Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A little bit of lately....a little bit random.

Long post warning. Just FYI. (And....I can't get the spacing right in this entry despite my one thousand attempts and it's annoying me--sorry about that).

We have been living up summer over here.  Rain and gray days to 90 degrees and sunny here in Michigan.  Our weekend was one of those summer weekends where you just crash on Sunday night and you're wind-whipped and sun-burned and a little bit sticky and there are wet bathing suits hanging in the bathroom and a pile of memories from the weekend on the kitchen island that need to be taken care of but all you, or I, wanted to do was watch Next Food Network Star--so I did.  And can I just say.....they sent the right person home this week.  I won't give it away if you're waiting to watch a DVR'd version.  You're welcome.

First thing......on Thursday night (the unofficial start to the weekend) I decided to try my hand at making spring rolls.  I even decided to make it a tutorial to share with you or on momcoloredglasses.com and set about taking pictures of everything I was doing.  See below.

Yeah.  These were disgusting.  I rolled three different kinds; chicken and peach, shrimp and mint, avocado and basil.  I was following a recipe from a very famous, she will remain nameless, cook.  I've never been into cannibalism but I'm assuming biting into a human would feel similar to biting into the spring rolls I made.  I don't know if I didn't soak the rice wrappers long enough or what.....but the tutorial didn't make it further than this picture. I threw it all away and we had Lipton chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner instead.  Awesome.

Then, for some odd reason, Georgia told me that she wanted to take a shower that night instead of a bath.  We've never offered that up as an option and it just came out of the blue--she's into showers now.  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that "she's big now."  Everything comes back to being "big now."  "I can walk in the street by myself because I'm big."  Uh--no you can't.  "I can drink my mato (tomato) juice in a cup because I'm big now." Yep--no to that too. "I can ride in the front seat because I'm big now." And again--that's a no. 

And on Friday night we had one of our drive-way bonfires with the neighbors...ribs, pork loin, chili (because it felt like October....thank you Michigan), fruit pizza, and s'mores.  Chris went all out WT with some fire-works from Indiana and Georgia didn't like them.  She said, "Daddy not do that anymore."  Fourth of July should be fun.  I didn't take many pictures that night--I just wanted to relax and not be the lady behind the camera.....I did get this one that I love of Georgia with our neighbor Julie.  Julie and her husband Stephan are leaving this week to move to Rhode Island. We'll miss them like crazy!

Saturday was a beautiful day.  We headed to the farmer's market in the morning.  People always ask me....Is Georgia always so happy?  This picture is my answer to them.  As a result I don't have many cute pictures of her from the morning standing in front of piles of radishes and sunflowers like I'd hoped.  However, she did brighten up when we got doughnuts from Van's---if you live in Grand Rapids and you haven't been there on a Saturday morning during the summer--Go.  It's just part of being a Grand Rapidian. 

And then.....to my utter shock.....Chris said it was okay if we painted with our Crayola (washable) paints on the drive-way.  They really do come off very easy and it's way more fun than using sidewalk chalk. I can't stand the way that stuff feels. 

We took Georgia to Grand Haven on Saturday night.  She'd never been.  How ridiculous are we as parents that she'd never been and she's two?  I will say this though and I'll warn you that I'm about to sound really old here......When you go with your kid who is the most important thing in the world to you and you see the kind of older kids that are loitering and roving all around Grand Haven it makes you want to go live on a yurt in Mongolia.  Not really, but you find yourself thinking of all the ways you can never let your daughter go to Grand Haven without you.  I told you I'd sound old.  Regardless, we had a good time....we ate hot dogs, played in the sand, and went swinging.  A good night in Georgia's book. 

Sometimes I see people sporting Cedar Point, Lego Factory, Pennsylvania Dutch, Ohio Turn-Pike, or World's Largest Ball of Twine sweatshirts and I think....why would you buy that?  And then, you're at the beach with your two year old and you can't find the sweater you brought for her and it's freezing and you're forced to buy a Grand Haven sweatshirt and that's why people wear those sweatshirts I guess.  Not the best $25 I ever spent.

And finally on Sunday we built the slip n'slide again down our hill with the neighbors and some friends and it was amazing......of course; faster, longer, dirtier, and a bigger pool of water at the bottom.  I put my camera aside for the day too because I really just wanted to slide and shriek and eat garbage food and lay out by the inflatable pool that our neighbors Tom and Sara put in their front yard.  Oh yeah...we're a class act over here.  I did grab a few of Georgia in the pool and captured all of her summer little girlness....complete with Popsicles, hello kitty tattoos, and home-made jewelry (that she won't let me take off--which is a win in my book). 

She wasn't praying to this licorice.....just inhaling it.

And at the end of Sunday night....we all just felt like this.  Thanks again summer for a wonderful weekend.  See you again on Friday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Delivering the mail & duckies on a boat ride.

