Isla's Birthday Party

After going to a main-pedi party for a girl in her preschool class last year, Isla chose to have a mani-pedi party herself. It was a really sweet time, and was super simple for me, given I didn't have to decorate at all or even do any games! I brought doughnuts for the girls to enjoy while the others were getting pampered, as two girls went at a time. Then, when the last two girls were being done, Isla opened her presents.I started to say super simple again, but have you ever seen six little girls pick out a color for their nails? It's serious business, I tell you. One that involves a lot of mind changing, a lot of looking and perhaps even some dropping of bottles on the ground. Isla ended up going with pink sparkles, which most of the girls ended up getting sparkles of some sort. It's popular, I tell ya! The girls laughed, they giggled, they bounced around and talked about crazy things. Isla really enjoyed herself, and for that, I am thankful.

^^ The salon brought out Isla a little cupcake and everyone sang her happy birthday while she was getting her toes done. 

I leave you with what may be the cutest video of all time...Isla squealing with laughter as her feet are being scrubbed because it tickles. 

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Isla {six years}

Isla has done a lot of growing up and maturing from five to six. She is very girly, loving to put makeup on all the time...even has surprised me a couple times and put it on right before we walked out the door for school, so wore it to school. Thankfully her teacher gets a good laugh out of it and is totally cool with it. She loves Fancy Nancy and Pete the Cat. She loves to color and draw. And sounding out words is her jam. 

Here's a little interview with Isla. Some of her answers made me laugh, like choosing her favorite movie as one she has never even seen. But that's what makes interviews with kids fun, right?

What's your full name? Isla Grace Grimbleby
How old are you?, six
How tall are you? I don't know
What color are your eyes? blue
What color is your hair? brown
What day of the week is it? Saturday? Sunday? Monday? Tuesday?

What is your favorite:
    color - all of them
    food - miso soup
    drink - cotton candy milk and strawberry milk
    ice cream - rainbow sherbet
    toy - my little pony mermaids (she doesn't even have any!)
    book - Fancy Nancy
    song - drops in the ocean
    tv show - My Little Pony and Word Party
    movie - My Little Pony mermaids (she hasn't seen the new my little pony movie)
    thing to do - go to school and spend time with my family
    game - my little pony chutes and ladders
    sport - swimming
    animal - cats and reptiles

Who is your best friend? Ally, Aubriella and Pierson
What is your favorite thing about yourself? I like myself because I just be me

Three things that make you special:
    1. I help others by caring and helping them up if they are hurt
    2. I am a good artist
    3. Because I praise God

And a couple questions Isla wanted to add:
Where is your favorite place to go? the ice cream museum (she hasn't been yet)
What do you want to be when you grow up? artist
What is your favorite thing to do at school? spend time with my friends

Isla loves going to school and is great and remembering people's names. She even remembered her teacher's birthday...apparently Isla asked her at the beginning of the year and Isla remembered the date! She loves drawing and coloring and really doing anything that is arts and crafty. She loves anything little and trinkety. Her stuffed animal collection is out of control, but she loves each one of them and really does. She loves reading books and going to ballet. Tomatoes are still one of her favorite foods, followed closely by anything smothered in cream cheese. She is generous with her smiles (as long as I'm not trying to take her picture) and loves playing with friends. 

Isla has always been my child that will sleep in. She is the last one awake in the house every day, having to be woken up most days. She doesn't like to eat breakfast right after she wakes up. She doesn't like to be cold and will wear a jacket to school on days that mostly everyone else would consider nice. She still prefers her tricycle over bike, though in her defense her tricycle is super cool and not like normal ones...I mean, I can even ride it! She loves otter pops and will help herself to frozen waffles as a snack. She can play by herself for hours. She likes one of us to lay down with her for at least a couple minutes each night and generally comes into our bed in the middle of the night every night. These are just some of the things about Isla that make her her and that I want to remember. 

In case you want to look back, like I always do, Isla at 5 years, 4 years, 3 years, 2 years, 1 year, 6 months, brand new. If you are going to look at any, look at Isla at 6 months. I mean, who can resist a toothless smiling Isla?!

