Wednesday, July 31, 2013

School pictures and a bunch of dinosaurs

Do you remember when I wrote the post about being really stressed out about getting Elliott's 18 month pictures?  I was stressing because of The Wall in the hallway where we have started the collection of photos of the kids that will span from 6 months until 12 grade.
Well.  I'm stressed out about The Wall again. 
Here's the deal.  We have had photos taken at Sears, Target or JC Penney every year around, but after, Spencer's birthday.  We always pick a 5 x 7 from that photo shoot for The Wall.  I don't want to keep that up for forever though.  It's just too much to keep dragging both of them to the photo studio every year in separate months. 
So I decided that starting in kindergarten we'd switch to school pictures for The Wall.  It's what my parents did with our pictures on their photo wall.  I made that choice years ago, though, thinking that that day was years into the future.
But it's not anymore.  Spencer is having school pictures next Wednesday.  It's an incredibly stupid thing to be stressed out about, I know.  And stressed is not the correct feeling.  It's more anxious, I guess.  Which is also pretty silly.
This is The Wall.  The master bedroom is on the left and Elliott's room is on the right.  We already figured out how to make all of the pictures fit through 12th grade.
6 Months
1 Year 
18 Months
2 Years
3 Years 
4 Years 
5 Years 
The next grouping will be Kindergarten.  Since pictures are taken in August both of the kids will still be 5 in their kindergarten pictures.  Maybe that's what I'm stressed about, because my OCD just won't allow me to be OK with 2 pictures where they are the same age.
I'll have to learn to live with it I guess.
We went to the mall today to look for a new shirt for the all important kindergarten school picture.  Because god forbid he wears something he already owns but has worn 1 time.  I actually had some good choices from the new school clothes we bought, but the picture order form said not to wear green for best results and everything had green in one way or another.
We had a little ice cream at the food court first.
First we went to The Children's Place.  No photo appropriate shirts, but Spencer convinced me to buy these shirts for $2 each.
Next we went to Gymboree.  I found a nice yellow shirt with stripes on the chest, but one of the stripes was green so I panicked and put it back.  Does anybody know why green is a school photo no-no?
You want to know what we did find at Gymboree though?
Am ENTIRE line of dinosaur clothing. 
I bought this shirt for Elliott right after Christmas last year.  It was why I decided to do a dinosaur party for his 2nd birthday.
(I got this image from ebay which is why it is terrible.  I'm just too lazy to go get the actual shirt in his room)
Look at all of these choices for Spencer to wear a coordinating dino shirt.
I like this one the best.  It's a must have.
Elliott has to have this one too, even if it's not to wear to the party.



Can anybody answer this question for me: Are pteranodons different from pterodactyls?  I never even heard of a pteranodon until a few years ago and now I never see anything with pterodactyls in it.  Did pterodactyls get renamed?  Are pteranodons just the cool kids now? 
 So, in addition to my annual Fall craving post, it is apparent that I also do an annual "entire clothing line I want to buy from Gymboree" post.  Last year was the Bark Academy line with all of its adorable beagle stuff.
Gymboree should start paying me for the advertising.  And they should pay me in the form of dinosaur clothing.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Elliott is a flasher. 
I worry about his future.  He just enjoys it so much.  A criminal record can't be far off. 
You don't believe me?
Check out this series of photos all taken within about 2 minutes of each other.
 Wrapped up
He also likes to let the hood fall over his eyes while he blindly pushes toys around the house.  Maybe I should be concerned about more than just the flashing. 
P.S.  I used picmonkey to do a little editing of the flash pictures.  If Elliott outgrows the flashing thing I wouldn't want these pictures to ruin his future career aspirations.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Not quite yet

