Thursday, July 30, 2015

Soccer Success!

I couldn't be prouder of my CC! After really struggling with soccer last summer, and again at the beginning of this summer, we stumbled upon the proper motivation for her: pink cleats. It was the perfect bribe to get her excited about actively participating in her soccer class.


We went from being on the field with a crying, scared, extremely reluctant child, to a girl who runs to her coach as soon as we arrive, waving at us as she gives him high-fives and gets ready. She's listening, following directions perfectly, and most of all -- having fun! She's so proud of herself at the end of each session, and we're proud of her too.


High-fives for Coach Mark

So, as promised, after three sessions of active participation (without parental involvement), she's earned her new cleats. We took her to Dick's last Saturday and let her pick out the ones she liked best. This Saturday was her first time using them. Unfortunately there are only 2 more sessions left this summer (so Mommy bought cleats 1.5 sizes too big, in the hopes that they will fit next year, too!).

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Renovation Complete!

The house has been done for several weeks now, but I've been remiss in posting updated pictures. Here you go -- finally!

Overall, the house looks a lot nicer. It's less dated, fresher with more nice features, and overall much better. The color is called "Earl Gray" from Sherwin Williams, and it's exactly what I originally envisioned.

Front Before:


After:


I love the shutters, but there's something I like even more that's not really obvious from these pictures: the exposed shutter hinges and hardware that give the house such a unique look. It's a nice touch.

One of my favorite new areas of the house is the doorway. Before it was pretty plain, drab, and neglected. But now it's beautiful and I'm proud to welcome people to my door!

Doorway Before:


After:


The iron scrollwork is meant to be decorative as well as functional: it gives us some privacy from the giant open window above the door.

The roofline above the garage changed the most, with the addition of the dormer that adds so much space and light to MJ's office.

Before:


After:


The back of the house changed considerably to allow for CC's new room upstairs, but it's not noticeable from the front.

Before:


After:


There are plenty of things for me to finish inside, like hanging pictures and buying linens and curtains, etc. But I'll have to post those pictures room by room, as it all gets done! (And it will take a while, I guarantee.)

We are thrilled with the end results, and we're also thrilled that the work is complete! It's never fun to live with construction, but from my perspective it actually wasn't as bad as I thought.

Now I love driving up to our house, or spotting it as I walk down the street. The neighbors have been effusive in their compliments, and I expect I'll see some similar iron scrollwork on nearby houses in the future! Won't you come visit?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Meanwhile ...

What did Little Man and Sweet Pea do while CC was in ballet camp?



We'll never tell.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tiny Dancer

Last week was the event CC's been looking forward to for months: Ballet Camp! It was Frozen-themed, and her excitement every morning as she got ready was adorable.

Monday morning she was dressed with ballet shoes on, bag over her shoulder, and hair in a bun, eating breakfast hours before we needed to leave.


I took some portraits of her in the sweet leotard our sitter, Julie, gave to her:



Once CC saw the sequins and skirt on this leotard, she wanted nothing to do with the plain pink and black ones I'd bought for her!

On Friday, all the parents were treated to a "recital" set to music from Frozen. CC sang her heart out and (kind of) followed the steps. We didn't know whether she'd freeze like a statue or wander aimlessly off the dance floor, so it was precious to see her following along. I actually got a little teary watching her class perform, it was so cute!



Direct link to video: https://youtu.be/VQJ0ItYoJi8

Afterwards, her counselor told us that CC shows a lot of dance potential. I think MJ snorted into his coffee. CC's only 4, after all -- it's too soon to tell. But she loves it, and that's enough for me. We've already signed her up for ballet lessons in the fall!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Photo Friday


It's my birthday, and I had a great day thanks to these three munchkins and my doting husband!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Splash Park

It's been a hot summer, and I finally got around to taking the kids to the splash pad. It was a bit of a bust last year, but I thought now the kids might be ready to have some fun.






You may have noticed that there are no pictures of Little Man. Once again, he stayed well away from the water, and never even stepped foot into the enclosure. I shouldn't have been surprised: this is the child who, even when happily swimming in a pool, complains of "being wet."

The more eagle-eyed readers may also have noticed that Sweet Pea is wearing the same exact swimsuit as last year. The child does not grow. But she was the most eager to get wet and charge into the fountains. After a while (and a lot of encouragement), CC joined her, and they ended up having a good time together.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Worst. Nap. Ever.

Today was Sweet Pea's day to nap in our room. I've been separating her and Little Man during naptime since they turn into gremlins when they nap together. They alternate between sleeping in their room and sleeping in ours. It's been working pretty well so far.

Down for naps everyone went, and I got busy doing laundry, dishes, etc. After a few minutes, I heard the unmistakable squeak of our bedroom door and I went upstairs to find Sweet Pea putting a stack of MJ's books into the hallway.

Me: Get back in bed.
Her (cheerfully): Okay!

Five minutes later, I heard a thump. I went upstairs to find her sitting up in our bed, remote control in her hand, and the TV on to a menu screen I've never seen before. 

Her: I turned the TV on!
Me: That's not yours. Don't touch Mommy and Daddy's things. Go to sleep.
Her: Okay!

I'm pretty sure that TV will never work properly again.

Another five minutes later, I heard the bedroom door squeak again. I charged up the stairs to find her holding a small empty plastic box. What the ... ??

It was -- somehow? -- a box of straight pins. You know, the kind used for sewing. I saw a bunch spilled on the rug. Oh, crap.  

Me: Don't move! These are very sharp. I have to clean them up.
Her: Okay, I'll clean up the other ones.
Me: WHAT?!

She pointed, and I saw where the other 500 pins had spilled. Right into my laundry basket, full of clothes. Oh. My. God.

I sat down and starting taking every item of dirty laundry out of the basket, shaking it meticulously, and checking it for pins. This was going to take me at least an hour.

Her: Mommy?
Me: Yes.
Her: You're doing a great job.
Me: Thank you.
Her: Mommy?
Me: YES.
Her: I pooped in my pants.