to each his own

Sometimes I get caught up in "mom mode" and forget to appreciate the awesomeness of watching these little people do things their way.

On Saturday morning, instead of getting annoyed that Declan decided to separate out the cheerios from his milk, I decided to snap a picture.

I love that he is becoming his own creative, free-thinking little man. I don't want him to follow the crowd or do everything his friends are doing. I want him to be an individual. I love that instead of seeing a table, he sees a stage. Instead of a couch, he sees a bungee jumping platform. Instead of a rolling pin, he sees a sword. I love that when strangers say hi to him in the grocery store, he roars like a dinosaur.

He is a daily reminder not to take life or myself too seriously! LOVE that kid!


inspiration from Nate

Last week I was watching The Nate Berkus Show and at the end, he said something about how moving your couch and switching the placement of your lamps can give your living room a whole new energy. Because of where our TV is hung in relation to our fireplace, our giant sectional can really only face one direction. It was kind of centered in the room, away from the wall so you could walk behind it. The only problem was that it created a lot of dead space that no one really used. Except the kids when they are running laps around the living room. I forgot to take a picture before I went all crazy and starting moving the furniture out of the room. Here's an old picture that kind of shows the couch.

So since the couch can't face any other way, I decided to push it back against the wall. Then, I took the nightstands from our bedroom and put them at either end of the couch. I took the white CB2 lamps from the living room and put them on top. The two ladder bookshelves that were flanking the TV were moved out. I brought one back in and put it on this little wall.

The TV looked really naked on the big giant wall by itself. As soon as Jay saw it, he was online looking at 55" TVs. But all it really needed was some sort of entertainment center/console to hold the components and some books and decorative objects. We liked this one from West Elm:

It was on sale for $279 which was great, but it was only 40" wide and on the 17 foot wall, we decided it might look a little silly. We also liked this one, also West Elm:

It was a bit more expensive ($399) and since the TV is already hung on the wall, we thought it was a little low (only 16" tall). And since I am THE most impatient person on the face of the earth, and I want what I want when I want it, I also didn't want to wait to have something delivered. The nearest West Elm is over and hour away plus nothing would fit in my car with 4 car seats in it. So..... we decided to take a family trip to the IKEA. We figured they were bound to have something that would work and since everything has to be assembled we could probably squeeze the boxes in the car somewhere.

***Sidenote: Jay and I decided if we every think we want a 5th kid, we should have to take everyone to the IKEA first. It is always a nightmare. We usually put Ava and Emerson in the kid playroom and I baby bjorn Finlay and we put Declan in the stroller. Usually about half way through one or both of them is screaming. This time it happened pretty much instantly. Even bribing Declan with Swedish Fish didn't work. And everyone usually rides home cramped in the car with boxes on all around them. It makes for a good day! ***

So we get home and take all of the pieces out of the boxes. Here's what we had:

After about 45 minutes, we had this:

Just like when Jay sees an empty wall he needs a bigger TV, when I see an empty shelf I need to buy more "coffee table" books. Good thing I keep an Amazon wish list for these types of emergencies! So this is how it was looking a couple days later.

It still needs some love, perhaps some actual pictures in those frames. And definitely some more books. We also decided to finally (after 2+ years in this house) to hang something on the walls. I blew up 4 pictures of the kids and put them in 16"x20" frames. Here's how they look!

Here's a better shot of the whole room:

I think with some time, it will all come together. The couch needs some throw pillows. The console/media thingie needs some more "stuff". Maybe a big leafy plant in the corner. Eventually, the orange chair might get moved to the basement and maybe an upholstered print slipper chair in its place. I could go on and on! But, here's what I was thinking for throw pillows:

The 1st and 3rd are from Posh House Originals on etsy. The 2nd and 4th are from milk&cookies Canada on etsy.

Even though the room isn't complete, it does have a whole new energy. I'll post pictures as it progresses!


2 adults, 4 kids, 3 dogs & 4 frogs???

