Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Birthdays

This is the second year that we have celebrated all 3 of our kids' birthdays at once, in the summer. There are several reasons we do this, but mostly it is so our family doesn't have to come to our house 3 times in as many months, and we don't have to throw 6 separate parties in that same amount of time (1 friend and 1 family party for each). And I have to tell you, I am really liking it. We can do it up a little bigger, since we aren't spending all that money on separate food, decorations and cake, and it really has simplified our lives. It is also nice to be able to pick when to have the party, and not be tied down to a specific day. So what if our kids aren't born in the summer --that is when we celebrate!

This year we went with a castle theme. There is an amazing castle playground about 30 minutes away, and we decided to take advantage of it.

We rented a pavilion, and amazingly, the rain that has been falling all spring and early summer finally stopped and we had one of the first gorgeous weekends of the season. The family came and we had dinner, and then the kids decorated crowns with jewels.

I then organized a treasure hunt using clues that sent them throughout the playground and finally ended up in the "dungeon" where the treasure box was hidden. Each boy got a helmet and sword, and each girl got a sceptor/wand and a princess skirt. The kids were thrilled! We then sang happy birthday and everyone dug into the castle cake that Ed and I made.

We finished off with presents, and then the kids were free to play until the park closed at sunset. It was a lot of fun for everyone, and I don't have to do it again for a whole year!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bargain Bonanza

Those who know me, know that I love a good deal. I love the sale racks in stores, yard sales, thrift stores, etc. I love digging through to find that treasure. My heart beats faster, and there is a burst of adrenaline when I find something special for a mere pittance. This spring I have been like a kid in a candy store at the local home improvement store. A month or so ago I "discovered" the sale rack in the garden center. There were some bedraggled flowers on it, but since they were perennials, I thought that if the price was good, I would take my chances. I was astonished to find out from the head garden lady that they were 50 cents each! I grabbed about 4, and went home feeling elated. Since then I have been back several times, and each time that same lady will greet me enthusiastically and practically throw flowers into my arms! Many times they are $1, but sometimes they are as low as 20 cents (for annuals) or $3 for bigger perennials. And they are no longer the wilted, bottom of the heap- they are pretty nice. I think that they have an overstock of flowers, and so I am making out with the best bargains ever.

Anyway, I have had my eye on these stunning "lollipop" Gerber Daisies. I love Gerber Daisies, and these are amazing- 2 foot long stems, large 6 inch flowers. But they are $23, and so I have been hoping that once they lose their blooms, they will end up on the sale rack. I went in yesterday to make some returns, and decided to take a peek and see if they were still there. The garden lady greeted me with enthusiasm, and then asked me what I wanted today. I hestitantly said that I had my eye on those Gerbers, but didn't know if they were discounted yet. "Oh sure!", she said, " go pick some out- whatever you want. I was planning on discounting this afternoon, but you can get first pick!" I was beyond thrilled! I went and loaded up my cart, figuring on teachers' gifts and if anyone else wanted one, I could resell it to them. I ended up getting 5 for $5 each, and I love them! Last night Susie took one home, and I am keeping one and giving one away, so that means there are 2 left. If anyone is interested, let me know!
(I had to get K to pose with them, because her outfit kind of matched with them)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

a little glimpse

Life with a two year old can be challenging. For one thing, there is so much that they want to say, but they don't necessarily have the vocabulary to say it. Many times a day KK will utter a garbled phrase that includes some words, "Wawa, no Mama, I-woo-too! uh-uh!" I ask her again what she wants, and sometimes I can figure out that her water bottle isn't working because the straw got disconnected on the inside, but many times I finally give up and she dissolves into a wailing mess of frustration on the floor.

When she is in a good mood, she is so cheerful and agreeable, singing her little made-up songs, reading books, or playing with her baby dolls. When she is not, she is clingy and demanding, and every little thing can set her off.

And then there is the mischief that two year olds can get into- unrolling the entire roll of toilet paper, playing in the dog's water bowl, and... well, let me just say that it was a
little too quiet one Sunday morning before church. I peeked into the living room and KK was standing quietly at the couch, intent on playing with something. "That looks innocent enough", I thought, before returning to the kitchen to finish making breakfast. Two minutes later, I went back out and found this...
All I could do was say "Oh. my. word." I wasn't sure what she had gotten into, but when I leaned in for a closer look at the sparkly pink stuff on her face, I caught a whiff of what was unmistakably, lip gloss. She had found some in my purse, and must have applied it like the sunscreen sticks that she has seen me put on her face. As for the dark blue on her
white sweater? It was some of those candy coated mints leftover from a restaurant visit that she must have spit out when she tasted the mint. And of course, a baby-doll hair brush is so useful in trying to get out the stain.

Ah yes, life is never dull with a two year old around!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekend Recap

(Sorry for the picture laden, fluff-post. I just wanted to get something down on my blog since I haven't been very good about posting lately)

Today was a beautiful, beautiful day. After a week of rain, it was such a relief to have a sun-drenched weekend. Yesterday we went to flea markets, and scored a cool marble run. E and I then went shopping for Ed's birthday, which is on Tuesday. After K's nap the kids and I took advantage of Friendly's free cones. Then after a dinner on the patio, we went to the Kid's Castle.

Today we had some relatives over for pizza after church. My Aunt Joanie was visiting from NH, and so we all wanted to get together with her. Included in our afternoon was most of the Marsh family, my grandfather and Jane, my mom, Joe and Sandy and their kids, and Cara. We spent several hours enjoying the beautiful weather sitting under the trees.

After everyone left, the kids still wanted to be outside so we dusted off the bikes, and went for a ride. KK was super excited saying, "KK's bike? KK's bike?". N and E were also ready to be out on the road again.

When we had done several laps, we came back and hung out in the hammock.

E took this picture of me and KK
"Big Sister" and "Little Sister"

My 3 kiddos - I love how KK likes to imitate her sister and brother.