Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The good-bye post.

Snapshots is coming to a close.

We are entering a weird transition phase of life. Things are getting busy with the house showing/selling, moving to Massachusetts, gearing up for another separation while Micah heads to Alabama (just for the summer this time), and the kids, dogs and I most likely roaming homeless across the country for a couple of know, the usual.

I find I no longer have the motivation, energy or inspiration for blogging.

And really, there are so many other ways to post pictures for family and friends. It's my personal opinion that Pinterest and Facebook are sort of making the whole "sharing ideas via blogs" null and void. I don't need to put pictures on here for my own records...I already have them all.

And family and friends can just see them on Facebook.

And any craft, recipe or idea you could ever want is on somebody's pin board somewhere.

So really, blogging is really just a one-sided conversation. There are too many other things that demand my attention (and her name is Skylar).

Thanks for keeping up with us. If at any time I feel overwhelmed with a need to share useless information with the world again, I might revisit blogging.

Until then.......


Monday, March 5, 2012

It's genius I tell you....

If you are the parent of a young child, no doubt you are very familiar with those handy squeezable pouches of baby food. They are ultra-convenient (and overpriced, because let's face it, you pay for the convenience) and I have them stashed in the car, house, purse, diaper bag....even decorating the mantle. {Slight exaggeration}.

But seriously, having a snack on hand at all times is a matter of survival with Finley. If homeboy sees anyone eating anything in a 10 foot radius of him....he screams like a velocer raptor. He doesn't care who you are or what you're eating...he

His screeching renders my brain completely incoherent and it makes the grocery store check-out a painful experience.

True story: A nice lady was admiring his cute chubby cheeks poking out from under his owl hat when Finley spotted the display of candy bars. Nice lady: "Oh my goodness, look at him. He's adora....oh...oh my.....oh my goodness. Wow. He'"

Lesson learned. Throw him a snack ASAP. He's happy. I'm happy. The old ladies can admire him without fear.

Then there's Skylar....she does a lot of eating in her car seat. It's the only time when she is sitting still for more than five minutes. So inevitably, two minutes down the road she realizes her breakfast of dust mites and one bite of cantaloupe wasn't enough.

I used to pass back these pouches to her in the car until Finley came along and she realized they weren't smoothies, they were baby food. Thanks little brother.

Needless to say, the car is riddled with bread crusts, apple cores, and various snack containers causing my poor husband much angst. It's looks like a NYC alley in the back seat. Minus the rats. I think.

So when I saw this genius little idea I got really excited and ordered one for both kids. Refillable squeezie pouches....

You can fill them with your own purees, apple sauce or yogurt. No spills. Convenient. Reusable. What's not to love? I haven't gotten them in the mail yet, but they've gotten rave reviews so I'm sure I will love them. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Too big to hold.

 Every once in awhile Skylar gets a sisterly urge and decides she wants to hold her baby brother.

{The rest of the time she is either screaming "No Finweeeeeeee!" or ignoring him completely.}

The problem is, the three year gap between them isn't reflected in the size department.

He weighs just a few pounds less than her now.

 So being that the Finster is gigantic, he's a little hard to hold on to, even for me........

And he's learned to scream "Nooooo" in the same voice she uses. Awesome.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Happy Monday!

Renovation update.

 Okay, so as is the case with most home improvement projects, we are behind schedule.

Our house should be on the market, like..... NOW.

(Not that I want it to be on the market. Or to sell it. EVER. I love it. I want to die here. Except that I don't want to die in this town.....just in this house. But I'm working through that. I do breathing exercises and chant to myself "It's just a's just a house...I can't take it with me....")

But we have a bathroom that looks like this, which is a slight problem......

The plumbing has been replaced.

The drywall is going up.

There is a floor-ish.

And believe it or not, we actually had a showing on Saturday.

Our house isn't even on the market yet. 

We haven't advertised or contacted a realtor.

But a realtor contacted us. His clients are interested in the white house with the red door on the corner.

Word travels fast in a small town. 

So bathroom or not, we let them in.

We said, "Hello! Do you want to see how well built this house can look right into the walls!"

I have a feeling they were a little scared off.

But it was good practice at least:)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hi bored, nice to meet you.

 Now that it's mid-February, the novelty of the Christmas toys has worn off.

