Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Green Microsuede...

There is no doubt about it. I have the best husband ever. He gave up a very nice Christmas present in order to get me a bigger present.

Namely, this beautiful microsuede sofa.

I've been keeping an eye out for a sofa for some time now thinking we'd replace ours in a year or so. About a month or so ago, I discovered this particular one in a store downtown. Honestly I figured it would be gone by the time we would be ready to make a purchase. This morning we went down to the store and it was still sitting there just waiting for us.

Look at that gorgeous suede material. It even came with the patterned pillows. No more pinky red sofa's for this house!!!

Pretty sure I'm spoiled.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Back in Gear for the Holidays...

The last several weeks have been a little crazy. That little 'flu' on Thanksgiving turned out to be part of a larger picture, namely a nasty infection. When filling out a medical history sheet, I've always left pretty much all of it blank. So this was my first medical situation and it included a little trip to the ER for an IV. It all snuck up on me so slowly I didn't realize how sick I was until I was on those antibiotics. I thought I was just getting lazy this past month when I couldn't motivate myself to do anything. Now I feel like superwoman. The past few days have been more productive than all the six weeks beforehand. Yay for modern medicine and great doctors!

And just in time for Christmas! This last weekend I pulled out our tree. No, it's not real, but hey, it's far less messy and doesn't cost a penny. I'll just buy some pine needle scented candles or something.

You'll have to excuse the gap of lights... they all worked when I put them up on the tree then of course one bulb died and I haven't been able to track down which one is the culprit yet. Gotta love continuous circuit christmas lights.

The little bug likes the tree although she makes a funny face when she tries to grab the pokey branches.

Speaking of, she is six months old today and growing like a weed!

In just two weeks our Christmas vacation starts. The shop closes up and we head up north to Canada. Since my cousin is getting married and most of the extended family will be there, it's going to be one big, happy Christmas.

I can't wait.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkeyless and Thankful...

I had a great blog post planned for this Thanksgiving weekend. I was going to take pictures of my first experience of cooking turkey and of perfectly set table to be shared with friends on my first time hosting an American Thanksgiving. I thought maybe I'd try and get some pictures showing us having a good time together around the table - maybe more showing us in the living room playing a game or something too. Then maybe I'd write some sentiments about how thankful I am for good friends. Something like that.

Instead I spent Wednesday night tossing and turning with a pretty nasty flu bug. (Ever tried to feed a baby at 2 am while holding back the pukes?) Thursday morning Paden handed off my first little six and a half pound turkey to someone else. We spent the rest of the day watching tv. Fortunately the bug was gone almost as quickly as it came, just not quite quickly enough. I can't lie, I was pretty bummed at first.

Then I thought back to one year ago. I was sick for that Thanksgiving too. But for a very different reason. Last Thanksgiving our little bug was about the size of a lime  inside of me. Now she's currently rolling around on the floor talking to her pink soother.

A year ago we were in a house that was far from homey. After more than a month of being there, it was still only a tangle of boxes and furniture with some lumber and tools thrown around. Now we live in our own home and have begun to make memories in it with our little girl.

A year ago I worked at a job I hated quite a lot. Now I have the best job in the whole world.

Sometimes (ok, maybe a lot) I get caught up in my projects or other things going on that I forget to stop and get my joy from God and what He has given me. Sure, that lovely Thanksgiving dinner I'd spent two weeks planning vaporized into nothing and I didn't get to set a table to be filled with the laughter of good company. But at the end of the day I have more than my fair share to be thankful for.

So happy Thanksgiving everyone - turkey or not.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's Never Too Early...

Our little girl can grab things. Sometimes I forget this.

Yesterday I was getting ready in the morning when I looked over to find this.

I guess she's practicing for when those teeth come. It's never too early to start good habits I suppose.

The question is, should I tell Dad she got his toothbrush? What you don't know can't hurt you, right?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Our Spot...

How many times have you heard it said that couples who go on consistent date nights have better, longer lasting relationships? I'm going to embrace this sentiment wholeheartedly as the excuse for our weekly visits at the local winery.

Camas Prairie Winery has a sweet deal where you get five 3oz glasses for ten bucks - a great way to enjoy some variety. My personal favorite is the raspberry mead; so delicious! If you're looking for something less sweet, the Lemberg is also pretty tasty. In fact, if we're getting a bottle instead of a flight, we're more likely to go for that selection. We've also enjoyed a bottle of the Ewe Eye as a white wine with a unique taste.

