Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Month of Thanks...

We have had a terrific month, and so much to be thankful for.
As much as we love our children and couldn't imagine life without them, we also LOVE and are thankful for our much needed and deserved adult time too! Earlier in the month, we got to celebrate Mike's birthday and enjoy that adult time in Madison for a Badger was a blast!

We also have been very thankful this month that Daren finished up the harvest for the year, and has been home in the evenings. It's allowed for all kinds of fun, including eating our supper on the chair bus:) Haddie's driving...Yikes! Watch out:)

As we talked this month about all we are thankful for and what we can do for others, a funny coincidence happened. Danika and I went shopping at the dollar store for gift items for her 'Operation Christmas Child' shoe boxes she was packing for needy children...While we were there, a lady walked up to us and said she noticed what a good, kind girl Danika had been and was wondering if she would like a drawing lap desk? We were both a little unsure, but the woman went to her car and brought in a brand new, in the box, lap desk...apparently she bought it as a gift and never gave it, so she was going to take it to Goodwill, then noticed us in the store! Danika was very excited about it and I thought it was neat for D to be a part of an act of kindness:)
Here she is in bed, drawing a picture on her new lap desk! 
And here is Danika in action the next day packing her 3 shoe boxes full of goodies!
 We also got to see the new 2nd floor children's museum exhibits this month! 

Danika continues to love drawing, coloring and creating...
Here is one of her latest masterpieces! I had never seen her draw a person before, so I was pretty impressed:)
It's supposed to be a picture of Daren (and some other misc... stamps along with her name)

Both girls got haircuts this month, but it was a big deal for Hadster because it was her very 1st!
She actually sat really still as she was taking in her surroundings.

The finished "do"!
She had her bangs trimmed and the mullet in the back cut off to make a nice, neat bob cut:)

She's as cute as always....
and still a trouble maker!
"If you won't give it to me mom, I'll find a way to get what I want myself"

Best buds 
Thanksgiving morning Daren and I always to the Turkey Trot...we thought we'd attempt to take the girls with us this year. Don't they look excited about it?!?!

Yeah, not at all. We signed up for the 5 mile and after much screaming by Haddie and "I'm cold"s by Danika, we decided to veer off course and hopped in with the 2 milers to finish as quickly as possible. Not an enjoyable experience!  I guess now we now for future years:)
We kept the tradition and went to get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving! It was a little chilly, but could have been worse.
Family photo...or wait...the girls didn't quite make the cut I guess:)

Dad and his helper, on a quest for the perfect tree
These poor girls have been non-stop on the go all 5 days of Thanksgiving break...They were zonked out on the drive home from visiting with my Grandma!

After a nap, some play time and baths, these cuties were ready to help decorate the tree
Danika was SO interested in decorating the tree this year. I thought she'd either get bored with it, or get frustrated if the ornaments didn't stay in place, but she worked so hard and helped empty both boxes of ornaments! 

The bottom of the tree is very beautiful:) 
We hope you had a wonderful  November full of Thanks, and have a happy (minimally stressed out) and family filled December!
The most wonderful time of the year:)
The Dummers

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lots of Cathing Up to Do...

