making art

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

If it is unclear to you yet how much I am inspired by pinterest, please let this little post cement your understanding.  Thanks to some pins, we have been doing quite a bit of art over here in the Studer house.

We needed a little art for Greyson's room, so thanks to this pin...I encouraged Grey to stick his feet in paint (at his delight) and we made a little "Booboo peet tragnor"  (Booboo feet tractor):

I was inspired by these two pins (here and here) and decided to combine them to form a Super-Project for a little stairway art.

The instructions for antique-ing paper were really easy to follow and I was able to do it quite successfully with the help of only some coffee, an oven, and some paper towels
in progress


I don't know where this Mumma's Prayer comes from (I've googled and only come up with other mom bloggers that love it), but I fell in love as soon as I found it on Pinterest.  I'm hoping to re-read it when I have a have a hard Mom like everyday?

Oh give me patience when wee hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
And give me gentle and smiling eyes.
Keep my lips from hasty replies.
And let no weariness, confusion, or noise
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys.
So when, in years to come my house is still -
No bitter memories its room may fill.

After we paint the walls and fix the stairs, I'm aspiring to use these bits of pinspiration to build a stairway art gallery, which will include my freshly made Mumma's Prayer:

So after picking up a frame at Goodwill and giving it a little spruce up of paint (the same paint we have in our laundry and powder rooms), and then adding a photo mat (from Michael's), I hung it up in the hallway as the first of many pictures to come.  But for right now, it looks like this (lonely and on unpainted walls):

The holiday season has presented multiple opportunities for pinspiration, including these two pins (here and here) that were the foundations of our new Christmas flair that is currently displayed in our house.

Since our new house is lacking a fireplace (which I'm totally missing right now), we need a way for Santa to be able to get into our house on Christmas eve!  So, I gave a key (from Michael's) a quick coat of glitter spray paint and hung 'er on the door.  Grey calls it "Dinta's key."

Since I love this Elf quote, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear, I knew I wanted the print I saw on pinterest (above), but in an effort of saving Etsy money, I went ahead and used this pin to help make my own by using alphabet stickers, a canvas, and on-hand paint:

Brandon loves it, as do I..even though the paint seeped under some of the letters a little.  I may need to pull out some Sharpie talent on it to clean up the lines of the letters, but I'm pretty happy with the end product.

Have you been on an pinterest art project sprees? 

Sunrise from my dining room

Monday, November 28, 2011

we live on top of a mountain

and when B gets up for work every morning, so do I.
I roll out of bed (literally with this pregnant belly) and go downstairs to make him coffee.

then while Booboo still sleeps, I creep on facebook, or look at pinspiration, or make new blog posts.
but on most days, i can't help but take a picture of the sun rising.

because i can see it out my dining room window (where i sit with my computer)

and it is a reminder of how everyday has the potential to be awesomely magical.

This is a story about thanksgiving

There is a girl who dreams big dreams in her head.  And with a little planning and the help of many, those big dreams come to life.

Like the help from the school secretary who fills out her paperwork for her because the girl forgot to pick it up in time.  And the high school teacher who does free promotional work on the school website and by word of mouth.  And from the school board who gives her permission to use their expensive technology and agrees to paint lines on the football field even though the season ended a month and half ago.

And from the men and women from an 18 year span of attending the same school who file through the registration table with donation money in hand.  Some have peeled themselves out of bed after a night of drinking with friends.  Some have kissed their children's heads as they flip on the Macy's Day Parade.  And most have had a "you better be back in time for dinner" lingering in their ears from mothers and wives alike who stay back to keep the rest of the day from unraveling.  The same ones who leave cold and sore with mud and sweat on their clothes.

And from the announcer (who has never announced a game in her life) who yells over the intercom, "And a great catch by the blue team," while the refs and players all shake their heads and smile by her cheerful, albeit unconventional, commentary.

And the help from the volunteers who show up to help make the day happen...even if they are 9 months pregnant, or even if they learn how to use the scoreboard only five minutes before kick-off, or even if they have a 2 hour drive home later that morning, or even if they have a bum knee.

And the custodians who show up on their day off (a holiday!) to open the school, and lay out the field markers, and then they stay to support the players before cleaning and locking up.  The same ones who enthusiastically responded, "Gray!" when the cheerleaders chanted, "When I say Blue, you say Gray.."

And the fans who come to support, throwing money in the donation bin even though its free admission, and bundling up their own children in as much winter clothes as possible, and sitting on cold bleachers even if they never went to our school or even if they aren't related to any of the participants.

