Monday, July 29, 2013

Two wheels for reals!

Howdy, howdy!

Blogging from the hospital, but more on that later...
In the meanwhile I have something I want to share with you from today!
Ella is really riding by herself on her new two-wheel bike! We took a trip out to the park this morning for a parenting in the park get together and it took over an hour to get there because Ella insisted on "riding", which meant she was sitting on the seat and pushing with her feet on the ground. On the way back from the park Ella's confidence soared, and she was pedaling and riding on her own. I am so proud of her!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Busy Days!

Hi, all!

Boy, it feels like a while since I've put up a decent post.
That's due to a combo of having a lot of work to do and not going out as much (it feels).
So let's see if I can bring you up to date:

On Tuesday, we had the pleasure of celebrating the birthdays of two special folks in our lives: Matt (34)and his son, Henry (1).
Henry is Clara's little bro, and not but four months younger than William:

Henry looks very focused. Heh heh!

The birthday celebration was nice 'n' mellow and of the potluck variety (my fave!!)

We brought the corn on the cob

Just look at that spread. Summer!!!

A cool twist that happened with the party, is that instead of taking Ella Rose back home with us, she just spent the night there...making it her very first sleepover ever!!!
Apparently, it went really smoothly.
And Clara's family even held onto her for the majority of the next day too!
So me 'n' the boys went blueberry picking. The first time all summer!
And I didn't think to take any snapshots -- d'oh!
We brought home 8 pounds, but in the heat, I didn't have the energy to take any snapshots -- sorry!

On Thursday, we got to hang out with some other friends, as well as scour the stores for a 12" kid's bike. As you may recall, Ella tried rockin' the 16" two-wheeler, but her enthusiasm has been dampened since she sees other peers of hers being able to comfortably settle their feet on the floor when using their smaller bikes, rather than precariously on their tip-toes as she's been doing. The seat's as low as it can go, so we are looking to borrow at 12"er to better transition...

Aaaanyway, the weather's been so hot that it's actually driving me indoors more than I'd expected it to (when I was daydreaming about summer during the winter months, of course). That, and I've honestly had quite a few back-to-back deadlines...and have been intentionally trying to take it easier with the kids -- not trying to attend as many events as a day can handle, and really trying to bring back an "ebb and flow" feel to the day that involves plenty of down time during which Ella can idly draw and William and I throw a ball around in the backyard.
Good timesssss~ :)

Well, that's all for now.
I hope you had an enjoyable week and are looking forward to a nice weekend.
Until next time, take care and Happy Busy Days!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Phone

Hi, all!

Guess what!
I am writing to you on a cell phone! My very own smart phone that Dash got me off of Craigslist out of the blue! Just because he loves me so. :)

It's an HTC 1V,and I look forward to being able to blog on the go and post finds to the Gift Economy page, and whatnot.

Look forward to it and until next time, take care and Happy New Phone!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Clara Playdate

Hi again!

Today was a good day.
We had the pleasure of keeping Clara for what felt like most of the day -- and yet by the end was still not long enough. :)

Ella Rose and Clara love each other so much, they can play and rest and eat and read so peacefully with each other. They dressed up, pretended to go on an airplane ride and stay in a hotel, joked around about their pineapple juice ("Let's pretend we're drinking beer!" quipped Ella), and hugged "goodnight" when it was time for Clara to go down for a nap.

I have to say that Clara's presence really instilled a rhythm to the home that we have not seen all summer. Because she lunches around noon and then naps around 1pm, there was this automatic dividing of the day as well as obligatory down-time that really helped make the day flow so smoothly. Definitely something I miss from our childcare-swapping days! Memories~~

It even gave me the space to make dinner for the first time in what feels like forever, and we ate at the decent hour of 6pm - wow! It was a chicken stirfry over rice. Yum.

Unfortunately, Ella Rose was moody, sullen, and uncooperative during dinner...which I would attribute to the letdown following such a great time with her best friend. Shoot! >_<

Oh, well. Dash put her down for bed and it didn't seem like much of a struggle, so yay for that. Plus we'll be seeing her tomorrow and the day after, too! Ha!

