Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Addy the Penguin Trainer

Yesterday was a rare day in terms of weather for December, with temps in the low 50's and sunny skies. We felt it a perfect day to get outside and visit the zoo.

It was a fun visit. Most of the animals were out and close up for easy viewing. After we made our rounds, we stopped to say goodbye to the penguins. It was just the two of us there, and a few of the penguins were being very friendly with us, following us as we moved, eagerly slamming against the glass. It took us a few minutes to realize that they were doing this because they thought the long piece of grass plant Addy was holding was food for them! We then spent the next five minutes teasing the penguins with the grass, laughing at them as they chased its trail and opened their beaks.

Addy enjoyed having some control over the penguins actions. It was pretty fun to watch! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Annual November Recap Post

Boy the first 11 days of December sure have flown by! We have had plenty going on to keep us busy! This must be a normal thing for me during November and December, because each of the past two years, I have blogged sparingly during that time, only to blog a catch-up post to cover everything I havent had time to write about! So here is my 2014 version of the recap:

Some good news - our house sold back in October after only 12 days on the market, and we finally closed on it two days ago!

I miss the house, I really do. It's sad to think of another young couple living there, possibly starting their family there. That house is filled with so many memories - Addy's first steps, our first house together, where Matt proposed. Big life events, all wrapped up in that house. I miss that, and I miss what we made of the house. But I will not miss all the surprises lurking under the floors, behind the walls, in the ground. That house was unpredictable, and I'm just not built for handling that! It's comforting living in a newer home now, where we know exactly what is original in the house and what has been changed, and by whom. It feels good, and it feels right for us. 

And we are building new memories here too, like that time in early November when Matt got punched in the face at the bar. 

Yup, it really happened. He got punched. It was completely unwarranted and cowardly - a suckerpunch when Matt wasn't even looking. All because he didn't want these guys from Alabama changing the OSU game to the Alabama game, and he later asked these same guys to get out from behind the bar and leave the bartender they were harassing alone. The punch broke his eye socket in three places, and he ended up needing surgery to put a metal plate in to fuse the bones together. 

His face is back to normal now, and he had the staples in his head removed today. The bar's insurance company has tracked down the guy who punched him, so we will see what happens going forward.

Also in early November, I finished decorating the travel-themed guest bedroom in the basement, just in time for some out of town guests! 

I was happy to incorporate the framed black & white photos I took during my trip to Europe in 2005, as well as some London themed gifts from my bestie (the awesome bag and the phone booth & post box on the shelf). I was also excited to put my Pink Zebra Phone Booth shade to use!

Which brings me to my next point...In late October, I signed up to be an Independent Consultant for Pink Zebra - a direct sales company offering the newest and most unique home fragrance products. 

It kind of goes against my Introvert personality, but I am enjoying having something to do with my brain! I love the products and I love introducing them to others. Insert shameless plug for my business:

And lastly, although chronoligically it should have come first, are some long overdue pics from Halloween! Addy wanted to dress up as Elsa (shocker!), but the costume being gifted to her by a friend as an early birthday present did not arrive in time for our first Halloween event - Boo at the Zoo. So I set out to Target to get a last minute costume, only, the costumes and accessories were all BOGO Free that day. So we came home with two costumes!

First up for Boo at the Zoo with her bestie Lilah: Supergirl!

This adorable costume was a great value with
all of the accessories included: boots, belt, cape,
and colored fingernail decals!

I can barely handle the cuteness of these
two girls together. 
Next up for Trick-or-Treating in Lilah's neighborhood: Elsa!

Dress compliments of Alyssa and family,
hat compliments of Aunt Steph.
Last but not least, my absolute favorite in the history of costumes: Dorothy!

And Toto in a basket! Too much!!!!!
So October and November went by really fast, and since December hit, we have been preparing for Christmas. More posts on that to come!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Addy the iPhone Bandit

Addy has been really into watching YouTube videos on my iPhone lately. It all started with watching a video for Let It Go, and she just kept bouncing around from kid video to kid video. She can navigate YouTube way better than I can at this point. I usually let her watch when I need to concentrate on something, because these videos totally capture her attention. So yeah, people, I use it as a babysitter sometimes. Oops.

Anywho...she doesn't do anything else on my phone. Or at least I thought. I just found these gems in my camera roll:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mudroom Makeover

We moved in to our house two months ago with a very short list of projects to tackle other than typical settling in activities - paint a few rooms when time allowed and set up a garage organization system to maximize the space. It will all happen in due time, but the mudroom had to get painted the week we moved in so that it was done before the washer and dryer were delivered. I did NOT want to attempt to paint around those!

Here is what the mudroom looked like when we viewed the home as prospective buyers:

The pictures don't make it clear, but the walls were sponge painted yellow. I am not a fan of sponge painting, or that particular color of yellow. Here is the mudroom after being painted with Mocha Accent by Behr:

I am thrilled with the color! I couldn't stop at just paint though...I wanted to make the room very functional. It's the room we will enter every time we come in the house, and it needs to be conducive to that much activity without being cluttered. I turned to Pinterest, of course, to research ideas for wainscoting and board & batten projects for mudrooms. I never found exactly what I envisioned in my head, but I did pick up some tips and such, and I used those to help sketch out my idea for my husband:

This was the first carpentry project for Matt, but he attacked it like a champ. After picking up all the supplies, he got right to work. 

