Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Foyer will bore ya.

This is my foyer ... it looks pretty much the same as the day we moved in.
It's boring.

The ceilings are extremely high, which is the only reason I haven't painted it yet.  
I'm a 'do it yourselfer' to a fault.  
It takes me a long time to accept that I can't 'do it myself'.  
Which is why this horrible color hasn't been changed in the 2 years we've been here.  

Then there is this monstrosity.  
Actually it's not that bad ... it's just brass.  Yuck. 
I was thinking that a coat of off white spray paint and some pretty shades might do the trick.
We'll see.  I haven't shopped around for a new one yet.  
I'm also cheap to a fault.

It's an extremely tall space but other wise it isn't huge.  
The stairway takes up most of it.  
The good news is that we are finally going to have it painted.
I have to pick a color in the next week or so. 
Coincidentally ... I am a 'mind changer' to a fault as well.
Just ask Shawn about the many colors of the basement.

On second thought .. don't ask him.

So the pictures below are all things I like.  
They all came from - which is a great resource when you are redecorating or need inspiration.  

In this I like the color but I also like that huge map.  
We have a map like this that we mark our travels on.
It's a great idea to make it more prominent.  

I LOVE this color.  Problem is ... most of the rest of my house is that color.  
Is it a faux pas having an almost monochromatic house?
I also LOVE those frames going up the stairway.

This is the same concept as the empty frames but with mirrors.  
You can find these types of frames/mirrors for dirt cheap at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, on craigslist, my sister-in-law's basement ...  The hunt is most of the fun!  

Now this is hands down the type of thing Shawn will want to do.  
The color, the photographs, the dark accents...  nice huh?  
I love it too and we certainly have enough great pictures to do it.  
I just worry about getting tired of looking at the same pictures.
Let's be realistic ... I'll never change them out.  

I really LOVE that "shelf/chair rail" they created.  
It really breaks up the wall space that the high ceiling creates.  
Definitely an idea that could help us out.
Problem is we'd have to have a designer come in to help us keep it from looking "homemade".
Read above comment about me being "cheap to a fault" ... apply comment here.

So ... I've got a lot to think about over the next couple of days.  
Since, in my opinion, the color is the base for everything else ... it's actually a big decision.
Please feel free to chime in.  
I need all the help I can get. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

I am indeed a winner!!

The above is a statement ... not an affirmation.  That's right folks ... I won, I won, I won!!

What - you ask?  I won a photo shoot with a local photographer named Sara Green!  It all started with Becky Higgins.

Who - you ask?  Well Becky Higgins is like the Martha Stewart of scrapbooking - but nicer.  I'm not really a scrapbooker but I take TONS of picture of my kids and Becky has a great system for digital scrapbooking.  It's called "project life" and the formats are already created digitally.  I just have to plug in my pictures and the text, order the book to be printed and voila - I have a beautiful, tangible memory of my family.  Becky's big thing is that she feels everyone should have professional pictures taken.  Everyone.  It's important to document our lives. I agree with that.  So, she started a huge photography contest where photographers all over the country give away photography shoots.  Enter Sara Green.  Sara in an awesome lifestyle photographer here in Cincinnati who participated in the giveaway.

I didn't win that. Bummer.  You see, Sara is so awesome that she also did a giveaway on her blog.  That ... I WON!  She is also doing a special for 10 lucky families - a photo shoot for $70!  Amazing.  You see, Sara believes in Becky's philosophy too.  Check out Sara's blog and shoot her an email!!  Take advantage of a professional session for your family.  Especially if you are anything like me ... always taking the pictures and NEVER in them.  Follow the link to her blog!!

Sara Green Designs

So wow ... I'm so excited about this.  A real photo shoot!  The only time I managed a "professional" family picture was way before Finley was born.  I was able to drag Shawn and Keira to a picture people.  What a disaster.  I knew it would be a long long time before I could convince Shawn to do something like that again.  Perfect timing!!

So, I'm going to put this doughnut down since now I really do have to lose a couple of pounds.  OK ... maybe just one more. ;-)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Earning Mother's Day

So ... my mother's day went something like this:

Slept in until 10:30 ... you read that right ... 10:30.  And I SLEPT too.   
My wonderful husband played a wedding with his band the night before and still got up with the kids so I could sleep in.  It's all I asked for, all I really wanted.  
That's love.

I come downstairs to a delicious breakfast waiting for me, again, prepared by my amazing hubby.  
Mother's day was also Keira's actual birthday.  We saved a box of presents from her Grandma & Grandpa in Florida to give her on her actual birthday.  Naturally she was waiting all morning for me to get up so she could open them.