Skylar roams the house looking for things to do and driving me crazy complaining that she's booooored in a whiny voice that is the equivalent of finger nails on the chalkboard.

To which I respond "Hi bored, I'm mommy, nice to meet you!" 

Because those are the kind of dorky lines from our childhood that we feel inclined to pass on to our children.

{I have my Papa Austin to thank for that one. Also works with: hungry, thirsty, and tired}.

So you might remember the old paper mache volcano from your elementary school days?

Same thing. No volcano.

Colored vinegar dropped into baking soda using a medicine dropper. 

Watch it fizz. 

Make fun patterns.

Let the whining cease for 5 1/2 blessed minutes.

Until she remembers she's huuuuungry. 

{At which point I'll make her a snack that she won't eat. Because she isn't really hungry. She's just bored. Again.}

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Catch up.

Things have been busy around here.

The bathroom renovation is at a screeching halt. There is always some kind of hold-up.

Of course it was like opening Pandora's box. We are doing more than we had planned on, but that's how it goes.

We are getting the house ready to put on the market, cleaning every nook and cranny--of which there are many.

Did I mention we are moving to the Boston suburbs?

We are moving for the third time in less than three years.

Lots of reasons to be excited about that, but definitely sooner than I was hoping to leave.

Finley is in some kind of hyper-attachment phase. Anxiety if I leave the room, wanting held constantly, waking up every 90 minutes at night freaking out, crying when he gets dropped off at the nursery.

I even got paged to come get him during MOPS.

Skylar never cared where she was left. She couldn't wait for me to leave.

Finley's first phrase is "No Jack!" If you even ask him about Jack he says "No, No!"

Probably because the whole time he's in his highchair, Jack is trying to scratch at his legs and get crumbs, so he hears "No Jack" a lot.

Learning to defend your food is an important life skill around here.

He's into everything. He emptied a box of ribbons while Skylar and I were crafting, got his legs all tangled up and signed "finished" over and over until I rescued him......

 Meanwhile, Skylar made Valentines. Topless. And then we mailed them out late. {You can expect yours by St. Patrick's Day}.

She spends a large part of her day doing shows. Finley and I are the audience and we are told what to say and when to clap. Ribbon dancing is a big one right now.

We had company last week. One of our favorite old friends, Doug Armstrong, was visiting. We had fun catching up with him. Wish they lived closer!

Finley has stopped fighting the snowsuit. As soon as you put him in it, he goes limp and stops moving. {Similar to Sabot in the hot dog costume}. And he's such a guy, when you unzip that snowsuit it smells like a locker room in there. I don't know how a baby can be so sweaty and stinky.

We had Finley dedicated at church last Sunday. He and his daddy ended up wearing matching outfits, which seems to happen a lot {and not on purpose}.

The Lion King pose {this is a requirement for all Rue baby dedications}.....

 My dad came up for the dedication and spent the weekend with us. He came bearing goodies--a Rockland Bakery smorgasbord for the adults and lots of Valentine treats for Skylar.

This is the look of steely determination, usually when something fun has been spotted like a forbidden snack or the dog's water dish.

Last Friday we had a movie night with Skylar. She got to stay up really late and eat popcorn and ice cream and watch Tangled. She was so engrossed that her ice cream just melted in her lap and she didn't even touch her popcorn.
And now she pretends to be Rapunzel. Here she is watching her daily show with her Rapunzel hair on.......

Never a dull moment around here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sunshine and tea parties.

The winter in Northern New York is characterized by endless cloudy days and boatloads of snow. We haven't had much snow this year, but sunshine is rare.

So when we get a sunny day it is reason to celebrate!

Skylar picked out her outfit and set the table all by herself.

Then she had a tea party with one of her little friends who was visiting.

Little girls are so fun:)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Please don't feed the baby.

I told Skylar she could give treats to the dogs today.

I was in the middle of something and wasn't paying close enough attention.

Apparently she threw one to her brother too.

I found him just as excited as the dogs, with Grade F meat by-products dripping down his face.

He loved it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent.

Making my own laundry detergent would never have occurred to me. I'm pretty loyal to Tide. But I was given a jar to try {along with a very convincing list of reasons to use it} so I decided to keep an open mind and give it a shot.

