Monday, February 22, 2010

And on that farm he had a shark

Do you know what two year old's really love? Animals. Any sort, any shape as long as they know how to say the name of the animal and the sound that it makes. It's times like these that I wish I could send Conner and Lizzie to the farm for just one day so that they could really see what lives on Old MacDonald's land. Because the other day when we were singing "Old MacDonald had a Farm", Conner said that a shark lived on his farm! Hmmm, maybe, I mean there is a quite a market for shark meat out there.

Anyways, we took advantage of the lovely weather on Sunday afternoon to take a trip to Tanglewood park. As soon as we saw the horses out enjoying the warm sun we decided to take a quick detour and let the kids communicate with the horses through their ever improving "neigh" noises. As suspected, they loved the horses which means I am in trouble. You see, I am afraid of horses. Something about being able to see how large and muscular they are has kept me at a distance from these majestic animals. Never rode a horse, never really ever touched a horse (at least that I can remember). I tried to be all brave and show the kids how to pet the nose of the horse, but as soon as the horse opened its nostrils up when my hand came up to its nose, I jumped back and totally lost all bravery cred with my kids. So I don't think I'll be the one taking them on their first horseback ride- but we will take any volunteers for that job.

Seriously, how can I can be afraid of a face this gentle?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A birthday party to remember

This past Saturday we had a birthday party to celebrate Conner and Elizabeth's second birthday (and seriously, every birthday is a cause to celebrate another year that we have survived being parents to twins!). I wish I could have made a more clever title for this post but the clever titles running through my head refer to my current distrust of hippies, and I really shouldn't generalize based on my experience with one particular hippie this weekend. Alright, hear it goes. I spent a good deal of time trying to come up with an out-of-the-ordinary idea for the twin's birthday party. But, there isn't much you can do with two year old's in the middle of winter. So I was pretty proud of myself when I thought of having a lady (also at times refered to as a hippie by myself) come do a yoga session with the kids at the party. I mean, come on, who can resist seeing all those diapered butts in the air as the kids work on their down dog? So I contacted a lady who runs a yoga business for kids (I'm not quite ready to spill the name of the business yet over the internet but if you google "yoga kids winston salem" it is the third entry that appears) and formulated a great plan to have a yoga birthday party. The lady was going to read a book to the kids about bunnies, bring live bunnies for the kids to see, and then teach a yoga session incorporating moves that simulate movements bunnies make. Yep, that what was supposed to happen....

Fast forward to Friday evening/Saturday morning- the weather man had been forecasting a light dusting of snow to occur in our area on Friday night into Saturday morning. It started snowing on Friday night and when we woke up on Saturday morning there was probably 1-2 inches of snow on the ground, yet the roads were clear. Pretty minor compared to the snow showers we have gotten previously this winter. So we carried on with the birthday party as planned. The party was scheduled to begin at 11 and by 11:15 we had a room full of 15 toddlers but a surprisingly absent yoga teacher. Stressing out and having no clue what we were going to do with all these energetic children, I froze. Luckily my wonderful sister Megan stepped up and led the kids in yoga moves, several rounds of head, shoulders, knees, and toes, and the hokie pokie. I cannot even express how grateful I was to have her there and I think she must have been a child entertainer in her previous life.

By noon it was pretty apparent that the yoga lady wasn't going to show up but the party carried on. Long story (and I do apologize for the length of this story) short, the yoga lady didn't show up due to the road conditions (stated by her). Funny thing is that every other guest invited made it to the party despite these hazardous road conditions (large dose of sarcasm there). Anywho, the party ended up being fun and it was a great chance for me to practice taking pictures of children other than my own. So while the party didn't turn out as I had planned, it was still great that Conner and Elizabeth were surrounded by their friends, Papou and Grandma Hatzis, Grannie Elaine, and Auntie May-May to celebrate their memorable 2nd birthday. Next year I think we'll just go to Chuckie Cheese.

Wondering if anyone would mind if he just put the whole cupcake in his mouth

Always a lady, delicately eating her cupcake

Lizzie gets a birthday kiss from her boyfriend Weston

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two terrific toddlers turn 2 today!

Happy 2nd birthday Conner and Elizabeth. Thank you for all the love and laughter you have given to us over the past two years. And if we could have less of the crying and whining next year, we would be pretty happy with that too.
Love you,
Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, February 7, 2010

5,6 pick up sticks

Having hippie children who love nature pays off sometimes. While we were outside today Conner and Lizzie wanted to give a proper burial to all the dead tree limbs that had been sacrificed during the last rounds of winter snow storms. So they picked up all the sticks and placed them in a nice pile along the curb where they could rest peacefully. Then we sang a few songs and spoke kind words about those branches which held leaves for us to enjoy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mi casa es su casa- bathroom spruce ups

Kitchens and bathrooms, kitchen and bathrooms- that's where you put your money. If any of you watch HGTV or have ever talked to a real estate agent, they all echo the same sentiment- kitchens and bathrooms. Meaning if you are going to invest money in updating your house you should put those dineros into the kitchen or bathroom. Well, given that we don't have a lot of money to put into our kitchen or bathrooms and the short time we plan on staying in the house (we are seriously beginning to outgrow these digs!), a major overhaul of our bathrooms was not in the cards. But that doesn't mean that we couldn't put some minor touches on the bathrooms to bring them closer to the bathroom of my dreams.

Both of the vanity cabinets in our bathrooms were a genric shade of oak and while I would have loved to tear out the cabinets and replace them with something like this, changing our current cabinets to a darker color would have to do. I thought about staining the wood a darker shade but I've never stained wood before and was a bit scared of trying that out. Instead I chose to paint the cabinets, which proved to be quite easy and turned out pretty well.

In our bathroom, I painted the cabinet a really dark brown color from Benjamin Moore and put some wood appliques on the stationary drawer fronts. The color looks more like a black than a dark brown in the current lighting that we have in the bathroom. Some new off-white bath mats and towels and voila- a quick and easy bathroom update.
As close to a whole room picture as I could get. The walls are Ralph Lauren Tangier Island and I picked up the bath mats at Home Goods and got the most wonderfully soft and thick towels from Pottery Barn.

Here you can see the wood appliques that I added to the drawer fronts. I ordered these appliques from here, and they had a huge selection with super fast shipping. Once I received these appliques I gave them a quick coat of paint and glued them to the drawer fronts with wood glue. I love the idea of these appliques and am holding myself back from putting them all over my house! All in all, I think we can say that the bathroom looks much better than it did when we first moved in!
In the upstairs bathroom I finally found a place to use a paint color that I have been itching to use. My sister had this color on the brick surrounding of her fireplace and I really liked the color but couldn't figure out where it would fit in my house. So when I got the motivation to paint the vanity cabinet in this room I knew that I was going to use Black Bean Soup from Benjamin Moore. One problem was that once I painted the cabinet that color, the wall color didn't look very good. I had painted the walls of this bathroom the color of a Tiffany box when we first moved in and while I liked the color, I was looking to change it to a more muted, soothing color. I decided to paint the walls Benjamin Moore Sea Haze and whew, I love this color! It is a grey-bluish-greenish color that really changes dependent on the lighting. Chris thinks its a boring color, I think it is soothing.
And just one final note- a product rave. This was the first time that I used Benjamin Moore paint and though it was quite pricey, it was great paint! One coat covered incredibly well and went on the walls and cabinet really nicely. And with the great coverage you could get away with buying less paint which would bring the price closer to the price of other paints.