You know those "things" or "occurrences" around your house that are so unmistakeably an act of your children (or a really bizarre intruder)? Like.....my "fluffy" underwear (as Georgia calls them) always in her toy basket even though I repeatedly remove them and put them back in my underwear drawer, or my blush brush always showing up in her play kitchen because, according to her....it's a cupcake, or the lids to all of my rubber-maid containers never being in the cupboard because Georgia likes to take them and pretend they are computers.

I love those things.  I love those things because they are a little glimpse into an imagination that by thirty three so many of us have lost.  We're literal.  A blush brush can't be a cupcake--even though it looks uncannily like a big fat cupcake.  A rubber-maid lid a laptop?  When you put one on the floor and prop one up against the chest......it absolutely looks like a laptop.  And I love those things because they are Georgia to me. 

Sometimes when I find my fluffy under-wear, make-up brushes, my rubber-maid lids, my blue shoes, my sheets of stickers, my ironing spray bottle, or my bracelets in places I never put them I leave them there.  I leave them there because I feel a twinge of sadness on her behalf when she goes back to find them tomorrow and literal mommy has "put them away in their proper place." I leave them there because I live vicariously through her imagination.  I leave them there because in a few months she won't play that game anymore....it will be something new....and the little girl that she was is getting older and mommy is watching it happen with no control.  And practically, I leave them there because when you have a two year old with a photographic memory I know I'll have a lot of explaining to do if the bug is not in the mailbox when she goes to check for it tomorrow. 

I started documenting these things a while ago because I didn't want to forget them.  I wanted to soak up every little bit of that imagination and celebrate how her little mind works when I'm letting her play on her own.  See below..........(and I promise I did not put these things in these places for the sake of a picture--that would make me very odd and almost unstable).

This is where Baby B takes a nap....a lot....and sometimes her head almost comes off when I have to reef on the drawer to get it open because she makes it stick--and yet she is still sleeping peacefully in my sock drawer on most days. Luckily, for her, it's summer so my sock drawer doesn't get as much use and her naked naps are interrupted a lot less.   

These alphabet cards reside in my cabinet full of serving dishes on a full time basis.  There is a large slit where the door rests in it's frame that Georgia can push them through.  If you try to move them she yells in protest, "No!  That's the mailbox....you won't get your mail if you take that out of there." And I swear she checks this daily....because if I do remove them when she's not looking --- I'd bet my house that if I checked it not two hours later they'd be right back in there. 

This string of ducks makes the rounds.  This picture has them "taking a boat ride" in some shoes.  It feels good to confidently shove your feet into your shoes only to discover through a lot of sharp angles and pokes that some plastic ducks have taken up residence.  Although, I will take the ducks any day over the plastic fork that just about separated my toenail from it's bed last week. 

That's it.  Just a little bit of nostalgia on this rainy day.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Can I interest you in a game of Jenga?

I've got to be honest....I'm not good at "re-purposing" things.  It's a totally cool thing to do right now--I know--but I'm not good at it.  I'm good at buying things and throwing away things I deem to be broken, used up, worn out, and old-fashioned.  In the name of all frugality I know I need to get better at this.  So.....a while back I saw an idea on pinterest that used old Jenga blocks.  I had an old Jenga game.  I had some scrap-book paper.  I had some Mod Podge. And.......I had a two year old that would appreciate a little game of Memory...or at least grow to appreciate it, right?

When I clicked on this Jenga memory game there was no tutorial--just a web-site where you could buy the game from a woman in the Netherlands for about $25!!!  Really?  I'll tell you right now--I spent $0 on this.  And I would bet that a lot of us have an old Jenga game and some paper scraps.  I could see someone having to go out and get some Mod Podge--if so, you're looking at $5.  It's really a steal of a DIY project for your kiddos. 

Here you go..............

Get your old Jenga game (I used 20 pieces for my memory game), some Mod Podge, some foam brushes (the little ones), and some scrap-booking scraps.

Cut your paper to size.  This is the trickiest part of this project.  And if you call this tricky--you might also struggle with tying your shoes.  I mean--it's really that easy. 

Look--they even sell these little foam brushes the exact size of a Jenga block--like it was meant to be.  Oh, and I confess...I did actually have to buy these.  A pack of about a billion for $3. 

I put a layer of Mod Podge on the block itself, then adhered the paper to the block, and then did three more coats of Mod Podge on top of the paper.  (Just FYI--I used the Matte Mod Podge, but the shiny will work just fine too.)

Let them dry until you can stack them up and they aren't sticking to each other--about 15 minutes.

Ta-dah!  Now you have these great little blocks.....and I think they would be a super fantastic addition to a baby present too.  You could customize them for the recipient. 

