Quick Easter Updates



I usually don't decorate for Easter, but now that Maura is getting older and understands all these things a bit more, its fun to add some holiday touches. We (she likes to help) kept it simple with some quick updates to the mantel.

{the potted plants at the bottom are not intentionally part of my decorating, I'm just plant sitting while my mom is away and this is where she plopped them down before she left...but they do add nice color!}

Up until this year I didn't really have any Easter decor and wouldn't really have known where to start, but I recently found this colorful felt egg garland ($4.99) and cream ceramic bunny ($9.99) at Target. Bingo. I think both are festive and fun without offending anyone's adult/sophisticated taste. (The garland replaced the capiz shell one I had hanging for "winter" and I swapped out the bunny for one of my white candles.)

A quick search at The Graphics Fairy yielded this sweet little bunny engraving, which I printed out in a sepia tone and added to the frame on the right.

The last thing I added is the most personal and special. We've found a local paint-your-own-pottery place that we really like, and last month we attended a "Family Night" there! (You get a discount off your purchase and every kid got a complimentary ice cream.) Paul, Maura and I each decided to paint our own egg...now, I had to let go of my perfectionist nature immediately, because it is darn hard to plan a design in your head, choose colors or paint anything when you are trying to help a 2 year old and keep her from breaking stuff. I was pleasantly surprised that Paul was so into it that he kept getting frustrated whenever Maura tried to "help him" paint his egg..."she keeps screwing up my design!"!! So, at any rate, do not judge our pottery skills based on these, but I looove how they look up here on the mantel. A nice pop of color and sentimentality to boot:)

{Paul's egg, my egg, Maura's orange and purple egg}

So, to recap, here's the mantel as it was for "winter", or basically, in its non-seasonal, normal state:

And here's the changes for Easter:

Not bad! I was loving all the white, but now I'm loving the color. (Can it just please stop snowing here?!) Have a great week and wonderful Easter weekend:)

2 1/2!!



Hi! Maura officially turned 2 1/2 this past weekend and so I thought I'd like to do another post on how she's doing...more so for my own sake. Now that we're going to have another baby around here, I realize how much  I forget of how to take care of a newborn and what she was doing at various stages, etc. so I think looking back on these kind of posts will be invaluable. Plus this time is so fleeting, I just want to remember it:)

Her mental development amazes me every day! Its not even worth talking about her speech/language skills anymore because she pretty much sounds like a 4 year old:) She knows and can recognize all 26 letters of the alphabet, and is almost there with being able to tell which number (from 1 - 10) is which. She recently learned which side of her body is her left and right and can now apply that to making turns in the car and pinpointing the relationship between 2 objects. She also has a really good memory and it doesn't take her long to pick up song lyrics and new facts. We were reading the American Girl catalog we got in the mail for fun the other day, and after only a few times of looking at it she remembered which doll was which and got all of their names right!! (I can't even tell them apart, they all look the same!)

In terms of other big toddler milestones, she still sleeps in her crib and still wears diapers (she has just recently shown somewhat of an interest in sitting on the potty - but hasn't actually gone yet - and up until that point wanted nothing to do with it). She seems to be content in her crib, but that's only going to last a few more months as we're eventually going to need the crib for the new little guy (don't feel like buying another one). 

She's a great sleeper...most nights she sleeps for about 10 hours straight through. She is still napping (thank you, Lord!) and goes down in the middle of the afternoon for about 2 hours. I think we have a bit of a later schedule than most other toddlers, but it seems to just suit us perfectly. She doesn't get up until like 7:30am most days and I find myself having to wake her up from her nap around 5pm or else she'll go to bed later than she already does, which at this point is about 9pm and she often doesn't fall asleep until close to 10pm.  


Her current favorite things to do are play with her train table or doll house, have tea parties, give check ups with her Doc McStuffins Doctor Kit, build with blocks, color and/or paint, do PlayDoh, cook in her play kitchen, sing (into her microphone)/dance/play instruments in a band (we got her a kid's mp3 player for Christmas and we love listening to music).

