Saturday, February 26, 2011

Emersonisms: Money doesn't grow on trees

I feel pretty fortunate that I get to eat lunch with Emerson three times a week.  Usually during lunch we have conversations about school, friends, swimming, dance, and all that's going on in her pretty little head!!  This past week we reminisced about our recent trip to Disney!!


Emerson: Mommy, I want to go back and see Mickey!!

Me: But we just saw Mickey.


Emerson: I know that but I want to see him at the hotel again


Me: Well we might go back but it might not be anytime soon.  It costs A LOT of money to see Mickey!


Emerson: Do you have a lot of money?


Me: No, I just spent it all seeing Mickey with you!!


Emerson: Well, you can get some more! (with her hands on her hips and shaking her head up and down)



Me: It's not that easy to get more money.


Emerson: Yes it is!  (still shaking her head)

Me: Really?  Where can I get more?


Emerson: At the money store...you just go in and get it!


Me: Wow, where is this money store?


Emerson: Mommy, it's a really long way from here!



Oh, Emerson, you are so wise beyond your years....you are completely right....the money store is a REALLY long way from here!!!  Keep dreaming, though!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Disney 2011 - A Not-So-Magical Start

Two weeks ago, we traveled to Disney World for the second time with Emerson for a very magical week of fun with Mimi and Birdie!!

Let me give you some background on our 2011 Disney trip:

*This trip was an idea by my mom, who said after she retired (which happened in December), "She wanted to go to Disney World!!"  Well, she didn't have to twist our arms much on that one.  We were geared and ready for another fun-filled week at the "Happiest Place on Earth".  

*Danny and I decided we weren't going to tell Emerson about the trip until the morning we were scheduled to leave and we weren't going to tell her about Mimi and Birdie being there until she laid eyes on them when we got there (they drove down to Florida a day early, we flew).

*On the Thursday before we left, our secret plan was almost foiled by a Crocs sales woman.  My mom had gone to our local Crocs kiosk while she was shopping and put a pair of shoes on hold for me.  Apparently my mom and the sales woman had a conversation about the trip, but not about the secret part. When we showed up to try on the shoes, the woman greeted us with, "I hear you are headed to Disney World."  Unbelievable!!!  I was luckily standing behind Emerson and quickly shook my head "NO"and shot the woman a look that surely told her she had just made a HUGE mistake.  The woman quickly got the message and said, "No, oh, it must have been someone else." Danny jumped in with a verifying, "Yes, must be someone else; we aren't headed to Disney World."  Really? If my whole plan was going to be spoiled by a Crocs sales woman, I was going to be pissed.  Luckily, I think Emerson was confused and didn't pick up on it.  Whew!!

Cue the morning of our trip.....
Saturday
February 12, 2011

*We hoped after telling Emerson about Disney World we would get a reaction like some of the Disney commercials you see running right now.  Well, we didn't quite get the reaction we were thinking.  After Emerson got up, we went about our usual Saturday routine of heading downstairs in our pajamas for breakfast and cartoons.  Before we turned on the TV, we asked Emerson what she wanted to do that day.  She said, "I don't know, play!!" That was a great segway...
"Emerson, would you want to go play at Disney World?" 
"What?" she says.  
"We're going to Disney World today.  We are getting on a plane and flying to Disney World." 
 "No!"  
This went on for a few minutes.  Emerson couldn't believe we were actually going, she didn't believe us and at one point actually said, "I don't want to go, I want to stay here."  I think she may have been confused by the event that happened just a few days earlier with the Crocs saleswoman.  Anyway, it took us saying that Papa was coming to pick us up and take us to the airport to actually validate that we were going.  Not quite the reaction we were looking for but she finally came around.  We video taped the whole thing thinking we would be able to send it to Disney and maybe win another trip but I'm not sure their marketing department is going to want to use footage of a little girl saying, "No, I don't want to go, I want to stay here."

