Aloha Friday

TGIF! Phew! Another week has come and gone. Here comes the weekend so, sit back, kick off your work shoes and relax! We're having a cookout Sunday afternoon so, stop on by for a wiffle ball game and a steak!
Kailani at An Island Life has a really fun meme. It's a great way to link up, hop around new blogs, and find some new friends. All you do is post a simple question on your blog and go answer other people's questions on their blogs! So, you can just go to that link to find other Aloha Friday questions on other blogs, too! Cool, huh? :)

My Question:
 What vacation(s), if any, do you and the family have planned for this summer?

My Answer:
We saved part of our tax refund to plan our first road trip with the kids! I think we may head to Gettysburg and make some stops along the way.  We always go to Myrtle Beach, SC with my parents, too, but it's never much of a vacation so, we wanted to do something on our own this year! I can't wait!!

What I found my 2 year old (yes, 2 yrs old!!) doing tonight:
He's better at puzzles than me, but that's not saying much! 
 One of 2 puzzles he completed tonight!


Wordless Wednesday


Making A Birthday Card
For Granny!


One of many cards Josiah crafted for Granny and Grandma! Mother's Day is coming up soon!

 Rainy days call for Kitchen Fun Projects! We made biscuits and Blueberry Muffins! Yummy! :)

Notice the little one didn't quite make it until nap time! :) 
Happy Wednesday!

Top Ten Tuesdays

I am so excited about this wonderful Spring weather we are finally enjoying! The skies can't quite decide if they are ready to remain warm and clear or cool and cloudy so, we definitely fill our sunny days with outside fun! In honor of these nice Spring days, here's this week's top ten list:

Top 10 Spring Fun Activities With Your Kiddos

10. Go to a baseball game - Josiah has enjoyed going to baseball games since before he could even walk. He just likes being outdoors, seeing all the people, and briefly watching the game. We've yet to take him to a Braves game, though we may venture out this year. Take your little ones to a high school baseball or softball game as a trial. It's cheaper and they still get just as excited! Plus, they can run around and aren't stuck sitting in the bleachers. 

9. Take A Walk Around the Neighborhood - If you have nothing else to do, get out the trusty stroller and go on a nice walk! The Spring air makes little ones sleepy and a walk is great for toddlers to get out that extra energy right before naptime! 
8. Boil the Crab Outside - Have you heard of boiling the crab? When Josiah was younger and would get fussy more often, I would fill the bathtub with water, bubbles, and toys and plop him in! Works every time to relieve that fussiness! Not only can you boil the crab inside, but now that the warm weather is approaching, you can do this outside, too! You can buy a cheap wadding pool or even a water table. Water+Outside = Instant Happiness! (FYI- The water from the spigot is usually extremely cold so, get a few pitchers of warm water to add to the mix OR let the water sit in the sun so it can warm up!)

7. Take the kids fishing - Okay, I'm not big into fishing either, but the idea of watching Josiah's face light up as we cast the lure and wait impatiently for it to snag just makes me want to go. Plus, those mini fishing poles are just adorable. Buy a hat and a tackle box for some really cute pictures! I don't plan on actually catching any fish and if we do, they are getting thrown back in, but it's guaranteed fun. Again, water=fun!

6. Plant A Garden - Spray on the SPF and head out to the yard. We went to Home Depot and bought a few garden supplies for only $1 each, some seeds, some flowers, and a few tomato plants. Josiah has been in heaven digging in the dirt and making a mess. Plus, it's so much fun to pick items when they are ready. Our strawberries are almost in and we can't wait! There's a pic!

5. Picnic At A Local Park Or Playground - Pack up some sandwiches, drinks, cloth "paper" towels, a blanket, a camera, and hit the road! Here in the south tomato sandwiches are a Spring and Summer favorite along with watermelon. Yum! After the picnic let the kids go crazy on the playground or running around the park. Don't forget to bring old bread if your park has ducks. That's Josiah's favorite part!
4. Camp Out - Whether you go to the mountains, the beach, or even your backyard, any kid 1+ is sure to enjoy this one! We somehow lost our tent when we moved and are about to purchase a new one. With kids I recommend at least a 6 person tent because there really isn't much room in there, especially if you have 2 kids! You can roast marshmallows, watch the fireflies, and tell stories!
3. Host A Cookout - Who doesn't enjoy a good cookout? Invite friends and family over, sit on the back porch, drink in hand, while flipping food on the grill and watching all the kids play in the yard! We are having a cookout this Sunday. Come on by, everyone! :) There's the Hubs by his trusty grill!

