Tuesday, May 31, 2011

She'll Grow Up Quickly


I’m still not exactly sure why, I think it could have been the heat, the bug bites from playing outside all day, teething, or just something that spooked her, but Bean woke up at 3:15am on Monday morning, Memorial Day, and she couldn’t get back to sleep. We tried for two hours to comfort her and rock her back to sleep in her room, with no luck. After that I think we drifted on and off of sleep until about 7:30am while she watched cartoons and finally dragged us out of bed to go play. Needless to say we were exhausted and cranky all day yesterday and it was one of those mornings where we were like “What, it’s only 10am? It has to be later than that.” And “We want another one of these? How will we survive???”  Getting ourselves through to her noon nap time was a challenge and seemed to take forever. When she’s tired, Bean clings like static to me; she wants nothing to do with her Daddy and follows me like a little shadow everywhere I go. With total fatigue yesterday I found myself more than annoyed with this, since I couldn’t get a second of time to do anything on my own. I’m short-tempered with her when I'm tired, and she returns the sentiment.  I always feel bad when this happens.  I don’t mean to be annoyed and short-tempered, it’s just that I can’t help it when I’m so tired that all I want to do is lay down. 
Mid-morning, with Bean coloring on my lap and squirming all over the place, I managed to surf some of my favorite blogs and was happy I did because I found this link. It stopped me in my annoyed tracks and brought tears to my eyes even with the fatigue. And it made me think – this little squirmy girl on my lap, my shadow who won’t leave me alone, who woke me out of my slumber last night and kept me up til dawn, will pretty soon grow up and leave me alone all the time and I’ll be the one trying to follow her around. Obviously I know this, literally every parent with older children says this – “Enjoy it while they’re little, they grow up so quickly.” But it is so hard to remember during those long minutes and hours of fatigue-laden toddlerville. A reminder like this blog post was all I needed to get myself out of my funk and back into enjoying my squirmy, tired, tantrum-prone toddler for the long morning. And we did make it to naptime, for a luxurious, refreshing, three hour family nap.  

Pics at Lunch

Today's pic is the view outside one of our conference room windows, looking out over old City Hall and most of the Boston financial district.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What We Found in Our Front Lawn

For some reason there are a ton of creepy crawlies out so far this summer. We've seen more snakes, spiders and other assorted bugs this year than any other year before. Maybe they had more time to grow with it being so cold for so long? I don't know, but there's a ton of them out there and it really grosses me out. But today we came home to something else in our front lawn, in one of the bushes right next to the house. I had noticed birds flying in and out of this bush for the last week or so, so when we got home tonight and I saw one fly out I had to take a look. There in the bush was a perfect bird's nest with five baby blue eggs. They're not tiny eggs, they're about the size of a small chicken egg. And they're the lightest color blue-I did some quick research and they look like either Finch or Robin eggs which we've seen around here. We didn't want to stay too long to disturb them, but I had to get a few pics. Bean was so excited about them, and she's even more excited about when they hatch to see the baby chicks. This bush is low to the ground so we should get to see those chicks, and we'll have to make sure they're safe!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Que Sera, Sera

When I was little my mom always used to sing "Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be" in answer to any of my questions about what might happen in the future. It honestly used to annoy me because, as a kid with no patience, I really wanted more of a solid answer. Plus let's admit, it's a very cheesy song. But there's a lot of wisdom in that simple quote and I find myself saying it these days. That's why I liked this free printable I found on With Two Cats. It can be printed out and framed by following this link.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Shared Idea - DIY Wine Box Vegetable Garden

For those of us who drink a lot of wine and could, let's say hypothetically, have a few of these great wine boxes laying around as leftovers from bottles recently consumed, this is an awesome way to use them - as a veggie garden. I found this idea at Style Files, with complete instructions here, from LLH Designs. Just as soon as I get done setting up all the zillion pieces from the furniture I get tomorrow at Ikea, I'll get right on this one:




http://www.llhdesignsblog.com/2011/03/details-of-our-first-ever-garden.html

Homemade Sopranos Video in NYC

This is a hilarious video of my nieces Amelia and Annabelle's recent trip to NYC. Their dad, my brother-in-law Steve, is so creative with these video clips. This one cracks me up. Tony Soprano would be so proud.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Adoption Baby Bump Post on Spearmint Baby