Step 1: Hang wainscoting:

Step 2: Install board & batten:

Step 3: Fill in all the screw holes (not pictured). I started this part but got frustrated and passed it off to Matt. We used both wood filler and white caulk.  

Step 4: Paint it all white and install copious amount of hooks:

I completed this step. It took two coats of paint to smooth out the finish. The hooks are strong and nice looking, and also the most expensive part of the project, even though they were on the cheap end as far as hooks go.

Voila! Behold our wall of hooks!

My command center is hanging on the wall next to it now, as opposed to various places throughout the house, so I finally feel like my thoughts are all in one spot! 

I am very happy with the functionality of the mudroom now! And I'm pleasantly surprised and impressed with Matt's skills (-: 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Addy's Frozen Fourth

By now it should be clear that Addy is obsessed with all things related to Disney's movie Frozen. So when it came time to plan her birthday party, she asked for a Frozen party. You all know I love to throw a themed party, but I'm gonna be honest; this was my very least favorite party to plan so far. But Addy was thrilled with it, and that is all the matters when celebrating a little girl's birthday!

I kept the theme to more of a Winter Wonderland feel, playing off of the ice blue color of Elsa's dress:

I made Snowglobe table centerpieces/balloon weights from a Pinterest idea.

 Each one was a mason jar with a Frozen figurine hot glued to the lid and some fake snow poured in. 

I did not get all creative with the cake this year, but I think it was a nice cake nonetheless:

I ordered the Elsa sugar sheet from Ebay, but I baked and iced the cake. I also made gluten free cupcakes since there are three people in the family who eat a gluten free diet. 

And there were "Do you want to build a snowman?" kits filled with marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and m&m candies. All the kits were gone without taking a picture, but here is an adorable shot of Addy's friend building his snowman:

The interesting part of planning this party was providing seating for everyone, as we have an entirely empty great room right now. I borrowed some folding tables and chairs from family and set them up in the great room. While it was great for sitting and eating, it did not work out so well for opening the presents - no one could see anything because Addy ended up behind the tables on the floor ripping into the gifts! 

It was an overwhelming party for us adults, but the kids had a fabulous time. The best activity ended up being something I couldn't possibly have planned on - a few of the kids piling in the papason chair and being spun around on the floor! 

Now THAT is pure joy captured in a photo! 

Thank you to all those who came to celebrate Addy's birthday with her! 

Birthday Interview: Four Years Old

I began this 20 questions tradition on Addy's third birthday last year. The answers then were amusing, as was the process of having the interview with her. This time around, the interview was short and sweet, with a resounding theme:

  1. My favorite color is: Blue
  2. My favorite book is: Elsa book
  3. My favorite food is: Waffles & pancakes
  4. My favorite movie is: Frozen
  5. My favorite TV show is: Pikachu
  6. My favorite toy is: My Elsa & Anna dolls
  7. My favorite stuffed animal is: My Valentine's Dragon
  8. My favorite song is: Let it Go
  9. My favorite thing to wear is: Elsa dress
  10. My favorite memory is: I don't have any memories
  11. My favorite activity is: Drinking water...and playing
  12. My favorite place to go is: To see Elsa & Anna
  13. My best friend is: Lilah
  14. When I grow up, I want to be: Elsa
  15. I am really good at: Dancing
  16. I like it when mom: Dances with me
  17. I like it when dad: Plays with me
  18. I am beautiful because: I wear my Elsa dress
  19. I like to learn about: Doing tricks like backwards flips
  20. I get frustrated when: You don't do what I do
Did you catch on to the resounding theme? It shouldn't be too difficult to see why here birthday party theme this year was Frozen! (more on that coming soon). You can find her 3rd Birthday Interview here. Sadly, I got booted out of being her best friend, though that means I'm doing a good job as a mommy I suppose! Her favorite color hasn't changed, and she still likes when dad plays with her. 

Seriously guys, I can't believe this girl is four already!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Age Four

Happy Happy Happy 4th Birthday to my amazing girl!!!!!!!!!

In four years, I have learned so much about myself. Mostly, that I have way less patience than I thought I did, and parenthood is most definitely NOT black and white. But I've also learned to slow down a little (though I admit I'm still working on this), and to see the magic in ordinary things. At the end of the day, it's really really fun to be Addy's mom.

Though we are having a party with friends and family on Saturday, Matt and I celebrated Addy's special day today with her first trip to Chuck E. Cheese!

Addy enjoyed the new experience and especially loved the gigantic rocking horse she could ride! We spent $20 on tokens that eventually fetched us a big lollipop, 3 fun dips, a crazy straw, and some Frozen stickers. It's definitely not a cheap date, but I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and cleanliness of the place. 

My oh my, four years seems to have gone so fast! I continue to be amazed by this creature that we created and look forward to seeing what age four has in store for us!