Blessed.

I was getting the boys ready one morning and Julius was all over George, as per usual, when he happened to sneeze.

George: “Argh! Waaaaahhhaa!”

Me: “What!? What’s wrong?”

George: “Julius blessed me!!”

He did probably get some baby snot on him, because Julius is always either on top of George or right next to him, but George’s panicky reaction was pretty funny. He obviously does not get the concept of a blessing yet!

Science Camp

I enrolled George in Science Camp at the Science Museum of Minnesota. He’s only three so he was one of the youngest ones there, but he had a blast and it made me really excited for him to go to preschool this fall. He loves other children and most kids (and adults) seem to really enjoy his character. It’s hard to define him, but he’s very wary, intelligent, joyful but thoughtful. He gets excited easily, and can be emotional, but some of that may be his age. He’s very genuinely interested in other kids – he wants to play with everyone. I also think he “brushes it off” well when other kids don’t share or take toys away from him.

First day of camp - he was a little nervous I think!

First day of camp – he was a little nervous I think!

He had many questions about dinosaurs

He had many questions about dinosaurs

I’m a little disappointed in the number of girls registered for Science Camp. There was like 1 – maybe 2 girls and the rest were all boys. Is it any wonder there are fewer women in medical, science and technology fields? We don’t send our girls to science camps, we send them to ballet camps on the rare chance they move to ParisĀ and become a ballerina.

Listening to his teacher

Listening to his teacher

George's teacher seemed to really enjoy him

George’s teacher seemed to really enjoy him

He plays really well with his seven year-old cousin so I think he keeps up with older, faster kids well. He plays pretty well with Julius too, so I think that makes him well-rounded and amiable. He really enjoyed Science Camp and I’ll definitely enroll him in more summer camps as long as I am able. It’s so worth it to see the change in him from only a few days of new people, surroundings and knowledge. He’s definitely ready for preschool! But, am I ready for him to be in school?? Not hardly. EEEEK!

He was afraid to go by the polar bear until I went over and growled, then he acted tough and broke out his big guns ;)

He was afraid to go by the polar bear until I went over and growled, then he acted tough and broke out his big guns šŸ˜‰

 

Dealin’

I was watching Ross lay the hex tile in the upstairs bathroom and it looked amazing. I told him I loved it even more than the marble tile in our downstairs bedroom at home. Half-joking, I told him I wanted to take it to our house. He shook his head and said this gem:

“It’s like being a drug dealer, honey. You can’t take from your own stash. If you start doing that, you’re not going to make any money.”

Hardwood floors refinished! Whew!

This was so much work. I can’t even count the hours Ross put in ripping up old carpet, fighting with carpet glue, sanding and coating. But I fervently believe this was the single most valuable feature we pulled out of this house, for the least amount of money. I mean, the sander was $200. It’s just the work involved – the elbow grease – that sucks so bad. Plus we had to patch areas because “somebody” had to have wider doorways that let in more light…I always further complicate things. But it was all worth it…and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…!

Sandpaper for the edger

Sandpaper for the edger

Living room carpet glue we sanded off

Living room carpet glue we sanded off

Entryway staircase landing

Entryway staircase landing

Downstairs living room floor

Downstairs living room floor

Master bedroom floor next to the chimney

Master bedroom floor next to the chimney

We took up all of the kitchen floors to make the hardwood carry through to the back hallway

We took up all of the kitchen floors to make the hardwood carry through to the back hallway

Relaying the kitchen floors

Relaying the kitchen floors

Downstairs dining room floors

Downstairs dining room floors

Master bedroom floors

Master bedroom floors

Downstairs dining room floors finished

Downstairs dining room floors finished

Master bedroom floors finished

Master bedroom floors finished

Dropping the hammer

We have this “Story of Mom & Dad” book that we read to George before bed. It tells the story of how Ross and I met and fell in love and how he came to be. The first part of the book talks about how we met at a bar (we were set up and it was a group outing). I was reading the story to George before bed tonight and this was our conversation:

George:”Mom, why did you and dad go play darts without me?”

