Thursday, December 16, 2010

It May Be a Little While

...until I have a post with pictures again.  I may have dropped the computer and it may be injured.  Maybe.

Tears.

Stella is really into Christmas this year.  She is amazed by Santa and his capabilities.  Her favorite movie right now is Disney's Prep and Landing.  She and Esme have sat together with a cookie and milk for the last four nights to watch this 30 minute made for TV special.  Esme lasts through about halfway. I love watching them snuggle together taking in Christmas, both with cookie on their face wearing footy jammies.

Ben and I have definitely been using "Santa" in our benefit as well.  Stella is picking up her toys, washing her hands, sharing with Esme. Although...sometimes I wish she would stand up for herself more against her one year old sister.  We stressed so much in the beginning to "be gentle with Esme."  "Do not HIT, BITE, or PUSH the baby!"  "Come tell Mama or Daddy if the baby does something you don't like!"
How do you tell your three year old NOW, it is ok to do these things in defense but NOT tell her to?  She came to me several times to "tell" me what Esme did.  I would respond by telling her to "go get it back," "don't let her hit you," "stop her before she tries to scratch you."  Hidden in that language is me really saying, "HIT her back, Yank it back, PUSH her away!!"
Yesterday, after Esme had attacked her (granted, Stella was not sharing the little table chairs), I heard Stella yell, through tears, "ESME, NO THANK YOU! YOU ARE BEING NAUGHTY AND SANTA IS NOT GOING TO BRING YOU ANYTHING!!!!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Dining Room

OMG.  I am in love with our dining room now.  Our little project has created an entire different look.  Unfortunately, I can not find any before pictures of this room from our walk through.  This room was one of the few that did not have wall paper, so besides being painted a purplish-mauve color and having a terrible light fixture...it wasn't that bad. 
At one point over the summer, since we had sat in the room once since being in our home for a year, I thought we would convert it into a reading/project room.  Create a spaice I could sew, paint, craft etc.  Ummmm, why I didn't realize that the having some of those things in such a public space (meaning no doors to shut) was a bad idea...I don't know.  The girls wanted to craft with my stuff too. Hmmm...back to dining room.  We had painted it a lighter gray to make the room brighter (when it was a reading/project room), but it wasn't really working as a dining room for me.  How can I make it light but still bring a little drama?  Have you seen the many batten board tutorials out there?  I have too.  Hee, hee, hee.
Ben groaned when I said my wheels had been turning again.  But when he saw how cheap and easy it was going to be, he was on board.  Now that we are done, I keep catching him in the dining room staring and smiling.

Here is a before the batten board project shot:
 During...
By the way, I really did the majority of this one.  Officially not scared of the nail gun, but still not a fan of the saw...any type.  So my cute little hubby stepped in to cut ALL the wood.  
He was also great at helping to level all the boards.
 AFTER...
 Don't you love that chocolate?
 But it is still so light with our new white Batten Board!
 Would you believe me if I said we did it for under $75?? I know, I can't believe it either.  BUT, we didn't buy any paint...this is all left over!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Biggest Tent

...at least so far at our house.
 Even Callie Dog liked it.
 Stella thought it would be fun to play a game on the phone...
...until Esme decided she also wanted to play a game.  There are no more pictures after this shot.  Little Stinker Baby did everything she could to overtake the i-phone, Mama had to step in.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Girls Will Be Girls

Stella wanted to play dress up today.  After she dressed herself, she dressed Esme. She then told me they had a "Dinner Connection" to go to.  (What's a "dinner connection?")
Running Princess!
 (Yes, that is an Old Navy tag on that cardigan, she dressed herself this morning and would not let me remove it!)

