Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The days are so so so long

This is my dining room chair. I'm using it to barricade my precious children into the boys' room in hopes of confining them to one area. So far, it has been 10 minutes and only one has escaped. 

Why not use a baby gate? Because it got broken. Imagine that! A houseful of toddlers is only a recipe for disaster, and usually only the important stuff gets ruined. Like a baby gate. I could always go out, pick another up, and use it. But let's be real. The only reason any of us leave the house is for doctor appointments, church, and grocery shopping. Any other reason is just silly in this season of my life. 

Today has been a tough one. No particular rhyme or reason why, it's just been one of those days where everyone cries, nobody is happy, and the kitchen is a continual mess.

Some days just feel as if I can't keep up with the mom-ing, the wife-ing, and the responsible adult things everyone is expected to do. 

But you know, the great thing about it all, is i know that tomorrow is a brand new day. I rest in the fact that today will eventually be over, and I can wake up refreshed (kinda) and with a different outlook on the day. For that, I'm thankful to the One who created "new days." 

So here's a little encouragement for the momma wondering if every single day will be like today....
It won't. Most days, probably yes. Especially in the toddler years. But not everyday. I'm still in the "new season" of life, "child-bearing" years, or sometimes referred to as "yoga pants" stage. I'm actually wearing yoga pants right now as I write this. But I know that one day, I will miss these tough days and I will want them back, even if my house looks like an abandoned shack and I look like a bum off the street. My babies wont be babies forever. And hopefully they wont remember the fact that my hair hasn't seen a hairdresser in almost 6 months. 

So, I'm sharing this great tip of how to "survive" these oh so long, but ever so short years. CANNED CINNAMON ROLLS. You're thinking, "Seriously? Everybody knows that." But wait. If you grab the can from the fridge without anyone seeing, you can definitely pull these babies off as homemade. It's not lying, it's just leaving out details. Be sure to put them in a baking dish, preferably a pretty one from the back of your dish-ware cabinet, because it's all about presentation. Throw them in the oven, and when they are done, warm the icing up in the microwave for a few seconds, and drizzle it on top of the rolls. In 10 minutes, your kitchen will smell like heaven, your husband will think you're amazing, and your children will be singing your praises and begging for more. 

See? She's just dying to take a bite of her "Momma's Cinnamon Rolls." 

It's a win-win solution for everyone involved!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Guess who's back

(Cue Adele's "Hello")

"Hello, it's me. I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet to go over everything.."

I guess you could say that I took a little sabbatical from my "blogging" to focus on my "mom-ing." Good news is that I have a lot to update, because around here, it's never quiet or calm. 

We celebrated Thanksgiving in style. We started our morning with Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade and ended it at a dining room table full of family and food. We had a lot to be thankful for this year. Especially since it was my tiniest nugget's first Thanksgiving. 

...And then of course, left overs the next day is always the best part of every holiday.

We had the best Christmas we've ever had as a family. I don't know if it's because the babies are getting older and are now aware of who Santa Claus really is, or because there was an extra person to wake up Christmas morning. But whatever it was, it was heavenly. The only downside of it all was the fact that the husband had to work. 

But can all the mommas out there give me an amen when I say "Christmas was exhasuting!" It was a blast, the smiles were well worth it, but I'm so glad it's over. 

However, I wouldn't mind leaving my tree up. Thats my favorite part. 

We also received news from The Genetic Testing Center. Remember when I requested prayer for my babies? If not, you can find the link in the archives. The results were NEGATIVE for the Long QT gene.  Hallelujah and amen. That alone made my Christmas a very special one. A medical mystery to most, but for me, it was a miracle performed by the very One who created my tiny humans. I kind of chuckle whenever I think about how much I "worried." Why would I ever have any doubt? God is always so faithful. 

Aside from Christmas being Jesus' birthday, we also are teaching our children about a man in a bright red suit named Santa Claus. No matter how much I talk about how wonderful he is, he is automatically the scariest man on the planet. This was the best picture we could get this year. My oldest was shy, my middle was infatuated with him, and my tiniest thought he was the ax murderer. Maybe next year will be better?

Their favorite part of the holiday season is all the cooking that goes on in my kitchen. They aren't the best helpers, but they sure make it fun. And I sure do love the smell of a ham roasting, apple cider on the stove, and sugary treats in the cookie jar. 

