Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Commitment to Loveliness, November 23

It's time for another Commitment to Loveliness, hosted by Charming the Birds from the Trees!

Here is my list for this Thanksgiving week:

1. Begin preparations for Advent and St. Nicholas Day next week.
2. Finish sorting baby clothes and put those bins away!
3. Haircuts for the "big" boys.
4. Go to bed early.
5. Pay more attention to my tone of voice. I feel like I've been shrill lately.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Here We Go!

Our not-so-new-or-little-anymore-baby is getting ready to take off! He doesn't appear to be moving, but yet somehow wiggles off his lambskin or playmat every time! I think we're going to see a full-out roll any minute now! This seems so early! Sniffle, sniffle...

Setting up the winter scene...

Friday, November 21, 2008

First "Big" Snow

We had our first real snow of the season Monday. Lake effect bands brought us between 3-6" Today and into tomorrow we're experiencing the first snowstorm of the season. About 3-6" fell during the day today and by the time it's all said and done tomorrow, we'll have another 6-12"! We've been frolicking outside all week and today was no exception!

His hat fits perfectly this year, Kat! His snowsuit, however, is far too small. Hope to remedy that this weekend!

The view from the end of the driveway to the corner.

One of the hosta encased in ice.

See how nice and snow-free the porch stays? That will be one of our playspaces when the snow gets too high to tramp around the yard.

Nothing like hot chocolate to warm up!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Checkerboard Cake

My sister gave my mother a checkerboard cake pan set for her birthday this year, and my mother lent it to me to test out this week. This morning the boys and I gave it a shot. I used one my own recipes and made a two-layer, rather than three-layer cake.

The pans weren't hard to use, but did take a little time to fill since the batter must be spooned instead of poured. It was a little messy, but that's half the fun, right?

Here's what one layer looked like after I finished adding the batter to the pan, but before I removed the divider:

Ready for the oven!

(I experimented with pink and white layers since we're considering using these for a baby shower we're hosting this month!)


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Creating a Child Friendly Environment: Low Shelf

I was inspired recently to keep working on our child-friendly environment. I have toyed with the idea of moving tableware to a cupboard for a while, but wasn't thrilled with the idea of rearranging our cupboards so thoroughly to accommodate such a change. After reading this post at Chasing Cheerios, however, I had a brainstorm! Why not move around my pots and pans and use the rolling shelf for our older son's tableware and some of his other supplies? My mom helped me find new homes for about half of my pots and pans, and we were in business! Our little guy spent time washing windows after I unveiled his new set-up, and happily helped himself to his dinner plate at suppertime!

On the right, you can see I also attached a hook for his apron!

The left side features his window washing/cleaning kit, our child-sized washboard, and his brush and dustpan. On the right are his plates, several bowls and cups (I couldn't fit everything!), and his toddler-sized silverware, courtesy of Oneida Limited. I love these sets: they include a spoon, fork, and butter knife and are not the small baby sets, but not quite full-sized either! Just perfect for preschooler hands!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Playroom Tour

It's been a while, so click to see the "in progress pictures!"

A view of the whole room...
(I would like to point out that I took these photos at 9:30 AM after several hours of playtime and both boys are still in their pajamas!)

(Doorways to the kitchen on either side of this couch.)

(Felt board pieces made by the lovely Emma! DS chose that morning's design...note the leaves that have "fallen" from the tree!)

The foyer or "playroom extension"...
(The cozy corner is opposite this shelf. This is where I keep all our art supplies, DS's musical instruments, several of his Montessori works, and store the supplies for activities that aren't in use.)

(Our four-sided display bookcase also holds puzzles. The doors to the downstairs bathroom and the stairs are to the right of the rocking chair. The front door is to the left, and straight ahead, behind the gate, is the library/music room.)

There you have it! This room and the kitchen are where we spend most of our days!

The Cozy Corner

A few weekends ago, my dear husband built this cozy corner for our boys! It's tucked in the corner behind the playroom and the perfect place to snuggle and read...or for mom to hide on "one of those days!"

The top and sides are draped with cotton gauze and silk. There is a down comforter and pillow topped with a Snugglewool blanket. It's a bit taller than I'd originally envisioned, but we are a household of tall boys! Eventually, I'd like to pick up one more piece of pink fabric to drape across the back and add some more pillows to create a deep, cozy nook.