Sunday, February 28, 2010

bump in the road

Last week wasn't my best week and it ended even worse.

On Tuesday I got a call from Morgan's daycare, just one hour after I dropped her off, that she had a 101.4 degree fever. Poor baby! My inbox was jam-packed (rare) but I spent the next hour doing what I thought was top priority, since I knew I'd likely be out the next two days, and ran out the door to get my little girl. She had no other symptoms and by Wednesday morning, Morgan's fever had broken and she spent most of her days sleeping (3-4 hour naps) and eating fruit puree slushes and smoothies. All is better now and her appetite is finally coming back.

Thursday was fun. Back to the work grind and gossip about ticked-off co-workers. Really? I'd like to hear some suggestions on what a parent is supposed to do when their child is sick. Blood pressure rising...

On Saturday, Mark and I ran a bunch of errands and choose our master bathroom tile, closet shelving and carpet. We came home with a brand new furnace filter and not 15 minutes after Mark popped it in, the furnace started freaking out. It got worse and worse, sounded like a freight train plowing through the house, and by the time we got home from dinner at Bagger Dave's with Kristin and Troy, it was clanking and cracking. And then nothing. Done. Mark unplugged everything and pulled out the blower and motor.Nice huh? Those were the fan blades for the blower. Somehow they got hung up on a screw and shredded it to bits.

So, at 9pm on a Saturday, Mark was making phone calls and talking to people about finding a replacement part while I painted the family room. In the end, instead of spending $300 for new blower fan, we decided to buy a new furnace. It was 13 years old, so the time was near anyways. Regardless, that put a little kink in our plans.

The heating and cooling guys have been here for about 6 hours and I'm thinking we will have heat in the next couple hours. We are bundled up and snuggling under blankets today. We are also borrowing a space heater from Kevin and Erika and surprisingly, the thermostat hasn't dropped below 58-60 degrees.

Now it's time for some good 'ole USA vs. Canada hockey. I'm looking forward to starting a new week. And a new month.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

month 02 goal 06

Check.

Saturday is The Scrapbook Zone's garage sale and my goodies are ready for new owners. I spent last weekend's afternoon naps organizing, bagging and tagging lots of stamps, idea books, embellishments and tools that I
don't use anymore. Tonight I'm going to drop off my load and cross my fingers that I can collect a nice sized gift card to spend at the store. I hope to share my success next week.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

month 02 goal 04

Check.

The crop was a success and Morgan's super simple first birthday party album is complete. Here are pictures of some of the pages:
Inside the envelope above is a list of the gifts Morgan received.
I used my Cropadile to punch holes in the birthday cards she received and included them all in the album.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

get your crop on

Since I have a few scrapbook projects on my list of things to do, not just this month, but before baby2 is born, I needed to plan some time to work on them first. So, a few weeks ago, Kristin and I planned to spend 12 uninterrupted hours to crop at The Scrapbook Zone and tomorrow is the day.Tonight, I am packing my bags full of paper, embellies and tools to start (and finish...oh yes I will) Morgan's first birthday party album. I printed the photos last summer and bought the album shortly after. Now I just need to put it all together and these crops are the perfect time, especially because I already have Friday's off. And I get to catch up on girl time with my sis. Wish me luck - lots of photos to follow...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

month 02 goal 05

Check.

I am a sucker for having a place for everything and everything in it's place. Even during a renovation. Planning the kiddos future playspace was fun and I'm using furniture that we already have. Now we just have to decide where in the house it will be.

I currently use an IKEA Expedit bookcase for my scrapbooking supplies but I really wanted to be able to use it for the kids toys and bins. During my clean and purge last month, I think I will easily be able to par down my scrapbooking stash and relocate it to one of the shelves that Mark and I designed and built back in college. No, I'm not giving up scrapbooking and paper crafts, but I've found in the recent past, the less I have, the easier it is to scrapbook.

My plan is to turn the bookcase from it's current vertical position to horizontal - a much more accessible arrangement for those under 3 feet tall. Next, I dumped all of Morgan's toys on the floor, even the old infant toys that we are saving for baby2, and separated them into piles - stuffed animals, blocks, arts and crafts, puzzles, Legos, books, dolls, etc - and made notes about how much and what sizes we had in each category.During a trip to Target, I remembered the itso line of organizing bins and trays that they carry. I actually bought 5 shallow trays a couple years ago when I was in an organizing frenzy with my wood mounted stamps. The width of these trays fits perfectly into the Expedit and when I was at Target recently, I wrote down the sizes of all of the fabric and plastic bins they have so I could pair the toy categories with an appropriate bin. Here's a rough sketch of what I've got so far: Some of the other things I will include in their space are the Bumbo chair (when baby2 is ready to use it) and activity mat, Morgan's play table and chair set, a big basket for larger balls that like to roll all over the house (this one is kind of cool) and her easel. Morgan also got 2 Skip*Hop bins for her first Christmas and I think those will continue to work great for baby2's toys and all of their small stuffed animals.