And her own family who are always the first to register and who are flexible with the volunteer jobs requested of them - not because they kind of have to but because they want to.

And the help from her husband who sent mass texts the night before seeking refs and to remind players of what time to show up.  The same husband who helps carry heavy boxes and tables to and from the car, who supports her big dreams in her head, and when those big dreams make her worry he's the one that says, "it's going to be good, babe.  you need to trust yourself."

And as this girl watched everyone shake hands and pack up their things and make their way home to their families and dinner, she takes a moment for some of her own thanksgiving.   Isn't this what the holiday is about?  Coming together with people you know (and some that you don't) to give thanks for the good things in your life.  Like a supportive community, and strong bones, and laughter, and old friends, and new friends, believing in yourself, learning new things, and giving back to a place that helped you grow.

happy thanksgiving.
especially to those that remind me of what thanksgiving is supposed to be about.

the animal parade

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We have a little situation in our house.  Grey has been emotionally attached to his bear, Maxie, for a few months now - no big deal.  We made Maxie together at Build-A-Bear after Greyson's first birthday.  At the time I didn't know this, but later I read that if you want your child to become attached to a toy/blankie it should be introduced between 12 and 18 months which is developmentally when they're ready to become attached to a comfort object..who knew!?  So, we're glad he has a 'friend' and Maxie is machine-washable which is awesome for me.  Grey calls him "Patsy" and Maxie goes most places that Greyson goes.  Grey's best friend, Sophia, actually asks when we are going to visit if "Greyson's Bear" is coming along too.  Maxie is kind of a big deal around here; he even made an appearance in Grey's 18 month old professional pictures!
photo credit:  Hourglass Photography.  (sorry for the crap scan though, from my cellphone)

But as of late, we've been going through a phase that not only does Maxie need to join us everywhere, but so do all of Grey's other stuffed animals.  Besides #1 in our hearts, Maxie...we also have quite a line-up of mismatched and wide ranging stuffed animals to contend with these days:

First up, "Baby dister"  She is the baby sister of Maxie who we have introduced to help prepare Grey for his new baby sister on the way.  We talk about how Maxie is kind to baby sister and shares too.  We also hold baby sister close and say "shh, shh, shh" like we're rocking her to sleep.  Sometimes baby sister gets lost because she's so small.  We've found her tangled up in sheets at the bottom of his bed, under the bed, and in Bullet's mouth.  Poor baby sister.

Then there is "Berr" (as in the sound an elephant makes).  He was gifted to Booboo from his Godmomma, Uch for his Baptism.  Aunt Uch has an elephant stuffed animal that she still sleeps with at night (she's 22, heh) and wanted to make sure Grey had one of his own.  Berr is really soft and makes for an awesome pillow.  His downside is that he's so big and makes it difficult to carry him and Grey at the same time.

We also have "Dog."  I got him as a read along pal when I purchased a Clifford the Big Red Dog book.  For a long time he was neglected (Grey isn't crazy about the book) and then suddenly Booboo started to take notice of him.  Bullet seems to pick Dog out of the pile over the other stuffed animals to gnaw on...whether he choose him because of their common genes or the fact that Dog is kind of stiff remains unknown.

Gee is our little striped monkey friend who is a frequent diaper bag traveler.  Gee came to us as a baby gift (for Greyson's shower!) from Aunt Kitty before Grey was even out in the world.  We actually even have maternity pictures with Gee making an appearance.  Gee didn't have a name until Grey announced it a few weeks ago unprompted and now he's been Gee ever since.

"Dunkee" (aka monkey) is a pathetic little creature that is falling apart at the tail and eye, but gets loved just the same.  Dunkee was a gift to Brandon from me while we were in college.  I bought him at Atlantic Antic (a street fair in Brooklyn) and he was put together by NYC artists with Special Needs through Fresh Art, a non-profit organization.  Dunkee made it through all the travels and has ended up with Greyson (although we had to remove his button eyes for safety reasons) he is still around ready for hugs.

and finally we have "Robot" who was a gift from a claw machine from Chum (my dad) to Greyson while we were in Pittsburgh for the Koch-Plowman wedding.  Grey was going through a Robot phase (and by phase, I mean out of a limited amount of words and animal sounds he knew, very strangely robot movements & sounds was one of them).  Now that Grey knows he can get a laugh from his audience by doing his robot impression, he likes to show off his moves on a regular basis.

