Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Promise to Relax

My plan this summer was really just to relax and enjoy more moments like this:

And this:

(yes, that's Maddie turning in mid run/jump to look at a boy who was calling for her at the playground. She's in demand!)

I just spent a lovely evening talking with Rob while watching Maddie play in our backyard at the lake. We talked about how we wanted to go low-tech this summer. I pledged that I was blogging less to sink into the moment instead of trying to capture it.

No sooner did that discussion happen than I started thinking of things I wanted to post on my blog and summer projects that I wanted to do with Maddie (what can I say, I'm a Gemini!) So there will be blog posts this summer. Don't worry, oh loyal reader (Hi, Mom!)

I do intend to relax a little bit, but maybe not right away. It seems I have some recovery to deal with after the end of the school year. As things stand now:

  • I haven't gone grocery shopping in 7 weeks. I mean I've been to Wegmans (or as my iPhone likes to call it Wetlands), but I haven't done a real meal-planning, pantry-filling trip in a long time.
  • There are stickers stomped into my rug and dust bunnies colonizing my hallway.
  • Technology has revolted against me. My iPhone is slowing down, my Internet stopped working and my laptop just showed me an icon that looked like a hard drive icon when I tried to restart it. I'm no IT expert, but I think that's techno for "Armageddon is coming." (Funny thing, do you know where Armageddon comes from? It's derived from Megiddo which was one of the cities attacked by the Egyptians around the time of the Battle of Kadesh.)

    Anyway, I like to picture a relaxing summer as me sipping iced coffee in a lawn chair while my house is being cleaned by Tinkerbell. (This may be a future possibility as Maddie makes her bed by sprinkling it with pixie dust that she apparently stores in her underwear.) At the very least, it seems I need to be organized enough to make things run smoothly while I do relax. Maybe that's what Spring Cleaning is for. Hmmm, I should remember that next year.

    So I'm revising my pledge (it's ok, Rob doesn't read my blog so there's no accountability). I pledge to relax this summer while trying to devise sort cuts for keeping my life running smoothly. And I promise to share that with you all (heh, all 3 of you).

    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
  • Sunday, June 17, 2012

    Anatomy of a Perfect Father's Day

    Coffee (Maddie picked Cote D'Afrique. Good pick, Mads!)

    Throwing rocks.

    Fresh picked strawberries.

    Quality time with this guy.

    And a picture of a picture...

    That's Father's Day 1979, and one of my favorite photos.

    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    A Birthday Party Fit For A Princess

    We threw Maddie a princess-themed birthday party on Saturday complete with all the (pink) trimmings. Maddie took it all in stride.

    I really like throwing parties and I just love that moment when a child sees something truly special, just for them. So maybe I enjoy theme parties a little bit more than the average person. And admittedly there's usually one moment in the week before the party that I think, "Hmmm, maybe I should just have a cake and forget all this?" But then I start decorating and it all just makes the moment so right.

    This year, Maddie had requested a princess party, but I knew that it had to be a little more than just the princess aisle at Party City. And we weren't throwing your usual kids party -- just family with Maddie being the only kid present at this event. So I tried to make things as kid-friendly for Maddie while still including all of our adult guests.

    There was a coloring station. And a castle cake (made by Grandma. Thank you, Mom!) and balloon chandelier. And crown jewels for the princess. I covered the coffee and dining room tables with huge princess coloring pages that Maddie had once begged for and then never used (and then asked for the day after the party).

    Lots of balloons!

    Maddie loves her new purse that she can color all over with special markers.

    And of course what would a kid's party be without games? Because we don't really have kids at our parties, I try to do games that are fun for the adults -- like this one which involved finding photos of Maddie which were peppered throughout the apartment (and especially on our bookcase which displayed Maddie's baby books and photos). And I also had a game or two that was more suited just for Maddie -- like finding the glass slipper (which turned out to be in her play kitchen oven.)

    My favorite party thing was the guest book. I've done something like this every year for Maddie's party. Last year at her Tinkerbell party, I asked guests for "Happy Thoughts." The year before, I wrote out Maddie's first and middle names and asked guests to write an adjective for Maddie starting with each letter. I save these for her scrapbook. This year I asked guest to write a birthday wish. We got some really awesome princessy wishes.

    As for Maddie's birthday wish? I think she wants to be a princess.

