Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Presenting Casa de Larios

Yay! The day is finally here! I have been looking forward to doing this post since the day that we signed the papers are were handed the keys to our beautiful new home.

I'm so proud of how far my husband and I have come in the 7 years of our marriage. We have always dreamed of owning our own home but, honestly, didn't think it would happen for a while. There were just so many different factors since the day we said, "I do" that prevented us from taking that much wanted (and needed!) step.

The least of which is the long road we had to walk to finally sign those papers and obtain those keys; which you can read all about here if you haven't already.

However, it's finally happened!

We signed those papers, got those keys and (at 10:00 at night because I just couldn't wait a second longer) moved all of our belongings into the little gray house we now call home!

It's taken me a month to unpack and get everything put away so that it looks like a home and not a warehouse but I'm finally ready for share it!

Presenting (with much pleasure) Casa de Larios!

Of course our happy moving day had to be snowy and rainy. But that didn't stop us! As you can see, we stood in that mess smiling like we were at sunny Disney world. 

Let's begin our home tour by walking into the front entrance/living room area... 

When you walk in if you look to the left you see into my living room and my baker's rack which I decided to reuse it as a shelf instead because it didn't work well in my new kitchen dining room area.

If you look to the right you can see straight back into the kitchen and out the back door. This is also the entryway into my hall.

If you proceed through the living room... will end up in the dining room, office space, and the entrance to the kitchen. Which are all pretty open to each other and the living room.


The little nook where the office area now resides is actually supposed to be an entrance to the second story. But when the house was built they chose to only do the ground level. Which is nice, but leaves this weird little nook. So I had to do some serious brainstorming to decide what to do with that area.

 From there we enter into the kitchen (which is a long walk)...

After completing your walk through the kitchen and around the corner you end up back at the front door/entrance to the hall. Where I grew up we called this a "gidget" race track, in honor of my little brother (whose nickname was gidget). 

So yes, I have a gidget race track and my boys use it that way...often.

 From there we can take a stroll down the hallway. 

The first entrance to the left is the boys/guest bathroom...

It's a little out dated but that's an easy fix that you'll have to be on the look out for in the future. She gets the job done. (Ha!)

Almost across the hall from the guest bathroom is not only the smallest bedroom but also belongs to the smallest member of the Larios familia, Liam.

Next to Mr. Liam's room located at the very end of the hallway is the dwelling place of our oldest (and surprisingly quietest) son, Tyler. 

(He REFUSED to allow me to pick up his trains for the picture taking so....there they are! Brat.)

As you can clearly see, my boys have several items in their bedrooms that match. 

This is the first time in their little lives that they haven't shared a bedroom (and it's been amazing!), so they were given matching everything in order to keep things looking nice. Which has actually helped with making the house look nice. Yay!

Next room in the Casa de Larios is probably my favorite room in the house. And I say favorite in the loosest of terms because I LOVE everything about my house. But how can a Momma NOT love the room where her bed resides...the master bedroom!

Within the Master bedroom we got a surprise, which completely sold itself in my opinion. The Master bathroom! (Which, yes, I spend a lot of time in.)

I know it's just a bathroom. (A badly decorated, floral mess of a bathroom) but it's clean and I'm in love with the fact that I don't have to share a sink with my children. 

I love them to death but the globs of toothpaste on the sink were going to be my undoing! Have you ever tried washing your face using a towel that with a mysterious toothpaste stain that came out of nowhere? Nastiness. 

I know from the outside it doesn't look like much but our little house is the perfect starting point for many years of happiness. With the white walls and no structural issues we will be able to dream big and do everything we could ever have wanted! 

And it gives me a great excuse to indulge in my pinterest addiction. 


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Raising a Rag-A-Muffin

The moment I became a mother I made a personal decision: I will always make sure my children are taken care of; mentally, physically, and emotionally.

For almost 6 years now I have lived according to that decision.

My husband and I both have done all that we can to make sure that our children have nice things, decent clothing, and a clean/safe home to live in.

But recently a 4ft storm has been brewing in the Larios homestead.

You see, my oldest son will turn 6 next month and has recently decided (much to my irritation) that he is old enough to take care of himself.

Now, I don't mean he's getting a job, paying the bills, or even cooking for himself.

(I'm not willing to let go of that much control!)

But my 5 going-on-15-year old son now thinks he's old enough to pick out his clothes for school, bathe himself, and no longer needs me to comb his hair.

