Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Home Improvement

We have been working our booties off in the yard and in the house the last few weeks. I painted the downstairs a happy yellow color, we updated some of our light fixtures, rearranged furniture which included moving an 600 lb. piano upstairs but my favorite new touches are the fireplace and interior doors. 
Our yard is similar to a jungle and while we have plenty of windows the trees make the house seem dark most of the time. A quick fix was to lighten one of the living rooms darkest features the fireplace. I painted the mantle white, spray painted the ugly gold hardware on the fireplace doors black, and white washed the brick. To white wash your bricks you need a minimal amount of white semi-gloss paint.  Using hardly any paint lightly brush across each individual brick.  Start with a brick that is not noticeable and remember there is no such thing as too little paint.  Do not paint the mortar.  I don't have a before picture but here is a picture with the fireplace in the background so that you can see the difference it makes. 
 After lightening things up with my yellow and white, I added some coziness by painting all of my interior doors black. An interior decorator that I met at Home Depot while he was shopping for paint colors suggested it. I thought he was crazy but he convinced me to try it and I love it.  Not only are my white doors no longer dirty with grubby finger prints but the black doors create a homeyness I wasn't expecting.
In the basement/playroom we had a table which we hoped the kids would use for art projects, but it was in a dark corner and I didn't like paint and glue where I couldn't supervise so I moved the table upstairs and created a little art/homework nook. We are loving the location of all the art supplies.  Plus the boys have all they need for their homework without searching in five different locations.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Bryce Harper 2 . 0

By the way Bryce Harper was at our Church Building yesterday, but check out these pictures of the junior version, AKA, Nash Butler.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Change of Season

I have noticed that with each change of season come the annual events that have gradually become our traditions as a family--summer trips to Colorado, first days of school,  playing in the fallen leaves, winter's first snowfall, Christmas Eve, Kite Festival, and the inevitable first creature- captures of spring.  On the cusp of my 35th birthday, I somehow find it comforting that each change of season brings something new and exciting and the chance to solidify these little traditions with my children.  With spring we have already captured a furry fat caterpillar that we named Fuzzo. We watched it build a chrysalis and turn into a beautiful yellow and black butterfly that has been fluttering around our backyard for 4 days straight. Yet, he keeps eluding my camera lens.  We have also caught exactly 3 noisy toads and 45 million worms and grubs. Today came our first turtle of the season.  He was an exceptional afternoon playmate for the children and I couldn't help but take lots of photos of our annual turtle tradition.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Oh, PLEASE-Today's Soapbox

There is a letter circulating on the Internet entitled: "Dear IPhone Mom".  I am going to paraphrase it's contents. 
Dear IPhone Mom.  I am sure you are a really fantastic mother.  Your kids have great manners, but as I observe you here at the park I am noticing you looking at your phone a lot.  When your son asks you to watch him do a trick on the monkey bars you just glance in his direction and say great job.  When your daughter asks you to watch how her dress twirls, you smile and tell her she is pretty and then put your head down to look at your phone again. Also, while you are pushing your baby on the swing you aren't even noticing all of the giggles and smiles. Maybe you should put your phone down and drink in these moments. They won't last forever. 
Okay, I am fully aware that perhaps we should unplug a little more than we do, but I take issue with this "article" on so many levels.
1. This was either written by a woman who is jealous that she doesn' t have an IPhone or a woman who doesn't have children, or a woman who has so much mommy guilt she feels it her duty to inflict as much pain and judgement on other mother's as possible.
2.  Or this was written by a man who only spends 6 hours a week with his children and therefore can devote every waking moment to praising and smiling at them. Not to mention he probably thinks everything they do is AMAZING because he hardly sees them. But, can we be honest for a moment. Most of the things the kids do are not all that amazing.  It's difficult to keep feigning excitement over the quarter inch vertical leap of your 2 year old.
3. Dear Creepy Person Watching me on my Phone, Is my time on the IPhone more or less productive than your time watching me watch my phone and then writing an article about it?
4.  Do we really have to praise every single dress twirl and every move on the monkey bars? Seems to me like giving kids that much attention could very well lead to exhibitionist type behavior in the future. Can you spell POLE DANCER? Just saying.
5. How can the writer even know what the IPhone mom is doing on her phone. Isn't he or she jumping to conclusions about the mother's selfishness.  Perhaps she is posting a photo collage of the swinging baby, twirling girl, and climbing boy on Instagram. Or perhaps she is researching preschool themes for the letter "X" on Pinterest in preparation for her turn to teach at her son's co-op. Or maybe she is registering her daughter for violin lessons at the rec center.  Or maybe her husband is in Afghanistan and she is trying to get him on Skype so that he can watch his twirling, monkey, swingers.  Or what if this mom really needed a break because she only got 2 hours of sleep the night before.  I'm just wondering if the author ever spent 5 hours crammed into an airplane row with a child with ADHD, another with Strep, and another with diarrhea so bad the plane will have to be fumigated if it ever lands.  I've been there, therefore I do not judge you IPhone Mom. In fact, you are my hero. Kudos for multi-tasking. I usually just turn on the TV, at least your kids are getting fresh air.
6. Finally, if we are going to be condemned for playing on our phones while at the park with the kids-what's next- no texting while driving.  This is America people!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Life in an Instant

While on hold with the kid's pediatrician this afternoon I started thumbing through the pictures on my phone.  I have collected about a million, okay maybe a thousand pictures of really poor quality there. A few made the cut to Instagram but most are just my own little memories. I thought I would share a few I collected throughout the past month. 
Getting her hair trimmed! 
Date night! 
A visit to Atley's favorite restaurant, Cheesecake Factory, for finally getting 10 positive behavior points from his teacher. 
A date to Alden Theatre to see Raggedy Ann & Andy, the musical. 
Allergies so bad, you have to sleep with a roll of toilet paper. 
Scott's trip to NYC and Madison Square Garden to see the Cougars play in the NIT Final Four. 
Lots of costumes and scooter riding. 
A surprise visit to Nash's cafeteria with McDonald's! 
Waiting for a plane. I have three of the best Air-Travelers around. 
Getting the pool ready. 
And apparently I fell asleep in the hammock at some point. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013


"Cousins are many. Best friends are few. What a rare delight to find both in you!"
I have so many amazing cousins. They were my first friends and I still look forward to seeing them even though it becomes less and less frequent as the years pass. A few weeks ago one of my cousins was in town with her family. It was great to see them and to watch our children play together just like we did as kids. I love you cousins!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy Easter 2013

Kite Festival

Right after we got home from Florida my mom came to visit for Easter and the week following. It is always so wonderful having Granny here.  She knows exactly how to take care and spoil us.  We took her to the Smithsonian Kite Festival.  I think this was the first year we actually got our kites to fly!  It was a great day.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Break

The kids and I went to Florida for Spring Break to visit my dad.  We played at the park, went to the movies and ate a lot of yummy food that I did not have to make myself.  We went to the beach and although the weather was cold the beach was full of shells and other creatures for the kids to collect. We also had a stop-over in Atlanta and got to spend one night with Grandpa and Grandma Butler.