Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy Birthday kid!

So the first grader turns seven today. SEVEN! We had a party for her and a few friends on Saturday at a local paint-your-own-pottery place. Her cousins (and sister) came and the three non-family friends we invited came too. It was pretty great. We haven't really thrown her a party since she turned one and it was time. I try not to go overboard with parties, and we haven't with her, but she's the second kid so she sort of was getting...shorted. The oldest had a party at one, six, seven or eight...and so she'll have another this year too probably. But the youngest...she came along when the oldest was nearly five, so..she just didn't get parties after that one year mark. So we thought she was due.

Painting her ladybug

We had seven painters, so we asked them to stick to the $6-$10 price range on the pottery they selected and they were all very accommodating, choosing a penguin, ladybug, cupcake box, bunny, duck and kitty. I thought for sure they'd never get done painting in time to get to presents and cake, but in reality they painted super fast and the party was essentially over after an hour (and we had an hour to go). So we passed out the goodie bags and the girls played with those items while we waited for parents.

Happy Birthday cake (with her cousin)

Party goers

She got some great gifts and had a great time with her friends. The cake was delicious in spite of my having to ask the bakery to change her name from Laxi to Lexi. It should be a rule in cake and engraving...allow the customer to PRINT the words they want.  And Sunday she and her sister put together the two Lego Friends sets she got, and we got out the Doh Vinci set and she's decorated a cute little vanity/storage piece.

All in all a great weekend. And then Sunday night her nose started getting stuffed up (and her sister's too) and she woke up feeling awful on her actual birthday. I drove her to school so she could sleep in a little...and she threw up in the car just before we got out. So home we came and she's been relaxing and watching TV and waiting patiently to open the rest of her presents from us tonight.

Happy Birthday kid!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Birthday loft

So my stepmom is a dumpster diver. It sounds weird, but she works (and used to live) in a college town so the students are always throwing away things that should not be thrown out. She brought home a perfectly good folding table - worked really well for the garage sale, as well as some sort of old-fashion-y small suitcase things for the girls to store their art supplies or whatever. Very cute stuff.  Her latest acquisition is a loft bed. A metal frame PBTeen loft bed. Whoever discarded it threw away all the bolts that held it together, but for $12.50 she and my dad assembled it in their garage. And they offered it to the 7yo. We weren't sure if she was old enough for it, I don't want her to fall off, and she has a tendancy to puke when she gets a cold, so how difficult would it be for her to get down, get to a toilet, get to a puke bucket in those doesn't happen as often as it used went for it.  Her room is only 10x10 so a loft would really open up the space for her. Her older sister has a loft that her dad built for her which is equally heavy and a little more bulky. This one is also not quite as tall so she wouldn't be quite as close to the ceiling as her sis.

The loft came home two weeks ago and she LOVES it. Dad has build a nightstand shelf that sits over the top rail so she can store a book, water bottle, her clock and tissues and whatever else girls need high up in the air at night. Its super heavy duty and the gray finish goes fine with her purple room. All dumpster dives are allowed now, it sounds like an odd practice- but what a score!
loft pre-shelf

Thanks Grandma C!

We replaced her ceiling fan with a light fixture and bought her a clip on fan to keep her cool. We'll also buy her a wall mounted fan in the spring when it warms up again. She loves it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Simple Things

We moved into this house in 2001 and so it has all oak trim and woodwork, a lighter honey oak. It's nice, but not quite a current trend. It also has all brass doorknobs and brass trim on the fireplace. Last weekend we decided it can't be that difficult to just spray paint the gold parts of the fireplace, right? Right!

Before (both top and bottom trim was brass)



The fireplace now looks like its always been trimmed in black and we'll probably tape and protect the glass and surround and spray the rest of the box to make it all look like new.  We should have done this years ago...when we started remodeling other areas of the house.  Next up, doorknob replacements! Slowly but surely!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Summer, School and a Smart Kid

So, summer is over. We've been on vacation, it's been a difficult summer. I don't really want to talk about it right now. Maybe when it's a distant memory and we've overcome some of the hurdles in our way right now..maybe then I'll talk about it. Anyway, we went on vacation to the Iowa State Fair and was mostly fun. The first grader had a really great time.

We went to Adventureland first and the first grader rode two roller coasters pretty much all day. Until the adults with her could no longer stomach another lurching ride. She's just brave and grown up, in a flash.

Of course there's face painting at the fair, which I promised we could go straight to so they'd have paint all day long. They loved it.

We also discovered the oldest needed glasses. I took her to the eye doctor and while we were waiting she was looking at the letters on the mirror/screen and reading them oh so very wrong. I was surprised...and I guess I'm really glad that flute lessons showed us she needed glasses. The left lens is prescription, the right is not, but I imagine as she ages her bad left eye will bring down her good right eye. Heh. She looks great in them.
She couldn't stop grinning when she got the glasses.
It's been a long summer. It's been beautiful weather, but not really great for swimming, until today, when it's super super hot. Today 91F, tomorrow 72F...honestly I'm glad they're back in school and learning and scheduled and in a routine. Next summer will be better.

And this first grader of mine, is smart as a whip. Obviously all parents think that of their children, but I got confirmation today from her teacher. They've done reading assessments and she came home to say she read at a 2nd grade level, which I wasn't surprised to hear. She's been reading Junie B Jones   over the summer...but it turns out she's actually PASSED the 2nd grade assessment, so she's really closer to 3rd grade reading skills. So she'll be taken out of her class four times per week for 20 minutes with a special teacher that will challenge her in reading. I couldn't be more proud.

Face painting at the state fair. Elsa of course.

To be fair, the 11yo is also very smart and a really great reader, she just wasn't this far ahead at this age.