Rainy Days

Yesterday and today have been cold, rainy days around here. What a nice change for us! We’re all glad the weather is finally cooling off! The kids and I have been soaking in the quiet togetherness that rainy days create.

Yesterday the kidlets played with Play-Doh after breakfast while I put dinner in the crock pot. Then we went for a walk in the drizzle. Our neighbor’s dog came with us and Hula Girl spent the entire walk throwing the dog’s ball. Gelato spent the entire walk alternating between crying because his hood was on and crying because his hood was off. 🙂 Afterward, we came home and the kiddos had some hot chocolate. In the afternoon we cleaned the house and baked biscuits, and then the kids played with shaving cream paint in the tub. They had an early dinner of chili and biscuits and then we welcomed our small group. The kids played quietly during the first few minutes of small group, and then it was time for Jonathan to put them to bed. Hula Girl, of course, did not fall asleep right away; she stood looking out her window to watch our guests leave, as she always does when we have company.

This morning, Hula Girl didn’t wake up until 8:00, so Gelato and I made breakfast together before we got her up. They had banana bread and milk for breakfast. While they ate, I read them the story of Noah’s Ark from Genesis. Hula Girl was surprised and said, “Mommy, I’m amazed that the story in the Bible is just like the story in our Jesus Storybook Bible! God is sure awesome! And he made rainbows to make a promise!”

Then we cleaned up and the kids stayed in their jammies while they played with the Lite Brite and Cootie. After we got that craziness cleaned up, we decided it was time to start making Christmas gifts and decorations. (Nay-Nay and Auntie Joanna, something’s coming your way soon!) Gelato surprised me with his dexterity! We were stringing Christmas beads (not pony beads- the star-shaped things that have small holes in the middle) on pipe cleaners to make “icicles” to hang in the tree. He could do it! I was amazed. Hula Girl has discovered a passion for stringing beads, and she will be making many many many more of these for friends and family alike. 🙂

Around 10:00, I got the kids bundled up in sweat pants, rain coats, and boots, and I sent them out in the backyard so I could read my Bible while watching them play. They got SOAKED. And they loved it. At 10:45, I called them back in and welcomed them with a hair dryer, big towels, and fleece footie jammies. Hula Girl thought it was great fun to have me blow dry her entire body; both of them loved it when I pulled their jammies out from their bodies and blew warm air down their backs. Ah, to be a preschooler again! Then we snuggled up on the couch and read several books under a cozy blanket.

After lunch, Gelato started his nap and Hula Girl and I finished Peter Pan. This is the fourth movie she’s ever seen. I am not a super big fan of it for her- there are lots of names called, Indians are portrayed in a terrible light, and there is just a lot of violence in general. I had to keep reminding her that it’s all a big game the Lost Boys play with the other inhabitants of Neverland, and that since it’s all pretend, none of these things actually happen. She is much more partial to Frozen. I have to agree with her! She has also seen Cinderella and The Aristocats. I like Frozen and Cinderella best.

When the kids wake up from naps, I plan to take them to Walmart, just to get out of the house for a while. We need to get a few pull-ups for Gelato (he sleeps in a pull-up but is potty-trained otherwise), and I believe they carry a non-GMO cornmeal there, which would be great for cornbread. (You’ll notice I said we baked biscuits to eat with our chili yesterday… yup, we are out of cornmeal.) I’m hoping Jonathan will light our fireplace after dinner so we can bring the kids down and read them a bedtime story in front of the fire tonight.

 

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Hula Girl’s Art Table

Hula Girl and I do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to “projects.” I tend to have a finished vision in mind and she couldn’t care less. She is much more interested in the process and discovery than the actual product. She LOVES to paint, color, tape, glue, and make a mess. A huge mess. There is some innate sense of hatred of paint that resides deep in my soul. Every time we pull out paints (water colors, tempera paints, finger paints, doesn’t matter), I end up a stressed-out ball of frayed angry nerves and I don’t tend to mother with very much gentleness or grace. I don’t know what it is about paint that does this to me.

