Custom Birthday Invitation

I just finished this custom first birthday invitation, using the customers own photo (and one of my own for the background). Message me through my etsy shop if you’re interested in a custom invitation (or other item)!

1st-birthday-invite-with-saIt turns out I’ve been very lousy about updating this blog with any of my SarahThings designs, yikes! But that means I have a few goodies I can post over the next few days. Keep a look out!

(And don’t forget to vote for my kid every day through 1/12/2013!)

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Custom Birthday Invitation

Hello 2014!

I hope you all got a chance to check out the New Years printable I posted yesterday! If not it’s not too late, you can always fill it out today! 🙂 Everyone in our house filled one out last night (okay, technically I filled them out for everyone as I asked the questions).  Here’s mine:

sarahs-2014-goals-worksheet2013 was a decent year, though a trying year.

Goal #1
Take more pictures! I take a LOT of pictures, but I want to make more of an effort to get out of the house, and out of our yard and explore more of our “backyard” and get lots and lots of pictures of the area! Plus, I would not complain if more people wanted to give me money to take their picture. (see goal #4)

Goal #2
I miss blogging! I miss interacting with my bloggy friends! Sadly part of that problem is that my bloggy friends are no longer blogging. Whuck?! Why is that? I know part of the reason I fell of the bandwagon originally was due to both time and privacy worries. I am working on solutions and compromises that might help with both those issues.

Goal #3
In 2013 I lost almost 40 pounds. YEAH BABY! It was reeeaaally close to 40 pounds, like 39.5! And then Christmas hit and I gave myself permission to do whatever … and I haven’t yet been brave enough to check out the damage but my guess is that my final loss was closer to 35 pounds (hopefully not worse than that!)… I will let you know, eventually. 😉 That’s pretty great still! And I am working my way back to eating healthier again. Though I have had some candy today. Shh! Baby steps. And did I mention that my husband lost approximately EIGHTY pounds this year?! And still going. He has taken up running, and started lifting weights again. So besides his awesome weight loss he is also building muscle.

Goal #4
Financially we need to make some big changes, somehow. I lost my job in 2012 and spent a year looking for jobs. Hundreds of applications, and a handful of interviews later I started babysitting for a family friend. It’s not a bad gig, the little girl is adorable and our kids adore her. Can’t beat the commute! But it’s not a particularly profitable gig either. I need to either add another child to watch this year, or figure something else out. I have high hopes for 2014 in that respect!

Goal #5
My husband gave me this goal. When he suggested it I couldn’t deny that it was a good one for me, so I went ahead and added it. I am going to try to figure out how to become more patient. With him, with the kids, with myself, and with the rest of the world.
*one-last-utterly-frustrated-sigh*

A few things I learned about the kids doing this:

  • The boy picked black for his favorite color. The girl picked red. I’m not sure she understands the concept of “favorite” or not, but she picked a color and that’s awesome.
  • The boy’s favorite movie or show is Ariel Mermaid, and it really truly is. He is beyond obsessed with sea animals, and therefore with mermaids. We watch Ariel a couple times a week, and he is currently in his room for “quiet time” (what big kids take instead of naps) singing the part of the movie where Ursula steals Ariels voice. The best way I can describe that with text is: “ah-ah-ah, Ah-Ah-Ah, AH-AH-AH!” The girl picked Caillou.
  • The boy’s favorite food is apparently fruit snacks, while the girl chose ice cream.
  • They both said their favorite outing was the zoo.
  • The boy would like to learn about camping, and he wants to try fishing. So, it sounds like we’ll be camping and fishing this year. That’s a pretty reasonable request from a year. The girl lost interest in the questions before we got to these and said she’d like to go “ABC’s” and wants to learn “ABC, 123”. One of those answers accidentally made sense! (She was impressed that I was writing ABC’s at the time.)

And both kids got some goals for the year:
1) Use the potty
2) Pick up toys
3) Share with friends
4) Be nice to others
and they each have a different last goal.
Boy 5) Start school this year (pre-K)
Girl 5) Big Girl Bed!

Share your answers in the comments! And if you want to be my bloggy friend, be sure to leave your link.

Hello 2014!

New Years Worksheet for kids – free printable!

