Saturday, August 31, 2013

budgets and bargains

Jon and I have officially semi-returned to the envelope system. We definitely use a modified version of Dave Ramsey's advice--we disagree that credit cards are the root of all evil, for instance--but we are giving the envelopes another shot.

This means we had to sit down and seriously re-evaluate our budget. One of the things we budgeted for each month was $10 to spend on clothes for Elden. This should be more than enough because 1) we normally don't buy him clothes each month so this money would "roll-over" to the next month for the occasional H&M splurge and 2) when we do buy him clothes, they are most often purchased at thrift or garage sales. Even though it's a day early, I used most of Elden's clothes budget for the month of September (we initiated the envelope system beginning in September so there was no August clothing budget) at a killer garage sale. The family had 4 boys ages newborn to four and I was shocked by the amount of stuff they had!
I bought: 1 pair of brand new Champion shoes, 4 pairs of socks ages 12-24 month, 2 cotton long-sleeve shirts, 1 nice button-down shirt, and 1 brand new (from Children's Place!) cardigan for $9! The best part of this purchase was I didn't feel guilty about it because we had planned on it and I knew that we definitely could afford it. I might dive into some of the specifics about how/what we budget in a later post, but given how personal finances can be it won't be in very specific terms.

Friday, August 30, 2013

crumb explosion

The way Jon's class schedule worked out this fall we would have been required to send Elden to daycare full-time.

That's $65 more per week, or about $281 per month, which would actually put our monthly budget in the red. By a lot.

Ensue panic.

After a frantic email to our families, both grandmas came to the rescue and volunteered to watch our little guy 1 day per week to put us back under full-time hours and the way it worked out is my mom watches him some Mondays and Jon's mom watches him some Fridays (but he is at daycare the other 4 days each week). Can you say lifesavers?! Thanks, moms!

Anywho, today was the first day of grammy duty so last night Jon and I packed up the trusty Subaru with the pack n play and other essentials. The game plan was for me to leave (with Elden) by 6:30 so I could get to Jon's parent's house by 7 and work by 7:30 (my normal arrival time).

Natch, we got out the door around 6:37. We have a slew of things in the car to give to Elden to keep him distracted i.e. not screaming bloody murder the whole way so I handed back this cookie tin for him to shimmy shake. Welp, shimmy shake he did, until the half-full tin of cookies cookies that had turned into crumbs went EVERYWHERE.

Not knowing whether the ingredients had any rice in them (you'd be surprised at where rice derivatives pop up on ingredients lists) and fearing he could have an FPIES reaction if he ate some of them, I pulled off almost immediately. Luckily we were very close to a rest stop so I didn't have to risk pulling over on the brim and potentially getting hit. Aaand this is what I found:
This picture doesn't do the disaster justice. I'm not sure how I'm going to get the remaining crumbs out of the car--will probably invest in a little battery-operated hand vac--but I quickly removed what I could from his car seat and the back seat, as well as from Elden, and frantically continued on my way.

I got in at 7:45. So, not terrible. But I did learn a valuable lesson: never underestimate the genius of a 1-year-old.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

life, man.

I'm sorry I've been a totes crummy blog friend.

You see, we are in the midst of a pretty trying season and that's zapped me of all my creative energy. You may be connecting this silence to when I was in my first tri with Elden, but I assure you there is no bun in the oven now nor will there be (unless God has other plans, of course) in the coming months. I'm hyperventilating at the mere thought of adding another life to the chaos that is team flip at the moment.

The good news? Jon and I have been closer than we've been in months, quite possibly a year. We more or less reverted to 'dating' each other again (more on this in a post when some of my energy reappears) and that has done wonders for us. The bad news? We've been dealing with some serious sleep regression and separation anxiety issues with our little guy and that coupled with some of our other life stressors has left us quite drained.

