Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins!

Despite the extremely warm weather that we have been having and it not really seeming much like FaLL at all, we decided to head ot the local PuMpKiN pAtCh for some fun! I just love all of the colors that we saw so I went camera happy but I couldn't resist.

There were SO many pumpkins to choose from that Arielle couldn't decide which one she wanted...

I was suprised she was actually able to hold one of them even if it was sMaLL.

She was very cOOpErAtiVe in the photo department tonight. {I think she learned this pose from her school pictures.}

When we got home we carved a JaCk-O-lantern
{by WE i mean I since Arielle and Zak can't stand the pumpkin guts.}

Our fascinating display of gOuRdS...

~Momma to Bug~

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Family Heirloom

I am a big fan of craigslist. I like to sell stuff so I can buy new stuff and I don't like keeping stuff around for no reason at all. Recently I decided to post Arielle's bAbY furniture for sale on craigslist just because I felt like it. I received a couple of emails from people asking me if I would be willing to split up the crib and dresser/changing table but I declined. Something told me that was not a good idea. Then I got an email {two emails to be exact} from a lovely young lady that wanted bo buy both pieces. Sold. She lived quite far away and was not sure how she would pick up the furniture so we talked over the past couple of weeks. Just yesterday, her nice mother drove to my work to drop off some earnest money because they didn't want to lose the furniture to someone else while they figure out how to pick it up. Immediately something didn't feel right...I started to get butterflies in my stomach and my heart sank. I didn't know why I felt this way...after all I always said that iF we had another baby I would buy white baby furniture which is what I had wanted for Arielle. Furniture is replaceable so I shouldn't be this upset, right? But I was very upset and I woke up early this morning with the same feeling of loss and anguish over selling Arielle's baby furniture. I phoned the lovely young lady who had been waiting nearly two weeks to buy this furniture and explained that it was no longer available for sale. I think I made the right choice. I feel happy now, not sad at all. Well, sad that I may have caused another mother heartache but this is my baby's furniture...not anybody elses. Today I made a vow that this furniture will stay in my FaMiLy foreVer and the thought of that makes me happy beyond belief.

Regretably I do not have any pictures of Arielle's first nursery room...or her second one after the move come to think of it. However, during her first year on the day she would turn a month older I always hung a sign up on her crib along and took a picture. I looked forward to this day every month and now I love to look back at each month's picture to see how much she grew. How could I get rid of a crib filled with this many mEmOrIeS of my baby?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Play Dough

I found a recipe to make "Salt Dough" which turns out to be a great craft for little ones. The kiddos can help you make the dough by pouring and mixing the ingredients and the fun doesn't end there! After the dough is made, get their creative juices flowing by having them make shapes, animals, letters, jewelry, etc. {the possibilities are endless} out of the dough. After they are finished making their little creations, bake them in the oven then they can paint them! My three year old had HOURS of fun with this craft! Here is the ReCiPe:
  • Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl: 3 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1 cup salt, 2 tsp oil
  • After ingredients are blended, roll the dough into one BIG ball then place on cookie sheet

  • Spread it out with a rolling pin to about 1/2" thick

  • Use cookie cutters, forks, tupperware, milk jugs, etc. to make your own special creations

  • Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until dough is hard. *NOTE: Dough does not rise but it does spread a little so don't overfill your cookie trays.

  • Let cool down for about an hour then paint, paint, paint!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

FUN Letters Project

Here is a FUN and extremely inexpensive project that anybody can do:

I purchased these wooden letters at Jo-Ann for 99 cents each (regular price-no coupon applied). They are approximately five inches tall by 2 inches wide so not big but not small either.
Next, I spray-painted them with leftover white paint that I had from another project. The finished look was boring so I decided to do a sponge up the paint while it was drying. That look right either so I just used the other side of the sponge (the scrubber part) and "sanded" them down for a rustic, weathered look. Some of the original wood started to show through but I actually like how they turned out. I even went so far as to hammer in a few of my own distress markings to further the aged affect. You can't even tell how the finished look turned out because the picture isn't that great.
To finish them off I chose a fun striped, gross-grain ribbon from my scrapbook supplies and attached it with thumb-tacks to the back of the letters. Seriously, this project only took me thirty minutes to complete from start to finish. It was well worth the $3 plus tax.
The letters are now hanging in Arielle's playroom. Originally when I thought of the project I wanted to spell the word PLAY but they were all out of A's so I had to think of another word and FUN was the first one that came to mind.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Her first A

My girl is Growing Up! Here is proof:

Today I asked her if she wanted to draw in her friend's birthday card so she ran to grab a pencil and sat down at the table in deep concentration. A minute later she was asking me how to write the rest of Annabelle's name and when I looked down at the card I saw a near perfect "A"!
I happily wrote her friend's name down on a piece of paper (in all caps) so Arielle could finish what she started. Then Arielle announced that she couldn't write the next letter-N (she hadn't even tried) so I guided her hand along. I only had to help her with the N's and the B but the rest was all her! I am so Proud of her...can't you tell!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Funny Faces!

Arielle wanted to show everyone her funny faces! I discovered that she's not at all camera shy...

