Sunday, December 28, 2014

house update

our house is getting prettier and prettier
and also
harder and harder to deal with.
we take two steps forward and one step back,
so we ARE getting somewhere,
but not as fast as i would like.
the upstairs is completely painted,
as well as the kitchen cabinets.
its so pretty.
i swear, paint makes all the difference.

 kitchen cabinets - avocado

 brette's room - regale blue

 trim paint - westinhouse white

 walls - realistic beige

guest bathroom - sea salt
(all sherwin williams colors)

carpet was laid on friday,
but the guy we ordered it through didn't order enough
for both the master bedroom and the guest bedroom.
(one step back)
but he thinks he can have more in by tuesday
and laid by wednesday, so that only sets us back
by a few days.
over the weekend we painted grates,
changed out the electrical outlets and switches to white,
hung most of the doors,
added the shelving back to closets and 
hung light fixtures.
those are all small jobs that add up to a lot of time.
we also moved on some furniture.
its nice to see it coming together and i swear,
as soon as the last room is carpeted i will take you 
on another video tour so you can see all the improvements for yourself.

in the meantime, i'll be slaving away on the next project:
our master bedroom accent wall.
we wanted to do a cedar wood wall,
but it would be over $300 so now we're looking into cheaper options.

the only things we have left before official move-in is:
1 - lay the wood floors downstairs
2- finish the walls in the kitchen.
(we decided that the kitchen needs to be completely done
because it would be a pain to try to eat or cook in a construction zone.)
we have the wood floors in.
the boxes are laying all over the living room floor.
and i have to say, i was kind of pissed when i saw them.
they are not the color i thought they would be.
i was hoping for a lot more blonde,
but ronnie dug through and found some,
but the majority is not as light as i was hoping for.
oh well.
add it to the list of things not perfect.

the move-in date keeps getting pushed back further and further
but i'm optimistic that we'll be in by the end of january.
dear god, please.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

brette: 18 months

  ronnie and i are waiting for B to wake up 
before heading off to our last family christmas.
so i thought i could use this extra time to 
f i n a l l y 
get around to her 18 month update.
i stopped doing her monthly updates at a year
but so much has changed in 6 months.

brette weighs 25 lbs.
she's actually lost a pound since she started walking.
but no worries, our tubby tiger is
still quite tubby.
i'm not sure how tall she is,
but she's in 18-24 month clothing.
she's still in a size 4 diaper
although i wish we were done with those.
i plan on hitting potty training real hard again soon.
she WILL be out of diapers by june,
hopefully before.
 i can't even tell you how many teeth she has,
but i know she has a lot.
she's even eating peanuts now
(under supervision) because
there is literally nothing this child can't chew up.
she keeps getting more and more teeth.
and her hair has gotten so long!
of course the back is a lot longer than the top
so she still has a pretty sweet mullet.
but we are able to put in ponytails, pig tails, pebbles hair,
but mostly she just sports bows to help keep the hair out of her eyes.
and of course the best thing that's happened since she turned one
is she started crawling and then walking.
its been a big six months for her gross motor skills.
i only wish i had known about the shoe inserts
a long time ago.
oh well.
she's now walking everywhere and tries running.
she gets along really well and can get up on her own without holding on to something.
we see improvements everyday.

our sleep schedule has been the same since august.
and when the time changed,
i didn't change her schedule.
so in the summer she went to bed around 8 - 8:30
and now its around 7 - 7:30.
she sleeps 12 hours and takes one nap a day
that can vary between 1.5 - 3 hours.
brette eats anything and everything
and sometimes she's super picky and 
just throws it all on the floor.
one day she might love eggs
and then i can't get her to eat them for two weeks.
its just trial and error to see what she wants
and if nothing else, i'll make her a pb&j and call it a day.
she gets three sippy cups of milk a day.
one in the morning.
one when she wakes up from her nap.
and one with dinner.
the rest of the time its water OR
(blah) water mixed with juice.
we gave her some juice when she was sick and now
she asks for it.
big mistake.
i wanted to hold off on juice for awhile,
so i make sure she only gets a little bit a day.

she talks all the time.
she still signs for more and drink,
but mostly everything else 
she can communicate what she wants.
my mom and i tried to make a list of all the words
she says and we came up with 40 but
she's getting better and better at repeating what you say
so i know new words are added everyday.
i love having her talk,
it makes things a lot easier.

brette is in love with elmo
and mickey/mini mouse.
she likes any toy that lights up
or sings.
and she loves dancing.
its hilarious to watch her dance to music.
her most favorite thing is to play with our dogs.
she chases them, feeds them, kisses/hugs them, tries to sit on them.
she. loves. animals.

