Home Sweat Home: The STAIRS

This has been a long, long, long time coming. We finished the stairs!

At first, they looked like this:

Then they turned into a grubby floating island of blue carpet between the original wood floors on the main level and the new laminate floors on the upper and lower levels (with shiny black railings).

And we lived with those ugly floating blue stairs for oh, only two years or so…

But, not a minute longer!

Because (drumroll please):

How pretty, eh?

You see, it’s an awful long story and normally I wouldn’t waste your time telling you about it but…actually maybe I would. Sorry.

When we picked out the laminate floors, Home Depot was all like, of course laminate on the stairs too. But then when the contractor came out to look around, he was like “no, you have to do real wood stairs because they are open on one end” and so we had a wood contractor come out and give us a quote and he said it was a complicated/expensive job and wasn’t going to match the laminate. Meanwhile, the laminate floors were going in and the guys installing them were like “how come you aren’t doing the stairs?” and we were all “they told us you couldn’t because they had to be real wood instead?” and they were all “um, we totally could have done the stairs too if we had the supplies!” and we felt duped/frustrated.

Fast forward a year to when we hired our German handyman (the first person Amelie waved bye to, of course) to build our wall. He noticed the blue stairs and recommended getting those fixed- as if we kept them on purpose- and gave us a pamphlet from Home Depot about a cap and tread stair system that matches the laminate floors perfectly. How come Home Depot didn’t know that Home Depot sells the coordinating stairs for their flooring? Thank goodness our German handyman did…

Anyway, this summer, we went in and special ordered the supplies with the plan to do the job ourselves. We were hoping to get the project completed by the time we had company coming to stay with us. But instead of arriving in the 8 days Home Depot promised, the order TOOK WEEKS LONGER to ship. Weeks!

When it finally arrived, I went to go pick it up. The guy took forever to retrieve our order because he could only find two boxes. He was flustered and with a line at customer service starting to pile up that he needed to tend to, he assured me that this was my entire order and loaded them into my car. Without making him open the boxes to double check, even though we were both suspicious, I signed off on it. Because I’m too nice. That was, like, really dumb.

I brought the boxes home and unloaded them into our garage. Hubs was probably cooking an amazing dinner and so I promptly forgot about the boxes. Our visitors came and went. Months ticked by. The summer was closing in on us. So one fine Saturday, we decided to open those boxes and realized that we only had the risers (the white part) and. Nothing. Else.

CRAP.

Since I had signed off on the order, how would they ever believe me that we were missing most of what we ordered?! I’m talking $400 worth of laminate treads and caps. $400 worth of stuff that obviously wouldn’t have fit into two boxes. And where was our missing laminate??

I talked to Home Depot and they couldn’t find our laminate portion anywhere. So I went in to explain. I don’t know if it was my tired weepy eyes or my very round uncomfortable belly, but by golly, the manager believed me. So he re-ordered the laminate portion for us. Bless him!

The missing shipment was never recovered, by the way. It’s probably sitting confused at a different Home Depot and those people are all like, what the hell is all of this?

After a few weeks (I was starting to worry the same misplacement error might have happened again), we finally received all of the “stuff” do the stairs.

Except we don’t own a circular saw and you need one for this job. Summer ended and so arrived a beautiful fall and busy cross country season. Then winter came and shortly after, Cade was born. Then Christmas and New Year’s and we were both like…

“Let’s hire this job out.”

In waltzed our German handyman again (see how it came full circle?). Initially, I was all about on DIYing everything in this house but I’m so glad we hired him. We did not have the 8 hours that this job required (actually 16 man hours since he brought a partner). We can only work during weekend nap time. Those stairs would cost a boat load of naps when I could be showering/blogging/eating cookies. We did not have a circular saw. Nor did we have a nail gun. We did not know how to disassemble the railing post (which he put in when he put up the wall). We did not have the skills. Most importantly, we did not have energy!

Eventually, we plan to stain the original wood floors on the main level a dark walnut to “match” the laminate in the rest of the house. As for the stairs themselves, we still have caulking and another round of paint touchups to do. But for now, this concludes the saga of our stairs. The blue carpet is officially eradicated from our home entirely. And that feels darn good.

I never thought I’d say this but I have fond memories of the blue stairs. When I was pregnant, I had trouble sitting on the floor with Amelie because of my sciatica. Instead I would sit on the bottom step and soon, Amelie started joining me there. Together we’d sit and share snacks, read books, chat, and cuddle. It was our spot. It was all kinds of sweet, I’m telling you.

