Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm not gonna lie...

Sometimes I dream about doing this...

Not to Eme... barely ever.
It's the other child in our house.
I probably would never actually do it.  Probably not.
But sometimes this "I'm three" phase gets a bit old.  Like for example...

1.  A couple of weeks ago I realize that it had been awfully quiet in the house for waaaay too long.  I walk into Caleb's room to discover that he has dumped everything in his room-- all toys, every article of clothing, and all bedding into a huge pile in the middle of him room.  

I say: "Caleb!  Why did you make such a mess?"  
Caleb says, with a bit of an attitude: "it's not a mess Mom.  It's art."
I say (trying not to laugh): "I don't care if it's art... it's going to take you a long time to clean this up."
Caleb: "I'm not cleaning it up.  YOU clean it up." (statement accompanied by an angry glare.)

Now I'm not laughing.

2.  Lately I've been catching my son trying to "wrestle" with his sister.  Sometimes I think he's just trying to express some sort of sibling camaraderie... but for some reason Eme doesn't seem to get the message.  Probably because "wrestling" means she ends up being flat out tackled to the ground on the living room floor, body checked into the side of the shopping cart, or strangled while trying to bounce in her jolly jumper.  And there are times when Caleb just gets annoyed with his sister and decides to test the waters when he thinks I'm not looking.  All I can think about is how much MORE fun it's going be when Eme starts crawling, walking, and chasing her big brother.  If you think she's cramping your style now buddy-- just wait until she starts stealing your toys.  Oh my... I can hardly wait.

3.  This next one totally caught me off guard for some reason.  All of a sudden, every single time I asked Caleb to do something he would give me this look.... this look that I thought only teenagers could pull off.  The other day I asked Caleb to go to the bathroom-- he is doing the uncomfortable I can't sit still or I'll pee my pants dance.  And he turns and furrows his brow, wrinkles his nose in absolute repulsion, and grunts in complete disgust.  I get this look dozens of times a day.  50% of the time I turn and laugh because it is sooo funny, 25% of the time I'm annoyed, and the the remaining 25% of the time I'm at a complete loss.  I had no idea 3 year olds could be that disgusted with their parents... already!!

4.  GROUCHY.  Caleb used to wake up as happy as could be... annoyingly happy (especially when it's 5 am) but those days are long gone.  Nowadays he wakes up angry.  For about 10 minutes post wake up any attempt of mine to engage with him is met with grunting, hissing, and growling.  After a few minutes he flips a switch and is suddenly the most pleasant child in the world... but there are moments when I want to hang him from the clothesline by his toes.

It's a phase... this I know.  But sometimes I just wish I knew how long the phase would be :)  All I can do is keep trying to be consistent in how I respond, try to be a good example to my kids, and pray LOTS!  And besides... Eme's not going to pull any shenanigans like this... right?  I'm pretty sure girls are a walk in the park... right?

On the other hand there are, of course, many many wonderful moments to be had with my three year old boy.  Like...

1.  Last Saturday... Caleb and I went on an impromptu date for lunch-- just the two of us.  He got to choose where we went-- it's was a pretty tough decision-- do we go to the Walmart McDonald's or the one with the playplace?  In the end Playplace won... and he was an angel child.  We had a great chat over french fries, Caleb enjoyed the slide while I tried not to think about how loud and crazy the playplace was at noon on a Saturday, and when we got to the car he said "Thank you SO much Mommy for taking me on a date to McDonalds."  It was lovely-- well maybe not the food and playplace... but the company was lovely :)

2.  Caleb has began to teach Doug and I a whole new vocabulary that we never knew existed.  The other day he taught Doug a new "word"-- I couldn't tell you what that"word" sounded like or even attempt to spell it-- but  I can tell you that it means (direct quote from Caleb): "both angry AND surprised. Kind of like when I find a new game on the ipod."  Gotcha.

3.  And last weekend... Caleb got to crack open his piggy bank one morning and counted up his money.  The grand total was $11.75 (approximately... we didn't feel like counting the hundreds of pennies in there).  We then took him to Walmart to pick something out.  Of course, he was immediately attracted to the $69.99 lego set, but quite quickly settled on the $6.00 car lego set that was well within his budget.  When we got home, he opened up the box, pulled out the instructions, and quietly put the ENTIRE car together completely on his own with no help from Doug and I.  The kid has some serious lego building skills (especially amazing when you consider how unskilled he is at dressing himself) and he also plays on his own amazingly well.  I love that.

4.  The other day-- without any prompting-- Caleb shared his fruit snacks with me.  He knew I like the red ones... so he willingly surrendered them to his mommy.

5.  And last night... as I was leaving for an evening out with the ladies Caleb stood bedside the car and blew me kisses... not one... not two... but probably close to 100.

So in the end... while there are times where I can't wait for my three year old to grow up... I'm choosing to focus on the wonderful moments-- because there are many!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oops... I did it again.

I got a little bored yesterday.  Then I saw this.

Before I knew what was happening I had pulled out a pair of scissors and was heading for my closet.  As soon as the kids were down for their afternoon naps I started ripping things apart with the need to slice and dice!

