Monday, December 6, 2010

Hello Blog!

Wow! I guess it's been a while... We just had our first big snow of the year (hopefully the last too) so I thought I'd share some pics of the boys. I won't bore you with months of pictures to catch you up on what we've been up to since I last blogged, but basically- Eli turned 2! Rowan turned 5! Rowan started kindergarten! Eli started daycare! I started a new (part-time) job! Mike started a new (kind of) full-time job! That's about it..enjoy the snow.

Rowan LOVES the snow and he claims the cold. I do not, and Eli seems to take after me after about 5 minutes outside he decided he'd rather come inside and.....

dress up like Mickey Mouse!
I'm pretty sure he has never even looked at this sostume before, but he wanted it today!

Of course Rowan wanted to make snow ice cream! Remember last year and the year before? (click the 2nd link and see Eli as a baby!)

Eli wasn't as into it as Rowan....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rowan's New Bed!

A few months ago I discovered this awesome website Knock-Off Wood. We were already thinking of getting Rowan a twin bed since he was barely fitting in his toddler bed anymore. Then I found the website and the plans for this bed and decided we should build Rowan a bed! Mike wasn't thrilled with the idea at first, but quickly realized I was right and we needed to build him a bed ;) The bed (and a lot of the furniture) is actually a knock-off from this site, here is his bed, it actually is listed at $900!!!
It was pretty easy to build, but did take FOREVER, mostly because we don't have a garage (I now understand what Mike has been complaining about for the last few years!) I already have several more projects picked out (especially this FarmHouse Table- with benches), but I'm thinking for the next one we'll need to borrow someone's garage....

the piece's built, just needed painted

(it's really comfy..)

Rowan waiting to see his new bed!

(complete w/ super cute bedding from Target!)

(the color on the pics is a bit messed up, this is the actual color of the walls)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pallet Shelf

A few weeks ago I came across this awesome blog Knock Off Wood. It is basically plans for building your own furniture, mostly Pottery Barn inspired furniture. We have been working on a big project that is almost complete, look for pics soon... But yesterday I decided I needed to build some of these pallet shelves. I love them, and will be making several more for our house this weekend (as soon as Mike brings home more pallets!) And I did it all by myself! Well almost, I needed a little help cause the wood was warped, but if it hadn't been I would have done it all by myself!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Table Makeover

Want to see what I did to this chair? Check out my craft blog....

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Basic Carseat Info You Should Already Know...

I've neglected the blog for too long, so sorry, I'm sure I've lost my millions of readers....I'll get back back to posting adorable pics of my boys soon enough, but I have to share some of my newly acquired knowledge on car seats! I loved the class and learned so much, I knew most of the basic info, but was surprised at all the other- did you know there are different kinds of seat belts? I didn't... Anyway, this is some very basic info on car seats, stuff that if you have a child in a car seat you should already know! But read it anyway, just to make sure ;)

--Reading the Manuals- It's something most people don't like to do and probably quite a few don't do, but definitely a must before installing a car seat. And not only the car seat manual, you also need to read the vehicle manual. Different vehicles have different specifications for car seats. We actually had a very expensive car come in during our class that actually stated in the manual that the middle backseat (which is typically considered the safest) was not to be used for a car seat! You never know what you are going to learn- so you MUST read the manuals!!

--Rear-Facing- I have a bunch of rear-facing links to share, so I'll try to do a post soon just on rear-facing, but the bottom line here is- rear-facing is the safest way for anyone to travel! Of course the problem with that is that obviously we can't all travel that way. The current minimum recommendation from the AAP is that infants should be rear-facing until they are 1 year and 20lbs. The actual recommendation is to leave them rear-facing as long as possible, which would be until they are too big for the Convertible seat they are using to be used rear-facing. In case you are unsure a convertible seat is one that can be used both rear and forward facing. The reason rear-facing is the safest is because the seat cradles the babies whole body (head and neck included) in the event of a frontal collision (the most common). When a child(or adult) is forward-facing and there is a frontal collision there is nothing to hold the head in place so it has to go forward (think of whiplash, but in a very small body...not good). Since babies and toddlers heads are proportionally large for their body they need that extra support.

--Belt Path- Convertible seats are great because they can hold larger babies rear-facing longer and still be used forward facing once they get to that stage. Something you must pay careful attention too is the belt path (don't forget to read your manual! ;)) There is one for forward facing and one for rear-facing. I've actually seen infant-only seats (that are rear-facing only) in cars being used forward-facing, I don't know how you would even do this, but it is not safe!

--Seat Tightness- Once you have your car seat installed grab it at the base close to the belt path (for the seat belt or LATCH) and try to move it from side to side. If it moves more than 1 inch it is too loose. I have personally seen seats that were strapped in and could be picked up and turned because they were so loose. During our class we watched some videos of crashes and you would not believe how much a properly installed car seat will move in an accident, I can't imagine what would happen with the one I saw that could be moved....

--Harness Slots- These are where the straps go that go over the shoulders in a 5-pt harness.
If the baby is rear-facing these need to be in the slots that are at or below shoulder level. This keeps the baby down and in the seat if there is an accident. If the child is forward-facing the straps should be in the slots that are at or above shoulder level. In a convertible seat usually only certain slots can be used for rear-facing (typically the bottom ones) and certain slots can be used for forward-facing (typically the top ones) you must read the manual to find out which ones to use!

