Wednesday, July 23, 2014

5 Months


Our girl was 5 months old on Monday!

She...
...goes to bed around 7:30 without much fuss (!!), but still wakes once or twice during the night.
...sleeps on her tummy with her butt in the air. We put her down on her back but it usually takes less than 10 minutes for her to find her sweet spot on that tummy of hers.
...is starting to prefer a bottle, rather than me, and I'm okay with that.  No solids yet.
...still wears mostly 0-3 month clothes (she's a peanut!), but is starting to fit into some 3-6 month things.
...is much easier to carry now. She supports herself completely and can hold on a little bit.  No more squirmy baby.
...impresses the ladies at daycare with her mad rolling over and scooting skills.  I'm actually surprised she's not crawling yet with how easily she gets around.
...likes to be the center of attention, at least at home.  She gets along fine at daycare, but when we're home, she doesn't really entertain herself.  I think she just gets bored easily.
...drools a lot.  I think that means a tooth might be on its way!
...loves grabbing her feet, especially during diaper changes which makes it difficult.
...hates getting dressed after a bath.  I usually let her roll around naked on the guest bed for a minute, but I'm sure that will backfire all over the comforter one day. :)  It takes two of us to wrestle her into her pajamas, that little wiggle worm!
...has discovered her voice and can be really loud.  She also figured out how to make beat boxing sounds with her mouth, which is hilarious.

I'm starting to worry that she's not going to know what her name is.  I was reading an article that said by 5 months, babies should recognize their name and turn toward you when you're talking.  She does the turning part but I'm pretty sure she doesn't know her name.  It might have something to do with the fact that we never actually call her by her name.  We should really start trying to do that.  Let's see... we call her Girlie, Bunny, Peanut, Niblet, Sydie (that's close, right?), and probably more that I'm forgetting.  Girlie is definitely her #1 nickname though.  We even refer to her as Girlie when we're texting about her during the day (i.e. "I'll pick up Girlie today.").  Please tell me we're not alone in our nicknaming craziness.  We're sorry SYDNEY, we'll try to do better.

Friday, July 18, 2014

a happy color

So, we're selling our house.  I promise to do a post with a whole house tour, not only for you guys, but also so I can remember every inch of this, our first house together.  We have loved this place and I have always been reluctant to leave it, but now that the time has come, I have made my peace with it.  This house is perfect, but not for us.  Having Sydney reinforced that even more.  We want to be in our forever home, the place that she will always remember growing up in, the place our grandkids will have fond memories of, the place that hopefully Sydney will want to live someday, after we're gone.  Or maybe she will have to move in to take care of us in our old age.  Whatever the case may be, this house is not that one.

Anyway, I wanted to give the house a little pick-me-up before our open house the other day, so I shopped the home decor section in the basement (yes, I have one of those, don't you?), and decided to bring in hints of yellow.  Doesn't yellow make people happy?  After all, I want the future owners of our house to be happy here.


Faux forsythia, lemons in a hurricane jar, and my favorite pillow.


I finally feel like our living room is exactly what I want it to be.  Other than some art on the wall to the left of the fireplace, there's nothing I would really change in this room.  I love it just as it is.  Oh, and can I just say our walls are the perfect color?  I'm pretty sure I will be using "Sterling" (by Ben Moore) in our new house.


"Daisies are the friendliest flower." Name that movie.

Oh, and I totally agree.


This little vignette makes me happy.  It's all stuff I've had for ages, but put together this way just feels right.  (Ignore that bottom shelf. I should really get around to styling that one day.)


Ahh, forsythia, green apples and a clock that is an hour behind the times... perfection. :)

It truly is little changes like this that make my heart happy.  And all I had to buy were some daisies and a few lemons.  

(Someone please remind me to throw out the lemons before they make my hurricane all sticky and gross with their leakage.  This wouldn't be the first time I've decorated with lemons and forgotten about them. #mocitrusmoproblems)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

confessions of an e-mail lover part 2

Continuing on in my e-mail marketing series...

Wait, when did this become a series?  Apparently now because this is post #2, and don't 2 posts about the same topic make it a series?

Anyway.

I got an e-mail with this graphic in it this morning:


First of all, kudos to your "cleverness" American Eagle!  It must have taken quite a few meetings to come up with the idea to replace the word "bitch" for "beach."  Well done!

Second of all, that song is awesome.  I actually just heard it all the way through for the first time a couple weeks ago when it came on Pandora (I know, I live in a cave).  Even though it is semi-degrading to women, it's catchy, and that's all that matters, amiright?

AE used to be my all-time favorite #1 store.  Now I think I must be getting old because the only thing I will wear from there are their jeans.  Their jeans are awesome though.  It still doesn't make up for the fact that they're now selling acid wash shorts and crop tops... seriously, 80's, go back where you came from.  Just because fashion always comes full-circle doesn't mean it can't skip a decade or two (90's grunge, anyone?).

