Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A new season

Spring is FINALLY here... and so is spring soccer!  Sophia was sooo excited for practice Monday night.  Our neighbors gave her one of their old soccer goals on Sunday, and she practiced, practiced, and practiced.  She was a muddy mess when she came in!  Shoulda taken some pictures of that!

Here she is at her very first practice this fall.  Has she changed any?

Over the weekend, we finally made it to the Fairy Tale exhibit at crown center.  Sophia enjoyed seeing all of the different fairy tale exhibits....  It was pretty much a free for all....with lots of kids headed in every direction...so I had my eyes and hands on Mr. Joe most of the time....All he wanted to do was run run run and of course touch the red button on each exhibit that played the audio sound clip from the fairy tale.  In the picture below Sophia is sitting on the bed from the fairy tale Princess and the Pea, one of our favs.

This is probably the only picture I got of J sitting still.  The two of them were in Cinderella's Magic Pumpkin.

I was book club hostess on Sunday night...of course I had millions of sugar cookies and lemon bars...but these little guys were a new one for me.  Chocolate raspberry truffles.  Pure chocolate decadence.  Only true chocoholics like me can appreciate these...

I've been noticing lately that Mr. J and Mr. B not only look alike but share quite a bit in common.  Brett knows that for years I have jumped on his back for being indecisive (funny b/c I am one of the most indecisive people you will meet).  And I admit... I often give Brett a hard time for ALWAYS answering questions with "I don't know."  Well, lately I have been noticing that same response pattern from little J.  For instance, I will be reading a story and I'll ask him, "what color is the car" and he will respond with something like " I don't know....green, " or "I don't know...blue."  Too funny!

With the nice weather this week...we've spent some time outside.  Joseph can't get enough of course.  Trying to get him to come in is quite the task.  Well, trying to get him to do anything these days can be quite the task....a little bit of the terrible two's I suppose??  He can be so difficult at times....but still the majority of the time he is running up to our legs and saying " I love you too, " for no reason at all.  What could be sweeter?  I love how he hugs Sophia good-bye in the morning and says " I love you too Doo-da (his version of Sophia :)) 

I tried to do some editing with these pictures to block out the car in the garage...but couldn't figure out how to get my edited photoshop version back to my blog....My blogging friends......I think I am in desperate need of some help, here.  I want so badly to be able to edit in photoshop rather than the basic i photo....but I just can't figure it out.  Guess I need some more practice... but the little guy still looks pretty darn cute, I must say.

He was so disappointed that he couldn't go in Daddy's truck to take Sophia to soccer practice....so I was completely surprised that he was still smiling as he was waving good-bye.

Of course a few minutes after she left....he was not too happy.  But nothing a little lolli couldn't fix!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Yesterday when Sophia was at Daisies....Mr. J and I headed out to enjoy a bit of the sunshine.  While on our walk...we ran into some neighbors and Joseph immediately began "talking" with the 2 little girls who were playing with their daddy.  Joseph is quite the little social butterfly....while he was chatting away, the girls' daddy and I were commenting on how agile Joseph was.  Literally... 2 seconds later...Mr. Joe decided to take off running down their lawn....but apparently  he was not used to the slope of their yard....he took a hard tumble, and landed flat on his forehead on the sidewalk below.  I was mortified....so mortified that my sweet neighbor had to carry J's lawnmower and our mail home for me so I could tend to him.  He was fully recovered by the time we reached our garage and ready to rock and roll again before I could even stop shaking....but man did he get a beating!!!!

Here he is....looking like a tough cookie!

No boo-boo's today...thankfully!  Just some sillies.  Sophia and I crafted some animals out of plastic eggs... Too much fun!!!

We headed outside again later (of course... this time I pretty much had my hand glued to Joe's back so as to prevent any injuries).  I was hoping for some warm sunshine...but it was a bit chilly and windy.  The kids of course never seem bothered by the cold...and Miss Sophia (especially) does everything she can to get out of wearing her coat!!!

Finally....my new kitchen is officially broken in.  Lots of baking has gone on inside these walls this week.  Here's my latest...

And I am still obsessed with these cute pails... I was going to give some pails away with  goodies packed inside....but the animal print one was too perfect for J's trucks... so I guess it is a keeper!

Happy Weekend!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A little Spring in my step...

Worry...worry...worry.....  I think it is my middle name.  This last week I have worried about paint colors, worried about furniture placement, worried about paint fumes, worried about Sophia's tummy problems, worried about my allergies and my toothache...

I just needed a little sunshine.... I needed a picker upper.....I needed these bright little guys to fill my kitchen..

In the end...it turns out....worrying does no good.   The paint is said and done....the smell will linger for a while....the furniture can be subject to change...new doctors can put mommies and daddies at ease....and sometimes there is just no way out of a root canal.  It's all in Someone Else's hands.  Good-bye worry.... Hello Spring.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Fresh Start

Round one of the kitchen remodel is complete.  The cabinet faces and the new island have been installed....each with fresh coats of paint.  And we finally chose a wall color.... all that indecisiveness....and our choice....a very simple ivory tusk.  It is very plain, very clean, and very simple....  Simplicity is what I am striving for... and in more ways than one.  Some may find it boring....but the true "color" of the kitchen will come from the people who frequent it...and the memories we will make there (none of which is boring to me!)

