Monday, November 24, 2008

Just a "Fort" kind of Day!

I wasn't feeling well enough to hit the gym this Monday morning. I am still pretty sick and my knee got banged up last Friday, so we took it easy and stayed home. The boys and I set up a cool fort (remember doing that growing up?). The boys played in the fort all morning while I did laundry, steam cleaned the carpets, and made lunch. It was a fun morning.

It was so fun watching the boys play so well together. Connor loved imagining that the "fort" was a space ship, a pirates boat, and well a camping tent. It reminded me of when I was little and my little brother and I would spend hours making forts anywhere we could; the beach, our yard, the living room, the nearby forest, friend's basements, etc. It was fun to remember the "old" days and to see my kids enjoying the games I loved to play.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yup another one!

I am sure you have heard now, but the McManus clan is adding another one to the bunch. We are very excited! The little dude or dudette is due in late June. I have had my first sonogram already and saw the little peanut and heard the heartbeat. Your continued prayers would be much appreciated, I am very sick and trying to keep up with the boys is hard sometimes.

My Soapbox about early pregnancy:
1) I don't understand why some women like myself get violently sick and others absolutely nothing. So not fair!
2) Seriously, being crazy tired ontop of puking my guts out every time I eat and sometimes when I don't.
3) And if that wasn't fun enough let's throw in an increased sense of smell! That is torture. The thought of food makes me yack and then having a crazy dog sense of smell, ugh that is just mean!
I know Eve and the whole fall of man, but really???

Can anyone remember and feel my pain out there?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Feeding the Birds

Today at the zoo, I broke down and let the boys go into "Bird Paradise" and feed the birds. We always skip it because it is always so packed. This Saturday we got to get into the zoo an hour earlier because we are zoo members and the place was empty. I also had coupons so we fed those stinkin' birds. THE BOYS LOVED IT!

Footy Pajamas

Texas' winter weather arrived this week and we broke out the footy pajamas. Connor has been asking about them all summer long so he was especially excited. Bryce was uncertain about the footys at first, but has warm up to them. Unfortunately it is supposed to warm up again this week and we might have to put them up again. Wish me luck explaining that. :) The boys loved taking pictures, check them out.

Man I wish they made them in my size!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Serving Others with Love

This week Connor is learning the memory verse; "Serve one another in Love". He has homework and has to serve someone this week. Granny took Connor to the store and they pick out toys, toiletries, and candy for "Operation Christmas Child;". When they got home they pack and wrapped the boxes together. What a fun day serving others in love.

Brothers working together packing up the boxes.

Bryce loved putting everything in his box. What an organizer!

Granny was a great help. What a great day!

Soccer Time

Connor's Soccer Team; The Rockstars. Can you tell Connor loved his coach?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cleaning The Jen Way

So I have had a lot of friends ask me how I keep my house so clean with 2 little boys. Let's first of all be honest my house is not spotless and it's never as clean as I want it to be. But I love spending time with my boys and am not willing to cut my special time with them. I am a schedule person as most of you know so I schedule time to clean.
On Mondays:
Laundry usually 1-2 loads. I try to do a load of clothes and a load of towels, bathroom rugs, or sheets.
Vacuum the living room, family room, and hallways.
Wipe down and sweep the kitchen
On Tuesdays:
Wipe down and sweep the kitchen
Vacuum the living room, family room, and hallways
Wipe down the kid's bathroom
On Wednesdays:
Laundry usually 1-2 loads. I try to do a load of clothes and a load of towels, bathroom rugs, or sheets.
Vacuum the living room, family room, and hallways
Wipe down and sweep the kitchen
On Thursdays:
Wipe down and sweep the kitchen
Mop the kitchen and bathroom floors
Clean the bathrooms
On Fridays:
Vacuum the kid's rooms and the master bedroom
Vacuum the living room, family room, and hallways
Wipe down and sweep the kitchen
On Saturdays and Sundays:
No cleaning it is family time
Now some might be wondering when I do these things. Here is how I do it.
1)I have the boys help in anyway that they can; we have light clean ups whenever we leave the house, before we eat lunch, right before nap time, and before bedtime. They clean up their toys and do it well. We sing the clean up song and pick up. I have all the toy bins labeled and both boys know exactly where each toy goes. We always watch sing-a-longs or Bible movies before bed time so the boys don't have to clean up right before bed. Connor knows the longer it takes to clean up the less time he gets to watch "his show".
2)After mealtimes the boys clean up their plates and bring them to me, I always clean dishes immediately and load the dishwasher. I don't put dishes in the sink. When I unload the dishwasher both boys help me put dishes away.
3)Connor helps wipe down the boy's table. And I quickly spray down and wipe the counter tops. This happens twice a day at least.
4)Right after lunch the boys take off to find more toys to throw around the room. I have about 15 minutes to clean without distraction and do just that. I throw the washed load in the dryer, sweep the kitchen floor or mop, clean the bathrooms, or whatever chore I have scheduled.
5) I always vacuum 20 minutes or so before nap time, while the boys are cleaning up. Bryce loves to help me vacuum so he walks with me and holds the cord or pushes the on and off button for me.
6) After my daily nap I always have time to finish anything I didn't get to, yup although I love the schedule if we are having too much fun playing a game, cleaning is put off until later. I also always fold laundry during this time.
Wow that really does look like a lot, but it is not. I am being honest when I say we are talking about 10-15 min of cleaning and another 10 minutes of vacuuming. Well there's the secret to my success. Enjoy and have fun cleaning.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Fun Day with Our Friends

