Connor & Isla's Shared Room

Our house actually has four bedrooms, but one of those rooms is downstairs and for right now works great as a playroom, so everyone is upstairs together. When we first moved in, I put Connor in the larger room, assuming him and Callum would eventually share a bedroom. I was so excited with how both Connor and Isla's bedrooms turned out, though I never shared Isla's on the blog. But, after Callum sleeping horribly bunked up with Ian and I, I got a wild hair and while the kids were at school one day, moved Isla in with Connor. The transition with the two of them sharing a room actually went quite well. Me settling on how I wanted the room to be, not so much. 

This is actually the FOURTH way the kids beds have been arranged since sharing a room. But, I like this way the best so far and it's working really well. They are opposite of each other. Isla can see into the hall, which really helps her at night. And, this allows for both of them to sort of have their own little spot. 

Most of the stuff in their room has been repurposed from other parts of our house. I tend to rearrange things in our house a lot. For instance, the quilt on Connor's bed used to be on his bed a while ago and made a comeback with me wanting to simplify their room a bit...which that quilt is a Pottery Barn Kids one that I scored for $5 one time. Yep, totally bragging about that one. And the bookshelf above Isla's bed used to be a shelf in Connor's nursery way back in the day...then was in Isla's room for a while. And the night stand was originally for Isla's nursery, then went into Connor's room, then went away and is now back. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. 

^^ My apologies for the bed being slightly off center. I promise I will fix it!

^^ The little hobbit door goes to our attic. We don't actually have anything in there. I have big plans of us one day pushing that wall back several feet and making this room much bigger. Who needs an attic anyway when you also have a storage basement and a full attic over your back house?! Our house has crazy amounts of (mostly unused) storage.

^^ My parents actually bought these lockers. But I saw them and wanted them. The kids were super excited about them too.

Believe it or not, I actually took a lot out of the kids rooms in the last rearrange. Even though most of their toys are in the playroom, they each still had a bin of toys in here that I took out. It helps keep things cleaner. But even with just books, stuffed animals and pokemon cards (don't get me started on the pokemon cards!), they can do a lot of damage quickly.

I am really happy with how it turned out. And they seem to be too...and that's what really matters. This makes me think I probably should do an updated living room post at some point too, given that I have rearranged in there a couple times since moving in too...seriously, rearranging is kind of my hobby.

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The First Day of School

I can kind of hardly believe it's been three years since my kids were last at the same school and had the same start date. But, now that Isla is in elementary school, they will be together again for the next several years. Yesterday was the beginning of the school year, second grade for Connor and kindergarten for Isla. 

For the third year in a row, Connor chose to wear a school shirt the first day of school. He wasn't nervous about the first day of school. He was excited to see some friends he hadn't seen all summer. After I got Isla from kindergarten, Connor's class was going to lunch just as we were walking by, so we yelled at him and waved. He waved back, so isn't too cool for his mom and sister yet...that's a good thing.  

^^ In full disclosure, when I asked Connor what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said "I don't know". I told him to just pick something and flight attendant is what he came up with...actually, he said "the person that gives you drinks on an airplane".

Isla seemed unfazed about starting kindergarten. Then again, she watched Connor go through it with the exact same teachers. But, the morning of school, she said she was nervous that there wouldn't be enough craft time. 

^^ These were Isla's top three choices as she said she wanted to be "a lot of things" so I told her to give me her top three. 

The first morning of school, the parents line the main hall and all the kids walk through for high fives. Ian went in the hall and I stayed outside with Callum. Connor walked through, but Isla didn't want to. We met Ian and Connor on the other side and walked Connor to his classroom, then watched him run off to the playground before walking Isla to her playground/classroom. After we watched Isla play for a bit, we left.

^^ On our way out, we waved at Connor going in his classroom for the first time. His class is right beside a side fence. 

It was a good day. One that apparently tired the kids out and helped all three of them fall asleep easy last night. 

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The Beginning of Ballet: Year Three

My idea of how I would like Isla to pose for first day of ballet photos:

And her idea:

I honesty have not idea where these sassy poses come from. Trust me when I say I am not taking duck face selfies all day ;) Are they just ingrained in girls?! But this next one was her natural way to pose and she looks adorable. 

