Tuesday, April 27, 2010

opening doors


We went to the home inspection on Sunday afternoon and everything went very smoothly. The sellers have already responded to our requests, and things are moving forward quickly. I have a lot of work to do-mostly packing-but also finding some rugs for the floors and planning for furniture. We're having the hardest time finding a sectional that we like that isn't a million bucks. So, if you're reading this, I'd love to know where you found your living room or family room furniture and what you like or dislike about it. I think we found some bedroom and kitchen table furniture that we like that is nice quality and reasonably priced, so that's good.

This kitchen table is from Pier 1 and I love it! It is a pretty green with a wood finish top. It has matching chairs, but I'm not sure I'm going to go that route. I may pick some different chairs, but I'll decide once we get the table in the kitchen. The table top matches the floors, and the edge brings in the dark cabinets. It will go here:

I'm also debating whether or not I'll need to do something about this





or, just letting it go. I think it is wonderful that she's opening doors now (what a BIG girl), but my first instinct was, "oh, no." I'm a little hesitant to put safety latches on the doors because I don't want to squelch her curiosity and growth. Maybe I'll just put them on the bathroom doors. We keep all of the exterior doors locked, so I don't think that will be a problem.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

wonder woman


I think that Wonder Woman secretly went on a mission instead of taking her nap. That is the only thing that could explain the hair.

absent




So, it seems that I've been a little too absent from the blog. My mom is having a cow and adopting another Harper's blog, so I better get on it-and stay on it. How many times do I say that and it just doesn't happen? I have no excuse. Just pardon this post for having a million pictures and events included.

What have we been up to lately?

Well, last weekend my friend Tom came in town to visit and a bunch of us went to St. John's college for the annual croquet tournament. Did I watch one second of the tournament? No. I was there just to be with friends. Harper had a great time, but boy is it hard to handle a toddler at events like this. She visited with everyone, went on a 30 minute adventure with Gen, and loved on her new friend Ryder.
THEN, we are definitely moving into a new house. This is a picture of the front of it. I'm going to try and go there tomorrow and take measurements and get pictures. It is a beautiful home and I'm so excited. We're moving 3 weeks from the contract date-which means two weeks from tomorrow! It is crazy to even think about since we've been looking for a year now.

I think that the kitchen is my favorite part. The house is just perfect for us and I can't wait to move in!

No other big news going on. I'm just having a blast with Harper this Spring. I'm giving her a little bit more freedom around the house, and I can tell she enjoys it. She looks at me like, "Can I do this?" and then goes for it.


Here's what she's up to at 14 months:
  • steps down and out of the front door now whenever we leave (instead of me holding her)
  • says, "night-night" after I say it and goes to her bedroom door for bed time
  • uses her spoon to eat the last few bites out of her morning yogurt cup-this is messy, but necessary for her to grow
  • brushes her own hair and teeth. I say, "brush your hair" and she does it with a big grin on her face.
  • "folds" clothes with me
  • brings me books and backs into my lap for reading time
  • with a big grin, hands me her blanket and pacifier when I go in to get her up from bed
  • drinks a ton of milk and water; she just graduated to the no-handle sippy cup
  • loves broccoli and pears
  • loves Georgia (and thus feeds her broccoli and pears)
  • sat for the first time last week to watch 20 minutes of Toy Story (she's not into TV)
  • goes to Gymboree every week and loves the tunnels, music, and her teacher Amy
  • gives kisses (sparingly), and makes kissing sounds every time I say, "I love you"
  • looks for her daddy when Georgia barks at the door
  • looks for her daddy when he's on the speaker phone
  • looks for her daddy when I get her up in the morning
  • um, loves her daddyy
  • sings to herself
  • loves to go outside to play and throws a fit when I bring her back in
  • kicks the soccer ball
She really is so sweet and happy. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Friday, April 16, 2010

something the teacher will love-pottery from the class

Isn't this a sweet little gift?

Whoo! Time for Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life!
Take it from a former, no off-duty, teacher that any gift will make a teacher's day. I've received everything from home-baked dinners during tough times to a Colts key chain, and all made me so happy. I taught teenagers and I think it took a lot of guts for many of them to bring their teacher a gift.

With that said, I will share my FAVORITE teacher gift idea ever. It really works best for an elementary school teacher, or one who has a single class. It is a personalized platter from the whole class.

