a lesson

This is why you don't let your husband take the kids to a carnival unsupervised. 

This was taken at 11pm last night when Jay arrived home with Ava, Emerson, a fish and a hermit crab.  Just like this.  No permanent habitats.  Just a bag and a plastic take-out container.  Did I mention it was 11 pm?

So, I dug through the china cabinet and found two bowls.  Once used for centerpieces for a bridal shower, they are now the temporary homes to Stripes and Goldie.  I didn't want to put the hermit crab in the bowl all by itself, so I grabbed some stones from the coffee table centerpiece and an unused sponge from my paint supplies.

So, needless to say I will be dragging all the kids to the Pet Smart as soon as it opens.  Awesome!


an early fall find!

My favorite time of year is almost here. FALL!!!!! Ok, I realize it's only the 12th of July, but back-to-school stuff is in the stores. So, to me that means it's almost fall. However this fall, I'm still going to be pregnant. So, some of my favorite things about fall: the clothes, the pumpkin spice lattes, the big glasses of red wine are going to be a bit of a challenge. First, the wine's out! Second, the lattes have to be decaf! Third, shopping for pants with stretchy waistbands and giant tent-like tops isn't really what I had in mind!

But last week, as I was watching The Bachelorette, I spotted this amazing cardigan that would be perfect for fall with or without the giant belly.

Here it is on Emily:

I did a little online investigation and found that it's tongal cardigan from Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent.

I ended up finding it on Cynthia Vincent's website (on sale!) and ordered one for myself! It has since sold out! I guess I'm not the only crazy person stalking Emily Maynard's wardrobe!

Also, when I was trying to find a picture of it to post, I stumbled upon pictures of Jessica Alba and Zoe Saldana wearing it!

It arrived today and it might be the most comfortable thing ever! Once it stops being 115 degrees here, I'm never taking it off!

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Fifi's big fall

How did the Sprinkels spend the hottest day of the year? Not at the pool or on a boat.  Not even hunkered down in the cool basement watching movies or playing board games.  Nope, Jay and I spent a good two and a half hours in the emergency room with Fifi who took a little tumble and banged her head on the staircase.  Luckily, my mom and little sister were in town so they stayed behind with the rest of the kids.  I can't even imagine what fun that taking all the Sprinkel babies to the emergency room would have been, had this happened during the week when I'm by myself.  At least Jay and I were both able to be there with her.  Fifi ended up needing four stitches.  It's up there in my worst experiences ever.  After her stitches were in, I asked her if I could take a picture.  She replied with a big grin and a "cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese!" and I got this picture:


a mini-makeover for the office

Yesterday, I spent part of the day decluttering my office and rearranging it a bit.  It used to look like this:

Actually, yesterday when I started it looked nothing like this.  This picture was taken right after I moved things around last time.  Yesterday, it was a giant cluttered mess. 

This little corner of the room I had set up as a homework station.  Ava always did her homework at the kitchen table and it was usually loud and crazy with me getting dinner ready and the rest of the kids running around her.  I thought she could use a quiet place of her own.  However, it never looked like this again.  It was strewn with broken crayons and pieces of scrap paper.

Also, I had this "gallery" wall, I made in less than 5 minutes one day. 

It looked cute for a little while, but it didn't hold enough artwork and it started to look really sloppy (like I had put it up in less than 5 minutes!).

So Jay helped me make a giant bulletin board a couple months ago.  I bought 4 sheets of that white foam board they sell in the poster board aisle, some cork tiles, and some fabric.  I glued the cork squares to the foam board, covered with fabric and then nailed it to the wall.  Jay bought some trim and put around it, so it ended up looking like this:

Then, since the wall where the "gallery" had been was naked, I decided I was going to actually hang up all the school portraits, class photos, team sports pictures, etc. that I had purchased throughout the year.  I figure that I'll leave the frames up and then next year as I get new ones, I'll just switch them out.  

So, this brings me to yesterday.  I decided to move the desk back against the wall.  I also decluttered the shelves a bit and broke out the label-maker.  Here's what I ended up with:

I also moved the homework desk underneath the cork board.

