Sunday, October 30, 2011

Getting all "Pinterest" up in here!

My fave hobby of the year has been the discovery of and working on my online bulletin board "collages".  It definitely has lit the DIY spark in me for everything from holiday decor to trying new recipes to sewing Halloween costumes and planning parties for the kiddies.

Special shout out to the Martha Stewart collection at JoAnn fabric for helping me achieve the DIY-look I was craving, haha! *cheater* So I'll also share where I found my finds, like a good little blogger.

Mantle decor
Fall berry garland: Paul Michaels in Canton, Texas, $10ish last year
Wire pumpkin candle holder: Gift, Kohl's
Quatrefoil candle holder with mango candle: Bath and body works
Toile planter and faux flowers: Michaels, last year
Fleur-de-lis knick knack, part of a set gifted to us, Kirklands
Hurricane: Hobby Lobby, filled with decorative balls from Pier One, and Candy Corn

Mini pumpkins: $3 each, Target
Mickey Jackolantern: gift from Lolli, Walgreens
Green glitter skull: $1, Target Dollar Spot
Scarecrow crunch: Quaker Oats cereal, mini pretzels, raisins, candy corn, Reese's pieces, and orange flavored popcorn (from Pop It!)

Fruit kabobs: strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, grapes
Cheese & Ritz kabobs: pre-cut mini cheese "sandwiching" a Ritz
Skeleton & Pumpkin picks: Martha Stewart collection, JoAnn Fabric (super sale with coupon)

Pin the nose on the witch was a HUGE hit. Note to self -- next party, make 30 noses instead of 8. The kids had a total blast spinning in a circle three times then pinning the nose on the witch. Each kid's pin got major giggles. (Speaking of pins, I suggest you "pin" these fun ideas to your Pinterest boards! hehe)
 Green and black posterboard, Dollar Tree ($0.50 each)
Black & red marker: in my craft closet
Crayola mini's glitter : in my craft closet
Noses: Fun foam, Dollar Tree, $1 for a pack of 12 sheets
Masking Tape: in my junk drawer
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkins at the Arboretum

Today was another perfect Mommy day. With less than a week left of maternity leave, today Cade turned 2 1/2 (Happy half birthday little man!), and Devyn is 2 1/2 months, I've been emotional.  The perfect fix? A trip to the Dallas Arboretum.  Every year we have taken Cade, and this year was Devyn's pumpkin debut!  She rocked it, no?

Conductor overalls?? Yummy! 

This year there was a storybook theme. Here we are in Cinderella's carriage.

Um, we are DEF 2 1/2 months today. Had Grammie been counting on us to go, we would have stayed home with the tearful morning SOMEONE had.  This pic is his mood entirely. Sad, yet intrigued. Pouty, yet precious.

My God. That lip. That sunflower. That mini pumpkin. It's too much. He is absolutely too much.  My love for this pouty little prince knows no bounds.  You want to simultaneously spank him and give him the world. I've never known feelings like this could exist before my love affair with my son.
Grand Aunt Shanon, Grammie and Devyn strolling through Crepe Myrtle Alley. This place is absolutely stunning, if you are in a rotten mood in Crepe Myrtle Alley you have issues.  So, literally five minutes later this was said Poutster.
Sheer joy and elation! Oh to feel that happy because you have a stick and a hill to run down. (Yes, my child runs with sticks.... I dare you to try to stop him. You start with "Honey, don't run with the stick, that's dangerous!" and then you go to "Cade, put down that stick please" then you say "Cade, no stick. Put down!" (I don't know why, but I find myself trying Caveman Talk when he's not listening) finally you shrug and say "Um, be safe when you run with the stick!" and decide to devote your time to saying Hail Marys.
Cade found love by the old oak tree.
Use her and lose her, man.  Typical male.
Pumpkin love.
His fave gourd o' the day!  He even kissed it :)
Mommy's new haircut. Oh, and Mommy's presh children.

Grammie's little girl.  Sweetest pic o' the day!
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Swim Swim Summer!

As evidenced by the pic above, we had a swim swim summer with Captain Cade the Fearless. We took him to the Plano public pools, which he adored.  Shout out Tom Muehlenbeck!!! You are the best public pool I've ever seen. I don't have many pics from the public pools, but we did get some fun shots from Lolli & Papa's pool.  Cade can swim for nearly two hours, jumping off the side, swimming to you and turning around and swimming back to the ladder. Fish man.
I'm so glad I have kids that love to swim (I'm guessing Devyn does because I totally swam with her while I was super pregnant -- even the day before I was induced... Insane I know, but that's how much I love to swim. I was totally coming up with the courage to tell the lifeguard "Clear the pool, my water just broke in it", which was a horrifying thought but would have made for a badass birth story.) I digress...
Checking out baby sister girl in her "lounger".

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Family Portraits

A few weeks after Devyn was born, we dressed up the fam and went to Studio One to get our first family portraits made!  (And hopefully score some presh pics worthy of birth announcements...more to come on that in a later post!)

I decided that we needed to wear the colors we look best in, blues, and let Devyn rock it out in pink! So after a full day's shopping at Northpark I was able to use outfits Cade & Devyn already had (plaid shorts and navy polo for him, a white and pink ballerina-esque ruffled onesie for her) and buy new shirts for Nick and I. Usually I'd shy away from mixing patterns but the colors were all so perfect together, and my Pinterest studies of photography boards and blogs gave some courage to try it, and I must say--- family fashion success!!