And it’s not just paint. Hula Girl puts everything in her mouth. I mean, EVERYTHING. (I’m actually looking into this from a more medical/psychological point of view right now because I mean it when I say she puts everything in her mouth.) She knows that she’s not supposed to, but she does it. From the very first of our art endeavors, when I handed then-10-month-old Hula Girl some crayons and a piece of paper and proudly posted pictures of the scribbles all over Facebook, to our most recent watercolor masterpiece at the easel encounter, she has had her supplies taken from her for putting them in her mouth. I am not kidding. I have had to stop the activity or take supplies each and every time we have ever attempted art, because she is always tasting and sampling and chewing and licking and spitting. Drives.me.crazy. (My poor mother-in-law has had to hear all about this over and over. Sorry, Momma C.) Thank goodness kids’ art supplies are generally considered non-toxic (although you’d have to pay me a LOT of money before I’d admit that maybe the artificial dyes aren’t so bad after all…)

Anyway.

I have been wanting to test a theory. I have been pondering the idea that perhaps Hula Girl has been so obsessed with putting art supplies in her mouth partially because she knows it makes me so upset. What if I just gave her free access to them and didn’t care about what she actually does with them? What if I just let her go for it using whatever supplies she wanted to use to create anything she wanted to create? Would we still have the mouthing issue? I have been talking it over with Jonathan and he said we could create an art space for Hula Girl somewhere in the house.

Then, last Friday we were given a free “art table” for children. It looks like this. Some random neighbor we’ve never talked to before chased me down when I was out on a walk with the kids (actually, I was terrified about this random person running behind me!), and she offered the art desk to us since she doesn’t have any kids. I said we’d take a look at it, and once we did, we knew we had to have it.

Since it was used, Hula Girl and I spent some time on Saturday afternoon washing it and making it a bit more presentable (we removed the white board section before we soaped it up). It wasn’t in really bad shape, but it had some writing on the white board that was done in permanent marker, and it was a bit dusty. Hula Girl was a great help when we were washing it. I gave her a sponge and let her go for it. She ended up with mud all over her feet, a trend that continued throughout the weekend. (Mud messes I can handle; paint messes, not so much. Weird?)

I ran to Walmart (our favorite store, duh) and stocked up. Like, STOCKED UP. Hula Girl now has access to white board crayons, regular crayons, markers, watercolor paints, colored pencils, regular pencils, erasers, tape, glue, scissors, paper, and stickers. I am planning to add playdough (homemade), 3-D supplies (like egg cartons, etc.), and chalk. I will also add other supplies, and specialized supplies (like glitter crayons), as she gets older.

She has been busy. She has spent 2.5 hours total over the past three days just cutting. My floor is covered in little tiny scraps of paper. But she is busy and happy and she feels that the work she is doing is very important. She keeps putting stickers on paper and cutting them in half so that Jonathan and I can “learn what happens.” She has painted, colored, taped, and written the letter “N” over and over. Absolutely nothing I would have wanted to do in my supplies-hating heart.

And do you want to know something else? She has not put any of her supplies in her mouth, with one exception. She put the glue stick on her lips because it reminded her of chapstick. She hasn’t done that since. 🙂

 

BIG FAT FABULOUS FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a.k.a. CHRISTMASTIME IS HERE!!!!!

So, to begin the season right, take a little listen to my favorite favorite favorite Christmas Season Song. (I actually have a different Favorite Christmas Eve Song, so be prepared for that one in a few weeks.) And yes, I only like this song when Nat King Cole sings it.

What is Big Fat Fabulous Friday?

Well, it’s the day that begins the most wonderful time of the year, of course.

Sure, many people are out being crazy and mauling each other in order to gain possession of that one special item. That’s not exactly the most wonderful time of the year. I will admit that I have participated in Black Friday deal hunting, and that I look forward to it again in the future. But I am not a die-hard, get-there-at-the-crack-of-8:30-p.m.-on-Thanksgiving-and-shop-all-night kind of girl. No, no. I prefer getting up around 5:30, stopping by Starbucks, loading up on caffeine and FAR too much sugar, hitting a few fun stores, feeling absolutely sick by 7:30, stopping for breakfast, getting out to a couple more stores, and then heading home by 10. That’s the extent of my Black Friday. And I like to leave it that way.

But Black Friday is NOT the same as Big Fat Fabulous Friday.

