A Little Girl Bathroom – Under the Sea


This is the bathroom that took 3 years to complete – did we do any major repairs? did we take out the tub and sink? Did we redo the floor?

No. No. And no.

We painted, hung a shelf, and made some art.

3 years people. 3 years.

It’s totally my fault, I hit a wall on the project so it just stopped.

Let me explain.

When we started this project my daughter was three and wanted a Little Mermaid themed bathroom. I knew she would quickly grow out of that so I decided on a whimsy ocean theme.

The plan was to make stripes on the back wall alternating between white and light blue.

My sweet husband worked on this for a couple of days.

IMG_2296 When it was finished I liked it but the pencil lines going across the wall really bothered me as did the raised paint lines. I’m normally not so picky but this for some reason really irked me.

As the painting was wrapping up I was laying out random frames we had – soon after I spray painted them bright yellow.


I used light weight denim material and covered pieces of cardboard which were the sizes of the frames.


I found some walls decals on etsy and just printed out the pictures from the listing to create an outline of the sea creature I wanted to use.



I completed almost all of the art when I came across a problem with the turtle art above – this was the only piece where I used the actual back of the frame to glue the denim to and now the art would not fit back into the frame. I did not have any left over denim fabric since it was left over from another project.

So the project stalled.

For two years.

The stripes stayed and the wall art sat on my bedroom floor.

And there it sat until Christmas time this year and I wanted to get this project -DONE.  I ended up tossing the turtle art and not using him and my husband sanded down the wall and we just put a coat of white paint on the wall. The art wall is white while all the other walls are light blue.

Here’s the final product. I love it.



Some of the pieces received a little yellow bow.


IMG_9033I glued on some yellow rick rack to create jellyfish tentacles and some stripes on the fish.


Next time, I’ll show you how we (read: my husband) made this mermaid shelving unit.


And to my husband – Thank you for everything you did to make this bathroom so special for our daughter!


The Rabbits, It’s Always the Rabbits – Part 4

Read here for The Rabbits – part 1, part 2, part 3

I know what you are thinking…Again with the rabbits?

Yes, the rabbits but this time it’s different.

Unbelievably, I just bought some rabbits.

I know.

Along with the rabbits I also purchased some ducks, geese, chickens, and honeybees.

You can close your mouth now.

Thankfully I purchased these animals from the comfort of my home.

And even more thankfully, I will never ever see any of these animals in my backyard or, even better, dead on my dining room floor.

Instead of angel Christmas gifts this year, my kids, influenced greatly by my 8 year old, decided they want to buy gifts through Heifer International.


“Heifer International works with community groups in third world countries and provides them with animals which help families help themselves. They train beneficiaries in animal well-being, agroecology, water quality, gender equity, and other topics. The training enables them to care for livestock, grow crops sustainably, and further lift themselves out of poverty.

Families then share the training they receive, and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.”

I gave each child a budget and told them they could buy whatever animals they wanted as long as we didn’t exceed our total. We went through the gift catalog on the website reading about each animal, their cost, and talked about how those animals could help someone.

They contemplated, they added and subtracted, they debated, and they discussed.

Eventually, they decided and we bought a flock of hope (chickens, geese, and ducks), honeybees, and rabbits.


Yes, rabbits.

Once we convinced Caroline that buying a pegasus horse was not an option she went with the rabbits.

The family that kills rabbits just bought rabbits.

Cue the Lion King music. Again.

This year our family has talked a lot about poverty, families that are struggling, and kids who are hungry, both locally and far away. My hope is that by exposing them to programs like Heifer International and the Angel Tree they will see themselves as part of the solution and know that they can make a difference even at just 11, 8, and 4.

Donating to Heifer International was new to our family this year but based on the kids excitement I know it will not be our last experience with them. I think this program would also be fun for a school service project, a bake sale focus, or even an animal themed birthday party.

I’m not receiving any sort of compensation from Heifer for telling you about their program. I’m only asking that once you can purchase “a pegasus” our family is notified immediately.

The Rabbits – Part 3

You thought it was ugly when our dog killed the baby bunny?

Well a few days later…

She killed the momma bunny.

Or the daddy bunny.

Or the auntie bunny.

Whomever it was, it was huge.

I’m calling it a miracle that our oldest two were not home when this happened. Combine this with the fact that my  husband WAS home and I’m pretty sure that’s a certifiable miracle.

I was sitting at the breakfast table with my youngest when my husband, who had just glanced out the back window, stopped moving, and went back to the window.

He turned to me with wide open eyes and I just knew Sophie had done it again.

I quickly said, “Caroline, do you want to watch some tv?”

Without hesitating she jumped at the opportunity.

Is this lady really asking if I want to watch tv before school and I’m not even dressed, finished eating, or ready for said school that begins in 20 minutes? Hell yes!

