Thursday, April 28, 2011

What To Do On A Rainy Day?

Stubborn and I both took a sick day today. I still think we are having different problems. For me, it's the cough! Painful, breath taking kind of cough, makes me want to throw up everytime! But for Stubborn and little caterpillar, it's the running nose! Anyway! Don't really know what other people in the house did the whole day, since I was mostly in bed. But after I finally got up before dinner time, we did end up having some fun. This little hallway is right off the dining room, leads to the basement (door to the left) and the half bath (door on the right). Perfect little bowling alley! Well, stubborn had more fun than little caterpillar. She really liked these little pins, all standing, and nicely arranged. So when daddy told her to throw the ball and knock them down, she did not really get the idea. Yeah, this is her first bowling game. So, naturally when daddy took the ball and showed her what to do, she was not happy at all. As soon as the ball hit the pins, she started saying "Don't be scared!". She says that when she is scared. Then she picked up a blue pin, hugged it, rubbed on the body of it, and told the pin not to cry! She even tried to help all the pins to stand back up. So guess what happened when daddy tried to show her the game again. Yeah, she cried! She must thought daddy was being really mean! Oh, such a compassionate girl!

Enough with the painful bowling game, little caterpillar demanded to go outside. Even though the rain already stopped, it was still very windy out there, not mention all the puddles. Mommy just have to put raincoat and boots on her! Yeah, mommy has been looking for this oppotunity ever since she accidentally found this raincoat that matches her little boots perfectly. What a pretty sight! A cute little pink cheetah in a spring garden!

While little caterpillar and stubborn wondering around the street, mommy got a chance to take some pictures of the spring. Not so bright, all wet, but still pretty!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's Going On?

All of a sudden, everything in the house started breaking down! First, all of us got sick! Lots of coughing, nose blowing, and tons of tissues in the trash. Then our humidifier stopped working, only blinking! Then the coffee maker started leaking! Then our not too old (6 years) electric range's glass top cracked while we were cooking! What's going on? Stubborn joked we have to be extra careful now, there might be more coming! What else can go wrong? Oh yeah, another small one, a couple of light bulbs died around the house, and the one in the freezer too. It must be bad fengshui or something. Maybe I need to burn some insense tonight. Did we forget to pray to our ancestors earlier this month? Oops, we did forget!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More About Ikea Trip

Yesterday, I was focusing on the exciting play kitchen, so didn't mention other interesting things happened at Ikea. I thought they deserve a post of their own, so the play kitchen won't steal their thunder.

We got to Ikea around lunch time, remember we went to Wrentham first? And secretly, I think one of the reason Stubborn stopped by Ikea was because I "accidentally" mentioned the famous Switish Meatball. So, of course he ordered that meatball combo, and I just have to try their baby backrib. Look at the portion, quite nice! And very tasty as well! But someone was not as enthusiastic about trying new food!
Since Stubborn is very "focused" when it comes to shopping, we just went directly to the Children section. Oh, little caterpillar had so much fun, crawing through the tunnel, rocking on the red rocking thing, and down the slide, again and again and again! That actually gave mommy some time to write down all the numbers needed. When we walked around the corner and saw all those beds, she was already very tired. How sweet is that! Resting on daddy's shoulder!
Then when she saw this cute little bedroom, she just couldn't resist any more. Climbed right in, pulled up the blanket, and pretended to snore.
And look at this tired little thing, thumb in her mouth, blankie in the other hand, she was ready to doze off when daddy was paying for her toys! She had no idea what was in that big box at the moment! Otherwise, you probably will see a totally different picture, with a little monkey all over that box!
Overall, this Ikea trip was quite short, yet very efficient. Better than all the other times we were there. I think the key is to stay on track with your plan, focus on the section that you are interested, and use the shortcuts! If we followed the path and went through all the displays, we probably would end up buying lots of stuffs we don't really need, just because they are too cute! Focus! Focus! And Focus! Guess this should work with all other stores as well.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter yesterday! The weather was amazingly warm and bright, well, some clouds moved in and threatened to pour, instead just a couple of drizzle. But hey, here in Boston, you cannot ask for a better day than this for April! Anyway, since we cancelled our Easter party due to little caterpillar's running nose and coughing, we had to do something else! We went to Wrentham on Sat! Yes, the very wet, cold, rainy Sat! We thought there will be less people on a bad day, and if we get there early enough, we won't need to wait in line. And we were right! Little caterpillar had a great there, grabbing colorful new clothes, and toys, even tried a fancy bag on her little shoulder. So adorable!

