Thursday, February 28, 2013

The New Bathroom

It's a tough room to take pictures of but here is our new bathroom!  WE LOVE it.
Obviously my favorite part is the fact that yesterday I ran the dishwasher, did a load of laundry AND took a shower without scalding myself.  Previously if one was in the shower and any other water was used in the house, even for half a second, the shower water was drastically affected as though all the cold water from the shower went straight to the toilet to flush it leaving the shower scalding hot (or vice versa leaving the shower freezing cold).  Previous offers to 'fix' this included repiping the entire house for several thousand dollars.  Turns out all new showers require (it's CODE) a temperature regulator valve.  Seriously, I feel like I live in a new house. 
So that, coupled with our awesome new toilet that required an enormous amount of finding really 'makes' this bathroom awesome.  The toilet is flat sided.  No ceramic pipes to hold spilled urine, dust and grime.  Nope, the sides of this toilet are flat and easy to make look nice.  It is also high efficiency so the run time is faster.  And it's quiet. 
And seriously, how fun is the decor?  Nolan and Dave get credit for the fishy decor.  It looks awesome.  We got a stool that Nolan can use to reach the water now that the sink is 'adult height' that folds up flat and gets stored next to the vanity.  All this stuff is SO darn exciting. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bird House

Nolan and I made a birdhouse from a kit.  He really liked using the real hammer.
I really liked making something with him, even if it was out of a kit.
I am impressed with how logical he was with his thinking and decision making- which piece should be added next, where the glue and nails would go, etc.  I was really proud of him.
Then he painted the birdhouse.  I took the roof off, since it just sits on top, not hammered in.  Nolan got really upset because i kept suggesting he paint the outside of the house, not the interior walls.
Then I just let him paint it however he wanted to.  It's his birdhouse.  And hopefully some bird will truly appreciate the abstract painting on the interior wall.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week Wrap Up

This week was NUTS!  Between the bathroom being renovated and Nolan being a little devil it was a week from hell.  At least it felt that way to me.  Then this weekend happened and you know how just something small can turn things around?  Here's my something small.  I entered my orchid in a statewide contest and won first place!  Never mind there were only two entries, it helped me feel like I can do something right.  And just at the right time.
 Here's our sickipoo tired kid.  Unfortunately his napping and sleeping has been interrupted by his coughing.  It is so rare when he doesn't sleep well so this weekend when he woke up at 4:40, we couldn't help but realize something was up.  Turns out the kid has a cold.  Or whooping cough.  Who knows.
 Oh, and here's our Valentine's Day dinner- Homemade bread and homemade ricotta.  Whoopie pies and pepperoni.  It was a really nice night which made us realize we should have dinner without Nolan once a week.  Last week was nice but there was LOTS to do Monday night (and really every night last week)
Our bathroom is finished!  Hooray!  And the best part of the bathroom is the fact that now if you're in the shower and someone accidentally uses the water you don't either scald yourself or turn into an ice cube.  Yes!  A plumber quoted us a price to re-pipe our entire house to fix this problem.  Turns out we just needed new shower handles. 
So the bathroom is finished, furnished and decorated.  The curtain rods are hung, moved and installed.  The extra stuff that babies need has been bought, ordered and soon-to-be delivered.  We got a new garage door opener and had it installed today (ours broke during the big snow storm and hasn't worked since).  It just feels like stuff is getting done and it's nice.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Of My Favorite Things

As Nolan gets bigger one of my favorite things is to observe him in a group setting.  I LOVE seeing him sitting on the mat listening to a story at our library class.  I love looking at the back of his little yellow head and seeing his ears.
I love when he speaks out loud to the teacher after she asks a question.  I just love watching him be independent.  There are not tons of opportunities for me to observe him without his knowledge so these moments are precious. 
 Nolan starts a drop-off 'class' on Tuesday.  It's more like a daycare program but I have lots of mixed emotions about this.  I'm thrilled to be getting a little break from him and I am CERTAIN he will enjoy it.  I feel a little guilty about sending him to a class just so I can get a break but keep reminding myself that he's ready and it'll be great for him to prepare for preschool.  Also it'll be super for him to go to after Baby Girl Mattatall arrives in just 7.5 weeks!
In the meantime, I will enjoy these moments when he's leaning back, legs kicked out in front of him, ankles crossed waiting for class to start.  I love these moments.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Working From Home

The day of the snowstorm Dave worked from home.  From our living room.  This was a huge distraction for Nolan.  So here is Nolan counting numbers (or letters) with Daddy.
For a while Nolan was curious what Dave did at work.  I told Nolan that Dave counts his numbers at work (he's a finance/accounting guy).  So that's what Nolan thinks Dave does now, just counts numbers.  Kind of funny, but basically that's what he does, right?   
And now, as Dave puts it, Nolan officially knows more about Microsoft Excel than I do.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Video Friday: Working Hard

The snowfall last week was impressive.  Dave did all the shoveling himself.  No, we do not have a snow blower, no we didn't have someone to plow. Until this storm Dave has never belly ached about shoveling or even mentioned the desire to have a snow blower.  So Dave did it all himself, he didn't complain a single bit, but his facial expressions said enough.  Well, he and Nolan shoveled.  If you listen closely enough to the video you can hear Nolan grunting while lifting the snow (my favorite part).  Dave is a trooper for doing the entire driveway with a shovel.  It took him 4 hours and a few days off from the gym.  He's amazing.  
After shoveling a path down the stairs, knee deep in snow, Dave assesses thesituation.  You can almost hear him saying 'wow, that's a LOT of snow.  This is going to take forever!'

