Friday, August 30, 2013

Movie Magic!

Last Saturday night our neighborhood planned a great back-to-school activity for all the kids/families in the Village - movie night.  They rented a big blow-up screen and invited everyone down to the pool clubhouse parking lot for a fun night.  If you donated a canned food item to a local shelter, you even got some freshly popped popcorn.

The movie wasn't planned to start until 8pm, so we weren't sure how long Georgia would last, but she loves her movies, so we figured we'd try it out.  We did a quick bath, put her in her pajamas and packed up the car with some snacks, beverages (the adults may have enjoyed an "adult beverage") and off we went.  We were one of the first families to arrive, so we got a primo spot right in front.  We spread out our blanket and settled in...






It was a gorgeous night, but as the sun went down, it immediately got a little chilly.  That's when I remembered that Georgia had a sleeping bag and this was the perfect occasion to use it!!  So, Nick ran home and grabbed the bag.  Meanwhile, Georgia enjoyed a snack and waited for "Wreck It Ralph" to begin as more and more people filed into the parking lot.













The movie started promptly at 8pm and Georgia curled up with her blanket and the sleeping bag.  No lie - she didn't move for a solid 90 minutes. I even checked more than once to see if she fell asleep.  Nope, she was just lying there with her eyes wide open.  No blinking.  No moving.  Just transfixed on the screen.









All comfy and cozy!



Not so surprisingly, she stayed awake for the entire movie.  She finally got up from her little cozy nest and crawled into Daddy's lap for the last few minutes of the flick.  The funniest part of her finally rolling over was that she hadn't even realized that it got dark.  She was amazed that she could see the stars!  It was all she talked about the next day.  I guess the kid has forgotten about daylight savings already.








She even perked up when the movie was over!  10pm and the kid was ready to party.  Luckily, it only took a few minutes to pack up our little mini camp and get ourselves home.  

And just when you think the movie madness was over for the weekend, we decided to take Georgia to see "Planes" on Sunday.  She has been salivating at the commercial for months now, especially because it is from the maker of her beloved "Cars."  So, we decided we would risk the 10:40am matinee and bring her to her first movie in the theater.

Luckily, everyone else walking in seemed to be of the toddler and younger set, so we figured even if it was an epic disaster, we were surrounded by other young families!




Waiting for the movie to start with her safe/non-dairy popcorn from home!



We also got there early enough that we got the first row in the stadium seating, so Georgia would be able to stand up and even walk around a bit if needed.  That worked out really well.  However, our mistake was getting there so early.  The previews took FOREVER.  I think we saw previews for every movie coming to theaters for the next 3 years.  By the time the movie started, it was already past 11am.  Georgia initially got sucked into the movie and sat still and was entertained for the first 20-30 minutes.  Then, she discovered that she could stand up!  Our row was empty, so we let her wander up and down the aisle for a bit.  Nick ended up taking her out of the theater for a few minutes because she wanted to go back to the lobby.  They returned and she sat for awhile again.  Then she got up and wandered around again, so I took a lap with her out to the lobby before she was ready to go back.  She finished the movie standing in the aisle, but it worked.

Overall, it wasn't a phenomenal experience, but it wasn't the nightmare that I envisioned in my head, especially considering she was up late the previous night.  She just wasn't as entertained by the concept of the movie as we thought she would be.  She can watch "Nemo" and "Cars" for hours and hours on end without blinking.  I think she watched "Cars 2" on repeat all the way from CT to MD on our last car trip.  She just wasn't that into "Planes" unless it was an action scene.  Nick and I agreed there was a lot of talking in the movie in between action scenes and that is when she would get bored.  But, she didn't scream and didn't cause any scenes.  The matinee was perfect for her age group.  But, unless something amazing comes out in theaters this year, I think we'll wait awhile before we go back to another movie.  She can just keep watching the same ones for free on repeat in our living room!

When we asked her which movie she preferred that weekend, she claimed "Wreck It Ralph."  It will be interesting to see if that holds true over time.  We don't even know how much of "Ralph" she truly watched vs just being glazed over while lying in her sleeping bag!

So, movie weekend was fairly successful.  No one had to be carried out of a theater kicking and screaming and that is always a win in my book!




Wednesday, August 28, 2013

1st Day Blues!

Although I officially went back to work full-time last week for teacher work days, the first day of school for the kiddos in our county in Maryland was this past Monday.  Georgia has been in daycare sporadically throughout the summer and was back full-time last week, but I decided we should still do a quick "1st day picture session" for the 2013-2014 school year on Monday morning.  BIG mistake!!

First off, Grumpy was in no mood to even get out of bed...







I then may have asked her something along the lines of, "Georgia, can I take your picture?"  The response was clear.  Very clear.  Crystal clear.  "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"  Gotcha.  







I finally managed to convince her to at least show me that she was two years old... still with a puss on her face!







Then she realized she was wearing a dress and that caused a whole different meltdown!






As close as we could get to a smile...







And then I must have done something terribly wrong, like tell her that I loved her!







I guess I can just settle for a few candid shots on the way out the door...














I could just eat that curl - it is beyond adorable!!!  I'm going to miss her "humidity curls" this winter.








Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes - Part 2

Since June of 2011, I haven't seen a portion of our counter because it's been home to Georgia's bottle rack.  For a brief time last summer, I thought I had earned that counter back when we packed up the bottles and moved onto sippy cups.  However, bottles were quickly replaced with lots of bowls, spoons, every sippy cup ever manufactured, etc.  The newly earned counter space quickly went right back to Georgia and instead of an organized bottle rack it became a wobbly stack of plastic dinnerware and a mess of mismatched straws, lids, and bowls.  

