The Taynors

The Taynors

Friday, December 25, 2015

When Christmas Doesn't Go as Planned

It's Christmas night, 7:30 pm, and I have enough time to sit down and write a blog post.  Something is wrong with this picture.  After all the planning for a magical Christmas day, I am currently sitting on the couch by myself watching lifetime movies.  This year Christmas did not go as planned.

Apparently even though I shopped months in advance, I got all the best gifts, wrapped them in color coordinated piles for each kid, prepped lots of food, coordinated plans with all of our family... that didn't stop the flu from hitting our house.  Patrick started with the high fever on Tuesday and it has not gone away.  He is miserable and lethargic and is on day 4 of this nasty virus (to the doctor we go tomorrow).  Then just to make things even better, it hit Mike yesterday.  He is out for the count with the same high fever, body aches, and misery.

So this morning Ryan jumped out of bed with excited that it was Christmas morning, but we had to drag Patrick and Mike down to join in the excitement.  Patrick cried through most of present, he had no interest at all, and Mike was barely awake to watch the kids open Santa's surprised before he went back to bed for the rest of the day.

Mid-day I realized that neither Patrick or Mike could attend our family Christmas dinner, and Mike was in no shape to take care of Patrick.... sooooo that meant I had to stay home also to take care of them both.  I didn't want to ruin the day for Ryan, so I sent him up with my parents.

So here I sit, Patrick is in bed, Mike never left bed, and Ryan is out with my family.  I will admit I am a bit lonely, this is definitely not how I pictured Christmas.  I am missing my kids and husband and my cousins and extended family,  BUT I am sipping champagne, enjoying the quiet and thinking about how even though this was not our perfect Christmas, we are still such a fortunate family with so much to be thankful for.

Christmas can be overwhelming and stressful for parents, but that is not the point and life happens anyway.  I am making this a glass half full moment and enjoying whats left of this holiday, and praying that our family is healthy soon so we can enjoy all of Santa's goodies and the plans we have all week.

Anyway- Merry Christmas to all, and hopefully next Christmas we will be able to all celebrate!

Here are a few of the pictures I did manage to get today:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thankful at Thanksgiving

Both the boys are sleeping (that is officially the first thing on my "Thankful list") and I just sat down to start making Black Friday Christmas shopping lists.  Then the sentimental part of me got to thinking about the actual holiday of Thanksgiving and what its all about.  So instead of writing my shopping list, I am going to write out my thankful list.

Thanksgiving 2015 I am thankful for (in no particular order):

1.  Sleeping children (see above)
2.  Target- I could literally shop their daily.  The store makes me happy, has everything, and the cartwheel app is just amazing.  Love it!
3.  My hardworking husband.  He works his butt of at his job and works his butt off at home.  And manages to be a pretty awesome father and husband in between it all.
4. My mom, who is superwoman and my Dad, who is so strong in recovering from his surgery
5.  My healthy, growing, adorable boys, Ryan and Patrick
6.  Coombs Chiropractic, where I have a great flexible job that I enjoy and a place that keeps my whole family healthy
7.  Disney World!  We are going again in April and any time I am planning a Disney vacation I am a happy girl.
8.  Christmas- I love the whole Christmas spirit and getting to spend it with my kids is so magical.
9.  Adele.  Her songs get me!
10.  Peppermint Mocha season
11. Red wine- lots of red wine
12.  Having best friends that have been my best friends for more than my half my life!  I would not survive without having my girls to fall back on.
13.  Finally making some new adult friends now that my besties have moved so far.  I have said it before, finding adult friends is like dating, so I am happy to finally feel confident in a few new friendships.
14.  Our new house is slowly coming along and feeling like home.
15.  My new juicer that I got for my birthday.  Having lots of fun playing around with new juice recipes.
16.  My crunchy moms facebook group- its my first place I go with any natural/holistic/health related questions.
17.  Amazon Prime- Free two day shipping, enough said!
18.  Cheesy chick novels. I have been on a reading kick recently and only want to read light hearted books.  I am loving my easy reads.
19.   God-  I am not overly religious, but I find myself being drawn more and more towards the Bible and prayer and I am thankful for feeling comfort in prayer.  Next step, finding a church I love.
20.  Date nights-  I don't get them enough, but very thankful for when we do.
21.  Ryan's teacher Mrs. Cappello.  He has had a rough start to the school year, and she has been wonderful with helping us through the transition.  In the same thought, we are also thankful for his new amazing OT, Alex.
22.  Car ride naps-  Patrick is on a nap strike, so thank goodness for the car!
23.  Cheap flights to North Carolina.
24.  Family time.  In our busy life, I look forward to and appreciate time when just the four of us get to just chill out and be together.
25. Chocolate- I am obsessed these days.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

