Family Picture

Family Picture

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The One With the J-Baum Bomb

We have always called up my brothers to come out and babysit out kids when Eric and I go out on a date. My brothers are good to do it, and the kids get along with them fairly well, but let's be real here - they are late teens-early twenty teenage boys who love video games. They play video games, they mess up the house, they mess up the kids, they put kids down in dirty diapers, and typically it is all sorts of chaos when we get home. Like I said, I love my brothers, but they are boys, and boys just aren't as well trained for these kinds of things as girls are.

You would think in a church as big as ours we would have a plethora of options for babysitters. I think we probably have more options than I realize, but somehow leaving our three kids at home alone with a 12 year-old girl seemed crazy . . . . even though I vividly remember babysitting at that age. But we ventured out into the ward and found a girl that used to be in my Activity Days group and asked her to babysit.

When we pulled into the driveway that first night that she babysat the house was dark, Eric and I started trying to figure out how much you pay a babysitter. With my brothers we just pull a number out of thin air and then tack on some more for gas since they drive so far to get out here. We decided that we would give her $25 (for about 3 1/2 hours of babysitting) if the kids were awake and I said I would raise it to $30 if everyone was asleep and the house was clean. This may seem like a lot to pay a babysitter, but if I find a good one, I wan to KEEP HER!!! And lo and behold, we walked in, the house was clean, the toys were put away, the kids were all sleeping (with clean bums), the dishes were done, and our cute babysitter was sitting on the couch watching Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.


We snagged her pretty much every weekend for the next month. It was awesome. And too good to be true, of course we would have a hiccup.

About two weekends ago we went out to dinner with my aunt, my cousin, and their partners. This time when our beloved babysitter came she didn't bring her cell phone, so we needed to leave one with her. We would typically leave my phone since Eric has so many more people who text him, but since we were going out with  my family we thought we had better take my phone and leave Erics.

Now Eric has this one inappopriate friend. The kids call him J-Baum, and that name should clue any Phoenixers who read this blog as to who it is and make this post about a million times more funny. This kid is hilarious!!!! And the whole family loves him, don't think we don't. In fact, I have been told that Eric has it already worked out that if he dies first, J-Baum will be the new man in our lifes. But J-Baum is that one friend that you can always count on to send you messages that say things like "I am never drinking again!!!!" or "I wrote in lipstick on this girls mirror 'You are out of toilet paper'" and those kinds of messages. So it was with great hesitation that Eric left his phone with our babysitter. Add to the stress that J-Baum hadn't texted all day, which means it was a ticking time bomb for when he would next send a text message. We even left saying "Just ignore any inappropriate texts you may get, ha ha ha ha" only we weren't joking.

Honestly I hoped that she wouldn't ever have a reason to read the text messages. But about an hour into dinner I got a text message from Eric's phone from our babysitter just talking about how the night was going. And there went my hopes that she would never read any text messages.

When we finally got home that night, I gave her the money, and asked if she could watch our kiddos again the following weekend for a Christmas party my cousin was having. She was kind of "Oh ya, I'll have to ask" which she has never said before, she just says yes or no. I was thinking that maybe the kids had just been bad or something and she needed a little space.

Boy was I wrong.

When I walk back into the house from taking her home, Eric is laughing at the kitchen counter, phone in hand. I asked him what he was laughing about, and he shows me the only other text that came in that night other than the ones I sent. It was from J-Baum. Now, I can think of about every single text message that this fellow has sent, both to me and Eric, and I can honestly say that pretty much all of them could have been sent to our 12 year-old babysitter without a problem. She would have just looked at them, been liek weird and moved on. But the one that was sent was probably the best example of a text a 12 year-old babysitter should never get.

"Hey, what are you wearing? Just kidding, what are you NOT wearing???"


Well not really. It's actually surprisingly, ecstatically, masterpiece-style funny. But at the same time mortifying. Because there are only two options:
1: We get arrested for soliciting a minor.
2: She thinks we have some freaky relationship that involves my husband getting dirty text messages from other guys.
Neither option seems to fun for us.