I seem to have a problem.  When inspired... I can't sit still.  All I think about is... "Could it really be that easy?"  "Could I possibly create this too?"  and of course... "I can make that for a FRACTION of what it would cost to buy new at the store."  Classic.  Totally sound like my mom again with the last one.

But honestly, the gal who came up with this idea is a genius.  I almost shed a tear when I read that she had re-purposed one of her old shirts to make this little skirt for her daughter.  I'm so down with that (remember those headbands I made for Eme?  She's still wearing them!!)

So, I followed her skirt making tutorial... and it worked!  It was way easier than I thought it would be.  And by the time the kids were waking up from their naps, I had made this.

Honestly... this skirt is waaaay cuter than the shirt was before.  Today I attempted to get a decent picture of Eme modeling her new skirt.  Here's the first one.  Turns out she didn't appreciate being put on the floor.

So I resorted to the mirror so that I could hold her while attempting to snap a picture.  Again... not too successful.  Turns out she cared more about the camera than her new skirt.

And then my arm got tired and my camera ran out of batteries.  The end.

Anyhow... the skirt is cute... it fits her perfectly... it's easy to make... and it probably only cost me $0.10 to make (I needed some elastic for the waistband).  Totally worth a try folks!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The perfect formula

If you're a Sarah Richardson fan like me you've probably seen Sarah's House.  Remember the episode where she creates two cute bedrooms-- one for a boy and one for a girl?  Remember this chair from the girls room?

I've always thought it was adorable.  Inspiration.

Then my friend (who has a cute little girl) found this fabric.

Then she found a chair.

So let's add it up.

Inspiration + cute little girl+ Fabric + Chair (+ me!!.. and at times Doug) = this...

Cute, eh?  This chair did not reupholster itself over night.  It took me months and weeks to finish since I am the slowest. upholsterer. ever.  And once again, I had some had some help from Doug-- arm strength is needed when it comes to dismantling the chair and flipping it around.  But when it came time to put it back together my mom and expert aunt were not around to offer sewing assistance and a few pointers... I was on my own.  While I had a few nervous moments... it all came together in the end.  But let me tell you... I was sweating a few times during seat cushion construction time-- badly fraying fabric + seamstress-in-training + sewing over my finger (like I said... I'm still learning) = the urge to say a few bad words.

Finally, it's done and it looks great.  And in the end I managed to scrap together enough material to cover the ottoman too.  I'm no expert... but it looks considerably better than it did before.

From what I hear, the little lady loves her new chair :)  I can't wait to see it in her new"big girl" room!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's just paint

I've got some great new stuff to post about... only no photos... yet.  In the meantime, let me share the most amazing budget kitchen reno I've ever seen.  I saw this one a while back, and it gets me every time.  Here's the before...

Instead of doing a major overhaul these people used a little paint, a new tile backsplash, new countertops, and some awesome accessories to get this...

Amazing.  I love it when people can re-use and re-purpose what they've got instead of doing a complete (and expensive) gut job.  You can read more about it (and see more pictures!) here...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

They live up to their name

One day I had a craving for blueberry muffins... really GREAT blueberry muffins.  So I did a bit of poking around online and found this recipe.  They live up to their name-- they truly are the best. ever.  I've been making them over, and over, and over again.  My poor waistline.  Here's the recipe... so that you can give them a try if you dare.

Blueberry Muffins—best ever

         1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
         3/4 cup white sugar
         1/2 teaspoon salt
         2 teaspoons baking powder
         1/3 cup vegetable oil
         1 egg
         1/3 cup milk (I used Almond milk)
         1 cup fresh blueberries (I used frozen, but I'm pretty    sure fresh would be incredible-- maybe when I don't have to pay $5 for a teeny tiny basket)
         1/2 cup white sugar
         1/3 cup all-purpose flour
         1/4 cup butter, cubed (used vegan becel instead)
         1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Sidenote-- this makes a small batch of muffins... at least for me.  I like muffin top (preferably on muffins only-- although a few more batches of these babies and I might start to look like my baking) so use jumbo muffin liners and fill em up right to the top.  Delish.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sun Fun

Finally... a few warm days!  Here's how we've enjoyed the past few days...

A White Rock visit... of course.  This wasn't Emerson's first trip to White Rock (first appropriately documented here) but it was the first time she could enjoy the sights and sounds... just not the ice cream :)

My little lady is learning so much these days... she's quite the happy clapper.

She's also happy to spend time on the grass... and she may or may not try to eat it at times :)

And... this little lady is starting to get a bit more adventurous... she's been caught a few times in the "I'm about to crawl" position... Time to put up the baby gate!

We've enjoyed several picnics at the park.  The thing I love the most about eating outside is the easy clean-up.  All you gotta do is shake out the blanket and go.

 We've stocked the fridge with coke.  Caleb doesn't get to drink it-- but he was more than happy to load up the fridge for me today.

We've done some flower planting.  I had two little helpers yesterday... this little helper was significantly more helpful than the other... enough said.

