Friday, August 30, 2013

Putting the Labor in Day

Well summer is officially over around here and I'm back to work on the last items of our 2013 Home Goals: the Dining Room,  Kid's Bath and Roof.

Today I'm tackling painting the bath vanity (ugh I have very little patience for painting), having a seamstress come to quote slipcovers for a pair of Drexel club chairs in need of some TLC, and meeting with the carpenter to discuss the dining room wainscoting. Plus, the new roof is tentatively scheduled for next week.

I don't know about you all, but I say bring on the Fall!!! Enjoy the long weekend everyone.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Half Birthdays…Add them to the List

Remember this post I wrote a few short days ago about the joys of celebrating our children. I think I need to remind myself of exactly what I signed up for. It appears that Peanut has declared half birthdays a celebration in this house…rightfully deserving of all the pomp & circumstance.

Seeing big bro overjoyed at the prospect of throwing his lil bro a party made it impossible to say "no"? The simple request is concrete evidence of the loving bond these brothers share. It melts my heart and makes me on board for just about anything.

Peanut decided upon a rice crispy creation to mark the day. He attempted a rainbow cake inspired by an episode of "Wow Wow Wubbzy" (anyone else have to suffer though that show!?!)

I knew that Bear wouldn't be into the rice crispy treat so I simply grabbed a vanilla bean cupcake during our Target run. With the addition of a toy stegosaurus, the 1/2 birthday boy's treat was complete.

After dinner we sang and enjoyed our meteors ("rainbow rice crispy cupcakes"). Bear is shirtless in anticipation of the cupcake massacre.

Now Belle & Peanut are counting down the days until their half birthdays…..thankfully no present are involved. Anyone else celebrate half birthdays with your little ones? Or perhaps you did as a child?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bestie A's Bridal Shower

With all the commotion of the summer, I have yet to post the photos from the shower YiaYia & I co-hosted (along with Bestie J & her Mom). Bestie A is Bestie J's sister and a life long friend so it was with the utmost joy that we spent the day toasting the couple-to-be. We sipped mimosas, took in views of Lake Michigan & ate far too many pastries. It was Belle's first bridal shower and she found it to be lengthy, but fun once the gift unwrapping began.

Love these two girls with all my heart. I can not be more excited or elated for the big day! And fingers crossed Bestie A & R, ditch the city & move out to our neck of the woods when it is time for their first little one.

Wedding is only one month away. Let the countdown begin.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

To My Baby Bear at 18 Months

Today you are 18 months old. One short year ago this is how you looked:

And now you've grown into a child…skipping right past toddlerhood into the realm of preschooler.  

You wear baseball caps, drive tiny matchbox cars, color pictures, sing songs & climb up our jungle gym all by yourself. So I wanted to take a moment and share with you some of my favorite things about you, MRB, at 18 months old.

  • You idolize your big brother and insist upon doing just about everything he does.

  • When you say "juice" you pucker your luscious little lips together in the most adorable way.

  • When you are uncomfortable you come to me and ask "uppy". I pick you up then you rest your head upon me and pat my chest with your hand saying, "mommy, mommy" looking for affirmation that the situation is safe & more importantly, I'm not leaving. I pray I never forget what it feels like to hold you during these moments.

  • Your true love is a pink lawn flamingo or "Mingo" as you've named her. She use to reside in Gma's garden & now is at the lake. You've inflicted quite a bit of damage on Mingo, to the point where she only resembles her former self thanks to packing tape. I have to say, you are lucky you're Bopi's namesake or else you'd be in a world of trouble for damaging Dolores the Flamingo AKA "Mingo".

This is just a brief glimpse into the strong willed, vibrant, loving and down right adorable little boy you are. I hope these next 6 months pass slowly as I'm just not ready to close the book on your babyhood. 

All My Love-

Monday, August 26, 2013

HELP Reader Vote: Yeah or Nay Faceless Artwork

While glancing through the sales on One Kings Lane I came across these canvases from painter Lisa Golightly.

The images remind me immediately of Belle & Peanut at the lake.

And this one is my baby Bear.

But, I'm not sure I like the fact they are faceless. Especially in the first piece where the faces are stark white. In a way it almost feels eerie.