How cute is this idea ... a princess suitcase (on rollers - this was a big deal to her) filled with princess goodies.  Games, books, art supplies, makeup etc..  Mom, you hit a home run with that one.   She was pulling the suitcase around the kitchen all day telling me she's ready to go to grandma & grandpa's house.   

This is Keira trying out her make up.  That was also a big deal to her.  The crown and wand were art projects from her party the day before.  She did make it quite clear to me when I was setting up for the party though that princesses don't have wands ... fairies do.
I told her to use her imagination. 
The make up was really just lip gloss and some fingernail stickers.  She didn't quite get the 'fingernail sticker' concept.  That's one of the stickers on her forehead.  

We also saved her big gift for the actual birthday.  Everyone went in together: mommy, daddy, Finley, Grandma, Grandpa, Granny, Sasha, Aunt CeCe, Uncle Harry, Michael and Scotty.  We all got her the barbie jammin jeep.  
She saw it in walmart a month ago and never stopped talking about it.  
Shawn and I picked it up Saturday afternoon but I was too tired to put it together.  So, I figured we'd give it to her in the box in the morning and she could play with her other toys while I put it together.  

Dear power wheels:  It's nice that you put it in huge print on the manual that the battery must charge for 18 hours.  However, do you think you could also PUT THAT ON THE OUSIDE OF THE FREAKING BOX!!?!?!?!?

So I put this thing together and Keira had a great time .... sitting in it.  
Just sitting while the battery charged ... 18 HOURS.

Oh .. and this picture is proof positive that my butt needs to be on the weight loss train.  Can anyone say muffin top?!?  Oh and I will NOT be wearing another skirted swimsuit this year.  NOT happening.  I'll swim in shorts and a T shirt first.   Many women look perfectly lovely in skirted swimsuits.  I am not one of those women.  I just look ... uncomfortable.  
I think my 'baby weight' excuse expired when Fin turned one.  
I didn't get the extended warranty on that one either.

Anyhow ... jeep together - check.  Shawn's mom (Sasha), sister (Aunt CeCe) and nephew Scotty came over to celebrate Mother's day and Keira's birthday.  

That's when the puking started.  

Oh yeah ... Fin puked on me about 7 times.  I'm soooo not exaggerating either.  I can still smell it.  I think it's soaked into my nostrils or something.  So after 10 wardrobe changes (7 for Fin, 3 for me).  We finally got around to getting red lobster take out.  We let KB pick since it was her birthday.  She's got a thing for the cheddar biscuits.  

I finally just let Fin go shirtless because I was getting tired of changing him.  Oh, and yes, he's still climbing on the table.  Even sick, he climbs on the table.  

Other than the puking and the stupid power wheels eternally charging battery, it was a fabulous day.  Actually, even with those things it was a great day.  Now I have something to hold over Fin's head for future mother's days ... and Keira has something to hold over mine for future birthdays. 
It's all about balance people. 

But ... the best part of Mother's day was laying in my bed at night, watching TV with my baby girl.  She turns to me, without provocation, and says, "Happy Mother's day mom ... thank you.  I love you."  No my sweet baby girl ... thank you.  

On a side note.  I took Tank to the doctor today ... not one but TWO ear infections.  
Oh .. and Keira got to drive her jeep.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My baby girl turns 4...

If you have children then you understand when I say that your life really almost just begins when your babies are born.  
My baby turned four years old today. 
Time goes fast ...
way too fast ...

Your personality:
    You are smart.  I mean really smart.  I know most parents think that of their kids but I'm being sincere.  It's is often quite a bit of work to stay one step ahead of you.  You have a tender heart and want things to be fair for everyone.  This includes your babies.  You have a 'no baby left behind' policy that has us frantically searching for various 'friends' at bedtime.  If everyone isn't accounted for ... you don't go to sleep.  You have an amazing vocabulary.  Having a conversation with you is very much like speaking to an adult.  

What you can do:
    You can count and recognize numbers up to 20.  You recognize all the letters of the alphabet and can write many of them.  You know how to spell your name and can say the pledge of allegiance all by yourself.  You recognize all the colors and shapes and are able to draw most of the shapes.  You can also sing almost every word to "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus.  Fun.  You are quite responsible for a 4 year old and help mommy watch baby brother all the time.  You like being the big sister.  Especially the bossing around aspect of it.  

Your likes:
     You like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit.  You LOVE bacon (that's my girl) and anything sweet.  You just recently got into eating salad which has thrown me for a loop and will even request turkey and cheese sandwiches.  You like to dance and think you are already a master ballerina.  You can almost do a split .. impressive!  You draw and paint any opportunity you get and our driveway is rarely without one of your chalk masterpieces.  You play doctor a lot and have also been putting your babies in time out for various reasons lately.  You live to help and want to help mommy and daddy with anything you possibly can.  You go to sound check with Daddy on Saturdays and watch the band get ready.  You help mommy clean the table and make your bed.

