Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Brain Dump

  • I am SO GLAD it's almost the weekend
  • Not only do I desperately need some Margot snuggles but my cousin and very best friend Lauren had her baby this week and we are booking it up i-5 to meet this new little guy
  • Margot is over the moon about it. She has been asking for her "baby cousin in auntie Lauren's tummy" for months now
  • Somehow though we have three social engagements between now and then, a work party I have to make an appearance at tonight, dinner with church friends afterwards, which I am so looking forward to, and a huge family party Saturday which we'll hit on the way to Seattle
  • We are all about Madeline books in our house right now
  • I made they best shepherds pie this past week and I'm still thinking about it. Clearly it needs a repeat and a blog post.
  • Happy Friday! May your weekend be fruitful and restful! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The more we get together

Margot loves Raffi. She loves to sing, to dance, to sing with us and to make up songs. In our car rides we have to take turns. When it's her turn we listen to Raffi and sing together. When it's my turn we listen to anything else. 
Margot is 26 months old. She is so different these past few months since she really started to talk in full sentences. It really feels like having a kid and not a baby. She talks all the time. She narrates what we are doing, asks questions and makes her plethora of demands known. She loves to talk about her day, her clothes, her baby cousin and her friends. 

Speaking of clothes she loves to pick them out! We're all about polka dots, tutu skirts, pink and ruffles.

 When she really likes her outfit she wants to go look in the mirror and then she wants make-up to complete it. We compromise with some natural chap stick and call it good. She loves to wear my necklaces, glasses, hats and shoes around the house. Pretending is a big favorite. She often pretends to go to work with her hello kitty purse and her pretend cell phone. She will bring me her baby and then say "bye mom, I have to go to work now". Not sure if it's hilarious or sad.

Besides pretending Margot loves to cook, read, play with dolls and her stuffed sesame street friends. She loves to help us cook in our kitchen (as opposed to her kitchen) and she loves loves loves playing outside and going to the park. She is still a really good eater and I think her interest in helping to cook the food increases her interest in eating the food. She particularly loves sea food, fruit, milk, fancy cheese, peas and pizza.

She is a total ham! She loves to be silly and make us laugh. She knows when she is being funny and really does try to use humor to make others laugh. She makes up silly songs and dances around the house singing them with a funny hat on her head. She puts the cup from the bathtub on her foot, starts laughing, says "I have a cup on my foot" and when we ask why she says, "because I don't have any sockies" then we all laugh hysterically!

While at home Margot is loud, chattery and silly, she is still very shy in public a little nervous of others and new situations. She is still the most cuddly child I've ever seen and will often stop what she's doing and come tell us "I need snuggles now" and curl up to snuggle. She also loves to snuggle before bed, when she wakes up and after her nap and anytime strangers are about. This is fine by us and we're happy to still have so many snuggles.

She's growing everyday and loosing all those dear traces of babyhood. But it is amazing to watch this fun and charming child emerge.

At two years she was in the 15th and 37th percentiles for height and weight.

Height 34 1/2
Weight 25.6

And I just packed away the last of the 18 month clothes last weekend, tear tear.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Some of the cool stuff we did...

So there has been some definite radio silence going on here. Sorry. We are in a weird limbo waiting period with the house on the market, no offers yet, a lot of commuting for Chris and a lot of craziness for me. But I have been wanting to share some of the cool stuff we've done to the house in the past few months. As to not inundate with photos let's look at the upstairs today and the downstairs another day. You can see the original photos here and one month later photos here.

So upstairs house tour as of January 2014, 5 months after our move in date:
Outside we had a few big projects. First we took out that awful wheel chair ramp and wooden privacy fence. We were able to have the original iron stair rails re-installed and then custom fencing made to match. This was necessary because the concrete wall along the driveway (below the new fence) created a drop that was over 30 inches which is required to have a fence by the code. These changes were one of the more expensive ones we did but they make drastic improvements to our curb appeal and the outdoor space. Since the courtyard is one of our favorite features in the house we really wanted to improve the flow in and out. 

The living room got lots of new soft white paint. Probably a little hard to pick up the difference in the photos but in person it made a huge difference. The old paint was in bad shape and the fresh lighter white paint brightened the whole space. This room also got some "new" to us vintage furnishings.
The dining room also got lots of new paint and a very cleaned up light fixture. The original fixture is amazing but it was dingy and dirty. Much nicer after a gentle bath!