and i'm sad to say that our green chair we use
for monthly pictures is still packed away
so i didn't bother with the white onesie pictures.
but this is a picture of brette on the 12th,
exactly 18 months old.
my little christmas beauty.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

let it snow

i made a salad and then my world stopped.
well, at least on here.
i have been super sick.
this time its the kind where
your skin hurts,
you're hot, you're cold,
you puke every 2 hours
and you run a fever for three days straight.
its been awful.
but i lost four pounds! bonus?
thank god for my parents.
poor brette would have been neglected this week otherwise.

i have lots to share.
brette's 18 month update.
exciting decisions at the house.
a little christmas breakfast with my bff's
and cookie day is saturday.
i promise to get around to writing about it all,
but for now,
i'll leave you with a few pictures from this morning.
we had our first snow and even 
though brette was technically around last winter,
i'm considering this her first experience with the stuff.

ps- she thought it was a snack.
go figure.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

who wants some salad?

so i am obviously a huge fan of pioneer woman.
did anyone else record her christmas special?
looked super fun.

we recently whipped up one of her recipes.
well, i don't know if i can actually call this a recipe
because you don't really make anything.
just some chopping is all you do.
so here is the easiest, 
most basic,
super good
salad ever.
my mom had to make a salad for a christmas party
and i told her about the seven layer salad i saw on pioneer woman.
we looked it up online.
literally the hardest part is gong to the grocery store.
the rest is just throwing it into the bowl.

but if you need a salad for a party,
or just to be a little bit more healthy over the holidays,
i suggest this.

you're welcome.

and yes, ours was just as pretty.
(ree's pic)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

bathing beauty

when we last left off
everyone was sick.
that is STILL true.
what. the. heck.
brette is the only one that feels a lot better,
but pretty much my whole family 
(including aunts, cousins & grandma) is laid up.
i guess a bug made the rounds on thanksgiving.
and not to keep complaining,
because even though brette is feeling better 
she is now dealing with a little bit of diarrhea.
that's fun.
i only know this because
last night she stood up in the bathtub and crapped everywhere.
do you know what's really hard to clean up?
watery poop.
then this morning i was taking a shower
and she normally plays in our cabinets
but this time she wanted to get in,
so i let her.
little did i know she had just gotten done with
another full diaper.
i pick her up and put her in the shower with me,
poop and all.
its been a fun couple of bathing experiences.

ps- i'm pretty sure all potty training went out the window
when she got sick.
now we're s t a r t i n g  o v e r... 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

cough, sneeze, sleep

we're all sick.
brette and my mom have it the worst,
but i'm pretty sure my time is coming.
i was running a fever today,
so i'm thinking tomorrow might be worse.

poor baby brette has had a horrible cough,
so congested, 
fevers off and on
and a double ear infection.
she's not eating anything,
but we're keeping her full of fluids.
oh, and she only wants her mama.
that's fun.
i'm exhausted from trying to comfort her
and get up every four hours to 
poke more medicine down her throat.
she's on an antibiotic now so 
hopefully we see some turnaround soon.
dear god, please.

when everyone is sick,
who takes care of who?

someone send a nurse.
i'm over this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

november 22

she's walking.

last saturday was a big day.
we finished taking down all the wallpaper,
while brette hung out at my friend, shannon's house.
she has two kids of her own 
and they love playing with brette.
i did feel a little guilty leaving her because
shannon is also pregnant.
 i'm sure taking care of three kids
AND being pregnant is exhausting.
but is was such a big help
 and shannon said she was perfect so that made me feel better.
she even kept brette way longer than i expected
because she literally would not let me take her.
i guess she leaves her attitude and dirty looks just for me.
that night when we all got home 
brette gave us an extra special surprise:
she started WALKING.
just like that.
it was exactly one week after getting her inserts
and after spending the whole day with big kids (ages 3&5) 
who walked her all over the place.

thank god.

and i was especially happy because
ronnie has been working out of town
but she saved her special moment for when dad was here.
and he caught it on camera.

