Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Didn't we almost have it all...

I'm happy to report that we're still up there near the top in our division in Apartment Therapy's Room for Color contest, just within reach! It's a close race! But I'm not going to guilt you into voting for my daughter's room. Instead, I'll give you five good reasons why you'll be glad if you DO decide to favorite her room. ;) Hey, I'm up against some big design bloggers here — bloggers that have people! And gobs of money to spend on fancy rooms! And professionals!

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Top 5 reasons why you'll feel happy about voting for my daughter's room here:

1. My daughter asks me every day if we're winning. By supporting her room, you get to put a smile on her face. She's so proud of her room, since she picked out the purple paint, and she is THRILLED that it's in a contest.

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2. Remember the great couch recovering project that continues to send shivers down my spine every time I remember it? I still have that couch. It needs to go. Any help you can provide in that department will be greatly appreciated!!

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3. Think not what you can do for Apartment Therapy, but what Apartment Therapy can do for you! In order to favorite my daughter's room, you need an AT account. With the account comes many benefits, one of my favorite being the ability to submit photos and design questions for the AT community to provide their input in the Good Questions section. I've greatly appreciated the help I've gotten to questions I've had! I really like Apartment Therapy, because it often features real houses with realistic budgets and helps tackle common design problems — like how to hide the cords coming off of tables in the middle of a room.

One day, you'll be gazing at your living room, trying to decide what kind of curtains to hang in the window. Then you'll be like "oh yeah, I can go to that one website Katie told me about and post my question, and get lots of great feedback about what to do!" Then you'll snap a picture, post your question, and get the most brilliant design solution ever in the history of design solutions.

You're welcome. ;)

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4. Did I mention putting a smile on my daughter's face?

5. We worked really hard on that room, gathering together furniture and sprucing it up to fit with the room. This would have been easier to accomplish if I could have just gone to a furniture store and picked out whatever I wanted. But I love that there's some history to each piece in this room. The desk and mirror are from my daughter's great-grandma. The bed is from a generous friend from our previous neighborhood. The bedside table and the stool are from the former owners of this house. And the pieces from Goodwill, the bookshelf, the curtains, the picture frame, the hand-made knitted throw, have a mysterious past that we'll never know about. Yet somehow, all of these pieces representing all of these former owners have come to reside in this hunter/gatherer room.

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Thanks to all the people that have helped us furnish our house over the years. We really appreciate it!!

If you'd like to place a pressure-free vote for my daughter's room, you can do so here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Sunday Dinner Tradition

I remember walking in the grass on warm afternoons, circling the house and tracing the fence line, searching for flowers to fill a vase. I remember the pale sunlight being slightly dusty, with the scent of gray, weather-beaten wood in the air. My mom would be inside setting out a tablecloth on the long dining room table. She used the nice set of plates every Sunday afternoon. She and my dad would spend the hours after church in the kitchen, putting together a two course meal for the family. The smell of roast would fill the house, making me miserably hungry. Searching for flowers for a centerpiece was a good way to pass the time.

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The first course alternated between soup or salad. Often, it was this potato soup. The other staples were rolls, juice, and a roast.

I loved those Sunday dinners, and I have been trying to make a tradition of it for our own family. I, too, make sure to include the traditional rolls and juice. I haven't gotten adventurous enough to make it a two course meal. Not yet, anyway. And I haven't gotten adventurous enough to use the good china yet, either. But we'll get there.

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The traditions are starting to sink in. The kids object wildly if I don't make rolls, and they know that Sunday is juice day.

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We don't have a lot of flowers in our yard, at least, not at this time of the year, but there were enough for my children to put together a little clump.

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We actually use our dining room table quite a bit these days. I know that as the kids grow older and busier, sitting down around the table might not always be as easy as it is now. Hopefully, we'll always at least have our Sundays together, even when things start to get crazy. We try to keep those afternoons free from other obligations so that we can have some dedicated family time. It makes Sundays have sort of a holiday feel.

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That is, until, they make their way over to the T.V. after dinner and argue about whether to watch Sponge Bob or Power Rangers, while the 3 year old breaks down into a fit because his sister won't let him play with her water gun, and I won't let him run around outside without some clothes on.

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But at least it's nice and idyllic for a few moments!


Monday, October 8, 2012

When dad works on a 6th birthday...

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When dad has to work on his little boy's 6th birthday, we have a few options. One is to celebrate the birthday on a different day and do a full-blown party. Another option is to have a small celebration at home without dad, then open presents when he gets home. Or, school and work permitting, we can bring the party to the fire station.

Since his birthday was on a Saturday, this year, we chose to celebrate at the station.

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We packed all the presents and food up and headed to the station for a birthday lunch. The night before, the kids were too excited to sleep. After letting them pack a huge bag full of fire trucks to take to the station, they finally drifted off. (And, of course, they barely played with said toys at all once we were there.)

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My husband brought his fire truck out, which is much bigger and much more fun, and let the kids flow some water.

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The kids got to feel just how strongly the water kicks back. There's about 100 pounds of pressure pushing the hose backwards. (That's why dad is right there in all of the pictures.)

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My 6 year old learned that the only downside to spraying the water as high as he can is that it falls right back down sooner or later.

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I set the presents up inside and the kids put together puzzles while we cooked the birthday boy's lunch of choice — dad's bbq hamburgers.

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Which cracks me up, since the only part of a hamburger he likes is the meat!

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Yup, hamburger on a fork.

In his defense, they really are good bbq hamburgers.

It took me a while to figure out why my daughter was asking my middle man to lay face-down on the recliners.

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Back massages! Of course!

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Hi there, baby!

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After lunch, we hung the pinata. Oh, the pinata! We took a few swings at it.

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Quite a few swings.

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That's the second pinata in a row that we haven't been able to crack!

After a while, it eventually fell to the ground — completely intact.

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More whacking...

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Run, pinata, run!!

Finally, we decided more drastic measures had to be taken.

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Something that would spare the candy. I should have had him break out the jaws of life to pry that thing open!

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Finally!

It was a fun day. My husband's crew was very accommodating, thanks guys! I'm glad that everything worked out so well. So is my son.

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Happy birthday, kiddo!

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Monday, October 1, 2012

The best firefighter costume ever, part two

I couldn't help myself. When I was at Costco last week, I saw that they had in stock the big brother version of the firefighter costume I purchased there a few years ago.

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We've used and abused that little costume over the years. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pick up the bigger one. The costumes are just too well made!

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If you're looking for a firefighter costume, check out Costco. But hurry if you're going to do it. This costume cost $23.99, a dollar more than it cost last time, and still a pretty darn good deal if you ask me! Other companies just don't put as much attention to detail and materials as this company does. The costumes go quickly.

My 3 year old has claimed it as his own. He lays it out on his bed like one of his many blankets that he loves to sleep with.

Not many objects reach pseudo-blanket status!
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