Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

It's pumpkin carving time. Possibly my least favorite holiday-related activity on Earth. Ugh, the mess. Especially with a 1 year old. I try to make the best of it.

We took Liv's shirt off since we decided to have her paint her pumpkin. Ben thought this seemed like a good idea, so he took his shirt off too. Then he said we should all do so. Haha. We told him it would be best if Mom and Dad kept their shirts on this year.

Liv saw me wiping the dirt off the pumpkins, so she had to get in on that action. This kid loves to wipe things down.

Painting time. She's no Picasso, but she had a good time.

Someone call the police immediately. Psycho alert. Thank goodness he didn't go shirtless, as Ben suggested--it would have only made this look more creepy.

After she painted her pumpkin, Liv wanted in on the scooping action. I let go of any hope of keeping this activity tidy, and let her loose. The kids proceeded to make "pumpkin soup."

I attempted to paint stripes on mine. Total Pinterest fail.

Ben smeared red paint all over his, and then told us it was blood. Here are the finished products, excluding mine, which wasn't even worth displaying.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Weekend Projects

The kids went to Nana's to visit on Saturday, so I used the time to get several projects done as fast as I could. It is amazing what I can get done in 6 hours by myself!

First, I tackled the chair rail in the dining room. I wanted to paint it white. I was hoping it would look okay to leave the trim wood and paint only the chair rail white. We have sooooo much wood trim, I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle such a big project. I figure if the chair rail doesn't look good, I can always take it off.

The verdict is still out. I think it looks kind of weird with the trim being wood.  I definitely like the white MUCH better overall though. The paint color looks much prettier next to the white.

While I was painting, I took this stool Mom had given me out and sanded it down (there were some paint clumps) and gave it a few fresh coats of paint. So it is looking happy!

This stool serves as our timeout spot. But despite that, the kids both like sitting on it and reading. Ben also likes to line up his animal figurines on it.

Photo bomb--Ben was too impatient for me to take these photos. He wanted to play with his Lincoln Logs up on the table so that Liv wouldn't knock down his master piece.

See how the wood and white look weird...

I also gave this previously brown lamp a few coats of white spray paint. Our family room is so brown. Trying to lighten things up where I can.

That's all I got done yesterday before the kids came home and it was back to Mommy mode. Pretty good for 6 hours though.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Enjoying the Last of the Nice Weather

We had some unseasonably awesome weather this weekend, so we made the most of it on Sunday. Our front tree is almost bare, but fall is still hanging on around here.

Mike started the day with a 5k. The kids and I dropped him off in Oswego for it, popped into Target for a few things, and then picked him up. It was his best time ever--23:41. He was 3rd in his age group and 35th overall (out of 474). Impressive!

After that, Mike mowed the yard while I cleaned the garage and Ben played outside. (Liv was napping.)

Once Liv was up from her nap, we went on a bike ride. Liv was super excited for her helmet, and super cute.

Ben opted to ride his own bike. We took a long ride and stopped at the park to play.

After we got home, we decided to play in the yard for a bit. Liv found Ben's juice box and thought she was really sneaky.

I gave her a bottle of water, which she promptly spilled all over the driveway, and then played in. Such a tomboy.

Next, the pool noodles kept her busy for a while.

Then we headed in to carve pumpkins. More on that later.

I'll leave you with this video of Ben practicing his casting. Mike keeps it classy, as always.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fireplace Wall (Almost) DONE

A month or two back, we finally chose a color for the fireplace wall (BM's Hale Navy). So, one Saturday Mike took the kids to Nana's for the day while he went golfing, and I got busy painting.

Here is a reminder of our before.

The wall is 10', so even on a ladder, this shortie wasn't able to reach the ceiling. I did what I could, and then Mike found time a few weeks later to finish up the top of the wall.

I have to give him credit--his taping and painting of the ceiling line is perfect. I was very impressed! My painting of the lines where the walls meet--not so great. :-) It was extremely hard to see where one wall ended and the other began. Mike noted this too when he was painting the very top of the wall area.

But, all in all, it looks good. The navy really stands out against the white mantel and is SO much better than the brown rag roll look circa 1994 (though our house was built in 2003 so I'm not sure what the previous owners were thinking...).

I also went ahead and spray painted our black mirror white to match the mantel and to stand out against the navy.

My best little helper. He even accompanied me on a trip to Home Depot when I ran out of spray paint. (And talked me into pumpkins, gum, and a singing, dancing Rudolph stuffed animal while we were there. This one has Mom wrapped around his little finger--and he knows it!)

I distressed the mirror a little along the edges, but it is hard to tell unless you are very close.

And here it is all put together. I want to paint the black candle holders white as well, but Mike thinks they look good as-is. I'll likely paint them, but for now, good enough.

(Sorry for the crappy pictures. It is really hard to get a good shot because we get so much light through these windows.)

Here is a close up so you can see the color a little better. It is a really rich, dark navy in person--really lovely! It also goes nicely with the red brick, which Mike is against painting white as well. Anyway, the navy picks up nicely on the navy rug in our entryway, which lines up directly with this wall.

I'm calling this "almost" done because we are considering painting the window trim white, and we haven't rehung the white curtains. We both like the clean look of no curtains, but so much light... We agreed that we are going to save up for some custom window treatments on these windows. White Roman shades or blinds that are mounted in the window (with light blocking to help with heating/cooling and reduce the glare on the TV in the afternoon).

The family room still has a long way to go, but this is one big project down!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Birthday Party

We attended the birthday party for our friends' 3 year old this weekend. It was at a Kidsworks center, which was very cute. Both kids had a great time. I didn't get a ton of pictures, because I was busy keeping track of them, but here are a few.

The fisherman's boat was a big hit with both kids!

Ben loved getting "cash money" at the ATM.

Liv spent a good part of the evening carrying around these plates and stacking and restacking them.

 Dress up!

This one was great for Liv's fine motor skills. She loved sliding this sticks out and putting them back in the tiny holes.

A very cute place, and a good time was had by all.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Ben and Liv decided to do a little painting last Sunday. Ben opted for paints and brushes, while Liv went with finger paints, which she preferred to eat rather than paint.

Mike kept busy on our new iPad, which is awesome!!! And was free to us, since I had a gift card and got a good sale price at Target last week.

Both kids came up with some lovely art, but Liv tore hers before I could put it aside to save.