Friday, May 27, 2011

Singing in the Rain....

Mimi has been here this week watching the boys for us because Busha threw her back out last week and we thought the break would do her good.

Before the storms hit on Sunday night the weather here was beautiful.  And Monday and Tuesday were also really nice.

Our plan for Wednesday, my day off, was to pack the boys up and go shopping for flowers.

Instead of buying hanging plants this year my mom said she'd help me plant our own.

Of course, Wednesday, the only day I can spend outside, was nasty.  Cold. Windy. Rainy.

 But we went out and got those flowers anyway. Instead of planting them out in the sun we set up camp in the garage.

As I was getting stuff together to plant I thought "what a crappy day." And then I thought, "no, what a perfect day!"

perfect day to get out the rain jacket, boots, and umbrella.

A perfect day to go signing and playing in the rain.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Around the House: Mud Room

As part of my Spring Soul Season list I wanted to spring clean the entire house.  Or, at least start the process.  Our April weekends were booked and the beginning of May wasn't much better but this past weekend it rained all day on Saturday and it was the perfect day to roll up our sleeves and scrub a room down.  Plus, my mom was here to watch the boys, which made the process so much easier. 

We started with the mud room because I'm Type A Extreme and in my cleaning process this is always the room that I begin with because it's the first one (in my mind) of the house.  In addition to the "normal" cleaning we also had the rugs professionally cleaned, removed the blinds and washed them down, re-varnished the window, cleaned the woodwork and light fixtures, and the big one, cleaned and organized the closet.

As we clean each room I thought it'd be a good time to continue our home tour.  So, welcome to our mud room.

When entering our house from the garage you walk into the kitchen.  The mud room door is immediately to your right.  It's a half bath and our laundry room.  It's also where we keep all of our shoes, bags, the garbage can, and cleaning supplies.

You'll have to pardon the glare in a lot of these pictures.  I tried taking shots without the flash but those pictures didn't correctly show the color of the room.  The color in these pictures is much more accurate.

When we were struggling to get pregnant with Keaton, Busha leaned into me one night at a graduation party and whispered - we need to feng shui your house.  Collin and his Dad like to call it Feng Shit, but I love this stuff and even if Collin likes to make fun of it, I secretly think he loves it too.  You can't deny the energy it creates in a space.  But anyway, I'm telling you this because it explains the decor in our mud room.  The wall our toilet sits on was in our "creativity and children" quadrant and needed a little help. While we were at it, we spruced up the opposite walls as well.

The wall behind our washer and dryer was in the section of "helpful people and travel" so we put two pictures up from our Summer of 2007 trip to Boston (the first picture) and Nantucket (the second picture.)  This was the last "big" trip we've been on and we took it just as we started trying to get pregnant.  In fact, I remember buying a pregnancy test while on the Island.  Of course, it was negative; it would be almost a year later before we actually got pregnant, but I love the fact that this trip tied into our ttc journey.

With Feng Shui, one way to improve your "helpful people and travel" section is to include "religious items" so we placed two shelves, putting a candle on one and an angel on the other.  The angel was given to me by Amanda and is inscribed with the saying "We can do no great things - only small things with great love. ~ Mother Teresa" Above the candle hangs a picture of Collin and I with one of our Godsons, Lil Bear, on the day of his birth.  The matting includes the definition of "faith."

Moving past the window and to the other back corner of the room is the toilet - our "creativity and children " section.  As you can imagine it calls for symbols of children.  We decided to just add pictures of children.  Although I rotate the pictures in these frames, they are always of kids that are special to us.  Currently I have the black and white pictures Auntie CaS took of the boys this winter up there.  Next to the picture of Hutt is The Dancer Willow Tree Figurine.  Amanda also gave this to me, knowing I'd absolutely LOVE anything to do with dance.  One of my biggest regrets in life is quitting dance in high school.  My mom said I'd regret it, and she was totally right.

On our toilet you will always find a magazine or two.  Usually the Pottery Barn catalog and some sort of Sports Illustrated.

To the left of the toilet is the sink and the shelving unit that holds our shoes and bags.

Oh!  And a big fat cat!

