Thursday, April 17, 2014

New kitchen, please!

We have been living in our house for 8 1/2 years now.  We have managed to do a few things to the house in that time, ripped out the awful carpet in the downstairs bathroom and installed tile and new sink, vanity and toilet, painted every room (some rooms twice), removed wallpaper, replaced many of the light fixtures, installed built-in shelves in the living room, shelving in the basement, new roof and revamped the outside of the house a bit.  We also did some things to the kitchen, swapped out the old pulls on the drawers and cabinets, cut down the half wall and installed a tile top table with stools, installed a corner built in and removed the dated railing above the cabinets and valence over the sink.  All of these changes has helped improve the look and functionality of the kitchen, but I have bigger dreams for my kitchen.  I don't anticipate moving any time soon, if ever, so any time and effort and money put into the kitchen will be worth it.  Problem is, with two kids in daycare, money is tight.  However, I don't feel like I have to wait until the daycare days are over in order to change up my kitchen.  Because, lets be honest, we will just find something else that will suck our money from our bank accounts.

A few weeks ago, may parents came and helped install a new microwave above the stove.

We had to lift the cabinet above the microwave to give proper clearance above the stove.

But I love the effect it has.  I would like to lift the one above the fridge as well.

Placing the microwave above the stove has freed up precious counter space for us (so we could just clutter it up with baby stuff).  It made a HUGE difference and inspired me to start the process for a kitchen redo.  

I have thought long and hard about new cabinetry and have decided that we will just paint the cabinets that we have since we are not going to be able to really change up the foot print of the kitchen and the they are in good shape and function properly.  Also, its greener;)  Since these cabinets obviously are your standard, builders grade variety, I would like to add molding to the tops and maybe even some glass fronts on a few of the uppers.  

Next, the fact that we bought a stainless steel microwave gives it away that we will be replacing our appliances with ones that are stainless steel.  The next appliance to be replaced will be the refrigerator, then the dishwasher and finally the stove.

Currently, the counter top is your basic ugly laminate and there is no back splash right now.  I have always loved subway tile so that is what I have in mind for the back splash.  I have no idea what we will do for the counter top.  I do love granite but that may not be in our budget.  We will have to see.

I have been thinking about this for 8 years so I was pleasantly surprised to be browsing Pinterest and run across some one who did all of those things to her kitchen (minus the subway tiles).  I was linked to this post on her blog, Everywhere Beautiful.  Here is her before kitchen:

Photo from blog -everywhere beautiful-. 

And here is her after kitchen:

Photo from blog -everywhere beautiful-.

It is great to see it all came together and there was a huge impact on a small budget.  Now to show this to the hubs and convince him to get started now.  He is a function guy, meaning if it functions, it is fine.  This will take some sweet talking:)

Also, mom and dad- when can you come help me???

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Egg Hunt

We took Sully to an Easter Egg hunt last Saturday morning.  It was adorable, as expected:)  Sometimes those things can be horrible in a variety of ways, too crowded or crazy competitive parents.  But this one was great.  It was at Elver Park and in a nice wide open space.  They separated the ages too so as not to have the toddlers and preschoolers hunting with the 8, 9 and 10 year olds.

Here he is.  Waiting surprisingly patiently.

 He was kind of creeped out by the Easter bunny but thought he could at least manage a high five for him (or her, do we know if the Easter bunny is a boy or a girl???).

 Sydney slept through the whole thing.  Little angel;)

And they are off!

I have to give props to the hubs.  He is the only reason that we brought that lovely green basket for his eggs.  Otherwise we would have been using our pockets.  Never even crossed my mind to bring a collection object.

I don't think the kid stopped smiling the whole time.  Therefore, neither did I.

 Super proud of his loot.  You can't tell but he is screaming, "MOMMYMOMMYMOMMY, LOOK!"

 Yeah, he isn't sure which super hero to be each day, so why not be two or three at the same time?

 My favoritest pic of the whole day.  He looks so big and so little at the same time.  Just perfect:)

As we were leaving the park, he was heard saying, "I had fun!"

And then later that day, we got to hang out with this girl.

It was a great day:)

Friday, April 11, 2014

The right now

I don't know why it is so hard for a person like me to live in the right now.  I have always had so many plans and dreams for myself, realistic or not, that I have been in a constant state of anticipation for the next step in my life.  Always working on advancing my career, the next DIY craft project or making and growing a baby;)  Not that this is always a bad thing, it can propel me forward toward my goals and keep me motivated.  However, living this way has caused me to stop enjoying the present because I was always reaching for the future.

This maternity leave has been just what I needed.  Not only do I have the most perfect little girl to get to know as well as spend more time teaching and watching my son grow and learn, I really, for the first time in forever, feel like I am living in the present.  Really feeling it....and enjoying it.

I am finding myself enjoying the activities of daily life that had seemed so monotonous and trivial to me just weeks ago.  Drinking a good cup of coffee, bath time and bedtime routines, making dinner.  I really can't explain or pin point what caused the shift in me.  Maybe I was waiting and longing for my daughter to join our family and now that she is here, I feel more complete.  Maybe it is the endless hours of nursing her that forces me to slow down.  Maybe it is this break from my job that I so desperately needed.  I don't know.

What I do know is that is feels good to live this way.  To feel everyday instead of rushing, rushing, rushing.  It's not that I don't have goals and dreams for the future anymore, I just don't feel in such a hurry to get there.