What would you do is what I ask my friends?

I ended up calling her, and apologizing profusely! But there is this part of me that wonders if I should have just let it go, if I shoudl have explained to her parents, or how I should have handled it.

Like I said, one of the funniest things that could pretty much ever happen when you think about it. But it's that funny thing that is funny when it happens to someone else, not so funny when it happens to you. Gotta love that J-Baum.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The One with Tai Pan Adventures

Everyone constantly tells me about how much they love Tai Pan.
And by everyone I mean my sister.
And by constantly I mean that every time I point to something in her house and say "I like that" she says "Thanks, I got it at Tai Pan."
So Eric and I had to take a little adventure there a few weeks back.
On the one hand I wasn't as impressed as I thought I was going to be.
I guess maybe I was expecting an Ikea, and it wasn't.
Maybe I was expecting SUPER low cost prices . . . and the pricing was okay.
But mostly I was expecting more options.
Now to be completely honest, the lack of every day decor options may have soemthing to do with the fact that 7/8ths of the store was filled with Christmas decor. I don't know if that is how it always is . . . . minus the Christmas decor and add whatever holiday is coming up decor . . . or if typically it is filled to the brim with every day decorating and we just happened to go at a terrible time.
Although we still happened to walk out of the store spending over $100, so I guess the trip wasn't a complete disappointment, and obviously we found some good stuff . . .  it just took a little more digging than I had anticipated.
Usually I go to the store thinking in my head of a specific spot in my house that I need some decor item and then I look for something that will fit the space and buy it. This time there was no such pre-planning, and maybe that's why it ended up working out so well. I just walked through the store, picking up what I liked, and as long as it was a decent price I bought it and brought it home.

There was some time at home deciding where to put things, but I ended up finding out that I could use most of it ANYWHERE! And I loved that most of it ended up on top of our kitchen cupboards which I have been trying for YEARS (no kidding) to find the perfect decorating pieces for.
Everything in this picure except for the "M" and the white bowl came from Tai Pan. It's funny cause as I was grabbing things in that store I wasn't thinking "these things would all look good together". And maybe they don't, and maybe it's the fact that they don't actually "go" together, but somehow they "go" together. I feel like Danny Zuko in Grease telling Sandy "We didn't go together, we just went together!" But hopefully you understand what I am getting at. If not the Grease reference should have given you some comic relief.

Then this picture  . . . . well actually nothing in this picture came from Tai Pan. But I was more looking to show what the top of both sets of cabinets look like. That Morroccan pattern on that wood piece back there, yes I am currently obsessed with that stencil. You may have noticed it is on to pof the entry table I built as well. LOVE IT. The black vases came from Costco about four years ago and I am debating whether or not I should paint them white. And the mossy thing my mother in law bought and put together for me. She is one of those classy decorators who can somehow find good things to put in everyone's houses.
And well that Cinderalla doll there is actually Preslie's bribe for potty training.
It's still in the box, so obviously we are still working on it.
But we will get there eventually.

The One With the Ear Infection

This little man is sick.
Why, you may ask?
Because he is almost a year old and that is when EVERY one of our kids start to break down.
He was up all night on Wednesday, then again on Thursday.
Long and terrible nights.
It is so tough to see this little boy who is usually so happy and content be so upset. And I feel like a terrible mom when no matter what I do it doesn't change anything.
Friday we called the pediatrician and took him in.
Like bad!
I was like, "WHAT?!?!?!?"
The kid hasn't tugged at his ears once.
And we are pros at the Marshall house with ear infections. Parker had 10 seperate ear inefections before he was a year old. So many that they put tubes in his ears at 14 months old. So I would have thought surely we could have found out what was wrong with him.
The doc also said they are seeing massive amounts of influenza rolling through their office. She said she thought it was possible that is what caused it all . .. . only Pax hasn't thrown up, which I am grateful for.
In any case, he finally slept an okay night Saturday to Sunday. Today he stayed home from church with Daddy while I went and did my librarial (?) librarian (?) duties.
But when he gets really upset and grumpy I find that it helps to calm my 7 hours of sleep in the last four days brain to look at pictures like this one where he is happy.
About a week ago Pax had is first Lofthouse Sugar Cookie.
This kid doesn't eat, pretty much ever, hence the oral therapist, but look at that he slicked up that cookie real quick.
I understand, Pax, those cookies are my kryptonite too.

