Monday, December 31

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away....

Does it still work if you are already sick? We figured it couldn't hurt ;-)

Still not feeling great, so here's a picture of me and Trace cuddling and feeling sick together yesterday.

Tristian spent most of his day on the couch. Hopefully those antibiotics kick in soon.

Sunday, December 30

Some Pics of the Boys Playing

We are still sick, but here's a few pictures of the boys playing in the playground area at the mall. Trevor took them playing around with some different camera options, while I was picking some things up elsewhere the other day :-)

This is my I'm feeling to sick to post anything more post today. We are still working on the house. But where we planned to do both the master bed and bath this weekend and get moved out of those rooms into my parent's empty room in their basement. We may not even get the bathroom totally done. Fun, fun times.

Saturday, December 29

Sick Update

Trevor took the kids in this morning while I was still curled up in a ball trying not to throw up again. My husband is the best ever btw.

Our family doctor office has a doctor there saturday morning for walk in only.

What Trace has is defenitly bacterial sinus and chest infection. So he's on antibiotics now.

Dh said she wasn't sure if Tris had the same thing or just a bug because she couldn't hear congestion. However Tris and I both have messed up lungs, and the only time doctors ever hear congestion is when we aren't having trouble with them (my peak flows will be in the 400s and docd will be saying my lucgs dont sound good, 200s and their saying, your lungs dont have any congestion.... Blah) So I'm inclined to think he probably does, he's been coughing like crazy. Either way he has antibiotics too. If that doesnt help I'll call his pulminologist because I really don't like this cough.

Whatever I have is not what the boys have. My tummy still hates me but my lungs feel fine (u know, besides the stomach acid trying to cause an asthma attack).

Thank God Trevor doesn't get sick. His sick is- "I dont feel very good" for like a day or two and then he's fine. God knew what he was doing when he put us together.


Woke up at 2am puking with 102something fever.... Then heard Trace whining(nursing cosleeping 29month old) who feels hotter then me, but the thermometer is putting him at 101something- hes got tiny ears and its a ear one so idk. Got some medicine in both of us, then Tristian came in shaking, he was at 102something too. Got some medicine in him. Threw up again. Thank God neither child seems to be throwing up. I could not handle it. The kids are cooler, I think I threw up most the medicine I took and hate the thought of putting anything else in my tummy.

Trevor is off tomorrow(erm, today) so is helping, but he was up at 3am going into work yesterday so he could be off for a friend's funeral & helped get the boys to sleep late last night (they are always hard to get to sleep and up late if they are sick, totally counter productive)- so he needs to sleep more.
I thought we already had the flu last month. But this is achy, skin burning, etc that feels like the flu again. I guess their are more then one strain of it.

Argh- I cannot be sick this weekend, we are starting to move and are tearing up the bathroom floor, replacing floorboards and putting down new tile.

This is not good.

Friday, December 28

So Different Yet So Alike!

We are sick! Argh. Everyone is coughing and feeling kinda crummy.

We started taking down Christmas decorations and Trace had a blast taking the clings off the door. I noticed something very similar about the scene, so started snapping pics. Isn't this so cool?

Gluten Free Decorated Cookie Option Two

Love the look, my boys LOVED them.
Since these have m n' ms there's a variety of colors available.

Three step decorated gluten free cookies!

This gluten free decorated cookie option can be really easy, depending on how you want to do it. The number of steps is really up to how you decide to do it of course, but I love that this could be a 3 step process.

Wednesday, December 26

Child Incentive Jars

A little off topic with Christmas just yesterday. But I figure part of traditional Christmas is encouraging children to be good, "you better not pout..." naughty and nice list and all that. So it sorta works ;-)

My husband and I were struggling with two problems. Our five year old wanting to play video games all the time and his misbehavior in general.

Tristian has some heavily autistic symptoms and behavior- but without an easy diagnosis because one, we don't know what's related to the medical problems or treatments; and two, I didn't realize he was displaying autistic symptoms for years so retaught him more normal behaviors (like eye contact and not being obsessed with puzzles to the exclusion of everything else) that make a clear cut diagnosis even harder then diagnosing autism is already. This can make discipline and discussions often shaky ground for us.

Here's the solution we came up with for both problems :)

Tuesday, December 25

Christmas Morning Pictures and Videos!

Hoping Everyone's Morning Was Wonderful!

Here's videos of this morning. Also some pictures from frozen frames of video.

Amanda helping Trace open his first Santa present! Tristian had his all on his own!

Our morning was very gift filled =) The boys were very excited!

