Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Day of Yes

I find that as a parent I'm sometimes quick to say no. I don't even fully listen to the question before I'm distractedly shutting the idea down. That's not how I want to be as a parent and that's certainly not how I want my kids to remember their childhood.

Kendall had her 8th birthday the other day. She was so sweet, she told me that she wanted a family day. After swim lessons the girls and I headed to our local art museum. It worked our perfectly because they were having their Springfest that day with free snow cones, and a TON of activities for kids.
Once the girls heard that snow cones were being offered they were on a mission to find them. The grounds were gorgeous, Kendall kept saying, "I can't believe this used to be someones house!!"

We attempted a little Georgia O'Keefe painting. Our museum has a great children's program. The second Saturday of every month you take a little box (that they supply) and they will stock it with new art supplies, mark that you attended that month and have various art projects for them to do. Love it!

Art Cars were also there so the girls constructed cars out of cardboard boxes. The other kids were all painting theirs but we had dinner plans following the museum and in two seconds Kate's car had already blown against one of her hair buns (big orange hair) so we opted to just paint them at home.
Kendall's motorcycle

We left the museum and soon passed a big park, of course the girls begged to stop...I said yes. I admit that my goal is usually to get from point A to point B but it was the "Day of Yes" so we turned around and found the parking lot and I am SO glad we did. The girls didn't even want to swing they wanted to run and cartwheel and explore the various paths, bridges and waterfalls. We had so much fun.

I was always in the rear, trying to catch up.
We crossed this little rock path. It doesn't look very scary in the picture but it was, I assure you. That last step (closest in the picture) was actually pretty far and I was holding my new camera, yikes!

From the park we met the boys at Kendall's restaurant of choice (Outback, it's ALWAYS Outback) where we said yes to dinner and dessert. She ended dinner with her head on the table. I was all smiling and proud of myself for completely wearing her out until.....she came home and got sick. Not a great ending to the day but until that point it was the perfect day. A day of yes.

This girl...
This girl is a sweet one. 
The worrier. The other day when we thought Kate had a bean stuck up her nose (don't ask, just don't even ask) Kendall was WAY more worried than Kate. 
The shadow. She wants to be right next to wherever I am. Right next to me and talking. She will turn down play dates if it means she can hang out with me. The other day Kate went to our friends house and Kendall sat next to me, sewed, and talked NON STOP about the house on HGTV. She's my girl, that one.
The compassionate one. If anyone is hurt she is the one checking on them. The other day we were talking about an area of the world that didn't know about Jesus. She got so excited and immediately said, "We can teach them!!!"

I love her and can't wait to see what's in store for her.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Little Stuff

Tonight the three kids and I spent some time in my office. While I worked on getting some stuff organized Kendall and Kate sprawled out on the floor with old scrapbooks and laughed at pictures and read funny stories or cute quotes from the days of their babyhood. Gosh it has me sentimental, I get so caught up in living life with three kids that I fear I've dropped the ball on recording our life with three kids and I seriously cherish having all those moments stored. I found a page with the words of an old blog post on it,

It cracks me up how our two girls just will not walk anywhere. Kate runs and Kendall gallops. Even getting into bed tonight, Kendall went over to her closet to hang something on the doorknob and then gallops back to bed. Wouldn't we all look ridiculous if we did that now? I think the next time I get groceries I'm going to gallop down the aisles. When does that stop? One day out of the blue I'll realize that they are walking and it will make me sad. I want to bottle up every little moment because I don't know which one will be it's last, the last time she gallops to bed, the last time she says "bless yous" instead of 'sneezes,' the last time Kate goes to throw her dirty clothes in the hamper before bath time but forgets to take off her socks (hilarious I tell you, she does it almostevery single time, do you know how funny it is to see a little two year old streaking through your house with her socks on?!). Here's that word again: balance. I'm having a hard time between not wanting them to get another day older and not being able to wait until they are able to experience all that comes with growing up...that first 2 wheeler bike ride, that first lost tooth, that freedom from driving the first time...). I want both to bottle them up and watch them experience life, I think that is why I work so hard to preserve each memory by either blogging about it or taking a picture or making a scrapbook page about it. So that when they are grown and on their own I can relive these days. No matter how much I strive to enjoy the moment I know that I'll have regrets, don't all moms? I'll wish I hadn't cleaned this or that, wish I hadn't stopped to blog about something but instead just spent that time sniffing their sweet little girl hair smells and stealing their little girl snuggles. You just have to find that balance I guess, that ever elusive balance.