Of course it is a work in progress.  The island color is not exactly as I had envisioned....but a little glazing and distressing will make it a little more cozy and a little more me, I think.  A different countertop for the island may also be in the cards.  I'm excited to add a few little pops of color with some meaningful knick knacks and even more excited to have my "not so favorite" sofa moved out for good.  Of course...the new sofa search is still on...  The tv was successfully moved out of the kitchen hearth and into the new "family room."  This will be a good move for us I think.  Before the switch, occasionally the tv would remain on during dinner... and too frequently I would catch wandering eyes staring at Wheel of Fortune rather than participating in our family discussions:)  As I said before...I'm striving for simplicity.

I only took a few pictures because the kitchen only looked this clean for a short while today.

Below....my Kitchen Aid is happy to be back in its home.  Do you think it has already been used today?

And last but not least....my little buddy Willie has been forced into finding a new resting spot  (gone are the days of allowing him on our sofa....sorry little buddy...but you look pretty comfy in this chair!)

Friday, March 19, 2010


We've been looking at paint colors all week in our house.  We've been smelling paint all week.  We've been reminding little fingers to stay out of paint....and reminding those same hands to stay away from the wet walls.  So finally today.... I decided....it was OUR turn to play in the paint.  We headed to Paint Glaze and Fire for the Paint Me a Story Hour.  What a fun idea....the kids got to listen to a story and then paint a ceramic.  Today's story was "A Giraffe and a Half." Cute, cute story....but a little teeny bit long for my little guy.  I did get one picture of him sitting during the story...but after that....he was on the move.  We had to paint our little giraffes fairly quickly as my curious little guy was wanting to touch all of the pretty pottery that was drying.  Oooohhhh and when he saw a freshly painted Lightning McQueen he could hardly contain himself.  Miss Sophia, of course, did a fabulous job on her giraffe despite her rushed efforts.

As for the painting in our house....the majority is complete.  Whew!  What a week.  I am not good at handling messes such as these....so I am glad the big part is over!  I have vacuumed out cabinets numerous times, wiped down sanding dust, and cleaned the floors today more than I can count!   Of course there will be touch ups and reorganizing and shelving still left to complete....one step at a time.  Updated kitchen pictures to come....
Happy Friday....Happy Spring Tomorrow ( Despite the 4-12 inches of snow they are predicting)!  Isn't March supposed to come IN like a lion and go out like a lamb??

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Even when all of the cabinets are emptied and the house is in utter disarray....we still found some time to be a bit crafty this morning!  I helped the kids make some shamrock headbands before the painters arrived for Day 2 of our kitchen redo.  Sophia (always full of grand ideas) began feverishly constructing a hat for the painter while I finished the headbands.  She wasn't shy at all about giving Mr. Bo his new hat and asking him to take a picture with her!  I had to snap it quickly so as not to interrupt their work....so that is my excuse for the blur. :)

The cabinets are coming along....I am growing weary of having to look underneath my dining room table for a ziplock bag and remembering where I placed the kitchen scissors....I am getting a little nervous about how the dust has spread already throughout the house.... I am missing my kitchen aid TREMENDOUSLY!   (At least the hubby taped up some plastic tonight to block the kitchen off from the rest of the house hoping to minimize further dust!!!!)

As for the paint color on the walls....still undecided....  We are both HORRIBLE about making decisions.  We have painted numerous samples on one section of the kitchen wall and still can't make up our mind.  Pretty soon...the kids will probably start wanting to paint the walls too!  We'd love advice from anyone who would like to pay a visit!!!!!!

Here are some pictures of how it is looking as of now....(I'm not even going to clear the piles of laundry off of the counter...b/c hey....it's pretty darn messy in here anyway!)

Okay...Nance....this one is for you.....here's the kitchen table in the spot we talked about.....what do you think??

PS... Thank you Yiayia and Pappou....for putting up with our "circus" and having us for dinner!!!  I'm sure J is truly sorry about emptying the box of cream of wheat in your pantry and breaking your glass coaster....:)  Gotta have some excitement, right???

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gotta love...

the CURLS.  Enough said.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eat your veggies!

Even my picky eaters might eat these "veggies!"  I needed a "happy" picture tonight as it as been a long week already.  My poor Sophia is sick again.  My...what a year we have had. I complained to Brett all night tonight....of course trying to figure out WHY our kids have been so sick this year. If you know me at all... you know I HAVE to have explanations for EVERYTHING.  I wish I could just let it be.  But instead I wonder.....has she not been getting enough sleep?  Maybe I shouldn't have sent her to that birthday party on a school night?  Is she not getting enough vitamins?  How can this be?  I am anal about changing sheets, giving baths, and cleaning the house....but maybe I'm not cleaning enough???

