Wednesday, August 25, 2010

School Switch

One of my biggest concerns about moving was switching Jake's daycare....I know that seems silly, I mean he's 2, it's not like I'd be breaking up any kind of life long friendships or anything (unless you count his baby gang with Dom the Bomb). But we love his current center and so does he, we knew it would be a hard transition, for all of us. (maybe even more so for Brian & I!)

After doing some research & harassing friends for suggestions in that area, we were able to find one that I absolutely loved. If you've ever toured daycare centers, you know how you just getting that feeling of knowing right away. You either want to run away in tears & never look back, or you want to give the director a big hug and thank her for providing such a great place to care for children.

Jake has been to visit his new school twice and has done pretty well both times. The first time, we got there around 9:30am and I stayed and talked to the teacher for probably 30 minutes or so. The kids were getting ready to head outside to play, so she said that would be a good time for me to leave and assured me he would be just fine. He didn't cry when I left (that could be because he was totally distracted & busy dancing to "the hot dog song") and I came back a few hours later to find that he had a great morning, aside from just a few tears when he asked where I was.

That was a few weeks ago; unfortunately, since then, daycare drop off at our regular center has been challenging on occasion. Jake has never been a drop off crier, ever. Normally, he runs into his classroom, immediately starts playing & can barely be bothered to say goodbye. Since coming back from vacation; however, drop off has been a mess some days. There are tears, pouty lips & pleads to not leave. We are assuming that it is because we left for a week for vacation and there were some changes within the school over that time as well (a new classroom, some staff changes and some of his close friends moved to a different room). I'm sure that's a lot for him to take in.

We went to the new school again last week, and I feel pretty good about it. It was a little bit harder this time, probably because he knew I was going to leave, and he cried when we got there. But the teacher swooped right in & gave him a big hug & started talking about all of the fun stuff they were going to do. Knowing that the longer I hung around, the harder it would be, I made a pretty speedy exit.

Side note-I had hours to kill and there are a LOT of stores in our new area. I really tried to resist the urge to buy things, per Brian's instructions....more on that at a later point, I got some good stuff that day, including some Goodwill finds. Score!

When I came back to pick him up, he had just finished lunch & the teacher said he did well again. He seemed more hesitant this time to play with the other kids, so one of the teachers stuck by him all morning & made him feel more at ease. When we were leaving, 2 of the kids came up & gave him a big hug goodbye.

He'll stay at his old daycare for 3 days after our big move next week, then start at the new center the following week, so we're really hoping that everything goes smoothly, though I'm bracing myself for tears to fall & lips to hit the ground with pouts. I'm sure that once he gets used to it, he'll love it and look forward to playing with his friends everyday. I mean, look at this handsome kid! Who wouldn't want to be friends with him?? :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Only one month from today...

....until it's officially FALL!!

ahhh....pumpkins, mums, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin donuts, cozy-smelling candles......anyone else counting down the days???

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2.5 year check up!

We had Jake's 2.5 year check up last night (a month late) and he finally grew! Significantly!

Weight: 30 lbs (49th percentile)
Height: 36 inches (38th percentile)

He shot up the charts (at his 2 year appointment, he was in the 30th percentile for weight and the 20th for height) and everything looked great. We were able to get the flu mist for him already, so that was nice to not have to worry about scheduling that sometime soon.

He even stood on the scale all by himself this time, which is a big accomplishment since he's been scared to death of it the past few visits. Of course, the promise of a sticker after the big weigh-in helped.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's a Sunshine Day!

If you're sick of reading my posts about decor and plans for the new house, then stop reading now. You've been warned.

Still with me? Great. Our new house has a screened-in sun room off of what will be the playroom. It has brick walls, painted all white, with a concrete floor (we'll need to pick up some type of indoor/outdoor area rug to cover most of it up...just not multiple rugs that don't match, like the previous owners did).

Yes, that's my kid trying to steal the citronella candles from under the dining room table saying "I need those buckets"...

Now the big question....what to do with the rest of the room? It leads out to the patio, where we will have a set of tables & chairs, so I don't feel like we need to put a table or anything in it. Outdoor type seating is a possibility, we already have this 5 piece set that currently resides in our gazebo:

Any other ideas? I'm thinking about picking up some of these $5 curtains from IKEA to hang in the corners and add to the airy look of the room, copying this look from Young House Love (one of my new favorite blogs!):

Since the room is so white, I have the urge to do something beachy. Not over the top, luau-style or anything, but just subtle. Some nice blues, some seashells, plants maybe? I like fun touches like this (images from Young House Love and The Lettered Cottage):


Or, I could just stick with the clean white look and add in some green accessories, more like this (featured on Centsational Girl blog):

outdoor seating area bright
What to do, what to do....

Friday, August 13, 2010

HI! My name is Emmy....

...and I suffer from new-home-obsession.

Hi, Emmy!

It seemed like from the second I signed my life away on that home buying contract, I turned into a crazed HGTV-obsessed woman who thought non-stop about what we would do with the new house. Since we are going into this knowing that we will be in this house for a looooooong time, I want to love it. I don't want to put things up around the house just because I have them; I want them to either have meaning or be something that I truly enjoy looking at everyday.

Thus, my obsession.

It started out as innocent browsing....some home decor blogs that I would view while at work, flipping through catalogs at night...then I started visualizing some stuff in our new home and I just couldn't help myself. I started buying. Some picture frames at IKEA, a new comforter set for our bedroom, some lamps at Target (hey, none of the bedrooms have overhead lighting---we'll need lamps right away!) and so on. Brian ordered me to stop the madness. As the pile of new stuff grew bigger & bigger, he had to keep reminding me that this was just more stuff that would have to come with us. But I can't help it---when I see something I love, I panic that I'll go back & it won't be there anymore!

