Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mr. Boy's First Crush

You may or may not remember from this post, where Mr. Boy hid behind a trash can, while brave AK went up to talk to the one and only Miss Mary Poppins at Disneyland.  When AK returned, Mr. Boy grilled her for details, including, "Did she smell like Marshmallows?" 

Yesterday, while roaming Disneyland we happened upon Mary Poppins and Bert. AK and her friend happily went up to greet them.  Mr. Boy kept his distance, but kept stealing glances out of the corner of his eye.   Oh yes, he still loves her.   
And apparently she loves him as well.  As we were getting ready to leave Mary Poppins winked at him and blew him a kiss.  Mr. Boy was mortified, but under those embarrassingly red cheeks he was secretly elated. 
Last night, as I tucked him into bed he asked, "Is Mary Poppins married to Bert?"  When I replied, "I think they are just dear friends."  He smiled and said, "Good, um... I mean that's nice"  
PS AK answered yes, Mary Poppins really does smell like Marshmallows.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

AK"s Pinkalicious Room

AK is a passionate girl, who is passionate for pink, bananas, and ice cream.  She has wanted a Pink Room forever, and why not grant her wish.  After all, how often do you get to grant someone's wish.  Although AK was less than enthusiastic about the pink surprise, she loves how her room turned out.

AK's room was the office/family room/Renovation Command Center before we moved her in.  Other than some new windows this room was barely touched during the renovation. I could not wait to decorate a girl's room.  The Chalet Renovation swallowed up much of the cash, so I had to do this on a tiny budget.  I was inspired by Serena and Lily's bedding and color combinations. 
Here is the before:
And with new bedding and a bookshelf to display her favorite books, and provide easy access to bedtime reading.  She still has a few more throw pillows coming, because every bed needs a hundred throw pillows.
We found this antique dresser at an estate sale, and I just knew it would be perfect if it was made over.  It provides just the right dainty touch to her room. 
The very drab corner before...
 And after, with some snazzy curtains.   I still need to reupholster the chair, but for now Zoey loves to hide underneath the fabric I draped over the chair.  See how AK has those lovely corner windows?  The deer love to rub their necks on the corner of the house and their antlers scratch the windows.   More than once, AK has been woken up by the deer scratching themselves on the corner of the house.  On nights when her evil parents put her to bed before she is sleepy, she likes to sit in her chair and open her window and talk to the neighbors as they come home from their evening outings. 
I fell in love with this crazy fabric and just had to make it into curtains.  It is perfect for the Chalet, with it's mountain and cabin scenes in vibrant pink and greens. 
Mr. Man is convinced I bought it for this detail, the hot pink deer!  Maybe I should dye Rupert Hot Pink?
 This dresser was a wedding gift from my mom when I got married.  It's over 100 years old and I love it.  It presented such a challenge, because I didn't think it would work in a pink room. 
But I think it kind of works in the room... Yes?  No?
My very favorite detail of the room is this bright pink chandelier.  My neighbor was actually tossing this ivory and gold chandelier and I happily took it off her hands.   Two coats of spray paint later, it became the pièce de résistance for AK's room.
AK loves her new room, and there is no confusing that this room belongs to AK.  It is absolutely a room filled with her personality.   
Now that AK's room is done, I can move on to another room.  I think the living room is next!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Game Changer

Best thing I've done in a really long time was listen to my inner voice when it said to pursue other options for Mr. Boy's Eczema.  It has been a constant battle for the last 4 years, and last fall, I just decided there has to be something better.  This is LA, and vanity is big business here.  Several phone calls and a scheduling fluke where we took a recently cancelled appointment instead of scheduling an appointment 11 months away... we got Mr. Boy into the best Pediatric Dermatologist / Plastic Surgeon in the city.

Mr. Boy loved the fancy office, the abundance of lasers, and having his own dressing gown.   He also loved that he got to take home little vials of "Magic Potion Lotion" every visit.  After spending the last 4 years constantly itching and dealing with relentless breakouts, in 4 months Dr. Fancypants has given Mr. Boy gorgeous clear skin.  

I've got to listen to that inner voice more often, this has been a serious game changer for Mr. Boy, boosting his confidence, and relieving an ailment that has bothered him for years.  If only that inner voice of mine would tell me next weeks winning lotto numbers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Remembering Mom

One year ago, I lost my mom to breast cancer.  In some ways it feels like yesterday and in other ways it feels like a million years ago.  I miss her so incredibly much it physically hurts sometimes, even though some days she made me crazy.   I would give anything to hear her say, “Why don’t you put on some lipstick before we go out?”  She couldn’t stand that I didn’t wear lipstick when I left the house. 