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Littlest Mountaineer

It should come as no surprise that we're big AppState fans around here.  We have a bus.  We go to all the football games.  We're proud of our Appalachian heritage and are equally proud to pass down our alma mater love to Sydney.


Even though it's only July (wow, July already?), we're already thinking ahead to the fall when we will take Syd to her first college football game.  She already has a cheerleading outfit, black and gold dress, yellow corduroy pants and this cute dress that a friend made for us all ready to go.  I love looking through that little black and gold cheering section in her closet.


Yes, we sing the fight song to her.  Yes, "hi hi yikas" might just be her first words.  After mama and dada of course.


She's already well acquainted with toy Yosef, as you can see.  Now I just can't wait for her to meet the real one!


"Okay, Mama, I know I look cute, but your SD card is full.  Time to stop taking pictures now."


Fine, Sydie, but just you wait until September 6th!

I was asked to participate in the Future Fanatics campaign by Fanatics.com.  But you know I'm just proud to show off our girlie in all her AppState gear!  Fanatics is the leading online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, everything from MLB hats to your favorite college team gear.  I was even surprised to see that they offered Appalachian State gear, including an infant girls' bathing suit.  Yes, we already have one.  Are you surprised?  I didn't think so. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

So, We Bought Some Land

This post makes me nervous to write.  I'm kind of a private person when it comes right down to it.  Kinda funny that I have a blog, huh?  Anyway...

We're about to have a major life change, y'all.

If the title didn't give it away for ya, we bought a piece of lakefront property in our dream neighborhood.  


It's always been our dream to live on the lake, and now we're making that dream a reality.  Well, eventually.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.  I'll get to that in a minute.

When we bought our house 7 years ago, we got as close as we could to the lake while staying in our budget.  You can see the lake from our front yard, and it's a quick walk down the street, and while we do truly love a lot of things about our house, we can't really change the location.  And for us, the location was just too far from the water.

So, while I was out on maternity leave, we finally made the decision to just go for it and buy a piece of land in the neighborhood that we love.  It's a newly developed community, with only 18 houses on the 99 available lots.  We closed on the land last Wednesday, so it's official - we're taking the plunge!


As you can see, there are tons of trees right now, but compared to some of the lots we looked at, this piece if very sparsely wooded.  Plus we'll take down as many as we can to maximize the view of the water.


This is the current view looking back up the property from the lake.  That's me in the pink jacket!  I'm standing maybe halfway down the lot.  This bottom half slopes much more steeply than the top half, where the eventual house will sit.

Of course, the day we closed, we went straight over and took some celebratory photos.  This is my fave.


Now onto the more exciting stuff... we're building a house!

Obviously we still own our house, but will be putting it on the market soon.  After it sells, we will find somewhere to rent while our house is being built.  So there's really no telling how long this process will take.  It all depends on selling our house!

Since I know you're all just DYING to know what kind of house we're going to build, I'll go ahead and tell you.  One word:  Craftsman.


I've been in love with the Craftsman style for as long as I can remember, so when it came time to look at floor plans, I knew that my dream home could be nothing else.

We modified a stock floor plan (where the rendering above came from) to eliminate a second floor and add a finished basement.  While we would love an upstairs (and actually really loved the layout of the stock one), it's just not in our budget.  We would have to have a basement anyway due to the slope of the land, so it just makes sense to have the basement be our second floor, so to speak.  The house will still look like the photo above (with different materials/finishes), but the second story window above the front door will just be a dummy window / attic space.  We also enlarged the original floor plan to meet minimum square footage requirements (another reason we had to nix the second floor), and added the wing where Sydney's room is.

So here it is:  the floor plan of our dream house!


Let me just tell you what I'm most excited about.

1) A real-life honest-to-goodness mud room!  Right now the stairs that lead up to the bonus room are a catchall for all of our CRAP when we come in from the garage everyday.  I'll at least be glad to have all the crap in a space designed just for it.
2) A LAUNDRY ROOM. We don't have one now. I hate folding laundry. I'll be glad when I have somewhere to put the clean (unfolded) laundry until I can get around to it.
3) Did you see the walk-in closet in the master? Oh man, the organizational possibilities are endless! I'm hoping that we'll have enough storage in there so we won't have to have a single dresser in our bedroom. Ah, the dream.

I think we'll use the dining room as an office/craft room/playroom for a while... it just makes more sense for our lifestyle. Plus there's plenty of room in the breakfast area for a large table. I'm thinking some sliding barn doors will close it off from the foyer (in case it gets messy, and for peace and quiet if needed).