DIY Ninja Turtle Halloween Costumes

This year I decided to do something I have never done before.  I made the boys their Halloween costumes!  And I learned how to do some basic sewing in the process.

Ryan declared very early on that he wanted to be Leonardo (because he is the leader) and that Patrick had to be Raphael (because Red is one of his favorite colors).  Ninja turtles are super popular right now, so I had plenty of options for buying one, but I decided to make it myself for the following reasons:

1.  The store bought ones were a little cheesy.
2.  Knowing how popular the turtles are, I also knew that there would be a million little boys in the same costume.  So I wanted them to be a little bit different.
3.  Ryan is in big kid sizes and Patrick is in young toddler sizes, so even if I did buy them at the store they would be in different costumes.  I could not find a costume in a size 24 mo and size 6 that were matching, and appropriately Leo and Raph.
4.  My mom use to make our costumes when we were kids, I wanted to continue that tradition.

Thank goodness for Pinterest.  I was able to search TMNT costumes and found many bloggers with step by step directions.  I needed all the help I could get.  I picked this particular tutorial because it was very detailed and I felt like I could actually do it.

I did need to employee the help of my mother.  I can not sew, haven't done it since 8th grade home-ec, and this costume required a decent amount of sewing.  I pretty much following the bloggers directions step by step.  I also bought white sweat pants and shirts from Amazon and then used  RIT fabric dye to get them green.  I mixed the Kelly Green and the Dark Green color to try to get a little bit darker and more turtle like then the one in the tutorial.  At first I was afraid the color came out too dark, but once it was put together I think it was perfect.

I also decided to buy the boys turtle shells off of Amazon instead of making the shells because I wanted something a little more sturdy.  Dress up clothes go well beyond Halloween in our house, so it was worth the money to have turtle shells they can play with all year round.

I was able to buy all of the supplies at AC Moore or on Amazon.  Once I had everything together, the work did not take long.  One evening I dyed the sweats and washed/dried them to be ready for the the next evening.  I decided to use the stove top method for dying the clothes.  I thought it was the quickest and the cleanest way to do it.  I was nervous to put the dye through my brand new washing machine.  I was happy with the stove top results.  Then it took my mom and I a few hours the second night to cut the fabrics, pin everything in place, stuff the chest, and sew on all the pieces.

The costume turned out perfect.  I was happy and the boys were even happier!  They looked adorable and we now have a simple turtle costume in our dress up box for playtime.  Thanks again The Scrap Shoppe Blog for the inspiration and tutorial on a great boys Halloween costume.

Tons of pictures coming soon!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Taynor Family Randomness- Fall 2015

I wish I could blog daily, I seriously have enough going on in my head that I could come up with a topic of interest every day.  I am going to try to make that a goal of mine, to write more often.  Lets see how I do!

But for now, here is a bunch of random things going on in our world.  I'll be very general, and hopefully a lot of these topics I can go into more details about in later posts (ya know, now that I am going to blog more often).   So here it goes.

- We have been in our new house almost 1 year!  I can't believe how fast it has gone.  We are still very much in fix it up mode, and we have the "what should we do about..." or "What project should we start next" conversation every day.  Top of the priority list is to finish the basement, patio and backyard landscaping, dining room, and maybe upstairs bathrooms.  In the meantime we have been tackling smaller items- setting up a craft area in the playroom, Mike is building cabinets and cubbies in our front hall closet, front of the house landscaping, 20 privacy trees in the backyard around the base of the hill, painted the boys bathroom rainbow, and hopefully some new light fixtures soon.