It's funny how the longer a kid does something, the less fanfare that goes along with it. Maybe it's just everyone being used to it and knowing what to expect? Or already having the gear on hand? I just remember it being such a big deal when Isla started ballet...and it was (and still is) overflowing with cuteness. Isla began her third year of ballet this past week. This time, the class is longer and tap is added in as well. Isla enjoyed her first class back. She doesn't have any of the girls from her class last year with her, but does have two girls from her first year back with her, so there were a couple familiar faces. And Callum, he is going to have to get used to the routine of ballet again because all he wanted to do was run away from me and play in the drinking fountain...oh and throw every toy I brought for him to play with. 

In case you care, some ballet adorableness of Isla over the years - her first little course with friends, the beginning of the year - fall 2015 (when she also had an idea how she wanted her photo to be), recital 2016, the beginning of the year - fall 2016 and recital 2017

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To Sum it Up

^^ Every time Callum wears this shirt, someone thinks he is a girl...yesterday it was a mom at ballet.

We get to find out the kids teachers today, they start school on Monday. Ian and I have a date planned for this weekend are are going to take a trip to Ikea for some little decor items for the house...and I am sure a house plant or two will come home with us at the same time. Other than that, it's a chill weekend before the school schedule once again begins. 

Some things this week:

A guy in our neighborhood that has three kids and is in his 30's died this week and it hit close to home. A day later, I saw this article and found it to be a good one about what I would want my kids to know if I died young. 

I really, really, really want to score tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream when it is in San Francisco in September. 

I am wanting to add more family photos to our house and this is my inspiration for one wall. 

Speaking of that, where do you get your photo books? I usually use shutterfly, but am thinking of trying out this deal

I knew I wasn't crazy for watching the same shows over and over! It's Friends and How I Met Your Mother for me. How about for you?

That's all I've got. Go forth and have a great weekend!

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Our Backyard Progress

We met with a concrete guy about our backyard in April to get a quote. We liked the quote, but they were so backlogged that they didn't start until the very end of June. So, the timing of this project wasn't exactly the best, happening in the height of summer. But now that our backyard is usable again, it was totally worth it. We are redoing our backyard "ourselves"...basically had someone rip it out and put in the concrete we wanted, but still have a bunch more we are doing on our own. 

Here is what we started with:

The placement of the pool isn't the best, being right by the house, but we are working with what we have ;) The week before the concrete people came to start, I decided I wanted to add concrete squares in the back to go around our seating/dining area that will eventually be covered. We designed our backyard ourselves and tore out most the plants because we wanted something we will realistically maintain. You can't tell from this picture, but the entire back of the backyard had a grey concrete slab that housed a pool house, which was torn down before we bought the house. Also, there was a electrical box for the pool light sticking up about 6 inches out of the ground between the two chairs on the far end of the pool. I only mention this because getting rid of it became a pain in the butt...but a pain I am oh-so-glad we dealt with. 


^^ We went out and spray painted our plan the night before work began. You should know I am horrible at painting straight lines, so it was a good thing these guys were professionals and made it look great in the end. 

^^ I was literally peeing my pants when they were jackhammering right next to the pool. I kept thinking of all that could go wrong and what a disaster it would be. Alas, all was good. 

^^ Our backyard got stuck in this state for a couple weeks. That annoying pool light box (which you can see sticking out of the dirt straight behind the pool light) I mentioned earlier caused quite the snafu. Our pool still had the original light and electrical wire, so the electrician recommended replacing that and also updating the way it was hooked up to the house (new code rules these days). But we discovered that standard pool lights come with a 30 foot wire and we needed 60 feet. So, we had to wait to order it. Then we had to partially drain the pool to install it. Blah, blah, blah. But, we not no longer have a tripping hazard (and eye sore) sticking out of the ground, so that's good. 

Finished concrete:

^^ Since I failed to mention this earlier, over on the right of this picture is our back house. Before having the concrete poured, we installed a french door, allowing much more natural light in the back house and also making a larger step into the back house when the concrete was poured. 

^^ The rectangle slab in the back of the yard will eventually have some sort of structure over it, but that is a year or two down the road. It will also have a table for us to eat at. The dirt spot on the left will eventually have (fake) grass on it to play on. 

