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12 posts from July 2009

July 15, 2009

Friends helping friends

Tell Her This - Bringing Ellis Home

Click the image above to visit Kris's blog and see more photos of adorable little Ellis Gao Mei!  They're having a fund raiser and the prizes are pretty cool and the money they raise is going to help them bring this sweet baby girl home!    I'm so excited for them! 

As you know, we recently transitioned our girls to big beds so we're left with two beautiful cribs/toddler beds.  For sentimental reasons, I just have to keep one but in exchange for any size donation to Ellis's fund, I'm willing to give away the other to a family reading this blog who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Heck, we'll even deliver!   The crib is from the Isabella collection by Babi Italia and you can see it on their site here:  http://www.babiitalia.com/html/lifestyle.html

Ours is white.  It's used, folks, but it's been lovingly used and it was new when we bought it for $500+ back in 2006.  The toddler bed rail is included (with some little teeth marks - courtesy of Madeline).  This is a really pretty crib and it's very well made and has plenty of life left in it.  Simmon's Kids mattress is also included.  If you want the crib, email me or leave a comment.  

July 13, 2009

I always say I'm going to try to write this stuff down

I'm busy sifting through all the stuff we uncovered after moving our home office from one room of our house to another room.  There are piles of things everywhere and it's taking some time to figure out where everything should go.  Meanwhile, the kids aren't supposed to touch any of it and the challenge is proving especially hard for Gwen.

Mommy:  "I see that you're touching some things I asked you not to touch."
Gwenny:  "But it's so pretty and I like it!"
Mommy:  "We had a deal though.  You can play with everything else
              but you must leave this stuff alone.  If you bother it again,
              you'll be punished."
Gwenny:  "PUNCHED!?" (Eyes big as saucers) "
Mommy:  (Doubled over with laughter) "Not PUNCHED, Honey.  PUNISHED!"



Change is good - Part One (the beds)

If change is good, then we had a REALLY GOOD weekend!

I never had a pretty bedroom when I was growing up so it's always been important for me to give this to my kids.  So far, the girls don't really have a preference about any of the decorations but I'm sure that'll change -- and probably soon!

When Michael was little, I think we redid his room every two or three years.  My favorite was the red/black Chicago Bulls theme even though the life size cardboard cutout of Michael Jordan would always catch me by surprise and scare the hell out of me when I went into his room in the middle of the night.   Something about a great big guy standing over your kid's bed that you never really get used to. 

Michael had a trundle bed when he was growing up.  He loved it for two reasons.  As you probably guessed, he enjoyed having friends come over and spend the night but the real reason he liked his bed was because the trundle underneath took up so much space that there obviously wasn't room for monsters to live under there.  At least not big ones.  

We still have his trundle bed but don't use it because we got it in 1989 and it wasn't even new back then.  I have no idea how old those two mattresses are but I'm guessing at least 30 years old and I once read that dust mite poop causes a mattress to double in weight every ten years.  That's a tremendous amount of poop!  I mean POUNDS of mite poop!  But even if that's an exaggeration, even a few ounces of poop would be disgusting enough that I won't let anyone use the mattresses.  The Poop Bed (as we call it) is just made up as "decoration" in Gwen's room.  Well, until this last weekend... 

I guess I just assumed the girls would always have a trundle bed too but when they outgrew their toddler bed, it made more sense to use our two spare beds instead of going out and buying two more.  It wasn't an easy decision (which is probably why we waited to long to get them out of their toddler beds) because our spare beds are huge: a Queen and a Full!

The "before" photo of their room is <here> and their new rooms are below.

Kids room - redo Maddy's 'new' bed is queen size.  The last two mornings, I've gone into her room and almost been unable to find her in it because she's so very tiny and disappears in the folds of her "Shabby Chic" quilt and sheets.  The bed takes up just about the entire room but that's okay because she only sleeps in there and does all of her playing in the playroom.   When we have money to blow, we'll replace this beast with a pretty daybed/trundle and a matching vanity.  Something more suiting a Princess (not a Queen).

 Kids room - redo Gwen's 'new' bed is a bit smaller (full size) and she looks pretty comfortable in it. At first, I thought it would be temporary (like Maddy's) but now I'm thinking it fits the room nicely and there's no reason she can't keep it for the rest of her childhood.   The headboard is actually the front part of her old crib.  I like how it looks with the frog mural on the wall.  I'm going to sew a cute little canopy out of some fabric that I have that matches the froggy wallpaper border.   I've never gotten tired of this room (our original nursery) and I hope Gwen will want to keep this forever.  At the very least, I'm praying her first choice of room makeover isn't a Jonas Bros theme!