What am I enjoying today?  Easter basket shopping:)

 Yes, he has more stuff.  But he is older:)

Done except for a few hair pieces for Sydney that I ordered off of Etsy.

I seriously had so much fun buying Easter basket goodies.  And I realized that one day, my kids will be grown and I won't get to do things like buy Easter basket goodies.  They won't need me to bathe them or make them dinner or read them stories.  They won't wake me up at night or require my attention every second of the day.

Of course, this realization does not make being a mother any easier.  It is hard as hell to be a mom (or a dad).   There are moments that are absolutely maddening or gross (I don't know if my bathroom floor will ever be clean again) or exhausting.  But they are upstaged by the moments that melt your heart and fill you up with joy.

For the first time in a long time, I can say I don't know for sure what my future holds for my career or my family (Are we done having kids or not???).  I am just going to take it day by day and keep trying to live and enjoy the present the best I can.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Dear Sydney,

On April 1st, you were two months old!

You are a pretty easy baby.

You love to be held.

You hate tummy time (and so does your brother, he just can't handle you being unhappy about it).

You always have big smiles for your big brother.

He just loves you so much.  He always says, "Let me see her eyes!"  He wants so much to play with you and make you smile.  He is often heard saying, "Don't let her sleep.  I don't want her to be sleeping!"  I have a feeling you two will be great friends.

You will nap or sleep anytime with me, as long as I am nursing you.

You love your bath but hate getting out of the bath.

By far your favorite thing to do now is standing.  Yes, you love to put weight on your feet and stand.  You will eventually start to shake and I have you sit to rest but you are ready to try again soon after.  You are so proud of yourself when you do this:)

You like to be swaddled but not too tightly.

You hate being strapped in your car seat but fall asleep almost instantly when the car starts moving.

Mornings are your favorite time and when you are most smiley.

I can't tell you how much I am enjoying having you.  How much we are all enjoying having you here as part of our family.  Sully made me a Mama but you have healed me.  You have made my heart whole again and I am forever grateful.  You made Sully a brother.  For that I am also forever grateful.  I am looking forward to learning more about you and watching you grow.  Love you so much Sydney/McGruber/Kenny (sorry, your parents really suck at nicknames).


Friday, March 28, 2014

Are you there, Spring??

After months of not feeling inspired to do any sort of decorating, I had a sudden urge to finally take down the lingering Christmas decorations and get some spring/summer stuff up.  Never mind that it was mid-March, I welcomed the fact that it actually happened after being decorating dormant for too long.  See spring vignette 2013 and 2012.

I did buy a new wreath but everything else is re-used/recycled from other years.


I used a fake plant this year since I failed miserably at keeping the Jade plant from last year alive.

Why wouldn't one use a Jodi Picoult book along with a Zombie survival guide in one's spring vignette?  Normal.

My gnome guys are back.  I wonder if they know the nice gnome family that so kindly gave up their gnome baby to us?

She is just soooo tiny still, I swear she is a little gnome baby.

Got this done just in time for our weekend visitors.

And now we just need spring to arrive.

Monday, March 17, 2014

From the mouth of babes.

Just a little taste of some daily convos with this guy....

"What do you pee out of (as he smiles and giggles)?"

"The clock is in the poop.  Yeah, it is."

"I hit my face on the toilet!" (I don't even want to know how that happens)

Sul: "Hey, do you remember what my butt looks like?"
Me: "Um, is it brown?"
Sul: "Ha, NO ITS GREEN!"

Sul: "Fricken Mommy!"
Me: "Hey!  Dont say that!"
Sul: "Fricken Daddy!"

One night last week he climbed into my bed at 1:30 am.  He leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I like your room.  I like your bed.  I like your hair.  I like your make up.  (Pause)  Do you like my bed?"  To which I whispered, "I like your room.  I like your bed.  I like your clothes."  (Pause)  To which he responded, "WOW!"

"I turned into magic.  Its a guy."

"Does chocolate make me big and strong?"

"Are fruit snacks real food?"

At the WIAA boys state basketball game last friday, "OH!!  Did you hear them say my name?  They did!"  (Talking about the man on the loud speaker, whom did not say is name or anything close to it)

"Dragons have wieners.  All of them do."

 Pay no attention to that dirty glass!

"Does batman poop on the potty?"

"I have poop skids in my pull up."

I underestimated how much we would be talking about poop, pee, wieners and vaginas on a daily basis with a 3 year old.  At least it is entertaining.  This kid cracks me up!  And here I was worried he wouldn't get as much attention with a new baby around.  He sure knows how to get one's attention!

Coming soon, my spring vignette and a kitchen project!  Yes, posts other than those that focus on my kids or pregnancy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Just can't help myself...

I LOVE bath pics!  They are just the cutest!  And I finally got some of Syd...

It has only been just over 3 years since Sul was this age but it is amazing how you forget about these days once they have passed.  I have had to go back and look at pics from Sully to refresh my memory.  Sully was bigger than Sydney.  She is just such a tiny thing.  She is still in newborn diapers at almost 6 weeks old!

For fun, here are some comparisons...

There are moments when I see flashes of Sully in Sydney but they are few.  I thought Sully always looked like me on most days.  And I think that Sydney definitely takes after the hubs most days and I see very little of me in her.  It is funny to hear other people say she looks like me because I just don't see it.  I can't wait to see her grow and learn more about her.  So far, she is more chill than her brother, not as high maintenance (thank God!).  She is a bit more go with the flow.  I am having so much fun getting to know her:) We love our baby!