She's really good at independent play now. She loves pretending with her all Little People, animals, dolls, etc. making up stories for them and having them do different things together, etc.

Since September (when she turned 2), every Monday morning I drop Maura off at a fun and fitness class at our local My Gym. She's there for 2.5 hours with the staff and other 2 and 3 year olds...playing, having snack, making arts and crafts, singing, etc. She loves it (after she adjusted to the whole me-leaving-and-coming-back-to-get-her thing, which took a couple of weeks) and I, as bad as it sounds, really cherish the time by myself. It is amazing how many errands and projects you can get done in 2 hours when you put your mind to it!! One of the best parts though, is how excited she is when I pick her up..."Mama, you're back! I missed you!":) We also go to a gymnastics class together every Friday morning, which she loves....this girl just wants to be moving all the time!

We still try to get outside almost every day, weather and other activities permitting. 

We've gotten pummeled with snow this season (compared to last year), so that's provided for some good times.

A lot has happened in the last six months, but here's a few more random pics:

{riding the train at Edaville Railroad}
{finally doing the "lily pad" stepping stones all by herself (without having to hold my hand) at the playground}
{pumpkin picking}
{having a cupcake at the neighborhood Halloween party...she was an elephant this year}
{dressed up for Thanksgiving}
{Christmas morning}
{trying out Paint-Your-Own-Pottery for the first time}
Words can not express how much your Dada and I love you, Lovie!! (You drive me crazy a lot of times, but I wouldn't have it any other way!!)

PS. Her hair is out of control! It is growing so fast (she got that from me!) and still hasn't gotten it cut yet. She won't let me put it up or back or do anything with it other than put in her hair bow to keep her bangs out of her face. And she doesn't it want it brushed after she takes a bath:( Considering taking her to my hair dresser soon.

PPS. Other moms of toddlers - what are your thoughts on preschool? Are you sending yours/did you? Starting at what age? Because of her birthday, Maura will miss our town's kindergarten cut off date (September 1st) by about a week...which means I'll have her home with me for another year and she won't officially start school until she's pretty much 6. So I'm not feeling too much pressure to get her to preschool when she's just 3 (I know some other moms of her friends have already started visiting and signing their kids up) but I don't want her to miss out either. What are you guys doing/have you done? Thanks!

The Nursery Switch Part IV: Accessories



One more quick post about the little guy's nursery. I'm sharing all this with you now so you don't think I've been idle...I've been a shopping fiend! It's just that none of this is going to get implemented for a little while (we gotta get Maura outta this room first and that is another series of posts on its own), so at least this way you get to see something!

Besides the new rug, bedding, and artwork, I've also been collecting some accessories for the room.  Found this great big striped round basket at Home Goods the other day for $14.99 (purchased with a gift card, even better)...should be good for corralling a bunch of his toys. (BTW, hadn't been to Home Goods in a while and they had a ton of on trend storage options - I could have bought like 4 other kinds baskets/bins but I refrained!)

I knew I wanted a new Reversible Changing Table Storage bin from Pottery Barn Kids and went with this Navy Geo one. Maura has had a pink and green one sitting on her dresser next to her changing pad since she was born and it is so good for holding diapers, wipes, cream, powder, hair bows, etc.

Also, scored this Stripe Favorite Throw from West Elm in Bean Sprout a couple of weeks ago when they were having another sale. I think I got it for like $10.99 or something and now they are back up to $23, which is still discounted from their usual $29. Its really soft and I plan on draping it over the back of the glider, will bring the green from the bedding to that side of the room.

Remember I hung up three little ceramic birds from the ceiling next to Maura's crib, kinda like a mobile? Figured I already had the hooks so I might as well find something to replace them. Stumbled on these little Gund stuffed dinosaurs and thought they might work. I guess you gotta have something cute, cuddly and adorable in here since it is a baby's rooms, right?!

And I'll be keeping some oldies but goodies like these wood letterpress printing blocks from the Brimfield Antique Show.

I'm really happy with everything I've got so far and where this space is headed...except when it comes to the window treatments. Can't seem to find what I want:( I'll try to write a post about it that makes sense so you can help:) Have a great week!

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