Thursday, November 22, 2012

 So much...
 to be thankful for.
 It was a lovely Thanksgiving.  We were taking these photos just as our guests arrived.  Then it all became a little busy and I never got the camera out again.  Nani, Aunt Alicia, and her boys all joined us from St. Louis.  A turkey on the grill, plenty of sides, and four pies.  We feasted and sat by the fire.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 05, 2012

It's time for Georgie to get a new look in his bedroom.  The very special fire engine bed that George built him last fall is just too small.  We held out as long as we could hoping he will remember having such a special bed but he needs more room.  He needs a real bed with sheets and blankets.  The crib mattress for this big boy is just too small.  We worked around the green on the walls for the last three years but I'm ready to see it with a whole new look.  It's a very small north facing room.  I wanted to lighten it up but keep it warm so we're hoping Benjamin Moore's Navajo White will do the trick.
I envisioned a room that's boyish but also not so boyish so he can grow into it.  I also wanted to work with the fact that it's such a small room and do a wall of built in bookcases for all of his books and treasures.  I want the room to look like a library that we turned into a boy's room.  Here are the things we have so far...  
This is the new light fixture.
(Pottery Barn Kids)

This will be his duvet cover.
(Lands End)

Some sort of custom built-in bookshelves painted or left white???

I got rolls of Osborne & Little's Coronata Star wallpaper at a rummage sale for less than $5.  I've been itching to use it and thought maybe in the back of his bookshelves.  Here it's used on the ceiling.
(unknown source)

His dresser is going to get a coat of paint.  Love this orange but also thinking olive green...

I love going to the Florence Eiseman Factory Sales here in town.  Once or twice a year they include their fabrics in the sale.  I always stock up because it's cheap, cheap, cheap.  This year I went with drapery fabric in mind for George's room.  I found a lightweight wool similar to this one for $6 a yard.  I bought 10 yards.  I wish I bought more.  I love it and would love to upholster chairs in it.
(unknown source)

We bought this vintage map for color.
(Pottery Barn Kids)

I bought these curtain rods for no other reason other than they were on sale.  They're pretty cute too.
(Pottery Barn Kids)

When I asked George what kind of room he wanted he said "sharks."  We went through all the different kinds of rooms, looked at catalogs, but he stayed true to sharks.  Luckily these shark sheets were on sale.  These were what started to whole room makeover...

(Pottery Barn Kids)

Well, then I had to get this too.  Then that was all I wanted to invest in sharks because I know how these little ones will be on to the next thing in no time.
(Pottery Barn Kids)

Finally, for his big boy bed he gets one similar to this; a vintage Jenny Lind.   We bought a pair last winter on Craigslist for next to nothing.  I always envisioned painting them raspberry red and using them in Magnolia's room.  We just couldn't get the pair to fit in her room nicely so George is getting one and we're leaving it with its original finish.
(unknown source)

We are starting on this soon so I'll be back to update the progress.  Georgie is not good with change (he even had a hard time with his fire engine bed when it was first moved in his room) so we are going to do this project slowly.  One thing new at a time.  :)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