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Another Masterpiece

Am I being one of those annoying moms?  Who cares if I am!?  I mean seriously, how awesome is this painting of a monster?  Obvious eyes, nose, teeth, hair, ears and legs with feet and even toes on one foot?  He's the next picasso!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday Already?

Last week I heard a speaker lecture about butterflies and decided it was worth it to check out Magic Wings again.  Magic Wings is a Butterfly Conservatory in Deerfield MA that's open year round, despite the bad weather, thankfully.
So my friend, Heather, and I loaded up the kids and headed up to check out the butterflies. 
 We got there early and had the place to ourselves for a good hour or so, which was nice.  It's a smallish place so when it gets crowded it can be tough to handle one (or two) toddlers.  There are many rules, all of which beg to be broken.  We tried hard to keep the kids in order but it was tough (don't touch the butterflies, no running, stay on the path, keep voices low).
 After wandering around for a bit we discussed which was our favorites.  This one is mine.  I just love these (no idea their names).
 Nolan's favorite is the blue one (obviously!).  The butterfly below hung out on my friend's shoulder for about 10 minutes while she wandered around looking at other butterflies.  When this one spreads its wings it's back was a beautiful blue hue (Nolan's favorite).
 Violet's favorite is the glass wing (see through wings) and this butterfly was also a fan of Heather, who fluttered to her and climbed up her leg and body before taking off again.
This was a nice little day trip for us.  Too bad Nolan discovered his ear suddenly hurt so badly he couldn't do anything but cry and scream the whole ride home.  So after a long busy morning enjoying butterflies we headed to the doctor for an ear check- lo and behold- an ear infection.  Thank goodness too, because his behavior was scary.  I've never seen him in that kind of pain/distress before.  Thankfully he seems back to his old self today.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blizzard of 2013

So there was this snow storm... we got a little bit of snow.
Ok, it was a lot of snow, we're estimating about 30 inches.  It is quite impressive, really, how much snow there is and how beautiful it is (spoken from the one who didn't shovel a single bit of snow). 
 Dave did a stellar job getting all the snow off of our driveway, by shovel, not snowblower.  Nolan did a stellar job playing in the snow, climbing, digging, shoveling and just having a blast.
 We may now refer to him as our little eskimo.  He begged Dave to make a hole for him to put him in.  This is what he looked like (this is the middle of our driveway). 
 He had plenty of lovely snow to eat too.  Then he started burrowing into the snow with his head (note his hat).   This kid LOVES the snow.  Loves it.  Until he gets too cold (today he was out there for probably an hour or so).  When he's ready to go in, there is no stopping him, he starts crying that he's cold, shivering and running to the front door.  
 Below is Dave just beginning the task of digging us out.  What a hero!
 Seriously, when compared to how tall Nolan is, this snowfall is spectacular.  What a storm.  I'm so grateful we didn't lose power.  SO SO grateful.  And that we had hot cocoa.  
It is possible that Nolan likes the snow merely to have hot cocoa to warm up after.  Not a bad plan, my dear, not a bad plan at all.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Video Friday: A Double Feature

Here are two videos.  One is of Nolan making that silly face of his so I can take a picture.  He didn't realize I was taking a video so you can see how funny it is to watch him go from the serious face to laughing which I think is funnier than the face itself.

And below is a video from our day at the museum.  One of the staff made this tunnel and asked for kids to crawl through it and come out as something other than themselves.  While I didn't get the first one on video (which would have been priceless) he came out of the tunnel saying he was a birthday cake.  The teacher was stunned for a minute, many grown ups laughed and then the teacher helped by making candles with her fingers on her head, Nolan did the same.  Below is him being a rooster.  Very cute, I was impressed he participated.  It was cute.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Mom and Nolan Day

Nolan's behavior has been exceptional lately.  I don't know why, maybe since we 'laid down the law' with his sleeping issues but whatever it was, he's been a true delight to be around.
 So in keeping with 'rewarding great behavior' efforts, we got to go to any museum Nolan wanted.  He picked this one.  It's not my favorite but who cares, this kid was excited to have a special day and seemed to have a blast.
 Sometimes I forget how much fun I have with this kid when he's using great behavior.  And in an effort to get some grown up time in, I often try to make plans with other people.  But wow, this was a fun (and exhausting) day.
 Obviously the post office was his favorite.  He loves 'sorting' the mail and then putting it into the big blue mailbox.  I hope that the post office keeps these mailboxes in existence forever.  I will always think of how much joy it brings Nolan whenever I see one.  
This kid had a great day!  Really Great.  And so did this Mom.  Thank you, Buddy.  I love you!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What A Week Can Do...