STEP 1: Go to a local paint-your-own pottery place, like our Annapolis Clay Bakers, and talk to the store about purchasing a large serving platter or bowl. Explain that you'd also like to take some glaze (aka paint) and brushes to borrow and that you'll bring everything back to the store, including the platter to be fired. They will gladly accommodate you. You can buy it yourself, or have everyone pitch in about 3 dollars if possible.

STEP 2: Speak with an assistant principal or department chair and ask them to "steal" away the teacher at a convenient time so that you can sneak in for your surprise.

STEP 3: Take the paint and platter to the school and have the students do one or more of the following (or use your imagination and think of some other options)
-Layer different color handprints all over the platter and then artfully write each student's name on his/her handprint.
-Ask students sign their names all over the platter (great for the grade when they learn cursive)
-For a smaller class, use the paint and handprints to create a "bouquet" coming out of a vase on the platter
-Ask students draw a stick figure of themselves in a circle around the platter or bowl (see picture)
-Write the teacher's favorite saying at the bottom of the platter
-Write, "Thank you Mrs. Adams! Love, your 2010 Kindergarten Class"

STEP 4: Have the piece fired back at the pottery store and wait about a week to get it back.

STEP 5: Deliver it to the teacher in a pretty package (because yes, the wrapping does make a present all the more special).

This will be a great present! He or she will either put it in a special place and admire it for years, or be like me and actually use it with family and friends. Even if the kids mess up, it is still cute because it is sooo what a teacher is used to, right? Even better-we'll call it "character." Think of the fond memories it will bring back for the teacher and the thought that went into it. Plus, the kids will have a blast creating it. Much better than a Bath and Body Works gift set, right? (no offense-I love B and B; I'm just sayin')

Have fun; if you do this, I'd love to see pictures!

I'm posting at Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life. Go on over to see more teacher gift ideas:

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Friday, April 9, 2010

those sunshine days...


Harper dancing with Sunny and the singing cowboy

Ah, Spring is in the air...literally. Poor Harper has BIG TIME allergies and developed two ear infections. She just started screaming one afternoon, out of the blue, and wouldn't stop for an hour. So, I took her straight to the doctor and lo and behold had to make a pit stop at the pharmacy on the way home. We had a rough start to the week, but she's doing much better now.

Spring came on so quickly. All of the trees and flowers popped this week-along with the thermometer. It got up to 93 degrees this week. YIKES. I'm glad to see warmer weather, but that scares me a little about summer. Last night's rain certainly cooled things down and washed most of the pollen out of the air.

This is Harper gettin' down

Harper's had fun with her BFF, Sunny. What a little cutie-pie. They're 3 days apart and are so fun to watch interact. We meet up to see this singing cowboy once a month and the girls have a good time. He is really nice and has some endearing songs. It is sad, but I know all of the songs by heart...like, "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" and "He's a Daddy...He's a Daddy Long Legs," and "Pretty Soon, You'll Be a Walking Dictionary" (my personal favorite). So, we dance and sing and Sunny's mom and I chase the girls all over the mall. Sometimes they'd rather shop than listen to the singing cowboy. Like, "come on mom, that's kids' stuff." Harper and Sunny are little dancers, though, and they crack us up all of the time. After the singing cowboy show, we went to lunch and Harper finally ate macaroni and cheese! Yeah! Every time she took a bite, we'd all clap and say, "yeah." I'm sure everyone thought we were nutso. Gee, what a milestone. She loves peas and broccoli (I can never remember how man c's and l's go into that word) and here I am cheering about her eating macaroni and cheese. Too funny.

The rest of the week, we played and looked at houses and played some more. Daddy brought Harper toys, of course, and broke down and purchased the toddler car seat. It is nice, but I'm not sure we're ready to actually put her in it. ??? Hm, then why did we buy it? I don't know-please ask my husband who brought it home the other night. Good grief, she is going to be spoiled rotten by that daddy of hers.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Parents' Visit and the Zoo




A million years ago...well, really just 3 weeks ago (but still), my parents came to visit. The last time they came up was a year ago, when Harper was just 1 month old. They've seen her several times before this trip, but it's been since November that they've seen the munchkin. She's a completely different girl. We had a wonderful time together, and Harper loves her grandparents. One night, my mom was supposed to be putting Harper to bed, and I'm in the kitchen listening to the two of them laughing at each other. I was upset, but at the same time know how easy it is to succumb to that big smile.

