Friday, April 30, 2010

Arriverderci Aprile

Good-bye to the month of April. It almost seems as if it didn't even happen. Weren't we just buried under several feet of snow in February? Doesn't it feel like yesterday that we celebrated Sofia's 3rd birthday. What happened to April? What went on to account that the month even existed? Each week blended right into the following. Still much to accomplish on my to-do list, that's for sure.

Much to look forward to next month. May will bring Mother's Day, Olivia's first birthday and my brother's wedding. Those 3 very special days alone will make the month so incredible for us all. And make that month fly by. But I don't want to imagine the month as already-come-and-gone. I want to really enjoy each day, to make the most of what I have before me. Because what I have is pretty wonderful. Whether that means planning for a lazy Sunday with the girls and Anthony, spending time with friends and family or being able to cross some much-needed items off my list. Those "things" make up my life, the laid back and relaxed, fun stuff AND the hectic and hurried chores. That's me right now, how it needs to be. And regardless of how fast the time seems to be going, all I need to keep my focus on is making sure I am making the most of how I fill those minutes, hours, and days. Making certain that those moments are made up of "things" that contribute to beautiful memories that will remain with me and last a lifetime.

Ciao Olivia!

pinwheel, pinwheel spinning around

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a lot of this and a lot of that

The last week or so has been very hectic around the Palumbi home. Anthony and I started some major clean-up projects around the house and while we got some stuff done over the weekend, there is still much to do. I'm planning for Olivia's 1st Birthday Party which is two and a half weeks away. Invites are sent, menu is planned, birthday outfit is made. I decided to try and not be supermom and will be ordering a cake for the guests to enjoy. The smash cake I will make myself. I made Sofia's 1st Birthday smash cake and will be fair and make Olivia's as well. It will be simple, but cute.

Last week, Sofia and I checked in on our renters on the side patio. They all seem to be doing well and I can't wait to see the little ones once they hatch. On a side note...I had made hard-boiled eggs last week and in the process of devouring one, Sofia asks me "where is the little birdie from that egg?" Ugh. I felt bad almost immediately. After I finished eating my egg, I told her that not all eggs have little birdies inside of them. Some are for eating and others are for baby birds. She seemed satisfied with that answer. For now anyway.

With the little spare time that I have, I have been focusing on our big house project for this year - the kitchen! Woohoo for new counters, floor and cabinets! We're in the process of getting estimates and researching materials. This may or may not include a new refrigerator and sink which effects the layout of everything. It's overwhelming but in a fun way. We're obviously trying to find the best deal on everything and that alone is tiring.

This is the kitchen now...can't wait for the after picture at the end of the summer!

Want to hear something sweet? My wonderful husband brought me flowers yesterday after work. I thought it was because of the busy weekend and that I was feeling under the weather yesterday, but no. He remembered our first kiss anniversary. How great is he?!?

snack traps and naps

Each week, really each day, is something new with Olivia and Sofia. I feel as if I don't get enough time with one change before they're up and doing something new again.

One little thing with Olivia - she's getting the hang of the snack trap. The first few times she used it she would just shake it and eventually some strays would pop out and she would snack happily. Sofia sneaked over by her and grabbed some snack for herself and the next thing we know...Olivia is reaching her tiny little fingers through the plastic covering and grabbing at her snack too. She caught on real fast and gets so excited whenever I pull the snack container out of my bag.

I love how hard she's concentrating in this picture!

We've been transitioning Sofia out of her afternoon nap recently. This may be a long process for me because I do so love those few hours of complete calmness in the house during the afternoon. But on days that I see she needs to sleep, I take her up to her room and she'll nap anywhere from 1.5 - 2.5 hours. Some other days we just keep her up and play, read and go activity after activity straight through the day. Everyone needs to be in bed by 830pm on those nights!

My favorite days now are the ones that she curls up in bed with me in the afternoon. We each pick out a couple of books to read together, the laptop to watch a couple Peeps and eventually we even snooze for an hour or so. It's the best.

Friday, April 23, 2010

bath time

My little princess is cruising around everywhere these days! Even right before I put her in for a bath last night she was walking up and down the tub. I can't get over how fast she's growing up. sniff, sniff. Goes too fast.

She is also loving walking when holding onto our hands. It's the sweetest thing to watch because she really gets just so excited. As if she knows what progress she's making and is so proud of herself.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

more like hand painting...

