Thursday, November 24, 2011


This year I am thankful….

- for a beautiful, healthy, growing, chatterbox of a precious little girl

- for an amazing, helpful, appreciative, understanding husband

- for the internet to keep us all connected

- for Lowes which, most of the time, keeps me in supplies for my house projects (our local store has been out of my trim paint all week hence “most of the time”)

- that we have a house to do projects on

- for King Soopers for stocking Blue Bell and making my husband very happy – and it’s cheap!

- that we made a cross country drive with a 3 month old with no horror stories to tell and got to see so many friends along the way

- that I was able to see Dad before it was too late

- that we were able to see the whole family even if under less than ideal circumstances

- that my one brother has managed to totally turn his life around and finally get it all straight

- for planes to take us East for Christmas

- for friends who love us so much that they’ve already come to visit.  In particular, Liz who came to help while we were still buried in boxes and didn’t have a bed for her to sleep on.

- for the hematologist who says that there’s no need for blood thinners when we decide to have another kid

- that Will has a job again where he doesn’t complain every day

- for whole house humidifiers to keep us from being beyond overly dry in this arid Colorado climate

- that Mom came out and made us work our tails off and that she’s coming back on Tuesday!

- that' I’ve lost all my baby weight though that just means that I’m back to trying to lose the 15lbs I was trying to lose before I got pregnant

- for new/old friends to spend Thanksgiving with

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

animal sounds

I was trying to figure out what sound an elephant makes (since we have so many of them in the house) and, of course, consulted the interwebs and found this:

It’s cheesy but great for some reason and she loves it.

Then I got the bright idea to have animals to go along with it.  Mostly because I figured that maybe if I laid out all the various animals in order, I might finally remember how the song goes without having to play the video.  But also because we figure that she might find it even more amusing than she already does and learn her animals.

Animals in the song: dog, cow, duck, owl, cat, bird, pig, mouse, horse, sheep, rabbit, people, snake, chicken, frog, bee, donkey, elephant, bear, and lion.

We have, or rather I have, an assortment of various stuffed animals including a whole bin of beanies.  I was able to come up with 12 out of the 20 animals so not too bad.

Our menagerie minus the dog because its upstairs and I’m too lazy to get him to join in on the photo shoot and the unicorn is standing in for the horse.

We still need: cat, bird, mouse, sheep, snake, chicken, frog, bee, and donkey. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!

halloween 2

I might be back later to explain how this all came about…

Sunday, October 16, 2011

our lil pumpkin in the patch

We took Sweet Pea to her first pumpkin patch today!  Just a local place across the road from the Super Target – go figure.  It got decent reviews and we could get all the fun stuff in between feedings/naps so we figured we’d give it a shot and if we didn’t like it, we could try someplace else either next weekend or next year.

So, yeah, there are Clydesdales.  But they cost extra :( DSC_8055 DSC_8060
The wee ones get wee little pumpkins for free!  She, of course, tried to eat it.

Our pumpkin in the pumpkin patch. 
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She was actually sitting very well – we’ve been working on our sitting.

Next up the corn maze! 
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Neck nibbling is an almost guaranteed method of producing smiles. DSC_8117
She was a little unsure of the giant bins full of corn kernels.  There was a poor little boy who got a kernel up his nose.

We forgot to get a picture of our pumpkin haul.  I had the baby thus Will had the camera but he was also pulling the wagon hence no picture.  So more on those later.

All in all a successful trip to the pumpkin patch.

P.S. The hat is from Will’s mom and is A-MAZING.  I think about half the people we came across commented on it.



(This post is a little bit late, as the hike occurred in August.  Better late than never!)

I’ve been looking forward to hiking in Colorado.  So when friends invited me to join them on a hike up Mt. Bierstadt, I jumped at the chance.  Bierstadt is one of Colorado’s many peaks that are 14,000+ feet above sea level.  I’d heard that the 14ers can make for an interesting experience, so I had a feeling I was in for a good time.


We hit the trail early enough to beat most of the rush (crowds tend to flock to 14ers in the summer months).  Even so, there were a lot of people on the trail.  As we took our many breaks on the way up (and a few on the way down), we leapfrogged the same groups of hikers.  Almost felt like you knew who you were hiking with, though most folks weren’t too chatty.  I’m told hikers tend to be friendlier on less well-traveled trails. 


Somewhere around 12,000 ft, the air is thin enough that the body starts reacting in strange ways (at least, this out-of-shape one did).  For me, it meant that I started to experience some balance issues (I didn’t fall over but I sure was wobbly) and I had to stop every few steps to catch my breath.  Makes for an interesting final 2,000 feet.

