Tada! "What?" you ask. Well, the backyard is not a weedy wasteland any longer! It's a lovely little park-like place that only needs mowing every once in awhile- just what I always wanted.
The flower beds you see were not even visible before, due to the overgrowth. Around Chloe's birthday (in October) I had some nice plants in there. I can finally smile when I look back here now. If only the moles would find some other place to go. I read up on them, though. Even if you get rid of them, which is near impossible, they still leave an empty homestead for another mole family to easily move into. Well, as long as they stay out of sight- and since I don't go out there at night that shouldn't be a problem.
There is even a little designated parking lot for the rolling toys. The girls usually just dig in the dirt and pick dandelions when they play out here, but in case they have the inclination, it's all organized for them.
Chloe is pleased! I'm also happy to say it will stay nice out here for awhile, even if the flowers die. I finally used mulch- a recycled tire mulch, in fact, that will last several years.
This is Hannah's favorite spot. She is always to be found on the little side stairs on the playhouse. She likes to stand tall and say, "Super Why to the Rescue!" - from one of her favorite shows. She says so many clever and funny things now, it's hard to remember them all. Tonight at the dinner table she said, "I love you guys." Then after seeing me take some Tylenol for my aching joints, she tried to convince me she didn't "feel very good" and just needed to "take a little medicine." On the way home from the store the other say, she got to chattering. "Hey mommy! I hit my chin on the fireplace. And then I brushed my teeth. And then I ate some crackers. I felt better. Then I jumped....etc. etc.." The chin incident happened a couple of months ago, but it got put in line with other daily happenings. Finally, yesterday we got out the little toy hamsters my dad got them for Christmas. Hannah was really excited to play with them, which meant Chloe was too- she squeals about anything Hannah makes seem exciting. "Yay Hamsters!!" shouted Hannah. "And we can play with my hamster lipsticks, too!!" Wait a minute- hamster lipsticks? She kept mentioning them and I kept denying the existence of such things. I finally had to say I just didn't know where those were so we couldn't play with them. She sighed and said, "Oh, alright." They keep us laughing!
In efforts to make transitions easier for the girls when baby Colin arrives, I've spent hte last couple of weeks making adjustments. Chloe moved from her high chair to a booster seat so we could have more room in the kitchen. Now she's in her first couple of days of a toddler bed since we'll need her pack n' play for the baby. Hannah is getting more independent. My mom suggested she get used to starting books on CD for herself. I tried this, but she still needs help with the cd player and doesn't seem to even like listening! Maybe later. Anyway, she can now get a few of her own snacks herself. Can almost do the whole potty routine alone- with the exception of washing her hands since our faucets are hard to use fixtures from the 80's. Most importantly, she's learning to clean up more. The girls are usually great about putting things back where they belong as long as you remind them, but cleaning up their room is another story. I've usually ended up doing it by myself just to save time and get them into bed, but I won't be able to crawl around their floor, bending this way and that to reach for tiny toys under the beds, etc. So I made this chart!! Yes, I'm finally explaining the photo. The sun signifies the day, when their toys are out. The star is night time. Once she's picked up all the books, she can slide the book magnet over to night time saying the chore is complete. Next come dolls/animals, then toy food (they have tons), then general toys. Silly me gave her this chart one night before Dax and I would be gone for several nights in a row during their bedtime so I guess we'll get consistent later. Same with Chloe's toddler bed. But it seems there is so much to do before the baby comes, not everything will be perfectly timed.
YAAAAAAY!!! Chloe does a happy dance when she is finally allowed into the newly completed office/playroom!!! We've been waiting sooooooo long for this to be complete. I don't even have before pictures because the space was so depressing we were never in there. It all started when the air conditioner leaked into that room months ago and ruined the carpet. We tore that out and were stuck with nail tacking all around the room- not very safe. Well, carpet is expensive! And I've always wanted to repaint the room to make it brighter- it was very navy blue. Well, you saw the progress on the closet and the paint. The carpet has finally arrived and I love it! We plan to replace the carpet in the other 2 bedrooms whenever that is possible. Maybe a Christmas present to ourselves. Anyway, I love this room now. It's so bright and clean and it makes me happy just to look at it. We'll never live in a fancy mansion where rooms are just bright and clean to begin with. We have to work for it, so it makes it all the more worthwhile.
They danced around in here for awhile and then we got their picture.
With stuff in it! It's not going to be officially decorated for awhile, but it's serving its purpose. We wanted half of it to be an office and half of it to be a little library/play area for the girls. I found the comfy animal chairs at a yard sale. Even Colin has a place to sit already.
It's in use! I also love to play in here with the girls because the toys are so easy to clean up. Little pieces don't get stuffed in couch cushions, hidden under rugs, rolled under furniture.
I'm hoping to use this fabric in here for either the bottom of some white curtains, or on the wall, floor pillows- who knows? Our next step is to replace the dirty broken blinds.
Now we have some clean white storage for the desk. No more piles of paper, pencils, receipts.
Just a pretty white rose : )
A second attempt is made at the cd player idea. In their own storage box will be their kiddo cds. Hannah's response? "I don't want that thing in here!" Well, she'll get used to it.
We had a fun time twirling in the office chair today- just because we could. Gee, can you tell I'm excited about the office?? And excited to add another sweet face to the collection we have going here. The girls are more and more fun to watch and be with every day. "We love you guys, too!"