Big Fat Fabulous Friday is the day when we bust out the ol’ Christmas decorations. Big Fat Fabulous Friday is the day when Jonathan spends FAR too much time on the roof putting up lights. Big Fat Fabulous Friday is the day when our little family piles in the car and gets our CHRISTMAS TREE!!!

So, it’s safe to say that Big Fat Fabulous Friday is awesome.

This year, Hula Girl is old enough to understand and participate in some of the rituals. She will be outside with us when I help Jonathan string the lights on our outdoor trees. She will be inside with me, jamming to our favorite carols and sipping hot chocolate, while I put up the few decorations that last year-to-year. She will get to help Jonathan choose the very best tree while I carry Gelato around the tree lot. And she will be able to help me water the Christmas tree every morning and afternoon until it stops drinking water or January comes.

Can I tell you how excited I am to be sharing some of these things with my kiddo!?!?! I mean, this is the first year we will actually start traditions with her! She gets to hang her own ornaments! She gets to make cookies for Santa! She gets to leave cheese for Santa Mouse and a carrot for Rudolph! (Her current thinking on Santa/reindeer is that Santa will come wake her up in the night when he gets here so that she can come downstairs and feed an unpeeled carrot to the reindeer. Yes, she specified that the carrot will not be peeled. ??? She has also expressed concern that Santa Mouse will need to hide her present in the MIDDLE of the Christmas tree so that she can crawl under the branches and look up to find it. No joke. She is hilarious.) 

Another tradition we’re SO excited to begin is one I heard of somewhere out in blogland- we’re going to set out a small empty manger and every time someone in our family shows kindness, joy, or love, we’ll add a piece of straw. We hope to make a nice, soft bed for Jesus for his arrival on Christmas Eve.

I have come up with a Christmas-related topic for every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, and have planned 2 activities to go along with each topic. Hula Girl will LOVE Christmas by the time December is over. And not just for the toys. We’re focusing on things like the characters in the Christmas story, the advent wreath, and Christmas traditions like candy canes and stockings. I plan to keep it quite simple (duh, she’s 2) and not try to hit on EVERYTHING this year (we do have several Christmases ahead of us, after all), but I also want to try to give her a bit of an understanding of the miracle and why we celebrate so very much. I mean, 1/12th of our LIVES are spent in celebration of this one event… she may as well understand why we go so crazy over it (especially if her understanding diminishes the importance of TOYS and emphasizes the importance of…oh, I don’t know… SALVATION)!

So, back to our plans.

We’ll get up, have an awesome Christmas-themed breakfast (I’ll post about that when it happens), and start up the carols. Hula Girl and I will start reading a few Christmas stories that we have here at home (we have, like, 1000 books-no joke- so I’m sure we have at least 20 books about Christmas). Then Jonathan will bring in all the Christmas decorations and lights, and we’ll figure out what goes where and which strings of lights need replacing, etc. Next, we’ll head outside to watch Jonathan start putting up lights. When Hula Girl tires of that, we’ll head inside and start decorating the inside of the house (because, of course, we’ll have taken down all Remnants of Fall on Thanksgiving night). I can’t wait to show her the special decorations we have and tell her what they mean to us. I’m thinking particularly of a little statue we have that has 3 snowmen. I got that for us when we learned we were pregnant with Hula Girl. She will ADORE having a snowman self. Of course, lunch will be Thanksgiving leftovers. While Hula Girl naps, Jonathan and I will finish up with the lights and decorations. I will also start some turkey soup so that when Hula Girl and Gelato get up from their naps in the afternoon, we can head out as a family and choose our TREE! When we get home, we’ll set it up in the garage to let its branches fall a bit and we’ll enjoy turkey soup for dinner. Once the kids are in bed, Jonathan and I will plan this year’s extra-special decorations… I plan to go crafting-crazy, and I will have to shop on Saturday to purchase all the extra supplies I need. 🙂

Wahoo! Welcome to the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

Things are “Falling” into Place

This weekend was great! I feel like I’m nesting. I didn’t do any nesting when I was pregnant with Gelato, so I guess now’s as good a time as any. Better, in fact! It’s fall, for one, and therefore I can light my pumpkin spice candle and bask in the scent of autumn goodies all day long without feeling like it’s forced. And I feel better than ever since Gelato was born, so I will be able to actually keep up the tidiness, cleanliness, and accomplished-ness.