It's the perfect weekly treat for a couple of wine lovers who don't want to empty their wallets in order to have a date. We've gone there enough that they now know who we are and say hi to Olivia every time we go in.

She's the perfect chaperone because she falls asleep pretty much every time.

There's something about being a regular somewhere that is so much fun. Since the husband gets off in the middle of the afternoon and we like to make our apperance in the middle of the week, we generally have the place to ourselves. It even has a comfy loft area upstairs that we like best.

You'll have to excuse me if I call it 'our spot.'

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Peek Inside...

I promised to post pictures of our house so here goes.

Here's the kitchen - one of the most important rooms in the house. The cabinets are the original birch (refinished within the last ten years or so which is why they look so amazing still).

 There is more than enough room and unused cupboards, but that's the best kind of problem to have. Last week I was back at the old place cleaning the stove in order to make it presentable enough for showing and was reminded of how much I love this new stove top.

It's SO easy to clean, no more scrubbing away with SOS pads for me, I'll take the flat top any day.

I enjoy having this breakfast room right off the kitchen as well. I've always liked the idea of having both a dining room and a breakfast room.

Right off the breakfast room on the kitchen side is this neat built in desk.

Pretty handy! Apparently the original owner who designed and built the house was a cabinet maker. Something that came in handy in the bedrooms!

It's great having all that storage space built in. I don't even have a dresser anymore which keeps the room from feeling crowded since it's only modestly sized.

I can't be thankful enough for this bathroom after our last one; the tub is without any hard water stains!!

Then there is the baby's room. 

And the other half of the room. 

You can see the living room and dining room in the previous post which altogether is the main floor. There is a full basement downstairs as well. A portion of it is a couple storage rooms and a large laundry room. The other part is a mother in law suite with a small kitchen and it's own bathroom. We are in the love with the house and are looking forward to making memories here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Baby Skills...

There are a lot of milestones in your life when you've been alive for only one hundred and twenty three days. Sometimes each week will bring a new skill.

The most heart warming milestone was when those smiles started to appear. At first they were few and far between, but now it only takes walking into the same room to see that face light up along with a great big smile.


Another great skill was learning to love the bumbo seat. When you can't sit up but love to look around, the bumbo seat is perfect for you when Mom is redoing furniture or messing around in the kitchen.

Grabbing toys is another skill set to add to the resume. Mom likes this form of self amusement that allows the laundry to get done with a happy baby.

Beyond a doubt, the favorite skill acquired during this one hundred and twenty three days of life is thumb sucking. It's always been a game to try and find the hands, but this past week or so, the thumb was discovered. It's been wonderful.

Need I say more?

And of course she was born with the skill of being the best daughter in the world.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Making This House Home....

These past few weeks I've been busy giving the living room a new look. It was a lot of work and I gained a few calluses, but it was well worth it.

 The initial look of the room was this.

(Note: The picture on the left is from the previous owners because I failed to get a before picture from that angle)

As you can see, there is not a lot of color. This is tragic in my opinion since I am a firm believer that color almost always makes the the world a better place. Unfortunately, this tragedy isn't confined to the living room either, every single wall in this place was that nondescript cream color. For right now, however, the living room is my focus.

 The other major problem I was faced with was that were too many different woods going on. 

There was the floor, the wood paneling, the entertainment center, the piano, the piano stool, and each bookshelf, all different wood stains. (That's seven different wood stains in one room in case you were keeping track)

So that was my first project to tackle.

Painting the entertainment center was easy. It didn't even require sanding. I just rolled on an oil-based coat of paint to completely transform it.

The two bookshelves were much trickier. Because they are laminated wood, I had to sand the laminate right off down to the particle board below. This took a lot more back work and several days to finally finish just that first step of sanding them down.

Fortunately Dad and the Bug were there to help out on occasion. I applied oil based primer and paint to come out with an awesome result.

You'll see that I also painted the piano stool to match as well.

Now all the faux wood furniture match tying the room together nicely so that it no longer feels like the hodgepodge of second hand furniture it very well is.

As the above pictures have indicated, the next thing I did was add color to the walls.

