Saturday, August 25, 2012

Messy Mania

When we had Grace we signed up for the Parents As Teachers program through our school district.  I am so glad we did!  We were matched up with a wonderful educator who has done home visits with all three of our girls.  They also sponsor fun events throughout the school year that we always try to participate in.  To kick off the year PAT hosts Messy Mania at the Early Childhood Center.  If you've ever been inside my house, you are very quickly able to see that my girls LOVE to make a mess so this is the perfect event for us.

We started off with the paint activities.  They were supposed to use the brushes at the easel, but that lasted about three minutes with Grace.  She quickly ditched the brushes because as everyone knows, your hands make way better paint brushes.

Abby disagrees with Grace about the whole paint with your hands philosophy.  She is very nicely using her brush and if any paint gets on her she quickly asks me to wash and dry her hands off.

 Onto the shaving cream activity.  Most kids were rubbing it all over their arms and faces.  This station didn't really interest Grace andAbby.  They visited for a couple of minutes, wiped their hands down, and moved on.

We moved on to paint with cars.  This was fun.  The educator made a picture for each of the girls and then they drove a car through the paint.  Grace asked for a flower.  Easy peasy, even I can draw a flower.

And then there's Abby.  Abby wanted an elephant.  I think the educator was a little surprised by this request, but she drew Abby the best elephant she could.  Abby was very pleased with how her elephant turned out.

Back to the paint.

 As you can see, Abby never really got into painting with her hands.  Too messy!
 Abby really wanted to play on the playground.  Grace had no interest in this.  The event was held at Grace's school so she plays on this playground every day.  To Abby it was all new and she really just wanted to explore.  She loved this swing.  If she had stayed in it much longer she would have fallen asleep.  Notice our Minnie Baby had to swing too. 

 Thanks Liberty PAT!  We loved Messy Mania and can't wait to get messy with you again next year!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rosebuds For Abby

I'm a little embarrassed to say how long this quilt took me to finish, especially since I only do the piecing and not the quilting, but it turned out adorable so I thought I would share.  This quilt was one of the easiest I've done, and I was able to put most of it together with scrap material so it also ended up being one of the most reasonable I've made.  I purchased the green for the backing (the inspiration piece for this quilt) and the white for the background on the front.  The rest was scrap material.  Both pieces of material came from Joann

The pattern for this quilt came from the Baby Love quilt book.  The patterns in this book are really cute, are not complex, and easy to piece.

Hopefully, it won't take me as long to get around to my next quilt.  I have three patterns on deck, and material for one of those already purchased.  One happens to be a Christmas quilt.  Will I make it in time this year, or will it make it's debut at Christmas 2013????????

Monday, August 20, 2012

Grace's First Day Of Preschool!

A lot of primping and prepping went into today.  Grace had to go to the beauty shop and get her hair trimmed.  She wanted tinsel, but they didn't have tinsel so she chose purple feathers instead.  Then she had to have her fingernails and toenails painted.  She chose purple polish and purple glitter.  She chose a dress to match everything, and in case you haven't guessed the theme yet, the dress was purple too.  She specifically asked that it be ironed, yes my four-and-a-half year old will not wear her clothes unless they've been ironed.  (Neither will my two-and-a-half year old for that matter)  She got her princess backpack loaded up and ready to go. 

First thing this morning, Darren notifies me that Goldie the Blue Beta is dead.  Really????  That's not particularly how I wanted to start my day.  Fortunately, she's been replaced no one has asked questions and as far as they know she just has a clean bowl.  On with our day.

Then it happened. . . . . . . .CRISIS. . . . . . .those ridiculous purple feathers came out of her hair.  And that crimping bead was NOT coming open for me to get the feathers out.  So she had to go to school minus the purple feathers.

And Abby, oh Abby. . . . . . . . .was a monster all day.  Then it dawned on me and I asked her, "Abby are you sad today?"  Then came the water works because she was "sad Gracie going to school."  I felt horrible guilty, because she had been in trouble ALL morning.  Abby asked why she couldn't go to school too, she rationalized it by saying, "my potty's trained."  We've been telling her she couldn't go to school because she wasn't potty trained.  Actually, she has to wait until she turns three to test.  Keep your fingers crossed for her!!! 

Here's what we looked like to start the day.

Happy Faces

Silly Faces

Emma kind of looks like a doll, but she's real.

 I was trying to steal a shot of Grace by herself since it was "her" first day of school.

Abby caught me and wanted one of her by herself too.

The circle wouldn't be complete without one of Emma. 

 Loaded up and ready to go!  It is only a five minute ride, but books are required.

 Heading into her classroom.

 Grace at her cubby.

 Good-by hug.  This was a hug that I thought would never end.  These two always amaze me.

 After school.  Notice the tired faces.

First day of school party as requested by Grace. Balloons, streamers, pizza party eaten off of princess plates, and chocolate cookies to complete the day.

 Back by each other's side.