Or maybe it was, “Okay mama.”

Once she was completely zoned out, my husband went out, grabbed a shovel, shooed the dog away, and got rid of the bunny.

Baby bunny. Mama bunny. Could have sent me over the edge.

I’m starting to wonder if our neighborhood bunnies have been engaging in some illegal extra curricular activities or whether my dog has been watching the hunting channel.

Seeing as we don’t have cable, I’m thinking there’s a problem with the bunnies.

I think the piece de resistance occurred later that day when I came home and found that the dog had had diarrhea in her crate.

For about ten minutes I pretended it wasn’t there and wished and hoped that my husband would walk through the door.

But alas, our miracle for the day had already occurred so I had to clean it up.

I can’t tell you how much I’m hoping the bunnies band together soon and get some revenge.

Winter Bingo – New on Etsy!

I’ve been working for the last few weeks on a new Winter Bingo game and it’s finally ready!

Winter Bingo is perfect for those school winter parties you are planning!

(There are no religious images used in this game)


Winter Bingo is perfect as a a cold afternoon activity!

A sample of the call cards…


Winter Bingo is perfect for all ages during the Christmas break!

Boards come in 5 x 5 boards , 3 x 3 boards, and 1 x 4 boards.


That’s 54 different boards!

All proceeds from our etsy sales go to help fund our adoption so we thank you so much!

Go on over and check out this Winter Bingo at Big D & Me Etsy.

The Rabbits – Part 2 – It Gets Ugly

Well folks.

It didn’t get all Hakuna Matata on us over her.

It went the way of the Circle of Life in a slightly more horrific way than I imagined.

If you recall, our backyard became a rabbit sanctuary for the past week ever since my 8 year old son discovered a nest of baby rabbits.

My sweet, sensitive eight year old who loves animals with all his heart.

Ugh. This story sucks.

Yesterday afternoon the kids were playing in the backyard when my son announced that the rabbits were gone. They were no where to be found. I immediately believed him because he has been checking on them with the religious fervor of a Texas baptist. Okay, maybe that went a little too far.

But he said they were gone.

So we let the dog out in the backyard.

And everyone played.

And everyone played.

And everyone played.

And then..everyone came in for bedtime.

And then…everyone woke up the next day to get ready for school.

And then…just as I was biting into my hot oatmeal breakfast my eight year old came running into the kitchen screaming, “Sophie killed the baby rabbit! She killed it! It’s laying on the floor!”

Tears. Tears. Hysterical tears.

I ran into the dining room to find the dog in her crate and an obviously dead baby bunny sprawled out on our dining room floor.

How did this happen? The dog hasn’t even gone outside yet today?

Tears. Tears. Hysterical tears.

Still I can’t seem to move. I just stare at this dead bunny on my dining room floor.

I don’t understand? How did, oh no, I know what happened!

Last night when I let the dog in she ran right to her crate without stopping to get water. Unusual but not completely out of the ordinary.

I locked her in her crate and went to my room.

As I read a little while later I turned to my husband and said, “What is Sophie doing in her crate? She’s moving around a lot.”



Now I have 2 kids screaming.

I yell at the dog and lock her in her crate. I order my 11 year old to get a trash bag and I go to the garage and grab some rake contraption and a sheet. I tell my son to open up the trash bag as I try and scoop THE DEAD  RABBIT onto the rake.

I miss the first time but manage to scoop him up the second time.

My son is so disgusted by holding the bag he drops it before managing to open it up enough for me to drop THE  DEAD BUNNY and the sheet into the bag.

I tie the bag and rush it outside.

I order my son to wash his hands throughly three times while I do the same. I wash the dining room floor and wash my hands again many times. And I do a full body shiver.

I then talk with my 8 year old, the animal lover, and mumble something about animals, circle of life, Sophie thought it was a toy, and then agree to write a note to his teacher telling her what a tough morning he has had.

I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t call my husband after this experience and possibly semi-curse at him for not being home during this event. I may have forbidden him to ever leave the house again for work.

I think it’s safe to say that this experience has affected us all.

Later in the day my four year old told the Old Navy saleswoman and the grocery store clerk that our dog killed a rabbit.

My 11 year old has definitely ruled out a career in waste management.

I’m considering plans to demolish our dining room.

And my  8 year old wants to know when we are going to the SPCA to get another dog.

Yes. He is.

Apparently he has short term memory problems.

I assured him under no uncertain circumstances that we would never get another pet of any kind.

After all, I can still see that DEAD BUNNY on my dining room floor.



The Rabbits

I’m sure you are familiar with the phrase, “Anything for your children.”

Well, that phrase is the reason why my husband and I have turned our backyard into a  rabbit sanctuary.

Yes, a rabbit sanctuary.