Yesterday, I was in Pat Catan's and they had a bunch of picture frames marked down; I picked up a frame that holds a ridiculously large sized picture (16x20, I think?) for $10. $10!!! It will be perfect for one of those beach pictures we took last week....

You may remember my post from a few weeks ago that I purchased an all-white comforter set and that I was a bit nervous about how long it would actually stay white. Then I was in Marshalls a few weeks later and found this set:

So, what is your opinion on the comforter sets?? Should I be bold and go white? Stick with the new paisley? Or keep both? :) What's an obsessed home girl to do??

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beach prep, details & changes

If you know me at all, you know I'm a planner. I love a fabulously organized binder, I love school supplies and I most definitely love me some lists. When I launch into an explanation of the amount of planning & preparation that my BFF & I do before going on vacation, some people look at me like I need to be heavily medicated. When I tell them that I actually enjoy doing this, they usually start to back away and mumble something about passing along the name of a good therapist.

Regardless of the number of therapists I may need or the large amount of medication that may help me out, we always end up well prepared for our trip and we love that once we're there, there's nothing to worry about. There's nothing left to do...we have created spreadsheets, cross-checked these spreadsheets & then put all of the information into a pie chart for easy reference.

I'm kidding about the pie chart. Maybe....

So, my dear readers, after all of this work we put in, I feel the need to share with you some of the things that worked well for us and other pieces of my infinite wisdom. I take thank-you's in the form of Wild Cherry Pepsis, cupcakes and cookies.

I did a fairly lengthy post a few months ago when I started getting vacation fever, which can be found here. That post covers must have's such as rented cribs, a beach cart, a portable DVD player (I would like to kiss whoever invented such a genius thing), portable booster seat and baby powder (for removing sand-trust me, it works).

I took most of my own advice and did everything that was in that post again this year. Here are some things we did differently that worked out well:

  • We brought along an inflatable baby pool. We saw a few people doing this last year at the beach, so I found one at the end of summer for less than $1 (thanks, Walmart!) and decided to give it a try. Definitely one of the best moves of the week; we strategically placed it under our large tent in the shade & used it as a bribe to get the boys out of the sun for small periods of time throughout the day. (see picture below) The bonus to that is that when both boys were in the pool, all 4 adults could actually sit down & relax at the same time.
  • We packed more snacks this year; while we were good to go on regular meals last year, we vastly underestimated the amount of chips & cookies 4 adults could pack away in the evenings once the kiddos were sound asleep. This year, we stepped up our game in this department & came prepared with multiple bags of chips, queso, salsa and cookies. There was not much left by the end of the week.
  • We drove all of our stuff to the beach everyday. Last year, we were close enough to walk....this year, it was close to 1/2 mile. I was nervous about having to get everything down there, but it was actually easier (and it saved us from having to rent a beach cart). The men would head down to the beach in the car and unload the stuff/set up for the day while Melissa & I got the boys ready. We would then put the boys in the strollers and walk to the beach, then stash the strollers in the trunk of the car. With kids who don't sleep past 6am, it was very easy to get a parking space within a block of the beach :)
  • Leap Frog TAG Reader: I have already mentioned that the DVD player was a Godsend once again this year, but we also got a lot of use out of the Leap Frog TAG reader in the car and it saved me from having to turn around and become violently nauseated from having to read to him while facing backwards.
  • MORE sunscreen: when you are a family of vampire albinos, you require an excessive amount of sunscreen. Last year, we almost ran out by the end of the week, so we packed extra bottles this year.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book Review: "The Carrie Diaries"

The Carrie Diaries (Candace Bushnell)

I was a bit skeptical going into this book: Sex & The City, geared toward the young adult crowd?? Something just seemed off about that concept, but I was pleasantly surprised. The story is basically Carrie's senior year of high school, where we learn about how her love of writing began, the type of family she came from and about her first love and heartbreak. There was some good teenage drama sprinkled in there (which I'm a total sucker for) and there were even some surprises along the way that tied into Sex & the City.

Overall, I'd recommend it as a light, fluffy read if you go into it knowing that it will be just that.

Up next: Fly Away Home, by Jennifer Weiner

Monday, August 9, 2010

Beach Bums!

I'm still shaking sand off of things and trying to return to the real world, but we are back from our annual vacation with the Martini Family! It was another wonderful vacation and a VERY much needed break this year with all of the craziness of our upcoming move, it was so nice to take a week away from it all and just spend time as a family.

Our daily routine typically went like this: wake up at the crack of dawn (thanks for that one, toddlers), get ready for the beach, go to beach alllllll morning/early afternoon, come home for lunch/naps, sometimes head back down to beach depending on the time. Rinse & repeat for 6 days and end up with a very happy little man who did not want to leave his buddy Ben, or his beloved beach.

Jake begged to "jump the waves" all week, which basically meant one of us picking him up, letting him "swim" toward a wave, then pulling him up right before it hit him (most of the super strong wave came & went right over top of him & Brian one time, oops). Jake had a great time, mama used muscles she hasn't used, ever. Who knew what a workout vacation could be?

The boys would sporadically start cheering "Boozeshakes, Boozeshakes, Boozeshakes!" (which is a drink that Brian concocted for our luau), so we gave in after a few days and whipped up a nonalcoholic version of it. They proceeded to cheers, chug, then run around the house on a sugar high.

Another highlight as far as food for the boys was going out for ice cream, as evidenced here:

We decided to get creative halfway through the week by getting dressed up, heading down to the beach & having a little photo session. We got some really great shots, which I'm really excited about, because I have a lot of new space to decorate in the new house & I think a lot of these will look really nice once they're framed:

Just look at these two, I was in cuteness overload by the end of the week. It's a good thing they get along so well on their own, they have no choice but to be BFF's!! :)
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