Thursday, September 18, 2014

Miscellaneous Madness: Storyplaying Dress Up

You know we love a good storyplaying session! We've spent HOURS acting out mythical magical mystical stories at the National Arboretum and were in need of some new ideas. Enter The Land of Nod's great dress up! Our recent trip is up over at Honest to Nod today -- check it out! 

(And thanks to The Land of Nod for the wonderful new dress up -- it just might be pulling double duty as Halloween costumes!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Miscellaneous Madness: A Day in the Life (September 2014)

After all her griping, it turns out that our return to the school year has been kicking mom's butt. She's not sure who is going where, when or how; who needs what to eat or what change of clothes; or exactly how many cups of coffee she's going to need to consume to power through the now 3 hours and 23 minutes of time she has to spend in the car schlepping us all over town(s). The only thing that is clear is that this new "schedule" is going to take some getting used to. Hence her snapping of only 9 photos this 12-in-12 on her iPhone. We'll get there and, until we do, her "no cocktails during the week" policy has been indefinitely suspended.

Don't forget to hit up No Monsters in My Bed and Where the Watermelons Grow for their 12-in-12s this month!

8.50 am -- leaving the house at an ungodly early hour to get Kane up to his new school means Cam usually gets to school a bit early and gets some mommy reading time in the library.

9.25 am -- mom sets up work at the local Le Pain and has a yummy breakfast of avocado toast and soft boiled egg (because she's pretty sure she had apple galette for dinner the night before, but can't keep the days straight).

10.55 am -- mom takes her new kicks to the gym to work off said galette.

11.45 am -- mom runs on the treadmill while manning the instagram account, which gets a little pickup in activity since we had a Land of Nod post that day.

1.50 pm -- a quick lunch in the car on the way to pick up Cam.

2.25 pm -- the cutest new soccer player you ever did see (which required mom to remember a packed outfit change, a number 3 soccer ball, and a water bottle. score one for her).

3.45 pm -- mom takes us to check out the football game at Kane's new school where we cheer loudly and eat concessions for dinner.

5.30 pm -- we get home and mom discovers she has inadvertently turned into a "soccer mom," with a trunk full of bottled water, packaged snacks, coolers, and backpacks.

6.40 pm -- the above realization leads to stout and iPad time as mom throws in the towel for the day.

Friday, September 12, 2014

DIY Backpack Tags

One of the reasons mom loves back-to-school time is the planning, organization, and pulling together of school supplies. The brightly colored folders, the unopened pack of lined paper, and the smell of a brand-new backpack. And every year she grimaces as she writes our names on the packs with permanent marker, ruining their newness before they ever see the classroom (we know, she's got issues). But this year she decided to make name tags for our packs and have us help using The Land of Nod's Jewlery Beads + String Set. Win! Head over to Honest to Nod to see what we put together!

And thanks to The Land of Nod for gifting us the supplies to keep our stuff looking spiffy!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fly Away: Beaver Island, Michigan -- Part 2

Oooweee! Our first week back to school hit everyone a bit harder than we had expected. So, we're just getting back to our awesome end of summer vacation deets. After our great day spent exploring mom's little cabin in the woods, we woke up to a lot of clouds and rain. But we were not bummed. We knew that weather meant one thing: the promised trip to the Beaver Island Toy Museum. Mom had told us all about the wonderful store/collector's museum. How she and her siblings looked forward every summer to combing their way through its teeny tiny card catalog drawers of unusual toys -- many of them filled from the local artist owner's bulk purchases of vintage gum ball machine wares. We were psyched and it did not disappoint. In fact, we made two trips to the toy museum during our stay, which also gives you some indication of how much it rained the rest of the week.

Cam focused her toy store efforts on jewelry, babies and animals, and I went for guys -- oh so many, many kids of guys! Mom ran around throwing things into our shopping tote exclaiming "oh we have to get these! and these! and these!" We rang up possibly the largest bill ever at the store where most things are under a $1 (nostalgia is expensive apparently). It was fantastic!

Even though we were amped to play with our new goodies when we returned home, the rain had let up and we were eager to get some more beach time. A huge fog rolled in while we got in our suits, but it didn't stop us. We splashed and played, jumping off the dunes over and over.

We headed back home to find Grammie and Grandpa and pick up some pool floats to do a little summer sledding (a bucket list item we'd been having a lot of fun planning). The dunes were huge right behind our house and we perfect for "sledding." It was awesome! And to top it off, while we were hauling ourselves off the top of dunes, Grammie and Grandpa found a garter snake ... eating a frog. It was wildly interesting to watch -- sorry for the slightly graphic photo, but it was too cool not to share!

We made the absolute best out of the rainy weather and even got some sunshine later in the week -- wait 'till you see what we did with that!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School! Breakfast

Happy back-to-school day!!! (well for us anyway). We were all so excited to get back that we had a little celebration last week. Head on over to Honest to Nod today to check out our back to school! breakfast and our hilarious interview answers.

ps .... and head over to A Feteful Life for your own free printable interview!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fly Away: Beaver Island, Michigan -- Part 1

Our mom spent much of her summers growing up at her family's cabin on Beaver Island in northern Michigan. It's not the easiest of places to get to, which was all part of the adventure when she young. But coming from the east coast, getting there involves a flight, a long car drive, and either another flight or a ferry. So, needless to say, we'd never been. When we received an invite to one of our favorite former babysitter's wedding in Charlevoix this past August, mom thought it was fate. So we jumped on in and planned a week at the island with our Grammie and Grandpa B (mom knew their 130 square foot cabin without running water or electricity was not going to fly with daddy, so we rented a house on the the island's best beach). Daddy ended up having to travel for work, so we had to cancel our plans to attend the wedding, but he was able to make it home in time for the Beaver Island trip!