Me:”Well, you weren’t born yet. You were in mommy’s heart at that time. Then you were in mommy’s belly, and then you came out.”

George:”Yep, I was in your belly and I hammered my way out. I hit your belly with the hammer until it broke. Then I ate all my vegetables and grew really big and strong.”

I fucking love kids. Boy kids.

Antique stores haul

As I mentioned in our camping trip post, we had two straight days of rain so we had to find indoor stuff to do. Luckily I have the best husband in the world who let me Ā drag him around to a bunch of stores. Buuuuuuut, there wasn’t anything else to do….as far asĀ alternatives so there’s that. Okay, he could have went and sat in a bar. I’m happy to say he didn’t do that….

Since I really don’t have much time to do Christmas shopping or birthday shopping or similar spur-of-the-moment shopping trips, I ran through a mental list of people I needed to buy gifts for, for a few different occasions. We also ran to a few consignment stores because everything was $1 and I found a handful of things for myself and the kids (slim pickin’s). But all in all, I was pretty happy with our sudden shopping trip and the deals I found…hopefully everyone loves their gifts as much as I liked them…

My best friend is having a girl and although we didn't know it was a girl at the time of purchase I had my hunches (timing of ovulation and all that) - Google it.

My best friend is having a girl and although we didn’t know it was a girl at the time of purchase I had my hunches (timing of ovulation and all that) – Google it.

I bought these from a tiny attic store where a mom and her five (5!) kids sold homemade soaps. Glad to help. Here, take my money.

I bought these from a tiny attic store where a mom and her five (5!) kids sold homemade soaps. Glad to help. Here, take my money.

I had to dig, dig, dig, to find these Banana Republic shorts for $1. They are super worn and a bit big but who cares...it's $1 and I've already worn them once!

I had to dig, dig, dig, to find these Banana Republic shorts for $1. They are super worn and a bit big but who cares…it’s $1 and I’ve already worn them once!

This hobo bag was $1 and I can never have too many large purses/satchels, because KIDS!

This hobo bag was $1 and I can never have too many large purses/satchels, because KIDS and their CRAP!

Again with the $1 clothing items. This is a large but oversized can be cute. I promise I'll wear it soon....

Again with the $1 clothing items. This is a large but oversized can be cute. I promise I’ll wear it soon….

George wanted yet ANOTHER stuffed animal, and we couldn't say no because it was so cheap. Consignment stores are like stuffed animal graveyards.

George wanted yet ANOTHER stuffed animal, and we couldn’t say no because it was so cheap. Consignment stores are like stuffed animal graveyards.

The antique store wanted a bit too much money for the gold purse I wanted so I settled for this coin purse (it's a gift).

The antique store wanted a bit too much money for the gold beaded purse I wanted so I settled for this beaded coin purse which was practically free at a whole $1.

How cutesy and feminine are these vintage dish towels! LOVE.

How cutesy and feminine are these vintage dish towels?! LOVE.

Vintage flour sack - this could be used for so many things. It's huge too!

Vintage flour sack – this could be used for so many things. It’s huge too!

Vintage flower-print apron

Vintage flower-print apron

This vintage apron is a gift but for a split second I thought about wearing it for Ross. Naked. Bahaha I KID I KID!!!

This vintage apron is a gift but for a split second I thought about wearing it for Ross. Naked. Bahaha I KID!!!

Vintage scarf with fur ends. I know people are generally opposed to fur...but I liked this scarf {covers eyes}

Vintage scarf with fur ends. I know people are generally opposed to fur…but I liked this scarf {covers face}

This was not cheap. It's a pristine vintage wool coat and I LOVED it. But it's a gift.

This was not cheap. It’s a pristine vintage wool coat and I LOVED it. But it’s a gift.