But since I'm all about celebrating the little victories, please raise your glass to a toddler who slept through the entire night for the first time in about 3 weeks AND slept past 5:30 in the morning for the first time in about 1235904560 weeks. And also, to the cat not puking in our room in the middle of the night! *clink*

I'm hoping this is a sign of better things to come because, truthfully, life's been particularly cruel these past few weeks (I'm being intentionally ambiguous for now) and I could use a little reprieve. I'm also hoping my creative energy finds its way back to me because blogging is my outlet and when I'm unable to express myself freely the way I do here I my family tends to suffer for it.

Here's a picture of my hipster baby.

/fin

Monday, August 26, 2013

love yo'self

I've unofficially launched my own personal hashtag love yo'self campaign as of Saturday morning.

You see, when one has a one-year-old, no money for 'fun' purchases like fancy make-up, clothes, shoes, hair products, etc., and really no sense of style, it becomes quite simple to roll out of bed ten minutes before one must leave thus leaving little time to invest on one's physical appearance. I think I've worn the same five outfights during the workweek at least three months in a row. The standard hair style = low pony IF I had enough time to brush it that day. I'd even given the ever-popular 5-minute beauty routine a break and hadn't busted out the mascara or hair straightener in ages.

Needless to say, I'd begun to feel entirely frumpy because, well, I was. When one feels frumpy on the daily, one's sense of self worth takes a nose dive. When one's sense of self worth nosedives, one's marital relationship tends to suffer. Given my nerd background, I decided to throw together a quick plot illustrating my weekly struggle:

As a result, love yo'self was born. As part of this effort, I have:
-gotten a haircut that includes bangs which therefore requires at least some level of time investment in the morning as an attempt to strong-arm myself into spending some time on my appearance
-decided to start dressing more business casual for my very casual employer (dress for success, amiright?)
-reduce my daily ice cream intake to 1 bowl per day (I am currently operating at a 50% success rate)
-made a pact with myself that I will actually do my 5-minute beauty routine each day

I'll let you know how long this lasts... 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

houston, we have a toddler

Well, I can officially say with utmost certainty that Elden has transitioned from being an observant baby to an independent and opinionated toddler.

He's been throwing several temper tantrums lately (on this note: any advice on how to deal appropriately?) and we can tell he has started to figure out that a) he has opinions/desires and b) he is fully capable of expressing said opinion/desire. This usually manifests as him sitting on the floor, rotating his body from left to right and flailing his arms about while making a screeching/angry-cry type noise. He will occasionally try and hit you if you interfere (we are working on this and it has not been happening as frequently) with his tantrum.

Then a few nights ago during dinner he did this:
This was 100% intentional. He kept doing it over and over again and after a few seconds in this pose he would giggle knowingly. This falls in line with other behavior where we can tell he is more aware of emotions and humor and how to elicit specific reactions. He has definitely begun understanding cause and effect and how he can take steps to see us react in a certain way (this also includes seeking us out to give hugs and kisses).

And then there was dinner last night. I had put some steamed broccoli on his tray that he was mostly uninterested in. The plate with additional broccoli was sitting on the table in front of his tray. He kept pointing to it so finally I picked up the plate and held it within arm's reach. Elden paused, looked at me with a big smile and an 'are you really letting me choose!?' expression on his face, picked up a piece of broccoli, and ate it without hesitation. This repeated several times and I ultimately had to put the broccoli from his tray back on the plate for him to choose.

Finally (there is an eating theme here), there's the observe-and-mimic response. Elden has much preferred trying to use his fork lately, especially when he sees us using our utensils. He's actually pretty good at it now; the biggest struggle is really using strength to pierce his food. Typically if he won't eat what's on his tray, as soon as we get him a fork he'll eat it all. It's so crazy to see these sudden changes because in my heart he's still my little babe who needs me for everything! Let's just hope this newfound opinionated independence doesn't get too stubborn (loud) like his mama and papa ;)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

on being raised in the church

It's been my experience lately that somewhere along the road, our culture shifted. It went from being a high point in Christian circles to say you've been raised in the church to having a negative connotation associated with it. In fact, our pastor recently made a jab in one of his sermons about how, "...if you were raised in the church, I'm sorry. We have counseling available for you." Elaborating on some issues we've been having with our church is an entirely different post for a separate occasion, but this line is completely applicable to what I'm writing now. This post was fueled somewhat by this blog post.

