Friday, July 29, 2011

More House Pictures

Thanks everyone for your super sweet comments on yesterday's photos!  I gotta give my man credit though, he does a huge chunk of the decorating.  And he largely influenced the paint color choices as well.  He's definitely made me more of a risk taker over these past 5 years ... just wait 'til you see the color of our bedroom.  But first.

Den
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Remember how I said the old owner loved yellow?  Did she ever!  The old den was a super-bright, sunflower yellow.  Not a bad color in and of itself, but it didn't seem to suit a lower-level TV room.  Our goal was a color similar to what we had in the house we rented, but this came out much greener.  We love this room though.  Our furniture barely fits (notice we ditched the coffee table and opted for more floor space for the kiddos), but it's a cozy place for watching movies.  This also doubles as our playroom.  It's a challenge having a space for kids that doesn't scream "daycare" or something.  Ergo the baskets.  Love those things.  And that built-in bookshelf.  The fact that we can fit all our books on there, and still have space leftover, is major. 

Half-Bath
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There's also a half-bath downstairs.  Not much to look at, not really sure why I'm including it ...

Boys Room
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Remember Jack's nautical nursery from days gone by?  Well we've big-boy'd it up a step or two.  In case you didn't notice, Jack is officially in a "big boy bed."  We made the switch a few weeks before we moved because, frankly, it was getting too difficult for me to read him books in bed.  Okay, and maybe because I came across the quilt for super-cheap at "The Christmas Tree Shoppe" and decided we needed to use it right away.  And maybe I went out a few days later and bought another one so that the boys can have matching nautical/patriotic quilts when they get bunk-beds someday.  Maybe.  Anyway, the transition was a piece of cake.  He still calls it his "new bed" and loves it to pieces.  The cutest part of the story is that it's actually Jon's old bed and before that it was his dad's.  And the matching dresser as well.  I love the tradition!

We have Jude's crib in here too.  They do share a room occasionally, but for the most part Jude's been sleeping in the nursery-to-be, just because he tends to take shorter naps, is the first to go to bed at night, and is the first up in the morning.  But when the new baby comes I think we'll just have to deal with it. 

Anyway, this is one of our favorite rooms.  Three years ago I said I'd never go with a theme, but I don't regret it.  It's just been too fun finding little nautical treasures to add to their room.  These boys are bound to love the sea!

Boys' Bathroom:
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Again, not much change.  We just removed the plastic dinosaur accessories and changed the light blue to a more turquoise.  Oh, and added a 1 year-old pounding the toilet with a hammer...

Master Bedroom
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Deep breath.  This is the room I'm least sure about.  I'm going to let it go for now and hope it grows on me.  See, I have always wanted a teal wall in our bedroom since we received the bedding as a wedding gift.  But it's so much easier to imagine something than to actually do it.  I love the teal wall, and I love the other paint color as well, I'm just not sure how I feel about them together.  Yet.  This room is already on the darker side, and I don't think the paint color helps much.  Then again, it's a bedroom.  We spend very little time in here, and the time we do spend is typically sleeping.  Regardless of the hue, what this room really needs is some decorating.  I think a spree at Home Goods is in order ASAP.

Master Bath:
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Basically all we did here was switch our the burgundy paint for some teal (which you can't even see) and put up our own plant because we liked their idea.  Oh, and added a curtain.  Because without a curtain you can literally see into the shower from the backyard.  Weird.  This bathroom is tiny.  But I will say we love the big shower.  The shower door ... not so much.  It's just a bit awkward having a completely clear glass door.  Especially when your toddler likes to come sit on the toilet while you take a shower and talk about what you're doing, your lack of clothing, the bubbles in your hair.  Yeah.  Gotta get some frosting for that bad boy.

Nursery (Sneak Peak)
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This is the beginnings of Sister's room, although Jude is sleeping here for now.  Okay, deep breath again.  It looks a little strange now.  And the paint color isn't exactly what I was picturing in my head.  But stick with me and I think it will all come together.  And in case you're wondering where I'm going with this, here is my stack of inspiration:


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I've already made the cribskirt.  Next up is a quilt and bumper.  I've never done anything like this, and it's definitely testing my sewing skills.  But if it all works out I think it could be fabulous.  And if nothing else special.  Baby Girl needs something of her own, and I'm totally enjoying being the one making it for her.  So when I'm not sewing, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my vision translates well in reality. :)

And that's it!  We're adjusting to life in a split-level.  Some things I love - having the TV on a separate floor from the main living space, which is on a separate floor from the bedrooms.  Only 6 steps for Jude to fall down at a time instead of 12.  The charms of a 1960s built home.  Other things are less than like-able - the fact that noise carries so easily ... especially during naps.  And the wood floors, while charming, are really creaky in some spots, like right in front of the boys' bedroom door.  And they seem to creak even louder at night and during naps.  But overall, we're so very, very happy.  Now that we've settled into the house, we can't wait to take on our new life here in Maryland!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feels Like Home To Me (House Pictures!)

