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Archive for May, 2012

We are changing a lot around here and not just diapers.

BABIES!  They cause a lot of things to change.  Amen?

When they grow, they like things.  Things take up room and space and make noise and are fantastic for individual play time, but in a designated area.  Up until now, that’s been a corner of the living room.

This really blurry cell phone picture of Kenton climbing the stairs with toys strewn about in the background is the only photo I have of that nonsense. Clearly, it wasn’t something I was proud of! Our front door is just off to the left – so that was the scene that greeted people as soon as they entered the Dream. Not exactly welcoming.

We have now completely overhauled that room and made it much less kid-friendly (Ha! Seriously… sharp corners, a bar, “expensive-if-we-would-have-paid-full-price” furniture… not for the kiddos!)… which means the toys are gone and now in the guest bedroom! It’s the best room in the Dream for a play space.

My view from the kitchen – before the transformation.

Our guest room (the empty one with the ugly standing lamp) is right off the family room and kitchen.  We do get a steady stream of visitors, but we don’t feel like a B&B. So, we thought we could sacrifice the queen guest bed for something smaller and use the space for our little man’s possessions.

Here is what it looked like before:

We sold the furniture and mattress on Craig’s List. I also feel compelled to tell you that the comforter seen above only lived with us for a short time. We replaced it with a super cute Angela Adams polka-dot duvet cover. (We’re a bit obsessed with polka-dots). Okay, I feel better now.

Now, the guest/playroom is filled up with a trundle bed for guests/doubles as a day bed for reading time (or mommy rest time while a cute baby boy plays, but screams in horror if I leave his presence), sweet original art, a new (to us) changing table, kid’s art table, toys (TONS of toys!), and one happy pre-toddler…

Well, mostly happy…

I’ll be back soon with updates on this room… including how I turned this menagerie of fabric into a real focal point…

So far, we’ve only invested about $70 in the room. Sweet! More on that soon. For now, I need to tend to a baby boy calling “mommommommommaaaaa” over the monitor.

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If you’re visiting our blog for the first time from West Elm – welcome! Learn more about us here and what we blog about here. If you love English Bulldogs, you’ll want to check out these posts. If you love West Elm like we do, check out our master bedroom makeover.

We’re dealing with a bit of an inflated ego around here.

who? me?

Yep, Bowdoin the Bulldog is famous! He was featured on West Elm’s blog, Front & Main:

The West Elm Circle rug is in our entry way, at the bottom of our stairs – and is Sir Bowdoin’s favorite nap spot in the Dream. I walked past the other day and saw him in this position – our favorite! It looks like he’s ready for takeoff. I snapped a quick photo on my phone before he spied me and rolled over for a belly rub. That kid cracks me up. (The tongue, the TONGUE!).

For his newfound fame, he’ll earn an extra walk and maybe some peanut butter. That may garner some excitement, but no promises. After all, he is a lazy bully:

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This week, I started getting some referrals from another blog… so I checked it out and saw something familiar…

Silver DIY dots! Nope, those aren’t mine… here’s what my pile looked like:

Yep, basically the same – because this adorable momma-to-be followed my DIY dot tutorial and did her own wall. It turned out AMAZING!

She even added silver butterflys as an accent, which I adore.  Check out more picks at http://ayeshacurry.tumblr.com/. I wish I understood Tumblr and could leave her a comment! Great job, Ayesha!

Here is our “original:”

You can find the tutorial here. If you replicate this, we would LOVE to see it! Please share!

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Mother’s Dream

We celebrated our moms a week early for Mother’s Day. Jason’s parents (sadly) returned to Maine this week for the summer. We wanted to make sure we got a little mom-celebration in before they took off.

we miss them already!

Due to our recent change in income status, we had to do Mother’s Day on a budget this year. We invited our moms over for Sunday brunch. They were both allowed to bring a date and both chose to bring our dads (whew!).

only my mom is smiling for the camera!

I’m sharing this today, hoping it may inspire someone else to do a similar, low-budget mom-honoring brunch this coming weekend. The meal was fantastic and our moms felt loved – success!

First, the decorations… we broke out our china and flatware… which we rarely use, but this was a fun excuse… also picked up some flowers at Costco and put two in bud vases at our mom’s seats. So, an $8.99 bunch of flowers is all this cost us – we already had all the other fancy-schmancy stuff thanks to our wedding guests.

Next, the FOOD. I’ve made this brunch a couple of times before and it is a hit!

I discovered these recipes during an episode of Everyday Italian (with Giada de Laurentiis) on Food Network a few years ago. Here are the recipes and my tips/suggestions:

Crostata with Raspberry Jam: Any berry jam will work. This time, I used blueberry and it was yummy. Tips: I briefly toss the almonds around in a hot pan to give them a little extra flavor. It’s also important to allow the dough to chill for one hour – it’s very easy to work with if you do that.

