Sunday, December 30, 2012

2 Years

As I thought about the ways I wanted to express my love to you on our second wedding anniversary, I didn't think I'd end up here. But I'm here and there's a reason for it.

The love I have for you is worthy of public recognition. It's a shout it from the Empire State Building kind of love. It's a make it known because our marriage is sacred and I will take anyone down who attempts to mess with it kind of love. It's a love I want people to know about.

So that's why I'm here on this public forum shouting out my love for you.

The love I have for you is the kind of love I will take to my grave but at the same time makes me insanely of afraid of death because I can't stand the thought of being without you. The love I have for you is a movie on fast forward full of moments I constantly review in my head.

Like the first time you took my hand while we were walking down the hallway at my old apartment and you told me you felt like a kid again. Or when you told me the names of your fish were Onward, Upward and Pete. Or when we sat on your balcony and drank coffee and stared at the cars buzzing by on 465. Or how after one of the most emotionally draining weekends of my life, I came home to a completely renovated master bedroom and you looked at me and said you wanted me to have a calm place to go. It's that kind of love. It's the love where you and I sat on the back patio for an entire day once talking about our life goals and dreams. It's a love that challenges me, inspires me, and scares me.

The love I have for you may not make itself known every day, but it's there and it's deep and ironically it hurts because I've lost complete control of that emotion. The love I have for you is evolving and growing and constantly changing like when I hear you and Jack laughing at 6:30 in the morning or when I see you spinning him around in the living room. And just when I think I couldn't love you more, those moments make it grow.

So, honey, on our two year wedding anniversary, I'm letting the world know you have and always will be the love of my life.

Backsplash & a Duty Swap

Today we Duty Swapped.

Kyle got an afternoon with Jack. I got a day at the house.

I cleaned the attic, accessorized the bathrooms, and painted the sun room so we can put carpet in this week.

For the entire three hours it took to clean the attic I pictured a hairy vampire bat flying at my face with 4 foot fangs and red beady eyes. I could not get the image out of my head so I had to make frequent trips to the second floor to compose myself and stare at the pretty hardwood floors.
Cute is not a word I would use to describe the image running through my brain:
You know how they say childhood can really impact your future? It's true because I believed a bat lived in our attic at my home growing up and I seemed to always be the one who had to fetch the trash bag full of Christmas ornaments. It went a little bit like this: put baseball cap on, transform yourself into a ninja, run through attic, grab bag and get downstairs.

This phobia would not be so bad if I didn't have this tidbit of knowledge that if a bat bites you, they have to cut off it's head to test it for rabies. And you need to go to the hospital and get shots, etc. So, yes, I was concerned about the inconvenience this may cause the day before our second wedding anniversary.

And, yes, frankly, I just didn't want a bat flying at my head because I may not recover from that. are today pictures from just me with my rediscovered fear of attic bats.

Blue room is finally gone:

 See how late I worked?
 New kitchen backsplash in progress. We went with subway tile and I love it.
 Also cleaned upstairs bath and accessorized:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snow Forts, Pee Pants And Countertops

Today we drove and I told you about the snow. I told you that we are blessed to live in Indiana because we get four seasons. I told you that my brother and I used to build snow forts to protect ourselves from the bad kids across the street who would knock down our forts the minute we had to run inside for a bathroom break.

But guess what, we rebuilt those forts over and over and over again until the bad kids got bored with knocking them down. And at the end of the day my brother and I felt accomplished like we out out smarted those kids. Like for one day, we were stronger then those kids who had the nerve to knock down our snow forts.

You may not always be the biggest and strongest kid, but if you use your brain you may just be surprised by your strength.

This is where I grew up and built snow forts. 

It was an old house just like your house. I loved that house. I still love that house. This is where you will grow up and build snow forts:

I told you about the time I had a snow suit on and saw a big dog who scared me and peed my pants in my snow suit. I ran home smelling like pee crying to my mom because there was a big dog who made me pee my pants when I was eleven and far to old to pee my pants. She calmly helped me get out of my pee pants, made me hot chocolate and patted my head as I fell asleep on her lap. 

Sometimes things happen. I will always be here to get you out of your pee pants and pat your little head.

I told you we are blessed. To have found this house. To have gotten such a great deal on it. To be able to renovate it so we don't have to live in saw dust.

We are blessed. 

Here are more pictures of the countertops. Your Dad is working on the backsplash today. One day he will teach you how to do these kinds of things if it interests you.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

And The Cherry On Top

Sometimes blizzards happen and things get pushed back. Like our countertops. Originally they were going to come on Wednesday, but snow happened. And we thought they were coming next Friday. Minutes ago I called my husband to make sure he's still alive (since I have this fear he will shock himself and no one will be there to see the lights flicker and check on him).

He told me the counter dudes were there. THE COUNTER DUDES ARE THERE.

As I'm writing this, the countertops are being installed in the new house. There is no place else I'd rather be then in that house watching this happen. Of all the things, this is what I'm most excited about. Real granite countertops. Not mockertops. GRANITE COUNTERTOPS.