The end.

 

My Cade

Oh how I wish I had started the My Amelie posts earlier but I’m going to try to keep up with little Cade.

AGE: 6 weeks!

His cross-eyed newborn faces are so cute. They make me giggle. I’ve been trying to capture them but it’s hard to hold the camera and a floppy newborn simultaneously.

As I noted in this emotionally charged post (I still cry re-reading it), I had a tough time with Amelie as a newborn. She hated being a baby. So when I got pregnant the second time, I had a summer-long anxiety attack anticipating the newborn madness I barely survived the first time around…except now with a busy toddler in tow! I didn’t think I could do it. I knew I had to but how?

I am happy and so thankful to say, Cade is the most wonderful baby. I didn’t realize babies could be like this! The contrast between my two littles is down right shocking.

Breastfeeding: It’s going 100x smoother than it did the first time around. I was expecting the worst but he has been a stellar nurser from the beginning. The only issue I have is carving out time between the two kids to pump extra milk. I’m not opposed to introducing formula if/when we need to.

Schedule: After a few weeks, Cade is now on a schedule. I think that was the most difficult issue I had with Amelie – no day was remotely the same. There was nothing predictable about her! Cade usually wakes around 7am and feeds every two or three hours during the day. I do my last feeding between 10pm and 11pm and then he sleeps three to four hour chunks at a time…sometimes longer! I know! I feel so much more rested than I did during my pregnancy. During the day, he’s awake only a little while before he wants to sleep again.  I usually go somewhere in the morning with Amelie and he falls asleep immediately in the car or stroller. Say what?!

My days are busy juggling the two of them but I’m actually really enjoying this time. I didn’t think I’d be able to say that!

He does have a fussy period in the evening from 5pm-10pm but if he’s being held and bounced, he goes right to sleep.

I must mention the early days. Cade did have his days and nights switched around for a while. Instead of being wide awake during the night (like Amelie), he still wanted to sleep but only in my arms. For many nights, I held him on my chest and didn’t get much rest. I was camped out in the guest room with him so we wouldn’t wake Hubs and Amelie. Finally, I moved to the couch but I could still hear him. You guys, he is SO LOUD. He starts groaning about an hour before his feeding and I would lie awake listening to him. I couldn’t get any sleep! After 25 days of this, I got to a breaking point. I probably would have put up with it indefinitely if I didn’t have Amelie to take care of during the day. Zack offered to take a turn downstairs with Cade. He’d do a diaper change and then come and get me for the feedings so I could actually sleep in between. We did this for two days and Zack was a wreck! The experiment was worth it though. We recognized that Cade could space out the feedings for 2-3 hour chunks at a time (now it’s even longer) if we could find a way to sleep through the pre-feeding groanings. It’s hard being so far away from my tiny baby, but we keep him in the guest room and sleep upstairs. We can hear him cry but not the grunts! This makes my nights very reasonable!

He is getting less grunty, by the way.

Sleep: He hates sleeping in the pack and play/on his back. I wish I could put him in his bed but, just like Amelie, he is sleeping in a swing. At least he is sleeping and so am I!

Growing: Cade was born a little guy at 5lbs 11oz but he’s been doing a great job packing on the chub. Due to some medical issues, we had his regular two week checkup when he was only 9 days old. The doctor said they usually like to see newborns get back to their birth weight but he was already up to 6.5lbs! We got an A+ for weight gain – good job Cade and good job Mommy! He grew out of his newborn clothes this week and although I said otherwise, I am really digging little boy clothes. I think he looks so adorable in his outfits that I can hardly stand it.

Circumcision: We opted to and I witnessed it. It was more intense than I expected – it’s not just a little snip. He wasn’t allowed to get circumcised in the hospital so I had to take him when he was two weeks old. He did great and even held the nurse’s finger during all of it. They use this plastic cap called a Plastibell that falls off after surgery. Cade’s fell off after five days.

Daddy time: It’s fairly limited when Amelie is awake because she gets jealous but once Amelie goes to bed, it’s Cade and Daddy time. Cade is a snuggler. He loves being held and bounced on the ball and that’s what they do while Zack watches a show.

Milestone? I know this is awful early but I could have sworn he smiled at me this week. At first I thought it was accidental but I kept talking to him and he did it again!

