29 March 2013

If You Were to Peek in Our Windows

If you were to peek in our windows you would be known as what we affectionately call a creepy stalker.  We would not be friends and I would call 911.  Plus the neighbors would see you because we have neighbors that are good like that.

But, for posterity sake, let's pretend like you could somehow innocently peek into our windows on any random given day.

You would see that Christian is getting back for all the squeezing and squishing he endured from Daphne when he was a helpless babe.

(It also helps that he can yell "NOOOO!!!!" at the top of his lungs, but you wouldn't be able to see that.  You would need to hear it, so you would probably need a glass pressed up to the window and that wouldn't be awkward at all.)  

You would see that wild wrestling is a daily, if not hourly, occurance.

If you could peek in our windows, you would see that art time has become art time for two.

You would see a few good temper tantrums.

You would see farming buddies,

breakfast buddies,

and jumping-in-the-bed buddies (in which this particular episode may or may not have ended with a bloody nose).

For these next few you wouldn't be peeking in our windows, you would have to be in our house peeking out?  Or in a car parked down the street and peeking out of your car window?  Not good options, either way.

But you would see us getting a visit from a local friendly policeman.

(Another good reason not to spy on us: we have it good with the neighborhood guards.)

And you would see much happiness being had on the 'fortress,' as Daphne calls it.

Now that we've discussed at least three different ways that you could get yourself arrested, you go on and have yourself a nice day.

27 March 2013

Weekend Visitors

Our weekend was just how Daphne loves it: with a house full of people.

Aunt Becca came Friday to spend the weekend.  I love it when people spend the night because it means once the kids are in bed, I can leave.  Saturday night I went to Starbucks to work on my BSF lesson, then wandered around Target for awhile, then met David for supper while he was working.  Not a bad night for me.

Cousin Levi from Alaska came down to visit PSU for the weekend.  This is how Daphne felt about hanging out with Levi:

"When I grow up I will have a tiny baby girl and I will name her Jesus, and then I will have a boy and name him another Levi, and then we will have two Levi's!"

She was concerned about his height, though, and was a little worried he couldn't fit through the doorways.  
poor Levi...they never left him alone.

he ate breakfast, so they needed to eat, too.

if you bring her donuts, she will be your best friend.

Sunday afternoon Papa-Great and Grandma-Great came to spend the afternoon with the kids and see Levi.  Daphne made Becca blow up a million balloons in preparation for 'Grandma-great's party,' as she called it. 
books with Grandma-Great

ponies with Grandma-Great

Daphne and I made pizza for the party.  She made this pizza all by herself, and I think for the first time I could say she was actually helpful in the kitchen.  She did this pizza will I did the other one.  And yes, she is dressed like a butterfly.

David heaved a sigh of relief when the house was finally empty (poor guy can only handle people for so long) and Tuesday we ventured out all the way into Washington for a little exploring (it sounds better to say 'all the way into WA' then 'we drove 3 miles up the freeway') where we found our new family favorite coffee shop.  Brewed Awakenings, it's called, and man was it lovely and cozy and delicious.  We would go every day if we could.  Except I was just looking at the photos from the link and I think they must have remodeled recently; now it's full of couches and comfy chairs and a big fireplace.  Wonderful, wonderful place.

We also ordered our carpet and I got abut half the trim done in the living room.  I would say our weekend was productive.

23 March 2013

DIYing 'Til the Cows Come Home

We are *this close* to being done with the kitchen.   The trim is painted after discovering some miracle paint that I will be telling you about later.  All that's left is the big art piece I'm working on for the wall and then getting everything hung on the walls.  Be on the edge of your seats: the reveal will knock your socks off.  Or be only mildly interesting.  It will be one of those. 

I sewed some new curtains for the kitchen and while at it, made a few new pillowcases for the living room.   This tutorial is great for an easy pillowcase cover, should you be needing to make yourself some pillowcases anytime soon.

I really love the look of old grain sack fabric, especially when stripes are involved, but what's with the crazy expensive, people?  So I went all crafty and sewed my pillowcases with utility fabric 40% off from Joann's and painted on my own stripes.  The discovery made here is that painting stripes is so fun. 