Your dislikes:
     You don't like meat.  The only meat related items you'll eat are bacon, turkey, and the occasional chicken nugget.  You won't touch anything with beef - spaghetti w/meat sauce and hamburgers are out of the question.  You don't like most vegetables either.  You aren't very adventurous with food and really don't eat that much at all.  You don't like to have your feelings hurt, who does, but if you feel genuinely wronged then you fall apart.  You don't like to have your picture taken.  For every good photo of you, mommy has taken about 10 bad ones.  

You are a one of a kind kiddo.  You can make me laugh with a look.  You also challenge me with a taste of head strong nature that you inherited from me.  You are so sweet and tell me daily that you love me ... I'm the best mom ever.  You cherish your friends and the relationships you have with your family.  We still call you "Keira B" or "KB" and you don't seem to mind.   You stand up for yourself.  When you don't agree with something you don't hesitate to declare it.  If you've really made your mind up you can out argue your opponent with ease.  

When I look at you I see beauty but I see an equal amount of strength, determination, and tender heartedness.  I am more proud of you than I can express. 

 We love you so much baby girl.  Happy birthday #4.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Birthday Party #4

Whew .... we made it!  It's been a long week.  I've been painting, cleaning, creating, and planning for a while now.  Hard to believe it has already come and gone.  Today was KB's 4th birthday party.  Just to give you some background, the party was originally supposed to be "superhero themed".  On it!  My favorite theme!!  Suddenly a month or so ago Keira announced that she wanted it to be a princess party.  Ugh..... my LEAST favorite theme.  No matter what I did (made her watch the incredibles, old wonder woman episodes, wear her hero cape ...) no changing her mind.  Good grief ... you'd think it was all about her or something.  So we found a compromise and I managed to come out with minimal Disney princesses represented.  The pictures are small because there are a TON of them.  Just double click on them to make them larger.  

What's that? Are you marveling at how cute and delicious these little cupcakes look?  Once again, Sweet T's cupcakery.  She's phenomenal and a tired mom, planning a birthday party, with a husband who has been in Rome all week, and a tank of a son who just learned to climb on the table's best friend. 

Uncle Billy and the boys in plaid.  Good name for a band.

This picture totally catches her cheating.  
But ... it's her party and she'll cheat if she wants to.  
I called her out on it and was quickly given the patented "Keira scowl".  

There's Charlie Thomas ... Keira's future prom date.  

Did I mention 'Wolverine' was there with his mad robot and monster fighting skills.

Future artist and still the easiest kid to photograph in all the land. 
Carlie Jean 

Wouldn't be Keira's party without her sidekick Katelyn.

See ... I told you.

Momma's boy Max.  
This kid is off the charts with cuteness.  

Fin had to sit in a regular chair for the first time.  
He didn't have a problem with that.

I don't even have to comment on this one.  
You can see the love. 

At some point during the party she became Dorothy.  
No explanation.
None necessary.

So ... even if Cinderella did beat out wonder woman ... 
I think it was the perfect way to wrap up 3 years and say "hello" to number 4.  

Thursday, May 6, 2010

So .... this makes me want a minivan. That's hard to do.

...."I'm an awesome parent ... (right) ....  and it's apparent ... (true) ... and in this house there's no mother/father swearing ... 

Seriously ... this campaign is GENIUS. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear Shawn ...

If you come home and the dining room chairs look like this ...

It's because this guy ...

Learned how to do this today....

Good times ...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Full to Overflowing

Take a deep breath .... 

OK, here's a shocker.  I've over whelmed myself again.  It's a busy week.  

My to do list is out the door.

You see, it's this one's birthday on Sunday.

Today her class at school celebrated.  I brought in treats (rice crispy treats & chocolate chip cookies).  I also got to read to her class.  She picked her favorite book,  "We're going on a bear hunt".  I haven't done that in a while.  I forgot how many 'side stories' little ones can come up with.  Keira LOVED it.  She didn't want me to leave.

In other news, Tank is learning to eat with a fork.

Takes lots of concentration.

A little determination ... 

... and a very big mouth.  

He'll get it ... where food is concerned .. there is no question.  

So ... I guess it's back to work.  I'm painting the basement.  Yep, basement painting is on my to do list when it comes to "getting ready for a 4 year old birthday party".  I'm weird like that.  The basement color is a sore subject with me and Shawn.  I'll fill you in on that later.  

In the mean time, I promise to give you a daily update on my party planning prep.  I know you are waiting on bated breath.