First day of big kid school

6:23 Will wakes up, asks "Now, can I go to kindergarten?!"

6:30 My carefully set alarm actually goes off

7:15 Take pictures of our little man ready for his first day of big school

7:20 Leave (early!) for St. Rose Academy

7:45 Will gets to the door, steps one foot in, I pat myself on the back for not crying then ... 

7:46 Tear up as his teacher has to drag Will off me as he cries, "I want to go home!"

7:47-11:29 worry worry worry

11:30 Hey Mom! (nothing to worry about)


Beds o' bunk

Whoa, looks like someone got new bunk beds! 

Actually, they are not new. They come to us from an attic in Memphis — my Uncle Ray once slept on the top bunk. Will was very excited for the change. And a big change it has been ... no more cuddling with mommy at bedtime because that top bunk won't hold me! Yes, I will miss it but it's time for him to go the $%&* asleep already. 

Joseph was pretty excited too but it was very clear after the first night that he is not ready for a big boy bed. He'll be rockin' the crib for a while longer. No rush. (Really folks, there is no rush. Several friends asked why we are ready to move Joseph out of the nursery ... we are NOT expecting. It just would be nice to have a guest/junk room to throw everything in and shut the door.) The bottom bunk is ready for Joseph though. He got a new quilt in the mail from talented Aunt Catherine. It's warm and cozy, just perfect for dreaming under. And it matches the "transportation" theme of the room. 

For now, the bottom bunk is great for group bedtime stories and yes, cuddling. 
Because Will's not off to college yet. Just kindergarten.


Crafts of summer

Crafting with Will can be ... dauting. If he's interested, he's all hands on deck, ready to participate. But once he's done, he's done whether or not the project is. He comes up with great ideas that require time to gather supplies and can be uninterested once they are ready.

Last summer, I planned a week of projects and got a lukewarm response. This summer, no such pressure. But we still happened to have some crafty fun:

Will spent a whole week making paper airplanes after earning this book from the MB library's summer reading program.

Experiments with making granola/trail mix were tasty.

Finally, some drawing action. Ed Emberley books rock!

I love this knight! Of course, his shield has a "W" for Sir William.

Joseph, on the other hand, loves to draw and craft and will sit for quite a bit playing with paints. Recently, this post about using foam sheets for stamping got me thinking. I cut up some heavy-duty styrofoam and let Joseph loose.

As Real Simple magazine would say, here's a new use for an old thing — I made a little handle for the stamp with a push pin. 

At this moment, the house is quiet. Both boys are hopefully having sweet dreams. Mommy's turn to play with felt and thread! Hope to have something to show you soon.


Here comes the bride

My friend Vivi's getting married! I'm excited for her. And excited that she has asked me and another friend to play design consultants for the big day. Oh, decisions, decisions, decisions! 

The another person, Kim, and I have not met so Vivi wrote wonderful paragraphs to introduce us. I thought Vivi did a spot on job reporting on me:

"I met Christina after she got engaged to Chris Tutor and moved shortly after he did to Birmingham in 2003 to work as a designer for the B'ham News, and she subsequently became my closest friend in the city. Christina was the brains behind the Young Journalists' Club of Bham. She quit working at the paper to be a mom full-time to her two really cute boys. She is constantly doing really creative crafty things with the kids, blogged here: http://www.prettylittlenest.com, and is the owner of approximately 5,432 Martha Stewart magazines. Christina and Chris got married at the lodge at the Birmingham Zoo — it was fall and everything had a fall leaf design and candles everywhere and it all felt very warm and intimate."

Her words about our wedding made me happy. Chris and I worked very hard to have a cozy event for family and friends. And yes, we do get a kick out of telling people we were married at the zoo. 

There is one thing Vivi wasn't kidding about ... I do have a quite a few Martha Stewart magazines. Case in point:

Of the MS Weddings magazine, I have 17 issues including the premiere issue from 1995. 

And these three special editions. All full of good ideas to share with Vivi. 

I better get busy doing my research!


Have you noticed?

Have you noticed that s'mores are THE hot trend right now? Everywhere I click on the Web, I see posts about s'mores. Here's a few links to prove my point:

Whimsical Creations

DIY mini smores grill ... Instructables

S'more teacher appreciation idea ... Domesticated Lady

S'mores in a jar ... Organized Christmas

S'mores wedding favors ... Elizabeth Anne Designs

S'mores on a stick ... Whimsical Creations

S'mores cookies ... The Girl Who Ate Everything

DIY s'mores kit ... Creature Comforts

You can find amazing (!!!) recipes here and here ... Design Crush

One last thing, Will wanted me to share how I make s'mores at home (Mom, you should put that on Facebook!). Place two graham crackers on microwave safe plate (or in my case, a paper towel) and top with marshmallow. Nuke for about 12 seconds (more or less depending on your machine). Take out, top with chocolate and another graham cracker, ENJOY!