We have been pretty pleased with Spencer's kindergarten teacher.  She is organized, caring and cheerful.  I don't think that a ton of real teaching and learning has happened yet, but I have a feeling she knows what she's doing in that department too.
I was driving home from work on Thursday when a thought popped in my head: we should get her a little gift to say thanks for giving Spencer a great first week of Kindergarten. 
I just wasn't sure what to do.  I have lots of ideas for holidays, teacher appreciation week and the end of the school year.  But the first week of school gift was stumping me.  And then I came up with this idea all on my own.  No pinterest, no googling, no facebook.  This is a Natalie original.
Fall and Halloween stuff is already on sale at Hobby Lobby.   We bought this tiny pumpkin for $1.19.
And this cup for 25 cents.  I added a homemade tag that had a little message of gratitude and told her that there were *only* 44 days left until FALL break. 
Every year I write a post about my craving for fall.  It usually happens in late July or early August.  I could probably do the responsible blogger thing and go through my archives and give you links for all my previous posts, but, come on, that is just crazy. 
You would have thought that the trip to the Fall aisle at Hobby Lobby would have triggered my desire last week.  But it didn't.  Which is weird, actually.
It happened today when I was at Kohl's and randomly bought this sweatshirt.  It's a bad picture and hard to tell, but it is actually a dark choarcoal grey with sparkly silver stripes.
This purchase was a stupid, stupid, stupid idea because it will be months before I can wear this thing to anything but a visit to a walk in freezer.
But, I did buy it and it quickly brought forth all of my fall cravings.  So I went to my Fall pinterest board to plan and scheme for the future.  We moved into our house in mid-November last year so we haven't decorated for Fall here yet.  I can not wait to tackle that mantle!
I can always get a pumpkin spice latte on my birthday on September 5th, but that is nowhere near the beginning of Fall here.  Boo.
The cold air takes until late November/early December, but, yes please. 
And now we can all just enjoy this Fall splendor. 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

That time I owned a house and didn't know it

When we were in Tucson a few weekends ago we went to my grandparent's house.  I had not been there since before Elliott was born.  I'm pretty sure I was there during Thanksgiving weekend, 2011.  If it wasn't that weekend it was before then, but probably still in November. 

My grandma fell and broke her hip when Elliott was 3 days old.  She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and never came home again.  She was in the hospital, then rehab, then an adult care home where she died.  She had lived in her house for 60 years.

I didn't purposefully mean to not go over there for so long, there just wasn't really any reason for me to go.  The family has decided to sell her house though, so I wanted to go through it and see if there was anything I wanted.

We spent about an hour there and I took a few things, mostly because they were functional (like a meat thermometer and a cutting board).  There's really not a lot of sentimental stuff there.  The next day my parents met with a realtor.  The day after that my dad called and said that the realtor couldn't work with my dad because my grandma, all the way back in 2008, had secretly deeded the house to her 5 grandchildren. 

Surprise!  I own 1/5 of my grandparent's house.

I've heard that it is easier to let something go if you take a picture of it.  I'm not having a hard time letting the house go, but I do want to remember all of its details in the years to come.  I wish I had better pictures of my other grandparent's house.

So.  Wanna take a tour of the home I own in Tucson?

Truth be told, I got this from Google Street View.
And this one too.  They are pretty old since my grandma's car is in the carport. 

When you first walk in from the carport the kitchen is on the right. 
My grandma painted this nature scene in the cut-out above the kitchen table.
The family room is on the left. 
My grandma used to always buy stuff that had a rebate on it from Walgreens.  She would put the stuff (make-up, lotion, shampoo, deodorant, etc) in this cabinet to give to me.  Then she would have the rebate check sent to me.  I miss getting those checks from Walgreens.  I miss the free stuff too.

To the left of the family room was the living room.  My grandparents never used the front door and I can honestly say I never once entered that house through the front door.
The other side of the living room.  My parents/aunt and uncle have already cleared out most of the house.
There is a big closet in the living room.  See that little cubby hole?  They kept the phone in there.
Then there was a little door in their bedroom to access the phone.
My brothers and I used to play with that door all the time.  We would pretend we were ordering food.  Ha!
As soon as Spencer discovered it when he was about 2 it was his favorite part of the house too.
This is their bedroom.
My grandma's friend painted this of my grandma in the 1960's.  She was in her 40's.
The hallway outside of their bedroom.
The 2nd bedroom where I always slept when I stayed over.  My dad and uncle shared this room from the time they were 6 and 4 until my dad left for college.
The bathroom.  There is another one on the other side of the house, but I didn't take any pictures of it.

The walk- in pantry by the kitchen.
The big back room.  There used to be a huge table in here until my brother took it last year.  My entire life, until I moved out of Tucson, we ate dinner at my grandparent's house every Wednesday.  We would all sit at that table- my grandparents, aunt, uncle, 2 cousins, mom, dad, 2 brothers and me.  All of the grandkids eventually moved away but Wednesday night dinners continued until the day my grandma broke her hip.
We're going to take this couch.
Nick, my brother, tried to take it and scratched the arm when it wouldn't fit through his hallway.  Any tips on removing a scratch from leather?
That's it.  I didn't get any pictures of the backyard, but it is huge.  They had an above ground pool when I was growing up, but got rid of it years ago.
My grandparents bought this house for $6,000 in the early 50's.  We're not going to make very much selling it, but compared to $6,000 it'll be a HUGE profit.  Anyone wanna buy it?