Sunday, June 30, 2013

Project Log - Backyard Adventures

Because our new house is small and rather warm when the oven is on, we have summer plans to eat outside quite a bit. We initially purchased this patio set from Sears but then also bought a set of wooden patio chairs & tables from a local guy who handcrafts them. Danny thought the Sears set was thus redundant and returned it. I'm a little crabby about that because we lost a table and now have to balance our plates on our knees to eat, which I hate. I'm going to lobby for a picnic table, at the very least.

 photo 075-3_zps931ba79d.jpg Our first outdoor dinner, sitting around the table we no longer have, hmph!

 photo 022_zps3e9d2fca.jpg New patio set

We do get a lovely breeze out here.

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I am loving these melamine plates from Target and after about 8 trips to 3 different stores (not joking) I finally found a total of 12. I much prefer a solid plate over paper plates any day. I was also able to get four bowls and a set of tiny bowls. The pattern is so pretty and it matches the rather bright plastic cups we bought on a whim at Costco. I don't know what I was thinking, the glasses are soooo bright but fortunately they coordinate with the plates and the colors all make sense now.

We have ideas that we've been tossing around in regards to the backyard but nothing in the process. Danny would like to sell the palm tree and have it removed from the lower section of the lot. He also would like to pull out the cypress and one of the tiny fruit trees that appears to be fruitless and not in the best of shape.

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We really still need a fence to block off the ledge that separates the upper and lower yards and a gate across the "stairs". Well we used to have stairs (crummy round concrete blocks and gravel, not really stairs at all). When Danny borrowed the Bobcat he had to pull out all the block to make a graded path for the equipment, so the stairs are gone now.

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This is our covered patio, where we've set the furniture set.

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This is the patch in front of the patio on the right side of the yard.

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This is the left side of the yard, next to the patio. Danny has removed all the bark and in the next few months we'll be putting in some planters along the edges and grass in the center.

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 photo 003_zps1e773f46.jpg The Bobcat accidentally hooked on the neighbor's fence and tore it out...oops!

Next up in the plans, a barbeque!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Disneyland 2013

We made it to Disneyland two weekends ago. It was simultaneously relaxing and energizing at the same time...weird! The kids were great, they always are at the parks. There was a good mix of excitement, rides, shows and rest. And snacks...lots of snacks!

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How did I do on my checklist?

On the checklist for this trip:

Accomplished --Make my kids something special to wear.

I have had this tropical Disney print for forever and a day. I made The Girl a dress, The Boy got shorts and a romper for Baby D. They loved their outfits and we got dozens of compliments wherever we went, including lots from Cast Members.

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Showing off their handmade boutique outfits

Accomplished--Get the kids in the Jedi Training Academy show.

We were so excited, they finally were chosen!! We got there about 30 minutes early and the kids parked themselves in the waiting area. They both got picked and you couldn't take the smiles from their faces.

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The Boy fought Darth Maul and The Girl fought Darth Vader...too cool!! Afterwards they received certificates.

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Accomplished--Make sure Baby D gets to ride It's a Small World at least once.

We were able to ride it once and he was thrilled! He is obsessed with this song and he rocked and "sang" his way through the ride.

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Waiting for It's a Small World. Baby D was not happy to be waiting...he wanted ON!

Failed--See the new Fantasy Faire area.
Nope, didn't even see it from afar, we never made it to that area.

Failed--Watch Billy Hill and the Hillbillies
Nope, completely missed all the show times. Next time!

Not quite--See the new show, Mickey and the Magical Map.
I say "not quite" because technically we heard the show and The Boy was able to peek in a bit to watch. We were waiting outside the bathrooms for The Girl to change her clothes.

Accomplished--More character interaction.

We did good on this one! We were able to see Minnie in a private photo area with our Chase Visa.

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Met up with Frozone from The Incredibles.

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At the Mickey's Surf's Up breakfast at the Paradise Pier, we posed with Mickey, Pluto and Stitch. The baby loved them all, of course!

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Failed--Take more pictures of the gorgeous Buena Vista Street in California Adventure.

Didn't even take one!

Accomplished--Take Baby D to see the Disney Junior - Live on Stage! show.

Oh yeah, he loved it, just as I thought. Everyone sat around on the carpet, there is a live-action puppet show with special effects (bubbles, a "snowfall", etc). He was so good and sat on my lap most of the time, getting up to dance at the appropriate times. He was totally enthralled!

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Dancing at the Disney Junior LIVE! Show

Accomplished--Get on the Radiator Springs Racers as many times as we can!!

Well, we got on it once and the kids were good with that! This was my mother-in-law's first time at Disney's California Adventure and she said this was her favorite.

