Monday, October 21, 2013

From a Nursery to a (Shared!) Big Girl Room

You guys, we are SO CLOSE to achieving my dream of having a playroom!  I am sick of our entire living room being taken over by toys.  I look back a what I thought was kid clutter and I just want to weep.  2011 living room is about a million times better than 2013 living room in just about every way.  However, our house isn't the biggest, so the only way we can have a playroom is for the girls to share a bedroom.  They almost never hang out in the bedrooms, so it seemed like a waste to use up two rooms just for sleeping.  

A couple of weeks ago I decided that enough was enough and put the entire set of nursery furniture up on my company's portal at 25% of what I paid for it.  My style is completely different than it was 5 years ago and I definitely didn't want the black dressers any more, plus I figured it was easier to sell an entire set than a couple of pieces.  I was super lucky that two people responded right away.  One got the glider and the other got the crib, changing table, and dresser.  

Lucia was HILARIOUS when we took apart the crib.  "Mama!  Mama!  Dada broke it!  Dada broke my bed!"  Her little face was just priceless.  I can't really blame her though - we sold the stuff before we retrieved her big girl bed from storage so she had to sleep on the floor on her crib mattress for about a week.  Poor kiddo.  

Here are some pics of the old nursery.  I never took any good ones from this house (oops), these are in the apartment we lived in until Adriana was 4 months old.  This house had all the same stuff, but in a slightly different configuration.  And with less decorations because by that time I was more practical.  Flower thingies that have sharp little spikes in them right above the changing table? Noobsauce.  









I am saddest to see the glider go...lots of good memories rocking both girls in that chair.  But it really doesn't fit anywhere else in the house, and it was a $300 chair so we got decent money for it.  I maaaaaaay keep the mobile or even hang it in the playroom somewhere because I love it, and the pictures will get framed in white or wood and go in a big photo / picture wall in their new room at some point.  Other than that, everything must go.

Now this is where I confess something to you.  Remember way back when I had big plans for Adriana's big girl room?  Yeah, I never really did those.  Turns out having two kids less than two years apart is kind of all consuming, so we basically went into survival mode not long after that post.  Are you guys surprised?  Didn't think so.  I CAN be (moderately) crafty and decorate-y, it's just not at all where I have chosen to focus my energy over the past few years.  So it was really easy to get all of Adriana's stuff out of the bedroom so we could turn it into a playroom.  

It should also not surprise you that while I have de-nursified the nursery, put up both beds, and got the bedding situation figured out, that's about all I have done in the new shared bedroom.  But I'm going to show it to you anyway, since this might be as good as it gets until they are tweens and take decorating into their own hands.  

The lamp, sheets, pillows, blankets (inside the duvets), and mattress pads are Room Essentials from Target, and the beds are my dad's from when he was a kid.  The mattresses were on my brothers' beds so they are probably at least 15-20 years old (Is that gross?  That's probably gross.  Adding mattresses to my post tax return "to buy" list.)  The crib rail is munchkin, also from Target.  



The bedding is Pottery Barn Kids Savannah bedding in pink and blue.  I was originally going to have Adriana keep the Hayley bedding but she really, really, really wanted to match her sissy, plus my mom offered to buy it for their birthdays and she loves all things matching as well.  I'll keep Hayley around as a change I guess.  I really love the striped sheeting shown with the Savannah bedding but it's been out of stock forever and doesn't appear to be coming back any time soon.  Boo.  


I am probably going to decorate the room (eventually) with bright colors, not just light pink and light blue.  There will be some sort of nightstand and one of those clocks that changes color when the kids are allowed to get out of bed because HOLY HELL have they been waking up early.

