Tuesday, April 26, 2011

There Is A Good Reason You Pay Someone Else To Do This

Sunday before church we attempted to take a few family shots of us in our Easter-wear. We knew it wouldn't happen after church so we were in a bit of a hurry. What a disaster. We got a few good shots, and I wasn't going for a professional picture... just a nicer than average candid to prove that we are actually a family. Things I didn't account for, or Things That Will Make Your Family Pictures Look Super Home Made.

1-Crooked pictures, sippy cups and too-short skirts. Clayton informed me that I was flashing the world in my dress, (I normally wear it with leggings, so I didn't even think about it) so I had to change again before church. FYI- we were not on time.
Being super late to church due to my hormonal fits about pictures and outfits= Religion fail.
2-Forgot to take off my glasses for all of the indoor ones which cast big shadows on my face. Dumb dress was wrinkly anyways, something I didn't notice until I saw it in pictures. I edited it a touch to make it look smoother here.
3- Pregnancy adds about 10 pounds to my face, 5 going to right around my eyes. This isn't exactly something I can prevent, but you'd better believe I edited the crap out of this picture.
4- Every shot of Clayton and Eleanor will look adorable and perfect.
5- But let's be honest, it's how mom looks in the shot that depends on whether it sees the light of day or not. Were there cuter ones of Eleanor? By far. Luckily she gets thousands of cute pictures on here, so I can sacrifice a few for my vanity.
6- While taking off your glasses may make you look better in the shot, it might affect how in focus your self-timed shots are. Oh, and cute as she is, Eleanor was done, done, done by this point in our little project. That can be tip #7- You have 6 maybe 8 good minutes to get a two year old to participate. After that it is just child abuse.
Letting her play made it all better.
And was sooo worth it for this adorable shot.
8- The cutest shot will be cluttered with backyard mess because it's the only one that wasn't staged. Alas.
We had a very nice Easter despite my harried beginnings. We had some wonderful friends over for an Easter feast (A freaking feast I tell you!) and the day before our neighborhood sponsored a huge egg-hunt for the whole ward that went really well. I will post pictures of that next.

Friday, April 22, 2011

We Are NOT Potty Training!

I decided about a month or so ago that I wouldn't bother trying to potty train Eleanor until at least the fall, even though she is showing a bunch of the "signs" that she is ready for it. Originally I thought I should get her done before the baby comes in June. But then wiser mothers reminded me of all the reasons it might not "take". Baby coming and upsetting her entire universe, lots of days spent outdoors in swimsuits, possible traveling or weeks spent away from home etc... So I happily made the decision to wait, even though Eleanor is fascinated by all things bathroom-related. It started getting bad. About three times a day she wanted to "Doh potty." So I would hoist her onto the toilet and have to squat there holding her in place so she didn't fall in or off. In my gigantic, awkward state, this was getting harder and harder. Especially when she never once produced so much as a drop. So I bought her a little potty chair, figuring that she could at least do her pretending without me breaking my back.

Um, yeah. She doesn't quite get it.
Like, at all. Which makes me feel good about our decision to wait.
What does she get? That the seat has three magical parts that are endlessly fun to take apart and reassemble all over the house. I keep forgetting that I should be embarrassed when company finds part of the little chair somewhere it shouldn't be. Like on the dining table. I forget not everyone knows that tiny naked bums have never graced the seat. And hopefully wont until October or later. Until then we can just continue putting her pajamas on backwards to keep her from stripping nude every time she "goes" at night. We were waking up far too often to re-diaper her naked little heinie a few times each night. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Early Park Day

A few weeks ago while still in winter's icy clutches, we had a brief spell of lovely weather. I think it lasted a day and a half. Some friends decided to head to the park so our little ones could get some cabin-fever-wiggles out. Although there was still a bit of snow on the ground, the play equipment was clear and the sun felt fantastic.

It was fun to see little E braving parts of the slides and climbing areas that she was too little to handle just a few months ago. Here is Leah and Eleanor after taking a mini "hike" to the edge of the wooded section. I told them to stop so I could take their picture, so Leah stops and plops down in the snow. Whoops.
Of course Eleanor joins right in.
We try to ignore the swings as long as we can since once she realizes they are there, that is all she wants to do.
They were so cute together. They had so much fun.
Look at that face. It lasts the entire time she is in motion. You are all welcome to come visit and take her to the swings every day if you'd like. Room & board are covered, airfare, not so much.
Here is a snippet of the girls swinging. Oh, and Michael wants to swing.