So we've been juggling multiple stuffed animals at Grey's request and are very conservative when introducing new stuffed friends to him.  I was reading about boy attachment to stuffed toys in It's a Boy!: Your Son's Development from Birth to Age 18 and the following quote made a lot of sense:  "...from a boy's point of view, his bear is the absolutely perfect companion exactly the way it is because it absorbs all of his love as well as his anger and neglect.  A toddler understands that he has the capacity to hurt his mother both physically and emotionally; he knows he can make his father mad, and that's pretty scary.  The greatest fear for a child of this age is that he will anger his parents and they will abandon him.  In this arena, a toy bear is far better than a mom, because you can do whatever you want to it and it stays with you all the time."

Dadda, Booboo, Maxie, and Dog

meltdown support by Maxie & Dog

watching some Mickey Mouse clubhouse with Dog, Maxie, and Berr

snow watchers:  Maxie, Booboo, and Dog

the whole gang during a nap

So my little boy loves his stuffed animals.  It seems like that would make him a just a baby boy.  But in reality and in his mind, as he learns to rely on his "friends" a little more and his mumma/dadda a little actually means that my little boy is growing up.  And that makes me both proud and sad at the same time.

Speaking 19 month old language

Friday, November 25, 2011

Some quick stats on Booboo's language development at 19 months:

Languages he speaks:  English & some baby sign language
Words able to speak: a lot.  i tried to count but got over 65 and then realized I forgot all the small words like eye and then I quit counting.
New Words/phrases per week:  about 4 (most recently including, "Mooma" (Kuma, which is our name for his Aunt Pam), "hold it", "down ma-cheen" (sound machine), and "nose runnin"
Most used word:  Bullwee (Bully)
Weirdest word:  Bom bost bin (compost bin)
Most used phrase:  "Past ike Bullwee?"  (Fast like Bully?)
Most clearly spoken non-normal word:  itchy  (as in 'Bullwee's itchy')
Funniest pronunciation:  buttkiss (breakfast)
Sweetest child translation:  After asking Grey if he had poop in his pants and Grey said "No!" Brandon said, "I think you're lyin'" to which Greyson replied, "Rooooarrr!"
Favorite use of language structure:  possessives like, "Dadda's shoe" and "Mumma's bed" and "Booboo's peet (feet)"
Newest use of language structure:  "too" as in, who's laying on the bed?  To which Grey replies, "Dadda.  Bully.  Mumma too."

He's started doing this hilarious new mouth movement when he says words like "juice," and "mouse," and "Donald" (as in duck) where he purses his lips out as far as possible.  He also does this mouth pose when he is fake crying (approximately 12 times a day).  It makes me laugh to see him try out different positions for his tongue & lips to try to get the words to sound just right.

After the first three examples of his lip-purse in this video, he starts doing the normal wacky talking about things that make no sense.  like saying his Uncle Jonny & Ninna are on Mickey Mouse.  Welcome to the mind of a 19 month old.

It has been amazingly awesome to listen to the changes in Greyson's language development (sorry, nerd alert here).  But I've really enjoyed listening to Grey go from:

"Bully bone?"
"Bully eatin' bone?"
and now to
"Bully eatin' is bone?"

Living Room Reno

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When we moved into our new house, one of the first things I said had to go was the wall separating the previous living room & dining room (seen in this photo from the Realtor website)...sounds somewhat reminiscent of our previous home's wall tear-down.

So Bud, Rudy, Jon, and Uncle Dave tore down the wall while I was out of town for a weekend in July as a surprise to me.  It was only while they were in the process of taking 'er down that they realized it was a weight-bearing wall (oops, my bad) and we had to come up with a way to support it until we were going to finish the whole room.  So we got a much bigger living room out of the deal:

...but then we needed to live with some temporary posts to keep our house from falling down sagging because we waited to start the living room big renovation until Brandon's November vacation (that coincidentally matched up with archery season) so that the reno could start and finish within a short amount of time - since he'd have the time to finish it...and his dad was also vacationing on the same week and had the time to help (hi & thanks Rudy!)  So in between their morning and evening hunting schedules - the dad&son&grandson team was in our living room working away on the reno.

First things were first and that included fixing some phantom electrical wires that were in the floor thanks to the wall tear-down.  Grey caught on real fast that a hammer goes 'bang bang,' and everytime anyone used a hammer from there on out, Booboo could be heard shouting, "Bang Bang, Dadda."
"bang bang, booboo"
 Once all the electrical stuff was taken care of, the men got started on the beam that will exist as our weight-bearing mechanism, but still keep the room wide open.  They did an awesome job and got it up in a matter of a day and a half.

