Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Four years

Today is the fourth anniversary of my marriage. I use the word marriage even though it doesn't sound quite right in that sentence; because a wedding is a celebration that lasts for one marriage is for the rest of my life. Today is my day to remember the commitment I made to Daniel and to honor our marriage! Four years is such a short time in years, but has been such a long time in life. In Dan I have found my best friend and there isn't anyone I would rather spend the next 37,843,200 minutes with. I'm planning on living to see 100 and he better be there with me! :) Happy anniversary baby.....I think this may be the first year we actually remembered!

And for your viewing and listening pleasure.....well really, it's for my viewing and listening are some of my favorites from the day we wed.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Sorry honey, but I LOVE this pic!

Don't ask! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

public service announcement

I got new bedding for our guest room. It's Italian, sateen cotton and it's from Restoration Hardware....a store I would love to shop in, but alas, I can not afford. This bedding is so simple, but really soft and comfy! So, how did I land this?? You guessed it, craigslist. I have been looking at comforters for our guest room since we moved into our new house and even cheap ones at Target run around $100. My hesitation at buying a bag of bedding from one of the major retailers wasn't cost exactly, because we could afford it, it's just that I don't think something that covers a bed should cost that much....and since my opinion doesn't really matter to manufacturers of bedding I was left with few options. I actually thought about making a duvet cover myself, but I am currently juggling too many things to add another project and I really didn't want another four months to pass with a sad, plain white down comforter on the guest bed. So.....what do I do when I'm disillusioned with the cost of life and am looking for a deal??? I obsessively check craigslist until I find what I'm looking for! I was actually pretty lucky and it didn't take me long this time. (some things take months to find exactly what I want) Anyway, I found this bedding, it's in great condition and not very old and I only paid $40. There were actually three 100% silk shams that came with the bedding that I'm not going to use, so I'm going to list them on craigslist for $20......if they sell, then the bedding really only cost $20. Deal.

New bedding
(Maddie is testing it out)

Moving on......I washed all of the bedding (twice) and as I was ironing it (took almost 2 hours) I realized that nearly every room in our house has something in it that we bought off craigslist. I even used craigslist to buy furniture and find apartments to rent while I was still living in San Diego......6 years ago! Wow. Dan and I have bought and sold on craigslist so many times it's hard to even remember everything. We have even sold things that we bought off craigslist years later......and you know I'm a good bargain hunter when we can sell these items for more money than we paid for them! Pretty much anything you could ever want can be found on craigslist. From furniture to farming supplies, kids toys, electronics, vehicles and antiques. And since it's all local, there isn't any shipping involved. You arrange a meeting with the seller, check out the item and take it home. One draw back (or benefit for those of us who are staying away from debt) is that 99.999% of the time you have to pay with cash, but that is necessary. People have mentioned concern about going to a strangers house to buy something from them, but if you do it during daylight it's not much different than going to a garage sale and if you don't feel comfortable going to their house you can always meet in a public place. I have had one bad encounter with picking up a box spring but it turned out was all in my head (the guy had Japanese swords all over his house) and all my own fault (Dan didn't know the address I was going to and my cell phone died), and since then if the person I am buying something from is a man, I send Dan to pick it up! :)

I know that there is a stigma with buying used, but it's really a shame because there really are a lot of benefits to it! First and foremost, it's cheaper! Why pay retail when you can save so much money buying something used? I have always been a thrifty gal, but with the economy being how it is right now money is tight for most people. That works out well for those of us buying used because people are selling fantastic stuff to make a little money. Which brings me to my second can get a better quality, name brand, used item for what you would spend buying a cheap, low quality brand new item. I spent a couple of months looking for a table for our entryway. Walmart and Target sold ones I liked but they were cheaply built and made out of that fake wood stuff and they cost over $100. I found a beautiful table on craigslist from Bombay Company and only paid $70. Not a big difference in price, but a HUGE difference in quality and craftsmanship! Another great benefit of buying used is the environmental factor. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Buying someones "trash" keeps it out of the landfills and you know what they man's trash is another man's treasure.....or in my case, woman.

