june goals: update...

At the start of June I posted about participating in the 3 in 30 challenge and set out my goals for the month.  Somehow, the month is coming to a close and, with it, a much needed update. 

1. Project Life: The photos are updated through Father's Day in my album and I've made a lot of progress on the journaling cards.  As I mentioned, this is an ongoing goal because it is important to me to stay on top of this and end up with a finished album at the end of the year that truly captures our day to day life. I'll consider this accomplished!

2. Clean our bedroom: Check!!!  No, it isn't perfect but, it is a much more restful place at the end of the day since I took some much needed time to organize, purge and clean up the space. 

3. Meal Planning: Well, there is always next month. This month seemed to throw one curve ball after another into our nightly routine.  Dinner got made and eaten but not in as planful a way as I hoped.  I'll get there! And, there are still a few days left in the month...hmmm...

Did you set any goals this month?  How did you fare?


this is what summer looks like...

the park. playing with his reflection in the run-off from the local splash park:
family walks around town in the still warm evenings:
oh look, another park. the day our not quite 18 month old climbed a ladder. by himself. um, yeah:
visits with family. g and my mom two weeks ago:
lots and lots of running and laughter:
feeling the need, the need for speed (don't worry, mr. boom was right next to him, just out of the frame):
it's a good start to this first toddler summer.  we are thankful for the many parks in town and the ability to walk just a few blocks in either direction to find good, clean (or dirty, in the case of the mulch parks) fun.  we have plans to see family, take a couple of weekend trips, spend time with friends and try to soak up every moment with our happy boy as he discovers everything in his world.

(as always, click on any of the photos to enlarge)


oh, the things we can do...

I am a big addict fan of Pinterest. My hard drive and favorites lists used to be cluttered with a collection of links and photos found online.  I would save ideas for our future home, scrapbooking inspiration or helpful links I swore I would get back to and read one day.  But, it all ended up a jumble and taking up precious space or was long-forgotten in the now.  I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about, right? 

When I stumbled across Pinterest I was all, "Whoa!  This is brilliant and amazing and USEFUL!"  And (besides the fact that it is a huge internet time suck) it really is all of those wonderful things and more. Every day I come across things that I might not have seen otherwise and now have a place to catalog them in a way that I can reference later on.  Want an example?  Today I saw a pin for something helpful and relevant to my life right now and I'm sharing it with all of you.  I love you that much :)

  1. Color
  2. Blow Bubbles
  3. Play Hide-and-Seek
  4. Peek-a-Boo
  5. Play Chase
  6. Do Finger-plays
  7. Sing a song
  8. Collect rocks in a basket
  9. Make an obstacle course out of cushions and/or furniture
  10. Make a fort out of cushions and sheets
  11. Go for a Walk
  12. Make a Car out of a Box
  13. Read a book
  14. Go to the park
  15. Finger-paint
  16. Play with Play-Dough
  17. Toss Bean bags into a Bucket
  18. Play the shell and pea game
  19. Dance to music
  20. Download games for toddlers from the Internet
  21. Practice putting things in and taking things out of boxes and bags
  22. Make a temporary slide out of a table leaf and your couch
  23. Roll a ball back and forth on the floor
  24. Scoop dirt or sand into a child's bucket (or use a serving spoon and bowl)
  25. Practice climbing by stacking boxes on top of each other (only with adult supervision)
  26. Put on a puppet show
  27. Go fishing with a yard stick and yarn
  28. Make a Horseshoe game
  29. Make a Shape Puzzle
  30. Play paper basketball
  31. Run through a Sprinkler
  32. Play with a bucket of water and a sponge (PLEASE WATCH CHILD AT ALL TIMES!)
  33. Make a Drum out of an oatmeal box
  34. Play with a kazoo
  35. Wash windows together (Child labor, what? Ha!)
  36. Bang on Pots and Pans with a spoon
  37. Brush each other's teeth
  38. Play dress-up with stuffed animals and your child's clothes
  39. Stack canned or boxed food on top of each other
  40. Let child stack mixing bowls inside each other
  41. Make a playhouse out of a large box
  42. Let child play with a sticker sheet (make sure your child doesn't eat them!)
  43. Put stickers on fingers for finger puppets
  44. Play a musical instrument together- i.e.recorder, piano, etc.
  45. Go on a Smelling Hunt
  46. Frost Cookies
  47. Plant a flower or vegetable plant together
  48. Roll a tennis ball into an empty trash can or bucket
  49. Draw on a mirror with dry-erase markers
  50. Play hide and seek together- trying to find a stuffed animal or other object
  51. Have a splash party together in the bathtub
  52. Put a leash on a stuffed animal and walk around the house
  53. Record each other on a tape recorder (great for scrapbooks or journals!)
  54. Make and try on paper hats
  55. Give a piggy-back ride
  56. Play "Horsey"
  57. Talk into an electric fan (it distorts your voice)
  58. Play tug-of-war with a blanket
  59. Collect flowers (felt, artificial, real...)
  60. Make a camera and go on a Safari
  61. Play games with frozen juice lids
  62. Disconnect your phone and pretend to make phone calls to relatives
  63. Leave your phone connected and really make phone calls to relatives- let your child talk too
  64. String large beads onto or along a shoelace
  65. Squirt each other with squirt bottles
  66. Glue shapes onto paper
  67. Make sock puppets
  68. Make paper puppets
  69. Fill an old purse with toys
  70. Use a paper towel tube as a megaphone
  71. Make binoculars and go "Bird Watching" or "Stuffed Animal Watching"
  72. Put snacks in different fun containers (paper sacks, empty canisters, etc.)
  73. Act out a story from a book
  74. Walk on a balance beam- use a 2x4 placed on the ground
  75. Draw with chalk on the sidewalk
  76. Sketch an outline of your child on the sidewalk or paper with chalk
  77. Paint child's palms with tempura paint and blot on paper. Makes a great card for loved ones!
  78. Put lipstick on child and kiss a mirror
  79. Make a puddle on cement and splash barefoot in it
  80. Let child decorate and eat an open peanut butter sandwich
  81. Make a toilet paper barricade for child to go under, over, or through
  82. Do the Hokey Pokey
  83. Make a super-hero costume out of household items
  84. Do Knee-Bouncing Rhymes
  85. Play "Red Light, Green Light" saying "Go" and "Stop"
  86. Make a shoe-box train for stuffed animals
  87. Make a pillow pile to jump on (keep it clear from any hard surfaces, including walls!)
  88. Make an easy puzzle with felt and Velcro
  89. Make bracelets or collars for stuffed animals out of pipe cleaners and jingle bells
  90. Learn numbers from a deck of cards
  91. Play the matching game with a deck of cards
  92. Make a domino chain
  93. Have a picnic in the park, backyard, or living room!
  94. Play dress up in Mommy or Daddy's clothes
  95. Make a tin cup telephone and talk to each other in it
  96. Make a nature collage
  97. Mirror each other
  98. Make a "Mummy Mommy" with toilet paper
  99. Make a tape recording of short music selections and instructions to move in different ways
  100. Make and walk along a toilet paper trail
  101. TAKE A NAP!
This list was copied from and pinned by Counting On Me - thank you!


