Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Day

eI hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with lots of  "Costco Hugs"!  We had a beautiful day.
***Note: In case you are wondering what a "Costco Hug" is, I will tell you. A week or two ago, Stella was jabbering about something and then began talking about the "biggest hug ever."  Ben asked about the biggest hug ever and Stella informed him that you can get them at Costco where all the big things are.  Presently, we receive and request "Costco Hugs" from her at every bedtime and every good-bye.  They are really great and feel amazing coming from a little three year who uses all the strength she has to warp her little arms around you and squeeze with all of her might.  SO, I hope every one had a "Costco Hug" on their Turkey day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What do you get...

...when you take the iPhone from the Stinker-Baby Monster?
 Give it back Mama!!!!
 I really love my electronic flash cards and Baby Einstein!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

THE Chalkboard

Sooooo....Esme has recently started coloring, drawing and chalking with Stella.  She also started fighting with Stella over the chalkboard in the kitchen (there may have been a push, bite and hair pull involved).  Poor Stella, the girl just wanted to draw a ghost and a pumpkin.  Esme just wanted to play with her sister and if that meant practically sitting in Stella's lap to draw with chalk...she was going to do it.
SO. Well. I fixed it.  With a giant chalkboard WALL.
This has really been so much fun.  The girls LOVE it.  There have been several times already where all four of us are drawing together on the wall.  I am so excited to draw a Christmas theme above the photos where baby girls cannot reach! Hee, hee.

Tiny Dancer

Sometime, recently, our little baby girl has turned into a little girl; no more baby.  I can see it especially when she gets ready for her dance class.  She loves dance class.  It is an introductory to dance/tumble through the city for 3-4 year olds.  The parents are not allowed in the room where the girls dance, but we all huddle around this little square window in the door trying to get glimpses of our child. Every once in a while, a girl will spot her parent in the glass, get distracted, and the teacher shoots a dirty look. But it is soooo worth it.  Although, we have seen the teacher embarrass a grown man, so Ben and I are careful.

 Man, I wish this photo was in better focus.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Kitchen

So the problem with before and after photos, is that the room has to be clean for the "after" pictures.  I should say, the the room is typically always this clean, our problem is clutter.  There is usually a paint brush and paint can next to the sink (because apparently that is my ultimate happiness), and usually mail clutter or a newspaper adorns the island and the kids' sippy cups are normally scattered around the counters or island.  However, I put every thing away for some pictures!  I am also left thinking, "that was really not that hard, I should put away clutter more often."
So here are some before shots taken during one of our walk throughs.

This picture is taken from the family room.  My brilliant Mom suggested we take this bar out to create more of an open space.  I love the idea of it, but the sink with in 10 ft of the kitchen sink was silly and being 10 months pregnant, I was on board for the idea of more space.  Ben was a little more cautious, advising us to wait.  Of course pregnant wife wins.  Ben will say now, it was one of the best decisions we made when changing the house.  

 We made a lot of changes to this desk area.  Having had a desk in an apartment, Ben and I already knew we would never sit down here or use it for a desk.  So, you will see later, but we added storage in the open space underneath and I tore out some of the wood divider in the mail sorter in order to fit some baskets.  Storage baskets make everything look neater. 
 Light fixtures. Yuck.  My Dad and Ben took down the big light box that housed fluorescent bulbs.  Then my Dad rewired and did the whole dry wall thing.  (thank you!!!)
 Notice the backsplash here.  Square cream tiles. Not terrible, but this was something Ben and I knew we could do without any help and inexpensively.
We tore out the sink and replaced it with a craigslist purchase (LOVE craig).  And I tore out the appliance garage there in the corner.  Ben was surprised when he came home to see that - but it made the counter space seem so much larger.  Also notice the decorative lattice across the top of the cabinets on the ledge.  That was a quick and easy tear out.  I love it when I can do something without asking for some "man strength" and this was one of them.
What you can't see from the pictures...the condition of the counter tops and the true color of the cabinets.  They really had an orange tint as well as needed some special attention.  If we didn't paint, we were going to need to sand and re-varnish them at the least.
 Better with the bar gone, right?

 Oh the chalkboard.  The girls and I love it.  This was a Mandy project.  Ben did help with the saw (not a fan of those). 
 Officially the art station.  Every drawer and bin has coloring books, paint, stickers, paper, markers, etc.  I found some fun knobs from Hobby Lobby (of course) to add color.  I LOVE this; probably my second favorite part of the kitchen. The baskets above is the mail center.  The open slot...the official camera space.  It is easy to grab and out of reach from the girls.

