Sunday, January 31, 2010

January to-do(ne)

Even though my goal for January was to set up a rough plan for Morgan and baby2's bedrooms (mission accomplished!), I had really intended to do more than just focus on that one project all month. I have regained the energy I lost during my first trimester and now is the perfect time to kick some to-do list butt before our little boy is born. I'm a very lucky mama to have a toddler who takes great naps and goes to bed around 8pm, so while Morgan is sleeping, these are some of the other personal projects I got done in January:

1. cleaned and purged my scrapbook area. I have plans to move some shelving around to make a playspace for Morgan and baby2 but first I need to make some room. Then I got word that
my favorite scrapbook store is having a garage sale at the end of February. Perfect timing for me to sell of some of these goodies. P.S. Did you know they are moving this weekend?

2. started collecting our 2009 tax forms, receipts, W-2's so we can file our taxes right away, hopefully in the next week. Still waiting for one more form.

3. finished Morgan's first year album. Yup, yup, it's officially done! I don't have any plans to photograph it, but you can see it in person, just ask. :)

4. made a sort of 'place for everything and everything in its place' list for all of the new storage spaces we will have to fill in the coming months. Kitchen cabinets, bookshelves, closets and more.

5. started replacing Morgan's 18-24 month clothes with 2T. For real. I hope her current wardrobe lasts until spring. Somehow, while digging out her new size I started going through all of the bins and pulled the gender neutral clothes that Morgan wore when she was a newborn. So happy that we have a lot more clothes for baby2 than I thought. Then again, she was baby wait and see. The pink explosion didn't occur until after she was born. I wasn't really planning on doing all of that until April, but Morgan was very interested in helping. (She is a champion folder you know). So, it's done. One less thing to do when I'm huge(r) and uncomfortable.

6. made a monthly project list for the rest of the year, including leaving the summer wide open to get acquainted with baby2. I will share my list for February tomorrow.

Friday, January 29, 2010

the week in review

  • chose carpet for the family room and bedrooms
  • chose cabinetry for the family room, mudroom and master bath
  • finalized designs and ordered said cabinetry
  • planned weeknight dinners for February
  • got quotes on granite and Cambria countertops. Will wait to see what our tax return is before committing to this splurge.
  • felt a lot more movement from baby2
  • enjoyed the most incredible (decaf) German mocha from Biggby - chocolate, caramel, hazelnut and coconut. O.M.G.
  • scheduled my next ultrasound for March 11
  • made a bunch of cards
  • couldn't manage to get to bed before 11pm
  • and now I've caught Morgan's cough and sore throat. She is a lot better now and I hope my spell is as short lived as hers. I hope to lay low this weekend and catch up on some sleep. I do not want to be sick right now.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training

I was going to wait to post about this in Morgan's 20 month update, but it's become a post all it's own. Just before Christmas I bought Morgan a little potty chair to get acquainted with. Over the following weeks we talked about what the chair was for and she almost always accompanied me to the bathroom for a pretend potty break.

Well, two weeks ago, totally on a fluke (I think), she said "potty?" and I asked "Do you have to go potty?" She said, "yeah" so we went to the bathroom. She pulled down her pants and I took off her diaper and she sat on her little chair. And went. Woohoo Morgan. I think I freaked her out when I was yelling to Mark in the kitchen, "She went, she went!" I clapped and smiled and told her what a big girl she is.

Last Monday she used the potty for the first time at school. And she's gone at least once a day ever since.So, frequent potty breaks are becoming a part of her routine. We're not going to push her to go. And I know it's quite a process. And I didn't think it would happen so soon. Feel free to share any cute reward systems you know of. My original plan was to make her this crown but I don't think she would see the value in that yet. Ideas?

Monday, January 25, 2010

photoless weekend wrap-up

Friday: Mark and I spent the day shopping for carpet and tile. Result: super tired with a major headache.

Saturday: Mark tied up some loose ends in the renovation, including hanging those last few pieces of drywall, while Morgan and I visited Aunt Kristin, Uncle Troy and Bella. Man does that girl love her Aunty K. I do too. Later we met them in Plymouth for the Ice Festival. Poor little girl. All she wanted to do was get down and walk around. Way too many people though. She loved all of the dogs and the mini petting zoo.

