Thursday, April 26, 2012

March Madness

Yep, I'm about to take it back a whole MONTH before April turns into May and I officially fall two-months behind. So, let's call this the official catch-up post. March was so beyond-crazy crazy that even at the end of April, we are still recovering.

Here are the big highlights:

The weather in March was bananas. As all ya'll know, we had July-like temps which yielded lots of pretending it was summertime when it was still technically winter. This meant earlier than usual time in the yard, trips to parks, planting & gardening, running through the hose and so forth. Here are some photos from spring outside and around our neighborhood. The water table that Bea got for her first birthday from Grandma & DD has been a huge hit for the whole family. It's the official hub of the backyard these days, and we simply can't keep Bea out of it!  The girls are able to play together too, which is really great. Big smiles all around!

A little moment captured -

A trip one afternoon afterschool to Owl's Nest Park -

Our Hawthorne tree that we adore in full bloom (such fleeting beauty, also in the blog header btw) -

Never too big for the little swing -

Time for planting (already - yay!) -

Oh my sweet, sweet, sweet girls:

As I dropped in a previous post, we put our house on the market. That meant that we spent lots of weekends and late nights doing tons of little home projects (and a few BIG home projects) to get it ready for listing. BIG thanks to DD & Grandma who spent the better part of a month at our house every weekend.  Grandma supplied the puzzles. DD supplied the mad plastering skillz.  We also had lots of help from Josie, who of course insisted on getting her hands dirty (literally and figuratively).  Of course there are still dozens of things we "could" do to continue to improve the house, but that doesn't make much sense at the current juncture.

Josie insisted on helping me paint the hallway. She went and put on paint clothes for the job - look closely - she came out in the exact same outfit - down to the same color pants, t-shirt and grey tank-top undershirt. How adorable is she?! (Sidebar: we will forever be grateful to her montessori education for instilling her that 'work' is fun!)

And, finally, a few other random snaps from March that just had to be shared.  One quick glance at Wonder Woman in grandma's magazine and five minutes later "Wonder Josie" was born!

Little Goo is also increasingly involved in playing dress-up these days and Josie still spends a large percentage of her time in costume -

Does Bea not look like total royalty, here? :)

Speaking of royalty, just had to share this photo of Venus because it captures her true essence like no photo before it or after it ever will.

So, with that - I am officially caught up on March photos.  And most of the way through April. Bring it on May, Bring it on!  (Oh poo....still haven't posted from the Fresh Beat Band concert! Stay tuned...)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Oh yea...the DRESS!!

Maybe you noticed Josie's adorable little sunshiny frock in the Wizard of Oz photos. Maybe you wonder where you can buy such a lovely little piece of wearable joy. Maybe you think I should link to the Etsy shop where you can buy your own. Maybe you know where this is heading...


Truly, it was easy. I've been meaning to bust out the old sewing machine for sometime. And when I finally drug it out to make some desperately long overdue curtains for our front door, I was inspired.  Thank goodness for Etsy. I found this super easy pattern for $6, printed it out, headed to JoAnn's to grab some fabric inexpensive enough to justify exploration and knocked this puppy out in a couple of  after-bedtime sewing sessions.  Of course Bea has a matching one on the way and I've already got a whole stack of next projects.  I think all I needed was one decent finished project to get my sewing groove back.  (Hey Carrie Schmitt Harrison - is there some reason we never used patterns in college when we were sewing?! I totally crack up every time I imagine us drinking Soleo by the gallon, converting bedsheets from the thrift store into summer sundresses!) Anyway mamas, like I said - this is a super easy pattern and there are lots of other easy tutorials online. Grab yourself some fabric and a little self-confidence and get to work.  (You'll see if you click on the pattern that it's just for a really simple dress with elastic sleeves & neck-line, but it's really easy to jazz up. The rick-rack and button really kicked it up a notch IMHO, but arose out of necessity since Josie thought it was too plain before. You really could do loads of things with this pattern. Josie's already asked for different sleeves and pockets next time.)

And although I bought this fabric and made this dress first because I wanted to make a "You Are My Sunshine" dress for Josie, it is definitely the "Yellow Brick Road" dress now.  (On that note, I can't tell you how sweet it was that when deciding what to wear to the Wizard of Oz show that Josie insisted on wearing this dress and not her Dorothy costume. I couldn't believe it, and it made me realize how giving something handmade really is such a loving thing.)

Off to see the wizard....

So here's a fun little tale of a full-day immersed in Oz with my sweet gal Josie.

 Yesterday we headed to McNicholas High School for their production of the Wizard of Oz.  (The hubs of one of Josie's teachers is a teacher at McNick and, knowing Josie's passion for all-things-Dorothy, she put this event on our radar! Thanks Donna!)  So, as if seeing Wizard of Oz live on the real stage wouldn't be enough to send Josie over the moon with excitement, we also got to have lunch with the cast.  For an extra $5 (yup, just 5 bucks) we had lunch, met the main characters, posed for photos and did crafts.  It made the actual show all the more special. When Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man & Lion came walking down the yellow brick road into the room, Josie really could.not.believe.her.eyes!  See for yourself. Clearly, the pure joy is dripping off of her!

Before we left the house we snapped a couple of photos, but everyone was way too excited to land the perfect shot.

With a little time to kill, we snapped some more photos in the car.

And, then...we arrived!  I didn't tell Josie about the cast brunch until we got there. She was SOOOO excited! Here she is walking down the yellow brick road to the cafeteria.

 It was SO cute. We went past lions & tigers & bears on the way down the hall, then through a field of poppies (of course singing the whole way). The room was decorated like an Emerald City with cute centerpieces like this one.

The cardboard cut-outs were a pretty big hit, but of course she had no idea what was coming up after we ate!

Glinda had left magic wands for everyone and Josie danced along the yellow brick road making wishes for Dorothy to hurry up ;)

It was so cute! They made flying monkey puppets and hearts for the Tin Man and had little coloring pages to keep them busy (not to mention yummy food).

And then she received word that Dorothy was coming soon...

And caught her first glimpse of her...

(And all the photos of her little jumping up & down are a blurry mess so we'll ignore those!)

And then she waited her turn and got to meet The.Real.Dorothy ("mama, the real one, I mean the actual real Dorothy!")

And the Cowardly Lion-

And Scarecrow & Tin Man -
Is her expression here not just adorable!! I mean, how excited is she?! :)
It was such a special day for Josie & I and nice to spend some time together - just the two of us.  Really, it was all perfect...oh - except when everyone around us starting chowing down on Reese Cups & Peanut M&Ms and I had to give Josie benadryl because she was complaining of itchiness and coughing...but really, it was all perfect.  And in case you are wondering, Lou and Bea spent the day together having their own little adventure. Although they set off to the mall to get Lou some new work threads, he came home with only a bag of socks for himself and new clothes for Josie and Bea. (What a dad!)