Here’s what I did this weekend: got all the laundry done; deep cleaned the whole house; took Hula Girl on a “girls’ shopping adventure” (gotta get those groceries!); got Gelato kind of on schedule again; read a lot of a new book from the library; watched Dance Moms, America’s Next Top Model, and Project Runway (what can I say? I like quality entertainment); and went with Jonathan to get the car. Woohoo! The only thing missing was that I did not get to do Hula Girl’s curtains. I have been wanting to sew her actual curtains to the blackout liners that are currently hanging in her room (yep, we’ve lived here over a year- I really need to get on this!), but I didn’t feel like busting out the ol’ machine. Guess that will have to be a later-this-week-or-maybe-next-month project.

This week we’re having several different dishes for dinner. Different in our house means anything that’s not been frozen for a month. So, no lasagna, no casseroles, no macaroni and cheese. Okay, we are having mac’n’cheese next Sunday night… but it’s comfort food! Anyway, some of the things on this week’s menu include turkey chili, creamy chicken penne, and manicotti. Of course, I won’t be able to actually eat any of these dishes… but at least Jonathan and Hula Girl will appreciate the change.

It dawned on me today as I was nursing Gelato that I haven’t wistfully thought back to the days of having only one child in a while. Having two kids is my new norm, and it feels pretty darn normal! We’ve made it through almost seven weeks now, and Hula Girl is starting to show signs that she’s not going to be messed up for life by the addition of a brother. Gelato is starting to show signs that he might actually sleep through a nap again someday, and maybe even continue to stretch out his nights! Jonathan is starting to show signs that he’s learning to balance work/family/gym (let’s hope he gets to go to the gym more than a couple times this week, for his sake). And I’m feeling just pretty optimistic about our little family’s future. As hard as it has been to add a second child to our family, I have been much more able to just enjoy him than I was with Hula Girl. A short nap or a quirky schedule doesn’t send me into a tailspin the way it did with her. Let’s be honest here- of course these things bother me, but I am much better equipped to just let it go and try again the next time. I have seen evidence that one faulty day is not going to ruin every part of my child’s future. 🙂

I think this weekend was just really good for me psychologically. I feel caught up. I feel organized(ish). I feel like I’ve struck on a healthy balance of control and go-with-the-flow. And now I have some extra time to plan fun activities with Hula Girl, my in-laws’ visit and the festivities surrounding that, and my Christmas decor. Yes, I like to plan my Christmas decor months in advance. I will be making a lot of new decorations this year. I had planned them for last year but was too sick with morning sickness to follow through.

YEE-HAW! Jonathan just brought in another box of fall decorations. I gotta go.

Does this bother anyone else?

Why can’t she just paint with ONE color and then switch? Why must she dip her brush in EVERY color before she paints a black streak on the paper? Why must she WASTE all that paint that gets wiped off at the end of the session?

Oh well, at least she had fun. 🙂

Choices, Fish, and Dead Batteries

Last night, I said to Jonathan, “I just don’t know what to do with Hula Girl tomorrow!”

He suggested the same ol’ same ol’: zoo or playground. But it’s too hot for either of those. I mean, sure, maybe if I weren’t 38.5 weeks pregnant… but I am, so those were not options. So we thought maybe Hula Girl and I would hit the pet store and the bookstore. Then I remembered that I really need to get the fabric to finish up Gelato’s nursery walls and Boppy cover. So we added the fabric store to the list.

Hula Girl woke up feeling like a TWO-YEAR-OLD this morning. And what I mean by that is that she wanted to make all her own decisions and do the exact opposite of what I wanted her to do. This was demonstrated clearly when I chose her outfit for her and she screamed and cried for ten(!) minutes about how she wanted to wear the “nank bop” (tank top) instead of the yellow shirt. Too bad for you, girlie girl. I even chose white undies, whereas she would have preferred blue ones. She made that quite clear.

Sadly for her, I don’t accept that kind of thinking. I have been talking to Jonathan lately about how she’s getting more and more choice-addicted. So I cut her off completely. She has officially made zero choices today. And guess what? Her behavior has gotten better and better as the day has gone on. Guess she needed a bit more reminding about who’s in charge. Also, I think she was getting stressed out with the number of choices she was responsible for. Emotionally, she couldn’t hack it, and she was inwardly concerned that she might actually be in charge. (Which, for those of you who don’t know brain development stuff well, can be very traumatic for a toddler, and they begin to act out to try to force the parent to regain control.)