Sunday: Mark kicked some major butt mudding the drywall. Tonight he is taking a well-deserved break, but word on the street is he wants to be done mudding by the weekend. Does that mean we will be priming soon??? Us girls did a little of everything - reading, Gabba, laundry, Ready Set Go and dressing up in her playsilks. After her nap she helped me make spaghetti pie and banana cake. Both were a hit.

This week: Mark and I need to make a few final decisions so I can order the cabinets for our master bath, mudroom and family room. Make a dinner plan for February. Make some cards. And we need to figure out what kind of shelving to put in our closets without our house looking like an IKEA showroom. But I love IKEA.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

goal 01 progress

We're about 2/3 of the way through January and I have made a decent dent in the planning of our kiddo's rooms.

The carpet will be the same as what we chose for the family room and bedrooms on the other side of the house. It's a medium brownish gray frieze but I am having issues getting a sample. How am I supposed to pick out paint if I don't have a carpet sample? I know once I have it though, it will be a quick decision.
I also printed Mark's CAD plans to scale so I could cut out mini furniture footprints to arrange and rearrange. This was especially helpful so I could work around the heating supply, windows and electrical outlets without physically moving furniture. Nerd, I know. I've been doing that since I was a kid. Just ask my mom. Anyways, this post is full of links, mostly so I remember what I was thinking when it comes time to get down and dirty with decorating.

For Morgan:
Instead of moving Morgan to a toddler bed, I'm pretty sure we are going to get her a twin bed and just put it on the floor for a while, in case of middle-of-the-night falls. She's been taking her weekday naps in a little cot for the last 6+ months, so I don't think it is going to be a big deal. I really don't want to buy another crib mattress that won't be used for very long. Besides, Morgan loves climbing up into our big bed. I think she'd get a kick out of it. We will find a bed frame later.

I've found a nice pink quilted comforter for her bed at Target. I need to pick out sheets though. Sheets that aren't $60 for a set. (But aren't those owls cute?) I guess they could be offset by the inexpensive comforter. This Dwell Studio for Target butterfly set might be a good substitute.

Morgan already has a dresser in her room which she will likely keep. Unless I can find a nice old Danish modern one on craigslist. Those are a dime a dozen. And I might steal it for our bedroom. Still looking.
Her new room has a little nook in it that used to house built-in bunk beds for the boys that last lived in the house. Mark torn the beds out last summer and my plan is to turn it into a cozy little reading space. I want to fill it with lots of floor cushions and pillows, similar to these, and a shallow bookcase to serve as a little front facing library. It won't be as large as this one, but this was my original inspiration.

This nook is the only real wall space in her room, that is over 3 feet, that isn't interrupted by windows or doors. I think this would be a good spot for a nice thick shelf to add the photos and prints I've been collecting. Maybe even a potted plant and other knick-knack fillers like a few of her favorite stuffed animals that I want to stay intact.

Accessories: Probably this lamp. And I love this 3D wallflower set. I've also found a ton of cute stuff on Urban Outfitters website, like these bird hooks.

For baby2:
He will occupy Mark's handmade crib and I've found several cute fitted sheets I like from Land of Nod and Target. No bumpers or blankets yet, just like we did with Morgan, though I would still like to keep a quilt or blanket hanging over the edge.

My favorite dresser so far is the same as Morgan's 4-drawer. Ikea makes a low 6-drawer version that is a nice height and would perfectly fit a changing pad, our diaper caddy and this dimmable lamp.

I also want to find a simple bookcase to store a few toys and books. baby2 may also get a similar type wall shelf for photos and maybe some old toy trucks or blocks.

I haven't decided yet if the Eames rocker we bought for Morgan will stay with Morgan or not. I think baby2 will get more use out of it during those middle of the night feedings. Regardless, I would like to furnish his room with some kind of rocker (that doesn't blow the budget) and a
small end table or nightstand.