These days there are a lot of pillows with cute sayings stenciled on them and I knew that was something that would be fun in the living room. But of all the words in the entire world, deciding which few to use on a pillow proved to be quite difficult.  Then I ran across a little saying somewhere or other (sorry I have no where to link a source to) and knew I had found my match:

It's not deep or thought provoking but it makes me smile and it explains why I can't keep the living room magazine-perfectly clean and why the kids always come in from the backyard covered in dirt.  It also opens us up to the possibility that they eat bugs when I'm not looking.

Besides all this kitchen painting and pillow sewing, I came home from BSF the other day to David stripping wallpaper out of the stairwell.  So happy!  We've been wanting to spruce up the stairwell for years but haven't wanted to undertake the wallpaper stripping.  One thousand points to my go-getter of a husband. 
helping daddy

Now the stairwell is almost finished being painted with the same color as the kitchen and next week we'll pick out new carpet for the stairs.  Then it's trim painting in the living room!!!!  (I say with with  a lot of !!! because I'm trying to trick myself into being excited about it.)

All of a sudden I want to go take a nap. 

20 March 2013

Let's Pretend Like We Live in Portland! (Plus Other Random Highlights From Our Week)

1.  Daphne loves a chance to 'play a word' when David and I are playing one of our Scrabble games.  We let her play in our Tuesday game and then we worked our words around her randomly spaced letters.  It added a nice twist of excitement for us because if there's one thing Scrabble needs, it's more excitement.

2.  Monday we got to go to a birthday party where we made a little bike parade.  It was so festive.  (Except now Christian is afraid of balloons thanks to the wind blowing these ones into his face one too many times.)

3.  Playing with rice means I can get dishes done.  But then it also means I have a rice mess to clean up.  What's that saying about cleaning a house with children in it is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos?  I would say it applied here. 

4.  Today Daph made sure the Avengers glasses were able to talk to each other during lunchtime. 

5.  Dance parties are the most fun when Daddy joins in with his impressive dance moves, as what happened this morning before BSF.

6. Lately we've been trying to get out of our boring rut of going to basically the Town Center and Cascade Station and take advantage of some of the great amenities that our fair city has to offer.  Last weekend we went to Mother's Bistro for brunch, where David, hater of all things related to downtown said, "We really need to come downtown more often.  There are so many cool places down here."  I'm so glad he's finally on board with venturing out of our East Side bubble.

So Tuesday we went to the Pearl District (David has a special kind of aversion to the Pearl) to take the kids to Powell's, only the most wonderful bookstore you can ever imagine.  It's been years since I've been there so I had forgotten some of the magic.  It did not take long for all the glory to come back to me.   Why haven't we been going there every week?  Oh, probably because I would be poor if we did. 

it's not a Portland photo unless it contains a homeless person

Thanks to the wonderful kids area we were able to spend over an hour in the store.  David and I took turns splitting up to go search for the items on our lists.  David found all four books on his list while I found zero of mine, but I did find some great kids books to bring home.

Have you seen these classics-turned-board books by Jennifer Adams?  I would like to own them all.  I was so happy to find Jane Eyre, but I've seen a few at Costco too.  I love the illustrations and now I want to read Jane Eyre again. (The big girl version, in case that needed clarifying.)

It's good that David had so much success with his book list because it means he has positive feelings toward Powell's and wants to go back again soon.  We also need to make a date night out of it so that I can run into Sur la Table, Anthropologie, Peet's Coffee and Buffalo Exchange.  Well, OK, with a list like that, maybe a date weekend. 

Thanks, Portland, for being so cool. 

18 March 2013

Pinnable Non-Caveman Food

Ever since drastically changing our eating habits last year, a dessert has mostly meant throwing some oats, raisins and peanut butter in a food processor and calling it good.  But as I was preparing for Home Group this weekend I just wanted a real cookie.  With sugar in it.  Without taking any time to soak some grains.  Live a little on the wild side, if you will. 

I've pinned a few good-looking dessert recipes lately and decided just to go crazy and make three of them.  All three were winners.

hahaha...poor Christian

First up: Four Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies.  Four ingredients is a nice easy number of ingredients.  And Christian loved them.

(Speaking of Christian, what am I to do with his hair?  If he could wear hair clips it would really help but David is not supportive of that idea.  I promise I do try to groom him; his hair just has a mind of its own.) 