(still cookin’… I forgot to get a good shot of the finished product!)

Frittata with Asparagus, Tomato, and Fontina: I subbed broccoli for the asparagus (my dad hates asparagus!) and mozzarella for the fontina (to save money) and it was fantastic. This recipe is really easy. My only regret is that I should have made two frittatas as I think our guests would have appreciated bigger portions of protein – due to all of the sweet treats we were serving!

Bruschetta with Ricotta and Marmalade: Oh my goodness, this is HEAVEN. I’m so glad we had some pieces leftover because I munched on a couple more in the afternoon. Sounds like a totally random combo – but OH. SO. GOOD. Tip: we grilled thick slices of bread on the grill. That way, we could do the whole loaf at once and they turned out perfect!

Giada’s brunch menu also calls for a delish Raspberry Bellini. Sadly, we did not have those – but they are yummo.

I did try one new menu item…

Strawberry-Banana Muffins

I made these on a whim the morning of the brunch. We had brown bananas and some strawberries that were about to turn bad. So, I used my favorite banana bread recipe, threw in the strawberries, made them muffins and they were SO GOOD.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe card background source from here.

So, that’s how we honored our moms – filling their tummies with yummy food! How about you? How will you be spending Mother’s Day this weekend?

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17 weeks!

Week 17. Baby is definitely starting to move. Of course, he/she mostly does so at night – but, thankfully, is still too itsy-bitsy to keep me up. 🙂 The waves of nausea I was experiencing last week have subsided. So, it’s safe to say that was not pregnancy-related. I guess that puts me in the tiny percentage of procreating females who do not experience morning sickness. Jealous? Don’t be – I’ll make up for it somehow.

Kenton’s triumphant first steps have yet to turn into a regular occurrence. This disappoints me greatly, because even though I’m not all that big yet – it is getting more tedious to pick him up constantly. I look forward to the day when he toddles around behind me and I only have to lift occasionally.

I still want to where a t-shirt that says, “It’s a baby bump, not a leftover lump from the baby on my hip” – because there are times when I just look plain old fat, not pregnant. That’s when I try to push my belly out a bit, rub it, and tell Kenton, “Say ‘Hi!’ to the baaaaybeee!” – loud enough, of course, so everyone near me can hear. (((SIGH)))

Also, my dream of having Kenton sweetly sitting at my feet in my weekly bump shots this time around is COMICAL. Yep…

The babe won’t walk, but he will crawl. EVERYWHERE. ALL.THE.TIME. Throw the dog in the mix and… yeah… bump shots for the next 23 weeks should be interesting!

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So, last weekend, I ventured out to the Junk in the Trunk Trio’s Vintage Market. It’s basically a big craft sale, but with really cool stuff. They had about 60 vendors – all selling “junk” and/or treasures, depending on your view. I took a girlfriend and wisely left the hubby behind. We both scored some great treasures.

Here’s my loot:

More on that in a minute. First, let’s check out what my friend, Kristen nabbed:

How adorable is that chevron bench?! She also got that cool sconce, a couple of vintage clutches, and some sweet subway signs.

I got a major coup with this $12 vintage dish display rack that I’ll transform into diaper storage for the playroom:

I plan to paint it to match another piece in that (yet to be revealed) room. The top shelf will display pictures, the bottom will hold diapers and I’ll hang some mini-baskets with diapering-essentials from the bottom.  That’s the plan anyway. I’m EXCITED.

I also scored this sweet pillow for the playroom:

Awe, it just makes me, well, happy! And “happy” is exactly the mood for a playroom. Amen?

I also snagged a couple of pieces for the new gallery wall in the Kitchen/Family Room:

I’ll paint the distressed piece solid white and display some fabric in it. These two items will be among several on this new display wall… where we’re kissing goodbye to our wedding wall:

It’s just time, you know? The wedding was so pre-Kenton and pre-baby in my belly. Time to update things!

So, I got enough “junk” to keep me busy for a while. I’m definitely looking forward to the next Junk in the Trunk event in September!

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You know, when I was working, I dreaded Mondays. Sometimes, I would forget that Monday was coming. I would be so involved in enjoying life with my little family, I would forget that I would have to leave it all behind and trudge into the office. That moment when I would remember, “Tomorrow is MONDAY!” was maddening. Looking back, I think that is also a sign that the environment I was heading into was not right for me. Now, there’s a twinge of disappointment that Jason won’t be around, but JOY over the fact I don’t have to go anywhere I don’t want to be. Ahh… I am basking in that right now. So grateful.

I’m counting the blessings in my new situation. Perhaps the most amazing one yet… witnessing Kenton take his FIRST STEPS!