Anyway, we had a lovely morning together after the tank top and blue undies vs. yellow shirt and white undies episode. She did push back on a few decisions I made, but nothing like the throw-herself-down-and-sob-miserably tantrum from the morning. I chose peanut butter and honey toast and strawberries for her breakfast.* After breakfast we rearranged her art/crafts station because she has gotten tall enough to reach the crayons, markers, glue, and paints. Hence her little redecorating spree the other day. I got a fun idea to have her color a picture and use stickers this morning. We haven’t done that at home in a long time. Plus she needs the practice coloring, I think. I generally give her blank paper and have her scribble on it, but I noticed the other day that she was actually attempting to color in individual shapes when we were at the library. Oops! Guess I should give her practice with that, too. How else will she learn to stay in the lines?** So I busted out my major artistic skillz and drew her some fish.

Here’s the final product! Note the ginormous glue globs under the eyes on the left 2 fish!

Crayons, stickers, and glued-on eyes! What fun!

So our day is sounding all hokey and stay-at-home-mom-ish now, right? (How do I fill the day? Crafts? Shopping? Yes!) Well, it gets even better.

After Hula Girl and I completed her fish project, I got dressed and the two of us headed out the car. I turned the key and heard rrr, rrrr, rrr, rrrr, click, click, click, click. Thinking it must have been a one-time-only deal, I turned the key again, and this time I heard click, click, click, click. Boo. Dead battery.

Normally it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal. I would have herded the little Hulameister back into the house and occupied her time with fingerpainting and dancing and general glee and merriment. But, remember folks, I am 38.5 weeks pregnant.

What if I went into labor and couldn’t get to the hospital!? (No, I do not plan to drive myself there, but I also do not plan to ride all the way there in 100 degree heat in the other car. The other car’s A/C is broken.) And then how would we get home once Gelato’s ready?! No, no, no. This will not do. Must.fix.car.

So we walked across the street to see if the neighbors could give us a jump. I was praying the whole time that a) they were home, and b) they knew how to jump a car. I have no knowledge of this. Well, a) they were not home, and b) there are no other neighbors around that I trust. So we went home and called roadside assistance.

Dude came in 15 minutes! It was awesome. He jumped the car and left it running so we could head over to Walmart (AGAIN) to have them check out the battery.

We pull up to Walmart and ask the nice garage guys to test the battery. Yup. Dead. So they go ahead and replace it. Sounds simple, no?

Well, not exactly. See, our car’s battery is down under all the other stuff. It’s right next to the wheel well, in the fender. WHO DESIGNED THIS CAR?!?! I mean, come on! Isn’t the battery kind of something that people try to get to frequently!? Obviously it has poles above the engine where it can be jumped, but it’s seriously buried down there. So of course they have to take off the wheel. And the fender.

An hour and a half of mindlessly wandering Walmart and thanking whoever it was that thought of putting Subway restaurants right inside Walmart and feeding Hula Girl a lunch consisting of things she’s never going to eat again (turkey with nitrates and fake juice, anyone!?) later, we found out that our car was ready. Score.

Hula Girl kept saying to me, “Ay-oh cah is wix! Ay-oh cah is wix!” (Our car is fixed! Our car is fixed!) She was delighted. Weren’t we all?!

And we got home just fifteen minutes late for Hula Girl’s nap. I’d call that pretty successful.

*Peanut butter: I have decided to start introducing peanut butter. Hula Girl has had no problems whatsoever with coconut milk, which I was determined to do before peanuts. Therefore this morning she got her first taste of peanut butter. Like a true member of our family, she said, “Mmm! [Hula Girl] yike meanuh bah-bah!” ([Hula Girl] like peanut butter!)

**Staying in the lines: I was actually kidding. I don’t think it’s important for a 2-year-old to learn to stay in the lines. I actually need to pull out my “art for kids” stuff from college to see what she ought to be doing now. Maybe that can be my next research topic. I generally like her to just do what she feels like she should do with art/craft supplies. Granted, this usually generates no “art” as it were. Just messy hands and lots of miniscule marks on a page.

