Sunday, August 29, 2010

to the zoo we go....

School starts tommorow.

And I must confess...I'm looking forward to it.
When I reflect back on this summer as a whole, it has flown by. I'm really not even sure where July went. However, when I think back on specific days....they were long.

I think a lot had to do with the fact that Ellery takes both a morning and afternoon nap, and Stella's nap usually fills the gap in between. My window for "getting out of the house with 5 happy kids" was very small. This combined with Tims really busy work schedule, and my willy nilly routine made for some long days. Don't get me wrong, we had plenty of fun in the sun and busy ......nevertheless, a real bedtime, structure, and daily interaction with friends will do us all good.

This past Friday, I made good on my promise to take the kids to the zoo before the end of summer. Nothing like waiting till the last minute :)

A few pics of the fun....

Sadly, I don't have any pictures of Ellery. The zoo was quite busy, so I was constantly scanning and doing the count of the kids. It was best to keep Ellery in the stoller. If she saw me she would cry, so I tried to stay behind the stroller as much as possible...hence no pictures :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

brotherly love

Apparantly these 2 need their imaginations reeled in a bit....thankfully pink pillows make it all better :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

happy flowers

I have literally been drooling over these , since the first time I laid my eyes upon them. Really I have....just ask Tim.

While I had the confidence I could indeed make them myself, finding the time to do so was the clog that separated me from my bouquet of floral goodness.

Well, after a particularly long week of balancing my career as both domestic diva and magnificent mama ....I discovered the art of making time.
And so, while the dishes and laundry piled high, crumbs united forces on the floor, and Scooby Doo kept careful watch of the kids...I fired up my sewing machine yet again.

And now I am drooling over my flowers :)

Aren't they absolutely darling? I LOVE the way they turned out.....and best part is they don't require water :)

9 months

Elle is 9 months old!

Her big accomplishment this past month? Learning to pick up small pieces of food and feed herself! A very handy skill, as she can occupy herself for a bit now.

She is drawing closer to crawling. She has also started rolling from her back to her stomach quite a bit.....which is huge, because up until this point she has detested being on her stomach, and would automatically cry and flip over if you put her there.

She continues to be "my" girl. She does fine with other people when I leave the room, but if I'm around and not holding her, she's all waterworks. She loves to walk around facing out, and will kick her little legs in excitement and squeal.

She is in a good sleeping rhythm right now. She usually goes back to bed after her morning bottle, and takes 2 naps during the day.

We can finally see one little white sliver of a tooth just waiting to poke through on her bottom gums. She has also been doing a lot of babbling. "dada" is her chatter of choice.

Monday, August 16, 2010

sew simple

I suppose the idea took root while I was at Target last week. I was parusing the kids clearance racks as usual, when I found this simple shirt for the sweet circo price of $2.80.

A simple, typical, not overly brilliant find.

While Stella will probably not be in "need" of another summer shirt anytime before the cow jumps over the moon, I was drawn to the cute ruffle around the collar. And so I bought it, seeing it's potential, and with the determination to "make it better".

I should probably mention that my sewing skills are amateur at best. While I have sewn many a pillow and curtain no problem, I have never taken the time to learn how to read a clothing pattern. I'm more of a straight line, square sewer. So, I proceeded as I usually do when I'm stumped. I pulled a dress out of Stella's closet and studied it...turned it inside out to look at the stitching, took into account the length, width, etc.

And while Tim was snoring logs Saturdy night, I dusted off my sewing machine, got out my bin of fabric, and got to work. Check out my creation.....

While it's a little rough, and the bottom hem is sketchy at best, I'm pretty proud of it! Slightly afraid to wash it, but proud nonetheless. It was good practice and quite fun, and I'm certain my next one will be better...since I have 2 more little girls that would like one :)
Also, "thank you" for all of the sofa advice. I'm hoping once school begins I will be able to venture back out to the furniture store again :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

i could use a little help here....

....alright, that statement begs for trouble, so let me begin by telling you a little story.

The date was Feb 13, 2009. I was out for the day on my semi-annual outlet shopping trip with my dear friend Michelle. My kitchen was in a state of remodelling chaos, and I was on the hunt for a little chais sofa for our soon to be finished sunporch.
We were in Pottery Barn when I spotted 2 of them, and the price was right. I certainly liked one more than the other, and so I found a sales clerk to learn protocol for purchasing such a goody. He told me to grab the tag off of it, and take it up with me when I was ready to check out. Long story short, I apparantly had the wrong tag, and it was sold right out from under me. I was ticked and disappointed, and it felt good to blame the lady who commented how cute it was while I was grabbing my tag.

Well, my friend got over my loss more quickly than I, and moved on to the Gap. I however, stuck around and stewed for a bit. I walked through the furniture section one more time and re-aquainted myself with the other chais. As I was looking around, I noticed that there were other pieces of couch scattered throughout the store with material matching the chais. I asked the sales clerk, who felt really bad about the previous incident, if it was supposed to go together and he said "yes", and proceeded to put it together for me. It turned into a nice sectional sofa, and the price was scathingly brilliant. I re-arranged my train of thought and decided it would go nicely in my newly painted living room....since we were in the market for a new sofa too.

I promptly called Michelle out of the Gap to get her honest opinion, and to sit on my couch and ward off eager shoppers while I called up Tim. He gave me a little bit of a hard time, but after much convincing I received the green light. He ended the call by saying "Happy Valentines Day, this is your present" LOL.

