Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Christmas has come to our house!  I think this is the earliest we've ever seen Santa, picked and decorated a tree, decorated the house, finished shopping, and done Christmas cards.  I'm a  little impressed with myself, but I'll try not to brag :).

Saturday, we went to see Santa.  Instead of going downtown to the "real" Santa (meaning he has a real beard), we went to a local nursery about a mile from our house.

This was the main draw:

As you can see, Miles was beyond thrilled that some of Santa's reindeer had come down all the way from the North Pole to visit.  He was slightly disappointed that Rudolph himself couldn't make it, but he loved the two that did.  I think he said these were Dasher and Prancer :).

Isla was a little cold.  I'm not sure she cared much for the reindeer.
And in the name of going local, we bought our tree there as well.  I think I'll be going back to pick out ornaments for the kids (at least for Isla, Miles will probably get a Batman ornament :)).

Love how the tree looks tied to the car! 

When we got home, we put the tree up (why is it so hard to get a tree straight?????) and decorated the house. 

Then we decorated the tree. 
We're pretty proud :).  It turned out nice. Isla is pretty interested in the ornaments.  We put unbreakable ones down low for her.  We regularly have to rehang them. On a positive note, she hasn't tried to climb it yet!

Here's a little collage of my favorite ornaments.  Some representing each of us.  My parents started giving us a yearly ornament starting about 1994 (I only know that because the first one I got has the year on it!).  I love the tradition and am carrying it on with our kids.  The first one pictured is my favorite.  My parents got it for me 5 years ago when I graduated nursing  school.   It reminded them of Florence Nightingale with the lantern.
The next one is from Grandma and Grandpa M  for Isla's first Christmas.
The third and fourth pictures are the front and back of my favorite one of Miles'.  It was from my parents for his first Christmas.
Then is a fishing bouey snowman for Ben and an Angry Bird (Miles' newest ornament from a craft fair).
Then a high hat for Ben and Miles' train from his third Christmas when he was 2.  He loved it when he got it out this year...must be one of his favorites.

I love that most of the ornaments on our tree have a story and some meaning!

Here is our mantel.  Isla's stocking was a gift last year from Aunt Marta.  I'm hoping to, someday, make or replace the others to match hers better.  I haven't found what I'm looking for and don't quite have the energy to tackle making all new I'm not sure it will happen this year!
A close up of the snowmen on the mantel.  Sara got them for me at a craft  fair.  I love them!

And our newest Christmas "decoration", the Little People nativity set.  Thank you Christine, Cameron, Peter and Moira!!!  I've been wanting to purchase one of these, but hadn't gotten around to it.  The kids love playing with it and I love that it helps teach the true meaning of Christmas.  Isla especially loves the pretty Angel and the baby Jesus :). 
Last but not least, the nutcracker collection (some of it).  The big ones are down by the front door out of Isla's reach.  The snowflakes are made from craft sticks (like tongue depressors) and painted.  I found it on addicting!  They were super easy and spiced things up a bit.

Happy Belated Turkey Day!

I got all caught up in Christmas this weekend.  I completely forgot about Thanksgiving!  I'm not sure how that happened.  I realized it as I was sorting through pictures yesterday.  Whoops! 

So, here we are.  I worked Thanksgiving Eve and the kids and Ben stayed up at the McLane's.  After I slept till about noonish, I got up and drove up to their house.  My parents had gone to Seattle to celebrate with my brother and his family, and my younger sister.

When I arrived, I was greeted by this:
So much to be thankful for!

And also saw a lot of this:
Cooking, mashing, roasting...aaaahhhh the smells!

I made my twice baked sweet potatoes again this year.  This is before they were baked the second time.

Ben carved the turkey.

A few days before Thanksgiving, Miles had made some hand turkeys with his grandma.  He colored them all himself!  He was pretty proud.

Everyone had their own hand turkey at their place setting.

Isla enjoyed her mashed potatoes and turkey. 

Hours later, we enjoyed some pie.  There were two apple pies, two pumpkin pies, and a pumpkin cheese cake.  Yum!  I had a piece, or two, of pumpkin. 
Ben had apple.

