Sunday, April 20, 2014

Halloween 2013

When we first came back to the U.S., the boys and I stayed at my mom's house for a couple weeks until all of the flooring was installed and our furniture was delivered from storage.  Talton had to go back to Korea for three weeks, so it was just me and the boys at that point.  C, P, and I moved back into our house two days before Halloween.  I had enough sense to order their Halloween costumes online in September when I was still in Korea, because I knew my life would be crazy busy once we got back.

Since Talton wasn't here, I was so thankful to have helpers come over on Halloween to help me get the boys dressed and go trick or treating with us.  Thank you Mom, Joel, and Liz.  :)

 The Hulk was ready while the train conductor was throwing a royal fit about wearing his costume.
 I think he was just very tired, so he could've cared less about how Halloween works with a costume and all.
 I just didn't have the heart to make him wear the train conductor costume, so I put his jeans and t-shirt back on him, and we went out trick or treating like that.  Look, it wasn't the end of the world that he didn't have a costume on, but it would've been the end of the world if we all had to endure that royal fit while trick or treating.  :)
 The Hulk was so patient, which was amazing because he couldn't wait to get out and knock on some doors.
 P was so tired and not in a festive mood that he wouldn't even drag himself out of the stroller to trick or treat.  So I rolled him right up to the door.  :)

This was quite puzzling to C...

I couldn't even get P to wear his train conductor hat from his costume, so the closest we got was getting him to wear his Thomas the Train baseball cap.  Whatever, buddy.  :)

P finally decided he wanted to walk up to the doors himself...about five doors before we called it a night.

Liz was around 5 months pregnant with Spencer at that point...
 I propped the costume on P's back so I could say I got at least one picture with his costume on him this year.  :)

I'm looking forward to Halloween this year, because Talton will be home... And hopefully P will participate more.  :)

my funny monkey

I can't believe I haven't shared the funny things Connar says in nearly a year!  It's definitely time for an update from my funny monkey.  Enjoy!!  :)


When asking to hold an egg for me, Connar said, “It’s okay, Mommy.  I won’t hatch the egg.”

When Talton asked Connar why he was patting his head, Connar said, “I don’t want to have crazy hair.  I want to have handsome hair.”

Connar: “A pointy tailed fly will bite.”
Talton: “Flies don’t have pointy tails. You mean a mosquito?”
Connar: “Uh huh,” while shaking his head yes.

“Mommy, what happened to my other boobie?”
Upon inspection, I realized he was confused as to why he could feel the nipple sticking out on one side of his chest and it was flat on the other side.

me: "Why is Parker crying?"
Connar: "He hit his head."
me: "On what?"
Connar: points to the bat in his hand
me: "Did you hit him with the bat?"
Connar: shakes his head yes
me: "Then he didn't hit his hit his head."

C hurt the bottom of his foot on the door (don't ask how that's possible) and asked for an ice pack. I can do that....I brought him the Woody ice pack. "NOOO, Momma. I want Buzz." Okay, I can do that....I switched Woody out for Buzz. "It's not working, Momma. I need candy to make it better." Good try, kid. Good try.

Connar was being ugly to me so I looked over at our Elf on the Shelf, Dash, and said, "Dash, do you see how Connar is acting? Please be sure to tell Santa tonight."
Connar's reply???? "I quit Dash. I don't need him anymore." Ha! If only it worked like that, buddy. :)

I took Connar to the store with me, and every time I looked over he was messing with the mannequins.  "I just wanna shake their hand."  "I just wanna wook in the pants" (as he pulls the girl's pants away from her body and he stands on his tippy toes trying to peer in).  "She has boobies."

Connar: “What are you doing, Mommy?”
Me: “I’m grating chocolate for the baby shower.”
Connar: “Oh, but only Parker’s gonna take a bath, right?” (clearly b/c Parker is a “baby” and shower=bath)

Connar: (pointing to Best Buy as we drove by) “That’s not the toy store, right, Mommy?”
Me: “No, that’s the technology store.  They have computers, video games, phones, and TVs.”
Connar: “Ooooo!  I wuv video games.  I haven’t pwayed video games in years!”

As we were walking to our car in the parking lot after preschool, Connar was trying to wiggle free from holding my hand.
Me: “Why are you trying to let go of my hand?”
Connar: “Because I’m trying to wipe my booger on my shirt.”

"Da Worax (The Lorax) has a hiney.  He has a hiney to toot.  Right Mommy?"

C: "I'm hungry, Mommy."
me: "Go get another pig in a blanket off the counter."
C: "No, I'm hungry, not cold."

When we were eating lunch at a restaurant, C was watching Ben 10, a cartoon with aliens, and told me, "I want to be the alien with fire.." (and he basically yelled the following in excitement) "...WHO BURNS DOWN THIS RESTAURANT!!!!" Pretty sure that's something you shouldn't say in a crowded restaurant, kinda like you shouldn't yell "bomb" on an airplane. Geez Louise.

