Monday, May 31, 2010

Decluttering The Devers - May 2010

May brought another fairly simple decluttering project.  Actually, this is a project I do about every two months, but I am going to try to keep this one up....we'll see how it goes.  This month, we (yes, Danny helped) decluttered our dining room table.  April and May were super busy for us and our dining room table became a catchall for magazines, junk mail, Easter stuff, Emerson's school art, Beach Ball stuff and a bunch of other crap stuff.  I'm actually pretty embarrassed at how bad it got.  I found things I had forgotten about; my popsicle maker Christmas present from Amy (probably need to get that one in the freezer for the summer) and two gift certificates that I hadn't used.  Amazing the things you find when you take the time to organize.  So, Danny and I spent the majority of today (yes, I waited 'til the last minute to do this project) sorting, recycling, putting up, and throwing away all the stuff that had made it's home on our dining room table since the last time I did this project.  We even moved Emerson's play kitchen upstairs to, what will hopefully become, her play corner in our bonus room.  I've said it before, but this time I am really going to try to not put anything on my dining room table unless it's going to the Herman house in the near future, or going to the mailbox.  I'm probably setting myself up for failure but I am REALLY going to try.  Dinner party anyone??  I can actually host now!!!!

BEFORE
(embarrassing!!!)

AFTER
(Clean!!)

A Mattress Debacle

After our road trip to Charlotte, we decided we were going to get Emerson's new big girl mattress and box springs from somewhere other than IKEA. So the next day, Sunday, we did some research online and were trying to find somewhat cheap sets.  Knowing that wetting the bed is in our near future, we didn't want to spend an arm and a leg on anything. We found an ad on Craigslist advertising mattress and box spring sets on sale "for that weekend only" for a fairly decent price. We made a phone call at 4:04 pm only to find out that the sale was running through 6:00 pm that night and then it was over...so off we went. Sketchy is the only word I know to describe the warehouse we ended up in Raleigh, but the mattresses were certainly new and in their original plastic wrap and were a great price....so we bit the bullet and bought one. The guy who was working there (a very favorable resemblance to 50 Cent) put both the mattress and box spring on our car and tied them down. He did a much better job than Danny or I could have ever done but I still had my doubts about us driving the 35 miles back home. We made it about 10 miles and I told Danny we needed to pull over, the entire set had shifted and was hanging off the car about 3 inches. So, we pulled over, re-shifted it back on top of the car and were back on our way.

Danny went 50 mph the whole way home. The plastic was making an awful sound as it flapped against our car. We were a mile from home, A MILE, and then I heard the worst noise ever and all I could see in the side view mirror was the mattress and box spring literally flying in the air behind us until they made their landing in the middle of I-40. I am not kidding, the middle of I-40. Oh, did I forget to say that it had just started torrentially downpouring....yes, forgot to mention that part. Danny quickly pulled off onto the shoulder of the interstate and ran the 1/4 mile to get both the mattress and box spring.  It was Sunday evening, and I-40 was being heavily travelled.  Luckily all the cars stopped so Danny could run out and grab the set on the road.   Even more lucky is that the mattress and box spring didn't end up on someone's car or make them swerve and hit someone else's car.   I can't believe no one was hurt and we said our prayers of thanks....it really is a miracle. 

Emerson had no clue what was going on, so she was full of questions.  I hopped in the driver seat and backed the car up to where Danny was on the side of the road.  Backing up on the shoulder of a major highway with a toddler asking questions at rapid fire is a pretty scary thing.  We knew we couldn't fit the set in the back of our SUV, and getting them on our car and tied back down was going to be impossible.  We ended up calling our neighbor/builder, Jasper, who has a huge truck.  Emerson was still pretty confused with what was going on and we had this little conversation while we waited for Jasper: 

Emerson: Mommy, did my big girl bed fall off the car?
Me: Yes, Emerson it did, but Daddy's getting it.
Emerson: But, it's going to get wet.
Me: Well, it had plastic on it so it won't be that wet, but if it is, we will just dry it out a bit. 
Emerson:  It's okay Mommy, we can just go get another one.

(Oh, so much to teach the little one...especially when it comes to spending money!!)

