Friday, July 30, 2010

Parenting tip

When the toddler wakes up crabby and the baby is getting teeth (she MUST be!) there is one guaranteed way to turn everything around...

Put underwear on everyone's head.

Even Yellow Baby's!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Easiest Curtain Ever

I "made" this curtain the other day to go over the sink in our kitchen. No kidding, it took me the 10 minutes my pasta was cooking to make and that was after I first hung it way too low and had to move the bar up.

I bought the bar for only a few bucks at Target along with curtain clips. They are right in the aisle with all the other curtain stuff. They look kind of like these but were silver and not so many so I think it was only $4.

Then I bought four cloth napkins at World Market and just clipped them on the rings. That took a total of two minutes. And, wallah...a colorful addition to my kitchen.

The hardest part was figuring out where to hang the rod. The first time it was way too low and the blinds showed through in the places where it hung down. I moved it up and it looked much butter.

The cool thing is that since it was so easy to put up, I can change the fabric very easily too! Cloth napkins are pretty cheap (I even thought about using some I already had but they had lasagna stains on them). I can buy Christmas ones to decorate for the holidays or I can just change it on a whim.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Playroom!!

I've really enjoyed having a new house to decorate. It's great to know we are going to be here for three years (long for us) and that makes decorating worth it! And, since we are only going to be here for three years I think we just do want we want to do and don't worry about long term usefulness.

Because of a limited budget and time, we've kind of taken a "one room at a time" approach starting with the garage (AKA man cave) and the playroom. (Man cave not yet will come when it is).

So here are some shots of the playroom. It's the first room we enter coming in the house.

My brother just sent us the prints over the bookshelf. They are by an artist called strawberry luna. He sent an "E is for Elephant" for Elyse and an "M is for Monkey" for Madelyn. So cute! (and the blue accent in both pics matches our walls perfectly!)

Here's were the toys are!! The pic above the shelves is from a book Dennis wrote for me back when we were in college. It is called "How Franks Fell in Love with Andrea Lady" and is a kid's book version of our "love story." (A side note...I was out of town one weekend in college and came back to find the awesome book he wrote me along with all my clothes washed and folded...I hated going to the laundromat! It was one of the nicest things anyone had done for me). Anyway, for our first wedding anniversary, Dennis took one of the pictures from the book and drew it big so we could hang it up.

We bought this chair from World Market. The pillow was my first sewing project in this house. This chair is my favorite place to sit in the house. I come here to read, drink a glass of wine or sit and pray. Above is our canvas from our photo shoot with Nicole. I bought the letters for PLAY above the window from Michael's, stealing an idea from one of the photos I saw here. (I signed up for a weekly e-mail from this website...they have lots of good ideas.)

And last but not least, this might be my favorite piece of furniture in the house. It is from Ikea, designed to store shoes. I saw one in my friend's house by her back door and I had to have one. It is the perfect place to store shoes along with all the little junk that gets in piles around the house. The bottom right corner belongs to Elyse, one is full of hair stuff, one is full of "mama" stuff and the other is just stuff.

Want to come over and play????

Monday, July 19, 2010

Please Vote for Our Picture

We are in a contest to win a session with my favorite photographer.

Right now, we are down by one "like"!

Your "like" can help us win.

If you are on Facebook, first "like" Nicole Benitez Photography (just search for it).

Then, go to the "Summer Fun Contest" and like our picture, number four out of nine.

Thanks in advance. :)

Madelyn at 9 months!

So we're officially at the point where she's been out just as long as she was in!

Our baby is a wonder to behold and we think she is so awesome!

So a lot has happened with Madelyn this month:

-She claps, she waves, can do "so big" and will cover her eyes with her hands when asked, "Where is Madelyn."

-Waving is especially fun and she knows to do it when meeting someone new. She gives everyone a big grin and waves (hands turned in of course). People melt all over the place.

-No teeth but lots of new food! We've started baby "puffs" which she loves. Although, she has not quite figured out how to get them to stay in her mouth. She moves them to her mouth, kind of just licks them but doesn't know how to push them in. I've started pulvarizing most of the food we eat (oatmeal for breakfast, chicken, rice and veggies for dinner) and I feed it right to her. She loves everything but bananas (seriously...are we sure this is my kid!)