We've probably done a dozen or so loads with it, and I'm pretty happy with the results. The laundry is definitely softer, and the stain fighting is good. In fact, Skylar accidentally squirted green food coloring on a shirt last week and I didn't even bother to treat it or wash it right away because I figured it was a goner. I was shocked to see that it all came out.

The only negative is the absence of that clean, perfume-y smell I'm used to from the Tide. The Fels Naptha has a distinct smell, it's not bad, just different.

The recipe:

1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda
1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap (grated up)

Mix ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use 1.5 Tablespoons per load of laundry.

Some reasons to give it a try:

-Safe for regular and HE washers.
-Great for babies (no dye, perfumes, etc) so no need to buy the special baby detergent.
-Earth friendly, no giant plastic bottles.
-Since you use such a small amount of detergent per load, it lasts forever.
-Budget friendly. Laundry for a whole year for only $20? That's what I spend on detergent every month.
-If you don't like the smell, I'm told you can substitute a different bar of soap for the Fels Naptha, but I haven't researched this.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Have you tried this stuff yet? It's so good. You need to pick some up. Only open the bag if there are other people around to share it with. Don't attempt to eat it alone. Just don't.

There are a couple of deals at Target right now worth checking out.
Apparently I've passed my love of Target on to Skylar. Today we were going to go to an open gym time at the Y where the kids have free reign of all the gym equipment. She usually loves it. But today she said she wanted to do something different....something more fun. "Let's go to Target instead mom!"

Well okay, we can do that. (whew! At least she didn't ask me to ride on a dolphin again.)

So since I'm on my second week of couponing, I was happy to discover Target's website has coupons for all kinds of things I already buy there {like my beloved Tazo chai concentrate}.

Two deals worth passing on to you {in case you care}.....

Twenty-four packs of play-doh are currently on sale for 12.99. There's a coupon on the website for $5 off, making them $8 (almost half off regular price). That's a lot of play-doh for eight dollars. So if you have a play-doh lover in your life go here and print one off.

It's fun to make it at home, but seriously....don't you remember how cool it was to open a brand new can of play-doh and dig into it? {The only thing cooler was a brand new giant pack of crayons....all those colors in little me chills just thinking about it....}

And if you are a Method soap snob like I am, there's a coupon for that as well, bringing the price for this bonus pack down to $4.99, or $1.25 a bottle {instead of $2.99}.

So that is my dorky coupon update for the week. Now go eat some chex mix.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My husband thinks I've flipped my lid.

Our bathroom is the fun part begins.

I've had a hard time finding a bathroom vanity that is well-made, affordable, and small enough to fit in the space while still providing storage.

Before this whole project started I mentioned to Micah that we could make our own vanity out of a dresser. He said "Um, I don't think so." He tends to not see my vision at first.

So I started searching online and in local stores and everything looked cheaply made and/or was ridiculously expensive. I mean seriously, the drawers were already broken on the displays. Then I came across this beauty online.

I showed it to Micah and Jon {the guy helping us with the bathroom}. Micah thought I was joking. Jon wisely said nothing. They both hated it. Seriously, what's to hate? It's glorious!

So logically I took a facebook poll {isn't that how all minor life decisions are made?} to see if my friends thought future home buyers would be deterred by my choice of vanity.

Of course everyone agreed with me because 1. they are my friends for a reason and 2. the people that hate it will never actually tell me and 3. no males responded.

So really, the facebook poll accomplished nothing except to boost my confidence.

Since the the one I loved was the style of a converted dresser, I went back to my original idea of converting a dresser.

I went to my favorite antique store that very day and found not one, but two dressers. I negotiated them both for a great price. Jackpot.

Then I came home and googled the "how to" and found great examples that got me really excited:

upstairs bath traditional bathroom

So today after church I dragged the whole family into the antique store to show Micah what he would be coming back to pick up {the place is an endless maze, you could seriously get lost and not be found for a month in there}.

I was so excited to show them my perfect vanity dresser. After weaving our way to the back of the store I said "HERE IT IS. ISN'T IT AMAZING?"

Micah was grimacing. Skylar frowned and said "Really??"

And that was it, that was the only reaction I got from them.

Micah continued to grimace for a couple more hours.

But the dimensions are perfect. I love the way it looks.