Finally Jasper showed up to rescue us!!  Thank God for Jasper...I know we've said that on more than one occasion.  Danny threw the set in the back of Jasper's truck and he hauled it the next mile to our house.  We assessed the damage, which thankfully was minimal.  We do think the mattress got run over by a car and surprisingly, the box spring only had a small bit of fraying on the fabric.  We are so fortunate we didn't hurt anyone and we have certainly learned our lesson about tying things to our car.  What a day!

A Road Trip to Charlotte!!

Last Saturday, we decided to hit the road for a quick trip to Charlotte.  We had two missions; first, see the townhouse we are helping our nephew buy in the NoDa area of Charlotte, and second, a trip to IKEA in search of a "BIG GIRL" bed for Emerson.  So first thing Saturday morning we hit the road for a day trip to Charlotte.

So far, Emerson has been a pretty good and easy traveller but when you add Cheerios and a Handy Manny video, with her very own "ears" to listen to it, it makes car travelling with a toddler a BREEZE!!!



Our first objective was to visit the townhouse with Coco (Corey) and the real estate agent, because to this point, we hadn't seen the property in person.  We still haven't closed on this property, it's a foreclosure and the process has been a bit more detailed and time consuming than a normal property purchase. Hopefully we will close this week. 

The Townhouse


Living, Kitchen, Dining
(hideous yellow color throughout the house, it's funny because it's the same color in my kitchen that I have been trying to replace for at least two years.  Now I have to worry about it in two houses...UGH!!  At least Corey will be getting his painted soon....I think I will have to live with my yellow a bit longer..Boo!!!)

Green Room, Blue Room, and their Shared Bathroom
(the previous owner really loved color...really bright colors!)

Corey's Penthouse Suite!!!
(3rd Floor Bedroom, Bathroom, and Terrace)

Back Porch

Charlotte (the daughter of our real estate agent) 
and Emerson having fun. 

After touring the townhouse, we had lunch with Corey and then headed to Dean and Deluca, where Corey works, to get Emerson a promised cupcake.  If anyone knows Dean and Deluca, their cupcakes are HUGE, so we fudged a bit and told her that these peanut butter truffle cups were "mini-cupcakes".  She didn't bat an eyelash and enjoyed every minute of eating one!!



A short sugar-induced nap on the way to IKEA.  I love how Emerson feel asleep clutching her bow in her hand. 


Time to accomplish our second task at hand; find a BIG GIRL bed for Emerson.  I think Emerson tried out every bed at IKEA, crawling on, jumping on, covering up, and rolling around.  She certainly tried them all on for size.  We started in the "adult bed" area.  Emerson ran from bed to bed to bed.....even pretending to be asleep on some them!!


My favorite picture, what a sweetie!!!

We moved to the toddler section of IKEA next; probably the brightest and most fun section of the entire place, at least for Emerson!!!  The beds in this section were a lot closer to Emersons size, so the running and jumping was a bit easier.  They had several bedrooms set up and of course, one of them even had a slide.  It was hard to pull Emerson away from all the fun. 

I think we finally settled on a bed for Emerson, one that Mom, Dad, and Emerson all liked.  We decided to wait and come back to IKEA to get the frame when we close on the townhouse.  So, needless to say, Emerson is still in her crib, but hopefully soon, the big girl bed will make its blog debut.  We had a great time together as a family road tripping to Charlotte!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Show-and-Tell #38: Unicorn

Last Friday, Emerson took her stuffed unicorn to school for Show-and-Tell.  We don't really have a name for the unicorn, we've just called her "unicorn".  This was given to Emerson by her Aunt "Diamond" or "Di-nane" , as Emerson calls her, before Emerson even made it into the world.  The unicorn has a special spot on Emerson's bookcase and watches over all her books at night, not to mention watching over "the princess" while she sleeps!!

Show-and-Tell #38
Unicorn
May 21, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I (HEART) New York


Last Saturday, May 15th (I know! I am SO behind on blogging), my mom and I hopped on a plane with my aunt and uncle for a 36-hour adventure in the Big Apple.  We were headed to see my cousin, Alice, perform in her first Off-Broadway show!  She's a cellist, and has lived in New York City for a very long time, attending college there and then staying to pursue her music career.  We were all very excited for her "Off-Broadway" debut. 