Well...that's all I really have to say for today.
I love my life and all the little people who make it so great too!!

Until next time, take care and Happy Clara Playdates!!

William Progress

Howdy, all!

Sorry for not checking in for a couple of day there. I've been pretty busy with volunteering at the Da Vinci Days fair and whatnot, but am finally finding the space to write again. :)

I wanted to write down a couple of things that William has been up to, for my own sake I guess so that I can remember him better during this time.

Firstly, in the past couple of days, William has started saying the "N" word.
That's right -- no

It's pretty sweet to hear at this point -- really low and with this lips all puffed out -- and he uses it very appropriately in context which is great! Primarily, he'll use it in regards to when we ask him if he has to go "pee-pee on the potty" (more on that in a moment!) and generally honest, so that's good.

Sometimes, he'll even attempt to say words that we ask him to say. Like "Say home" and he goes "ooom". It's a fun game on the potty or at the dinner table too :)
All in all, he understands far more than he actually says, and it's fun to direct him to do something somewhat particular like "Go put that chalk in the bucket by Ella" -- and he'll obey!
Bwa ha ha~~!

I think it's also pretty clear that he's left-handed. He's had a mean throw for a while there, and it's almost always with his left hand. Same with picking up chalk or a crayon to draw. I hope he's left-handed. All the left-handed folks I've met are always so creative and alternative in general -- just my style! ;)

Now for some potty news!
After learning that William's friend Bodhi, who is only 6 weeks older than him, is already pretty much 100% diaper-free, I was inspired to really ramp up instigating cues and listening/watching him to learn his patterns, and his diaper usage has already decreased so much this week! I think he soils about four diapers a day now. Granted, it's just this past week...
But even so, it's been a strange gastrointestinal week for William and he's been having a hard time digesting certain things. So even with that diarrhea, he's been communicating clearer, I've been giving him more "potty-tunities" and we are making great progress, me thinks. :)
He's been so reliably dry at night, too, that the past two nights I let him sleep in just briefs or even bare-bottom in his pajamas. And we still just catch his (big) first pee of the day either on the potty or outside watching the construction workers digging up the street. Ha!

So yeah!
That's William as of late.
He's very friendly and waving to everybody. He'll even blow a kiss to you if you do it to him first :)

Sorry there are no photos to show off this cutie-patootie, but I'll be sure to post plenty soon enough.
Until then, take care and Happy William Progress!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Visit with Kathy-neechan :)

Hey, all!

So this is a very belated post.
I'd like to share with you the splendid time we had with my sister and bro-in-law a couple of weeks back while my mom was visiting.

As you may recall, at the end of June, my mom visited for a week -- during which we made an impromptu trip down to San Jose to surprise my sister with a visit! It was a ten-hour drive in her rented Prius, and I swear those cars are just golden. Especially for long rides with children! And when I say "surprise my sister", I mean we literally did not let her know that we would be coming over, so that she was completely shocked when she saw my mom standing outside the window Saturday morning. :)

The purpose of the visit wasn't only to let my mom see Kathy, since it was the rare chance that she was on the west coast, but to also belatedly celebrate her marriage. As I posted here, it was something of an "elopement" as there was no wedding, no family invited, nada.

So when we dropped by, it was also with a festive celebratory kinda plan too! :)

My mom ordered a delicious mini wedding cake from a local bakery:

The surprised couple!
And there were flowers put in a vase, as well as wedding gifts bestowed. I got her a big ol' crystal to bring more rainbows into her life...little did I know that their home gets no direct sunshine through the windows! So we'll have to see how she rigs it up to make rainbows.

It was exceedingly hot while there...

Tak'e basking in the constant sunshine...he came along too, naturally! :) there was a bit of lazing around with minimal clothing...

I packed all these clothes for William...and he didn't wear a single article. Ha!
Tak'e would've never let Ella Rose do this to him! :D

...and a trip to a local lake as well!