-We love our house, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that we are considering moving.  I would say its about a 50/50 shot right now, but things in life keep popping up that suggest maybe it would be a good idea to move out of state (craziness with Mike's company, craziness with Toms River, my parents interest in possibly retiring out of state, financial reasons, they are building something mysterious behind our property, and of course the fact that many of my life-support friendships are now out of state).  Who knows- no real plans yet, all just pretend.

-I miss my friends like crazy!  And Ryan misses his friends... and Mike misses his guys.... you get the point.  We are really really missing all the important people that have moved far away.  And not just my North Carolina people-  my South Jersey and Maryland girls too.  Everyone is just to damn far away.  I read an amazing blog once that described this feeling.  I want to know what they do each day, and see how they decorate their homes for the holidays, and watch their kids grow up, and see the new sweater they got on sale last week.  All those things that are so normal when your best friends are near buy, that get lost when suddenly they are far away.

- We bough another house the end of August.  We officially own three homes and rent two.  Mike has always wanted to dabble in real estate investing, so this year we took advantage of some opportunities.  Let me tell you, financially balancing three homes is not easy.  Hopefully it will be worth it in the long run.

- It's been a busy travel year for us.  Since April we went as a family to Tampa, the OBX, as a couple to Colorado for my cousins wedding, NC twice, Mike on a guys trip, me on a girls trip to Disney.  Ryan and I are going next weekend to visit all our buddies in North Carolina, but then that will probably be it for awhile until our spring family Disney trip (Staying at the Polynesian this time- woohoo)!

- I am learning more and more and more about what healthy living is really all about.  Its become a major passion recently.  I am constantly learning and researching and really feel like I finally get how it all works.  Things I have questioned my whole life finally make sense.  This particular topic really needs a post of its own, I can't wait to share some of the changes we have made.  Its been about a 4 years journey- pretty much since Ryan was born (motherhood changes everything), but the past year I have really become confident in my knowledge and some of the changes we have made as a family.

- My sister just ran the NYC marathon on Sunday and she killed it!  We all went up to watch her, what an amazing experience.  It was her first marathon and she finished in 3:42.  I am incredibly proud of all her hard work and dedication.  Congrats to all NYC marathon finishers.

-So are you going to have another baby??  That's the question I get asked almost daily.  For a while I said I wasn't going to even talk about it until after our vacation to Colorado.  Well that was 3 months ago.  I have no updates or news as of now, but I can say we sure do hope to be able to have a third baby.  Only time will tell.

-I have been super sentimental about my boys recently.  I could explode with love each day.  I LOVE being their mom, like seriously love it!  I have always loved them, but something recently has made me slow down and actually appreciate and fall in love with each day.  I feel like I can appreciate that they won't be this small forever, and that time is going fast.  So I want to take in every day and every stage and make a million memories, because before long they will be big boys, then preteens, then teenagers (ahh scary), and eventually adults with wives and I  will no longer be the most important woman in their lives.  My point being- having toddlers and preschoolers is SO MUCH FUN, and I am going to love it instead of getting annoyed by the hard parts.

-Speaking of the boys- lets do a brief update on both of them:

-He is 4 years and 8 months.
-He loves dinosaurs, ninja turtles, fire fighters, police men, power rangers, sharks, sea creatures, and as always, trucks.
- His imagination is UNBELIEVABLE.  Like, crazy smart thinker.  Every day we act out a new story line full of adventures.
-His newest obsession is crafts.  When he was younger he had no interest in coloring or drawing, but I guess he is making up for it now.  He spends hours every day coloring, cutting, gluing,  stapling, taping, painting, writing, making stories, decorating my house, etc.  He calls them projects and he spends most of his day at home working on projects.
-The start of the school year was a struggle.  But his teacher has been fantastic working with him, we changed occupational therapists, I adjusted his vitamins and refocused on his diet and nutrition, and I think he is starting to settle in and show some improvements.  He has very classic ADHD symptoms and is dealing with many sensory processing issues, but we are doing so much to help him with his brain/body connection and I believe we are already seeing some changes.
-One major plus to our house is that the back yard is our own personal woods.  He can spend hours exploring, gathering acorns and leaves, swinging on the swings, doing obstacle courses.  He loves being outdoors.
-Daddy is Ryan's favorite person in the world.  Everything Mike does is just "soooo cool".  If Daddy does it, Ryan wants to do it.  If Daddy likes it, Ryan likes it (this specifically hurt when he decided to root for the MEts this year instead of the Yankees- booo)
-Ryan is a big bag of emotions and he is really good at talking about them.  Its kind of cute to watch a little person go through the range of being happy, then anxious, then sad, and then process it and go back to being happy again.
-He is super protective of his brother.  He watches him closely when they explore in the back yard, and is always checking to make sure the gate on the stares is closed.  He gets worried when Patrick crying and wants to know where he is at all times.  They are turning into best buds.
-Ryan prays to God every single night to have a baby sister.  Man he is putting the pressure on.
- There are little things that Ryan is doing recently that really shows his independence growing.  Things that are not a big deal really, but to me they are big signs of him growing up. Some examples: he gets up in the middle of the night and uses the bathroom and then goes right back to bed without needing my help.  I only know because I normally hear the toilet flush.  He can swing himself on the swings for a very long time.  He picks out his clothes, gets dressed on his own, puts the dirty clothes in the hamper, without needed a lot of prompting.  He makes his bed most mornings.  Sometimes he washed the dishes after dinner without being asked (and actually really cleans them, not just play in the water).  He plays independently for much longer stretches of time.  Little things that are signs that he is really growing up before my eyes
- Oh Yea, his very favorite song is Drinking Class by Lee Bryce.  He knows every word.  Proud mamma moment, I guess :)

-1 year and 10 months old
- The almost two stage is hitting us hard.  Boy is strong willed.
-He is so friggin cute and he knows it.
-He knows what he wants, and knows how to throw a fit til he gets it.  But he can also switch on the big smile and flirty eyes in a second.
- Like most second children I would assume, he wants to do everything that Ryan does.
-He is incredibly stubborn- but I believe he has been that way since the day he was born, including during labor.
-He is also incredibly love-able and cuddley.  He loves to snuggle and offers hugs to everyone, included strangers.
-His favorite songs are Let It Go from Frozen, Shake your Sillies Out, and also Drinking Class.
-Donald Duck aka Quack Quack is Patrick's favorite character and stuffed animal.
- He won't go anywhere without his school bus.  Some kids have loveys and some have teddy bears... Patrick's comfort object is a school bus.  Its very cute.
-He is suddenly giving me a hell of a time with sleep again.  He was awful til he turned 1 year old.  After that he fell into a good routine.  Right to bed with  no problems between 6:30-7 and up between 6:30-7 most mornings.  Some days earlier but not the usual.  Then his naps were never great, an hour at best.  But he would go right down on his own without any fuss.  Then on Saturday everything changed.  He refuses to take a nap during the day and just cries hysterically for hours even though he is exhausted, he refuses to fall asleep at night, up to 2 hours of crying each night before he falls asleep standing up or finally gives in and lays down, and then up for the day by around 5am.  The tears have been starting just by mentioning nap time or bedtime, and he does whatever he can to try to stall and avoid going up to his room.  He is beyond exhausted.  We have been pretty miserable all week.  Not sure whats going on, or how to change it... but it sucks to see him so upset.  Fingers crossed and lots of prayers that he settles back into his happy routine soon.
- He eats like a teenage boy- that is all.
-Getting him in and out of the car seat is a full blown wrestling match.
-He is a slow talker, even slower than Ryan I think.  He has some basic animal sounds (dog, cat, sheep, cow), Mama, Dada, Gigi, Bubba, Uh-Oh, Yes, Bus, Quack Quack, Snack, Go, and NaNA (banana) .  That is about it.  He can do some sign language, and he is pretty good at letting us know what he wants in non-verbal ways.  BUT I do think life will get a lot easier for all of us once he starts picking up a few more words.  We have many frustrated moments of whining and tears because I have no idea what he is trying to say to me.
-He is generally calm and happy and can go with the flow.  He plays well by himself and can be very silly.