Lucia transitioned just fine to her big girl bed, so the only real negative consequence of the new shared room situation is that Adriana wakes her up every morning at the butt crack of dawn.  Normally Lucia goes to bed at 8 and sleeps until 7:30 (when allowed), with a 1-3 hour nap in the afternoon.  Adriana goes to bed at 8:30 (and stretches it to 9 if possible) and wakes up at 6:15, with no naps since she turned 2.  Don't get me wrong, she NEEDS more sleep than this, but achieving that is damn near impossible.  Plus she had been waking up scared in the middle of the night for about 2 weeks before the room switch.  

Now Adriana goes back to sleep if she does wake up in the middle of the night, but both kids are up for the day around 6.  I'm sure it will be DELIGHTFUL when we have to Fall Back.  UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH,

But mostly I am happy with the change.  I mean, how could I not be when this is how the girls feel about it?


Do your kids share a room?  If so, I'd love to hear tips and tricks.  And if you are struggling with it, talk to Arwen, she's a genius (she gave me great advice at The Blathering - thanks again, Arwen!!)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall 2013 Day in the Life; Heritage Farms Pumpkin Pandemonium

Summer 2012 DITL here
Winter 2013 DITL here
Spring 2013 DITL here

You have until October 20 to play along too.  Details here at Navigating the Mothership.  Thanks for organizing, Other Laura!  If you are new to The Diniwilks ("deenie wilks"), Adriana (rhymes with piranha) is now FOUR as of 10/14, and Lucia ("loo see uh") turned 2 on 8/14.  


Sunday October 13, 2013


6:52 am:  Justin and I wake up to the sound of little girl giggles.  He turns to me and says "So it begins...".  This was the first night the girls shared a bedroom and as far as I'm concerned, it went swimmingly.  Lucia normally wakes up at 7:30 on the weekends, but Adriana gets up as early as 6 and has been coming into our room scared out of her mind at random hours of the night lately.  No middle of the night wakeups and we get to sleep until almost 7?  I'll take it.  We both lay in silence hoping the other one will get up.  It's technically Justin's day, but I did say I'd do it if the room sharing didn't go well.  I only said it to get him to put the beds together last night instead of today, I didn't ACTUALLY plan to get up.  Sigh.  He's not moving.  I guess it's me.  




7:00-8:00 am: I round up the kiddos, grab the bowl of crunchies (in case you need further evidence Swistle is a genius), and commence the morning iPhone routine (Paradise Cove, Instagram, and Twitter, oh my!) while the girls watch Caillou.   There are pumpkins in my cove and the trees are all dark and Halloweeny, which makes me dorkily happy.  

Edited to add: Forgot to mention that when the light went out in the kitchen, Adriana said "I think a gnat flew up into one of those thousand holes and squeezed really hard until he broke the light, then got out fast before the light broke him.  Or maybe a thousand gnats went in there and broke it together."  Ha!



8:00-9:30 am: Justin showers and comes down early, which is nice.  I have big plans to go to Heritage Farms for Pumpkin Pandemonium today, so I take the girls in the shower with me to save time.  Not before taking this pic though - the kids are constantly taking off their clothes and putting other stuff on, hence the lack of pants.  Their pants free legs are what catches my attention though - I notice how INSANELY LONG they are and it makes me sad.  I have KIDS instead of BABIES.  How did this happen?



9:30-11:00 am:  We hop in the car and head out.  First stop: JoAnn Fabrics.  My mom bought the duvet covers I picked out for the girls' birthdays, but I still need to get blankets to go in them.  JoAnn didn't have any, but I was able to get cheap pillow inserts for the decorative pillows.  I put on makeup, Justin gasses up the car and eats some atrocious gas station sub, the girls alternate between acting goofy and fighting, and we eventually make it to the farm (but only after Justin overshot our exit by 8 miles).  

11:00 am - 1:00 pm: Pumpkin time!  Last year we went to Graf Growers because it's so much closer to our house and Lucia was too small to do much anyway.  It was a perfectly lovely time and the pumpkin selection is better, but I feel like there is more to do at Heritage Farms.  Pumpkin patch day is seriously my VERY FAVORITE day of the entire year, so I need to figure out how to convince Justin to go to both places next year.  