2. Go Hiking - You have an infant? Buy a Moby Wrap! It's affordable and works very well to support baby and your back while you hike up and down trails! A few weeks after Liam was born we headed to Amicalola Falls, one of many family friendly Georgia State Parks. State parks offer a variety of trails, from beginner to expert! Even if you don't want to hike a long distance, enjoy the scenery and have a picnic. They are beautiful, especially in the spring and fall. Search for your state parks on google and plan a day trip!

1. Plan A Weekend Trip To A National Park - Can you tell I am a fan of parks? National Parks are particularly educational, noting historical sights, battlegrounds, and monuments! It's a beautiful way to spend a day, and also help fund the National Park Service. They are located all around the US so, there will surely be one within driving distance! Some parks, State and National, have campgrounds and cabins! Cabins provide the necessities and are completely affordable, at around $45 here in Georgia, depending on the park. (This pic was taken on the tram in Gatlinburg, TN, overlooking the Great Smokey Mountains National Park!) Also, look around on the site for free park days with no entrance fees and special events!


Aloha Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! We made it through yet another week!  Woohoo! Kailani at An Island Life has a really fun meme. It's a great way to link up, hop around new blogs, and find some new friends. All you do is post a simple question on your blog and go answer other people's questions on their blogs! So, you can just go to that link to find other Aloha Friday questions on other blogs, too! Cool, huh? :)

Question Of The Week
What did your family do in celebration and honor of Earth Day? In addition or if you didn't do anything specific today, what does your family do in attempt to become "green" and help the Earth?

My Answer:
We plan on going to the Farmer's Market Earth Day celebration this weekend. I've been meaning to go, anyway, and this weekend there will be special vendors and things for the children, too! 
Our family is constantly trying to find ways to save money and the earth at the same time. That's why we use cloth diapers and wipes, use eco-friendly cleaning products, reuse/recycle items, and are currently trying to cut back on the amount of trash we produce!

Happy Earth Day!
Some Lovely River Cabin Pictures in Honor of Earth Day!


Wordless Wednesday

Josiah Playing By The River This Weekend! 

 Mama and Siah Sitting By The River
 Liam Having A Great Time In The Shade With Lion
For more Wordless Wednesdays go to 5minutesformom.com and enjoy all the other pictures. If you have a blog, post your link, too!


Top Ten Tuesday

It's already Tuesday again? I completely forgot to make a list and I swore I wouldn't procrastinate this time! Oh well. In honor of said procrastination, I'll dedicate some of my top 10s to it!

Top Ten Signs That You Are Officially A Parent 

10. How Many Dishes Can Fit in One Load? - Cory's only "job" once he gets home is to clean dishes... As long as the bottles and nipples are clean, he thinks his task is complete. This often results in a dish mountain, as Josiah calls it. Skipping one day results in fitting as many items as possible in the dishwasher the next with a hill already beginning in the sink! grrr

9. Skim vs. Whole - Once upon a time you tried to eat healthy foods- fat-free, low-cal, sugar-free, etc. Yes, you can still eat healthy foods when you have children, but it's so much easier to eat what they are eating or to drink what they drink. Buy a gallon of whole milk and skim milk? No way! Salad for lunch or pizza? Hmm...

8. Follow The Path - Didn't you just clean the entire house a few days (or hours) ago? Talk about a never-ending job. Skip a day of hounding your child(ren) to clean up messes or following behind them, picking up their messes, and you will definitely pay for it. Regardless, I still manage to find myself at least once a week following a path through piles of puzzle pieces and Hot Wheels to get to the kitchen.

7. It's Only 8pm? - Were you once considered a night owl who went out for drinks after getting off of work at 11pm? You definitely know you are a parent when the clock strikes 8pm and you feel like it's 3am and time to get a cab home. I hate to admit it, but sometimes it's even earlier than 8pm.

6. Bringing Back the 90s - You know you are a parent when you reach in your dresser for something to wear and only pull out an old hypercolor t-shirt or, even worse, baggy jeans or dreaded spandex. We all know the task of washing clothes is never-ending, but adding kid's clothes and cloth diapers to the mix makes it even worse. My clothes are always the last to be washed somehow.

5. The Reading Rainbow - We are a family of readers and absolutely love books! I can easily spend hours reading a good book, finishing the book fairly quickly. Now when I get to read a book it takes weeks. That is, if I even finish it. Reading time now includes such titles as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon, and Guess How Much I Love You. I still read for my own pleasure occasionally, but never for hours at a time.