We had the opportunity to go to Mount Vernon, the zoo, and Kinder Farm in this one trip. My parents loved seeing Washington's home, and Harper got to try out her new Kelty Kids backpack. It was a good thing, because it rained/misted the whole time we were there. Harper was snug as a bug in her backpack! What a nice investment. We'll start taking her on hikes now this summer.

I never get tired of going to the Smithsonian, the monuments, and places like Mount Vernon. We've spent a lot of time in these places over the past 5 years, and I learn something new every time. Harper had so much fun at the zoo! It was her first trip to the zoo ever, and I couldn't believe how GOOD she was the whole time. I'm so proud of her. Here's my dad showing her the monkeys.
Brian filming, and Harper and I looking at the lions. Whenever I say, "lion," she roars! I think I've read Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear? to her a million times-hence the roaring.

On our last day, we went to Kinder Farm Park, but those pictures are still...in storage. I've GOT to get over there! Anyway, Harper got to feed and pet the sheep and goats. They'd had beautiful little babies, and Harper was sweet to them.

I'll be seeing my parents again very soon, and I can't wait to spend more time with them. It is hard being so far away, but Harper takes no time at all to warm up to them every time. We love you!

one year ago...

swaddled with grandma

soothed to sleep by grandpa

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter 2010




We had the best day today. Last year, sweet Harper had her first cold, so we were stuck at home. This year was completely different, and was one of the best days we've had with her. The weather was beautiful, she looked adorable in her Easter outfit (if I do say so myself), and the reason behind this holiday meant the most.
We had a nice dinner with Alec, Adam, and their daughter Sunny, an Easter egg hunt with puffs-filled eggs for the girls, yummy brunch after church, and just an overwhelmingly peaceful day. Harper was so good, and I think really enjoyed Easter for the first time.

A nice woman took our picture outside of church today.

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, but we're passing on the festival this year. I think it may be a little too much for Harper with the tourists.

Here's sweet Harper Skyping with her Mimi and Pop. She loves this!



Here are the girls at their Easter egg hunt in the front yard. Ha! They would pick up an egg, eat the puff inside, and then throw it down. Harper started off by putting them into the basket, but once she realized the prize inside, she just threw them down. She and Sunny had a great time, and they are such sweet friends.


Harper's Mimi and I went and picked out a baby Bible for her back in February and decided to save it for her for today. She opened it after church and then she and I enjoyed reading it tonight after her bath.
The church was PACKED this morning-people were standing everywhere in the back, outside, and all back in the lobby. I know it is kind of sad that church isn't always so full, but it still made my heart sing to see so many people sharing Christ's blessing. We have so much to be thankful for-and I'm thankful every day for my family and our warm home and food (though I need to really remember this more often)- but I am most thankful for the peace that I have waiting for me at the end of this life. It makes my world all the more beautiful.



So, that was our day. How was your Easter?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

baskets


Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner


This week's "Show Us Your Life" topic is organization tips. Um, I am NOT organized. The best advice I can give is to use baskets and bins to cut down on clutter. I really don't like to have things just laying around. I've never kept things out on my bathroom counter-the clutter annoys me. I've never kept things out on my kitchen counter either. But, I am really not an organized person. Open any drawer in my house and you'll see what I mean.

Here are some not so creative ways I use baskets:

For towels in the bathroom (this looks better when they're rolled, but we don't have room in this bathroom)




For papers and such in my desk space



For toys (duh, right?)-these were from Target and cost me only $15 each! I can't find them anymore, though.




And, for the laundry room or linen closet. I'm always frustrated with my linen closet because it seems I can never get those fitted sheets to stay folded, or for my husband to not pull a towel out without disrupting all of the ones around it. So, I broke down and bought baskets for the laundry/linen space and here are the before and after pictures.


Oh my goodness, that is really embarrassing. In my defense, I was in the midst of cleaning this, so it isn't usually this bad.
Here's the after phot0-much much better, right. at least it is a start. I'm going to add one of these projects a week and do it every Thursday until I'm more organized. Next up is the kitchen cabinet under the sink. My word, it is full of junk.

I almost forgot...there's one MORE! I have to credit my daughter for coming up with this one-I would have never thought of it myself. You can also use baskets to store little munchkins.
Harper is obsessed with sitting in the blanket basket in our living room. She will climb in and sit her little self down and play with a toy-for like 30 minutes! As long as she's doing things safely, I'm just going to let her get it out of her system-this climbing thing. She is stubborn like her momma, so fighting her on it won't help.

So, what about you? Do you have an organization tip for me? A secret or trick that you use around the house? Please share.