Big sister: Amelie has been very gentle. Well, for the most part. She accidentally conked Cade in the head with her massive doll “Rosie”. She was only setting her down beside him to change her diaper too, you see. She’s been pretty patient during the feedings and that may or may not be because I give her a pudding cup to busy herself with…

I feel bad because Amelie still requires my constant attention or supervision so Cade is often ignored more than I would like. I try to snuggle with him when Amelie naps.

Cade, you are my sleepy sweetie. I love you so much!

 

Friday Tidbits

Hey, we all made it to the end of the week! Weeee!

*falls asleep into my English muffin*

I’m sleepy but look at who I got to snuggle with until the wee hours this morning – he’s almost 6 weeks old. He is so scrumptious!

A friend recently came over to help with my two kids. I very much enjoyed her company and it was such nice way to spend the morning. When she left, she genuinely and generously offered “Please let me know if I there is any way I can help now that you have a new baby!”

I started thinking about what I really needed help with. Laundry? Dishes? Cleaning? Yes, yes and yes. And although I did ask a friend to chip away at our kitchen wallpaper last spring (a decidedly brutal task), I don’t feel comfortable asking for cleaning/cooking help while I’ll sit back and feed the baby.

And then I thought of it. I want to go to Target kid free so I can take my time and TOUCH ALL OF THE THINGS.

Wouldn’t that be nice? With a nursing newborn and a busy toddler, that’s a pipe dream for now…

(thank you for sending this along, Mary!)

My Amelie

AGE: 21 months – phew, this is long overdue!

Words: blue, book, bubble, dadda, mama, noooo (a nice whiny one), uh oh!, more, bye bye, hat and Heidi (one of grandma’s dogs). She is a lady of few words though. We know she understands but she’s stubborn about speaking. Only recently has she been babbling/practicing sounds with intonation when she’s playing around the house. They sound like real words but mean nothing. It’s so cute to hear her voice!

Her answer to *almost* every question is “noooo” initially until she has time to reconsider.

Favorite things: Walking Heidi! Heidi is patient and walks slow. Amelie *loves* it. She did a lot of dog walking while Grandma was away in MN and it doesn’t matter how cold it is outside, she can’t get enough! Power hungry, maybe?

Daddy is still her favorite person. When he comes home from the office, she runs to the window to watch him walk up the driveway and does the cutest little “jig” when he opens the door. If I try to play with her at the play places, she cries and insists “Dadda!” come instead. Ok, I’ll sit by the baby then! I’m not keen on those plastic slides anyway, they make my hair static-y…

She loves to color. Although she can be quite bossy – demanding to switch crayons with you, pointing where she would like *you* to color and only likes “fresh” pieces of paper.

She still enjoys story time at the library. I’ve been taking her to the older one for 18+ months since the summer and it’s so stinkin’ sweet. Littles are precious. My favorite song is “sleeping bunnies” where all of the kids lay down and pretend to sleep and the teacher sings “oh so still, are they ill…?”

“NO!!!” (The littles jump to their feet)

“Hop little bunnies, hop hop hop! Hop little bunnies, hop hop hop!” and they hop around with reckless abandon. Gets me every time!

Amelie, on the other hand, does not participate. She watches very closely and sits on Mommy’s lap. I don’t force her to join in. Sometimes she lets loose and will dance around but mostly she is quiet and observant. She saves being loud and goofy for when she’s at home with Daddy.

She loves being outside, slides, bath time, books, books and more books.

She DOES NOT like being reprimanded (who does?) and having a poopy diaper. I think potty training is near. I would have started already but having Cade makes it a little complicated. I need to get her some big girl underwear and see how she does!

Talents: Putting her boots on and 90% of the time, they are on the correct feet! She also likes to take her boots OFF the moment we are in the car…

She can fly like an airplane (arms straight back), gallop, buckle the car seat and high chair with one of her babies tucked inside. Her talents are endless and I’m sure you would agree that it would be difficult to list them all. Right?

Food: Meal time is impossible. She only likes pudding, yogurt and raisins at the moment and who knows what she’ll decide to eat next week. We also still give her a bottle before nap and bedtime, which we shouldn’t. It’s bad for her teeth and she was supposed to be weaned off months ago. We’ll work on that soon…

Big sister role? Amelie was mad at me for a while after Cade was born. It was a crazy time for her: she was crabby getting her molars (ugh, I’m hoping we are done with the teething crud for a hot minute) and the chaos of me being in the hospital way longer than we expected was hard on everyone. Her naps were totally messed up, I wasn’t around, and she was being juggled between Daddy, Grandma and a family friend. It was too busy for her and she was tired! She saw me in the hospital a few times – once during labor just before my epidural and seeing me in pain freaked her out. She stayed far away from me.

