Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dear "the Ro Ro" and Bubba

Dear Rowie and Vera--

Before it gets away from me, I thought I'd write you a fall letter.

You are both sleeping after a lovely trip to the zoo.  I don't need to tell you how much I love you both, but I do need to tell you to STOP WAKING UP AT 4AM.  you're killing me.  I try to think about as military-style sleep training.  If I can function as a normal person now, just imagine what I'll be capable of once I can sleep again...
please note bags under eyes.

But I do have to say, if I'm going to wake up for anyone it would be for you two, because you're pretty darned cute

Halloween was fun this year.  Rowie, whenever I asked you if you wanted to dress up like Thomas (the costume you picked) you would say "no, Mama.  I Rowie. Dress up baby"  (also, you've been calling me "Alta" a lot instead of mama, and I don't think that's funny.)  I honestly think that it's my fault you won't dress up.  Last year when I made your gnome costume and tried it on you I laughed so hard that I fell on the ground, and you stared at me rolling around laughing, grabbed your hat off your head threw it on the ground and have *literally* not dressed up since.  

In the end you did wear your costume once you figured out that people would give you candy.  Two highlights:
1.  Our neighbors who do scary Halloween.  The husband dressed like a giant 8 ft crow with flashing red eyes and you saw him and freaked out.  I decided that it would be good parenting to make sure you confronted him so it wouldn't turn into a "thing." So I picked you up and we went and tickled him.  This was tremendously successful and you thought it was pretty funny until he tickled you back.  With his giant Tim-Burton-style foot long talons.  Parenting fail.  For the next few days you kept saying "Giant bird scared the Ro Ro.  No scare the Ro Ro giant bird!"  
2.  After we came back form trick or treating you were counting out your candy and mixed it in with the candy for the kids who came to our house.  From then on every single time anyone came to our door you screamed and cried when I gave them candy "No!!  NO!!! Mama, no give kids the Rowie's candy! nooooooooo"  And they all felt so bad.  Even though it wasn't your candy.  

Little Bubba, you are just getting cuter and cuter every day.  Sorry about the "bubba" thing.  I can't help it because you're my bub.  Rowie calls you Bubba now too. You are eating all kinds of different foods now and you are still not sleeping through the night. You like to watch football with your daddy and you like to clap after every bite of food (a girl after my own heart.)  You are the speediest crawler ever and very adventurous.  I don't think Rowan ever got to leave the living room at this age, but you're under the tables and chairs, in the laundry room, under the stairs, in the kitchen, in the pantry all over the place!  

Rowan, I hear you up there not sleeping and I don't think that's funny.  I'm going to turn the monitor down and let you read your books while I take a nap.  It's only 2:00 and I've already been up for 10 hours.  It feels like dinner time.  Sometimes there's just not enough coffee in the world.  But Then I try to remember that though the days are long, the years are short.
Goodnight, shorties.

Home/Life Improvement through organization.

I've never been exceedingly well organized.  I have my moments, but you will never walk into my home or office and think,  "Wow, this girl has got-it-together."  You may at times think: "Wow, her house is surprisingly clean and tidy for having a baby and toddler!" and then you will look under the beds, or open the door to the laundry room.

Some inspiration:

Look at that!   So many nooks!  so much storage!  so whimsical!  I can have a lovely space that has places to put things, but doesn't look like this:
womp womp.

Until further notice, the laundry room will remain the room where laundry is done-- I had thought we might move it to the basement sometime soon.  Sometime?  probably.  Sometime soon?  probably not.  So in order to maximize space we're thinking of getting front-loading stackables.

To stack or not to stack:

So lovely!  But let's be truthful.  Would pristine whites be found hanging above our laundry station?  Would we display bamboo shoots?

ooooo!  But the doors would have to slide back along the side, I think.  Then we could extend the countertop to make a desk/sewing table to the right of the laundry.  That would be GREAT.  

We could also stack the Washer Dryer, thusly:

Before we go any further, this room will be used for (and will require stations for): 

Unchangeable room elements: 
Built in beadboard closet
Pull-down staircase.  The layout is somewhat thus:
This is not at all to scale.  I winged it. The room is not as long along the wall where the staircase is. 

Option 1, stacked, based on this photo

Option 2, would be based on these photos:


One illustration was all I could muster, so you'll have to use your imagination a bit on option 2. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Also this happened

Just because it's the best photo I've taken this summer:

I've enlarged it to maximum capacity so that you may more easily gaze upon the mass of burnt hair.