With school starting next month, I wanted to get this area of the house in order.  It makes me feel so much more organized if I have one central place with all the kids' school info.  I keep my Erin Condren planner on the desk with everyone's activities, doctors' appointments, birthdays, etc.  Then I carry a pocket size planner and my iPhone with all the same info.  Then I have the giant wall calendar that I just bought from Paper Source.  This way, the kids can walk in and see what's going on for the month.  I have the giant chalkboard calendar in the kitchen that I use for activities, appointments, birthdays, holidays, etc..  But I thought this calendar in the office, could also be used for when Ava's book report is due or when Emerson has to bring in her favorite book to school.

Anyway, hope this all helps me in my mission to stay organized once another little Sprinkel baby gets thrown into the mix!


happy 4th everyone!

 Hope everyone is having a wonderful fourth of july!  We've had a pretty low-key day.  Jay worked on the yard.  I organized/rearranged the office (nesting doesn't stop for holidays!).  We're having a yummy dinner of chicken on the grill and a summer veggie casserole I found on Pinterest. Since the kids looked cute in their red, white, and blue garb, I took a bunch of pictures.  I even hopped waddled into the last one. 


channeling my nesting

I sat down the other day and starting making a list of all the things I'd like to get done before the baby comes.  It might be the most massive, overwhelming list that ever was.  It includes everything from cleaning out the garage and attic to painting the foyer to organizing closets to moving Declan & Fifi into the same room.  But I've said it before, there's really nothing like a little nesting to get things going.  Yesterday we all spent some quality family time in the garage and got it all cleaned out.  Even though my giant bus Suburban won't fit anyway, it's nice to walk through without tripping over anything.  Here it is:

  Now we just have to keep it like that!  Today while Jay was at work, I tackled the pantry.  I even broke out the label maker and put some plastic bins on the top shelf and labeled their contents. 

I also designated one cork tile (on the inside of the pantry door) to holding coupons and the other to recipes I use all the time.  See?


Declan is three and a half, he'll be four in January.  And until last week has had absolutely no interest in being potty trained.  I didn't push him, I figured he'd eventually get it.  Although, the last few months I've started to wonder if he ever would.  People always said, "don't worry, it's not like he's going to go to college in a diaper".  So that's what I kept telling myself.  But as he would sit on the little plastic potty for what seemed like hours and not go, only to pee on my carpet within minutes of getting up, I thought that he might be the one.  The kid that really did have to wear a diaper to college.  The kid they did the 60 minutes special on. 
So, Jay and I decided one afternoon last week, that that was it.  He wasn't wearing diapers anymore.  We put him in underwear and that night he went twice on the potty.  Every time he went, we went crazy.  Hugging  him and jumping up and down like lunatics.  We kept telling him how proud we were and he started to become really proud too.  He's only had a couple accidents since last week.  I don't think I have been this excited about anything, ever.  It really might be my greatest accomplishment to date.
So, it looks like Declan will be able to go to preschool in the fall and I will not have 3 kids in diapers come November. 


long time, no see...

I knew it had been a long time since I wrote a blog post, but when I clicked on my blog today and saw my last post was on Valentine's Day, well that's just embarrassing.  Good news, I have a giant excuse!  Well, more like a teeny tiny excuse! 

That's right, we're having another little Sprinkel baby!  We're all super excited!  I am 16 weeks (as of yesterday) and am starting to feel like myself again.  Not sick anymore and not so tired, so I'm enjoying this stretch of pregnancy before it gets really hot here and I get really huge.  I feel like I'm already nesting.  I've started all these projects around the house that I've been putting off for years.  My plan is to get a good chunk of my to-do list checked off before the little Turkey gets here (yep, I'm due ON Thanksgiving!). 

I also want to start blogging again so I can document this pregnancy.  I'll try to post as much as possible.  Ava had her last day of 2nd grade today, so that's kind of a big deal.  Now that the kids are all out of school, I won't be running all around as much, so I should have some time to tackle all these projects. 

First, up I decided last night around 6pm, that I wanted to paint our upstairs hallway.  The hallway and the foyer are the only spaces in the entire house that we've never painted.  They still have the builders' grade dinghy off-white paint that was there the day we moved in.  Only now, there are also little fingerprints and crayon scribbles on top.  It's my biggest pet peeve in this house, but it's not really an area I can do myself because of the 2-story foyer.  Me (pregnant) + giant ladder + paint + toddlers= no bueno!  So I decided I'm going to start by picking paint colors and work on finding someone to help me get it done.  I picked Ashley Gray for the upstairs hallway and Revere Pewter for the foyer (both Benjamin Moore).  So last night, Jay helped me do the hallway.  It makes the biggest difference.  I can't wait to get the foyer done too!  We also have this little nook/niche thingie upstairs that I've never exactly been sure what to do with.  I thing in the model home, it had an urn full of silk flowers or maybe a bust of David.  Well, today I decided to paint the inside of it Ocean Slumber (by Valspar).  Also, I found this picture in a CB2 catalog and I really like the tall vase with the river rocks and the grasses. 