And here is the rest of the gang once we stopped to have lunch. I think I took twenty shots to try and get everyone looking at me and smiling. Never happened.
This one is a touch better. Eleanor discovered pudding snacks this day, as she found Grant's and just started in on it. Thanks Angela.
As is usual in Michigan, we later ran into another group of moms and kids from our ward, so the party got bigger and better. After the hideous doldrums of February, the second the sun shines we all run out doors. This was in mid-March. It's now April 12th and we are enjoying the sun with a bit more regularity. We've already grilled a dozen times outside and this past Sunday it reached a crazy high of 83 degrees! Sadly, I was dying indoors of the heat. Good thing I am delivering in June, I don't think I could make it the whole summer.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Outback & St. Patrick's Day

Pretty random stuff here. Just a few shots I wanted to keep track of. Sorry if the blog is getting a bit boring of late. That said...
We finally used up our Christmas certificate to Outback a few weeks ago. We try to hang on as long as we can before using them up. Eleanor actually tried the Rye bread at the table. Once she had a taste she kept picking at it from the top.
It's good stuff. Wish I could buy loaves of that from the store.
E and daddy.E and mommy. Sadly this is the most flattering (of me) out of a few different shots. We were enjoying cheesecake at the end of our meal, and I was apparently REALLY enjoying it. Not so flattering. Eating out at a sit-down place is still hard with Eleanor. There are only so many crayons...
And here are two shots from St. Patrick's Day. I did her hair up all cute in a green ribbon.
Which she promptly took out, but do you see her cute boots? I love them. Sadly they will fit her all of another three days if we are lucky.
So I make her wear them a lot.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Thank You Grandma Judy!

FYI- this is just for Grandma Judy. This is Eleanor opening a little present that my mom sent her. I just wanted my folks to see her opening it so we put it on here. Fair warning- it's about three minutes long and has no screaming monkeys. So everyone else, feel free to ignore it.

Eleanor's Apron

My mom sent Eleanor this cute little apron a few weeks back and she insists on wearing it almost every day. It's perfect since she has a new full-time job washing the dishes and making "tootteez" or "batin". (Cookies or bacon.)
She often wants it to be the only thing she wears.
See, it has pockets to hold the brush to comb Woody's hair.
And is pretty much the most adorable thing ever.
Here is a little snippet of her at work. And giving shout outs to uncle Adam.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Side Table Before & After

When we first moved to Michigan I found these two side tables at a magical yard sale. You know, one of those where you wished you owned a truck and think back on it over and over again? Yeah- it was amazing. Bookshelves and ottomans and tables and dressers etc... All for crazy good prices. I still remember the pieces that got away. Anyhow. I got these two side tables for $5. Total, like as in $2.50 each. Yeah. Total steal.
They were pretty beat up, but who cares? Like I ever leave anything the way it is.
So about a year later I got around to sanding them. Boy did they look pretty all clean and sanded down. I almost wanted to just clear stain them, but no. I had weirder ideas at hand.
I "stained" them navy blue. Because if anything will hold still, I will paint it some shade of blue. Here are the finished pieces.
Sorry this one is kind of out of focus.
I painted the tables with navy paint left over from the foyer and then wiped them down with a watery rag, then varnished when they were dry. (Ok, so about 3 months later.) This way you can still see the grain of the wood. As you can tell in the picture above, the wood is very red naturally, so these may look a bit purple. I think the blue "staining" would work better on a pine or something lighter, but you get the idea.
And here you can see the two lamps I bought for this room. One was $7 and one was $6. The one on the floor was the first one I bought. I like it, but I love the second one- the one on the table. They totally don't go together, so the one on the table stays and the one on the floor is going to get painted and given a different home. I will show you that project once I finish it. Or start it. Lots of projects going on right now. I am building a bench for the foot of our bed, trying to find or make new bedding, just found better curtains (and returned the old ones!), a shower curtain (finally) and dozens of other odds and ends. We shall see how long this creative spurt lasts and how much I actually accomplish before little man arrives!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Downstairs Foyer Before & After

This is our downstairs landing. A tiny room with 4 doors plus two openings. It kind of feels like the room in Harry Potter that spins after you try a door. Anyhow, two of the doors had pretty bad holes in them that I tried patching with wood putty. Sadly, they ended up looking like this.
I knew I wanted to paint the room anyhow, so I thought I'd paint the doors too. I went with a bold navy blue as it's pretty much my favorite color and since I wouldn't be brave enough to try it in a larger room. Actually, that's not true. I would totally do it if I didn't have to repaint it in a year and a half. I figure this space can be repainted in under an hour or so. Here is another before shot of the space.
Small, lots of doors, you get the gist. I had already taped before I remembered to take pictures, but oh well.
And after! Navy blue, white doors and a new lampshade that looks seriously homemade (because it is) if you get too close.
A different angle.

Overall I am really pleased with it. Since I painted the large family room that it opens to all white, I like the deep color. The family room had really damaged paneling on both ends that were different shades, buckling etc... So I painted them all white to match the drywalled sides and boy is it so much better! I think I have pictures of that before, but it will be a while before I deem that room ready for "after" shots.

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