Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hey Mommy

Hey mommy. Hey mommy. Hey mommy. HEY MOMMY. Hey mommy. OK, you get my point. This is apparently the quote of the day. I've heard it no less than 152 times. I'm not complaining. Well, maybe just a little. I love being home with my children, but today I wish that Parker's stuffed animals were alive to talk to him. I'm out of words.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Most Improved

Like I've said before, I love and am very thankful for my house. However, it is still the epitome of a first home. We don't plan on being in this house more than a few years so we are trying to think of it as an investment and not put more into it than we think we are going to get out of it. Everyone knows that the money of a house is in its kitchen. That, my friend, is why we got such a good deal on this place. Its kitchen was like walking into a green hole. Green disgusting hole. I'm not kidding when I say that there was four inch hunter green plastic tile that went five feet up each wall of the kitchen. It literally took days of scraping and prying to get those mothers off. My point is, to say the kitchen needed a facelift would be an understatement, and we're not in the place to put new flooring, countertops, and cabinets in at this time. We made a lot of changes when we moved in but it was so plain. While working on the dining room, I got a little carried away and moved my motivation for pretty into the kitchen. Though hardly a gourmet kitchen, my favorite room of the house is now functional and much easier on the eyes. This will do just fine for now. It's called home improvement anyway, not home perfection. Right? Here's some before and after shots.

Prepare yourself for the nasty.
Ahhh, much better.

Besides being ugly, the cabinets were in good shape.

Do you see the endless amount of green tile? I still have nightmares about it.

And after some much needed (cheap) love...

Want to talk about a deal? I got this chair from Mountain Mission thrift store for $7.00. Thanks God for staple guns and removable seat cushions.
Though it may not be the prettiest, fanciest, or nicest quality kitchen you've ever seen, you have to admit it needs some award for most improved.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Big Baby Boy

Precious Parker,
I still can't believe how much love I have gained since your birth. You have made me change more than I ever expected, and have given me more pleasure than I ever thought possible in your 3 short years on this earth. You are the funniest kid I have ever met. Seriously hilarious. Despite your slightly destructive nature, you show more compassion than any other 3 year old I know. You are always telling me how much you love me and are the first person to ask me if I am ok when my face "looks sad" to you. Though your stubbornness has caused intense frustration in me, your determination and creativity make me so proud. You love to learn and are willing to appease me when I want you to memorize something to show you off. You are cute beyond words with your highlighted-looking hair, big green eyes, and ornery little smile. I love your sweet face. I can still remember how happy I was to hold you in the hospital after you were born. I was in awe that your daddy and I had been given you. It seems like yesterday I was strapping you in the car seat to bring you home wondering if I would be a good mommy. We've taught each other so much. You and I...we're a team. I love you baby boy. 

My big boy turned three on Saturday, so here's few (too many) pictures to show how we celebrated.
Ok, so if you know me at all, you know I am REALLY not into character-themed birthdays and REALLY REALLY not into anything car related. I still can't believe people call NASCAR a sport. Anyway, for Parker's birthday I decided to have a movie night with just a few of his friends. I let him pick any movie he wanted thinking he'd say Madagascar, but he busted out with Cars as his selection. Not only did I let him have his way and watch a two hour movie with eight other two to six year olds, I actually bought a few Cars decorative party items. It was beyond tacky, but Parker loved it. And yes, I even let my dining room table sport a plastic tablecloth, one of my pet peeves. I snapped this picture before I finished setting up. Check out the hot banner. You know you love it.
For lunch, we headed to Quaker Stake and Lube with Nana, Poppy, Aunt Sarah, MeMaw and PaPaw. I felt so redneck, but once again, my son totally enjoyed himself with huge race cars looming over his head.
We opened presents and then let him play a few games in their game room. In true Parker style, he picked the basketball game first.
Next, he raced with Daddy. We couldn't get him to keep his hands on the wheel. We had better clear up that problem before he turns 16.
Not sure who's enjoying this more.

With Memaw and PaPaw.

Biker Chick? Um, no.
Presents with Nana and Poppy. He got exactly what he asked for: a zebra, a red truck, balloons, and a ball.


This is what they brought him since it was his birthday. Needless to say, we all shared.

Being festive.

Three boys and a girl. Don't you love when dads get forced to carry around the cute diaper bags? David is a trooper, he never seems to mind.
Hanging out with PawPaw before his party.

Licking the beaters. Who didn't love doing this as a child?

Simple and yummy. Parker said he wanted red cake with white frosting. This gave me a perfect opportunity to make one of my favorites, red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Martha's recipe is AMAZING.

Checking out his new viewmaster.

All the kids started arriving around 5:00. You would have thought I was running a daycare. The parents dropped off their kids and ran out the door. Most used the opportunity to go on a date and have kid-free time. I think I'm the fellow-parent-of-the-year for having a kid-only party. It was a challenge, but fun nonetheless.
David set up a movie projector and we watched the show on the wall. The screen was ginormous. Not sure if the kids or David appreciated the size more. I've decided that the next time I have a movie night, if ever, I will override my child's wishes and play the shortest movie ever. Good times. Thank you everyone who came and made the day special for my little P.
Happy birthday, Parker David Dunn. You are one loved little guy. Your daddy and I can't wait to see what year three has to bring!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dunn Dining

Though being redone on a tight budget and lacking completion, I am loving my new dining room. It makes me happy. Maybe I'll start eating in here more often.