Another month has come and gone and we've got lots to share!
Hope you're up for some reading:)
For starters, in case there was any question about it, Ms. Hadster is without a doubt, not a baby anymore! She is starting to repeat everything we say and most definitely has a mind of her own (which we've really known all along, but now she's actually expressing it verbally)
We've also said all along she'd be the child to go to the ER and she's already mastered that, but I still think there will be many more heart stopping moments ahead with Hadster.
She is becoming a very skilled climber these days...which isn't necessarily a good thing!
She creatively stacks things to get to what she wants:)
(disclaimer: obviously the stove and oven were NOT on, or else I wouldn't have grabbed the camera before I grabbed the kid!)
Seriously, kid?!?!? 
To my amazement, she hasn't tried to climb out of her crib yet...let's hope she doesn't anytime soon!
Other than stopping the climber, here's what we've been up to this month:
We celebrated Granny's birthday! 
Danika learned some fun Halloween songs at dance class 
We went to a Halloween/Fall themed pajama story time at the library 
We treasured every minute with dad this month because they were few and far between. He was a busy guy with lots of late and/or overnights at far away locations trying to get the corn harvested. I'm happy to report as I'm typing this he is finishing up his 2nd to last location tonight out of 50+, so hopefully by week's end we will get to see much more of him!
ugh... (back to explaining this picture in a minute)
Yep, I decided it would be a good idea to paint Haddie's room.
We change out minds on a monthly err weekly, OK, daily basis about if /when we are moving, where to, if we want to buy or build etc... I've put a lot of updates and decorating on hold the past 6 or so months because I didn't want to put the time or energy into the house if we were going to sell it, but clearly we don't know what our plan is at this point, so I decided to just enjoy our house now, and not just live in it, but love it, so I felt Haddie's room was ready for an update.
If you remember back a few years ago, this whole blog thing got started with a post about our nursery being complete for baby Dummer #1 to arrive (the link below will take you to that post)
(Not going to lie, I shed a tear looking at that 1st post and thinking about our lives at that time! Glad I didn't read it before I painted or I just may have changed my mind...or at least stalled the project)
It was a lot of work to create the mural on the wall, so it was really bittersweet to decide to paint over it, but I just felt it was time. It's still undecided if there will be another baby Dummer in this family, but now that we have 2 girls, and they are both not babies anymore (how did that happen so fast? :/)
I just didn't love the 'Bunny Meadow' theme and was having a hard time truly making it a girl room, and not a baby room.
One last look at it...
Loved that little bunny Daren painted free-style:) 
I did some blog reading, Pinterest searching, and I finally had a color scheme and plan I loved, so to work I went!
The first job was to take down the frames and letters from Haddie's name- The frames were nailed so that was an easy job... The letters however, not so easy!
(Back to the lovely torn up wall picture above)
We used 3M easy pull stickies to attached the letters to the wall, but they didn't peel quite as easy as I had hoped. Every letter either bubbled, riped, or completely tore the paint drywall from behind the letter. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE... that means 6! So, before I could even paint, we had some major patching, spackling, and texturing to do:/ (Not part of the easy plan to 'just paint')
Once that was complete, it was finally time to paint! I planned 2 walls to be a teal color and the opposite two walls would be 2-toned and painted with a chevron pattern (Chevron is a zig-zag type of line)
In progress...The teal walls turned out great and I even enjoyed the quiet time to myself painting them... 
Then came disaster #2
I used my overhead projector from school to print a Chevron pattern and then I projected it onto the wall (similar to what I did with the meadow scene) I thought it was straight and looked good so I started taping. and taping. and taping some more. Then when I had to move the projector over I could NOT get it matched up. I spent a good hour staring at that darn wall getting so frustrated. Daren even came home around midnight that night and tried to help me, but it just wouldn't work.
Lesson learned- next time I'll put the effort up front to measure the wall and tape spacing that way, vs. a projector that changes with the slightest movement:/
So, after an hour the next day trying again, the tape came down....

...and we did what we knew we could handle...straight lines:) 

Overall, I'm still really happy with how it all turned out. Now I know for next time (a LONG time away:)
I still have a 'to do' list to finish it:
Put up frames
Make a bed skirt and possibly new curtains
and put these up on the wall...
A glimpse of how it turned out... 
Other than consuming my time with painting, I also ran my 4th half marathon.
It was a great, fun race and even though I hadn't had much time to run in September and October, it ended up being one of my favorites yet! 
and of course I can't forget the Halloween festivities this month either:)
The girls opted to paint their pumpkins instead of carving:)
pink, purple, and glittery, of course! 
We had a last minute costume change...with all the drama painting Haddie's room,  I didn't have time to make Danika's costume this year:/ I bought all the fabric to make sleeping beauty, so I had planned to have Haddie be one of the good fairy's from the book/movie. Well, I couldn't find a sleeping beauty costume, so Danika was OK switching to Cinderella...which meant I had to change Haddie too so that they made some sort of sense together.
Haddie ended up being Cinderella too, but before the Fairy Godmother.
These are unfortunately the best pictures I got of our Halloween adventures:/

Danika got to attend her FIRST birthday party! One of her new friend's at daycare this year turned 4 and invited us over for the festivities...
Danika got to play Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Kitty! 

Guess this means I should have a kid party for D in February?!? Seriously, this kid grew up WAY too fast!
...and just a few more fun pics...
Haddie loves to put on hats and boots
 (in the house of course, when we actually need to wear a hat outside that's another story)
What a clown:) 
Last night we had a movie night downstairs... 
Haddie just ran around and jumped on us and babbled away, then we put her to bed half way through and D and I stayed up and watched the rest of the movie Brave. It was really fun bonding time together. We all have missed Daren TONS... but I must admit I treasure our few moments alone together, because they don't happen often and the kid doesn't show me much affection when dad is the few snuggles,  "I love yous" and "This is the best night ever" and "Oh mom, this is so special!" made my whole world better:) I've said it before and I'll say it again, being a mom is CRAZY hard, but it is the absolute most rewarding thing I will ever do in my life!

Hope you all had a great October and have a thankful November! Hopefully I get back to this sooner than a month:)
All our Love,
The Dummer's
Jamie, Daren, Danika & Haddie