The niche/nook needs something really tall or it just looks silly.  So I'm thinking of recreating this maybe next to a stack of fun coffee table books and maybe a picture frame.  I'll post a picture when I get it all together.  

And I promise the next time you hear from me, I won't have already had the baby!  ;)


Love, Sprinkel style

Love is trading in your cute little sports car so your wife can get a Suburban. Love is taking care of the kids for three days by yourself so your wife can go help her mom while she has gallbladder surgery. Love is a simple card on the counter, which could never come close to expressing how she really feels about him. Love is packing the kids a lunch with heart shaped sandwiches, strawberry milk, red velvet cupcakes, and chocolate covered strawberries. At least, that's what love looks like today at the Sprinkel house.

When you've been married for eight years and have four kids, Valentine's Day isn't all roses and candlelight. How we would have celebrated this day eight years ago, is almost comical now.

Our Valentine's Day now is less about big cheesy gestures and more about showing my love and appreciation for this big, awesome family of mine!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! xoxo

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(almost) valentine's day

The girls worked on their valentine cards for their classmates last night. We went to Michael's last night and picked up little pink and red paper bags, little heart clothespin clips, and about $50 worth of stickers (I wish I was joking!). Inside each bag, they put a ring pop, a conversation heart eraser, and a little handwritten note. For Emerson's class, the teacher provided us with a picture of each child to make it easier for them to hand them out (since most of them can't read yet!). Here's how they turned out:

They were pretty cute. We don't usually go all out around here for Valentine's Day. I usually just get the kids a little something and Jay and I try to go out to dinner at some point. I do enjoy going to the store the day after Valentine's Day and buying one of those big obnoxious heart-shaped boxes of chocolates for half price and eating the entire thing looking for the ones filled with coconut.

I'm usually more of a birthdays and Christmas kind of girl, but I'm going to try to do a little bit more for the other holidays too. I was looking on Pinterest for ideas to make them a special Valentine's dessert or something and came across all these cute ideas that other people (moms) have been up to!

Seriously, how cute are those?! They were just printed on matte photo paper at the Costco and then she added the lollipops! Totally want to do this for the girls next year!

And how cute would these be for Declan's class next year?

Here's a couple other cute (all food related) Valentine's Day ideas:

Now, I'm really hungry and want to go make cupcakes.


father/daughter dance

Tonight Jay is out with the girls on a date. It's the Father/Daughter Dance at their school. They looked so cute in their fancy dresses with their hair curled. Ava insisted they wear lip gloss. Jay even got them little corsages. They went out to dinner and are now spending the evening in the school gymnasium dancing with their friends and I'm sure demolishing their fancy dresses. Here are a few pictures I snapped before they left:


Declan's birthday week

We had an awesome week celebrating Declan's third birthday. The girls had off school that day, so we headed up to the aquarium. We saw the dolphin show and the new jellyfish exhibit. Here's a look:

The kids had a blast. Declan's favorite was the sharks (of course!) and Jay and I are now obsessed with jellyfish and want to have them in our house!

Then Friday, I brought in cookie monster cupcakes for Declan's class. They were actually pretty easy to make! Here they are:

Then, we had some family over on Sunday for a little party. I attempted to make the monster cake and I will say that it was much harder than I thought. I think I got a little too confident after the cupcakes turned out so well. I had a really hard time getting the buttercream icing I made, to stick to the cake, so I ended up switching to store- bought halfway through(hence the color change around the middle). I also simplified the cake pops, by just making them orange and using candy eyeballs. And, I used chocolate chips to make a smile, because I wasn't sure how she made the smile on hers. It turned out pretty cute, no where near the amazing-ness of the original. See for yourself!

But Declan loved it! And that's all that really matters.

Other highlights from the week included:

Emerson dressed as a spy for career day:

The kids going out to play in the 1/4" of snow we got:

Finlay accessorizing:

Ava's clay iguanodon for school:

And a little clay message for me:

Tomorrow is February! Rabbit Rabbit!

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