Well, with the kind help of my mother-in-law, we brought the sofa home the next day.... and tho it was pretty, it was a tad too long for our living room, a little bit awkward, and slightly uncomfortable. As it turns out, sofas feel a lot more cushy when you've been on your feet shopping. However, I knew better than to complain about all, it was a very pretty and well built couch.
Okay sorry, this story is getting a tad long winded.

Fastforward to a few weeks ago, I had a garage sale. The kids had a lemonade stand, and we got rid of some much needed stuff.

I listed my sale on Craigs List, and just for fun in the description of items I threw in Pottery Barn sofa. Couldn't for the life of me sell a double stroller, but low and behold someone came over specifically to see my sofa....and wouldn't you know, they bought it. It kind of caught me off guard, because I honestly never thought about it again after I listed it.

I like to think I'm pretty savvy because I made a profit on it. I told Tim as much when I called to tell him I sold it. I probably should have at least mentioned to him that it was for sale LOL.
Anyhow, this is what we're left with ....

The kids actually love our couch-less livingroom. The big open space affords them plenty of room to play, and it's much easier to vaccuum :) Last week Austin was sick, and without thinking, I told him to go lay down on the couch. He looked at me "I can't MOM!" Sure enough....and hence the reason for this post.

I stumbled upon some alone time this week, so I eagerly set out on a sofa shopping adventure... only to be left completely overwhelmed. I am a nervous nellie about buying the perfect couch. I have looked just about everywhere and can't seem to make a decision.

Do I go neutral, brown or the red I've always wanted? Leather, micro suede or cloth? Attached cushions or separate? Couch and chair or sectional? I can't make one single decision.

Any thoughts? Anything you love, or advice of something you wouldn't do again? Talk amongst yourselves....

Monday, August 9, 2010

12 years

Yesterday, Tim and I celebrated 12 years of wedded bliss.

Last weekend we had the opportunity to get away, just he and I, for 22.5 whole hours to celebrate. We stayed the night in a quaint little bed and breakfast, in my favorite little town of Pentwater. We shopped, ate dinner, walked on the beach, got ice cream, played tennis, and ate and talked some more. It was some much needed respite from our regularly scheduled life.

It's amazing how much our lives have changed in 12 short years. As we were walking hand in hand browsing into the windows of the local shops, I was reflecting on this.

The sidewalks and streets were crowded, due in part to the overcast, not so beach friendly weather. We needed to cross the street, but the traffic was thick and the street was lined with parked cars attempting to come and go. Anyhow, in our pursuit to cross, we would get to a corner, see the busyness, and keep walking. It took a bit, before we realized it was just he and I, and we could cross the street pretty quickly anywhere. We are so in tune with herding 5 little people around with us, that we view most everything from that perspective.

We talked about this. While we love our children to pieces, ultimately in 18 years it will be just Tim and I again. Our lives are in a perpetual state of busy right now, due in part to the 5 little people that claim residence under our roof. However, we need to make sure we take time to grow our marriage relationship too. To maintain common interests, and be able to communicate about things beyond potty training strategies.

We brought out the familiar yellow pad of college ruled goodness, and made some goals... because nothing gets us more fired up than making lists while we sip our coffee.

Just a few of our goals include... going out on a date once a month, going through our budget/bills together the first Sunday night of every month, playing tennis together more often, and going away to Pentwater every year on our anniversary....unless of course at 15 years Tim will take me someplace farther LOL.

I am truly blessed to be married to my best friend. Whatever life circumstances have come our way, our love has remained constant.

Friday, August 6, 2010

8 months

This little lady is now 8 months old! It's amazes me how long these summer days can be, and yet how quickly time marches on.
Ellery is finally attempting to try to move. I use the word "attempting" very loosely, because she still can't stand being on her stomach. She kind of sits there and leans forward and bounces on her legs. We like to call her inspector gadget, because she seems to be able to reach just about anything with her arms. If she is sitting in her bumbo on the counter while we are eating, two things are certain. She will knock over somebody's milk, and she will put her hand in the fish doesn't matter where on the counter she is sitting. It's her trademark move.
She continues to be a mama's girl. If I set her down and walk away to do something, she will cry until I pick her back up. She is okay sitting as long as I am sitting right there with her talking to her....and during such occasion, she thoroughly enjoys her toys :)
We are trying to teach her to pick up small pieces of food. This makes her quite angry, and she flails her arms around screaming alot, because she would just assume we put it in her mouth. She can feed herself a graham cracker tho :) She also drools constantly, but still has no teeth.

She continues to love sleeping in her cradle with her pink pig. Most days she takes 2 good naps, depending on when she gets up in the morning. I've been trying to get rid of her evening nap, and just put her to bed a little earlier for the night.

She loves the water! When the temperature is right, she loves to splash around in the pool, lake and bathtub! She gets so excited!

Enjoying time with her cousin!

Monday, August 2, 2010

as seen from my deck....

The obvious solution to having no pool, and being forced to play outside on a hot day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

a day at the fair

The county fair....the only place in town that is sure to put a smile on your face, yet send you home sick with an empty wallet.

The combination of defying gravity until your skin turns a light shade of olive, coupled with the opportunity to eat deep fried oreos while strolling through animal barns. It really is enchanting.

We took the kids last weekend, and they had a blast. We rode most all of the rides, drank our $3.50 lemonade, had a staring contest with many a pig, rabbit and goat, and got goody bags filled to the top with free literature, candy and pencils.

Austin insisted on riding the gravitron all by himself. It did not agree with him :) I took Sydney and Dylan on the tilt-a- whirl. Longest ride I have ever been on. Every time we past the carnie operator, i gave him the just make this ride end look. He just smirked at me, and I'm pretty certain he was amused.

If you can read lips, Stella is clearly saying no here. She likes her animals from a distance :)