Then on our way back, Stubborn made a surprise stop at Ikea! Oh, can you imagine how happy I was? And guess what we bought?
Yes, a DUKTIG Play Kitchen! I planned to build one for her, but it's never reach the top of the to-do list! Now I am off the hook. The best part is the instant gratification! I only spent about an hour putting it together. I could do it in half an hour, but I had to constantly push over-excited little caterpillar away while assembling it. As soon as I finished it, she just jumped right in, started washing hands, and cooking! How cute! Oh, she also got these cookware, utensil and felt veggie from Ikea. I just need to make some more felt food once I have time.
Here is a picture of little caterpillar enjoying her new favorite toy, stir frying some veggie dish for mommy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Perfect Easter Crafts For Kids

What do you do with the plastic easter eggs after the egg hunt? Sunghee from Creativity In Progress posted some seriously delicious solutions! So creative, and so yummy! What do I mean? Take a look yourself! And don't forget to check out other super creative projects on her blog.

Yummy cupcake with frosting. My mouth is drooling just looking at them.

You cannot have a teaparty serving just cupcakes. You got to have some cute teacup to serve some delicious tea!

What? You still have more plastic egg left? How about a Teacup Carousel?

Since we cancelled our easter egg hunting party because little caterpillar is sick, we do have lots of these plastic eggs. I could make some garlands out of them, but that's kind of seasonal, only appropriate for Easter, not the rest of the year. But these teacups and cupcakes are great for as long as your little girl enjoys tea parties. That could be many many years. I have been hunting for some perfect tea party necessities. I do have several sets of real teacups, but little caterpillar is still too little, and she probably will break some and hence break my sets. And I don't like to buy those plastic tea party set, they are either too blah, or always decorated with princesses! I want toys that's cute, and not covered with advertisements! This is the cutest recycling solution ever! Oh, I definitely can see these cups and cupcakes on my refinished teaparty table, right in front of the window in my girl's room! Oh oh, I cannot wait till Easter's over and steal all the eggs from my girl! Imagine my crafty fingers wiggling in the air!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Poor Little Caterpillar

Poor thing has been sick since Monday! Something is happening in her mouth, she refuse to eat or drink! Even affraid of her favorite grapes! Mommy had to take a day off yesterday, since she was having fever! The only way to calm her down was playing her Seaworld videos repeatedly!

But I didn't managed to sneak out to Lowe's during her naptime! I have been planning a shelving system for her toys in the living room! (image here later) Finally bought all the boards. The guy at Lowe's was nice enough to cut them to size for me, for FREE! I know it's supposed to be free, but there are so many cuts, I was totally willing to pay them! Even though the cuts were not exact measurement I wanted, about 1/4" variation, I think I can make it work! If it's really not going to fit, I think I can handle it with my jigsaw. Now I have one shelf half made, with a whole bunch of board on the side. (image here later) Once it's done and painted (white), I will show you some pictures. One problem I could see now, it looks huge putting together! I might made it too big! Well, that means we have extra space to grow into, potentially more toys? Hmm, maybe educational toys and books! Hopefully, this won't make our already small living room too crowded! I might need to move the corner of the sectional sofa down to the basement to make some space for the new shelves! But hey, nobody was sitting in that corner anyway!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Busy Spring Weekend

I have to take a break from photo processing, as my eyes hurt too much, I cannot see very clear. Or maybe it's because of my allergy. Anyway, it was great that I could get out to the yard and spend some quality time with my plants. Warning, this will be a boring post without pictures. Or, I can take some pictures and add them here later.

Although I don't particularly like the heavy lifting part, I do love to see all my trees and shrubs and flowerbeds dressed up in new mulch. Also finally put the spring fertilizer in the yard. We had been so good for years, making the lawn organic. But I can tell we were losing the battle! Too many crabgrass and other weeds. Well, if your neighbors on the either side aren't doing their job, their weeds will get in your yard, no matter how hard you try to prevent it. So, this year, I simply have to put down some fertilizer with weedkiller. I don't want to spend my precious summer weekend time pulling weed. I rather run around and play with my little girl!

This year, I am taking spring cleaning to the extreme (my standard), instead of the regular dusting and cleaning, there will be lots of decluttering and organizing. I have a lot to organize, but first, add more built-in shelves in closets, to utilize the dead corners and wasted space above. I bought some particle board shelving from Lowes, had them cut to size. I had enough, of the chaos in our living room closet, and I need to totally transform little caterpillar's closet to a big girl closet too. I will show you the before after pictures much later, if I can get it done in spring, and not too embrassed about showing you the before. I also have a plan for a couple of identical toy shelves to control the living room toy mess. But there are just too many cuts, the lowes guy said they don't do this many cuts on weekend, since there are too many customers. BUT I could go back and have them cut today, after work! What a nice guy! Time like this, I really wish I own a circular saw! If I get all the materials ready today, I probably can finish her shelves in a couple of weeks! Is that too long? You probably forgot I have a full time job, a house to run and a hubby and a baby to take care of. On the best nights, I get about 1-2 hours free time! And absolutely no loud projects! Or, that two weeks also include a couple of coats of primer, several coats of paint, both I already own. But since it's for my very active toddler, I probably need to polyurethane it a couple of times to get a stronger surface. They are not very fancy, but will fit all her toys! Even the big ones! I love the Ikea toy shelf system, but the bins are too small for her music table and rocking Nemo, and the ride on truck, and the zebra! Didn't take a picture of my plan, but it's very easy, kind of like the Grace's Bookshelf plan from amazing Ana White.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Orlando Trip, Day 3