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To Sum it Up

To say that this past week has been crazy feels like an understatement. It started with me getting the stomach flu on Friday and ending up in the ER...and as the nurse said, some fluids and meds go a long way. It allowed me to rally and show up at four friends market on Saturday. Of course, I wasn't fully better and didn't even start eating again until Monday. Then Ian got sick. Not the flu, but more of an extreme exhaustion. On Monday night, Connor got the stomach flu and threw up every 30 minutes to hour all.night.long. This kind of threw off my whole week. I went into sanitizing mode and literally cleaned everything in my house to stop the spread, after all, it's Isla's birthday week. Then, I worked in both kids classes all morning on Wednesday. Yesterday, Callum woke for the day at almost 5am (so still in the 4:00 hour) and NEVER NAPPED. Needless to say, yesterday was fun. But today. Today is Isla's birthday!!! Woot, woot! So we rally. She has a school celebration in the morning and her grandparents are coming over for dinner. Then, her party is tomorrow morning. It's a mani-pedi party at a local salon. Should be nice and girly and lots of fun. Enough about my crazy week. 

Here's some things I came across this week:

If I wanted to spend a lot of money, I would buy one of these dresses

Average grocery bills. I always find this kind of thing fascinating. 

"Body safety" tips for kids. I found this full of great ideas. 

And if you are sarcastic and want a good laugh about motherhood, look up Sanctimommy on facebook. Amazing. 

Alright folks, have a great weekend! We will be celebrating an adorable six year old, so it should be a good one over here.

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Backyard Shenanigans

^^ Pool noodle fights are pretty awesome...and since ours have been sitting out all summer, they aren't all stiff and don't hurt when you are hit. That's a mom win right there, if I've ever seen one.

What exactly does one title a post when all they want to do is go off on how they love having a usable backyard again? I'm asking for a friend, of course. 

But seriously, I forgot what it was like to have a backyard. Sure, we have enjoyed two summers of swimming, but not much else. There really wasn't a play space. Just random bushes in the middle of uneven concrete, and brick, let us not forget the brick. Oh, and while I'm at it, let us not forget the trip hazard of an electrical box that stuck out of the ground six inches and delayed our concrete work two weeks to get rid of...but two weeks that were totally worth it. 

Anyway, we got fake grass installed almost two weeks ago. All the sudden, the rest of the to do list for our backyard doesn't seem to matter because we have a place to play. It is so amazing. I honestly never thought I would love fake grass so much. I just wanted it because Ian isn't exactly a consistent mower and it looks pretty. But it is so incredibly soft and not dirty, so I have been sitting and laying on it constantly. And now that the pool net is back on the pool, the older kids can go out and play by themselves and when I am out there with Callum, I don't feel like my eyes have to be on him every nanosecond. And, all the sudden, I am reminded what it was like when we had a usable backyard. And it's pretty much pure bliss. 

So, here is where you will find us, enjoying our beautiful, soft, green fake grass for the rest of fall. Because, well, it's pretty dang awesome. 

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10 Must Haves from Ikea

I still remember the first time I went to an Ikea when I was 14 years old. I went with my mom for a project she was working on. I remember thinking it was a magical place and left with a beach chair that lived in my room for years. Fast forward to today. Ikea is still a great place to find storage solutions and everyday necessities. Sure, they get knocked for their lack of quality, but if you shop smart there, you can get some really great things for great prices. 