Unfortunately, no photos or video of the actual event. 😦

The great “first steps” happened in our new music class Friday morning. We switched from our Saturday class since I have the time now during the week. I was excited to meet some other (presumably) SAHM’s and some new friends for K-man. About half-way through the class, he took two-three steps away from me – toward the teacher – then realized what he was doing and crumbled to the floor. I half-screamed, not wanting to embarass myself in front of the other mommies – and smothered him with kisses. One other mom pointed at Kenton and mouthed “Was that… first?!” I nodded enthusiastically.  Then, he did it again and I full-on screamed this time. The other mommies looked at me and I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t know any of you, but this is SO EXCITING!” Then, he did it THIRD time and everyone clapped and cheered for him. It was amazing! He was really excited – although I’m sure he had no idea why. I kept trying the rest of the class to get him to do it again with my iPhone video running, but no dice.

However, he still earned himself some ice cream to celebrate.

Friday, May 4, 2012 – 11 months and 3 days old – that was the moment. My mom and I were chatting about this pivotal moment over the weekend and she recounted the story of my first steps. Guess how old I was? 11 months and 3 days.  CRAZY, RIGHT?!

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Dreamful

What a week! This is the first week in the history of this blog (nearly three years!) where I’ve put up a post every day. I’m not going to promise I’ll do that forever, but it sure is fun for now! It seems like you like it – at least by the numbers. I appreciate everyone stopping by and commenting. You know, they say you figure out who your true friends are during the difficult times and that is certainly true for me. Some people have really (pleasantly) surprised me with sweet words of encouragement and hope. That is such a blessing to me!

Now, on to the weekend plans!

If you live in the Phoenix area, make sure you stop by the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market tomorrow! I went last year and got a fabulous iron wall piece that I have yet to blog about… can’t wait to see what treasures I find tomorrow. I’m also going in support of my girl, Carrie. We were MOH’s in each other’s weddings…

(Carrie, if you don’t like the picture choice, post better options on Facebook. kaythanksIloveyoubye)

Now, she is the proud mama of three gorgeous kiddos and just started a brand new business, Red Dutch Door. She and her friend Genevieve make SUPER cute crafty things. I’m excited to see what they’ve cooked up! They are just one of dozens of sellers at Junk in the Trunk. Check out the full list of vendors here.

Also tomorrow, my monthly home improvement post for Her View From Home goes live. And… speaking of weddings… I’m talking about giving a goodbye kiss to the “wedding wall” in the Dream.

I found some fantastic FREE art online to put up instead. Make sure you check out Her View From Home mañana.

With that, enjoy your weekend and thanks again for such a FANTASTIC first week as a SAHM. (Still feels really weird to say that.)

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Drumroll please….

11 months!

Sunglasses are the add this month… that young sir refused to wear. This was the only pic with them somewhat near his face and my mother-in-law’s hands out of the shot. He HATES them. (which is going to be a problem, living in Arizona)

Seriously. The only other remotely “good” choices were these…

You might also be able to tell in those pics that I was dealing with an unhappy fellow. In addition to being dressed up like a doll and forced to wear sunglasses against his will, he’s getting a first year molar (teething is a bitch, people and I hate her) and battling a cold with a pretty nasty fever. (Which means he got more ice cream. I know, mother of the year right here.) The fact we got some sort of photo to mark his eleven months on this earth is actually a miracle.

Also a miracle? Baby #2. Which means it’s time for bump shots again – and a comparison shot to the last pregnancy…

I’m definitely bigger this time! (And despite not feeling well, Sir Kenton does not like to sit or stand still – hence the blurry face!)

I am 16 weeks along and, once again, having one of the easiest pregnancies in the history of procreation. Just in the last few days, I’ve suffered some bouts of nausea – which is so strange because I’ve never had any morning sickness (in either pregnancy) – go ahead and curse me now. I know it’s not fair. So, I’m not even sure we can call it pregnancy-related. We’ll have to wait and see.

What’s different this time around? I keep forgetting I’m pregnant. On the phone last night, my mom asked how the pregnancy was going and I said, “I’m pregnant?” Not kidding. I have yet to pick up one pregnancy book. I have not felt the babe move yet (maybe… but not quite sure… besides, I was told my placenta is in the front this time, so that means I’ll feel movement later than usual). I guess I’m a bit distracted with the results of my first pregnancy!

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I can’t believe it, but yesterday, May 1st – Kenton turned 11 months old and welcomed his birthday month! He’ll be a year old on May 31st. Wow! Time is flying.

Today, I’ll be taking his 11 month picture (a day late… oopsie!). If you’ve been following his monthly photos, you know that each month we add a little something. We started off with just a diaper…

one month old!

By four months, we’d added a onesie, boxers and socks…

four months old!

By nine months… he had pants, a shirt, suspenders, shoes and a blazer (and was on the move!)…

nine months old!

Last month, he got a hat. I kind of love it.

ten months old!

So, just two months left in our little project! Any guesses what months eleven and twelve will bring?

See all of the monthly photos here.

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