Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Two Years of Homeownership

Today marks two years since we "bought" (signed a loan for 30 years) our house. Sometimes it feels like we've lived here forever and other times like we just moved in. Either way it still feels very much like home. About once a week I will say to myself, or to Charlie, or Penny and Blaze, "I just love this house." I really do. I love driving home and pulling into the driveway, seeing Charlie cooking dinner inside or the pellet stove glow on the walls. Watching the dogs little heads in the windows (because they're standing with their front paws on the windowsills I spent hours painting!) I love having a garage, even when I forget to open the garage door while exiting and crack two of the four windows. I like that everything we need is in the house, and that it is almost exactly the way we want it to look. I love how I look around and it feels like us and shows all of the hard work we've put into it. Mostly though I love who I share the house with and who will be joining us to live here. I'm excited for this house to have a baby live in it, and a toddler, and a kid. I'm happy for all the house has taught us so far and excited for all we still have to learn.

Man that got sappy quick. In order to keep you from crying here's a list of my favorite projects to date, and I am using "favorite" loosely here since actually doing some of these projects was not really fun, but the end result is awesome.

1. My sewing room. When I think about what it used to look like I am blown away by how much paint, click flooring, elbow grease, a new desk and a few curse words can get you.
2. The downstairs paint job. Again, paint can take you a long way.
3. The outdoor shower. I love this addition and can't wait til it's actually warm enough to use it again. I think everyone should have an outdoor shower.
4. Painting the outside. OMG did that take forever but was so worth it.
5. My plants. The indoor plants are doing great. I even divided several recently since they were doing so well. Only problem is I am running out of places to put them. The outdoor plants are a bit more fickle but I am learning.

Projects I still want to complete:

1. New front steps. I'd love two solid granite steps at the front, and would so love if the "shade loving" plants I added to the front of the house would grow and look like they do in magazines.
2. Floating shelves in the living room, so that the book shelf that holds two books and 10 plants won't tip over on Sprout once he or she starts crawling. I realize this isn't a project that needs to get done now, but I sure does feel like I need to do it now.
3. Make a path to the outdoor shower and bury the gutter pipe so it stops flooding the patio. Wouldn't it be lovely if soft moss would grow and line the path to the outdoor shower? Instead it's muddy and rocky, not exactly what you want to walk through to get back into the house after a relaxing shower.
4. Make the grass grow! I have put little to no effort into this project with the exception of raking one million acorns off the lawn, but I look at the grass and really wish it would be nice and green, not brown and mostly dirt. Then I think "first world problem" and get over myself.
5. Fix the garage door I destroyed.



Lauren

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Divided Baskets for Babies

My friend from high school is having a baby 3 weeks before me! It was so exciting when we both found out the other was pregnant. I thought I was going to fall over from excitement.


Her shower was last weekend and I made a divided basket for her and filled it with things I think she would need for her bundle of joy, but really what the heck do I know? She's very into researching things so I have basically been buying/registering for the things she does. She researched car seats for days and I just took her word for it and asked my mom for the exact same one. One review said a mother was driving with her baby and the car rolled over three times and the baby didn't have a scratch on him. Sold! How'd I get so off topic? The basket was really easy to make once you cut out all the dang pieces. So much interfacing! Cutting the pieces out is my least favorite part of sewing, especially now that my belly gets in the way when I need to work on the floor with bigger pieces of fabric.


It was so cute I decided to make one for myself...I mean Sprout.

Of course it's made of elephant fabric. I sure hope Sprout likes elephants because this room is quickly filling up with them, much like the rest of the house. I am not sure what will go inside of the basket just yet. I'm sure I'll find a use. Until then it's pretty cute huh? And Just a sampling of the elephant collection in this room. 

Here we are at her shower. She's having a girl and carrying much lower than I am. Old wives tails might imply that mens Sprout is a boy. More people have predicted that as well. Who knows though? Guess we'll find out in July. I just want Sprout to have 10 fingers and 10 toes, and preferably weigh less than 10 pounds, but if I had to chose I'd pick the first two requests over the last.

Lauren


Thursday, April 16, 2015

As Of Lately: April


It's been a long time since I posted last. Whenever that happens I feel like it's harder to get back into posting since there is a lot to post about, a quick picture and word dump seemed like the best way to get back into it. I say "get back into it" but have very few ideas for future posts; we'll see what happens.