Happy New Year everyone! I have not been nearly as bloggy as I’d like to be this year. That’s one of my goals for 2014, to step it up! I’m shooting for at least a weekly post. That should be do-able, right?! 🙂 I made this worksheet up for the boy and girl to fill out tonight, and thought I’d share. Hope you enjoy! Click here to open and print.

Besides that we don’t have any real plans for tonight, besides MILKSHAKES! Yeah! We hope your 2013 was fabulous and that your 2014 is even better!

New Years Worksheet for kids – free printable!

A Belated Birthday Post

My sweet little girl turned two years old last month. We had a super fun rainbow birthday party for her. I did a couple cute things I found on pinterest, but nothing crazy.

We had rainbow cupcakes (white cake with different colors of food coloring layered inside the cupcake – kind of a tie dye effect, this was super time consuming):
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The rainbow fruit kabobs were time consuming as well, but a big hit:
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I looked around for a rainbow birthday dress and eventually ended up ordering this one from thredup.com (used! In like new condition – I’ll post more about thredup another day, but joining through my link gets you a $10 credit (and one for me if you place an order)!!):
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And here she is the next day trying out one of her birthday presents! It’s safe to say she liked it. Now we need to get her brother one with pedals for his next birthday (he has a balance bike for now though, and he can practice on this one until spring):
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It’s hard to believe my little baby is such a big girl now! I go back and forth marveling about how she’s still so little, and already so big! She LOVES babies, I’ve been babysitting a 4 month old for a couple months now and she still has to give her a hug multiple times a day and says “I love you baby”. She tells me she loves me all the time, and that I’m a good boy. 🙂 She is really just the sweetest cuddliest little love bug, with a side of the usual “give me what I want” temper. Here’s to two!

A Belated Birthday Post

Three Things Thursday

I’m on a diet. Who isn’t, right? It’s only day… 9 I think. But I’m down 3.8lbs according to my fancy weight watchers scale – and a fabulous website (and app!) called caloriecount.com! This app helps me figure out the appropriate amount of time it should take to meet my goal weight, gives me the number of calories I should shoot for in a day, allows me to enter the foods I consume (and look up the nutrition info right in the app/on the site – a SUPER great feature!), allows me to enter my calories burned (you choose your lifestyle for a baseline, then add extra activities such as walks), tracks your calorie deficit for the day, gives me a letter grade based on my nutritional values that day (I suck and am striving to get better than a B+, it’s hard!), tells me which aspects of my diet are too low/good/too high (I need more iron!), and even has the option to share your daily synopsis with other users, or on Facebook if you choose. You can support other users, chat in the forums, or just track your own info and keep to yourself. I think it’s great and has really helped me see my progress and what I should work on. Highly recommend!

In addition to using calorie counter and working on improving my diet (believe it or not I wasn’t eating frequently enough, and it’s hard to correct that!) I have also started doing “hip hop abs”. Which is kind of hilarious if you know me… I have no coordination, or rhythm. But I do it! And the more I do it the slightly betterish I get. It’s not “hard” per se, I am fully capable of doing the whole workout (so far, once I finish this post I am moving onto today’s workout – which is the first night doing both the fat burning cardio AND the ab sculpt – *gulp*) but I have trouble combining a specific leg movement (or step) with a specific arm movement – PLUS remembering to “tuck, tilt, and tighten” my abs along the way. Eep! But I’m sticking with it. I just posted about it on the Internet, so now I HAVE to!

This last thing is not about me but follows along the health theme of my post. The boy had a checkup this week, all is well and he’s growing like a weed as he should. But. We’ve been keeping an eye on some swelling in his private area (hell, it’s his testicle). It comes and it goes but it’s been coming and going for at least a year and is pronounced enough that we’ve got a referral to see a specialist. They will check it out and determine whether he needs surgery to have the fluid drained. :/ It is called hydrocele testis, and we know two adults (or two close enough to have heard about it) that have had the procedure, so I guess it’s fairly common – but painful (the procedure, he’s in no pain right now). I’m not really worrying about it yet, but I’m not looking forward to it exactly either. I do very much realize that of all the things we could be sent to a specialist to check out – this is by far preferred to many things! But there is a small chance it’s a tumor, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

Three Things Thursday

Four Things Friday

This is what happens when you forget to post on Thursday! 🙂

Sunday is Mother’s Day! I hope you all feel extra loved and appreciated this weekend. I put in a special request for Sunday but I’m not sure yet if it’s definitely happening. I would like to go out to breakfast somewhere and head to the zoo! The *other* zoo in the area than the one we usually go too. It’s smaller and friends have described it as “disappointing” but I’ve never been and want to go! Plus they have a giraffe, which is something our usual zoo does not have. And they have free admission for moms on Mother’s Day.