 And I've been working on my multitasking skills.  I've successfully mastered the art of suntanning while watching the clothes dry doing laundry.

Maternity leave... it's a rough life... let me tell you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

One of my Favorites

When I flip through magazines and look at all the beautiful blogs out there I often see stuff I like-- I probably find way too many spaces and things that inspire me!  A year or two ago Style at Home featured this house... and I loved it!  Every so often I come across these pictures on a blog or online somewhere and I'm still drawn to this house.  Style at Home defines the style of this home as "modern classic"-- this is a style I love (at least one of them!) and would love to one day have a house as clean and fresh as this.  You can view more of the house tour and read about the design process here.  Believe it or not a family with young children lives in this house!

For now, here are a few pretty pictures for you to enjoy...

A girl can dream... right?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Best Deal of All...

Remember my rant about the light fixtures in our house?  Remember when I showed you that amazing light fixture from Restoration Hardware that was TOTALLY and COMPLETELY out of my budget?  Well it still is... unless you manage to find it at the Restoration Hardware outlet and have a husband who loves to get a good deal!  Check out my dining room now...

So over the past year I have been scouring local stores and every possible online store for a cheap-o version of the $500 RH light.  No luck.  They were either too small, still too expensive, or not the same finish. So sad.  Then we went to the Seattle outlets over the weekend and on the shelf, still in the box-- I find it. There is no price tag on it... so I decide to not get excited and start overreacting.  I casually call Doug over to show him my find.  He knows all about this light I've been eyeing... trust me :)  And really, he liked it too.  Excited to try to get a deal, Doug stops one of the guys working at the store and asks what the price is.  RH guy goes to do a bit of research and comes back with a price... 60% off the original price tag taking it down to $210.  At this point I've decided that I'm going to have to walk away... the price is close to what we would be willing to pay, but not close enough.  It needed to be below the $200 mark for us to consider.  Then Doug informs RH guy that the price is not good enough... he asks for more of a discount.  Conversation goes like this:

Doug:         You've got to do better than that.
RH guy:     Do you play in the NBA?
Doug:         No.
RH guy:     Yeah you do.  I'll give it to you for another 15% off the reduced price.

SOLD!  I guess it pays to be tall.

So after taxes (we didn't have to pay duty) the light ended up being around $190... which is pretty darn close to the price tag on the light fixture I was considering at Home Depot here in town.  Hopefully I'll be able to sell the old fixture on craigslist for a couple of bucks to make the end price tag even better.

I am IN LOVE with my new light fixture... which, if you've read my light fixture rant you'd understand why I wanted to LOVE my dining room light.  While it's not as good of a deal as my $2.50 light fixture from MCC (still figuring out where to put that one) it's definitely my favorite deal!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting Outta Town

Guess where we went this weekend...

If you guessed Seattle... you're right!!  Even thought it was a rainy weekend... we decided to make the most of it and head down to Seattle for a weekend of shopping and rainy weather adventures.

First day... shopping day.  It rained on the drive down, but once we hit the outlets the sun came out!

Poor Eme... she lived in the stroller, carseat, or carrier for the entire weekend.

Best store ever... Restoration Hardware outlet.  Quick tip... when sitting in an oversized wing chair, you must sit like this...

Caleb's got it going on here.  I think he freaked the RH employees out a bit... the road rash on his face got them all nervous with a store full of light colored linen fabric... from a distance it looked like he had a nose bleed.  I guess that's why people kept looking at us strangely.

Best part of the weekend for the kids... the pool at our hotel.  It was Emerson's first swimming experience.  And this was how she looked the entire weekend... puppy dog face-- tongue out.

The next day it was raining.  Hard.  We put on our boots and hit the streets.  First stop... the Space Needle.  Caleb was very excited to ride the elevator!!

So was Auntie Angie... and little Nicky... as Caleb likes to call his new (still growing) cousin :)

Here's a picture of my perfectly normal child.  He's probably licking the window here.

We were wet, and cold.  Emerson's chubby face expression totally cracks me up here.

Day one in the stroller... Day two in the carrier.  My Eme-bear... she was a real trooper.

Next stop of the day...

This is Caleb's preferred mode of transportation.

Caleb was quite intrigued by the fish... especially when it was thrown from person to person!

Beautiful flowers... sure wish I could have brought some of these home with me...

There were so many great place to eat at the market... but we chose Subway.  It would have been a bit difficult to feed kids on the street in the rain.  What does Caleb want to order at Subway?  Pizza.  This is how excited he was about his pizza...

This is how excited Emerson was about her food... (or maybe she was just relieved to be out of the rain)

Had a Pike's at Pikes.

And then it was time to head home.  Even though it was rainy-- we had fun, got some great deals, and enjoyed a fun family getaway.  The kids were great... we didn't hear a peep out of Emerson until half and hour from the border.  Then she absolutely lost her mind crying... I guess she wanted us to know that she'd had ENOUGH of the carseat, stroller, and carrier.  I get it.

And that was our rainy (and authentic) Seattle weekend adventure.