It's not much of a photo, but it was a lovely time! :)

Dinner time was particularly swell, as we cooked up a meal that we then enjoyed on their lawn.

Kathy's eyes look a little spooky, but really it was a nice time!!

I think coolest of all was getting meet Martin's family since they are now officially part of the family! This was my mom's first time, and I think she and Baa (how Kathy call's Martin's mom) hit it up pretty well, even despite language differences.

Top Row (L>R): Meaghen, me 'n' William, Martin's Dad, Baa, Aba, Kathy, Martin
Bottom Row (L>R): Dash, Ella, Martin's escapes me now!

Martin's brother's a pretty nifty guy too -- worked hard and saved up so that he could retire by 38 (wow!!!) and now spends his days reading, learning, and maintaining this amazing garden. It's not just flowers, but real sustenance food including fruits of all varieties, berries, and veggies too! Very prolific and quite an inspiration.

William with one of his nectarines

That day that we met his family (Sunday), Kathy also treated us all to Vietnamese sandwiches. If you've never had one before, I highly recommend them! Such a satisfying meal in itself -- basically french bread sandwiching traditional Vietnamese fare. Good stuff!

There were also long walks taken, parks visited, games played, and just wonderful energy all around. :) I really like my new bro-in-law, Martin. He's chill and funny and smart, and obviously loves Kathy a lot.

Oh! I should also mention that Ella Rose and William took to Kathy like never before!!
William, for one, seriously kept confusing her with me and even trying to nurse from her! Repeatedly!! You'd think he'd have smelled the difference between us, or given up the first time nursing didn't work from her...but he was pretty persistent. Ha!!

And Ella Rose and Kathy-neechan (as she calls her) have gotten into something of a tradition of having a Fashion Show whenever she comes over. We held three and Dash even recorded them! Below is the first/best one, if you are interested in seeing it ;)

All in all, it was a blast. The two 10-hour drives were not only smooth but fun and informative as we talked and sang and played games. And it was good to celebrate the new happy couple. :)

I love my sister!!

My arms are freakishly long, as this photo demonstrates

And she'll be visiting in a few weeks!!!!!
Til then, take care all and Happy Visits!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dashiells on Wheels!

Hey, that rhymed!

(My constant response to anything even remotely rhyming -- ha!)

Sorry for not checking in yesterday.
Yesterday and today were pretty big days!

I dropped by a friend's house for more sewing notions to help me finish our first little quilt.
Ella changed her mind and wants to keep it and make it a blanket for one of her doll's, rather than a full-sized blanket to give away. Aw, well!
I've already started a second quilt, and have great plans for making full-sized ones for Christmas gifts. Weeeee!!

Then we got back in time to have a picnic lunch in the park with a friend, and meet with someone from the city to discuss adopting the park! See, I was inspired by this story I read in the local newspaper, and thought, "We should do the same thing to the park in our neighborhood!"
So it looks like we'll be handling the weeding, though we could also propose other tasks like painting the benches or landscaping decisions -- awesome!! Gooooo, citizenship!

After that,

Today, I took the kids out on a mega walk that included dropping a book off at a friend's house, making a donation to Vina Moses, depositing some checks in the bank, and grabbing a bite at Yogurt Extreme. Buya.

This is the kids back from our outing:

As you can see, the kids still had plenty of energy, but I was felt pretty bushed after that...and yet I still ended up going out again not only to drop off another item to that same friend, but also to walk the dog, and finally to pick some blackberries with another friend! Phew!!

All in all, it was a great big awesome day!
Isn't summer the best~?

Hope you're enjoying your week and have a great end-of-the-week in store as well!

