29 Jun 2010

We're Off!

Saturday morning Chris, Jayce and I left Chicago and headed to Florida.  Jayce was a complete gem in the car, and I was so grateful for our little travel dvd player.  It was a good time for us to relax, for me to sleep and for us to get mentally ready for vacation.


We stopped in Alabama for the night and it was hard to tell who was more excited to get out of the car to run around a bit, Jayce or us.  He did discover just how fun these little coat racks are for riding, and was sure to hop on on our way in, and again on our way out in the morning.







25 Jun 2010

Water Fun

While Mom and Chelsea were in town, we introduced Jayce to a makeshift water slide.



The water was a little cold.  Can you tell?




Then she taught him to splash Chelsea,



but luckily, they made up over cupcakes.







24 Jun 2010

Why Googling Your Name Can Be Scary

If you have ever come across this for some reason, rest assured, this is not my husband's alter-ego.

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23 Jun 2010

Belated Birthday Celebrations

When Mom and Chelsea were in town we had a little mini-birthday celebration so that Jayce could open his gifts from them.




Among other things, he got this awesome inflatable red car, which was Lightening McQueen-ish enough to make him really happy.

He helped dad blow it up,


did a little driving,


and grabbed it's headlights.  (Lol.)


The other best part about the car, is that it is actually a ball pit, something that has been missing in Jayce's life for a little bit.  The nursery at our church had a ball pit in the 2 year old room, and we used to use that to get Jayce to go in there without getting upset.  "Do you want to go to church and play in the balls?!"  He was  so excited that he would wait by the door at home and fuss until we left.  But about a month ago, the ball bit was removed.  It was replaced by a few new fun toys, but Jayce still talks about the balls on the way to church.  So he was so thrilled to get balls for his house, and I am so thrilled to have 25 more little balls to pick up.  But it's okay, it's worth it for my little speedracer.








21 Jun 2010

Our Favorite Father


Happy Father's Day Chris.  Jayce and I are the two luckiest people in the world because we get to have you in our lives everyday.  You are our favorite person to play with, go for walks with, talk to, and get!  Thank you for always matching our enthusiasm, and giving us all of yourself. (And look at those matching smiles in the above and below pictures!  I guess now we can see where Jayce looks exactly like you.)  :)

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I am so thrilled that our family time is your down time, and am so grateful for all that you do for us. You have always been an incredible man: smart, hardworking, honest and noble, but as a father you really shine.  Thank you for all of your love.



Erin and Jayce

17 Jun 2010

Garage Sale Finds

Mom and I briefly headed out to the Route 66 Garage Sale last weekend before we went to Cincinnati.  I was bummed that we didn't have more time to look around at everything, but we did have some success in our short time of bargaining.


I was reminded of why perseverance in garage sales is SO worth it, when we got 2 big toys for Jayce for less than the price of a little toy at the store.  A play tool bench, and a play kitchen complete with dishes for $8 total!


It also warmed my heart a little, that when we left the boys for the weekend, they were outside washing dishes together.




15 Jun 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday: Ellery

Friday night was the cd release and 10th Anniversary show for Ellery, so Mom, Chelsea and I loaded up late Friday morning and drove over to Cincinnati for a whirlwind trip to see the show.  They did an incredible job, and opened up the encore session with Paul Stanley's You Belong to Me.  (Anybody seen Steve Martin's "The Jerk?"  It was a bit like that, just without the trumpet.)


There was a professional photographer at the other end of the row, whom I tried to ignore, along with the "cool lens envy" that I had going on every time that I glanced his way.  But I was in a prime spot to get this really great shot of them anyway.  I hope you agree.

Congrats Justin and Tasha, it was an amazing show!!

I'm linking this to Sweet Shot Tuesday.




14 Jun 2010

Ballpark Bubble Time

Mom and Chelsea came to visit last week, and unlike previous trips where I have put them to work the minute they walk in the door, all that we really had "planned" for this trip was for us to all hang out, and for them to get to spend some quality time with Jayce.  I hadn't seen Chelsea since Christmas and she hasn't been to our house in 1 1/2 years, so we had plenty of catching up and hanging out to do, and Jayce was thrilled to have 2 other full time playmates throughout the day.

One of the "leisurely" things we were able to do was head over to Chris' softball game one afternoon to watch some of the fun.  Normally this is a huge deal to Jayce, who brings his own ball and bat, and hits them golf ball style the whole time, yelling "three, two, three, GO!!" as he hits.  But on this trip he found some new very exciting entertainment, Chelsea's bubble gum.  Which repeatedly produced this kind of open mouthed, wrinkled nosed hilarity!


Jayce would purse his lips in support of Chelsea's bubble blowing efforts,


and then burst into laughter as soon as the bubble popped.


You've got to love how easy it is to please little kids sometimes.


And how easy it is to appease a mom with a camera at an opportune time.

