Friday, August 29, 2014

A year ago...

One year ago I peed on a very important stick and then two hours later we signed the papers to buy our house.  What a year it has been!

I was going to fill this post about all the things we want to fix/upgrade/change about the house, but I just watched a birth video and am feeling sentimental.  So we'll hold off on the things that we want to change and instead let's reminisce about all the things we've done in our completely imperfect home.

Travel back in time with me to 363 days ago.  We had both taken the morning off of work and I decided that it would be a good time to take a pregnancy test.  The best moment in the world was when I came out of the bathroom (Dillon didn't know I had taken the test) and I went up to Dillon for a hug and said "So, I'm pregnant".  And I looked up and he smiled immediately.  I don't even remember what he said but the fact that there was no hesitation, no processing, no look of doubt was so reassuring and wonderful.  

Then we went to the bank and bought ourselves a house.  The previous owner made us promise not to cut down the olive tree.  

A week or so later, when my morning sickness was in full swing, I was in my sister's wedding and approximately 40 people commented on how tired I looked.  Thanks guys, I was.  But I couldn't tell you that I looked so tired because I was COOKING A HUMAN BEING.  

And since then, I spent an incredible amount of time nauseated on the couch.  We painted and set up the nursery.  We brought in even more furniture than you would think we need.  We had panicky "oh God we can't just call the landlord anymore" moments.  I got bigger and bigger and bigger and figured out the best route to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I waddled my pregnant butt around the neighborhood.  I got to do something so special: I labored in my own home.  I held on to the bannister that my family made and I relaxed my way through labor.  We brought our baby home to this house.  I spent even more time on the couch recovering from giving birth.  We shared our house with all our relatives and friends and celebrated the day my son joined God's family.  I have walked miles and miles with that stroller around town.  Both Dillon and I know the places to step so that the floor won't creak after putting the baby in bed.  This is our son's first home.

Exploring the backyard with Daddy

First bath in the sink with the orange countertops

Backyard with Daddy

And soon, he'll be turning sticks into arrows and jumping off the patio outside this house.  We will have a play area downstairs.  We will make cookies in the kitchen and decorate Christmas trees and hang our stockings on our new bannister.  We will make memories.  And I couldn't be more excited to share this place with my son and my husband, and continue to make it ours, and to fill this house with memories!

A year ago we put this picture on facebook and said "Guess what we did today?".  And my aunt Laurie was right when she said "Judging by the smiles I would say you either bought house or made a baby!!! LOL"

P.S. This is what happened to the olive tree

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Wrapping things up

We attended a wedding a month or so ago, and I thought I'd share the gift we gave the bride & groom.

We gave the lovely couple this book, One Pan, Two Plates.  Which (as I flipped though it) looked like a great cookbook of "normal" foods.  I hate recipes where you have to go on a multi-store hunt for some ludicrous ingredient that will sit on your pantry shelf for the next two years because you ended up not liking the recipe anyway.  But this was not that book.  Normal recipes for normal people, with just enough different stuff to make your meals feel fancy sometimes.  Because we can't all be chefs.

By the way, I took a picture of a set of 3 cookbooks because this is what I want our house to look like.  At the moment, it's all beige all the time.  But I'd love to incorporate a lot more colorful accessories (and hopefully someday white walls) as we get new stuff.

So this book: 

I wrapped it up with plain paper (I got a roll of craft paper from Ikea over 5 years ago and it's still going strong!) and added a little paper flowerage.  I couldn't decide if this was blog-worthy, but I thought it turned out really cute so... why not?

Three sizes, fold the petals up on all three

If only the blog came with 3D glasses!
I cut out three sizes of basic flower shapes from some shiny paper.  Then, I folded the "petals" up a little bit for some 3D action.  I layered the three sizes using tape, and then stuck the whole shebang on the gift. After I made a few more "flowers", it was good to go!

Hope the bride and groom liked it!

Friday, August 22, 2014


Two things:

1. I'm afraid of a cat named Boba.  I avoid that cat like nobody's business.  You should see me hug the walls to avoid walking past him.  *shudder*

2. We got a new baby carrier.  We generously received a Moby wrap as a gift from a friend while we were pregnant, and we used that for awhile.  Unfortunately, I never really perfected the wrapping (there always seemed to be a lot of extra behind the baby's head and he never felt super secure in it so I had to keep my hand behind him the whole time), plus it was difficult to put on when we were out and about without the "tails" dragging on the ground.  Also, by the time I got it on, the baby was generally crabby and he liked to try and stand in it when I was putting him in.  So it worked occasionally but was never a reliable way to carry him and we didn't use it as much as we could have.

Moral of that long story: we were in the market for a new carrier, and I've heard great things about the ergo.  Namely, that it holds the baby correctly for their hip shape and that it's comfortable.  It's also expensive.  So I was looking for a used one on Craigslist or garage sales but they still ran around $75 for a used one.