I follow the Spearmint Baby blog daily. I literally am on there several times a day, and I could spend (and have spent) hours linking to different sites from there. One of today's posts gave me goosebumps, Adoptive Baby Bump. I was so happy to see it there. As an adoptive mom, I never got to experience the "baby bump" in the traditional sense and the joys of carrying my little girl in my belly. For four long years I dealt with the pain of longing for a baby, a longing for feeling the little flutter when that baby starts to move in your tummy, and that special glow that pregnant women walk around with. It was so painful that even writing about it makes me tear up. That part of my life is long gone, a distant memory that literally only sparks when I think about it like this. We made it through, and we adopted the most beautiful, perfect baby I've ever seen. She's 2 years old now and continues to wow us every day with her amazing smile and curious, spunky little attitude. During our infertility and adoption wait process, I used to cry any time I'd see anything about pregnancy - pregnant friends, stories in magazines, fertility blogs, etc. If I had followed Spearmint Baby back then, I know I would have cried with each of the Baby Bump posts. It wouldn't have stopped me from following the blog, but it would have been harder. Now that I am a mommy and I'm past that pain, I can read the Baby Bump posts without emotion. Not necessarily happily, as it still reminds me of what I didn't have. But at least without pain. Seeing the Adoption Baby Bump post made my day, my week actually. In about 5 days when we turn in our paperwork for baby #2, I can say I have an Adoption Baby Bump like this post - ok maybe we're still in the First Trimester because we still have to get through the home study and that's probably the adoption equivalent to morning sickness - but at least it feels like we've seen that first ultrasound, we know there will be a baby someday soon and I'm starting to daydream again about baby names and tiny onesies. Maybe our little girl and this baby-to-be didn't grow in my tummy. But they grew in my heart.




Pics at Lunch






Ikea Ideas

I'm making the trek to Ikea tomorrow to pick up a bunch of stuff for our backyard, since it seems that summer has finally decided to grace us with its presense. While I'm there, I'll be picking up these awesome spice racks ($3.99), and this doll bed ($19.99) in order to do these two great and very cheap projects. Click on the links below the photos for detailed instructions. Gotta love Ikea.

http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2011/05/two-clever-storage-solutions.html
 
http://www.iheartnaptime.net/2011/03/doll-bed-photo-prop.html


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DIY - Paint Chip Hearts Garland

Whenever I'm at the hardware store I find myself fascinated with all the colors of the paint chips - there's so many colors and hey, they're FREE!! I'm always looking for projects to use them for. Here's one posted on Spearmint Baby that I love, I think I'll try it this weekend!






www.spearmintbaby.com/2011/05/diy-paper-heart-garland/


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Day at Crane's Beach

One of the main reasons we live on Boston’s North Shore is the vacation feel up here because of the proximity to some of the best beaches and vacation spots around. One of those is Crane’s Beach. If you’ve never been there, it’s a gorgeous beach with miles and miles of soft sand. Even on the busiest of summer days you can still find plenty of beach space (if you can find parking – get there before 10am or the lot gets filled up). The other day wasn’t a beach type of day at all, with temperatures still in the 50’s and a gusty wind, but we still made a morning out of a trip up to Cranes. It’s a perfect day or half day trip. As an itinerary, start with the grounds at Castle Hill on Crane’s estate, then over to Crane’s Beach, and then to Russell Orchards for refreshments before heading home. You'll get some amazing pictures, and the kids will take a GREAT nap after this trip.
Crane's Estate - still gorgeous even on a gloomy day
Great photo opportunities!
Peaking in the windows at the back of the estate
The view down to the ocean
The ruins at Crane's
We call Castle Hill on Crane's Estate the “toilet castle” because it was built in 1928 by the Crane family, who are involved in the toilet bowl business. The grounds are amazing, and include “ruins” from the original ornate pools and fountains that are scattered on the property.  The views out to the ocean are nothing less than stunning – especially on clear blue summer days and colorful fall days, but even on cloudy rainy days that give the estate more of a mysterious feel.