Til next time, take care and Happy Dashiells on Wheels!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

William, and Playdate Day :)

Hey, all~

So firstly, today William turns 15 months. Hurray!
We've been having an awful lot of fun telling him to do things and watching him comply.
Like he'll give hugs and kisses on demand.
And when asked "Where's ____?" (mama, dada, Ella, etc), he does a pretty swell job pointing us out!
Same with some animals in books. Heh :)

And today I finally noticed that William really is communicating despite the limited gestures and whine/grunts. I know that sounds silly, but honestly most of the time I am so distracted with other things, I sort of write off his behavior as tired/hungry/etc. But today, when I really tuned in, it saved him the usual frustration and we had a very smooth morning together. Namely, in regards to this construction on our street that's been going on for a couple of weeks now. He gestured/noised to me about it so clearly that it was like he was literally saying "no, not indoors...yes, outdoors...more!!" using a combo of head movements, baby sign, pointing, and vocalizations.

This got me thinking how people might consider me a "present mother" because I can stay at home with the kids and don't just stick them in front of screens or something...but sometimes it's crazy how "not present" I can be at the same time. My interactions with William as described above, for example.
So I am going to really try to not multi-task, which thereby makes me "there and yet not there", and really listen...especially to poor little William. He's "saying" so much, and I want to show him that what he has to say matters!!

So now that I've made that vow, I'd like to share with you our little day:

So many primary colors~!

Ella Rose had a preschool friend over for what felt like most of the day, and yet didn't feel long enough :)
Betty Plum is a sweet little gal who plays so well with Ella Rose. They played dress-up, taking on the roles of princesses, mermaids, cats, and doctors. We also set up the tent in the park again and lunched as well as read books there. It was the perfect day for it too -- somewhat cooler, definitely cloudy.

It was a nice day. :)

Everybody say hiiiii~!

So yeah, that's my Tuesday, and I look forward to a good rest of the week too.
Hope you enjoyed the day and are enjoying your kids too.
Take care and until next time, Happy William & Playdates!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

First Quilt?!

Yo, yo!

So yesterday, Ella Rose and I started on a new endeavor together:
a quilt!!

It all started when the ever-incredible MariAnna Johnson so generously gave me a box of quilting scraps to use however I liked! She had suggested making a "play quilt" with Ella -- by way of pasting the little squares of fabric to a piece of paper. Genius!

However, when I showed Ella Rose the box, she immediately announced that she wanted to make a real quilt! And for someone dear to her heart too ;)

So thanks to this nifty YouTube video tutorial, we have started our path down the long journey that is quilting.

Sweet 'n' simple 9-patch pattern!

Ella Rose's favorite part is choosing the fabrics to create the 9-patch patterns, and she "helps" me with the sewing part by watching me on the machine as I narrate to her what I'm doing.
I hope some day she'll enjoy working a sewing machine all by herself!!
But for now, watching is as good as it gets ;)
Though she does insist on pressing the foot herself -- not yet, little darling~!

Well, we're hoping to be done with this in time for Christmas but look out for more sewing/quilting stuff in general because I look forward to using up all those beautiful little scraps of fabric!!

Until next time, take care and Happy First Quilts!!

William Loves Laundry

Hey again!

So this is just something I've been meaning to record here for some time now.
It's something that is particular to William, never to Ella, and something I'd like to remember as something William always enjoyed:
the laundry basket!!

Just chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool...

It's so fun to call William over when I'm taking fresh laundry warm out of the dryer, because he knows just what to do then.
He climbs on in and stays good and still while I pile the laundry all around him. Then he loves being carried in the basket to whichever room I'll be folding and putting the clean goods away in.
I can't quite recall when he started doing this, but I guess it was whenever he could crawl (6 mos.) because he would crawl right on into the basket of his own accord!

"Aaw, mom~!"

I'll say one thing, though, it was a lot easier to carry him around at the beginning -- this little guy's getting big!
But I do love him so!!

Do your kiddos love the laundry in one way or another?
Remember to document their funny little whims because they will not last forever, and it's going to be fun to revisit memories of these stages~

Until next time, take care and Happy Laundry Loving!!

Doll Workshop

Hey again, all!

So, carrying on from yesterday's post about giving you a rundown of the past week's events, I'd like to share with you about the Doll Workshop that I attended on Friday.