Here are some things we still have left to do:

* Clean out and level the planters
* Paint the fence. We are thinking some sort of grey...our favorite color, haha!
* Run a drip system for plants and electrical system for uplighting in the planters. 
* Plant drought tolerant and low maintenance plants in the planters every couple feet. 
* Fill in the planters and in between the square concrete with rock. 
* Build a fence (think a half fence) around the grass area. 
* Put in fake grass in the grass area.

Father down the road, we would like to build a structure over the eating area that would also have electricity in it...we loved our outdoor fans at our last house! We would also like to string outdoor lights across the backyard. Also, we would like to add several inches of horizontal wood to the top of our fence, giving us more privacy and making it feel a little more modern. But this is where we are for today. 

The progress of the backyard already makes me smile so much. It isn't overgrown anymore. All the concrete matches. Oh, and we widended the steps going into our house and it makes me smile every time I open the door that there is no longer a drop off right there on the side. It's the little things, right?!

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A Giants Baseball Game

On Saturday we went to a Giants game in San Francisco. We decided not to take Callum, given how squirmy he is and that it was a night game. I think we made the right call ;) Also, my brother Jeremy came with us. 

As soon as we entered the stadium, Connor spotted a soft pretzel and snagged one of those. Isla held out for some cotton candy and eventually a vendor came around selling that. Ian took each of the kids separately on a little adventure during the game, kind of helping with their wiggles. Connor tried figuring out what was going on with the game. Isla constantly wanted to know "who won" every time the crowd would cheer. Also, she loved the music that would constantly play, which is no surprise because she loves to dance every time music comes on. 

The game went into extra innings and got over pretty late. Both kids fell asleep in the car and transferred to their beds without waking. The next morning, both of them thought it was so funny when they woke fully dressed, including with their sweatshirts still on. 

It was a good time. 

^^ It felt so strange changing in to jeans and packing sweatshirts when it was over 100* at home.

^^ I was so excited to enjoy some cold weather for a few hours. Even now, looking at us all wearing jackets, I want to go back! 

^^ Someone may or may not have entertained themselves with instagram for a while. This is her favorite one and it always cracks me up that she "holds" the pipe every time.

^^ Me and my be-speckled brother. My poor kids don't stand a chance. I have HORRIBLE eyes, Ian wears glasses, both his parents wear glasses, my brother wears glasses and so do both my parents. Still, my eyes are way worse than any of our family members...whomp, whomp, whomp

We laughed on the way home because we were litereally driving at the same time exactly a week before on our way home from the airport from Boston. We even stopped at the same starbucks at almost the same time. Both times getting home about 1am...YAWN. 

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Boston - Days 6 & 7

Day 6

On our way to the Boston Tea Party Museum, we passed the carousel in the park open, so we went for a ride. It is probably the cutest/nicest/sweetest carousel I've ever been on. Plus, Callum and I rode in a boat that moved like it was on waves! Super fun.  

Then we went to the Boston Tea Party Museum. I am a bit of a history nerd, so I totally loved this. And the kids enjoyed throwing the "tea" over into the water. Really, it was just Callum that didn't enjoy it so much because he couldn't just run around most the time. Also, funny story, there was a vlogger on the tour with us. It's kind of funny watching people film themselves for other people to watch.

^^ You threw the tea boxes over, then pulled them back out of the water to do all over again. My kids did it over and over. Everyone left the ship and there my kids were, still doing it. I finally made them leave when the tour behind us was coming. 

We had so much fun at the children's museum on Monday and Friday evenings only cost $1, so we went back for a couple hours. 

Day 7

We took the subway out to Fenway Park. We walked around it, watched some people try to get the players attention as they pulled their cars through the gated area. Then we walked a bit more to get Callum asleep and enjoyed lunch at a brewery across the street from the park.

Then we took the subway back to the area we were staying because our bags were stored over there. But, we still had time to kill, so we took the kids back to the playground we went to the other day. We had the place to ourselves and the kids played for a while before asking if they could "go to the gym"...there was a pokemon go gym at the Paul Revere statue right next to the playground.

I was getting a laugh about how my kids will be in the back of everyone's photos, playing pokemon go. 

From here, we grabbed our bags and ubered it to the airport...for our not so pleasant trip home. Evening/night flights and toddlers DON'T mix. And Callum's tired screams scarred me from wanting to be on a plane with a toddler for a very long time. But outside of the plane ride, the trip was fun. I always enjoy exploring new places and trying a bunch of good food. Boston did not disappoint. 

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