After touring the grounds at the estate, the next stop is Crane’s beach, which is about 500 yards from the entrance to the estate. We visit the beach all the time even in colder weather. It’s perfect for hours of play in the summer, but also great for a brisk walk in cooler weather.

Russell Orchards - for more pics and info:
www.katyelliott.com/blog/2008/10/russell-orchards.html
After exhausting yourself from walking the estate and the beach, make sure to stop at Russell Orchards on your way out for refreshments before heading home. The Orchards is on the left side, and is way more than just a gigantic apple orchard. It took us a few years of living here to realize this – we thought it was just a place to pick apples in the fall but it is so much more. After touring the estate and the beach, you’ll have earned the right to munch on one their awesome baked goods – Bean’s favorite is the apple cider doughnut, and my personal favorite is the mixed berry scone. They also have homemade ice cream, fresh apple cider all year long, and all kinds of breads, jellies, jams and spreads. It’s even a winery, and they sell several types of sweet wines made on site. The best part about Russell Orchards is the outdoor area, which is totally free and open to the public – something I love to find these days. There are picnic benches and plenty of places to eat, as well as all kinds of farm animals roaming the area for the kids to see.  Bean loves to see the bunnies, the baby chicks, the giant 70 year old pig, and the goats. There are also plenty of chickens and guinea hens running around for the kids to chase.  
If you’ve never been up to Crane's, it’s so worth it and it can be a half day or full day trip any time of year except the deepest of winter. Happy Travels!

Shared Ideas from Brooklyn Limestone Website

I've been looking around at tons of amazing blogs lately as I'm searching ideas for my blog. There are so many out there that it gets overwhelming. While all of them are good, there are a few that I think stand out as great, and Brooklyn Limestone In Progress is one of them. Not only does she have her own great original ideas on decorating, travel, photography, renovations, and even a very cool Brooklyn visitors guide, but she also is great at posting links to sites she's recently visited. I could (and have) spend hours looking through all the great photos, ideas, and links from this site. Definitely check it out.

I love decorating myself, and today's post on Brooklyn Limestone is right up my alley. I think people have a very hard time decorating because they don't know where to start and get stuck. Whenever I have a problem room, the first thing I do is to take a picture of it, print it out, and begin to build an idea board around it with colors and other things that I want to see in the room. I use old magazines, pictures I've printed out and saved, Pottery Barn catalogues, paint chips, fabric swatches, and scraps of anything that sparked my imagination for the room. It doesn't have to look at all like a room, it's just a way to get all of your ideas into one spot, sort of like a brainstorming session with pictures. I usually do mine on a large drawing pad, but they can also be done digitally. Today's post on Brooklyn did just that and she's done several of these. She took a blank room that she wants to redo, found a painting she likes for inspiration for colors, and then started putting together an idea board with other colors and things to complement it.  



So, in addition to checking out the Brooklyn Limestone website (caution: could consume a lot of your free time), consider using this decorating strategy for rooms you just can't figure out. Start with a picture, a few inspirational ideas or colors, and build on it.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

What We Did This Weekend - Sugar and Spice

On our anniversary weekend, we moved dirt and mulch to create the master swing set, hung out with friends and family, and most importantly watched our daughter turn into a ballerina over night. All of a sudden our little baby is twirling around the house all proud of her oh-so-graceful ballet moves. She even made Daddy and Papi take a break from their work to admire her moves. I've learned with Bean the true meaning of "Sugar and spice, that's what little girls are made of." I love the first picture. She's so pretty in her ballet costume that her cousin gave her, but you can see that spicy little personality in her face. Little girls really are just that, somedays more sugar and somedays more spice.















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