I know what you're thinking, "He's 6! Let the kid be independent."

And when it comes to bath time I do. He needs to learn some modesty so I've let him take over that particular task.

As for the rest? I'm trying.

And it would be so much easier on my end if HE WASN'T DOING IT WRONG!!!!

I know I'm letting my control freak flag fly here but really, the child looks like he was raised in a barn!

We are talking full on rag-a-muffin style: mismatched clothes with uncombed hair, holes in the knees of his pants (that I've patched and replaced and he STILL picks the ones with holes) and nasty little boy shoes.

The works.

Getting an mental image?

As a mom. I take pride in how my children look. I've always believed that it reflects back on me. So I've always tried to make sure that their clothes are presentable and they are presentable in their clothes.

But I've apparently lost all control with this one.

And I'm not very happy about it.


And apparently he's just as stubborn as his mother father because he wont budge once he's made up his mind.

Trust me.

I've tried to persuade him, to bargain with him, and to bride him with absolutely no result.

He literally turned down a cookie before breakfast because he didn't wanna change his nasty pants.

And if you knew my son, you'd know that he does not turn down cookies.


(Oh, and I've tried to compromise with him and teach luck there either. Little brat.)

So I'm at a loss.

And the biggest issue I'm having is that part of me wants to allow him to have this independence to be himself, to learn on his own, and to grow up comfortable making his own decisions. You know, all that level headed, psychology based parenting stuff.

The other part of me is DYING (maybe not literally, but a part of me is) because my son looks homeless.

I'm honestly waiting for the day that the school counselor calls me to ask if we are struggling financially at home based on this child's appearance.


It's that bad.

(And this part of the rant has been based solely on his clothes. You don't even wanna know how bad his hair as been! Which, lets just say, if I knew would be this bad. I'd never have let him get the Mohawk style cut.)

So what's a mother to do?!

Do I start enforcing that he dresses the way I say?

Do I tie him to the chair to run a comb through the quaff at the top of his head?

Because I just don't think that's the way I wanna go.

I dunno.

I think I'm just gonna do some old fashion manipulating and donate all the clothes he owns that I don't like.

After all, if it's not there he can't wear it right?!


***Have any parenting struggles of your own you'd like to share? Let's hear about them in the comments section! I'd love to know that I'm not the only mom out there that is facing childhood stubbornness***

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just Stay in Bed!!!

Why can't there be some things that our children are just born knowing how to do?

Something they know right off the bat will be vital to their survival in this world?

Like picking up their rooms or brushing their teeth.

I mean, they were born with the ability to cry when they're hungry, uncomfortable, or when there is something wrong.

Why can't that inbred nature extend to other things in life?

Like staying in bed at bedtime, for example.

Why can't children, especially 2 year old little boys, just know that when put into bed they must stay there?

It's not a hard thing to do.

So why can't it just come naturally?

Why do we as parents have to suffer day after day, night after night to teach a skill that comes automatically to most other species?

I'm just asking because in my house it's a skill that would come in handy if a little person wanted to live to see their next birthday.

Because, when I say bed time, what I actually mean is: go to sleep now or die.

My 5 year old seemed to understand that almost instantly.

I can't remember fighting with him for days on end to get the concept.

It was just there.

Like magic.

By day 3 he knew Mommy wasn't playing around.

(Or maybe he could sense his impending doom and didn't think it was worth the risk).

Whatever reason, he knew and behaved.

End of discussion.

My 2 (well, soon to be 2) year old, doesn't seem to have that same innate instinct for his survival the way my older son did.

Maybe I've made his life too comfortable?

Maybe I've lapsed on my disciplining skills over the years?

Maybe he acts just like his father and I really have nothing to do with it?!

(I, personally, like that last one the best. So that's the one I'm going with.)

Whatever the reason, this...demonic little boy can't seem to get that his life is in serious danger every time he makes the decision to crawl out of bed after bedtime.


For hours.

He also doesn't seem to understand that every time I place him back into the bed after one of his repeated escapes, his chances of survival get dramatically lower.

We're talking almost non existent.


I mean, really?

How many times do you need to be punished before the thought dawns on you that if you stay where you're placed, you wont keep getting in trouble?

He knew what a cookie was without too much help.

He learned how to take down the baby gates with no instruction.

He has even demonstrated the ability to remove his clothing and undergarments without prompting.

