First Day of the Rest of Days

Whelp, I’ve finally crossed that line. The line of no return. The line to end all lines. It’s happened.

And I didn’t cry once.

Sophie went to her first day of kindergarten! My baby bean is officially a school-aged bean and I’m all, “Dude, what just happened?”

Charlotte also had a big day as it was her first day of preschool! She goes to half-day a couple of times a week and Sophie goes to full day, all week kindergarten.

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They’re all, “Mom, you’re so embar- oo! Butterfly!”

The morning itself was pretty uneventful. It was a lot less stressful than I thought it was going to be. We picked out the girls’ outfits the night before, Sophie and I planned her lunch for the next day so there was no guess-work, and both girls woke up pretty smoothly at 7:00 AM. I drive them to school so we hauled everyone into the van, drove to school and did the first of many drop-offs. Both girls were excited about school and making new friends so other than customary first day jitters, they did great!

Patrick was pretty indifferent to all the hullabaloo. He was just, “I’m a baby. I’m a baby. I’m a baby.”

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And for real, no tears here. Maybe when our last goes to kindergarten? But right now, and I’m pretty sure this doesn’t make me a bad parent, I’m just pumped that my mornings are now free. It’s just me and Patrick… sitting back and getting stuff done. Like champions.

The final verdict? They had a fun time! Sophie said that school was, “the best day ever” and Charlotte said that she had a “fabulous time” and it “was speck-tackle-erd”. So, I would call it a major success!

As is the custom with first days of school. One must remember it, and celebrate the little person beginning this new adventure. Happy sailing kiddos. You’re amazing to Mommy!

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*Sniff* Charlotte, you’re too much.

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Patrick: 5 Months

It’s always sad when I realize that:

A. I posted Patrick’s 4 month update only two posts ago

and

B. I’m always at least a week late with these updates if not more…

I guess I’ll just have a warped sense of Patrick’s size 50 years from now. Honestly though, he’s huge and I feel like I’ll probably always remember THAT part of his baby-hood.

5 month BW

Obviously he’s not in a white onesie this time. I wanted to add just a little bit of interest to the final product (the final set of photos from newborn to one year) so instead of Patrick wearing white and Tim in grey, we went with a grey/black color scheme. I know… I went bold. Big risk, big payoff, right?

At five months, Patrick has started to really crawl (read: wriggle with a little bit of forward motion) and move around. We’ve gotten to the point where I can’t just leave him on his play mat and walk away because I’ll come back to find him in a completely different place than where I left him. The Bumbo too has begun to lose its ease of use as once he’s in it, Patrick works really hard to try to get  out of it. His chubby thighs pretty much lock him in, but man oh man, he still tries to break free. Also, at five months… this kid is outgrowing his size 12 month clothing. So… we’re re-evaluating how we purchase clothes for him in the future as I thought I was pretty safe getting winter-ish stuff for him in size 12m back before he was born… jokes on me… but this chubby toes and baby thighs are pretty delicious so the clothing debacle is well worth it.

Cheers!

Psst- Also, Sophie’s been begging to do the month-to-month photos with Patrick so I let her do a “practice” one:

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I melt.

Patrick: 4 Months

It’s about time for a Patrick update! Because the last one was a month ago, even though in blog-time, it was only two posts ago. That says a lot about how much attention the little booger requires.

Four months

For whatever reason, in the last post, Patrick looked HUGE. Now, he looks more “normal” sized. That being said, he’s in the 99th percentile for weight, 95th percentile for height and, his head is off the charts (but don’t tell him that, it just means there’s more square footage to give lots of kisses… if you miss it’s pretty embarrassing).

This little man is rolling from his back to his tummy, and vise-versa, he’s blowing slobber bubbles like it’s his job, he’s started “singing” himself to sleep and is becoming increasingly more interested in the food the rest of the family is eating (we’ll start introducing solids at 6 months). He’s still not sleeping through the night, but we co-sleep so it’s not a huge deal. We have a system down. We’re making it work. He also likes to wake-up at promptly 5:30AM every morning and play. This is both annoying and awesome. Annoying because I. DON’T. DO. MORNINGS. But it’s awesome because I’ve started up running again since I’m, ya know, up anyways… looking at you little buddy. So we’ve definitely got a rhythm of life down, but I wouldn’t complain if we pushed wake-up to 6:30AM instead. *Hint hint*

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Shelf Life

I never thought I would miss our weird, old basement. But I do, I really do. One of the things I miss the most about it was the big laundry space we had. It was huge! There was a fabulously large double sink and plenty of storage for random laundry/cleaning items. Plus it was out of the way and no one ever saw it. So despite being on the creepy end, which most old basements tend to be, it was a pretty great space.