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. 

I made a New Year's Resolution of, don't laugh, starting over on Weight Watchers. It was going great the first two weeks. I lost three whole pounds. Then I got cookie-happy and lost my mojo. I'm planning on starting over in February, but I'm not making any promises. 

January is also the BEST month for diaper deals. Or at least at my good and trusty grocery store, Kroger. This picture above was my recent "diaper" run. The deal has since retired, but I will give details of how I got my price at an all time low. 

I made three transactions in two different days. On this particular week I went, Kroger was having a "catalina" on Huggies diapers. If you spent $30 or more on any Huggies item, you receive $10 off of your next purchase. But the deal gets sweeter. They were running another catalina at the same time in the "Baby Aisle." If you spent $40 or more on any item in the baby aisle, you recieve $10 off of your purchase. HELLO!! That's $20 of free cash just for spending $40 on diapers.

My first transaction went as followed: 
2 box of Huggies - $17.99 each
1 large wipes refill - $5.99
Total: $41.97

I used my $10 of of $40 coupon (I received from a mailer from Kroger)
$2 off of huggies diapers
$2 off of Huggies diapers
$1 off of Huggies wipes
Making my grand total: $26.97
But here's where it gets good.....I got TWO $10 off coupons for my next visit!

So the second transaction I bought the exact same thing as the first, used the same exact coupons, but I added the $20, which made my total $6.97 
But wait! I got ANOTHER two $10 off coupons for my next visit. 

The third transaction:

1 box Kroger brand diaper (my favorite) - $13.99
1 package Kroger brand diapers - $5.99
Total: 19.98

I used a digital coupon of $2 off for Kroger brand diapers
$20 off coupon
Making my grand total $-2.02
Because the store wont give you cash back, I bought a thing of trash bags for $1 and Herbal essence Shampoo for $1. It balanced out my balance.

So for a total of $33.97 I got 4 boxes of Huggies diapers, 1 box Kroger brand diapers, 1 package kroger brand diapers, 2 large wipe refills, 2 Herbal Essence shampoo, and a box of trash bags. I don't know about you, but that makes me want to do cartwheels across the room.

Like I said, this particular deal is expired now, but i just wanted to show you what I do so you'll be prepared for the next diaper catalina at Kroger!

Shew, now I'm all caught up on my "blogging." Tune in for the next one!

The End.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Our days at home

Since my "people" are still very little, we hardly ever go out. We go to church, the grocery store, doctor appointments, to see grandparents, and thats its. It's hard enough just going to run the basic errands with these three minions, I can't imagine electively choosing to wear myself out by going to a shopping mall and wrestling toddlers in a stroller. It just sounds torturous. 

I could complain about not going anywhere, but I'm not going to because I'm an introvert. This is my dream. My favorite thing is to stay home and do laundry. Crowds aren't my favorite, getting ready takes too long, and I despise having conversations with strangers. 

So, really, home is the only place I really want to be. 

Because we stay home so much, I have to be creative to keep my little people distracted and happy, or everyone becomes stir crazy. And we all know that cooped up toddlers is never a good thing. I do my best to not let them watch too much tv, but sometimes momma needs a break, and Elmo usually saves the day. Go ahead and judge me. To make it more eventful than it really is, I make a "bed" in the floor. They think it's the best day ever and I can sit down and catch a breather. Sounds like a win win situation to me. 

One thing that I'm still trying to learn is that it's okay to have a mess. Really. It is. This is our home and it's where we live, so naturally, its going to have that "lived in" look. But in my head, I want it to be museum ready with every pillow fluffed and every candle lit.

Nope. Not around here.

Just look at that mess. 

This is another way I keep them distracted. I let them make a huge mess, they have fun making it, then they spend the next 30 minutes cleaning it up. They can use their creativity and it also teaches them the basic life skills of picking up after themselves. Their future spouses will thank me. 

On occasion, we have dance parties. No, my son doesn't make it habit of putting on skirts. On this particular day, his sister wanted him to wear one to match her. I thought it would make for great blackmail pictures one day. Ha!

My little minions just love music. I'm hoping that at least one of them will be musically talented!

While my little people are busy keeping themselves occupied, Momma has a little fun. I recently taught myself how to sew. I'm not a professional, and there are lots of buttons on the machine that I have no idea what they do, but I have made some neat creations so far. My ultimate goal is to make slip covers for my couches in the living room. 

I just painted my fireplace recently, and I could not be any happier. Seriously, best thing I've done to this house. The red was cute, but it just wasn't me. Red isn't my favorite color scheme, but for some reason the decor in my house ends up red. So it was way past time to change something. I used an oil-based primer, one coat, and I used some left over "Antique White," one coat. Ta-da. Wham-bam-thank you ma'am. 

Although the Redman clan hardly ever venture out in to the public, we have a pretty good life here at our home. We live, love, and laugh. Being a homemaker is one of my favorite jobs, aside from being a momma. There's nothing more thrilling than relaxing in a place that you've made your own. And a good smelling candle helps with that process!

"Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4

Friday, November 6, 2015

Boys. Boys. Boys.

I grew up in a house full of girls, so I don't really know a lot about raising boys. Or even living with boys. My dad was the only male in the house. He was military trained and naturally, I thought all males were of this nature. False. Not true at all. When I got married and moved in with my new husband, I quickly learned that not all males are like my dad. Sometimes, males leave their underwear in the floor, dishes in the bedroom, and heaven forbid, anyone ever throw their food wrappers away. Haha!

I now have two young boys of my own. I'm only two years in, and I'm quickly learning how to live with stinky, busy, dirty boys. I'm also falling in love with it.

(Notice the no pants)

I am learning so much. Two years ago when we found out I was having a baby boy, everyone who had already raised boys would always say "Oh, boys love their momma so much," or "boys are so sweet," or "you will love having a boy!" All of those are so so so true. HOWEVER. No one told me how much work boys are! Seriously, no one ever mentioned it. 

I wake up every morning and think, "okay, today will be the day that I keep my patience in line. I will not lose my temper. I will not yell. I will not cry. I just won't." 

Then I give out breakfast.

Can you see my middle one "eating" cereal? He does this EVERY SINGLE DAY. Of course you're probably thinking, "why don't you give him something else besides cereal?" Oh but I do. I have even tried bread. Just plain bread. He still manages to make a mess. I now know what it feels like to clean up a stadium full of trash after a football game. Same amount of mess. 

From the minute I wake up to the moment I lay my head down on my pillow, I never sit down. I do occasionally call a 'time out.' But it's pretty rare. My middles child keeps me on my toes. Literally. He is into EVERYTHING. 

My baby is a "rookie," but he's learning very quickly on how to be a typical boy. I would like to say thank you to my middle child for being a wonderful teacher. 

No one ever told me that my heart would be teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown. My middle one runs, jumps, climbs, hits, throws, and experiments things that wouldn't have even crossed my mind until I had a little boy. I feel like the only thing I say all day is "Do not climb that. Get down from there. That's not a good idea. Leave her alone. We don't hit. Leave my chandelier alone." 

Boys think they are invincible. For real, why does he think that riding his batman car down the steps is a good idea? Just yesterday, he thought he could literally move a tree. 

("I push it down!")

Baseball, soccer, football, and basketball are all his favorite games to play. He loves rolling in the dirty outside and getting grass stains on his clothes. I'm a proud owner of ten bottles Shout stain remover. Best stuff ever. His obsession with trucks is quite unnerving, his love for killing bugs is probably concerning, and his hatred of vegetables is so annoying.

Most days, like I mentioned, are filled with frustration, losing my temper, and raising my voice loud enough for the neighbors to hear. I believe God is teaching me about His never ending patience for me. I make mistakes and do things that probably makes Him shake His head and rolls His eyes. But he never loses His patience. He's so merciful. That alone is worth praising His name. 

Despite all of those typical "boy things," my boys are the sweetest, most apologetic, and good hearted little people I've ever seen. They love cuddles, kisses on their boo boos, and the occasional mischievous grin is my favorite. 

Even on hard days of cleaning up mud on the carpet, pee in the bathroom floor, and beads from his sister's broken bracelet, this is still my favorite thing I've ever done. Just like all the mothers told me, boys love their momma, they really are the sweetest, and I love having boys. 

The Lord has surely blessed me. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Mother's Plea

I have a confession. 
I am a big fat worrier
I try not to be, I ask for forgiveness when I let my mind over take my feelings, and I try to find ways to "get my mind off things." But I still fall back into that same sin over and over again, worrying. 

