Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

There is nothing quite like spring time in New England - at least for me. Every winter seems a little harder to bear than the last (maybe it's being stuck inside with a toddler?) - but the upside is that it makes spring that much more spectacular. I especially love it around here in Somervile because there are so many parks and places to be outside. It's great to see the other parents and kids finally emerging from hibernation as well - like a mini-reunion ever year.

It really started getting warmer towards the beginning of April, but we had a mini-summer spell a couple of weekends ago. My Mom was here at the beginning of it for a visit since she was on spring vacation from school. She came up on Thursday night and then on Friday she, Lily and I took a trip to the Stone Zoo. It was crazy crowded, but we still had a nice time. I have no pictures from that because Gordon wasn't there and I forgot the camera. Friday afternoon she babysat while I went to my appointment with a surgeon (more on that soon), and then in the evening we all went out to a park for a picnic. Gordon was there for that - so here we have - pictures of spring!

A tree in bloom at Prospect Hill Park

Grammy and Lily at the swing

Mommy's turn to push

Nothing beats Grammy Time

Easter with Family

After our little Easter Egg hunt at home we piled in the car and headed to Fall River to celebrate with my family. We met my Mom at my Grandma's nursing home first. Really this whole post is just an excuse to post some of the pictures that were taken there. The light was particular good and Gordon got some great shots. Lily enjoyed looking at all the pictures in Vo-Vo's room and we enjoyed the opportunity to get a visit with Grams.

Me and Grandma

Lily and Vo-Vo

Four Generations

Lily and Grammy

After our visit we went back to my Mom's to meet Eric and Liza. Lily found more Easter goodies there. The next stop was cousin Gail's for dinner with Gail, Bev and Bev's family. I was slightly worried about Easter dinner because of my whole GD-diet restriction thing. But it turned out pretty okay for me. I got to enjoy pretty much everything (although I could have eaten 5 crescent rolls instead of the one tiny one I snuck in). I even got to have some of my Mom's yummy blueberry loaf cake as my afternoon snack with no adverse affect on my dinner sugar numbers - score! I may have had a few M&M's and some jellybeans on my way out - oooo decadant!

Easter Dinner in Action

Easter at Home

Easter started at our house with a basket of goodies and an egg hunt. Lily wasn't super psyched about the Easter Bunny because .. um.... we sort of never mentioned him to her. But she was still pretty happy to see the basket and got totally into the egg hunting aspect. Our version of the Easter Bunny stuffs his eggs with such goodies as: kix cereal, goldfish (ooo decadent!), dried apricots and socks! Yes, we know how to have a rocking good time at our place. Lily was thrilled with the stuff in the eggs though. She was delighted to find goodies in there - and wow, is that kid a fan of dried apricots.

The Easter bunny did go a little overboard on the basket. It turns out once you start shopping for stuff it's too easy to keep buying more "little" things. So she had a number of books, a puzzle, a coloring book, some flash cards, chalk, a new Sigg water bottle and a few spring/summer outfits.

Discovering the Loot

The books were the biggest hit by far with this "Spot's First Easter" book being the big winner. Man she loves this book. We read it nearly every night. One day she decided that *I* was not to read the book, but instead she would read it to Doggie. While Doggie lifted all the flaps. And just so you know, when Doggie is lifting the flaps it can NOT look like you are at all helping Doggie in his endeavor.

What is it about this Spot Character Anyway?

Once we were done with the basket the hunt began in earnest. She got to search in both the living room and the playroom. Ah that tricky Easter Bunny. Here she is recovering an egg that horsey was hiding on her.

I can't believe I'm posting this last picture - because, hello, I look like death. But Lily looks adorable as usual, so here we go. I also like that you can see the big bowl of Kix cereal that she collected from her eggs.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter Eggs

As usual Easter snuck up on us. It even came a little later this year - but still seemed to just appear out of nowhere. Despite the usual "lack of togetherness" we did manage to get some eggs colored (albeit the day before the actual holiday!). We had an extra treat because Uncle Justin was in town and he was at our house to help us out. As you can tell from the pictures below Lily is pretty enamored with Uncle Justin. For a few days after his visit she kept smiling and saying "Uncle Justin was laughing". And it's true - one of the best things about Panch is an easy smile and laugh. Kids are so perceptive.

Lily really enjoyed the egg coloring this year and got very hands on. She pretty much insisted on doing it and just plopped the eggs into the colors. I tried to get her to use the little wire egg-holder thingie, but she was unimpressed and much preferred her hands. We were able to color a dozen eggs with only one casualty - and even that one Gordon enjoyed snapping pictures of due to the cracked shell, mosaic effect.

Lily and Uncle Justin

Finally - a belly shot!


Ooo an orange one!

See hands work better

So pretty!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

CondoV2.0: Playroom & Pictures

Like any good pregnant woman I am feeling that whole "nesting" urge. Of course it's a little different with our second since we've already got a nursery of sorts set up and no additional bedroom for the little one. So the whole getting ready bit just consists of rearranging some stuff in Lily's room. There's not a ton of new furniture to buy, rooms to paint, etc.

However, why let that stop me? I decided instead that there are 4 billion things that need to be done RIGHT NOW! BEFORE THE BABY COMES! Some of these items I've been wanting to do for like 2 years - so clearly they're not dire. But there's no excuse quite like a new baby to get things moving along.

The first thing that we tackled was the "playroom". Our condo has this little room that's too small to be a bedroom or guest area. It sort of lends itself naturally to being an office, and that's how it started out. Slowly as Lily grew it morphed into an office/playroom. I ended up getting a computer armoire so I could stuff all of my stuff into a closed off space. Now we've moved that armoire out of there altogether (into the bedroom, that's another post, hopefully) and just given up the whole space to Lily and eventually Baby Koi too.

Putting it together was a lot of fun - involving a trip to the container store, more Elfa shelving, bins and boxes of all sizes and wall decorations from the Land of Nod. I love that there is actually a place to put everything now and that Lily can reach most of it on her own. Clean-up time is much easier now and she seems to be getting more use out of her toys. She LOVES this room. I can't tell you how many times a day she says to me "Mommy? Come play in my playroom?" As much as I fantasize about not living in a condo someday I will be sad to take Lily away from this room.

And now some photos:

First the view from the doorway, showing off the new Elfa shelving:

Here's what it actually looks like at any point, complete with toddler:

The other wall, with kitchen area and easel:

My favorite new purchase - from Land of Nod:

Gordon loves using the easel for teaching.
Anyone spot what's wrong with the cow?

View from back corner.
How cute is the new art-hanging set-up?
Also, those shelves used to hold my "office stuff" HA!

In that last photo you can kind of see into the hallway. Oh what's that you ask? A nice photo display on the wall? I can't tell you how long I've been planning this "photo wall" and how excited I am to finally have it hanging up. We received the frames as wedding gifts nearly 4 years ago and they've been sitting in our laundry room ever since. In my defense I was held up by the fact that I needed one more specially sized frame (the long one with 5 4x6 photos) and Pottery Barn was no longer carrying it. Then one day I got lucky and found it in a store (on sale!). That was last year some time. The next thing holding me up was choosing photos. And really, that's not such a big deal - because I can ALWAYS CHANGE THEM!

So Gordon and I finally sat down, picked out some pictures, had them printed and framed then. Then he patiently took my little sketch on paper and somehow made it appear up on the wall. He did a great job with the hanging! See for yourself:

In this one you can see the newly-organized entry-area too, sort of:

Nice view of just the pictures.
It's easy when you've got material like Lily and her cousins!

Coming up: Kids Room and Master Bed/Bath