My original three things post was going to be some gift suggestions for mom’s like me (read: not all moms will agree). So lets get on with that!

Three FREE gifts that mom(s like me) would love this Mother’s Day!
1) Let her sleep in! ACTUALLY sleep in – don’t pile in bed with her and watch tv. Don’t crouch beside her bed and watch her sleep. Don’t ask her twenty-twelve times if she’s done yet. Don’t let the under five crowd cry and throw fits outside her door… keep the noise level to a minimum and wait patiently until she emerges on her own! Also: no middle of the night wake-ups preceding the sleep-in.
2) Make her breakfast! But wait until she gets out of bed on her own time. And ask her what she’d like (or where she wants to go – though… Admittedly that’s not free).
3) Clean up after yourself! You don’t even need to go all out and clean the house (though bonus points if you do!) but make an effort not to leave a trail of dirty clothes, wet towels, crumbs and toys throughout the house. Mom will notice. Mom will love it!

Three things mom(s like me) do NOT want this Mother’s Day.
1) Jewelry. Look, I know this goes against everything the commercials tell you, but look at me. Do I ever wear anything more than my wedding rings? Unless there’s something specific I’ve shown you and said “I really want this exact item” – skip it. Sorry. I still love you.
2) Flowers. Again, I know you’ve heard otherwise. But flowers cost money, and then they die. But before they die they sit on my counter and I have to try to keep them alive and keep the cat and the children from eating and playing with them. I’d rather not. If you’re gonna do flowers get something that can be planted outside. Some tulips or a rosebush perhaps! But plant it for me. And take care of it too. That’ll show me you love me!
3) Another pair of pajama pants. You’re right, I DO love my soft warm and comfy pj pants! But I just got like 4 new pairs for Christmas. I’m good with the pj pants for a bit.

Three AWESOME gifts that mom(s like me) would love for Mother’s Day!
1) A family fun day full of activities SHE would enjoy! As I mentioned I asked for breakfast out, and the zoo! I would absolutely love to work in stopping for an ice cream cone, a nap, and end the day with a movie of my own choosing (even if I’m choosing from our own Disney DVD collection). Talk about an awesome day!
2) A massage! Or manicure/pedicure, whatever pampering she’s into! I personally love foot rubs. I’ve never had a professional massage, so that would be neat! But I would appreciate a good foot rub from my husband just as much.
3) A night off! Arrange for mom to have some time to herself – not necessarily on Mother’s Day but preferably during the week following. Let her know you got a sitter or you’re on kid duty on ___ night and she’s free to make plans with friends, or go shopping, or stay home and watch tv in her pj’s in the dark. Whatever she chooses to do! Heaven!

Four Things Friday

Three Things Thursday

Three things my three year old wants to do himself:
1) put on his clothes/shoes
2) buckle himself into the stroller, booster seat, etc
3) brush his teeth, wash his hands, and otherwise make a mess at the bathroom sink

Two things I can’t seem to get my three year old on board with:
1) using the potty every time, not just as a fun activity
2) giving up his ‘fier (pacifier)

One thing I’m not ready for (but is starting whether I like it or not): my 1.5 year old is forming opinions and wanting to decide things for herself. That means there are TWO OF THEM that are totally unpredictable now! #outnumbered #sendhelp

Three Things Thursday

Three Things Thursday

Today was rough. The kids have allergies/a cold of evil proportions this week. I keep waiting for one of them to start getting better, it has to happen soon right? Today the boy woke up at 6. That’s early for us, but we got up at 6. The girl was in my bed with me when I heard him crying, so I transferred her to her crib. It actually worked! For about 20 minutes then I had to go back and get her. Basically the whole day went: was not allowed to put the 1.5 year old child down a.l.l. d.a.y. She literally snoozed draped over my shoulder from the time she got up until about dinner time when she seemed to feel a little better. The boy was exhausted, but didn’t really nap today either. Maybe a quick one and then he started crying, and he kept crying. So much crying! He wanted hugs, but the girl was already clinging to me for dear life. I tried to finagle myself so they could both hug me – without, god forbid, touching each other – but that was next to impossible and the girl kept whacking the boy and saying things like “mine!” Sigh. Thankfully I was wrong about one thing and my husband did NOT have to work a twelve hour shift today, so I got a little back up when I needed it most! I even got a shower.

The boy is officially three! His birthday party was this weekend and he had a blast, he was so excited for “his friends” to come to his party! Sadly his friends are currently people he doesn’t know well, mostly my friends kids that we don’t see often. So I think part of it was excitement to find out he HAD friends! (That’s mostly a joke, it just happened that the kids he plays with usually weren’t able to make it, he actually has a friend or two.)

I am applying for a job (that’s not news, I’ve applied to more than my share of jobs in the last 6 months or so) that asks for letters of recommendation rather than a list of references, and they ask the applicant to submit the letters with their résumé, etc. So I’ve been collecting my letters this week to apply soon and it’s kind of awesome reading how fabulous you are. I will need to save these in a special file just for those “feeling like crap” days! Like today. I highly recommend everyone request their friends, coworkers, former bosses, etc send them a letter of recommendation. Tell them it’s for a job, or a volunteer position, or anything they’d want to help with. Then sit back and feel great about yourself!

Three Things Thursday

Three Things Thursday

It’s Thursday again, already! Time for three more things.

Last week I mentioned we had water coming through a wall. It’s all fixed and was not a big deal! Yay! We had a window replaced in my sons room about a year ago and it is above the spot where we were having the water issues. Turns out my step-father simply forgot to caulk underneath the window. No major damage was done, and it has now been caulked so we should be all set!

Thanks to the water issue being an easy fix we were able to finish up the room we were working on. It’s all painted and looks so much nicer! The imperfections in the old-house-walls are still obvious (some maybe slightly more so) but there are no more holes in the walls, no more peeling wallpaper or half removed wallpaper, and it’s all one solid and pretty color! Since we have a birthday party this weekend I’ll wait and share a picture after that.

… We have a farm birthday party this weekend! Sunday is the big party. Everything is falling into place. I have a few decorating/cleaning up chores to finish, grocery shopping, cooking and baking to do. That’s not too bad really considering all the work we’ve already finished up! I’ll be sure to share pictures after the party. 🙂 I can’t wait for cake. And neither can the boy! Everytime I mention anything about a birthday to him he says “… Cake?!” Soon, buddy!

Three Things Thursday

Three Things Thursday

I’m starting something new; Three Things Thursday. Join me in posting your three things every Thursday! Originally I thought of doing Four Things Friday (which explains the starting a day late, oops), but then Th-Th-Th clicked. Leave a link in the comments if you participate and I’ll add you to a fancy new “Three Things Thursday” category in my links list. (This is my first thing.)

I think I have the flu. I’m self diagnosing with the help of Dr. Google, so the fact that I didn’t settle on cancer or rabies probably means I actually DO have the flu. It’s my own fault for not getting my flu shot this year, that won’t happen again!

We prepped a room last week to be painted next week (it just worked out that the days we were able to work on it were two weeks apart). That involved a lot of wallpaper removal, patching three (and a half) holes, and mudding over a lot of imperfections (honestly we should have ripped down the old Sheetrock to insulate and put up new Sheetrock – but that’s not in the budget yet, so we are just doing a little facelift) … Fast forward to today: it is raining heavily and there is suddenly a wet spot on the wall. Guess we will be figuring that out before we start painting. Just one of the joys of buying an old house.

Three Things Thursday is all in fun, and even provides you with a backup plan! If you forget to post your three things on Thursday, just post Four Things on Friday and all is forgiven. 😉 (This is my fourth thing.)

Three Things Thursday