Saturday, February 25, 2012

18 months!

Yep- we've made it to the 18 month mark- which seemed so much older and un-baby-like when you were just a few months old...

You are so strong willed, and I am so happy about that- but at the same time I'm struggling to find a middle ground when you want something sooo bad, but its actually bad for you (like playing with screws/ lamps/hot light bulbs).

You are super smart- you know basic colors, can say a-b-c (but stop at that), know numbers 1-2, understand "wait" (but that doesn't mean you are always willing to do it), and so much more.   Your vocabulary grows every day and I haven't kept track of all the words you actually say- but its A LOT.

Remember when your dada and I took actual camera photos for your milestones- instead of just iphone photos?  ha- hopefully we can get back to that...

Here you are after receiving a valentines day card from grandma and papa- you picked up on mickey mouse after one afternoon at their place- Disney has marketing down!  Oh and elmo is a constant companion in our home.

Here you are playing with your water table- you continue to be a water baby- baths, cups of water, toilets, water tables- anything with water is your favorite thing.

Today we went to a local park (that I grew up playing at)- we rode the train and merry-go-round.  You were serious throughout the whole ride.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rental: Kitchen Rescue

Yep- the kitchen is still being rescued.  Actually a lot of the house is being rescued- very slowly though.  Having a toddler, a husband that works out of town/long days (like he leaves at 4am and comes home after 10pm), and our owned home to ready for renters means we are slowly- oh so slowly- getting it together here.

But the kitchen is getting less golden/yellow/wood like.  It has a ways to go but I am giddy about the small rental appropriate changes we have been able to make.  If you look at the previous post about the kitchen you will notice the upper cabinet has doors- adding to the monochromatic butcher block/base cabinet mess.

So we can't paint the cabinets (well we could but it's not worth the headache or the possible loss of rental deposit) but something needed to change.  We decided to remove the doors and have more of an open shelving look.

But the cabinets are wood all around so even though dishes would be in front and distract a bit- we wanted to make more of a change.  I toyed with painting the inside- but again hassle and possible landlord issues.  Then I remembered something from pinterest- starching fabric to walls/backs of cabinets etc.  A perfect temporary fix.

I found some retro black and white fabric in town and followed this simple tutorial.

Here is the cabinet with the fabric pinned up just to see how it would look...

Here's the finished product...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Toddler Eating

Feeding toddlers is not an easy feat.  I guess most toddlers are picky and finicky about their food preferences- loving something for a few days and eating only that- then turning around and not being able to stand it.  L is becoming a pickier eater and acts like he doesn't want anything sometimes. There are instances when I try up to 10 different foods before he takes a few bites- if he weren't still nursing I would worry about vitamins/nutrients.  Sadly, distractions- like sesame street- seem to help with eating.  It's almost like he forgets to be resistant and picky and just eats.

Today L has been offered- eggs, avocado, sweet potatoes, grapes, pasta, cherry tomatoes, apple sauce, coconut water, primeval bars from trader joes (basically a raisin bagel), and chicken...he picked at a little bit of it but I wouldn't say he had a full meal.  He did enjoy playing with his food though.  I think part of makes this phase so frustrating is that I usually end up eating more because of not wanting to waste food....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


We had/have two dogs- one of which thinks she's a little princess but doesn't have a mean or aggressive bone in her body.  L can walk up to her while she is eating (although we don't allow this he has managed to do all this before we pulled him away) and take her food, smack her head, and even pull her ears- she just whimpers a little and looks to us to save her.  Our other dog also tolerated L pretty well- but he had some anxiety- I really believe he has a mental illness, but you know as a dog.  He has always been a nervous and fearful dog- things make him jump and startle very easily.  And on the rare but traumatic occasion has attacked our other dog.  These attacks had been frightening, but due to our ability to stop them quickly and how rare they were- we tolerated them.  But since L has become more mobile we have noticed an increase in this pups anxiety and the attacks to our other dog can no longer be tolerated.   They have been getting progressively worse and occurring during more types of situations.  Most recently I was wiping this pups feet after he went outside and it had been raining- he was pretty muddy.  Well that made him very nervous and then our other dog walked by- and it was on- full on aggression attack.

We decided it's no longer possible for me to safely handle this rambunctious toddler and these fighting dogs.  There are not a lot of options for a situation like this: training (which we would do in a heart beat if we did't have L- but we felt we needed something more immediate and guaranteed), shelter, euthanasia, rehoming.  D and I cried many tears over these options- to sentence a dog to death because he was no longer in an appropriate home and was 95% of the time an amazing dog who had never bit or hurt a person just seemed wrong.  I spent countless hours posting ads on craigslist,, asking friends and family, calling no-kill shelters and rescue groups.  Most of the time I got no response at all, or even was told by all shelters/rescue groups "not taking any dogs right now", and then being referred to the local animal control who either deems the dog adoptable or puts them to sleep.

But finally ONE rescue group (who doesn't even focus on dogs- they do cats mostly) called me back.  And this lady was a life saver.   She told me about a bunch of other rescues, told me about, and utilized her network to spread the word.  And then another lady offered to help.  Although she wont be our pups permanent home- she will train him and continue to search for a permanent home.  She is a pet setter who is heavily involved in the adoption community and has trainer friends.  She also lives out in the county with a lot of land and has dealt with nervous dogs before.  She seems PERFECT.  One snag was she couldn't take him till the end of the week, but amazingly D's brother offered to watch him till them.  We had hoped to keep him with family...but we are so fortunate to have found this woman- many other dog owners looking to re-home aren't as lucky.