Sofia loves finger painting. She has done it before and gotten only the tips of her fingers covered in paint, but lately we've had to start calling it "hand painting" because she will grab the paint with her whole hand and go to town on the paper. Luckily I get the kind of paint that literally washes off just about anything so clean up is a cinch. Good fun for her and easy clean up for mommy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hey is for Horses

This past weekend we went to Ridley Creek State Park for a walk around the horse farm. We've been before to play at the playground and for a little drive through the park, but this time we just walked around the stables and to the mansion. Sofia loved running around and Antonio and I were able to take a few pictures. Olivia had fun in the stroller just taking it all in.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fun at the park

We are very fortunate to live in an area where we have a ton of great (and free) parks nearby. We've scoped out many of them and this past weekend went to an old favorite. Zio Antonio was visiting for the weekend and joined us for some fun times in the sunshine. A merry-go-round, see-saws, slides, swings and much more! Sofia had so much fun running from one thing to another as fast as her little legs could carry her. Olivia was paying close attention to everything they did, I'm sure she can't wait to join in the fun!

I will admit that after looking through the pictures, the two of the girls "driving" the car gave me slight anxiety. You should have seen Sofia turning the wheel left and right so fast. Thank goodness we have a few more years until driver's ed.

Sofia's been on the merry-go-round before, but she's always hesitant on the first few spins. Luckily, Zio Antonio was right there and spun around with her. She LOVED that!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Make Week

I love my Google Reader. Either early in the morning, afternoon while the girls are napping or in the evening I get online and scour many awesome blogs. There are a few that are family and friends that have begun a blog to document their lives. Some are blogs about living simply and being frugal. I have a handful of baking and crafting blogs that I love. Then there are the photography blogs that just blow my mind.

The majority of these blogs I came across from going through my reader and finding their links through other blogs. Word of mouth has a whole new meaning in blog-land. And I love it. How else would I have come across this great new blog - Simple Organic. Some really amazing stuff there on some things that I love reading up on...parenting, good nutrition, fun crafts and so much more. I just wish I could make more time to read through everything these incredible women have to say.

A very cool thing they are participating in this week - Make Week. Turning off the tv and making life happen. That's their slogan. Don't you love it?! I certainly do. I'm not a big fan of the tv to begin with. Yes, we love Lost on Tuesday nights, Modern Family on Wednesdays and The Office on Thursdays. A couple more shows fall into our weekly lineup, but honestly we use our DVR often and watch them when we can. Which means that we're doing other things whether it's building a block tower with Sofia or crawling behind Olivia on the floor. Or *GASP* reading one of my own books that I make little time to do anymore.

The TV is rarely on during the day in our house and I love it that way. I let Sofia watch 30-60 minutes between the morning and afternoon but that depends on what we have planned for the day. If we have friends coming over or are going to some activity that means 0 minutes. And I have to say that I usually don't hear a word from her about the lack of TV time. She's only three but she's VERY vocal and I like that she doesn't ask me to just watch TV very often. This is not to say that if she were to ask my answer is always no either. Sometimes some down time in front of the tube is fine, but I would MUCH rather read to her or have her color. Or even better, all go for a walk.

I'm definitely going to try and participate in Make Week this week with the girls. Will I succeed, maybe not. As a stay-at-home-mom, entertaining your kids 24/7 can be trying but I think it's a lot of fun too. I'm going to focus on that fun part though as motivation.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tu Tu Cute

Olivia's 1st birthday is just weeks away. Invitations are sent and now it's on to the bigger details of the day. I've got to start thinking about what kind of food to serve, the smash cake I'm going to bake for Olivia and the cake I will order for the guests. But, most importantly, I'm thinking about what the birthday girl will wear on the day we gather together to celebrate a fantastic 1st year.

It's a princess theme and what princess doesn't like tulle? Lots of frilly tulle. I went to buy Olivia a tu-tu skirt and was amazed at the $30 price tag. I thought, this can't be too difficult, I will make my own. Off to the fabric store I went this morning and bought me some tulle. And a pink headband. The headband's not to keep the hair out of my eyes so I can see what I'm doing, it's for her waistband. Cute, right? Lo and behold, I find a deal in the dollar bins - 2 bright pink headbands for $1!

Come home to start cutting the tulle into strips and begin the long process of tying the tulle around the headband.

Around and around I go with strands of tulle. First I use white and then a pretty princess pink I just loved.

Making sure it fits - oh wait, that's not where it belongs!

