October 31, 2011


My first costume inspiration for Reese came months ago from Pinterest. I instantly fell in love with this photo, this little girl, her mini-swagger, and this outfit.

Source: etsy.com via Lyndsey on Pinterest

With all the cute tutus I'd seen floating around, I was itching to make one or two or nine for the girls. I found this tutorial and was on a mission.

Here's my version.

Next it was Daly's turn. I thought blonde, fun, beautiful, dresses, high heels...Marilyn.

photo via chicfashionista

photo via sodahead

photo via oliviadarcyhawks

The girls clearly have no idea who Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn are. My hope is that I'll be able to give them an appreciation for old Hollywood, classic movies, and the wonderful actors and actresses of that time {the way my mom did for me}. Hopefully, somewhere down the line, they'll look back at these pictures and smile at the inspiration {and loose interpretation!}

Reese was not excited about being in front of the camera. No amount of bribery worked this time. By this point, she was ready for the dress to come off.

Daly, forever my little starlet, had no issues posing, dancing, and smiling...as long as she could see herself in the windows.

Finally wanting to show off her dress. 'Look me, Gramma! Look me!'

Officially one of my favorite photos ever.

Talking to my mom and Heather on skype.

We took the girls up to a friend's house in the early evening for a bit of trick or treating. What a blast! More photos to come...

October 23, 2011

Tidy up time

Today is the last day of school holidays. That means all of us {except Reese, the little stinker} are going back to work and school tomorrow. Ryan and I will be going back to in-school coaching and Daly is back to kindy! She is so excited.

Many of you know about Daly's arm flapping. It's something she's done since she was old enough to express excitement...probably about 6 months old. It used to be that when she got super duper excited, she would stop and flap her arms up and down for a few seconds. We thought she might grow out of it as she grew older and more verbal, thus more able to express her feelings with words.

It still hasn't stopped, and has really become a part of her little personality. We've noticed that it happens more often when she's sleepy, right around nap and bed times. Ryan and I have asked two different pediatricians and her teachers about it, all had the same response. Is she social? Does she make eye contact? Does she use her imagination? Does she engage with friends and family? Then leave it alone...just because she has a different way of expressing herself than everyone else, doesn't mean something's wrong. 

All of that leads me back to her being excited about going back to school. Daly's doctor in California told us to simply ignore it, don't call attention to her flapping. That was fine when she was younger. Now that she's more mature and more aware of her actions and feelings, we don't feel that ignoring it is appropriate. So every now and then, we'll ask her why she's flapping. What are you thinking about when you flap your arms, Daly? Are you excited? Are you happy? What are you happy about?

When I asked her last week what was she was thinking about as she fluttered her little wings, she replied, 'I can't wait to go to school. I'm excited for school!' I love it. I love that she doesn't recognize her differences, that she's not worried about them, that she embraces them with everything she's got. Now, how can I get her to continue that for the rest of her life?

Wow, this post went an entirely different direction than I intended. But really, that's what the blog is for...preserving the little things, the moments, the words, the actions, the adventures that I never want to forget. And to give the girls a place to come back to when they're old enough to care, and my memory escapes me. 

So, being our last few days home together as a family, we decided it was time for a bit of spring cleaning before the craziness of school and schedules and sitters begins. The girls came downstairs this morning to cuddle for a bit before getting the day started. Ryan said, 'Okay girls, should we get up and get some cleaning done?' 

Daly replied, 'No, you do it. I can watch you.' Nice try, Little One. 

This is what the upstairs looked like after almost two weeks of playing, and very little clean up.

No, no, Reese...don't let me interrupt your phone call with my talk of organization.

After nearly an hour of asking, coaxing, singing the 'tidy up' song from school, zoopity zoo-ing, bribing, time-outing for not helping, and {let's be honest} doing most of the work myself...we turned the room into this. Please note Daly's change of outfit.

Daly proved my point perfectly...when everything's put away, you can find the things you want right away! No searching, no digging, just playing. {See Mom, it stuck. Only took 29 years!!}

Success! Except that then my little Ambassadors of Mess came downstairs and in approximately 17 minutes did this to the living room...excellent.

October 22, 2011

Glow sticks

We love shopping at Uncle Bill's, a wholesale store in town. The stuff is not always top quality, but the prices are great, and it's a fun place to take the girls when they've earned a treat. Sort of reminds me of Pic 'n' Save. {And it's also the only place we've found beef Top Ramen...our favorite super cheap noodles.}

The other day, the girls found the Halloween display and were immediately drawn to the glow sticks. They could hardly wait until the sun went down that evening so we could crack them in the bathtub.

