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Archive for January, 2011

I’m one of those homeowners that is always looking for a new project – I’m constantly finding ideas online and soliciting advice from my mom and sisters on how to maximize our small space and have Pottery Barn decor on a HomeGoods budget.  I’ve got a few ideas in store for 2011 and I think first up is the bathroom.  We only have one bathroom in our house and I think we do a pretty good job of keeping things like our toothbrushes, Jim’s razor and my make-up out of sight.  However, it’s the one room that we really haven’t made any changes to since we moved in.

The black-and-white octagonal tile floor and the tub are original to the house, but the sink and toilet are “updated.”  We won’t be getting any new fixtures or tile, but I think a fresh paint color and new accessories would do the job!  When we moved in, I convinced Jim to paint the textured plaster walls black.  There is so much white tile in the bathroom and it gets great sunlight from the one window and it looks awesome.  I also love white towels (any white linens, to be exact) and have several sets monogrammed with black thread.  However, blue has been speaking to me lately and I’m ready to trade our black walls for blue.  I found some towels I loved at a high-end retailer, but then found cushy, similarly colored, much less expensive towels at Target, so I bought a set to try out the color in the room.  I put them out today and I love them!

And, when we paint, I might have two other small projects – I’d love to add a small glass shelf under the medicine cabinet and a larger shelf over the door to hold some of the rarely used items (like my hot rollers and a basket of extra toiletries) that are currently residing on a baker’s rack in our hallway. I saw the over-the-door shelf idea in a magazine and I think a piece of wood, some white paint and some brackets sound easy enough, right?!  {Famous last words, I know!}

You can see the paint swatches we like taped to the mirror.  I used to have a framed black and white print where the wreath is now, but I forgot to switch the wreath out after Christmas!  Oops!

I’ll be sure to share “after” pictures once we complete this project and I’ll share the rest of the house to-do list with you soon.

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I dread going to the mall or checking my mail this time of the year.  The spring clothes and home accessories have made their debut and it’s equal parts exciting and depressing.  I have always loved the turning of a new season because it means getting at least a few new items to spruce up my wardrobe, but in January?  I was hoping for snow today and have been hanging out in a sweatshirt and Uggs all afternoon.  I don’t want to see bathing suits and sundresses yet!  Not to mention nothing is on sale yet.  You know they count on people like me who are so excited about the new colors and trends – or just anything new in general –  that we pay full price for something{s}.  I know, I’m a sucker!

And the thing is, I get so excited about getting Molly new clothes each season too!  I mean, how adorable are 2T dresses, right?  And the bathing suits?  Thinking about MJ’s chubby little legs running around sticking out of a pink skirted swim suit kills me!  Jim isn’t thrilled by the fact that with each new season, Molly gets an entirely new wardrobe.  Especially when I start circling things in the catalogs that magically appear in our mailbox every day.  Luckily, I have several generous friends who let us borrow their adorable girls’ clothes so we don’t have to start over every season and Molly has grandparents that adore her and wouldn’t let her walk around in a diaper all the time.

Now, who wants to go shopping?!

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I was actually able to get a few pictures of Peaches this afternoon.  We’ve been working on saying “cheese!” when the camera comes out, instead of running in the opposite direction.  She loves to see the image on the display after the picture has been taken, and I have several pictures of her walking towards me to see the pictures – she hasn’t quite figured out that she has to stay where she is so I can take a picture for her to look at!

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The lack of blog posts isn’t a reflection of a lack of goings-on at our house.  Spring semester has officially started after three snow days the first week of class and I’m making every effort to stay organized and well-planned this semester!  As a student, I was always grateful for a new semester, sure that each semester was the semester that I’d get my act together.  Sadly, I still make the same resolution as a teacher.  {Don’t get me wrong – I am plenty organized and well-prepared for my classes – I just always think I can be more organized and planned!}

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We’re awfully busy with Sweet Birdie’s Nest, too.  Check out what we’ve been up so far in 2011!

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Molly was sick for about a week and a half, but after eight days of unexplained fever and no other symptoms, she’s bounced back to her usual self.  Poor thing had to have a catheter to rule out a kidney infection and I know that was not pleasant for her.  Luckily, no sign of a kidney infection and the fever has subsided.

Molly was super sweet this afternoon – Jim played golf and Molly and I had a great time playing with her baby dolls and cuddling on the couch.  I hung out in my pajamas most of the day and it was so nice to not run a million errands.

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Jim and I had a fun, last-minute afternoon date yesterday – we went to lunch and to see Black Swan.  I have to remember that “date night” doesn’t have to be on a Saturday night; we have the most fun at random time and I enjoyed our “stolen” afternoon.

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Finally, I’m thinking about running the Chicago marathon again in October.  I ran it in 2008 as a charity runner and made some wonderful friends while training.  Meredith wants to run a full marathon (we trained for the Kiawah half together) and she’s not having to twist my arm too hard to convince me to run another full.  It’s so much work and a huge time commitment, but the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is definitely worth it!