Standing in this pose felt super awkward but turned out to be my fave pic once I saw it!!
FYI: Holding a nine day old for pics and trying to get her face and a toddler smile was incredibly difficult. She slept through the whole ordeal!!

Sweet baby girl

The Cadester
Things I liked about Studio One:  The photographer was quick, got lots of cute pics to choose from, she totally knew how to work with Cade --- who happened to be so excited to explore the studio and run all over the photo area. Thank God for their ladder and her feather duster which he loved!  She formed a bond with him and made him comfortable, which I really liked.

Things I didn't like:  They had a time schedule and what they promised on the phone for the family shoot was not what they delivered. I expected an hour, we got thirty minutes. I expected to get the shots I wanted, the photographer had a set list of poses that the Studio is known for and hit every one of them... my suggestions threw her off.  I got all the shots I wanted minus one. We didn't get a brother/sister shoot because the manager came over and hovered then tapped her watch then told us we needed to be done.  I was pushy momma and insisted I get my solo shots of my newborn!!! I'm grateful I did, the whole mission o' the day was to get a family shot and newborn pics for the announcement.  I did want a bro-sis pic for the announcement, but I had a sweet shot from home that worked just as well.

MAJOR thing I didn't like: I  had no idea how much it was going to cost me.  The Living Social deal was for one shot only, so we used those prints for our family pics (24 prints of 1 pose for $29). But ordering any other poses was going to cost us. The original package they put together? $896!!! Um, NO. I don't want my  husband to divorce me when I come home with that "deal of the century", or whatever the psycho photog called it.

 So I asked if I could just buy the digital images on CD..... Take a guess at how much. Did you guess $455?!  I shit you not. I asked her what the "a la cart" prices were (my devious brain already forming a plan involving a stupid kid at the CVS photo counter).  She pulled the numbers from her damn head. There was no list of prices. Shady, shady, shady. But here she was....sitting in front of me with a slideshow of my babies scrolling across the screen and sappy sweet music playing softly in the background. She had me  by the balls. If I wanted to leave with the pics I'd have to cough up some cash.  Hardball momma came out, I ordered the pics I  needed and all is well. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Help Mommy!!!....aka "chores"

Cade loves to help me. Like loooooooves to help me. And for the most part, like 99% of the time, I'm all about it. (the other 1% being when we are running late and trying to get in the car).

I found a cool link on Pinterest about chores toddlers can do from 18 months plus. I'm uber proud to admit he's been doing most of these for quite awhile, and he even does some other things not listed. I hate calling them chores, because to my boy, these are super special helper jobs. Special activities he gets to do "just like mommy". In fact, he even asks, INSISTS even, to help Mommy.

Mommy helper jobs Cade does:
1. Dusting tables and chairs with rag

2. Matching socks — also a good skill for teaching concepts of "same" and "different"

3. Handing Mommy safe unbreakable items from dishwasher

4. Bringing safe, unbreakable dishes in from table, clearing table

5. Putting safe, unbreakable items on table (napkins, cups)

6. Picking up toys

7. Putting trash in wastebasket

10. Putting clothes in hamper

11. Handing adult an item from grocery bag

12. Wiping windows with cloth and spray bottle filled with water

13. Setting the table

14. Clearing table

15. Putting dishes in sink or dishwasher

16. Drying dishes

17. Bringing newspaper in from outside

18. Wiping spots on kitchen floor with wet rag

19. Putting books on bookshelf correctly

20. Helping water garden

21. Assisting adult in the kitchen with measuring, pouring dry ingredients, stirring and mixing

22. Carrying small bags of groceries

Mommy helper jobs we will now try:

1. Wiping baseboards with duster or dry rag

2. Taking laundry to appropriate room — tell them where the items go and see whether or not they remember after the first few times you do this chore with them.

3. Putting stuffed animals on bed in the morning

4. Pushing laundry basket to appropriate room

5. Sweeping small messes with hand broom

6. Put away laundry in correct places — teach him how to carry folded items so they won't come unfolded

7. Sort laundry by family member

I can't say that Cade does each of those above things every day, but they are just things we do together. If I didn't involve him in household tasks (ugh, okay okay, "chores"), then I'd be losing quality time with him. When we do this stuff together it's more fun for me, he feels like a big boy, and I get to do my favorite thing, teach him new stuff. We love doing stuff together. Sometimes I make the chores a game, but he's so used to it and so curious, he seeks out doing this stuff. I love (and hate at times) when he says "help you, Mommy!" and scoots his little hair next to me in the kitchen. He loves to use measuring cups, mix things together, and make salads. I feel bad when dinner is me reheating leftovers and he's got his chair ready to help and there is nothing for him to do. He gets sad when he can't help. Obviously a trait he got from me..... I don't see Nick getting off the couch and crying because he wants to help me. Ha!

I want my son to be a guy who just does these things without thinking about them. A guy who picks up after himself and lends a helping hand without being asked or complaining. In other words, I'm grooming him to be a perfect husband. As soon as he's old enough to drive, I'll teach him the value of bringing home flowers for mommy "just because".

What chores did you do as a kid?
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