Gosh that hits home. Here we sit, just two short years later and both girls are riding a two wheeler, Kendall has lost four of her tiny baby teeth and we have another little one in the house. Just as I predicted the mommy regret has already creeped in. Do I spend enough time, am I already forgetting too much, are we doing it right, what will they remember? Will it be me sitting on the floor and playing Sleeping Queens, Brian spending a Saturday morning with them running errands and picking out special treats or are they going to remember those times that I regret: my distracted, "uh huh" to their chatter or his business dinners and trips that takes him away.

That's another advantage to this blog and the pages holding our memories, it makes ME remember. Not just the time that has passed but also remember the times I want to create now. I want time spent looking into their big eyes while they share the little stuff because when they know I listen to the little stuff they'll come to me with the big stuff. I'm reminded that one day I want to look back at this time of my life and know that I made those moments count. Because it's only been two years but Kendall doesn't gallop home from the bus stop like she once galloped to her bed at night and Kate never forgets to take off her socks before getting into the bath at night. It's gone. Those days are passed. But they're still there, on the blog page and clear in my memory. Instead now I'll cherish the joy one little girl gets from creating play-doh cakes, and a bigger girl's stories of what is happening at school. Now I have Jack to supply more memories, like his begging for, "hot nummies" (hot yummy food) or his invitation for me to come to his house (the space under the stairs). You better believe that I accept those invitations, I duck my head and I crawl into an awkward position and soak it in because one day I'll turn around and realize that he doesn't play under the stair anymore and I'll miss it.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Chicklet's Christmas list

The chicklet's Christmas list

  1.  If my kids are not sleeping or begging for a snack you can pretty much bet that they are outside. So their big toys this year are outside toys. Kendall and Kate have tried out their cousins and friends pogo sticks and are anxious to have one of their own. We noticed the Razor 360 as soon as we moved into this neighborhood and Kendall has played on one at a friends house. I would be lying if I said I didn't want to try it out myself. Jack LOVES to scoot around and has been using the plasma car (which I would highly recommend if you don't already have one). I've heard that kids that use these balance bikes end up learning to ride a two wheeler really early since they never learn to depend on the training wheels.
  2. Guess Who is a classic board game, one my kids have never even seen. I'm sure they'll love it
  3. Story Cubes is a game that you develop fun stories with, I'm all for using your imagination.
  4. Two card games I've heard good things about. Spot it! and Sleeping Queens. Since we're traveling this year I think a lot of these will be good in the car.
  5. We never have a year where some kind of logic or thinking game isn't included, this year it's Lonpos. Kendall has been doing something similar to this in her math homework and I was really surprised with how easily this came to her and it's fun too.
  6. These are really pricey but I've had more than one mom suggest them. Tegu magnetic blocks are meant for Jack but I see Kate playing with these a lot as well since I always catch her building with things.
  7. Kendall and Kate have both asked for some of the new Lego Friends sets.
  8. While cleaning out her closet this week Kendall was anxious to get rid of any toys or things considered too babyish, sigh. She handed down a LOT of books to her sister and informed me that she wanted to fill her shelves with chapter books. I guess this summer's Mommy School goal of developing a love a reading was a success. The Magic Tree House series is a favorite of hers, she also likes Katie Kazoo and Ivy & Bean. For Kate I found this Kiki and CoCo in Paris since both girls love all things Paris.
  9. Finally, they've been begging for these mismatched Chooze shoes. We really love the TOMS but are having problems making them last. One of Kendall's friends wears these and they seem to be holding up much better and the best part is that you can just throw them in the washing machine!