I feel like we made the best use of our rain days. We got a ton of gifts purchased and fun stuff for the kids too. We found an old Operation game from 1964 in perfect working order (George loves it) and a somewhat recent version of Guess Who. Yep, those were $1 each. They almost are paying us to take it off their hands at that price.

Minnesota State Park Camping Trip!

That’s right, we tented it. The guy that checked us in said “Good for you.” I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal until it rained for TWO DAYS! Luckily we were there five days so we still had sunshine for most of the trip. But what do you do with two kids under four when it’s raining and your only shelter is the tent or a tarp?

Our campsite was literally right next to the lake!

Our campsite was literally right next to the lake!

Our actual site was pretty big with the tent back in the woods

Our actual site was pretty big with the tent back in the woods

Apparently in camping circles this is widely referred to as "Tarp City"

Apparently in camping circles this is widely referred to as “Tarp City”

You leave. So we went on a mini road-trip trying to find stuff to do mid-week in nowhereville, Minnesota. We ate a lot. We lingered at restaurants and went to a few different ice cream shops. There were some scenic stops where the kids were interested for about 30 minutes tops. We found a movie theater and watched Finding Dory. They both did really well until the last 30 minutes. I had to take Julius outside to walk the hallways because he couldn’t sit still any longer.

We had a leaky window in the tent so all our bedding went to the Laundromat!

We had a leaky window in the tent so all our bedding went to the Laundromat!

George loved figuring out the coin washer

George loved figuring out the coin washer

My favorite thing about our rain days was finding little crap stores with consignment stuff or antiques. The antiques were a bit dicey with the kids, so we tried to only stop when the kids were sleeping in the truck and Ross stayed in the truck with them or drove around while I shopped. The consignment stores were the bestĀ part though, in my opinion.

This one loves anything potentially messy

This one loves anything potentially messy

Why is Jiffy Pop over a fire so much better than other popcorn?

Why is Jiffy Pop over a fire so much better than other popcorn?

Getting the kids ready for bed in the tent (sooo sweet!)

Getting the kids ready for bed in the tent (sooo sweet!)

They had such zany stuff. Like crazy hats that were just goofy. We figured out that everything was donated and then they try to sell it to generate funds for charitable causes. We all tried on a bunch of silly stuff and I was sure we were going to get lice…but everything was so dusty I told myself any little bugs were probably long dead anyway..ha. I loved to dig through all the junk and actually found a few scores…which I’ll post about later.

George and Daddy on the floatie (the water was crystal clear!)

George and Daddy on the floatie (the water was crystal clear!)

George swimming with his Tonka Truck

George swimming with his Tonka Truck

Julius fell asleep somehow while we were swimming!

Julius fell asleep somehow while we were swimming!

Wake up child. Momma wants to swim. I never got to swim, ha.

Wake up child. Momma wants to swim. I never got to swim, ha.

Ross even got a little excited, for 3 minutes, when he spotted a dart gun by the same manufacturer as our current dart guns. We have 3 but they shoot one dart at a time, and this was a revolver-type of gun (we make George use the term “shooter” which somehow sounds a little less violent to me). It was $0.99 cents and it works great! Best score of the day.

Our huge hearty breakfast we lingered over at a tiny cafe

Our huge hearty breakfast we lingered over at a tiny cafe

We really enjoyed our camping trip, even with the rain. I know the majority of campers do the big RV and camper and the whole bit, but there is something special about sleeping in a tiny tent with your kids tucked in next to you, and I have to believe you don’t hear the sounds of nature as well in a camper. Plus, if we had a camper, we would have been lazy and not attempted to go out and find shit to do, which ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip.

We all went on the boat and caught amazing sunsets...

We all went on the boat and caught amazing sunsets. George & Daddy caught sunnies like crazy.

I see a lot of tent-camping state-park trips in our future. At least once each summer is our aim.

