Friday Tidbits

I’m working on Amelie’s sea turtle costume. I’ve been muttering to myself “This is, at best, crude work!” Amelie’s been repeating that around the house and it’s hilariously appropriate almost always around here.

Have no fear, I have a back up costume waiting “in the wing” if the glue gun doesn’t pull through.


Cade has a backup too. Behold, a velour pumpkin suit!

backup_cadeHalloween is almost here! I’m so excited!

Home Sweat Home: Cade’s Closet

I alluded to a big project going down in the last My Cade…we redid his closet! And it cost a fortune. It was worth it but wow, that stung.

This room was supposed to be Zack’s office but now we hope to move Cade into it officially. We still plan keep the desk area for when Zack works from home but I have plans to transform the rest of the space into something nice for my little guy.

There is a lot of work to do but a big issue was storage. Having a usable closet was top priority!

We started this closet adventure many moons ago with funky blue carpeted stairs, wooden cubbies, and hideous doors:


We ripped down those doors (I kinda wish we hadn’t done that), removed the carpet and had flooring installed. And then we crammed so much random crap in there, it gave me an instant headache:


Initially, I wanted to plan an Ikea closet but the standard heights would not work with the funny stairs inside. The Container Store was having a sale of 25% of Elfa systems so I had them help me plan a closet. They were great! I wanted a place for Zack’s dress clothes- for now, until we redo our own master closet – and then lots of other drawers and shelves that Cade could grow into. And until he does, I also wanted a place to store crafts and supplies that currently don’t have a home.

I cleared out the clutter and with great effort, removed those crooked and poorly built cubbies. The walls were in tough shape afterward.


Meanwhile, Zack and Amelie picked up the Elfa supplies and plopped them in among the chaos so we would be ready for the installer.


I did my best to sand, spackle and prime what I could with the little patience and expertise that I have. The walls were still far from perfect, but I figure the closet hardware would mask most of it. Then I got to painting. I chose “Paper White” by Benjamin Moore. It’s a, wait for it, light gray…


After the second coat:


I really really really wanted to tackle the gross popcorn ceiling but I knew I didn’t have time. One day, hopefully!

The installer came this week and it took him over two hours. I’m so glad we didn’t plan to do it ourselves. Wanna see how pretty it turned out?


I’m all heart eyes emoji-ing over here! The nice thing is I can live with this set up for a while and them customize it if I need to change things around. It’s very flexible!

What’s left to do?

  • Fill it and organize with bins
  • Fix a few issues with the walls where old trim used to be
  • Buy and install bi-fold doors
  • Paint bi-fold doors Zinc by Marth Stewart
  • Possibly paint the door rail…maybe a gold?

A good start though, huh?

My Amelie

Age: 2 years, 5 months

Taking care of a toddler is a rollercoaster. One day Amelie is kind, silly, agreeable and obedient and the next day she skips her nap and teeters between being a happy girl and heading straight to Meltdown City. She’s moody! Wonder where she gets that from…


Dinosaur has been left behind and Baby Monkey has emerged as Amelie’s current treasured stuffie. He comes everywhere with us (so does Sleepsack still). Dad accidentally left Baby Monkey at a candy shop in Boulder and he had to drive back during nap time (a 40 minute round trip) to save him because can you imagine the heartbreak?

Both Dinosaur and Baby Monkey were gifts from my brother. Apparently he knows what Amelie likes!

Schedule: She goes to preschool on Wednesday and Friday mornings. After xc season ends, we might add in Monday too. She’s still on the same schedule as before: up around 8am, to bed around 8pm, with maybe a nap from 3pm-5pm. Ugh, I wish it wasn’t so late, it makes for a weird evening.

Preschool: Preschool was a daunting undertaking. We toured a handful and each one made me nervous. It’s a decision I didn’t want to agonize over but I didn’t want to mess up, either. Our final tour felt the best to me. I really appreciated the teacher Miss Marlene. She’s a no nonsense type of lady. She controls the classroom well and has a lot of experience. “Miss Marween”, as Amelie says, has been wonderful. Amelie now puts her nuk in her pocket at school and Sleepsack/Baby Monkey go in the cubby for the duration of the day. She is gentle but firm; just what Amelie needs.