--Chest Clip- The chest is just that a clip that goes on the chest (this the top buckle in case you are unsure). Notice how it is called the "chest" clip, not stomach clip.... This should be buckled and placed (not necessarily in that order) at armpit level on the child. This is where it goes no matter which direction they are facing.

--Strap Tightness- After the child is buckled into the car seat, try to pinch the straps at the shoulder between your thumb and finger, if you can pinch any slack at all- the straps are too loose! I'm sure we've all seen pictures of kids in car seats and the straps are hanging off their shoulder's, right? (although I'm sure no one reading this has actually done that, right...?) What is going to hold that child into the seat if there is an accident? It wouldn't be that hard for a child to slide right out of those straps!

**I think that about covers the "basics." I really don't understand why so many car seats aren't used correctly every time- something like 80% of kids aren't as safe as they should be- all of the stuff above is simple stuff- having the seat in tight, the child in tight and correctly, reading a manual.... this is stuff that can potentially save our children's life so why do so many parents simply not do it right?

**I recommend having your car seat checked by a CPST to be sure if it is being used correctly, locally Safe Kids is the organization that does it, but just check out Google and you can find something close to you.

**I am adding this because of come recent discussions I've had...;) I didn't talk about boosters at all (maybe I will later), boosters are perfectly safe for older children (4 is usually the recommended age, but you know best when your child is ready) and like any other seat as long as they are used correctly they protect the children as much as any other seat. I would think (hope) that there would be a little less user error in a booster seat because you don't actually have to install the seat, just the child in the seat. They obviously provide less protection than being in a 5pt harness, but the forward-facing harness obviously provides less protection than rear-facing...every "step" they move up provides a little less protection, but they will move up so it's not something that can be avoided...unless seat belts begin to be made like they are in race cars...

Any questions?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Safety In The Car

Next week I am taking the Child Passenger Safety Technichian class. It's something I've wanted to do for quite a while and they finally have a class I can attend- I'm really excited about it! (I might be a little dorky, but whatever...)

Today I came a cross this great post on car seat safety, written by Megan at Our Little Footprints. I think it's a definte must read for everyone with kids in car seats. She covers all the basic important information- did you know kids shouldn't be wearing their big bulky winter coats in car seats? She's also got some great links on her blog to video's on car seat safety (like extended rear facing).

The last paragraph was my favorite part of the post so I just had to repost it (w/ her permission of course):

To be frank, probably too frank, laziness and ignorance are crappy reasons for kids to be
unsafe in the car. There is excellent information on the safest way to secure your child in
the car that can be easily found and acted upon. Opting to ignore that information or be
too lazy to take a few extra steps to protect your child simply boggles the mind and may
cost your child her/his life, spinal cord, brain function or general health.

Did you know that something like 80% of car seats are installed WRONG!!?? How sure are you that your child's is installed right?

I'm sure after I take the (4 day) class you'll hear a lot more from me on this, so get use to it, or stop reading :) and if you need any car seat help after next week feel free to ask me for help- assuming I pass the test and all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year- 2010!

New Year's Eve we planned a big night of snacks and sparkling juice. I had already planned on making a gingerbread cake (YUM w/ cream cheese frosting) so it worked out well that Rowan decided that day was Kitty's birthday- apparently he turned "almost 2." Kitty wanted a red cake (cause that's his favorite color), but he was ok w/ just red icing since the cake I was making was brown. He was nice enough to pose by the cake, but did not want candles or us to sing to him... I guess he's a little shy.

Rowan decided the next day that he was "just kidding" and it hadn't been kitty's birthday after all! HaHa!!

Eli was very excited to try the sparkling grape juice, he gets this excited about anything we give him in a cup without a lid so he really didn't know what he was getting in to

He did enjoy dipping his pretzels in it- even if he didn't want to drink it.

He was not as in to the hats as Rowan....

(after staring at this photo for quite a while, wondering why Eli looks so awful, I finally realized that this was when he had pink eye, and obviously I got him at the right angle to show it off!)

Rowan was crazy for the sparkling juice and the hats, I think he stayed up until 10:30- the party kind of gets ruined when they interrupt Ryan Seacrest for the news!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


This was Eli's first time to play in the snow- and he really didn't care for it, lucky for him I was willing to sacrifice my outside in the freezing cold snow time to take him in early- it was a tough decision!

Rowan attacks the snowman with his chainsaw- he might have some anger issues....

We made snow ice cream again!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Day

Last year Christmas was exhausting, opening presents, eating breakfast, and spending the next 1.5hours in the car. This year we decided we were doing nothing but staying at home, we had a blast. We were lazy, trashed the house with toys, ate way too many cookies.....the best day EVER!! We had stuffed manicotti and breadsticks for supper, and drank good coffee all day long (well not the kids). I think this will be our new tradition for Christmas Day- sorry Mom! :)
ok- this one isn't from Christmas, but I'm sure this is what he would've looked like Christmas morning when he saw his presents- if I had the camera ready...

coolest toy ever- it lights up!

So exciting!


he actually was excited about the socks!

I think he is using the block as deodorant....

click here for more info on their slings

building towers- Eli has started to build rather than just destroy...Rowan is very happy!