randoms and a request...

Just a few randoms for Wednesday:

Fruit Monster: I have mentioned here before that George loves fruit.  Since Christmas he has eaten at least one apple each day, down to the core.  Thankfully, there isn't anything to that old fable about swallowing apple seeds and having a tree grow in your stomach.  Right?!?!  In Greece, he ate other fruit including cherries, oranges and his beloved moosmoula (loquats).  Now, at home, we must stock the fridge full of a variety to keep this boy happy.  He eats fruit at every. single. meal and as much as we allow him through the day.  This stash in the fridge here? 
Barely a one week supply and we are lucky to escape with our lives if we dare try to snag a berry from his stockpile.

House Hunting: Yep, we're still looking.  And looking, and, looking...and looking some more. Last Saturday we drove past six homes that we thought had potential and only liked the properties of two enough to request showings.  We saw this charming, fairly tale-esque cottage on Monday night...
Adorable, right? The outside is very impressive in person.  Beautiful flat, shaded yard, incredible original architectural details.  The home oozes charm and the first floor was lovely.  Original hardwood floors with wide mouldings, HUGE kitchen with an island and loads of windows and cabinets plus a *hold me* five burner, stainless Viking range with double ovens and a french door fridge with bottom freezer. The dining room was adorable and had a larget closet that could easily be turned into a built-in china cabinet, thus rescuing our wedding china from their boxes in my in-law's den closet (true story).  The master wasn't huge but easily fit a king bed and had a large walk-in closet with a window.  The family room had great space, an arched brick fireplace and built-in shelving.  Loved.

Then, we went upstairs.  The "bedrooms" were joined and tiny does not even begin to describe them.  Put a shelf and a bar in each and I'd call them closets.  Add to that, the staircase leading to the top floor was so narrow that any furniture brought in would have to be taken up in pieces and, somehow, assembled in the rooms.  Then, Mr. Boom went to the cellar.  Ever see that HGTV show "Holmes on Homes" with the crazy, fire-waiting-to-happen electrical wiring?  Yup.  The whole system needed to be gutted.  No go, no way.

There another home I am very anxious to view and our realtor is working to get an appointment (should this not be the easy part?).  So hopeful but, cautiously so.  Wish us luck! 

Toddler Time: All of a sudden my sweet, even tempered boy is a full fledged toddler. How did I know when he made the transition?  It may have been the shrieking tantrums that gave it away.  They aren't all of the time and they don't last long but, he knows what he wants and makes himself very clear though actions what he cannot yet communicate through words.  I'm working on staying calm and not feeding in to the drama.  Patience is the rule of the day around here.  But, I know this too will pass and, as he gains vocabulary and communication skills, the tantrums will subside. 
Now the Request: I know my blog has gome a little stale since returning fom Greece (still working on photo edits to post more). 