*December and January in the Dever household were complete blurs; and I didn't do as much planning for this trip as I had for last year's trip.  I did manage to get us signed up for two character meals though;   the Princess Breakfast at Epcot and the Disney Pals lunch at Hollywood Studios.  Saturday morning as we were getting ready, I decided to send both of those reservations to my email so I could easily access them on my phone.  UNBELIEVABLE!!!  Our reservation for the Disney Breakfast was Saturday, February 12 (the current morning) not Sunday, as I thought I had planned.  I immediately jumped on the phone to Disney Dining Reservations.  Our reservation was at 9:30 am and it was now 11:00 am.  The reservation agent told me that I was counted as a no-show and it would probably be charged on my credit card.  I was devastated and I was sure she could tell in my voice; not to mention, I was going to have a very upset three year old if she didn't get to see the princesses.  I asked her to see if there was anything available for the next day.  She took a few minutes looking in the system and said she could get us in for Sunday at 10:30 am.  I'LL TAKE IT!!  They were able to move that mornings reservation to the next day, so I wasn't going to be charged for it.  Gotta love customer service at Disney!!  Whew, crisis averted and off to the airport we went.  

*Since it was around lunchtime, we knew Emerson was going to need something to eat.  We sat down at the small restaurant and ordered our food.  There was some miscommunication between Danny and me about ordering and we ended up with three meals, not the original two meals, as planned.  Emerson and I were supposed to share a meal so we didn't have lots of food left over that we couldn't take with us in a to-go box.  As the waitress was bringing the drinks, she tipped the tray and a drink went all over Danny.  Luckily it didn't soak him but it wasn't a great start to our lunch.  We finished our meal in peace without any other hiccups.  As we finished up, I requested a to-go piece of foil for our cheese sandwich and quesadilla.  Something just told me we might need it later.  We paid the bill, pottied, and were off to get in line for our flight.  

*What happens next can be judged as not-so-magical, or very magical depending on how you look at it.  We finally got on the plane and everything was great.  We were taxiing to the runway and it seemed to be taking awhile.  I looked at Danny, who immediately said, "This isn't good" and pointed to the window.  We were back at the gate.  Danny, the seasoned traveler, knew this was not going to end well.  This was all being compounded by a preschooler that was super excited to be on a plane and was asking for water every 30 seconds.  We sat there for a minute and then the pilot announced that we had mechanical issues and asked everyone to sit tight for a few minutes.  Danny asked the flight attendant for some water for Emerson, in hopes that it would stop the constant asking!!  Problem solved!!   The pilot came back and informed us that we had a hydraulic leak and one whole tank had completely depleted during our taxi.  Ummm, no way is that good news!!  He mentioned that he could fly with only one tank, but using his best judgement, he didn't think it was the smartest idea.  Thank God we had a cautious pilot!!  We were instructed that we were going to have to deplane and wait for a new plane to come.  Wow, there were some unhappy people and kids on that flight.  We all got off the plane and were instructed to wait in the gate area until our name was called.  As we were finding seats to take hostage until our next plane arrived, our names were called.  Danny returned from the attendant with news that we wouldn't be leaving until 4:50 pm...our original flight was 1:05 pm.   So, we took out the DVD player, threw in a movie and tried to appease Miss Priss for the almost four hour layover.  

Finally a picture...can you believe it!!

Danny helping Emerson get situated with her movie!!

A very content girl just watching her movie and being very patient, considering she was told, just hours ago, that she was headed to Disney and is now having to sit in an airport and wait for a new flight.

*Good thing I saved that food from lunch; it came in rather handy while we were waiting and Emerson mentioned she was hungry.  I also had to call my parents and have them run all the errands we had planned on running once we got there; groceries and tickets from our favorite discount tickets place. We also canceled our dinner that was planned that night with some of Danny's college friends (our plane wasn't scheduled to arrive until 7:00 pm).   Oh well...I would have rather canceled all appointments, missed out on errands, and sat in the airport, than to have flown with only one tank of hydraulic fuel (did I mention hydraulic fuel is what helps you land the plane!).  So, I think this was a pretty magical "bump in the road" that happened and there was certainly an angel looking out for us!!!  At the end of the flight, as we were getting off the plane, the pilot invited Emerson into the cockpit to "fly" the plane.  It was so nice of him and Emerson had a great time pretending to drive, although I was standing in the galley telling her not to touch anything!!