Any other must have that I've missed? I'm really at a loss for what to get Jack.  He loves cars,  blocks and to play outside and we have all of those things!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Boys clothing on a Gap budget

Dressing little boys has gotten SO much easier in the last couple of years. I've pulled ten items from that you can mix and match to make lots of different outfits. Please note that you can find a LOT of similar pieces in Target. They have great gingham button ups, striped tees and jeans. I hesitate to make a Target board (even though I LOVE their little kid clothes---but not their big girl clothes, seriously?!) just because they have so many things on their website to sift through.

Boys clothing on a Gap budget

  1. This is my favorite piece of the entire board, I just think it's so versatile. Jack would wear this to church with the cords or even better, on a weekday I would layer it under the graphic tee and pair with the jeans and desert boots
  2. These other shirts are all basic, comfy, every day shirts. Jack has this orange striped tee, actually he's wearing it today with some navy, knit cargo pants. You can layer any of them under the hoodie.
  3. My little guy plays hard so I tend to put him in dark colored pants, he has no reservations over plopping down in the middle of a dirt pile to play. Dark jeans and a darker shade of corduroys does the trick.
  4. I love how these dark knit cargos are super cozy and comfortable but still cute. 
  5. We have this orange vest, it's VERY plush and looks cute with a lot of different shirts. I would wear it with any one of the shirts on this page.
  6. Mock neck? Elbow patches?! Yes, please.
  7. Desert boots on little guys are seriously cute. The thin sole on this boot makes it flexible so it's easier to walk in. Between these boots and a pair of Navy TOMS or tennis shoes you pretty much have your shoe needs met.
I remember when my oldest daughter was born (seven years ago) I would look through the children's clothing racks and be so thankful that she was a girl. Now it's so easy to find cute little boy clothes!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What I'm Eyeing on an Old Navy Budget-Girls Edition

Let's face it, dressing girls is really fun. It's really easy to buy and spend too much on them but it is becoming increasingly easier to find cute things at good prices. I've collected ten items that I've found on the Old Navy website, many that are on sale for $15 or less. I think all of these are easily mixed and matched too.

What I'm Eyeing on an Old Navy Budget. Girls

My girls love to wear dresses and skirts no matter what the temperature is. We get lots of use out of them even in the winter by pairing them with either skinny jeans layered under them, fun leggings or with tights.

  1. This grey cargo skirt is adorable and a great neutral layering piece. I think it's essential to have some good neutral, classic pieces in any wardrobe. In my closet I tend to spend a bit more on these because I know they'll be worn more but with my kids I know that they're going to grow out of them in a season anyway. I would pair this skirt with a chunky sweater and fun black and white stripped leggings or maybe a cute patterned top and a puffy vest with cable knit tights and tall boots. 
  2. Pattern and color are important to add to any outfit regardless of your age. This shirt is a good way to incorporate both in one piece. You can wear this with the sweater (#6) and denim (either skirt or jeans) or you could wear it with the grey cargo skirt and top it with a jean jacket.
  3. Every little girl needs a jean skirt. I don't think either of my girls have been at an age where they haven't had at least one in their closet. Jean skirts can be worn with so much in any season.
  4. Tall brown boots are really versatile, wear them under wide leg jeans or over leggings and tights with a skirt. This momma takes comfort in thinking they're an extra layer on tiny legs for warmth
  5. Fun socks peeking out of tall boots are cute. Kendall and Kate do it and so do I.
  6. Another neutral layering piece, I keep imagining this with a navy and white wide stripped shirt and jeans. Or you could wear a collared button up and a pink corduroy skirt and fun tights.
  7. Skinny jeans, enough said. 
  8. These dresses look very Crewcuts to me. On really cold days wear one of these dresses with your skinny jeans and a pair of sparkly TOMS or fun print flats (Kendall wears a pair of cheetah print flats with hot pink lining from Old Navy ALL.THE.TIME).
  9. (see #8)
  10. Cute winter coat. Too often our outfit is covered by a winter coat so I think a fun one is in order. 
Make sure you take a peek at my post on creating a Look Book for your kids to help them build confidence in dressing themselves in the morning!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall in the Kitchen

My girlfriend Suzi mentioned that I had left you guys hanging with those teaser pictures. I have found that if I don't have the house exactly like I want then I don't want to show it at all. Well let's face it, my house will never be exactly how I want it or finished. I've reached a point of a blogging paralysis, not because I don't know WHAT to blog but because I have so many ideas that I don't know where to start. I loved having Suzi say specifially what she wanted to see (fall decorating and the results of those teasers).

