Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weekend Activities

Last weekend while Mike was golfing on Father's Day, I thought we'd make him some cards. This was a great plan in theory. But not in practice.

Ben did fine, but Liv was, of course, a disaster.

But man did she have a good time! I think there was more paint on her arms than her paper. And that paper was loaded.

Ben and I were pretty amused. Until I took her up to the shower to hose her down. She was NOT a fan of that.

Later that day we finally pulled out our clearance pool from last fall. I buy a new pool on clearance each September. I got this one for $15.

It was a hit, but we've had such rainy, cloudy, cooler weather lately. After about 45 min, the kids got cold and decided to get out for a little snack.

That was a lot of water for an hour of use. Note to self to only pull this thing out on very warm days when we'll get good use out of it.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Powder Room Painted

Back in February I finally painted the powder room. It had been sporting some odd brown wallpaper with love sayings that was supposed to look "Victorian" I guess. I don't exactly know. But it wasn't my look. Plus, I'm trying to banish beige in this house, so it had to go.

I pulled down the wallpaper months before, but then couldn't decide on a color. I threw up a few test colors and then it sat like this for a while.

Finally, I decided to go with the same charcoalish color that's in the kitchen. Martha Stewart's zinc. I worried that a dark color would make this tiny, no natural lighting bathroom look even smaller, but oh well--I just went with it.

Because it's so small, you'd think the powder room would be easy to paint. But there was so much maneuvering and climbing. The ceilings are tall and the ladder barely fit. Very tricky. But I got 'er done!

Recently I picked up some coral accent towels and this gold tray on clearance at Target. The fixtures in here are two-toned chrome and gold. Not my favorite, but until I can afford to swap them all out, I'm trying to make it work. I used to hate gold, but it has really grown on me lately. And since it's popular these days, it is easy to find.

I also framed a few coral, floral pieces of art from Etsy. This 11x14 is on the wall by the door.

And these two 8x10s are over the toilet.

This room is so tiny that I can't really get a good picture. But you get the idea. The last thing left is to frame out the mirror with white wood. I took my measurements but haven't had a chance to do it yet.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thumbs Up

Any time you give Liv a thumbs-up, she responds in kind. So freakin' cute.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dollie Diaper

Liv adores this dollie that Grammy and Grampy bought her for Christmas. It goes everywhere with her, and she has to have it in her crib when she sleeps. (Making it hard for me to wash it--this doll has seen better days.)

Saturday she decided that dollie needed a diaper change. She kept telling me "dollie poo poo, mama." Then she went over to her changing supplies, grabbed a few wipes and a diaper, and got to work. 

Notice that she is changing dollie face down. I wonder what she'd think if I used that "motherly and loving" technique?

All done! She was having a little trouble with the finer points, but we worked together and eventually got it on securely.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

5 Reasons Why Mike is a Great Dad (Happy Father's Day!)

This Father's Day, I wanted to give a shout out to Mike's efforts, which often go unmentioned and unappreciated by all of us. Sorry that we don't tell you more often that we appreciate all that you do and we love you!!! I mean, just look at these two pictures--what's not to love?

1. Midnight feedings. When Liv was in that "wake up once a night around 1 a.m." phase, Mike and I took turns getting up with her. When he noticed that it took me several hours to fall back asleep, he took over this task every night. This earns him a high-five as a dad and as a husband!

2. Sports. God help Ben if it were up to me to teach him about sports. Mike watches the games with him on TV, teaches him the rules, practices with him, and attends every practice and game. And when Liv's time comes, I know he will be just as excited to guide her.

3. Cooking. Specifically, biscuits and gravy. Both kids (and me) love this breakfast. Mike makes it for us often, even though he is not a fan and doesn't eat it himself. That's love. And he does most of the cooking, in general. I can throw together tacos or sandwiches, but if it is something fancier, Mike is in charge! And he is teaching Ben that real men do cook.

4. Rough housing. I'm not really a rough housing kind of gal. Luckily for the kids, Mike is a rough housing kind of guy. They both love it when he tosses them in the air, pretends to be their horse, tackles them, and chases them.

5. Reading, putting together Legos, and just hanging out. Mike is always willing to spend time with the kids doing their favorite activities.

And let's not forget his fur baby, Dee. He loves this dog with all his heart and takes the best care of her. Getting up to let her out in the middle of the night when needed, taking her on a walk every night, checking her tumor area weekly to see if it is returning (sadly, it does).

Happy Father's Day, Daddy. We love you!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pantry Purge

To maximize storage in our pantry, I've always used the door. I have always wanted a "real" door organizer, but I could never find one that was reasonably priced with good reviews, so I settled for this temporary solution of a clear shoe organizer. Economical, and it worked fine for years. But eventually the wear and tear of two kids (ahem, Livvie) led to a few torn compartments. 

I was ready for the real thing. So I searched online and saw that this one had good reviews and was only $36. I ordered it online and had it shipped to Target for next day, in store pickup.

Of course, no project is easy around here. I'd never really paid attention, but this door is narrower than a standard door. Which means that when hanging the rack, in order to avoid running into the door handle, you have to slide the rack over. But of course, it is a 6 panel door, so by sliding the rack over, the screws can only attach in a few spots on the one side. Sigh. We worked around it (thanks Mike!) and it seems sturdy so far.

We have so much room in our pantry now that I'm thinking I can add our baking supplies and/or our canned goods and things. Especially since right now it looks like we're running a 7-11 out of our house. We are big snackers, but this is particularly bad, and as we use up these snacks most will not be replaced. We had to bring snack for Ben's team, and so I bought some snacks at Costco for the team, but we went through very little.

Look at all the packaging I was able to get rid of. That door rack holds a TON!

While Mike and I were busy putting up the door rack, Ben was doing his own project--building "the Willis Tower" out of pillows.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Ben is at that age where sports have taken over. Sports and African cats, but I digress.

Saturday we had his last park district league basketball game from 9-10 and his first tball practice from 10:15-11:30. It was a lot of sports. And a lot of time to keep Liv entertained.

After their last game, we had to change and head out quickly to get to t-ball, but Ben got a quick congratulations from the head coach, Ms. Susan (a former daycare teacher to Liv), and she presented him with his medal. He could not have been prouder!

He changed into his baseball gear in the bathroom, and we were off to t-ball.

Liv sat in this chair for about 10 seconds. She spent the next 1.5 hours getting into mischief, including playing in the dirt/mulch, dumping her snack on the ground (on purpose), stealing sunflower seeds from Mike's stash, and occasionally running off. Good thing she is cute.

It's gonna be a long t-ball season!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Pre-School Graduation

I didn't know Pre-K graduation ceremonies were a thing, but apparently they are. Creative Wolrd held their ceremony for Ben's class at 6:30 on a weeknight, which was a bit inconvenient since Liv goes to bed at 7 generally.

But it sounded too cute to miss, and Ben had worked so hard on the song and poem that they performed. He was so excited--of course we had to go.

His class, with Ben in the middle.

I recorded their song. It is alternate lyrics to Taylor Swift's Shake It Off. It's hard to make out the words, but it goes something like "readers wanna read, read, read, read, read. I'm gonna do my best, best, best, best, best. Do my best, do my best..." and so on.

Getting his diploma from his beloved teacher, Ms. Keri.

Posing with the family afterwards. He was in a rush to get to the lobby for cake. But seriously, how cute is this kid? OMG.

Livvie was pretty much over it and overtired at this point, but she hung in like a trooper. She wanted nothing to do with wasting time changing into the dress I brought for her, so she basically looks homeless.

Before the kids came in, we got a few instructions about returning the caps and gowns from one of the directors. In the middle of her explanation, Liv jumped off her chair, ran up, hugged the director, and gave her a fruit snack. LOL, this kid.

Some pictures with his friends.

Finally, it's cake time for Ben. He's sitting with two of his best buddies--all three kids have gone to Creative World together since they were infants.

Hard to believe he'll be starting Kindergarten in August!

Here is the diploma and photo that Creative World took. Ben has since informed me that he does not want to be a construction worker. He's moved on to a teacher. It will be something new next week.

Meanwhile, Jack graduated high school. I am not ready for that day.