Next are the Snickerdoodle Blondies.  I like snickerdoodles and I like brownies, so if combining the two of them is not a recipe for success I don't know what is.  They were a hit among the menfolk for sure.  I even made these ones gluten free just for fun. 

And finally the Giant Double Chocolate Cookies.  I made them regular sized instead of giant, which just means you can eat five of them and not feel as badly as if you were to eat five giant ones. 

It was good to get that baking out of my system for awhile.

In case you were wondering about Daphne in all this, she was just off dressing herself like a bag lady.

12 March 2013


Daphne saw two pillowcase-less pillows in the living room the other day and asked why those pillows weren't wearing any shirts.  I told her it's because I was sewing new pillowcases.  Today I made two more pillowcases and when she saw me putting the new cases on the pillows she said "did those pillows need new shirts, too?"  That girl; so funny.

We spent a few hours this afternoon cleaning up the front flower beds and I got to use my new hoe that David got me.  I just love using a hoe in the garden.  Hacking all those weeds to death and getting a good workout while doing it...is there really anything better?

One of our neighbors drove by and said she figured Christian just loved digging around in the dirt.  He does, but he was not the one digging up earthworms and carrying them around the yard as if they were beloved pets. 

He also did not end up half as dirty as she did.

It's wonderful to be getting such a good start in the yard already.  Last year with Christian being so young I felt like our yard was in shambles.  This year, now that he can disappear into the backyard and amuse himself on the slide, our yard will be so beautiful.  I just know it.

always has his tongue out

07 March 2013

Bedtime Always Comes


If there is one thing I can say about today, it's that bedtime always comes

Also, single moms are amazing. 

David is working an unusual shift today.  As soon as he got up he was out the door, so aside from a short "good morning and good-bye!" conversation with him the kids and I spent the day really enjoying each others' company. 

I took both of them to preschool hour at the library this morning, my first time attempting that since Christian became old enough to cause mischief.  It was way easier when he would just sit in my lap and watch the big kids and not get so angry when I wouldn't allow him to participate in the rhythm stick game.  Four-year old's with rhythm sticks are scary enough, thankyouverymuch.

After nap time I thought a trip to the grocery store would be a good idea.  It actually wasn't a good idea. There was a very loud race car cart and a very loud 18-month old involved and only three grocery items ending up being purchased, if that tells you anything. 

Apparently this same work schedule is going to be happening quite a bit in the next few weeks.  Bedtime and I are going to be great friends.  
moving furniture for vacuuming makes for good running
so helpful with the dishwasher

05 March 2013

Painting and Raining (But Not Painting in the Rain)

I'm at my best when elbow deep in a good home improvement project.  Right now my project is the kitchen.  I got the walls painted yesterday and now I'm deciding the best way to paint the trim.  I would prefer it to be 75 degrees out so I could take it all outside to sand and paint it, but sadly I don't see that being possible any time soon.  Except I heard maybe this weekend is supposed to be nice?

So.  Tell me, all of you painting experts...how does one go about tearing apart a kitchen and sanding/painting with little ones afoot?  Should I wait until I can work outside or just try to make it work indoors? 

Whatever I decide to do, the kitchen is turning out exactly how I imagined it and that makes me very happy.

Yesterday's beautiful sun was so magnificent that today's rain meant we had to cheer ourselves up.  We decided to attempt something we haven't done in many moons: a coffee shop visit.  David needed some more maple flavored syrup which we can only find at our favorite little place in West Linn, so we held our breaths and hoped for a good outing.

Apparently all you have to do is time your trip so that you arrive right at snack time, and then the littlest child will sit perfectly happy and suck cream cheese off a bagel for 20 minutes or so.

Here is Daphne telling me that coffee shops are her favorite type of restaurant and that she loooooves coffee shops.  Have I mentioned that she is just fabulous?

These two also aren't so bad:

a big truck drove by.  that's exciting stuff. 

Once we got home and after nap time we hunkered downstairs for a movie, trains, and laundry folding event.  After a few minutes Daphne looked at me and said, "Mom, do you think you should go make some popcorn?"  

Of course, yes.  I really should.  What was I thinking? 

 FYI: this movie/trains/popcorn/laundry event is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.