Week in My Life: Thursday

Compared to Wednesday our Thursday was a veritable walk in the park. Or Halloween walk down the block as it were…

We started out a bit later than normal. Neither of the girls was up until well after 8. Guess we were all exhausted from the day before.

So instead of rushing around and getting dressed all of us stayed in our jammies and went downstairs for some cartoons and cereal and applesauce. Izzie Bizzie loves applesauce.

Somehow Cedella managed to sneak the iPad out from it’s hiding place so she could watch Diego while I was watching the Today show.

And somehow Izzie managed to crawl around the ottoman across the room to the piano. Cause she LOVES that little red piano.

Around 11 she finally went down for a nap, Daniel Tiger was on PBS and I worked on our Halloween costumes again because they had to be done for that evening’s Great Pumpkin Walk in East Lansing.

Me and my Singer. So glad I busted out my sewing machine, it’s just like riding a bike. And now I’m inspired to make all manner of Pinterest projects and adorable children’s clothes. Look out Etsy…here I come!

After a really chilled out morning it was finally time to put on a bra because we had company coming over to cook us lunch. What a treat, huh?

My dear friend Lucy and her mother Kathy stopped by with arm loads of groceries to make a hearty home-cooked lunch for all of us girls.

Kathy was in town visiting from Arizona and we’ve never met so it was lovely to spend the day with her. Izzie took a special shine to her because Kathy kept giving her delicious carrots to eat. She loved her carrots so much she fell right asleep when she was full. In her highchair.

And because like most mothers and daughters they don’t have very many pictures together I took a few of them in front of the fire maple in our yard. Aren’t they the cutest?

Lucy and I even managed to talk Kathy into taking a picture of us. I love that girl :)

By the time the left we had a scant 40 minutes to get ready for the Great Pumpkin walk and a date night for me and Michael:

1. Finish sewing the costumes.

2. Pack Cedella’s overnight bag.

3. Pack Izzie’s jammies, diapers, bottles and milk.

4. Pack shoes, makeup, purse and accessories for me.

5. Take stroller out of the car in exchange for the wagon.

6. Find Halloween candy buckets.

7. Get everything in the car.

Somehow I managed to get it all done in about 50 minutes. And I finally got in the car realizing I wasn’t going to be too late and pulled down the street only to realize I had forgotten the bottles and milk at the house. DATE NIGHT FAIL.

After consulting Michael we decided that if we needed to we’d go back for the milk later that night.

As we arrived at Spartan Spirits to unload the car all our friends were there too. Gotta love seeing all your grown friends and their babies all dressed up and into the Halloween spirit. Well, most of them anyways. Why is it that Dad’s are so immune to the Halloween spirit? Boring…

And then it happened. Cedella and Anna saw each other. And I thought Cedella might die. Anna dressed as Kermit the Frog (with a super sweet homemade costume thanks to her Meema. Nice work Janet!!) which is only Ella’s favorite Muppet ever! They were so stinking cute. As usual.

Then we got our Great Pumpkin Walk on. It’s one of my favorite family events of the year, if not for the people watching and general silliness but because we always run into a bunch of people we know and it’s a great time to socialize.

Here’s me and Leslie and our brood on MAC walking towards the MSU Greek society’s Safe Halloween party. And yes, that’s a Mama Juice in my hand. When in Rome, right? How cute are the girls holding hands?

So Cedella is obviously a Chicken. But who can guess what my costume is?

All the sororities and frats have tables in front of their houses with candy or drinks or cookies or facepainting. And there’s a dozen bounce houses, a super loud DJ spinning Michael Jackson and (for the Dads) hundreds of scantily clad co-eds. And crowds.

We even got to pet a police horse named Red.

It was literally 70 degrees and I was wearing Isora AND fifteen layers of polar fleece but it was still a blast!

Cedella found a new passion for Sour Patch Kids. Her face cracks me up.