Not quite at the top…

The rocky top of Bierstadt lies ahead!

The view from the top, looking back along the trail and down to the trailhead.

Pile of hikers on a pile of rocks

with Marc and Trisha

view from the trailhead back to the top

The descent felt completely different – no wobbling and no gasping for breath (well, not quite as much).  Must be a mental thing because the air’s the same as it was on the ascent…  To make a long story short (too late), I felt great at the end of the hike and I’m very much looking forward to tackling more 14ers next year!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

living room…

or maybe family room… we have issues with what we are calling some of our main living spaces.  It becomes confusing when trying to tell one another where to find something. 

It’s a good size, 2 story with 2 nice skylights, has a fireplace and backs up to the kitchen.  The layout is going to need some work because there is a fireplace, 2 slightly oddly placed windows in the corner, and a double door going into the study/guest room.  We also can’t move the TV because that’s where the DirecTV comes into the house.

From the kitchen.  Those are the doors into the study/guest room on the right.

a nice shot of the fireplace and you can see how the loft overlooks the room.  This is also the only room that has a ceiling fan – for the time being.

Here’s the view back towards the kitchen after the movers brought everything in.DSC_6518

It got a little better and a little worse after we started unpacking.

It only got mildly better after a couple of weeks.

If you were really paying attention to the pictures of this room and the front room, you just might have noticed our issue with the movers.  One book case in here.  One in the front room.  The chair in the front room and its ottoman in here.  No biggie.  ARG.

In the never-ending shuffle of things, this happened but as you can tell, I haven’t committed to it yet.  I can’t until Mom comes to visit and approves my placement :)

Ok, the plans…  nothing huge:
- get professionals to remove the popcorn ceiling and paint the ceiling and walls. I am NOT taking on a 2 story room for either project.  There are limits to my crazy.
- paint trim.  I will, however, do this.
- get a mantle piece for the fire place.  If you look really closely at the picture of the fireplace (maybe even blow it up), you might notice that 2 of the bricks are actually pieces of wood.  Presumably these are in place to attach a mantle.  This is the one and only project that has a specific deadline – December 1.  I must have a mantle before I decorate for Christmas!
- somewhere down the road, we’ll get new carpets.

Friday, September 2, 2011

in which we are awesome. not.

so we thought we had this whole travelling with small child thing down and perhaps we got a mite cocky. 

Perhaps it’s the fact that the baby hasn’t let me have a break in over a week – vastly preferring me over her papa. 

Perhaps it’s that we took her off her reflux meds on Monday (on the advice of the doctor last week) and she was ok at first but now we aren’t so sure.

Perhaps she has an ear infection that we aren’t aware of.  But more likely not.

Perhaps I’ve been doing too much around the house this week trying to get things done – the front room ceiling is totally smooth and ready for primer and paint when Will gets home.

Perhaps we didn’t really need to load the whole fam up on a plane again to head east for the 3rd time in 4 weeks.  But this is a happy occasion so we were happy to do it.

Perhaps we simply need sleep.

But why are we not awesome?

Here is a small sampling of things we’ve done or not done today… that we are aware of:

- we forgot the big, fat, scary check for closing on the condo.

- we left the car seat base in the car in the DEN economy parking lot.  Don’t worry the car seat can be safely, but not easily, used without it.

- I left my keys at home.  Why would I need them? Oh, only to give them over at closing.  And no, they can’t just make more copies of the ones they have.  The front door keys are $75/key and I am required to provide 4 of them.

- the carefully packed milk so Paige can eat well while we attend the wedding managed to leak through their ziploc bags and the zippered cooler onto about half my wardrobe which I really tried to not overpack this time so there’s not much left that’s clean.

- AND my shampoo leaked in my toiletry case too.

BUT she was an angel on the plane as usual. 

And with a little kindness from strangers, we navigated familiar territory of Metrobus (B30 from BWI to Greenbelt Metro station), Metro (Green Line from Greenbelt to Mount Vernon Square where we transferred to Yellow to King Street) and the Old Town trolley to get to our hotel, not with ease but we did it.

metro 2 - 9.2.2011
metro - 9.2.2011
It’s funny to be a tourist in a place where we so recently lived.  Though it took coming back here specifically to finally start calling Colorado “home.”