The first drop off was a disaster. Amelie cried and Dad stayed way too long. Dad was such a mess after dropping her off, he went to a nearby coffee shop to work instead of his office so he could be close by. He called me with the news and I felt stressed at home even though I was very much looking forward to the morning off. Then he went back to preschool after an hour to secretly peek in and check on her. She did ok that first day. They put together a book about things she did with pictures and you can tell she’s been crying. It snapped my heartstrings right in two!

The next few drop offs were sad as well. But she did come around and now says “Bye bye, Dadda!” and Sleepsack also chimes in (in a lower voice) “Bye bye, Dadda!”

Last Friday didn’t go so well though because Amelie is tired. She tried to put on a brave face but her lip was quivering and she held onto Daddy’s legs. :(

Now I get it. I get why parents sob at the bus stops on the first day of school. The thought of Amelie going out into the big, bad, cruel world makes my heart hurt. Will they be kind to her? Will they ensure she is treated fairly? Will she be scared, lonely? Will they understand that she is shy and smart and sweet? Will they try to change her?

It gets me feeling all the feels.

pumpkin_cookieLikes: She *loves* getting her toes painted, lasagna, swimming, cooking, playing at the sink with the water and soap brush, Sesame Street, playing helicopter with Mommy before nap and bedtime, and her gold shoes…she gets lots of compliments on them.


Of course, playing pretend with Daddy is still her favorite. He is so good with her.


Daddy’s girl, through and through.

After we put the kids to bed, we have to clean up the house. We drag ourselves around, picking up toys, wiping up food and cleaning dishes. It’s stuff I’ve been doing all day already so I can hardly muster motivation. Even so, Zack takes the time to put Amelie’s stuffed animals in funny places, waiting to surprise her in the morning. Gosh, I love that guy. <3

Potty training: We had success early on, she peed in the potty the first time and it’s been bumpy going ever since. She’ll wear undies for a while but then wants her diaper back on. We read lots of books about going potty but I think I need to take a weekend to go for it. She looks sooooo cute in her undies!

Verbal: She’s talking so much. I love it. My MIL mentioned it and I agree, I think she’s having some articulation issues. It could be rooted back from her baby days with her tongue thrust or maybe it’s a pacifier induced problem. She has trouble with “Fs”, which is why she refuses to count past three! She has made up a few replacement words for things that she feels more comfortable saying. I love listening to the sentences she creates!!

Only recently she’s been using possession: “Where my Daddy go?”

Quotes: “Hey, what is this guy?” >> when she wants to know what someone is doing

“I love you this much!” >> holds arms wide

“Silly Mama!” >> when I don’t quite understand her

“Dad-da always comes back” >> I borrowed this from Daniel Tiger one weekend when Daddy was gone for a wedding. Now Amelie sings it whenever we talk about preschool. She knows that Daddy will always come back to get her.

Learning: I don’t have anything to compare her to but I think she is smart. She has an excellent memory and impressive comprehension. I try to explain things to her and end up getting myself all mixed up but she follows right along. For example, scarecrows. “See, they look like people but they aren’t people. They are fake people. Pretend people! They hang out in the farms, I mean the fields, which are on farms. It’s part of the farm, along with big read barn, you know? Then birds, specifically crows…nevermind, anyway, they fly over and think the scarecrows are real people and get scared and won’t eat the crops. I mean the plants in the uhh, the fields, like corn and stuff….”

She takes it all in with no problem. Zack and I have to be careful because she is paying very close attention to our conversations. She doesn’t miss beat.

Social: I think preschool has helped immensely on this front. Amelie is becoming more courageous with engaging people when we are out. She got this one guy, behind us in line at Target, to jump up and down and spin! It was hilarious. Usually her opening line is “See, I have gold shoes…” She is still shy and takes some warming up time when she is tired. She’s made a little friend (her “best friend”) and they’ve been playing together so well recently instead of being in the same room but avoiding each other. It’s adorable!

Sleep: She’s still skipping her naps often during the week, hence this endless cycle of moodiness. She also still has a persistent cough! It went away for about a month this summer and then she got sick again. She keeps us all tired. Poor girl, I’m starting to worry. I plan to make another doctor appointment soon but it’s difficult with Cade’s nap schedule and coaching. I feel like I’m asking so many favors of Zack and my MIL that I’m hesitant to add more thing to our extremely hectic weeks.