I have to say I felt very alone in this process- if it weren't for this one rescue and these two amazing women- I would have had no knowledgeable support.  I was surprised that in all the people D, I, and our family's knew (some of which work in the animal care field) were unable to offer advice, guidance, or even a possible home option.  I got a lot of- "don't put him in a shelter, don't euthanize him, re-home him" advice, but when asked for guidance in the best way to reach potential homes/owners all I heard was silence.  So in case anyone reading this is trying to rehome a special animal- utilize (seriously a great site), craigslist (but be weary of who you meet through there), and call rescues like a mad man!

We dropped him off last night and our little guy was nervous in his new surroundings- but he was already warming up before we left.  L loves this dog and I wonder when or if it will hit him that he is gone.  Also our other dog seems to not know what to do with herself, and D and I are more then a little sad.  It's one of those decisions that you never want to make but know it's the best for everyone.  This pup has been part of our family for 3 1/2 years- it feels a lot more empty at home.  We are grieving here.  Hopefully time will heal this and our pup will get to live somewhere where he is less nervous (no little kids, lots of land to run around, and owners that can provide the appropriate training).  Here's our little "princess" missing her buddy...

Monday, February 13, 2012


Someone- who is almost 18 months!- is getting awfully handsome.  We recently upgraded to a boba- the ergo (pictured below) has been wonderful but I felt like there wasn't enough support for L's long torso.  The boba is sorta coveted as a "toddler" carrier.  So far (we have only used it once) it feels more supportive and sturdy.

Renting versus Owning: Kitchen Rescue!

It's such a difference renting after owning- D and I notice all these little projects to spruce up the place- but is it worth the time and money?  So far we have made small changes- replacing some window coverings, changing the shower heads, running a water line to our fridge (the landlords fridge is safe in the garage), having a plumber had another gas connector so we can use our dryer (fortunately the water heater was right there so it was a simple job).  I have to say I don't think I will be painting any rooms- I can live with the white and I am all painted out with the touch ups to our old home.  We are finalizing a project that turned out amazing!

Our kitchen, which is exactly like my grandmothers kitchen- same green tile, same wood cabinets, and brassy pulls- had a funky open space- not suitable for a table, but strangely placed and needing something.  To us it just made sense at get a cabinet or island to add more space- we are downsizing after all and boy do we need more space.

So not only was this kitchen exactly like my grandmothers- it was also 90% the same as our original kitchen in our last home- the one we gutted and renovated (I really miss that kitchen!).  We tossed most everything after the renovation but randomly I kept two wall cabinets- why, I am not really such.  I had some idea about using them in the garage, but never did and they just hung out until the move.  When we were packing up I noticed them and wondered if I could incorporate them in the new place- after all they looked the same as our rental kitchen (gotta love that 1950's consistency).  I did some measurements and realized they would fit PERFECTLY in that strange open space.  All I needed was a countertop (ikea butcher block of course) and legs- oh and a way to secure it without damaging the house- it is a rental after all.

So off to ikea for the butcher block- that was the perfect size and required to no cutting.  We also picked up some 4" capita legs and an adjustable leg.  In a matter of hours- we created a usable kitchen countertop bar and added a lot of storage.

So here she is- our project that rescued the kitchen- still to add are the pulls and stools (I found the most perfect vintage stools for $20 on craigslist- the seller has yet to get back to me though), and obviously some styling to break up all that golden wood tone.

I had initially thought about white toe kicks, but rather like the exposed capita legs- plus it is much less work this way!  We did add a few screws into the original kitchen cabinet to secure the countertop and make the cabinet unable to move.  But these can be puttied up when it comes time to move- and it wasn't such a no no since the whole kitchen is littered with random screw/nail holes.  We do need to finish the backing because one of the cabinets was not fully covered in poly and has a hole in it...but I adore how this turned out.

The happenings...

It's raining hard here...and it's nice.  We have a covered patio that makes the rain sound really relaxing.  L loves going outside, playing with his bubble maker, climbing his new climber/slide, and just running around on the grass- he is not too happy about the rain.  We are still settling in- moving with a toddler is sooo hard.  It's been a huge learning curve with creating a safe, functional, toddler home- baby proof cabinets, teaching L what's off limits.  Finally this week it's starting to come together.  I am amazed when I realize this move was imagined and became a reality in less then one month.  Mid January after a few emotional and soul searching conversations with family D and I began our search for a rental- and we found one in two days!  Back in June we tried to find a rental and it was a painful, long, and ultimately doomed process.  This time everything clicked- not without some major stressing and work on my part- but it clicked.  We also found renters for our home!  We initially went through a property management company, but we were very unhappy with their service- or lack there of.  And luck would have it we found renters that D's parents have known for years who have a local business in town.  This level of connection made them seem like the right choice- and it just feels like there is a lot more accountability.

We are still driving the hour and half back to our old place to ready it up for our new tenant who move in March 1st- oh and some major stuff had to be done.  One of the huge oak trees in front of the house was sick and you would sink into the trunk/ground if you stepped on it- totally a safety issue.  I'm pretty proud with the deal I got- total tree removal (not the stump though) of a huge tree overhanging a house for $875!  One of the quotes was $2200 just to give a reference point.  Here he is after already taking a lot off.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm still alive...

This move has been CRAZY- hopefully things will settle down soon and I will do a proper post.