We were lucky and hit up Nicki's Diapers for a few new diapers and I saw that Boba carriers 3G were on clearance because they came out with a 4G model.  So instead of $120+ for an ergo, we got a different soft-structured carrier for $90.  But instead of paying $90, we ended up returning some of the All-in-one diapers we had since they gapped around baby's thin legs.  We got a handful of best bottom diapers (which we are IN LOVE with), an amber teething necklace, and an ergo and only ended up paying about $15 for it!  HORAY!

Modeling is his future career.  And he is in love with that potato chip bag.  And I'm not afraid to say that I have let him play with it for the past few days.
So how do we like it?  It's incredible.  He likes being in it, it's a million times easier to get him in the thing since you put it on around him instead of trying to get him in it after putting it on.  And I never realized how much more secure he could feel in it compared to the loosey-goosey moby.  It can truly be used hands-free and I can even bend down instead of doing the deep squats like with the moby (the only form of exercise we did, yah I should really get on that).   PLUS it came in adorable colors and (sort of girly) patterns, but we stuck with gray since the clearanced colors were limited.

My only complaints are that it's a bit of a to-do when you want to adjust it between users (me and Dillon), it's a bit less comfy than the stretchy moby, and that the instruction booklet gave very little information about how to snap things together or adjust things (I didn't know the strap in the back by the shoulderblades could slide up and down until I googled "why can't I reach this buckle").

So the moby was great, it was good for a little baby and felt nice and squishy instead of lots of buckles and straps.  But we've moved on and it feels great.  Much better than that *other Boba* which I have nightmares about.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Creepy Crawleys

We have this area between our garage and house, we call it a breezeway.  It goes straight through from the driveway to the backyard.  It's got siding, a slanted linoleum floor, a sweet old-school sink, and is prone to worms after it rains (yup. Classy).  It's actually a good place to store or bikes and stroller.  It also has these louvered windows that I've never seen before in any other home.  If you, too, are unfamiliar with louvered windows, they are heavy metal contraptions that have a bunch of glass slats that crank open like blinds, and have a screen behind them.

The breezeway in the middle there with the screen door.

Have you ever had an area of your home that you know is messy but after walking past it several times a day for a year, you just look past the mess? Well that was the louvered windows for me.  I knew they were dirty and filed with spider webs but in order to clean the screen a person would have to completely unscrew and remove the screens.  So I just kept walking past them every day instead.  Until last week.

Dang it's hard to photograph a dirty window.  Then again, most people wouldn't really want to. 

The scales fell from my eyes and I saw just how nasty these things had become, so I decided to finally clean them.  I unscrewed the screens and sprayed them down with a hose, and then methodically cleaned each glass slat with cleaner and paper towel (not even cloth rags, they were too nasty and bug-filled!).  Putting them back together was a wonderful sight---I think there is more light in this breezeway!

It's even harder to photograph clean windows.  Because they're clean.

Incidentally, one thing I really wanted when Dillon and I bought this house was to throw a party and have people in the backyard with the cooler of beer in the breezeway.  We experienced that at our party for the baby's baptism!!!  You all have no idea how wonderful that felt; just having our own house with all the people we love and beer coolers in the breezeway made this really feel like home. 

We really have had a major spider problem in the house this year.  Literally hundreds of leggy spiders infiltrated every space in our home.  Now, I know we aren't the tidiest people ever, particularly since a terribly needy family member was born, but I like to think we are more cleanly than that.  We've swept them up and knocked down webs and vacuumed them up only to have more spiders reappear in the same place overnight.  Literally.  So, how do you all get rid of spiders?  I remember hearing something about a herb you can put around your house that deters them---anyone with any experience care to weigh in?  Please tell me I don't have to sweep and knock and vacuum the basement every day.  Please!

Horrifying picture of the spiders. HELP ME GET RID OF THESE THINGS!

Monday, August 18, 2014

In Focus

I had the sudden realization the other day that this blog is a little undefined.  So this post isn't about cameras (of which I have none, just my phone), I thought I'd just spell out a little focus for this blog so that my legions of faithful leaders know what to expect.

So here we go, a blog mission statement.

I would like to use this blog to post about my life.  Sometimes I craft things (not so much recently.  But I did make a baby). Sometimes I do things with my family.  Sometimes I want to write my thoughts on this or that.  This is my blog, so I don't want to be afraid to post about whatever I darn well please.

I think I might try to post more frequently, a couple times a week.  Since I'm opening up the topics to be sort of random day-to-day things I should have more material to work with besides the non-existant crafting.

I hope you, my lovely readers, will appreciate that I just want a space to do my thing, to chronicle my adventures, especially now that I have a son to keep track of.  I hope this will be a fun place to remember the things we did together as a new family of three.

And if anyone wants to send me free shtuff, I'm on board!!!  Hey, it's what all the cool bloggers do.

So thanks for reading.  I really do appreciate it. The only thing I ask of you all is to know that when I ask a question at the end of my posts, I really do want to know your answers!!!  So comment!  It's much easier to post knowing that someone is out there reading.  And I know you're out there.  Observing.  Lurking.  Not talking.  Like the weird cousin in the corner at the family reunion.  Don't be a weird cousin.