"How small we feel with our petty ambitions...in the presence of nature." --Sherlock Holmes

“How small we feel with our petty ambitions…in the presence of nature.” –Sherlock Holmes

Diaper Cake for Baby Shower

I have a gender-reveal baby shower coming up for a good friend so I made a neutral colored-diaper cake with Pampers Swaddlers. Unless I’m out of control busy, I always make these for showers and always give them along with something they register for that they absolutely need. I made a similar gender-neutral silver and white cake for my sister-in-law awhile back.

The eyelet lace and twine I used around each layer

The eyelet lace and twine I used around each layer

This one was a little more haphazard as I threw in a few different colors and prints. I tied it all together with eyelet lace which was on clearance at a local fabric store. I used some black-and-white twine to keep the rolled diapers together on each level.

I used a tp roll glued to a cardboard circle for each layer

I used a tp roll glued to a cardboard circle for each layer

For the rolls of diapers, I usually turn the yellow Pampers Swaddlers design in at the ends so you can’t see much of it on the diaper cake. You see a little yellow but it’s not distracting.

Rubber banded diaper rolls

Rubber banded diaper rolls

The twine is just tied lightly so I could untie it and add more diapers if needed. I continually tie and untie it as I added more rolled diapers into each layer.

Funny magnet I found at a cute shop in Nisswa

Funny magnet I found at a cute shop in Nisswa

I found the diaper changing magnet at a boutique in Nisswa and I thought it was perfect for this friend. It’s easy to get excited about pregnancy and babies without realizing how much work it is, especially with your first. There are days you’re not sure you can live through, but luckily baby-hood goes fast. The first year is really kind of hell, but no one tells you that! Of course it’s all worth it though. As soon as that first year is over it gets easier. Then they’re turning four years old (like George!) and you’re wondering why time goes so fast and you wish they were tiny again.

I found this Douglas Elephant's Blankie book and it is soooo soft

I found this Douglas Elephant’s Blankie book and it is soooo soft

I bought burp clothes from Etsy in this adorable forest print – there is a little pink and a little green so it’s gender-neutral and too cute to pass up.

Burp cloths off Etsy

Burp cloths off Etsy

I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I hope she enjoys it!

Finished diaper cake

Finished diaper cake

Painting the clawfoot tub

Ross did some more work on the clawfoot tub. Some serious work. Wurk wurk. I tried to sand the claw feet with steel wool….bahahahaha… what a clown, I am. Steel wool didn’t do anything but eat up hours of my life that I can never get back.

Clawfoot tub after sanding, before priming the outside of it.

Clawfoot tub after sanding, before priming the outside of it.

Ross used his sander on the outside of the tub as well as the claw feet to get the years and years of rust off. A family friend recommended Naval JellyĀ for removing rust and Ross said that worked like a charm.

The clawfoot tub with primer on the outside

The clawfoot tub with primer on the outside

He used Rustoleum Stops Rust to paint and prime the outside of the tub. He blocked the drain hole and taped the rim of the tub so he didn’t have any overspray get on the part we had already cleaned up.

Using Naval Jelly on the claw feet

Using Naval Jelly on the claw feet

After he shined up the claw feet I really wanted to leave them natural, but Ross said they would rust again right away if we didn’t spray anything on them, so we’re going to paint them white as well.

The claw feet were nice and shiny after sanding!

The claw feet were nice and shiny after sanding!

All we have to do now is the finishing coat of bright, shiny white. So exciting. I made Ross promise me I can take a bath in the tub before we sell the house. Like a 4 hour bath. With wine. And candles. And soft towels.

Railroad Tank Cars

Whenever we’re driving somewhere, George always watches for trains, and he can usually spot them from his car seat. Being in Minnesota, we see a lot of railroad tank cars hauling oil from North Dakota.

George:”Look Daddy! Those are tanker cars.”

Ross:”Yes they are. Do you know what’s in there?”

George:”Yep. There’s milk in there.”