A Little Bartering

A few years ago (I think two but maybe three?), we redid our kitchen.  I loved every change we made and am so happy that we did it (even if we did have to host Christmas with no countertops and a fridge in the dining room).  Ever since the renovation, I have been on the lookout for curtains for this huge (and bright) window over the sink, but NEVER found anything even close to what I was imagining.

A few months ago, I decided that the beautiful (big, hardly played with, almost mint-condition) dollhouse in the playroom needed to find a new home.  The girls played with their American Girl dolls much more and they were stuck up in their room due to space.  Moving the dollhouse out of the playroom made room for this smaller cart which has room for the dolls, the bigger accessories and bins of clothes and hair accessories too.

I put up pics of the dollhouse all over social media and was so excited when Danielle of Drawstring Studio contacted me.  Matt was a little surprised that I had traded a dollhouse for curtains, but it was seriously one of the best trades ever!  Danielle was super patient with me in helping me pick the perfect fabric.  I wanted a simple, modern print with more than one color, but I didn't want it to be too busy either.  The walls of our kitchen are bright green...the print had to include the green, but not make things brighter. (See, I told you Danielle was patient with me!)  I knew this print was perfect the moment I saw it and the curtains are just beautiful (and custom-sized to our window as well).

The curtains are the perfect finishing touch to our kitchen makeover.  I'm so thankful to Drawstring Studio!

Worry Guys

Two years ago, EJ had major surgery on her ear.  She was so worried about the surgery (she had a smaller surgery earlier, but was too young to remember it) and couldn't sleep, asked a lot of question, and was not giving her usual smile all that often either.  My Mom gave her a meerkat named Worrywart (pictured above with his own hospital collar) that EJ could tell all her worries to and he would get rid of them.  As you can see, she used him at the surgery, but he has also slept with her every night since the surgery and has become known as her "worry guy."

Today my Mom is having major surgery and EJ was determined to get Grandma her own worry guy.  She picked this one out based on size and Grandma's love of elephants.  She slept with it on Monday night so that her worry guy could teach Grandma's guy how to do his job.  And then yesterday she gave it to Grandma with the biggest smile across her little face.  I hope the elephant paid attention during training, because Grandma is nervous!

Missing A Kid

We had one of those summer weekends where we always seemed to be without one of the kids due to birthday parties, sleepovers, bike riding with friends, naps, etc.  I guess that is summer, but it always feels weird to me!

For the most part, it was EJ who was gone spending a lot of time with her cousin "twin" which was a nice treat after having a bit of a rough week.  Last Wednesday, EJ had three teeth pulled in order to make space for her adult teeth to come through (she had no space for her baby teeth) and it went really well (which is good because there is more to come).  This was her as the numbing was wearing off (one side back to normal)...not too shabby of a smile.

We hit up a neighborhood brewery this weekend and Livie worked on her tipping skills.  We played bags and pinball and got to bed a little late (even for a Friday night).

The next night, EJ was being dropped off around dinnertime and so we invited them to stay for dinner and game night.  Super fun, but we got to bed even later on Saturday night.  Needless to say, Livie had a very hard time waking up on Sunday (and even took a nap that day...first of the summer).

We did have a little downtime this weekend to do some experimenting.  We did one new experiment and two "new to Livie" experiments (we've done them in past years but she does not remember them).
Dancing Raisins, Gummy Bear Experiment, Naked Eggs

The raisins were super cool to watch and they kept floating around much longer than we all expected.  We took the gummy bears out of the water today and they were huge!  I used generic bears this time around and they grew a lot faster than the last time we did the experiment.  Still super cool though.  The egg is foaming and I think will be ready tomorrow or the next day.  All three of these are quick experiments with minimal items required...highly recommend them to break up outside time!

In Progress

I'd love to say that I'm making progress on the book and blanket in the photo above, but that would be a big fat lie.  Both are barely begun, but show promise though.  The book is by an author I really have enjoyed, but this time it's a YA title (thanks for the heads up Angie) and so far very good.  The blanket was inspired (okay, pattern totally copied) by another Angie and her Vintage V Blanket.  It is awesome because the pattern is easy (and kind of addicting).  I'm using up scrap yarn from other projects and making up the color scheme as I go along.  It also kept my hands busy for a bit this morning which saved me from stress-eating marshmallows.

I'm stuck at home with time to stress eat (and stress out) because my friend the tile guy is here putting our shower floor in this morning.  I love progress, but of course he just told me that he is going on vacation next week so no shower walls for awhile.  We're thinking that maybe the rest of the bathroom will be finished in his absence though.  Oddly, the never-ending bathroom project is not stressing me out.  I'm pretty sure it's because I'm willing to wait any amount of time so that it no longer resembles the old bathroom.  Case in point, this was the shower before...