I can only imagine they will look a bit like this. Oh, wait, it does look like that. Kyle just sent this to me because he is there watching the magic happen. Look at that edge. Isn't it pretty?

Appliances come tomorrow and then it may just start to look like a real kitchen again.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Calm Before The Storm

As I was walking through the house today measuring windows, a small lightning bolt zapped my brain.

We are here.

We are so close.

This is the calm before the storm.

I spent a moment of solitude in that old empty house imagining Jack's crib in his room with electronic ocean sounds filling the air. Although I have recently been assigned to play the birds during the day because that's what Jack likes (as told by Kyle). Dad of the Year award goes to...

We are so close.

I can imagine my clothes hung perfectly in the closet. I can see Jack's crib in his room and his newly assigned reading corner assembled (WITH A BUILT IN BOOKSHELF). I can see our family here in this old house.

We are here.

We are so close.
And before the true tornado hits, I'm taking a moment of silence to celebrate, to breathe deeply, to take this beautiful moment of change in stride. And just as I think I have mentally moved on from this house, their is a loud knock at the front door with a plate full of Christmas sweets from our lovely neighbors.

We are here. The Calm Before the Storm.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sleep Training-Not For the Weak Hearted

I had a friend call me recently in complete desperation.

"How do I get him to sleep?" she begged. "I'll take anything."

Enter my first rule of motherhood and friendship. Don't offer advice unless it is wanted. How many times has a new mother gotten tidbits of unwanted advice? 1.2 million times at Target, Walmart, Babies R Us. Anywhere...woman just freely throw out advice like candy in a parade. And although the thought is nice, eventually the brain of a new mother explodes from all of these unwanted tidbits piling up. You've been there. Don't lie.

If you're still reading this topic may actually interest you so I'll share my advice wanted or unwanted.

This advice is only for when the time is right...When the baby no longer needs the middle of the night feeding (you must decide for yourself when this is.) For me it was 12 weeks, when I went back to work.

Here is what I did:

  • Put him down.
  • Walk away.
  • When he starts crying, don't respond.
  • Get out your best headphones, put on your sleep mask. 
  • Dance around your room if you have to.
  • Duct tape yourself to the bed.
  • And if he starts crying...
  • Just don't go in his room.
Call it the cry it out technique, call it the mean parent burgade, call it whatever you want. I prefer to call it Happy Baby because when I started this technique Jack seemed happier the next day. It was like he needed the full 8 hours just like me. This is especially easy if you have a video monitor.

The 8 hour stretches became 10 hour stretches the 10 hour stretches became 12. I'm also a firm advocate of the daily schedule as well.

Babies need us to set the be the bigger man. To be the parent, not the coddling friend. That's how I got Jack to sleep. I walked away. Was it easy? No, but it was the right thing to do...for him.

Monday, December 24, 2012

On Christmas Eve

We are laying in your room looking at the stars. We're not really staring at the stars, but we are staring on lights from one of your toys reflected onto the ceiling. You began to cry and you crawl over to me and snuggle into my armpit. I warn you that it's been a long day and you may not want to nuzzle to deep in there, but you sigh deeply signifying you are at complete peace nuzzled into my armpit.

I stare at the top of your head and I begin to cry. This has been a theme for the better half of the year. Me crying not from sadness, but from complete contentment. Knowing that I am the comfort to your fears comforts me. Knowing I am the calm to your stormy moments makes me calm.

2012 is about to become 2013 and the anticipation I have about the road ahead is wonderful, but as you lay here nuzzled into my armpit looking at the stars I don't want 2013 to come. I don't want tomorrow to come. I want to be beside you forever as we stare at the stars.

Jack, I'm not sure I'm doing it right half the time, but when I walk into your room every single morning and you pop your little head up to greet me with the biggest 4-tooth smile, it's those moments that confirm I'm doing it right. You are a very happy baby. 99% of your time is spent smiling and cooing and laughing and exploring. You are rarely upset. I am so thankful for this because it somehow tells me we're doing okay.

I may not be with you every hour of every day, but as you meet other kids and explore new environments I know that it is good for you. I know you are happy even when I'm not around. Merry Christmas Eve to the best 9-month-old I know.

You are the calm to my storm. You are the stars to my sky.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

More Before and Afters

Ever tried to make a 2 hour drive with the flu and an infant? I began the venture with the best of intentions. Let's just say I'm thrilled to be home in bed writing this blog. It was still a lovely weekend with my parents. They are so cute with Jack. My Dad brought me a picture of him at the age of two and handed it to me and said:

"I don't know. I think he may look like me." PRECIOUS. My Dad has a real connection with Jack.

Look how much he's grown:

Major progress was made at the house last week.

Guest bed hardwoods before:
One coat of stain:
 "Laundry Room" Before:
Laundry room after:
Kitchen hardwoods before:
Kitchen hardwoods one coat of stain:

 Upstairs Bath before:
Upstairs bath after:

 Downstairs bath before (YIKES):

Merry Christmas from 5775. Countertops arrive Wednesday. Appliances on Thursday. It will be a big week for this old house.