Ugly Dresser and Fire Ants

Yes, it arrived. The ugly dresser. My ugly dresser. It’s not actually all that ugly, if you can see past its current state and give it a chance.  Ready for the close-up?

Here she is, in all her glory! She definitely has the potential to be cute.

Yes, this is what the top of the dresser looked like when I bought it.

All dinged up and ready for work!

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me! I actually started this weekend. Let me tell you, this thing was a lot of fun to sand! I used my orbital sander for the large panels, drawer fronts, and top. Then I had to get out the ol’ sandpaper and use some elbow grease on the trim pieces and the decorative parts.

The next step was to prime the whole thing. I used Kilz Clean Start and used two coats, sanding in between layers and afterward. I decided to use a small foam roller on the drawer fronts since they’re so smooth to begin with. After doing so, I realized… I don’t really like the foam roller. So I will be sticking to my good old brush for now.

I will be painting the first coat this evening or next evening, depending on which evening is cooler- paint has been drying way too fast to attempt something this large and finicky! Tomorrow I’ll post primer pictures and then you’ll have to wait until I’m officially finished to see the final result. Actually, I’m really indecisive and have too many ideas waiting for inspiration to hit.

In other news, I was bit by a fire ant on Saturday. On the bottom of my foot. It hurt so bad.  And then I made a terrible, awful, no-good, very bad decision. I put my foot on ice. I wrapped the ice pack with a paper towel. Apparently it wasn’t thick enough, and keeping my foot on a thinly-wrapped ice pack for an hour at a time actually froze my foot. Like, we’re talking frostbite. It hurt like I have never hurt before, and I’ve had kidney infections and given birth, people! It seriously felt like what I imagine it would feel like to be shot in the foot.

You know when you run your too-cold hands under warm water and they tingle and feel all burned? Well, that’s how my foot felt for the remainder of  Saturday. All for the sake of a silly little ant.

Today, my foot is swollen and blistered on the bottom. That’s from the ant venom. The tingling and burning from the frostbite is gone, thank goodness. What an ordeal!

Monday Blue

I’m talking the color, not the mood.

Today is a great day so far! For me, at least. Hula Girl has had a rough day- I think she’s getting tooth #8 right now. She got tooth #7 last Monday, and when she got her first two teeth, they came about a week apart, so I’m figuring she’ll pop it through pretty soon here. In the meantime, we’re keeping the makers of cold teethers in business.

But back to the greatness! Blue. It’s a lovely color, right? I sure think so. Today has been filled with lots of blue things which have made me very happy.

Blue #1- The pool. Yup, we went swimming again. Hula Girl had on her life vest this time, which was really fun because she could float farther away from me. She got to kickin’ and splashin’ like Shamu. And I didn’t have to get it all in my eyes!

Blue #2- Paint colors. Ahhhhhh, paint colors. Why, you ask? Wellllllll…. I am finally going to start my nightstands and headboard! Remember this post, where I put up pictures of those delightful little nightstands? I also called the headboard ugly. I am happy to announce that I am finally going to get down to business and get those little beauties done up right. My plan is to use white for the main body of the nightstands and the frame of the headboard, and then to use a robin’s egg blue, as seen in this post, for the accents. I will be painting a chevron pattern or stenciling an Ikkat pattern on the tops of the nightstands and in the panels of the headboard, adding robin’s egg blue glass or acrylic knobs and pulls, and putting some robin’s egg blue fabric behind the mesh screens of the nightstand doors. I’m leaning toward Ikat, like this design stenciled by the wonderful Cassie at Primitive and Proper (as featured on the DIY Club blog).

Blue #3- Blue moon. You know how they say that something good only happens “once in a blue moon?” Well, I had my blue moon moment this weekend. I am SO excited. I went in to this secondhand store here in my tiny little town, just to look around. I had never really gone in before, and I am SORRY I didn’t! This place is phenomenal. I am not kidding you. I have never before seen such a treasure trove of amazing antique furniture in beautiful condition, for such excellent prices. In fact, the prices were so good that I ended up buying this adorable dresser for only $75. I am eagerly awaiting its delivery as I type! I will be painting this little baby and I will likely try to sell it online as my first “upcycled” piece. I cannot wait to show you the transformation that will occur. In fact, be aware that in the next few days, I will be posting pictures of the dresser, things that are inspiring, and color schemes, so you can have some input in the final outcome. You, too, can be a winner! 