Hi. My name is Danielle, and I was raised in the church.

Related: I am not irreparably scarred by my experiences. I embrace science and modern medicine. I believe it is perfectly normal and acceptable to explore different religions or not-religions in the quest to determine one's beliefs. I believe churches are run by imperfect humans that often make mistakes in what they teach and how they treat those around them. I believe a lot of the same mistakes are made generation after generation thanks to the way Christianity has become institutionalized. That being said, there is no excuse, no reason why church-goers shouldn't strive to change the way they are if the way they are is unloving and therefore deflective from the heart of Jesus (you guys, He mingled with prostitutes, tax collectors, and invalids). There is also nothing shameful about having been raised in Christianity (or Islam, or Judaism, or any other form of religion). The statement of being raised in the church does not define me as a person. It does not tell you that I lived a perfect, sinless life and think anyone who hasn't is somehow worth less than me. That's baseless speculation without knowing my story.

I 'accepted' Jesus at such an early age I don't remember doing so. I use the single quote because I am positive I had no understanding of my statement of faith at the time. I grew up at church camp. As I grew, I questioned everything I was taught, everything I believed. I researched other religions. I believed in science. I stopped going to church, much to my parent's dismay. I was deeply loved and supported by my religious parents, no matter the mistakes or choices I made. At the end of the day, they just wanted what was best for me, what made me happy--which, depending on one's perspective--could very well be Christianity. I experienced extreme depression and was very briefly institutionalized as the result of a misunderstanding in middle school. And there on the porch steps leading into the kitchen late one summer night, Jesus grabbed hold of me, wrapped me in His grace and love, and I never once doubted what I believed again. Sure, there are many times I don't understand where He fits in or why He continues to allow things to happen, people to hurt; but I no longer doubt His redemption. His love. His grace.

So yes, I was raised in the church. But I came into my own along the way. I had to find God on my own. I was fortunate to be guided by intelligent parents who had also experienced imperfect lives and figured out when to back off and let me find my path independently, who told me there would be no mistake I could make (see also: the dreaded unwed pregnancy oft feared in Christian communities) bigger than their love for me (and yes, I was a virgin on my wedding night).

Please don't read into my history in the church and jump to conclusions about me. I am a critical thinker. I don't take challenging sermons without researching and talking to those wiser than me. I have experienced several aspects of life--college in Chicago (which yes, involved consuming alcohol and making some poor decisions), not believing in anything, making countless mistakes along the way. The church isn't perfect, but I have not been shamed for being a working mom. My marriage is far from perfect and I pride myself about being transparent on most of our issues in this space. I have been hurt by those in the church, but also those not in the church. I'm sure I've done my fair share of hurting others in both spheres as well. I am imperfect.

As parents, Jon and I have already begun discussing how we can raise Elden to be the best he can be while simultaneously pointing him towards God yet giving him the freedom to independently determine his beliefs. We will start by making sure we are in a church with leadership that will teach Elden according to our beliefs should he choose to attend youth group. We will explain to him our stories, why we believe what we do and how we came to our conclusions. One thing we will teach him is that while we would prefer he wait until he gets married to have sex he is worth more to us and God than his virginity. We will let him make the decision about whether he would like to join us for church when he is old enough to understand the choice. We will not shame him for asking questions or raising doubts about what we believe. We will teach him that God made every person and loves each one of them passionately, regardless of lifestyles or sexuality or religious beliefs, and that if he really wants to make us proud, he will exemplify that love with every single person he comes into contact with. We will encourage him to advocate for those who have less, those that are persecuted or being bullied. To stand up when his heart feels funny about something he's witnessing. That is our responsibility as his parents and we cannot rely solely on the church to instill specific beliefs in his precious mind. In fact, that would be reckless.