Well I think I have gone through a lot of topics I wanted to touch on.  Hopefully I will be back very soon to talk about some hot topics, or whatever else pops into my mind between now and then.  Until next time...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Boys- an update

It’s been far too long since my last post about the boys.  My lack of recent blog posts can be a testament to the fact that my two little love bugs are keeping me on my toes these days and our days are busy from sun up to sun down.  But I love it!  My brain tends to swirl around with things I would love to write about, but usually I can’t stop what I am doing to sit down and actually type.  So this particular post might seem unorganized and scattered, but I have about 20 minutes of free time while Ryan is in OT so I am going to give it a shot.  Here is a general update of my boys!

4 and a half years old
42 inches tall and 45lbs
Still a blondie with blue/green/gray eyes

-Ryan is my sensitive, dramatic, sweetheart!  And when I say this I mean to the extreme.  He is VERY sensitive, and VERY dramatic, and SUPER sweet.  Everything he does it to the extreme.  He can go from the happiest kid on the block, to having the most terrible meltdown I have ever seen in a matter of seconds.  His highs are high and the lows are low.  But he loves very strongly and he loves everyone!  

-Boy this boy is active.  From the moment his eyes open until he finally falls asleep at night, he is on the move.  There are definitely pros and cons to this.  Its great to see him always active and playing and exploring, he still won’t even sit down through a TV show.  He runs and swings and jumps and swims and wrestles and plays non stop.  BUT there is a time when we wish he was able to sit still and focus on one task for longer than 30 seconds.  Independent play is still a work in progress, he likes to play with others.  I end most days exhausted from constantly being on the go.  I think these are good characteristics for him in the future…. as long as it doesn’t get him in too much trouble at school.

-Ryan is “one smart cookie” as he calls himself.  But seriously he is!  He is not smart in the “I know all my letters and numbers and can read at a young age way”, all those things require him to sit and practice which is not a strong suit.  He is smart in the sense that he asks deep insightful questions, he analyzes everything, he remembers everything, he is intuitive and a problem solver, and he can recall random information about any topic after just briefly hearing about it.  He stumps me with tricky questions on a daily basis and I am so glad Google is available so I can get the answers for his questions.  He holds very adult like questions with perfect strangers and he is always asking WHY.  

-My grandfather Poppy use to call me “yack yack gab a lot” (a nickname which also got passed down to my cousin Jessie and my sister) and I am sure if he was still here with us, he would pass it right along to Ryan.  This kid can talk!  He can talk to anyone about anything for any length of time.  Just this morning he was following the spanish speaking cleaning ladies around the house telling them all about our most recent vacation.  He makes friends instantaneously with anyone as soon as he walks in the room.  Everyone he meets knows that Mike had poison ivy this spring, and I was away at a wedding for 5 nights, and the rock he is carrying around was part of the Rocky Mountains.  

-Up until recently Ryan would really obsess over one thing at a time (like trucks for the past 2 years), but his interests are definitely starting to expand.  He really loves all the normal boy things- super heros, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, dinosaurs, trucks, Planes Fire and Rescue, Paw Patrol, riding his bike, swinging on the swings, snakes and bugs (gross), baseball, and pretty much anything that Dad likes- you know because dad is SOOO COOL.  The other day when I asked him what is the one thing he still wants to do before summer is over, his answer was “yard work with dad”.  Funny kid.

-And just some random things- he is still a pretty good eater, he eats much healthier than the rest of the family.  He wakes up around 7am and is in bed around 8 and only naps occasionally.  He is always playing pretend.  He has huge feet.  He is about a size 5, we recently dropped the “T”.  He played soccer for the first time this year and like it so we are going to try again this fall.  This summer he learned to swim on his own with no bubble.  He can jump off the side and swim across the pool by himself.  He goes to OT twice a week and speech once  a week (more details on that another time).  He is extremely sensitive to noise.  He still loves to cuddle- its normally a jerky get punched in the back style of cuddling, but he likes to be close.  Still allergic to eggs, nuts, and wheat.  He is finally 100% overnight potty trained, that took some time.  He is a great big brother and he tells me everyday he wants a baby again and this time make it a girl (I”ll do my best Ryan!).

