Jan was a VERY low-key month for our family. I am a person who likes a full plate. I don't do well if it's too full but I also don't do well if it's empty either. And Jan was a pretty "empty plate" month which kinda drove me crazy haha. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the low-key Christmas time we have, but then once Jan hits I'm pretty ready to get to doing something!!!
We celebrated Mrs. Charlotte's birthday this month and the whole fam met at Wooden Nickel for an early dinner one afternoon. It's always a crazy time with all these cousins!
Mrs. Charlotte wore the "frozen Charlotte" necklace we got her from Savannah...I LOVE IT!
One afternoon I was in our bedroom on the floor doing my God time and I heard a LOUD sound. I ran outside and saw that a tree had fallen right by our house. Zach said it was a good thing I was doing my prayer time because if the tree had fallen the other way it would have come through on me and Tess (who was sleeping in the room beside me). Both of the trees are on our neighbors land so we need to get him to check out the other tree. If it's dead too that could be bad news for our house and for our neighbors insurance!
I guess I was pressing my luck with the whole tree thing b/c for some reason I got on this kick about hardcore deep cleaning my house. I pinned a bunch of cleaning tips and went to Target to get supplies. I found this recommendation to use toilet bowl cleaner as a grout cleaner so I spent an entire day cleaning our grout with it in our kitchen and I found a tip to use oxiclean to make tile really shine so I used that to mop the floors after I cleaned the grout.
While cleaning I noticed a haze at like 10:30 in the morning in our house. I didn't think a whole lot of it. I figured it was oxiclean as that stuff can make a powdery mess pretty easily. As the day went on though, the haze got worse. I had all the doors open and it wasn't really going away. I ran fans etc.
As the day went on I got more nervous and Zach and I were putting the kids to bed when we started talking about what it could possibly be. I had googled about carbon monoxide and assumed I was okay b/c it was a haze and carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. Plus we have carbon monoxide detectors! Then as we were tucking kids in I started wondering again about the possibility of it being carbon monoxide. The only source we'd have for it is our propane tank for our fireplace and it had just been filled the day prior which made me nervous. Maybe there was a leak in it and the carbon monoxide mixing with the chemicals from my cleaning was causing the haze? THEN I remember that our carbon monoxide detectors kept having the batteries die and that in some of them Zach just shut them off. Um. Not. Good.
Zach plugged back up the carbon monoxide detector in the hallway outside of the girls' bedrooms and it immediately said "carbon monoxide detected." Zach said to grab the kids and get out of the house. I will pause here to say that I'm SO CALM in emergency situations. Like I'm more levelheaded during that kind of thing than I am in regular life haha. I was thinking that we had to go to the ER right away b/c the girls and I had been breathing it in all day so I calmly gathered stuff up to take with us and Zach wasn't having it haha he was urgent about us getting out. I got Tess out of bed and the kids and I got in the car in the garage and waited.
Once the initial concern wore off Zach realized that it said "carbon monoxide detected" as a way to check that the power source was working. He plugged it back in and it said it again and then didn't do anything else. I will also say here that Kye was very calm but Britt was a mini-Mrs. Charlotte. She was FREAKING OUT. Since this incident we've talked a lot about how important it is to stay calm bc her freaking out only made things more difficult to manage and made it harder to think straight about what to do!
Zach and I talked about it and ended up deciding it was best to get the fire department to come out and do a check. We both felt like it most likely wasn't carbon monoxide but I mean that's not a risk you wanna take...if you're wrong it's a DEADLY error. I took the kids to Mrs. Charlotte's for the night and by the time I got them tucked in Zach called and told me that there were zero levels of CO2 in our house. The firemen took it super seriously (like firetruck with alarm sounding coming to our front door) and he said they were thinking it was the chemicals I used to clean and that it probably wasn't a safe combo. A week or so later we had the AC people come out to check our unit and they said one of our heaters was messed up and that it was possibly also causing the haze.