And Michael, good sport that he is, dressed as a farmer and pulled the wagon most of the night. Thanks Handsome :)

Anna and Ella got adventurous in the bounce houses.

And Andy Warhol Jr. borrowed Farmer Eyebrowz hat for a while.

How cute are these costumes?

After the Pumpkin Walk fun we headed over to Georgio’s pizza and literally ran into everyone we know. It was awesome seeing Kelle and the Vicknair kiddos. Addi, Evan and Junebug always have the coolest homemade costumes. Bravo to Kelle for their awesomeness every year.

And Anna finally got some facetime with her newest obsession…Isora. She loves our baby so much. It’s adorable.

And Leslie and I got a picture, much like last year’s, with one major difference. Now both of our peanuts are on the outside. Her little Amelia was sleeping the whole time so it was hard to remember that she was there. But her little Joey kangaroo hat? Priceless.

After pizza we brought the girls over to Teta and Jiddo’s house so that Michael and I could go out for a friend’s birthday.

We rushed over to Beggar’s Banquet and got there just in time to meet some new friends and enjoy a few excellent beers. They even had my fall favorite Southern Tier’s Pumking and I just about died and went to heaven…

My sassy date night outfit…

Me and my Handsome…

Around 11:30 we started to make our way to the door but it was clear that some rides home were going to be necessary. For our friends folks, not for us. So Michael agreed to take the Birthday Boy home and I went to pick up Isora from her grandparents house.

After some shenanigans we realized that the keys to Michael’s car were in my car, so I had to double back to the store to drop them off. After doing a bit of mothering for our sick friend I got back in the car, stopped at BK on the way home, put the baby back to sleep and called it a night.

It was fun getting out, and considering how great both girls were, we will be doing it again very very soon. So thankful for my inlaws living so close and being so incredible with the girls.

That was our Thursday. And that was a slow day. WHEW. I’m tired just writing it all done.

How was your Thursday? Can’t wait to read all about them…Check out Adventuroo for more Week in My Life goodness.

Adventuroo

 

Project Dining Room: The Chairs

Welcome back to Project Dining Room!! When we last left off I had just finished painting a thrifted pedestal table for our dining room. It’s turquoise blue. My favorite color.

But with the gorgeous pop of color in the middle of our dining room the dirty trashed hideous sad chairs needed an update.

After the Great House Flood of 2011 we picked up a sweet midcentury dining set for $150 on Craigslist. It was love at first sight with these chairs (not so much with the table).

The only problem? They were covered in god-awful burgundy polyester. And polyester? Not kid-friendly. They were stained up the second we brought them into the house.

Then while up on vacation in Oscoda earlier in the summer I found these lovely little armchairs at our thrift shop.$35 total. They’re sturdier and comfy and provide a nice contrast to the straight-lined midcentury chairs. But they were covered in hideous gold fabric. In desperate need of a makeover!!

So one day, while casually chatting, we picked some upholstery fabric via committee on Facebook. We being me, Mom and Tracey. Making decisions via Facebook happens to work great for us.

From many many many exhaustive hours of watching HGTV research, I knew that indoor/outdoor upholstery fabric was what we needed. Particularly one that said “NO Drycleaning”. Cause at this point in our lives we don’t buy anything that requires dry cleaning.

All told it took about 20 minutes to pick out and order 4 yds of fabric from Fabric.com. Grand total? $36.

Once the fabric came we had an excuse to finally use the staple gun that’s been collecting dust in Mom’s garage for a while now. And on a Sunday afternoon visit, I put the whole family to work.

First things first, Michael was in charge of taking off the seat covers.

While he did that Mom washed down the chairs.

And Tre and I removed the one million staples holding several layers of yucky old fabric on. (*Side note: Try to pick up all the old rusty staples off the floor before you step on them or your baby puts one in her mouth. Cause tetanus is gross.)

Next, we used one of the discarded pieces of fabric as a pattern to cut out all the new chair covers. We had 4 yards of fabric for 6 chairs and still had plenty leftover in case there are any major stains or whatnot.