So, how’s your Monday going?

Garden Photos/Project Update

Here are some lovely hollyhocks- these were actually here before we moved in. They’re perennials, they’re beautiful, and we’re taking LOTS of seeds when we go!

Aawww, how cute! Our carrots have foliage!

Our kale can beat up your kale!

A wildflower from the wildflower mix finally bloomed! It’s lovely, is it not?! It’s about the size of a half-dollar coin.

Another view of our carrot patch. Kind of blurry. Very messy with dead leaves and sticks.

Our snap peas blossomed… and gave us beautiful flowers to behold!

Remember those tasty little rubies? Here they are!

Okay, so I didn’t plant these. But this basket is a beautiful basket, and I tend to it better than I do to the rest of the plants!

Our first harvest! Yummy, they were good!

And here’s a teaser shot for the table- I haven’t gotten it cleaned off enough to take a picture of the entire thing yet. Trust me, I love this thing. It’s worth the wait.

Another teaser shot- there are drawers on the ends of the table. My neighbors, who are awesome, got me these acrylic drawer pulls. Lovely.

There’s the back of a chair- just to give you an idea of what they look like. Distressed, but not too distressed, you know?

Annnndd…. A new project! I found these beauties at the flea market a couple weeks back. I can’t WAIT to get my hands on them! I’m thinking aqua, with a bit of white. Or maybe steely gray. I can’t decide.  (And yes, that’s a king size headboard behind them, which I was unable to convince the lady to keep… so… anyone need a really old headboard?)

 

I’m thinking of doing steely gray fixtures and then making the wire part steely gray as well. Or gold! See, haven’t decided.


Busy but Good Busy

Well, it has, yet again, been a while. I have not felt particularly busy, but things have been happening. Definitely have a lot going on around here, when I stop to think about it. Lovin’ the craziness, because it’s coming at a doable pace. Bring it on.

Hula Girl Update

  • Weaning- Well, it’s official. We started weaning exactly one week ago. We started by dropping one of her nursings and replacing it with a cup of whole milk. She did pretty well, drinking about 4 oz the first day, which was way more than I expected. She then proceeded to drink anywhere from 1 to 4 oz/day for the last week. Today, I dropped a second nursing. She drank 3 oz for the first cup, and when she wakes from the current nap, she’ll have the opportunity to drink up to 6 oz more (although I think she’ll stick with 3-4 oz). We’re currently on 2 nursings/day now, one right when she gets up and one right before bed. I think I will drop the bedtime nursing last. By the time she’s 100% weaned, our goal will be 16-24 oz of whole milk/day, spread across 4 cups. Doable. I am also remembering that we can count yogurt, cheese, and on the (very infrequent and special) occasion, ice cream.
  • Talking- Hula Girl is on the brink of a major language explosion again, I do believe. She is really into jabbering and babbling on and on in baby talk. I hear a lot of “Dadadamamadadammamanaanoononono.” She also likes to experiment with pitches and volume. Her favorite pitch/volume combo is definitely the ear-piercing shriek. Her second favorite is the whispered, “Ahhhhhhhhhh!” She has gotten quite good at saying and signing many words, such as more, mama, dada, milk, no, uh-oh, elbow (pronounced, “Bel-bow!”), all done, banana, and a few more. We’ve also noticed her ability to make the sounds for quite a few animals, including pigs, sheep, dogs, cats, lions, tigers (which sound freakishly similar to lions), chickens, fish, ducks, and monkeys.  But my favorite “new words” as of recent times have been the colors. Yes, she knows some colors. I walked into her room yesterday wearing a purple dress, and she pointed to it and said, “Pu-pow.” She has also successfully identified blue (“Boo”) and yellow (“weh-wow”). Oh, and she can say our cat, Riley’s, name: “Rah-rah.” She even uses the /r/ sound. I can’t wait until this girl really gets going!
  • Walking/Standing with Arms Down- Hula Girl’s walking and standing has mostly included the “arms-bent-at-the-elbow-and-balled-into-fists-for-balance” maneuver. However, she’s been trying to walk and stand with arms at her sides for the past couple of days. Let me tell you, that has got to be the funniest thing to witness, ever. Since she doesn’t have her hands up to balance, she sticks her little tummy out instead- like, WAY out. And she doesn’t do it slowly or subtly. Nope, it’s more of a hip-thrust motion that goes awry, and it always knocks her down after a few steps. So funny.
  • Does it Fit?- Hula Girl’s latest “something to do” obsession has been to see what fits inside of what. She has a Victoria’s Secret shopping bag, a big plastic liquid measuring cup, a felt brown toy grocery bag, and a small 1/3 cup dry measuring cup. These, together with her other toys, have kept her entertained for hours during the past week. She’ll start by putting something in the Victoria’s Secret bag, lifting it, and walking around with it for a bit. Then she moves the toy to the liquid measuring cup, and carries it around. Next, to the grocery bag, to be carried, and finally, to the dry measuring cup. Most of her toys don’t fit in the dry measuring cup. However, if they do fit, she will walk around holding the cup by the handle and jiggle the toy inside of it so that it clanks around while she walks, which is probably the most fun she’s ever had. Just ask her! She also likes to go “shopping” and fit as many toys as possible in one container before dumping them into the next. Carrying boxes, bags, and containers is the coolest!