I know my frustration with this post is feeling as though others projected their experiences onto everyone, so I fully acknowledge that many have indeed experienced what the author of the blog I linked to did. If you were raised in or interacted with a church that made you feel subpar, didn't advocate for you when you were wronged, or otherwise physically, sexually, spiritually, or emotionally harmed you, please let me issue an apology on their behalf. I am so, so sorry. It isn't right. It isn't just. It isn't the loving Jesus I know.

Monday, August 19, 2013

stir fry

I think I've blogged a similar recipe on here before, but this is a standard easy as pie recipe we follow to create a sort of stir fry. Note, this is definitely going to be different than any other recipe I posted because we used different ingredients, wok sauce and kept the rice separate from the rest.
ingredients
-rice
-chicken
-soy sauce
-Chinese 5 spice
-ginger
-sugar snap peas
-broccoli
-baby corn
-carrots
-peanuts
-sesame oil
-olive oil
-general tso's wok sauce
-salt
-pepper

Cook white rice according to package instructions. In a wok, cook broccoli and carrots (which I diced first) in sesame & olive oil, seasoned with some ginger powder and salt. I use both oils because the sesame gives a nice flavor but (at least in our wok) does a poor job of preventing major sticking. While broccoli/carrot mixture cooks, cook cubed chicken (seasoned with Chinese 5 spice, salt, pepper and soy sauce) in separate pan. Once broccoli and carrots are cooked, add snap peas, baby corn, peanuts, and chicken. Add a dash of soy sauce and some of the wok sauce. The general tso's wok sauce we used we had actually gotten on special buy at Aldi and it was delish. Plate the rice, add the stir fry on top and add some additional wok sauce to taste.

Sorry for the lack of exact amounts. This is also probably obvious and straightforward, but it totally hit the spot for us last night. I'm even having the leftovers at lunch today and can't wait!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

tidbits

I had considered attempting a more cohesive post for your Sunday, but my brain is all sleepy and I really only have random little thoughts to contribute to this space, so:
  • janky shutters no more! my parents were over today and helped us take them down. I'd like to get them painted and re-hung before summer's up but I'm in no real hurry since the front of our house doesn't look so weaksauce anymore.
  • ^^this guy. I was wearing my glasses at work on Friday (a rarity) and I just left them on for the drive home. Apparently, 1) Elden's never seen me in glasses and 2) glasses make me look WAY different. When he heard me come in he started toward the door in his happy face, but upon seeing the monstrosity that was my glassed face, he stopped, got an anxious look on his face, and turned around to crawl away. Not much later he wanted to be just like his mama.
  • There's been a lot of talk of the future in casa de flip lately. The main topic has been what life will look like upon the completion of Jon's B.A. in May, including but not limited to: if/when/how we'd like to expand our brood, the daycare/work/grad school sitch, and how we will ultimately educate Elden (public schools aren't really an option in this 'hood).
  • Ants. They're coming in our side door. How do we eradicate them?
  • We got to cuddle on 2 new babes this weekend: baby Josiah (to Heather & Paul) and baby Lucia (to Cristina & J.O.) and it was glorious. We always love hanging out with babes that don't have colic (read also: are calm, happy, and cuddly) because we're completely in awe of such behavior. Hopefully one day we'll have a baby like that...
  • Saw ^this shirt and had to get it for him. The bonus? It was on clearance for $2.
  • We made stir fry for dinner tonight that was PHENOM. I'll have to post the recipe because yum.

