Friday, May 29, 2015


Gabe...2.5... He spends hours mowing. Lawn mower maintenance is of utmost importance.
Gianna...8 months...She could spend hours eating dandelions.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

...Our Days...

I haven't ever really written down what are days consist of. They do vary, weather dependent, but we have a pretty consistent schedule right now.
This is what the other day looked like:
630. Gabe starts yelling. "MOM..MOM" Steve is either getting reading or has been gone for quite a while. We say good morning to Steve (hopefully) and head downstairs for breakfast. Waffle/peanut butter/cream cheese is his breakfast of choice. I can get him to eat eggs, occasionally. I put on coffee and start our breakfast if Steve is home, or eat toast/peanut butter with Gabe.

645. Gianna is up. Nurse Gianna. Everyone gets dressed and we start playing. Coloring, reading books. Building towers. Gabe helps me load/unload the dishwasher. I try and pick up the kitchen really quickly and start a load of laundry. We vacuum. Gabe has an indoor ((((LOUD!!!!!))) mower that he uses while I vacuum.

845. Nurse and nap for Gianna. Gabe and I head outside. By this time, the dew is typically gone.  We spend the first hour or so weeding all of the flower beds. I feel so behind with them, but so many years of neglect makes lots of catch up! He has a little rake that he likes to follow me around with and
"fix the dirt." We then swing and play in the sandbox for about 30 minutes before her nap is over. He loves to identify planes. We build lots of sand castles.

1030. Gianna is up. Gabe is usually ready for something to eat, frozen gogurt or a banana. We Skype my sister once a week for a half an hour or so, and then play inside for a bit. It has been in the 80s already and we usually need a bit of a break from the sun.

1130. Nurse Gianna. Lunch for Gabe and Gianna. We try to catch my Mom or my other sister on Skype while he eats. We head outside for the next hour. Gianna swings or sits in the grass. Gabe plays with his bubble mower. I play with them, weed or we walk around the back yard. I am a fan of just letting him be. He really enjoys just being outside, which is wonderful. 

130. Nurse Gianna. Both kids go down for a nap.

130-330/430. I eat and pick up from lunch. Swap laundry. Clean. Mow. Work on projects if the time allows.

330. Gianna is up and nurses. We play downstairs for about an hour before he wakes.

430. We head back outside and get the mail. We play outside until Steve gets home (hopefully!).

6. If it is a running day (every other day), we load the kids in the double and go for a run. Once we get home, I pull dinner out for the grill/oven (usually prepped during naps when we run) while Steve plays with the kids. Lately, we eat right after she goes to bed (when we run).

7. Nurse and bed for Gianna. Dinner. Bath time for Gabe. We read a few books. They play for a few minutes.

730. Bed time. We spent the next 10-30 minutes picking up and putting dinner away.

8-10. We have a few hours to work on some projects. Lately, it has been framing the shed so we can dry wall it.

1AM. Nurse Gianna.
This sounds really boring, but I love it. Mondays are typically my shopping days. We go first thing in the morning and are back by her morning nap time. I try and get the house tackled on Mondays and Tuesdays. A day or two a week, we head to a park once she is up from her morning nap. We were on an antique store kick for a while during that time, as well. We go to Mass on Fridays and meet a group right after and are usually back around noon. Lately, we have been having viscous thunderstorms all afternoon, which makes that witching hours seem days long. (We were able to sneak in a library trip and a park today to compensate....hopefully!)
I love summer. We spend a lot of time outdoors. I love that we have a huge yard that he can just roam and explore.
So that was my day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

...Here you go Sis...

 "Here you go sis."
I must hear that sentence 27,000 times a morning. He likes to allocate exactly what she can touch. He is quite the negotiator when she has an object he desires.

Sometimes, ok most times, I have a hard time sitting still and just watching them. I am always working on something. I took advantage of them "coloring" peacefully yesterday.
I love the progression.

He was frustrated with her constantly touching the crayons, so he left for a few minutes.
He came back to her having free rein on his empire.
He only likes it when she has the white crayon as he thinks it "broken" and "won't work, mom."
He allocates her crayon.
He is then bored and leaves.
She quickly loses interest and shortly follows.