Parking lot pics:





Same pics I take every year, but with bigger kids.  Compare to my fall pics from 2011 (apparently I didn't post last year's.)




We buy cake pops and apple cider before doing anything else.  Priorities.



Hay ride.  I love how Adriana grips Justin's hand the whole time.  



Pumpkin rolling.  I have never seen this event before, either because we didn't venture that far in the past or it is actually new...it is AWESOME.  A big kid nails Adriana really hard with a pumpkin from 10 feet away, but she shakes it off like a champ.  I should also note that Adriana rolls her pumpkin through the hoop, unlike either of her parents. 



Other events include a leaf pile, corn maze (we get lost repeatedly because Adriana keeps running ahead and I have no choice but to follow her), hay pyramid, teepees to color, a corn bin (the kids LOVE this - we basically have to drag them out kicking and screaming), cars, a box maze, and photo cutout thingies.  



We pick out our pumpkins and head out.  Lucia cracks me up with her two-ness ("I do it, I do it.  I can't do it, mama, too heavy!!!")





1:00-2:30 pm: I try to convince hubs that the kids could make it through lunch at the Winking Lizard without melting down, but the line is crazy long so we bail.  Good thing, too, as both girls zonk out within minutes.  I run into Target to get the girls' blankets, more pillows, and a mattress pad, and then to Panera for lunch.   Mac and cheese and pumpkin cookies for the girls; turkey bacon bravos, broccoli cheddar soup, and lemonades for J and I.  Unfortunately neither kid makes it from the car to their beds without waking, so we all spread out on the floor to eat like the hobbits we are. I put Alice in Wonderland on and lay down, hoping that Justin won't mind if I take a little nappy nap.  I'm exhausted - I wouldn't have stayed up so late if I had known I was going to have to get up with the kids this morning.  Ironing the duvets and getting the bedding on the beds will have to wait until tomorrow. Lucia snuggles with me a bit before I nod off.  


4:00 pm:  I wake up to find my children in their underwear (what else is new), the crunchies bowl dumped all over the floor (ditto), and Lucia running a fever of about 102 (ugh).  Good times.   


IMAGE EDITED BECAUSE GOOGLERS ARE PERVERTS


4:00-5:00 pm: I send Justin off to the store for groceries and proceed to play games with the girls.  Adriana wins every time and is not shy about gloating.  This is clearly my child.  


IMAGE EDITED BECAUSE GOOGLERS ARE PERVERTS


5:00-6:00 pm: Justin comes home; dinner time.  He bought a rotisserie chicken and fruit, our lazy dinner of choice.  Lucy starts feeling really crappy a few minutes in and just wants to snuggle, interrupting my kitchen clean up time.  Guess that will also have to wait until tomorrow.  Look how much Adriana eats compared to Lucia!  Complete role reversal.  



6:00-7:30 pm: The usual post dinner chaos: tv, snuggling, washing and folding laundry, reading books (No, David! for L and Sophia the First for A), forcing the girls into jammies, brushing teeth.  I send Justin to Target to get supplies for Adriana's birthday snack.  I want to go myself but Lucia has determined that Mama's lap is the only acceptable location for feeling miserable.  Is it wrong that I so thoroughly enjoy sick baby snuggles?    




7:30-8:30 pm:  Justin puts Lucy to bed and then plays Grand Theft Auto.  Adriana and I make Butterflies and Caterpillars.  At one point she turns to me and asks where Justin is.  I tell her he is playing video games, to which she replies, "Yeah, I guess he's probably sick of me and Lucy."  I try SO HARD not to laugh, but we can her J cracking up from the living room, which sets off my giggles.  Adriana asks what is so funny, and I don't really know what to tell her.  Apparently we aren't doing a good job of hiding the fact that we are EXHAUSTED by the end of the weekend, haha.  I tell her we love her and Lucy, but that sometimes grownups need quiet time too.  