Time to play.  She's two--so the rules of Memory aren't going to be followed for a while, but she can definitely match them up. 

Hands.  If you can get pictures of your kids hands doing whatever they do, do it.  I think they are the best pictures.  This makes me want to go wake Georgia up right now so I can kiss those little purple-polished fingers. 

So, that's it.  So easy, really cute, and you could change this idea up in so many ways.  You can do a block for each letter of the alphabet, the letters in their names, pictures of friends and family (my sister actually made me a really cool matching game with faces of important women.....Georgia can always name Martha Stewart & Tori Spelling), numbers, and the list goes on. 

Side note:  Old Jenga games are also useful as a present for newly-weds.  Write some fun stuff on each piece and give it to them to play (alone).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A "Beaches" kind of week.

And by that I don't mean that I've been sad and crying in that really ugly kind of way or singing "Wind Beneath my Wings," but just feeling sentimental.  You see, when I sit on the bathroom floor for twenty minutes at a time with G reading books, eating smarties, popping bubble wrap, drinking 'special juice' (capri sun flavored water) all in the name of trying to get her to use the big girl potty I am in shock at how big she is getting and I wonder if I'm doing enough to hold on to all of those little memories of her from when she was little. 

And then I read my good friend Rachel's post this morning on my other blog, momcoloredglasses.com and I felt even more sentimental and sappy about my baby.  When Georgia was about a year old I was at a friends house and I happened to see a calendar she had in a drawer and on it she'd written all of these amazing mile-stones her kids made when.  She had a calendar for each kid.  I panicked.  I didn't do that.  I didn't remember exactly when Georgia had been able to hold her head up, when she'd rolled over, when she'd eaten cereal, when she'd used a sippy cup, and on and on.  I did however, remember when she slept through the night--that's worth remembering!  Right? Five weeks---just to gloat--don't worry all you moms who were still getting up with your kids at eight months, a year, two years.....I've never gotten a three hour nap out of the girl like the rest of you get everyday!

But when I got home that day I made a committment to keeping a record of little things about Georgia that I didn't want to forget.  I didn't have a calendar to spare, I wasn't good about keeping a first year memory book, and I am terrible at sorting through the hours of video that we've taken of Georgia.  But, I did have a computer and I love to write so I decided to just write a few things here and there whenever I thought about them.  I've been doing that for almost a year now and going back and reading them is like watching Beaches for me--makes me a little sad at how fast I forget her doing what I've written and makes me want to remember the best stuff about her even more.

So last night as I was recording another one (she yelled "boom shaka laka" in the middle of Babies R' Us) I decided to share a few of them with the rest of you.......and if you know Georgia you'll probably like them a little more than everyone else.

August 6, 2010
Georgia.  My friend Lyndsey said when you were born that she felt like she already knew you because as long as she’d known me there was a “Georgia.”  I talked about what my little girl named Georgia would be like, what I’d do with her, what I couldn’t wait to show her, and how I just had to have one.  Right before you were born we played around with the idea of naming you Amelia…..we were pretty serious about it.  Lyndsey protested.  “No” she said over and over. It has to be Georgia.  If you don’t name her Georgia it’s like I missed a huge part of who your little girl is and who she will be, because I already know her as Georgia.  You can’t not name her that.  It’s meant to be.  So, you’re Georgia….you absolutely are…..
You’re Georgia because of;
Your fiery spirit.
Your little tan hands that I love to touch over and over because they are so smooth and adorable when they hold your babies and my hand.
Your little lips that purse into a kiss whenever you say things like, “I do,” “I know,” “Shoes,” “Peep Peep,” and the list goes on….like today…you just started saying “Polka Dots”….makes me want to go wake you up right now and kiss your little cheeks.
How you took the hose nozzle one day and put it into the “gas tank” of your play car to fill up the car with gas ...even though I’d never shown you how to do that.
Because of how much you beg to be chased.
And spend countless hours trying your hardest to buckle your white sandals.
Because you say “bouncy” whenever you see me making my bed and want to bounce on it.
Because you peek into the shower every time your dad or I are in it and act like it’s the first time you’ve ever seen us taking a shower……
I could list things forever…..but know….that you’ll always be…..our Georgia.

December 8, 2010
Moo Moo is gone.  Mie-lk has taken it’s place.  It’s really cute how you say Mie-lk, it is.  But it makes me a little sad that you’ve stopped saying Moo Moo in the morning when you run into the kitchen to get a cup of milk.  I don’t know how it happened, I don’t even know the exact day, I didn’t know that the last time you said it would be the last time you said it.  It makes me wonder what else are the lasts…..when will it be the last time you say Ice, Ice Baby or ask to see your boogars when I wipe your nose or describe me as cauuuute, or tell me that something “sounds good” after I tell you what we’re about to do?  The crazy mom part of me hopes that you’ll never stop doing those things, although if you ask to see your boogars on a date or in a job interview you probably won’t get asked out again or get the job, but it’s just so cute and it’s just so you.  I want to appreciate all of those little things you do, because I never know when it’s going to be the last time. 

