Thursday, January 26, 2012

Added Square Footage

Earlier this week we finally made a big change to the house, one that will hopefully make it feel quite a bit bigger. We got carpet installed in the basement and, in a game-time decision that I think makes all the difference, up the basement stairs.

This is what we were dealing with before:

Since the stairs are open they really are kind of part of the main living space. Even though they were hardwood, they were looking beat. I considered refinishing them myself, but uh, it's not like I'm flush with free time right now.

Notice Tesla at the top of the stairs in this pic.

Oh, my eyes. That's ugly.

And here's how it looks now:

So warm and lovely.

And notice Conrad in the top of the stairs in this pic.

At the end of the hall is the laundry room and storage. The second door on the left is a bathroom where we also had new vinyl floors installed. We're still doing some work in there, and it will probably always be an eyesore, but I may just man up and post pictures eventually, because it's definitely an improvement. I was scared to even go in there when we moved in.

So eventually this space will be a play room/workout room. We have to move the treadmill back in and Jeff's bike trainer. It probably won't ever be "pretty," but it will be nice to have more room for Mia's toys that are cluttering every other corner of the house.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Life at the Moment

I had that last post saved in my drafts for a few weeks before I posted. I thought just typing the words that Mia was sleeping through the night was enough to tempt fate, but no, apparently you actually have to hit " post" before you upset the God of Getting a Good Night of Sleep, because now my daughter has decided that the hours of 10:30pm and 1:30am are a wonderful time to scream her fool head off. And I want to die. The end.

I got inspired by Pinterest again to do a little art project for the entryway (the wall over the table used to look like the last photo on this post and I never really loved it).

I was first inspired by this photo:

(originally from Me Oh My)

And then I liked the one contrasting stripe from this photo:

(originally from from Ohdeedoh)

And so I came up with this:

I quite like it.

Is it bedtime yet?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dear Mia: Part 5

You are almost 10 months old now, and I'm not sugar-coating anything when I say the last 8 weeks or so with you have been so much fun. You started consistently sleeping through the night (yes, I am aware that now that I put this out there I am begging the universe to slap me upside the head, but I feel the need to record this milestone), and it has made a world of difference in your attitude.

You are such a happy baby.

You think everything is funny (Most notably: sneezing, shoving various toys into my mouth, and watching daddy throw things in the air and catch them). You interact with everyone and everything. You babble to yourself almost constantly, then chuckle at the silly things you say. You wave. You clap. You give high fives.

This has made me fiercely protective of your sleep schedule, something your Nana judges me for, but I really don't care. I see the positive difference in both of us that getting a good night of sleep makes.

We celebrated Christmas with your dad's family in Buffalo. You, of course didn't sleep well at their house and were up at 5:30, which made the day rough for both of us. But you loved wrapping paper, and you got showered with gifts. You were also able to eat the same foods we were eating for dinner; some potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cheese. It is a lot of fun to be able to feed you from my plate and you give a satisfied "mmm."

Your favorite food is definitely yogurt. When your dad is eating some in the morning you clamor to get close to him and look up at him like a dog begging at the dinner table. When he shares with you you squeeze your eyes closed and smile like you've just taken a bite of the most decadent dessert.

You are getting better with strangers. You seem to do better with women than men, and you seem to read their energy before deciding whether you'll be cool with them or not. Calm, friendly women are your people. If someone comes at you with too much excitement and attempts to pick you up in the first 30 seconds, you will never forgive them. I get it, you just need a bit to warm up to people, then you will charm their pants off. Some of Daddy's family has a really hard time understanding this, but I think that's their loss that they won't take the time to get on your good side.

I've said before that you have my eyes, and I've always felt something oddly familiar about looking into them. Then a few weeks ago I was sitting next to your crib as you fell asleep because you had a cold. You were curled up against the side crib rails to be as close to me as you could, and all I could see of your face was the bridge of your nose and eyes, and suddenly I realized what was so familiar about your eyes, they are my little brother's eyes, and now that's all I see when I look at you. You look like uncle Tim did when he was a baby, and it makes me so nostalgic. In some ways I feel like he was my first baby, and then I remember that he is almost 20, and boy, does time fly. It feels like just yesterday I was singing him lullabies and putting him to sleep.

You are a morning person through and through. We struggled for weeks just to get you to sleep past 5am, but you wake up so damn happy! And your dad says it's his favorite part of the day when we bring you into our bed in the mornings to snuggle.

I know I've said it before, but I find it necessary, as I think it is an integral part of your personality, to point out again how you go from 0 to 60. One morning I watched you on the video monitor as you were sleeping soundly on you belly, the next moment you were up pulling yourself to standing on the side of the crib. No stretching or eye rubbing, just straight from sleeping to raring to go.

I don't want to brag, but at your 9 month appointment your doctor went on and on about how advanced you are. She said it was weird because you SEEMED like a 1 year-old, but in the body of a 9 month old. I honestly don't know if she says this to every parent, but I sure do love someone other than myself going on and on about how smart you are!

Speaking of bragging, I told your dad the other day that I need to find some balance between bragging about you and downplaying your achievements (for lack of a better word). Because I think it's something that will come up over and over throughout your life, and I'd never want you to think I'm not proud of you. And I NEVER want you to hide your light. I want you to shine as bright as you dare.

You finally starting crawling a few weeks ago. I thought you might go straight to walking. You cruise from couch to coffee table then crawl to a toy, pull yourself up, etc. you can get where ever you want to go now.

Right after you started crawling you took your first steps, on New Years Day no less. And you have continued to stumble from me to daddy and back again. One day you will figure out what this ability means and you will be off and running.

Watching you stumble toward me with a huge smile on your face is one of the most exciting things I've ever experienced. THIS is why people have children. THIS is why we put up with the sleep deprivation and tantrums and wiping someone else's rear end. Before I had you I didn't know this emotion, this heart-bursting elation. There is not even a word for how much joy you bring to my life.