Since we brought Cade home, she’s been interested in him and surprisingly pretty gentle. She likes to be involved with diaper changes, helping him with his nuk and she does not like it when he cries.

But, she’s also annoyed when I have to feed him because she wants to read and move and she wants me to do those things with her. I feel bad that I can’t. She gets jealous if Daddy smooches or cuddles Cade and requests that he kiss and cuddle with her instead!

I wish it weren’t so but my pregnancy was difficult for everyone. I was so tired, crabby and was miserable to be around – I could hardly stand myself! Amelie has had her fair share of crabbiness as well and because of that, I felt like we had a lot of trouble connecting. I felt bad that she preferred her fun Daddy over me when it took every ounce of my energy and patience to get us through the day. I feel much better now that Cade is “on the outside” and surprisingly more rested! I’ve been seriously focusing on reconnecting with her. I give her the bottle before nap and each night (another reason why I don’t want to give it up just yet) and we snuggle and kiss noses and talk about the day. I love her so much and I want her to know it! I know I’m not “fun” but I’m affectionate and that’s what she gets from me. Hugs and kisses. I stroke her hair and her neck and I rub her back. We’ve been doing Mommy daughter dates at Starbucks – a white chocolate mocha for me and a white hot chocolate for her. She slurps it down and thank goodness Cade lets us have these moments together. These mean a lot to us.

 

Holiday Decor

Blogland is an exciting place to be around the holidays. Lots of bloggers post beautiful tours of their gorgeously decorated homes, along with crafts and other holiday awesomeness. I’m always so inspired!

As a warning, this will NOT be inspiring. Since I have a tradition of documenting our holiday decor on the blog, I couldn’t let this year go by without doing the same. I realize that not only is it a stale topic because the holidays are over but also my decorations are nothing creative or special. Even so, it’s fun for me to look back on and that’s part of what this blog is for me – an online journal. An evolution of sorts.

This summer, I got rid of our red ornaments. We’d been rocking the red and gold theme for quite a few years now (maybe 7?) and I wanted a refresh. I grabbed a box of silver ornaments from Target after Christmas last year to add to our gold ones. I also ditched the old broken tree topper and Hubs nestled the big Pier1star on top and I really liked the way it looked:

The lights reflecting off of glittery ornaments made it so festive for Cade’s first Christmas.

Originally, I was going to skip putting up the big tree and do a table top tree instead because of Cade’s impending arrival. I made a dopey tabletop tree that was totally lackluster so Hubs convinced me to get out the big tree Thanksgiving weekend. It’s nothing spectacular but I love it so.

I thought this would be cute activity for us to share with Amelie. I was envisioning smiles and laughter, sharing Christmas cookies, dancing to holiday music in our Christmas pajamas and soaking in her wonder when the tree was all lit up! Real life took the stage instead. Amelie “helped” us assemble tree for a while, somewhat disagreeably. She was especially crabby that evening and not coordinated enough to strings lights or hang ornaments which just frustrated her even more. So, we put her to bed and finished it by ourselves while we were both exhausted. Maybe next year!

As for the rest of the decor, I kept it simple. I bought a pine wreath for our front door and a little poinsettia for our kitchen table. I didn’t even hang our stockings. Again, maybe next year?

An update: I forgot I had spent a nap time doing this with our Christmas cards:

Two kids napping simultaneously is like Gold. Very precious. So when all of the cards started falling off the wall almost immediately, you can imagine my eyes began to twitch. It was cute while it lasted though.

Here are my trees of holidays past: 201320122011 and 2010.

Ok, thanks for letting me share. Hopefully an interesting post is on it’s way. Hopefully.

Home Sweat Home: Coat Closet

More closets. Sigh.

You remember how I transformed the outside of our coat closet from its mauve beginnings to this:

So pretty! (If you ignore the stairs).