From L>R: me, Erika, and Linda!

It was held by my good friend Erika Schoell, a fabulous German lady I met through the Corvallis Newcomers Club. She's like the embodiment of Zen herself -- so calm, and insightful, and unruffled as a placid lake's surface. She's one of my favorite people here in Corvallis :)

Anyway, for the past 30 years, Erika has been teaching people how to make beautiful handmade Swiss dolls using imported supplies through these intimate little workshops. You can learn more about her and her dolls at her website here.

Erika's baby shower gift to me for William was a certificate to one of these workshops, so I finally cashed that in on Friday and joined two other lovely ladies to make a doll of my own!

The little hands...
It involved a lot of stuffing and sewing, and it was nicely paced and sprinkled with fun conversation and a great lunch to boot!

The end product was a doll that I made in Ella's image :)

Just like my brown-eyed, and brown-eyed girl ♡
  I was so proud of the finished product and really fell quite in love with the little doll, even though I have never really considered myself a "doll" person. :) Of course, this little gem turned that all around.
The dress was a one-of-a-kind one, made by Erika!

Ella Rose was also quite excited about her little present and immediately went to go play with her upstairs for a long time. She has named her "Chibi Ella Rose" ♡

Ella playing picnic with the little doll. :)
But I was pretty crushed when I discovered that she'd taken it upon herself to give Chibi Ella Rose a haircut that has resulted in a mullet kind of look, and reminds me of the evil girlfriend from "The Wedding Singer". Wah. ;_; Ella likes the new look, but it makes me want to use that doll's shawl as a bandana over her head...
The other lady has quite an extensive collection and made a boy doll.
So yeah, it was a happy time and now we have a new member to the family -- Chibi Ella Rose! ;)

Would you be interested in handmaking a beautiful doll too? It could be for you, or for your little one! You should contact Erika on her website and maybe do it with a group of friends, for even more fun!

I hope you've been inspired, and until next I see you, Happy Doll Workshops!! :D

Sunday, July 14, 2013

So Much Going On -- Camping! :)

Howdy, hey there!

Wow, I have been terrible at updating my blog this past week.
I do have a valid reason, though! Namely, that we have been so out and about that I have been crashing out with the kids at their bedtime -- I think I mentioned this before too ;)

But anyway, let me bring you up to speed as to some of the things we've been up to:

- Camping at Detroit Lake!

- donating blood!

- making a doll at a workshop!

- celebrating Sophie's belated birthday!

- Oregon Country Fair!

So as to not overwhelm the readers, I'll cover all these fun events over a couple of days, and for today I'll just focus on Detroit Lake :)


We left in a very last-minute way on Monday evening, after giving my last Japanese lesson for a couple of weeks, but didn't really forget anything regardless! :D It was only a two-night stay, and we already know that next time will have to be at least five!
We went in the good old Dolphin and enjoyed mostly swimming in the lake, and a long walk or two as well!

Right by the water's edge!!
Tak'e got to come too and enjoyed duck-watching, a little bit of swimming, and lounging around the camper.

Kinda reminds me of a Norman Rockwell picture~?
 I was pleased with the meals we were able to put together too. The two dinners (it was a two-night stay) were pasta and sauce, and then soup with crackers and bread. Plus more salad from the garden!! We snacked on apples, grapes, cheese and crackers through the day. And breakfast was cereal and oatmeals too! Yummmm.
Both Dash and I look forward to learning the ways of "camper dining" and making more elaborate (healthy) meals too.
Dash being his lovable goofy self :)

Tak'e follows suit.
Ella Rose and "Snappy the Penguin"

I was impressed with the kids' stamina as we hung on the beach for a good four hours straight! And the usually water-shy Ella Rose was all about practicing her kicking and leading me and Dash around on Snappy. Heh. :D

Right before we drove off -- William checks that all is clear.
 We are thinking of going camping again when my sis comes to visit, or maybe before that~?
Either way, we love having our Dolphin to ride in, and the beautiful state of Oregon all around us. :)

Have you gone camping this summer yet?
What's your favorite mode? Tent? Camper? Cottage?