4. Party Hard - Your idea of a nice party is no longer a house party with a band and a keg. Now the band has been replaced by a dancing clown or Chuck E. Cheese (my least favorite rat of all) and the nice glass of imported beer is now a Capri Sun! Party time!

3. You Become A Second-Class Citizen - Remember the days when your parents were overjoyed to see you during a visit? You are definitely a parent when you drive 5 hours only to practically get shoved out of the way so Grandma can hold her "grandbabies"!

2. What's That On Your Shirt? - Oh, it's just a little spit-up. No worries. If you are like me, as long as you have your hair pulled back, teeth brushed, and a semi-clean shirt for the day, you are ready to go!

1. Where Did That Come From? - Going to the grocery store with a child in tow always makes for an interesting trip to say the least. Josiah loves "helping" me shop, which can be quite a workout. You are officially a parent (especially of children 1+ yrs old) when you unload all your groceries to find many surprises/gifts from your little one. Here are Josiah's purchases to date: a can of cat food, Wheat Thins, a chocolate bar and a can of soup. Thanks Josiah! :)

Happy Tuesday, Everyone! 


Aloha Friday

It's Friday once again and time to celebrate! Woohoo! Kailani at An Island Life has a really fun meme. It's a great way to link up, hop around new blogs, and find some new friends. All you do is post a simple question on your blog and go answer other people's questions on their blogs! So, you can just go to that link to find other Aloha Friday questions on other blogs, too! Cool, huh? :)

Question Of the Week
 What one thing do you think has changed the most about you since you became a parent?
My Answer:
I think the most noticeable change is my openness with my emotions. I used to be very reserved emotionally.  Now that I am a Mama, I feel like I have so much love, especially for my children and the Hubs, that I can't help but show it. It's an amazing feeling! (I know part of it is probably hormones, too, but we won't even go there! lol!)
I just uploaded these pics I took earlier today and they are possibly the funniest pictures I've taken of the boys yet so, I have to post them. I can't help myself.
I snapped these pics while sitting a little bit behind them so, I really had no idea what was going on until I looked at these just now. lol!

Deep thoughts
Josiah apparently trying to pick Liam's nose for him!


Blogging Buttons and Bows!

Alright, my blog is official! I finally figured out how to make my own "button". Buttons are those little squares you see on the sides of my blog advertising other blogs. You click on them and you are taken to their site via html code! It's magic!
Thanks once again the Annie @ Mama Dweeb I also have a "Grab My Button" widget at the top left-hand side of my blog. So, if you have a blog of your own, please feel free to add my button! You can also add it to MySpace and other html friendly sites! I also owe thanks to Kailani over at An Island Life for advertising my blog in her review/giveaway directory! :) I feel like something major was accomplished this week!

Here's the button! Let me know what you think:
Happy Wednesday, everyone!


Wordless Wednesday: Eyes Wide Shut

This weekend we went to Lexi's 6th Birthday Party! Out of the 3 pictures taken, guess how many times Josiah had his eyes open?
Not for this one!

About half open! lol
He's definitely his Papa's boy! The Hubs NEVER has his eyes open in pictures. Oh well! Josiah had a great time and absolutely loves Chuck E. Cheese, much to my chagrin. Now he's saying he wants his birthday party to be there. Noooo! He is frightened of the "scary mouse that lives in the ceiling" AKA Chuck E. Cheese. Tell me I can use that to my advantage?!? Or is that just evil? Please let the boy change his mind! :)
For more Wordless Wednesdays go to 5minutesformom.com and enjoy all the other pictures. If you have a blog, post your link, too!

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Ways To Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

I finally came up with an idea for the top ten with no help from Hubs. He suggested the 'Top 10 Reasons to Send Josiah to Russia'. Awful, right? What's really sad is that I briefly considered it, but then thought someone might take me seriously. lol. It must be late. So, without further ado:

Top Ten Ways To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

10. Hand-Me-Downs: Don't sell your things on ebay in a moment of weakness! Keep everything for your next child! Not only will you save money, but I've learned it brings back so many memories every time Liam fits into one of Josiah's old outfits or plays with one of his toys.
9.. Use newspaper, spam mail, or any other paper for art projects! Josiah loves learning how to use his safety scissors and gluing items together so, I let him use old mail and newspapers. 
8. Use Cloth: Cloth diapers, cloth wipes, cloth towels/napkins, etc!
7.Turn old sweaters into something useful! We all have old sweaters that are stretched out or are out of date. Well, at least I know I have several boxed up. You can turn those into cloth diaper covers. Wool sweaters make especially great covers after lanolized!
6. Don't throw away plastic containers! Lunch meats and other items come in plastic containers that are perfectly safe to reuse! I've had some for years, including the plastic cups from restaurants like Olive Garden! A new discovery I've made is that detergent bottles make for great watering cans! I was going to buy one for our garden and then it dawned on me that I have several perfectly useful empty Dreft containers! Just don't throw them away! At least recycle if you can't find another use for them. :)
5. Mismatched Socks Galore? If you are anything like me, you are constantly losing socks somehow. I keep all of mine in a container and try to match them up every time I do a load of laundry, but there are still several that never meet their match. :( Not to despair! They make great hand/finger puppets!
4. Clothing creativity! See what else you can make from your old clothes.  You can cut up old clothing and blankets to make cloth wipes and towels. I actually plan to save everything from our children to eventually make quilts for them and/or their own children. :) It makes for a wonderful keepsake!
3. Plant a garden! Perennials are planted once and grow back every year! So, buy the seeds once and enjoy them for years to come! Several fruits, veggies, and herbs are perennials, too! We have a strawberry patch that grows each year pretty much on its own. It's actually started blooming a week ago and strawberries should be in the near future! In the summer, we have blackberries and blueberries! You don't have to be a garden pro to enjoy your garden, take it from me, the black-thumb.
2. Turn Old Games Into Art: Board games often lose parts over the years... or within a week's time if you have a toddler. Board games make great decorations for a game room or even your child's room. During art time with your child, glue the remaining pieces all around the board. I first saw this at a friend's house. His mom had taken several old games, glued pieces and then hung them all over the walls of their game room. It was a great easy way to decorate a room.
1. Donate! You can always donate items to Goodwill or The Salvation Army. Your junk is someone's treasure!


Ultimate Blog Party 2010

I am relatively new to the Mama Blogosphere and still have much to learn, other blogging Mamas to meet, and more tricks of the trade to master! Last night I was clicking on other blogs for Aloha Friday posts and came across a great idea: 

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

This is a great way to meet other bloggers, win great prizes, and advertise your own blog, or so I've heard. I plan on participating this year to see what all the fuss is about! It's hosted by 5 Minutes For Mom so go check it out! In the meantime you can win lots of great prizes!

For those of you who have stumbled across this blog from the Ultimate Blog Party website, welcome to the party! This is a natural parenting blog focusing on my own experiences as a SAHM of two little boys. I've written about arts and crafts, becomin "green", cloth wipe solution recipes and more! I am about to start reviewing and hosting giveaways within the next month, too, so if you like registering for giveaways, follow me! I will be mostly reviewing natural/organic products and/or baby related products, but there may be a few other goodies for the home thrown in there as well. Too bad I didn't find out about the party earlier or I would have planned to start the giveaways this week! Please look around and let me know what you think! I would love any feedback/recommendations since I am a new blogger so, be honest! :)

What are you bringing to the party? Well, in my pre-Mama days, I would have brought a bottle of vodka and some lemons, but nowadays most of the parties I attend are a little more child friendly. :) So, last night my 2.5 year old and my 4 year old niece created a Bunny House! It's beautiful in it's own way and was apparently very delicious because they pretty much destroyed it as soon as the pictures were taken! Enjoy the Bunny House. I'll probably make an additional post on the "How To"!
This is what happens when I tell Josiah to smile:

The little ones already starting to eat the house before I finished taking pics!

There are many great prizes up for grabs and there are many I would love to win. Here are the top three:
1. 12″ x 24″ Custom, hand~painted gallery style canvas for baby nursery or kid’s room {to be coordinated with winner’s bedding/decor} Provided by: October Belle Designs LLC
2. Prize package of preschool toys! Provided by: Hasbro
3.A $50 Bear Bucks Card to Build A Bear Workshop. Provided by: Liza Schwab

So seemingly innocent, these 2:
What really goes on behind the scenes!

Aloha Friday

The weekend is finally here and it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy life! Kailani at An Island Lifehas a really fun meme. It's a great way to link up, hop around new blogs, and find some new friends. All you do is post a question on your blog and go answer other people's questions on their blogs!You just link up on Kailani's website!
This Week's Question:
Spring is finally here and the weather is becoming more beautiful each day, along with the flowers! What does the Spring season signify for you?