March 21, 2011
You’ve had strep throat and double ear infections.  You hated the medicine and refused to take it even though I tried disguising it in V8, milk, pear juice, yogurt, applesauce, force feeding it to you, etc.  No avail.  So, naturally, I was worried that even though 10 days had passed--you were still sick.  I brought you into the doctor today to have a re-check….they did another strep test…..you hated it.  Who doesn’t?  All day long you kept telling everyone you had to eat a stick at the doctor’s office and you don’t want to eat sticks anymore.  You’re adorable. 

So, here's to growing up and remembering you and loving every second of you Georgia! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wearing pull-ups with pride!

I stole that line from one of my friends. 

An update on the potty training front--it's slow going over here.  But, we're not stopping. I just think we're going to be the potty training for a while type of family vs. the in and out in a week kind of family.  And because of that.....I'm thankful for pull-ups.  I didn't think I'd go there but I have, and with a huge sigh of relief.  Because, just like I'm a wash my hair every day kind of girl, I'm also not a clean pee out of the carpet and do loads of laundry kind of girl.  And.....it's very hard for me to force myself to stay home.  One day--sure.  Three to four to five to six to seven to eight--probably not.  It's also summer--and Georgia is an outdoor girl to the core.......the novelty of going on the big girl potty wears off fast when it's an outdoor interruption.....the game of trying to keep the hearts on the pull-ups is much more fun for her. So.....here we are.  And I thank you all so much for the advice you've given me! 

We went to Meijer today--wouldn't have been able to if it weren't for the pull-ups--we needed to get out of the 90 degree heat we're having here in Michigan and I let Georgia do something I've been promising her she could do for a while now.  She brought her own grocery cart.....with her own baby. We went early in the day so it wasn't very busy, and I only needed to get a few things.  It ended up taking me about four times as long as this kind of trip would normally have taken but she was loving it!  And most of the time....that's worth more than anything else. 

Happy mid-week...and happy heat--it's super hot!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Oreo Pops, the Weekend, and Potty Training

Another one of those great summer weekends--and I really only say that because our air conditioning just got fixed and being that it was 90 here this weekend it actually did feel great in our house--we had fun too....so I shouldn't just credit the AC.

If you've ever visited my other on-line home, momcoloredglasses.com you might have seen my post last week about making a summer list with your kids to keep everybody sane this summer. I thought I could keep myself accountable to my own list by updating the goings-on of my list right here.  So, #1 on my list was go to a baseball game.  Check.  As of today.  Last year a bunch of us attempted this as well only to be driven out by rain and thunder.  This year, it was mid-eighties, sunny, and muggy--much better baseball weather, and makes being covered in sticky ice-cream that much more enjoyable. 

If you know Georgia....you know her favorite part of any event is the eating.  This hot-dog lasted maybe 30 seconds.  She'll be able to out-eat any hot dog eating champ within five years I'm sure of it. 

So many great pictures of these two.....I need to get on the other side of the camera!

This is Addi....she's pretty darn adorable!

No nap....again....I can't believe this isn't a picture of G crying.
Georgia was obsessed with Madi's "bow."  Madi was very patient.  I don't know many people that enjoy their heads being touched this much and especially in mid-eighty degree weather in the baking sun.

Fi.....love this girl! 

I don't even know who won this game, who was winning when we ended up leaving....I was just taking pictures.

G! Smiling for a picture and looking right at the camera...imagine that!

We headed over to a friends house afterwards for some more junk food and backyard games.  I really, really wanted to bring these Oreo pops I'd found on pinterest.  They looked so easy--not so much.  I tried two different kinds of white chocolate, different sized sucker sticks and double stuff Oreo's as well as regular.  No luck.  The Oreo's kept breaking, the sucker sticks fell out, when I dipped them in white chocolate they all fell apart, when I spooned chocolate over them they stuck to the parchment paper and broke when I tried to take them off, and on and on. I did get these two to work--not quite enough for a get together with 12 kids.

So, I ended up making these strawberries instead--pretty good....but just not the Oreo pops I had in mind.  I'm taking your suggestions--let me know what I should do instead!  I really want to make these....they're just too cute!

I want to eat these little hands. 

And she just wants to eat more food.


And gone.
So tired after a long, hot, summer, wonderful day!

And, in other news.....I'm going to attempt potty training (take two) again this week--that's number twenty-three on my list by the way.  Now, I know I could be opening up a can of worms with this one too--but I'll take any advice you have to give on this topic as well.  I have high hopes--famous last words, right?

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