By the door hangs this black and white of the Eiffel Tower and a key holder with scenes from France.  Both of these were given to me by Jill because we always wanted to go to France together with our moms and she knew how much I loved all of her French decor in her apartment.  It's been years since I've been to France but someday I'm getting back there!!

Finishing off the room is our newly organized! closet.

With this spring cleaning process we want to get rid of and simply, which makes me feel a little guilty that we actually purchased a couple of things for this closet.  We added the big organizer on the left to hold dog food, light bulbs, cleaning rags, and random stuff from the diaper bag/extra rolls of toilet paper.  We also bought those two blue baskets under the shelving unit.  I LOVE these things; they are exactly what I needed in this room and because I feel they are simplifying my life I feel much less guilty about the purchase.  One is for dirty towels/rags and the other is for dirty bibs/cloth napkins.  I always have these two ongoing piles of laundry on the mud room floor and they drive me mad.  Now they are still there, but hidden, out of sight, and organized.  Totally worth the $10.

And that's it!  That's our mud room.  Next up, the dining room.  Which we're hoping to get done before Hutton's birthday party at the end of June.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Hutton: 10 Months

Dear Hutton,

At the end of April you turned 10 months old. We are so nearing the 11-month mark that I had decided not to write this letter. I decided I’d combine your 10-and 11-month letters into one. And I was okay with that, for about 0.1 seconds. Then the guilt started setting in. I never missed a monthly letter to your brother during his first year. Even if it was late, I always wrote one. I imagined you flipping through your scrapbook that I intend to make with all of these letters with highlights from the year and you coming to your combined 10-11 month page and I cringed. And decided I couldn’t do it. I had to write this. Even if it is really, really late.

A couple of days after you turned 10 months old I took you to the doctor for a well-baby check-up. This would have typically occurred at the 9-month mark but because of my recent job change we were without insurance from February 12th until May 1st. Yes, I know the specific dates. That is because every day during that two and a half month period I said at least once, please stop doing that, we don’t have insurance! Or, please, please don’t get sick, we don’t have insurance! Both you and your brother did get sick during that time, but thankfully not serious enough to have to take you in. And although there were a number of close calls, we had nothing that brought us rushing to the doctor trying to explain, well, we’re in between coverages right now. I cannot put into words how thankful I am to have made it through that time. But anyway, at your appointment you weighed in at 19 lbs 10 oz (25%), were 28 inches tall (25%), and your head circumference was 47 ½ cm (90%.) Just like your brother you have a huge head. What I was so happy to see is that you jumped up a percentile in height; moving from 5-10% up to 25%. Your head circumference also increased from 75% at 6 months. And weight is holding steady at 25%. This growth, head, height, and then weight is exactly what the doctor told us to expect out of Keaton and you seem to be following suit. It’s hard to compare your current stats to your brother’s, as his were taken at 9 ½ months, but it appears you have now surpassed him in all measurements.

Although we have not had a very nice spring, the temperature has been chilly and for much of the month there was snow on the ground, we’ve been able to squeeze in a few walks with the dog and wagon rides. You LOVE the wagon. While you’ll fuss and whine in the stroller you sit perfectly in the wagon. Sometimes you hold onto a sippy cup or toy and other times you just sit back and take in the scene. I’m also always surprised at how well you and Keaton get along during these rides. You two will fight over toys non-stop in the house, usually it’s because he doesn’t want you touching anything, but sometimes it’s you who’s asserting your displeasure, but in the wagon it’s different. You laugh and babble at each other, you share toys and he picks up your sippy if you drop it. It’s actually quite a joy to see you together in there.

Speaking of your sippy, this reminds me, we’ve remedied the bottle strike during the day by putting your milk in a sippy. In fact, you’re pretty much done with bottles. I haven’t actually put them away yet, but I should because we haven’t used them in many, many weeks. I think you like the independence. Same thing goes with food, you love puffs and the little bites of pancakes and bread we’ve given you this month, simply, I believe, because you are feeding yourself.