We don't like to get bored around here!

Doesn't it look like Lexi is wearing a tiarra? Well she's not! It's a craft that Arielle made and hung up in the window. Lexi just happened to be sitting in front of it when I took her picture. This is definitely Lexi's favorite spot in the house. Actually both of the dogs love it here at this window in the study. We bought a dog bed to put in this very spot before Lexi was even around. When Lexi was a little puppy she would make herself fit on the bed with Sierra like this...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Looking Glass

Tonight as I was tucking Arielle into bed, the Monster came into her room. We knew Lexi was in there because she immediately started putting her big wet nose all over us to let us know she was there. This made Arielle and I giggle then we had the following brief conversation which just filled my heart with pure, sweet goodness:
Momma: Are you sad that we got Lexi? Or are you happy?
Bug: Why?
Momma: Because she chews on us and knocks you down and sometimes she's not a good girl.
Bug: Yes but when she is good we are happy!
If only I could see the world through her EYES and make all of the bad stuff dissapear.
These pictures were taken right after we got Lexi when she was 3-4 months old and before she weighed MORE than Arielle. Knock downs back then were just fun and games and the monster hadn't reared it's ugly {but oh so cute} head yet!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Monster in our Backyard

Looking at Lexi you would think she is such a good dog {9 month old Puppy} and for the most part she really is GOOD. However, our big yard is her domain and there is no stopping her when she is out there. I'm not kidding you, every time Arielle {the 3 year old kid} or Sierra {the ten year old dog} step foot in the backyard Lexi knocks them over faster than a speeding bullet. I fear for both of their safety and long for the days when Arielle could just run out to her playground without getting TRAMPLED on and Sierra could chase her ball without being used as a HURDLE and/or chew toy. Just yesterday, I saw Lexi knock Sierra down to the ground and heard Sierra wince. Minutes later Sierra begged me to throw her ball {something she should not being doing at her age, let alone not two minutes after a Lexi take-down} and I did so feeling sorry for her. Down she went wincing even louder this time unable to walk back to me without limping. And today, upon arrival of my mother which makes both dogs act uncontrollably excited, Lexi knocked Arielle down inside the house and left a big scratch on her cheek.
So I have to ask myself...WHAT WAS I THINKING when I got a puppy? Don't worry, Lexi will soon grow up and be a real dog but for now we'll have to be on the lookout. And we are getting back at her in our own little cruel (non-harmful) ways...
Lexi did not like wearing a tutu at all! She is staring out the window wondering, "Just wait until the next time you step foot out into MY backyard...I'll get you then!"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Our Beach Guest Room

The theme of our guest room was inspired by the Beach Family...Gaby, Tee & Nips! They are just about the only house guests that we get so I wanted to make them feel at home while visiting us.

When I have time I'm going to whitewash the wooden nightstand and a smaller wooden bench. For now, the room has a lot of charm and feels quite cozy.

Arielle can usually be found jumping on the bed and cuddling with all of the pillows.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The loft for now

Arielle's loft has been redesigned and repurposed into a simple, cozy play area. I set the cube shelves side by side and took the wheels off to make them appear as if they are built-in. Arielle loves to organize her toys in all of the cubbies! She was so proud to see that I had framed her drawing first of Mommy & Daddy. The only other thing I plan on doing is putting up some red curtains but I haven't found any that I like yet. I think I might try to die a pair of old tie top, linen ones that I have. I think that counts as a mistreatment which would be my first one ever!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you on 9/11?

IF ANYBODY READS THIS POST, it would be fun to copy the title and post it on your blog so we can find out where you were on 9/11...

I was living in my first home purchase (an 850 sq ft condo in Denver). I don't exactly remember but I think my roommate of six months had just moved out and my parents lived four hours away on the western slope, so I was {FELT} alone in the world. I was getting ready for work when one of my co-workers called me to see if I had heard the news. I never watch tv in the morning or listen to the radio so I had no knowledge of what was happening and wouldn't have known until I got in my car if he hadn't called me. That is when I turned the tv on and heard the reports and saw the first tower smoking and debris falling. I had tuned in before the second plane hit so it was even more of a shock to see that happen after soaking in the first plane hit. Then on top of that watching the towers collapse was like watching a movie...of course I couldn't believe what was happening. I picked up the phone and called my mom and we just sat there in silence at disbelief of the events on 9/11. I ended up having to go into work a couple hours later but needless to say we did not get much work done on that day.

Despite not being personally affected by 9/11 {THANK GOODNESS} there was the fact that less than 2 weeks later, I flew to Philadelphia to visit my best friend. The biggest highlight of the visit is the fact that it was to be my FIRST trip ever to New York City! This means that I never got to see the towers standing but I did get to see their remains and the remarkable clean-up that had already occured in just a handful of days. I was very scared to board that plane on 9/20 and I remember it very clearly. There couldn't have been more than a dozen people including the stewards and there was complete silence for much of the flight. I consider myself to be very brave for flying that soon after 9/11 despite many rumors of more terrorism to come.