Lately I've been....

Slowly putting together Sprout's room. Not knowing the sex is fun (really, I swear I love not knowing) but it makes picking out decor 10 times harder "is it too boyish/girly?" is our new favorite phrase around here. On the (very) plus side it has kept me from buying tons of outfits, decor, sheets, quilts, etc. 

Anxious about all of the stinking leaves and sticks that emerged from under the snow! I'm only anxious because bending over is getting to be more of a challenge, raking takes me 3 times as long as it used to, and Charlie is too busy coaching to help me. When will all these leaves get raked?!? 

Thinking about how lame it sounds to be "anxious" about leaves. Can "nesting" urges happen outside the four walls of your home?

Making plans for a garden. Half of me knows I am crazy for thinking this is realistic to take care of a baby and a garden all summer. The other half keeps saying "You'll be home all summer! You can do it." And the positive iota in me keeps saying "You're garden was an epic fail last year, so you've really got no where to go but up.....or fail again which wouldn't be so bad either, just try." 

Sewing baby things. Mostly for other people. Baby fever for sure, but I am enjoying it. It's fun to have friends who are pregnant too. 

Reading every night.

Proud of all the progress I've made in my goal tracker. I was floored to find out that I read and flossed everyday in March! *Pats self on back* April has been going well in those two areas as well.

Finishing "Me Before You" and feeling like a heartless human because I didn't cry, or even think about crying. This is especially disheartening since I cry every time I see this commercial. I think the underlying problem was that I didn't really like the book. 

Going on long walks in the woods and saying baby names out loud into the forest. Still not totally set on names. It's very hard picking the name a person will have forever. I've also come to realize (but should have known all along) that I over think things far too much. I could go on for 30 minutes about all the things I consider when contemplating names, but I'll spare you. My dream is that when the baby comes the name will be obvious. "Name yourself kid!" If worse comes to worse we could be the hippy family who names their kid Sprout.

Attempting to make the perfect Rice Krispie treats and failing miserably. How can three ingredients be so hard to mix? They keep coming out way too hard, like break a filling, cut the roof of your mouth hard. I'd ask for suggestions, but really I just want someone (you) to make me a pan (or 7) and deliver them to my house.

Watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. I'm not sure I 100% like it though. Some parts are really funny, but sometimes the main character annoys me. All (3) of the other shows we watched are over for the season.

Trying to figure out what the big fuss about "Wolf Hall" is. I know very little about that period of time, so I think my ignorance makes me not enjoy the show as much as the people I know who are super excited about it.

Loving feeling Sprout move. I am *this* close to being able to distinguish which body part is kicking/punching me. I keep waiting for the time to come when I get annoyed by the 3 am dance party that wakes me up every morning, but it hasn't. Turns out 3 am is a great time to think about how nice it will be when Sprout gets here, and how cool it is that my body is able to grow another human. It boggles my mind every time I think about it, even after 28 weeks.

Wishing it was April Vacation already.

Enjoying the (hopefully) last few fires in the pellet stove for the year. Come on warm weather!

Lauren 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter Book Review

I have not been reading a whole lot, but have liked most of what I've actually read before falling asleep every night so I wanted to share.

The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion : This book was really funny. It was like a funny, adult version of "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night." It didn't say it but I assumed the main character had autism so I automatically liked him. He also said things out loud that I think but know better than to say; which was funny. It was a good quirky love story and a very easy read, I read it in 2 days.

Yes Please, Amy Poehler: I took this book on vacation with us and had to force myself to put it down and people watch because I didn't want to finish it in one day. I honestly laughed out loud on the beach reading this book. I was thinking I might not be able to relate so some of the book, but Amy is so down to earth I didn't feel like she was famous or out of touch. My favorite parts were about her childhood, which seemed a lot like mine; normal, and boring enough that she had to imagine crazy scenarios to keep herself entertained. I also liked reading more about the cast of Parks and Recreation because I love that show. It was hilarious and I own it in hardcover so if you want to borrow it let me know.