To recap Grace's day (according to her):
  1. New friend named Katie
  2. Saw old friends, Samantha and Abel
  3. Ate goldfish and drank chocolate milk at snack time
  4. There was no super star today, maybe tomorrow
  5. There were no letter friends today
  6. A boy took her toy in the sand box.  "I will not marry him, he is a bad boy." 
  7. I need another beautiful dress to wear tomorrow
She had a great first day.  Excited for tomorrow.  Fabulous Day!!  Hope you had a fabulous first day of school too!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back To School Night!

In our district the little people go back to school after the big kids start and get settled in.  Friday night was our back to school night, and Grace was soooo excited. 

When she got to school there was a welcome back card waiting for her.  The card had two glow in the dark bracelets attached.  She immediately took them off the card, kept the pink one for herself, and gave the yellow to her sister.  Abby was so excited.  She's a little upset about not getting to go to school this week.  Grace is very considerate of Abby's feelings, and always tries to make her feel included. 

Grace and her teacher Miss Erin. 

Playing with mat man. 

Abby after back to school night. 

Grace is so excited for Monday, she's been "preparing" all day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fun With Baking Soda

I'm always looking for easy activities for the girls.  I spotted this one on Pintrest and thought it looked perfect!  However, looks can be deceiving.  I can't tell what website this came from, because there was not a link from the person I repinned it from, but you can get to it here.

  1. Put a box of baking soda in a dish
  2. Color vinegar with food coloring
  3. Give the kids an eyedropper
  4. Clean the kitchen and do laundry (or whatever is outstanding in your house) while they entertain themselves
**The pictures on Pinterest are deceiving.  The little boy was playing nice and neatly with his baking soda and eye dropper.  Not my girls.  After they colored it all they decided to play in it with their hands.  It ended up everywhere.  I think there is still some in between the boards of my hard wood floors.  Key point -- THEY ENTERTAINED THEMSELVES FOR OVER AN HOUR.  It also doesn't get much cheaper than baking soda and vinegar!!

And the mess begins.

It must have made some kind of memory for them because they always ask to do it again, and honestly I let them.  They enjoy it and the mess gives me something to do (as if I don't have enough already)!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Half Bath Remodel

Five years ago I painted our half bath purple.  Purple is my FAVORITE color and I was attempting to incorporate it somewhere into our main living area.  Big mistake.  It came out horrible.  The bathroom was too small and the color made it too dark.  I disliked it so much that I never decorated it.  I bought some brushed nickel accessories, some purple towels and called it a day.  Five years later I could no longer deal with the purple bathroom.  It had to go.  While I was on maternity leave I chose a new color and got to work.  Bye-bye hideous purple bathroom.

It took two coats of primer to cover that nasty purple!

And thanks to my wonderful Dad, my ugly builders mirror is GONE!

These accessories were the ispiration for the new bathroom.  I loved the colors and thought it would fit in well with the rest of my house.

I chose to go with Rustic Gold available in the HGTV line at Sherwin Williams.  They convinced me to go with a more expensive paint than I normally do, and I can honestly say it wasn't worth it.  When I get around to re-painting the rest of the downstairs (hopefully this fall) I'll stick with the Sherwin Williams Cashmere line.  It costs a lot less and covers just as well.  I upgraded the switch plate covers.  I love the detail it added, and it was worth the money.  It wasn't a huge cost because in this small space there were only two.  However, I hope to eventually get around to replacing the actual face plates so that they are brown and blend in better.  I just need to scheule time with my Dad the electrician!  I'm in love with the new mirror.  I found it at Lowe's.  It's so much better than the big ugly piece of glass that lived on my wall before.

I kept all of my original fixtures and spray painted them.  It was my first attempt at doing that, but it saved a lot of money.  First I covered each fixture in spray primer, and then I purchased oil rubbed bronze spray paint to cover the primer.  Note self, if you spray paint your toliet paper holder cover the middle part with tape.  Mine got stuck and wouldn't squeeze in and out any more.  I bought another one at WalMart, covered the middle with tape and sprayed the ends.  It now functions again.  Still came out ahead over buying new fixtures.   The primer was free because my Mom had some leftover in her garage, and the oil rubbed bronze paint cost me about $7.  Not too bad. 

My wall art came from Hobby Lobby.  I purchased the wire art separate from the flowers, both at 50% off.  It ended up matching a premade one in their store but cost less than half of their arrangement.  Score!

I always like to add something above the door.  In this case I went with an Amazing Grace wall plaque from Hobby Lobby.  This piece was not on sale, and purchasing it was painful because I only buy things on sale, but it was $15 and I was in love with it.  It was also the last on the shelf. 

The bathroom is not completely decorated, and I plan to add more things as I come across them, but it is MUCH better than when it was purple.  I can also cross that off my "Things I Want To Accomplish While I'm On Maternity Leave" list.  Now that I'm back to work I have a "Fall List".  Painting the downstairs living room, kitchen, and hallways have moved to that list.  Until then, happy painting and decorating!!