Accomplished--Get The Girl's Duffy Bear teddy bear an outfit. She chose an adorable Sully from Monsters, Inc. costume for Duffy. The gal in the shop said that the costume had just been released that day and that The Girl was the first one to purchase it from that store. It's so cute and snuggly!

Accomplished--Hang long enough to see the fireworks show.

We did see them but the kids were exhausted so we watched from the esplanade instead of on Main Street like I'd hoped. This did cut down on some of the mad crush that you experience trying to get out of the park immediately after the fireworks.

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In Bug's Land

Failed--Try a new restaurant.

We didn't try anything new this time, but we did have tried and true. Lunch at the Taste Pilots Grill for a veggie burger, dinner at the French Market (mmm, meatloaf & mashed potatoes!) and Mickey's Surf's Up buffet in the Paradise Pier for breakfast.

We stayed at the park until about 10pm and the kids were beat! They dropped right into bed and we all slept in 'till 8. After breakfast we spent Sunday morning at the pool. It turned out cool and overcast which was a bummer as I was hoping to spend more time in the water.

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Baby D didn't mind a bit. He could have spent the entire day in the little splash pool, chattering teeth and all!

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So, all in all a great trip. And if you know anything about me, I'm already plotting the next one *wink!*

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Found it on Pinterest - Envelope Pillow DIY

While Baby D was napping last weekend, I took the three hour window of opportunity to brighten things up in the living room. We have only decorated minimally in this space so far, purchasing a cream-colored shag rug from Costco. With the brown leather sofa and matching chair and ottoman, it's looking a bit "doctor's office" without any personal touches.

I found a DIY link on Pinterest for sewing up Envelope Pillows. Super easy and super fast! I had three pillow covers done before the baby woke up.

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I didn't have to buy a thing. I used pillow forms I already had (from Ikea) and fabric I'd purchased about three years ago and never got around to using.

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Look closely at the dark blue and cocoa brocade print on the right...those are goldfish in the center of the design!

And the backsides are cute too.

The tutorial recommended using plain fabric on the back but I know that my pillows will never just be sitting pretty on the sofa. They will be tossed all over (in fact they are laying on the floor right now, as my husband was taking a nap with them!) so I wanted them cute from all angles.

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And when he woke up from his nap, someone was very happy to pose for pictures on my newly decorated sofa!

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Pillowcases before (pic from our apartment):
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Pillowcases after:
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Friday, June 7, 2013

One and a half

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My sweet little baby boy is 18 months old. I cannot believe it, this time has really gone by much too quickly and he's now a toddler! Here's a little update so I can remember all these details. Being the third, he has no baby book, poor kid!

He's a hefty 28 lbs and in the 86th percentile for his height. He's already moved into size 2T.

He got his first "big guy" haircut a few weeks ago and lost all his little curls.

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Before the hair cut, long bangs and sweet baby curls!

It needed to be done though, it was really too long on his forehead. He didn't like the haircut at ALL!

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During the hair cut

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Afterwards, cute and short!

He is awesome at following directions like when we request that he clean up toys, grab a towel for his bath, or throw something in the trash. He's pretty typical however, when it comes to listening when we don't want him to do something, like jumping from the ottoman to the chair or tossing food from his high chair onto the floor!

He's still a particular eater, likes steak but not big on other meats. Likes a variety of veggies and some fruits but doesn't eat very much at a time. He prefers to snack frequently instead. Can't really take him to restaurants yet because after 15 minutes in the high chair he's clambering to be released!

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He is very attentive and watches everything we do. He has figured out how the filtered water in the fridge door works and if we aren't watching, he'll grab anything long that he can find to press on the lever and make water pour out! Yesterday I found him at the desk, having pulled a battery out of the package and was attempting to put it into a toy.

He still loves his books and frequently carries a book around the house, looking for someone to read to him. He's discovered the dinosaur figures that were The Boy's (and actually his older brother's before him!) and likes playing with those often.

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He likes music and has a great tempo. He bops his head right along to the beat. He has learned how to jump, which is quite cool for a toddler to be able to do. He actually gets both feet off the ground at the same time, very coordinated. I have 3-year old students in tumbling class that don't know how to do that yet.

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His favorite thing right now is It's a Small World. He is fascinated with the song and I sing it multiple times to him at bedtime. He also wants to watch the YouTube videos of the Disneyland ride several times a day!

Since he had ear tubes put in surgically last month, his speech has improved quite a bit and he's attempting to say more words. He's not saying "no" yet but will just solemnly shake his head when he doesn't want to do something.

He has a very sweet heart. He likes to wave at strangers and frequently blows them kisses, which nearly always melts them! Every night he makes his rounds to each family member with a hug and kiss. He gives awesome smooches, perfectly puckered! Tonight as I rocked him before bed, he leaned in with his arm around my neck for a hug and kissed me several times on the cheek. Oh my little love, what a wonderful heart you have!