 The Kitchen arguably got the most work. I'm really happy with how it turned out but there were a few more things I would have loved to do in here and just didn't get a chance. In here we had the original stove top and built in oven restored. The oven had to be completely re-wired and needed new heating elements. I also took apart and replaced parts in the leaky faucet and of course lots of new paint. Then our single biggest home improvement purchase the CORK FLOORING. Or my favorite flooring EVER. Love love love this floor. It's gorgeous and comfy and cleans up like a dream. Plus it's very historically accurate to the period of the house.

 I would have loved to source a vintage fridge, replaced the tile counter on the sink side with some old school Julia Child esque butcher block and a new sink, faucet and garbage disposal. Le sigh...
 The sun room also benefited from lots of new paint and beautiful cork floors. And both of these rooms also had custom baseboards made. They are walnut and while they aren't an exact replica of the original baseboards throughout they do flow much better with the flow and the rest of the house. A note about twinkle lights. I'm not usually a big fan of decorating with twinkle lights but this room doesn't have a lot of lights and in the winter when there is less sunlight it's hard to use. The twinkle lights create a lovely romantic light in hear and combined with the city lights view at night make it a charming place to eat dinner or sit and have a drink.

 The master bedroom got new paint and an actual bed frame. Remember when the bed was on the floor for months on end. Yeah that was really great for the overall design. Not that the 80's oak night stands and mismatched lamps are much better but sometimes you work with what you got.
Margot's bathroom was also greatly improved by fresh paint. It also got lots of new caulk which was a welcome addition.
Margot's room has pretty much been done for a while. I would have loved to make pin-tuck drapes for her bedroom but I just didn't get there.
 The library also got new paint and what a project that was. We did have a professional painter do this room as well but we had to move everything out of the room and there were random piles of books littering our house for a week.

Certainly we didn't get to everything on our list and it's far from perfect but I think the changes we've made enhanced what we started with. Now I just hope a buyer will recognize it and SOON:)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Letting the cat out of the bag

Viewing Photo 1 of 16
These photos of our house was taken yesterday. It's come a long way from those first street shots I shared back in May which you can see here.
Viewing Photo 2 of 16
We've been racing through renovations for the last two months the latest of which was putting the original stair case railings up and having this custom iron fencing made so we could take out all of the privacy fencing which was blocking the house from the street and ruining our curb appeal.

Our beloved house actually went on the market today. Two months ago Chris was offered an amazing job in another town. The offer came completely out of the blue and it was too good of an offer to turn down. So while we bought this house with the intention of living here forever that will not be the case. As soon as we are pending we will be packing up once again and moving to a new town, something we've never done before.

This was honestly one of the hardest decisions we have ever made. But once we started talking through it we realized that the only thing holding us back was this house and that in every other sense this opportunity created a better life for all of us. Truthfully I'm a little shocked by just how emotional I've been preparing to sell this house. I have a funny connection to our house. I told my husband "this house is my house soul mate. Stupid perhaps but true. But while part of me is broken heart ed over leaving the other part of me is full of anticipation for this new and very different life ahead.

When we move I will quit working and stay home with Margot. We are moving to a much smaller town which is completely darling and we will all have so much more time to just be a family. In a lot of ways it promises to be a much simpler life which has its benefits.

Over the coming days I'll share our before and after in each room of the house. We certainly didn't come close to completing all the projects we wanted to do but we managed to accomplish a lot. So stay tuned for some more house updates and next steps for us going forward.

* photos by Becky Miles

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 my favs

2013 was a great year so as we say good bye and look ahead here are my favorite pics 

First up our funny little hipster baby

Then of course there is the new house and cooking wonderful produce in my new kitchen. With good came the bad, plumbing leaks and lots of demo

Margot was a blast this year. Going on evening walks to play in the park, learning new words and interacting more everyday

And of course my little shopping buddy. Here after her birthday trip with Grandma to Hannah Anderson

Halloween was such a blast this year especially with Margot's constant exlcimations of happy halloween and trick or treat throughout the month of october
Speaking of Margot...She turned two! Still don't know how this happened
December was all about Christmas cookies

And of course we can't forget snowpoclypse 2013!!!
Margot was the cutest little lamb in the Christmas play--BAH!!! says she
After being such a good girl all year, santa and his elves made her a baby cradle never mind the elves mediocre quilting skills....
And we ended 2013 with a fun trip to Portland. Margot had to break out her hipster style one more time and we all had lots of fun playing doc, reading books and going to a puppet show. Here's to an awesome 2014!