I completely underestimated the ripple effects of my mom’s loss.  Her loss has left a gaping hole in my family.  There are so many times I reach for the phone to call her and feel that pang of, “oh, that’s right she is gone.”

But I am okay… well.. I'm going to be okay.  She promised me that I would be okay one day, and I cling to that promise, after all "Mother knows best."  Those days that I miss her the most, I am incredibly lucky there is a wide support system of people ready to lend an ear.  My neighbors who have raised their own families, have filled in as grandma’s to my kids and given me advice.  My friends and even their mom’s have lent an ear to provide their support. 

This is hard, and I didn’t want to do this… but I am going to be okay.  Today I’m going to celebrate the life that she lived.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Through an artist's eye

It had rained all morning, and then the sun came out while AK and I were running errands.  We  walked by this parking lot of shopping carts and AK gasps, "Mom it's so beautiful! Look!" 
And so we stood there for 10 minutes marveling at the beauty of the silver and red glistening in the sun. 
She has the eye of an artist and sees the good and beautiful in the world, which is a gift.  I just hope I can do her creative spirit justice in helping her pursue and develop her talents.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Giving Thanks for Puppy Kisses

Sweet Zoey is no longer puppy sized anymore.  She still behaves like a puppy and destroys whatever might be in her path.  Zoey gave Chelsey Handler's new book 1 star for taste, but 3 stars for holding her interest. 
She still rides in the front seat as if she were only 10 pounds.  She likes to wear a hat, which makes people do double takes because they think it's a human at first. Okay, maybe the kids like for her to wear a hat.
Mr. Man and the kids are begging for a second dog, because "that's all we ever known!"  And when I look in these eyes, I can't help but think... Ok let's get one more. Zoey has been the best thing to happen to this family.  Every single day I give thanks for her sweet and gentle nature, and her ability to love so unconditionally.
She also took good notes from Skoopi on how to be a good dog.  I can't help but smile as I watch her attentively keep an eye on the kids everywhere we go. She knows they are her "job" 
I know she is just a dog, and it may seem silly, but I am totally smitten.   Sometimes I wonder if Sandy and Skoopi are whispering in her ear... "Love the boy, he needs your love.   Be patient with the little girl, and watch over her.  Mr. Man needs to be greeted with enthusiasm when he comes home, work has been hard for him today. Nudge the woman, she needs you to remind her to pause and spread some love."   Am I crazy to think this?

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Garbage Show

Ever since AK was little, she has loved garbage trucks.  When she was little, we would sit outside and watch the garbage trucks haul our trash away.  Now at the Chalet, AK has the perfect viewing spot from the kitchen table.   Even better she can see the truck coming up the street from almost any window.   
 You can hear her screams and whoops, "The Garbage Show is starting!  The Garbage Show!" as she runs to sit on the table.   And the night before garbage day she tells me, "Tomorrow is the Garbage Show, tonight I'll dream of rows of garbage cans."   You know what they say... one man's garbage is another man's show.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Celebrating Another Year of Wisdom

On the morning of my birthday I awoke to notes every where, placed by Mr. Man proclaiming "Happy Birthday!"  They were on my toothbrush, in the refrigerator, in my purse and they were placed in all the places I go during my morning routine with the kids. 
For my birthday, I had a very handsome man ask me if I would like to join him at the aquarium for the day and of course, I said, "Yes!"   So I chaperoned Mr. Boy's field trip and spent the day learning all about Whales, Jellyfish, and petting Sting Rays and Sharks. It is always fun to see your kids in their own social environment and watch their interactions.  
Ever since I left home, my mom and dad would call at 7:09am (the time I was born) and sing a horrible rendition of Happy Birthday on the phone.   I miss it, but was overjoyed with a ton of messages from Mr. Man's loyal cousins and some friends singing happy birthday or playing a special song.  It made me laugh all day long.  I even got a special delivery from the beloved cousins of the worlds biggest chocolate cupcake.  I am so blessed with a family that has welcomed me in.
The Neighbor-steins came over to babysit and Mr. Man whisked me away to a dinner on the town.  This years destination had a nostalgic twist.  When we arrived home, the kids had set up a "party" per Mr. Man's instructions.  
The day could have ended right there, and it would be deemed a successful birthday.  I opened up some gifts and there was this Chef's Knife.....   Not just any Chef's Knife, but a particular Chef's Knife I had been admiring quietly from a distance for years.  As I opened it up, I gasped, how on earth did Mr. Man ever know I wanted it?  He'd never step foot in Williams Sonoma and seen me staring at it in the glass case.   I am constantly baffled by my husband in the very best possible way.   So glad I said Yes to him!