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night

err... good morning?

finally done wrapping presents!

gluten free candy and cookies. the cookies are store bought then put some gluten free icing on them and pressed on gluten free pretzel candy I made last week and stored in the top of the freezer. 

Monday, December 24

Christmas Gifts Budget Breakdown: Trace

Bottom Line: $80 total spent for around $525 retail gifts from Santa. Including clothes, shoes, toys, and books.

We budgeted a total of $200 for Christmas for the boys. $80 was spend on clothing ($25 on Trace), $70 was spent on Tristian's toys and books. That obviously does not leave very much for Trace. We did go over our budget :-( But.... only by $5!  We sold some nolonger needed things on craigslist to finance an extra unbudgeted visit to Trevor's parents earlier this month, the $5 overage on the children's gifts and $30 for a joint present to one of my parents sprung on me by my siblings the first week of December. We made it all work out. :-)

Honestly, Trace we got very lucky on...

Sunday, December 23

Pictures of the Boys Opening Gifts Saturday

Just a few pics of them opening gifts at Trevor's parent's

Christmas Gifts Budget Breakdown: Tristian

Bottom Line: $125 total spent for around $501 retail gifts from Santa. Including clothes, shoes, toys, and books.

We budgeted a total of $200 for the boys for Christmas. We spent $80 on wardrobe outfits from Santa ($55 on Tristian) so that gave us about $120 to get toys and books with for both boys.

Our rule is you get to ask Santa for one gift- the rest are a surprise. This helps us reign in the greedy gim-mes (as Papa Berestein Bear calls them) with Tristian. Trace isn't to the point of being able to do that, but Tris is. His big request was a remote control helicopter (total surprise to us lol). The cheapest one I could find was $15 at Big Lots. Nothing fancy, so for his biggest present we got him a 1:15 scale r/c ford 150 remote control truck we were able to get for about $10 at Toys R Us (normally $30) by stacking a sale with a groupon.

So here's the breakdown of Tris' Santa gifts.

Saturday, December 22

Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain

Watch "Gary Allan - Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)" on YouTube
Very nice message for a song, and a beautiful sound.

Christmas Gifts Budget Breakdown: Clothes

Bottom line: spending $80 for 56 pieces breaks down to $1.43 each, for new and like new name brand clothes.

Trace's- nwt Cars shirt and
like new Gap camo pants.
Trace loves Mater!
The boys did pretty well this year for Christmas. We budgeted $200 total for both boys. Part of that's for clothes. They get most their winter and spring wardrobes for Christmas. We're in mid-Missouri; generally it doesn't get terribly cold here til around Christmas. So, the boys get a few warmer outfits and winter coats when it starts into fall and the rest is Christmas. Both boys got clothes in the size they are going into. 5t for Tristian who's 5.5yrs old, finally starting to catch up! 18-24months for Trace who's 29mos old, he's still growing so I can't complain, Tris wasn't anymore by this age.

Tris'- nwot Kitestrings non
button up collared shirt &
nwt Wrangler jeans.
Each child got 12 outfits, one pair of winter boots and one pair of house slippers.

Friday, December 21

Easy Lovely DIY Gift Bags

I nearly forgot to post this, meant to a while back and just forgot to hit post. Whoops. Sorry kinda late, but still a easy way to make gift bags and turn it into a craft for children.

My boys loved helping make these last year. You can make each one different.

Cheap adorable gift bags made from paper sacks. The ones you can get 100 of for a dollar

Some Family Holiday Get Together Pictures of the Boys

A few pictures of the boys at family get togethers so far.

This one is courtesy of my sister in law Jessica
 from a visit in November to Trevor's parent's.
But Trace is actually smiling!

My Mom's Family Get Together!

These are courtesy of my cousin Candace.


Three Days, Three Sets of Grandparents!

Real quick- it's 12/21/12- the world is still here, no aliens have came, and no major signs of the end of an era centering on this day..... yet. ;-) Phew. 

Although watching Ancient Aliens leading up to this day has been pretty fun. I'm a history buff, so it's very interesting to watch things like that. Whether I agree with them or not, it's cool to see an alternative interpretation. Really that's all ancient history is- societies most commonly accepted interpretation of what we can find out about it. At the moment I'm a little addicted to that show and to Dark Matters: Twisted but True. 

I really need to start watching more positive stuff when I do watch TV (which is some weeks non and others too much). Or at least more neutral things, like history or science specials without such a negative twist. 