Friday, November 28, 2014


there is so much going on right now.
getting ready for christmas.
taking care of brette.
and the major thing:
our house.
it would be really nice if 
ONE thing
could be easy.
so far, everything is worse
or harder than we expected.
last saturday we finished the wallpaper upstairs.
i wanted to sing and dance.
so on monday we had a drywall team
come in to start skim-coating the walls
to get them ready for paint.
i finally felt some relief.
other people can come in to finish up.
i stopped by the house after work on monday
and the guy tells me we have problems.
the top layer of dry wall is paper and
its bubbling up and blistering when
he applies the skim-coat.
what. the. fuck. 
he's not certain how to make it stop doing it
without just taking down the sheetrock and starting over.
there is no way in hell i just spent the last four weeks of my life
removing wallpaper just to rip down the walls. 
we did a little online research and called our painter.
we found that you can try sealing the wall with primer
and hopefully that will stop the moisture from seeping 
through and causing the blisters.
our painter is skeptical.
he thinks we need to use lacquer but we're trying this first
because our painter is a week and a half out and we don't want to wait that long.
we have to prime the whole upstairs before the sheetrock guys
can come back to finish skim-coating.
i am crossing my fingers and toes that this works 
because we are growing a little weary.
its hard to spend thanksgiving weekend working 
on the house when you thought you were done for awhile.
we're hoping to finish up in the next couple days and 
have the dry wall team back on monday.

this better work. 
i'll let you know. 

Friday, November 21, 2014


i love comparison shots.
i love looking at brette's pictures
and comparing them to mine and ronnie's when we were little.
i like taking photos a year later to see 
how much change i can see in her.
i just love comparing.

i hope you guys find the joy in this too.

her "birth"day and her 1st birthday:

pool time:

 halloween jammies:

wearing my baby clothes:

family fall day:

 riding her zebra

hanging with aunt jaime

sleeping in a carseat:

sometimes i can see the same baby
and other times she looks like a completely 
different little girl.
our little brette annaleigh,
one day at a time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

free tours

we were finishing up at the house for the day
and i quickly did a fast walk through video.
some of the rooms still don't have lights in them 
because we took them down to finish the ceilings,
so i apologize for the dark spots.
also, i didn't realize how loud kenny chesney 
was playing in the background.
consider it mood music.
and my video skills are a little shaky. 
you'll also notice our shelves out of the master closet
are in the dining room.
there is trash everywhere,
crap in the bedrooms.
brette's crawling around in dirt.
my mom is sweeping,
and my dad is still taking down wallpaper.
i mean, things are rough.
so please excuse the mess.
but hopefully this helps you get
 a better feel for the house.
 and maybe one day soon
i'll get to make another video
when everything looks one million times better.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

busy bees

we had a busy weekend.
it started friday night after work.
i met up with my best friends to go out to dinner for kass's birthday.
we caught up on our lives and literally,
laughed until tears were rolling down.
everything was funny. especially this.

then saturday brian and jaime offered to
take brette to a bug exhibit at union station.
it was so helpful to get several uninterrupted hours
working on the house and B got to spend the day with her cousins.
i'm sure she loved that way more than watching us remove wallpaper.
 she was dropped off in time to head to dinner with
ronnie's side of the family.
we hadn't seen them in awhile so i made sure
to ask them to dinner just so we can see our family 
in the mists of our huge house renovation.
they hadn't seen our house yet, so after dinner we gave them the grand tour.
the house is a mess, so i'm excited to have them see the finished product
when its said and done.
i'm sure it seems a bit crazy right now.

on sunday we headed back up to the house and 
ronnie finished a project i have been hounding him about.
he took down the cabinets in between the kitchen and the family room.
i wanted this done right after the wall in the kitchen was taken down.
i think after a month of whining about it,
he finally gave in.
what a difference it makes! 
i love it.
and i'm pretty sure ronnie loves it too.

here is a before shot:
and after:
 and after:

i love how it opens the kitchen up to the family room
and makes it feel like one room.

and now when i stand in the kitchen i can see 
basically the whole downstairs.
just what i wanted.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

