Do the girls go to sleep on their own at night?
We feed the girls their evening bottle at the same time every night (6 pm), and then we snuggle them until they’re sleepy… which is usually 10-20 minutes). Sometimes they’re pretty tuckered and it’s hard to keep them awake to finish their bottle. And other times, we need to cuddle with them until their eyes get heavy. We do so with the lights on and the TV on, so we’re not trying to be super quiet and accommodating necessarily. But we try not to let them fall asleep in our arms. Once we notice their eyes getting heavy, and they’re rubbing their eyes and yawning/sucking thumb, we head up to the nursery and lay them down while they’re still awake. We’ve been playing the same classical music CD (Beethoven) and bedtime since we brought them home from the hospital, so when they hear that music, they know it’s bed time… and almost always go right to sleep. From the very beginning, we didn’t want them to be dependant on a parent to go to sleep, so we started this routine when they were newborns.
How did you and Nick meet? How long till you both knew this was “it”?
Nick and I were set up my mutual friends. We met on a fairly awkward blind date on Valentine’s Day 2008 at Dublin Bay in Ames, IA, and it wasn’t until afterwards when we were driving around on country roads that we engaged in deep conversation and found a connection. We found excuses to see each other every day after that, and we knew within two weeks that we would be together forever. We got engaged 7 months later, had a 3 month engagement, and married January 3rd, 2009!
Does your husband try singing to you? Does he have a good voice? If your husband didn’t have the best singing voice, would you say anything?
Nick loves to sing, and gets songs in his head easily. Usually it’s a song that he only knows one line to, so he sings that same line over and over… which IS annoying. Sometimes he just makes up his own words, which is far cuter. His voice isn’t terrible, but you’re also not going to see him on The Voice anytime soon. I like it best when he gets out his acoustic guitar and plays/sings. There’s somethin’ sexy about a guy getting down on his guitar. Especially when his face is a little scruffy and he has holes in his jeans. He may not have the voice of an angel, but he is one fine piece of meat.
Being homeschooled yourself, do you have any advice for a homeschooling Mom? Do you have any thoughts about homeschooling your own kiddos? Do you plan on being a stay at home Mom for the long haul?
I was homeschooled until the 10th grade when I was given the option to go to public high school. I think homeschooling can be very effective and beneficial for some kids, but it wasn’t for me. I had a very independent spirit, and felt deprived and isolated. I understand and respect my parents’ reasons for choosing to homeschool, but I don’t feel like it was the best way for me to learn. It didn’t help that I was a ‘strong-willed child’! I can’t say that homeschooling my own children hasn’t crossed my mind. I want the very best for them, and the public school system can be brutal. But I also want them to have the opportunity to learn to interact with others and have good social skills. I’m glad we don’t have to make a decision for a few years. My best advice to a homeschooling mom is to take cues from your kids. If you find that they’re suffering from low self-esteem or desire to go to public school… let them!
Do you enjoy blogging? Is it hard for you to juggle it all–hubby, kids, home, blog, SELF!
I wouldn’t blog if I didn’t enjoy it. I guess you could call it my hobby. There are days when I feel stressed out trying to juggle family, projects, blogging, etc. But generally speaking, I don’t often get stressed. In fact, most Monday mornings I wake up and realize that I don’t have any idea what to blog about that week. I’m just a regular girl that’s blessed with an amazing husband, two perfect baby girls, and a lovely home in the country. And I like to write about it.
What are your best money-saving tips?
Nick and I are very careful with our money. We’re big fans of Dave Ramsey, and have been slowly chipping away at our student loans. Nick has an elaborate spreadsheet that he keeps up with on a weekly basis. We separate our expenses into categories (ex. food, gas, household, business, etc). Generally speaking, we just don’t buy anything we don’t need. And we talk about all purchases before they happen. We do set aside some money each month for home improvements, because it’s something that we enjoy doing together and it’s important to us, so we make it a priority. I find that getting groceries once a month helps me to keep costs down and learn to be creative with meals based on what’s in the pantry. Sometimes it can seem like we’re totally out of food, but in reality… we could get by for another week just by getting innovative in the kitchen. I have to admit I’m not into coupons. It just seems complicated and I don’t want to dedicate time to that. However, I buy generic EVERYTHING, and keep my eye out for sales and such. Nick carpools to work with a coworker to keep gas costs down.
Do you have any tips or suggestions about painting laminated press board?
I’ll let Nick take this one… he’s the brains of the operation: When painting laminated press board make sure to rough the surface, I would then prime with a heavy primer like Kilz, sand down the primer to knock of any high spots or because it is press board you may have corners or fuzzies sand them down. you may have to repeat the process a few times until you get a completely smooth surface. I like to use this process on all my projects (time permitting). Once you get a good solid coat of prime and your happy with your piece then paint your top coat like you would any other piece. Be sure to get a good coat of sealer on any surface that may see some abuse and remember because it is chip board any moisture that is allowed to get into the material will swell and effect the integrity of the piece (this is one of the few reasons we steer clear of chip board furniture) Beth here again… If you guys have ANY carpentry, electrical, mechanical or techie questions, Nick would be happy to answer them at any time! He loves passing along his vast knowledge and helping others out!