Monday, November 19, 2012

we've had a little work done

So we've done some work around our house and i thought i'd share- so, here goes:
I really love when houses have a gallery wall, so i was determined to have one in our home.  we thought the wall at the middle landing of our stairs would be perfect!  i ordered some frames from etsy, selected the photos, picked up an oversized ampersand at target and had justin hang everything up, which looked like this:
i finally had my gallery wall... and i hated it!  things were too small, the colors weren't right and the spacing was really getting under my skin every time i walked by.  then the twins with their raucous behavior broke the glass on like all but two of the frames (and no they weren't within their grasp, be creative, you might figure out how they did it.)  after moping around i had justin take it all down.  i stewed over it all for a while- like a couple months, and finally, after i decided a new color palette, we shopped our house, picked up some spray paint and this was the new gallery wall:
i love it!  but it is a horrible picture.  obviously since the stairs split, i can't get a straight on pic, so this will have to do.  anyway, i love seeing the pictures on my way upstairs and thankfully, they twins haven't broken any glass yet (i'd say knock on wood, but i think i'd need more of a "sledgehammer on wood" to keep us safe.)
our next project was our backpack zone.  which consisted of jackets, backpacks, shoes and socks landing here (the side of our kitchen in the breakfast nook):
okay, i took the pic while everyone was at school.  and that little basket on the floor is for shoes and socks, its been zoo helpful!  anywho, i picked up some numbered hooks from hobby lobby (intended for the kids bathroom) and i thought they'd be more helpful here:
 it so much less chaotic now!!  i really don't enjoy the fighting over who gets to hang their backpack on number one, but at least it's clean, and it makes our school days run a little smoother.

 also, we were having a bit of a grumpy problem in the mornings before school (and after too, but the morning was more consistent) so i thought i'd make a couple signs to help subliminally encourage a better attitude, first up, enjoy the ride:
and across on the other wall is, it's a good day for a good day:
and i can't help but show the sign brody made.  he thinks the whole diurnal/nocturnal thing is really cool, so i simply told him that grumpy's were nocturnal, therefore he shouldn't be grumpy during daylight hours.  i kid you not, it totally worked!!  this sign is his reminder:

now from kitchen to dining room.  this has been our dining room since we moved in (about a year and a half ago)
 we've been saving to buy a formal table, ok a specific table i've had my eye on for at least four years.  so we ordered the table, and painted an accent wall.
 then we ordered a rug and i somehow convinced justin to stencil trees on our wall.  it was a true testament of his love!  those nimble dentist hands went to work and never looked back!  i love how it turned out- i tell you, my man's got some mad skills!
 we ordered a bench for our table and it sits in the little cove along the stairway.  you can also get maybe a better glance at the gallery wall up the stairs.
the trees were actually done using craft paint, which the stencil company said worked best.  i love walking by our dining room.  and as an added bonus, i don't have to hear anymore people mention my empty dining room whenever they enter the front door.

and as for some less dramatic projects, i made this wreath for our entry way (across from the table) for the month of november:
i totally stole the idea from here, but made colors to match our house.
and this was our halloween wreath:

(no spiders were hurt in the construction or display of this wreath.)

anywho, that's the work we've been doing at home.  i tell ya, having kids at preschool twice a week can really help a girl get some things done!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

the catch

what is it about parenting in that there's always a catch?  i feel like my kids will act like monsters to get my attention, however their current behavior makes me want to banish them away to time out.  or the time you most need to practice patience is the moment you're about to loose it.  and how come kids respond with "you don't have to yell" when you resorted to yelling after several nonresponces to polite asking?  and why is putting kids to bed such hard work when i'm so close to having a quiet house for the night?  ahhh, parenting... far from the smooth ride one assumes it'll be before that first "little one" arrives.  sometimes it amazes me how such tiny little newborns (under 6 pounds for the twiners) who barely fill out a premie onesie, have the to power to turn the life of a grown adult into a complete whirlwind?  how is it that having one little baby started me on a path of desiring to fill all that little one's needs before my own- telling myself i can get to my stuff in minutes, weeks, years from now?  i'll tell you how; parenting is tricky.  it's complicated and exhausting and it's certainly messy.  there's battles over what's served for meals, who gets what seat in the car, who had what toy first, who gets to flush the toilet and my recently loathed: who was first?  who was dressed first?  who was first to the car?  i want to go to the bathroom first, i want to be first to pick a movie, and first to pick a snack.  sometimes- well often- i feel i'm losing all sanity.  it can easily be less complicated to step back and see this:
these guys are a whopping 5 and 3 years old.  their job is to play.  they're supposed to make messes- like big ones.  they need to run and jump, laugh out loud and squeal with joy.  they have freedom from life responsibilities and should only have demands like putting shoes away and remembering to brush both their top and bottom teeth.  they're little enough to think that camping in a tent (in our toy room) is pretty much a magical adventure.  they think dragons are real and hope to run into a real t rex whenever we're at the science museum.  they think lego building really looks like stuff from real life.  they believe pretend food really can fill them up and they giggle while hiding behind a chair, and sincerely believe i don't know they're there.  they're young enough to believe locking our doors keeps out actual monsters at night and that justin can literally turn into a steam roller and flatten them if they don't jump out of the way quick enough.  it. is. amazing. they believe that all dreams can be achieved, anything is possible and a kiss from me can magically take pain away.  childhood is a beautiful thing.
the truth is i can loose my patience when i need it most, repeated requests can get yelled, and giving a child one on one "face time" can be a rather large challenge.  i think the true catch in parenting is stepping back.  oh how tricky this simply thing is to do!!  realizing the boys are five and three make days run a lot smoother, and a heck of a lot happier- sanity even seems to be within my grasp.  i know my kids respond best when i don't try to parent "above their age."  that can be hard, sometimes i do expect to much of my kids.  not surprisingly when i remember who my kids are, their strengths and weaknesses, can help anticipate fights and conflict before it happens.  do or can i parent perfectly?  oh heaven's no, i'm pretty sure i figured that out the day i brought brody home from the hospital!  but realizing one of the parenting "catches" certainly helps me.
the serious work of play.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

