Baby Books

I realized that I truly am a housewife and mom tonight. The boys were in bed, my husband was out for the evening and what do I choose to do? I could have curled up on the couch with the latest chick flick or taken a hot bath with my book of the moment (Bergdorf Blondes). But what did I find myself doing? Rocking out to Pandora Radio while I worked on the boys' baby books.

In my first post I wrote about being an ideal wife. What I haven't talked about yet is being an ideal mother- even more of an impossibility than being the perfect wife in my opinion. There are many qualities of the "perfect mother" at which I do not claim to excel. But I do have one brag on myself: all three of my boys have baby books which are up-to-date.

When I was pregnant with Jack, my sister Lindsey gave me a baby book by Aimee J. She has since given me one for each of my other boys, and I think they are one of my favorite baby gifts ever! I am convinced it is the best baby book out there!
I wasn't always the best about keeping up with it. Before Jack's first birthday I made it my goal to get his updated, because Luke was on the way! Then I did the same thing for Luke. And, I have been totally on top of things with Ben's- which is really surprising since he is the third baby.

Each album comes with 20 scrapbook pages to help preserve your memories. The pages are: Mom and Dad's Story, Family Tree, Big News, Baby Showers, Big Arrival, Name, The World Today, First Home, First Times, Doctor Visits, Favorites, Friends, Bath Time, First Foods, First Haircut, First Holiday, First Birthday, and Gift List. I also ordered a package or the bordered pages to match the pages that come with each book so I can include lots of pictures. I have also created a few pages of my own- such as baptism and additional birthday and holiday pages.

I have really enjoyed making their baby books, and I thought I would share a few of my favorite pages with you:

Mom and Dad's Story- from Jack's book. I love that the book allows you to share pictures and stories from before babies! Look how young (and skinny) J.P. and I were!

Big Arrival- from Jack's book. I use this page for hospital pictures and birth announcements. Jack and Luke always like to look and see their hospital pictures from when they were born.

Big News page- from Luke's book. I use this page for pictures from being pregnant and ultrasounds. I know they will love to see how tiny they were!! First Birthday- from Luke's book. I have included their party invitations and pictures. I also added pages for each additional birthday. It makes me sad to see how much they have grown up already! Doctor's Visits- from Ben's book. This page will always have such a special place in my heart. I cry every time I look at it, but I know Ben will love to see what a tough baby he was through his journey with Craniosynostosis. I take great joy in knowing that my boys will be able to read their baby books when they get older and share them with their own children.

I had such a wonderful evening looking through their books and remembering how tiny they were and how far they have come already. It reminds me to take in the little moments everyday, because they will be grown up before I know it. Look at me getting all weepy- I really am a mom!


Ranch Houses and Minivans

Ranch houses and minivans- two things that would make most of my childless friends cringe! Since becoming a mom, I have begun to desire things I never thought I would. Practicality has become my priority. Don't get me wrong, I still judge things by how they look- sometimes too often- but I am having a harder and harder time passing up something that is practical. This is where my new found lust for 1950s suburban America comes in. I dream of parking my big ol' minivan (not station wagon) in the garage of my sprawling ranch house!

I have always said that I would NEVER drive a minivan. But, with three kids (and that means three car seats) it looks more appealing everyday. My husband is my saving grace in this department- he will not give in to the temptation and I am generally thankful! Currently I drive a Land Rover LR3, which I love! I love everything about it- but it just isn't big enough! It fits my family of 5, but that is all. Nobody else is allowed in my car. I need an easily accessible third-row seat. For this I have 2 options: minivan or suburban (or various other gigantic SUVs). I officially need a swagger wagon.

Now on to the ranch house desire. Ranch houses were very popular between 1940 and 1970. They are known for their single-level living, open floor plans and general livability. I lived in a ranch house until I was ten years old. I never appreciated all of the functionality of the house until I became a mom. I tell my husband frequently that I would do anything to buy that house. The features that I desire most are: large laundry room, over sized 2-car garage, playroom, flowing floor plan, closets (oh the closets!) and of course four bedrooms. The fact that everything is on one level is especially desirable when you have small children (like me).

I would like to think of myself as a cool, modern woman who would be driving a little sportscar if she could. But, the fact of the matter is, I am turning into your stereotypical "soccer mom" of the 21st century. I am still a little uncertain whether I should fight this metamorphosis or embrace it. Good thing we are not in the market for a house or a car at the moment, so I have some time to decide!

(PS- this is my very first attempt at Photoshop, so excuse the quality of the image above)


Airing My Dirty Laundry

Crayons have been providing children with colorful entertainment for years and years. I am now guessing that they have also been providing moms with headaches and extra work for just as long.

Every mom has had a kid color on the wall or on some piece of furniture. I learned as soon as Jack was big enough to hold a crayon that Mr. Clean Magic Eraser was a good tool to keep around the house for these mishaps. I also heard from some other moms that WD40 is the trick to getting crayon off the walls. Easy enough- we will keep the crayons.

Last week I ran down to my laundry room to grab the boys some clean pajamas out of the dryer. I opened the dryer and immediately noticed a big clump of green wax sitting right inside the door. I began to inspect the clothes, and sure enough there was crayon melted on every single piece of clothing in that load. The load consisted of all three of the boys colored clothing- so pretty much everything they wear! Ahhhhh!!!! Orange and green speckles were all over the clothes. It was too much for me to deal with at bedtime, so I grabbed their pajamas and closed the dryer.

The next day while they were at school I googled "Crayons in the dryer" and was overwhelmed with potions for getting crayon out of clothes and out of the dryer. So, I picked one and went to work. Luckily, the green crayon seemed to have melted right by the lent catcher, so it was a pretty easy clean up. I scraped up the wax with a credit card and then wiped down the dryer with WD40 and then soapy water. All clean! Now on to the tricky part.

I found a recipe for what I termed "magic potion" online. I went to the store to make sure I had all the proper ingredients. I came home, mixed it all up in my bathtub and soaked the clothes over night. Then I hand scrubbed the spots on everything I cared about (I am not too worried about underwear and pajamas having colorful spots) and put everything back in the washing machine for one last soak. A couple hours later I held my breath as I opened the dryer again, and Voila!!!! everything (almost) came clean!!!!

I had thrown in a few items that were not in that fateful load of laundry, but had been sitting in a pile labeled "stained." They all came clean too! So, I thought I should share my new magic potion for all of you out there.

Magic Laundry Potion:

2 cups Tide
1 cup Oxiclean
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 cup Shout!
1 cup White Vinegar

The only casualty of the situation was Jack's seersucker shorts. He was caught as the culprit "orange pocketed." Jack and Luke have now received a lecture in never putting crayons in their pockets. And I have learned my lesson about checking every single pocket!
It's all in a day's work as a modern housewife!!