Monday, July 26, 2010

My Little Outback

In an effort to not melt into the sidewalk from stepping outside, we opted to spend Sunday playing indoors at a new(er) play place called My Little Outback (in Squirrel Hill, for fellow Pittsburgh moms) Jake loooooooved it. By "loved it", I mean we were there for about 3.5 hours & he was non-stop, the entire time.

The space was really big, and they had a lot of different things, for all different ages. Highlights for Jake included a crawl through tunnel/tube area with ropes course, a playhouse and of course, the bouncy house.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another awesome giveaway!

Dr. Drama is at it again, this time she's giving away a gorgeous necklace & a J.Crew gift card! What are you waiting for? Head on over!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fellow blogger giveaway!

Head on over to Dr. Drama's blog for a fashion giveaway from Moody Mamas. Dr. Drama is doing giveaways all week, so keep checking back!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Jake's teacher informed me that her new nickname for Jake is "Snack Attack". He earned this nickname because she said that no matter what else is going on in the classroom, no matter how engrossed Jake is in whatever he is doing at that moment, the second she goes near the refrigerator in the classroom or the snack cupboard, he comes out of nowhere "like a ninja", appears beside her and says "Snack time?" Often, this stealth move toward her occurs within minutes of having just finished eating a snack or a meal.

I might need a 2nd job by the time he's a teenage boy, just to keep up with his food demands....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Solo Shopping

On Sunday, Brian & I were able to head out and do some shopping BY OURSELVES. And Jake, mommy loves you dearly, but shopping without you was pure bliss. Bliss, I tell you! We took our time. We browsed. We took notes. We got an unbelievable amount of shopping done in a few short hours.

Mainly, we were on a quest for new bedroom furniture. It's really the only new furniture we need immediately for the new house and we've decided to splurge on a king-size bed. We headed out to Robinson Town Center with a goal of finding a new bed, but what's a trip to Robinson without a stop at IKEA? And TJ Maxx? And Marshalls? And Target? It was like these places just kept popping up in front of us, begging us to come in and shop!

Anyway-we did manage to find a set that we both loved at Levin. This is a horrible picture from their website (why would you only show half of a bed and none of the other dresser that comes with the set?) but it will have to do for now (we're getting a regular bed, without that storage underneath):

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Does anyone else feel like IKEA pumps something through the air conditioning system to make you slip into some type of trance with a compulsive need to look at every.single.item on display?? We could have wandered around that place all day, had we not had other stops to make.

We did make a few small purchases at IKEA, I found a few cute & cheap picture frames and this little tabletop mirror:

MYKEN Table mirror dark brown Width: 9 7/8 " Height: 14 5/8 "  Width: 25 cm Height: 37 cm

We also came across this bedding set that I liked for whenever we decide to put Jake in a big boy room & re-do his decor (the walls in his new room are bright yellow, so I thought this would look cute in there). We didn't buy it, but we'll definitely keep it in mind because I really like it:
BARNSLIG ULVEN Duvet cover and  pillowcase(s) green/white Duvet cover length: 86
We picked up a bedding set for our new bed at TJ Maxx; against my better judgment, we went with an all white set with a little bit of sage green detail on the edges. The walls in that room are yellow, so I thought white would really pop against the color and give me some creative freedom to get fun throw pillows. We'll see if I regret the decision once I have doggy and kid paws on it.....

After all of that, we went home & collapsed :) Special thanks for Nana & PopPop for hanging out with Jake so that we could have a productive afternoon!

Luau Party 2010

Over the weekend, we had the 4th (and last) luau at our house. Don't worry, we will of course be continuing the luau tradition in our new home next summer!

As always, I put my guests to work when they arrive. Don't they look thrilled to be skewering fruit? Less scowling, more fruit! Get to it!

We always seem to luck out with the weather every year; it was hot this year, but not unbearable and we managed to avoid the possible storms they were calling for that afternoon. Brian added onto his homemade tiki bar this year and concocted some new drinks for everyone to enjoy.

It's amazing how the number of kids seems to multiply each year and how you can track time by how big some of the kids are. We've had some kids who have been attending the luau every year since it started! I think all of the kids had a blast and a few people commented to me how nicely they all played together.

I found a box of leis at the end of last summer for $3; little did I know they would be such a hit with the kids. Who needs toys? Just pick up a box of these next time you're out, your kids will be entertained for hours.

The box was first discovered by Jake & Ben:

And then by Jake & The Boss (who really took it to the next level):

Also, you may remember The Boss from last year's luau post...there was some young love brewing at the party and they seemed to be quite fond of each other again this year :)

Trying to impress her with his football skills....

I also need to add a random observation: you know you're getting old when you're putting together a music playlist for the party, and instead of adding on any songs that are fun and would put people in a party mood, you instead have to play them first to check whether or not they are suitable for small ears. Sorry you couldn't make it to the party this year, Puff Daddy. Or P. Diddy. Or Diddy. Whatever. See there? I don't even know his name anymore. Old. *sigh*

Don't worry, there was plenty of Lady Gaga for Jake to dance around to:

We had such a fun day....thank you to everyone who came out to party with us!

Friday, July 16, 2010

(New) Home Sweet Home

I know it's been awhile since I've posted an update on our home buying/selling process, but I didn't want to jinx anything...but now that papers are signed and inspections are done, I feel confident to share the news....we sold our house AND bought a new house!

To make a long story short, we put our house on the market June 30th...the first potential buyers came to see it on July 3rd (just as I was starting to panic that no one had to come to see it yet and that we were never going to sell it). They came through in the morning, made an offer that afternoon & we had worked out the details by that evening. Imagine my relief that I no longer had to keep the house looking immaculate!!

