Sunday, March 28, 2010

Two Projects Down...

...a million more to go, right? This weekend we finished our second big house project. The first was the front yard, the second was painting the entryway/hallway/stairway. This also included painting all the wood varnished trim, even the running boards on the stairs.

I mostly helped tape and plastic everything off because we rented a machine...sweet deal! Dave worked the machine and we had everything primed and painted the first day. The second day we worked on the trim...this actually was one of our biggest projects (in theory), but it went fairly smoothly and fairly quickly. Yea! And it looks awesome. It is a grayish-green color, so sometimes it looks a little more green than gray, but whatev, I like it.

I am also convinced that having all the white on the trim and running boards makes the upstairs hallway a lot brighter. Dave just thinks it is brighter because we replaced a burned-out light bulb. We'll see.

I was also able to go through all my bins of girls clothes and sort. I sorted out all the clothes that a boy could wear...all those green and yellow jammies and onesies, and I sorted out the girls' current clothes. This is such a pain, but glad it is done. Now if it can just stay warm for a while, I will put up all their winter clothes. This week I hope to plant some flowers on our porch...thinking about a lot of coneflowers...hopefully Mom will help me pick something cool out. And finally Dave and I need to decide if we are going to move HC and Annelise into Annelise's old room (which is pink) or if we are going to paint Annelise's old room...quick decide!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Elf Goes Swimming

I love my girls, but it is hard to imagine having two children who are more different from one another. Annelise made a big splash when she came into this world, and I continue to be surprised by her little personality. I could say the same thing about Hadleigh, it is so interesting to see how she continues to develop in temperment and personality.

This year Hadleigh has been in preschool 2 days a week, and Annelise has been in preschool 1 day a week. Since September I have been attending a women's Bible study on the day that Hadleigh was in school, and Annelise as with me. That has been great, but a couple weeks ago I decided that it might be fun to spend some quality time with Annelise. So, I enrolled her in a swim class...and since she is 2 I am getting in the pool with her (large prego in bathing suit...ugh...all in the name of bonding). She LOVES it. We have only had 2 classes, and yet talks about swimming at least once a day. We are going to a real swim club, which I love because the teachers are very knowledgeable and teach the kids correct technique. They do lots of little activities with the kids which really helps them adapt to the water. Already Annelise has shown great progress and this last week our instructor gave her harder activities because she is definitely ready.

Of course I was a swimmer, so I love that she is so anxious to get in the pool, and take instruction and swim. I'm hopeful that Annelise will really be swimming by the time our pool opens up, and I'm also hopeful that will motivate Hadleigh to step up her game. HC will be taking swim lessons later this spring. She did really well last year, but she is just more's good to have a little fear of the water, but I really want her to have the skills she needs for the summer.

One of these days I'll get a picture of the munch in her swimsuit...she is SO cute!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Enjoying the Sun

Yesterday we ran outside because it was absolutely gorgeous. We have had a lot of drab, dreary, rainy days recently, so any hint of the sun is worth the run outside. It is gone again today, but hoping it will be back for the weekend.
Big wheels in the front driveway are the activity of choice these days. I also try to be a bit persuasive here, because I can sit down for this activity (doesn't involve me pushing on the swings, or spotting the girls as they climb up to the slide...hoping I will get over that soon).

One nice thing about dreary days is that it is easy to just stay inside and get things done. Things like spring cleaning! I'm checking things off my master list and feeling majorly accomplished. I'll likely be doing summer cleaning again in July before the baby comes...gotta love nesting! But anyway, a lot of areas of my house have been cleaned and rearranged, so I'm feeling cleansed of dust...although we still have some strong MAN ROOM...and CLOSETS! But I did clean the laundry room this morning so dust mites BE GONE! Annelise is walking around the house with her vacuum, which is very helpful.

My parents make it to NJ tonight which means in 6 days they will be here for a month. We have a couple lists of things that we hope to get done while they are here...including getting away for a much anticipated "babymoon"'s all a surprise, which is much easier on me, thanks Dave!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One Long Post

I could make this post into four different topics, but think I will just leave it in one long post format...unless pictures become irritating. Somehow loading them up with blogger has become a bit of a bear. Actually loading is fine, it is arranging them that is mostly painful! I'll write about our events in chronological order.

In January Dave and I made our to-do list for the house for this year, and at the top of the list was the front yard. We thought this would be a fairly fun, fairly inexpensive (as opposed to a new kitchen) project. Coupled with the fact that I had begun to feel better and Dave really wanted to rent an excavator, we decided that would be our first project of the year. One of our friends had used a local master gardener and so we gave her a call and began working with her to come up with a design that would fit our style, as well as the style of our house.

So we set aside one weekend, which happened to be the only weekend in February when it wasn't snowing, raining or just overall cold and nasty, and we set to work. Dave used the excavator to pull out three HUGE laurels (just the rootball of one weighed about 200 pounds), we ammended soil, transplanted some jasmine and camelias and pulled up grass, which is a serious job. And then we planted, and mulched, and laid sand with flagstone edging around each bed. Wow. It is actually finished now (it took a little longer than one weekend, and then we ran into a bit of rainy/snowy weather), and looks fabulous. I would have a final picture, but it is raining today, so I cannot run outside to get a full view shot. We planted some italian cypresses, and arborvitae, crape myrtles, knock-out roses, maiden grass, rosemary and lots and lots of dwarf boxwoods. All in all it really looks fabulous and gives our home more of a mediterannean feel, which is good, because it is sort of a med house.