It was a cold but sunny evening.  I bundled them as usual and off they went with George as they always do.  I stayed behind with a fire going, a big cup of hot tea, and a whole basket of candy.  Pretty nice, I'd say.
This year Magnolia and George went along with neighbor and friend, Bryn.
George goes to his first house to trick or treat.  Love that smile!
Magnolia had real stamina this year.  They came back to drop off George ,who wanted to call it quits and was quite happy with his small stash, while Magnolia and Bryn went back out again.
He was a great helper handing out candy.
It was a big day for all of us.  Prior to trick or treating we had our annual block party complete with a bouncy house and a visit from the fire station.  We all went to bed early completely exhausted and looking forward to a (somewhat) quiet November.  So long October!
(Magnolia gets her turn as a cop at her school Halloween Party.  Here they are performing some Halloween songs for all of the parents.  "It's Magic!")
New-ish tradition for us is "booing."  Someone drops a halloween package on your front porch with a poem inside saying you've been "booed."  You tape the boo poem on your front door so everyone knows you've been booed.  In turn, you then boo someone.  George and Magnolia each chose someone on the street to boo.  Here are the packages ready to be delivered.  Later that night when it got dark we crept up to the houses and left our was a lot of fun!
Old tradition is carving pumpkins.  I asked them to draw what they wanted carved out.  George proceeded to completely color his entire white pumpkin with every color imaginable.  It was quite stunning.  Then he asked me to carve out a dog bone which I did.  Definitely a winner for most creative.  Magnolia colored the classic pumpkin face.  We lit them up on Trick or Treat night.
Introduction of the newest Judy Family tradition is Saturday Night Sleepovers.  I always intended for these two to share a bedroom.  I guess I always imagined a house crammed with kids where everyone would be sharing rooms.  Since we have just two and we realized how much work it would be to combine rooms, we decided to let them have sleepovers every Saturday night instead.  This way sleeping together would remain a special treat (like they do in hotels and on the island).  The first night went beautifully.  They fell right asleep and stayed in bed all night long.
I love how close these two are.
Six seems SO big!  She sure is growing up.  Magnolia is so much fun and we just adore everything about her.  For her birthday she didn't have school so she got to choose to do whatever she wanted to do. She chose to go the the Children's Museum which was a blast since we had not been in there in SO long.  Then we drove to Blue's Egg for lunch where George joined us.  Then we came home to play with new toys.  We had a chinese dinner then bundled up to take a walk to the Pumpkin Festival.
Every year our village puts on a Great Pumpkin Festival.  They stack up picnic tables and staple big white lights to them.  They have piles of pumpkins and a tent where you can go in to carve it.  When you are finished, you find a place to put your pumpkin on the picnic tables.  We went a couple of nights prior to carve our pumpkin so on Magnolia's birthday we walked back to see it lit up.  There's always live music, good food, and plenty of good friends to see!
Ours is second from the bottom on the far left.  Everyone got a say in what they wanted carved.  George IV chose square eyes, George III chose a triangle nose, Magnolia chose a big smile with two teeth and I chose to carve our name in the back.

When we came home Magnolia got to open her gifts from us which included a new set of flannel sheets with painted ponies on them, her very own alarm clock, a coin changer, a panda snack container, a horse book, and her own hairbrush and comb.  We kept her gifts to a minimum to justify the pony at her party.  We knew she would remember her pony far more than any gift we got her.  :)
And the grand finale of the night....birthday cake pie!
Magnolia, also known as Magpie shortened to Pie, fittingly loves pies.  She first wanted a key lime pie then we got to reading Amelia Bedelia books in which Amelia Bedelia makes the best lemon meringue pies.  So, in the end, it turned out to be a Key Lime Meringue Pie.
Our sweet girl gets six (!) candles, she makes a wish, and blows them out perfectly.  Yeah!
As I tucked Magnolia in that night I told her that it's going to be a great year being six and we talked about all of the things she'll do and learn.  The first on her list was to be able to snap her fingers which she has already mastered.  Exciting things!!!

We love you to pieces Magnolia June!  Happy 6th Birthday!!1

A couple of side notes not to be forgotten:
George was very unhappy that he couldn't open Magnolia's gifts.  Magnolia was very kind and let him help.  He continued to be grumpy through the cake as the picture suggests.  Magnolia didn't seem to be bothered by his fussing and crying.  She happily ate two pieces of pie!  

Magnolia and I share birthdays, mine falls the day before hers.  Both kiddos were off of school so I told them that we were going to do something fun, something I wanted to do, and they had to promise they would say "okay" to everything I asked.  I asked to go downtown to the Pabst Mansion.  We did but it turned out that it had to be a guided tour so Magnolia and George got dragged around the mansion with me for over an hour and they were troopers!  Even the tour guide commented on how good they were.  So far so good...  Afterwards we went to the Melthouse for a good Wisconsin grilled cheese sandwich but in my insane hunger, I ordered wrong and never got the grilled cheese I craved.  But, George met us for lunch and we all shared soups and sandwiches, it was fun to be together.  After that I asked them to go to my two favorite stores.  And, that was when things got a little hairy.  They tried but they just couldn't help being a little wild in those stores.  I can hardly blame them and overall, they were really good.  Really great sidekicks on my birthday and I loved every minute of my day with them.