It's taking me so long to process pictures from our trip. Well, it's not because I am lazy, there are just way too many of them! Since I want to tell you about day 3 so much, I moved on to the day3 folder before finish day2. Crazy! OK, I had good plans for day 3, based on day2 experience. On day2, we waited for the shuttle to get us there, so wasted some time in the morning. We were not going to repeat that! So, with little caterpillar in the stroller, hat and glasses on, I just pushed her across the street and the huge parking lot, within 10 minutes, we were in the park!
'Oh, mommy forgot to take some pictures at the entrance, so stay still, and smile for the camera! No? OK!'
'Oh, we didn't see the stingray yesterday. Do you want to touch them? Too scared? OK, next time.'
'Oh, look, they are feeding the dolphins! See those big gray fish looking things? They are called dolphins!'
'Cannot see them clearly? Let's go underground! Oh, but first, let's check out the manatees!'
That's when little caterpillar had her first meltdown! It was very hot that day, 90F degrees! Guess she was overheated. She rather play with the buckles on her stroller, than go with mommy to check out the gigantic manatees! She screamed and cried for over 30 minutes! That's when I realized we could never set a tight plan when wondering around with her. Have to follow her lead! 'OK, no more manatee! Let's go somewhere cool and quiet! Oh, I know. Let's go to that underwater place to watch those dolphins!'
'Oh, look! They are jumping!'
'Can you pose for mommy? Quick, here comes a dolphin! Look up! Not down!'
'Oh, there are more coming at you! See them?'
Poor thing was so tired, she passed out before lunch! At least mommy got to eat first for a change!
'Hey, do you want to see some doggie and kitty?' 'Hey stop playing with your elastics, pay attention to the stage!' Well, obviously it was not going to happen. But at least it was very cool and comfortable in that Seaport Theatre.
'Oh, see those little kids playing in the water? Do you want to join them?'
Then we went to visit the sharks
and the sealions and seals
Oh, goodness, did we actually did all that! No wonder mommy was so tired at the end of everyday! Cannot wait to show what else we did on day 4!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Orlando Trip, Day 2

This was our first official fun day at Orlando. First thing first, some nice and warm breakfast! Well, mommy was not going to pay over $20 for a breakfast buffet, since I didn't have much appetite, and little caterpillar eats maybe several bites. Thank goodness there is a Starbucks right in the lobby level. Guess what, I got to use the portable highchair I made, and it worked perfectly. Little caterpillar didn't fight to get out, and was very secure and safe when mommy turned around to get the hot Chocolate.
It was such a nice day, around 80F degree, bright sunshine and not too hot! Perfect! Little caterpillar looked so cute in her new dress! Such a little lady already! First, dancing time! Well, we didn't plan this. Little caterpillar loves music, and loves dancing with it! Only thing mommy could do was just let her get that out of her system, and of course snap some cute pictures.
Look how cute she was wearing her monkey harness!
Then we saw the flamingos!
We found the bridge to Shamu stadium. Oh, you can see one of the bottle holders I made.
We got to the stadium during the first show, and since I noticed the last several rows in the soak zone was not splashed, we just sat there for the second show. The show was amazing, the view was fantastic,but the decision was absolutely wrong. They don't call it soak zone for nothing. At the end of the second show, that biggest shamu came out for the splashing! Even though I was prepared, covered us with a beach towel, (only from the neck down, since we still want to watch the show), we got soaking wet. Little caterpillar didn't understand it and of course didn't expect it. She was shocked and almost cried. I thought that she probably will hate this for a while, but to my surprise, she started chanting "Shamu! Shamu!" right after we left the stadium, just like what we did during the show, right before the splashing! She loved it! And she picked up a new word! What else mommy can do, except buying this cute cuddly Shamu for her to hug!
The dolphin show was amazing, but I guess little caterpillar already had enough excitement for the day. She refused to sit with me on the bench, sat on the stairs instead, and kept saying she wanted to leave! What? In the middle of all these fun?
After dinner with daddy, she was happy again. And mommy got a chance to take more pictures of our gorgeous hotel! The setting in the lobby/courtyard/open space, whatever you call it, was so beautiful. You can tell someone spent lots of time designing these. Instead of the same seating everywhere, every direction you turn, there will be a totally different setup, all very calming and relaxing!
Also the outdoor garden and pool are beautiful and serene. After the sunset, the outdoor fire pits are lit, you just kick back and relax, listen to the soothing music, and completely surrounded by the sweet aroma of the gardenias. They use lots of gardenia and jasmine as garden elements in Orlando. I am slowly processing those pictures now. If you want to see more pictures of our hotel, please go to my flickr later.