Earlier this week, Ava's teacher sent out an email to all the parents asking if anyone would be willing to take care of their class frogs over Spring Break. I (of course) volunteered! The girls have been asking for one of these mini frog aquariums for months, so I figured this would be a good trial run to see if they could handle the responsibility. So, wish us luck! I really don't want to tell a classroom full of first-graders that I killed their class pets.


just to brighten things up

It's finally starting to feel and look like Spring around here. Today when I looked at my blog, I thought..."ewww...it's so dark and wintery". So here it is, all brightened up! Enjoy!

p.s. Today my project is going through all the baby clothes in the attic. I was inspired by an episode of Hoarders last night!


trying something new

Last week, Jay came home bearing gifts. The first was a new can opener, because our old one ...well, sucks! There's no nice way to put it. It's just awful. I don't know where we got it, or how long we've had it, or why we have complained about it for years but never replaced it. I mean, how much does a can opener cost? Like 8 bucks?

The second was this cookbook from Giada De Laurentiis.

Jay said I'm always saying I could eat Italian food every night (which is true!). I think he's just trying to get me to cook. But regardless of whether it was meant as a sweet gesture or a big hint, I decided to make something out of it for dinner tonight. I decided on Chicken Cacciatore.

So I headed to the grocery store with Emerson, Declan, and Finlay. First stop once inside, Starbucks. Armed with a venti latte (for me), a piece of coffee cake (for Emerson) and a rocky road brownie pop (for Declan), we start shopping. I do not even make it to the produce section (which is the first section, by the way) when Declan had Houdinied (yes, that's a word!) himself out of the cart and is now running through the store grabbing a banana, an apple, a box of Fruity Pebbles, an apple corer, and a bag of rice noodles. Seriously? I can't make this stuff up! I grab him and try to put him back in the cart. He starts hysterically crying/screaming/snotting all over himself. Several grandmas come over and try to help. The first one offers him a grape lollipop which he smacks out of her hand. The next says, "oh, we've all been THERE!" The third offers to block the aisle he is running down with her cart. Finally, I decide that he is not going back in the cart. Well, actually, he kind of decided that. I just went along with it, out of desperation. So we do the rest of our shopping with him walking/running behind the cart with an open box of sour cream & onion bunny crackers. At least he picked something organic, right?

When we get home and I'm unpacking the groceries, I notice that the chicken breasts that I thought I grabbed at the grocery store are actually chicken wings. So instead of the traditional chicken thighs and breasts usually found in Chicken Cacciatore, ours has thighs and wings. Oh well! Here's a look at my chicken browning:

Next I added my chopped onion and red pepper:

Here's my new can opener in action, opening the diced tomatoes:

I put the final product in the crock pot to keep it warm until dinner time. Here's how it was looking:

And here's a look at Declan entertaining Finlay while I was cooking:

Hard to believe this is the same kid from the grocery store!


times they are a changing

This has been Finlay's bed for the last (almost) eight months. When I found this bassinet on Gilt for $269 last summer (instead of its usual $399 price tag), I was immediately sold! I knew it would spend a good deal of time in our bedroom, so I wanted something pretty to look at and not plastic or covered with pastel teddy bears. Jay said it was a waste of money and she'd only use it for a few weeks. Ha! I really only thought she'd spend four of five months in it, but Declan seemed content in his crib. So we decided not to mess with a good thing. But as she inches closer and closer to Cariboo's recommended twenty two pound weight restriction, we decided to bite the bullet and move her to a big crib. So Saturday night was the big night! She looks so small in a normal size crib. It's hard to imagine that the other kids were in one from the time they came home from the hospital. The crib was the last thing to go in Finlay's room, so here's the room all put together:

Here's the happy girl in her new bed:


you know how i love a good collaboration

Before I update you on all the happenings at the Sprinkel household, I had to blog about the newest Target collaboration. Calypso St. Barts is introducing a line of women's clothes, accessories, home decor, even girls and baby clothes at Target on May 1st. Prices range from $1.99 to $74.99. I have my eye on the gold metallic poufs seen below for $59.99. Here's the ad from this month's issue of Lucky Magazine.


Here's a couple of the other items from the line:


So cute and just in time for summer!