We had an awesome time exploring the island and listening to mom wax nostalgic. But, we were there almost an entire week and mom took about 8 million photos, so we decided to post about our trip in parts. Today we're sharing our trip there and the family cabin!

We first flew to our grandparents' house in Chicago and then all drove up to Charlevoix together the next day. Daddy somehow managed to set a record driving time, which meant more time for us to get acquainted with the important northern Michigan delicacy of Superman ice-cream. Holy cow. Then it was a little plane ride in a little plane -- some of us were more nervous than others. But we made it! 

We arrived to our beach house welcomed by sunny skies and sparkling water and, of course, wasted no time getting ourselves into the drink. When the sun is out, Donegal Bay is by far the best swimming beach on the island and mom and her siblings used to beg Grammie and Grandpa to go there when they were little. There were some rocks right in front of the house, but big patches of sandy, shallow water stretch out along the bay. We floated, splashed and explored until dinner time. Donegal Bay is also famous for its sunsets. And we caught a pretty good one our first night!

Our first full day there we woke up to lots of clouds, which mom and Grammie announced was the perfect weather to take a trip down to visit their cabin out in the woods. We bumped our way along dirt roads and parked at the top of "the hill," which apparently requires some serious engine gunning and lack of care about the car you're driving to drive back up. So we skipped down excited to finally see what all the fuss was about. We didn't quite get why someone would pack 6 people into a 10 X 13 cabin on purpose, but we soon got down to the point of Beaver Island: exploring. We took to catching frogs, daddy long legs, slugs, you name it. And we were glad Grammie brought a "habitat" with us. Mom showed us the remains of their once fabulous treehouse and pretend sailboat, now just barely frames.

We fashioned our own walking sticks and headed off on the hike to their "beach," which apparently back in the day used to be an hour-long hike marked off by favorite landmarks (lightening tree, fern field, bee attack cove). Today, there's a road cut to follow, but it was still pretty wild for us. Mom's beach used to be completely deserted and they'd often shower right in the lake, which was cold, but still much warmer than the solar shower back at the cabin. But it's changed a lot. There are homes on the beach now and a lot more vegetation than mom recalls. Grammie thinks part of the changing landscape is from the zebra mussels assault on the Great Lakes. We were just psyched that Grandpa B taught us how to use a compass and walkie talkies. So awesome.

Stay tuned for more on our vacaye later this week and Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Miscellaneous Madness: A Day in the Life (August 2014)

It happens every year. Summer is going along great -- a variety of vacations, mixed with downtime, camp time, and family adventures. And then August hits. And it brings the heat, and the empty town, and mom's attitude of "enough fooling around, I actually have stuff to do." And it seems like the looooooongest month of the year. At least the heat has taken a bit of a break this year, but this August 12th was a rainy day full of mom trying to get stuff done while we bickered, bored with each other and being inside (where the lack of natural light is amplified on stormy days. yuck overhead lighting!). Even Greens get the blues sometimes. We mostly pulled it together, but are all very excited for school to start.

Don't forget to check out what No Monsters in My Bed and Where the Watermelons Grow were up to this month!

(ps we're not bitter, we still love each other)

9.00 am -- we start out doing a little painting and end up spending at least an hour making squish prints. they actually turn out pretty awesome, but mom's trying to figure out what to do with all of them! (ps mom intended to start photographing when she woke up, but wouldn't you know that we both were awake at 5:45 when she got up to go work out and in her astonishment and irritation, she totally forgot).

10.45 am -- mom uses our dressing time to get a recipe for A Feteful Life started (head over there next Thursday to see what it is!)

11.00 am -- apparently, having not had enough madness at taking us to IKEA the day before, mom schleps us all out in the rain for some party styling supplies.

12.45 pm - what's worse than IKEA with two kids? Michael's craft store, where it's already Halloween!

1.43 pm -- we take our favorite route home through Rock Creek Park and mom keeps pointing out the level of water in the creek. She thinks about pulling over to take a picture and then comes to her senses. Perhaps it's not a good idea to be in Rock Creek right now. Truth. As soon as we exit, the flash flood warning comes through.

2.30 pm -- we rally to make a new batch of bright playdough.

3.40 pm -- mom printed out these awesome playdough mats from the Picklebums. The rain is finally letting up, but we keep playdoughing.

4.45 pm -- it's show time for us and work time for mommy. Metallic garland making for a speakeasy party.

5.30 pm -- mom escapes to the front porch, with cocktail, to order dinner. Because she refuses to cook this summer week.

6.45 pm -- post-din jam session. We've been listening to a lot of Kids Sirius XM radio and love to perfect our "shows" from it.

7.20 pm -- daddy said he left the office at 7, so we wait on the front porch for him. Hmmm....

8.15 pm -- OK, well he did make it home for reading. Pretty cute feetsies.