Lesson learned? Don't deep clean your house ;)
Big kids loved riding around up front looking at look and find books while I drove around the neighborhood!
When I left the kids I was heading home and it was 8:30ish so I called Zach and told him I had a crazy idea...I got home and we rushed to toss on clothes and ran up to the movie theater to see The Revenant. Crazy excuse for a date night right?!?! At least it knocked one off of my "must see movie list"
I def think the combo of cleaning chemicals wasn't a good mix b/c Zach hung a towel I used to dry the floor over our laundry room sink and it permanently discolored both the sink and the knobs below it. 😁
While we're on the subject of Emily's Errors...
Earlier this school year I was dropping Kye off at school and got pulled over by a police officer in Kye's school parking lot. Super embarrassing for my kid right?!?! I didn't realize I was speeding down the hill near his school but luckily I only got a warning and since then I've been SO CAREFUL to stay at the right speed.
Well. I'm going through the drop off line one morning this month and see a cop behind me with his lights on, in the school drop off line. I'm waving at all the teachers and smiling at my kid while having a cop behind me with the lights flashing. Classic. I'm pretty sure my kid probably has a reputation now haha. So I pulled over in the same spot I pulled last time and I legit had NO CLUE why I was being pulled over. When the cop came to my window I asked him what I was doing wrong because I'm always so careful to drive the speed limit in that area (I didn't mention my prior warning haha). He said I was doing 47. Which I thought "Great, he pulled me over for doing two over" But then he added in a school zone.
I have dropped my kid off a TON OF TIMES and have NEVER noticed that it's a school zone. Which I mean DUH it's right in front of a school. But I swear there wasn't any signs or anything to let you know! I told Britt I was FOR SURE getting a ticket this time. However, he let me off with a warning. I mean I legit said to him "A warning? Are you sure? I mean I deserve a ticket!" Hahaha.
I told the whole story to Zach and he took Kye to school the next morning and sent me this:
...I SWEAR they must have installed all of that the night prior after I got pulled over...
Prior to Carter and Tess being born Jordan and Casey would come over to hang out all the time. It worked great b/c they live super close and they didn't have kids so we could hang out at our house while our kids were sleeping! We said once Carter was born we could just have him sleep over in the guest room in a pack and play but it hasn't really happened. We FINALLY did it this month and it worked out great! We were able to hang out and play games just like the "old days" and the kids got to spent quality time with Carter too :)
They dressed up silly to greet Casey and Jordan
Zach pulled out his year books while they were over and you know what happens when the year books get pulled out!!! And omg my kids will never be allowed to look at mine 😳 hello inappropriate messages! When Casey and Jordan went home Z and I ended up staying up even later looking through our year books in bed. #coolkidstatus
Sweet sleepover buddies!
My whole plate-emptiness issue drove me kinda nuts this month, especially on the weekends. I neeeeeeded to get OUT and DO something! Zach enjoys a chill mode weekend so I told him to hang out at the house and get his chill mode on while I took the kids to a Tunes for Tots thing at Valdosta State University. I've heard of it before but haven't ever gone and it was a great experience! However, I will say it's a VERY misleading name for the event. I should have left Tess at home as it's zero percent for "tots" and def more for older children! Luckily she's pretty easy going :)
Each person played their instrument and introduced it and told us something about it (Kye liked when they played the Star Wars theme song of course!)
Then we got to walk around and try out all of the instruments!
Keeli and Eli met us there :)
Tell me he is not THE cutest kid?!?
She finally found something age appropriate for her to play!
