Monday, December 31, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

Every morning, as I change Addison's diaper, I ask her what she wants to eat for breakfast. She's currently in a stage of eating a breakfast bar every morning, sort of like a Nutri-Grain bar, but the cheap brand from Aldi. Usually, she will answer that she wants a bar, and then I ask her what color, blue or pink? Today's conversation went a little differently...

Me: "What do you want for breakfast today?"

Addy: "A bar"

Me: "What color bar would you like?"

Addy: "Black and white bar."
(I look quizzically at her) "Bar, black and white. Please."

I think for a minute on what she has eaten that could possibly be a black and white bar, and it suddenly dawns on me that I shared a Little Debbie Swiss Roll with her a couple of days ago.

Mind blown a little bit right there.

In case you're wondering, she got a pink bar for breakfast.

I probably would have eaten a black and white bar while hiding in the pantry, but I ate them all already.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I just can't get enough of this video

I love her timy voice! Too bad I ruin it when I ask her to count to five.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Where did Ben Gibbard go?

When I'm in the shower, I hum the intro song for Dora the Explorer.

When I wash dishes, I hum various singy parts from Go Diego Go.

When I'm in the car, I'm listening to Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?.

When I'm trying to fall asleep at night, I go through a multitude of verses from Here Come the ABC's.

I guess this is my new normal.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2nd Annual Ornament Extravaganza

Last year, my bestie and I started a tradition with our two families of getting everyone together and making Christmas ornaments. Because the kids are little, we both love the clay ornaments that capture fingerprints. Last year, we purchased kits to make one handprint for each kid. This year, we wanted to get everyone's fingers involved, so we decided on this one:

Our inspiration from Pinterest
Everyone has some experience with the traditional salt dough, but my friend found a recipe using cornstarch that promised to make bright white, smooth finished pieces (which is probably what was used in the photo above). The recipe is simple: 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup cornstarch, and 1/4 cup water. This is the end result of my attempt at the family Christmas tree:

Forgot to leave room for our name!
I really liked the cornstarch dough as we were working with it. Unfortunately, most of my pieces broke, quite easily, while trying to paint them - including the tree. It's super glued together in two spots. The recipe instructs the dough to be baked for one hour, flipping halfway through. We actually baked them for two hours, and let them sit overnight, and they still broke in half with very little effort. However, I let the last two unbroken ones sit out for two more days, and they had gotten much more firm. So all that being said, I'm planning on making a second batch and redoing our family tree. Only this time, I will let them sit for three days before touching them!

Even though we were all a little disappointed, we still had lots of fun!

Addy helping me roll out the dough

Jen painting one of her ornaments

Addy, and Jen's oldest son, finger
painting some foam hands

And the absolute cutest moment of the night
was him and Addy chilling on the couch
The kids had a super fun, screaming loud time playing together and painting their ornaments. I absolutely love this tradition, and am so lucky to have such a great friend to share it with!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Playdate with Parker

I have a friend from work that has a five month old boy named Parker. We recently enjoyed a playdate with the two of them, plus my bestie from work and her two boys. It was a little bit of a drive, so we were only able to stay two hours, but we had lots of fun!

All three kids playing with Parker
I was curious to see how Addy would treat the baby, because she can be very rough with her toys and other people. But she was awesome with him! She happily gave him kisses and hugs, and always approached him slowly and cautiously. It was really cool to see, especially considering we are planning on making baby number two very soon.

Addy kissing baby Parker's head
I held Parker for a little while. And seriously? At some point, I forgot I was holding him. No joke. His mommy reached over and took him from me, and all of a sudden, I was thinking "Woah, I completely forgot I was holding him!" He is super calm and chill. Nothing like Addy at that age. He wasn't trying to squirm away or roll all over the place, and he wasn't making a sound. If I could guarantee my baby would turn out like that, it's possible I'd turn into a baby factory. Except then he was pooping and drooling and whimpering for the boob, and I remembered that I really don't like babies all that much, no matter what their temperament is.

Anyways, Parker's mommy is a young little thing, so I kind of see her like a little sister. I was super impressed with her adjustment to mommyhood. She seems to be doing a fantastic job with him, and seems to genuinely enjoy being a momma. I'm so proud of her! I hope there are more playdates in our future!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Playroom Makeover: Seating & Storage

The playroom makeover that we started in October is moving forward. We started with the kid-sized table, then moved on to the ambitious project of building the storage benches as seen on Pinterest. Remember how I said I wanted to have them finished in time for Addison's birthday party? Well, I did it! They were finished and secured to the wall with just about two days to spare. I am very pleased with the end result.

IKEA Expedit single unit on its side, topped with
the bench pad I constructed (no sewing!)
The larger Expedit unit is next to it, for even
more storage space. Because one can never have
enough storage space when one has OCD.

The second storage bench, and what will one
day be the reading nook in the corner.

There are 14 baskets for my
organizing pleasure!

I created the bench pads exactly as explained in the post I found through Pinterest, so if you're interested in doing the project, go read about it there. I spent a lot of time searching for the right sized baskets, at a price I was willing to pay, and I am thrilled with what I ended up with. They are attractive and very sturdy. And, they came from Wal-Mart. Seriously. They are sold online only, but they ship to your local store for no charge. I paid the highest I was willing to pay for the right basket, at $11 a piece, but once I saw them in person, I felt the price was WELL worth it.

A word of caution to anyone wanting to take on projects that they find on Pinterest: Research it first and figure out how much it's going to cost. I have this problem where I think that just because it's a DIY thing, it must not cost that much. This seating and storage solution, no joke, came with a price tag of $541. Okay, once you put your eyeballs back in your eye sockets, I'll break that down for you:

3 IKEA shelving units: $200
14 awesome baskets: $164
Plywood for bench pad: $21
Foam for bench pad: $76 (this is 50% off by the way!)
Fabric for bench pad: $80 (this was also 50% off)

I had absolutely no idea that the freaking foam costs $31 per yard. PER. YARD. But when I was ready to purchase it, we had already bought the IKEA benches and had the plywood purchased and cut to size. Thank goodness for regularly occurring 50% off sales at JoAnne's. I was prepared to spend about $350, so my big grand ideas for glorifying our pantry organization are not going to come to fruition. We're just going to slap a couple of baker's racks that we already own in there and call it a day.

With the benches complete, this is where we stand on the playroom makeover:
  • Hang curtain rod and curtains on window
  • Fix register vent
  • Steal fabulous idea from Pinterest for seating and storage
    • Make bench cushions
    • Buy Expedite bookcases from IKEA (they were out of stock on our visit!)
    • Find and buy bins to put in the bookcase to hold all the toys
    • Stand back and stare in awe at the fruits of my domesticated labor (hopefully)
    • Cry repeatedly while trying to steal fabulous Pinterest idea (most likely)
  • Hang Addy's artwork display (a little sparse right now, but we have years to fill it up...)
  • Move toybox to Addy's bedroom, throw away torn loveseat
  • Paint a chalkboard wall, maybe
  • Remove the french doors that close off the playroom from the living room
Not too shabby, eh? I highly doubt I'm going to paint a chalkboard wall, but I do still plan on removing the french doors. And after installing the benches, I decided I wanted to turn the remaining empty corner into a reading nook, complete with the IKEA spice rack bookshelf idea from where else but Pinterest. Unfortunately, this must be a wildly popular idea, because IKEA has been sold out of them for months. So we shall see.