Accessories: I've found a lot of cute wall art (especially on etsy), vintage metal signs and such. Fun goodies like this may be afterthoughts after the rooms are filled with the big stuff, just to see how much room we really have left. And money :)

I'm happy to have a lot of this prep work out of the way, especially the space planning part of it and seeing how much room we really have to fill. lt will likely be a few months before we get into these bedrooms - but I will post progress pictures as we go.


Tonight: Mark is busy mudding drywall. Soon I'll be in the midst of the renovation with him to help prime and paint (no worries, we are choosing no-VOC paint). As for me, I'm re-writing goals and projects for the coming months. So glad I've regained the energy and motivation to crank through all these to-do's. I've gotten so much more done than just recording these nursery ideas - maybe I'll share that next week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

bathing beauty

Morgan has always been pretty cooperative about taking a bath, but ever since she saw her cousin Mason taking a bath when we visited for Christmas, she really gets in the water now. She likes to lay on her belly and kick like she's swimming and she loves to lay on her back with the back of her head touching the bottom of the tub. Silly girl!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thornbrook Renovation: Chapter 4

If you had a little trouble envisioning where the walls were going to be in our new family room and bedrooms, this should help. The drywall is up!The family room. The large opening on the right will be a big closet. The small opening on the left leads to our master bedroom on the left and the guest bedroom on the right.
The wall here that needs another sheet of drywall is for the walk-in closet and bathroom shower. Mark has a couple of sheets to hang after he figures out a few plumbing details.This is inside the walk in closet. The other side of the wall is the inside of our shower.The big change in our bedroom, besides moving the location of the door, was moving and increasing the size of our closet (on the left).This is the inside of our shower. That little niche on the left side will hold shelves for shampoo, soap and razors. Part of the house is on a crawl space and part is on a slab so there are a couple of step up/step downs on this side of the house. One more change that Mark will make is to raise the floor of the master bath to the same height as the floor in our bedroom. Since the drywall has gone up, we've also made a lot of decisions:
  • We got a box of wood floor samples last week and I'm pretty sure we decided on carbonized vertical bamboo. We've been staring at the sample with our cabinet finish options, at every time of day and night, to make sure we choose the one that is just right.
  • We've committed to a layout for the "mudroom" cabinets and are still figuring out what we want to do for entertainment center storage in the family room.
  • We finalized the master bath vanity layout. We are trying to decide what kind of countertop to put on it.
  • We've chosen the vanity sink, faucet and light fixture above the mirror.
  • Mark ordered the shower drain, showerhead and handle.
  • We've picked out carpet for the family room and bedrooms. Now we need to head to Sherwin Williams to pick out paint.
  • We also need to choose the tile for our bathroom.
  • I've roughly planned out all of the new storage spaces - what will go in each closet and cabinet. I'm very excited that we will have lots of room to grow.
  • Cable was installed in the family room.
Next up: tape and lots of mud!

Friday, January 15, 2010

5 favorites for Friday

I've been teetering back and forth about getting an Itzbeen for baby2. Would it be worth the money? After seeing one lonely one on the shelf at Target Wednesday for 75% off, I snagged it up. I love gadgets. And major sales.

I printed this S'more cupcake recipe for future chocolate cravings.

The writer of one of my favorite blogs, lovelydesign, (it's over there in the stalking area) is featured in January's Better Homes and Gardens. Well, her home is. And it's photo heavy. I am a total voyeur when it comes to seeing how other people decorate their homes so I had to buy an issue for myself for a little inspiration. It's only the 2nd BHG I've purchased, ever, and I have yet to look at any of the other articles. Eh, maybe later.

The Toddler Laws, as explained here, had me laughing my ass off. Especially #7: If it looks like mine, it's mine. Oh, how true!

Make your own linen spray? Hmm, I think I just might.

The to-do's are aplenty today. Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

20 down, 20 to go

Weeks, not pounds. Dear God, let's hope not pounds.

Now that we know baby2 is a boy, I can't help but compare these two pregnancies. Just for fun. I guess they haven't been so similar after all.