I have such fond memories from my childhood of travelling to New York City.  My parents and I took our first trip at least 15 years ago, staying right in Times Square. I still remember the three shows we saw: The Phantom of the Opera, Guys and Dolls, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (with Matthew Broderick).  Being a dancer for most of my life, I have always loved the arts, but it was that trip that introduced me to the magic of Broadway Theatre. I was hooked!! Every trip back to New York since, I've managed to see at least one show.  But it isn't just the theatre that made me fall in love with New York.  The hustle and bustle, the lights, Central Park, the shopping, the culture, the diversity, the buildings, the shopping, the food, it's unbelievable greatness (8 million people live on that small island), Times Square, the cheesecake, oh, and you can't forget, THE SHOPPING!!!  But, I digress.

So, we were off to experience this great city for a very short and fast 36 hours. 

While Edward and Stephanie met Alice for brunch with friends and then the ballet, my mom and I decided to hit Fifth Avenue (among other places) for some shopping!!!  We hit all the greats, Tiffany & Co., Bergdorfs, FAO Schwarz, Henri Bendel, Saks 5th Avenue, Bloomingdale's, and Dylan's Candy Bar.  We stopped to eat lunch at The Summer Garden in Rockefeller Center (better known as the ice skating rink in the winter).  We truly walked all over Fifth Avenue and with my mom's not-quite-healed-yet broken ankle, it wasn't an easy feat for her.  She was certainly a trooper knowing we were trying to cram everything into such a short time frame. 
FAO Schwarz

The Barbie Section at FAO
They had my first Barbie (Peaches n' Cream Barbie) in her original packaging....I almost bought her for Emerson, but decided to wait.

Some sites from our shopping expedition!!

After our shopping expedition, we headed back to our hotel, rested a bit, and then got ready for Alice's big debut.  The entire play, El Poeta y El Compositor, was in Spanish.  Although we didn't understand a word of the play, it was great to see Alice and she did an awesome job, playing for every musical number.  After the show, we all headed to one of our favorite eating establishments in New York, Carmine's.  It was certainly a very long day, but I had a blast and it was nice to have some quality family time. 


The next morning we all slept in a bit (as much as you can sleep-in in New York City).  We had an 11:30 brunch reservation at Paradou in the meatpacking district, so we had time to spare that morning to be lazy.  The brunch was great, other than our crazy cab rides down (we had to split up), the "witch" we had for a hostess, and a slight confrontation with her, but the meal and the atmosphere were terrific.  After brunch, we had some time to spare before heading to the airport.  We decided to walk around the area for a bit and of course, my camera was constantly clicking...



A fashion company was doing a shoot for their line....I decided to take some pictures too.  These women were tall and beautiful and the clothing was certainly UNIQUE.


My mom had the great idea to stop on the street and do an impromptu photo shoot for Alice.  The red painted brick and the steel garage door offered a great backdrop.  This is just a sneak peek...I will blog with all the others.  There were too many good ones to put them all on this post.  Great idea Mom!!!  Alice, I hope you can use some these on your blog and website!!

I had a great time with my mom, and the rest of my family on this trip.  Although, I love my sweet little girl and dear husband, it is always nice to have a small break and getaway for some fun of your own...but don't get me wrong, I missed them both dearly in my 36 hours absence and it was nice to come home.  Emerson gave me a very welcome homecoming with lots of hugs and kisses and was attached at my hip for the next two days.  Now I know how Danny feels to come home to a very lovey little girl!!!  Thanks for letting me steal a moment of fun in the Big Apple and thanks to my mom for treating me to such a fun 36 hour adventure!!!
Some of my favorites from the trip.....










Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Road Trip!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Show-and-Tell #37: My Child Doll

Last week Emerson went back to the vault-that-was-Mommy's-past-toys for her Show-and-Tell item.  She decided to take "Stacey" for Show-and-Tell.  I LOVED this doll growing up, her face alone would melt your heart. I fondly remember playing with her, but old age has taken over in my brain and I can't remember her name.  So, when Emerson asked me her name, I said Stacey.  I remember having a doll named Stacey and I thought she just might be it, but I have since remembered that this wasn't my Stacey doll...that's another doll tucked away in the vault.  So, even though Emerson is calling her Stacey, I decided to do some Internet research to find this dolls real name. 