At 10 months old you’ve suddenly become interested in climbing up the stairs. You’re still eating mostly purees and I think the only new food I made this month was potatoes and asparagus, both of which you ate like a champ. The nursing is going much better this month than last – I’ve decided not to push you too much during the day, if you feel like nursing great, if not I pump and put it in a sippy. At night, especially before bed, you always nurse with no problem. We moved you into 9-12 month clothes right at the end of the month and they fit perfectly. You’re still waking up in the middle of the night and making your way into our bed and your daytime naps have gone from bad to worse. It’s frustrating and I feel bad for Busha. You are a big Mama’s boy and you love to snuggle. And I absolutely love that. And I love you.

You’re getting too big too fast little boy, but I’m enjoying every second of it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Easter 2011: Baskets and Egg Hunts

This post is coming extremely late.  So late that it seems stupid to even write it.  But I have to because some day (who knows when) I want to put together a digital photo album for the kids and the only place I'm documenting anything is here.  So if I don't write it here, it won't be written anywhere.  Better late than never, right?  Maybe?

We'd been talking about the Easter Bunny in the weeks leading up to Easter, and especially about the choo choo that he might be bringing, in hopes that Keaton would remember come Easter morning. He didn't remember Santa, but he did remember the leprechauns so I thought our chances of him remembering the E. Bunny (as he says it) were good.  What I hadn't factored into the equation was that Mimi and Pa Grizz would be here, which means bed time would be  missed. 

Easter morning Keats woke up and was obviously groggy.  We had to remind him that there might be a surprise waiting for he and Hutton in the living room.

When he walked out there and saw the baskets he was a little uncertain at first.

But then that promised choo choo caught his eye.

He proceeded to take his basket to the middle of the living room floor and take each item out one by one.  His owl, a book, new pjs, a rain coat and umbrella, a Thomas painting book, and a new car.  He didn't really stop to look at anything, just one by one the items went from his basket to the floor.  Then, once the basket was good and empty, he dug in.

Meanwhile, Hutton played with each new thing before taking another item out.  His owl (which was made by the ever fabulous, Kim, I highly suggest checking out her Etsy stores.)... 

...a new book, A Home for Bunny...

...and a new car that he can call all. his. own.  No more of his big brother taking them all from him.  Hutt also got a beach towel, new jammies, and a Haba Flapsi.

Even more fun than the baskets was reminding Keaton he should go check the carrot that he left out for the Easter Bunny.  

He was so intrigued and curious and cautiously excited.  Mimi!  The E. Bunny ate carrot!

Shortly after baskets our family started arriving for our Easter lunch.  Mimi and Pa Grizz were already here but Busha and Papa came and Aunt Bea and Uncle Buck and Aunt Kira and the kids.  The H bombs are so adorable together.  Hutton loves his cousin and is constantly trying to open mouth kiss her.  Actually, Keaton rather loves her too.  While he'll head butt and yell at Hutt he only has kisses and coos for Little Bee.

The Easter Bunny hid lots and lots of eggs for the kids so before lunch we decided to head out for an egg hunt.  We have not had a very nice spring around these parts but Easter Sunday was gorgeous.  

Blue skies, sun shining, and decently warm.  It was a perfect morning for an egg hunt.

Mr. Keaton is our serious child.  He does things diligently and with purpose.  When there is a task to be done he does it with focus and he will not be distracted until it is complete.

Even a task such as an egg hunt.

Hutton, on the other hand, while equally curious and active, lives life for the adventure.  I would not be at all surprised if his first words were Woo Hoo!!!  *fist pump*

After the egg hunt we went inside for lunch but it was way to beautiful to stay inside. So afterward we headed back out and even through they were in their Easter outfits, we let the boys run wildly through the mud puddles.  Over and over and over.  Keaton's shirt is still slightly stained and I'm pretty sure I found mud in his diaper.  But boy did they have fun.

Later that afternoon, before conking out for naps, Papa took the kids on several wagon rides.  You could say they were a wee bit happy.  Okay, they were pretty much in heaven. These boys, that will fight to no end over things inside, will willingly share sippys and toys while in a wagon.

I'm so thankful for the gorgeous day.  For the time spent with family.  For the Easter memories.