Well, the inside was atrocious. Our shoe “storage”:

:/

The top isn’t so bad but still somewhat messy, especially now that Amelie has a growing collection of coats herself:

I hauled everything out and cleaned. Shoes bring in a lot of the Eeews.  I removed extra hangers, paired down to the few shoes we wear and took the rest upstairs to the master closet. When the weather warms up again, I’ll do a switcheroo but for now the closet look like this:

Please ignore the Christmas goodies pile on the left. I was still working on putting everything away from the holidays.

I saved my empty gift wrap rolls, cut them in half and tucked them into my boots to keep them upright. Otherwise, they slouch and fall over.

Up top is where we keep a basket for our hats, mittens and scarves. I need sort through these. With our one-in and one-out rule, this would be a good place to start simplifying but I haven’t yet. I removed the white basket and put our camera and diaper bag up there instead. My “diaper bag” is a backpack, which is so super classy.

I ordered a shoe organizer from Amazon that arrived shortly after cleaning out the closet so I’m hoping to keep working on this little space. It needs paint and caulk. I’m sure you can’t wait for an update once I get around to putting some more effort into it?

An update: One, I didn’t realize I had posted this on a Sunday. Forgive me, my brain is clunky. Two, we put together the shoe shelf yesterday and it made a world of difference. How come it took me so long to do this?!

Here is a crooked “After” picture:

And a close up:

Our shoes tend to collect by our front door so I purchased a boot tray from Target for $5 and that has helped keep order and prevent me from tripping over any while carrying a car seat and toddler in and out of the house.

How cute are Amelie’s shoes? So mini!

That rug though? It was left by the previous owners (they were “into palm trees”) and I haven’t replaced it yet. I really need to…

Are you doing any closet cleaning for 2015? Are you tired of looking at my crappy closets? I am too and I’m real sorry about that.

Birthing Cade

Hey! Exciting news!

He came out of my vagina, like I had hoped. The end.

Ok, ok. Since I shared Amelie’s birth story in excessive detail, it’s only right to do the same for my little guy. Are you ready?

It all began on the evening of Dec. 2nd shortly after we put Amelie to bed. I was doing my usual, putzing around on my computer at the kitchen table and promising myself an early bedtime. Hubs came up to tell me an exciting story regarding our insurance when…

“I hate to hijack your story but I just peed myself.”

“You what?”

“I just peed myself. And I peed myself again!” I stood up from the kitchen table with soaked pajamas pants and water pooled on the chair.

Realizing my water broke (duh), we sprang into action. It was just a few minutes before 8pm. Hubs called his Mom so she could watch Amelie and I called the hospital.  We busied ourselves with packing, taking out the trash and general tidying up. Thankfully, I had packed my hospital bag the weekend before and had even written up a list of items to grab (like my phone charger and toothbrush) to ensure I wouldn’t forget anything in the heat of the moment. I’m glad I did!

I got dressed, tried to do something with my hair (to no avail) and added makeup to the crusty leftovers from earlier in the day. My MIL arrived shortly after and we took one last bump picture:

and a super attractive selfie…

Then we set off for the hospital. I was having contractions but they weren’t a big deal. They felt like menstrual cramps but I’ve have period cramps worse than that. Obviously, those light cramps didn’t stay that way. No sir.

We got checked in around 9pm and I was feeling optimistic and excited. In fact, I was quite smug since I had literally mailed all of our Christmas cards and packages the day before. I had nothing “to do” except have a baby. Let’s do this!

I got settled in with monitors and met all of the nurses and doctor. Since I had only eaten a light dinner, the doctor allowed me have a few NutThins with strict orders not to eat or drink anything else. Even though I was hungry, I wasn’t too worried. I was hoping to have a baby and a nice breakfast by morning.

(That didn’t happen).

They checked me and I was 1cm dilated and 80% effaced. I don’t know if it’s my anatomy (or my wussy tendencies) but getting checked HURTS SO BAD. She reached so far up that I swear she could pick my nose from the inside.

That night was a bit of a blur. Hubs slept near by while I labored. I’m not talking light menstrual cramps. In fact, they didn’t feel like menstrual cramps whatsoever. Sometimes the contractions would come every fifteen minutes and other times every five. I did not sleep. But, I was determined. I was breathing through contractions. I was counting down the hours until morning. As the night wore on, the contractions intensified and my resolve chipped away. I don’t really know how to describe the contractions except for serious pain in my lower back and the worst diarrhea pangs imaginable – as if someone was wringing out my intestines like a wash cloth.