They are into everything together. She is so enamored with him and tries to follow him everywhere. I find it endearing. He wants so badly for her to be able to play. He constantly rough houses with her (like he plays with the dog), which works as you would expect.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I am a bit behind. We traveled Friday-Sunday of last week to our Goddaughter's Baptism. These were taken at her after party.
gabe...2.5. This was taken at a friend's house on Saturday. You played in the boat for quite some time. There was an older boy (7) there too, and he made you laugh all afternoon. I wish I could bottle moments like that.
 gianna...8 months... You are working on three more teeth (top) right now. Crinkly bottles are a favorite of yours. You are starting to show some interest in solids. YOU CAN CRAWL! I love seeing you travel with such determination...the look of "this is a major trek!!!" when going three feet. Little lady.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


gabe...2.5...The rare still moments he has are spent reading. I finally purchased a sandbox set of toys and every waking moment is spent building and destroying sand castles.

gianna...8 months...Crawling up a storm. She is a big fan of puffs right now. I love seeing her chubby fists work so hard to pick them up!

...the capsule wardrobe...

The 333.
The 37 pieces.
The minimalists wardrobe.
Add caption
Call it whatever. The idea of creating a wardrobe of versatile pieces that you love is something I have been pondering for quite some time.
Most people wear 20% of their closet, 80% of the time.
That is me. So me.
Professions often have associated wardrobes, be it accidental or expected. Suits. Scrubs. Uniforms. My prior profession allowed me to create a wardrobe of slacks, dresses, cardigans, and shells. My new profession doesn't really have a google search phase.
SAHM Mom outfits.
Mom wardrobes.
Work from home outfits.
My searches have yielded less than stellar sites and images. I really need to be told a list of "you need these items." I use to watch What Not to Wear and often wondered how wonderful it would be to have someone dress you. I would love to have someone analyze my life and dimensions and show me how to create such a wardrobe. I have also realized, with my personality, that I don't feel awake/put together unless my mornings start with a shower and getting dressed. I love the idea of wearing lounge/pjs/exercise clothing all day, but it doesn't work with my personality.
I am sure that I am not the only person to have difficult parameters with which to find appropriate clothing. I am tall. Like a 6fter, which probably doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to find items that work. Oh, but it is. All of those cute dresses that you see and sadly many of the cute maxi's are waaaaaaay to short. I am very happy sitting in my flower beds, covered in dirt, weeding. We do lots of DIY projects that involve paint/sawdust/plants/dirt/ name it, I am covered in it.
I also seem to have an attachment to my clothing? Is that weird? I have items that I haven't worn since I "retired." There are only so many Masses that haven't correlated with being pregnant or breastfeeding. Many of those items aren't really that conducive to holding a squirmy baby, either. I am not sure why I keep them.
I also have a problem spending money on clothing. I have this dollar amount that I hate to every cross, which often yields items of inferior quality and fit. At the end of the day, I would rather spend less, obviously. But, if having 50 items costing X (and I really only wear a handful as they don't fit/I was desperate/I don't like) or 20 costing X yields the same number of actually worn items, am I really money ahead by buying cheaper items? I don't think so.
So...I have decided to gut my closet and start over. There are a few pieces that are worth saving/appropriate and many that don't follow the:
Surround yourself with things you love, discard the rest.
I think that could be applied to clothing, too. Why wear something that you don't feel good in? 
I do like the "3 of each" rule and I think I could make that work well. Obviously, seasons are a kicker here.
3 pair of jeans.
3 pair of shorts.
3 skirts.
3 dresses....I love to wear them to Mass, so I might do more. 
3 tank tops.
3 t shirts. More of these.
3 long sleeve/3/4 sleeve
3 sweaters.
**not counting my painting/mowing/gardening/workout garb.
I like the sound of that.
Have you done this? Do you like it?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

...DIY Photo Clip Board Frames...


I found these while browsing Pinterest (never a good idea ;)) and decided that would look perfect on one of my kitchen walls. I spend many an hour in the kitchen and haven't hung much on the walls.  I am horrible about the finishing touches in a room, particularly those that require PERMANENT damage to a wall. Perhaps it was from years of renting. Those spall nail holes are, you know, paralyzing. BUT!! I am working on that. We have hung about a half dozen things around the house this week!

