Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Allison's dream house...

Or Barbie's, rather. The only thing Allison asked for at all this Christmas was a Barbie doll and a Barbie movie. I don't think it gets any easier than that.

She got more than she bargained for. The Barbie house that my dad built for me some 20 years ago is something that my parents hung onto. We brought it with us out to NY last January. I spent most of the December rehabing the house with fresh "carpet" (upholstery velvet and wood looking contact paper), wallpaper (scrapbook paper and wallpaper mod podged on) and paint. I think it turned out pretty cute!

Here's the before (sort of... this is after Brian ripped out the old carpet the the mice in our rental here loved so much... ick!)

And here's the after.

And here's my cute little girl...


Now... I wouldn't decorate or paint my house this way (although the green on green stripe in the kitchen is pretty nice...), but I think its okay for Barbie.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Carter's First Love

Basketball. Definantly basketball. And he's not bad either. :)


video

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Storage Fantasy...

2 "Cameron" Cubby Wall Storage System, with 2 extra cubby units:
$1010 from Pottery Barn

MDF, mis-tinted paint, screws and bracing brackets:
$175


1 Gallon Behr Preium Paint in "Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue" (for the walls...):
$23


DIY plans from Ana-White.com:
$0


Saving a bundle AND having my dream toy storage installed in the playroom before Christmas:
PRICELESS! :)

Isn't it beautiful? I love it!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

100 hours...

Remember how I posted about the first snow just a few days ago? Well, Saturday seems to have been our one little snow break. And since then, we've had 100 straight hours of snow... and its still snowing HARD.
Curious over what that looks like?


I think its going to be a l-o-o-o-o-n-g winter...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

We went all out for Gingerbread houses this year. We probably spent too much for one activity, but the kids LOVED it, and it made for a much nicer-than-normal Sunday afternoon.

Which, by the way, am I the only parent of little ones who thinks that Sunday is actually often the HARDEST day of the week? What happened to day of rest? But thats neither here nor there...

Allison and Carter both enjoyed building the houses. Allison did her own with my help, and Brian did the other with Carter's help... although Carter's definition of "help" was to eat as much candy as possible. Fun was had by all. Next year, I think its cheaper graham cracker houses for our kids, but we'll stick with the royal icing. That stuff really is the key to getting a good house built. :)

Allison thoughfully placing her gumdrop border...

Carter thoughfully eating all the candy within reach...

Yeah... thats my husband... :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Snow

We got our first real, measurable snow yesterday and last night. Allison was thrilled to wake up this morning and find a few inches a snow... totally enough to play in.


Allison was very patient, and waited - nicely! - until 10 am to be let out to play. She immediatly wanted to build a snowman, and enlisted daddy's help. For most of the building, she was too busy "supervising" to actually help... sounds like my daughter...

Carter loved it too. This was his first snow experience, and he seemed to think it was pretty cool stuff. I love how chubby he looks in these pictures. Could be because the snowsuit is a little too big on him.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tidbits...

I keep feeling like I should update, but I don't have anything much to say. So... here's a little summary of the last few weeks.

*I hit the post-Halloween clearance sale hard at Target. My kids now have lots of cute dress-up clothes.


*Two kids, three ear infections, and a newly discovered penicillin allergy. Not so fun.

*A lovely Thanksgiving, of which I have no pictures. We got together with two other families with small kids, all from out west with no family to speak of this far east. It was fun, it was nice, and I didn't have to host (read: I didn't have to clean my house), so it was relaxing too.

*Christmas crafts. I LOVE my new wreath. Wanna make one? Its just a wreath form (mine's straw, and don't look too close... you can kind of see it in some spots!) and a whole lot of Dollar Tree ornaments (I got the ones that come in tubes) and even more hot glue. Which, by the way, I bought another hot glue gun. The mini I got last time just wasn't doing it for me any longer, so I went with heavy duty. And its pretty much awesome. I think I could do a whole post on how awesome that glue gun is...


*Lots of shopping. I'm pretty sure that I'm going a little overboard. Its not hard to do... this is our first year with a real job and shopping is fun. I console myself by say that the slight overspending is okay, because I can write off anything I end up donating to Toys for Tots.