By morning, I was sobbing and shaking through each contraction. I could not stand. I could not walk. I was not breathing through them anymore. Instead, I was hyperventilating and being very dramatic. I tried getting in a tub and laboring there. The nurse asked me to rate my pain from 1 to 10 and I told them 9 (because I was too proud to tell them 10). Hubs tried to talk me into an epidural but I thought if I could just hang on a little bit longer…

They checked me and I was dilated to 3 cm. Only to 3! You guys, I’m pretty sure you could hear my heart break. I couldn’t believe it. When I was pregnant with Amelie, I was walking around dilated to 3cm and DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT. How could this be after laboring hard for over 12 hours?

Ashamed, I agreed to get an epidural just before 11am. Now, I know, I know. It doesn’t matter. But it did matter to me. I was embarrassed. My MIL birthed three babies with no drugs. Many of my friends had done it as well so why was I such a wuss? I guess I just am!

The epidural burned going in but took effect quickly – about 20 minutes. I felt immense relief. It’s strange to be numb from the waist down but it felt like my legs and feet were “asleep”. I was very itchy and had some nausea, which are common side effects. Nurse Z turned me on my side and placed a bouncy ball between my knees. Then she would flip me to my other side every hour. I think it was to make sure the epidural medication didn’t pool more on one side or the other. I rested. I could feel each contraction but they did not hurt.

I’ll speed things up since not much happened except flipping and resting for the next seven hours.

Eventually, around 5.30pm, I dilated to 10cm. They gave me oxygen and the go ahead to start pushing.

It was finally happening!

An aside. If you dig waaaay back into my archives (not recommended, those posts make me cringe) – you might come across this photo from a few years ago:

I had gotten those knee high snowflake socks for Christmas. Yes, I still have them. Since I was due so close to the holidays, I had thrown those socks into my hospital bag. Why not bring a little Christmas cheer with me, you know?

Well, I put them on shortly before getting the epidural. They felt quite nice since my feet felt like cold numb rocks. I couldn’t help but find it absolutely hilarious to see my husband holding one leg and Nurse Z holding my other “Christmas stocking” during each push. I looked so ridiculous! 

Anyway. I was hoping to have this baby before 7pm for two reasons:

  • Nurse Z’s shift was ending at 7pm. She had been with me since that morning and I wanted us both to finish what we had started.
  • The cafeteria closed at 7pm and damn, I was hungry.

I pushed for over 1 1/2 hours. Even with the epidural, it took great effort. I could feel no pain, only pressure with each contraction. I pushed and pushed (and puked). I pushed so hard, I thought I might pop my eyes right out of my head!

Luckily, the only thing that popped out was a baby. And a hemorrhoid almost as big!

On Dec. 3rd at 7.16pm, I gave birth to Cade.

The cafeteria had closed down but my amazing nurse stayed with me to the end. I’m so thankful for her. Nurses are the best!

Hubs got to cut the cord, which he wasn’t prepared for since he gets queasy about that sort of thing. The doctor sewed up my tears and even showed me my placenta – which I thought was gross and totally awesome.

Cade was tiny at 5lbs 11oz, even smaller than my little Amelie. How in the world I had trouble giving birth to such a small baby, I’ll never know! Isn’t he adorable with that mess of dark hair?

The staff moved me from Labor and Delivery to a new room and handed me my baby along with the best boxed lunch I’ve eaten in my life. Who knew a turkey sandwich on white bread could be so decadent?

I’ve already blabbed too long but I might follow up with a post about my hospital stay since I’m sure you want to hear all about babysitting both Cade and my Hemorrhoid. Am I right or am I projecting here?

Until then, I’ll sign off with one last picture. Seriously, he is such a sweet baby.

Cade, welcome to the family. I love you.

 

Happy New Year!

2015 is heeeeeere!

I’ll be dashing into the new year taking care of two under two…

I think I’ll need lots of luck and coffee.

I don’t want to set myself up for failure by declaring too many resolutions for 2015. It will be challenging enough as it is just to get my hair washed on a reasonable timeline so here are the few I brainstormed with Hubs this morning:

  • Hubs wanted to cut out beef because both of our cholesterols are higher than they should be so I’m game for going along with that.
  • We are both doing “one in, one out” rule as far as acquiring stuff around the house. Since storage is limited, this is a good exercise. With littles around, this is going to be a challenge but I’ll try to tame the crazy as far as their stuff is concerned as well.
  • I’m cutting out soda. Soda is one of those things that I drink if it’s around but I could easily go without. I actually prefer water and with breastfeeding and an angry butt nut, this is like, a really extra good idea.
  • I want to establish a more positive bed time routine. You know, like flossing, actually taking my makeup off, and not twiddling on my phone throwing away precious sleep when I get so little of that to begin with. It’d be nice to settle in for the night with some tea or a little bath or lotion and fuzzy socks. I need something to wind down and what I do currently isn’t working.