Friday, August 16, 2013

sleep regression

Things have been quiet around here because we've been dealing with some apparent one-year-old sleep regression patterns. As in, Elden doesn't want to nap. Or sleep. Or sleep for more than an hour or two at a time at night.
Jon and I? Tired. Brains running at critical mass. That's probably incorrect, but I'm too tired to try and figure out the correct expression. In the meantime, we've been forced to resort to things like the bike trailer to coerce a certain little person into napping. Here's to hoping for a restful night tonight!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

rack 'em

Our house has minimal kitchen cupboard space, so last Christmas we asked my parents for a hanging pots and pans rack to make the most of what we've been given. Given the fact that projects take an average of 8 months around these parts, we just got around to hanging the rack on Monday.
You guys. The space this opened up. It's glorious. I spent about an hour Monday night rearranging some of the cupboards and wiping down shelves and I was in organizational heaven.
I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for some of these house projects. A lot of our rooms are finally nearing completion, at least as far as our budget priorities are concerned!
Now I just gotta clean the first birthday party stuff off the sun porch...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

mid-august photo dump

Since my Windows phone doesn't have Instagram:
1
2
3
4
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
1. picnicking 2. banana split for dinner 3. GRE study buddies 4. chuck taylors 5. new clothes 6. food hiding 7. bike riding 8. omelet eating 
9. growing 10. new shoes 11. window watching 12. winter prepping 13. wagon riding

Saturday, August 10, 2013

last of the first pics

It's a few days late in coming, but here are some final pictures of Elden's first birthday party.

Some important notes:
  • yes, we literally hosed Elden off after the cake smash. However, our hose has hot and cold water valves, so it was bath water temperature (read: no babies were harmed in the making of that cleanliness)
  • in addition to several generous donations to his college fund, Elden received clothes, a covered wagon, a bicycle trailer, lawnmower, Lego blocks, books, cars, a toy iPhone, and I'm certain I'm forgetting something else.
  • we busted out the splash mat for a little and it was clearly a pretty big hit.
  • I realized there are little to no pictures with Jon in them. This shall be corrected in subsequent birthdays.
Thank you to everyone who made the journey to Akron to celebrate with our little guy and for all the help we received to make this party as special as it was!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

on one year of breastfeeding (mommy guilt)

The first few days of his life I would scream whenever Elden latched.

The next two weeks I would have to bite my fist to avoid crying out in agony.

Add into that mix the doubts about my abilities as a mother and incredibly long and colicky days spent wondering if we would survive parenthood. In all seriousness, those were dark times in our lives. Bringing home your baby is supposed to be so joy-filled and wonderful and you are supposed to be mesmerized by every little adorable thing your son does. Hindsight is 20/20 and I can sit here with confidence and tell you I have never felt so much despair, frustration, and heartbreak in my nearly 25 years as I did Elden's first month of life. The colic certainly contributed to that, but so did breastfeeding (and I'm sure postpartum hormones didn't help).

Before he was born, Jon and I had discussed our dreams for his first year. A huge part of that dream was breastfeeding. Studies have shown it's better for your baby, it has health benefits for the mother, and (this was the biggest selling point for me) it was free. When asked how long I wanted to breastfeed for, I said I wasn't sure, but probably a year or so. I think I got this number from the World Health Organization's recommendations.

Once Elden was born and he was cluster feeding and it hurt so intensely, I wanted nothing more than to stop. Jon forced encouraged me to continue with the reminder that it was in Elden's best interest the fifty times per day I begged to just give him formula. I've admitted previously I am glad Jon was so outright with me about the benefits to Elden outweighing my discomfort, but at the time I did not feel so... willing? to see the rational side of things. Then after about a month things got easier and I was able to look beyond the misery I had associated with breastfeeding to the time I got to spend with my son. The way his little fingers would trace my side; the way he would nurse himself to sleep in my arms. Those little moments would come to mean the world to me and I mourn their loss as we near the end of our breastfeeding journey.

We have officially made it to one year(ish) of breastfeeding. The ish is because about 2 months ago I switched to almost exclusively pumping spare when Elden first wakes up in the morning.

And yet I have guilt.