Let me know your thoughts. What do you think of the faceless swimmers? Prefer one more than the other? I was thinking of hanging them together in the kiddos' bathroom if I do indeed purchase them.

Oh and I'm also loving The Girl in the Yellow Bathing Suit, but I don't really have much yellow in the house. Maybe Belle's room….her favorite color as a toddler was yellow afterall.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

2nd Grade is a Hoot

Belle is slightly obsessed with Beanie Boos. On our trip to the amusement park, she fell head over heals for "Hoots" the Owl. Being the scheming Mommy that I am, I told her we weren't buying anything (despite her plea to use her own money) and promptly opened my amazon app & clicked "add to cart". Right then & there, Hoots & I were in cahoots for a fantastic Beanie Boo Back to School Bash.
For the fare, I served owl shaped Nutella sandwiches with marshmallow eyes & walnut beaks.  Along with fresh fruit cups adorned with owl punches I designed on picmonkey. To accompany our noshes, I served Belle's favorite root beer embellished with floral straws. I picked up the straws on clearance at Target last spring for 57 cents, but I've seen similar straws at the dollar store too.  

When Belle came off the bus and into the backyard to see the table, it was just like Christmas morning. She was beyond delighted to find not only Hoots, but a table full of treats. The five of us sat down together and listened as Belle recounted the days activities & events, pausing every so often to sip from her root beer bottle.

I'm not sure if Belle or the boys will remember the themed sandwiches and tablescapes; but I do hope their childhood recalls a warm feeling and the sense that because they were loved so greatly, someone went the extra mile for them. I pray that feeling builds in their hearts & comforts them on the days when the world is not so nice & an owl sandwich or a snuggly plush isn't going to make it all better.  I know that it won't belong until the kiddos themselves have outgrown these little rituals.  So for now, I'm going to keep at it and relish each and every one. And with that I'm off to dream up Peanut's back to school breakfast & bash. Thankfully, he's still home until after labor day.

Check out Belle's back to school breakfast

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Second Grade Send Off

Around here just about anything is cause for celebration, especially the first day of school. So last night while Hubby packed Belle's lunch, I set the table for a celebratory send off. Best part, the grin on Belle's face when she saw the decorations, followed promptly by the question, "Why is Read so large? Is it really that important?" Sadly, a reader she is not.

I know that many of you still are on summer vacation so I'll quickly go over how I pulled this tablescape together incase you're looking for some quick last minute inspiration. 

The decor was rounded up from around the house…crayons, markers, books, toy bus & recycled Starbuck's frappe glasses. I cut a strand of four buntings from a pennant I picked up at the dollar store & hung it over the cabinets.  The remainder I then laid across the table as a runner. The framed print was a pinterest find.  

For place settings, I layered red & white scrapbook paper from our Dr. Suess party onto blue placemats and topped them off with a white stoneware. I never like to serve the kiddies hot food on melamine plates ever since I saw a study about how quickly chemicals/BPAs leach into hot food placed on them.

Now back to Belle. She was too nervous to eat much this morning. Hubby, Peanut & I sat around the table with her chit-chatting until it was finally time to head out for the bus. 

As soon as the wheels on the bus pulled away, we loaded up in the car and headed to catch the annual flag raising ceremony in front of the school. 

And with that summer drew to a close and the 2013-2014 school year has begun!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tall Ships

Last week the kiddies & I headed downtown with YiaYia & Bopi to watch the Tall Ships parade into Navy Pier. Peanut had been awaiting this event all summer long and was certainly mesmerized by the chance to see these ships up close.

When the skies opened, we took shelter inside and the little ones tried their hand at racing their own sailing boats. Eventually the weather cleared and we had a chance to see the ships up close.

Once we finished up the ships, we headed up to the atrium. The kids had a blast watching the jumping water fountain.

Then it was outside to ride the ferris wheel with YiaYia (I am way too scared of heights for this one).

While the older two waiting in line, Bear kept himself occupied chasing birds.

We returned to our hotel room for a quick fretting up before meeting Bestie J, Bestie T & her Fiance for dinner.

It is the last weekend of summer vacation around here….School starts next week!