There are so many things I want to add to my resolutions list but I’ll resist. I don’t want to make my life too complicated with self imposed rules about everything that I want to do, should do, and shouldn’t do.

Any big plans for the new year?

 

Happy Holidays!

I was hesitant to put up the Christmas tree this year knowing we’d be welcoming a newborn shortly before the holidays but I’m so thankful Hubs convinced me to. Gazing at a sparkly tree makes me very happy. I decided we couldn’t let Cade’s first Christmas pass us by without taking a family picture snuggled up in front of it with our Christmas pjs on.

We enticed Amelie into cooperating by putting her in charge of the camera remote…

And that’s a wrap. Happy Holidays from my picture perfect family to yours.

The Green Monster

Many moons ago, I revealed my first big DIY undertaking: Amelie’s green dresser

Even after 20+ months of daily use, I still am in love with it. It’s holding up so far…*says a quick prayer*

But here’s the thing. It wasn’t quite finished. And that super irked me.

Look reeeaaal close. Can you spot it?

See when I painted it, I skipped the inside because we needed the dresser to be DONE and filled with baby girl clothes instead of living disassembled in our garage. Little did I realize, the blonde edges would peek through at me. I’ve spent hours (days? months? years now?) sitting in the nursery holding Amelie, glaring at those “blonde roots” and they glared right back at me.

In addition, there was other unfinished business. I imagined perfect little baby clothes resting neatly and adorably in drawers lined with pretty paper. I spent waaaay too long searching for wrapping paper with the notion I would Modpodge it and Amelie would have the classiest green dresser in all the land. I couldn’t find “the one” and so I finally settled on wrapping paper I found at Target while Amelie was wailing at the top of her lungs. She hated Target as a baby. But then again, she hated lots of things: strollers, sleeping, laying on her back, car seats… I think she may have hated being a baby?

Anyway. On one very sleep deprived day, I decided I needed to finish the dresser so I could feel better about myself. When Amelie went down for her nap, I pounced and got to googling, cutting the paper to size, and modgepodging. I’ll save you the drama by summing up the experience: it was a total flop. The surface of the drawers was too glossy or something because the Modgepodge only bubbled and crinkled the wrapping paper. I could peel it off in shriveled angry bits. I CRIED OVER IT. I cried over the wasted effort when I could have been sleeping. It was one of those days, you know?

Fast forward a year and a half and I finally got the nerve to try again, this time with contact paper that I found on Amazon. This post is already too wordy for its trivial content but let me say that the contact paper was a much better option. It was still tricky to put in. I did half of the drawers by myself over way too many months and roped Hubs into helping me literally days before Cade arrived. One tip with contact paper, take a safety pin to make a tiny prick over any bubbles and smooth it out with a card. Works like a charm!

Surprisingly, the can of green paint living in this closet was still useable so I was able to paint those blonde roots green as well. Oh happy day!

Even though chevron was “so three years ago”, I think it’s fun that it coordinates with my diaper pail too:

Since Cade was two weeks early, I hadn’t had a chance to make room for his itty bitty clothes among all of Amelie’s clothes and accessories. While Dad took Amelie to the mall to play and Cade snoozed, I got to work. It always looks worse before it gets better…

And done! Like, done for real this time.

As with Amelie’s clothes, I only put relevant sizes in at a time so they can share the dresser. As they grow out of things, I add new items in and store the old. Here is how I organized it all, knowing it will change as they do.

How about a closeup so you can see the contact paper peeking through?

Boys clothes. I do love me some greens and blues!

Amelie’s accessories drawer – girl has got hair bows for every occasion!

I’m glad to have this project *finally* finished and everything PUT AWAY. It’s not super convenient since I set up a make shift nursery in the guest room to get us all through the newborn days but eventually the plan is to have the kids share this room.

Gotta run and smooch a baby now. Want to see a photo of him? Ok, I don’t mind.

Ugh, he’s the sweetest!