The One with the Lamp Update

With the new arranging of our family room, and my sudden urgent need to have our house actually look like someone lives in it (rather than just being staged) I have decided to add some decor to the rooms. I love lamps! They are so awesome, there are so many options, you can change them up so many ways. They add light. They take up space. Somehow they even make your room look complete. Seriously. Think about it. Can you imagine a nighstand without a lamp on it? I think not.

But I HATE how expensive lights can be. Especilaly since I have this ever evolving style. And too often I buy a lamp (or really any decor) that is crazy specific to a certain decor style. I'm learning that I need to go a little more neutral with stuff. We started decorating our house when we first bought it SUPER MODERN. Straight lines, lots of stainless steel, sparsely deocated, the works. There is something I love about those clean lines and lack of clutter. But let's be real here, we have three kids, there is no way NOT to have clutter. And our house wasn't built to be a modern house, so our decor probably kind of clashed with the actual architecture of our house. Time to change that up.

Back to the lamps. I have recently become very obsessed with decorating in white. Or off-white. Or very light shades of gray or yellow or blue that are so light they are basically white. I guess I have come to realize that it makes the space seem light and airy. In looking for lamps for our newly arranged living room though, I wasn't having much luck. Not that I didn't find anything, I totally did. But even Target was trying to sell their awesome more substantial lamps for $50+ and then I needed to swap out the shade anyways. Sad day. I'm not wanting to pay that much to redo the rooms in our house. If I am smart about this, I can redo every room for the price I could redo ONE for.

Enter Deseret Industries. The one by our house we send stuff to ALL the time, but we only have been in it once to see what the prices of their new mattresses were. And I was scared to go in there. It's in downtown Nampa. 'Nuff said, right? Not to mention I feel awkward in most of those places anyways. People look at us funny. It's like they don't think it's fair for us to be in there to save money instead of shopping in there because we have to. But this time we sucked it up and ran in and ran back out REAL fast. And we found this beauty.

Actually I found a lamp that was probably three feet tall (but was a table lamp) that I tried to convince Eric to let me buy, and when he said no I had to improvise. . . . I dug a little deeper and then I found this beauty. It didn't come with a lampshade, and I would never in a million years put that color of bronze in any room in my house. But the overall shape and design of it I knew woudl be great after it was painted.

Lamp:    $9
Paint:     $3
Shade: $14

TOTAL: $26

I'm in love with it. At least right now I am. In another couple of months when my style changes again I may want to change it. But here's the good part. I feel a lot less guilty changing out this $26 lamp than I would changing out some holy dang expensive one I bought at Target.

The One With the Power Tools

Eric and I have this love-hate relationship with our house right now. I absolutely love our house. I love the set-up, I love the upgrades the builder did, I love the upgrades we did . . . . but man I HATE that it is starting to seem too small (the downside of buying a house when you only have one kid and then bringing home two more) and I HATE how far away we are from everything we do.

Being far away doesn't even really make sense, we actually have a GREAT location. Close to the freeway, close to a new shopping center, close to a church, right next to a school, yada yada yade. But we are about 20 minutes (on a good day) from Meridian where both of us work. And although 20 minutes doesn't seem like much when compared to my father-in-laws 75 minute one-way trip to work every day, it seems like a lot any time we want to see family, get to work quickly, go to other stores that aren't right by us. . . . you know, all of that stuff. Really we just need to venture out and explore Nampa, I am sure there is all sorts of awesomeness here just waiting to be discovered.