It's a keeper

I found this wonderful 1952 copy of Winnie-the-Pooh at a recent garage sale. I walked out with 10 books for $2.00. Figured I could make some pocket change on eBay. But instead, I'm keeping it for now. I was just about to hit "list your item" on eBay but each time I handled the book, it just felt wrong to let it go. 

The map of the "100 Aker Wood" tells you exactly where the bee tree is and where the woozle wasnt (sic). I actually have never read the book but I'm very familiar with the characters thanks to Disney. Looking forward to sharing this chapter book and its charming decorations by Ernest H. Shepard with the boys.

Now I did list this book, "Nicholas Needlefoot," published in 1944, on eBay. Which is actually where I got it in the first place. It is in great shape for being 67 years old. I love the black, blue, yellow color scheme used throughout the book. Not sure if it's a children's book or is hiding a message related to the big war going on at the time. Can't find much information about the book or the author on the Web. 


Late-night fun glows

It's hard to see in the picture, but that is a whole lot of fun you're seeing. I invited the cul de sac neighbors to a "Glow Night" to celebrate the end-of-summer/back-to-school. Basically, all I did was buy popsicles and glow necklaces and let the kids go wild after dark. And I asked my neighbor Christine to host us in her backyard because it was freshly mowed. So simple yet so fun.

There is still time to host your own "Glow Night" before summer ends. Here's a few more ideas:
  • nighttime scavenger hunt
  • catch fireflies
  • get out the telescope
  • homemade ice cream

I'm ready to make "Glow Night" an annual summer tradition!


My new hobby

This is not a pile of clutter. Okay, yes it IS a pile of clutter BUT it's my
waiting-to-sell-on-eBay pile of clutter.

Back in May, I said I needed to start selling books on eBay to pay for our growing vintage children's book collection. Case in point, four books arrived today. So I've been selling for two months. I've made a huge amount of money ... wait for it ... $39!!!! Geez, I'm not planning on quitting my day job anytime soon.

That's why I consider eBay my new hobby. It's fun to see what sells, what doesn't. I've had good luck with selling Hallmark ornaments for my mom and makeup for my neighbor. I enjoy watching a last-minute bidding war. On the downside, it can be rather time consuming – research, taking lots of photos, trips to the post office. And I wonder if Etsy might be a better place for my vintage finds. 

Will's curious about the process so he is selling three books on eBay. He took the photos, helped me write the description and is checking the stats daily. I'm afraid he's going to be disappointed with the outcome. I'm hoping at least one book sells.

Chris helped set up this mini-photo studio. Behind the scenes ain't always pretty.

Tips for selling on eBay? Found any good deals?


What I see

Chris and I find this rather adorable – Joseph will eat all the way around a donut before biting into the hole. 

And since we're talking donuts, Chris wanted me to share a related story: Couple of weeks ago, Will and I did not get the donuts we expected after visiting a national chain newly opened down the street. My solution was to cut the middle of the cream-filled powered donut out so Will was left with a powered donut to eat. Chris thought it was funny. I thought it was resourceful. Because that's what us mommies do — find solutions to make our babies happy. And Will, he was happy.


Going old school

So so happy to find this gem at a recent church garage sale. A Fisher-Price tape player from the 80s! For 25 freakin' cents! I had no clue if it worked at time of purchase, but for 25 cents I was willing to take a chance. When we got home, it didn't want to work but the hubby took it apart and fiddled with the insides to get it going. He totally impressed me doing it. The only thing he couldn't fix was an issue with the volume control wheel (Again, impressed he had a big word to describe it, potentiometer). A cheap $10 visit to a local electronic repair store took care of it (well, I thought it was cheap). Now I can't wait to try out the record button with the boys! 

I also picked up these cool writing slates, 15 for $1. Not sure what to do with them besides encourage Will to practice writing his letters. Open to suggestions. 

Will, who takes after his momma and loves thrifty shopping, also had good luck and found older pieces to go with his inherited Imaginext castle set for $1. Fisher-Price redesigned the line so what is now in stores doesn't match what we have. And what we have is better (Thanks cousin James!).

How about you? Have a great find to share?