She kept trying to get Jayce to pop the bubble, but he only wanted to be a spectator.  He did eventually take Mom's hand and pop the bubble with that.


Which she then did back to him in return.



We had a great time at the game.  So much fun, in fact, that we missed Chris' home run hit.  Whoops.


And I'm cracking up over this picture.  That expression, that belly, love this kid.

More soon!




9 Jun 2010

Jayce's Nursery Mini Re-Mix

Jayce's nursery was decorated almost 2 years ago when we moved in, and because I have never really modified anything since then, I decided to give it a little re-mix last month. Has anyone else seen that show on HGTV where they re-do a room using items found in other rooms of the house? That is what I wanted to do. I told myself I wasn’t allowed to purchase anything new, spend money on paint or supplies, and had only 2 naptimes to finish the whole project, which forced me to prioritize. Otherwise I probably would have re-painted a lot of the accessories since I’m one of those crazy spray painters. :)

Anyway, when we moved into our home with a 2 1/2 month old baby I had my decorating priorities set, the nursery. It was probably just the opportunity to indulge some of that nesting that I'd been reading about but unable to participate in yet. My mom came into town and we tackled the nursery with a cute little sleeper as our inspiration. That week, we painted stripes, and stripes and stripes and stripes. I LOVE the result, it is so incredibly fun, but I will never stripe again. I often tell my husband that if any of our other children want a striped wall, then we’ll just have to rotate them all through that room. I kind of decided on a whim to do the stripes and had not done any research about the best way to carry out this rather tedious task, so we had several uneven stripes that needed to be corrected, which threw off the other stripes…ugh, it was bad. But again, at least it is done now and we love it. I was particularly happy with the thin little white stripe, which was just a little strip of painter’s tape placed randomly on the wall to break up the blue just a little.


My other favorite part of the room is the paintings, which my brother made for Jayce. Justin is one of those people who will just doodle little animals in the side of his notebooks if he is sitting around somewhere for an extended period of time, so I asked him to paint a few little animals for Jayce's room, gave him the color scheme that I was looking for, and he went to work. He came up with these cute little "Mom and Baby" animals, aren't they fun?

I originally had 3 pictures on each of the 2 side walls, but I wanted to have the artwork on all 4 walls of the room. So I went to work rearranging the artwork along with the furniture.

Here is wall by the door before and after.

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I brought a bit of the green over by using a green gingham blanket on top, painted the clock blue with the same paint that was used on the animal paintings, brought the little turtle family over to that wall, and framed an extra of this gorgeous family portrait that we have. The photographer was talented enough to take a photo that captured our family beautifully and hid my post-childbirth chins, so I really should spread this picture around our house even more.


I shifted the storage unit over to the side wall beside the rocking chair, which automatically let a lot more light into the room than the bulky dresser.

(before, with my little darling)




I had picked up this little lamp at the thrift store for $.50 and thought it was cute. I didn't have a lampshade for it yet, so I grabbed one off of the lamp in the spare bedroom, and hot glued a little of the green gingham ribbon around the edges for some detail. It will be getting a paint and number makeover at a later date, but I needed to stay within the timeframe that I had given myself.


I had picked up this long frame a few months ago (which is about 48 inches x 14 inches), and thought that it would make a perfect little chalkboard for Jayce's bedroom. But at this age I am a little afraid that giving him this privilege will only lead to chalk all over the walls, so as a temporary solution I made up this picture board. I had an extra curtain that matched the bedding but was too small for the window, so I wrapped it around a foam board and just pinned it in place. That way I can just remove the still-usable curtain at a later date, and transform the frame into the chalkboard that I want.

2010_04_27_8899But for now, it is a nice display of some of the photos that I had out in his room, and also took up enough space on one of the feature walls that I could take down a few of the animal paintings to use elsewhere.


On his left sidewall, I used a shelf from an unassembled shelf unit to take up a bit of the space, and add a bit of detail. It will be fixed up more at a later date, but for now, this allowed me to take use only 2 animal photos on that wall and not leave the wall feeling so empty.


The room is so bright and cozy now. As a further bonus, my son could barely stand to be in his crib a minute longer at the end of his naps, because he was bursting to get out and play in the newly arranged room. I guess that the same toys, displayed in a slightly different spot, might as well be brand new toys. He dove onto the same old train, books, and animals with a renewed enthusiasm. I might need to do some rearranging on a more regular basis.


I hope you like it as much as we do!

Also, on a completely unrelated side-note...

**Mac users, please weigh in here**

In the last week I have switched over from a PC to a Mac, and though I love my new computer the more that I learn how to use it, I really miss composing my blogs in Livewriter!! Does anyone use a blog publishing software that they like, particularly one that makes moving pictures around easy? I would love any suggestions that you have tried and liked, every time that I turn to google for suggestions there are dozens of options but no real frontrunner. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!!


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