Here are some steps to create your own!
  1. Decide on your wood species and over all look. Keep in mind the size of photo that you want to display. I had intended on purchasing 8x 10s, so my board was a 1x10 (4' from Menards).
  2. Cut your board. I used a table saw. My final dimensions were ~10 x 12.
  3. Sand your board. Keyhole if desired.
  4. Sand the edges, if desired. I wanted them slightly rounded.
  5. Stain with desired stain. I used MinWax GOLDEN OAK.
  6. I purchased these from Joanns and a container of thumbtacks from Staples.  I initially wanted the larger antique bulldog clips, but couldn't justify $10 a piece. The thumbtacks came it red, white, blue and yellow. So, I used a small sharpie and colored them black. The finish doesn't match perfectly, but it isn't that noticeable as it is inside the hinge clip.
  7. Decide placement of your clip/photo. Use the thumbtack to attach the hinge clip.

I order my photos and decided to try out the 5x5's. I actually liked them the best! I also preferred the black and whites (and of course I only picked one to try!). I will be ordered more photos soon! I love the detail of this board...and maybe that cutie.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

...on the move...

Miss Gianna,
You started crawling today. Actually crawling. I was thinking it was close as you had been on all fours and rocking for almost two weeks now. Granted, you only care to if you are going after crayons. You have a an extreme desire for all things crayon. Unfortunately, I purchased the washable kind. This is great for walls, but translates to colored faces and clothing.
We try to keep them out of reach, but you manage to roll toward them. Now, you have added crawling to your arsenal.
I also just so happened to have my phone near by to snag a video. I had an instant flashback to watching home videos as a child, which is something that won't ever be the same. I remember the first camcorder we had. I think it was almost the size of a suitcase and used VHS tapes. It was cumbersome and expensive. We didn't have a lot of videos of the things I capture during the day. In any case, we loved popping them in and reminiscing. Hopefully these will still be around.

Monday, May 11, 2015 mother's weekend...

My mom always said every dad was Mother's Day. I am beginning to agree.
Steve took the kids shopping for flowers on Saturday. Gabe selected flowers for our neighbor and for me. Well, he actually chose trees first, but Steve convinced him to choose something a bit smaller.
After Mass on Sunday, we went over to our neighbor and planted her favorite flowers in her pots out front as a surprise. Gabe was very proud of himself. I love that he has such a good example to emulate.
I married up. I could spend hours talking about how much I love him. I just do. He is one of the most selfless people I know. He loves me every day and in far too many moments where I don't deserve it.
We have been living with two colored shutters since last fall. I managed to paint the lower ones, but we were unable to remove the upper ones due to their method of install. Steve knew it drove me nuts...burgundy on top, indigo on bottom. Oiy. He isn't a big fan of heights, or ladders for that matter. During their naps on Sunday, he painted shutters for me for three hours. Three. They are done and they look awesome. I can think of countless things that he would have rather been doing. He was loving me.
He always tells me how much he loves me. It really is the simple things.
He gave me these two beautiful children.


Saturday, May 9, 2015


 gabe...2.5. He colors non stop. Actually, he loves it when we color and he doles out the crayons.
gianna...8 months and in love with her dad. She is quite impressed with her ability to get in to the seated position. We got a walker for her (seated kind) on Friday, and Gabe uses it like her thrown. He loves to push her around.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

...Let him sleep...

"Let him sleep, for when he wakes, he will move mountains."
This toddler is always on the go. He is busy. Constantly.
There is something about sleeping baby/kid pictures that make my heart...swell. I have a soft spot for them, indeed. Little Mr. is a very light sleeper. He wakes up at the drop of a pin. He gets that from me.
Yesterday, it was creeping after 5PM and he was still asleep. I went up stairs to awaken him and he didn't move. I ran down and grabbed my camera, hoping to steal a few photos to cherish that moment.
He looked so tiny crumpled on his bed. So peaceful and precious.
The rough and tumble toddler looked every bit like my sweet baby boy. Two and a half years old. I just stood there in awe of how thankful I was to be his mom. I would be lying if I said I didn't get a bit choked up.
There are very few moments in the day where the two of us just get that stillness. Those moments are heavily cherished. He still allows about 30 seconds of holding him when I get him from his nap. Then he is off! Growing up before my eyes.
Those moments where they just collapse in your arms. Their warm little bodies cuddled up in your neck. I live for those moments.
Here are some of those sweet moments I stole. We love you, Little Mr.


...8 months...