What a week it's been.  This kid has been SO awesome lately (please don't let that statement curse the  next week- please).  He's been pleasant, great at naptime and just all around awesome to hang with.  He's been making this hysterical face a lot lately, I think because he knows it makes us laugh.
He'll make this face, then laugh, then go back and say 'mommy, look at my face'.  
 The furrowed brow is my favorite part, well and the seriousness he's required to have to make this face.
 It's even cuter when he's smiling through it.
 My mini goofball.  Thank you so much for an awesome week.  To celebrate we went to a museum today, just the two of us, because he's been behaving so well.  I'm so proud of him.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Extra Weekend Post: A Grown Up's Perspective

I'm not sure if this is nesting or if it is merely us feeling the pressure to get stuff done before Baby Girl arrives in April but whatever it is, it feels a little crazy.  It feels like there are SO many decisions to be made on top of the getting-ready-to-have-a-baby stuff- it can be overwhelming.  That is, until you stop over analyzing everything and start making some decisions.  The past few days we've started to make some decisions and it feels great!

  • We got a security system installed on Friday (we set off the ear piercing alarm Saturday morning- rookie mistake).  The police didn't come.
  • We are having our bathroom refinished so we've chosen/ordered the new vanity and sink and faucet (that was easy), found and reserved a plumber and electrician and just today chose (from a website) a new toilet.  We are back to the drawing board for paint colors but think we've narrowed down to a blue, perhaps the identical color to our upstairs bathroom.  Strangely this has been the toughest decision of the whole project.  
  • We've almost 100% decided on a name for Baby Girl 
  • We've nearly 100% decided on a preschool for Nolan
  • We signed Nolan up for a drop off class starting in late-February, one day a week for 2 hours which will continue through June- allowing him to get used to the class before BG (baby girl) arrives and then allows for some time for just me and BG after she arrives. 
  • I think I've decided on the double jogging stroller I will purchase when it gets closer to BG's arrival.  For those who remember/knew me when purchasing a stroller for Nolan, it took weeks for me to decide and I'm overjoyed with that purchase.  Because Nolan is so much taller than most 3 year old kids we needed to be sure he wasn't too tall for this particular one.
  • We are attempting to go diaper-free during naptime.  This is scary and potentially gross but the kid can't wear diapers during nap forever and he's been waking up dry most days.
  • We have successfully gotten Nolan to calm down and go to bed using bribery and a sleep chart after only one awful night of screaming/tantrum. He has been doing really well, not playing typical 3-year-old games and crying/wailing etc.  However every night or nap he gets out of bed to either walk to the door, put away a special friend, turn the light on and then off again or put his fan on another setting- each outing lasting about 5 seconds.  Today we begin tougher rules, no getting out of bed at all in order to earn a smiley face.  4 days (or 8 smiley faces) earns lunch and ice cream at a restaurant.  He loves this reward, hopefully it continues to work.  
  • We've begun planning his birthday party.  Mickey Mouse themed birthday party at a local Nature Center.  We've decided on the food, the decor and the goodies, all nice to have decided.  Now we need to buy them.  Just nice to have it crossed off the list.
  • Trying to decide what to get Nolan as a gift for his birthday.  Also trying to decide if/what BG should get Nolan as a gift.  If anyone has ideas, please share!

  • I am entering the above orchid in a state wide flower contest in late February.  It has just begun blooming again and is really amazing how pretty it is.  This makes me excited about springtime though I have decided to not start our veggies from seeds but rather buy seedlings from our nursery.  I just think having a 3 year old, a newborn and all those delicate seedlings will be too much for me to attempt.  Though we did get a compost tumbler and it's exciting to think about the rewards from that!
  • I think we are closer to getting a swingset.  We stopped in today and picked up a brochure.  This also means replacing some of our garden with grass which I am utterly thrilled about.  Our garden is gorgeous when taken care of though I am unimpressed with a section of it that either features a sole ground cover that I don't love and has spread like wildfire or it has a ton of stuff that I'm not sure if it's weed or not.  So we're just going to make a big section of it grass to accommodate a swingset/playscape.  
For now, I think that's all. It's nice to write it out.  There is so much to do and it feels too early to do much of it.  So now it just sits on a list waiting for the appropriate month to get it done.  I'm excited about the bathroom and felt like I was sitting in Fort Knox on Friday afternoon, all locked up and safe.  I'm pleased with our decisions and that we are crossing things off that darn list.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Video Friday: Hot Dog Dance

So this kid loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  It's basically the only show he watches (via youtube) and he digs it.  Lately he's been asking how Goofy does his dance (all the characters dance differently).  Anyway, a few days ago I came upon him doing the Hot Dog Dance and just had to get it on video.  Here it is, turn up the volume to hear him singing it.