So, that was my public service announcement. If you are planning on making a purchase, check craigslist out first. If you can't find what you're looking for, keep stuff is posted everyday, sometimes every hour! It's easy, (you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home) it's cheaper and it's better for our planet! CRAIGSLIST

Here is a photo tour of just a few of the items we have bought off craigslist:

Ladder shelf

KitchenAid mixer (commercial grade)


Play kitchen

Dan's workbench
(it is actually a kitchen island we used in our old house)

Toy box bench

Bunk beds

Dining room table and hutch

Sofa table

Entry table (my Bombay Co. find!)

Guestroom bed
(the box spring and bedding too)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Charlotte meets marker

We normally color with crayons when Charlotte is involved, and even though she still tries to eat them, she does pretty well with coloring. Today I went ahead and broke out the markers that Maddie has been begging to use since her birthday party. There is no way that Charlotte would be okay with Maddie coloring and not her, so I set them both up with markers and construction paper. Let me just say that they both had immense fun and I didn't even care when Charlotte drew all over the table (thank you washable markers) but the fun was done once Charlotte colored all over her arms and face. It must be a rite of passage because Maddie did (and still does on occasion) the exact same thing! I took all the markers away which made Charlotte furious and attempted to wipe down her face.....the table totally came clean, Charlotte not so much. This is her after being wiped off. I'm sure it will wear off in the very near future. Moral of the story.....only color with markers when you're planning on staying home all day! :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

the gift

Christmas shopping has begun! Well, not really, but kinda. lol I took the girls to the museum on Saturday and they had these playsets by PlanToys (they make green toys). There was a doll house, farm, tree house, recycling center etc. It was all made of wood and very simple, but there was great detail in all of it. Little drawers in the dressers that slid out, little pillows on the beds, little place mats on the kitchen table, itty bitty shovels and pails, jackets and hats for the little people who were made from wood and rope. I thought it was adorable and after I watched Maddie play with it for 40 minutes straight (the child doesn't do anything for 40 minutes straight!) I knew that I wanted to get a set for the girls. So, I looked on line.....and discovered that a house alone costs anywhere from $120-$150, and that doesn't include the furniture inside. Each room of furniture (approx. 4-6 pieces) costs about $20 as does a family of 4. Well, that was a nice thought. There was no way that I was going to spend that much money on a doll house! Then I went to my boyfriend Craig's website (also known as craiglist.....and he's not really my boyfriend *wink*) and found someone selling their PlanToys dollhouse. She had the chalet house, a family of 7, convertible sports car, children's bedroom, dining room, living room, patio set, playground, master bedroom, pet and accessory set, nursery set. I priced it all out, and all that costs nearly $400!!!! But I got it all for $150!!! Some people seriously don't know how much they could be getting for the things they sell on craigslist. The whole set is practically brand new.....the woman told me she bought it for her daughter when she turned 2 and that she never played with it. They put it away and then brought it out again when she turned 3 and she decided it was an "old" toy and she didn't want to have anything to do with it. Did I mention that the people I bought it from lived in a mansion in Chapel Hill and only had one child? Spoiled maybe? Anyway....their loss is our gain, and I am so super excited to give this doll house to the girls for Christmas! And just so you really understand how excited I am, I actually took it out and set some of it up today during nap time just so I could touch all the little furniture and arrange the rooms! Excited. The best part is that it can totally grow with them. As they get bigger, we can buy other accessories to go with it.....little pots and pans for the kitchen, a vegetable garden for the backyard, clothing for the little people and there is always the option of getting the farm, or tree house, or recycling center down the road as well. I am so glad that I have craigslist to find good deals on things because otherwise I would never have bought this cool doll house. I'm also really thankful that I have an awesome husband who understands my obsession with finding deals, and the speed at which I must act to get said deals. Thanks honey! :)

Here's the PlanToys website in case you want to check out their stuff!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

outside time

I think it's really important to get my girls out of the house everyday.....and I don't think that riding in the car, or running errands counts! I can always tell when they have been inside for too long, and usually by that point they are driving me insane! I try to be very purposeful in taking them out to play, whether it's in our backyard at the park or museum. Little legs need to run, little hands need to touch and's good for their development and good for my sanity. Here's hoping we have a mild fall and winter this year so we can continue to play outside everyday! **Although I really, really hope we get a good snowfall like last year....that might be worth a freezing winter!**

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

busy busy busy

We have been busy little bees in the house of Schultz. With all of the new birthday toys, we have been non stop playing! It sometimes feels a little ADD-ish because the girls really, really want to play with something and then after 20 minutes of fun, they bounce onto the next thing they really really want to play with. I figure they are just excited to have so many new and fun things all at once.....hopefully we will settle down soon. It is really nice that people were so spot on with the gifts they gave Maddie for her birthday. She is really interested in everything she got. Now we just need to work on the concept of sharing birthday gifts.