My finished product! I had to stop tying every once in awhile to tend to Olivia - changed a diaper, a little nursing and then put her down for her afternoon nap. Later, Sofia "helped" me arrange the strips of tulle so I could get the lengths about the same size. I probably will just hang it in the bathroom the day of her party and get some steam going to straighten it out a bit. But all in all I think it turned out pretty well.

I did try it on Olivia and believe me when I tell you it was beyond adorable. You're going to have to wait and see the pictures from her birthday to see my little princess all dressed up!

Tulle - $7
Headband - 2 for $1
Total: $8 for my little girl's tu-tu

Now it's off to make the onesie...plain white (that we already own) with an adorable princess iron-on applique that I also found this morning for $2!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

my little girls...i love saying that!

11 months young

Olivia turned 11 months this past Thursday. Where is the time going? My little baby is getting so big and the time is just going too fast. My parents tell me "just wait, they'll be in school before you know it, then driving and then married with their own kids." Awesome.

I just started planning her 1st birthday bash this week too. A little late, I'll admit, for me, but it just crept up on me. After Sofia's birthday, I thought I had some time and then realized that their birthdays are only 6 weeks apart. So, it was time to get on the horse and start planning my little princess' 1st birthday party. More details to come!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

sweet sunshine

The girls and I enjoyed some down time in the yard yesterday morning just soaking in the beautiful weather. And what a beautiful morning it was too. Sun was shining, birds were chirping and a light breeze made it all the more welcoming. Sofia ran around collecting flower petals to throw to the birds to eat and Olivia played on the blanket near me. It was bliss.

Olivia has not been a fan of the grass and is happy just sitting on the blanket. Until yesterday morning. Sofia was showing her how she puts her hands in the grass and saying "it's not so scary Olivia." Still, Olivia would shriek the minute I tried to put her in the grass itself and I just let it go figuring she will get used to it in her own time.

It didn't take too long before Olivia was inching forward on the blanket to rest her tiny little hands in the soft green grass. The first couple times she jerked them out immediately, but eventually she was just placing her hands right on the grass and not moving them at all. Next she was plucking the tiny blades in her fists and holding them up to me to see. She had a huge smile on her face, looking so proud of herself. There's no rushing this girl, when she's ready she'll dive right in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Annapolis, MD

Saturday evening Zio Antonio and I took the girls for a walk in downtown Annapolis. Sofia has been before but this was Olivia's first visit and we didn't hear any complaints from her. She sat happily in her stroller the entire time and you would hear an occasional "oooh" from her as we walked along the busy waterfront. Sofia held tightly to my hand the entire walk which I thought was adorable. She was excited to be near the water, but I think our close proximity was a little overwhelming at times for her.

Even though it was kind of a brisk evening, we stopped for gelato which made Sofia very happy. I will admit that it made me happy as well! While it was very good gelato, it got me VERY excited for the real deal come this summer.

Speaking of, I need to book our tickets soon. I play this game with the airline site every year going back and forth with a couple different dates, checking the prices at different times of day and even during the week as opposed to weekends when I've found that they're higher. Eventually, I make our reservations hoping that I got the best deal possible. We'll see how it turns out for us this trip.

Friday, April 9, 2010

tickled pink

Love those little toes. I could just tickle them all day long and listen to her squeal with laughter. Olivia brings herself to a stand pretty quickly and she gets up on her tip-toes to really stretch for something she wants. It's the cutest thing to see.

Is it mean of me to keep putting things just a tad out of her reach so I can watch her stand and tip-toe for them?

Love that little pink ruffle in her pant leg too. I thought I would get tired of seeing girly colors around the house, but I'm not. I'm starting to pull out Sofia's old summer clothes from the stage Olivia is in now and I'm getting so excited to see her wear some of the things Sofia did. There are even a few things that Sofia never got the chance to wear that I'm getting ready for Olivia. All the little ruffled skirts and dresses for the Spring and Summer are going to look so cute on my little baby girl.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April flowers

Our daffodils came in beautifully this Spring. We have them planted along our front sidewalk and in our side rock garden and they just look so pretty with their perfect yellow petals springing up. Sofia is completely in heaven seeing them each day. The girl LOVES flowers. On our walks she insists upon bringing 1 or 2 with us. I just love seeing her little hand grasping onto that green stem and every once in awhile talking a deep breath of the aroma.

She wanted to bring a couple in the house so she "can see them when in the kitchen." She made sure to tell me to put water in the vase or they'll die. I love how she's so bossy sometimes.

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