We were successful in getting our bags and the rental car without any hitches.  I could tell Emerson was getting sleepy.  Once we were in the rental car, I texted my mom and told her we were on our way so they could prepare to surprise Emerson.  Emerson was talking to us from the back seat, but then it got eerily quiet...too quiet to have an awake child in the car.  Wouldn't you know it?  Emerson was sound asleep...she literally talked herself to sleep.  Another surprise foiled!! I am sure my parents were disappointed that they couldn't surprise her that night as we walked into the condo.  But there was always the next day, right?  And the Disney trip begins....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Consignment Shopping

A couple of weeks ago my friend Nancy sent me her friends pass for the bi-annual Kids Everywear consignment sale.  I didn't cosign this time around, so I was so grateful to Nancy for sending me her pass. In the haste of life, I forgot to put the shop date on my calendar, and if it doesn't go on my calendar, I'm sure to forget about it....and I did!  But last night as I was going through a bunch of emails, I came across the original email from Nancy and decided I would head out today and try my luck at shopping the consignment sale.  I TOTALLY should have been working, catching up from being out last week, but that's why I took this new job, right?  The flexibility!!  So off I headed this morning at 9:50 am (in time for the 10:00 am opening) to find some good deals...just me, myself, and I.  Peace. Solitude. Lots of clothes and armed with a credit card.  Ahh, it's been awhile since I had two solid hours of uninterrupted shopping to myself.  Pure Bliss!!

So since most of you have only heard from me about the consigning side of these sales, I thought it would be nice to blog about the buying side (I do know a few things about buying clothes, right?).   I really don't have a strategy going into these sales, especially KidsEverywear because it is huge!  I usually head straight to the boutique rack and then to the regular racks.  Today, after the boutique rack I headed straight to the size 5 racks (explanation later).

(sorry for the photo quality, these were taken with my Droid)

Secretly taking a picture of the size 5 racks!!

After I finished the daunting size 5 row, I rounded the corner to see this.....both sides were size 4.  I decided to opt out and realized my basket was pretty full.  So I started the task of keeping and eliminating, and after making a few hard decisions on what to put back, I was finished shopping and very happy with all my finds.

Check out all the clothes!!!

All in a good day's SALE!!

Here's a run down of my loot from the day:

3 skirts/skorts
3 dresses
5 tops
4 pairs of shorts
3 pairs of capris
2 matching outfits (with bonus bow)
1 jean jacket
1 dance outfit
1 warm-up outfit for our expected new neighbor Bryce

23 items
Total Spent - $128.22

Skirts and Dresses
The pink and aqua skirts were each $1.00 a piece....I couldn't pass that up, especially since they were still in great condition.  The skirt in the middle still had the tags on it, granted it's Target but it was half of what I would have paid in the store.  And, I can't wait to show you what I have planned for the three dresses....so cute!  I feel a craft project (and blog) in my future!!

The Tops
Four of these tops still had the tags on them

Shorts and Capris
I am so ready for short and capri weather now, love the details on the pink shorts and capris....who doesn't love turtles and flamingos?!?!

My favorite purchase from today...so cute and they have Emerson written all over them.  They literally screamed, "Buy Me" from the rack!!

Outfit Sets
How cute are these two outfits sets.   I'm still a sucker for a set and check it out, one of the sets came with a bonus hair bow...SCORE!!!

Miscellaneous
A dance dress, a jean jacket (although it's way too big for this year, it will go in the back of the closet for next year), and a cute outfit for Mr. Bryce, who will arrive in April.

All the Loot!!!

What I've learned from shopping consignment sales:
1. If your child wears a 3T, then shop in the 4T section.  If your child wears a 4T, then shop in the 5T section - hence always shop one or two sizes above your current size because people wash and dry the dickens out of their clothing.

2. I'm sure this will come as a shock to you all, but I am pretty particular when it comes to clothes and this makes it, sometimes, difficult to shop the sales.

3. People's taste in clothing is always shocking, err, different than mine, but to each his own, right??

4. People must stock pile their clothes for years, because there was clothing there today from when I was 5 years old. If it isn't in fashion people, don't bring it to the sale.  (Although, back to #3, someone will probably buy it!). 

5. People are really proud of their really worn, super shrunk, stained Gymboree outfits (or any other brand).  People, if I can buy it in the store NEW for $15, why would I buy it from you stained and faded for $14.  

6. Take something to carry clothes in.  Kids Everywear actually offers you a clothes bin, but they could run out if there are tons of people, so always take an extra bag to put clothes in so you don't end up with shopping fingers (not the technical term, but it's a real thing folks!!). 

7. When going through each rack, always pull everything you think you might want to buy and then go back through everything at the end.  If you don't do this, then when you go back to find an earlier item, It. Will. Most. Certainly. Be. Gone!!

8. Always ask your husband how much he thinks you spent, more than likely it will look like a lot and he will estimate high, so when you tell him the real total, he will be pleasantly surprised. 

9. Always have fun trying the clothes on your little one and talking about how cute they are, she'll never know they weren't new (and probably wouldn't care anyways)!


Happy Shopping, Y'all!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Treats

Last year, I loved the Valentine's treats we made Emerson's class.  But this year, since we weren't going to be here for Valentine's Day, we have two classes to make for, and I used all my time last week to finish up work projects and pack, I opted for store bought (more like internet bought) treats.  I wanted something that was somewhat unique and that I could put a cute, catchy saying on.  I found some adorable ideas on all the blogs I follow, but all of them involved making something, so I perused one of my favorite sites when it comes to kid's parties, Oriental Trading.  I found these adorable packets to stuff popcorn in.  I was sold, and placed my order that second.  These came just in time last week and I stuffed them on Wednesday night for delivery to school on Thursday and Friday.  I also opted out of the cute saying....more work than it was worth!!  Not as creative as some of my other treat adventures but it certainly did the trick this year!!  Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day!!




Show-and-Tell #65: Tiana

This past Friday for Show-and-Tell Emerson took one of her Disney princesses, a gift from Daddy after his most recent business trip.  Although Emerson has only seen the Princess and the Frog once, she loves Tiana!  We are slowly completing the entire princess set, maybe a new princess will be added to the collection this week while we are at Disney!
Show-and-Tell #65
Princess Tiana
February 11, 2011



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Decluttering The Devers - January 2011 (in February)

We are back for round two this year of Decluttering The Devers.  I hope I can make it all twelve months in 2011.  I got slack the last quarter of 2010 and didn't post any decluttering projects, so my main goal is to do a project every month in 2011(of course that was my original goal in 2010 and you see how well that worked out!).  As you can see, I'm not really getting off to a great start as I am just getting around to posting January's project, but better late than never, right??

So, this past Sunday, I spent a good two hours collecting and throwing out most every magazine in my house. As Danny will tell you, they had truly taken over our house.  He actually said I shouldn't post this, because some of my readers might think I'm a hoarder.  Well, for all 20 of my loyal readers, I am not a Hoarder.  I seriously have/had good intentions for these magazines, but time got away from me and I let them collect into piles.  But unlike a hoarder, I actually trashed my magazines and didn't let them pile up to the ceiling (close, but not quite to the ceiling)!!

All the magazines I could find in my house....seriously, this is every magazine I own!!
(Shh, don't tell Danny there are still two drawers upstairs but I will get to those later)

Piles of about 30 magazines per pile, 3 piles deep and 4 piles wide....do the math people!!!

So, I seriously had magazines from 2007, mostly baby mags that I thought I would have time to go through while on maternity leave, yeah right!!  But here's a run down of the different types of magazines and catalogs I had.  I do have subscriptions to US Weekly and Parenting, but everything else is free. Crazy.

Catalogs I receive:
Pottery Barn/ Pottery Barn Kids/ Pottery Barn Teen
Ballard Designs
Personal Creations
Company Kids
Frontgate
Garnet Hill
L.L. Bean/ L.L. Bean Kids
Restoration Hardware
CWD Kids
Lillian Vernon
Home Decorations Collection
Oriental Trading
Kelly's Kids
Brookstone
Sensational Beginnings
Posh Tots
Serena & Lily
Just Ducky
Sweet Tea
One Step Ahead
Creative Playthings
Boden USA
Mini Boden
Chasing Fireflies
Olive Juice
.....and I am sure there are some I am forgetting

Magazines:
Chapel Hill Magazine
Durham Magazine
Southern Living
US Weekly
Real Simple
Martha Stewart Living
Fifteen 501
Parenting
Parents
....and all the ones from 2007 (Mom & Baby, Baby Talk, American Baby, Pregnancy and Fit Pregnancy)

My plan of attack, if it didn't have a date of 2010 or 2011 on it, it went in the recycle pile (except for a few decorating mags that I just couldn't part with).  I still have high hopes of going through some of the magazines and pulling out recipes and house ideas that I love, that's why I kept one pile of mags that were current (2010 date or higher).  I got rid of everything else and here's the proof....

Our recycling bin

After Danny took the trash out on Monday evening, he came in and said, "We're gonna get a fine from the city, because when recycling comes tomorrow, our bin is going to break the automatic lifting arm on the recycling truck!"  He seriously said our bin weighed about 200 lbs.  I was curious, so I made sure Tuesday morning I was at our loft window to watch the recycling, and surprisingly the automatic arm picked up our bin.  So, no fine from the city and I completed a MUCH needed decluttering project...Win, Win!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: If she only knew....

....we leave in 3 days for Disney World!!!  We're planning to surprise her on Saturday morning with the news!!

(Thanks to my colleague Erika for getting Emerson this hat when she was at Disney recently!!)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Movie Playdate...

....with the Herman Girls!!!

Amy had to run a quick errand today and since Dale is out of town, she needed someone to watch the girls.  Of course I was happy to have the girls come over and keep Emerson some company.  We decided to watch one of Emerson's Barbie Fairytopia movies.  We turned the couch around, popped some popcorn and had a great time, even if it was only for about 45 minutes.  Emerson loves Ivie and Macie and it's always a treat when they come over.  

Good thing they came over for dinner tonight to watch the Super Bowl!!!




Show-and-Tell #64: MGM Lions

On Friday for Show-and-Tell, Emerson took her Mommy and baby lions that Danny and I recently brought her back from our trip to Vegas.  If you've never been to Vegas and you ever get the chance to go, you have to go see the lions at the MGM.  I love wild cats (lions, panthers, tigers)...love them!!  I just think they are so majestic!  I had seen the lions on previous trips to Vegas but I got drawn in again and was in a trance for about 30 minutes just watching them play.  I thought Emerson would really enjoy seeing my pictures and then having two lions of her own.  We haven't named the lions yet, but I can tell you they have joined the ranks of her bedtime friends!!

Show-and-Tell #64
MGM Lions
February 4, 2011

Here are some pictures of the real MGM lions.  You can tell they are just cubs because they still have their spots on their back legs.  I could just jump in their habitat with them, but the guys you see in there have been with cubs since birth and the cubs consider them part of the pack.

Look at those paws...they are as big as Emerson's head!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Emersonisms: Crying at movies

I am, certainly, a big sap...especially when it comes to movies!!  I cry at the drop of a hat.  Well, it looks like Emerson has gotten this quality from me.  Right now, we are sitting here watching Lilo & Stitch and during the part when the social worker tells Nani that he is going to take Lilo away the next morning, I look over and Emerson is crying.  Real tears!  It was so sad and cute all at the same time!!  Looks like our 3 year old is really getting in touch with her emotional side (and not the side that throws her body on the floor during a tantrum - wink!).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Preschool Playdough

As part of our "co-op" preschool, it is the responsibility of each household to make colored playdough for the class one month during the school year.  Each month is assigned a certain color and usually goes along with the theme of that month's educational topics.  When Danny and I were at orientation back in early September, the list went around the classroom and Danny got it first (we were on different sides of the room) and signed us up for a month.  When the list got to me, I quickly skimmed it, hoping it wasn't the month of September and then I laid eyes on February and wouldn't you guess...the color that month was PINK, Emerson's favorite color and perfect for Valentine's.  I am sure that was shear coincidence, right??

So last night, Danny, Emerson and I all gathered in the kitchen to make Pink Playdough!!!  I was actually dreading it a bit, I heard from a few moms that it is really messy and I didn't want to mess up one of my expensive pots (not that they ever get messed up by me cooking in them).  I was happily mistaken though, we had a great time making the playdough and it was certainly a great activity for Emerson to participate in.  I got a bit nervous when we moved to the stove to cook the playdough.  Yes, you cook playdough!  Who knew?  I ended up moving Emerson's stool away from the stove, which she was none to happy about.  I'm glad Danny was there to help...I needed all the "man"power I could get.  You have to constantly stir the concoction and it gets thick, quick!!  All-in-all, it was a fun activity and wasn't too messy to clean up, especially since I didn't do the cleaning up, thanks Danny!!  I will post the recipe below, but I would suggest if you are making it for household use, half the recipe because it makes a lot. Enjoy!!

The Ingredients

Our little helper...
measuring, pouring, stirring and trying not to make a mess!!
 
 

Turning it Pink!!!

Stirring Constantly......

Finally thick enough to take off the stove.

Ready to play with the playdough!

Helping Mommy knead the playdough.

 The Frogs Pink Playdough!!

Playdough - The Recipe

4 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups flour (all-purpose)
2 cups salt
4 Tablespoons cream of tartar
Food coloring

*Combine all ingredients in a large cooking pan (non-stick is best).
*Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly
*Continue cooking until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.
*Remove from heat, turn out onto a floured surface and knead in flour until the playdough is not sticky.
*Cool and store in a large Ziploc bag.