*Decorating for Christmas. My kids are a little Christmas decor crazy. Carter points to every tree-like object (including the garland) and shouts "Te-mas Tee!", and Allison has this unexplained compulsion to decorate every single Christmas tree she sees. Target has some very nicely decorated mini-trees in the seasonal aisle. We still haven't gotten our tree (hopefully tomorrow!), so I'll post pictures when that gets up.

On a completely unrelated note, I realized today that Carter is exactly the age that Allison was when Carter was born. They are different kids to say the least. And its a good thing Allison was first, becuase I'm pretty sure that had Carter been first, my chances of surviving motherhood this long would have been pretty non-existant.

Most days I generally feel like I'm going to go crazy, which is a bad sign, since we're only about 10 days into "its-too-cold-to-go-outside-at-all" kind of weather, and theres a long winter ahead of us. I really miss the days where Allison napped. A few months ago I even decided to quit forcing quiet time on her, becuase it took less effort to let her watch a movie instead. But now I'm thinking that I might have to force the issue again, because I think I really need an hour a day of unassaulted quiet time. And I don't think its too much to ask either.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Things Halloween


On Thursday (with a Friday Encore) we carved pumpkins with the kids...


Then Saturday we drove to Kirtland to see Brian's parents and crash (with permission, of course!) a local ward's trunk-or-treat for the kids. Mike and Julie really loved seeing the kids (and us too!). Fun was had by all. Sadly, I didn't get a single good photo of the kids together. Hopefully theres one on my in-laws camera... hint, hint...

Allison loved showing off her treats...

Carter loved stuffing his face with them...

And I loved that they thought they got SO much candy, when they only had a handfull each. :)

Fortunatly, becuase no one in our house have been healthy since we said goodbye to August, the kids were super wiped-out last night, so we didn't have to crosss the "why can't I go trick-or-treating on Sunday" bridge. Both kids were asleep before we got our first trick-or-treaters.

And my favorite part of the holiday? The great deals I snagged at Target on clearance this morning. Best time of year to buy dress-up clothes. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween's Dress Rehearsal

The Disney Store here in Syracuse did a Halloween Dress Rehearsal event. Basically it was an excuse for little kids to dress up in their costumes, come to the store, play a few games and parade around (all in hopes of their parents spending a few dollar there, I'm sure).
Allison loved being able to dress up in her Tinkerbell costume, and she got a LOT of compliments on it. She enjoyed...

playing in the Disney Store as long as she wanted...

playing the "Banish the Villians" game...
video
"Freeze Dancing"...

parading around the store, waving... with BOTH hands.

And she loved getting to take a carousel ride when the party was all over.
It was a good day to be Allison...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Shoe Love

Carter is shoe obsessed! He has been for quite a little while. He is always quick to tell us that he needs shoes, or to point shoes out to us, or try to put shoes on us if there are extras laying around the living room.

A new discovery is mommy's shoes. He was trying to walk around in some of my Doc Martens today, but they were so heavy! I pulled out a pair of my flats for him instead, and he's been having lots of fun. Take a look...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where've I Been?

Busy...



My kids are going to be SO cute this Halloween, if I do say so myself. All thats left is to finish Tink's wings (I need white knee-highs) and a feather for Peter's cap.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dinosaur Decor

Back in January or Feburary, I found this cute thing at Babies R Us for $4 on clearance.

Thought it was adorable and a steal, so I grabbed it for Carter's room, which I'd put exactly zero effort into decorating up till that point. In fact, up until last week I'd put zero effort in. I mean, I hadn't even put up the silly valance. But, after being inspired by (read: seeing and wanting to totally rip off)a nursury decor idea I saw at a baby shower, I put it up and got to work making these...

No, they're not on the walls yet, but they're done (okay... I guess they need saw-tooth picture hangers on the back, but they're cosmetically done). Aren't they cute? They're just those painted wood cut-outs that you can get at craft stores glued (with my brand-new, cheap, still-not-super-great hot glue gun) into some black dollar store frames backed with scrapbook paper. Cute, huh?

