Monday, August 23, 2010

It's been a busy summer!

Sorry for being MIA, it has been a very busy summer! Here's a quick recap...

In May we went to the zoo.

In June we went on vacation with my mom and nephew. We stayed at Massanutten Resort in Virginia. We visited Monticello - plantation owned by Thomas Jefferson and Luray Caverns. Both were very interesting and lots of fun, well except the part where Ella and I were kicked out of the Monicello tour. I don't know why they asked us to leave, obviously Ella was in a very cooperative and pleasant mood. They did let me go through with another group after our tour was over.

This picture does not do Luray Caverns justice by any means. It is by far the best caves I have ever toured. If you happen to be in the area I would highly recommend it!

This picture of "Reflection Lake" sort of not really captures the beauty of the place....seriously, it was gorgeous and amazing!
In July we visited Darren's parents in Wisconsin. Here we are harvesting peas from the garden.
In August Ella and Henry made mud pies.
And we picked blueberries...

Check out all of those blueberries!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

princess pjs

Ella is very into the disney princesses lately. So, I made her a princess nightgown. I had leftover fabric so I made some pants to go with it.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

a day in March

It has been a very busy month in a hurry up and wait kind of way. It seems as though we have been dealing with a lot of sickness...nothing major but on-going where it just zaps the energy right out of you. Ella is finally on some antibiotics for an ear infection so hopefully she is back to feeling great soon (and we can be done with all the whining...please tell me the whining will stop)! In the meantime, she wants me to hold her all.the.time! She weighs 38 lbs.

This morning we made muffins for breakfast. The timer went off and I pulled them out of the oven and set them on top of the stove. I reminded her that the the pan was hot and turned to put something in the trash (do you see where this is going?)...and then I heard it...the shriek of pain. She touched the pan. (I've reread this a couple times and every time I read that last sentence it is in the voice of the fish in Finding Nemo..."he touched the butt") Her pointer finger has a lovely blister on it and we spent a good hour crying and whining and needing held.

From a parenting standpoint...I totally thought we were past this point! We have always had "safe zones" where she can stand whenever we open the oven and she has always been very careful and cautious - even when she was quite small so I was flabbergasted that she actually touched the pan, especially since I reminded her about it. I hope we learned the lesson this time!

Later we took a shower together. I gave her some new shower crayons that were a big hit. She's playing with the crayons, bar of soap, washcloth...what could go wrong? So, I'm happily washing my hair and all of a sudden I hear the shriek of pain again. Argh! What this time...her area hurts. Um, I rinse her off thinking maybe she has some soap irritation. Doesn't help but she calms down and we are done so I start to dry off...and she pees and starts shrieking. (seriously, I think I need earplugs some days). So, I turn on the water to rinse us/the tub off) and get us dried off. I'm not allowed to look or touch anything but it all hurts! We get dressed and head downstairs for lunch. (which I will make and eat while holding her)

To sum up our afternoon...we had multiple wardrobe changes and lots of shrieking. No idea what the problem was but by dinner she seemed ok.

We called Granny. I needed my Mommy and Ella needed her Granny so we talked her into coming over for the afternoon. It definitely made the day go much better!! She can live with me as far as I'm concerned. She has that special touch that just makes everything better!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More basement...

Something is missing...or rather, has been replaced! We finally decided to take the plunge into HD tv land.

We bought some wall sticker thingys for the play area. I was really worried about how hard it would be to put up and how it would look. Well, I think it turned out awesome. :) Ella saw it this morning and said "oh, it's boo-tiful!!"

Aside from ordering some photos to fit some frames and hanging those in the basement, we are done with this area. woohooo!!! Well, unless we decide to try and stain the coffee table to match the tv stand and fireplace.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Basement Update

Here is the new mirror over the fireplace. I would like it to be a little lower but the hole we are hiding is that high. The G cleft looking thing is a sculpture I bought in Ecuador and the checker board behind that is a chess set from Ecuador as well. The board is kept shut so the cats don't run off with the pieces, but we thought this would work for the display. On the right, there is a bowl that we picked up in Roantan (I think - eek!) and a vase from a local store (made in China - so can I say it is from China?). I want to get some sort of sprigs of something to put in the vase.

Here is the cut-out area. All fine artifacts from China.

Close up.

We have decided to get a new TV and TV stand as well. Eventually we will get new furniture too.
We are almost there...

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Since we bought our house we have done little to decorate. A lot of the problem is we just can't decide what to do. Well, we finally took the plunge and had our basement painted. Thanks Marla and Tim!!!

The basement serves as our family/tv room and Ella's play area. There is an electric fireplace down there (thank heavens because it is the only source of heat) and above the fireplace there is a massive hole in the wall so that we have access to our water shut-offs. The first day we moved in the cats were sticking their heads in the hole so we knew it had to be covered before one of them fell in so we put up the only picture that wasn't in a box. It is still there. I think it is way too big for the spot and want to put something else there....any ideas? A fancy mirror?

Another decorating dilemna we have is on one of the walls there is a little built in cut-out shelf thing. I don't know what you call it. You can see it in the pictures...what should we put in there? I was thinking of maybe a pretty vase with some simple flowers? Any other ideas? I worry that the cats will chew on any flowers we put there. the little troublemakers!

We have also been debating about what to do with the giant tv cabinet. I go back and forth between leaving it the way it is and tossing that and hanging a nice flat panel on the wall. But what do you do with the components and the videos? Decisions, decisions. What would you do? I think the cabinet takes up a ton of space so hanging the tv on the wall would give us another 2 feet to the room in a way.

The most annoying thing right now is that we have a dvd player, a vcr and a wii and the way it is set up right now is you can only have 1 plugged in to the tv at a time. And the plug-ins are on the back. So really, I would be happy with any set up that didn't involve messing with the electronics depending on what I want to do.

Of course, money is something to consider. We decided to only work on one room at a time so if we go all out with a new tv then it will slow down projects for the rest of the house. I would LOVE to get new furniture but we have decided to hold off on that for awhile longer. Sigh. See what I mean about making decisions? are the pictures. You look and comment with ideas...we need ideas...or better yet, come on over and decorate it for us. :)

Oh, and we are painting the stairwell to the basement the same color as the TV part of the basement....if we have leftover paint from that, we will paint the ladder to the 'clubhouse'.

ok, for real, here are the pictures.

Looking into the play area part. We need some lights in the clubhouse area...I was thinking rope lighting, any other ideas?

The tv area...see the white part...what should we put in there? guess you can't see the fireplace too well, it is on an angle and the picture is pretty much the width of the wall.
Another shot of the playroom looking the other way.
And the clubhouse...see how dark it is.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fun in the Sun, er Snow

We have had a tremendous amount of snow this year. I think it snowed for 2 weeks straight right after Christmas and we have had some big snowfall amounts (for this area). Last weekend we got about a foot of snow. There is even a new dusting of snow on the ground this morning. Have I mentioned that we have a lot of snow?

We finally dragged Ella out. Generally, she is not a big fan of the cold but we played for awhile and she actually wasn't ready to come inside when it was time.

Rosy cheeks

Helping shovel

more shoveling. The piles of snow are at least waist high.

making snow angels

giving the car a snow bath

Remember the swingset we built last year...

After we warmed up we decided to make pinecone bird feeders...

Hopefully the birds find their little treat.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Princess Toes

The other day I got a pedicure. When Ella saw my painted toes she exclaimed "Oh, Mommy what beautiful princess toes!"

The next day we painted her toes so she could have princess toes too.

And then the next day she declared that Daddy needed princess toes too.

And now he does.