As far as decor, I'm collecting lots of ideas - like a way to display art projects, a growth chart and soon I'd like to make some large alphabet 'flashcards' to hang on the walls. In the future, I dream of hanging a big world map on the wall and sticking pushpins in each city we've been to as a family.

I think this system will work out pretty well for us for a while - even as their toy preferences change. Morgan is already great about putting her toys away (Lola's mom and I tease that we should get together for a playdate so the girls can clean our houses) and all of the bins and baskets will make it easy for us to swap out old toys with new-to-them toys. I'm hoping to get everything set up in the family room, even if it's temporary, after we move back over to that side of the house.

Monday, February 15, 2010

month 02 goal 03

Check.

I read and read and searched and read until I was blue in the face with stars and reviews and opinions on cloth diapers and finally came up with a short list of products I'd like (Morgan) to try in the next couple months to get myself somewhat used to cloth diapering before baby2 is born. Not only did I do my research, but I made my first purchase too. Morgan's daycare had a teacher training day today, so her and I had a girls day and this morning we picked up a few things from Emily's shop to get us started:


Bum Genius 3.0 One Size Diaper

Thirsties Fab Wipes

There are other diapers that will be more suitable for a newborn, but I'm not going to worry about those until we get a little closer to his arrival. I'm pretty excited about giving this a whirl! I washed everything this afternoon and it is drying as I write. After I whip up a little bit of diaper wipe solution, we will get started this weekend.

Thanks again Emily!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Heart Day

to all of my loved ones
and to everyone you love
Happy Valentine's Day
XO

(free love you stamp from paislee press)

Friday, February 12, 2010

in search of: new blogs to stalk

I've been spending a little time this week trying to purge my Google Reader of blogs that I don't find an interest in anymore and making room for other good reads and fresh ideas. When I find a new (to me) blog, I always think "where have you been?"

So my dear bloggies, what are your top 3 favorite blogs? What websites do you go to first thing in the morning to check for a post? What am I missing out on? Anything - scrapbooking, crafts, home renovation and decorating, architecture, design, babies and kids, life as a mommy - lay it on me. I'm all eyes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thornbrook Renovation: Chapter 5

I haven't written about Mark's progress in a while but it's not because he hasn't been working his butt off. Boy has he. And I know it when I hear him opening up the bottle of Motrin before bed because his arms and shoulders ache.

Mark has spent the last two weeks mudding and sanding over all of those little screw holes, corner bead, drywall tape and joining old walls with new until they are baby's butt smooth. It's labor intensive, but he enjoys doing it. And it looks great! 6 - 45+ pound buckets of joint compound later...the mudding is complete.

Last weekend Linda and Nick were down to help Mark. After a trip to the Depot (as Morgan likes to say) to buy lots of supplies, they built up the bathroom floor to the same level as the bedroom, installed the shower drain and adjusted the toilet plumbing - which all went in "smoother than expected".
And last but not least, our cabinets for the master bath, family room and mudroom were delivered Tuesday. I'm not sure in the grand scheme when these guys will get installed, probably after paint, but they are here waiting.Next up (in no particular order): Prime the walls! Hang the cement board in the bathroom. Get a measure for carpet and pad. And measure for hardwood floors in the mudroom. And choose carpet, again.

On Saturday, we hit a potentially major snag with the carpet installation. Come to find out a certain big box store will not install carpet over asbestos tile. Even if the tack strips are already there. Apparently they don't understand that generally, unless it is damaged or disturbed, it does not pose a problem. So, no, we are not going to remove our asbestos floor tile just so you can install carpet over it. Thank God my mother-in-law shared her ordeal with us and persuaded us to go elsewhere. I'm glad we didn't have to deal with that headache. Hopefully third time is a charm.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

month 02 goal 02

Check.

We filed our 2009 taxes last week and already received our federal refund! We've been using
Tax Act Online for the past 3 years and have been really pleased with the results. Some of the questions are terribly redundant or don't apply to us, but I'd gladly sit in front of the computer, crunching numbers, for 2 hours every month to make that kind of money.

In years past we've used a nice chunk of our refund on our annual anniversary trip. This year, that money is going straight to the renovation. Any big plans with your refund check?

Monday, February 8, 2010

24 weeks

This morning I had my 24 week appointment for baby2. Doc said my weight gain is right on, but getting his heart rate was tricky. Baby2 kept kicking/punching the wand the doctor uses to measure the heartbeat so we were just getting a 'thunk' noise. Little stinker, he did not want to be disturbed. He finally stopped - his heart rate is great.

He is about 8 1/2" long, crown to rump, and just over a pound in weight. As the weeks go on, I'm feeling a lot more movement in there, especially late night and early morning. I also get the occasional kick to the bladder, which is always a delight. There is not much I can do about getting over this cold other than Tylenol (now for the pain in my ribs from coughing instead of the head congestion) lots of tea and cough drops. And tons of rest.