This past week, my mind and my heart have both worried. I have been worrying over something that I absolutely have no control over, whatsoever. I have cried, pleaded with God, and have done my own internet research about my current concern. So I have decided to ask those who know The Redmans, those who read this blog, and those who just pass us at the grocery store, for a very special prayer request.

But first, let me explain the history of my side of the family. My two sisters, my dad, and I all have a very rare heart condition called "Long QT Syndrome." We became aware of it almost four years ago. It was considered an "accidental finding." My sister had gone to the doctor for a completely different reason, and was referred to see a cardiologist, who then told her the name of her condition. We all found out that it was a genetic condition and we were all to be tested. 

We all had it (except for my momma).

For those who may not be familiar with Long QT, which is probably most of you, it is a disorder within the heart's electrical system. It can cause sudden, uncontrollable, and very dangerous arrhythmias. There are several different "types" of Long QT, and we have Long QT Type 2. Type 2 is induced by extreme stress and emotions, and surprise, or being "startled." It's nickname is "The sudden death syndrome." How pleasant, right? 

My history with the Long QT has been an eventful one. I had my first episode, or sudden cardiac arrest, when I was in eighth grade. We had no idea what it was at the time, so we always referred to that instance as a "seizure."Then, almost two years ago, I had another episode. My husband was a witness, and still wont talk about it. I went into cardiac arrest when my alarm on my cellphone went off. It startled me. After that incident, my doctor decided that it was the right time to have a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted. So eight weeks after having my second baby, I went to have this "simple surgery." But it was anything but simple. They had to do the surgery twice, and during the second surgery, my lung collapsed. Talk about going through a trial. 

(Thats my sweet middle child, oh if I could go back to him being little again)

During labor with my third baby, my blood pressure bottomed out and I was very close to another episode, but fortunately, I had an excellent nurse and a phenomenal anesthesiologist that caught it just in time. Then, when my baby was 6 months old, just two months ago, I had another "episode" resulting in my defibrillator reacting. Let me just say that it definitely works. 

Anyway, I tell you all of that to show you the reality and reasoning of my worrying. Just today, I took my three sweet babies to the doctor to have their blood drawn and for it to be sent off to be genetically tested for Long QT. They all have a 50/50 chance of having it or not.  We will not find out for another six weeks. So thats six more weeks of constant prayer, and of course, probably worrying. 

My urgent prayer request is that you pray for God's Will and peace for my heart (emotionally speaking). Of course, I also want you to pray for my children to all be negative and we live life happy and free until the end of time. I think it would be an awesome medical miracle for none of them to have the mutated gene, and what a testimony it would be. 

But realistically speaking, I know that I will probably have at least one child with Long QT, which will be completely and utterly fine. I will accept it, deal with it, and move on. I just want God's Will for their lives. 

Because God is great, and amazing, and just wonderful to me, He spoke to me through music this morning. Don't you just love it when He shows Himself to you during an unexpected time? This morning, it just hit me all at once: the reality of this genetic mutation, the reality of my babies having it, the reality of ME having it, and the reality of my whole family having it. I cried the whole time getting ready, and I cried the whole way to the cardiac center. I prayed for peace, I prayed for understanding, and I prayed for a miracle outcome. 

When I pulled into the parking lot, I had a wave of unexplained peace. I met my mom, we took the babies in for the blood draw, and we had a great time. Really. The whole process was easy. We even went to a thrift shop afterward. It was a great morning. 

(I scored these two treasures!)

Then, on my way home, I was filled with worry again about the outcome of the genetic test. I began to cry. Hormones, maybe? As I was wiping my tears, a song came on the radio that we usually sing on Sunday mornings during worship. I have heard this song a million times, but it never really spoke to me like it did today. Its amazing how that works. 

Have you ever heard "I am not alone" by Kari Jobe?
The first verse and chorus sing "When I walk through deep waters, I know that You will be with me. When I'm standing in the fire, I will not be overcome. Through the valley of the shadow, oh I will not fear. I am not alone, I am not alone. You will go before me, You will never leave me."

When I sang those words, in my minivan with my three kids in the back seat, I began to weep. I feel as if these next six weeks of waiting for the results are my "deep waters." And I do know that He is with me. But if these results come back that they all have it, then this will be me "standing in the fire" and I will not be overcome. Because I am not alone. I am His. And He is mine. He will go before me, and He will never leave. And because He used that particular familiar song, I was able to find peace once again.