The rest of the afternoon was spent going to ballet/tap lessons, having a good dinner and a delicious gingerbread cake hot out of the oven with fresh whipped cream.  George made a fire and I opened many wonderful gifts from a lot of people who love me.  It was a wonderful birthday.

What a party!
We surprised Magnolia the day the invitations went out that she would have a pony at her party!
Needless to say, she was very happy!
We invited all of the little girls in her class and hoped for good weather.
After being rainy, gloomy, and cold for days on end, it turned out to be a beautiful fall day!
We started the party by opening the presents.  Each little girl choose a number from a hat.  Magnolia then choose numbers from a hat.  She called out the number she pulled and the guest that had that number presented her with the gift they brought.  This made it much less chaotic and kept the girls interested.

Then we had lunch.  Thank you Trader Joe's for making us lunch!  Turkey corn dogs, chips, dip, veggies, fruit, and each their own milk carton.  I rolled brown craft paper down then put sheets of red and white striped wax paper for each place setting.  They ate right on the table and when it was done, it made for easy cleanup.  For desert I made mini vanilla cupcakes with Nani's famous caramel icing.
As the girls were eating their lunch, the pony trailer pulled up.  The girls quickly finished their lunch, put on their pink cowgirl hats, and rushed outside.
Oh, I forgot to mention, they bring another animal to entertain the kids while waiting for their pony ride.  We choose a goat.  Here comes Billy (the goat)!
The pony gets saddled.
The excitement builds.
The Birthday Girl gets the first ride.

Then she checks out Billy.
After all the guests have their first turn, George gets his.

This was the pony line.  Most girls had three rides each.  I even found George independently waiting his turn for more rides!
Magnolia and George's cousins came too.  Here's fellow horse lover, Sophia, having her turn.
Gotta love the cowgirl boots!
Then we got really silly and posed in the "photo booth."

Magnolia said, "Mom, you already look like you because that's what your glasses already look like!" She's right.  So, I look completely normal in this pic.  :)
Then we bobbed for apples.
Finally, I brought out a jar of trail mix and the girls got to scoop it in their own bags.
Then we waited for the parents to come and each little girl went home with a red bandana wrapped caramel apple tied with a helium balloon.  
It couldn't have turned out any better.  It was a super fun time!
Happy Birthday Magnolia!  
We hope this year being six will be as fun and exciting as it should be!

A couple of side notes not be forgotten:

The day we put the invitations in the mail we received an invitation to Magnolia's classmate's party on the same date and at the same time.  I nearly cried at the coincidence.  I immediately called the mother to see what we could work out.  I offered to see if I could book the pony for a different time but she was so gracious and changed the date of her daughter's party to the day prior to Magnolia's.  It never occurred to me that would happen!

The day of the party (the friend's party) Magnolia was exhausted, took a nap, and woke up ten minutes before the party started with a mild fever.  I hemmed and hawed about what to do.  Magnolia said she didn't want to go so I kept her home, rushed over to the little girl's house to deliver her gift and give our apologies.  Ah, what to do?!  Now all of these moms would know Magnolia's sick and I didn't know if I should cancel the party.  I was advised by more experienced moms to let the show go on.  That a cancelled party would be devastating, that it would never get rescheduled, that it was just a couple of hours, so on and so forth.  The next morning she seemed much better (surely pure excitement being the best medicine).  After her first ride on the pony she started to itch like crazy and a rash appeared all over her torso.  Surely she can't be allergic to horses?!  We gave her antihistamine and took her to the doctor the next day.  Scarlet Fever it was.  Oh my goodness, and highly contagious.  Magnolia sure was a trooper and thankfully, as far as we know, none of the other little girls got it!  

For the party favors I decided to make homemade caramel apples.  After my first batch I was starting to worry that the caramel was too hard and that it would pull out kids' teeth.  As I sampled them myself  (to test them out) I definitely knew the caramel was too hard and proceeded to make another batch with softer caramel, all the while munching on the too hard batch.  When I flossed my teeth late that night a major piece of tooth flew out.  Now I don't know if this has happened to you but it never has to me and I stood there frozen for I don't know how long carefully pulling air into my mouth to take the serious pain that I was sure to come.  None.  Nothing.  I almost jumped for joy but I did go through the entire next two days with a gaping hole in my mouth.  And, as it turns out, those caramel apple party favors resulted in a $1200 crown...ouch!