I don't know if it's because we are approaching five years in this house (which is about three years longer than we had planned on) or if it's because we are just becoming more daring (tht must be it), but Eric and I are finally starting to REALLY decorate this house. Do things we want to it. Invest a little bit in furniture and builder details so that we like them for longer - and they last longer, and then we don't have to do it again. It's probably my recent involvement in pinterest. . . . . but MAN we are getting on top of adding things to this lovely house and decorating it up the way WE want. Not the way that works with some randome piece of furniture or art work someone gave to us, but the way WE want it. You  may not guess this if you walked through some of the rooms upstairs just now given that Parker and Pax's room has nothing but bookshelfs hung on the wall, and Preslie's room is looking a little scarce as well . . . but that's just because we have finally purged ourselves from all the stuff we have inherited over the years that just becomes that "I guess we will put this here for now" stuff and consistenly gets moved around the house.

Eric and I are also probably slightly weird when it comes to presents. For example . . . . this year for Christmas I asked for and got (early) a miter saw, a table saw, a nail gun, and a sander. Kind of crazy, yes?!?!? Maybe I'm nuts for thinking it is crazy, but I was ecstatic to get them all. And really, I have put them to some pretty good use already.

Our front entry way is huge! Seriously, it was one of the first things I noticed when we walked into tour the house. It is also the priority entrance to our house since both the front door AND the garage door empty into this space. It's been mostly blank, there was this little mirror/key hanger thing that was up on the wall for pretty much the entire time we've lived here so far . . . . remember that story I said about using things we were given just because? that mirror/key hanger falls into that category. I've always wanted an awesome entryway table, one that I could decorate with the seasons and put right behind the door. But the space is awkward, it really isn't big enough for a BIG table, and it seems like most of the tables we found were either TOO narrow or TOO deep, and I don't know that we found a single table that was wide enough without being too wide for the space.

So I found a tutorial for how to make an entryway table on one of my favorite DIY blogger websites. Seriously guys, I RELIGIOUSLY follow two diy blogs: and Love them, love their style, love their tutorials, love everything about it.

But at Thrifty and Chic she gives this great tutorial on how to make an entryway table. Mine ended up a little bit different, my legs are wider set than hers, but I thought it fit our space better. And not to be completely copy-cat-ish of her, but I loved the stenciling she did on top of her table, so I had to do it to. I guess I am a copy-cat then. So be it.

For Christmas we as a family got a new 60" TV. We like it. We have been having at least one movie night every week with the kids. It's nice to sit down and spend actual family time together for a bit. Sometimes we have a picnic, sometimes we don't, but regardless we always have a good time. Right after we bought the TV we also cleaned our carpets (did you know you can rent an industrial one at Tates Rents for $40???) which required us to move everything out of our family room, and in the process we decided we liked our front room set up completely different than it currently was. Switching our couches around meant we had to move our TV as well. And since we moved our TV, and the set up of all the furniture, we ended up needing to build a cabinet to house all of our electronics, AND a cover for the subwoofer. The sub is too small to be a side table in and of itself, but it's too ugly to not be covered somehow. I wish I could take credit for these, but I can't. . . . Eric did these ones. They have worked perfect in the space, and I just love them.

Don't you love how our office got turned into the project room? It's nice since it is curently SO COLD in our garage, but my office is now pretty much always trashed with some project we have going on.
I can't get these two pictures to pull apart. BUT The top one is the table built to house the sub, and the bottom one is for the electronic rack. Don't mind the cords you see, we are working on getting those all hidden . . . . which is another long process.

The MOST recent project (as in we finished it last night) was this little mirror hanging wall art piece. The idea once again game from Thrifty and Chic, except hers is dark brown, and ours for obvious reasons needed to be white - there is too much dark in our room alreday with the wood planking wall treatment we did before. This has a two fold purpose. First it puts some art on teh massive wall that I haven't decorated yet. BUT it also covers up the previous holes for where our TV was hung before. I'm not lazy guys, I swear, I just know myself well enough to know that in another six months, I may decide I want to put the TV back on that wall, and I didn't want us to have to cut out new holes, so this gives us the ability ti EASILY change things up again without having to do anything too crazy.

Yes. . . . I love me my new power tools!