Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My last week

Ashford is 11 weeks today, and this is my last week of maternity leave.  I am not thrilled.
Forgive my lame posts while I try to get back to 'regular life' without crying.  At least I know baby is happy.  
I have a couple little things I'm working on, but most of my projects have to be things that I can easily quit if I hear a meltdown in the living room.  Since I just have these few days left with Ashford, I'm putting everything on hold to just hang out.  
Thanks for putting up with my 'mommy-ness.'    
I promise there are some good house posts coming in the future.  For now, I'm going to play outside with my family. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Marriage guest post

Thanks to Michelle at So Wonderful So Marvelous for doing a guest post on me and Shaun today!  We answered a few questions about our marriage in honor of Michelle's 7 year wedding anniversary.  Go check it out here.
Just for funsies, here are some of my favorite photos of us through the years, one for each year we've been together:
Right after we met in 2005, I looked a little different back then!  I was 26, Shaun was 23....in case you were curious.
2006, not sure where we are, but GO PACK!
2007, hanging out in Wisconsin Dells with the family.  Love Moosejaw!
2008, at a wedding.  This is the last year I dyed my hair, it was fabulous while it lasted!
2009, apparently we didn't take any photos together other than Halloween that year. 
2010, Great Lakes Beer Festival! 
2011, we had so much fun at our wedding.
2012, we don't have one picture of the two of us without the baby.  Well we do, but I was pregnant.  Oh well.  Thanks for the feature, Michelle!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Picardy Project in the house!

Hey everyone, I have some exciting news to share.  Chris and Meryl from Picardy Project are doing an amazing 'Renovation Roadtrip' this October, and Shaun and I are going to play host for a night and get this talented couple's help with a project in our home!     
I am pretty sure we're going to tap them to help us with the basement, but only time will tell as it gets closer.  A little more about the road trip - Meryl and Chris are teaming up with Tinkernation, a cool online community of 'tinkerers' that love all things renovation, to  complete this amazing journey and blog all about the projects and experiences they have.   We think this is an amazing opportunity, and are so excited to host them in October.  Best yet, I'm going to teach them how to change Ashford's diaper while they are here!  
The little stinker is already plotting his biggest poop yet for you guys....can't wait to see you both in a couple months.  Check out all the fabulous bloggers Chris and Meryl are visiting at Tinkernation!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bathroom paint

One of the projects I'm hoping to get done before I go back to work in a couple weeks is painting the door, trim, and the vanity (one coat) in the bathroom upstairs.  I still need to figure out what counter/sink to go with in here, so the second coat of paint would go on after that was installed.  
I also want to rip off those ugly plastic towel bars on the door and replace them with chrome ones.  When you are trying to dress up a tired space, every little bit helps!  
And I'm thinking that I can dig out the anchors (from the old counter) from these wall tiles and fill in the holes with cream grout.  
I brought all my white paint chips upstairs and narrowed it down to three - a more creamy/tan white - Swiss Coffee, a whiter one - Vermont Cream, and a pinker white, Powdered Snow.  
I eliminated the Powdered Snow right away, so I was down to the other two.  
My goal here is to match the tile almost exactly, I know that putting a brighter paint on the trim will instantly make the tiles look dingy.  I was having a hard time choosing until I took this picture and the Swiss Coffee chip seemed to disappear on the tile.  
And just to be sure, I turned on the light in the bathroom and took one last picture to make sure it still looked good in 'unnatural' light.  
Still looks good to me.  I'm picking up a quart of Swiss Coffee and crossing my fingers!  Since I'm working with the original ceramic wall tile, I'm having a hard time picking a counter top and sink.  I don't want a speckled look, a solid black would be best.  I'm thinking just a new black laminate, or black solid surface - with a white drop in sink?  I already have this Kohler Memoirs faucet:
Ideally, I would like to rip out the vanity and put in a pedestal sink with a tall furniture-like storage unit to the right of it, but the outlets are in the cabinet and who knows what the floor tiles are like under there, so I have to work with it unless I want a gut job.  Any advice?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Two months

