Monday, June 22, 2015

Walker - Almost 18 Months Already!

Look Mom - I can balance!
It is hard to believe that our lil guy will be 18 months at the end of this month.  Time is flying by!!  Walker is growing quickly, and quite the handful, but we all love him.  So much so, that he is probably behind the learning curve for language since he has all of us and lots of friends talking for him and doting on him.  In fact, he still doesn't say "mama" or "mommy."  It breaks my heart, but what can I do?  We read picture books and I state what everything is, but he calls everything "this," and everyone "dada."  Hopefully he will begin to talk soon, as it would cut down on the frustration on both sides tremendously.

climbing into the washing machine

He is an otherwise typical toddler....screaming when he doesn't get his way, throwing toys and food when he is done with them and testing the limits whenever he can.  The one thing that is so different about Walker from my other two, is how much of a climber he is.  For the past few months, he has been climbing on and off furniture and tables, climbing up bookshelves and bar stools, and attempting the stairs all by himself.  He hates his highchair, and prefers to sit at the table or on a barstool like the other kids.  He certainly requires a close eye at all times.  Things happen quickly with this monkey, but here are just a few examples:

1) One time he was out on the deck playing with Preston, who evidently got distracted by the TV.  We came out to get him, and he wasn't on the deck anymore.  We called for him, and began the mad dash all over the first floor of our house, but with no luck.  Steve opened the door off the deck (which had been locked) on a whim, and saw Walker sitting on his car in the backyard!  He had climbed through the doggie door and went down about 20 deck steps without falling! (16 mos)
2) Walker loves our appliances, and climbs into the dishwasher, washing machine and oven....thankfully when none of them are on.
3) Since he and Beckham have been raised together, they certainly have a bond.  Walker feeds him, Beck steals his food, Walker stands on him, pulls his hair, but Beck has never bitten him. 
4) Lastly, Walker is at the age where he is testing his limits:  he can reach the counters, and pulls things down; he can open doors, bottles of water/sippy cups and loves to dump them on the floor, and whenever he gets caught doing something he knows he shouldn't be doing, he runs like he stole something laughing.

He certainly is cute, and thank goodness he is!  He is definitely giving us a run for our money!
climbed onto the stool all by himself in less than 1 minute

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Camp Winnataska

Back in December I asked the kids what camps they wanted to do.  I heard an overwhelming reply of "Camp Winnataska," so I coordinated with some of their friends and chose a week in June when they would go together.  I try to send them early in the summer, before it gets too hot, however this year it ended up being SUPER hot the week that they went.  Bennett was signed up for a week long stay, but Preston was only going for a half week.

Caroline, Pres, Carmen and Bennett at check-in
However, as we were getting the kids settled into their huts, we learned that there was an opening in Preston's hut for the second half of the week. So we asked him before we left if he would want to stay.  He said "yeah, maybe so I can watch them burn down that stupid bridge."  So before we left, Steve talked to the director, and told her to let us know if he can stay. 

By Tuesday, I knew he would want to stay.  All of the pictures I was seeing looked like he was having a blast.  He had three buddies in his hut, Christian next door, and Bennett across the grass.  We can send emails to the kids, but can't get replies.  So I eventually heard from the director that he definitely wanted to stay, so I packed him another bag, and sent it up with a friend. 

Bennett with her SCE girlfriends, all in the same hut!
It was certainly tough not being to talk to either child for 6 days, but to top it off, Steve was away on business that week.  So it was just Walker and me all week long.  At first he was a little confused, but he eventually got used to the quiet and was my buddy.  However, come Saturday morning....I was MORE than ready to pick up my babies and hear all of their stories!  Thankfully they both had a blast!

When the saw us, they ran up to Steve for a bear hug.  Preston was tearing up, and Bennett was all smiles.  They were both exhausted and hungry, but can't wait to return next year.  Preston wants to go for two weeks! 

Night 1

Here are pics from their week at camp:

Mission Impossible, Night 2

My pretty little fish!
A photo together?  Eating S'Mores = happy!

Hawaiian Night - Night 4

5 loads of laundry!
Hugging Daddy!

Kids with their favorite counselors
Love my babies!  So happy they love camp!

Operation Bennett's Room

old bedding and clutter against the walls
Since Bennett was 2.5 years old, she has had the same bedding.  She started out in a full bed that has been in our family for over 100 years, but we eventually swapped her furniture to my old queen bedroom suite.  Bennett has never complained about her room, but I knew it was time to get her new bedding and make it more grown up.

I began by asking Bennett what her favorite color is.....turquoise.  So I looked in catalogs for cute bedding, and finally found some at Pottery Barn teen.  They even had cute coordinating drapes with black-out lining.
Bennett wanted to get rid of Barbie house and kid table

Since I have always wanted an upholstered headboard, I knew I had to have one made for Bennett.  I met with a girl who started her own business making them several years ago, and we selected a beautiful gray tweed.  I asked her to do the corner cut-outs and had pewter nailheads added to it.  The finished product is just stunning!!

Dresser - before
My decorator, Marianne, and friend, Kadie convinced me to recover a settee I got from my mother via her grandmother.  After a little research, I found out it is almost 100 years old!  It fit perfectly in her nook, and I knew I had to use it.  Kadie brought me lots of fabric samples to go with the bedding, and after lots of consideration, we decided to use a lovely watercolor pattern as the anchor in the room.  It has grey, turquoise, pinks, yellow and purples in it.  Marianne thought the fuchsia on the settee would be perfect, and playful for an 8 year old's room.  I must admit that I thought it was very bright upon completion, but seeing it in the room with everything else makes me love it!  I went with a solid white on the rocking chair, and was lucky enough to find a pillow that matched her bedding perfectly! lamps, headboard, frames, drapes and bedding!
I then started looking for white furniture to lighten up her room.  Unfortunately I couldn't find anything that was quality made, that I liked AND could afford.  So I decided to paint the pieces of furniture we already had....and what a transformation it made.  The wonderful woman who painted it all was nice enough to come to our house to do the work each night, beginning shortly after we dropped off the kids at camp. 

Settee perfect for our queen!
As I began to see the transformation, I knew I had to paint the room (which wasn't originally in the plan).  My decorator helped me choose a light grey (Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams), and I worked hard to put two coats on it Wednesday and Thursday.

Docky's old rocking chair
Dresser (we still need a new mirror)
It was a shear miracle that it all came together in just 6 days, but it did!  The best part of it all was seeing how shocked and excited Bennett was to see it!  She had no idea that I was making over her room, but loved the finished product.  We still need to get pillows for her settee, add some artwork and buy a new mirror, but we are almost done!