Ok- back on topic, for the next three days (22nd, 23rd, 24th) we have three different family get togethers. Trevor's parents tomorrow, mine the next day, and Amanda's Christmas eve. Fun times!

Homemade Christmas Ornaments: Glitter Gingerbread

On our tree now, these are two years old!
Two years ago we made Glitter Gingerbread Ornaments. Here's the recipe I used- copy and pasted from my notes two years ago, you can kind of  work with it depending on what you have and want to do.
"It's basically 1 part liquid to 1 part powder. 7oz applesauce 1oz non toxic glue and then the powder can be any mix of ground spices and flour. I did about half and half cinnamon and pumpkin spice- then the remaining 4oz flour.

Thursday, December 20

First Snow of the Season! (pictures)

Trevor said it was suppose to snow, I figured that just meant a drizzle. I've been so wrapped up in well, wrapping and everything else holidays that I haven't been obsessively checking the weather like normal. It's still snowing pretty good right now.

This is what we woke up to, much to our children's glee!

Wednesday, December 19

Homemade Christmas Tree Ornaments: Crystal Snowflakes

It has become a family tradition of ours to create a new set of homemade ornaments each year. It's a lot of fun for all of us, and I try to find things that the kids can help with.

This year was the Elf Bells from an earlier post.

Last year was Crystal Snowflake Ornaments. Made from a pencil, pipe cleaners, string, borax, a cup and hot water.

Tristian was four last year so he got to help bend the pipe cleaners into snowflake shapes and tie strings to them.

Tuesday, December 18

Candy Making: Gluten Free

The boys really love pretzels, so for this year's gluten free candy I went that route.

The easiest option being to get gluten free pretzel sticks and gluten free chocolate chips.

Melt chocolate, dip pretzel sticks, spin the a little against a spoon dipped in chocolate to even out the coating and you're done. It's repetitive and takes a bit, but easy.

Trace really enjoyed 'helping'. When I came across a broken stick he could have it and got to dip a little chocolate on it to eat. 

Monday, December 17

Lovely DIY Wood Blocks Decoration

Both our boys and myself have medical conditions that cause some pretty hefty bills- it was actually our oldest getting so ill at about 6 months old that started me on our greener living journey. Just trying to find anything to help him. We have found some natural help over the years, but still a lot of medication is needed. Let me tell you, gluten free food and growth hormone is NOT cheap! So needless to say, our gift budget is rather slim ;-)

Regardless of the budget constraints, we feel it's important to teach the boys that gift giving should be special and thought out. Each year we come up with something they can help make as their gifts to friends and family members. This was last year's gift.

These are made from 2x2s, paint (normal or spray paint will work), stencils (if you can't find stencils you like cheap it's easy to make some from cutting out cardstock), mod podge & a saw.

Saturday, December 15

Brockley & Bazil are Home!!!

Both dogs are home, fed, bathed, happy and resting contentedly.

I had been out calling for them all morning every half hour or so, like yesterday. We had a bad storm last night and I spent half the night unable to sleep, worried about them being out there cold, wet and alone.

A couple hours ago I was out calling when I heard Bazil's deep barking reply and he came bounding across the field. He must have heard me and just taken off at full speed. I opened the door and Bazil ran in- I heard Trace's calls of  "Og, Og" so I knew he must have headed for the boys room. I called for Brockley for another five minutes or so, but didn't see or hear him. I went in, Bazil was curled up in a ball in the corner of the boys room just looking exhausted, poor puppy (he's 13 months old). I'm not really sure why he went there instead of to 'his spot' first, he must have heard the boys and wanted to be with his family. I got him some food and picked up the phone to call Trevor at work.

Candy Making: A Holiday Tradition

December means homemade candy. Chocolate dipped pretzels, raisin clusters, fudge, turtles, pecan clusters, divinity, etc... Lots of candy making memories and lots of yummy homemade goodness.

Earlier this week Amanda, myself and my two boys headed over to Aunt Debbie's (Amanda's mom, and though not technically a grandmother to my boys she is still their Nana) to participate in this years candy making.

Trace is still too young to help, so he got to play with Amanda's 15 month old niece, Ella.

Brockley and Bazil update

UPDATE: Brockley and Bazil are home!!!
 No word on our pups.

The gate was wide open, not just slightly open like if the dogs had somehow unlatched it (from the top, 5 feet up) and gotten out. Plus the bar was moved and set against the fence to the side- so it's very unlikely someone did not let them out.

There was about an hour time period between when Trevor left for work and I was up and noticed they were gone.