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I must confess my Mom Fail moment of the day.  Do you know what the worst part about having a “fail” moment at 8 a.m.?  You have to be extra careful the rest of the day…

Molly was sweetly eating her cranberry-orange muffin at her play table while I was drying my hair this morning, and she was exclaiming “hair!  hot!  hair!” over and over.  I said, “Yes, Peaches, I’m using the HOT hair dryer to dry my wet hair.”  She waits patiently for me to finish drying my hair so I can wipe her hands and help her out of the chair.  She immediately runs into the bathroom and tries to close the door (her new favorite activity) and I quickly stuck my foot in the door to prevent her from locking herself in the bathroom with a straightening iron that had been on for an hour.

I circumvent that disaster and manage to get her settled on the bathroom floor with some of her favorite books.  She’d show me a picture and I’d try to remember the words on the page.  This was successful for oh, two minutes, max.  Then she wanted me to read to her.  She insisted on it actually, by pulling the cord of my straightening iron repeatedly.

So I did what any responsible parent would do:  I texted a friend to find out what channel PBS is and then I said, “Cartoons?”  “Curious George” was on.  Now Molly recognized George right away from her books, but she had no interest in watching the cartoon.  I tried to get her settled in to watch the show so I could finish my hair.  I even moved her little arm chair closer to the television.  However, she hopped right up, grabbed two books and pulled my arms, indicating that I should sit down so I could read to her.  What is wrong with my child?!

Furthermore, what is wrong with me?!  Did I really just try to plop my child down in front of the t.v. so I could get some peace?  The way I look at it, I was just trying to keep her safe.  Looking back on it, I’m proud that my daughter has zero interest in cartoons, or any television, for that matter.  Our reading time is the favorite part of my day – she wants to sit in our laps and read all day.  Or she’ll grab a book and scoot up to us and read to herself.  Either way, I love it and am so glad that I don’t have to beg her to turn off the television.  I just never dreamed that I’d ask her to put a book down, though!  She was sending me a message that I have been a good parent and that because of me, she values the written word.  That’s not a Mom Fail; that’s success!

Or maybe…she was just trying to send her Dad a message:  “This t.v. is outdated; you should get a new one.”

{It was the perfect opportunity, honey; sorry to throw you under the bus.}

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Yesterday was my birthday and the third and final “snow” day of the week.  I managed to convince Jim that it was too icy to drive the 30 minutes to work at 7:30, so he worked from home until lunchtime.  Between calls, we made a quick trek to Starbucks to get my birthday latte and then he settled in at the dining room table to work.  Molly (and I) loved this and she wanted to work with her Daddy.  She pushed a chair beside him and then wanted to get in the chair.  She worked as his assistant for long periods of time.  {Well, long for toddler time.}  We were both sad to see him leave for the office.

After dinner, Jim got me a birthday cake and candles.

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Today is my 30th birthday.

So far, it’s not so bad.  I didn’t have any dread or anxiety leading up to this birthday.  30 certainly isn’t old.  But it isn’t young, either.  I’m at a wonderful place in my life.  I have an adoring, caring husband; a beautiful, healthy daughter; a great number of loyal, fun friends; and steadfast, supportive parents and sisters.  Compared to my 20s, which were fraught with anxiety – graduating from college, going to graduate school, finding my first job, living alone for the first time, meeting my husband, getting married, buying a house, and having a baby – I’m expecting my 30s to be brilliantly calm.  Easy, even.

Of course, there are things I had hoped to accomplish by this point in my life and there are things that I’ve done that I’d never dreamed I would have.  I thought I would have a *really* important job.  Instead, I’m a mother and a wife and part-time college instructor.  I can’t think of three more important jobs, can you?  I’ve always wanted to be tall and skinny, but instead I’ve run a marathon, two half-marathons, carried a baby 42 weeks, labored for 15 hours and then had a c-section.  I always thought my life would be abuzz with friends and family and social events.  And you know what?  It is and I love it.  I know exactly where  – and who – I am.

I don’t love that I have to work out harder, go to bed earlier, and use eye cream on a regular basis.  But hey, those are easy trade-offs for the comfort of knowing I’m loved and in a good place.  So today, {which is a snow day = no class!}, I’m going to treat myself to a Starbucks latte, hang out with my baby girl {er, toddler girl}, go to a playdate, and have dinner with my family.  Oh, and don’t forget a glass of red wine in there somewhere.

I think I’m going to like my 30s.

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Sledding Fun

Today is Day 2 of Snow 2011.  School was cancelled yesterday and today, and is closed tomorrow, too.  We woke up to a beautiful 3-4 inches Monday morning and then to lots of ice today.  We tried to take Molly and Allie on a walk this morning and the street and sidewalk were like sheets of ice.  I even fell.  Molly was safe in her wagon, though.  My mom brought over our old sled Saturday night and it came in handy today.  Jim and Molly went sledding down a slight hill by our house.  Molly wasn’t quite so sure about it at first, but she was signing “more!  more!”  when Jim carried her back up the hill.  {Warning:  The video is kind of uneventful, but I know some of you will enjoy it anyway!}

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