Then we put the fabric down, put the seat on top of it and stapled. It would be silly for me to try and describe our technique for this cause we really didn’t have one. We definitely stapled the sides down first, cause they’re straight and easy.

The corners and curves were a serious pain in the ass, and required pulling the fabric tight across the seat and making all these little folds to get it flat. And about another million staples holds all the little folds together.

Then you pop the seats back on. And curse yourself (and maybe your husband a little bit) when two of the 24 screws turn up missing.

And voila. Freshly upholstered dining room chairs.

Turns out, that reupholstering chairs? Isn’t so bad. 6 totally fresh and updated chairs for a grand total of $66 and some sweat equity. Not bad at all…

Next up on Project Dining Room? Styling. Cause without style, it’s just a table and chairs. Styling gives the room it’s own unique personality. Can’t wait to show you what we did there. Pinterest (and Tracey) to the rescue yet again.

Also, I just wanted to give a special shout-out to one of my biggest fans, Mrs. Gartin. Thanks for reading every single post and for being my very first and most dedicated subscriber. Sorry this took so long, as I know you were super curious as to how it all turned out. Hope it lived up to all that anticipation :)

 

 

 

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: The Olympics

This year’s Summer Olympic Games have been truly an event in our household. There’s something so incredibly riveting about the games, and honestly if we’re at home the TV is on NBC (though this is honestly the first time in years that I’ve wished we had cable so we could watch more events live).

The drama of the competition. The inspiration of all the individual stories. The perseverance and tenacity of all of these athletes at the peak of their form trying to bring honor and glory to their country. What’s not to love?

To me the Olympic are such a brilliant way to learn about different countries and cultures. And this year’s Opening Ceremonies were a perfect example.
How incredibly English were they? Very.

In honor of the games we had some delicious diner food from a favorite local spot, appropriately named Olympic Broil.

Cedella stayed up for the entire program, even every second of the Parade of Nations. The P of N is my absolute favorite part of the Opening Ceremony. I love seeing all the different team uniforms and costumes. How incredible for some of these tiny nations to send a delegation to compete with the giants of the world?

I really wanted her to see the delegation from Lebanon since we were discussing that her Jiddo and Teta were going there. Sadly her patience was wearing thin and the Lebanese athletes were only on the screen for 5.2 seconds. Boo. Oh well, maybe she’ll appreciate it in another 4 years.

As a learning tool I think the Olympics ultimately serve as a way to understand competition, sportsmanship, teamwork and cooperation. While watching events like Gymnastics or Diving or Synchronized Swimming I talk with Ella about how hard these athletes work, what a team is, how beautiful and special each event is.

So far she loves Gymnasts and Diving. She keeps trying to do somersaults off of the furniture, hopefully that stops when the games are over. And when she sees the dives she smiles and says “Yay!” or “Good job!” every time someone splashes into the water. It’s adorable.

And someone is a big fan of the “fast man” Usain Bolt. Here’s my girl Bolting.

The other day we decided to make an Olympic Rings painting a la Toddler Approved’s 6 Simple Activities for Celebrating the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.

The invitation was simple. Paints in 5 Olympic colors (with brown because we didn’t have black) on a paper plate. Popsicle sticks. Toilet paper rolls. Paper.

She really enjoyed using the rolls at first.

But this child is tactile by nature.

She was born to finger paint.

Or whole body paint as the case may be.

The painting turned out great and will hang until the Games are over, like our very own Olympic flag.

My little Olympic Torch.

We are going to work on a few more projects this weekend and I may even get a bit more ambitious and plan a mini-Games for our friends coming to visit us Friday night, with medals and everything! What in the world did we do to be creative before Pinterest?

Why do the Olympics matter to your family? How did you celebrate the Olympics with your kids? Have any toddler activities to share?

Thanks for reading and have a happy W Wednesday!!