But alas, this story is not over. {And at this point you are probably wishing I would just end it already.}

I knew my ever-supportive friend Lindsay would be excited and understand my idea. So I was telling her on the phone that I had rushed straight to the jailhouse yesterday and found two dressers. She of course got all excited with me and then told me about one she had completely fallen in love with last fall but had decided not to buy because she didn't technically need it. She described it perfectly. The very same dresser.

And as for the second dresser I bought, it was a little too big for the bathroom. So that one is going to be in Finley's room.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I won't miss you at all.

Bye-bye grimy shower door and bulky cupboards that take up way too much space in our tiny bathroom.....

Bye-bye hideous tile that never looks clean.....

Bye-bye hidden shelf with a sliding mirror door that is always splattered with toothpaste...I never have to clean you again.....

Bye-bye insufficient light source......

Bye-bye stinky little pug in the pink polo....just I'm getting a little carried away......

This weekend is the start of our bathroom renovation! Demolition starts tonight. Woo-hoo! {Here's praying there are no scary secrets hidden behind these 100 year old walls....}

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ways we entertain ourselves.....

Moustaches came in the mail! SWEET! (Thanks Kristy!)

 And when we offered to put one on Skylar? Total meltdown.

Apparently the thought of having facial hair terrifies her. {Just wait until she meets her first bearded cafeteria lady! Every college seems to have one.}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A new hobby.

I have quite a few friends who are avid couponers and consistently score amazing deals.

I love a good bargain but coupons have never worked for me.

It requires a certain level of organization that I just don't have.

If I come across a coupon for something I would normally buy then I'll clip it.....but then I usually forget it at home or lose it in the black hole that is my purse.

So generally I just grab what I need and throw it in the cart without much thought.

I always compare brands in the store, and if there happens to be a coupon hanging there then I'll grab it, but half the time I've lost the coupon by the time I get to the register.

Once I joined the Grocery Game website, but in the end I never used it.

I've checked out some of the many couponing websites that do all the work for you, but I didn't even know how to read all the abbreviations or where to find the coupons they were talking about. It's like a secret language.

I've even bought the Sunday paper for the coupons and there wasn't a blessed coupon to be found in it.

So this past fall when our local MOPS group asked for suggestions I said "Couponing!" mostly because I wanted someone to explain it all to me. It kind of annoys me that I haven't figured it out.

So they brought in a local expert--a sweet christian lady named Erin who was on the Extreme Couponing show using our local Price Chopper. {Some of her information is region specific, but she has a video series on her website}.

She started talking and it was like drinking water from a fire house. The amount of information was completely overwhelming. The hour she spent talking was just the tip of the iceberg.

So I signed up for her class.

That's right, I spent last Saturday at a couponing seminar.

I've always been a little afraid of those binder-wielding, shelf-clearing, register holder-upers.....and now here I was spending a Saturday morning surrounded by them.
But thankfully, that's not what this class was about. No binder lugging required and she teaches good coupon etiquette.

I learned all kinds of things I didn't our local Price Chopper doubles all coupons under a dollar, and if you see a special that requires you to buy $25 worth of merchandise to get $5 back it's actually referring to the regular shelf price not the sale it may actually only be $15 worth of merchandise. Add your coupons, get your $5 store credit...and you've got a bargain.

So armed with my new knowledge I bought the Sunday paper {apparently they keep the coupon inserts behind the counter because people steal them}, made my list, gathered my coupons and headed into Price Chopper with great trepidation.

While fumbling through the aisles in a store where I never shop, I ran into a fellow couponing classmate who gave me a tip-off about a half price nut sale in aisle 9. And she had a coupon. There was a wild look in her eyes. She scared me a little. I decided it would throw off my game to pursue the nut deal, and stuck with my original plan.

My #1 goal was to only buy things we can actually use. Unless of course it ends up being free, then I'll get it anyway because someone will use it.

I have to say it was kind of fun. I felt victorious because I finally know how to do it!

My first attempt:

All of this loot was about the same price as one box of Thermacare, just over $10.

{I wouldn't normally buy this random assortment of stuff, but it's all things we will eventually use}.

So this will be my new hobby in 2012....dabbling in the art of couponing and potentially saving lots of money in the grocery department. {Or just ending up with a stash of medical supplies big enough to save a third world country}.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...