Hope you enjoy this summer, whatever way you do it, and until next time take care and Happy Camping!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

'Nother Nice Day :)

Buenas noches, all!

 Today was some things old and some things new!

In the "old" department -- I went raspberry picking again.
I swear this bush has been giving berries for an entire month!!
But alas...I think today was probably the last picking I'll be doing there for the year.
Even after picking by myself (!) for 30 minutes... I got only about a cup worth of raspberries:

Blueberries courtesy another public bush -- buya!
So that's a sorta bittersweet (pun!) thing that happened today.
I then enjoyed another outing to Central Park with the kiddos. I swear we have found ourselves there every day for the past week, it feels!
And something that we did a little bit of last year, but plan to do more of this year, is set up this nifty tent while there:

Thanks, Lee Family!

We received the tent from my aunt and uncle the Christmas before last (2011) and it is so much fun! It fits 4 toddlers comfortably, or me + the two kids.
We furnish it with blankets, and bring good eats and reads to enjoy in the shade when taking a break from playing in the sand of the playground.
It's so much fun to set up this sorta "homebase" while at the park, with all the amenities to make it a very comfy stay. :)
If you ever see this tent in the park, know that it's us, and feel free to drop by! :D

The last thing I want to mention about today is the "new" thing, which is another update to Ella's sleeping arrangement!

Having been inspired by a little girl in a storybook today, Ella decided she wanted to sleep "in her own bed and room!" tonight, so we moved her mattress and bedding stuff upstairs into the playroom.
Then she decided that William should share the room with her, so that's his little toddler bed next to hers.
They are in there as I write -- William is asleep and Ella is reading to herself with her flashlight.
Let's see how this works out!!

Til next time, folks, take care and Happy Nice Days!!

Summer Fun~

Hey, again!

So yesterday was a typical great summer day.

We started it off with a waffle breakfast (!!) and then sped to a friend's garage sale where we made some major scores!! I am most excited about my new green summer dress and apron. I always wear skirts so I never have a place to carry things like wallet/keys/etc...but now I will use this apron's pockets to solve that little problem. Hurray!!

Thanks, Afton!! :)

Back at the house, Sophie came over to catch up after her long trip to Hawaii and I got to eat my first produce from the garden -- mixed salad greens, yum!!

Thanks, Sophie!!

I then got a little sleep with William because I had a random night of wakefulness and found myself up from 1:30am until 6:00am @_@ I'm not quite sure why that happens, but a couple of times a month worrisome anxiety or happy excitement will give me a bout of insomnia. Thankfully, I try to make it as productive as possible ;)

But anyway!
We topped the day off with a lovely picnic in the park.
We had the pleasure of sharing our make-your-own-burrito dinner with a swell family we've come to know better -- they are very musical and goofy and easygoing and generally great to hang out with. :)

William with a sparkly flapper headband~

They have two little ones who are about our kids' ages too!

William and Mirabai holding hands...aaaaaw~!

There's Tzippy and Ella climbing in a tree
I then crashed out with the kids at 10pm (again!!?) and that was that.

I love summer, don't you?
Until next I see you, take care and Happy Summer Fun!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

William & Slides

Howdy, howdy!

Just thought I'd share with you something that William absolutely loves these days:

That's right!

I honestly don't recall Ella ever being so comfortable with them at such a young age, especially climbing up all by herself and willingly sliding down solo.
There's another slide he's really into that's a good 7 feet off the ground, and it's really something to watch him take the two minutes it takes just to climb up and then slide down the massive length all by himself.
I will catch that on video for you soon. ;)

Until then, take care and Happy Slides!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fourth of July!

Happy belated 4th of July, folks!

Yesterday turned out to be quite a treat!
We went down to Central Park for the "The All-American, Anyone Can Join, Fabulous Fantastic Fourth of July Parade", thinking that we'd just watch along the side, or at best follow up in the rear.