We will most likely be finishing the house in two phases.  Phase 2 will be the Rec Room, Media Room and half bath in the basement.  The plan below is before we did away with the screened porch.  I didn't like it there and we can't decide where we want one, so we're going to hold off on that for now.


So, that's the plan!  I'm so excited to get started and see where this journey takes us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Basement Stairs

Beware: Lots of pictures of stairs to follow.  And they're all slightly yellow as there's no natural light in this part of the basement - sorry!

So, remember how we tiled the basement last summer?  Because of cat pee?  Ugh, don't remind me.

Well, before we really even started on the tiling process, we decided that we'd go ahead and rip the carpet off the stairs while we were at it.  So yeah, we started on these stairs last JULY and I just finished up the final touches this past weekend.  But you know, I did have a baby, so there's that.

Here's what they looked like before in all their cheap carpeted glory:



They were stained and just gross.  Plus they were actually kind of slippery.


Who would think this looks good?  Not me, that's for sure.  Oh and vacuuming stairs?  Fuhgeddaboutit.


Unlike some lucky duck bloggers out there, there weren't beautiful wooden treads and risers under the carpet.  There was thin, ugly plywood, which had to be ripped out and replaced.  I was dealing with morning sickness while the whole basement remodel was happening so I was really no help at all.  Steven did all the actual installation.  I helped paint the risers and did all the wall patching and paint touch-up after they were in.  

In addition to installing all new treads and risers, we had a landing to contend with at the top of the stairs.  We ordered a small amount of unfinished hardwood flooring (in the same width as our flooring upstairs), which Steven installed with his nail gun.



You know I had to get some action shots.


The risers in the above photo weren't actually installed yet - Steven had to measure each one and cut it individually, so he set them in place as he went.  We took them back off and painted them flat on the ground.  Much easier.  (Tip: If you're doing this at home, number the back of the risers to make for easy re-installation.)

The finished landing!


At this point, it was already looking much improved.


Oh, and if you ever have to order wooden treads from Lumber Liquidators that have one finished edge (the 4 treads at the bottom would have one edge that would show), then be prepared to wait.  Like, months.  Oh and when they finally do come in, don't expect a phone call.  Can you tell I'm still a little perturbed by that whole situation?  By the time we had all the treads installed, we ran out of steam and hired a handyman to do the staining and poly-ing.  I don't regret that one bit.


Now, after lots of patching, caulking and painting, the stairs are FINALLY finished.  Hallelujah!


I wasn't sure what to do with the sides of the exposed stairs, so we just installed some molding and called it a day.  It's not the best solution, but the fact that it's painted all white helps it blend in.  The drywall under there was in terrible shape.



I'm so proud of that piece of drywall under the door.  All of that was carpeted before, so the drywall and baseboard had to be installed.  While it's far from perfect, I think it looks pretty darn good for a couple of amateur DIYers.  The paint on the edge of the piece of wood under the door has been there since we moved in.  Maybe I should try to scrape it off?  Nah, I'm so done working in a dark stairwell.



From this angle, the stain looks way more red than the "wood" tiles in the basement, but it's really much closer in person.  Still not a perfect match, but they definitely don't clash.


So that's it - our new wooden stairs down to the basement!  Love.


And have I mentioned that cleaning hardwood stairs is 1,000 times easier than dragging a huge, heavy vacuum up them?  Well, it is.

Monday, June 23, 2014

4 Months


Our girlie was 4 months old on Saturday!  I feel like she's changing and growing more each day.  She's starting to reach for things and interact with her toys some.  Oh, and have I mentioned she rolls over like a champ?  It was hard to get her to lie on her back long enough to take her 4 month picture!  Quite a few of them ended up like this:


We're starting the sleep training process and it's frustrating, to say the least.  She's been a sleep fighter since birth, so it's no picnic, but some nights she is actually asleep by 8 p.m. (early for her, although we're continuously trying to get it earlier).  Other nights it's closer to 9 or 9:30.  It's so funny, she'll cry and cry and cry, and then all of a sudden, we'll do one of our checks (pick her up, soothe her, put her back down), and then she doesn't fight anymore and just goes to sleep.  You never really know how long it will last though.  But I actually got her down for a nap yesterday without any fight at all, and she slept for two hours!  It was a gloriously productive two hours.

Sleep problems aside, she really is so fun.  We bought her a cheap little blow up pool at Walmart and we went "swimming" for the first time yesterday.  She didn't quite know what to think about it...


As you can see from her bathing suit, she's still a little peanut.  That suit is size 0-6 months and it hangs off of her.  Maybe by the time we go to the beach at the end of the summer she'll fit into it, ha.  She has her 4 month check-up tomorrow, so I'm excited to see how much she weighs now.  I think it's somewhere in the 11-12 lb range.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

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