-No crawling yet. I'm honestly starting to be a bit concerned so I'm making sure to give her lots of tummy time. M can move backwards and gets up on her hands and knees. She can move from that position to sitting but just really hasn't figured out how to get forward momentum.

-Still no teeth either! This is perfectly fine with me as I'm still nursing and the pediatrician said it's no big deal...they'll probably all come in at once.

-At her checkup this week, they asked if she had any stranger anxiety and I said, "No, not really." Well, in the days following she proved me wrong! She didn't want to go to any new people when we had friends in town this weekend and wanted someone she knew around at all times. That being said, she is very friendly and is willing to give a big smile when meeting someone new, as long as mom is there to hold her.

-She LOVES E and will squeal with delight when Elyse walks into the room. They are becoming good buddies.

-She explores a lot, wants to grab everything she can get a hold of (I think she'll be much happier with things once she starts crawling). Still doesn't put as much in her mouth as most babies do.

-She has a new friend, her little brown cuddly bear. It is with her every night, she hugs, kisses and loves on it.

-I've started fixing her hair. Isn't it fabulous!!! (I love having babies with a lot of hair!)

-Madelyn is a giggler. Today she was playing on the floor while I worked on the computer a bit and whenever I looked at her, she cracked up.

-She likes books, especially ones with pictures of babies.

-M loves going to "school" with Elyse and grins, claps along and dances with the music they play.

-M also just starts dancing whenever music plays. She rocks and wiggles back and forth.

-She's sleeping through the night! Usually until about 6 or 7 with two pretty good naps (which are even better now that I've adjusted things a bit). Up around 7, nap at 9:30 another nap at 1. Life is pretty good!!!

This baby is awesome! If we custom ordered her from a catalog I'm not sure we could have made a better selection!!!

I love cuddling with her, playing together and dancing. I think we all (Elyse included) fall more and more in love with this baby every day and can't imagine life without her!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Elyse at 2 and 3/4

It's hard to believe we are only a few months away from three!!!

Our little girl is growing up and has adjusted well to life in California. She has become such a sweet, fun and loving little girl, with some "sass" thrown in!

What to say about our little girl?

Here's a list:

-We've started going to "school." It's a mommy and me program twice a week for an hour. E loves it! She especially loved being the helper. She held the flag and helped count the days on the calendar. She listens really well, sits on her mat and answers the questions. She was so excited that the teacher let her use glue to make a monkey (he was named "gluey" in honor of the experience).

-Elyse says lots of words in a British accent like "clock" and "water."

-She still loves playing with her toys, especially the little people and stuffed animals. She will make them talk, interact and creates lots of little fun stories for them.

-It's funny to us when she uses some "grown-up" phrases. Like, "I'll get it for you if you don't mind" or to Dennis when he is putting her to bed, "I want you to stay too long."

-E likes playing with toys and sets everything up a certain way. She doesn't like sharing her stuff much at all anymore and gets seriously upset if someone moves a toy she put in a certain place.

-Potty training is coming along. We've got number one down for the most part. No progress with numero dos quite yet.

-She has become shy when meeting new people and will just make up silly words when asked a question. The other day E went on for a good 30 seconds with her silly words and when we asked what she was doing, she answered "I'm talking in Spanish."

-E won't wear skirts or dresses and it is a struggle to get her to wear shorts. "I don't wear skirts or dresses" she says.

-E is paying more and more attention to Madelyn. We've started M on puffs and E loves feeding them to her (in my proximity of course). She will hug and kiss M and will run to check on her in the morning

-E loves it when our neighborhood kids are out. Most of the kids on our street are older and she thinks its fun to follow them around.

-We've entered the "Why" stage

-This girl has some sass. That's all I'm saying about that.

-E loves the beach. She wishes we could go everyday and she wants to go into the ocean. We went yesterday evening and told her we weren't going to get wet. She proceeded to get her hands all messy with sand and told us she had to go to the ocean to clean them off.

-When she was little, Dennis asked me when the day would come when our kids would run up to him as he walked in the door from work. Well, that day is certainly here.

