Thursday, March 31, 2016

Palmer's Fifth Birthday Campout

With the new wooded area behind our house, Palmer thought it would be fun to have friends over for a birthday campfire.  We figured the kids might have some fun tromping in the trees/creek and embraced the idea.
 Love this photo of Elle with her transformer and boots.
"Boys, I thought the rule was to stay out of the water?"
"We are on the rocks, mom!"
 Party from down below.
We thought a campfire was a great idea, but didn't think thru how hot that fire actually might be if it's 80 degrees outside!
 The moms pulled the short straw of toasting the s'more marshmallows.
Thank you, Matthew, for taking matters into your own hands and toasting your own Peep.
Love this local bakery and their amazing efforts on Palmer's cake:
Palmer ended the night with three little boys and their dads pitching tents on our deck.  The little boys went to bed fairly easily, but the older "boys" stayed up quite a bit later!  I can say the dads kept me up more than Palmer's buddies that night...
Happy birthday, buddy!


Monday, March 28, 2016

Five Years With Palmer

As I reflect on our newly minted five year old, the first word that comes to me is kind. Thru and thru, Palmer has developed into such a nice little boy.  Yes, he is funny and adventurous and silly and independent, but I keep coming back to his kindness.
Every day, I see the never-ending love he pours out to his little sister.  Thankfully, she is reciprocating her love back now (she was a little feisty towards him for a good chunk of time) and their relationship is growing so much.  
Palmer is a self-motivator and self-starter.  The other day, I asked him to help me with laundry by moving the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer.  I didn't think thru the fact that he can't reach the washer.  I came into the garage to find him hoisted on top of a bike trailer to reach his efforts.  The clothes had nearly all been moved.  I love a problem solver and this little guy routinely tackles his own issues.  I also am entertained by his fashion sense when I send Palmer upstairs to get dressed on his own...

Our big guy with Mr. Elephant:

Height: 44 inches, 66th percentile
Weight: 47 pounds, 82nd percentile
Loose Teeth: None


Legos: The love for Legos in my home has exploded over the past year.  My dislike for the tiny pieces all over the place has also multiplied.  However, I love the creativity that stems from the little bricks which are able to endlessly entertain during early mornings and "nap time".

Adventure: Palmer is always up for the next great stunt.  Whether it be flying down a mountain on skis, getting pulled on a tube behind a boat, finding the highest roller coaster, or trying a new trick on his bicycle, Palmer always want to push the limits.  I fear our future ER visits and being the mom of a 16-yr-old version of Palmer, but I am also proud of his fearless efforts.

Bike Riding: The love affair with wheels continues and bicycles and scooters are still a beloved pastime over here.  We are at the point where a family bike ride is a fairly easy event (thanks to Grace's bike trailer) and it's been fun to load up the entire crew for a neighborhood cruise.  Palmer is always interested in teaching any friends with training wheels how to ride using just two wheels.  I've been told by more than one parent that their child has moved off of training wheels after spending playtime with Palmer.

(Grace, don't get any ideas...)
Palmer, we have so much fun with you every day.  You tackle life with joy and roll with the punches on a regular basis.  You are easy going and happy, funny and witty.  Thank you for making every day great.

I'll part with a four year old exit interview...

Palmer, you are going to be five tomorrow.  I'm a little sad about that.  Are you sad? No way. Not at all.
What's something you can do when you are five that you can't do when you are four? Go on bigger rides at Six Flags.
What is your favorite holiday? My birthday because I get to have chocolate cake.
What do you like to do with your sister? I like to tackle her because she laughs.
What do you like to do with your mom? Go to Six Flags.
What do you like to do with your daddy? Go to the golf course.  It's just so fun.  My ball doesn't go very far, but when I'm five I think I will do better.
What do you like to do with Boston? I really like to take him for a walk.
What is your favorite color? Green.
What is your favorite toy? I just don't know.  There are so many cool toys I love.  I just don't know. I like to play with Grace and Quinn.  Well, Quinn didn't want to play Ninja Turtles with me today.  Maybe tomorrow.
What is your favorite food? Ice cream.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal with daddy or donuts.
What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
What is your favorite animal? Cheetahs because they run really fast.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A boat driver.  And my ship would go all the way to Mackinac Island.
How many kids will you have when you grow up? Ninety hundred.  
Will you have a wife? Yes
You think you are going to find a wife who wants ninety hundred kids? Sure.  Do you want ninety hundred kids?
No. Okay, maybe just two kids.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter Egg Hunting

Even though Easter is still a few days away, we've already packed in a few hunts.

The annual play group party was another success.  Us mommas couldn't believe that we no longer have any babies in the group.  It's a first in our five year journey... (Nice hat, Palmer.  Keeping it classy.)
Palmer was a hoot during the hunt.  He was quick and filled up his basket rapidly.  I heard him tell his friends, "Guys, look.  I have thousands."  The other guys said, "Whoa, Palmer!! That's awesome!"

Meanwhile, Grace found her first egg and promptly sat down to eat it for the rest of the time... 
Sweet, sweet Palmer saw Grace's basket situation and said, "Don't worry.  I'll share some with you, sister."  I die.
 Grace and her gal pals.
At the club hunt, temperatures were a tad chillier than the previous 85 degree day.

With the weather challenges, come spring viruses.  As we were on the way to the hunt, Palmer said he wasn't feeling well.  We knew it was true when he didn't touch a bit of his buffet lunch, nor cookies.  Palmer rarely passes up a meal.
During the hunt, Palmer said, "Mom, will you go get my eggs because I'm too tired for that."
Meanwhile, Grace kept up pretty much the same pace as last time under Gram's guidance. 
She collected a few eggs before sitting down to feast.
 A candy girl after my own heart...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Our Fixer Upper, Before and "After", Part 2

We've made further progress on the home. In Part 1, you saw the master bedroom and guest room/offices.

This time, I'll show you the progress on our living area.  When we bought the house, the den was a sunken treasure of carpet with popcorn ceilings and track lighting overhead.

However, we knew the windows on either side of the main living space had such potential and this area could shine with a little love.

We debated back and forth on keeping the den sunken or raising the flooring.  In the end, the previous owners told us stories of 25 little children lined up around those den stairs with plates on their laps for various campfire or boy scout meetings.  I was sold! Honor the time period of the home and keep the sunken den.

We went in and pulled the carpet and replaced with new hardwood floors.  We plan to eventually put hardwoods where the brick flooring is, but once we start that project, we need to be able to lay down the whole area at once.  Since we plan to gut the entire kitchen in the future, we don't know the new footprint of the kitchen and thus can't lay down hardwoods today.

As with the rest of the entire house, we scraped all of the popcorn off of the ceilings and removed all the track lighting/replaced with recessed lighting.  A new coat of white paint was applied everywhere.

The jury is out on what we do with this brick and mirror on the fireplace.  We'll live with it for now and think on it before we do anything.  
 Our new ceiling!

I'm probably going to put marble down on the hearth where the brick is.
Special thanks to my friend Carson Carney for helping make this Pinterest inspiration photo come to life.
The white console was a built-in we pulled out of the guest room.  My dad added some wood for shelving and it was painted white. I think it fits perfectly under the TV.  Upcycling, for sure!

See that little corner nook? It was plumbed and ready to be a wet bar when the previous owners had it.  We decided to nix the wet bar.  (I mean, you saw our stairs- we are doing just FINE...) We put built-in shelves there instead for a nice little kid reading nook.
And the usual, "Mom, take a picture of ME!"
It's feeling like home now... I hope to knock out a guest bathroom this week and then will post another round of updates.  We're nearing completion for this phase, but I'm still loving every minute of it.