viking pics

the boys love the movie "how to train your dragon" and when we found out there's a show of it on cartoon network, we were super excited!  thus, vikings seemed like a logical choice for halloween costumes.  i knew i wanted something wooly and i used this costume as a reference.  we usually take pics right before we go trick or treating, but we have a little "wooded" area nearby which would be cute with their costumes this year, so we dressed them up and let them loose!  here's a picture overload:
brody, crew and kade
 kade, crew and brody
 kade and brody
 all the vikings
 kade and crew
I'm so glad we took pictures out in the trees, it was hilarious to watch these little vikings running through the trees!!  not to mention the curious stares of people driving by!  now when we drive by this little hill we're always on the lookout for vikings!  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

radiator springs

our boys love pixar movies, like LOVE them!  when we heard that california adventure at disneyland was opening a "cars land" we were super excited!  we decided to do a day at california adventure since the rides and characters there are right up the boys' alley.  instead of telling them where we were going we simply told them that "while in california, we'll try to find radiator springs."  that definitely got the excitement going.  so monday morning we started out "search" which was fun because a lot of the billboards on the way to disneyland have lightning mcqueen on them!  finally, with park map in tow, we found this:

 the set up was soo cute!  the boys loved seeing all the places from the movie!  halfway through the town we spotted this guy:
he revs his engine and says ku-chow!  the boys thought he was awesome, and talking to them personally!  justin and i jumped in the shot too, i mean hello- it's lightning mcqueen!  we have all his lines memorized (and everyone else's in the movie!)
after our stroll through town we headed over to bugs life, which i had the boys watch the day before.  kade was really excited to see hopper- the boy loves his grasshoppers!
 we watched the little bug movie, which delighted the boys and creeped out all the girls, especially the ending!  we rode some rides like heimlich's lunch train:
 bug bumper cars
take-out box spin (kade)
 we ventured to some other areas for monsters inc., and the little mermaid.  we went back to cars land and saw some familiar faces:
 and mater, who yelled "dad gum!" while going by
 we did a little tractor tipping:
shauna and alyssa

 justin and crew
we also did the talking with crush show, and "bodacious brody" was selected by crush to talk to him, which then meant that i had to talk to crush as well, it was so cute!  we watched the pixar parade and the twins we're so excited to see everyone, that might have been the highlight of their day!  afterward we headed over to the toy story area- i love the toy story ride! 
 brody, grandma diane, crew and shauna
 kade and grandpa clarke
after the carousel they brought buzz lightyear out near by, which i honestly thought would be a good idea to see.  as you can notice, kade was not on board for this.
 i am confused as to why he cried with buzz lightyear, but was more than excited to touch and pose with hopper?  funny kid.  later we took brody on soaring over california and he was just in awe of the whole thing!  the whole ride he had that excited disbelief face on, it was so magical to watch, i loved it!  we spent a few more hours playing, but eventually the boys (and mom) were too tuckered out, and needed to head home.  our last stop was a toy store so each kid could pick out an action figure- as in a singular toy, however this is what crew decided on:
 can you see how exhausted he is?  poor little guy!  we did settle on the action figures (two zurg's for crewkade and a woody for brody.)  
it was a great day and so fun to watch the boys get so excited over the magic of disneyland!  i think they'll be talking about the day we found radiator springs for quite a while!


we booked out flights to come out for katelin's wedding months ago, and "finally" the day was here to fly to california.  at the airport the pilot saw our boys playing around and offered to show them the cockpit once we got on the plane.  talk about starting the trip off on a great foot!  here's the pilot showing them the cockpit:
 and then giving up his seat for brody
 then crew
 kade was a little shy, and joined me back in our seats, but crew and brody were really pumped about sitting in the cockpit!  the next day was katelin and matt's wedding:
 of course the newlywed kiss shot:
 we didn't bring the camera out too much, it gets a little crazy with the boys, but justin and i did snag a quick shot of us together that day:
 the boys:
 the next day we went to the beach for a bit, and crew grew a 5 o'clock shadow while playing:
 a little digging:
 another day we went swimming at shauna's- actually i say we, but it was just justin and the boys in the water, just a little too chilly for me!
 playing with uncle ryan
 we watched katlein and matt open their presents, crew and kade got all dressed up for the event:
 our flight home, which i was really hoping the boys would sleep for- they didn't.  but our flights this trip were much improved from our trip back in april, so i'm guessing about ten trips from now our boys should be a breeze on plane rides!
we enjoyed our trip and loved being able to see lots of family on both sides!