Many of you know that Drake enjoys grilling A LOT.  For the first time ever, the grill turned on him and exploded in his face and burned off a great deal of his hair.  It was horrifying.  and hilarious once he was determined to be ok. 

It was just like in cartoons when a character's face gets exploded and after the smoke clears they look like a very surprised Albert Einstein! (I was going to Google "cartoon face explosion" to include a picture of what I'm talking about, but thought better of it.)

New summer house plans

One day you wake up and it's July!
Original summer plan (with some things even accomplished!):
  • fix shed (paint, new door, new lighting fixture, new windows, roof)
  • dig up dead arborvitaes, replant 2 new ones, mulch landscape area between garage and shed
  • install fence for play area in back yard
  • repair/repaint the shutters
  • replace lighting fixture with motion sensor in back porch area
  • stain/seal front porch
  • repaint gingerbread work on porch
  • upholster living room furniture (in progress!)
  • remove plaid shag carpet form back stairs and paint (YES!)
  • remove beige shag carpet from master bedroom
  • install new hardwood floor/paint linoleum in master bedroom. It's classier than you think, see here
  • organize every inch of life. (this item will seemingly NEVER be checked off.)
And the maybe list:
  • cut out half wall between kitchen and dining room
  • build bar at cut-out
  • replace stove/fridge
  • replace washer dryer (perhaps move to basement?)
  • redesign laundry room based on presence/absence of new washer/dryer
  • paint/reupholster the dining room furniture 
  • insulate/seal basement
We decided to take a breather from house projects for various reasons so I hereby declare the month of July August-project-planning-month.  I've never been very good at estimating how long it takes to complete projects.  I have a very unrealistic expectation of what can be accomplished during naptime.  If I were to rank the projects above from highest to lowest priority based solely on what *I* want, and with a blatant disregard for budget imposed boundaries the list would look like this.

  • kitchen/dining room wall cutout and bar
  • new flooring in Master Bedroom 
  • paint/reupholster Dining Room furniture
  • reupholster Living Room furniture 
  • clean up landscaping
  • (shed of course, because of the whole ordinance-police-might-take-us-to-court thing)
  • redesign laundry room
  • insulate/seal basement (if only to prevent nature from penetrating my happy home.  more on that soon)
The problem with that is the most important item (new appliances) takes all of our budget and none of our time-- and August is all about having a bit of time.  SO if I were to use more time and less budget it would go (are you still reading this?  is the internet that empty of interesting things? :) 
  • organize 
  • paint/reupholster DR furniture (with new paint sprayer!  I love it!  I owe the blog a post about my love of our paint sprayer.  soon, I promise)
  • reupholster LR 
  • clean up landscaping
  • repair shutters
  • shed so we don't go to court
  • remove carpet, paint BR floor
  • stain seal front porch
  • repaint gingerbread
then as time/money permits over the course of the fall:
  • insulate/seal/organize (never finished, remember) basement
  • replace appliances as possible
  • eventually cut out half wall etc
  • once washer dryer stuff is purchased and in place redesign laundry room.  
Now that's shaping up!  Let's see how far we get with the list above!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

House Portrait

Look what I got for Mother's Day!  A lovely water color portrait of our house :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dear Vera, 3 months

Why hello,  Baby Girl!

When you first came home, Rowan called you "My bagel." He was trying to say baby girl and it came out ba-guhl and I hoped and hoped and hoped it would stick and be your nickname forever, but alas.  After a few weeks your Dad told me I ought to let it go since I was the only hold out still calling you that.  What has stuck, though, is Baby Girl.  Rowan refuses to call you anything else.  Whenever I ask if he can say Vera he says "Noo, mommy" with this look like-- why on earth would I call Baby Girl that.

You are a little chunk and I LOVE it!!!  you are roll-y and wonderful.  You have a beautiful heft to you and are just perfect for holding, which is good because you want to be held all the time.  You are a big time snuggler.  You also like to look at things for just long enough-- you'll stare at the bee and coo and talk to him, but if it's for too long you get very upset.  Same thing with the chandelier in the Dining Room.  Same thing with the under the sea baby mat.  Same thing with ceiling fans.... If you're happy when you see yourself in the mirror you will have a grand old time, but if you're sad things fall apart even more quickly.  You've just discovered your hands and are grabbing at things which is adorable!  Maybe now you'll have a fighting chance at getting your zizas back from Rowan.