My Projects Update

  • Well, the table and chairs are finished! I will be taking/posting pictures soon. I will actually be posting a before/after because it really does make me HAPPY to see what we started with, and how it ended up. Let me just say, I LOVE our table and chairs now. LOVE. I couldn’t be happier with them.
  • I also cut the fabric for 12 cloth napkins to go with my table and chairs today. I will be finishing the hems this evening after I visit our local Walmart for the thread (I know, who runs out of white thread!?) They match the chair fabric.
  • I will be making some cloth flowers next, to put up on my shutters in the kitchen. I have an old window and shutters hanging on the wall, and I will be putting a mini-bunting in the window, but the shutters really need… something…. to make them seem less boring. Fabric scraps? Check. Flowers are definitely in our future. 🙂

Garden Update

Remember how I was feeling somewhat down about our garden recently? Well, I’m not so forlorn anymore.

  • Carrots- they’ve come up, and now they’re sprouting the more ferny-looking leaves at the top! SO cute!
  • Kale- um, we’re having a lot of Zuppa Toscana soup this fall. I am so looking forward to it. (Did you know, by the way, that kale is one of nature’s superfoods? It’s PACKED with nutrients, and it’s quite tasty!)
  • Chives/Green Onions- The ground looks like the head of a ChiaPet where I planted these babies. I consider that a good sign.
  • Strawberries- our strawberry plants make delicious strawberries. They’re tiny, but it’s like eating the very best, sweetest little rubies on the planet. Seriously, they’re awesome.
  • Herbs- haven’t sprouted. Boo.
  • Green Beans- These babies are taking over our lives. They’re going to be monstrous.
  • Peas- We’ve already harvested/indulged on these little pops of perfection. My friend Aaron recently tasted some of the first harvest, and referred to fresh snap peas such as ours as “God’s candy.” Well said, Aaron.
  • Jalapenos- the potted ones are hangin’ in there; the ones in the ground aren’t coming up. Not that I mind.
  • Broccoli- we have one broccoli plant. It’s surviving.
  • Cucumber- we have one cucumber plant. It’s surviving, but definitely not thriving. I will be shocked if we have cucumbers at all.
  • Tomatoes- all three plants have yellow blossoms and are on the 2nd or 3rd rung of our tomato holder thingies.
  • Squash- we have so many squash plants. I hope you all like painted gourds, because that is what we’re giving away for Christmas presents this year. I might only be half-kidding.
  • Brussels sprouts- not sure on these. We might have some growing, but they might be weeds. We’ll see when they get bigger. We just don’t know what they’re supposed to look like when they sprout.
  • Corn- oh yeah, our corn is growing now!!! We’ve got about 25 corn plants that have sprouted; I am sure more are on their way. YESSSS!
  • Watermelon and Cantaloupe- After the squirrels ate the first round of seeds, Jonathan planted about 17 seeds/mound. And we’ve got about 7 plants growing outside. Now if we could just remember which ones were cantaloupes and which ones were watermelons…

See, busy. But good busy. Pictures to come.

 

 

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