Miles had cheese cake, though he didn't actually eat much.

And Miss Isla had a piece of pumpkin with plenty of whip cream!  She was a big fan of it all!
Somehow I didn't get any pictures of the uncles.  I didn't have my camera out much.  Uncles Danny and Tyler were home for the holiday (and will be back for Christmas).  I'll have to steal a picture of the whole family from Grandma S since we had a little family photo after dinner (before the pie).

It was a great and relaxing holiday.  We enjoyed ourselves.  After the festivities and the kids were in bed, Ben and I headed out to find some deals at Wal-Mart (yikes!!!).  On Friday, we did a little more black Friday shopping and got everyone taken care of, except a  few random things.  Friday was much less busy than Thursday night :).  Overall, it was a great holiday celebrated with family.  So much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Future Playroom

So, all the basement cleaning and painting is for the playroom.  Ben's current music room will become the playroom.  I'm excited.  So is Miles :). 

This is my inspiration:
Picture from  Apparently not a good resolution!

When you walk in the room, this is what you currently see (minus the typing I added):
I'm going to put a vinyl quote above the window.  It says "You're off to great places, today is  your day.  Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way".  A quote from the book. 

I plan to paint the stripes on the paneling in different colors.  The colors of the stripes on the front cover of the book.  The nook on the rt of the window will probably say "create" since that will be the art corner (hopefully with an easel someday).  The left nook, well, I'm not sure.  Perhaps it will say "explore".
The activity table and chairs will go under the window.  There will probably be some smallish storage bins underneath it (but still leave room for their little legs).

The wall to the left will contain most of the storage.  I hope to have two Closetmaid nine cube storage shelves on either end with a bench/toybox connecting them in the middle.  Above the storage units will be some hot air balloon vinyl decals.  
An example of what I may use.  From here.  This may or may not be what I actually use.

The wall to the right of the door will contain the art corner on the left, "learning center" and to the right, a dress-up corner.  We plan to keep the desk in there.  Someday it will house a computer.  For now, I'm not sure.  I want to put block letters up on top of the hutch that say "learn".  To the right of the desk will be coat hooks. Above that will say either "imagine" or "dream".  I would also like a trunk or antique suitcase of some kind to house dress up accessories.

This is the back wall.  I'm hoping to turn the big closet into a reading nook.  Inside the closet, to the left, I want to put a built-in bench with some storage underneath and pillows on top.  To the right, there are a bunch of shelves, which will be perfect for all their books.  Games will go up top.  I want to put the word "read" down the side of the closet.  I'll probably take the doors off and hand a colorful curtain.

Above the closet, I want to put this quote, also from the book. 
Link (this one is a little spendy for my tastes!).

Besides the striped wall, the main color will probably be a light blue or possibly yellow, or maybe green.  Clearly I'm undecided!  It won't be pink or purple, though :).  I'm pretty excited about the room (and excited to get the toys out of their tiny bedroom!), and can't wait to get started.  I'm hoping Ben will be moved out later this week and I can paint next weekend!

Home Improvements

Just sifting through pictures, I realized I'm a little behind.  I forgot Thanksgiving!!!  Yikes.  So, I thought I'd blog the more boring things first, even though they are most recent, so they are at the end to scroll through...if that makes sense.

Anyhow, we've been doing some home improvement around here.  We're getting ready to work on a few projects in the basement.  But, first, I replaced some lights upstairs.  The globe of our kitchen light randomly fell and shattered the other night.  Thank Got no one was in there (especially one of the kids!) and also thank God that we weren't in bed.  It was LOUD.  I would have had a heart attack waking up to that sound!  So, I went to Lowe's and purchased a new light.  It matches the ones in the basement.  And it was cheap ($20).  And there were two in the box.

So the hallway got a new light as well! 
I know, they're "boob" lights, but oh well.  They are new and they work!

On to other news in the home improvement.  I've been a busy beaver these past few days.  Most of this was done by me while Ben watched the kids so  I didn't have "helpers" :).  We've  been meaning to do some cleaning/painting/reorganizing in the basement to accommodate a future project (next post on that).