You have started to love your baths and are scooting during tummy time, right on track!   We stare at your eyes all the time trying to figure out what color they'll be-- right now I'm thinking dark blue, but with a brown patch on the outside of your right eye.  It's always been there and I think that might just be something special that will stick.  We'll see I guess!

You wake up twice at night and are very quick to go back to sleep which leads me to believe that you will be a super sleeper like your brother... I can only hope so!  Today I put you in Rowan's crib when we went to get him after your nap and you just stared at him and cooed and tried to grab his back-up ziza... it was awesome.  How lucky you both are to have each other!  He loves you so much. You're the first one he asks about when he wakes up (after one of us gets him out of bed, of course) and you're the last one he kisses goodnight.  I hope that you'll always be friends.  It's a pretty awesome thing to get to watch.

I have to go to sleep now, so that I can spend some time with you later, but wanted to make sure I got a letter in before I wake up and you're off to college! (DARN YOU TOY STORY 3 FOR MAKING ME CRY SO MUCH)


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dear Rowie 2+ Years Old

Oh dear.
It's happened just like they said it would.  Time has sped by and now you're two and you look like a boy and not a baby.  And you speak!  You have your own thoughts and you name letters and colors and  you demand things, and you always say "Thank you momma."  Lately in the morning when Baby Girl (you won't say Vera and oddly, taking your cue, no one else does either) is in her cradle and I'm talking with her, you come between us and push her to the middle of the room then come running back and say "Hug, Mama!"  Whenever you give hugs you say "Awwwwww, cute."

You have been working up the courage to pick up the frog that lives on our back patio-- not there yet, but you will be.  When we go grocery shopping you spend the whole trip talking about the ride-on horse ("Moo") at the front of the store, then when we get there you lose your nerve.  Last time you sat on him, put in the penny, pressed the button, then as soon as he moved you threw your arms up in the air and yelled "NO THANK YOU, MOO!  MAMA, HELP!"  It was pretty awesome.

This weekend was the Lake Orion Flower Fair and we went to the bounce house (bounce house!  hooray! jumping!) I got to watch you interact with other kiddos, which I don't always get to see.  You said Hi and smiled at every child in that bounce house, though with very little reciprocity.  You just went from kid to kid saying "Hi!" and putting your face right where they were sure to see you and not miss the fact that you were there saying hi.  When that little girl in the rainbow jumper pushed you over I wanted to punch her (not really, Mom) but you looked sad for a second then you got up and moved on.  How proud I am that you are such a friendly kid with such an open heart!  It makes me happy-sad.  Happy because I think it will mean that you will be open to getting to know all kinds of wonderful people.  Sad because they won't all be as wonderful as you, and chances are that if you get hurt you're not going to let me fix it.  Which is probably a good thing, because of said earlier instinct to punch a 5 year old who didn't like you. (again, kidding.  But ask your dad about the six year old at the McDonalds playplace who told the other little girls to stay away from you because you were a boy.  I stared her down with my perfect new mom-face (slightly raised eyebrows, I'm sure you can picture it) until she smiled and patted your head.  I assure you these girls will be singing a very different tune 15 years from now.  You are gonna be quite a looker!)

We practice our character voices, talking waaaay up high and way down low, I think you have a future in this stuff.  You have a big old hearty laugh and it's awesome.  ALSO! every time I'm stuck trying to make a left turn, we talk about how much it stinks to be stuck and when I finally make the turn you yell "YAAAAAAY MOMMY!!!!"  and you clap and kick my seat.  You also do this when I change the batteries in any toy that is out of batteries (I REFUSE to change that trampoline's batteries when they finally go.  Shortest music loop in the WORLD and I refuse.  It will bounce just as well without noise.)

Well, I hear you upstairs (talking way up high) you just yelled "Heeeeey!  Oh, mommmmmeeeeeee! kna-knock....."

Can't wait to hear what else you have to tell us as you start to put more and more together.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!!!

As you may imagine, life with a newborn and a two-year-old is very peaceful.  Observe our beautiful Easter Family Portraits:

Then we tried one with him right-side-up which was moderately successful....

Then he kicked Drake in the nuts.

We did have a very fun morning, and the pictures above are probably the result of a (small, mind you) chocolate bunny.

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, March 17, 2012