Friday, May 31, 2013

[Five and Five] Five Things Friday

It seems like the 5 Things Fridays are the posts to have, so why not jump the bandwagon.  I haven't done a 'get to know me' post like this in a while, so I thought I was overdue... hope you enjoy

1. Though I don't talk about him much, I have an older brother.  He's four and half years older than me and lives in Seattle.  He's been out there for nearly thirteen years now, so we don't get to see each other often.

2.  When we were little, my brother had an imaginary friend.  Her name was Joanie, and apparently I wasn't creative enough to 'see' my own, so I stole his.  Little sisters, gotta love them!

3.  My mom was so great about allowing us to try new things and find activities that interest us and built our confidence and self esteem.  We took swim lessons and karate lessons together and I also did gymnastics, piano, Brownies, soccer, cheerleading, field hockey, track, and even played the saxophone in the 5th grade band.  That's not including the roller skating lessons I begged to take (seriously) and the week long "baton twirling camp" I attended (even more serious). 

4.  While we aren't physically close anymore living across the country, my brother and I were very close growing up.  Some of my greatest childhood memories are building lego houses, playing camping on the stairs, going to Disney World (my brother was our unofficial tour guide always memorizing the lastest Fodor's Guide... at age 10!), being woken up early Christmas morning by him climbing into my bed asking what I thought Santa brought me while we waited for the okay to come downstairs (and this carried on way past the age he believed in Santa, but I still did), and of course watching movies like Star Wars, Goonies, Gremlins, Flight of the Navigator, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles more times than I could ever count, because that's what happens with older brothers.

 5.  Surprise!  You knew I had to be going somewhere with all this sibling talk - Ashlynn is going to be a big sister!  I'm just ending my 1st Trimester as I'm 13 weeks today, and while there is so much to catch up on, I'm most excited about the life long relationship Ashlynn will get to have having a little brother or sister.

What do you say, I think she's pumped!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mudroom Makeover

I know, I owe a bit of an updated house tour since we have actually done a shit ton lot to the house already, but I've been hesitant to take pictures since nothing is really 'reveal' ready... just paint and some furniture, but all pretty far from being finished... well aside from Ashlynn's room, which I decided will never ever be finished since she's constantly growing and needing new things.  And to be honest, every room usually has some sort of toys, clutter, dog bones, you name it and I tidying up for a photo shoot during a nap is currently pretty low on the priority list.

Anyway, since we had some rainy days over Memorial Day weekend, the Husband wasn't able to get outside to continue on the never ending yard work each day.  I kindly suggested if he was looking to make his time off productive, why not prime and paint either the mudroom or guest bathroom - both of which are currently the most horrendous rooms in the house.  He decided to go with evergreen sloppy painted mudroom over the eggplant bathroom.

The first thing he did was remove the closet doors.  Not only were they completely off track, both the garage door and door to the family room were constantly slamming into them each time you opened them. They were riddled with lock dings.   I suggested that we keep the alcove open and turn it into a mudroom drop zone since we don't really need a second coat closet.

Anyway, we didn't get any before shots of the dark and messy room, but I do have a snap from the realtor listing.  What you can't see is that half the ceiling is splashed with the green and there are about 100 holes and dings in the wall.  The previous owner removed the wall shelving, but the cabinets remain.

After primer, already brightening up!

We are planning to board and batten the wall across from the cabinets and create some sort of storage/dropzone/locker area in the old closet.  We need an area for shoes, cleaning supplies (vacuum, mops, etc) and maybe some hooks for jackets, backpacks and gym bags. An basket area for outdoor toys, like bubbles and sidewalk chalk would also be welcome.  He did get a coat of paint up before the weekend was over - BM Manchester Tan, but since I still haven't gotten some shots.  I thought I'd post some of our inspiration photos.

We are loving the black doors.  I don't have the balls to paint all the doors in the house black, nor the patience, but I love the look and how they anchor the room.  Since the doors and trim in the mudroom are all beige, the trim already got a coat of crisp white and the doors are begging to get freshened up too. 

I'll definitely keep up with our progress in real time, just hang with us as we have ten other projects going on simultaneously!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Childproofing the Baby Monitor

The baby monitor was a constant point of confusion for me.  Not how to work it, but where to place it. Since we have a video monitor, I wanted it close enough to the crib that I could actually see Ashlynn (especially when she was younger and started rolling over in her sleep).  However, in both her first room and current room, we didn't have a shelf or dresser nearby for placement.

When she was a baby, I had actually just hung the monitor from a nail over the end of the crib.  I knew I would have to revisit this method when Ashlynn could stand, since it was low enough to be batted around.  Luckily we moved before we hit this milestone.

When moving into the new house, I had two options - once again hanging it from a nail, higher up, on the wall, or buying a shelf for placement.  The other issue was the outlet.  The outlet closest to the crib was behind the crib.  And since we had dropped the mattress, the outlet was completely accessible from inside the crib.

Here is how I worked around our little issue...

First, a bunch of you noticed our little corner shelf.  I picked this up at Lowes for probably $10, I believe it's Allen & Roth and found it in the closet section.  I was planning on painting it the same color as the well so it wouldn't stand out so much, but I never got around to it and it doesn't really bother me much at this point.

It did come with the little wooden pegs to cover the screw holes, but I decided to not use them as I know they have a tendency to fall out and I didn't want that to become a choking hazard, especially with the crib so close by.