It's always a little tricky picking out a color from a paint swatch and imaging how it's going to look once it is one the walls. Lighting makes all the difference.

I was extremely pleased with how it all turned out. Alongside all the wood paneling and wood trim (original to the house back in 1950 btw) the green looks fantastic. The room now has a warm glow while keeping the integrity of natural feeling colors.

One day I'll replace that couch, but in the meantime it's that much easier to call this home.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who Doesn't Like a Free Makeover?

One of the best parts of moving into a new place is that you have a fresh blank slate to decorate and arrange just how you like. I've started on the living room and am excited to see how it turns out. Hopefully next week it will be finished and I will blog about my latest projects here for you to see.

As for the rest of the house, I have no idea what I'm doing yet, so I was really excited to see that my friend Kelsey is doing a giveaway on her site here. The winner gets a free storyboard design.

This is a design she did for a friends nursery. Don't you love it? And the best part is that her finds are so affordable!

So what are you waiting for? Browse through her site and take a peek at all her design boards! They are all wonderful and it would be so awesome to win her skills! You should enter in for your chance to win too!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hungover Baby....

Our little bug is a great source of entertainment. Life is a lot more amusing with the duck face she makes while stretches, and with the protesting squawks when things are quite right, and when she insists on gagging herself with her own hands.

The other day after a particularly needed nap, she woke up like this:

If you look around that mouth you'll see the soother imprint. We both had to crack up at how terrible she looked. Seeing a baby look hungover would make pretty much make anyone's day.

Yesterday Olivia had an appointment at the doctor's office. Apparently she is pretty tall. Guess which side of the family that comes from.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's a Big Day...

Today is a big day for two reasons.

First, the kitchen plumbing is finally fixed after I was brilliant enough to degrease the hamburger down the kitchen sink on Sunday. Apparently we have very small pipes that clog easily - though I really should have known better anyway. This means I actually have to cook dinner tonight. I've used the lack of a kitchen sink as an excuse to say "dinner is whatever you want from the fridge," and also to try Smokey Mountain's gluten free pizza. (Paden much prefers Pizza Perfection's gluten free pizza which he says tastes like real pizza, Smokey Mountain's gf pizza apparently taste too much like someone put pizza on bread.) Anyways, it feels good not to have stacks and stacks of dishes and pots all over the counter tops. It was getting tricky to find a pan to make eggs in for breakfast. So tonight I think I'm going to try and cook ratatouille - it'll be my first experience with eggplant. The recipe looks pretty complicated, but this is probably the last time in my life for a long time that I'll be able to experiment with such recipes so I might as well take advantage of it while I can.

Second is the realization that our little bug is three months old tomorrow! These last few days or more she's been experiencing an intense growth spurt making all her other growth spurts like nothing. She's managing to sneak in an extra two to three feedings and for the first time she's fussy throughout the day with no apparent reason. Makes me grateful for what a good and easy baby she is most of the time! Although this growth spurt has meant a couple nights of me getting up more than the usual one feeding time and also for making a more inconvenient day of not being able to get much done, it's also very exciting because it means she's growing. According to our home scale (who knows how accurate that is) she has gone from being born in the 3rd percentile for weight, to now above the 50th. Yeah, this is super exciting for mom.

Oh, and the discovery of the week is that tummy-time is ok when, and only when, it takes place on the diaper changing station. Go figure.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Even Carrots Can Taste Good...

It all started because I had a bag of carrots in the fridge. I can't remember why I bought them. I'm not the biggest fan of carrots so I really have no idea why they were in my vegetable drawer. They've been in there long enough that if I didn't use them now they would turn bad pretty quickly.

So what do you do with a pound of carrots? I was looking up recipes to add to my regular dinner collection and came across one for carrot souffle. By chance I happened to have all the right ingredients in my fridge.

I boiled those carrots in salt water (the recipe said for 10 minutes, but I did 20 because they weren't soft enough yet.)

Once they were soft I stuck in the blender and turned them into an orange mush.

Next came the milk which was whisked into the carrots. I also added some cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Once the half cup of milk had been added, I grated in a bit of sharp cheddar, half a cup of cracker crumbs (gluten free ones for us!) and a quarter cup of minced onion.

 I then placed it into the baking pan to cook when I realized I had forgotten the eggs. I whipped up 2 of those and added them at the last minute. The souffle then baked for about 45 minutes.