Anyway I think that is about it for now.  I am sure I am missing some important characteristics, but that is what comes to mind when I think of my loveable 4 year old!

1.5 years old
I acutally have no idea how tall he is or his weight, we are overdue for a doctor check up.  But my guess is he is small for his age.
His hair has gotten very blonde, curly and long.
Golden brown eyes- and a great tan lol
Currently wears size 18-24 months

-Patrick is super cute, and he knows it.  He smiles at people and gives them a cute little dimple because he knows that people are saying “oh he is so cute”.  His hair turned super blonde which surprised us all.  He definitely looks like a beach baby this summer.

-For the most part Patrick is easy going.  He definitely has his phases where he is whiny and clingy, but overall he is a good happy baby.  I do think teething bothers him a lot and recently he has been having some tummy trouble so he is a little off, but generally he returns to his normal personality.  

-After giving me a hard time about sleep for so long, he has fallen into a nice routine.  He is very easy to put to bed around 6:30-7pm and he sleeps through the night til anytime between 5:30-7am.  He still takes two naps, about an hour at 10am and another hour at 2 pm.  I would love to consolidate that to one longer mid day nap, but he is fighting the change.  It is a huge relief that putting him down is so easy these days.  The one wierd thing he still does is cry hysterically every single time he wakes up.  He goes from sound asleep to standing and screaming in just a second.  He has never woken up with a smile on his face or babbling to himself like most kids do.  I hope he grows out of this because its a harsh wake up call for him and the rest of us.  

-Patrick is a little slow on speaking.  He finally just started saying mama and dada in the last couple weeks.  Those are the only words he has.  I am going to give it another couple of months and then I will call the early intervention people to see if they are concerned.  He communicates very well in other ways- sign language, pointing, doing what we ask, responding to us, etc.- so I don’t think it is a hearing problem or a lack of comprehension, he is just slow to say actual words.  

-Right now Patrick loves to books “Moo Bah LA LA LA”  and anything else that has fun animal noises.  I guess you can say animals are his top interest right now.  That and Mickey Mouse.  Otherwise Patrick just does and watches whatever his brother is doing or watching.  

-He follows in Ryan’s footsteps in the activity department.  He loves to be on the move and to climb and slide and run.  Although he is a little bit better at sitting and playing by himself and he has much better rhythm when we have dance parties.

-Patrick is iPhone obsessed.  He loves to just sit and play on our phones.  Normally he is just scrolling through pictures and watching home videos, but he can navigate all the apps and find his PBS kids app or any of the games we have for the kids.  His biggest temper tantrums are when we take the phone away.  We are definitely trying to go through some iphone detox for him.  

-He is also a pretty good eater.  He eats a lot of food- a whole lot!  He has foods he won’t eat and meals where he is a bit picky, but generally he eats well.  We have been on the “everyone eats the same thing for dinner” plan since he was about 1.  If either boy doesn’t eat what we make for dinner, they don’t eat.  So far its working for us, if they have meals they don’t eat a lot, they always make up for it the next day.

-Patrick adores Ryan.  He loves to follow him around, chase him, wrestle with him, and basically copy cat him.  Its super cute to see the brother relationship forming so strong already.  

Anyway- we are all doing well and the boys are amazing!  I love being their mom.  It gets hectic and messy and exhausting but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I use to worry about never finding the right man to love, and now I get to love 3 every day!  Life is good.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Home Improvements

We have been in the house now for just over 5 months, and its slowly starting to feel a little bit more like home.  I frequently take a step back and appreciate everything we have - if you asked me 6 years ago when we got married what my goals and dreams where, I would have said to have a couple of kids and move into a big house in a beautiful neighborhood.  Well, it has happened.  I can easily get caught up in the house to-do list and impatient to do projects in every single room, but the bottom line is my dreams have been coming true one step at a time.  When I look at it that way, suddenly the living room furniture doesn't seem so important.

But for the sake of blogging, talking about what we have already done to the house and what our future plans are is way more fun!