But lo!
We got invited by the group to join their ranks (I guess because we walked to the event and support car-free all the way!), so Dash strolled with Ella while I got to ride in the local Pedicab! Fun!!

Ella was dressed in her Christmas outfit~
Dan, the Pedicab Man, is so nice!!!

Then we caught up with sweet friends by the river...

William has a crush on Clara, I swear!

Look at the hug...aaaaaaw~!!!! Ella's face painted and ate ice cream...

Sparkling starbursts by her eye!

Took a while to get a non-goofy face out of her :P

Then we joined a potluck at a friend's house that called for international food to bring.
We made/brought pan con tomate, which is the easiest most satisfying summertime dish ever.
We'll be eating leftovers of it tonight, for sure.

I then crashed out with the kids before catching any fireworks, but oh well -- there's always next year~ ;)

All in all, a fun time!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you had a Happy Fourth of July!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

DIY Dollhouse

Hey, hey~

Okay, so that might not be the most accurate title.
But during Aba's visit a dollhouse was definitely assembled.

Apparently it was Grandpa Bob's idea to get Ella Rose a DIY dollhouse kit of simple wood that you paint and then assemble.

The unpainted version. Can be found at Michael's!

It was great fun that the whole family ended up having a hand in, and we are quite happy with the end result.

Aba and Ella Rose hard at work

Namely, because Ella's collection of Princess dolls are the perfect size for it!!

Gotta work on the interior walls, that's for sure... Ouch. @_@

Besides the two beds I made for Ella's 3rd birthday, the princesses are a little short on furniture, so that will definitely be next on the list!
I also want to see about either painting the interior or adhering fabric to it so that it looks like real wallpaper/carpeting?? We'll see...

Well, that's all for now.
I know there are no shot of Ella actually playing with the doll house, but trust me she is spending lots of time making up stories with her dolls in their new home. :) Just gotta see if I can catch it on camera some time!!

Until next time, take care and Happy DIY Dollhouses!!

New Desk!

Hey, there~

In lieu of going over the events of my mom's visit in some kind of chronological list, I'd like to share with you some of the events/endeavors that happened while she was here.

Firstly, Ella's new drawing desk!

It all started when the kids and I were walking back from a Parenting in the Park session at the nearby park when we stumbled upon this piece-o-crap desk left on the side of the road:

Daddy wastes no time getting to work!

It was obvious that it was some kind of homemade project so despite its decrepit appearance, the made-with-love aspect touched my heart and I loaded it on the stroller and took it home. This was the day before my mom's arrival, so I figured it'd be in stasis mode until she left...
Boy, how wrong I was!

In the hours before my mom's arrival, Ella chose the colors (brown and blue) and Daddy painted it up for her to hide the original "artwork" some kid left on it.

Judging by the style, I'd say it was a kiddo just about Ella's age!
Within Aba's first day or two here, she jumped on board with this renovation project, and bought stencils to do some pretty detail work on it. Together, she and Ella painted it and even installed that mirror (one from a set given to us for Christmas back in '08 - wow!) I was pretty impressed that they were doing all this stencil-painting upstairs directly over the carpet...and didn't spill a single drop! Phew!!

I look forward to much a pretty picture being created here~

The base paint for the desk was from the leftover paint bought for the Camper, as well as some from the previous owners of the house for the living room walls. And the paint used in the stenciling was from that awesome garage sale score the other week. So coupled with the fact that this got picked up off the side of the road, it was a virtually free craft project!

The desk that Ella used to draw at will now be for William -- though he is still more into tasting the drawing tools rather than drawing with them. Oy ve~ :D

So now Ella can draw upstairs in the playroom, while William has the desk downstairs.
The desk has replaced the art easel which honestly was getting that much use due to William's persistence in eating the chalk. So one thing in, one thing out. Perfect.

There will be more crafting news to share with you in the coming days.
But until then, take care and Happy New Desks!!