Some Stella Art

I think she makes something every day.  It is so fun listening to her tell her story as she draws or paints something.  The Chalkboard wall is continuously filled with Christmas images right now.  Her drawn "people" are getting more and more details, like shoes, hats, scarves, eyebrows etc.
I try to give her something different to every once in a while.  This day she used a glue stick to put together a snowman from pieces I cut out. Taking these pictures will never get old.
She is such a ham lately...always posing and asking me to "take her picture."  
She is getting used to this camera in her face all the time and is embracing it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Christmas Program

When we enrolled Stella in an introductory dance class through the city we had no idea that there was going to be a Christmas Program at the community center (yea!).  It was possibly one of the cutest things we have seen her do.  I laughed so hard I was crying.
 Stella waiting for her group to be gathered.  They supply the little skirt and hat - so cute!
 Esme waiting patiently for her sister to perform.  OK, so patiently after we gave her a back up reinforcement - aka sucker.
 Stella is the very last one...in mid dance. 
 Keep this in mind...she is the very last one...you will need to know who to watch during the video!
 Stella cuddling with Daddy, asking to go see Santa.  After last year, we said we would skip the whole Santa thing going forward. However, this Santa was free AND, there was a short line!
 We asked her what she told Santa she wanted...a guitar. She also told me a Toy Story 3 skate board with Lots-O-Huggin-Bear on it.  This is the same girl who's favorite color is pink and loves having her nails painted.
 No, Santa, I really do not think she is going to take her eyes off of you...
video
 We thought she did great! Stella is the youngest one in the class - only made it in by a few weeks.  Those poor little girls had no idea what was going on. This is the first time they have experienced any audience (parents aren't allowed in the practice room to watch).  Ben and I have watched the video three times since last night and probably will some more before the day is over. Not sure why the video is so grainy on blogger - we may move it to YouTube and then post it on here later!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Knew This Day Would Come

The day when Stella would want to start picking out her own clothes.  For four days in a row she has picked out her own clothes, but I have been there to guide her.  You know, I will say "oh, it is too cold for that," or as she is pulling out different pants, "that would match!"  She came down the other morning, with clothes in hand (before I could be there to guide her).  The only thing missing was underwear; although she would say different.  Seriously.  She set her clothes down, surveyed them and looked at me with surprise, "OH! MAMA! I forgot my leg warmers!!!"  So, she ran back upstairs to get her leg warmers.  But these are not the kind of pants you wear leg warmers with...they are boot cut, so we had to tuck them into her leg warmers.  She was so PROUD of herself.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crafty Christmas

After six years of setting up Christmas, Ben and I have accumulated quite a lot of decorations.  I certainly have my favorites and also try to mix it up every year. This year, I wanted to get a little crafty.  I have not done this previously and have had a couple things in mind the last couple of years.  So, I got the supplies out.

The Branch-Twig Tree
I have wanted to do this for a couple of years.  It was so easy, I am not sure why I didn't.  My dad gathered (or maybe cut down) a nice branch for me that I then spray painted a warm white.  You could leave it natural too.  I glittered some of it, then stuck it in a $2 pot (which I also spray painted, sanded and glittered).  Then I added some 50 cent and $1 ornaments.
I am trying to keep the dining room neutral with golds, silvers and whites.  I added a book theme (you'll see) so I put this potted tree on a couple of books borrowed from the spare bedroom.

The Pottery Barn Book Wreath
OH MAN.  I saw this in their catalog last year and have wanted to make it sooooo bad.  It wasn't for sale, it was just a prop in one of their bedrooms.  I found a great tutorial here.  It was so easy, I made two.  I love it so much, I may find somewhere to keep them all year.
 Supplies gathered, a pizza box, a 50 cent book from Goodwill and some liquid fuel...oh and a glue gun.

 A colorful treat always helps the creative juices flow.

Lastly, the Better Homes and Garden yarn ball wreath:
Seriously, I have never been a wreath girl before.  This will be the first time we have had one hanging inside our house.  We typically keep to the Christmas door wreath.  But, when I saw this wreath, I thought it looked easy, cheap and my Mom convinced me it would in fact go with "our decor."  I love it.  Stella even tried to help me make yarn balls.  It was cute, but I have no pictures as the battery died.
 You can't see in the picture, but some of the yarn balls were made with a silver, sparkly yarn (fun!).