And then it was time to pull up the pink/brown/stained carpet (thank goodness).  Booboo even got in on the help with his big muscles.

Which also meant that we had to play furniture-tetris which Booboo thought was hilarious and kind of fun in a weird maze kind of way.

When the men got to painting,

...Booboo was dying to be a part of the project.  So we smacked his painting-shirt on him and gave him some finger paint and full reign on the floor.  He was happy to get a chance to paint, but of course it only held his attention for a few minutes, until...

...he was able to snatch up some real paintbrushes and cause at least 2 casualties:

I'm taking this as a direct insult to the Time Out chair

Bully & his new white spots
 After the painting, it was time to get the chair rail up (I have a little bit of an obsession seen here, and here) and time to lay the new hard wood floor.  We wanted to stick with consistency, so we ordered the same hard wood that we had used in the dining room reno:  Distressed Bamboo.

Almost to the end of the reno, Brandon and I struggled with hanging the curtain rods (as always, why are curtain rods the most frustrating thing of all time to install?)  I never really 'got' how curtains could make or break a room, until watching True Blood this summer and caught a glimpse of the gorgeous curtains in Luna's house (aka Sam Merlotte's girlfriend) and then knew for sure that once our living room was reno'ed, we'd have some serious curtains.  We are all the way up on top of the mountain and don't need curtains (for the purpose of blocking out neighbor views) but I know understand the purpose curtains have to bring a room together.  So we bought some double curtain rods and did some searching until we found just the right curtains.

hahha, I think its hilarious Bud is balancing on the time out stool
So for the (almost final*) reveal:

oh hey, Bully.  make yourself comfortable

the new floor somehow highlights our beautiful ceilings 

behind the long couch in the back is Booboo's playroom.  Pics to come soon when its finished

*we are still missing new light fixtures, a rug, and some pictures on the walls (!!) but we are getting there.  It is so refreshing to come downstairs in the morning and open the windows and have light stream through onto our new floors.  The double curtains make me so happy and the lace curtain on the inside adds just the right amount of romance to a very cowboy-ranch feeling room.  The orange was a bold choice but one that I think suits our leather furniture (and the sunshine I feel in my heart, hahha.  cheesy).

The colors for the room are:
Sherwin Williams Alabaster (on top)
Sherwin Williams Determined Orange (on bottom)

Champagne curtains from Sears
Lace curtains from Lowes (surprised? I was)
Curtain rods from Lowes

Saturdays with Mumma and booboo

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Quite a few days this fall, Brandon had to work the weekends - so it was all Mumma & Booboo all the time. And with nice weather and a little cabin fever, we tried to make the most of our Saturdays together.  So..

We visited the Somerset Farmer's market and chowed down on fresh & local cheeses, baked goods, and maple syrup pretzels.  We actually hit up the farmer's market three weekends and all three times Grey's curly hair was received by sweet comments and free gourds (heh, i guess it pays to have nice hair).  

mmm, fried local cheese curd

And we stopped by the library for some book browsing and coloring

And we baked Monster cookies together because my baby bump is always hungry for sweets (Booboo's not complaining about that one bit!)

I've also joined a meetup group of Somerset mommas to help Grey meet new friends and to help me make new mom friends in our area.  Through the creative and organized minds of my meetup group moms - we even got to visit the Somerset volunteer fire department to learn about safety and see the fire trucks.  Greyson loved it and I learned a lot of new information that as a pregnant mumma was kind of making me want to cry (cry of joy because there are women/men willing to volunteer to help others in danger and cry of fear thinking about our home catching fire - oh the joys of pregnant emotional swings).  Visit this website for information and tools to keep  you and your family's house as safe and fire-prepared as possible.  

Right next door to the fire house was a really awesome playground that we also visited for awhile so that Grey could climb, slide, and swing his way to a sleepy afternoon.  

Since I'm not always up for hauling and loading my baby in the car with a big belly, some weekends we just stayed at home and made our own fun.  Like the fall day that was so beautifully sunny out that I couldn't help but make us a picnic lunch that even Bully could enjoy.

and Booboo tried to fit into the picnic basket
And that same day was so sunny and warm that Grey was even able to enjoy some water-playing fun to get some energy out of his system

Then he was so wiped out that he took a peaceful nap outside while I got to lay in the hammock and finish up reading NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children (great book for parents, btw).

As much fun as we have spending days together, we are all happiest when Dadda is home.