Ashford is growing like a weed.  He turned 2 months old on Sunday and is already 12 pounds and 23.5 inches! He's about average for weight, and a bit longer than average length.  His head is 25th percentile - Shaun has a wee head too, so we're not surprised.   
He is sleeping about 5-6 hours when we first put him down at night, with variances from 4 all the way up to 7.5 hours one magical night.  Not really napping during the day, though.
He is barely fitting into some 3 month sleepers because he is too long, and onesies are getting tight to snap, too. What is with all the short, wide baby clothes?  Carters seems to be the best fitting, with a longer, thinner cut.  
He is getting better at being in his swing or on the activity mat alone while we make dinner, etc...thank goodness.
He is smiling at everyone and starting to pay lots of attention to toys, the tv, his own feet, and light fixtures.  And sometimes the wall.  I don't judge.  
He does not like the car seat too much, so trips to run errands are quick and dirty when he's along for the ride....some trips are dirtier than others.  I think he's brewing up a dirty diaper in this pic, now that I mention it.
And here are a couple side by sides from month 1.  Too cute how much he's filled out!
Just for funsies, here is a funny comparison of a bath pic from 3 weeks, and one from 8 weeks.  WOW!  I just can't believe the difference.
He screamed during his 2 month vaccinations this morning, seemed fine for a few hours, and now is screaming again while I'm holding him and waiting for the Tylenol to kick in.  Guess I'm not getting anything done today.  Poor baby!

Monday, August 6, 2012

@$%#& Shelves

This is a post about how I almost lost my mind getting ready for a party we had this past weekend.  Last week I got a bug up my butt to get a bunch of things hung on the walls.  I don't know why, I was just tired of pictures, shelves, and mirrors sitting on the ground and hidden in closets, etc...so I had my eye on this corner of our bedroom:
I've had those Pottery Barn ledges/shelves sitting there like that for months, or years, I guess.  I bought them for $60 (half off retail) from a lady on Craigslist in 2008.  Then I seriously couldn't figure out where to put them in the house, even though this little alcove seemed like the perfect spot.  So, I got all fired up and started by removing the most overused print in blogland.  
Can you see the outline of filth when I took it down?  Gross!  I measured and re-measured for the placement of the cleats.  When I was done, there was about ten marks on the walls.  And I think I was pulling insulation out with every hole...but at least there is some! 
So, when I finally got them both up and level, I was pretty pleased with myself.   
Then I hung the shelf up and it was sort of hanging it's head in shame, if you see what I mean...
I tightened the cleats up more and then the shelf wouldn't go on.  I messed with it for 30 minutes and it just wouldn't grab onto the hardware, so I took it down to see what the deal was.  Then I saw it - the shelf extended past the hardware so there was no way it would go on, it was hitting the wall every time.  
I was pretty irritated, so I mocked up these photos to tell you how I felt about this setback.  
When Shaun got home from work I whined to him about how much Pottery Barn sucks at life, can you please look at these, is my brain made stupid by breastfeeding, or are these shelves messed up??  He agreed that they were not going on the wall because of that little strip of shelf hitting the wall.  So I made a joke about shimming out the cleats with cardboard, and I'm embarrassed to say that is what we did.  
They are ok, not perfect.  They still lean down just a little bit because uh, the hardware is attached to cardboard before it hits the anchor/wall...but I don't care, I'm not putting much on them.  
And I'm happy with the before and after.  
Now, hopefully they don't fall down.  Stupid things.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Guest room...again

So, I know that my brain was made incompetent by pregnancy when I fixed up the guest room last time.  I had a mish mash of weirdness going on in there with too many patterns, nothing on the walls, and an unfinished feel.  I couldn't change the curtains, bed, or rug, but I could add different elements to unify the big pieces better.  
Now we have actual guests coming this weekend, so I set about fixing some of the awkwardness before they get here.  The changes are subtle, but I think they make a big impact.
This whole thing started with Ash taking an amazing extended nap that got me raring to do something.  First, I hung some round mirrors up in this room that have been on the floor of our room since I painted them in 2009.  Seriously.  I like how they kind of look like portholes in here!  I also like looking at myself when I change the sheets on the bed.  I'm kidding.  No really, I'm not.  
I also added some little accessories to the dresser top...a red vase, and some new candles.   New navy sheets tie in the curtains.  All of these additions are from TJ Maxx, of course.  
I had a lovely vintage print from the room that became the nursery.  Well hello, 2008!
It looks perfect in here, good thing because it had been leaning against a wall for months. I would love a narrow buffet or console table for this wall, but I'm not in the market for new furniture right now, so this Ikea nightstand works.    
But the best thing, at least to me, is the charming piece of art above the bed. 
When I saw this print on art.com, I just had to spring for it.  With a groupon, it was much more affordable.  I've never spent $50 on an art print in my life, and this girl wasn't going to change my mind.  
I was excited to find something with both the red and the dark blue in it, and the cute message sealed the deal.  I wish I could've gotten it custom framed to eliminate the white border, but I opted for a cheaper pre-made frame for the larger 18x24 size.  Maybe I will pick up a natural colored mat and cut it to fit?  Sure, I can hear Ashford laughing.    
I know the nightstand is too short for the bed and the lamp doesn't really work in here, but I'm not able to change them.  PS - I forgot to take Shaun's 'Muscle and Fitness' magazine out from under the nightstand.  HA! 
So, did I improve this room??