I am now somewhere around 22/23 weeks prego, which is insane. I finally was able to wean myself off the meds I was taking, and have been meds free for about 3 weeks, which is fab. We also founf out that we will be having a little boy in July. We are excited (although as long as it was really a baby and not a lemur we would have been excited anyway it went), and are now trying to come together on a name, of course that will be for us to know and the world to find out in July...we still like to have some surprises, besides once the baby has been named you can only tell your neighbor how horrible the name is, I do not need commentary while trying to decide.

Now that we know we are having a boy, I am starting to think about the baby's room, which is fun and bizarre. I obviously was not thinking about a 3rd child when we moved into this house because we painted Hadleigh's room blue (which Hadleigh and Annelise now share) and Annelise's room pink, with a red wall. I love the girls' blue room, and since Dave made the girls' beds it is nearly impossible to move them into the pink we need to paint the pink room. I have picked out some bedding that I like for when he moves into a big boy bed, so I'm going to use that to help me decorate his room. I don't think I will get new crib bedding, I mean, do I really need to? I have red and green sheets, and these days you aren' suppose to use a bumper because of SIDS, so...I'll keep that money in my pocket.

Girls' Weekend
The last weekend in February I was able to fly up to Indiana to visit with my college girl friends. The major bummer was that one of the gals did not make it because of the blizzards in the northeast. We were super sad because we are all prego two of us with our third child and one of us with our fourth, but alas we are looking forward to a July 2011 get-together once we have all weaned our little ones. In any case it was relaxing and fun to be away for a weekend.

ER Visit
Last Wednesday was an eventful day in our household. I was hosting playgroup to celebrate HC's birthday and we had 7 mamas and 14 children over for the morning. After lunch and cake the kids decided to go outside to play on our new swingset. There were a couple moms outside, and I was inside rounding up a couple more kids to go out, when I heard several moms call for me, and Annelise, who was crying and bleeding was thrust into my arms, by another mama who had seen her fall off the second step of our swingset and cut her head on a paver in the ground. Unfortunately we did not have a nurse among us, but we did the best we could. I started ordering people around, grabbing wet paper towels to clean off her head so I could see what exactly was going on. As I did (sorry) blood started squirting everywhere, so I held those towels to her little head and one friend called 911 and another called Dave and we waited for the paramedics to arrive. Annelise finally calmed down and the firemen (thank God for firemen) looked at her head, by that time a lot of the bleeding had clamed down and they said she should be fine to be driven to Childrens' Hospital for stitches.
You cannot see her stitches, but her hair is greasy from the neosporin we have been putting over the stitches.

One mama volunteered to drive me and Annelise (so that I could keep pressure on her head), and another mama voluteered to stay at the house with her kids and Hadleigh, so we were off to the ER. After about an hour of waiting, Annelise was running around the waiting room, totally happy and content. Fortunately Dave made it in time for the stitches, although Annelise was a total trooper, I do not do that well with that kind of thing. He held her hands down and she and I sang songs while the doc stitched her up. The Doc was quite amused by the situation, I mean what 2 year old sings "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Praise Ye the Lord" while getting 4 stitches? She is fine and on the mend now, although I have had several nasty dreams about the whole situation. I was fairly calm and put together when it happened, but the next day I basically cried the day away. Dave is going to take her stitches out later this week, so we'll see how that goes. Now we are officially broken into the ER, since this was our first visit...I think I would have rather had an ear infection or something, but I suppose after 4 years with nothing we needed to go out with a bang. And of course, I am ever so thankful and indebted to my wonderful mama friends who took care of us that day. It was chaotic, but in retrospect I am glad that everyone was there with me.

Hadleigh Claire's 4th Birthday
Hadleigh's birthday was on Sunday, she is 4. Four seems old to me, and she continues to seem old. Dave's parents were able to come down for the weekend to celebrate with us, which was fun. It's always nice to open presents with Grandpa and Grandma in person.
And then on Sunday afternoon we had 3 little friends come over to play. The kids played outside and then we had burritos and guacamole for dinner. Dave made a leaf cake for her, because she requested to have a "fall party with yellow, red and orange." Apparently the fall party at school made quite an impression on her, so that seemed easy enough to do for her. She had a great time and topped it all off with sleeping in panties that night. So far, so good. After all the potty issues we have had with Hadleigh it is nice to have a smooth transition, we will see if it lasts.

Other House Projects
Now that the landscape is done we have moved onto a few other house projects. One of our neighbors has a friend who works as a house stager and home decorator, and we had called her last fall to get some opinions on what color we should paint our house (the outside, which we never did, but we did like her suggestions). We had a couple other projects that we wanted to work on inside and I have felt nervous about color selection recently and just want to get the right paint color the first time. So, we hired Kelly to come back and help us make some decisions. The main project is our entryway/stairway/hallway. She came last week and was able to give us some great ideas for entryway tables and rugs with just enough info in my head that I felt confidant to make all the other decisions. We found an awesome table at Hobby Lobby for 50% off, so that saved a bundle, and then got a new frame and mat for a painting Dave had given me after our first fight, 7 years ago. It was fun to visit Home Goods and Hobby Lobby and get some great deals, so besides paint, that is done (we did however settle on a color, but will wait to paint until my parents get here at the end of March). We also decided to have her come back and Redesign/Stage our family room. We have rearranged that room a dozen times and just have had a hard time coming up with the right configuration. She came over yesterday while I was out, took all the pictures down, everything off the bookcase, and all the furniture out and then decided on how to arrange it as she brought it back in. I love it! She had picked up a couple things that we knew we needed, like a couple of throw pillows and two lamps, but that was all I had to purchase in order to make my room look great. Well, we also decided that I need to get a large mirror for over the couch, but that is it. I'm so happy, it is so open and feels large. There is lots of room for the girls to play and it feel clean and simple. The perfect place to sit and read and entertain. Love it!
That is about it, enjoy the pictures.