8:30 pm - 12:00 am:  I eat Lucy's untouched dinner, then Justin and I snuggle on the couch to watch 3 episodes of Walking Dead before heading off to bed.  I just barely fall asleep before Lucy starts crying.  She is burning up, so I take her downstairs for a second dose of medicine and a drink of water.  I try to get her to go back to bed, but ultimately we end up on the couch.  The shared room thing is too new to keep going in and out of the room.  Neither one of us gets much sleep the rest of the night.  Good thing I took that nap earlier.  

Kid Snack Idea: Butterflies and Caterpillars

This is the most pinteresting thing I'll do all year, and I can't even take credit for the idea.  My cousin made these the last time we got the kids together and I thought it was adorable so I stole replicated it for Adriana's birthday snack this year.  Let's skip over how mah baybeeeee is FOUR and move on to the cuteness.

You'll need:
- Grapes (preferably green and purple) 
- Goldfish crackers (preferably colored)
- Gummy worm candy (I used Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers because they are the prettiest)
- Clothespins
- Pipe cleaners
- Markers
- Sandwich bags 
- A child sized helper




Part of the genius of this snack is that it's also a craft, and will therefore provide hours of entertainment for your kid.  Well, we made 16 of these and it took AN hour, anyway.  We only decorated the clothespins with markers, but you can use googly eyes, glitter, paint, etc. if you want to get really crazy.  I drew on the faces and Adriana decorated the bodies for her classmates.



Once your clothespins are decorated, you just fill half a sandwich baggie with grapes, half with goldfish, and twist.  The more colorful your snacks, the prettier the butterfly.  I found it was easiest to not zip the middle of the bag until after the twist so air could get out.  Clip the pin, add pipe cleaner antennae, and you are done with the butterfly.  

The caterpillars require no extra work - zip some gummies in a bag and you're done.  You can skip this step if you are going for a healthier snack, but I wanted to make sure Adriana is one of the cool kids so I went for it.  

If you have other cute snack ideas, let me know!  I now feel like I have to bring something equally awesome the next time I get together with my cousin.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

September 2013 Favorites

These are a little late due to The Blathering, but what else is new?

Justin moment: We had the girls' birthday party this month, and Justin was a champ through the event, taking orders helping out with minimal complaint.  But all of the activity exhausted him and the girls, which resulted in some pretty cute moments:





Adriana moment: Adriana started tap and ballet this month, and my very favorite moment was when her outfit came in the mail.  She was SO FLIPPING EXCITED, it was adorable.  I had to do some serious bargaining to get her to even consider taking it off.  


Little sis, the photobomber
Lucia moment: All of them.  I don't mean to sound like I have favorites because I certainly don't, but this is just such a great age as far as language acquisition goes.  Every last thing that comes out of Lucy's mouth delights me.  At least the things that aren't yelled at me during a temper tantrum, anyway.  It kind of makes me feel bad for Adriana, because I'm sure she can tell everyone thinks Lucia is the cutest, and I just want to hug her and tell her that 2 year old Adriana was the cutest TOO, and 4 year old Adriana is amazing in a million ways as well.  


No, I'M the cutest!
Picture: I won't get the pictures from the girls' birthday party until Thursday (Ashley took them!!! WHEEEE!!!) but I suspect those will be my favorites.  These pictures are pretty freaking great too though.  I, um, went a bit overboard on birthday pictures this year.  Here are my favorites:




Family activity: We went to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History again.  Last time we didn't make it to the Discovery Center or past the first five minutes of Big World: Big Sky (the Sesame Street planetarium movie), this time we did and it was great.  Can't wait to go back.  Neither can Lucia - she randomly inserts "DINOSAUR BONES!!!" into the end of every sentence.  



Food:  I made my favorite easy chili cheese dip for a Browns game this month...you take a can of Hormel turkey chili, a pack of cream cheese, microwave, stir, and serve with Fritos scoops.  It is divine.  

Drink: Wine.  All the wine.  Mostly consumed in one night, at book club.  