We've been in our new home for 6 weeks now ... wow, it seems like longer!  And we're finally feeling settled in.  Even though it still smells like someone else's house (does that ever go away?!), it's definitely our house to us.  And can I just say how much we love being homeowners!?  I mean, maybe this is still the "honeymoon" phase, but we've already been to Lowes' more times than we can count, dumped more money than we expected to at this point, have wasted more time on seemingly little projects that no one will ever notice, haven't got to any of the big projects we intended to by now ... and we still LOVE it. 

And that's just the house.  I can't say enough about the charming little neighborhood, the convenient shopping, the pleasant local grocery store, and our wonderful new church!  But I'm gushing, aren't I?  I suppose I should provide a little balance and let you know that the mosquitos are awful here, we have a mole problem in our yard, I have yet to see the neighbors to the right of us (and the neighbors on the left have only waved once), and our latest power bill was OUTRAGEOUS.  But hey, we OWN that central air unit, and the air it pumps out, and all the rooms it cools off ... and that's pretty cool!

Back to the house.  Just in case you're curious, we painted all the rooms but two (which I'll explain later), not necessarily because the colors were bad or because we wanted to drop hundreds of dollars on paint, but mainly because the former walls were dingy, the previous owners had triplet boys who left fingerprints and scratches in a number of places, and by the time we finished repairing and patching all the holes from pictures, curtain rods, random decorations, etc. the walls definitely needed freshening up.  Plus we wanted to make it our own.  I'm just saying that because I'm so afraid someone out there is going to be all like, "Why would she change from that lovely color to that hideous shade?!"  Eek! More on all those "shades" later.

But moving on to pictures, because I know that's what you've all been waiting these past 6 weeks for.  Even though things aren't quite where we want them yet ... we realize it could be months, or years, before that happens.  So here we go, photos of the fourth nest we've shared as a married couple, the VERY FIRST home we've "owned" and living proof that I have very little decorating skills ...

The Living Room
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Before, the room was a beige color.  We went with a light yellow.  I never intended to have a yellow living room, but we wanted it to look okay against the dining room (which is next).  One of the first things we did was remove the drapes.  It helped brighten up the room, but I still think we need something there to keep it from looking so plain.  The previous owner stopped by a few weeks ago to pick up some mail and I was so afraid she'd notice the missing drapes (I made Jon pull them out of the trash can before she came).  Instead she just said, "Is that yellow?  I love yellow!"  Phew.

That's a gas fireplace which we cannot wait to use this winter.  Jon is thinking of converting it back to wood burning, and I can't say I disagree with a nice crackling fire.  We love the picture window.  It does feel a little bit like we're living in a fishbowl, especially when we forget to shut the blinds at night, but the boys love hanging out on the couch and watching for Daddy, the mail truck, the garbage truck, and everything else that drives, walks, bikes by. And of course, we can't live in such proximity to "The Sailing Capital of the World" without paying proper homage to the sea.  So this is where all the nautical stuff went.

Dining Room
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They carried over the beige and burgundy look.  Not bad, just not us.  We took down that drape too.  My Blue Willow dishes were passed down from my Aunt Jani, and I've been dreaming of a goldish-yellow dining room for ages now.  Not long after we painted we realized those are Naval Academy colors, too. :)  That's the hutch we picked up whilst antiquing shopping over our anniversary this year.  I'm so glad we were able to find a place to fit it in this house!

Kitchen
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This is one of the rooms we haven't done anything with.  Our plan is to do a big renovation sometime in the next year.  The kitchen's not bad, but it's not great either.  And our big thing is re-sale.  I love how bright and sunny this room is (there's a sky light you can't see), and the big greenhouse window over the sink, which makes it nice to watch Jack while I'm washing dishes.  The previous owners had a table in here for an eat-in kitchen, but our plan is to add more cupboards and counter space against that wall and just eat meals in the dining room. 

Office
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I know, I know, who's the one that works from home here?  Clearly, this is not my office.  But every man needs his cave ... and a place to display all his Coast Guard paraphanalia.  And hubby was generous enough to give me a little nook over in the corner.  It's been great, and I've got a lot of work done at my quiet little desk.  It was a little weird unpacking my "office box" since most of it was stuff I had packed up back when I had a "real" office, you know, at my place of employment.  All my pictures were of baby Jack, since I've been working strictly from home since Jude was born.  Looks like my frames could use a little bit of updating.  I think this is one room where I prefer the old color to our choice, but I do think the gray/blue suits Jon's style a bit more.

Spare Room
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This is the other room that we haven't done much with.  The previous owners used this as their theater room ... but they took the screen and sound system with them.  We would much prefer a guest room.  So we're currently seeking a contractor to demo the theater wall and put in a double closet.  But for now this room is just a mess.

Deck
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And then there's the deck.  We love this whole outdoor-living area... Well, we would like it a lot more if it wasn't for the bugs and the heat wave!  But come cooler temperatures we'll be eating out here more often, and roasting marshmallows will become a regular occurence.  There's also the fabulous "playground" that you've seen before.  Basically, the yard is what sold us.  It's big and lush and flat, with lots of mature trees ... which will produce many piles of leaves this fall I'm sure!  The landscaping is going to be one of our major projects over the coming months.  And by "we" I mean "Jon."  While it isn't horrible, it's a bit more "wild" than we'd prefer.  I think if we can cut some things back and tone it down a bit, the yard will seem even bigger.  And Jack needs all the space to run that we can muster.