4 more weeks until our next ultrasound to check baby2's placenta. And the glucose test and blood draw to detect gestational diabetes. I hope we pass all with flying colors.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Morgan: 20 months

20 Months. Yikes. Here's what Morgan has been up to this last month:
  • though she doesn't understand the concept of money, she likes to look for money in my wallet and Mark's pockets to put in her piggy bank.

  • is my biggest helper. Morgan throws her diapers away in the garbage, puts her pajamas back in the drawer after getting dressed in the morning, and puts her dirty clothes in her laundry basket. If something comes up missing (her shoes, slippers, mittens, noo-noo), it is likely in her laundry basket.
  • Morgan is not fond of staying dressed. Especially her shirt. Sometimes I think she wants to go 'potty' just so I'll take her diaper off - she bolts and mommy is not as fast as she used to be. She thinks it's hilarious.

  • experienced her first day (and hopefully her last for a while) without a nap. She just gabbed and gabbed to 'bear' in her crib and of course, had a somewhat cranky afternoon. Poor thing just wanted to play.

  • loves marching through the living room / dining room / kitchen and we must follow her - follow the leader style. She says "march" and points to the floor "mama, dada" like, get behind me, we are going to march now and don't even think about stopping or getting out of line.
  • we had parent-teacher conferences on Tuesday afternoon and she is rockin' the toddler room. We got to see her Ability Profile and the girl has completed tasks (some months ago) in the 27-30 month category. She is doing awesome - just because she is, not because we/they are pushing her. Her teacher said Morgan will start transitioning to the Early Preschool 1 room in the spring. Didn't she just move to the toddler room? She will be in that room until she is about 2 1/2.

  • according to her teacher, her favorite activities at school are reading, art projects and puzzles. Morgan would color or paint all day long if they let her. Or eat snow.

  • she also has a blast in music class - Thursday afternoons after her nap.
  • went to bed for the first time without asking for her 'ba-ba' (pacifier). Yeah, I know, I wanted to wean her off it 6 months ago. Ba-ba is only for sleepy time and they cut her off at school months ago. Mommy is a pushover and doesn't have that kind of strength.

  • can climb up and down from her high chair on her own. She smacked her chin pretty good once while getting down and screamed. I think she bit her tongue. Now she always reminds us "mouth" when she turns around to get down, reminding us that she will be more careful this time.

  • loves to be at the counter in the kitchen, watching what we are doing. Especially to get into her snack cabinet. She likes to rifle through the boxes and bags to choose a snack on her own.

  • or she just takes the entire package (goldfish, Craisins) and puts a handful at each chair at her play table. Just like at school. She says "Morgan" and puts some snacks at her spot. "Mama/Dada" and puts some snacks at the other chair.
  • was completely mesmerized by a little boy playing the piano on tv. She does love music, but other instruments haven't quite caught her attention like that. Hmm...

  • sprung at least one more tooth. I think we are up to 14 - will have to check on that one. She's not a fan of me sticking my digits in her mouth.

  • likes "loud juice", aka, fruit smoothies made in the Magic Bullet. Especially served in a real cup with a straw.

  • and mommy and daddy's personal favorite: has developed the sweetest, most adorable and sincere "hi" for us. And bear. Melts my heart.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

out and about

This cold I have kicked my butt earlier this week but now I am on the up and up and getting back into the swing of things. This is just a quickie post for the locals that I wanted to share after some running around at lunch yesterday.

Bagger Dave's is coming to Novi sometime this month. Morgan and I would visit Mark for lunch when I was on maternity leave and we went to their Berkley location once or twice and it's so yummy. Anyways, it's on the east side of Novi Road just north of Grand River, near Potbelly and Biggby.

Once Upon a Child is also coming to Novi. I've always been meaning to go to the one in Rochester but never made it out there. I'm so happy to see one opening on this side of town. The grand opening is this Saturday but the store is open now to browse and drop off your old baby stuff to sell. They are on the west side of Novi Road just north of Ten Mile.

That's all for now - much more planned, much more later...

Monday, February 1, 2010

February to-do's

Bare with me if my lists bore you to tears. I feel a little more accountable if I just put my plans out there. Feel free to ask, 'hey, how are you doing on such-and-such.' :) These are some of my February to-do's:

1. choose a potty training reward system for Morgan (thanks for the ideas!)

2. file our 2009 taxes


3. research cloth diapers.
Our living arrangements when Morgan was born weren't very conducive to the maintenance that is required with cloth, but I really want to do this with baby2. Morgan will be my test subject for a few months and before long, I will probably convert her too. Emily has a great shop, so I know where I'm going to get them from, I just need to pick a few different types out so we can try them out.

4. complete Morgan's first birthday scrapbook album.

5. design playspaces for the kids - figure out storage options and categorize toys.

6. tag the items I want to sell at the Scrapbook Zone's garage sale on Saturday, February 27th.

Here's to a fresh new month. First I need to get rid of this damn cold. I should add 'get more sleep' to the top of this list because the 3 hours I got last night just isn't going to cut it. I even went to bed early. Tonight our shows are on and it is 'veg out in front of the tv' night. I'm very much looking forward to spending some time on the couch with my favorite man.