This afternoon, EJ is having three teeth pulled.  She is nervous and anxious, but pretty okay about it.  As much as I hate that the kids have all had surgeries, it truly helps them deal with the other things that come up in life.  I think she is going to do great with it but I am worried about the pain after.  I have no idea what she'll be able to eat, so I'm pretty sure I bought all the soft foods from the grocery store the other night.  If she can survive on yogurt, bananas, applesauce, blueberries, and tiny little circular noodles, we will be in business.  If not, there are popsicles!

I received this photo from Liv's teacher with the caption, "This is what concentration looks like."  Liv does everything with a lot of passion and concentration.  She truly wants to do her best and works very hard.  The problem with this lies in the fact that she exhausts herself with the effort and then can completely melt down at the littlest thing.  This has always been an issue (she has two very distinct personalities), but it has been exemplified with a no nap summer and sibling quarrels.  It's definitely something we've been working on at home (and I'm super glad she keeps herself in check at school and activities).  Suggestions on calming intense children?

This momma is looking forward to a little forced downtime with the girls tonight.  Last night I decided to put off talking to the girls about some potentially upsetting news because I thought they were too tired to handle it.  Instead, we finished reading our book...Charlotte's Web.  Yep, that went about as well as you would expect and I confirmed that they were in fact too tired to handle upsetting things.  I figure since we already worked through the crocodile tears and sobs last night, we should be good to go with watching the movie tonight.

Kicking Off July With A Bang...Or Two

We have been running around a lot this past week having fun.  We hit Summerfest, went strawberry and pea picking, and some of us walked in the 4th of July parade.

In between fireworks and cookouts and hanging with friends and family game night and parade recuperation, we did a few projects this weekend as well.  The girls made these patriotic straw and bead necklaces.  We experimented with milk fireworks (and found out that natural dish soap does not work as well for this project).  Jack created a marshmallow catapult and Liv did some building with mini marshmallows and toothpicks.

Yesterday we took advantage of the warm weather and went fishing/swimming.  EJ's pole was the big winner with 6 fish caught!

And after all that, we collapsed!  Last night was showers and dinner at home in jammies and early bedtimes.  Summer is awesome!

Reading List Summary, June 2014

Mom's List
Orange is the New Black (Piper Kerman)
Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell)
Love Life (Rob Lowe)
I Am Malala (Malala Yousafzai)
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit (Paula Danziger)
Attachments (Rainbow Rowell)

Jack's List
Why You Shouldn't Eat Your Boogers (Francesca Gould)
The Teacher's Funeral (Richard Peck)
Summer Ball (Mike Lupica)
Danny, the Champion of the World (Roald Dahl)
Jim & Me (Dan Gutman)
The Short Seller (Elissa Brent Weissman)
Safe at Home (Mike Lupica)
The Genius Files (Dan Gutman)
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (Trenton Lee Stewart)
Weird but True! Ripped From the Headlines (National Geographic Kids)

EJ's List
The School Skeleton (Ron Roy)
Ziggy (Ellen Miles)
The Circus Scare (Carolyn Keene)
Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon (Judy Donnelly)
The Yellow House (Susan Goldman Rubin)
The Talking T. Rex (Ron Roy)
Violet Mackerel's Possible Friend (Anna Branford)
Blue Bay Mystery (Gertrude Chandler Warner)
I Want To Be A Zookeeper (Daniel Liebman)
No Dogs Allowed (Stephanie Calmenson)

Olivia's List
Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble (Cynthia Rylant)
Henry and Mudge and the Tumbling Trip (Cynthia Rylant)
Katie Woo: The Tricky Tooth (Fran Manushkin)
The Princess and the Frog (Margaret Nash)
Annie and Snowball and the Dress-up Birthday (Cynthia Rylant)
Mr. Putter & Tabby Take the Train (Cynthia Rylant)
The Peaches on the Beaches (Brian P. Cleary)
Penny and Her Song (Kevin Henkes)
Penny and Her Doll (Kevin Henkes)
Land and Water (Robert Charles)

Read-aloud List
Flo & Wendell (William Wegman)
Cuckoo! (Fiona Robertson)
Meet the Parents (Peter Bently)
The Deductive Detective (Brian Rock)
Laika: Astronaut Dog (Owen Davey)
The Fox in the Library (Lorenz Pauli)