Wednesday, February 27, 2013

two different bumps

Thank you so much for the excitement and congratulations following our baby news! We are so excited as well and can't wait to discover who is coming to join our family this year. These pictures were taken during week 12 when my baby bump decided to make its grand appearance. I woke up on a Sunday morning and there it was, daring me to try and suck it in. I tried and failed.

I am already planning to dig out my maternity pants and get nice and comfortable. I've decided there is no need to force myself into my regular jeans (even though they can still be buttoned up at this point) just to be reminded of how they don't quite fit the same anymore. At times it's hard for me to think about how much I've worked these past couple of years to get back into shape only to have to do it all over again after this baby, but my past pregnancies I have felt really good in my skin so I am hoping this one will be the same.

To help with this I plan to start exercising once more. With Lark I worked out almost every day until I was 8 months along. That is when I pulled a muscle reaching for something (not even working out!) and had to stop. For the past four years up until we moved I was part of a group of moms in my neighborhood who would meet at the church every morning to exercise. We would bring out the nursery toys for the kids to play with on one side of the gym while we exercised on the other. We did zumba, yoga, circuits, tabata, pilates, and more and always had a great work out... but what made it my favorite part of the day were the conversations. So many women touched my life in that gym through their stories and friendship. It was such a strengthening time for me both physically and spiritually and I really miss it. I won't be able to replace it, but at least I can get off my tush and start moving again and bid a fond farewell to my first trimester laziness.

Lark got a bump all her own a couple of weeks ago as I'm sure you noticed in our baby announcement pictures. She was standing on a chair when it tipped and the edge of the end table caught her fall. I was there and immediately put my hand to her forehead not knowing how bad it was and rushed her upstairs to the bathroom. By the time we got there my arm was covered in blood and when I peeked at the wound for the first time my heart dropped - it was deep and gaping. After panicking, calling Husband to hurry home, and wondering if I should drive her to insta-care bleeding on my lap, I discovered that the blood flow was actually stopping rather quickly and that helped calm me down. She was pretty shaken, but calming down as well so I cleaned us both up, put a band-aid on it, and held her tight. By the time Husband got home she was back to her normal happy self and it no longer seemed urgent, although I still felt sick that my baby was hurt. It was right around dinner time so we made the kids fast and easy grilled cheese sandwiches and then drove to insta-care afterwards.

I was unsuccessfully holding back tears in the waiting room as the scene replayed in my mind, thinking about how I should have gone over there and grabbed her off the chair rather than just telling her to sit down. Then we were called back. They wrapped her in a blanket and began cleaning her laceration and poking her what seemed way too many times with a needle to numb the area. She didn't like that at all and I don't blame her,  it was the worst part for both of us. When the doctor came in we tried to explain to her how he was going to help and she locked eyes brimming with tears on me and I could see that she understood enough to trust us.

While the doctor put in six stitches she held perfectly still.

My brave little baby girl. How I wish I could prevent you from ever being hurt again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

top 50 mom craft blogs

I was taken completely by surprise when an email landed in my inbox last week informing me I had made Babble's Top 50 Mom Craft Blogs of 2013. What an amazing honor. I know there are a lot of insanely creative mothers blogging out there and I am blown away that my little sometimes neglected space made the cut (if barely).

Be sure to check out all of the other talented ladies on the list - to say I was in good company is an understatement. Thank you, Babble!

But most of all thank YOU, for coming to visit me here and letting me share bits and pieces of myself with you. You really are the greatest.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

a (belated) Valentine from ALL of us

Yep, there will be five of us sometime around the border of August/September. We spilled the beans to family with this picture Valentine and are now happy to share the news with you!

And now you know the biggest reason I have been MIA lately. We were real smart timing the move and my first trimester at the same time ;)

(Lark fell last week and had to get stitches above her eye, poor girl!)

Monday, February 18, 2013

making a house a home: before & after - upstairs

The picture above is mainly because I just couldn't stand having the picture below be what greets you to this post. But I suppose it also tells you that, yes, we moved! We are here, living in our very own home and it only took me 5 weeks to sit down and write that sentence out.

Does anyone want to join me in pretending January didn't exist? We moved in and promptly got sick... and then sick again. Somehow the boxes were unpacked (I give Husband most of the credit), but I feel like I went into hibernation mode with the freezing weather and inversion keeping us holed up inside along with at least one family member feeling unwell at all times. February has been much nicer to us. Thank you February.

Before we moved all of our boxes into the house I snapped a bunch of 'after' pictures. After spending time searching for 'before' pictures to go with them and being reminded of just how disgusting this house was I think we must have been a little insane... I mean, good grief that was A LOT OF WORK.

Here is a little 'before and after' tour of most of the upstairs of the house...

(I didn't put many photos of the bedrooms since that was pretty well documented in this post.)

The kitchen. Needless to say it had to go. We gutted it entirely and started from scratch. I wanted it to be bright, clean, functional, and pretty and I am very happy with how it turned out. Since we are missing a formal dining room and the space for a table in the kitchen is quite small we decided to add a built-in bench to maximize our seating. I think benches are so great for kids, and a bonus for us is the girls love standing where it overlooks the counter to help me in the kitchen. I plan to make a cushion for the bottom seat, and eventually we will also get a table custom-made to fit the space better. Our tulip table is a temporary classified's find that works fine for now.

Once we add a tile back splash we can officially call the kitchen done!

You can notice in these pictures that we removed the big cast iron casing around the fireplace to bring it back to it's original three-way open style. We converted it into a gas log which pleased the city inspectors and it is a wonderful central focal point of the house, making things nice and cozy when it's lit (the children are carefully supervised whenever it is on and are well aware they aren't allowed to touch it, lit or not). We also cut a hole in the wall between the kitchen and living room to open up the space and create an eating bar. Here is the before and after from the living room side:

The metal railing around the stair opening wobbled terribly so we removed it and built a sturdy half-wall in its place. We also refinished and stained all of the original hardwood floors. This room was especially bad because at some point it was painted black and the paint was peeling. The floor is still a bit dusty in this after photo but it is nice and shiny now.

One of the most time consuming projects we did was convert every door frame to match the original bull-nosed bedroom door frames, and we replaced every single door (or missing door, more likely). You can see in the picture above the edges of the wall 'roll' into the frame - that is a bull nose. It is one of those small details you may not notice, but it looks really nice and now all of the doors in the house are uniform.

My father-in-law did an excellent job building new shelving units in all of the closets to best utilize the space. Our master closet above we jokingly call our 'step-in' closet is not that big but we easily fit all of our clothes with room to spare. 

The girls are thrilled with their pink closet and our guests will have a nice surprise with an aqua closet. I think I told you in a past post the room with the aqua closet was the play room, but we were able to finish the basement earlier than we expected so things were shuffled around a bit and for now it is the guest room.

So that is some of what we have been up to the last six months! I'll give you a peek into the basement soon, I still need to take some 'after' pictures down there. 

It's good to be back :)