Monday, September 24, 2012

Bye, summer! I'll miss you!

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Apparently, summer is officially over now. It was a good summer.

Last week, my smart, kind, beautiful daughter was baptized. Her father performed the ordinance, which was so tender to see, and grandparents and loved ones converged to celebrate.

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My three year old, double fisting the refreshments:

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It's been a great week overall. My husband took a tour off. We never did get to go out of town this summer, so instead, we took this week off and just relaxed with our family and friends. It was leisurely, full of good food, and was stocked with evenings playing games.

Speaking of good food, my garden is exploding! We severely underestimated the size of the crops we decided to plant in our mini garden.

Last winter, we stuck a few plants in the ground to see if they would grow, and didn't get much in return; maybe enough to make a single bowl of vegetable soup. So this summer, we built a more legitimate bed to test out that spot in the yard during the summer months. We want to build permanent beds down there, but didn't want to go through all of that effort if it wasn't going to work out. Here's the little trial garden, before the explosion:

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Apparently, that part of the yard DOES get enough sunlight. And, apparently, the seeds we used were, in fact, good. Here's the after shot:

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And no, I didn't intentionally have the kids all lined up like that in both spots. They just tend to do that. One declares that they want to be allowed to go down and see the garden (they have to ask first, since there might be snakes down there) and then the others just appear out of nowhere and follow along like little ducklings.

The garden has been fun. I took the effort to order heirloom seeds so that the seeds from the crop we grew could be planted next time (something that non-heirloom seeds can't do, apparently) and we'd never have to pay for butternut squash again. What I failed to realize was that my butternut squash would completely overwhelm our little enclosure and send out vines 15 feet long! Those are some very, very ambitious squash!

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There's something so satisfying about planting a seed, growing it, eating the veggie, and then planting the new seeds next time. It lends an element of seasons to a rather season-less part of the country.

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See? The beets are getting "squashed". Ahahahaha! #gardenhumor

It's been a beautiful, happy summer. One the kids will remember -- not for the magnificent trips, but for the seamless afternoons learning how to swim, riding bikes and playing in the court with the growing slew of neighbor kids, and going on day trips to the mountains.

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Let's see... what else happened this summer...

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A trip to San Francisco's natural history museum,

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a trip to the state capitol building to watch the space shuttle fly above it,

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and someone learned to roll over onto his stomach.

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Blurry, but too cute not to share.

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Too bad he can't roll back onto his back! He gets stuck there and then calls for me to come get him. No more playing on my bed for you, mister.

Someone also learned that his jumperoo bounces!

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Oh, and this one had a birthday.

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You would be amazed how long it took for the kids to decide on his gift: batteries!

Now, it's time for fall, and a last-ditch effort to lose some of this baby weight before the sugary fat holidays begin. I'm usually doomed on the weight-loss effort by the end of October. There's just too many goodies to appreciate between Halloween and Easter! Let's blame Pinterest. That way it won't be my own fault for having no will power when it comes to buying and making and eating holiday food.

Roasted butternut squash, anyone? I'm going to have to find some recipes to use all of that squash!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Purple Bedroom Fit for a Tween

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My daughter is not quite a tween yet, but she has declared the end of pink and frilly things.

"Mom, how did you like my picture?" Handing me her class photo yesterday.

"You look very pretty, Honey! I love it!"

"...Next year, I think I don't want to look so pretty. I want to look COOL!!"

She keeps growing up! I don't know what the deal is with that, but somehow we've gotten to the point where Barbies are out, and jewelry and clothing are in.

To celebrate her 8th birthday and her departure from little girlhood, I painted her room the hue of purple she selected for her walls. Well, I painted two of them purple. The others I convinced her to let me paint gray to balance it out.

At our old house, her room was a light bubblegum/brown (also at her request). And here's what her new room looked like when we moved in:

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Definitely in need of some purple!

I got to work,

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and picked up some furniture from Goodwill to fill out her new space. I got this chair for $2.00.

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We decided to paint her existing desk to match her new color scheme, as well as this stool that was left behind by the previous owners. Here are the before shots of those:

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I got some material while I was at Goodwill, to cover the seat of the chair and the stool. Yay for Goodwill!

Here's how the chair, desk, and stool turned out:

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That plaid is a former skirt.

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Here's how the rest of her room turned out:

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I also picked up a large picture from Goodwill,

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dismantled it,

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spray painted the mat white,

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and put in a picture of my daughter that I got printed up at Costco for pretty cheap.

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Goodwill was good to me!! I found this book shelf there too, as well as the purple and gray blanket on the window seat that just happens to match the room perfectly! Oh, and I got those Ikea curtains there, too.

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My daughter is so excited about her new grown-up room, she wants to show it to all of her friends. So, here you go, kiddo. :)

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Remembering 9/11 at the station...

My husband is at work today. Most days I don't think twice about his safety. But whenever he goes to work on September 11th, I do worry a little more than usual. Especially for big anniversary years, like last year.

Today, this time, it's just a nagging thought in the back of my mind that someone, somewhere might do something stupid. Here's hoping that he has a very safe day at work.

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His crew was invited to attend a special Mass today, to commemorate all those who were lost in this tragedy. I like that he lives in a community that values the work of the fire department, and remembers to honor the 343+ firefighters that died that day.

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(A commemorative picture on the side of my husband's rig)

For the firefighting community, reminders of 9/11 are all around and those 343 are never forgotten.

Stay safe, guys.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bathroom doors (or the lack thereof).

What is it about new home designers that compels them to create master bathrooms without a door separating the bath from the bedroom? Do these people not have children?

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I guess it wouldn't be a problem, if my locked bedroom door were an actual deterrent. It goes something like this:

"Mom... Where are you?" Spoken as I try to sneak away to take a shower, leaving my three year old in my husband's care.

"Mom!... Mom!.... Mom!" I hear him pinging throughout the house, completely ignoring his Dad telling him that Mom's busy right now.

Upon approaching my bedroom, face smushed against the door: "Mom, are you in dere? Mooooooooom?"

This is the point when said child takes a step back, hurls his little shoulder at the spot where the large double doors come together, and pops them open with a few tries.

"Oh! Dere you are!"

It's at this moment that I hope that this is not the first memory my child will form of his mother.

To combat the problem of the weak double doors and the complete lack of a door to the bathroom itself, we finally hung a curtain.

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I gave the children specific instructions to not enter when the curtains are closed.

My three year old listened.

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For the most part.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

First foods, and happy birthday to my firefighter!!

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I love that first feeding of (somewhat) solid foods! The expressions are so genuine.

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Hi, Mom! Whatcha doin'?

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Oooh, interesting...

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So is this how I'm supposed to do this?

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Um, ew... I think...

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Wait a minute, this isn't so bad!

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This isn't bad at all!

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DAD! You have got to try this!!

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Mine? Mine?

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I think it's safe to say he likes solid foods.

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He flails all his limbs and opens his mouth like a cute little bird. Love it!

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In other news, today is my husband's birthday! The kids have embarked on a new tradition for their father. Each year they're going to buy him a set of bed sheets to use at the station. This year, they bought him Transformers sheets. Sponge Bob was a close second.

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This way their dad has something to remind him of them while he's away at work.

I see some pink polka-dots or maybe Strawberry Shortcake in his future as the kids get older and wise(crack)er.

Happy birthday!!
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