To glue the scrapbook paper down, I used come Elmers Craft Bond Glue Pen. I got a free sample of it as a Bzz Agent. It worked really well for putting down a thin layer all over the paper so that I could get a good firm hold that will stand up. The paper did bubble a little bit, but only where I got the glue on a little thick. Otherwise, I think the Craft Bond was a really great product for when you really need an all-over glue.

I'm not exactly sure if these will be the final arrangments, but its what I like right now.

Oh, and PS, I finally called the pediatrician and made appointments. And I think I can make the portrait appointments online. Score two for the check list. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I just can't bring myself to do...

I've been keeping written to do lists for about 2 weeks now. They're all in a little notebook that I keep in my purse (until someone under the age or 4 relieves me of it, that is). Its been interesting and eye opening.

On one hand, it definantly helps me feel like I actually do accomplish things, at least sometimes. Being the stay-home mommy of two little often leaves me feeling like I never actually accomplish anything. See things in writing checked off as accomplished can help me feel less... useless? Not quite the right word, but it works...

I also find it interesting to see what is on the list day after day after day. Since I don't put down everyday things like "cook dinner" and "sweep the floor", I'm a little surprised to see three things on my to-do list that have been there since I started the list. Curious?

1) Call & make well-child appointments
2) Call & make kids portrait appointments
3) Do something creative
4) Call & changes newspaper subscription (okay, its 4, but this one has only been on the list since Monday).

Now, besides the be creative, which I never get to becuase I have too hard of a time justifying it during the day when so many other things need to get done and I'm often too tired at night to have enough brain power left for creativity, they all have one thing in common: the phone.

I hate the phone. Which, if you'd known me in junior high you'd probably find very strange. Maybe I'm making up for those years of phone overload. But really, I hate the phone. I nearly break out in hives when I think about phone calls that I have to make. Okay, not really, but I do strange things to avoid it. Like the dishes, which I never do at our house (becuase my husband's awesome like that). These calls should take me... 5 minutes total. And 10 days later, I still haven't done them.

Hopefully one of these days I'll get tired of copying them onto each new day's list and just get it over with already. And then I'll wonder why on earth I waited so long.

Fail...

I tried to finish a decorating project up tonight. My dear, sweet, neglected Carter has never had an ounce of thought put into the decor of his room. Guess thats what happens when you're the 2nd kid and you have to sleep in the pack & play for 9 months becuase your parents can't bring themselves to kick your older sister out of the crib, and couldn't justify buying a 2nd one until it became PAINFULLY obvious to everyone in the household that, not only do you find that pack & play "matress" extremely uncomfortable, but sister's not giving up the goods anytime soon. And by not anytime soon, I mean not until sister finds the princess bed exactly 5 days after mom and dad finally cave and buy a 2nd crib (but thats another story entirely...).

Anyway, my poor neglected son is going to be getting some love in the form of cutifying his room. And I'm sure that he cares.

Problem is, I come to find out that my glue gun sucks. As in I can't glue the darn things on because by the time I've gotten enough glue on them (takes 10 seconds, tops), its already cooled and useless.

Guess I know how I'm spening my Hobby Lobby coupon this week.

Maybe you'll get to see my attempts at boy room cute tomorrow. Or something resembling tomorrow, anyway.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carter-isms

Carter has QUITE the vocabulary for the little tyke that he is. Here are some of the funny things we hear him say a lot

I did it!
I come! (as in, I want to come in the store, don't leave me in the car with daddy!)
I did the buckle! (on his carseat)
button
Elmo
I want mouse
I want bear
I want book
I want that
I want milk
shoes... he's got a strange fascination with them
bath
ducky
ball
I want ball
basketball (he says it "bak-e-baw")
crayon
sticker
puppy (which is any and every animal)
candy (said Caaa-eeeee)
granola bar (said na-guh baw)
I go downstairs
stinky and poop (lovely... if only that was a sure sign of time to potty train...)
game (as in, computer games, that Allison has recently discovered and Carter feels he MUST get his fair turn at).
ride (in the laundry basket)
Ah-ice (his attempt at Allison)
Dane ni! (that's "Dang it!" And he uses it in correct context too...)