I always think of what I would have done if 9/11 had occurred after my daughter was born. I know I would have held her so tight in my arms and thanked God for her safety. My heart still breaks for the friends and family of those that were lost on 9/11. I wish there was more I could do to show my pride for the USA and the HEROS (fallen and living) that made 9/11 just a little less worse than it was.

God Bless home SWEET home.

The photos that I am posting were taken by me on my second trip back to NYC in the following year. There was still so much clean up going on at the site of 9/11 otherwise known as "GROUND ZERO".

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Old Frames, New Art

My latest decorating project was inspired by Arielle's first "real" drawing. I used quotation marks because she has made several drawings prior to this one but they didn't look remotely close to what she said they were supposed to be. The second I saw this drawing I couldn't even believe that Arielle drew it herself. Then when she told me that she drew a picture of Mommy & Daddy I literally got teary-eyed!

So I decided this picture was too good for the fridge so I checked out craigslist for some inexpensive frames and I scored BIG time! I got four matching, black frames with matting and two smaller ones for $30. There are a couple of dings here and there but since they are black I'll just color them in with a Sharpie and they'll be as good as new. The best thing about this project is that it's so easy to change out the art in the frame whenever Arielle creates a new masterpiece! I am going to hang the frames up in the loft above the new cube shelves which by the way I put side by side on the wall across from the loveseat and they now look like built-in-shelves.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Leaving Blankie behind...

Arielle has made so much progress in the past two weeks. She has officially "detached" herself from Blankie, thereby decreasing the amount of time spent thumb sucking to practically never! No more carrying blankie from room to room and turning around to go back for it when we leave the house. As of this morning, the only place we had to take it with us was to school for naptime but that all is about to change...
Today when I picked Arielle up at daycare, her teacher informed me that we needed to start bringing a blanket to school that she could leave there and not take home every day {my heart stopped beating at the very thought of this}. "She needs blankie to go to sleep." Did I really just say that out loud? Yes, and as soon as I said it I knew how silly it sounded. Fortunately Arielle chimed in and announced that she was going to pick a different blanket to bring to school and leave the yellow blankie at home in her bed FOREVER! When we got home I opened up the big container of baby blankets and Arielle picked a new one for school that we will take on Wednesday and leave there. I still keep wondering if this is really happening to me because it feels like a dream. Really, it's too good to be true!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Loft improvements

I am on a quest to repurpose Arielle's loft into something other than a television room. Chris suggested turning it into a library reading room and I really loved her idea of putting tall bookshelves on either side of the window with a window bench in between. However, as soon as I mentioned this to my husband he reminded me that there is a floor vent on one side of the window on the floor. Argh! Obviously people who design house plans are not decorators because this is the tenth time I have run into this problem when trying to arrange furniture in a room. So my next thought was to still make a window bench but put the shelves on one of the walls opposite the loveseat. Lastly, I thought instead of using ordinary bookshelves that cube shelfs would look more modern and "lofty" so I began searching on craigslist for the perfect cube shelves. Low and behold I found these beauties and for such a bargain at $70 for both {probably because the tops of them are moderately scratched up but they were affordable so I'll have to work around that}:Arielle has already "decorated" them with her toys. I guess there is no resisting that since it is her loft and her toys multiply by the weeks...I have my garage-sale-junkie parents to thank for that. Although I would prefer to buy some new baskets and accessorize them, I think for now they make the perfect place for toys. Perhaps when Arielle gets older we can turn the room into a craft/homework room with a large desk and some cabinets!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kitchen Spice

I couldn't resist the chance to photograph the beautiful roses that I received this Labor Day. Such a perfect way to spice up my kitchen and add some charm to an otherwise plain room.
I should have a bbq more often.

I've been trying to improve my photography skills, have I accomplished my goal?

Teachers live in classes, not houses

Arielle had her first day in the intermediate classroom at her preschool today and to my amazement she handled it like a pro! I am so proud of her for not asking to hold blankie when we got to school and not crying or holding onto me when I left. I know I am probably jinxing myself but it seems as though she is getting more and more used to change in her life. I can't even describe how proud of her that I am today. She said something really funny to me tonight as I was tucking her into bed...we were talking about her first day and naming all of her teachers when she told me that "teachers live in classes, they don't live in houses." So I asked her, "you don't think that teachers go home after the kids leave and come back in the morning?" and she said, "no, they don't go home because they stay in classes." Too funny!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Not so hot chocolate

It was a great day today!
After a three day weekend, I got to spend half of my first day "back to work" at home with Arielle. It was just what we both needed as I had been busy cleaning house all weekend and didn't give her all the attention that she deserved. We had a bbq on Labor Day {believe it or not but I forgot to take pictures} and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. Like they say in Colorado, if you don't like the weather wait an hour and it'll change. We woke up this morning and it felt like fall. The high of the day was at least twenty degrees cooler than yesterday but it was a refreshing change.
In celebration of the changing seasons, Arielle and I decided to make hot was her first time ever drinking hot chocolate! Actually, it was more like lukewarm "hot" chocolate since she is so sensitive to hot stuff in her mouth but none-the-less she loved every sip of it.