Wow, did I open up a can of worms!  I knew "Stacey" was a collectible, but I never knew I would find so much information on the doll.  According to Wikipedia, My Child Dolls were created by Mattel from 1985 - 1988 to compete with the ever famous Cabbage Patch Kids (at the time made by Coleco but later taken over by Hasbro and then eventually Mattel, go figure).  I also have a ton of Cabbage Patch Kids in my vault...I am sure they will make a Show-and-Tell appearance in the future.  Okay back to "Stacey",  these My Child Dolls have a huge following: collectors websites, restoration websites, a Facebook fan page (which I joined so that I can find out her name), and even a petition to get them re-released (would love for that to happen!!).  These people are crazy about these dolls and restoration is a serious business.  Whoa.  Actually, with all my research, I came to find that my doll is in pretty good shape (remember, I told you I LOVED her) and in very sellable condition.  Selling is also a big business too, some of them going for more than $200!   There are websites devoted to restoring these dolls with tips and tricks from getting their hair back to its original condition, to dealing with a "sagging neck" or "melting eyes".  Check out some of these restorations:

A very old photo of the My Child Doll line
 (aren't they just the cutest!!)

BEFORE and AFTER
(source: My Child Workshop)

I told you restoration was BIG business.  It is amazing what they can do to restore these little angels.  I have been inspired to do some restoring myself.  We'll see how it turns out and, of course, I will update you on any progress and hopefully we will get an ORIGINAL name for "Stacey" soon!!

My Child Doll resource pages:


Show-and-Tell #37
My Child Doll
May 14, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: School Pictures, Spring 2010

School Pictures, Spring 2010
Emerson (2 years, 10 months)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mother's Day at Maple View

I didn't feel great on Mother's Day, so between sneezing, snotting and blowing my nose (Yuck!), I got to just lay around the house most of the day.  It was actually quite nice!!  Emerson and Danny let me sleep in on Sunday morning and when I finally appeared at 8:30 am (yes, that's sleeping in now), they surprised me with my Mother's Day gift.  The rest of the day they were great and let me just sit on the couch, surf the web, and watch TV.  I got a few snuggles in with Emerson here and there, but for the most part I tried to stay away from her; I didn't want to pass my cold to her (which had already been passed from Danny to me).  As many of you know, I'm not one to just sit around (I usually need to be doing something at all times), and by about 3:00 pm I was a bit stir crazy.  So I mustered up everything I had to get dressed, so we could venture out of the house for an hour or two.  I had to run an errand so while we were out, we decided to head over to Maple View Farm for their famous ice cream.  I can't believe in all my years of living in this area, I had never been to Maple View.  I constantly hear about it and had always wanted to try it.  Since Emerson is on such an ice cream kick right now, I thought it would be a great little outing that wouldn't take too much energy, out of an already energy-ridden mommy!! 

I guess since UNC's graduation was that same day and it was Mother's Day, everyone else in Chapel Hill had the same idea we did.  It was packed....and the line was out the door!!!

Check out these great sites from Maple View......truly an old fashioned creamery. 

Emerson wanted to take home some of the chocolate milk (certainly my child!!!), which I am sure was super rich and creamy!!  We passed on the milk but good to know you can buy it at anytime, along with cheese, eggs, and regular milk, all of which are fresh from the farm.

After our 25 minute wait, it was finally time to order our ice cream....Emerson decided on Cookies n' Cream (all we had to tell her was vanilla ice cream with Oreos and she was sold), I had Cookie Dough in a sugar cone, and Danny had Carolina Crunch in a sugar cone.  After getting our treats, we headed outside to the huge wraparound porch, grabbed a rocking chair and Emerson proceeded to dig in to her Cookies n' Cream.  After having a few problems with the spoon, she motioned to me to hold my ice cream....so we ended up switching and she ate my ice cream cone and I got her ice cream cup.  Not sure how that happened that she pretty much got to eat both things of ice, I got robbed, but not really....it was great to see her eat an ice cream cone and it made for even better pictures.

After finishing our ice cream, which lived up to it's reputation, we walked across the street to a field where they were offering "horse drawn wagon" rides.  Emerson immediately saw the horses when we pulled up and we promised her we would visit them when we finished our ice cream.  We learned that Jim and Jack, give rides every 2nd and 4th weekend.  Although we didn't take a ride this time, I am sure we will be back soon to take a ride on the wagon. 

Once we peeled Emerson away from the horses, it was time to head home but not before one last picture in front of the Maple View Farm sign.  I'm pretty sure this won't be the last post you ever read about Maple View....we are excited to go back one day for a visit to their agricultural center and of course, for more ICE CREAM!!!!