Enter our new laundry space:

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What I like: I really like that it’s on the same floor as the bedrooms. I also really like that it’s not creepy looking, that’s a big plus.

What I don’t like: It’s tiny. There’s no storage. The washer and dryer are temporary craigslist finds that we bought for cheap to use for now, but they’re really quirky and really (REALLY) loud. Not the worst laundry room by any means, but definitely unfortunate in its own way.

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Yeah… It’s embarrassing.

The thing is, Tim attempted to add a bit of storage a couple of weeks ago (that “shelf” in the top photo? Yeah, that was him). I liked the idea of doing a shelf, but he kind of started the project, and then just left it to literally “hang out” for two weeks. I’ve been using it recently as a type of drying rack for my… ahem… delicates. But on Wednesday, when Patrick woke me up at 6:30 a.m., I decided it was time to do something about this eyesore.

Step one was to take out the shelf Tim put in and repair the damage done.

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I’m not actually sure how he did, I had to remove the darn thing with a mallet! It was in their pretty snuggly. Everyone but Tim was already awake at that point though so I had no qualms with making a little noise in the wee hours of the morning.

I then removed the one bracket that was holding the shelf “in place” on the right side of the shelf. It definitely put up a bit of a fight, but I soon had it out. Next, I tended to the gouges in the sheetrock from the ends of the wire shelving and the giant holes from the screws in the bracket I had just removed.

I scraped off the rough edges of the holes and two layers of spackling went on top of that. I wasn’t too concerned with perfection (I was racing to get done while Patrick napped) but the spackling went on nice and smooth so there was no need to sand.

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Once the spackling was completely dry, my little helpers got busy and painted the wall with the left over paint the builders left for us. Have I mentioned I don’t like tan paint? That’s an issue for a different post. I did briefly consider painting the room a different color, you know, since I had it all torn apart anyway, but I figured I’ll do that later if it really bugs me in a year or so. We’re not going to be in the house for very long, so I’m trying my best to be continent with a live-with-it-for-now attitude. It’s not working very well.

I figured the paint would dry sufficiently while I cut the shelf to size and screwed in the new brackets so once the paint brushes were cleaned, I moved immediately to sizing up the room and cutting the shelf to size. The room is 65.5 feet long so I cut my white shelf (from Menards for $10) to 65 feet. I had less than a foot left over, so it was a pretty good match!

The brackets (3 for $4 each) were the next thing to do. So it was off to the internet to look up really complex skills such as, “how to  find the studs in a wall” and “how far apart should brackets on a shelf be”. It’s how I roll.

After I had sufficiently googled all the burning questions I had, it was time to take action! I found the center of the wall length-wise, 60 inches off the ground, and marked it. This mark happened to not be located on a stud so I used an anchor to give the screw something to hold on to so it stayed put. Because, you know, I hear that’s a pretty desirable trait in a shelf.

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Anchors are awesome. I never even knew they existed! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve hung hooks up without them and couldn’t figure out why they kept coming off the wall. Oh the lessons I’ve learned. Two of the brackets are placed in the wall using the anchors and screws. The farthest right bracket is in a stud, which is good because I feel like it’s a good thing for a shelf to be anchored to something a little more permanent than a squiggly plastic tube.

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This is a picture of me, using the drill, while taking a picture of me using the drill. Multitasking.

I would also like to point something out…

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That leveler on your phone? It’s probably not the most reliable source (observe the wonky line underneath the very level shelf).

I thought we had a leveler, but I found out that we do not, in fact, have a leveler. Father’s Day gift option, perhaps? So my first solution was to use my friendly little leveler on my phone, but the line looked really crooked to me when I drew it initially. So, I measured the old fashioned way and figured out very quickly to never trust my phone again.