Pregnancy Books-

Labor Day: True Birth Stories By Today's Best Women Writers: This has been my favorite pregnancy book so far. I've read 2. It's essays about birth by female authors. Everyone is different so it was interesting to read different perspectives and stories. The main thing I took away from it is that you can make plans for the birth until the cows come home but they might not do you any good. After reading this book my "birth plan" is as follows; Step 1: Have healthy baby. Step 2: Don't die. Step 3: Go home. My only complaint about this book is that there are some really sad stories included (miscarriage, stillbirth, failed adoptions) and they aren't marked in the book so you may accidentally read a really sad story and end up crying for 30 minutes. I ended up looking up the sad ones and marking them to I wouldn't read them. This sounds kind of immature right now, and maybe later I'll go back and read the other ones later, I just know I am not in a place where I want to read about sad baby stuff and set off my worrying mind. Aside from that I loved this book and would recommend it to friends who are pregnant.

Belly Laughs, Jenny McCarthy: I am slightly ashamed to admit I read this book, since I don't love (or even like) the author. It was written in 2004 before she went all anti-vaccine so there was none of that in the book. A very quick read about funny, embarrassing, and gross stuff during pregnancy. Things you're embarrassed to ask your friends but read and think "I'm glad I am not the only one." Other things I read and though "Thank goodness that's not happening to me....let's hope it doesn't." Some of it was pretty unrealistic considering she's mega rich and obviously has/had a housekeeper etc. to help her out. I did not have any belly laughs reading this book, but it was short so I got through it. If nothing else it was good for the "I'm not the only one" effect it had.

Up next is "Not That Kind Of Girl" by Lena Dunham.

Lauren

Thursday, February 19, 2015

ABC Sampler

This feels like cheating since I finished this project over two years ago. I gave it to my mom and she was nice enough to frame it for me. and save it until the right time. We went to visit and she gave it to me to add to Sprout's room. It's a bit "girly" if Sprout is a boy, but I figure I will be the only one to remember what the room looked like at the beginning anyways. I'll be the one who is awake in the room the most. Also, when I was little my mom had a painting in my room of a mother holding a naked baby and you could see the baby's chubby butt.  I think it was a Mary Cassatt painting, but I am not totally sure. I distinctly remember finally being old enough to say "hey, I don't want a picture of a baby's butt in my room anymore." Wouldn't want to deny the child that experience in exerting his or her opinion about room decor.


It's a kit I bought, that is now only the pattern from Posy Gets Cozy. I really like how the frame turned out. My only wish is that I had added the year next to my initials. People keep asking if the baby's room will have a "theme." Not so much, unless "things I think are cool" is a theme.

Lauren

Monday, February 16, 2015

Log Cabin Quilt

I cannot remember who had the idea for us to sew a quilt together me or Charlie. In September after pinning a lot of patterns we decided to go with a Log Cabin pattern and Charlie helped me do the math and pick out the fabric we both liked. I sewed 29 blocks and he sewed one. Then I realized around block 34 that there wasn't enough fabric so we bought more and I finished the 48th block, bringing my total to 47 and Charlie's to 1. He did help me lay them out over Christmas and decide on a pattern.


We should have done more research on how to sew a long cabin quilt because I messed it up and the blocks ended up not matching perfectly. I should have started each block with a solid as the first color, but instead I did half the blocks starting with solid and half starting with a print, which kept me from getting super bored, but also screwed up the pattern and resulted in blocks that do not match. I'm pretty sure no one would notice but me. Can you tell?

Don't look too close....here's a cute dog on a quilt picture to distract you! 


Then we (I) did the math and we bought the backing fabric. Over a snow day I laid it all out and realized the back was too small so I added some scraps from the quilt to add the last few inches I needed. Moral of this story is that we are both bad at math when it comes to making quilts. Thanks heavens for scraps and fabric stores.

I thought about hand quilting it, then I realized it's a king sized quilt and came to my senses. It's tied, which is super fun and easy and not nearly as time consuming as hand quilting. Sewing the binding took me at least 5 days because my eye kept twitching and a kind sized quilt = a whole lot of freaking binding!

To be 100% honest this quilt is finished about 10 months faster than I thought it would be, so math issues aside it's a total success. I would not have picked out all of the fabric, but I really like how it all turned out. 

Have you finished anything way ahead of schedule recently? 

Lauren 
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