kitchen just wasn't worth it! I finally banished it to the attic with a number of other baking and cooking things that I use sometimes, but not regularly.

This week, I started reading a new blog and it encouraged me to break out that pasta machine and challenge myself to do something new again. I tried it out yesterday and it did not go well! I was pretty disappointed, but I'm not usually much for quitting. This morning I tried again! Here is what I got and how I got there!

The recipe that I used came from instructions that I found online for a similar pasta machine.

1 lb. of soft whole wheat flour
5 eggs

As it turns out, 1 pound of flour is about 2 cups. This reciepe made very sticky dough for me. I ended up adding a lot of extra flour to the mixer to get it to the point where it was ready to be cut into spaghetti. I made a note to try only 4 eggs next time.

This is what it looks like on the first run in the machine....very sticky and wet.

This is another early run. I thought that the holes meant that I did something wrong or that I added too much flour and dried it out so that it was cracking. As it turned out, I just added more flour and kept folding it in half (or stacking pieces in some cases) until it stopped doing that.

Here is folding it in half and putting it through again.

You keep folding it over and over and running it through until it starts to come out like this.

Eventually, you will get it to the point where it is done on the flatten side (they suggested 5 or 6 runs through with the wheels spread as far apart as possible, then close them one or two notches to get the thickness that you want). Then, you will be ready to run through the pasta attachments. I choose a simple spaghetti here, but I also did some fettuccine. I had problems getting the ends to come off the machine. I'm not sure if that's normal, but each time that I did this, most of the noodles would just hang there until I either cut or pulled them off of the machine. I did try to turn the crank backwards a couple times to see if that would get them off, but that didn't work.

And that's the end! I had to lay everything out for 1 hour to dry out a little bit before cooking. The cooking directions said 2-5 minutes in salted boiling water. I ended needing about 4 minutes for the spaghetti noodles. I have not cooked the thicker fettuccine yet.

I should have taken a picture of the finished product out on the table. It really turned out nice! The only issue that I had was with the sauce. I know that having homemade pasta warrants homemade sauce! What was I thinking!!! Time to go plant some tomatoes!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back to myself again...or at least I'm getting there...

I am officially done with my first trimester! AMEN! I have just had my 3rd ultrasound and everything looks pretty good, with the exception of this issue of not being able to see my cervix. They say this is not a big issue right now and we'll see how things are going at 18 weeks, so I'm just keeping it as distant from my mind as possible!

I've had a lot of catchup to do at home. Between being too exhausted to do laundry, as well as sick and without a washer...and my normal "behindness", I live in a constant state of needing to do about 6 loads of laundry! I'm getting close to catch up though! At the point where I was out a washer for nearly 2 weeks, we had so much dirty stuff that I ran out of places to put it! All of my 5 oversized bins were filled and then some!

There have been some other projects on our minds recently. One was getting the attic organized. If you are not a "personal friend" that has had the luxury of helping us move (thank you Jason, Jess, Ryan, and Megan), you have no sense of the amount of stuff that the Snider family has. I don't think we're are to hoarding extremes, because it's not like dirty like the hoarders tend to be. It's just stuff! For me, my biggest issue is deciding which teacher stuff gets to stay or go. I have 6 Rubbermaids, 4 crates, and about 8 boxes of stuff that is from teaching. I also take responsibility for holiday, wedding gifts, and baby stuff. I try to get rid of a little of each as I am able to, but how can I get rid of baby stuff and wedding gifts???

Scott's biggest issues are his electronics and his "memories". When it comes to electronics, my husband does have a hoard of video games and systems. There are the ones that are out in his little "man cave", but then there are duplicates up in the attic. We also have old computer parts, routers, modems, two giant boxes for his stereo and TV....and much, much more! That's the kind of stuff that can't even be touched without him freaking out! Then, we have his "memories". This is the stuff that we have gone through so many times since I've known him...always the same...old souvenirs, trophies, pictures of old girlfriends, zillions of cards, and millions of trinkets. I understand that so many of these things hold a place in his heart, because I am the same way. However, there is a point when there is just too much useless stuff. I think that my husband is finally realizing that having the space and organization is more important than keeping every memory. And the truth is that he has NEVER had to journey up to the attic to desperately search for his old Pinewood Derby car....on wait...CARS....I thought we had paired them down to 1 from 4 (he was actually willing to get rid of all of them, but I asked him to keep one that was especially special for when Matthew gets to that age). HOWEVER, going through the attic this weekend, I found another box that had 5 more Pinewood Derby cars. I basically just threw my hands up in the air. Then, I tossed the cars out on the floor for Matthew and he LOVED them....until Scott found some old dinosaurs.

Another project that always comes up about now is the garden. I am not any kind of awesome gardener, but I like to put some of the more simple things into the garden and get it started just to see what comes up. This year, I am letting my veggies go to town, but also working on some fruit. I am very excited that we decided to get 2 blueberry and 1 raspberry bush to put beside the house. I have hard that the birds are big fans, but I am hopeful. I am also working on some strawberries. I'm hoping and praying that my diligence (I use the word loosely) will pay off in the end.

I have also gotten back in the habit of cooking for my family. Basically from the middle of March to almost the end of April were spent eating out or eating sandwiches. I felt too tired, nauseous, and sick to cook. I can say that I did make an effort at times, because I was concerned with our entertainment budget for the month. However, I really did not make much for that 6ish week span. I can say that my husband is super excited to see me back in the kitchen. Today, I made Philly Cheese-steaks with real steak and that got me a whole bunch of kisses. I knew he was very pleased! I love when I make him happy!

What's new with you?