It was a fun morning that got me out of the house and allowed us to have an experience that we've never had before! I don't think the kids are going to be wanting instrument lessons anytime soon but it was an event we'll for sure attend again (especially because they gave out Fresh Beginnings cookies which are THE JAM)
Zach randomly got asked to participate in a VSU faculty vs students event at the basketball gym at VSU. Of course I wanted to take the kids to show support and of course Zach's parents also wanted to attend. Y'all. I may put this down as my worst parenting decision yet. It was supposed to begin at 530 so I packed the kids dinner and planned to feed them there and then it'd be over by 730 and they'd be in the bed no problem. Instead it didn't even start until 6:30. It wasn't over until 8:30. And there was CONSTANT non-stop LOUD super inappropriate un-edited RAP music playing THE ENTIRE TIME. Mr. Rusty said it was the worst event he's ever attended in his life and I said that if Britt ends up being a back up dancer in a music video someday that we can blame it on this event. My ears were physically hurting afterwards! We were stuck and had to stay because I didn't feel comfortable leaving by myself with three kids in the dark and we were already there to support Zach. Thankfully I don't think the kids could understand a lot of the language or context of the songs but never again.
Practicing for her future career... 🙈
Also this month was kids sale month! I straight up LOVE kids sales. It's always a great excuse for girl time and we all know some deals get me crunk like nothing else :) This time around Robyn wanted us to sit behind the clothes against a wall...I felt pretty claustrophobic and Casey def may have knocked over a mega huge wooden beam that made quite the sound...but it made for an experience ;)
And of course we hit up Steak and Shake after!
Kori loves the selfie ;)
Zach was out of town a good bit this month and it was a struggle to think up stuff for the kids to eat. I would be a terrible single mom because when Zach isn't home I hate cooking legit meals for just the kids (who you know just complain about it the whole time anyway). Anyways I made english muffin pizzas for the first time and they were a HUGE hit! I don't know why I never made them before...so easy! Just pizza sauce, cheese and pepperoni and stick 'em in the oven! Boom!
We also had some beautiful weather this month so the kids played outside a good bit and the big kids LOVE to eat down at their playground. It's a decent distance from the house so they can have "sibling secret time" out of ear shot :)
The big change for the kids this month was the introduction of the Dave Ramsey's Junior Academy! I wrote an entire blog post about it here...but basically the kids now have a chore chart with chores to complete each week and each Sunday they have pay day where they get paid for their chores. The money they earn is then divided into three envelopes: save, give, spend. It's been AWESOME so far for our kids and our family! Yet another reason we love Dave!
I wrote in our December Family Fun post about the awesome gift our church was given and the opportunity we had to bless others in a big way! We were given $1400 to spend in a way that would bless others. We struggled with what to do with the money (and I talked in that post about how we spent it) and we had some left over by the end of December. We went one Saturday morning to our local Walmart and let the kids hand out blessing envelopes to random strangers. They'd take the envelop up to the stranger and simply hand it to them and say "Happy New Year!" It was SO FUN. We had people come and as for hugs with tears in their eyes. I'm so thankful our church did something so amazing and it was as much, if not more, of a blessing to our family as it was to those who received the money!
The big kids and I have been working on making Disney Books for each of them. Filled with pics of all the characters they have met and including any signatures they've gotten. The kids did it all themselves from picking out the paper to use to glueing down everything (I did help cut out Britt's pics!). They are SO PROUD of them and we will continue to add new pages as we meet additional characters!
It wouldn't be January without a fire in the backyard complete with smores and stories! Tess is just TOO YOUNG for it which frustrated me a bit b/c fires aren't a joke and I would just prefer to do that stuff after she's in bed for the night, even if it means the big kids stay up later ya know?
As I mentioned, Zach was gone a good bit this month. He def made me feel so loved, special, and appreciated by surprising me with flowers and chicken salad chick!
Not only did my husband make me feel special but I also got a rose given to me at Publix! I said it's the closest I'll probably ever be to feeling like I'm on The Bachelor hahahaha!
With our down-time month we hung out at home a good bit! I LOVE how much Tess looks up to her older siblings, it's especially cute how she likes to dress up like Britt :)
Normal, crazy life at our house!
My sweet blessings...it was a month filled with memorable moments to what I hope will be a fantastic year for our family!