Monday Musings

Happy New Year…we now return to your regularly scheduled Monday Musings!

I feel like we have a lot to cover in this first regular edition of MM of 2013, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

Welcome to Iowa, here’s your Norovirus

Poppy came to visit us last week, and unfortunately his timing could not have been worse 😦 The older girls were all sick with strep and/or ear infections, and I had just finished battling the Norovirus on New Years Day, a whole 48 hours prior to his arrival. Despite our relentless cleaning and sanitizing, Poppy was walking into a petri dish of funk, and before you knew it, he had come down with the crud as well. Needless to say…everyone was cranky and out of sorts all weekend long.

Thankfully, we still managed to make the most of his time here. He was mostly recovered by the time his birthday Fiesta rolled around…

Jov Fiesta

Sienna Rowan Fiesta

Lola Fiesta

…and running full-speed by the time we went out for his actual birth day dinner.

Tom Dad High Life

Before you ask (especially all of those reading from out of town) NO…not all Iowa bars and restaurants come complete with shag carpet and faux-wood wall panels covered with tacky beer signs. Dad just happened to choose the one place that does (High Life Lounge) for his birthday dinner. Not that we minded, however…we love the famous HLL broasted chicken, plus the 100-tap beer wall next door at el Bait!

His stay was brief, but jammed packed with fun. And even though the girls were not their normal selves, I know that they enjoyed his time staying with us.

Poppy 1

Poppy 2

MM 2013_31

So much so that the girls were wandering the house looking for him the morning after he left, which ranks up there as probably one of the crapiest parts about living so far away. 😐

Poppy Shoes

Oh, and for the record, I’d just like to publicly apologize for getting him sick…even though he said that he would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Sorry pops!

My DIY Life

Next up on the Home Improvement list…the kitchen backsplash!

Backsplash 1

With Dad in town (and battling norovirus, mind you), we figured that we would once again take advantage of his phenomenal handyman skills to cross off another item that’s been on our list since move-in.

We had been scouring the internet for weeks for the *perfect* tile, but ended up choosing this very DIY-Friendly stone & glass mosaic on mesh backing from Lowes. Plus the colors matched our kitchen just too perfectly to pass up!

We bought all the essentials: tile, mastic, and grout…plus all the tools to get the job done right…and set to work.


Backsplashing 2


The process went smooth enough…even with Dad fighting the crud most of the afternoon that by the end of the weekend we were able to get the entire area tiled. We were even grout half way, that is…until we ran out. But no worries, I was able to finish up the rest yesterday. Check out these before (in all its grease-stained, food-ridden, tried-to-wipe-clean-the-flat-painted-gray walled glory)…

Backsplash Before

…and after shots!

Backsplash After

Just a few minor touch ups left and we’ll be finished…come see it!

Life Hack of the Week

As per the always trustworthy Wikipedia, “a life hack refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever or non-obvious way.”

Missy and I broke out our Wii console this weekend to show the girls…only as I was connecting everything to our TV I realized that the fragile cord for the sensor bar had snapped (or had been chewed through) at some point during the past nine months in storage.

Broken Cord

After a futile attempt of reconnecting the microscopic wires, I turned to the internet in search of help. Check out the solution I found…

Candle 1

…that’s right. Tealight Candles, placed at your TV like so:

MM 2013_32

I was about as baffled as you probably are right now…but seriously you guys, this works!


Bowling…golf…fishing…I have as much mobility with the wireless Wii remote using 18th century technology as I did with the sensor bar intact. Who knew?

Anyway…the girls LOVED the Wii.

Wii 2

Wii 1

Even if they were only using the battery-less Player 2 remote and pushing the buttons at random while I covertly controlled the game with the Player 1 remote.

Ssshhhhh….don’t tell! 😉


  • With apologies to any Broncos (and Manning) fans out there, I could watch this highlight on endless loop all week long. Now it’s on to New England! *gulp*
  • I love how this picture perfectly sums up parenthood in the digital age:

iPad Pic

The girls are watching an interactive Toy Story read-along book on their “Special Notebook” …complete with clip scenes and music videos, it has quickly become their favorite app of our new iPad.

  • With the girls, even everyday tasks…like a trip to the grocery store…turn out to be far from ordinary!


Proud Lola

Missy doesn’t do this for effect, to make a scene, or draw attention to herself…the older girls would literally fight over who got the steering wheel if she only used one cart. I love how Lola is so proud to be big enough for her own seat now!

  • Summer trip news: my sis (Aunt Hannah) is getting hitched this summer back in Maryland, and then we’re all heading down to South VA Beach for a big family vay-cay over the fourth. While it may still seem far off…especially with some brisk temps peaking in the teens this past weekend…Missy has been feverishly trying to come up with the best plan to make the trip possible with the whole crew in tow. This weekend we accomplished step one of said plan: buying plane tickets! Minus one for myself though…to save money (checked luggage, extra ticket, rental car), I’m actually driving the Swagger Wagon out east SOLO. More to come as our plan develops.
  • Fulfilling one resolution already: scheduled a date night tomorrow with Miss! Dinner at Granite City (seriously, where else) and maybe even a movie afterwards, too…so pumped!
  • Aunt Shannon recently got a job at West Des Moines’ newest bakery cupcakery (cupcakes only!)…Scratch. With locations already in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, the WDM kitchen is due to open this week. In the meantime, Shannon has been receiving hands-on training and bringing home all of her “practice” cupcakes to feast on. However, since she recenly became Gluten Free, we’ve been stuck with the lions share of her spoils.

Cupcakes 2

Cupcakes 1

Mmmmmm, yeeeeaah…not complaining.

With that, I’m off to enjoy the back of my eyelids. Happy Monday, and have a great week!


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