So, I'm asking YOU...

...please, come out of lurking and leave me comment.
...what would you like to see more of?
...what topics interest you most?
...what keeps you coming back to read?
...please, share!


(nearly) wordless wednesday: where my heart bursts with love, again...

This past Sunday.
Just after a friend's baptism.
Stunningly handsome.
Full of joy.


what i've come to realize: scrappy edition

Pretty doesn't matter.

My child will not care if the scrapbook layouts I create are contest winners, worthy of being published in a magazine, compiled over hours or days or liked by other crafters. Someday, he will look at them and say, "Thanks Mom, I was wondering what I was like back then and, now I know." He will know through the photos, matched with the anecdotes, dates and places that I sat down to record.

He will know that he is loved.
That his life is worthy of being documented.
That he matters.
That a family history matters.

The pages in his books will tell him so.


it's {un}officially summer here...

For most, summer unofficially begins Memorial Day weekend.  It's when lifeguards finally sit on duty at beaches and community pools open their gates.  Picnics are had and a large big crate of watermelon sits at the entrance to every grocery store.

Around here, we start summer just a few days earlier with the celebration of Mr. Boom's birthday.  This year we had only been back from Greece for a couple of days and G was still fighting jet lag but, the birthday must go on!  We had a wonderful grilled steak dinner at my in-law's followed by, what else, cake and ice cream.

I'm sharing this mainly because I love a couple of the captures from that evening...G helping his Baba blow out the birthday candle, right after eating his very first ear of corn, for which he needed no instruction!


greece: proof positive...

Lest anyone wonder if our vacation actually happened, I managed to borrow a computer in order to share a few photos of the last two days of our trip off of the third and final memory card.  While the best of the photos and stories will need to wait a bit longer, this is a good mini-snapshot...

G loving "our beach" and the billions of pebbles.  We call this our beach as it is the closest to our house, about a three block walk. See the little brown dots in the surf (click photo to enlarge)?  We are calling that The Great Jellyfish Invasion of 2011.  Not stingers but, annoyingly slippery slimy little guys.  By the end of the trip, we decided to just ignore them and have our fill of the beach regardless:
Our house, looking up from Mr. Boom's grandmother's patio.  The glass doors open to the living room (left) and dining room (right). This main veranda was G's favorite playspace.  Though it doesn't look deep at this angle, it is a large expanse that is basically an outdoor room off the living area that then wraps around the dining room and kitchen:
Dinner out at a pig roast restaurant - traditional Greek country salad, saganaki (fried cheese), potatoes (order "potatoes" in Greece and you'll get what we call fries) and, of course, the roast pork:
G checking out the pig illustrations on the package of wet naps after dinner:
View from one end of our house to the other on the verandas (from the end of the master bedroom in the back of the house, down to the dining area in the front) .  G loved running up and down the length, running his hand along the rails:
Three generations - Yia Yia (grandma), Mr. Boom and George:
Mousmoula!  G ate dozens of these during our trip, right off the tree.  After some research by Mr. Boom, we believe here they are known as loquats. This particular tree overhangs the veranda of the master bedroom:
G spending time with his cousin Katarina. Look at that face!!!
The view from the master bedroom veranda. The forefront is a lemon and orange grove:


june goals...

Vacation is over.
I'm back to work.
The babe is back in his normal good health.
Summer is almost here.
It's time to get organized.
We have so much going on in our home life right now, including working toward getting our condo on the market and finding a new home (more on that later).  Running our household well is one of my priorities so, I am opting in for the 3in30 challenge this month to help me through the early days of summer. 

1)  Project Life: This is not a new goal but, it is one that is very important to keep at the forefront so that I will stay focused.  Since we were away for half of May and so much happened on vacation while I had no access to my supplies, my goal for June is to finish journaling for May and to add photos as soon as possible (once I get get them off of our external and uploaded to Shutterfly). At the same time, i will be working to keep current for June with real time journaling.

2) Clean our bedroom: It's bad.  Though our new closet organizer is a big help and my mother-in-law helped me do even more one day last week after our return home, our bedroom in it's current state is not a restful place.  I have tackled a few areas here and there but, it's time to do more.  So the goal is to get our room cleaned and organized enough that I feel good opening the door at the end of the day.

3) Meal Planning: When I was actively meal planning a couple of months back, dinnertime was far less stressful and grocery shopping much more focused and organized.  I need to get back to that.  I was lucky enough to win a year long print membership from ListPlanIt.com during 3in30's April twitter party (thank you!!!) and will be using their tools to help guide me this month. 

I'll check back in with my progress mid-month and at the end of June.  Looking to set some goals of your own?  Take the 3in30 challenge with me HERE.
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