Connor and Bryce love going to play at our good friends; The Minter's house. Avery is 3 months younger than Connor and Elliana is 1 week older than Bryce, so it is great fun. It cracks me up every time we go, because the boys love playing with all the baby dolls, tea sets, and this week dress up clothes. Connor put on the princess dress-up and had a blast with Avery (but to his defense he said that he was a butterfly). Enjoy.....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Two Little McManus Boys+Quiet= Never a Good Thing

I have had to learn this lesson twice recently. The first time, my two
little angels were playing in Bryce's room. I like to think I do a
good job keeping anything dangerous out of reach, so when I "heard"
quiet, I didn't think anything about it. Actually, I went so far as to
think, "How cute! My boys are playing together so well." I am used to
hearing pushing, screaming, banging, throwing, etc... So, I considered
this a positive change. I finally decided to go peek in on my
innocent, adorable boys. As I opened the door, there were peals of
laughter. Connor greeted me with, "Momma, I is painting Bryce!"
Umm..what!? Suddenly, my eyes focused on the normally blue walls of
Bryce's room. They were now mostly white, the room was "smoky," and an
intense smell filled my nostrils. My little Bryce was completely
white: hair, face, clothes, everything. I spun back to Connor who was
laughingly holding a once-full bottle of baby powder like a weapon
that fired pure fun. As much as I wanted to, I simply couldn't get mad
because I just kept laughing. Alas, I never got a picture because I
went into a slight panic mode, but the baby powder is now hidden
safely away. I quickly filed away a note that quiet is never good.
Unfortunately, I don't learn as well as I used to, so I had to be
reminded of this again just a week later. I was cleaning the kitchen
while the boys were playing in the pantry. I didn't think much of it
because they call it their "clubhouse" and frequently drag every toy
they can into the room and play for long periods of time. That day,
they were doing just that, playing clubhouse. I heard polite playing
and watched as they dragged toy after toy to their clubhouse. I
thought nothing of it until the quiet became palpable. Through the
closed doors, I asked Connor, "What are you playing?" He innocently
answered, "We are playing sand castles!" That sounded like fun, so I
resumed cleaning (a topic for another day), and then it hit me. "Wait!
Sandcastles!?" I slowly opened the door and was again greeted with
peals of laughter. "Momma, LOOK at our sand castles!" My boys, the
treasures of my heart, had emptied a full cooler of dog food on to the
floor and had, well, built sand castles. Again, I was laughing too
hard to be mad and completely forgot about capturing such a wonderful
moment on film.
I hope I have learned two valuable lessons. First, quiet is never a
good thing in the McManus house. Second, always have a camera handy to
take a picture before worrying about cleaning up after two
rambunctious, little boys.

Halloween Fun

Connor and Mom at Boo at the Zoo!
Adam was such a trooper, between you and me; HE LOVED EVERY MINUTE!
I need a tan; enough said!
Connor the captain of the McManus' Pirates!
This Halloween we dressed up twice. One cold Texas night we went to Boo at the Zoo. We go to the Zoo a lot, but it was fun going in the dark; playing all the games, trick or treating, seeing lot's of cool crazed pumpkins, and enjoying a fun night out. On Halloween we had a lot of our friends over for dinner and then went Trunk or Treating. The weather had turned and we enjoyed a warm evening playing more games and getting even more candy!
Funny Story: In the past Connor has been a terrible candy picker-outer because I had only let him have dum dum suckers. So on Halloween, every time he got to choose a piece or two of candy he would push the snickers and peanut butter cups out of the way and go straight for the dum dums. This year we did better, but it is still funny every time he goes for some lame-o sucker or laffy taffy Adam glares at me and shakes his head.
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