 Let me tell you, it was yummy! This is the way to eat carrots. Plus, considering the fancy name "souffle", it really wasn't that difficult.

Olivia can't wait to try it, can you tell?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Something in a Different Strain....

This is a blog post of a more serious nature. The following caught my attention the other day so I thought I'd share it.

While pregnant I had a lot of couch time. I started reading blogs for the first time and found a few fun pregnancy blogs to follow. Now that I'm on the other side of pregnancy, however, I started looking for a blog from a new Mom's perspective. Blogs of good quality are a lot harder to come by under this heading. As much as people have to say about the million things you can't do while pregnant, they are even more so concerning how to raise a child.

I came across a blog divulging a revolutionary discovery that the disciplinary method of time outs is now outdated. This article by Dr Peter Haiman was linked; I'll sum it up so you don't have to read it. Basically Dr. Peter hypothesizes that the reason for misbehavior is that the child's needs are not being met - misbehavior (note the wording) is merely a symptom - the disease being unmet wants, the cure is to meet those wants. Time outs (or any other discipline for that matter) does not cure the disease and only makes it worse, causing more misbehavior and frustration. He says, "Parents can develop a well-behaved, self-disciplined child best by responsively and continuously meeting their child's developmentally normal needs and drives."

Now I'm not pretending to be the expert on child raising. Olivia is only two months old so my experience is pretty much nil. Yet it doesn't take any experience to see the flaw here. Since when were humans good when all their "needs and drives" were met? This theory of child raising shows a complete lack of understanding about human nature. I have a hard time seeing how someone who actually lives with a kid (or even sees one close up occasionally) could hold to this idea even for a minute! I did a little research on this Dr. Haiman to see his qualifications. I could find nothing to show he had any kids of his own. Apparently his qualifications are taking classes and earning the title doctor as well as 25 years of counseling and testifying in court rooms concerning divorce cases and such. So very qualified.

I did find several other blogs that linked this same article. (One blatantly defined disobedience as "an adult judgement of a child's action that is contrary to what the adult expects.")

Just think bout it. A generation of kids believing anything wrong they might ever do is a result of not having a need or drive met correctly.

Kinda scary.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Best Birthday Gift Ever...

The original purpose of this post has been momentarily diverted. I meant to indulge in a motherly fashion and post a bunch of Olivia pictures, but I'm kinda distracted this morning. You see, I'm looking across the room at my early birthday present and it's looking pretty fine.

For the past few days Paden's been telling me about this surprise gift that he's picked out for my birthday. Last night he headed out with some friends to pick it up.

                                                                 Guess what it was....

                                                                    Yes, a PIANO!!!!!!

       You should have seen them getting it into the house. We really won't be moving anytime soon now.

                                                                    Look at that beauty!

                                                                    And there she sits :)

It's an Ivers and Pond. Chris looked up the serial number and apparently it was made between 1915 and 1920. Yes.

The finish is a little worse for wear with some scratches, some kid went to town on the high octave keys with an orange highlighter, and it seems to be missing a back leg, but it's beautiful and plays perfectly. One day we'll refinish it and make it just like new. For right now, I'm incredibly excited to finally own a piano and it already looks at home here.

I have the best husband ever! :)

And now back to my original post - for those interested here are a TON more Olivia pictures:
This was when she was about 5 or 6 weeks old.

She was beginning to really like her play mat at this point.

We always liked our walk/nap time.

Fat and hot on a 90+ afternoon. Thankfully we now have air conditioning!

Sleeping with our arms up as per usual.

Who's there?!

Always such a cutie :)

Always with the hands...

There is something very fascinating about where she is looking because she is always looking there. We haven't figured out what exactly is so enthralling yet.

She does love her daddy!

This was right before leaving for our first Canada trip!

Right before boarding the plane.

So excited about the first plane ride...

Passed out on the airport changing table.

Don't bug me, I'm sleeping.

Fat and happy, oh yeah.

Showing off some smiles!

Falling asleep right before uncle Taylor's fundraiser.

Passed out.

First day in the new house!

Having a good old time.

A very common expression when she is sleeping. I think it means "just you try and wake me up."

Happy happy!

Never a huge fan of tummy time.

Sometimes waking up is hard.

Shopping with aunt Tabitha and mom!