We're in the process of switching Elden to whole milk. I've been mixing in milk with his bottles in increasing amounts to get both his palate and his body accustomed to cow's milk which has significantly decreased the amount of breastmilk required to prepare his bottles for the next day. I've switched from pumping three times each day to twice (still nursing at 6 am) and in all honesty I can probably switch to pumping once per day. But I know as soon as I do that my supply will almost certainly dry up and I am afraid to let that go.
a doubt-filled moment
What if Elden refuses cow's milk all of a sudden? What about the fact that breastmilk continues to be beneficial past the magical one-year mark? Am I a bad mother for choosing convenience over my son's nutrition? In a world where I'm bombarded with opinions on what a good mother makes (formula vs. breast, vegetarian vs. meat, cosleeping vs. not, cry it out vs. attachment parenting; the list is almost endless) I'm constantly concerned about whether I'm making the right decisions for my son. Just this morning I found myself mulling over Elden's development and questioning whether I am doing everything I'm supposed to in order to help him thrive (is he talking enough? does he understand words? why isn't he walking yet?) or if I am dropping the ball. The self-doubt creeps up hourly and then he throws a tantrum and I wonder where we went wrong that encouraged this type of behavior.

My point in writing this is that I set a goal for myself as a mother and I made it, but somehow I still don't feel like it was enough. So, I'm not sure when I'm going to stop pumping and breastfeeding. I'm too anxious to willingly let this chapter close. But hey. All three of us survived the first year, so that counts for something right?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

landscaping

I decided to take a quick break from the last of the birthday posts to write a short landscaping blog.

Leading up to Elden's birthday party on Saturday, Jon's parents weeded all of our flowerbeds. I had done a pretty decent job of staying on top of that the first half of the summer, but when I got back from Germany at the end of June that week away combined with a record-breaking wet month had rendered our beds overridden. I hadn't had time to stay on top of it spare spraying some weed killer and it was a hot mess. Suffice to say, Jon's parents did us a SOLID by weeding them.

We also knew we needed to get clean dirt for around the house due to drainage issues that had caused some water damage in the basement before we had bought the house but had been holding off for Jon's summer classes to wrap up to order it. With the beds being freshly weeded, Elden finally healthy again and therefore able to be taken to daycare, and Jon not at work or school for the night, I called Fairlawn Landscape Supply and ordered 3 yards of 75% organic topsoil. It was delivered within a few hours and as soon as we put Elden down for the night we headed outside.

We laid and spread all the soil in the front beds and on the left side of the house, and we put piles around the remaining beds (but they still need spread). We also busted out some edging I had bought in May but we hadn't found a good home for and I am simply amazed at the difference some fresh dirt can make for a house.
Yes, our house still has janky and way too blue shutters. That's high up on my list. Also, I ordered about 1 yard too many of dirt, so we are in the process of trying to figure out what we want to do about that. We think we might try to cut out the bed along the right side of the back fence I discussed here and fill that with the remaining dirt, or we might try to even out our grass a bit with it...

To Do (in a perfect, happy world but will  be a multi-year project; this list is certain to grow):
-finish spreading the piles of dirt we already laid in the beds
-take down, repaint, put up all shutters
-move tree on left front of the house to directly to the left of the front door
-prune aforementioned tree and the front two boxwood plants
-transplant or get rid of the 2 boxwoods on the left side of the house
-cut out the bed around the tree in the backyard; spread dirt
-spread dirt in the yard to even it out (?)
-add a fire pit of some sort to the back
-finish laying paver stones for the trash can and composter to sit on
-remove the crappy wooden hand rails along front steps
-paint our rusting chain link fence, if possible
-plant a small tree in the front yard
-come up with a solution (leaning towards railroad ties) to lay along the steep front embankment of the yard
-finish putting up raised beds in the back; chicken wire around them
-edging and paver stones surrounding raised beds
-spray paint patio furniture we have
-add boxwoods to line the sidewalks in the front
-build/install lattice over side door/trash area

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

first birthday cake smash

This boy. I had asked my mom to make a healthier smash cake (to Jon's dismay) and he wasn't really digging in. I went to cut a piece off and we found out it was frozen!
It was okay though because the recipe I sent my mom was bland (her words) so we let the birthday boy have some of the main cake. The child went nuts.
Tomorrow should be the last big birthday posts, but don't hold it against me if it isn't...