I am afraid of what happened to them. Both had pushed their way out under the side steps once (now the steps are boarded underneath) but both stayed in the front yard. I don't know how long they were out that time, but they are out with us regularly and stay right in the yard. I don't know what would have made both leave. Bazil I could see, but Brockley, given his choice would rather lay on the porch. It seems so odd that in just an hour (at most) they would have already ran off, and so far as to not be able to hear me call.

The whole thing is awful.

We have never had a christmas without Brockley, we got him together about half a year before I got pregnant with Tristian.

Just have to keep hoping for the best.

I will have a more normal post today as well in a couple hours about us making homemade candy earlier this week.

Friday, December 14

Meramec Vineyards Harvest Moon Wine Review

I'll tell you my husband's opinion first- and I quote, "It tastes like they dropped some dang red hots in the barrel!"

That was Trevor's statement before heading out for one more drive around the area, hoping to see our missing pups.

Pictures of Brockley and Bazil and update on trying to find them.


This is a small follow up to this post-
Trevor is checking the pound right now for Brockley and Bazil.

This is Brockley as a puppy. Seven years ago in April. He was the first pet Trevor and I got as a couple. In a way he was our first baby.

The puppy here was Bazil last January when we got him.

House burgulared, cars vandalized, child hit with rock, and more

Amanda's widow where the pool table ball hit it.
It spreads across the whole windsheild, But it's
hard to get the camera to focus on it if I try to
 take a picture of the whole thing.
In the past three months our house has been broken into, Amanda's car has had a pool table ball thrown at it shattering the windshield, the boy next door through a rock that hit my 2 year old in the head (witnessed by his stepmother)- and when we approached his father asking him to talk to the boy about throwing rocks- we found out he's the type of father that will never believe his child has done anything wrong. Even though the same boy set the trees across the street on fire, a fact because of witnesses. Also the pool table ball that hit Amanda's car was out of a set that sat outside the boy's house next door.

Today I woke up and there were no dogs in the back yard. The gate to the back yard is latched in the front and on top we set a metal bar in between the slats of wood to keep the dogs from somehow pushing it open (they never have, we are just paranoid). The metal bar was set to the side (not fallen on the ground, but moved and set against the planks to the side of the gate) and the gate was unlatched. My husband fed the dogs around 7am, through the back door as normal. The gate was still latched and the bar against it (can be seen straight ahead from  the driveway) when he left this morning. UPDATE: Brockley and Bazil are home!!!

Thursday, December 13

Gluten Free Decorated Cookie Option One

Last year a lot of what the boys got for Christmas was Dr. Seuss related.

Throughout the year we found a lot of the Dr. Seuss dolls, that were so popular the previous holiday season, in the dollar stuffed animal bin at Good Will. Found Dr Seuss books in good shape at Good Will and Salvation Army. Even found 4 Dr. Seuss shirts in each child's size thrift. Got some Wubulous World of the Cat in the Hat dvds from and etc.

We wanted to do a treat that was Dr. Seuss related also, but I couldn't find anything gluten free that was not seriously expensive.

Tuesday, December 11

Be Nice to Your Brother, He'll be Your Best Friend Forever

Tristian and Trace at the Zoo this summer
Parenting is rough some times, often, most the time. It's hard to know what we are suppose to do. That whole no handbook thing.

My husband grew up pretty close to his siblings. I love mine, but... not quite the same story. One of the first things Trevor and I talked about when we discussed trying to have another baby after Tristian was that I wanted something better for him (story of every parent's life right?), a closer sibling relationship. 

Monday, December 10

Easy Adorable DIY Bell Elfs Ornaments

We are big believers in promoting that gift giving should be something thought out and special, not necessarily costly. I really dislike our society's tendency to equate the cost of the gift you give with how important that person is to you. Being on a tight budget ourselves the less cost the better! So, every year we come up with an easy, low cost craft the boys can help with for them to give as presents. I'll post some of the past years crafts later, but here's this year's.

You'll need: scrap fabric, white pipe cleaners, googly eyes, medium size bells, teeny white poms, scissors, glue gun, glue sticks.

Friday, December 7

Bathroom Banaza!

That's the title of my board on Pinterest that I used to store ideas for sprucing up our bathroom. See it here-

Bathroom Banaza :)

We are going to try and put our house on the market this spring, so are fixing the stuff that needs to be fixed. Like replacing the bathroom floorboards. Seriously, carpet in a bathroom is a horrible idea! We had just pulled up the carpet and put down lenoleum when we moved in (I know, I know bandaid fixes are dumb). So now we've got to really fix it.

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