Here is the sad start. I cringe remembering the vast change that needed to take place. From the lovely orange chair cushions to the brassiness of the light fixture, there was so much wrong going on in this room when we bought the house. Don't mind the hunter green tile on the kitchen walls in the background; that will be another post. 
Finally, some beauty. The newly painted buffet really fits well. I would like to find a rug eventually, but bare floor is good for now.
My attempt at a random collage.  I'm still trying to decide if it works, but overall I think I like the concept and I'm sure I will make changes as I find new stuff and take new pictures.
I could not for the life of me find the curtains I wanted for the right price. I thought a faux silk in white would be perfect for the room, but I couldn't find any for less than $200 (for 4) that were the 92 inch length. No thanks. I take my second choice: white cotton canvas from West Elm. Twenty-nine bucks a piece, thank you very much.
There is a park that David and I have been going to since we were dating. I swear if you add up all our walking and jogging, we've completed at least 100 marathons there. The other day, Parker and I  were taking a stroll at our favorite park and Parker snatched up some sticks like he normally does. However, this time the sticks were a tree branch remnant that looked like it should go in my house. I like this decor because it reminds me of a special place to my family. Do you think I should leave the branch natural color or spray paint them a darker brown? You can always say ditch them as a third option-I won't get my feelings hurt. (Probably won't listen, though.)
I stole this next idea from a really nifty blog, Twig and Thistle. Next thing I know, I see it get attention in Better Homes and Gardens and by Young House Love. I love how spray painting them all the same color gives the different shapes and sizes a cohesiveness. I'm excited to go get some pretty flowers to jazz them up.

These pretty little mirrors seemed perfect for my space, so I grabbed two from target and was thrilled with how they looked. I was thinking I needed something darker for the walls, but I think the white looks just fine.
This last little corner is my dilemma. I can't decide whether I want to find a cute old chair and reupholster it, or if I want to find a cabinet/shelving unit to display dishes and such. Thoughts?

Ecstatic to be semi-finished with this room. For now.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Jack of All Trades...

...Master of none. That's kind of been the theme of my life. Oh no, don't feel bad for me. I really don't mind. Since I was a kid, I have wanted to dabble in everything. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to play piano, swim, do gymnastics, play tennis, sing, and so on, so I did them all. I had a great time, but didn't really become the best at anything because I was so divided. Don't get me wrong, I was taught to do everything to the best of my ability, but my ability was limited do to my array of interest. This has carried over into adulthood. I like to cook, bake, sew, sing, play piano, play tennis, renovate my house, and the list goes on. Just like before, my humongous list of pastimes keeps me from becoming really good at anything. Nevertheless, I am still enjoying my million-or-so hobbies.

When I got married, my mother-in-law began teaching me to sew. I took a break there for a few years because, well, I had a few kids. Now, I am getting back into it.  I love making clothes for myself, but I haven't really done too much for my kids because, by no fault of theirs, they are boys. Boy clothes just aren't as fun to make. When I found out my second child was going to be a boy, I was thrilled. However, to be completely honest, I had one negative thought. No cute girly clothes, again. Seriously, that was my only disappointment. The clothes. So vain, I know. I could never be sad about my sweet baby Graham.

Anyway, there are a bunch of pregnant people right now and most of them are pregnant with girls. Yay for them and yay for me! I get to make some dresses! Here are two of my favorite creations. For those of you sewing pros out there, don't scoff. I had fun making them and I completely realize that there is a better product out there...but if I made better dresses, then maybe my cakes wouldn't be as yummy!
Aren't the frills fun?

I just love the lining in this dress!

Matching headband.

Onesie and skirt. I wanted it to be one piece, but I couldn't figure out how to attach the skirt and it still have the capability of stretching over the baby's head. I know there is elastic thread out there, but like I said, I like to keep it simple. I'll learn later.

Fourth Fun

I live in an incredible country. I am always hearing people whine and complain about things going on in our country, and though my own personal thoughts sometimes differ than those of our leadership, I am darn proud to be an American. We celebrated our independence all weekend. David took Friday off and we went thrift store shopping in the morning. Nothing like getting a good deal to celebrate freedom. I am still looking for a chair for my dining room to semi-complete that never ending project.

Saturday we headed to my friend Lynsey's house in good 'ol Ona, WV. We grilled some burgers with Lyn, her husband Joe, and little man Dylan. Then we played fifty-two games of corn hole, also known as tailgate toss for those who are less redneck. Summary: Joe is awesome. I am awful. I have always considered myself athletic, nonetheless, you would not think I had a lick of coordination with this game. It didn't help that the boards played as though someone (probably Joe) had just gave them a good waxing. My bean bag sack things, when they would land on the board, would fling off like they were magnetic opposites. Oh well, it was still fun. We stayed late to watch the neighborhood fireworks; I still can't believe Graham slept through the noise and Parker and Dylan were as cheery as they were for being up 2.5 hours past their bedtime. Thanks for the good time Hargraves family.

Sunday was church and grilling out to celebrate our friend Matt's birthday. I had decided to not take the boys to the city firework display because I didn't want Graham to scream through the whole event and Parker had been out late the few nights before. Well, I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to just enjoy the festivities and pay for the risky decision later. We got the boys out of bed at 9:30 and headed downtown. I can't believe the spot we got for going so late. We were directly in front of where they were shooting them off which was A) a great view, and B) freaking loud! Parker kept his ears covered the whole time and Graham left nails marks on David from hanging on so tight. I am glad we went, they were beautiful!
Can you imagine what was going on in Graham's mind?
My boys.
Can you tell we are forcing this picture?

Notice Graham's patriotic passy.

I look like a hot mess and Parker looks ticked about the situation. I promise, he really did enjoy them.

On a side note, look at this cuteness I found in my backyard yesterday. Not to sound a bit crazy, but she and I have many similarities, two of which really stand out. We are both mothers of two and are constantly trying to keep our kids from getting hit by cars.