Speaking of weight, I have gained at least 5 pounds more now than with Morgan. (I haven't kept nearly as precise notes this time as I did with Morgan...) I started out lighter this time, but man is baby2 helping me pack on the pounds. Just when I think I've popped, I pop again. Of course, I started showing sooner (typical of second + pregnancies) but I started wearing my maternity clothes at the same time, around Christmas. My belly (my view looking down at least) looks the same, I am rounder than I am wide. Phew! Here's a visual:
Damn, I'm pale. Baby looks higher this time. I'm sure before I know it there is going to be a wild dance party up in my ribcage. And my belly button has already popped.

Cravings with Morgan: Whoppers, Taco Bell, Italian food, chocolate and fruit, fruit, fruit. Cravings with baby2: anything salty (chips, crackers and popcorn), somewhat spicy (Thai food and salsa), sour gummies and Wild Cherry Pepsi. Of course, lunchmeat would be nice. I'm dying for a #5 at Jimmy Johns. And sushi.

I never got sick (cold/flu) with Morgan. I've already been sick twice with baby2.

I told my OB about a tingly sensation I get in my hands every once in a while. She smiled and nodded, and said it was
carpel tunnel syndrome. Fantastic! Luckily it should go away after he is born.

My skin has been a lot drier this time around too. I even developed a little eczema on my right hand but as long as I slather on the Aveeno, it's not so bad.

I was able to wear my wedding ring through my pregnancy with Morgan. This time it is already feeling a smidge snug.


I can't feel our little guy move and kick as much as I did Morgan at this point, but my doctor said it's probably because the placenta is right up front, absorbing some of the baby's movement. What I have felt though has been much more gentle than Morgan.


In other baby news, I will be scheduling another ultrasound (geez, #4)
for mid-March to check on my partial placenta previa. Doc said it fixes itself in 80% of women who have it. Around that time is the test for gestational diabetes. Let's hope that isn't going to be another difference between these pregnances.

I haven't made a decision about a VBAC or a scheduled Cesarean section. I'm still weighing the pro's and con's. Right now they are dead nuts even.


She also gave me family practice and pediatrician recommendations. I like that they are in the same building as my OB and hope to meet them soon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010: week one

It's been a long busy week one and so far, a long busy Friday. The drywall for our renovation was delivered first thing this morning and is patiently sitting in the garage, ready to get vertical. I spent 3 hours running errands and a couple more unloading the car, unpacking bags, putting it all away and cleaning up the mess I left behind. It's a day for getting things done - laundry, paying bills, and backing up my flash drive after a mini crisis last night when I thought I lost all of my digital scrapbooking files. Later: chicken chili and sugar cookies, filing and some ruthless organizing and purging. Sounds easy enough. Happy weekend to you! Stay warm.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thornbrook Renovation: Chapter 3

As of Sunday, the framing and electrical are complete (all with studs from the previous walls that were torn down) and ready for drywall. Here are some photos of Mark's progress. First is the view of the family room, walking out of the kitchen:To the left of the entry off the garage will be our new 12 foot long 'mudroom' closet. I can't wait to fill up this monster! The openings on the right that are framed in now were the entrance to Morgan's old room and one of two closets in her room. The short hallway on the left is where the new entrances to our master bedroom (on the left) and guest room (on the right) are. To the left of that short hallway is another closet - a walk-in closet that is much larger than the one that used to be there. I'm thinking we will store seasonal and holiday stuff we don't need to access often here.This is a view of the inside of that closet. Behind it is the new, deeper walk-in shower in the master bath.
Our master bedroom hasn't changed too much. The doorway that once went into Morgan's room (on the left) is framed in and our new closet now covers it. A closet that is almost twice as big as the previous. The door on the right is the new entrance - no longer right off the living room.The doorway to the guest room is directly across from ours.This is the view coming out of those bedrooms. The built-in's and soffit that were in the corner near the fireplace are gone now. We will likely put new cabinets on that wall, which will include a little entertainment center for the TV, toy storage and a desk under the window. Right now, the toilet is kind of in the way :)Mark also rewired all of the necessary outlets and switches and adjusted all of the recessed can lighting in the family room so it is more symmetrical with the new space.