To secure the the cord to the wall, our Summer Infant monitor came with these great child proofing cord clips.  They have double side tape on the back and basically work like a command strip.  I placed them on the baseboard and made sure to run the cord through tightly so it can't be played with or tugged at.

Then I invested in a Safety 1st outlet cover.

And the inside shot, the cover has a wrap to shorten the cord if necessary.

The rest of our outlets are either blocked by the little plastic plugs or the sliding covers, but since this would have the cord plugged in, I didn't want her pulling at it while sitting in her crib.  And smart thinking, because for a month straight she would play with the boxed cover.

Did anyone else have a crazy work around to get their baby monitor in a safe place?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekend Recap/Toddler Tuesday

I love long weekends, even more so when the Husband takes off additional days and is around for 5 straight!  They were still full of yard work, home improvements, and errand running, but it's so nice to be able to ask him to watch A for a bit while I cook up dinner and all eat lunch together.

I think A may be getting ready to cut another tooth.  Nothing I can see coming through yet, but she ran a light fever on Friday and was just generally a bit cranky and clingy.  She's been better since, but still has her fussy mood swings.

Pretty good although her naps have been a bit shorter, again thinking it might be teething pain waking her.  At night she'll sometimes wake up if she loses her paci, but I usually just have to give it back and walk out and she goes back down.

Luckily, that bedtime screaming phase seems to have ended.  I think the earlier bedtime and consistent routine, not switching who does bedtime, has smoothed that out for her.

Still loving almost everything, now even bananas.  Egg, waffle, yogurt, avocado, fruit, chicken, veggie lasagna (her favorite), mashed potatoes, asparagus, and some bites of tilapia. She's a great eater, I hope that continues.

Had fun running errands at Ikea and Lowes over the weekend and hitting up the park on Memorial Day.  On Saturday night we went to our friends for an amazing dinner, and Ashlynn had a blast playing with her little girlfriends Fiona and Hazel, as usual.   She loved playing kitchen and gobbling up Erin's homemade roasted red pepper hummus and cheese lasagna.  On Monday, we stopped over our neighbor's BBQ and got to know them and their children.  We are so happy in our new neighborhood, everyone is so nice and welcoming.

No biggies this week, just crazy how much she understands.  If I ask her to get her baby and bring it to mommy, she'll bring me her doll.  If I ask for other items like the doll's sippy or spoon, or a ball or book she'll grab exactly what I want.  She also can successfully point out her ears, eyes, nose, mouth, belly, and toes.  None of this is new, really but I just find it so cool that we can communicate even if she can't really say much yet.

Friday, May 24, 2013

[Little Room] Behind the Scenes

It seems more than a few you noticed something missing from our nursery tour yesterday... where the hell I change A's diapers!

I removed her changing pad from her dresser when we moved out of first house.  At that point she was 8 months old and pushing 18 pounds so hefting her up on the almost chest height dresser was getting to be a chore as is.  Not to mention the wiggle worm she was getting be at that age.

When we moved in with the In Laws for a month, I just changed her straight on the floor in our bedroom. Quick, no lifting (though decent amount of bending), and no worrying about her falling 40" to the floor in a quick squirm and flip move that she was quickly patenting.

When we got settled in the new house, I just decided to keep the changing pad off the dresser and leave it on the floor.  It usually lives here... in a room that looks more like this on a daily basis

Her diapers are stashed in the basket on the bottom right and you can see the wipes right above, though they usually get tossed in the basket too.  The basket on top of the bookcase houses a combination of lotion, coconut oil, diaper cream, q-tips, hairbrush, and hair bows.  The changing pad is easy enough to stand up on the side of her bookcase out of the way or stash it in the closet if trying to keep up appearances for guests, which we usually aren't.  We keep a tidy house, but a real one too... As you can see the standard mess of books and toys on the floor, this is why I had to keep Ashlynn jailed up in the crib while I took nursery pictures, which I realized I pointed out to have fun with the pics, but didn't share any of the real gems.

So here you go with those!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday weekend!  Be sure to be thankful for the servicemen and women who have given their lives so we could keep our freedom!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

[Little Room] New House Nursery Reveal

Well, we moved in almost 4 months ago and while I keep waiting to find the right pieces to "finish" Ashlynn's room I realize it's an impossible task.  Her room is constantly changing with toys being swapped or retired and we spend the majority of time in the playroom so I haven't been bothered enough to really finish off those places that 'just need something else'.

I finally snapped some pictures, while corralling her in the crib - so make sure to enjoy those shots, before she could ruin my clean up job.  I have to say, while I loved her original nursery, I love this room even more and am so glad I got a second chance to restyle her items.

She doesn't sleep with the pillow in her crib, but she does use her soother to keep her occupied all.the.time.  Also, teething guards... so necessary.  She chewed the one short side of her crib in probably 10 minutes after a nap one day.  I was absolutely horrified as paint was missing and you can see the wood beneath.  I contacted the company and some friends who been there, done that and turns out the saliva softens the paint which makes little sharp baby teeth able to chip away, the thankfully non-toxic, paint.  I had my friend whip these up for us, since this all went down around the time of her first birthday and sewing something without a pattern just wasn't making into my schedule.

Here's the source list for the rest of items!