Once I had the brackets securely placed in the wall, it was time to place the shelf on the brackets and screw it in.

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I really need to figure out how to get the walls of the laundry room to look the same in pictures. Right now we’re ranging from a light tan, to a muddy brown and I don’t like it.

Anyway, once the shelf was attached to the brackets it was time to load it up! So I did, I really really did.

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Oh it’s so beautiful. Look at how everything is all up on the shelf, and happy. It’s so very happy all in a group. Organized. Off the ground. Sigh.

I’m trying to decide if we should add one more shelf above this one. Thoughts?

While I was in the organizing move, I also hung up the ironing board.

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Get on with yo’ bad self! If this was our “forever” house, I’d totally get one of those ironing boards that folds out of the wall. Did you know they have drying racks that come out of the wall too?? They’re pretty swoon worthy. As swoon-worthy as laundry accessories can be… someday…

I still have a little situation with the rest of the cleaning supplies in the other corner of the room:

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So that’s a definite “to be continued”, but I’m so happy that I’ve been able to bring a little bit of order to a whole lot of chaos. I’m also pretty proud of myself for wielding a drill and not gouging myself. Tim thinks the shelf looks pretty great too, but he’s a little bummed that we spent money on the wire shelf, and we didn’t even use it. However, since we have an entire basement a-waitin’ to be finished, I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to use it somehow. We will see!

Have a great weekend!

Black and White and Pretty Darn Attractive

I could have titled it “Dark Walnut and White and Pretty Darn Attractive” and though it would have been more accurate, it’s definitely not as catchy.

I digress.

Remember way back when, we painted/stained the stairs… and then all confidently I was like, “We’ll talk about the banister later this week”?

So it’s been more than a week, but I’m finally getting around to showing you pictures of the pretty amaze-balls banister my husband built! But let’s talk about where we left off.

First Coat White

So this is pretty much where we left off. Bannister was out, stair steps were stained and the rest was painted white. It took us about two coats of primer, and three coats of white paint, but we finally got it looking nice and bright, and all one uniform color. I’ll be honest, I was really frustrated when the second coat of paint went on and you could still see the brush strokes in the paint. But lo and behold, three was the magic number because it looking great after the third coat.

So Tim, in a moment of inspiration. Put the end post and hand rail in. We’re lucky because Tim’s dad used to build houses as a profession and was able to help Tim build the handrail to code.

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I came home from work and this is what I saw. I was amazed! Tim has one day off during the week normally and he uses it as his “project” day when he can. This was an awesome surprise to come home to. You like those practice paint swatches around the window? They didn’t stay. We went with a different color. A lighter color.

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Tim was a rock star measuring, cutting pieces, attached spindles for the better part of about 8 hours. Here’s how it normally works in our house, of course there are always exceptions to the rule: Tim does all the sawing, cutting, and stuff I have no idea how to do and I do all the dreaming, scheming and most of the quick projects. Tim and I, of course, talk together about the direction we want the house to go in, and for every one project I actually do successfully, there’s at least five that I try/think about doing but never really bring it full circle.

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I was like a bug drawn to a flame during this process. I kept walking over to just touch them. Whisper sweet nothings to them.

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We bout the spindles, hand rail, and thick post at the bottom of the steps at a local building supply warehouse. We couldn’t believe the deal we got. This whole system only set us back about $140. There’s a couple of touch ups that need to be done, but other than that, we’re really really pleased with it.

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The best part (other than being generally giddy with excitement about how beautiful it looks) is that Charlotte can’t push herself through the spindles anymore. No more stair jumping for that one. Which is good because she almost gave me a heart when I saw her doing it through the wrought iron banister.

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I love the white. I love the dark wood. I love the soft grey-blue of the walls. It’s so classic but still really fresh looking.

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You can see how old these photos are, there’s a stocking and some garland waiting for the banister to be done so it can be hung open on the rail. Here’s our little pile of spindles just waiting to be used. Some of them ended up being too short, so we sold a bunch on craigslist and called it a night.

What an amazing transformation! We went from this:

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To this beauty:

Stairs I The Bean House