Thursday, May 26, 2016

Grace's BirthDAY

We had such a fun day celebrating Grace and embraced our new plan to try to do parties for the kids every other year.  Palmer had a party this year and Grace will have a party next year.  Rick and I are trying to manage expectations with our children and teach them gratitude- therefore, we don't want them to expect a large party every year.... We will make the day special in its own way, whether that is defined with the addition of 25 kids or not.

Birthday donuts and balloons in the morning for Grace:
 Such a proud brother! This little guy couldn't wait to wake his sister up to celebrate her birthday.
Palmer's soccer team had an end of season party at a favorite neighborhood restaurant later in the afternoon, so we took a cake to that party and called it a day.  Grace was so excited to go to "her party".  
Umm, we didn't spill the beans that Palmer received a soccer medal and played with his friends at "her party".
Oh look, here's a younger sibling of another soccer player and one of Grace's friends.  See, this must be her party after all! ha
 Grace talked all week about wanting "chocolate cake" for her birthday.  So, chocolate cake she got!
Happy birthday to our dear two year old!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Two Years With Grace

It's so fun to see this little gal turn into a bigger person with opinions and preferences and a personality.  Grace has been singing "Happy Birthday" to herself for a week.  She then will turn to anyone in the vicinity and tell them to "sing Happy Birthday, Grace," too.  What does she want for her birthday? Chocolate cake!

Grace is an entertainer and funny like her brother.  Both of my children's goal in life is to make anyone around them laugh.  Grace's latest phrase, "Watch this!"  She will follow up with some sort of facial expression or dance or whatever that she thinks you will find hilarious.
CURLS! It's true.  Grace inherited the family curls, too.  It's hard to believe, but her hair is even curlier than Palmer's and requires quite a bit of upkeep with product and styling.
Height: 32.5 inches, 22nd percentile
Weight: 24 pounds, 15th percentile

Photo with Miss Kitty...

1 year:

2 years:


Singing - Little lady sings all. the. time.  Wherever we go, in the car, in her bed, she sings continually.  Her latest "trick"? Singing a song in Spanish that she learned at her babysitter's (who only speaks Spanish):
Grace also likes to boss others around with "you sing it!"

Babies - Grace likes all real babies, but most of all adores her cousin Charlie.  She is obsessed with getting my phone out to watch the (many) videos and photos stored on the device.
Compliments - If you want to feel good about yourself, just hang out with Grace.  She will often look intently at something (dress, necklace, headband, etc) and say, "Oh, that's cute, mommy!" The lady has some good sense of style already!
Life - Overall, Grace is such an independent and happy go-lucky kid.  She is happy to entertain herself or be a sidekick to her adored brother.  She gets woken most days to pick up Palmer from school and does so with a smile.  She's just as happy outside on bikes and scooters or inside reading books.
Grace gets carted around town for Palmer's activities and sometimes wants to be just like the big kids.  Grace and her gal pal snuck onto the soccer bench during last week's game and kept telling us, "We BEES (the team name)!!"
Her silliness and laughter and love is very contagious.  We love you, little two year old.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Our Fixer Upper, Before and After Part 3

Things have quieted down a little on the remodel project- we are between the major first push of work I documented here and here and the next big project happening some time this summer (turning the kids' large walk-in closets into bedrooms).

In the meanwhile, I did knock out the downstairs bathrooms.  We have two bathrooms on the first floor, one small powder room off of the kitchen and another larger bathroom off of the guest room.

I decided to keep both toilet rooms in the same genre since they are on opposite sides of the house and used them as anchors to hold down the ends with the same geometric blue and white wallpaper.  I like the dramatic effect and hope it will continue to modernize this house as we work thru it room by room.

And by the way, that brick flooring will all become hardwood at a later date. (Despite Samantha's hard lobbying to keep them brick!)

The tiny powder room didn't need a lot of updates- new wallpaper, new lighting, new fixtures, and a mirror.  I will update the flooring with either hardwoods or tile once we gut the whole kitchen next year.


The guest bathroom was a much larger project.  We inherited a bathroom with carpet, a giant brown cast iron bathtub, a brown sink, and brown 7-gallon toilet.
The toilet immediately came out and we originally planned to resurface that brown bath tub a white color and add a shower head (after going with the assumption that our guests didn't want to come here and only bathe).  The previous owners had me convinced that the bath tub was so expensive and nice that nobody in their right mind would ever want to remove it.
After working and struggling to transform the tub space to accommodate a shower, my dear new neighbor across the street said, "why are you trying to put lipstick on a pig? You have two other tubs upstairs and don't need one here.  Take it out and put in a glass shower!" Aha! Genius.  The 600-pound tub came out (with the help of a lot of strong men) and went back to its original owners who told me they wanted their tub back!
We updated the countertops from brown/cream/rust-colored porcelain tiles to marble, added wallpaper, switched out the faucet hardware and sink.
The carpet came out and was replaced with hexagon marble floor tile. (I love the colors variation in the flooring units.)
The cabinet doors were repainted and we added new pulls.  New lighting was installed.


 I love the brushed gold faucet, what my friend Carson calls "the jewelry" of the bathroom.
Now, just two more bathrooms to go: our master bath (another ambitious project) and the kids' bathroom.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Art Scavenger Hunt

Ideally, Friday mornings are a special time I try to map out and set aside for the kids.  It's a morning in the week where they don't have school and I try to avoid my part-time work.  Although it doesn't always align this way, I've made an extra concerted effort lately to make these morning specials before the summer crowds join our stomping grounds and ahead of the pending Kindergarten and elementary years with Mr. Palmer.

Last Friday was such a fun activity- we went to the Dallas Museum of Art...and had a treasure hunt.
I spent time online trying to figure out how I could make the art museum fun for our preschoolers.  I learned there are differently themed paper guides that can be picked up at the front desk.  On each guide are a few highlighted pieces of art located within the gallery.

We picked up the "under the sea"-themed guide and went on a scavenger hunt thru the floors of the museum looking for our four pieces of art.
Although we knew the general vicinity of each piece, they were tough to actually spot...especially this tiny silver spoon on our list.
Palmer was so excited each time he scouted a piece.
Grace just enjoyed running around all of the exhibits, with an occasional stop to ponder life.

Camouflaged by several school field trips, we blended into the children's crowd and made ourselves at home- running and happily exploring all of the art.  Both children needed to be routinely reminded NOT TO TOUCH(!!)


And what better time to learn about not touching art than upon the same week as the arrival of this beauty at our home.
 We did a barter with our duplex tenants, who are interior designers and artists.  I commissioned and they made this gorgeous number for our front hall entry in exchange for partial rent.