Since we moved in, we haven't done any major products or reno, its been all about the small details.

Let's start with the half bathroom.  We did this before moving in, but we have added some of the little decor touches. Mike did all the work himself with a little bit of help from our father's.  I absolutely love the floor we picked.  Its the tile that looks like wood.  Its easy to clean, looks great, and is different than regular bathroom tile.  It's pretty much done, the only thing on my wish list to still do is add crown molding one day.  We have very high ceilings, so the big moldings would look great.  I posted about this bathroom back when we moved in, but here is a reminder.




 We choose to do carpet on the stairs, the second floor, and the family room.  I personally find carpet on the second floor much easier to clean, and with young kids we are always playing on the floor so its a little more cozy.  We picked a neutral grayish color to do throughout the carpet space.  You can see below its a huge improvement over the green color that was in our master bedroom (or blue from Ryan's room, brown in the hallways, pink in the guest room, etc).



 Our master bedroom we haven't done much with.  It doesn't make sense to put money into it now when we know we want to do a total redo in the next few years.  The one thing we couldn't live with though was the carpet in the bathroom, so we tore that up and luckily the tiles under the carpet where in good shape.  It was a hard process to get all the glue off the floor, but along with some fresh paint it makes such a big difference in the room.  We did the same thing in the boys bathroom.  Other than that, we are leaving it be for now until we can do the remodel we want!



Patrick's room was a pretty easy fix.  The new carpets, fresh paint, curtains, decor from his old room.  It felt pretty much like his room right away.  The only thing I have left to change in his room is the fan.  It works for now, but I would like to update it eventually.



 Ryan's room is more of the same.  Fresh carpets, paint, and the stuff from his old room.  I added a few new things like his new beanbag chair and book shelf since he has more room here, but no major work.



The boys bathroom is similar to ours.  The gross carpets needed to come up immediately.  Then I added some color with fun kids bathroom stuff.  But really I didn't want to put a lot of work or money into it until we made plans for the future.  It works perfectly for now, so it is not on the top of my priority list.  The only thing I have added since taking these pictures are canvas's on the wall.  I have one of each boy as babies in their hooded towels fresh out of the bath.  I did them in black and white.  They came out really cute.   Curtains, a new light fixture, and colorful bathroom prints for the walls are still on the current to -do list.



Next we are onto the master bedroom.  The before pictures show you that it does not look at all like a master bedroom.  We haven't done much here except the paint and carpet like everywhere else.  But just adding our furniture and some curtains made a huge difference.  In our room I know exactly what I want to add, its just a matter of finding it and making a purchase.  I want a very big floor length rustic mirror for between the bathroom and closet doors, I want a new fan/light fixture, I want a wood sign that has our wedding lyrics on it, and I want a sepia colored print for between the two windows.  Since no one is really in our bedroom, those wish list items keep getting pushed down the list.  At least I know what I want.



Last room of this post is the guest bedroom.  Its pretty basic, but we are doing a good job of keeping is as a usable guest bedroom and not letting it become a junk room.  So far we have had overnight guests twice and we have my inlaws staying this weekend.  Its simple.  I want to add nice curtains, side tables, a new fan... but again they are little things we can add as we go.  There is no real rush other than my OCD to have things finished.



Clearly, we have spent a lot of time upstairs.  I think the made reason for that is because the projects upstairs were quick and easy fixes.  Little things we have added slowly.  We didn't need to do any total renovations that are super expensive.  We will eventually renovate both bathrooms, but the function is fine for now.  Downstairs is another story.

I have a list of things I want to do throughout the house.  I want to update every light fixture in every room.  I would love to change the hardware on every door so it matches and is updated.  It would look awesome to have more crown molding and bigger baseboard molding.  But all of these fixes don't really serve a purpose other than looks and can be very expensive... so for now I need to be patient.

Then we have the BIG project wish list:

Hardwood floors throughout the first floor
Living room built in cabinets, shelves and desk area
Kitchen remodel cabinets/counters
Finish the basement

Then the outside of the house is a whole different level of work.  We love the space... but it needs a lot of TLC.  Front landscaping, seeding, retaining walls, new patio space, power washing, fix the swing set, start out own garden.  I think I will leave the yard for its very own post. 