We have probably owned something from every department in Ikea over our 14 years of marriage. Over that time, I've learned what to buy and not to buy from there. I've also learned not to fill my home with all things Ikea, to keep it from looking like it is straight out of the catalog! These days, I tend to stick with smaller items from Ikea, though furniture does make its way home with me from time to time still. We don't live close to Ikea, so maybe go once or so a year. When we go, I usually have a list of my favorite items to get. Here are some of my must haves from Ikea:

  1. Spice racks - I've used them as book shelves, I've used them over changing tables to hold necessities. They are the perfect size and an amazing price. 
  2. Laundry bag - This holds its shape well. It is cheap and holds a ton. Not only does it work great for laundry, it also works great as a toy or stuffed animal bag. 
  3. Throw blankets - Lets be honest, when kids live at home, throw blankets get trashed. They get used to build forts, as a picnic blanket, to cuddle up with and more. These blankets are cheap ($3.99!!!) and hold up great with numerous washings. I personally buy them in grey so they don't show dirt! Though, this blanket caught my eye and will probably be going home with me on my next trip to Ikea. 
  4. Bath mats - These bathmats are a generous size, soft, hold up well and, most importantly, are cheap...which, I was actually shocked about how expensive bath mats are when I went shopping for them last. Even at Target, they all are around $20 a piece. 
  5. Wash cloths - This package of wash cloths from the kids department is an amazing value. I keep them in my kitchen and use them to clean up kids, to wipe the dining room table, or even on the kitchen counters. 
  6. Bookshelf - We actually own three of these bookshelves. They are workhorses, I tell you. They hold tons of books. Put bins in them and they hold tons of toys. I even turned one into a bench, as seen above. 
  7. Batteries - I know batteries aren't what comes to mind when one thinks of Ikea, but at $1.99 for a 10 pack of aa or aaa batteries, these batteries are a steal. I always stock up every time we go to Ikea.
  8. Indoor plants and accessories - They don't have exotics, but they are cheap and healthy and they have many stands, pots and accessories for cheap too. 
  9. Play kitchen and accessories - We bought this play kitchen for the kids five years ago and it still looks great. And you really can't beat the price for a wood play kitchen. Also, the accessories can really be used. We've used the cookie cutters and tray to make sugar cookies before. 
  10. Picture frames - I love things to look uniform, so I love the fact that you can get practically any size ribba frame from Ikea. Plus, they come with mats and I just love mats. And, they are cheaper than mostly anywhere, so yeah. 

What about you, do you enjoy going to Ikea? What items can you not pass up on when you go?

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Hey Monday!

Alright Monday, we are coming for you! 

And not just Monday, but the rest of the week too. It's a busy week ahead of us around here. 

This Saturday is our Four Friends Market. Not only am I one of the "four friends", but I will also be there helping Ian sell coffee. In the mean time, I need to do some stuff for the market and we have to get it all set up. 

This Wednesday is my first time working in Connor's class this year. I started in Isla's a month ago. But I will be woking in both classes on Wednesday, so will be at the school from 8:45-11:45, when Isla gets out of school. 

Connor has been begging to have a friend over and it just didn't work out this weekend, so a school friend is coming over after school today. And Tuesday, Isla has a park play date with a school friend. Poor Callum, no play dates for him yet. But, he sure does love running around with the older kids. 

So, I'm drinking my coffee and hitting the ground running. I am controlling this crazy week and not letting it control me. Boom.

Like I said, I'm coming for you Monday! 

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You guys, toddlers are hard work. But, they are also so incredibly adorable. This little guy slays me on the daily with his little antics. His latest thing is the cheese face. I don't even tell him to smile. I pull out my phone or camera and he poses. It is hysterical. He usually backs up against whatever he is standing near, tilts his head to one side and gives me this toothy smile. It just slays me, I tell ya. 

And here's the thing, dealing with a toddler may be physically exhausting...not only will they wake up endlessly while getting molars, they also will empty the contents of your tupperware drawer ten times a day. But, they aren't to the mind games yet. They unabashedly come to you for a hug. They lay their little heads on your shoulder. They still prefer you over mostly everyone else. They really are great little people and toddlerhood really is a sweet, sweet time. 

I obviously say all this while having to deal with the bigger kid problems that come from school. Just as some day I will probably be yapping about how second grade is a walk in the park compared to junior high...oh junior high. That is literally the time of parenting I fear the most. Such an awkward stage as a person, so I can only imagine having to be the parent of someone going through that. 

But toddler cheese smiles, those are pretty dang awesome. 

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