Thursday, September 1, 2011


When we looked at the house originally I thought the kitchen was decent, if a little dated.  It’s WAY bigger than what we had in VA, lots of cabinets, a full size dishwasher, a gorgeous french door refrigerator (that sadly they wouldn’t let us keep :( ), built in microwave, an island… It wasn’t until I started trying to put stuff away that I realized how incredibly cheap and dumb it all was.

Here’s most of it on move in day (that’s our realtor cooing over the baby). DSC_6490
The rest of it, including our eat-in kitchen for which our table is too big but we knew that when we bought the place so eh, no biggie.

Ok but why do I think it’s dumb.

First off, there are exactly 10 drawers.  I had 5 in my tiny kitchen in VA.  Drawers are super handy for keeping things corralled so you better believe that I don’t think there are enough of them.  Oh and the widest one is, oh about 10-11” max and oh they’re all about 3” deep also super helpful.  Awesome. 

Second, the cabinets all have doors that don’t meet together in the middle which means that there is a strip of wood between every set of doors which makes them rather awkward.  And they are ALSO super narrow.  I couldn’t get our dinner plates in the ones by the stove and they just fit in the ones on the other wall.  The lower cabinets are just big open caverns with a shallow shelf at the back.  Again super handy.

Third, that little desk like nook up there in the second picture.  Looks great.  Actually has the widest drawer in the kitchen.  Too bad that it’s about AN INCH AND A HALF deep.  Yep doesn’t fit any of our desk supplies.  Hence it’s nickname – the stupid drawer.

Here’s a few pictures if it’s various levels of disaster over the last few weeks.

After the movers unloaded.

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After we sorta started unpacking.  It looked like this until after Liz had been here for several days and made me deal with it.  So it was a few weeks like this.

See…. so much better now, right? Friends who can make you do stuff that you don’t want to are the best :)  Well, when it’s stuff that you should be doing, of course.

This is what it looks like right now.  I’ve mentioned the on-going shuffle action of stuff around the house, right?

As for our plans…

Long term:
- all new cabinets (with way more drawer space)
- a gas stove (induction is for the birds)
- double wall oven
- a new built-in microwave (the one we have doesn’t even have a turn table in it)
- new sink (the black Microban is just kind of weird)
- butcher block countertops from IKEA
But that’s probably going to be several years down the road.

More immediate plans:
- paint the cabinets
- add cabinet hardware
- replace light fixtures over the non-existent table and the sink
- replace dishwasher (that’s a story for another post.  ick is all I will say for now)
- get a table to go with our existing chairs
- paint the walls and trim
- remove hideous country curtains
- refresh the panels in the main light fixture (they look burned or stained)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

dining…erm, living…

I thought that maybe I should outline the various rooms and our tentative plans for them beginning here.

Ok, this house has this weird room that has a door into the kitchen and a wide doorway into the entryway and a chandelier and a bay window on the front of the house… so it’s supposed to be the dining room but it’s too big to be all dining room but not big enough to truly be a dining room and a full living room.  We call it the front room around here.

View towards the front.

Same room looking in the other direction.  Nice and empty before we let the movers in with the stuff. 

After the movers left – so things were still nice and neat.

It became laundry staging ground after our 10 days on the road.

Starting to unpack…

It got so much worse as I really started to unpack things and continue my game of shuffling crap around the house to move for more furniture or for a project.

After we had the fancy furniture delivered from NJ.

It looks a little different right now but I’ll get to that later… right now, didn’t I say something about talking about our plans for the room when I started this whole thing?  I did.

So here they are in no particular order for now:
- remove boring curtains
- remove popcorn ceiling (spoiler alert – that’s what I’ve been up to for the last 2 days)
- prime and paint ceiling, walls and trim – different colors, of course.  A nice Benjamin Moore Ceiling White for the, uh, ceiling, color-matched BM White Dove for the trim, and Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage for the walls.  I’m hoping to do this soon so that the furniture can be put in its final home and filled with a lot of the stuff floating around the house.  Those antique pieces are gorgeous but horrific to move particularly on our bizarrely plush carpet.
- move chandelier – not the whole thing just removing the dumb hook that it’s on and pulling it up to the proper height
- reupholster (or recover really) the dining room chairs
- get furniture for the more living room portion of the room
- maybe some crown molding or would that be weird because there’s no molding framing the windows?
- some day I’d really like to extend the wood floors in the kitchen through this room as well.

I know that it probably seems like a weird room to focus on but getting it all smooth-ceiling-ed and painted will allow me to find homes for a lot of the random objects that are in our house right now which will make me happy.

Maybe I’ll post another room tomorrow.