Before bed, she has me cover her up with two blankets with a pillow on top, and “I need water!” and “Kiss me!”. I usually also have to kiss Monkey and Sleepsack before I’m allowed to leave for the night. She is far from affectionate so I am not taking these moments for granted.

Cade: She has been taking toys away from him and having trouble sharing now that Cade is becoming more mobile. She doesn’t like him touching her stuff – who would?! She puts up with sharing bath time (he loves it!) and she’ll play peekaboo,which makes him howl with delight! She get jealous of him but is doing well adjusting. She’ll even say “Hi Cadey-Cade!” when I bring him upstairs in the morning for breakfast. He grins so wide, he almost loses his pacifier.

Amelie, I admit, I am tired. I drink too much coffee and don’t have enough patience. I can see, even on your hardest days, that you are trying so hard to be a good girl. You put on your silly smile and through your tears you tell me, “I happy, Mama.” You have challenged me and some days I’m not up for it. But each morning I remind myself how blessed I am to have a fresh start. A new chance to be the Mommy you deserve. I hope I don’t let you down.


I love you thiiiis much. *holds arms out as wide as they go*


Friday Tidbits

Obligatory pumpkin patch pictures. Please, indulge me!







Thanks, guys.

I tried taking Cade to the pumpkin patch this morning but it was swarming with people, the sun was bright and high, and Cade was not feeling it. A pumpkin patch fail.


I think I’ve written more posts in October than I have all year. I can’t resist!

Happy Friday!

For kicks: Remember Amelie’s first pumpkin patch adventure? And a picture from last year too!

My Cade

AGE: 10 months

I wish he would stay my little baby forever and ever.


Growing:  I have no idea what his stats are because we don’t go back to the doctor until his one year. He’s in that weird stage where 12 month clothes are too short but he’s swimming in 18 months. Cade is still a long skinny guy. I want to smooch him constantly.

Sleeping: On most nights, he sleeps all night long. All night! I’m so lucky. Amelie didn’t do that until she was over a year old! She still doesn’t, actually. Cade is easy to put to bed. Sometimes he cries briefly, sometimes he needs bouncing or to be awake a little longer but most nights, we can put him to bed and that’s it! I can hardly believe it.

He is still sleeping in the pack and play in the guest room. I’m working on his nursery but it’s going painfully slow. My goal is to get him in his room by the end of the year. I have many plans but no time. But he does well downstairs so why hurry, you know?

One big project should be done by next week though and I’m excited to tell you about it!

Milestones: He has been busy! He can sit by himself and scoot around the room. He *just* started crawling, like as in a day ago. It’s slow and robotic and soooo cute! He also does this adorable hop to get his knees up underneath him. He works very hard. It’s funny to watch him learn compared to Amelie; she went about it differently. She would pump her hips really fast while lying on her tummy. She struggled when she was on all fours because her ankles would get crossed! Cade started with rocking on his hand and knees. When I go get him after nap or in the morning, he’ll rock excitedly when he sees me. So sweet! Cade has got the arm motion down but kind of drags his knees behind him.

Trying to crawl has been disrupting his sleep some. I bet his mind is a whizzin’ thinking of ways to keep up with Amelie. Who can sleep with exciting stuff like that on the horizon?

He also got his first tooth a month or more ago. When Amelie was teething, she had terrible diaper rash (I’m talking blisters!) and was crabby and it was all sorts of yuck. With Cade, the milestones have been much easier. His sleep patterns were a little funky, he wasn’t as smiley and his skin was more sensitive. And then, bam. A tooth!

Play:  He loves to put things in bins and take them out again. He likes to swish things in windshield wiper motions while laying on his tummy on the floor. He loves to throw balls and play “catch”. He thinks throwing food and other objects from his high chair is hilarious. Amelie will usually retrieve them for him and he thinks it’s such a grand game until Amelie gets fed up and finds something else to do.

He loves to go on walks and be read to; two things we don’t do nearly enough with him.

Feeding: Dad has been great at giving Cade lots of new food to try and he loves it all. He uses his thumb and pointer finger to pinch food and feed himself. He feels empowered! Favorite foods: yogurt, squeeze packets, sweet potatoes, cheese and tortillas.


Breastfeeding is not happening anymore and he’s 100% formula for his milk. Ah, well.

Naps: He usually takes a morning nap, one after lunch, and he needs to squeeze a short one in before bed time. I’m thankful Amelie is in preschool because his naps can be really limiting for her. Amelie was an unpredictable napper (is she going to sleep for 30 minutes or 3.5 hours?) but Cade is much more consistent and even.

