Friday, May 30, 2014


Ben has always been a huge fan of popsicles. They are his treat of choice most every night. One night, Liv noticed that he had one, and she wanted it desperately. So we gave her her own. Loved it!

On Memorial Day, I promised Ben we could make S'mores in the fire pit in our backyard. We had beautiful weather all weekend, and then on Monday around 5 p.m. a huge storm came through. Literally 10 minutes before we were ready to go out and start a fire for S'mores. Poor Ben. He was disappointed, but the excitement of the storm meant he handled it pretty well. I told him we could make S'mores on the stove instead. Classy! :-)

Ben roasted all the marshmallows with my supervision, and then dug into his (sans chocolate, of course). We made a few for Mike, Liv, and me too. And from the looks of this picture, I'm guessing Dee got one too.

Liv didn't really seem to care about the S'mores, but she sure liked being a part of the party.

This is her mid-squeal. She was so excited!

Assembling a S'more for me. We put 'em to work young around here! :-)

On a side note, Liv is really obsessed with putting things down the front of my shirt. Usually her paci or a toy. But this night she shoved a fully assembled S'more down my shirt. Melted chocolate everywhere. Oh, this kid. She is aging me many, many years.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mother's Day Weekend

We had some beautiful weather over Mother's Day weekend, so we spent a lot of time outside.

Livvie is still not a fan of the grass. We also learned that she is not a fan of keeping a hat on her head. Ben never minded.

Ben wanted to help me plant some flowers I'd purchased. He put on this hat and his rain boots and told me this is his gardening outfit.

On Mother's Day, we had Nana, Papa, and Brad over for dinner. While we waited for dinnertime, we played in the yard. Since Liv can't walk and won't sit in the grass, I brought out all the push toys. But they didn't push very well in the grass.

Who knew she was strong enough to push this car. She loved it!

The boys played a little baseball.

Liv kept trying to crawl in this side, even though there is a door on the other side. She just didn't want to use that door.

Ben is a sweet brother and pushed Liv around the yard in the firetruck for a long time. Bless him. Because Mom wasn't feeling well and it saved me a lot of effort.


I forgot to get a picture with the kids to commemerate Mother's Day until right before bed, so here we all are in our PJs.

(I have no idea why it looks like Ben is wearing lipstick. Perhaps he had a popsicle just before this picture?)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Gallery Walls

I started putting up a gallery wall in our dining room a long time ago. Like, a LONG time ago. Late summer/early fall, I believe.

I finally *finished* it. And by finished, I mean all the frames that are hanging now have pictures in them and it is mostly symmetrical. I think a few frames might be needed toward the bottom, and I know I want to swap out some pictures down the road. We don't have any pictures of Brad, for instance. But I'm guessing his wedding in June will be a good opportunity to get a few of those. Until then, I put in some others and am calling it "done."

A close up of the right side:

A close up of the left side:

Strangely, I had almost all of these frames already. For whatever reason, I am a frame hoarder. Most of them are from inexpensive places like Ikea and Target. I did buy a few more to fill in some gaps, but I don't think I spent more than about $40 total. Considering what frames can cost, I think that is pretty good. I also already had many of the pictures printed, and the rest I just printed on photo paper using our home printer. They are good enough for me. I honestly can't really tell the difference between the professionally printed ones and the self-printed ones once they are in the frame.

Clearly our dining room, still needs a lot of work. New table and chairs, or at least a coat of paint so that what we do have matches. A hutch or buffet for the other wall. Paint that chair rail white. The list goes on...

And of course I couldn't just leave well enough alone. The play room is directly across from the dining room, and its huge blank wall was crying for some love. So I decided an art print gallery wall might be the way to go, hoping it would add symmetry to the two rooms. I don't know if it did that or not. But it filled the wall.

The map was in Ben's room but had to come down when we added a shelf to his room. The yellow bee print is one that Mom got at a garage sale for Livs room; the color wasn't right in there but in the free-for-all play room, it works. The numbers print and green floral ones I already had. And the "eat you up" monster print was $5 on Etsy. The other one was a free print. I still have three blank frames in here, so I need to finish it up. But you get the idea...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Daddy's Girl

Livvie really loves her Dada. Saturday Mike mowed the yard for the first time this year. We had a ton of rain this week, so all of the sudden the lawn was looking green but overgrown. Ben went outside to help, and Liv was at a loss as to what to do with herself without her two boys.

She sat at the door watching them. Poor thing.

Side note: Look at that hair. She was putting bananas on her head at breakfast. (She thinks this is hilarious.) Plus, it is super curly in the back. Plus, she pulls out her hair clips constantly. So this is her look.

She started crying when Dada got too far away.

I felt sorry for her, so I got my shoes on and took her outside. We watched them for a while until they moved to the backyard. Then the whole process started again at the back door.

I told her if she'd just walk already or lose her diva "I won't sit in the grass" attitude, she could go out there and play too. But not standing/walking and refusing to sit on the grass sort of limits our options outside right now.

Meanwhile, she is transitioning to the next room at daycare this coming week. In that room the kids are on more of a schedule with naps. So she's switching from napping on demand to taking one longer nap after lunch. They tried it wed-fri this week and we're doing the same. So far, so good.

In addition, she is just about past the weight limit for her infant carrier. And lugging her 21 lbs around in that thing is killing my back, shoulders, and neck. We are ready to get her big girl car seats, but I have been delaying it, hoping she will walk. It is hard for me to juggle carrying her, carrying all the kids stuff, and setting Ben up with his breakfast in his classroom at daycare. If she could stand/walk, it would be much easier. But for the sake of my shoulders/neck, we might go ahead and switch her now.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Eat Your Veggies

I consider myself very lucky that both kids love their veggies and fruit. Liv's favorites are broccoli and berries (raspberries and blueberries, especially); Ben's favorites are cauliflower and watermelon.

It was about 7 p.m., dinner was done, and Ben was upset because I told him that he couldn't have a popsicle. He'd already had ice cream for dessert, and I didn't want him overdoing it on the sugar. After he calmed down from his fit over not getting the popsicle, he asked if he could have something healthy instead. I said sure, expecting a request for yogurt or pretzels. But instead he asked for veggies--specifically the broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot mix that we often make with dinner. Gotta love those steam fresh veggie bags!

I whipped up a bag, and Ben dug in. Livvie crawled in to the kitchen to see what was happening and decided to chow down on some veggies herself. Even though she'd just finished up a large serving of broccoli about an hour before. So happy these two like eating their veggies!

Ben always gets a treat after dinner if he eats well. Lately instead of grabbing a popsicle or ice cream (his staples), he has been grabbing Mike's bag of frozen grapes out of the freezer and having some of those as his treat. Huh? So not my kid! :-)