October 19, 2011

Scary monstah

I have marked quite a few projects off my to-do list the last few days. I pinned this cool Halloween door a few months back...

Since I knew I wasn't going to be painting our front door green, I decided to look for some fabric to make a hanging Frankenstein door. {This way, I would be able to use it every year, no matter where we're living.} We went to the local craft store and found this on the clearance table for $10!!

Perfect color and grommets for hanging!

The width needed to be trimmed, but the length was perfect. I folded the curtain in half from bottom to top, and lined up the top against the floor board. I placed my scissors in the groove between the floor tiles to cut straight lines {I felt like an employee at Joann's.}

After placing a half yard of black felt along the top of the curtain, I cut spiky hair and glued it down. For the eyes, I traced around large and small ramekins. Then I cut the mouth, teeth, and scar from the scraps. {I used gorilla glue to secure everything. Unnecessarily strong, but it was all I had and I wanted this project finished...and now I know those pieces aren't going anywhere!}

Temporary 3M hooks along the top of the door and that's that.

Daly saw the picture from pinterest as I was making this...now every time she sees our Frankenstein she asks, 'Where's the spider? We need a spider. Mom, you forgot the spider.' I swear that girl's memory is like a steel trap.

Reese calls him a 'scayee monstah'. Whenever we leave the house she gets the most dramatic, wide-eyed look on her face and talks for the next three minutes straight about the 'scayee monstah on the doo-ah, Mom!' We have tried to convince her that he's not scary at all. 'Have you seen his big smile, Reese? He's a nice monster.' Ryan even tried to tell her that this monster helps protect us from all the other scary monsters. No dice.

Another check on the to-do list? Ryan had this gorgeous photo {a la Heather Broadwell: official Weisenberg family photographer} printed onto a huge canvas as a Mother's Day gift.

November 2010. Gisborne, NZ

That's right, Mother's Day...as in five plus months ago. It came unmounted, so it has been rolled up next to my desk all that time.

Having such a large, beautiful canvas of our family was priceless to me. I didn't want to try and stretch it myself and potentially ruin it, so I waited. For what, I'm not sure. Someone to offer to do it for me? To take it to a 'professional' canvas stretcher? For it to magically attach itself to a frame?

Our bedroom was in desperate need of some color and life on the walls and this was the perfect fit. I bit the bullet and bought a fairly cheap artist's canvas that almost exactly matched the size of my print. I googled 'how to stretch your own canvas' and voila.

It's nowhere near perfect, but my new mantra {learned from pinterest, of course} keeps me focused on completion rather than perfection.

This stunner has taken the place of my last canvas project above the bed. That will definitely find a new home on one of the other walls in our room very soon.

October 18, 2011

It's a sunny day!

Finally!! We are out of winter and fully into spring. It means cheaper fruits and veggies {we only get produce in season}, cheaper utility bills {hanging the laundry out to dry and turning off the gas fireplace}, and cheaper fun {no more paying to swim at the indoor pool}. Never described spring as 'the budget friendly season'? Before moving to New Zealand, I didn't either.

Typically, when Reese and I pick up Daly from school, we go straight home for a snack and rest before dinner. Daly still takes naps occasionally, but if she skips the nap and doesn't have at least a little quiet time in the afternoon, she morphs into a stubborntesty, downright mean little monster hard-to-handle three year old.

On this day, however, it was just too beautiful to go inside. We signed Daly out of kindy and headed straight to the park.

Do any of you remember when I was pregnant with Daly, we used to joke about her name? I think it was Mag-oraga who started saying it with a strong southern drawl...'Daaay-daaay'! Reese started calling her big sister Day-day all on her own. What a crack up! I have a feeling it's a nickname that's going to stick.

'I follow Day-day!'

Since she first noticed that was her own beautiful face staring back at her, Daly has loved watching herself in the mirror. She will sing, dance, make funny faces, run, pout, jump, cook, and laugh in front of anything that reveals her reflection. The full length mirror in the living room, the oven, the sliding glass windows, the car door...you name it.

But what do you do when you don't have a mirror to watch yourself run and throw the basketball to the little boy at the park?

Watch your shadow instead.

The 'fro curls never cease to amaze me.

One of the best parts of my morning is when one of the girls comes down from her room, all sleepy-eyed, messy-haired, and smiley-faced and declares, 'It's a sunny day!'