 Another view to show how open it is with out the bar.
 Ok, here is probably my favorite thing in the kitchen.  My $7 find at a garage sale down the street from us.  It just adds so much personality.
The backsplash.  Occasionally we wonder if we should have gone with a gray grout to make the subway tile stand out more, but we were worried about it looking too "busy."  I think we made a good decision.  It is classic.
Some things we still need to do is scrape and paint the ceiling (you can still see the ring where the box was).  And, eventually we would like to tear out the floor and replace it with wood.  BUT, who wants to do these things?  We have done both before and it is labor intensive, so we are in NO hurry at all.
Inspiration...watch commercials.  With infinite funds, Ben probably would have chosen a dark wood with glass tile and I may have still chosen white cabinetry.  BUT, we started noticing this white trend everywhere.  It is in IKEA, Pottery Barn, Martha Stewart for Home Depot and many others.  We figured we could create this classic look with a paintbrush. We LOVE it.  It feels fresh and clean.  That is hard to get when you have two little ones running around all the time.
*Martha Stewart


Thursday, November 11, 2010

More from Stinker Baby...

 These are my "too cool for you" shades from the Cheerio box.  Don't worry, I will not share with Stella. I will make sure to pinch her or pull her hair if she even thinks about it.

 Like my pig-tails?  For some reason they make me feel "stinkier" than normal.  Watch out Mama!
 So...I found this bowl in the only cabinet that my Mama will let me open in the Kitchen.  Not sure why you would use it for a bowl when you can use it as a stool!  Now, I am just high enough to open this drawer and pull stuff out...just to throw on the floor! 

Fight Face

Have I shared Fight Face?  Well here it is.  Esme's fight face.  Her bottom lip juts out and over her top lip and her eyes get serious.  I think in most babies you would think she is pouting.  NOPE.  Not this one.  We see this face often when...she is trying to climb on something that it too high...she is trying to take something from Stella...when Stella took something from her and she is preparing to attack Stella (not cry)...when we will not give her a bite or our food.  It is her face when she is fighting or working hard for something.  Usually if we see this face next to Stella, Ben and I are now trained to say "Stella, move now!"  "Esme, no thank you!!!"  Why do we yell at Stella to move?  This is to prevent Stella from being pinched, scratched, bitten, or her hair torn out. I should also say that Esme is one of the most lovable and sweetest babies ever.  Seriously.  She cuddles more than Stella did and when she is sweet she is like a bowl of frosting. BUT, the girl is a strong independent, second born.  She wants to do everything WITH her sister and everything her sister does.  Esme does not care that she is two years younger. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Hungry Caterpillar

I try to think of something creative for Stella to do every week other than just painting and drawing.  She loves to have art time, but she is definitely more engaged with a goal.  I found this on another blog and thought it would be perfect for her!

What's that?  You noticed that the top cabinets have finally been painted too? Oh, yes, that is one of the things I have been working on!  And we have finished all the kitchen but scraping the ceiling and repainting it.  Soon, before and after pictures.  Soon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Stella's favorite holiday two years running. The girl loves anything related to Halloween.  Esme is following right behind her of course.  Through out October, every time she spotted a pumpkin on a doorstep, she would kick her legs and point to the pumpkin with her own gibberish.  When we trick or treated, poor Esme really wanted to walk with Stella and knock on every door with her.  We eventually put her in the backpack, which she prefers over the stroller and that seemed to make her happy....of course with a sucker here and there too.
We started the festivities a couple days before at "Enchanted Forest" at a park down the street from us.  There was nothing scary, lots of lights, music, puppet shows, an owl display...candy.  Stella loved it.  We found out that Esme doesn't care for puppets...at all.
We are just over a week from Halloween (sorry for the delay...I have been a busy lady...I have lots to share too!).  Stella is asking if we can go trick or treating again.  She is also asking when the ghosties will wake up (all the decor on the houses in our neighborhood).  Poor girl.  She doesn't understand when I say she has to wait a entire year.  So...Ben and I are trying to talk about Turkey and giving, but I think we may have to go to something more exciting like Santa.

Enchanted Forest

By the way, Stella is a cupcake and Esme is a cow (warmth!).  I made Stella's costume copying Pottery Barn Kids cupcake.  They wanted $60!!! This is such cheap fabric, I bought extra and only spend $18.
I think I did okay.

HALLOWEEN!  How lucky is Stella, that she got to go Trick or Treating with Woody and Jessie from Toy Story??!!?

Until Next Year...