Book: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  I had to come back in and add this, how could I have forgotten?!!  This book was amazing and you should read it so we can discuss.  I have lots of theories about what was actually going on here.   

TV Show: I went batshit insane for Pretty Little Liars this month.  I watched the first three seasons over like 2 weeks.  Highly recommended.  

Movie: I didn't have time for movies what with all of the PLL going on, but I did rewatch Pitch Perfect.  It was just as good as the first time.  

Game: While GTA 5 played a prominent role in the Diniwilk household this month (eyeroll), I still only have eyes for Paradise Cove.  

Clothing: I didn't really buy or wear anything new this month, as I was saving it all for The Blathering.  Wait, I take that back.  I did have to buy some more suits due to my expanding waistline.  I got a great deal on Liz Claiborne cheapie suits for 40% off at JC Penney's.  They are not so cute that I felt like photographing them, but it's always nice to feel comfortable in a suit, especially when you have to sit in a car in it for four hours a day.  [I am still driving back and forth to Columbus A LOT.]

Accessory: I love this chevron necklace.  It was hella cheap off Michelle Money's website.  Have I mentioned before that I love her youtube channel, mmandlshow?  Seriously, watch it.  [And how great did Ashley do on my headshot? So great that I took a screenshot when she tweeted it, because I can't wait to get the disk.]  


Photo credit: Ashley at Little Leaf Photography 

Beauty stuff:  I only have two must have products this month. I am absolutely in love with my Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks, and Naked is my very favorite.  I also ended up repurchasing MAC Studio Fix Powder in NW20 after my last one had been missing for several months.  NEVER AGAIN will I go for so long without this amazing product.  It is SO MUCH EASIER to fake normal, rosacea-free skin when I put this on top of my foundation.  




Other fun stuff: 

Someone I know started an ice cream blog (If the Spoon Fits), and I just had to tell you about it.  It is basically food porn.  She has a great eye for photography and the recipes are to die for.  You should check it out!  

And if you don't already know, our very own Shalini wrote a real, live, actual book, and she now has a cover for it and everything.  I didn't get her permission to steal the picture so I will just link you to her blog post.  You should also put Lost and Found on your Goodreads "to read" shelf - I know I did!!!  I could not be happier for or prouder of my friend :)

Okay, your turn...what are you loving lately???

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Blathering 2013 Recap: Charleston!

This.  This is what The Blathering is all about.  An amazing city, perfect weather, lots of intelligent women who are beautiful on the inside and out.  No work, no kids, no boners poking me when I'm trying to sleep (or tweet).  Finding My People (and then getting tipsy with them).  It was seriously the most perfect weekend, just what I needed in my life.  

I had an amazing time last year, but this year was better.  Sure, it was missing some of my very favorite people (TOO MANY of them)(Lacey! Heather! Lara! Carla! Shalini! Megan! Susie! Erica! Emily! I could go on and on), but I feel like the smaller group was so much easier to navigate.  I had a meaningful conversation with almost everyone this year.  Last year felt like there just wasn't enough time to get to know people, enough time to relax, enough time to sleep.  Too many activities, too much noise.  It was all a little bit stressful, to the point that I bailed out of Saturday dinner early due to a pounding headache.  This year was 100% stress free.      

And how crazy is it that you can get that many people together and feel like you would be real life friends with EVERY LAST ONE of them if we all lived in the same city?  This really was a great group, even though it was incomplete.  I left with phone numbers, drunken roomie promises, brand new friendships, and deeper existing friendships.  We laughed, we cried, we sat in salami (or at least one of us did).  It was great.  [Note: I'm not going to link to every last person this year, go here to see who I'm talking about.]

The weekend started on Thursday with flying to Atlanta, meeting up with Tara D, flying to Charlotte, and driving to Charleston.  It saved us money, but I mostly did it to get to know Tara better.  She is just how I pictured her - super sweet, intelligent, passionate.  All of the things I look for in a friend and a road trip buddy.  

