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! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

One too many rollovers

What happens to a piggy bank that's been steadily collecting coins for two years and regularly gets rolled on the ground by Addy trying to retrieve coins from the belly of the pig?

This happens:

On the bright side, we now have back the three magnetic letters she put in there two years ago! 

On the downside, we have an almost-four-year-old mourning the loss of her piggy, and a rather large pile of change that I foresee ending up in various places throughout the house! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Addy Hates Everything

My dad tells me that when I was a little girl, I went through a phase during which I would say I hated everything - even things I clearly loved. 

"I HATE my smurf hat!" (the hat that I refused to take off because I loved it so much)
"I HATE Kiki!" (our dog)
"I HATE my mom and dad!"

I would say I hated something, followed by my signature ornery smirk. Looks like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Totally Cute Tuesday

We checked out our new town library today. The children's floor is very nice! Unfortunately, there was nothing cute about Addy's attitude and behavior, so we didn't stay long. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Addy's new room

Tonight was a very exciting night, because we finally brought Addy's "new" bedroom furniture to the new house! Aside from her toddler bed, her room has been empty since we moved in a month ago. 

I am thrilled to be using the beautiful, solid wood bedroom set that Matt's late mother, Karen, had when she was a child. Looking in Addy's room, I feel like we have brought a piece of Karen into our new home and our family. It warms my heart, and I think that she would be happy too. 

A few weeks ago, Addy picked out her bedding for the upgrade to a full size bed. She picked the Pretty Horses pattern by Circo. 

Though I'm not necessarily wild about horses, I think it's a cute design, and I'm so happy that it works with the existing blue paint color. I really did not want to add this room to my painting list, and was surprised to see a girly pattern that coordinated with it!

With the bigger bed, I finally got to do one thing I have been looking forward to since I was pregnant - I got to crawl in bed with Addy to read her bedtime stories. And now she is sleeping, having no issues with the changes. Yay!

Friday, October 3, 2014

3rd Annual Apple Picking

It's the most wonderful time of the year...FALL!!! For our third year of apple picking, we once again decided to visit Bauman Orchard in Rittman. And once again, we were not disappointed. 

They even had a small petting zoo, which I had never noticed before. Addy was a big hit with the animals because of that apple she was carrying around with her...

I had promised Addy that when we returned home with our load of apples, we would make an apple pie together - a first for both of us! While perusing the market on-site, I picked up this apple machine. 

It peels, cores, and slices with just a few rotations of the handle. I am blown away with how easy to use it is! Addy even had a turn with it:

I also found this pie crust cutter in the market, which takes me back to fond memories of my own childhood:

My mom had this exact one. When she used it, she would sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the apple cutouts and bake them. It was an extra special treat for us, as our household was void of sugary snacks and treats. I had every intention of doing the same with my apple cutouts, but they made it to my mouth before cinnamon and sugar even came into the picture! 

I failed to take a picture of the apple pie itself. It was tasty, but the apples I used produced a little too much liquid. I used Jonagold, per the recommendation I received at the orchard. I really really enjoyed the taste of the apples baked. I have about 6 left, so I think I'll try an apple oatmeal in the crock pot next.

Next up on the Fall agenda: a repeat visit to Kingsway Pumpkin Farm, pumpkin carving, and crafts!