If you can't tell, the kid's quite a talker. And between him and Allison there are very few pieces of quiet for mommy to grasp at most days. *sigh* :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Allison's First Day

Allison started Joy School this week, which we're super excited about. I love having more structure to her week. This is just a quick picture I snapped before we left for her frist day last week. It was sharing day, and she was taking her teddy bear to share.




Isn't she cute? And when did she get so big?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Niagara Falls

Last week my parents flew in to come see us and we spent Friday at Niagara Falls. It was amazing! We took the Maid of the Mist boat tour and got soaked, but those photos are on my Dad's camera. In fact... most of the good picture are on his camera. I need a copy of those... hint, hint, Dad! Maybe they could find their way in downloadable form onto mckeent.com? Pretty please?


Anyway, here are the best of the photos I DO have, which don't actually include my parents. But I promise, they did come.



Either way Niagara was amazing and I'm super glad we went, even if we have to make it a short day trip to accommodate two tired little kids.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Great NY State Fair

Brian and I took the kids to the NY State Fair last Saturday. Its held in Syracuse, so it made for a great day trip. We went opening weekend and it was SUPER crowded and crazy. But our choices were either opening or closing weekend (the fair only runs 12 days... what?!?), but we had fun. Here's a few photos:








Everyone's favorite part: the Shriner's circus put on in the kiddie area. It was great, even Carter was rivited every time an act came on. Allison's favorite part was watching the ariel gymnist who climbed the fabric for stunts. She spent her whole act just staring at her, eyes wide and mouth open. If you asked Allison what her favorite part of the fair was, she'll tell you that it was the circus, and the part the girl "climbed up so high on the fabric!"
Over all, I was acutally a little disappointed with the fair. Coming from my 4-H background, I really wanted to see some awesome 4-H non-animal exhibits (which we couldn't even find) and come stunning arts/crafts/sewing/quilting entries, which was housed in a TINY not-very-accessible building. Excluding quilts (several of which were displayed on blank walls) I think ALL of the sewing exhibited was shown in about 20 square feet of exhibit space. Now, maybe my point of view is skewed, becuase I knew the Pyuallup and Kitsap County fairs like the back of my hand, but I really didn't think that this fair had NEARLY as much in the way of non-animal exhibits as either of those fairs. Made me homesick in a way. On the bright side, what we did see and what was exhibited encouraged and and inspired both Brian and I to aim for having a few entries each for next year's fair.

Apple Picking

Brian's been out of town this week, so I've been trying to pack the kids' days with fun things to do to help them go by faster (for all of us!). And I've been having the hardest time finding a decent apple at the store around here, so we went to a local farm to do some apple picking. We were in luck, too: galas had just come in and they are DELICIOUS!!! It was a fun little farm. In addition to apples they had a cute little country store, several other crops for the picking through-out the year and a little petting zoo. The kids really had a great time. It was lots of fun. We'll probably go back later in the fall for pumpkins.

Love this picture. Carter spent most of the time walking around munching on a HUGE apple. I mean, does life get any better than eating your own yummy apple while exploring outside without mom nagging you to hold her hand? Carter doesn't seem to think so...




Feeding the goats. Carter kept his distance, becuase he did not want to share his apple with them (which is good... we had feed pellets for them). Allison thought feeding them was great.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Carter Grooves

Too funny not to post... even funnier that he's doing this weird crazy dancing with a play-kitchen chef's knife in his hand. Slash dance, not flash dance...

video

The End of an Era

Right now its 1:30. Nap time. And this is what Allison is doing:

sitting on the couch, munching popcorn, watching a movie.

And here's what I plan to do about it:

...

...

...

Yep. Nothing. After a horrific 10 days of experiencing an all-day-cranky Allison, brought about by her waking at various and sundry inhumane hours of the early morning, we decided that in order to have her sleep better at night, it was time to say good-bye to her nap.

Good-bye, dear naptime quiet mommy-time. You've been my close and loved friend these 3 years. I hope to meet you again someday. I'll miss you everyday until I see you again... maybe you can some visit when Allison's in kindergarten.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Allison turned 3 last Saturday! I can't believe my baby girl is 3... where did the time go?