I wish I could be more like Brett...and just accept it...as he says... "Kids just get sick."  Yes.... they do...but this poor girl has missed so much this year...strep in October, flu on Christmas Break, respiratory virus the entire week of Catholic Schools Week...and now today she missed her talent show at school.  I guess she wasn't alone though....Three of the 6 girls in her class are named Sophia...and ALL three Sophia's were out sick today.  I'm just praying that she feels better soon....she deserves to have a fun, healthy spring break.  And of course I pray that little J doesn't get it too.

Okay... just had to get that off my chest.  I'm gonna turn my frown upside down now, and instead be thankful about all that we do have...  We are so fortunate to be in overall good health, to have all that we do....to live in the country we live in, to always have food on our table...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Couldn't Resist!

So, I was planning on saving Sophia's new Matilda Jane's till the weather got really warm...but I just couldn't help myself.  She had a birthday party to go to last evening and I thought this was the perfect outfit.... I love how bright and cheery it is!  And, well of course, Mr. J is looking handsome in his little red vest.  And who can resist that smile??

And on the kindergarten front....Sophia's class is performing a variety show this week to showcase their talents.  After a lot of back and forth and changing minds....she decided to dance to "Hoedown Throwdown" with a few of her friends.  The girls came over to play and practice yesterday....and I must say....it was quite entertaining to watch them dance together!!  Can't wait to see the show!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring is in the air!

We were able to enjoy the beautiful weather a bit this weekend.  I hope Mr. Winter has said his final good-byes....because the fresh air and beautiful sunshine was a welcome sight!    I was able to get the kids to stop for the camera just a FEW times....they are so BUSY BUSY BUSY....footloose and fancy free as it should be!!!

Daddy....had the blower on for a few minutes, attempting to clean out the driveway after washing out the garage.  Guess who doesn't like the sound of that loud blower?  Also...notice the freshly painted new cabinet doors....mmmmmm smells like a new house.  Should be installed in about a week.

We had baths early....and Sophia finally decided she was brave enough to watch Snow White (it was actually on TV this weekend).  She LOVED it....and doesn't seem too afraid of that mean old queen, at least not yet.

And so, last but not least... I found an idea for some old paint pails....and thought it would be an inexpensive way to make some "out of the ordinary" Easter baskets.....Okay.... so I admit.... I am a bit addicted now....can't-stop-making-them........

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cookies and Cuties

So.... this incredible woman is my new hero.  She is amazingly talented and incredibly sweet.  I drool over her baking and marvel at her intricate, creative designs.  We have never met...but I email her regularly for advice....and she is always more than willing to share recipes, techniques, and tricks of the trade.    I loved her Easter egg cookies so much..... I had to give them a shot.  This entailed learning a new royal icing recipe....( you all know how long it took me to learn the traditional royal icing recipe)....so I was nervous.  But in the end....I love how the icing turned out...much shinier and tastier!  And the dots....so fun!!!    Here is what I came up with....

I used a mix of almond extract and vanilla bean paste in these....so that is why they are speckled!!!

And here is Miss Amanda's version:  (Unbelievably creative.... I am dying to attempt the nests myself)!  And by the way... I do know that Easter is still weeks away... I am trying to get some baking in before I have to unplug the kitchen aid and move everything out for the upcoming kitchen remodel.  It was scheduled for next week...but has been postponed till the week after next.....  The cabinets are lining the garage already.....and the knobs and pulls have already arrived.  I'm excited to see how it will look....but hugely nervous about how I will handle living through the mess.  I can already hear my kitchen aid calling my name....and it's not even time to put her away yet!

On a different note.......I try my best to be productive on Friday mornings.....I like to get sheets changed, the house cleaned (semi-cleaned) and sometimes Willie bathed.  I should have known that it was too quiet for J to be doing anything appropriate.  When I left the laundry room....I heard tiny fingers fumbling through my desk drawers.  

He had managed to open up a new box of paper clips and shake them out of the box and spread all of my saved business cards all over my desk drawer, while singing his version of the abc's.  He attempts to sing a few letters whenever he spots a letter on something...(whether it be in a book or on a license plate.)   I was just happy to see him smiling, even if it was a "look what I got into" smile.  Lately, he's been complaining of tummy aches every morning, and just not been himself... (even with his new dairy free diet).  Hmmmm, so maybe he is not lactose intolerant after all.  I'm anxious to meet with the specialist to see what she has to say.

No pictures of the Missy today.  We tried to get outside this afternoon to enjoy the warmer weather... and usually I like to take my camera....but today.... we just enjoyed the sunshine.  And I'm sure if I did have my camera.... I would not been able to keep my eye on the Mister.....Oh my....he's either kicking balls straight for the street....trying to figure out what to climb on to reach the bubbles in the garage, or putting pine cones in his mouth.  We should be in for an adventuresome spring!!!  Can't wait!