But the bottom line, we are lucky to have this long wish list.  Every time I pull in the neighborhood, I get excited about living here.  Now that the weather is nice, I look forward to walking around and meeting more families that live here.  I feel very blessed to call this our new home!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2014 Year in Review

2014 was a year of change. In under one year Mike got a new job, we had a new baby and became a family of 4, and we bought a new home. In the process, it became a year of planning and "figuring things out" and adjusting to all the change.

This year I want to focus on some more personal goals. I am currently reading "The Happiness Project" now and with each chapter I keep adding new things to my list of goals for the year. But for now this is my list (off the top of my head):

1. Go to bed earlier
2. Drink more water- like way more water
3. Run my second 1/2 marathon- I have officially registered for May and on a training schedule
4. Work out efficiently
5. Spend much less time on social media
6. Don't ever attempt to "keep up with the Jones"- stop comparing myself/our family to others
7. De-clutter my brain by tackling unfinished tasks and by not putting things off than can be completed immediately
8. Pray and/or meditate more
9. Be a better wife to my husband
10. Make sure the time I am spending with the boys is quality interactions. Get on the floor and play instead of trying to tackle the laundry and dishes and emails when I'm with them
11. More date nights
12. Work to keep friendships strong
13. Eat more plants/less sugar
14. Every night before bed, recognize something I am grateful for

That's a hefty list, but I am gonna make it a year of self growth and relationships to help recover from our year of change! Happy 2015!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 6, 2015

Winter ONEderland

My baby shower for Patrick was in a snow storm, he was born in a snow storm, most of his early doctors appointments were in snow storms... so it was only fitting to do his first birthday as a snow theme.  I had a lot of fun with the Winter ONEderland party.

We were able to have the party at our new house (yay!  one of the reasons I was so ready for more space... to host parties).  I invited our close friends that had kids and otherwise it was mainly family.  We had about 40 people attend.


I wanted everything to be in the aqua, red and white theme.  So I started by contact a friend of a friend who does print work and she set the theme by designing the invitations.  Once we did the invitations, all the other details were easy to follow.  Tara at To a T did an awesome job doing all of the little details I love about parties but just can't do myself (birthday banner, high chair banner, food tents, invitations, cupcake toppers, and thank you cards).

Besides the paper signs, my sister in law made a super cool pine cone garlin and my mom and sister made me snow man center pieces.  Then I just added some snow flakes and balloons and we had ourself a winter onederland.  I also made a "1" photo collage of my favorite pictures from throughout the year.  I did it for Ryan's first birthday and I still love looking at it.  Favors I went through Oriental Trading and just got a bunch of random winter themed things like mini footballs, stickers, stamps, and then filled it with silver hersey kisses. 


This was pretty easy for me.  I knew I wanted to do a chili bar and a hot chocolate bar and I wanted everything to fit within the winter theme.  I made three different types of chili (white chicken and bean, traditional chunky chili, and pumpkin chili with ground turkey).  Then I added all the fixins (cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, jalapenos, crushed fritos, cilantro, green onions) and let everyone have a chili tasting.  This was super easy because I was able to prep all the food ahead of time, let it just cook in the crockpots all day, and they were ready to be served whenever people wanted to try them.  There was no official sit and eat time, it was a help yourself style dinner.  I included a side salad, macaroni and cheese, and corn bread to go along with the chili.

Dessert was also pretty simple-  I had a friend make the cupcakes for the guest and a smash cake for Patrick.  Both were delicious.  Besides the cupcakes, I had powdered munch kins for "snowballs" and my mother in law brought very yummy Melted Snowmen (kind of like a cake pop type dessert).  But the most important part of my dessert options was the Hot Chocolate Bar.  I made a huge batch of home made hot chocolate and let it stay warm in the crock pot.  Then I put out all kinds of fun things to mix with it... mini chocolate chips, marshmallows, whipped cream, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, candy canes, and of course Baileys for the adults.  I think it was a success- most of the stuff was gone by the end of the party.

We all had a great time!  Here are some pictures from the actual party-