    Or a doctor. Or a Doctor Princess. Or a Princess Doctor.

    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    Maddie's Big Birthday Gift

    Yup. You know you're a big kid when you have a "bike." and you know you're daddy's girl when... Well, do I need to say anything more?

    Maddie started asking for for a purple "tree cell" quite a while ago. We had decided to get her one and was looking around everywhere for a purple tricycle that was a real tricycle (not a big wheelie or cheapy plasticy thing). We finally settled on this Radio Flyer. Let's face it -- the girl loves pink.

    Then Maddie stopped asking for a tricycle and started asking for princess anything. I kind of thought she forgot and was pleasantly surprised when I saw how happy she was to receive it.

    Rob helped Maddie try it out on our awesome hallway.

    Maddie asked Rob, "Where did you get this for me?"

    He said, "A store."

    Maddie: "Didn't they have a purple one?"

    Rob: "No, they didn't."

    Maddie: "Why didn't you go to a different one?"

    Sigh. Guess she remembered. But she does like it. She's talked nonstop about it and did pretty well learning to ride it. I think the princess basket and princess bell (and princess helmet that GG gave her) are just icing on the cake.

    So that's my big kid. Stay tuned for more about tomorrow's party! You'll never guess the theme...

    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Guess Who's 3!

    That's right, this girl! Yesterday was Maddie's birthday and we had a great day. Both Rob and I had off so we could spend time with our little girl. I knew I wanted to make the day special for her because it was the first time that she really knew what a birthday was (afterall she's had one a week for three weeks now!) and was counting down to it.

    What exactly makes a day special to Maddie, well that was easy!

    We all know Maddie is a shopaholic... and maybe so is her mom. I was at Party City when I started picking up little Disney Princess favors that were only a dollar or so. That's when I remembered this idea to give one present an hour. Between the little gifts and the ones that Rob and I had already gotten her we were all set.

    Maddie's first present of the day was a simple pink felt wallet that I made that was filled with 20 $1 bills -- because we all know that my Maddie would like nothing more than to go "Shopping Target" or "Shopping Wegmans" and buy princess books.

    And this would be the anatomy of a perfect day for Maddie. She got to open a birthday present with breakfast. Then we headed out to "Shopping Barnes and Noble" where she bought a Princess book. Then we went to "Shopping Target" where she bought a Princess phone (and proceeded to text in the car! Gasp!) Then we went to the mall so she could drive with Stuart Little and get a cookie. We took a few gifts with us to open along the way. By noon, she had crashed.

    We spent the afternoon playing with her real gift... which will be posted in a future post (because my computer is driving me crazy tonight!)

    After dinner at the "Olibe Garden", we went to see Maddie's Great Grandma and had some cake. Hmmm, can she picked what kind? I don't think she actually ate any cake, just picked off the "yummy M's".

    I'm pretty sure she enjoyed herself. However she has pretty much tried to use "It's my birthday" to get out of everything today. I kind of don't have the heart to say it's not, because she's just so darn cute.

    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    Dirty Drawers

    (yes, I line my drawers with foil... Keeps them clean and I didn't have any shelf liner.)

    I have always had more than one junk drawer in my kitchen. In this apartment, we have very shallow drawers, so buying organizing boxes/trays was going to be tough. (Plus, I'm too cheap to spend lots of money on organization!)

    We've lived her for three years and the mess was getting out of control. When things get jammed and stuff flies out of drawers, you know it's time for a change.

    My cheap soul loved the idea of using cereal boxes to create dividers. I saw this idea on Pinterest, but I'm sorry to say I didn't actually pin it, so I can't link it.

    My drawers are only half a cereal box high, so I cut boxes in half. Then I categorized all my utensils and, well, junk. I traced out the size on the box and superglued on strips of boxes to make the perfect sized compartments. And I wrote the name of the junk category so my husband can't use the whole "I don't know where this goes so I shouldn't be unloading the dishwasher" trick (I'm on to you, Fussy.)

    I'm really amazed at how easy this project was. And I did not spend one penny. It's been two weeks and nothing has slipped out of place.

    ***a note to those of you who are concerned about what your drawers look like: you could totally paint or cover your cereal boxes in contact paper. I think people looking in drawers will just be shocked that there's something orderly in my kitchen.

    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone