Birthday labor of love

So, your son loves dollhouses.  You decide that's what you will get him for his birthday.  You go shopping.  Every dollhouse is pink, plastic and heinous.    

Naturally, you find a 50 year old wooden dollhouse on Craigslist that is 1.5 hours away each direction, but you MUST. HAVE. IT.    

You get it home and think, oh CRAP, this is going to be a lot of work.  
You spend the next two months using every free moment to "rehab" your son's birthday gift.  

What?  That's not what you do?

This is the dollhouse I bought.  Hard to tell from the pictures but it stands almost three feet tall and is three feet wide.  I still can't believe this sucker fit in my (tiny) car. 
I bought a couple lots of old dollhouse furniture from garage sales.
Then I got to the business of rehabbing.  I will save you the DIY photos, but rest assured, there were shutters and window boxes made, doors installed, astroturf planted, hardwood floors fitted (lol!), and many of my old clothes were upcycled to slipcovers.   I am so happy with how it turned out.   

Most importantly, the birthday boy LOVES it.   He has been spending hours in front of this house making up stories, introducing his dolls to their rooms and showing them where the potty is.  Making them breakfast and getting them dressed.    

I have to say it was a moment of brilliance on my part to take these photos below before gifting him the dollhouse as it now looks like Hurricane Sandy has blown through.  

This was one gift that has exceeded expectations.  He is thrilled and I am so proud.  :)

Address is 1031 because his birthday is 10/31.  Obviously!
 Abel's room

 Dining Room
 Living Room

 P.S.  Special thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for help, power tools, and buying A his dolls who get to live in this house.  :)


Annual Birthday Eve Interview

Last year I (hopefully) started a tradition of Birthday Eve videos.
Believe it or not, this was the best of our 13 takes.  Seriously...the threes are not going to be easy are they?

Happy birthday eve, sweet boy!

And last year's two year old video. What a baby!


To capture

Do you ever find yourself in a moment, a perfect moment, where you think "Oh! I should grab my camera!!" And then you realize that not even the fanciest camera on earth with the most expensive lens or the best trained eye could capture this perfect moment?

So you just enjoy it, soak it in, and try so hard to burn it on the layers of your brain. To remember this perfect moment for those days in the future when you are no longer welcomed to cuddle the little one to sleep.

Bedtime songs. Twinkle, twinkle.

Crinkled brown nose.
Dimple after dimple after dimple.
Head thrown back with wild, cackling laughter.

That was just for me.

But then tonight, bathtime. Camera readily available.
These I'll share...


do good and do better.

A friend was trying to come up with a word or phrase to be her inspiration/motivation for her goals for the upcoming year. I decided I wanted to do the same, because I am original like that.

On the third day of this new year, I've finally settled on mine:

Do good. And do better.

I have twenty pages of a handful of resolutions (god, i love making those...it's an illness), but I wanted to find a phrase that would encompass all of them and keep me on track in a grander kind of way. I thought this might help me remember the reason that I'm (trying to) exercise more, eat more healthily, parent with heart, make time for the things I really love, and communicate more compassionately. All of these things will help me to do more good in the world and do it better.

Easy. Right?
This one has made a NY commitment to baby wearing. Or, Elmo-wearing. He wears him kangaroo-style.
I don't question his nurturing tendencies.