8 Months.

Favorite things: Her brother and dad, being outside, her feet, her thumbs.
She typically goes to bed about 7 and wakes up around 1AM and then is up around 7AM.
She is still taking two naps a day.
Her AM nap is typically 1.5 hours (9-1030) and PM is from 130-330.
Mom told me over Easter how I used to be enamored with my feet, as a baby.
It is funny how simple things can be passed on. She loves her feet.
Her hair is so beautiful and quiet light now.
She is saying "dadada."
She started sitting up this week (5/5) and quickly gets to her hands and knees.
She loves to rock on all fours.
She slaps her side when she nurses.
She loves to touch things with her pointer: my nose, mouth, cheek.

We love you little lady.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

...DIY Vintage Wooden Sign...

I mentioned that I fell in love with this sign. I didn't love the price ($130!) and figured I could make one! I have a few other signs planned, but here are steps to make one:
1/2" plywood (I used birch)
wood to frame (pine 1x3)
stain (Minwax Dark Walnut)
paint (BM White Dove)
step one.
Determine the size you want for a vintage sign. I wanted this for my entry wall. The size that worked best for my space was 10x36. Cut your plywood (they will do this for you at Home Depot, should you not have the tools). Lightly sand (400grit).
step two.
Stain your wood. I used Minwax Dark Walnut. You may need to do multiple coats to achieve the color you want. I did two coats with a rag.
step three.
Paint your wood. I used a 2" brush and left over BM White Dove paint. As this is a vintage look, you don't need 100% coverage. I did very light two coats.
step four.
Sand (400 grit) in a few spots to achieve the vintage look.
step five.
Print your saying. I created my image in Photoshop, inverted it, and then opened it in Acrobat reader. I printed it via the poster setting, which allowed it to be printed on multiple sheets. I then trimmed and taped my pages using painters tape (easier to reposition) Remember, the words should be backwards.
step six.
Tape your pages to the sign. I found painters tape worked well. Gently (lightly) wet the pages with a paint brush. Take a sharpie and gently trace the letters, several times to transfer the ink onto the wood. Remove the paper once you are satisfied with the look. You can also paint over the letters if you want a darker look. .***I ended up redoing my sign as I found the words bled due to too much water. I found the best method is to dip a 2" paint brush in water and then gently sweep across the words. The paper shouldn't look wet.
step seven.
Construct a frame. I used pine 1x3's. The sign I am copying used butt joints, but I thought mine looked a little more finished. We ended up routering an inset, but this wouldn't be necessary. Most sign tutorials I read used an air nailer and nailed the sign to the frame, which would also work) Stain them and gently sand with steel wool. We used a router to keyhole, but a picture frame hook would work also.


Monday, May 4, 2015

...her piano...

This is the most amazing toy. I love toys that have multiple uses. Right now, her favorite aspect is the piano. She rutches up to the piano and "plays" it by slamming her back into it. Initially, I thought it was just as she was a bout to fall backward, but then she repeated it and squealed for about twenty minutes.
She loves to play her piano. She loves it when I play the piano. I am so excited to share music with my children. I loved how important it was when I was a child. I know there were days (years??) where I was less than enthused, but I am so thankful my parents made it a priority. I wonder what instruments they will want to play.

...updated front column...

The weather was absolutely amazing this weekend. We spent many hours outdoors, soaking up the sun. The kids spent a few hours on the swings and Gabe helped plant some plants and water some new reseeded areas. We are hosting a party for Steve's office this Friday, which gave us the extra oomph to finish some projects.
We spent the morning at a few nurseries, trying to find some plants for the converted waterfall/feature. We had two waterfalls/rock beds at the base of the patios, which made me nervous with little kids. We turned them into flower beds last weekend and were on the hunt for some hydrangeas and a ornamental Japanese Maple. We were slightly successful, but they aren't finished yet. Pictures to come!
We made a list of a few projects that would be fun to complete with Gabe and that we could realistically finish.....and then we decided to do something else as we left Mass.
We decided to update the post on our front porch. It is resin and structural, so we decided to wrap it in cedar. We didn't get started until halfway through the afternoon nap, and then stalled until bedtime. We were staining by flashlight, but we finished at 10PM! It is expected to rain for the next week, so we wanted something on the cedar to prevent it from weathering. We plan on some light sanding and another coat of the stain.
I love how it turned out. The flower beds need to be tarped and covered in rock, but that will be another weekend.