My girls are usually pretty good at sharing, but this is the first time that Maddie has really understood that the new toys she got were for HER birthday which means they belong to HER. In her mind that means she doesn't have to share them with Charlotte. It makes complete sense to me, and in an adult world that's the way it would be, but for sanity in our family it can't work that way. Do you know how much screaming I would have to deal with if Charlotte wasn't able to play with these new toys. Oh my goodness, it would be bad. So, I put a couple of non age appropriate for Charlotte items up that we'll do with just Maddie, and the rest we share.....or at least we're working on sharing! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

teeth brushing

I love that my girls are so enthusiastic about brushing their teeth. I can't tell you how adorable it is to watch them run to the bathroom, hop up on their step stool and wait for me to put paste on their toothbrushes! I let them brush themselves first and then I do a thorough brushing to make sure the teeth are actually clean. I'm still using the fluoride free training paste, but we are starting to work on the spitting with Maddie. When the teeth are finished both girls get a drink of water from the frog cup which they adore and then it's story time and bed. I think that dental hygiene is really important and if I can keep them excited about brushing their teeth we may have good luck with keeping the cavities at bay. If genetics is a good indicator, I got my first cavity when I was 21, and since then I've only gotten them after pregnancy which is normal when a fetus is stealing all your calcium. Dan has only ever had 2 cavities and that was a long time ago. Here's hoping our kiddos are blessed with good teeth! I think I need to start looking for a pediatric dentist.....Maddie is old enough to start getting check ups and cleanings. I'm sure she will just love that! (sarcasm) But I think the younger she is when we introduce her to a dentist the better it will be in the long run.....I used to FREAK out at the dentist, I would have anxiety leading up to it, I would cry, I would gag when they cleaned my teeth....not a good experience. It would be nice if my kids didn't feel that way!

famous last words

I'm pretty sure that this will be my last "Charlotte says," type of blog, because Charlotte says everything! She talks all the time, about everything and can say pretty much all the words....or at least a very close interpretation with certain words. I can't believe how fast this happened. I still feel like she is my baby, she still looks like my baby, but everyday she is growing up and I can actually see the changes. I feel a little bit sad about her growing up so fast, but it makes her happy to be able to communicate which in turn makes me happy. And besides, she won't be my last baby, so maybe I can keep the next one from growing up at all! (just in case it sounds like I'm going to be having a baby anytime in the near future, let me clear it up for you.....I'm NOT) Below are just a few things that come out of my daughters mouth on a daily basis:

I'm coming
where are you
love you

On top of the huge vocabulary Charlotte is amassing, she is also leaning other things way fast! She can count to three and ten. It goes something like 1-2-3....TEN. (yelled really loud!) She can point out and name most common animals in books and in movies. She can make animal sounds for cat, dog, cow, lion, duck, monkey and chicken. She can match puzzle pieces to the places they go....she can not yet put the pieces in without help though, but I'm sure that will be next. She can say almost all of the letters in the alphabet (not in order) although she did say R S T U the other day. She can get dressed herself if it's something simple like a night gown or a loose fitting shirt. She says thank you almost anytime you hand her something, she also says thank you anytime she hands you something! :) I'll tell her it's time to get her shoes on, she goes and finds them, brings them to me and then sits herself down and waits for me to put them on. Same goes with diaper changes, I tell her it's time and she goes running for the changing table and waits for me. She is such a helper.....I will make juice for both girls and give 2 cups to Charlotte and she will bring Maddie her cup. She can eat completely independently with both a spoon and a fork although sometimes she wants you to load her spoon for her and then she will put it in her mouth. And my 16 month old daughter is growing out of some of her 2T clothes. Oh my. They don't stay babies for long!

County McCounterson