-She has become much more cuddly. Some days after she gets up from her nap, she will come onto our bed and just cuddle with me. It's wonderful.

-Instead of saying "scared" she says "scarry." I was "scarry" of the fireworks (which she eventually loved)

-Our nightly routine goes like this: Dennis brushes her teeth, puts her in jammies, reads her a story and covers her up. She plays for a bit and then I come in and tell her a story from when she was a baby. The favorites include when we found out we were pregnant with her, when we went to the gym everyday when she was a baby, when we found out Madelyn was coming and going to music class. Then I cover her up. She usually plays more after that and eventually falls asleep.

-E loves reading books. Lately she loves Henry and Mudge Books.

-She still has her pretend pets, two dogs and two cats, "Woofy and Poofy and Meowy and Powey."

-She picks flowers for me and brings them to me and says, "I thought you would like it."

-E loves bunny noodles (boxed mac and cheese) and "bars" (nutra grain type bars). She could live off them and fruit

-For breakfast everyday she has peanut butter and jelly and some kind of fruit. The sandwich is almost always cut into some type of shape, lately pumpkins or ghosts, as Halloween are the only cookie cutters we have

We love this girl more and more everyday and are constantly amazed and proud at the girl she is becoming. We truly love being around her and think 2 and 3/4 is a pretty awesome age to be!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pat the Bunny

E: "I think it's scratchy because a piece of his face fell off"

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

4th of July

We had such a great 4th of July!!

It started off with me sleeping until 9:30!!! That's unbelievable folks...a whole four hours or so more than a normal night's sleep. Dennis got up with the girls and I enjoyed my extra shut-eye.

But, the neighborhood had a bike parade scheduled and we were supposed to be at the meeting spot at 9:30! Oops!! Luckily, the parade didn't start until 10 so we made it out the door in time to join the rest of the neighborhood crowd.

I had great plans to embellish this wagon and win the prize but it obviously didn't happen. Maybe next year.
Elyse loved the "harade" as she called it.

Then, while the girls napped, I ran out to World Market to get this chair I ordered weeks ago. I put it together and LOVE having it here in our playroom. In fact, I'm enjoying the chair right now. Looks like Madelyn likes it too.

(Part of the reason I slept so late was because I had stayed up to make the pillow on the chair in my newly set up sewing space in the garage).

Dennis went on a run and wore a bunch of his Marine Corps gear because he is hard core. Elyse had to try on his flack jacket (I think that's what this thing is called).
For dinner we joined the neighbors down the street in a classic block party. We had a great time. Elyse asked if she could go to a party every day. Both girls stayed happy well past their bedtimes and we met a lot of our neighbors.

Then we came home, put the girls to bed and got ready to enjoy some fireworks(E: "Can we walk on fire walks?"). Elyse wasn't asleep yet when they started so we plucked her out of her room, grabbed some lawn chairs and sat and enjoyed the view from our street. Elyse was scared at first and didn't even want to come outside but she eventually got used to the idea (with some great coaxing from Dennis) and the three of us enjoyed the show. We were really lucky to get a pretty good view. Once it was all done we plopped her back in bed. She loved them, said the pink ones were her favorite and asked to see fireworks again sometime.

Great day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Best Breakfast Ever

Since I've stopped eating dairy, I've had to adjust my breakfast a bit.

It's a good thing because I've become addicted to this combo.

Oatmeal with fresh blueberries, walnuts, granola from Trader Joe's, brown sugar and this stuff (also from Trader Joe's)
Sounds kind of yucky but it adds a good texture and a bit of a nutty taste to the granola.

And on special days, I forgo the usual Duncan Donuts Coffee (love it too!) for some of this blueberry coffee from New England Coffee Company. My friend facebooked one day about her love for blueberry coffee. I commented that she was a weirdo and that blueberry coffee didn't sound very good to me. But even after my insult, she decided to be a good friend and send some my way! I LOVE it! It has just a touch of blueberry flavor and smells FABULOUS! And the whole house smells great all day.

This yummy combo helps get me out of bed each morning. And life is especially good when I am able to sit and eat it before both the coffee and the oatmeal get cold. Every once and awhile my two little beauties give me that treat! :)