I think that's enough for now, stay tuned tomorrow night for pictures of the other two floors!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jude 1.25

Jude, our "touchy" baby. He's the only one in the family who didn't recover from "the great sickness" on his own. After snotting and coughing for over two weeks, I finally took him in to the doctor. He just finished up antibiotics and has been doing much better. But now that we're beyond the "rubbing boogers on Mommy's shirt" and 5am coughing fits, we've moved into more teething. Like his brother, Jude has his front 4 teeth on the top and bottom, skipped the canines, and is moving on to the "back teeth" (I don't know what they're called!). So we've been dealing with a few random fevers recently, as well as tossing his lunch up all over Mommy ... while she was on the phone with her Director.

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We love our Jude-bug's walk. We get a kick out of it every day. And he's loving his new form of transportation. He now chooses walking over crawling and can usually be found carrying some object from somewhere and depositing it in another place it shouldn't be. Which would explain why I'll find one shoe in the kitchen, a toothbrush floating in the toilet, or Jon's alarm clock behind the living room chair. It's also why we've gone over a week so far without Jack's video monitor. I've always wondered at what point I'd stop using a monitor with Jack. Well I now have the answer, it's at 2 years, 9 months ... or when your brother is last seen carrying the monitor and since then it's nowhere to be found.


Jude's latest nickname is "Chicken Little." He tends to walk around with a worried look on his face and saying "uh-oh" all day. That's Jude's word. You know, the one they say over, and over, and over again. Like a broken record. Jack's was "more" but Jude's is "uh-oh."

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"The sky is falling!"

But when he's not worrying he's showing off his new personality. You know, the one kids get right around the time they turn 1? And lately we're seeing both extremes.

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Jude has a great laugh! Jon said it sounds like Brad Pitt. Which is strange. Because I'm the woman in this house and I most definitely do not know what Brad Pitt's laugh sounds like. I'll pay more attention now. But I know Jude's, and it's a fun one. The kind that makes you work extra hard to prolong the happiness. "Why yes I'll throw this beach ball at your head for the gazillionth time today, just to hear you laugh." "Sure I'll pretend to bite your sticky, dirty fingers again and again and again, just because it makes you giggle." And Jack gets in on the fun too. He loves to put on a show, and Jude makes a very appreciative audience.

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Jude's "crabby" pajamas, an appropriate addition to many a morning.

But when he's down, he's down. Jude has proven he can be a real crank at times. And he's definitely got a strong "bratty" side coming out recently. For instance, when he doesn't get his own way, he head-bangs. The floor, the furniture, the wall. The doctor says this is normal. I think Jack went through a similar phase too. But Jude's banging is so obviously in protest, so apparently "Hey, you're not going to give me what I want? See if you like this bang, bang, bang." Except he's the one who ends up crying at the end. Or with a bloody cut above his eye.

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And that's just the tip of his tantrums. His other nickname is "Prince Jude" because he's so vocal about his wants... or not wants. For instance, generally he DOES NOT want his diaper changed. I dread diaper changes at this point. He's so squirmy. And then he kicks his feet, and puts his hands in poop, and then grabs the dirty diaper and flings it across the table, flips over and almost dives off the end. Unless Marmie is changing him. Then he lays there quietly studying a toy, pretending to be the Angel Baby so many people think he is.

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Jude learned how to blow raspberries from his brother, and they like to have entire conversations like this together  ... over dinner.

Between his sinus infection, horrible cough and teething Jude's been up in the night more than usual. Usually he just wants a drink a water (emphasized by pointing and the door and grunting) and some cuddles before going back down. But not every night is so easy. And he almost always, definitely, does NOT want to be rocked. C'mon, what baby doesn't want to be rocked? We broke down and bought a glider 6 months ago and my kid doesn't even like it. He insists that Mommy stand, and sway, and rub his back ... Except Mommy is oh so very tired. The other night, during one particular post-midnight shift, I caught myself falling asleep while standing up. I figured this was probably not safe for me or either of my babies, so I sat down in the glider. Jude immediately sprang up and threw a fit. A fist flying, back arching, feet kicking, about to flip out of my arms fit. Obviously wide-awake at this point, I attempted to console him for the next 20 minutes... to no avail. He went back in his crib and worked things out on his own at that point.

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A rarely seen instance of Jude picking on Jack!

So Jude's hit a bit of a rough patch at this age. I've been expecting this. As difficult as it was, I knew having a 2-year-old and a newborn was nothing compared to having an almost-3-year-old and a 1-year-old. But I also know that the tough times are usually the really good ones too. Typically when my boys are going through developmental changes, testing the waters, learning new things, they are really, really fun as well. And this current stage is no exception. When the boys are not picking on each other, they're really starting to act like friends. I even had time to catch up on my Bible study lesson this evening while they happily played together in the den!  So I'm counting on what everyone's been telling me - that having kids close together, while tough at first, really pays off when they are a bit older. But for now, I'm bracing myself for the fall.
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