So, I cleaned and organized the storage/laundry room.  I know the storage part doesn't look that organized, but trust me, it is 1000 times better than it was!

With the rug rolled out, I feel like it's an actual "room" and less  like a dirty storage room.

Here is the storage side, well part of it: 

The rest of the basement got a major face lift.  Prior to this, it was a horrible paint job of a different shade of blue and gray.  Funny that we went with different shades of the  same colors!  To whomever did the texture on these walls...I would like to swiftly kick you in the shins...  At least it was a good workout!  I used Olympic paint (the kind with the primer in it) and covered the room with one coat!  I'm impressed.  I did have to go back and touch up a few areas because I ran out of paint on the last wall and had to go back after I bought another quart of it.

This is the future music room.  Someday there will be a piano in there...someday!  for now, it will hold media (cd's, dvds, games, etc), as well as Ben's drums and other musical gear.  The drum set will be along the left side/corner of that window wall.

The room from another angle.  We got those shelves  on the right to store his vinyls.  The door was previously upside down and unpainted.   I turned it over, painted it, and added a brushed nickle knob.  And we vacuumed.  A lot.  And threw out a bunch of trash.  Ben is in the process of organizing his cd's and DVDs.

The bathroom (that is rarely used) was scrubbed, steam mopped, and wiped down.  Now it is usable again! 

And the hallway is also painted (it is gray, though looks bluish).  I also put a curtain up over the closet under the stairs.  The doorway isn't framed out...that is on a "someday" project list. For now, a curtain will do.

So, that's it.  Our most recent updates.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Santa Sequence

We went and saw Santa (and some of this reindeer!) yesterday.
I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Monday, November 21, 2011

These boots were made for walking!

I wrote a post about Miles and boots a while ago...remember?

Anyhow, this post is alternately titled, 12 months!, since I'm going to throw in a few developmental stats, etc.  Even though she is officially 13months today...

To start, Isla obviously had a birthday.  It was followed by a 12month well child visit.  She weighed in at 19# 6oz and was  28.75inches long.  She actually went UP in the weight %tile by 3, to a whopping 27%th!  Her height dropped to 40th-ish.  Miles at this age was 21# 8oz and was 31.25inches.  Long!!!

Miles also had a visit that day.  He measured up just fine with a weight of 37lbs (also up on the percentile) and a height of 41.75inches (80th%).  He is doing quite well developmentally.  We skipped the shots for my sake.  Isla didn't escape them and actually has two more in a couple weeks...

Isla consistently says "mama" and sometimes "dada".  She also "says" all done (she signs it, though incorrectly...we know what she means :)).  She is finally starting to walk as well!  The past few days she is more consistently taking 6or so steps in a row and will get up and try again over and over.  She's getting there! 

Speaking of walking...back to the boots :).  She now has some boots that are for walking, unlike Miles'.  I had originally ordered some boots from, custom made, and was really really excited about them.  I got them in the mail on Saturday and was sorely disappointed.  They were too big (wide and long) and despite altering them myself, I couldn't get them to fit without just falling right off.  Also, the craftsmanship wasn't what I had hoped.  I dropped about $30 on them, so I wasn't really up for buying another pair, especially since I couldn't find exactly what I wanted in stores.  So, I decided to use the boots I had bought, as well as her Robeez and make a pattern for a new custom pair, handmade by me!  I spent about $10 in fabric, buttons, and elastic and I can make multiple pair to match multiple outfits should I desire. 

So, drumroll please...  Here they are!

They turned out pretty darn well, if you ask me.  They stay on her feet and should be warm.  The soles, inside, are also lined with the sherpa.

I designed the insides to be like her Robeez style shoes.  They have elastic around the ankle, so she can't get them off.   They were kind of a pain to put together, and I went through two needles on my sewing machine, but I think I've got it figured out now.  The first boot, putting it together, took forever, the second one moved right along.

Now here is Miss Isla modeling her new boots!