They had their inspection the following week and everything was fine, they're not asking us to do anything to the house, so that was one worry out of the way.

Now...onto our new house! You may remember me posting about the 1st time we went out house hunting, how we saw 3 houses and had weird experiences at 2 of them, but really liked the 3rd house we saw. Well, we couldn't get that house out of our minds, so as soon as ours sold, we knew we wanted to go see that one we did, and we loved it even more the 2nd time around. We went to see some more houses, but just found ourselves comparing everything to The House. We discussed it at length, slept on it, thought about it another 2 days, then made an offer last week...after going back & forth briefly with the sellers, we came to an agreement, woohoo!!

The inspection of that house was yesterday & everything went well; a few minor problems, but nothing at all horrible or deal-breaking. We are waiting to get the results of the radon test, which should be done tomorrow.

So that's where we stand with the process thus far; we are so excited and I'm so anxious to get into the new house & really make it ours. It's the house that we see ourselves in for a very long time and we can't wait to get started. August and September are going to be completely chaotic, but it will all be worth it.

And now...the moment you've all been waiting for...the new house! Obviously, this is with the sellers stuff, so just picture us in here instead :)


Living room (2 shots of it, one side has built in bookcases & a window seat):

Kitchen...I'm excited to be able to fit a table in here (we currently eat in what is supposed to be our "formal" dining room):

This is the 2nd living room, which is in the addition portion of the house...we plan on using it as Jake's playroom, since it's right off the kitchen:

Other half of what will be the playroom:

Dining Room:

Screened in sunroom:

What Brian is most excited about...the bar area of the gameroom :)

Master bedroom:

What will be Jake's room:

Bedroom #3 (I forgot pics of bedroom #4):

And some outside pics:

Please keep your fingers crossed for us that everything goes smoothly over the next few weeks. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Half Birthday, Jake!

I blinked, and now I have a 2.5 year old.

Jake continues to amaze us everyday with how funny, smart and independent he is becoming. Sometimes I just sit there, surprised at the fact that I just had a full conversation with my 2 year old, during which we talked about our day, what is for dinner and what we'll do later that evening.

His still loves to play outside, he would rather do that than anything else. Trips to the zoo are still frequent and always fun for him. He's been getting into the whole superhero thing lately and has been sporting his cape at random times around the house. His favorite shows are still Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse, but he also enjoys Handy Manny sometimes, so that's on the DVR rotation as well.

Favorite toys are his basketball hoop, sand & water table, train table (he's been putting the little men who came with the table in "time out" lately for not being nice, which is hilarious), his dino and animal figures and his tool set (he LOVES to help daddy fix whatever he's working on).

He can sing part of the ABC's (I'll have to try to get it on video sometime, it's so sweet to hear); he usually skips some of the middle part, but can consistently do L-Z. He can count up to about 14, but always wants to skip number 5 for some reason. :) He knows pretty much all of the basic colors and shapes (and even octagons...what are they teaching him in school & what will they possibly teach him in kindergarten?)

I'm sure there's lots more, but that's all that's coming to mind right now. Happy half birthday, Jake!!

Here he is at 6 months (July 2008):

1.5 years (July 2009):

And 2.5 years (July 2010):

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday snuggles

If we don't have anything going on that we need to get up for, Brian & I typically alternate days on the weekends that we get to sleep in; Saturday was my day to sleep in. I got up around 7:15 (which is sad that that is now "sleeping in" to me...long gone are the days of crawling out of bed at noon!) and I found this on the couch:

I guess I wasn't the only one who needed more sleep that day! (if you look closely all the way to the right, even Gracie is snuggled up, fast asleep)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July: aka, Sweat Day 2010

Seriously, Sunday was probably the longest time I've spent outside in that kind of heat, ever.

My hair was crying from being tortured by the humidity. My deodorant was working in overdrive. Somewhere in the sky, planes were running into blind spots once they spotted the aerial view of my outrageously white skin. But, somewhere in between my overly-dramatic account of the weather that day, was a fantastic and fun picnic hosted by my parents at their house :)

We had a fun day, full of yummy food, family members and a competitive croquet tournament. I opted to not participate in the tournament. You're shocked, aren't you??

Jake was able to get some football practice in with my cousin, Ben:

And he had his first lacrosse lesson:

He was having so much fun that he refused to nap at his usual time...instead, he curled into my lap around 3pm and fell asleep on me :) He hasn't done that in so long, and if our skin hadn't been melted together by the beaming hot sun, I would have let him stay there. Instead, we brought out the Pack & Play and he took a nice outdoor siesta.

I'm happy to report that Gracie seems to be slowly warming up to the idea of Larry the Pug. She even drug herself off the couch & out of her afternoon coma long enough to chase him around the house for a bit.

We busted out some sparklers that night, and you could see fireworks from my mom's house, but Jake was not thrilled with either of these traditions. He said the sparklers were hot (true) and that the fireworks were too loud (also true).

The next day was another inferno, so we headed out to the local pool, Sunset Beach.

Jake was hesitant at first, but very quickly adapted and wanted to swim and splash and was begging to jump off of the diving board, go down the huge twisty slide and jump on the huge trampoline they had in the deep end. He was forced to settle for the slides that filled up the kiddie area, but he had a blast.

Leaving was brutal. Let's just say that it was me, my mom and a 27 lb toddler who somehow musters up Hulk-like strength when he needs to: combine all of this with trying to pry a swim diaper and wet clothes off of a kid who doesn't want to leave, and it looked like a scene out of Fight Club by the time we were done. Good times, people...good times.
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