Really, if it was up to us, we’d let our dog eat the baby bunnies.

OK, maybe that’s a little harsh.

My husband would most certainly shoo the bunnies away before the dog got outside.

Because two little bunnies and their momma have moved into our yard, and because my eight year old animal loving son discovered their nest, my husband and I have taken to walking the dog three times a day.

This is the same dog who wants to spend all day outside now that it’s not 100 degrees but cannot because of Flopsy and Mopsy Cottontail.

So maybe it’s really three of us sacrificing for our son.

Roughly 20 times a day I hear the back door slam signaling to me that it’s only a matter of time before I have a bunny update.

When I asked my husband how we should move the bunnies he said, “I don’t think we should move them, we’ll wait till they grow up to let the dog outside.”

What the beep, beep, beep?

Are you kidding me?

I’m going to let you guess who promptly got sick shortly after those words were uttered and went to bed early, completely forgetting about taking the dog out. And then let you guess who was the person who went out walking the dog at 10:00 that night with a steak knife in one hand and a dozen plastic bags in the other.

And so we wait for the bunnies to grow up.

I’m giving them 3 more days before I let the dog out.

In the meantime I’m scouting out places where I can rent The Lion King.

Not sure if I’m going to focus on, “Hakuna Matata,” or “Circle of Life.”

We might let the dog decide.

A Dog, A Girl, and a Leash

“Sophie, come here. I need to put your leash on.”


“Sophie! Come here. We are going for a walk. I want to put your leash on you.”


“Sophie, come here. 5! 4! 3! 2! 1! Sophie I counted. Come here.”


“Mom, I’m getting frustrated. I’m trying to put her leash on but she keeps walking away.”


“Sophie, you need to listen to me right now.”


 “Sit Sophie sit.”



Disney Fun

Well, that was quite a long break for me but one that was quite necessary.

You see, we had the holidays, then we went to DISNEY, and then my middle child got the flu.

Yep, even though he received the flu shot in October, he got the flu.

Apparently the flu shot covers three out of four types of the flu.

Well, he got the 4th one sometime while we were at Disney.

Mickey Mouse, roller coasters, and the flu.

Thankfully, he only missed the last day of fun and he felt so bad he didn’t care that he missed going on rides.

Here are just a few shots from our trip:


Only rained one day





Animation Class

Fun Fact: I won the teacher’s artwork by answering the following trivia question:

Name one of Mickey Mouse’s nephews... answer at the end


Yes, we spent $45 on face painting on this trip but it was completely worth it



Me: Let’s all three of us ride together

Alex & Caroline: No

Me: Please can we all ride together

Alex & Caroline: No

Result: Loser Mom is riding the Dumbo ride all by herself and trying not to look anyone in the eye


Little girl souvenir haul: one princess nightgown, one cheetah, one princess bank


Oh, and one princess hat


And in case you were wondering, Mickey Mouse has two nephews, Morty and Fergie.

Years of reading Disney storybooks finally paid off.

Hope your holidays were wonderful!

A Dog & A Dream Part 2

My 7 year old had the saddest look on his face so I bought him a dog.

 Well, no. But I thought I might make you think I caved for a moment.

It was actually quite easy to say no since there were only Pit Bulls and Rottweilers at the SPCA. Um, no thank you.

But that didn’t stop us from looking and looking at the dogs.

Thankfully, our volunteer coordinator told us it was time to start helping so Andrew was distracted by something else.

(I found an organization called Wee Volunteers whose main goal is to get kids involved in volunteering. Before school started, our whole family went and helped distribute school supplies to struggling families. Volunteering at the SPCA was our second volunteer experience and they loved it.)

First up was our meeting with the SPCA volunteer coordinator. She was great with the kids explaining what the organization does and why these animals may have ended up here.

One of the “jobs” the kids had was to decorate a bandana for the dogs to wear when they are trying to get adopted at pet fairs. Apparently, people are a lot more likely to take a second look at a dog with a colorful accessory.

Alex wrote, “Super Dog,” on his bandana and created a symbol as well.

Andrew drew the word, “Rock,” everywhere in about twelve different colors.

Caroline made a masterpiece of lines and squiggles.

Next up was feeding the donkeys!

The donkeys were a huge hit and only $100- I was thinking of buying one for Derek for Father’s Day so he wouldn’t have to mow anymore – wait, maybe I should get a goat for $50.

Next up, checking on the foals who had just come in.

And yes, they even have pigs and chickens available to adopt.

Dinner, anyone?

As we left the building and were walking to our car, Andrew said to Alex, “You know, I have a $50 dollar bill in my bank and the pigs only cost $40. I could come back here and buy a pig.”

Always a schemer, that one.

So apparently Andrew is trying to hatch a plan to adopt another animal, but for now we are going to remain a one pet house.