Firsts: He got his first haircut about a month ago. I’m nervous with scissors! I cut off his adorable hair wings because they were getting tangled and matted after naps.  His bald patch filled in and he looks like a little boy. His hair is lighter and thinner than Amelie’s was at his age. I was hoping to see some curl but it looks pretty straight.

I’m excited for his first Halloween. I’m still brainstorming a costume for him. He’ll be so entertained by Amelie’s enthusiasm! I’m worried he might be fearful of the commotion that comes along with trick or treating but we’ll have to wait and see how he does.

Amelie: He watches her every move and he is thrilled by any interaction she is willing to give him. He adores her. She makes him laugh from his belly!


Amelie goes to school two days per week and it has been really nice to have time with Cade alone. I’ve been meaning to take him to story time but he is usually still taking his first nap so we always miss it. It relaxing to spend my morning with him; we snuggle on the couch while he takes his bottle. It’s so lovely and slow paced.

Personality: Since I coach xc each afternoon, my MIL comes on her days off to watch the kids. On the days that Grandma works, Isabel (a sweet high schooler) comes over to babysit for me. If Cade is awake when she arrives, he sobs and reaches for me as I get ready to leave. It makes me sweat! I feel so bad for all of us; Cade, Isabel and me too! Now I try to time it so he never sees me leave but that doesn’t always work out. He does fine once I’m gone (unlike Amelie as a baby, she was not easily comforted).

He babbles a little (“Na na na”) but mostly, he’s a quiet baby. Even when he is tired.

He loves being held. He likes to move from me to Daddy by reaching out his arms. He is such a loving and cuddly little guy!


When I found out I was having a boy, I was a little disappointed. I don’t know why exactly but probably because I was scared of the unfamiliar. I feel so silly now. I’m totally in love with being a boy Mommy AND a girl Mommy. It feels so good and comfortable. And much to my surprise, shopping for boy clothes is a treat!

Cade, being your Mommy has been a pleasure. A cup full of sweetness you are; filled to the very brim!


Halloween Treat Bags

The Halloween stuff cropped up at Target and I had these sweet non-candy treat bags assembled by mid September (while the rest of the house sat in disarray, obviously). It’s one less thing to think about come October so why not?


I spent about $10 for the supplies and took some quiet crafting time to myself. Turns out, I don’t want to spend all of my free time doing laundry and cleaning up spilled food. Mommy needs some fun time too!

Included in each bag is a pencil, eraser, foam and paper stickers and a package of Goldfish. Basically stuff I was craving to get in my Halloween haul because I loved this kind of thing as a kid. Target is the best! They should sponsor this blog.


As I ran low on items, I substituted in suckers and temporary tattoos I had lying around. I tied each one up with “candy corn” curling ribbon from the 90s and called it good.

I figured it was less than I would have spent on candy. We can give a few to friends and set the rest out for trick or treaters. We will be out trick or treating ourselves so I didn’t go overboard. When they are gone, they are gone!


Next project, Amelie’s costume. She wants to be a sea turtle…

Friday Tidbits

So, I’ve been up since 4am because Amelie still has a cough that is keeping her up night and therefore I can’t sleep either. Might as well zombie blog, right?

The Halloween posts continue with pjs. Because I had to. Plus, they glow in the dark!


Cade was such a good sport, Amelie not so much. Aren’t my babies are so adorable? <3

Happy Friday!

Candace’s Crafty Corner: Tree Ghosts

Hello, October! The first day of October isn’t too early to be talking Halloween, is it?

Truth is, I’ve been Halloween-ing for some time now. My new motto is: if I manage to feel inspired one day then by all means, don’t hesitate! With little kids, you can not count on the opportunity for free time, motivation and a decent night’s sleep to line up. The days (and nights) are unpredictable. I totally understand why stores start stocking holiday stuff so early. It’s for the Moms, they need every moment of prep time they can get!

A few days ago, the kids and I did a Halloween craft together. When I say “together” what I really mean is I get the craft supplies out and Amelie bounces around like a pin ball machine unloading the craft bin, Cade quietly scoots along sucking on things he shouldn’t while I do the craft as quickly as I can yelling, “Scissors are for grownups, don’t touch!”

