Walks With The Girlies : Highfield Discovery Garden

Over the weekend, my mom suggested going to Highfield Discovery Garden in Glenwood Gardens. Neither one of us had been and we were both interested in checking it out. I think we all said "this is so cute/cool/awesome!" a million times. Cora couldn't stop chatting about every thing she would spot and loved running around playing in each section.

There is a big treehouse/play structure, a small train station, a wonky tea house, some giant mushrooms, and a couple other cute structures. The girls loved to bounce around and check out everything.

While we were there, they had a workshop on mud pies. Cora had fun playing around in the mud... while Ida more enjoyed playing in the bucket of water they had for us to rinse off our hands. It was a fun trip discovering a fun new-to-us park in the area. 


Walks With Ida : Black-Eyed Susans

Over the weekend, we stopped by one of our favorite backyards. Ida was so into the black-eyed susans and immediately went off on her own to look through the yard full of flowers. Ida loves nature and is always up for exploring, so this was a perfect little spot for her.


Starting Kindergarten

It's been three months since Cora finished with preschool and time has been flying by. This summer, she asked frequently when school would start again and told me how excited she was to meet all the new friends.

Before school started, all the kids had some scheduled one-on-one time with the teacher for assessments and to get introduced to the teacher and class. Cora insisted on buying her teacher a present for the first day. She picked out a little fake succulent and decorated the pot with paint pens. I love her enthusiasm and thoughtfulness.
The night before school started, I pulled out her extremely wiggly tooth. Cora gets so nervous, but loves the dancing and cheering that follows losing a tooth. I love finding her checking out her missing tooth in the mirror every chance she gets.

Girlfriend was so excited for school! She spent the entire morning asking when it was time for her to go to school. When we arrived at school, she spotted her class line and ran off to meet them. I had to quickly get some first-day-of-school photos while she rolled her eyes and ran off to join the line.

When we picked her up, Cora said she had the best day. She said her favorite part was making two new friends... even though she didn't know their names. I love how Cora takes each new thing with a tiny bit of nervousness and a whole boatload of excitement. She is looking forward to learning all the things and making so many new friends.


Life With Ida : 23 Months

This is my last monthly update for my Ida boo, but I'll still do my yearly updates like I do with Cora. I can't believe my baby girl is almost 2 years old!!!

This month, Ida went on her first vacation. This was her first trip to the lake and she loved it! She loved hanging out on the dock playing in buckets of sand and water. She wasn't the biggest fan of swimming, but would warm up to it on occasion.

We're still working out on getting lots of walks with Ida. Some days she loves the strollers, some days she loves the backpack, and other days she insists on doing all the walking herself. I love that each day is different and we never know what we're going to encounter when we leave the house.

One of baby girl's new favorite things is pretending she is dead. It's a hilarious upgrade from pretending she is sleeping. Whenever she is upset or wants to add a little humor, she lays her head back and sticks her tongue out like she's a character in a movie. We all say "oh no! She died!" then she snaps open her eyes and cracks up giggling. I also love her sassy grumpy face. When she's really upset, she crosses her arms and pouts. She is such a character lately.

Ida is getting much more independent. She picks out her own outfits, grabs her own snacks (bringing them to one of us to open), takes her diaper off when it needs to be changed, picking up after herself (grabbing the broom and dustpan when she drops stuff on the ground), and insists on doing everything herself. It is fun to watch her gain her independence and it is nice to get a little break from having to run around taking care of every little thing.

My sweet Ida, It is such a pleasure to watch you grow up. I love your constant growth and surprises. I love your enthusiasm for adventure and go-with-the flow attitude. I love your cuddles and giggles and the joy that you bring to our life. You make me the luckiest Mama in the world.


DIY Painted Backpack

Cora goes back to school this week and I wanted to kick off the week sharing this easy and inexpensive school-related DIY. Two years ago, we painted Cora's lunchbox, so we thought we'd give her backpack a little makeover before she starts Kindergarten. This only takes about 30 minutes and she'll be reminded of the fun we had when she sees her backpack every day.
1 - Tape off the edges, zipper, piping, and any details that you want to keep.
2 - Pick a limited color palette that will not turn muddy (we usually like to stay in the cool colors). We use inexpensive acrylic paints found at any craft store.
3 - Go to town with the paint! My goal is usually to make sure everything is covered with paint while Cora focuses on adding her touch to a couple of areas. Try to keep the layers of paint thin, so it doesn't get crackly over time.

4 - Take off the tape and let dry. We usually have leftover paint for projects like this, so Cora will paint on some scrap papers or add a little bit to some extra canvases if she still feels like painting. 

5 - (Optional) add some finishing touches with paint pen. I showed Cora a couple design ideas and she picked what she liked.  

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