We hosted a cookout here this month. The beautiful pumpkins were pretty much the extent of the decorating I did.

I also threw together these little burlap and music sheet tags to tie on those that were on the buffet.

A little craft store wheat and various treasure found outside completed it.

This is actually one of my favorite spots in the kitchen. We usually just use oil and vinegar on our salads so it's nice to have them within reach. My little collection of wooden spoons/utensils are also close at hand. I tossed a decorative pear there for the fall.

On each of the tables at the party I had a few of these mason jars wrapped with twine and burlap. In each there are coffee beans and unscented votive candles. They were a really cheap and cute table filler (each table had a linen/cream colored table cloth with a wide piece of burlap crossways on the table)

Our new dining table is sporting some beautiful pumpkins and wheat too. These are low and fairly narrow so they don't have to moved every evening at dinner.

We love the new table in the kitchen. It's much more rustic looking so a better match to the style of this house. Also when we bought the house on our house hunting trip they were mid construction. I didn't have time to go to the lighting store to pick out the light fixtures. Our builder picked out lighting but allowed us to change 20% once we were in. The large one over our table was one of the few that I switched.

Our bedroom is on the main floor of the house. I'm standing near our bedroom door looking into the great room. To the right are four large windows that overlook the backyard. We've added woven blinds and these curtains.This space is a bit of an "open" hallway, just some added space so that you wont have to walk through all the furniture in the great room in order to get to our room. 

It's really hard to tell from these pictures but the artwork is HUGE. Each of the reclaimed wood pieces are two feet squared. They're some of my favorite pieces that we have ever bought, they have the smell of leather, making me think that they possibly were part of a tact room in a barn at some point?

Here's the little man to give you a little perspective on how big they are.
Tucked into a little corner of the kitchen is this little grouping. I purchased these candle sticks when I was in high school for my room. They were HIDEOUS colors....ugly red and one was multi colored. A couple years ago I asked my mom to bring some to me when she came to visit and I spray painted them all a glossy cream color. I switch out the different doo-dads depending on the season. 

Next to the couch is a little stack of books (covers ripped off) again with twine and burlap. These are out year round actually, not exactly seasonal.

Our bookshelves have little bits and pieces of seasonal items. This is one of those unfinished spaces I'm hesitant to post. The entire top row is untouched but I PLAN to put a lot of stacked books, again with the covers ripped off/with some tied with twine. Some will be upright, others stacked.

Our enormous pineapple found a home here.
Left side of built-ins

Right side of built-ins. We actually had a decorator come in and "style" them at one point and I didn't buy a single thing she brought. I don't like clutter or shelves to feel crowded, Brian and I both like the simplicity of the way I had styled it.

Along our dining room table is an old window box found a long time ago at Home Goods with various "filler".

On the buffet.

And finally on the entry table a little book page covered box, pumpkin and a rustic, rusty little iron bird.

 I would love for you to weigh in on what you would like to see more of here on Paper Chick! 

Friday, September 07, 2012

Sneak Peek

I've been reminded that we are long overdue some new house decorating updates. I'm almost ready, really I'm ALMOST READY to provide those. Until here are just a few little teasers.

Trestle table love.

The LONG searched for antiqued mirrors in mirror frames. Yes, that's a fall pumpkin, it's September don't judge. I love fall.

The most beautiful reclaimed wood art. These puppies weigh 20 pounds or so each (?) and we have four of these beauties. I would love to know where all of the wood came from. Some looks like it may have been in a fire, others you can tell have had hinges or other hardware attached. Gorgeous and big 2 feet by 2 feet each.

So that will have to due for now. Have to get some of these things hung on the wall and styled then I'll be back with a more detailed post