We serve a mighty God who can work miracles. So from one momma's heart to another, please keep my babies in mind as you go about your day today. 

"Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say 'It is well with my soul.'" 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bathroom makeover on a budget

For the past two days, I have been giving my bathroom a "facelift." This is the main bathroom on the main level, meaning that any and all guests usually use this bathroom. I wanted to make it clean and fresh looking, despite the not so clean looking rest of the house. Also, I wanted to do it on the cheap level. Everything I do is on the cheap level, so why not try the bathroom? Here's how I did it....

When we first moved in, this bathroom was purple. PURPLE. Not a pretty purple. It was more of a 13 year old little girl's room purple. What were the owners thinking? To make matters worse, the tub, toilet, sink, and linoleum were all BLUE. I had painted the bathroom a khaki color just to get rid of the purple, and because the paint was sitting in my parents' garage. It also matched the shower curtain I had at the time. It worked, but it absolutely was not my favorite. 

So fast forward to Sunday:

I went into my basement and looked at all of my leftover paint from other paint jobs. I had about a gallon left of the Antique White by Sherwin Williams that we used for the trim in the whole house. Knowing that I wanted a clean feel, I thought white would be the ultimate solution. So, I spent zero dollars on paint. Cha-ching. 

Next, I needed some curtains. But I couldn't really afford the kind of curtains I knew I wanted. I have been a fan of Miss Mustard Seed for quite some time now, and her favorite material she uses is Antique Hemp fabric. Thats exactly what I wanted in my bathroom. 

Well. As my budget would have it, I can't afford antique hemp, so I had to find a good substitution. I remember in past posts from Miss Mustard Seed that she used canvas drop cloth for almost everything before she found her love for the hemp. Ever since reading her blog, I have become OBSESSED with canvas drop cloth. ITS MY FAVORITE THING. I use it for everything.

So I packed my kiddos up, and we went to Lowes. 

To make the curtains, I measured the length that I wanted them to be, which was exactly four feet. I wanted them hung almost all the way to the ceiling because it acts as an illusion. I have hideous linoleum, so I wanted the eye to be drawn upward instead of straight to the floor. 

See? Oh, I just cringe. 
And don't even get me started on that sink.

Once, I measured, I laid the canvas on the living room floor. 

I cut the four feet in legnth. I wanted each panel to be about a yard so it would have room to bunch, so I also cut the width. 

Ta-da. I had two panels. DONE. 

I hung them up using clips.

But once I hung them up, I felt like they needed something else. Something with some "fluff". So using the left over material, I cut two small panels of 14 inches tall by three feet wide. 

(That creese is where I marked 14 inches. I also made sure I did it against a seem so I would not have to hem the bottom)

Then I just clipped them over top of the long panels. 

No sewing involved. That's my kind of project. 

Next, I did my shower curtain.

Same concept, different dimensions.
I hung the curtain almost to the ceiling too. You would not believe the difference it makes. 

Using some things around that house, I hung a few things that needed a new purpose for the bathroom. The "R" was a clearance find at Target for just a few dollars, the plate was sitting in a box in my parent's basement, and that picture was a cross stitch that I made when I was in high school. Don't laugh. Cross stitching was a secret hobby. That beautiful frame was one that I fell in love with when my mom owned a frame shop, so when she sold the store, I snatched this beauty. It was actually silver and I spray painted it white. 

Now that I had everything in place, and a fresh new bathroom, I needed to iron out the wrinkles in my curtains and shower curtain. What a dreaded task. But thankfully, my mom has a dress steamer. She's so handy to have around!

Funny thing is, I don't have an outlet in my bathroom or in the hallway. So I had to use a 25 foot outdoor extension cord just to be able to use the steamer. 

Hilarious, right? 

What's that you ask? Where are my three screaming minions and how was I able to do all this?

The older two were just "hanging out...."

And my sweet baby was with me...

See the shower curtain in the back ground? It was cute at the time I received it, but it's worn out it's welcome here at the Redman Roost. 

And there you have it folks, a cheap bathroom "facelift.'' The whole project cost me a whopping $26. 

Hallelujah and Amen.