Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome to the world, Donovan!!

I posted previously that my SIL and BIL were pregnant for the first time. Well, on Ceara's birthday, 12 days before her due date, her water broke! We were all anxious for the new babe to arrive and find out the gender and name...
Two days later, at 3:30 AM, Donovan Turner arrived; 7.3lbs and 20 inches long!!
Of course, I think he's adorable (and looks just like both Mom and Dad!) and am a very proud Aunt!! We're working on planning a trip to see the new family in a couple months, and I can't wait to hold the little guy!
Congrats Ceara and Grant!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zoo day!

Friday, we decided a trip to the zoo was in order. Colin had the day off and the weather promised to be nice, so we met Grandma and all headed off to the zoo!
The weather didn't disappoint, as it was in the 70s and sunny; not too hot or cold.
Z was so excited, since he couldn't remember that last time he had been (it's been over a year!). He kept telling us he was going to see 'the apes', and couldn't be deterred, even when we told him we didn't think there were apes. Of course, the first thing you see when you walk in are mountain goats. Really? Mountain goats? But, all the kids rush right over to “ooh and aah” over them because they're so darn excited to be there (and most of them aren't sure what to expect, so they see an enclosure with animals and they go nuts). And, I think it's the zoo's way of preparing us parents too; ready, set...try to keep up!
And it was Avalee's first trip ever, so we were all really excited to see her reactions to all the wild animals. Her favorite animals though? Cows, ducks and chickens. We went to the zoo to see all the exotic animals, and she loves the ones we can see down the street. LOL! She did love lots of other animals, and it was really cute to watch her so excited and pointing at the zebras, giraffes and monkeys. Unfortunately, she missed out on the elephants, since she fell asleep just as we were going into the elephant area (super-cute baby elephant too!). But, she woke up at the lions and was all refreshed for the rest of the day. :0)
We packed a picnic lunch,and stopped after awhile to eat and enjoy the sun. We noticed Z was dragging a bit, and was also coughing a lot. I was a little worried, but he was such a trooper! He never complained or whined, even when he was so obviously tired (and Mom forgot his PB&J sandwich...GASP.! BIG Mommy no-no!) After we saw it all, and pushed our visit to the last half hour before being kicked out, we headed to the gift shop. Normally, I'm not a big souvenir buyer, but Z found a really cool dinosaur mask and the pricetag of $3.99 seemed pretty reasonable, so I told him he could get it. He handed it to me, and said he wanted to go outside. I thought he was just hot, but he said he wanted to go to sleep! Sure enough, within ten minutes of driving off, poor guy was out!
I was hoping he'd be feeling better after a long nap, but unfortunately he was worse. :0( He's been sick since then, so we've spent a lot of time on the couch snuggling and watching movies. I'm just glad we got the zoo trip in, because he had so much fun! I'm just hoping he start feeling better soon, with Easter right around the corner.


Z & A in an eagle nest

Aren't these two sooo cute??




...and Zebras!

*Okay, so I have a bunch more pics, but frankly not enough time to upload more, so I'm going to try to get them into a slideshow & put on here soon!*

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pirate bedroom makeover; Days 4 & 5...

So...we finished the murals!! We had to ditch the kiddos Friday night (actually they had a blast hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa), so we could really get to work. Colin worked on the ship, and I got to work on the treasure map. I also realized, as I was stressing out about my sure the pirate map looked perfectly imperfect, that there was a reason Colin was doing the majority of the work. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I can be a bit...umm...of a control freak. Yup, it's true. So, the drawing, painting, etc that Colin did in a week would have taken me a month! Now, I'm by no means saying I would have done a better job, but I would have obsessed about every tiny detail of everything. There may have been some tears, certainly some yelling and perhaps a diva-like fit (“I can't work like this!”) or two (or five). So, Colin made the smart decision to take it on and give me a much smaller project...the treasure map. Of course, as you'll see in the following photos, I still managed to get a little crazy doing even that...
Now that the murals are done, my mom has been working on painting all the trim in the room (it had previously been painted to match the accent colors in Z's 'old' room, so needed to be painted over). Colin is also working a cool sandy beach/island that is going to look awesome! And, I still have to do a few extras for the room, although I think I may have to put that off until next week (because I'm doing a big baby sale this weekend).
So, stay tuned for the final room reveal!!

Yup, this is me obsessing about making it look perfectly distressed

The treasure map 'base' completed

Completed ship!

Colin next to his work (also goes to show you the scale)

Finished treasure map

Sunday, March 7, 2010

If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.

So, Dr. Seuss' birthday was last week, and we just had to celebrate one of our favorite authors! After some confusion on Z's part... “But, how can Dr. Seuss come to the party if he's dead.??”...the 'celebration' got underway.

Of course, one has to have green eggs and ham! All along, Z said he would eat it, but then he chickened out. What a stinker! He did try a bite of the green deviled eggs I made, but that was it (he really isn't a big egg eater anyway though) but would not, could not touch the green ham. I ended up making sandwiches with the ham, and he insisted on non-green ham. LOL!