calling it quits

we are not necessarily 
q u i t t i n g
on our house,
but we have decided to not DIY the whole darn thing.
originally, our plan was:
do the ceiling.
lay the floors.
move in.
we were going to paint after we moved in.
but when we found out that wallpaper covered
every single square inch of the house,
it became a whole new ballgame.
we went back and forth between taking it all down,
skimcoating over it and trying to mud and tape the seams.
in the end, ronnie's perfectionist ways won out.
take it all down. 
have you ever taken down wallpaper?
its horrible.
we bought two steamers and went to town.
by we, i mean, my mom, dad and myself.
ronnie has somehow managed to avoid the wallpaper process.
unfortunately, it still takes us 3 days per room,
but we are only three rooms away from having the upstairs done.
that's right people, the downstairs remains untouched. 
we have brette's room, the play room, the guest room, the master
and the hallway bathroom all done.
we still have to do the laundry room, the hallway and the master bath/closet.
but when we ripped off the wallpaper,
the sheet rock beneath was damaged in the process.
this is where we decided to wave the white flag.
its taken us SO long just to get here,
that i talked ronnie into getting some professionals in 
here to finish it off.
we have HIRED (yes!) a sheet rock crew and painters.
sweet mother of jesus,
that's such a relief.
i can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
so basically, all we have to do is finish with the wallpaper
and then they will take care of the rest.
in fact, after the painter is done,
another crew will lay the new carpet in the bedrooms and 
we will FINALLY move in.
i hope to be living there by december 7th,
but i know how construction goes,
so as long as we're in by the 21st,
i'm happy.
as you've probably realized,
we will be moving in with the downstairs unfinished.
however, the painters will paint our kitchen cabinets,
so at least that will be done.
ronnie said he and cale
 can lay the wood floors.
but we were still both struggling with the idea of taking 
down all that wallpaper downstairs. 
 i can't imagine doing weeks and weeks of this again
and neither ronnie or i would do well living in that mess.
so ronnie came up with an idea
that i love.
we haven't priced it out,
but seriously,
since it gets me out of taking down all the downstairs wallpaper,
i'm pretty willing to pay whatever.
we are going to wood plank the walls in
the living room, the dining room and the family room.
please removed the word paneling from your mind.
we. are. not. paneling.
i hate paneling.
this will be actual boards running horizontal across the walls and then painted.
here are a few example from the internet:

not only do i like it because it covers the wallpaper,
but it also has that farmhouse feel that we are going for.
in fact, we left one long wall in the master untouched
so we can do the same thing in there.
our plan is to completely finish one room at a time (floors and walls)
and hopefully have this cranked out in a few months (depending on ronnie's schedule).
 i'm trying to talk him into getting started while the 
drywall guys start on the upstairs.
i would love to have at least one room downstairs done before move-in,
but ronnie's timeline and my timeline never seem to match up.
go figure.
  but nonetheless, i'm excited.
start a freaking countdown.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

run forest, run

we got another recommendation
from our pediatrician to see a physical therapist
for brette's gross motor skills.
we met with one in june because she still wasn't crawling
and that had such great results that i really wanted 
their opinion on how to get her walking.
i had some concerns about her left foot.
it kind of turns in at her ankle.
so i called first steps and within a week
we had someone here to check her out.
she said that brette is a perfectly healthy,
intelligent baby... with flat feet.
dammit ronnie.
this is all his fault.
he has the feet of a platypus.
flattest feet this side of the mississippi.
and now our poor baby girl has them too.
since her feet do not have the normal arch,
her legs are not lining up with her hips,
which in turn,
gives brette a feeling of unbalance.
i asked about braces,
 but she thought that 
brette's case was mild enough that 
shoe inserts should do the trick.
they will give her the arch support she needs
and hopefully that will help
get her lined up and ready to walk.
in fact, she said that most children that deal with this
(her daughter included)
start walking within a week or two of getting the inserts.
fingers crossed!

when brette is older i can run to wal-mart
and grab some dr. scholls,
but for right now we have to special order
pedicatric inserts that run about $60.
luckily brette's feet are a lot like mine and run small.
if her feet keep growing like this we should probably only have to 
order her one pair a year.
the PT also recommended that we only 
have her wear tennis shoes.
she needs something that will give her extra support
and something that has laces. 
apparently shoes that lace up to their toes gives them 
pressure at the top of their foot that helps
with the insert.
unfortunately this means all those adorable ballet flats,
sandals and moccasins are only going to be for special occasions.
this also means, i get to go shoe shopping.
so its a win/lose situation.
the PT suggested we do this until brette is between
the ages of 3-5,
of course i'm leaning toward 5 because i want her 
to be as stable and perfect as possible.
she also said that when brette gets older and starts
playing sports that she might complain of knee or back pain,
but it will most likely stem from her feet.
if that happens she said we should get her some more inserts for her 
tennis shoes or cleats.
i really think i should get ronnie some while i'm at it.
i'm pretty sure his back problems might stem from his platypus feet too.

ps- ronnie is out of town right now
or i would have totally provided you with a picture
of just how flat and weird ronnie's feet are.
 maybe a future post?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

putting her to work

brette has gotten in on the action
when we're working on the house.
we're up there at least every other day,
if not everyday, 
so brette has had to tag along so we can get more done.
she actually does really well.
she fiddles around, plays with her toys
or our tools.
most days we have a little picnic lunch on the floor
and she takes her naps on a pallet on the floor.
i can't wait to have furniture
and actually live here,
but its nice that brette doesn't mind helping out in the mean time.