My Answer:
Spring means finally being able to spend more time outside with my  2.5 year old, Josiah, and 6 month old, Liam!  This week was our first glimpse of what's to come and we've had a ball! Being outside is like a breath of fresh air... literally! Josiah is ready to plant flowers and veggies with me and Liam has absolutely loved being outside, looking around, and watching his silly brother play with Georgie the cat! Spring also means cooking out, picnics, walks in the park, hiking, and camping out! I can't wait!
Here are some pictures from our cookout today! The sky cleared up and left us with beautiful 65 degree weather!
The hubs
Liam snug as a bug and watching his brother!
Josiah & his Pussen, Georgie!


Wordless Wednesdays : Deep Conversations

Is it me or do these little ones look like they are having a very important discussion?
and then silliness ensues!

For more Wordless Wednesdays go to 5minutesformom.com and enjoy all the other pictures!


Top Ten Tuesday

I've realized how difficult it really is to come up with these top ten lists and maybe this is why Danielle put hers on hiatus for the time being. Can't say I blame her!

Top 10 Things I Never Knew Until Josiah Turned 2

10. Being a Stay-At-Home Mom is like Being at a gym 24/7!  Once Josiah started walking, he shortly after began running and never slowed down again. In the span of about 3 months I lost 15 pounds and was skinnier than before I had him... until I got preggo again! :)
9. And You Thought Your House was Loud Before! Be prepared for a rise in the decibel level once again, especially when another little one is down for a nap. It's amazing how frequently that happens! Be prepared:
8. You Become an All-Purpose Wipe. As if you weren't already constantly wiping runny noses, heinies, and other messes, be prepared to become the human tissue! Never before did I realize a shirt could serve as something other than clothing. Another great investment:
7. The Days of Loud Music Are Dust in the Wind. There were times in the past when I got the opportunity to go somewhere alone, immediately blasting some music with the windows down, but now? Josiah wants to go any and everywhere with me. No more loud music. I am officially a Mom.
6. Potty Training Requires Work! I'm not sure what I imagined. Maybe that Josiah would magically be ready to sit on the potty, forgo the actual training, and be done with dipes. Instead, I've not only ended up training him, but myself as well. It's a process, especially with boys!
5. Get Ready to Possibly Read More Than You Have in Years! I'm not complaining about this one, but I never knew how much toddlers love to lay in bed with a parent and read. It's hard to put Josiah to sleep at night because he wants to "read just one more, Mama"! What all parents need:
4. Turkey Sandwiches Every Day! Get ready for a repetitious breakfast/lunch/dinner routine. Once your toddler finds something they like, they want it ALL THE TIME!
3. What's Mine Is Yours. Oh, did you want that last piece of toast? Too bad! I made a pretzel for lunch today and by the end I got about half of it because Liam wanted to chew on a piece and Josiah had to eat what Liam was eating. Poor Mama!
2. Training Pants are NOT Diapers! Bring An Extra Set of Clothes! One pee and they are absolutely ready to explode. I learned this the hard way!
1. Kids Say the Darndest Things! At first your little ones start saying the cutest, silliest little things. You run to get the camcorder or jot it down in a journal or post it on facebook! Then one day you stump your toe, blurt out the S word and two days later, playing on the floor with your little one it happens- your little one becomes a genius, recalling the one word you wish they hadn't. Or you are out in public and your toddler picks that moment to point out "boobies" or some other equally embarrassing subject. Watch what you say because it WILL come back to haunt you!


Aloha Friday!

The weekend is finally here and it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy life! Kailani at An Island Life has a really fun meme. It's a great way to link up, hop around new blogs, and find some new friends. All you do is post a simple question on your blog and go answer other people's questions on their blogs! So, you can just go to that link to find other Aloha Friday questions on other blogs, too! Cool, huh? :)

This Week's Question?
How do you usually celebrate Easter (where, with whom, what do  you put in the Easter baskets for kids)?

My Answer:
A typical Easter involves being with family. Sometimes we visit my grandmother or my parents, but this year we are going over to my Mom-In-Law's house for lunch and an Easter egg hunt for the kiddos! Oh, and every year we dye eggs, too. These things just make Easter special. It wouldn't be the same without family being near! This will be Liam's first Easter and Josiah is just now starting to enjoy holidays so, he can't wait for the Easter bunny to come. He is convinced the Easter Bunny is bringing him a Zhu Zhu put (which is actually correct) and chocolate. lol! How did he know?