Tuesday, February 26, 2013

16 months.

October 2011 is when Calvin transitioned to his big boy bed. I was seven months pregnant.

February 2013 is when I finished his big boy room. Audra will be 14 months old tomorrow.

I think the word you're looking for is efficient.

(Or lazy.)

Anyway, Calvin's room is finally mostly done. I say "mostly" because I am a futzer and nothing is ever really done at our house (more to come on that soon). But it's to a point where I have declared it both cute and good enough for a three-year-old, so I may as well show it to you.

The view from the door. The race track is a decal from The Land of Nod. The picture is from Target and I don't love it and it's not big enough for that space (futzer!) but it does the job. 

This is actually my childhood bed frame. It's iron, which is pretty much ideal for toddler boys (and preteen girls who like to put stickers on their headboard). Nate spray painted it red. The quilt is from The Land of Nod, and I got into a pretty decent bidding war over that thing on Ebay. I emerged victorious, and paid half off retail for it. Score! Dinosaur sheets are from Target.

Opposite the bed is my good enough wall. (Okay, here's what really bothers me: I want to put that racetrack decal around the entire room but it's like $40 a set and I need three and I just can't justify that cost for a toddler bedroom. I'd like to say I will add to it over time but since it's already been up for a year and I haven't added to it, that seems unlikely. Instead, it will just annoy me until we redecorate.) The metal signs are from The Land of Nod. The enormous navy polka dot piggy bank is from HomeGoods. Lamp is from Target. Dresser is from Ikea (notice there is no closet in this tiny room. Luckily his clothes are still pretty small and he's a boy. This would not work for Audra.)

To the left of his dresser is a little wooden hook I found at Goodwill for $1.50 and painted red. I love having his dress-up clothes accessible and not tucked away in some bin. (Mostly because his room is tiny and there is a lot of other stuff to tuck into bins.)

His preschool teacher traced him last fall, then sent home this ginormous piece of paper. I felt bad throwing it (him?) out, so I hung it on the back of the door. It's kind of creepy. Especially at night.

The heart of his room: books and toys. And a clock he can't read.

We turned an Ikea Expedit shelf on its side. His bigger toys are housed on top (perfect height for play), his books are on the middle shelves, and his smaller toys are in fabric bins below. Trains are in clear storage containers under the bed.

His reading nook. Mostly I sit in that chair and nag him to get dressed, or he sits in that chair and pouts during time out, but sometimes we actually sit in that chair to cuddle and read (intended use). The blanket on the chair was mine as a baby, and is made out of the cutest vintage (well, now it's vintage because I'm old) alphabet fabric. The chair and curtains are from Ikea.

I made the bunting out of ricrac and felt. Hand sewing is my favorite! (No. It's not.) The bulletin board is from Target and showcases pictures, notes, and his favorite craft projects from school.

The collage features some of my favorite Calvin works of art in super inexpensive Ikea frames. The C is a three dimensional cardboard letter from JoAnn — I painted the edges red and Mod Podged striped fabric to the front. The Story People print I got when I was pregnant with him still hangs in the corner.

His room is super tiny and it took me 16 months to finish it. I am really the worst at stuff like this. But I think I achieved what I set out to accomplish — a happy, inspiring, creative space where my Bub can relax and play and I can get annoyed about small pictures and insufficient wall decals.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Turning point.

My children both sleep through the night.


Well, mostly.

Today Audra got up at 4:30am so Nate brought her into our bed, where she kneed me in the eye and dropped my iPhone on my head. But at least I got a solid 6.5 in before that happened.

Also, we're almost all well again, after a solid month + of illness. I'm on four medications and I'm still not wearing eye makeup for fear of ruining the brand new mascara I just purchased with the last miniscule trace of pinkeye, but we're getting there.

So, what's my point, you ask?


I'm not nursing anymore. I'm not rocking a baby to sleep at all hours of the night. I'm not up to my elbows in blowouts and running around work with spitup on my shoulder or breastmilk leaking through my shirt.