In the waiting room at P’s speech therapy:
“She talks like a man.”  He’s talking about the woman he’s knee to knee with while he turns to talk to me.

The man at McDonald’s told me, “Muchas gracias” when he gave me our food, and C said, “He just called you a monkey.”

As we were driving, C was looking out the window at the wildflowers and said, “I saw Indian Toothbrushes!” (translation: Indian Paintbrushes)


I just don't know what I'm going to do when P starts saying funny things.  This stuff makes my day like nothing else can.  :)

getting our house back in order

When we arrived home, we were welcomed back to our house by signs my family made.  So thoughtful!  :)

 Jim and Nancy was a family joke...

Many days were spent trying to get over the jet lag.
This picture of C literally holding his eye open cracks me up, because that's really what it's want to stay awake to do things or to get your body back in line with this part of the world, but your body is so tired that it just won't let you sometimes.

The day after we got home, Talton and I picked out new carpet and laminate for our house.  We didn't want to waste any time after arriving back, because we wanted to get it all put in while our house was still empty before all of our stuff was delivered a couple weeks later.

So since we knew we'd be ripping out all the flooring in our house very soon, that was the perfect time for me and my mom to go in and repaint a couple rooms.  (It wasn't until after we started painting that we realized it was pointless to put those drop cloths down, because we didn't care if it got on the carpet.) We went to Home Depot at like 8:00 at night to get paint and painted until 4:30 the next morning.  It was long, but it was necessary to get it all done at once because we didn't have any other free days coming up to devote to painting.

We painted Parker's old room grey...or so I thought.  It ended up looking more like lavender, so I actually repainted it myself a month later.  I'm still not happy with it, but I'll paint that room for the third time later.  The boys are now sharing a room so we can have our study back...woo hoo!

 This was Connar's old room.  It went from pirates to a big boy room for the brothers in just a few hours.  I was sad to paint over it, but I was also excited to see the change.  :)
 Thank God for my mom.  She's the best painter I know and taught me everything I know about painting (which doesn't make me a pro by any means but at least I have an idea of how to do it).  :)

 After we painted, the new carpet was put in shortly after and then the boys' new beds were delivered  (I actually ordered their bedding online when I was still in Korea because I knew the color scheme I wanted for their blue, lime green, and white with pops of orange).  I bought their beds from Pottery Barn Kids, and I bought their bedding from a place online called Serena & Lily because it was the only place that had this bedding I had in mind, but I've since seen it several places (PBKids for example).  I'll give you a little tour of their room, because I love it so much!  :)

I knew with their small room that I'd have to be smart with the little bit of space that was available for two beds, all their clothes, and all of their toys and books.  I actually pondered bunk beds for a while for the space issue, but I ultimately decided against it because (1) one of them would be mad they didn't get to sleep on the top, for sure (2) both of them would go flying off of it sooner than later, definitely (3) if one was sick I didn't want to have to climb to the top bunk to lay with them and (4) I could only imagine how tricky it would be to make a top bunk.  We might consider bunk beds in the future when they're older, but for now, these twin beds are actually really perfect for us.  I bought the beds with the two pull out drawers underneath to hold their clothes, since there would be no space for a big dresser in the room.  I'm very happy with this decision.
 It's hard to see, but their sheets and pillowcases have lime green stars all over, and there is lime green piping on the edge of their duvet covers.

I made the 8 picture canvases hanging around their room.  It was crazy expensive to buy them, so I gave it a shot myself and it worked out great!  I bought cheap canvases from Hobby Lobby, printed big pictures at Walgreens (searched for a coupon online and got a huge chunk of money off what I would've paid otherwise), and then I used Mod Podge to adhere them to the canvas and then used it on top of the pictures as well.  I used velcro Command Strips I bought at Target to hang them on the wall.  Perfect and so easy.  :)

This little corner of their room makes me so happy!  I bought the white shelf from Target (very easy to assemble) and had to order the navy boxes online from Target because they don't carry that color in the store anymore.  The floating white shelves are from IKEA.  I had the white lamp base from P's baby room, and I bought the orange shade from Target (boy I've said "Target" a lot in the past four sentences!).  The orange bean bag with blue piping is guessed it, Target!  :)  The bean bag in the corner is the perfect little reading nook!

I bought these clear shelves from here online: .  They have different lengths, and they were really easy to hang (they did not come with any hardware to do so but that was fine).  These are actually sold as greeting card shelves, but they worked exactly the way I wanted to display some of the boys' books.  I put the rest of their books on the white shelf next to the bean bag.