Part Two of our Big Weekend of Change involved moving the office out of the playroom and turning that ENTIRE space over the kids.  The new office is now in the junk room that used to hold all of our junk plus our two spare beds (stacked on top of one another).   It looks like a tornado ripped through the house right now so it'll be a day or two before I can post "after" photos of that.  Thankfully, our computers are moved and we have internet - phew!  :)

July 10, 2009

Delayed Gratification

Since Gwenny turned 5 in Paris without the benefit of a home-baked birthday cake or really any celebration at all other than the fact that she was in PARIS!  I mean, really, shouldn't that be good enough?  Well, maybe if you're turning 15 instead of 5.

So we've been home since Sunday and we're finally past the urge to lapse into a coma at 3:00 PM each day and Gwen's been reminding me of my promise to make her a cake.  She asked for chocolate - with chocolate frosting and I was at a loss for how to make a totally brown cake look 'girly' (Not unlike my dilemma when Michael asked for a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting for his 4th birthday).  I finally decided to go the cupcake route since I had a cupcake 'tree' that displayed the treats in a fancy way.  Fancy = Girly.  Right?

delayed gratification

So that was Gwen's delayed gratification and here's some for you.

A few posts back, I mentioned that we were in Scotland (trying to tolerate the rain and the bagpipes) but I don't think I mentioned that we spent another full day there and the weather cleared and it was insanely beautiful.   Honestly, in the sunshine, even bagpipe music sounds good!

Here are some of my favorite photos from our last day in the UK.

Edinburgh Scotland 
Can you believe how beautiful this is?  Seriously, I can't stop looking at it.  I just wish I remembered what the heck it was!Flowers in Edinburgh
Another gorgeous photo of Edinburgh.  This time I crouched down and snapped the photo through a wrought iron fence that protected a bed of beautiful flowers.

Gwen The Defender 
Gwen was allowed to pick a souvenir of the trip and she chose a sword and shield.  No big surprise there!  Here she is "protecting" a spot along the "Royal Mile".  Be sure to click the image so you can see the larger view and appreciate her face and how serious she is about her job.

 Ruins of Abbey behind Holyrood Palace
Gwen and Maddy inside the ruins of the Abbey behind Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh.  It's amazing to be in a place that is this old (it was built in 1128!). 

 Ruins of Abbey behind Holyrood Palace
I love this photo of Andrew and his baby girls.  He looks so good and the Abbey Ruin is so spectacular but Gwen is clearly miserable.  Maddy is only happy because Gwen isn't.  To pretend that our entire trip was all fun and games to them would be a disservice to every parent who has ever traveled with 4 and 5 year olds.    Looking back, it's kinda funny.  As parents, you just soldier through all of this as best you can.  Now I find it remarkable how these gorgeous photos betray the full mood of the moment in which they were taken.

 Ruins of Abbey behind Holyrood Palace
A snapshot back in time - nearly 900 years!

 Garden of holyrood palace
Don't you almost expect a unicorn to walk across this grassy path?  I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful and it was a relief to be in the garden of Holyrood Palace because, frankly, the palace is kinda grim.  It's dark and cold and musty and full of things that must have been state of the art several hundred years ago but seem uncomfortable now. 

Interesting how we can judge how royalty lived hundreds of years ago and (by western standards) it seems substandard.  This was especially true of how Emperors lived in the Forbidden City in Beijing but things weren't much more comfortable for Kings and Queens of other countries.    Kinda makes me wonder how the peasants lived back then.

If you're still wanting more, check out our flickr photo set for Edinburgh. All these photos are there and several others too. Best of all, they're full size so you can see every glorious detail!

July 06, 2009

We're Home, Wide Awake and Squeaky Clean

Yesterday, we flew from Edinburgh Scotland to London England to San Francisco and came home to a very grateful cat and a nice soft bed.  At 3:00 AM (today), we were all wide awake and decided to start our day nice and early. 

I ran a bath for the girls and plunked them in it while I unpacked suitcases.  I heard them playing and splashing and laughing so I knew they were safe even though I wasn't directly supervising.  Then I heard Maddy say "Um... Mom?  I think we need your help..." so I ran into the bathroom and saw this:

bubble mess bathtime

The scene made me gasp. They emptied THREE bottles of bubble bath into the Jacuzzi Tub and turned on the jets!  Then they stirred all of their bath toys into the foamy mess.  I was not looking forward to cleaning this up since there was still so much unpacking and laundry to do after our trip so I tried to scold them but I couldn't keep a straight face (damn it!).  I told them to stay put while I choked back laughter and ran to fetch Daddy and the camera.

We put each girl into the shower and rinsed them off but the soapy foam just wouldn't go down the drain.  It's still 8 inches deep in the bathtub and no amount of water I dump on it seems to reduce it.  Anyone know a good home remedy for dissolving foam?  Salt, maybe?

Many thanks for all of the nice comments during our vacation.  Sorry I didn't reply to everyone but our internet connections were pathetically slow everywhere we went and I was barely able to do the little bit of computer stuff I did.  Now I'm excited to get the kids into school a few hours per day so I can have time to visit blogs and catch up on what my friends in bloggerville have been up to!

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