(To know more about that joyous little experience look here.)

Le sigh.

I don't remember being such a horrible youngster that I deserved to grow up to have a child behaving the way this one does.

This was supposed to be my brothers punishment, not mine.

He was the bad one.

For now however, I'm going to enjoy the fact that the angelic-faced horror seems to have gotten the hint and stayed his cute butt in bed.

And is allowing me to enjoy this glass of Pepsi undisturbed...

*Loud crash from the bedroom*

...Never mind.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Crafty Kendra: Cloud-ing Around

As my previous posts have indicated, I'm a big fan of Pinterest.

If you didn't know this, you can read all about it here.

My entire life has been designed, created, and planned out via this internet addiction.

Everything from my wardrobe to my decor to my 1,500 planners have hatched from someone else's genius.

(And no, I'm not afraid to admit it...much).

I've always tried to make sure that if I pin something, I do it.

What's the point of falling in love with the things on the site if you're not going to (attempt to) make it a part of your life?

It's kind of a self-imposed rule and I don't make many so when I do, it MUST be followed.

(Except the one when I told myself I would cut back on the chocolate and Pepsi for health reasons. Cuz really. Who am I kidding?)

But recently, I became aware of the existence of a certain board that contained some AMAZING ideas I have NEVER DONE.


I know.

It shocked me too.

So this past weekend a much anticipated basketball game aired that sucked away my husbands attention and created the need for complete silence from my children (whom apparently, my husband has never met).

And after about 2 mins of consistently repeating "Shhh. You need to be quiet Daddy's watching the game" I had the stroke of genius to attempt one of these amazing activities.

The only thing on there that I already had everything I needed to make it and promised at least 30 minutes of old fashioned fun for my boys.

The recipe for Cloud Dough is really simple and I was completely attracted by the fact that it only required 2 things:

8 cups of Flour
1 cup of Baby Oil


Amazing, right?

However, because I didn't have a big enough container to mix it all that flour up in, I cut the recipe in half (carefully using the Math skills I do not possess).

Making our recipe out of 4 cups of Flour and 1/2 cup of Baby Oil.

I combined the Four and Baby Oil into a large bowl and (because I'm the awesome Mom) let Mr. Tyler mix it up.

Which only lasted about 1 minute before I had to take over.

But look how cute he is.

The nice thing was that it didn't take very long to mix it (about 2/3 minutes) you just have to make sure that the flour holds together when you squeeze it.

(Remember this mixing time is for the recipe cut in half. It may take up to 5 minutes to mix with the full recipe).

When it was completely mixed together (and I got done playing with it while my boys looked on annoyed) I separated the "dough" into 2 separate bowls.

It may just make more work for me later on, but I have 2 boys and if I don't give them their own bowls with COMPLETELY EVEN AMOUNTS of dough, they are going to fight...loudly.

And as a reminder, this was an activity implemented to keep them quiet during Daddy's "oh so important" b-ball game.

So separate the "dough" we did.

I handed them each their own bowl, gave them some measuring cups, spoons, and cookie cutters from Tyler's old play dough stuff, and let them have at it!

They had an absolute blast!


I love to see them smile like this!

True to the advertisement the Cloud Dough kept them busy and quiet for a good 45 minutes (which if you know my children NEVER HAPPENS...EVER).

Noticed how I didn't mention that it didn't kept Mommy quiet.

I tried.

But I couldn't allow the throwing.

What isn't advertised, however, (and because I'm awesome I'm going to clue you into) is that this is a very messy activity.

(I know, most of you are going duh. But if you look at the kids in the original blog post they are having such good, clean fun! I was hopeful. Don't judge.)

Now, it may just be my children.

If you happen to have calm boys (yeah, right) or little girls who don't like messes, you should be fine.

But dear, sweet Tyler and Liam managed to turn not only themselves, but my entire dining room a ghostly color.



But hey, look at those faces.

How could a mom stay mad at that? (Especially when this was all my idea.)

And I now know why nothing on that board has ever been done.

One nice thing was that because the flour was mixed with baby oil, it was easy to sweep up and wipe off.

But, at least in the Larios household, this is now classified an outdoor activity.

If you haven't seen this activity before you can find it on my pinterest board The Kiddie Corner or in the original blog post at Juggling With Kids.

*The pictures in this post were edited and made fabulous by me using the instagram app on my phone*