Monday, August 5, 2013

first birthday bow tie bash: the details

We had a bow tie-themed birthday party for Elden and several months ago my mom and sister helped me create some of the details (bow tie garland & food picks via a Cricut cartridge, the yarn-wrapped letter E, burlap 'happy birthday' banner) and in recent weeks I took to picmonkey to create the invites, a poster, and the name cards for the favors (hair bows for the girls, bow ties for the boys) for the kiddos. We purchased straws on Amazon, plates/cups/napkins/utensils from Dollar Tree, and navy buckets/chalkboard food labels/navy pom poms/tablecloths from Oriental Trading. I also got some bow tie decals from this Etsy shop and stuck them on the cups. We had the party outside in a huge tent lent to us by Jon's parents (along with an assortment of tables and chairs) and had the food in our sun porch which ended up being PERFECT. The menu included veggie cups, fruit salad (in a watermelon my mom carved to have a bow tie on the handle), bow tie pasta salad (courtesy of Titi Candy), vegetarian rice and beans (courtesy of Mom F), and pulled pork or pulled chicken sandwiches. My mom also made cake pops that looked like Elden and his smash cake, and we got the main cake from Michael Angelo's bakery. It was a white cake with whipped cream frosting and chocolate mousse filling and was as delicious as it was beautiful. Pardon any messy or poorly (ie: not) staged pictures as I frantically grabbed these while running in and out and making sure everything had been put out.
the invite (with our personal info blurred)
veggie cups, cake pops, fruit salad, snickerdoodles (thanks Rebecca!)
aunt jacqui's handiwork
the poster i made. note: i made it prematurely. he has 12 teeth.**
a watch me grow collage i put together
the tent
the high chair
the most perfect cake ever
smash cake
A huge, HUGE thank you to everyone who made this happen. From making food to doing dishes to bringing chairs, this party would not have gone well at all without your contributions. Thank you for making our boy's day special (even if he won't remember it). For reals. You are the bomb.

**If you want a copy of this generic layout that I made (it's blank spare the dividers and whatnot so you can add any text in a program like picmonkey or Photoshop) shoot me an email at youngnotpowerless (at) gmail {dot} com and I will send you a copy fo' free. I'd just upload it here but I'm not sure whether its high resolution would transfer through blogger.

--

Fair warning: expect an onslaught of cake smash pictures in my next entry.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

half bath reno: we pulled it off

You guys. The relief. Words cannot adequately convey the relief. It was one of those eleventh-hour type deals, but we managed to pull it off. All it took was a lot of hours, even more Googling, approximately 10 trips to Home Depot in a stupidly short period of time, and help from Jon's parents. Last I blogged about it, Jon had put up the wainscoting. I painted it (three coats on the wainscoting, two on the walls/ceiling) and then the fun began with the sink. Since this is the internet and sarcasm is not always readily transmitted, I will do you a solid and tell you that the 'fun' was quite the opposite. There for a good day or two we thought wall mount sinks wouldn't work in there. Luckily, I have a brilliant husband who pulled something together with no instructions or outside help. The man is genius I tell ya! Once the sink was up we tackled the trap and the porcelain throne. Jon made me turn all the water supplies back on for fear of water line bursts (they didn't!) and then promptly broke in the toilet. Because he earned it! #soproud
before the last coat of paint
with everything installed! 
mirror & towel bar installed; added toilet & floor mat
just a few things left:
-create and put up faux wainscoting similar to this
-remove baseboard heater
-fix Frankencoldwaterpipe
-paint wainscoting
-remove any lingering nails/holes in wallspackle
-paint walls/ceiling
-replace the disgusting cream-colored outlet and light switches
-refinish floors
-re-install and frame out bathroom mirror
-install new sink/trap/faucet we bought
-install new TP holder and towel bar
-replace ceiling light fixture
-remove disgusting old wax ring/random toilet remnants and replace/install new toilet