Suddenly, and without warning, balance has been restored in our home. We're no longer sleep-deprived slaves to a newborn. Audra is going on 14 months. She's walking, eating, sleeping. Like a real toddler! Calvin gets more self-sufficient (and impossible, but that's another story for another time) every day. Nate and I have a normal M-F work schedule and free weekends. We're meal planning and getting laundry done and our house is cleaned top to bottom once every two weeks (by someone else, mind you...but that requires planning and effort and still counts). We have date nights and friend nights and I'm volunteering at my kids' school.

I can breathe. 

I remember this happening after we had Calvin, too. One day I just woke up and thought — it's over. The chaos of a new baby is behind us. We're in a groove, we're well-rested, and we can get on with life.

I'm guessing we all came down with stomach flu or something similar right after that, but still — it was a pretty major turning point.

We've reached that same turning point as a family of four now, and as much I loved loved loved baby Audra and have no flipping idea where the last 14 months went, I love toddler Audra even more. And not-quite-four-year-old Calvin is probably my favorite of his ages so far (impossibilities aside). They are both totally fun and cute and delightful right now. And our life is no longer dictated by two naps a day and whether or not I remembered to bring a bottle and a burp cloth. Parenting two little kids is still completely chaotic, of course. But at the core, our life, our family, is much, much calmer.

I can breathe.

Which means it's time for me to find a little time for me. For the things I love — writing, baking, fashion, crafting, decorating. (And probably for working out, which I do not love but need to do anyway.)

There is nothing in life I treasure more than my family, than my role as wife and mom to these precious loves of mine. Pouring myself out to them is one of my greatest joys. But to be good to them — really good, in the ways they deserve — I have to be good to myself as well.

So, I guess my real point is that after nearly two years of posting nothing but pictures and captions, I have some fun things planned...for my life, and for this blog.

I can breathe again. And it feels good.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hello, Vegas?

All my Friends loving friends will understand and appreciate that reference. Even though it has little to do with this particular trip. During my trip to Vegas, there was no room service, no craps table, no drunken wedding, no Sharpie mustache, no Regina Phalange, no hand twin.

This hand is your hand, this hand is my hand, oh wait that's your hand, no wait that's my hand!

(Sorry. I love that part.)

But there was a very successful shopping trip to Marshall's. And a breakfast buffet. And a cotton candy cosmopolitan. And some ooohing over the fountains at The Bellagio. And lots of ahhhing over the shops at Caesar's Palace. (And the dessert at Max Brenner.)

Most importantly, though, there was time spent with my best girls.

Step aside, dinner buffet. We're breakfast people.
Requisite self portrait.
We've had a lot of practice, though you wouldn't know it looking at this.
And no, they are not super tan. I am super pale.
The Bellagio, side view.
(You're thinking of that great scene at the end of Ocean's 11, aren't you?)
Ooh. Ahh.
Vegas is really beautiful. In a depraved sort of way.
World's largest chocolate fountain, from which I was not allowed to eat.
Shopping...indoors. (Just blew your mind, right?)
A picture of Heidi taking a picture of the biggest H&M we've ever seen/shopped the heck out of.
Max Brenner's cute menu modeled by my even cuter April.
If you insist.
We've been friends for longer than we'd care to admit.
Weird, since we met in college and don't look a day over 25.
The Strip.
Yeah, that was good. (These pictures are so not in order.)
The Bellagio fountains from a different side.
Ah, Paris.
Not the real sign, but close in a drive-by stripmall sort of way.
You're welcoe.
Ooh. Ahh. v2
This was a drive-by capture. I found this hilarious.
Probably because of the cotton candy cosmopolitan.
Love us some TJ Maxx. Though we had much better luck at Marshall's.
Like $200 worth of luck. Whoops.
April & Jenny, two of my truest loves.
Feeding Ali (truest love #3) a gluten-free brownie via Facetime.
Vegas is not Minnesota. This made that abundantly clear.
My fourth truest love (only in picture placement, not in rank).
Love my brave friend, who has been single parenting her two boys since September
while her husband serves in Afghanistan. HERO!
Cute packaging, because I notice these things.
This was before I found Bonanza's Naughty Town hilarious.
Vegas is brown, but beautiful.
Everywhere you turn you have the same view: mountains.
Like I said, beautiful.
Such a fun weekend. I just hope the next time we spend time together, all five of us will be in the same state. :)

We missed you, Ali!

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