So, in review, we moved into the house in April of 2011 and I was placed on hospital bed rest in mid-April.  In essence, I've never seen my counter!  That changed this weekend.  After a few HDTV episodes, Nick and I reclaimed our kitchen from purple plastic cups and bright yellow spoons.  They've been banished to the basement with the Dr. Brown bottles!

Counters... welcome to the house!













I know, I know... I'm a little too excited about counter space.  It's the small things in life.

The other thing I'm excited about is the purchase of a few new hooks for the garage.  It has, quite literally, changed my life.  For the past few months, it was an obstacle course to get from the car to the door to the house.  In the way... bikes, toys, bubbles, etc.  The area was a broken ankle just waiting to happen.  I looked at Nick this weekend and said that it had to change or I was throwing stuff out.  I hate unorganized messes and our garage was quickly disintegrating into a giant stack of toys precariously balancing on top of one another!  It also was quickly becoming an obstacle course just to park in the garage.  You know you have a problem when you start saying, "Just a little more... I haven't hit the bike yet!"  

Who knew I could have a crush on hooks from Home Depot?!?




Hello hooks!









One of the newest members of the garage crew includes the bike trailer.  I managed to score an amazing deal on Samsclub.com's auction website.  I happened to log onto the website (which Nick discovered this summer) and the trailer's auction was only minutes from ending.  I did a quick google search and realized it was about to sell for several hundred dollars cheaper than what it was listed for on Amazon.  A few bids later and I won!!  The only problem - it's gigantic.  It can hold two kids and up to 100lbs.  It's already come in handy and Georgia seems to really like it.

Our neighbor actually took the kids on the first ride after we finally figured out how to hook it up to my bike one afternoon.  It's definitely a work-out, especially going uphill.










It functioned great as a double stroller to get Georgia and Bennett to the playground!



Nick finally got to test it out this weekend, although Georgia refused to get in, so he had an easy ride!




Heading up the hill



I'm on a roll!  What else can we organize??!




Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes - Part 1

One advantage/disadvantage to spending the summer at home is that you spend a lot of time staring at spaces within your home wondering if you're using the area to the best of its capabilities.  I always find some little project to work on during those blessed nap time hours in the afternoon.  Earlier in the summer, I spent some time redecorating portions of our master bedroom and adding some storage to our powder room (ahem, having Nick add storage to the powder room).  

Every time that I'm down in the "man-cave"/"princess cave," I'm always thinking about what we could do down there for our next project.  Last June, Papa Kevin, spent almost an entire week painting the basement a great blue color, which added a ton of warmth to the room.  It went from builder beige blah to actually feeling like an inviting space.  One of the issues we have with using all the space down there is that it is just one big rectangle.  It might be easier to divide the spaces up if there were nooks or corners, but it's really just one big box.  

Lately, Georgia's toys have been spreading and multiplying throughout the house.  Just when I think she's ready to toss a baby/infant toy, it becomes a favorite again and comes back into the play rotation.  With our recent trip to Massachusetts, aka - Christmas in August, our toy chest officially exploded all over our living room upstairs.  I just couldn't take it anymore!

Georgia has always had a small corner in the basement to call her own, but the area never really impressed me and it was something that just happened to come together because we started throwing some toys down there to entertain her while we were downstairs.  So, during nap time a few weeks ago, I started moving some things around and came up with a new idea!  Nick was at work, so he didn't really give me an approval for the idea, but I went with it.  I was so excited about my idea that I didn't even take before photos, but you can get a sense of the area pre-move in the link above to Kevin's painting.

My general idea was to remove the table/chairs that we never used and implement "Team Princess Cave Corner."  In my mind, total success!!






Georgia's new play area







Before the re-arrangement of toys and furniture, the majority of Georgia's basement toys just hung out in the vicinity between the couch and the back wall.  With this new arrangement, she gets an entire corner all to herself.



The pre-move area that Georgia's toys were scattered about was in an odd area


The true test was showing the new area to Miss G...




Within seconds, she made herself at home

























The rest of the basement is still a work in progress.  We had previously decided to use the space to display our dive photos and since it was painted blue, it took on a nautical theme.  Since then, I've picked up different pieces that fit the space or that I think would fit well down there.  Eventually, we hope to replace most of the furniture, since the majority are old pieces from Ikea from my first apartment.  The rough-in for the bar is also waiting for future construction once we figure out what we want to do against that wall.



Our dive wall, which now resides above Georgia's play area




The treadmill occupies another corner of the basement.  I just recently found a print from Homegoods for this area.




The irony of "Relax" behind the treadmill is not lost on me!




Our sofa table got a few new additions, including a new frame and candle holder




I found these great pillows while watching the Today Show from my hospital bed earlier this summer!  




These prints from Bed, Bath & Beyond were an early summer purchase


The best part about the new basement play area is that some of the toy clutter from upstairs has migrated downstairs, especially in terms of books and stuffed animals.  Our living room has been reclaimed!!




It's an August miracle - the toy box almost closes!!!




I can now walk across the floor without tripping over toys.  Wahoo!!




The book area actually looks organized.  Yes, it lasted one day looking neat and tidy!


Once that project was complete, I was on a roll.  Stay tuned for a few other small changes that have made a huge difference in our house!