It is really cool to see each room now. It looks awesome, babe! Next up: drywall.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Morgan: 19 Months

can say her name (it's so cute!). Her vocabulary is growing every day. I feel bad sometimes I don't know what she is saying.

is starting to ask for "help" if she needs it.

is still teething on and off, but when she's not, she eats like a champ. New favorites include clementines and chicken pad thai.


calls daddy "Mark" when he doesn't respond to "dada". Last weekend she was standing at the French door that separates the dining room from the family room, where he was working, and shouted "Mark, meer" (come here). Of course, I'm a little instigator and laughed!


lifts her shirt and points to her belly when I ask her where her baby brother is.


loves to stay wrapped up in her "blankie" after her nap and snuggle for a little bit on my lap. I love it too!


recites her own version of the ABC's when playing with the magnetic letters on the refrigerator.


says 2 when we say 1. Says 9 when we say 8.


thinks everything is blue. Sometimes she recognize pink, orange and white.

Edited to add:
has shown no interest in the television until this past week. She is completely entranced by Yo Gabba Gabba, or "Gabby Gab". I find it a little creepy psychedelic, but it's better than Dora.

loves, loves, loves the snow. Even more so, loves to eat the snow.

has become quite accustomed to her nighttime routine. Pick up toys, read a few books, pjs, rock and snuggle, and bed. Last night, after I changed her into her pj's, she asked "rock?", and we did. She snuggled on my shoulder for a bit and asked "bear?". She was ready to lay down. I put her in her crib and covered her and her bear in her favorite blankets. She said "kiss?" and I gave her a good night kiss, told her to have sweet dreams and I loved her. Then (here come the waterworks) she said "bye-bye". Ugh, if that didn't break my heart! Where'd my little baby go?

Happy 19 months sweet pea!

Monday, January 4, 2010

go BLUE!

Yup, that's right. It's a BOY!

We had our big ultrasound this morning and clear as day, no if's, and's or but's about it, baby2 is all boy. We got a perfect money shot.
I think we were both a little surprised. I kept finding myself saying "the girls" the last couple weeks. Then again, I thought for sure Morgan was a boy. It's just so exciting to know! It was so easy and he wasn't shy. Who'd a thought? Of course the whole reason for the ultrasound was to make sure the baby is perfect in every way. And he is. Wow. He. I still can't believe we know.

The only topic of concern was the placenta is a bit too close to my cervix so I will have to go back in 10 weeks for another ultrasound to make sure it has moved. If not, I'll likely need another c/s. Big surprise. I have my 19 week appointment on Thursday.

I'm really happy about being a mama to one of each now. And the gender scale will be even in the Reaves household. Yeah!

Friday, January 1, 2010

goal 01 in 10

My first project for 2010 is to plan Morgan and baby2's permanent bedrooms. Of all of the renovation work we'll be doing in the next 5 months, these two rooms will be all mine. I can't tell you how excited I am about finally giving my baby girl a completed room. I will be in nesting mode, times 2!

When it comes time to tear apart the kids rooms, when Mark asks "what are we doing in here?", I want to be ready. So now is the time to choose paint colors, carpet, light fixtures, furniture, bedding and accessories. I anticipate a trip to Sherwin Williams, IKEA, Target and ProSource. And browsing websites like Land of Nod, giggle, Etsy, Three Potato Four, Ohdeedoh and Flickr for unique pieces and inspiration. Am I missing anything?

The look I am going for in each room is one that would look like any other room in our house. Nothing baby-ish, no "themes" or matchy-matchy colors and patterns. That's just not me. And I don't think Mark would have relinquished this project to me if it was. :)

I have already collected a few little things for Morgan in the last 18 months - a print from her and her, a piggy bank from pbkids, and our very first baby purchase - her Eames rocker:
And of course, that one of a kind crib, which will go into baby2's room in the next few months, after we transition Morgan into a toddler bed. I will share my progress as I go. Step One, of course, I need to write a list with exactly what I am looking for.

(I haven't forgotten about the current renovation project. Mark has been working hard the last week or so and it's been cool peeking in on him every once in a while to see new walls going up. I will take updated photos this coming weekend and post his progress next week!)