So my mom was cutting blocks of wood for a project at her house, and I took three to make the following items for the boys' room (you can see the following two projects on the IKEA shelves two pictures above here).
First I took a car and a monster truck from my boys' stash of 357 vehicles.  I super glued them to the top of the bare wooden blocks.  Then I used the same blue paint I used on the wall in their room to paint the wooden block (it took a few coats and a little paintbrush to get in all the nooks and crannies on these vehicles).  After the blue paint dried, I used painter's tape to block off the area I wanted to paint orange, and I used a little bottle of craft paint from Hobby Lobby to do that (it took 4 or 5 coats of orange to get it like this).  I just love when projects work out the way they are in my head!  :)
The block is painted, and then I trimmed down 5 pictures (no need for a bottom picture because it won't be seen) to fit on the sides and top.  I used Mod Podge to adhere and cover the pictures on the block.

I had this genius idea to use Command Strips on the side of the white shelf to hang C's super hero capes.  I'm so glad I thought of that, since, like I said, I'm low on space in this room and don't have a free space to cram something else.

The boys' closet has to be organized too, or this room would be an out of control wreck every day.  I used a wooden shelf (like the big white one in their room, but smaller) on each boys' side of the closet as storage.  I also put the canvas boxes at the top and hung a shelving unit in the middle.  This closet is full of stuff, but at least it's organized.  :)

 I also made this sign that hangs above their closet door.  I made it out of an old wooden drawer front my mom had.  I painted it white, put vinyl letters on, painted over it white again to seal in the sides of the letters, painted it blue (the same paint on the opposite need to waste money buying more paint when using that paint will match perfectly), and then took the vinyl letters off to show the white paint underneath.

Another HUGE part of getting our house back in order was updating our floors.

We tore out all the carpet in the living room, bedrooms, and hallway, and put in new carpet in only the bedrooms and put laminate in the living room and hallway.

 Seriously, picking carpet is one of the hardest things ever!  That's so difficult to visualize what a huge area will look like based on a tiny little square of carpet, and I'm very much a visual person.  I'm so happy with the carpet we chose, but I have to say that I definitely second guessed my decision.  I actually went back to the store after Talton returned to Korea for a couple weeks to change the carpet we had chosen together, so I was having a meltdown in the carpet section at Home Depot trying to decide on something different all by myself.  I finally decided on the one we have today, but I prayed and prayed that it would turn out to be a good decision, because I would've never lived down changing the carpet otherwise.  :)

This is the carpet before.  Clearly we built our house when we didn't have kids...we put in cream colored carpet.  Big mistake.  Huge.  I always insisted that it would be fine because I wouldn't give my kids kool-aid or anything to drink on the carpet that would stain it.  Well what I didn't account for was the body fluids (ex: vomit) that come out of those little people and there's nothing you can do about that.

The laminate man came and ripped the carpet out of the living room and hallway and got to work.

 It wasn't long before he realized my floors weren't even.  So that added another day on to the process, because it had to dry before he could lay the actual flooring.

The next day, he came back and finished the job.  We love our new floors!

Well the same day the laminate man finished the living room and hallway, the carpet men showed up with my new carpet.  :)
 Another lesson learned from the first time we put flooring in our house?... Put in better padding than the lowest level possible.  :)

And as if two groups of men (laminate and flooring guys) wasn't enough in my house at once, the guy who was refinishing my front door came to haul it away.
 He took my door...
(You can kind of see how weathered my door was.  It was literally flaking off everywhere...the ground or your knuckles if you knocked on the door.)
 ...and he replaced it with a "fake" door. There wasn't even a door handle.  This door was out of operation for a week until my door was returned.
 It cost a pretty penny, but I'm so thrilled with the results of our refinished front door!  It matches the inside color and looks just like a brand spankin new door.  Best part is that I can pay a small fee instead of the big money for them to do it again in a couple years as a sort of upkeep on the door.  :)

The next big thing that needed to happen to get our house back in order was for all of our stuff to be delivered.  Not only were we waiting on the air and sea shipments from Korea, we were also waiting on the stuff we put in storage in Houston to be delivered (this is the stuff like our furniture that we did not take to Korea and had been sitting in a facility for a year and a half).  When the first truck pulled up, I was giddy!  I couldn't wait to get my hands on my own couch, bed, kitchen items, etc.!
 Seeing all of MY stuff being set up in MY house was like Christmas morning.

While the men unloaded, I set up a lawn chair in the kitchen and ate Mexican food for lunch.  :)

The boxes were never ending, especially since the movers were at my house on four different occasions before it was all said and done.

Just when I'd get a big chunk of them unloaded, a new delivery would be unloaded and we'd be staring at a wall of boxes again.

The amount of recycling we had at the end was ridiculous...

So, that's how our house came back together.  We still have a lot of stuff to do, and it's six months later, but I have to say that I don't even care about that because as long as I'm back in my own space/my own house/the place where I brought my children home from the hospital, I'm good.  It was good to not only be home, but to be IN my home.

Next up was just getting back to living our lives in the U.S..  :)