We got in to Charleston, dropped our bags, and headed out to Social Wine Bar to meet the group.  I took no photos, which is sad because the swordfish and the chocolate toffee cake were amazing.  As was my company - I ate with Ginger, Sonya, Ashley, and Tara G.  I was SO EXCITED to finally get to spend more time with Ginger, since this is our third gathering and we didn't really get to know each other the last two times.  We nailed it this time though!  And Ashley and I were called sluts in the bathroom, which was an unexpectedly amusing icebreaker.

Then about half the group met up at Henry's House for drinks on a roof.  Again, no pictures.  It was nice but I was definitely getting tired by that point.  

Friday morning began with breakfast at Eli's table.  I STILL didn't take a single picture, oops (pic below courtesy of Jessica).  I had already met Noemi, April, Sarah, and Hillary before, so it was nice just sitting around and playing catch up without the pressure of meeting new people.  I ate shrimp and grits, since that's what Charleston is known for.  It was delicious.  As were the bottomless mimosas.  



Jessica, Sonya, Ginger, and I tried to find a place to get massages, but apparently it's a big wedding weekend and everywhere was booked.  We met up with a bunch of other people at the Charleston City Market instead.  



Then a bunch of us hung out by the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina pool and it was glorious.  There was plenty of time between pool and dinner to relax in the room, which is something I kept forgetting to do last year.  Jessica, April (my roomies!) and I read / napped chatted / played on our phones for a couple of hours before getting ready. I finished Fangirl and LOVED it (aside from the ending).  Thanks, Shalini!!!

Friday night's dinner involved eating on the dock then riding around the harbor on the water taxi.  The harbor was gorgeous at night and the boat ride was fun until we almost capsized.  And YEAH, YEAH, I managed to sit in a plate of salami.  THESE THINGS ONLY HAPPEN TO ME.  I can't wait to see what misfortunes await my ass in Seattle.  But Jen put it all in perspective for me:  



So I choose to accept that it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship as opposed to a horrifyingly embarrassing incident.  After that we enjoyed some adult beverages in the bar:


Love these girls!  Turns out Drunk People are My People.
And then some more adult beverages on the patio, while trying to avoid the so-called "palmetto bugs" (they are totally cockroaches) and the unnecessarily rude wedding guests.  Seriously, Charleston, what is with all of the mean 20 somethings?  

The next morning it was a little rough getting up for Jen's beach yoga session, but I was SUPER excited for it so there was no stopping me.  



A bunch of us crammed on the trolley and then headed off to breakfast at the Vendue Inn.  I don't think I had a single bad meal in Charleston; the Maryland style eggs benedict was delicious.  Mmmm crabcakes.



This group decided to do a self-guided walking tour of the city:


Jenna, Hillary, Jen, Sarah, Michelle, Sara, Me, April, Jessica, Elsha, Kori.  Love these girls too!
Charleston is a cool city, I can't believe I have been here before but this is the first time I really SAW it.  


Harbor, Cobblestones, Rainbow Row, the wall

Loved the Halloween decorations - the witch hat was HUGE!

Battery Park area
We all met up for some King of Pops deliciousness near the Pineapple fountain.  Thank you all for the conversations we had here.  You ladies really are the best (special thanks to Sarah and Erin, but you are all wonderful).  We took the water taxi back to the hotel for some more pool time, which included a stop near the USS Yorktown (which was apparently parked in the harbor the whole time...who knew!)



The last event for me was bowling at The Alley (Tara and I had to drive back early).  It was fun, but it ended WAY TOO FAST.  I felt like one second we were bowling, and the next people were crying in the parking lot.  It didn't even occur to me that the night was over until it WAS and there were tons of people I didn't get to say goodbye to.  Thankfully the late night crew kept drinking so I did get to say SOME goodbyes, but seriously, it all ended too soon.  



I'll miss you, Charleston!  And goodbye, all of my wonderful internet friends!  Until next year :)