Cute baby pic. He is thrilled.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Camping 2014

Update: this post is sponsored by my son, who sat contentedly in his jumper and on the floor while I wrote this.  Huzzah for independence!!!

Dillon and I were extremely brave (in my opinion) because we went camping last weekend. With a three month old baby.  I had been extremely nervous about the 4+hour drive with the bambino but he did very well.  My favorite thing about camping is that there has always been a family rule that no clocks are allowed while camping.  It's very freeing. You should try it.

We arrived after dinner, and are super incredibly hugely thankful that we camped with (my big) family so we had a camper all to ourselves and didn't really have to bring much else.  Our family is ahhhhhmazing.
The family, minus Mom & Tim who cooked!

This was one of the most high-tech camping trips I've ever taken; let's just say there were several campers, a boat, a jet ski, fishing, super bright gas lanterns, and a couple of tv installs (no watching though! ).

I enjoyed being able to have my mom or sister watch the kiddo while Dillon and I went on the jet ski. Dillon loved loved loved being able to go fishing, even though he was attacked by horseflies.
Beach hat

Speaking (writing? ) of which, my biggest concerns for the baby were being cold, getting sunburned, or getting mosquito bites. So we used a variety of techniques.  For the sun: a hat, babyganics sunscreen (clearance at Target, oh yah!) and shade.  Pretty simple.  For the cold: this adorable hat I made a few years ago and thought was pretty weird then but is much awesome on him now.
Our arsenal
For the mosquitoes:  Ah the mosquitoes.  We used the combinations of an OFF fan, OFF spray on whoever was carrying him, lavendar oil on his exposed tootsies (that's feet, only on babies), sitting inside the mesh-sided canopy thing (thanks, mom!), and this bug spray that says it's all natural.  Did it work??? Well thanks for asking, YES it did!  He got zero bites that I could find.  Much better than his daddy fared.
Sorry I put it on the internet, honey!

All in all, it was a fun weekend.  A ton of work, but fun and really nice to have the whole family able to come. Now we just have to unpack.  And wash the campfire smell out of our clothes.
Baby's first selfie.  I don't think he quite gets the idea

Monday, August 4, 2014

3 months

We went up to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the 4th of July and you did an excellent job!  All smiles!  We also got to go swimming in the lake where I grew up camping and you didn't seem to mind too much.  You've been interested in exactly one toy on occasion and will sometimes bat at it (we give you lots of cheers and then you look at us like we are the crazy ones).  You've been sleeping for 4-5 hours at once at night, but are tricky about it: you start this long sleep at 7pm and refuse to budge your bedtime to later, so mom & dad don't really get to enjoy that long sleep much.  We started out our All-in-one diapers and are not so sure of the results, since you are such a slender fella.  We are thinking of returning the unwashed ones and exchanging for best bottoms.   Mommy lesson: don't commit too hard because the baby makes his own plans for everything.

I don't know how it's possible,  but you manage to get lint waded up in between your fingers and in the creases of your hands like nobody's business. I've made it my mission in life to keep your hands lint-free and is like a full time job. My other full-time job would be to worry too much about you: did he get enough to eat? Is he gaining weight fast enough? Is he cold? Is he hot? Does he have enough stimulation when I zone out in front of PBS instead of interacting with him? Is the massive amount of fruit snacks I eat slowly killing him with red40?  This is where another parent comes in handy since Dillon generally just tells me to calm down, offers me a beer and plays loudly and roughly with Levi (as rough as a 3 month old can handle). So thanks hubby! You are the xanex to my neurosis.  And if that isn't a compliment, I don't know what is.
Week 9

Week 10
Week 11

Week 12
Week 13

Friday, August 1, 2014

Morning Iced Coffee

Good Morning!  Here's a quick post about coffee. 

Here's the thing: I was hooked on coffee, I got pregnant and quit, and now I have a young man who wakes me up at 4:30  So coffee is back in my life and thank God the baby and my caffeinated breastmilk are playing nice together. 

A baby picture in every post!

We are headed camping (with an infant---ah!) this weekend and one of my big concerns was how fast my coffee could get to my lips. Since building a fire or turning on a grill for hot water to make instant coffee sounds awful, and we haven't got the budget for a french press to make real coffee, I remembered my favorite thing for summer: iced coffee.  Coffee that reminds me of a little something that rhymes with farducks wackachino.  Lets not talk about how long it took me to come up with that.  Now, hot coffee would be nice on a chilly morning but the caffeine part is the most important.

Here we go:

1. make coffee
2. pour into mason jar (or other shakable lidded portable device)
3. add a decent spoonful of sweetened condensed milk
4. keep in the cooler until 4:30am, then shake and enjoy!

This is not a diet food but hey. You do what you have to do. For plarchucks clap-a-wee-no.

Ready for the cooler! And, yes, I reused the lids

Wish us luck camping!