The inside view of my green ham panini!

Pink Ink!
If you have a lot of ink, then you should get a Yink, I think.

*Note to self: Don't get so carried away that you end up giving your kid (who rarely gets sugar) an entire glass of pink lemonade...yikes (luckily I convinced him to use the rest of his drink to make some cool ice cubes...whew!)!!

And, my attempt at cute cupcakes. I actually think it turned out okay, although I was a little disappointed I could only make one (turns out, those little rolls of Life Savers are impossible to come by nowadays, and the bags of mixed only had three red!).

So, it was a little work, but so much fun! Reading is such a huge part of our lives, and I love how passionate both of my kids are about reading. Dr. Seuss books are really spectacular, and so much fun for any age. I encourage everyone out there to read, read read to your kids as much and as often as possible, because...

”The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

So, I guess I'll have to come up with something different for next year... And, if you want to have some kind of a Seuss celebration (and, why wait for an excuse??), check out the official (and amazing!) Seuss site:
There are activities galore, fun games to play, recipes and you can even bulk up on your knowledge of the man himself, Theodor Seuss Geisel.

So, I'm curious...what's your favorite Dr. Seuss book and why?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pirate room makeover: Days 2 & 3...

It's getting there! Z is so excited every time he sees the progress, and admittedly, I am too. ;0)

Friday, March 5, 2010

What we've been up to...

So, I realize I haven't been blogging much recently. I also realized I haven't any updates on what Avalee has been up to in quite awhile. So, she'd like me to let you know, that she's currently working on a new diary entry... ;0)
Meanwhile, the reason I've been out of the blogging world recently is because we're working on a bedroom makeover for Z. He requested a new bedroom months ago, and since it hadn't been updated from baby/nursery times, we felt it was time. We gave him some ideas from which to choose, and he went with pirate (if you're wondering, other 'available' themes were; superhero, dinosaurs and monsters).
We decided after we painted it a new color ('Deep Sea Diver') we wanted to paint a mural on the wall.
So, this is what we have been steadily on for the last couple weeks...

Dad going over painting instructions. (And, yes, Z got to help paint the room. And, yes I know he's only four...;0)

Umm...can you tell he was a little excited?

No going back now...

We put this on the wall...

...Using this (BIG shout out to our friend, Laura, for letting us borrow it!!)

Then Colin traced the entire thing by himself (I did do one small anchor, but that's it)!

So, in an effort to not overwhelm you with tons of pictures ('cause I never do that), i will be posting our progress as we go along... So stay tuned for the next 'installment!'

Monday, March 1, 2010

Valentine Pinwheels

So, I haven't been a very attentive blogger recently, but I have been really busy with lots of various things... I know, not a very good excuse, but I will appease you by showing you these adorable pinwheels Z and I made for Valentines.
So, we could have just bought those cheap-o cardboard Valentines from the store, but those are so not us. LOL! Plus, Z had been begging for a craft day, so I thought we could kill two birds with one stone! My original idea was to get some cute Valentines scrapbook paper, but there was nary a paper with hearts to be found at the store. So, instead, I grabbed some various papers I thought were cute and pinwheel-ish.
Z and I really enjoyed making these together (even if he did poop out on my after the first few...) and our recipients seemed to really enjoy them as well. :0)
This is my first attempt at a tutorial, and please keep in mind that I was doing the main crafting/directions to Z plus taking the pictures. It wasn't easy, but I think the idea comes through pretty well. :0)

Step 1: Gather materials
You will need:
Pencil (for tracing pattern)
Patterned paper (if you can find double-sided, that would be ideal; otherwise you will just have to glue your paper back-to-back)
Pushpins (in colors to match your paper)
Pencils ('stems' for the pinwheels)

Step 2: Trace pattern onto your paper (I found pattern here) and cut out your squares

*Skip this if you have double sided paper
Step 3: Glue paper back to back

Step 4: Hold pattern on your paper and use it as a guide to cut slits in the corners (tip: have two different patterns; one just for tracing and one just for cutting slits)

Step 5: Use a pushpin to poke holes in corners of your square (every other 'flap') and one in the middle of your square

Step 6: Start bringing flaps together by pushing pushpin through your holes
I found it easiest to go in reverse order and push the pushpin in the last flap first and so on...

Step 6: Push pin through eraser of pencil...and that's it!

We also added some little notes that we wrapped around each pencil. I just mounted a piece of white paper that I had printed (using Print Shop) with some cute little sayings (“You make my head spin” and “You make my heart whirl”) on one side and “Happy Valentine's Day on the other side onto a matching piece of patterned paper.

They turned out very cute and like I said, were really fun to make. I think it's a wonderful alternative to buying pre-made Valentine's, but could also be used for any other occasion (stick a couple in Easter baskets, make some patriotic pinwheels for 4th of July, or have a pinwheel themed birthday party!). Best of all, you have a fun, creative activity to do with your kids... I really can't say enough about getting hands-on and crafting with your kids!
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