“We” made these adorable ghosts, one representing each family member:


I had everything on hand: the styrofoam balls were from a friend that moved, the googly eyes were leftover from Amelie’s dinosaur birthday, the gauze was from this scary Halloween of yore and the black ribbon I’ve had since the 90s. The 90s!

I used three eye hooks leftover from the playroom lantern cluster project


and hung them from various branches along our front walkway. Also, a sneak peek of our new landscaping! More on that later (hopefully before the snow flies).


I wasn’t about to buy anything so the eye hook-less ghost got nestled in a tree.


Cute, free, festive!

Amelie and I did a bit more decorating – spiders and spiderwebs for the boxwoods:


and a scarecrow and mums for my front step courtesy of my MIL. I should have bought more mums while they were on sale to fill out the planter but I’m tired, you know?


Amelie has been fascinated by scarecrows lately. They’re a funny concept, aren’t they?

The inside got some Fall sprucing as well when I brought out an old favorite, my white and gold pumpkins!


We are feeling very Halloweeny-y/Fallish these days, even though it’s been hitting almost 90 degrees still.

Flannels, don’t fret, I’m coming for you soon! Also, beware, more Halloween posts are in the queue…

Friday Tidbits

Oh dear, it’s been over a month since my last post. Are you wondering where I’ve been? Not really?

You see, Amelie started preschool last week. Her and Dad donned matching shirts for the occasion, of course.


She is in school for half days, 2 days/week. It’s been liberating for me to have some time to focus on Cade and do things around the house while he naps. But it hasn’t been an easy transition. Amelie cries at every drop off and it’s all sorts of sad. She seems to do ok after we leave but can’t wait to come home. Plus, she’s been sick for almost a month now. She has been sick so much this year! I sure hope this all gets easier. :(

I also started coaching five days/week. It’s wonderful and exhausting. My body just aches when I get home from practice. But I’m so happy to be back.


Can you believe how lucky we are to head up into the mountains on a regular old day of practice?

What’s tricky is my precious “both-kids-are-napping-time” only happens in the late afternoon when I’m at practice. So I am full on Mom-mode then Coach-mode then Mom-mode again, until I fall into bed promising myself I must find time to eat a decent lunch the next day.

In random DIY news, while Amelie was at preschool this morning, I worked on this:


We have biiiiiiig yard things going down soon and I’ll do my best to keep you posted.  Who’s excited?

Kid Table Makeover

You guys! I made over Amelie’s kid table for her playroom. *Cue disbelieving gasps*

I purchased this table and chairs from a big consignment sale last fall for about $30 with the hopes I’d get the nerve to make it over before Amelie out grew it.


Here is a before. Also, please excuse the nasty compost pile. I’m working on whittling it down. It’s slow going.

beforeIt was quite slick with poly so I knew I had a big sanding job on my hands. I was inspired to try a liquid deglosser after a friend redid her bathroom vanity.


The deglosser was easy to use but stinky Here is the deglossed after.


A lot less “shiny”.

Up close. If you squint your eyes and scrunch your nose, you might be able to see the white film left from the deglosser.


In hindsight, if I were doing things the Right Way instead of the Impatient Way, I would have done two rounds of deglosser and then went in with a sander as well. But I didn’t do it the Right Way, in fact, I barely let the deglosser dry before I attacked with this:

ocean_mistIt’s a new color called Ocean Mist by Rustoleum. It was just the color I was looking for!


This was after two rounds of spray paint. I ended up needing a second can and a few more rounds. I did most of my spraying in a hurried fashion and during the sunniest part of the day so I kept missing spots. Still, I liked where it was going. But it needed something more…


Gold always takes things to Fancy, right? I was going for “gold dipped”…


Let me see you dip, baby, dip in progress:

gold_dipped_progressAre you ready for the final reveal?

table_finishedIt’s marred with many imperfections but isn’t it still so cute?

gold_dipped_closeWhy not end with a badly lit zoomed out shot? Please ignore the laundry room doors propped against the wall. It’s on our To Do list…


This project took me weeks to do so I might get physically ill the moment one of my kids takes a crayon or pen to it when I’m not watching. It seems to chip easily too. Why, DIY Gods, why? I think I need to go in with some poly but I can’t muster any more effort on it.

I’m opening the floor now. Shower me with Ooohs and Ahhhs!

If you want to see how the playroom has evolved, click here.