Monday, November 21, 2016

The Fourth First Birthday

I can hardly believe that a whole year has gone by since this little guy joined us. Such a year! Matthew got a special treat for his first birthday - snow!  We are spending TG week here at my folks' house and we woke up on Sunday to a quite respectable snowfall! This is the first snow any of my kids have seen, or remembered, since Amy was three and William only a baby during our last real winter. They were all so excited! It made the day extra-special. 

Of course we traveled without any snow gear, so everyone got chilly pretty quick, but Matthew was suitably impressed with the whole experience. 

I made a carrot cake, which he loved. My brother added the Little Person on top. 

First birthdays have always felt for me, the parent, as a "phew, we made it!" sort of milestone. The hard work of parenting has really only just begun, but I can say we survived our first year with four. Matthew may be quite a little fellow, but he's been walking for months and is well on his way to keeping up with everyone. He is such a lovey, cuddly, sweet, goofy, busy boy. The big kids dote on him and are enchanted with his every accomplishment. We are so blessed to have him in our family. Happy Birthday, my boy! 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Amy's Bedroom Makeover

Ah, was hoping to get to this earlier in the week but alas! the election! Such excitement. Feeling thankful this week, and wishing I could make everyone feel as positive and hopeful as I do. Buuuut that's not my department, so instead I'll show before and afters of Amy's room. A few weeks ago she went on her first real sleepover with friends and with her birthday coming up, too, it seemed like the perfect occasion to empty her room for a weekend and start fresh. Like most of the house, there was nothing too wrong with the paint color, but her room had clearly suffered the most wear in terms of scuffs and nail holes. Also, we've been carting around the antique Jenny Lind bed frame that belonged to my great-grandparents for years now, and it seemed fitting that it get put to use in my eldest's room. So, here's where we started: 

My usual helpers were on hand at the start of the painting. 

I started off with Benjamin Moore's "Gray Owl", which is number 52 below. It looked great, but as I started the second cost I realized that I wasn't going to have enough, so I got the crazy idea to do two walls in a darker color. I chose "Timber Wolf" and ran out for another gallon. At first I was afraid I had gone too dark, but after the colors cured up a bit it looks perfect. They are both a bit cooler than this photo below represents. I think I'll use Gray Owl again in Caroline's room; it really is a lovely gray. 

For the new full bed I ordered a mattress and boxspring off amazon. Awesome! The mattress came in a very small box but unrolled and poofed up just as advertised. 

Amy knew about the paint of course but I was able to surprise her with the bed and some other new art and accessories by doing one furious transformation day while she was at school. She was so pleased! 

The white trim makes all the difference, I think, tedious as it is to do. I'm so pleased with how it all turned out! Caroline's room is next, though I'm not sure I have it in me to pull that off before Christmas. I want to continue the trim painting downstairs as well and redo the powder room. Lots of projects in the homeowner's queue! 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Nine, Horsing Around

It must be around this age, fourth grade or so, where a Mom stops aging - my own nine seems so very recent, and I can't quite make it seem (in my own head) like I'm old enough to have a nine-year-old myself. And yet, here she is:

She's smart and confident and polite and all those good things. She has a few kinks to work out, too. She's an awesome big sister, a fantastic optimist, and endlessly adaptable. She'll be a great leader some day. She and I are very different and yet each day I see some part of myself in her. She's the trail blazer, and during this past year that I've spent with my fourth baby I've realized just how much I didn't know in Amy's early years. God bless her for putting up with me. 

This was a very busy weekend for us all, as we had a good old fashioned girls-from-class birthday party here at the house for her on Saturday. Craft, cake, and then they all went outside to play in the leaf pile. Fairly painless, and Amy was delighted. 

In an amazing coincidence Amy shares her birthday with new BFF and neighbor, and today was her friend's party. So we spent the afternoon at the barn for Amy's first true horse experience. Matthew came too and also fell deeply in love with the horses. Don took W and C to the aquarium and we all met back later for presents and dinner at home. It was a very memorable day! 

(PS no Matthew did not get his fingers bitten and yes he has a horrible-looking scrape on his nose. It wasn't really that bad; just a poor decision on the concrete stoop. However, I could pay for preschool if I charged for the number of times I've told that story in the last three days.) 

Stay tuned, I want to share about Amy's "present" - her room makeover. This week I promise!